Friday, February 15, 2013
Mitochondria are amazing cellular compartments that create energy from the food we eat and the air we breathe. They convert fats and sugars from foods we consume into cellular energy. This energy generated by the mitochondria runs every process the body needs to stay young and healthy.
In a healthy five-year-old child, nearly 100% of the mitochondria, or what many people call the “power plants,” are working well. But as we age, free radicals and other age-related forces destroy many of our mitochondria - and leave the ones that remain working at less than optimum efficiency. As a matter of fact, it’s been estimated that 95% of the mitochondria in a typical 90-year-old person are damaged! Additional statistics show that people over age 70 had 50% more mitochondrial damage than middle-aged persons.
So what happens when our mitochondria become damaged and begin to malfunction? Well, first off, we become tired. Generalized fatigue is a top complaint of aging Americans. The reason for this is quite simple: If your cells lose mitochondria, there’s not enough energy to support all the things you want to do.
Mitochondrial Dysfunction Leaves You Tired and Diseased
When you’re fatigued, if your body doesn't have enough energy to maintain and repair itself, you become more susceptible to diabetes, heart disease, memory loss, and other health problems. And since we all desire to live healthy, long lives, we suggest a two-fold approach to maintaining healthy mitochondria. First, we can get our existing mitochondria to work better by increasing our intake of antioxidants, which we can get from a healthy diet and from supplements.
Antioxidants have been shown to help protect or at least delay our mitochondria from degrading and sustaining damage. However, antioxidants cannot completely stop this process.
The antioxidants suggested include:
ubiquinol coenzyme Q10
A daily dose of these nutrients will go a long way in helping to reverse fatigue and fight against age-related diseases. Second, and this is the really exciting part, we can actually get our bodies to make new mitochondria.
Making New Mitochondria with PQQ
Generating new mitochondria traditionally could only occur as a result of strenuous exercise and extreme calorie restriction.. until now, that is. Discovered during the 1970’s, an essential nutrient called pyrroloquinoline quinone or PQQ plays a critical role across a range of basic life functions.
As an ultra-potent antioxidant, it provides extraordinary defense against mitochondrial decay. As a matter of fact, PQQ’s chemical structure enables it to withstand exposure to oxidation up to 5,000 times greater than vitamin C. But the most exciting revelation about PQQ emerged early in 2010 when researchers found it not only protected mitochondria from oxidative damage, it also stimulated the growth of new mitochondria!
PQQ has been shown to be a potent growth factor in plants, bacteria, and higher organisms. Pre-clinical studies reveal that when deprived of dietary PQQ, animals exhibit stunted growth, compromised immunity, impaired reproductive capability, and, most importantly, fewer mitochondria in their cells.
When PQQ is re-introduced into the diet, it reverses these effects, restoring systemic function while simultaneously increasing mitochondrial number and energy efficiency.
Taking between 10–20 mg/day of PQQ may help generate new mitochondria and round out a nutritional strategy for supporting existing mitochondria. And remember - the more mitochondria you have, the more cell energy you’ll have and the better you’ll likely feel for many years to come.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 Nov 20;854:202-1
Altern Med Rev. 2009 Sep;14(3):268-77.
J Biol Chem. 2010 Jan 1;285:142-52.
Life Extension Magazine® Super Sale Edition 2010/2011.
J Nutr. 2000 Apr;130(4):719-27.
Monday, March 12, 2012
Thursday, December 1, 2011
In the Vedic tradition, each person can choose four paths that arise from feeling, thinking, acting, and being. Each path is called a Yoga, the Sanskrit word for "union," because Unity - merging with one reality - was the goal.
Over the ages, the four Yogas have come to define specific paths that suit the kind of temperament a seeker has, although in truth you can follow several or all at once:
Bhakti Yoga., leads to Unity by loving God. Karma Yoga., leads to Unity through selfless action. Gyana Yoga., leads to Unity through Knowledge. Raj Yoga., leads to Unity through meditation and renunciation.
It's not necessary to think of the four paths as being Eastern. These Yogas were the original seeds, the means that brought Unity within reach. Literally translated, the fourth path, Raj Yoga, means "the royal way to union." What makes it royal is a belief that meditation transcends the other three paths. But the fourth path is also inclusive: By following it you are actually following all four at once. Your meditations go directly to the essence of your being. That essence is what love of God, selfless action, and Knowledge are trying to teach.
Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Definitions of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the inhalation and application of essential oils to restore or enhance health, beauty and well being. This holistic treatment can help you to relax, rejuvenate or energize your body, calm your mind and lift your spirit.
The term "aromatherapie" was coined by the French chemist, Rene Maurice Gattefosse in 1928. He was convinced that the essential oils had antiseptic properties and other important healing abilities. While conducting an experiment in distillation he burned his hand and needing to cool it down, put his entire hand into a vat of pure lavender essential oil. The pain was gone almost instantly. Over the next few days his burn healed with no blisters, scars or infections. Thereafter he continued his research of this incredible phenomenon and uses of essential oils for other possible medical uses.
History of Aromatherapy
Combinations of resins, oils and fragrant plants were used in some form - for ceremonial, medicinal, or pleasurable reasons - in most ancient civilizations. In fact, perfumes and aromatic plants were the basis for many of the early trade routes. Some of the earliest documented uses of aromatherapy were in ancient Egypt. There, 3000 year old papyruses have been discovered containing remedies for many types of illnesses; some of the methods of application are similar to the ones used in aromatherapy today. The ancient Egyptians used aromatic plants and their essential oils to create massage oils, medicines, embalming preparations, skin care products, fragrant perfumes and cosmetics. There are other written accounts of aromatic oil use in ancient Africa, Mesopotamia, Greece, Babylon, India and China.
What are Aromatherapy Essential Oils?
Essential Oils are highly concentrated and potent oils extracted from plants, leaves, flowers, fruit, bark and roots by distillation with either water or steam, by mechanical processing of citrus rinds, or by dry distillation of natural materials. It takes at least one pound of any given plant to create one drop of pure essential oil and are most expensive. Synthetic fragrance oils have little or no therapeutic effect and are often mixed with petrochemicals.
How do Aromatherapy Essential Oils work?
Inhalation of Essential Oils - The effects of essential oils can be felt simply by breathing in the aromatic vapor. Smell triggers psychological and physiological responses in the body. Smell receptor cells transmit impulses about the smell to the olfactory area of the brain in the limbic system, which is linked, to memory, emotions, hormones, sexuality and heart rate. These impulses trigger neurochemicals and endorphins that can bring about a mental and a physical change.
Absorption of Essential Oils through the Skin - The second way for essential oils to penetrate the body is through the skin. Essential oils can stimulate circulation, encourage cell regeneration and the formation of new skin cells. Some essential oils calm inflamed or irritated skin, release muscle spasms, and relieve muscular tension. The positive effect of essential oils on blood circulation is well known. Studies have found that basil, tea tree and thyme essential oils can encourage the production of white blood cells and boosting the immune system of the body.
It takes 6,000 pounds of jasmine pedals to produce one pound of jasmine essential oil. In addition, jasmine can only be picked 3 months out of the year between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. It takes 4,000 pounds of rose pedals to produce 1 pound of rose essential oil. Roughly translated that means it takes about 30 roses to produce 1 drop of essential oil.
Gather us in, Thou Love that fillest all;
Gather our rival faiths within Thy fold;
Rend each man’s temple veil, and bid it fall,
That we may know that Thou hast been of old.
Gather us in—we worship only Thee;
In varied names we stretch a common hand;
In diverse forms a common soul we see;
In many ships we seek one spirit land.
Thine is the mystic life great India craves;
Thine is the Parsee’s sin-destroying beam;
Thine is the Buddhist’s rest from tossing waves;
Thine is the empire of vast China’s dream.
Thine is the Roman’s strength without his pride;
Thine is the Greek’s glad world without its graves;
Thine is Judea’s law with love beside,
The truth that censures and the grace that saves.
Some seek a Father in the heav’ns above;
Some ask a human image to adore;
Some crave a spirit vast as life and love;
Within Thy mansions we have all and more.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Although you may not realize it, simple table salt has a great number of uses other than simply seasoning your food. The following list will give you many uses of salt. Many of which you probably did not realize.
Sprinkle salt on your shelves to keep ants away.
Add salt to green salads to prevent wilting.
Soak wrinkled apples in a mildly salted water solution to perk them up.
Soak toothbrushes in salt water before you first use them., they will last longer.
Boil clothespins in salt water before using them. They will last longer.
Clean brass, copper and pewter with paste made of salt and vinegar, thickened with flour.
Add a little salt to the water when you cut flowers. They will stand in for a longer life.
Pour a mound of salt on an ink spot on your carpet., let the salt soak up the stain.
Clean your iron by rubbing some salt on a damp cloth on the ironing surface.
Adding a little salt to water when cooking foods in a double boiler will make the food cook faster.
Use a mixture of salt and lemon juice to clean piano keys.
To fill plaster holes in your walls, use equal parts of salt and starch, with just enough water to make a stiff putty.
Rinse a sore eye with a little salt water.
Mildly salted water makes an effective mouthwash. Use it hot for a sore throat gargle.
Dry salt sprinkled on your toothbrush makes a good tooth polisher.
Use salt for killing weeds in your lawn.
Eliminate excess suds in your laundry wash with a sprinkle of salt.
A dash of salt enhances the taste of tea., whether brewing hot or chilled.
Rub any wicker furniture you may have with salt water to prevent yellowing.
Freshen sponges by soaking them in salt water.
Gelatin sets more quickly when a dash of salt is added.
Fruits put in mildly salted water after peeling will not discolor.
Add a pinch of salt to whipped cream to make it whip more quickly.
Remove leftover odors from cooking in the oven and on the stovetop by using a solution rinse of salt and cinnamon.
Salt and lemon juice removes mildew.
Sprinkle salt between sidewalk bricks where you don't want grass to grow.
Remove rusty odors from sink drainpipes with a strong, hot solution of salt and water.
If a pie bubbles over in your oven, put a handful of salt on top of the spilled juice. The mess won't smell and will bake into a dry, light crust which will wipe off easily when the oven has cooled off.
~ Robin Ann