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Health, Personal, Uncategorized

The Heixheimer (Detox) Reaction- How the body heals and my personal experience with it.

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Hey guys, I hope you’re doing well and having a great week so far. This post has taken a little longer than expected once again but I’m back, feeling good and ready to write! There have been a few reasons why I’ve been away from the blog for the past 10 days or so. If you have read my two latest posts, you’ll know that I have recently finished a parasite cleanse. It was my fourth time doing this particular 30 day herbal cleanse (If you’d like to know more please see my posts titled ‘Parasite Cleansing- Why I do it and why you may like to consider it’ and ‘Parasites Part II (An unexpected update)’ for more info.)

Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional. The information provided is just based on my opinion. I am not diagnosing or attempting to treat any health issue. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making any changes to your routine or trying this supplement. Especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or suffer from any medical condition.

Over the past 5 years, I’ve done a lot in order to regain my health and heal my body after taking a medication called Accutane. During this time I have explored many aspects of health and a major part of my journey has involved detoxing my system in order to repair damage that this medication has caused.

Whenever I embark on a cleanse or sometimes when I adjust my diet/ supplement routine, I experience a ‘flare up’ in symptoms. This temporary worsening in amount or severity of past symptoms is actually an indication of healing and is known as the Herxheimer or detox reaction.

As you begin working on your health naturally, by switching from a highly processed diet to one that is made up of mainly whole foods, doing a colon/ liver cleanse or adding in a supplement such as milk thistle to support the liver or an antimicrobial like olive leaf extract for example, your body cells begin to release toxins such as pathogens (bacteria, viruses etc.) and heavy metals. These toxins enter the bloodstream and are now in circulation. Organs such as the liver and large intestine,  become over burdened with this sudden release of toxins and endotoxins (the waste materials produced when bacteria die) and an inflammatory response occurs.

Before the toxins and wastes are excreted from the body, the person may have an increase in the severity of current symptoms or a ‘flare up’ of past symptoms.

Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue and/ or restlessness
  • Skin breakouts including boils, hives and rashes
  • Cold/ flu symptoms
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increase in joint pain
  • Sinus congestion
  • Fever/ chills
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Muscular aches/ pains
  • Frequent urination/ discharge
  • Mood disturbances such as anxiety/ irritability
  • Insomnia

 

After completing the parasite cleanse about 3 weeks ago, I was still feeling noticeable ‘detox’ effects and experiencing many symptoms. This was mainly due to two things, the first being that the herbs in the cleanse continue to work for about 30 days after finishing and the second being that I added in antimicrobial supplements. Shortly after completing Humaworm (the pasrasite cleanse) I began drinking  Chapparral leaf tea. I will speak more about this herb in a future post but to summerise, it has potent antimicrobial and antiparasitic properties. As well as this herbal tea, I added in another antimicrobial and immune boosting supplement. Therefore, I actually experienced quite a lengthy ‘healing reaction’ this time round.

To be really honest with you the past 4 to 5 weeks have been really challenging for me overall. After a few months of feeling amazing in every way i.e. physically, mentally and emotionally, I seemed to suddenly feel ‘run down’ again. Even though I was doing a lot to work on my health (as usual) and getting a good amount of rest. Since I have experienced this many times in the past few years, I knew how to deal with it all in a much better way (although it was still really challenging.)

Healing reactions also occur after a period of feeling really great or seeing a big improvement in your health. Our bodies are highly intelligent and when they have energy and good/ improved resources they will detox by releasing toxins and waste products stored in the liver and tissues and repair damaged areas leading to a higher, more vibrant state of health.

Holistic health practitioners agree that the body always heals in a certain order and this is know as Hering’s Law of Cure. It states that:

“All cure starts from within out, from the head down and in reverse order as the symptoms have appeared or been suppressed.”

This basically means that toxins deep within the body will be dealt with and processed first through to the outer layer (skin.) Physiologically, the person must feel strong and be prepared mentally (the head) first in order to heal physically. The body deals with the most recent heath problem first before moving back systematically, in reverse order to work on more long standing (chronic) conditions.

Personally speaking, this time round I noticed a ‘mixed bag’ of mental, physical and emotional symptoms. Fatigue hit me really hard and I felt like I could sleep for 10- 12 hours a night or that I’d need to nap in the afternoon. Mentally, I was affected quite dramatically. My mood took a really low dip, severely for about 3 days but generally for a couple of weeks. I had days where I just wanted to give up college, this blog and bothering with anything. I couldn’t see the point in continuing working on my health and was feeling really frustrated, that despite all my efforts over the past few years I was still feeling crap. Basically, I was feeling really vulnerable, emotional and sorry for myself. Walking and resting helped my state of mind a lot, as did talking to a couple of close friends about it and feeling really ‘safe,’ loved and fully accepted doing so. Some of my physical symptoms included skin breakouts (my skin looked dull, inflamed and I came up in a rash a couple of times), muscle aches, low grade fever and chills, abdominal bloating, a small cyst on my right breast (that has now fully cleared), headaches and ‘brain fog’ and a slight sensation during urination, not quite pain but a similar sensation to the start of a urinary tract infection. I used to suffer from UTI’s a few years ago so think my body may have been re- tracing over this condition as bacteria were being killed and removed by the herbs. Those symptoms are the main ones that come to mind but there were probably a few others. When dealing with a healing reaction/ crisis, it’s good to consult a holistic health practitioner. This allows them to overlook your protocol, making sure it’s benefitting you. If symptoms persist or worsen, they may need to intervene and make adjustments or in rare cases you may need to seek medical advice . I work closely with a wonderful Kinesiologist/ Naturopath who also happens to be a close family friend so I feel very safe. If I have any questions, I always go to her and have done for the past 10 years.

There are a few things that you can do in order to make these healing reactions more bearable and shorten the duration, these include:

  • Drinking more filtered/ mineral water
  • Getting more rest
  • Taking a hot bath with magnesium flakes/ epsom salts
  • Sauna/ Steam using essential oils
  • Getting sunlight
  • Gentle exercise such as walking or yoga
  • Rebounding
  • Getting a colonic/ water or coffee enema
  • Taking activated charcoal
  • Dry skin brushing
  • The use of a castor oil pack for the liver

 

I wanted to keep tonight’s post relatively short and to the point. If any of you would like me to be more specific then please feel free to leave a comment or message me and I’ll happily write another blog post. Perhaps I’ll split this topic into sections and go into greater detail. Hopefully this post explains why I took a little longer than usual to write on the blog. Some really deep things came to the surface for me and I needed to give myself the space and time to allow myself to just ‘be.’

All of my energy needed to be reserved for healing rather than dispersing it by doing lots of other activities or by being really social. I just needed to take some time out. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling well enough to attend my college lectures last weekend and spent the weekend at home sleeping lots, lying in the sun and taking some salt baths. Thankfully, I’m feeling much better than of late and am starting to look healthy and vibrant again, although it’ll probably take a few more days. The lymph nodes in my neck are also finally going down which is a great sign. Each time I go through a reaction like this, I become stronger and healthier. So over the past 5 years, my health has majorly improved. Therefore I have finally learnt to ‘trust the process.’

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Thank you for being supportive and understanding and to those of you that have messaged me recently, I really do appreciate it. When I receive messages from you guys, it lights me up and makes me remember why I started ‘Knowledge To Nourish.’ A special mention to my friend Tom, who helped me come up with the topic for today’s blog post. If any of you have any suggestions for future posts, please feel free to message me. I’d love to hear from you.

I have some cool ideas and plans up my sleeve that I’m excited to make a start on and share with you. However, I have a big college exam in 3 weeks time as well as an assignment hand-in. Due to this, my energy will be directed more towards study rather than the blog for the next couple of weeks. I will continue to post though so keep an eye out for new content- I won’t be able to resist for long!

It’s after midnight here now, I really need to go and get some rest! I hope you all have a wonderful, happy, healthy and fun weekend.

Much love and hugs,

Becky

 

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accutane, Health, Personal, Uncategorized

Deep darkness- I hit a low point.

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Hey guys, I can’t believe a week’s passed since I last posted. I hope you’re all well and looking forward to the weekend. The sun is shining here in Cornwall and everything looks beautiful, my mood on the other hand hasn’t been so great for the past few days. After spending last weekend staying in Cheltenham with my friend Stacie and attending college in Bristol, I got back to Falmouth on Monday.

Please excuse the long and emotional post that follows, I feel I can’t talk about parasite cleansing until I let you know what’s been going on for me. I’m going to post about my parasite cleanse either later tonight or Sunday.

Well, I know I’ve just finished a 30 day parasite cleanse so it’s bound to have stirred things up but for the past few days, particularly yesterday and today, I’ve been feeling really low. Yesterday afternoon, I hit my lowest point in months. I felt tired, my body felt sore and my lymph nodes are swollen (but then again they have been swollen for the past month.) It’s a good indicator that my body’s trying to fight something off. Ever since taking Accutane (please see my posts titled Accutane- The Life Changer Part I and II for more info) I’ve felt as though I have a virus in my system and every now and then (when there’s increased stress/ cleansing) it becomes active. My body is so much stronger than it was but I still work on my health every single day. I’m used to some physical symptoms coming up every now and then as my body processes things and rebalances, especially during or just after a cleanse but the mental effects I experienced yesterday and today have caught me totally off guard.

Yesterday afternoon, I was hit with a tidal wave of emotion. Emotion that I wasn’t expecting or prepared for. My body felt crappy and my mental state usually dips when my body’s not feeling good. This however was different. Thankfully for a long time now, my mood’s pretty stable and I don’t suffer from any anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I have challenging days and experience bad moods but that’s totally normal and nothing to be worried about. In general, I’ve been my usual, social and outgoing self. Yesterday, the emotion I experienced felt beyond me and was a mixture between deep sadness, anger and utter frustration.

The floodgates opened up and I cried and cried and cried. I felt deep sadness at the situation I’ve had to deal with continuously over the past five years, all because of a drug, that I didn’t know existed before entering the dermatologist’s office. I cried over the time I’ve missed with friends, the stress I’ve caused my mum and sister, all the money that we’ve (myself and my family) have spent on health care, food and supplements, the days I spent in bed, the times I tried to explain my situation to others and they didn’t/ couldn’t understand, the times I felt so ill I wanted to die, all the fevers, the vomiting, the skin rashes and all of the excuses I made in order to appear ‘normal.’ On top of feeling a deep sense of despair, I felt a huge amount of anger bubble up. Anger that I thought I had previously dealt with. This is difficult for me to share so openly but I literally felt like I wanted to kill the dermatologist and the manufacturers of Accutane. Of course, I would never REALLY want to hurt anyone. This wouldn’t help anyone anyway, but I’m telling you when you’ve spent years of your life trying to piece together the scraps that you’ve been left with after taking a certain drug- you want to find and make someone accountable. Of course, it was my decision to take it but I was young, vulnerable and desperate. The side effects were completely dubbed down and glossed over. The idea of  ‘selling rat poison disguised as candy’ comes to mind. The marketing is excellent and the information is put forward in such a way that is in total favour of the pharmaceutical companies, in this case Roche.

So I cried and cried and felt extreme anger surge through my veins. With makeup running down my face and my hood up, I decided to take the dog out. I did this for two reasons: 1. He needed a walk and was being so good and 2. I thought I urgently needed fresh air and a quiet space to think.

I’m sure people that passed me was wondering what was up, but I didn’t really care. I walked through the park and ended up sitting under one of the blossom trees. A tree with beautiful pink blossom, all fresh and in full bloom. Sitting on the damp grass, I took a few breaths and managed to stop crying. I watched several thoughts come and go in my mind including ‘what’s the point in all of this?’ ‘I can’t be bothered’ ‘It’s been five years, give me a break’ and ‘how will people ever listen to someone like me?’

On a good day, I either don’t get these thoughts or if I do, the stronger and more positive side of me takes over and I know that really, everything is working out and that I just need to keep the faith. I remind myself how far I’ve come and treat myself kindly. However yesterday, they were pretty much all negative, self- doubt and sabotage-style thoughts.

I can’t say I felt way better leaving the park but I did feel a little calmer and OJ (my dog) was happy. Also, on top on cleansing I am due my period soon so am definitely feeling premenstrual. Maybe it’s been one big combination of things. My menstrual cycle has been on the long side (around day 43 to 47) for a few months. It tends to change depending on various factors but can lead to me feeling very emotional on the lead up.

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Today hasn’t been much easier, I haven’t felt great. I’ve rested for most of the day and have eaten lightly. I’ve been noticeably quiet on whatsapp and have blanked calls and texts from friends. I just needed some space. I’m feeling pressure because I have friends coming down for the weekend and they’re arriving tomorrow night. It’s for my friend Matt’s 30th birthday. I love them all so much and they mean the world to me but currently I’m not feeling the ‘party mood’ and wish I could be feeling differently. At the moment I’d love to just rest and have a quiet weekend. These guys are some of my best friends and I’ve known most of them for just over ten years now but I don’t talk to them much, if at all about my health issues and Accutane story. My best friend Jack (who I’ve been travelling with twice) is absolutely amazing but we have very different views on healthcare, medication, the holistic approach etc. I totally don’t mind having different opinions at all but sometimes I feel like I don’t even want to say that I’m not feeling great because it requires too much energy to explain why that is. Then when I do explain, I don’t really feel heard. I just don’t bother talking about my situation in depth with him which to be honest, makes me pretty sad. I don’t think he even realises it at times and to be fair I haven’t ever spoken really honestly and explained how I feel. He is totally exceptional and I know for a fact he cares so much about me. He’s always super supportive and we just kind of ‘get each other.’ We message almost every day and it’s even hard to articulate how much the friendship means to me. Jack has seen me at my worst, he saw me in South America when I was extremely unwell and my hair was falling out and he’s also seen me when I’m totally on form and we have the best time, conversations and adventures together. He has supported and encouraged me through everything and I have unconditional love for him as a person.

This weekend may bring some things up. If the timing’s right, I’m going to speak to him about it. I’m not even complaining as he’s done nothing wrong but I’m starting to be completely true to myself. I’m tired of ‘dubbing down’ what happened and hiding the total truth from people out of fear of being misunderstood/ judged. As a matter of fact, this is my issue and an opportunity to learn and grow. I’m just going to be honest in a kind way and see what happens.

Tomorrow, I’ll pull myself together, put some makeup on, smile and go out with my friends. It’s so easy to get caught up in everything but we all need to remember to be grateful for what we have and the people we have that love and support us. Just a few years ago, celebrating a friend’s birthday would have been out of the question so I’ve already made huge steps. It’s just my ego putting expectations on myself e.g. I need to look/ act a certain way in order to be good enough for my friends.

No. I AM GOOD ENOUGH. My friends love me just the way I am right now for being me. Life is too short to miss these special opportunities and I know that hanging out with them, even though I’ll be having a few drinks will probably do me more good than harm. I’ve had a rough few days but that’s just life. I’m still going and I’ll keep going. My perseverance is second to none and my focus to help others is what’s keeping me going through it all.

Tomorrow is a new day.

I just want to say to anyone reading this, that it’s ok not to feel great, to doubt yourself and your truth, to feel lost and to want to give up. We all feel this and have days like these- I encourage you to dig deep and find strength that you didn’t know you had until you pull it to the surface.

Be kind to yourself, be kind to others and do your best.

You are too special to hide away and dim your light!

I’ll post about parasite cleansing next- it was originally meant to be this post but I knew I needed to write to you from the heart again.

Sending you all so much love and a big hug,

Becky

accutane, Health, Personal, Uncategorized

Accutane- My side effects and overview of my recovery 

Hey everybody, considering I only got around five hours sleep last night I’m feeling pretty good! Hope you’re all doing well- I’m sure most of you are looking forward to the weekend.

I’m on the train again- seem to love writing during train journeys. Currently on my way to Cheltenham for college this weekend. The reason I’ stay at Cheltenham and not Bristol (where I attend college) is because I’m staying with my friend Stacie. Stacie’s an absolutely awesome girl and in the same class so we travel in together on Saturday and Sunday. The reason I’m heading up a day early is because we have an exam on Saturday morning so we’re hitting the books together. More about lovely Stacie (and not so lovely) exams later..

Today I thought I’d chat about the side effects I personally suffered from whilst on Accutane and after I finished the course of Accutane. For anyone that doesn’t know already, Accutane is an extremely strong medication used for the treatment of Acne. I took a 5.5 month course at 40mg/ day from October 2011 to March 2012 and it changed my life.

If you’d like to know more, please read my posts titled ‘Accutane- The Life Changer PART I and II.’

Accutane creates a strong divide. There are people who believe it saved their life and gave them their confidence back and others, like myself that have had to deal with major health issues since taking this drug. My intention is not to bully people into not taking Accutane but rather encourage them to look at other options. I know there will be some of you reading this that will be like “duh, if I had other options I would try them but I tried cutting out this food and that food and I’ve tried different antibiotics and changing face products etc. and nothing has worked.” Trust me, I understand where you’re coming from and the absolute desperation you’re feeling. I genuinely get it because I myself, have been there.

All I know is, if I could have my time over I would not take Accuatane. If I knew what I knew now, I would have handled the whole situation differently. Then again, I realise everything is simple in hindsight. I have accepted that I was doing my best for what I knew in that moment at that time. I have stopped doing the “if only and what if” and have learned to focus all of my energy on the present which includes my personal recovery and desire to help other people.

In order to clarify a few things I’m going to list all the side effects that I personally suffered with from taking this medication and then give you an overall view as to how I have recovered and healed my body over the past five years.

Side effects that I experienced (mainly after I finished Accutane):

  • Dry skin, eyes and hair
  • Eczema on face
  • Rash on my hands, arms and face
  • Facial flushing and a rash like appearance
  • Joint pain
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Fatigue
  • Hairloss, seborrhoeic dermatitis and sores on my scalp
  • Increased sweating and night sweats
  • Temperature regulation issues (too hot or too cold)
  • Bloating, constipation and abdominal distension
  • Parlour (I looked so pale with a pink tinge to my skin
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Constantly swollen lymph nodes
  • Facial impetigo
  • Staph A infection
  • Pain in my spleen and liver area
  • Reaccuring conjunctivitis and other infections
  • Constantly feeling ‘off’, weak and really ‘under the weather.’

I just want to add that I have had blood tests done with my GP several times over the past few years. They showed different things but everything was passed off and looked at as an individual symptom. Of course, neither my  Dermatologist nor my GP was willing to listen when I told them I knew I was ill as a result of taking Accutane. My dermatologist told me that the major hairless I experienced was definitely not Acctutane related. Well excuse my language but this is bull***t! He took a scalp biopsy which showed the presence of yeast and fungus (that cause standard dandruff.) So conveniently, I was told I had a fungal infection of the scalp and was given a course of antifungal medication which I (stupidly) took.

Blood tests showed that my thyroid was showing signs of being under active (borderline hypothyroid at that stage) and I was told perhaps I had ‘post viral fatigue’ by a different GP. The moment I knew I was going to take my health in to my own hands was after a morning appointment with my GP- I remember the day well. Feeling unbelievably out of sorts and not long after returning from South America, I walked with my head low into my doctor’s office. To synopsise the situation, I was given information on Rosacea because apparently I had cured my acne but developed Rosacea instead and told to fill out a depression questionnaire (which, if you haven’t seen one of these are a bit ridiculous.)  The reason it’s ridiculous is because the questions ask you to give a number score in relation to a list of different situations or feelings that are part of being human eg. “Do you feel down sometimes?” Which most people do and it’s hard to choose a number to express the overall situation/ experience you’re having. I can’t remember the others but you get the idea. On top of all of this I was offered anti depressant medication which I politely declined.

That was a tough morning. Not only was I feeling ruined both physically and mentally but now I felt unheard. Unable to hold the emotion in anymore I burst into tears, I didn’t need the tissue that the doctor passed me as no tears were produced. Imagine that- crying but producing no tears because your eyes are so dry and your tear production has stopped. Something was going to give- I was going to break or I was going to get better. However, I now know I needed to return to my natural, holistic way of looking at health. No more pills, no more quick fixes.

I cried and cried for most of that day. Feeling horrendous, I slept loads as the fatigue was intense and the anxiety, depression and other physical side effects almost unbearable. It was around this point that I started doing my research. Bit by bit I made life changes based on my gut instinct. Obviously, I looked into things thoroughly and weighed up risks, but you need to remember at that point I didn’t have anything to lose. As I said, I will be writing specific blog posts detailing everything I did and what worked for me. It was very much a process of trial, error and lots of learning.

Today, I am SO much better. It’s pretty remarkable actually. I’m functioning normally, although I still do a lot to to keep myself balanced and healthy. I also cleanse periodically. My body is so much stronger and my mental state is fantastic- not a hint of anxiety or depression. Obviously I have bad days like everyone else and don’t always feel great but this is normal and infrequent.

I believe my success comes down to a few main factors.. Support from my mum and close friends, my own discipline and dedication to healing my body, and a multi-pronged approach to resolving interconnected issues relating to Acvutane damage. Basically, I started by working on removing the Accutane residues that remained in my body after treatment, repairing and repopulating my gut with beneficial bacteria, cleansing the liver thoroughly, supporting adrenal and thyroid function, parasite cleansing and removing heavy metals, supporting my immune system and supplementing where necessary.

An important point to make is not all of my recovery was based on physical practices. True health and vitality occur when all aspects of a person are addressed and balanced is. Mind, body and spirit (I don’t mean this in any religious sense.) I worked on my mental and emotional health with kinesiology, meditation, emotional freedom technique (EFT) and generally being with people I love and taking some time out.

At this moment in my, I’m delighted and grateful at how far I’ve come but I’m also far from done. As a matter of fact, I’m just getting started. I have so many goals and aspirations mainly relating to helping others and transforming my situation in order to do good.

My physical health is so much better than it was and I feel a true sense of vitality. Sometimes I feel run down and the lymph nodes in my neck swell but that’s usually when I’m cleansing or get a bit stressed with college work etc. I’m able to workout again which is amazing and I’m currently working on developing my physical strength, stamina, building lean muscle and losing a little fat. Being able to hit high intensity workouts again makes me feel strong and balanced. It’s both a stress reliever and confidence booster.

Also, I have plans to start a Knowledge To Nourish YouTube channel soon. The time has come to speak out in an honest and personal way. I have no intention of being pushy, I just want to get some info out there in the hope that someone can take something positive from what I’ve learned.

On that note, I’m going to wrap today’s post up and chat more next time.

Thanks for your support and hope you all have a fantastic weekend- please send me good vibes for my exam on Saturday morning!

Much love,

Becky

Health, Personal, Uncategorized

Heavy Metal Detox- Zeolite

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Hey everyone, I hope you’ve all had a wonderful and happy weekend. Spring has definitely made an arrival here in Cornwall and the sun has been shining for the past couple of days. The arrival of warmer weather means that it’s an ideal time to do some cleansing and detoxing. It’s easier and less harsh to cleanse when the weather’s warmer and the natural season for cleansing is Springtime so soon, I will do some liver cleanses over the period of a few weeks as well as focusing some of my energy on detoxing heavy metals from my body. I don’t ever overtax my body or constantly jump from product to protocol but after I got really ill from taking a medication called Accutane and developed lots of autoimmune-type symptoms (please read my posts titled Accutane-The Life Changer Part I and II if you’d like to know more) I’ve realised that I need to do more than most people in order to stay healthy and sometimes this requires me to go through phases of cleansing on a physical level.

Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional. The information provided is just based on my opinion. I am not diagnosing or attempting to treat any health issue. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider before making any changes to your routine or trying this supplement. Especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or suffer from any medical condition.

This leads me nicely on to the topic of today’s post. I’m going to be talking about how I have helped my body to detox from heavy metals. Heavy metals such as Mercury, Aluminium, Cadmium and Lead accumulate in the body over time. Possible sources of heavy metals include drinking water, foods, amalgam fillings, cosmetic products, certain vaccines and medications. These heavy metals accumulate in body tissues, affecting every system of the body and can lead to health problems including neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease as well as reproductive disorders including  endometriosis and  polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) to name a few. I’ll list below some symptoms of heavy metal toxicity.

Symptoms of heavy metal toxicity include:

  • emotional instability
  • fatigue
  • malaise
  • skin changes
  • insomnia
  • impaired motor, cognitive and language skills
  • water retention
  • joint pain
  • menstrual irregularities

There are various ways you can help to detox your body from heavy metals but one of the easiest and cheapest ways is to add Zeolite to your daily routine. Zeolites are naturally occurring microporous minerals formed mainly from the elements aluminium, silicon and oxygen (aluminosilicates.) They are of volcanic origin and they have properties that make them powerful at removing heaving metals and radiation from the body. Zeolite clinoptilolite is the type of zeolite used for these health reasons. It has a crystalline structure that is porous, this combined with its negative charge allows the zeolite to attract and trap positively charged metals. These trapped metals can then be excreted safely by the body.

Zeolite clinoptilolite comes in capsule, liquid and powdered forms with powdered zeolite being the most common. If you want to introduce zeolite into your health regimen there are two main things to take into consideration. The first being to make sure the zeolite is of food grade quality and the second being to start slowly and increase the amount as needed over time. These two things will ensure the zeolite is in its purest form without any fillers or additives and will make it less likely to overburden the body during the detoxification process. Although, detox symptoms are usually minimal as the ‘honeycomb’ structure of the zeolite traps the metals and toxins within it allowing for easy excretion without stirring up toxins and creating an immune response before they are excreted. This short term detox reaction occurs when toxins and wastes are excreted from cells and tissues at a rate or amount that overburdens the organs of elimination such as the bowls, kidneys and skin. When this ‘Herxheimer’ reaction  occurs, the individual may experience temporary discomfort and symptoms such as fatigue, muscle aches, headache, skin rash etc. This will pass as the body excretes these waste products but in the meantime it can be beneficial to decrease the dose of the supplement, drink plenty of water and rest.

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Powdered zeolite

Personally, I take zeolite clinoptilolite in powdered form and find it both easy and effective. Another bonus is that it’s really cost effective. The brand I use is produced by a company called ‘The Clay Cure.’ I use many of their products and find them to be of the highest quality. I love their whole ethos and encourage you to check out their website if you’d like to learn more about their products. I just want to add that I’m not being paid or sponsored to endorse their products, I’m simply a very happy customer giving credit where credit’s due. I have left the link below:

http://www.theclaycure.co.uk

In order to take the zeolite, I make a simple drink by combining it with filtered water. Each day, after taking Sole (please see my post titled ‘Why I drink salt water every day before breakfast’ for more info) I add 1/4 tsp of zeolite powder to a glass of filtered water and give it a stir. Then I drink it and I’m good to go. I start with a small dose of 1/4 tsp and work my way up slowly over the period of about a month to around 2-3 tsp daily. I find this works well with me. When my dose increases to over 1 tsp, I usually spilt the dose amount in two and drink this twice daily. If I notice any discomfort such as a headache or a skin breakout, I simply decrease my dose again. Should you decide to add zeolite to your daily routine, make sure you drink plenty of water as it can cause constipation. I haven’t noticed any side effects from taking it apart from a headache and a few spots when I increased my dose too quickly once. It is not known to create toxicity and therefore can be taken in large quantities, up to about 2 Tbs, three times a day. Although I have only ever taken up to 2 tsp daily and have found that to suit my body whilst being effective.

So, if you are interested in looking for a way to reduce heavy metal toxicity then zeolite may be worth a consideration. I find it helped me but in a gradual way over time. I go through phases of using it for a few weeks/ months then taking a break and starting once again. As a matter of fact, I haven’t taken it in a few months because I was focusing on addressing other issues but I will be implementing into my heath regimen in a couple of weeks time.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to stop by and check out my blog. I’ll be posting again soon. I have lectures this weekend, including an exam so things are pretty busy but I will definitely post before the end of the week.

All the best,

Becky

Health, Personal, Uncategorized

A little ‘check in’ with you.

Hey guys, I hope you’re enjoying your week so far. Today’s post is a little bit of a ‘check in’ with you all. I felt like writing something less informative but more personal this evening. Actually I think i’ll throw in a family photo below (I don’t know, I just feel like it.)

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“Precious moments with loved ones are priceless” Myself, my mum and my sister- September 2011.

 

Honestly speaking, I haven’t found the past couple of weeks easy. I’m being real with you. Since starting my blog, I suppose there’s a slight ‘expectation,’ real or perceived that because it’s a health blog, I need to be healthy and vibrant all of the time in order for my content to be taken seriously. In other words, ‘You should be healthy to write about health.’

This has been playing on my mind, especially over the past week to ten days. I’ve been cleansing (doing a 30 day parasite cleanse) and I’m currently on day 17. I have experience with these cleanses, having done three before. However this is the first one in about two years. It basically involves taking two tablets, twice daily. The tablets contain a mixture of potent herbs and are a broad spectrum treatment. They treat everything from viruses and bacteria to various types of worms and flukes. Before you freak out, I get it. I used to get so freaked out when I first read about parasites and the problems they can cause. For a while, I didn’t want to think about it too much but at this stage I’m so over it. After learning that nearly everyone (about 90%) of people have parasites, I’d rather be proactive and do something about it in order to strengthen my body and prevent possible health issues from occurring. Anyway, I’ll be writing a detailed post on parasite cleansing soon including what cleanse I did, my reasons for doing it, my personal experience including the negative and positive aspects and why I feel everyone can benefit from parasite cleansing.

So yes, since I’ve been cleansing again my energy levels have been notably lower than of late. My body has been processing toxins from the ‘die-off’ effect of the herbs. I’ve experienced fatigue, brain-fog, headaches, a temperature, vomiting, slight stomach cramps, swollen lymph nodes in my neck and skin breakouts. As well as these physical symptoms, I have noticed mental symptoms too such as low mood, feeling ‘off form,’ emotional and irritable.

I’ve probably put you off wanting to undertake such a cleanse but these symptoms haven’t all come at once and didn’t all last long. Even though it’s been tough, I am trusting the process. My body is currently working hard and parasites are being killed and excreted. Sometimes when this happens, you can get an increase in symptoms or a ‘flair up’ detox reaction. It is just temporary and actually show that the cleanse is working well. I’m not worried at all. This is the fourth time I have done this and after each of the last three cleanses, I noticed a significant improvement in my health. Before undertaking the cleanse, I knew I would feel worse before feeling better. However, I also knew it would be worth it.

So, here I am tonight. It’s nearly 11pm my time and I’m writing openly to you to let you know that I’m only human and I’m just doing my best. Even though I feel really healthy these days and I’m beyond grateful for that, I still face challenges.

I don’t feel great all day every day just like everyone. Sometimes I feel it’s all too easy to compare ourselves to others and feel as though we’re not as beautiful, smart, healthy, intelligent or ‘sorted’ as them. When I’m having a low time and feeling more emotional, I am guilty of this. Self- doubt creeps in to my mind and I begin to question what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, where I’m going etc. Luckily I’ve learnt to observe this pattern of thinking without getting caught up in it for long. I watch the thoughts enter my head, ask myself why I’m feeling them (and usually jot words down in a journal) then I take a few quiet moments or go for a walk and remind myself how much I have to be grateful for. This usually fills me with a sense of gratitude quite quickly which in turn changes my mental state. If I’m feeling really tired, I try to have a nap. If I don’t have time, I take 5 minutes to close my eyes and focus on my breath.

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Before the last couple of weeks, I had been feeling wonderful almost every day for over twelve weeks previous. Physically and mentally, I had been feeling the best I had ever felt, well definitely since taking Accutane (please see my posts titled Accutane-The Life Changer Part I and II). Over the past five years, I have worked on healing and rebalancing my body. It has been a journey filled with ups and downs. I would get a little better, then feel awful again, then a little better, then more symptoms would resurface. True healing happens in phases, when you’re not treating the symptom but rather finding the root cause of illness.
Even though, I haven’t had as much energy, look a little pale, have a few sore spots on my face and just feel a bit ‘blah’ really. I’m okay with this. I realise that I’m doing my best and my body is getting stronger and healthier in the long run. After having been through so much worse, I know I am strong and I trust my intuition.

I am remembering the words “This too shall pass.”

So for tonight, I’m going to make another mug of peppermint and liquorice tea and get to bed soon.

I’ll be posting again in a couple of days and have a few interesting topics lined up that i’m excited to talk about and share with you.

Sending you all a big hug, wherever you may be in the world.

Until next time,

Becky

P.S. If this post resonated with you, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to comment or message me using my ‘Contact Me’ page. Thanks!

Health, Recipe

Olive Leaf Extract- Why it’s so incredible.

Hello again guys, I hope you’re well and having a great week so far. I can’t believe it’s Friday and St. Patrick’s Day! I’m Irish so have been feeling a bit homesick today but have made the most of it and even had a cheeky little Guinness earlier to celebrate!

Firstly, I apologise for not posting sooner. I genuinely thought I’d have this post up last Sunday but I just didn’t get around to it. I’m currently doing a parasite cleanse at the moment and I’m now on day 12 out of 30. Last Saturday night was tough going as I ended up feeling extremely nauseous and vomiting for most of the night so I spent Sunday in bed just resting and watching films. I know it was just a detox reaction and actually shows that the cleanse is really clearing things which is great. I’m finally feeling much better today but still going to take it a little easier than usual for the next couple of days. I’ll be writing a blog on my experience with parasite cleansing soon so will speak more about what it is and why most people can benefit from doing it so be sure to check back if you’re interested.

Disclaimer: Please check with your doctor or healthcare provider before trying this supplement. Especially is you are pregnant, breastfeeding or suffer from any medical condition. I’m not a qualified healthcare professional and the information provided is just based on my opinion. I am not diagnosing or attempting to treat any health issue.

Ok, enough about cleansing. Today’s post is about one of my favourite supplements, Olive Leaf Extract. Olive trees, called Olea Europaea are evergreen trees native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. The olive leaf itself was first used medicinally in Ancient Egypt with the Egyptians believing it had heavenly powers.

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Oleuropein is the active ingredient in olive leaf and numerous studies have shown it to produce many health benefits within the body. I have described these benefits in detail below:

1. Antimicrobial:

Olive leaf extract (OLE) either inhibits the production of or destroys a wide range of bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses. The antimicrobial effect of OLE was demonstrated in a study where it proved effective at killing almost all the bacteria and fungi tested including E-coli and Candida albicans (Markin et al 2003). This indicates that OLE may be useful in treating bacterial and fungal infections such as seborrhoeic dermatitis (dandruff) and tinea pedis (athlete’s foot.) The results of another study (Sudjana et al 2009) showed that OLE was particularly effective against H. Pylori, C. Jejuni, S. Aureus and MRSA. Therefore, it may have a role to play regarding the regulation of gut flora in the body, which in turn could have a beneficial effect on the digestive system, immune system and overall health of an individual. In regards to viruses, a study by (Gong et al 2011) has shown OLE to be successful at inhibiting acute infection and cell to cell transmission of the HIV-1 virus. In addition, A patent from the US (Fredrickson WR et al 2000) indicates that oleuropein has a potent antiviral action. Results from several studies have shown it to be effective against herpes mononucleosis, hepatitis virus, rotavirus, bovine rhinovirus, canine parvovirus, and feline leukemia virus.

2. Antioxidant:

Olive leaf extract is a powerful antioxidant meaning it neutralises free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules produced during the process of oxidation as they contain at least one unpaired electron meaning they are extremely reactive and can cause cellular and tissue damage. This can lead to accelerated ageing and contribute to a wide range of health problems such as cancer, atherosclerosis and inflammatory joint disease to name a few. Antioxidants help to combat the negative effects of free radicals by preventing the process of oxidation, they do this by donating an electron to the free radical and thus converting it into a harmless molecule. Wojcikowski et al (2007) carried out a study to test the antioxidant capacity of 55 herbs with the results showing olive leaf to have one of the highest antioxidant activity levels out of the herbs tested.

3. Anti-Inflammatory:

Olive leaf extract has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Such effects would be similar to that of NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen. Oleuropein has been shown to prevent the production of cytokines; proteins that regulate the  inflammatory response (Barbaro et al 2017). This could be beneficial for the management of certain health conditions such as arthritis. One study conducted by China’s Dalian Medical University in 2012 showed that OLE significantly reduced swelling in the paws of rats with arthritis (Gong et al 2012).

4. Anti- Cancer:

Oleuropein has been proven to be a potent anti-cancer compound. Hamdi and Castellon (2005) conducted a study that showed oleuropein caused complete regression of tumours in rats over a 9-11 day period. Another study conducted by Elamin et al 2013, showed oleuropein to be cytotoxic to breast cancer cells through the mechanism of apoptosis as well as inhibiting cell proliferation, once again showing it to be effective against cancer.

5. Anti- Atherogenic:

Studies have shown OLE to be effective against the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries.) Once such study by Wang et al (2008) showed that OLE supressed the inflammatory response and inhibited the development of atherosclerosis in rabbits tested. Subsequently a study by Carluccio et al (2003) showed that polyphenols in olive oil, and olive leaf contribute to the prevention of atherosclerosis. This means that OLE may be a useful supplement to aid in cardiovasular health.

As you can see, olive leaf extract provides wonderful health benefits which is why I use it regularly and always make sure to have a back-up supply on my supplement shelf. I take it to strengthen my immune system, especially during colder months or periods of high stress. I have found it to be wonderful at helping to restore my strength and vitality after taking Accutane (if you’d like to know more, please read Accutane- The Life Changer Part I and II). The lymph nodes in my neck used to be constantly swollen and they have now gone down since I started supplementing with OLE. Also, this past winter I really noticed that I picked up way less cold type symptoms compared to others around me.

Personally, I take OLE in capsule form. To make sure it’s potent I read the ingredients and look for a supplement that contains 100% olive leaf without fillers or binders added. As a maintenance dose I take 1000mg daily but if I have symptoms I take about 3000mg daily. The brand I use is Tigon and I have always found it to be extremely effective. I won’t lie, this supplement is expensive. I pay £27 for 60 capsules (each capsule contains 500mg olive leaf.) In my opinion it is totally worth the money and I rank it in my top three supplements. I always pack a bottle when I travel too as I find it helps to keep my immune system healthy when I’m overtired and stressed.

Another way I supplement with olive leaf is in the form of tea. I’ll leave the recipe below incase you’re interested in trying it:

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Olive Leaf Tea Recipe

Ingredients:
Dried olive leaves
Boiled Water

Equipment:
Pestle and mortar
Strainer

Method:

1. Take a few dried olive leaves (about 12 per person.)

2. Grind them up using the pestle and mortar.

3. Add the powder to a mug and add boiled water.

4. Brew for 8 minutes and then strain.

5. Drink and enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s content. I’ll be posting again in a few days time and definitely won’t be leaving it as long again!

Hope you all have a blessed and happy weekend,

Becky

References:

Barbaro, Barbara et al. “Effects Of The Olive-Derived Polyphenol Oleuropein On Human Health”. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 15.10 (2014): 18508-18524. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.

Carluccio, M. A. “Olive Oil And Red Wine Antioxidant Polyphenols Inhibit Endothelial Activation: Antiatherogenic Properties Of Mediterranean Diet Phytochemicals”. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 23.4 (2003): 622-629. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

Elamin, Maha H. et al. “Olive Oil Oleuropein Has Anti-Breast Cancer Properties With Higher Efficiency On ER-Negative Cells”. Food and Chemical Toxicology 53 (2013): 310-316. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

Fredrickson WR. F and S Group, Inc. Method and Composition for Antiviral Therapy with Olive Leaves. U.S. Patent. 2000;6:117–884.

Gong, Dezheng et al. “Mechanisms Of Olive Leaf Extract-Ameliorated Rat Arthritis Caused By Kaolin And Carrageenan”. Phytotherapy Research (2011): n/a-n/a. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.

Hamdi, Hamdi K. and Raquel Castellon. “Oleuropein, A Non-Toxic Olive Iridoid, Is An Anti-Tumor Agent And Cytoskeleton Disruptor”. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 334.3 (2005): 769-778. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

Lee-Huang, Sylvia et al. “Anti-HIV Activity Of Olive Leaf Extract (OLE) And Modulation Of Host Cell Gene Expression By HIV-1 Infection And OLE Treatment”. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 307.4 (2003): 1029-1037. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

Markin, D., L. Duek, and I. Berdicevsky. “In Vitro Antimicrobial Activity Of Olive Leaves. Antimikrobielle Wirksamkeit Von Olivenblattern In Vitro”. Mycoses 46.3-4 (2003): 132-136. Web. 16 Mar. 2017.

Sudjana, Aurelia N. et al. “Antimicrobial Activity Of Commercial Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract”. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 33.5 (2009): 461-463. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

Wang, Lihui et al. “The Anti-Atherosclerotic Effect Of Olive Leaf Extract Is Related To Suppressed Inflammatory Response In Rabbits With Experimental Atherosclerosis”. European Journal of Nutrition 47.5 (2008): 235-243. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

Wojcikowski, Ken et al. “Antioxidant Capacity Of 55 Medicinal Herbs Traditionally Used To Treat The Urinary System: A Comparison Using A Sequential Three-Solvent Extraction Process”. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 13.1 (2007): 103-110. Web. 17 Mar. 2017.

Food, Health, Recipe, Uncategorized

Ginger and Turmeric Drink

Hey everyone, hope you’re all well and having a great week so far. Today’s post is going to be a little drink recipe for you. This isn’t just a drink though it’s more like a health tonic. Its benefits are numerous so let’s get to the reasons why I make it regularly, especially during the cold, wet Autumn and Winter months here in England. On a side note, it’s blowing up a gale here in Cornwall as I’m typing this!

Ginger and Turmeric have many amazing health giving properties and together they are a match made in heaven. Listed below are some of the health benefits they provide.

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Ginger:

Ginger root contains a compound called gingerol. This pungent chemical is the main one that provides many medicinal benefits. Firstly, ginger is anti-inflammatory which can promote better health and be useful for sufferers of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. It has shown to be a useful remedy for helping to combat nausea and vomiting. Ginger also provides anti- oxidants which help to stabilise free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that are found in the body. They are either by- products of digestion or they form in the skin and eyes after exposure to sunlight and environmental toxins. These free radicals cause negative effects in the body as they damage cellular DNA and membranes which can lead to accelerated ageing and an increased risk of cancer and other diseases. Therefore ginger’s potent anti-oxidant capacity helps to promote good health by reducing the amount of free radicals in the body.

Turmeric:

Turmeric root contains bioactive compounds called curcumoids. The most potent of these being curcumin. Just like ginger, curcumin in turmeric also has a high anti-inflammatory effect on the body which can be beneficial in assisting the treatment of chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric helps to promote good digestive health as it stimulates the gallbladder to release bile, a substance that is crucial for the digestion and absorption of fat. Anti- microbial benefits are provided by turmeric so it can be helpful in treating both bacterial and viral infections and strengthening the immune system overall.

Even though I cook with both of these spices often either in fresh or powdered form, I love to make a ginger and turmeric drink. I suppose it’s like a tea really but since it provides a heap of health benefits, I  view it as more of a tonic.

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Over the winter months I make it regularly as I crave it’s warming, stimulating effect. This drink is so easy to make and really cheap. It’s particularly good when you’re stressed out and a little ‘run down’  as I’ve found it to be a great little pick me up as it boosts my immune system. I also like to drink it a few times a day but particularly before meals to stimulate digestion.

Disclaimer: Please check with your doctor or healthcare provider before trying this drink if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking medication or suffer from any medical condition. I’m not a qualified healthcare provider and the information provided is just based on my opinion. I am not diagnosing or attempting to treat any health issue.

Ingredients:

Fresh ginger root (a large piece or a couple of smaller pieces)
Fresh turmeric root (about 6 large pieces 8 small)
750 ml cold filtered water
Optional: sweetener of choice to taste e.g. raw honey/ stevia/coconut palm sugar

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Method:

  1. You just peel the ginger and turmeric root and chop them into small chunks (you may want to use gloves as turmeric stains!)
  2. Add them to a small saucepan and cover with the water.
  3. Bring to a boil and then add the lid and simmer for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Add a bit of this ‘tonic’ to a mug and top up with boiled water. It should still be a deep orange colour so try not to make it too dilute.
  5. Sweeten to taste using raw honey, stevia, coconut palm sugar etc.

Note: I don’t use any sweetener and find the flavour really good soI advise trying it first as it’s obviously better to avoid sweetening it where possible.

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I hope you enjoy trying this drink recipe, it really has become a staple in my routine. You always know when I’ve made a fresh batch because my fingers are stained bright yellow!

I’ll be posting again before the end of this week. Looking forward to catching you all then.

Becky

P.S. I’d love to hear what drinks/ teas you enjoy drinking. I’m always on the look out for new ideas 🙂