Probiotics

I know many of you are familiar with probiotics, but I want to give you a brief history of the origin as well as an overview of the benefits of what probiotics have to offer you and your family.

The history of probiotics started in the early 20th century, a scientist Elie Metchnikoff (the father of probiotics) discovered that a particular group of people who lived in rural Bulgaria was living to very old ages even though they were living in poverty and very harsh climates. Elie theorized that health could be enhanced and senility delayed by manipulating the intestinal microbiome with host-friendly bacteria found in sour milk. Scientists at this time did not support his hypothesis, and he endured much opposition, particularly from scientists who claimed that only body fluids and soluble substances in the blood (antibodies)—and not cells—destroyed invading microorganisms.  This view was known as the humoral theory of immunity. For the next 50 years this was considered mainstream, but in the 1940s scientists began to reexamine the role cells play in fighting off infections. Eventually, Metchnikoff’s theory of cellular immunity was vindicated when aspects of both schools of thought became integrated into the modern understanding of immunity. Metchnikoff devoted the last decade of his life to investigating means of increasing human longevity and advocating the consumption of lactic acid-producing bacteria.  It is ironic that many ideas in health care came about from those who questioned “mainstream” and sought after wisdom to gain knowledge.  Due to the diligence of Elie Metchnikoff, we were introduced to the wonderful world of probiotics!

The root of the word probiotic comes from the Greek word pro, meaning “promoting,” and biotic, meaning “life.”  When one thinks of beneficial bacteria, it can be a little difficult to understand.  How can bacteria be beneficial especially when many take antibiotics to kill bacterial infections and our world is consumed with antibacterial lotions and soaps!  It would appear that we are in a constant all-consuming battle to kill the ever-present bacteria invading our lives.  It is true that the wrong bacteria in the wrong place can cause problems…

personally, I have not taken an antibiotic in 20 years but as I sit here writing this letter I am currently on an antibiotic which is helping my big toe who injured itself (from no fault of my own) while I was hiking down Stone Mountain last week!  The inflammation and severe pain subsided after starting the medication, and I was greatly relieved to see my big toe not be as big and the color going back down to the lovely pale pink and not the screaming red of bacterial infection.  Antibiotics are “anti-microbial” therefore; they are on a mission to wipe out any source of bacteria “good” or “bad” to complete their job. I am glad to say me and my toe are happy to have them!

Unfortunately, according to the CDC overuse and misuse of antibiotics can promote the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Every time a person takes antibiotics, sensitive bacteria (bacteria that antibiotics can still attack) are killed, but resistant bacteria are left to grow and multiply.  Repeated use of antibiotics can increase the number of drug-resistant bacteria. Antibiotics have also been prescribed and are not effective against viral infections like the common cold, flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections. Widespread use of antibiotics for these illnesses is an example of how overuse of antibiotics can promote the spread of antibiotic resistance. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

I feel probiotics have the greatest impact from a preventative standpoint.  We all have an estimated 100 trillion microorganisms representing more than 500 different species inhabit every normal, healthy bowel. These microorganisms (or microflora) do not make us sick; most are helpful. These Gut-dwelling bacteria keep pathogens which are harmful microorganisms in check. They also aid digestion and nutrient absorption and contribute to immune function.  The problem occurs when these flora get out of balance. If you’re dealing with any of the following, you might have an unhealthy gut:

Gastrointestinal:

We all have different standards of what is to be considered “normal” with our digestive system.  But certain issues especially those that are chronic can have a considerable impact on our health and quality of life.  The following is a short list of conditions that may indicate your gut is out of balance.

•    Gas

•    Bloating

•    Heartburn/acid reflux

•    Diarrhea

•    Constipation

•    Irritable Bowel Syndrome

•    Irritable Bowel Disease (including Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis)

Mental Issues

Your Gut is your second brain! Have you ever felt that deep sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? The feeling you are having is a visceral reaction to emotion.  So it makes sense that the health of your gut affects the health of your brain. Your gut bacteria produce neurotransmitters such as Gaba and Serotonin, in fact, 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut which is responsible for appetite, mood, sleep and relaxation.  Studies are now showing the correlation between people with certain mental disorders and disturbances within their gut bacteria.

•    Depression and anxiety

•    Brain fog

•    OCD

•    Autism

•    Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies

Nutritional Deficiencies

A healthy gut also plays an important role when it comes to helping your body produce and synthesize vitamins and minerals. When your gut bacteria is out of balance, your body has a harder time getting enough of the following essential vitamins and minerals.  I provide micronutrient testing in my practice to identify depleted nutrients.  If there is an excessive amount of nutrient imbalance, we offer testing to check the microflora and SIGA levels of the gut to see what is out of balance.

•    Vitamin D

•    Vitamin K

•    Vitamin B12 and B7

•    Magnesium

Antibiotics

Correctly using Antibiotics are beneficial.   Using them incorrectly can create issues. Antibiotics used in the food industry on factory-farmed animals. They are prescribed for viral infections and are not useful.  Antibiotics wipe out bad bacteria, but they also wipe out many of the good bacteria in the gut that are essential for your health. Research also suggests that good bacteria are destroyed by antibiotics and do not replace themselves unless you intervene.

Chronic, Unmanaged Stress

•    Unmanaged stress raises cortisol levels, which can stop the gut from working properly. If you’ve been stressed for the past few months (or years, or decades) but haven’t acted to manage your stress, you’re more likely to have an unhealthy gut.

Skin Conditions

The skin is your largest organ, and it can reflect what is happening inside your body.  The problem isn’t with the skin itself; It can be due to unbalanced flora. If you have any of these skin conditions,  You may want to look inside to help the outside.

•    Acne

•    Rosacea

•    Psoriasis

•    Eczema

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases can be difficult to manage because the body is attacking itself and autoimmune disease hard to diagnose for many doctors. Research is emerging linking autoimmune diseases to an unhealthy gastrointestinal system. Balancing your gut flora is a foundational approach which may help relieve symptoms, If you’re dealing with any of the following.

•    Hashimoto’s

•    Rheumatoid arthritis

•    Inflammatory bowel disease

The good news is that a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that you can treat and even prevent some illnesses with foods and supplements containing certain kinds of live bacteria. Northern Europeans consume a lot of these beneficial microorganisms, called probiotics because of their tradition of eating foods fermented with bacteria, such as yogurt. Probiotic-laced beverages are also big business in Japan.  The United States has jumped on board the Probiotic bandwagon and now almost every yogurt commercial praises the benefits of probiotics and its amazing ability to help with our immune system. Some digestive disease specialists are recommending them for disorders that frustrate conventional medicine, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Since the mid-1990s, clinical studies suggest that probiotic therapy can help treat several gastrointestinal ills, delay the development of allergies in children, and treat and prevent vaginal and urinary infections in women.  Other GI issues such as diarrhea (studies in children and infants showed that probiotics reduce antibiotic-associated diarrhea by 60% when compared to a placebo) I have used probiotics to help those with chronic sinus infections as well as those with yeast infections.

Probiotics are safe because they’re already present in a healthy digestive system but, it is important to know that not all probiotics are the same. Health benefits are strain-specific, but not all strains are useful.  Also, manufacturers are responsible for making sure they are safe and efficient.  Manufacturers are also accountable to list the types of bacteria listed on a label are true. In the United States, most probiotics are sold as dietary supplements, which do not undergo the testing and approval process so make sure your probiotic is provided by a reliable source.  The Olive Leaf only carries the highest quality supplements. Please check out our online store and our affiliates. If you are interested in ordering a probiotic please contact our office and we will be happy to make suggestions. If you are a family member are suffering from any of the conditions listed in this newsletter you may want to consider adding a probiotic into your daily routine to maintain balance within your digestive system which in turn will help your body function to the best of its potential.

breathing

Deep Breathing Exercises

The following is a list of breathing exercises that are effective.  I also like pillow breathing — Just lay on your back with a throw pillow on your abdomen you can inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth 3 or 4 times while watching the pillow rise and fall with each breath. You can start with 3 or 4 and work up from there.

This is also a great website for meditation. I feel breathing is very important to help calm the mind.  God breathed His life into us and He has placed everything here for our healing. Breathing air properly will help us reset our sympathetic nervous system.

http://guidedchristianmeditation.com/537/meditation/help-for-anxiety-try-this-breathing-meditation-technique/

This is the breathing exercise from Dr. Andrew Weil

Exercise 2:

The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
This exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

·         Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.

·         Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.

·         Hold your breath for a count of seven.

·         Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.

·         This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.

 

Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

 

Yours In Health,

Melissa Bennett, ND

 

Skin Brushing

Skin brushing is a wonderful way to open up an area of elimination through the largest organ in the body “You’re Skin”! Shedding of skin is a natural process which our bodies are constantly doing. Skin brushing is a highly effective technique for assisting the lymphatic system and boosting circulation. The following are guidelines to help you get started: Always use a “Natural Bristle” Brush such as Bass which you can find in your local health food store. If you use the script I gave Eileen you will receive 10% off the purchase.
 Directions for Skin Brushing
  1. Skin brushing should be done before showering.
  2. Brush in long firm strokes towards the heart.
  3. You can use a chair or your bathtub to prop one foot up at a time.
  4. Brush firmly under the sole of the foot and move up and all around the leg.
  5. Repeat on the other foot and leg.
  6. Gently brush the hips and buttocks ( these areas may turn slightly pink)
  7. Brush your hands and arms (remember always away from your extremities)
  8. Stroke your belly in a clockwise direction (to follow the flow of the colon)
  9. Brush up the sides of your ribs.
  10.  Brush up under the breasts (Ladies, be aware of the consistency of your breasts as you do this).
  11. Brush under your chin and down the top ribs, then reach behind with the long handle and scrub your back as thoroughly as possible.
  12.  Brush shoulders.
  13.  You can also us a small soft brush for your face if you choose to do so.
When your body starts to detoxify you may release toxins that have been stored in the colon or in fats cells which can create a variety of reactions. These reactions do not occur with everyone but some may experience a slight headache, mild depression and fatigue. Your skin may break out as toxins are eliminated. The symptoms are usually of short duration and the following can be used to help alleviate them:
      1. Drink more water to flush toxins through the kidneys.
     2.   Make sure you are eating well with whole  foods and avoiding processed.
  1. Use bentonite (clay) baths to pull toxins through the skin. These baths may be taken twice daily: use ½ cup of liquid clay in a tub of warm (Not Hot) water and soak for 20 minutes. After rinse in the shower.
  1. If PH is acidic you can also use 1 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of ebson salt and 2 ginger capsules to soak in for 20 min and then shower.

Oil Swishing

Have you tried Oil Swishing? This method of detoxification is quite inexpensive and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. This form of alternative healing is derived from Ayveredic medicine and has been practiced for thousands of years in India.
Instructions
 
The person rinses their mouth with approximately one tablespoon of oil (sesame and sunflower oils are the most recommended) for 15−20 minutes on an empty stomach (preferably first thing in the morning, before eating/drinking), then spits it out. This procedure is typically performed daily. The oil is put in the mouth, with chin tilted up, and slowly swished, sucked, chomped and pulled through the teeth. The oil changes from yellow and oily consistency to a thin, white foam before spitting out. The mouth is rinsed out well after the procedure and followed by 2 – 3 glasses of water.
 
Precautions
 
1. Oil should not be swallowed or gargled.
2. Oil pulling should be attempted only on empty stomach to avoid vomiting.
Benefits
 
Proponents assert that the procedure reduces plaque and gingivitis, which they claim leads to whitening of teeth and fastening of loose teeth.
How it works
 
Oil Pulling claims a lot of benefits; each individual has their own level of results.
1. Some practitioners believe the tongue is an indicator of what is going on in the body. By examining the tongue and its color, it is possible to pass a judgment on the condition of the patient and the nature of the ailment. Just as the skin is known as a very good organ for excreting waste and toxins, it is claimed that the tongue also is a key organ in eliminating toxins and harmful microbes from the body. According to this life science, the tongue is mapped by organ-locations — that is, each section of the tongue is connected to the kidneys, lungs, spleen, liver, heart, pancreas, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine. Oil swishing eliminates toxins from the whole body through the tongue
2. Sublingual absorption through the tongue is more efficient and faster in some cases. Some hormone replacement therapy products and vitamin supplement products take advantage of this method. Trace amounts of vitamins, minerals, hormones and other chemicals in the oil might be absorbed into the body, and circulated to various body parts, through the tongue. Phyto-chemicals in oil and oil seeds have been shown to reduce cholesterol, fight cancer, treat hormone related imbalance like acne and improve the mood. The List of phytochemicals and foods in which they are prominent include Phytoestrogens and Phytosterol in soybean, sesame oil,sunflower seeds

 

How is a Castor Oil Pack Made?

castor

Castor oil packs are made by soaking a piece of flannel in castor oil and placing it on the skin. The flannel is covered with a sheet of plastic, and then a hot water bottle is placed over the plastic to heat the pack.

A castor oil pack can be placed on the following body regions:

  • The right side of the abdomen. Castor oil packs are sometimes recommended by alternative practitioners as part of a liver detox program.
  • Inflamed and swollen joints, bursitis, and muscle strains.
  • The abdomen to relieve constipation and other digestive disorders.
  • The lower abdomen in cases of menstrual irregularities and uterine and ovarian cysts.

Safety

Castor oil should not be taken internally. It should not be applied to broken skin. It should not be used during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or during menstruation.

Materials

  • Three layers of undyed wool or cotton flannel large enough to cover the affected area
  • Castor oil
  • Plastic wrap cut one to two inches larger than the flannel (can be cut from a plastic bag)
  • Hot water bottle
  • Container with lid
  • Old clothes and sheets. Castor oil will stain clothing and bedding.

Method

  1. Place the flannel in the container. Soak it in castor oil so that it is saturated, but not dripping.
  2. Place the pack over the affected body part.
  3. Cover with plastic.
  4. Place the hot water bottle over the pack. Leave it on for 45-60 minutes. Rest while the pack is in place.
  5. After removing the pack, cleanse the area with a dilute solution of water and baking soda.
  6. Store the pack in the covered container in the refrigerator. Each pack may be reused up to 25-30 times.

Lose Weight Without All The Gimmicks

Lose Weight Naturally

What does it mean to lose weight holistically?  It is becoming more and more commonplace for people to practice holistic lifestyles. Holistic meaning “the whole you”. Our bodies are complex networks intertwined in many ways and approaching healing them that way has shown significant improvement in our daily lives. Often times, there is a natural, organic alternative available to meet your needs with weight loss and management.

One of the biggest challenges to losing weight is changing your diet. Many people believe it involves drastic changes and the loss of all our favorite things. It’s not! Yes, there will be compromises. But, you can still have that steak for dinner; butter slathered on your vegetables. And bring on that cheese omelet for breakfast! With all things in life, moderation is key, but let’s get a little more in depth concerning good fats, protein in our diets, and the roles of processed foods.

Grassfed Proteins

What are they? Up until the late 1990’s most farmers sent their animals such as beef, bison, lamb, and goat to feedlots where they were fed soy, grain and other supplements with growth promoting additives and hormones. Does that sound like something you would like to be consuming? I didn’t think so. The sad fact is that you are…unless you are buying grassfed meat. Grassfed animals are raised on a pasture which is high quality grasses and legumes only. They receive no additives or hormones and need no antibiotics or medicines because they are being taken care of so well they rarely become sick. Grassfed animals also produce meat that has less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories than other animals. Their meat also contains more vitamin E, beta carotene, vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, and CLA. After learning all of that, why haven’t we all moved to eating strictly grassfed meat?

Low Carb High Protein

Overwhelming research has shown the benefits of a high protein low carb diet.  Some experts believe if carbs are to be consumed it is necessary to minimize as much as possible and to avoid processed and refined carbs at all costs. Protein keeps you fuller longer and keeps blood sugar from spiking. It also aids in the muscle recovery process if exercise is part of your routine for weight loss.

Cutting Out Sugar and Processed Foods

Sugar is often one of the biggest contributors to empty calories in our food. It hides so easily in many things, we often don’t realize we are even consuming it.  Calorie counting is the least of our worries when it comes to this silent killer. The effect sugar has on our bodies is severely understated and misunderstood. Some of the most lethal and prevalent diseases known to our population can be attributed to the overconsumption of sugar. The scariest fact? It’s not because we are eating cupfuls of sugar everyday. It’s coming from the processed foods we consume every day without a single thought as to how much damage we are really doing. Click here to read about the Negative effects of sugar.

3 Ways To Take A Load Off IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other symptoms. Some of the other symptoms include urgency to go, bloating, fatigue, and weight gain. There are typically two causes of IBS. Food sensitivities or allergies and an overabundance of pathogenic bacteria in the GI tract. Most people suffer for years or even decades with these symptoms and are unable to find the help they need. The prevalence of food allergies in our population is on the rise with almost 70% of adults and 50% of teens suffering from mild food allergies or food sensitivities.

1. Take the test.The Olive Leaf offers simple blood tests to screen for foods your body may react with in a less than ideal way. It’s simple and quick! Armed with the knowledge of what your body’s intolerance’s are, can be the first step to a better, healthier you!

2. Rotate your diet. A rotation diet is used to identify mild food allergens and sensitivities. Typically this is started by eating biologically related foods one day, then waiting several days to consume those foods again. This is done because it has been shown that most sensitivities may not manifest immediately or even the same day as the consumption. This can help identify the culprit foods that have been wreaking havoc on your gut all along. For more information on starting a rotation diet click here.

3. Avoid trigger foods. When you do identify the foods that cause symptoms related to IBS. It is important that you try to avoid consuming them. Planning ahead is the key. Whether it is eating out or meals at home, always know what your options are and stick with them. Your body will thank you for it!

Food Allergy, Food Sensitivity, and Food Intolerance: What’s the Difference?

Food allergies are typically diagnosed when a person is younger, but today more physicians are realizing that just because a person isn’t “allergic” doesn’t mean they aren’t sensitive to particular foods they eat. There is a lot of conflicting information regarding food allergies, food sensitivity, and food intolerance. So, we are here to set the record straight. If you think the food you eat is causing an adverse reaction, visit The Olive Leaf clinic today. We can test you for any food allergies and sensitivities and help you find what foods are causing your issues.

What is a Food Allergy?

Food allergies manifest early on and usually appear suddenly. When a person eats a particular food, such as strawberries, they have a reaction immediately. All it takes is a small amount of food to trigger a food allergy— for some people just touching that food can result in a rash or difficulty breathing. People with food allergies will have reactions to foods every time they eat them and if the allergy is severe enough, it can be life threatening.

What is a Food Sensitivity?

Food sensitivities occurs when you have an unpleasant reaction to particular types of food. You won’t break out in hives or have difficulty breathing. Instead, you may suffer from acid reflux, nausea, or even have cramps. A food sensitivity is not a response from your immune system like food allergies are, and the reaction doesn’t always occur every time you eat the food either.

What is a Food Intolerance?

Food intolerances mean your body lacks a specific enzyme to help breakdown the foods you eat. For example, if you are intolerant to dairy or celiac (gluten), you have an autoimmune disorder that does not allow your body to digest the foods you’re intolerant too. The reactions from a food intolerance can vary. Some patients suffer from malnutrition, severe stomach problems or even joint pain. If you’re intolerant to a particular food, you should avoid it. While it might not be life threatening, continuing to eat a food you’re intolerant to could lead to other life-threatening conditions.

Why Are They Confused?

A food intolerance and food sensitivity are the most confused terms. They share similar symptoms — nausea, acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea, etc. People with food sensitivities can still eat particular foods, but may have adverse reactions. People with a food intolerance, however, should avoid those foods at all costs.

Which Do I Have?

The best way to tell what you have is by getting a food sensitivity or food intolerance test. The team The Olive Leaf can run a sensitivity and intolerance test to identify what foods are triggering your symptoms. By omitting these foods from your diet, you may start to feel better and you’ll notice a significant improvement in your condition within a few weeks.