When I was growing up in Canada my mom would snip our Aloe Vera plant and place the gel onto my cuts and burns. I felt an immediate cooling sensation and we had great results with a speedy wound recovery.
Since that time we now see Aloe everywhere. Supermarkets carry pure Aloe Vera juice and Aloe skin care is very popular too. The world is beginning to see it as the amazing healing plant that it is.
Aloe Vera In Latin means “the bitter truth.” Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, referred to Aloe as the “Potted Physician.” I’d say this was a very accurate description indeed because of its myriad of healing properties.
Here is a short list of the benefits of Aloe Vera. Consider buying a real Aloe plant or look for pure and concentrated Aloe gel or juice that hasn’t been heated, processed, or diluted with other ingredients.
- Digestion – Aloe has shown amazing benefits to reduce acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome. It gently detoxes the digestive track and colon while taking with it toxins, chemicals, and even parasites and worms. It also helps with diarrhea and constipation for those struggling with either. A study in the Journal of Alternative Medicine found that Aloe Vera juice could be effective for treating inflammatory bowel disease as well.
- Alkalinity – The typical North American diet is highly acidic from overconsumption of alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, and sugar. Consuming aloe juice regularly helps to offset this acidity and provide a more alkaline environment. Too much acidity has been linked to cancer, inflammation, and other disease.
- Oxygen – Aloe consumption provides oxygen to our blood and may help regulate cholesterol levels and blood pressure and possibly reduce the risk of heart disease. Aloe Vera can increase circulation by 700%.
- Antibacterial – Aloe Vera has strong medicinal qualities and is shown to be anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-microbial and therefore may support the immune system and fight fungus and bacteria both in the body and on the skin when used topically.
- Vitamins – Aloe is packed with vitamins and minerals making it a well rounded “multivitamin” from nature. A small amount goes a long way to support your immune system and correct deficiencies within the body.
- Healing – As mentioned from my experience as a child and from a recent study in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, it has been discovered that Aloe preparations speed wound healing.
- Energy – Most Aloe Vera users notice a surge in energy levels. This is mainly due to the increased oxygen and rich levels of vitamins and minerals.
- Blood Sugar – Clinical studies show that oral supplements of Aloe improve blood glucose levels in Type II Diabetes patients.
- Arthritis– According to the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, Aloe can help prevent Arthritis and reduce the inflammation in joints already affected by arthritis.
Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com
He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
The world is an amazing place. Each country holds ancient truths about health, vitality, beauty, and longevity. Herbs, plants, and other natural sources have been used for thousands of years to assist people in looking and feeling better.
I have become more and more fascinated myself by these secrets that are now readily available to the western world. We now have the privilege of experiencing these products here in North America, which are often packaged into convenient teas, supplements, and powders.
Many of us are keenly aware that changes must be made and in particular, we are waking up to the fact that pharmaceuticals, although necessary at times, are not getting to the cause of our illness. While our mental and emotional health plays an integral part in our total wellness, nature may hold many cures as well.
Here is a list of many of these superfoods and their country of origin. Of course there a so many more and this is only a partial list. Perhaps it’s time for you to look into trying them for yourself and making some a part of your daily health care routine.
Ashwaganda – Ashwaganda root is known as an adaptogen herb which may stimulate the thyroid gland, lower the stress hormone cortisol, and increase energy and sex drive in men and women.
Turmeric – Turmeric is best known for it’s anti-inflammatory powers. It is well researched for use to help alleviate arthritis symptoms, possibly lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and is a powerful antioxidant giving the cells an important boost.
Moringa – Moringa is a powerful leaf with each serving said to have 4 times more calcium than milk, the vitamin C of 7 oranges, potassium of 3 bananas, 3 times the iron of spinach, vitamin A 4 times that of carrots, and double the protein of milk! It is known to boost energy, libido, mental focus, and numerous other health benefits.
Chaga – Chaga is a mushroom-like fungus that grows in cold climates like Canada and Siberia. It contains the highest levels of a powerful antioxidant called Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). Often enjoyed as a tea, this powerful healer may have amazing cancer-fighting properties.
Green Tea – By now many of us know the powerful immune support that green tea offers but it also contains amazing thermogenic compounds that assist the body in burning fat and it helps our skin to look more radiant from the inside out.
Enoki Mushroom – Mushrooms are some of the most potent healers in all of nature and recent studies show that they may protect our body from radiation. Enoki is known for its unique shape and is often enjoyed in salads. It is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.
Goji Berries – Goji berries are considered both a fruit and an herb and are very rich sources of vitamins A and C. They help to support eye health and the overall immune system.
Oregano – Oregano Oil is now being touted as nature’s most powerful antibiotic. It has incredible antimicrobial and antifungal effects and works to naturally boost the immune system and ward off infection. 3 drops under the tongue regularly followed by water or juice is recommended.
Olive Oil – Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats which may help to lower the risk of heart disease. Olive oil contains important vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants and is a great source of monounsaturated fat. It is a wonderful aid to reduce overall inflammation and assist healthy digestion.
Rooibis – Rooibis tea is a delicious, dark, caffeine free beverage made from the Rooibos bush. It is one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature and works to naturally boost the overall immune system, may reduce asthma symptoms and headaches along with a number of other health benefits.
Coconut – The healthy fats in coconut known as Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) are well documented to assist the body in reducing inflammation, burn fat, and help maintain healthy cholesterol. Coconut oil also works wonderfully as an antiaging skin treatment.
Soursop – Soursop leaves contain high concentrations of alkaloids and acetogenins which is a family of compounds with natural antibiotic and antifungal effects. Many people have made claims that Soursop has helped them to regain their health during cancer treatments.
These amazing and life-changing miracles of nature are taking center stage as remedies for a myriad of health challenges. You may be surprised at just how powerful they are!
It’s up to each one of us to do our own research and experiment to find what is right for us. Of course it is always advised that you do so along with the assistance of your family doctor or health professional especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions or you are on medication.
Jay Bradley is an anti-aging, wellness & lifestyle expert living in Los Angeles http://www.jaybradleylifestyle.com
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
Let’s face it, exercise sucks. Well, maybe for a small percentage of fitness buffs, you love the feeling of pushing your body to it’s limits, building strong muscles, and working up a sweat.
But for most others, myself included, working out can be compared to a dental checkup. Not the type of check up that requires drilling, filling, or a root canal, but more of a bi-yearly cleaning and scraping. Mundane, routine, a little painful, and just something that NEEDS to get done!
People are often surprised when I tell them that I don’t enjoy exercising. They look at me and figure that it must be my number one passion. The truth is that it is something I endure because I know that it is assisting me in living a longer, healthier life. And quite frankly, it helps me to look better!
This is where most people would say “change it up, find something that excites you.” While I agree that keeping our routine fresh is vital, some people just don’t like to sweat, push, pull, and move. In actuality, I think that I am one of those people. I am MUCH happier sitting quietly with my morning coffee, writing in my journal and reflecting on life.
With all of this being said, I am here to share this with you so that you can feel better about your own blocks. Most of us would rather take that magic pill to keep us lean, healthy, and energized but the truth is, there is no such pill and the only way to achieve positive results is through exercise. This is where the tough love comes in. If you want to increase your odds of living a longer life, if you want to have younger looking skin and hair and you desire to look your absolute best, you MUST get up and move.
Other than exercise being boring, why do most people avoid it? Why do gym membership sales go up in January only to get unused for the rest of the year? I believe that it all comes down to self love. When we love ourselves enough, we are able to get through all of the excuses about why we don’t exercise. When we put ourselves and our health first, we take pride in who we are and in how we come across to the world. I know it’s not easy. Trust me, I’d much rather travel the world and eat cake at this point in my life but to repeat, exercising your body is NOT an option.
If you’ve been avoiding it, making excuses, or doing it on or off, I challenge you to dig deep and find the reasons why this is. Really look inward and see what blocks come up when you think about skipping your neighborhood walk, spinning class, or training session. Find your own motivation, something that keeps you in the game regardless of the resistance that comes up.
If you’re dealing with depression get some help. Even mild depression can cause you to remain stuck. If you have a physical disability, for the most part there are still ways that you can move your body. I know it isn’t a bed of roses but we all have that inner motivation under the cloud of complacency.
I won’t share the benefits of a fitness routine, by now most of you know those. Instead, I suggest that you begin paying close attention to your inner saboteur that keeps you stuck and tells you all the reasons not to bother. Maybe it’s telling you that you’re too old, too fat, too tired, or that a bad heart runs in your family. Whatever it is, pay attention and begin to challenge this voice. I know that each one of you can overcome and get through all obstacles. I have seen it time and time again where people have changed their life through exercise after a lifetime of being sedentary. I am not telling you that it will always be easy, fun, or that you’ll see instant results. But I will suggest that in time, you WILL be doing yourself a favor by finally committing to a regular workout routine. Hire a trainer, Engage a friend, join a gym, research new classes. Now is the time!
Love yourself, put yourself first, and know that like life, it won’t always be a walk in the park. But we keep going, we keep moving forward, and we commit to always doing our best because that is the smartest option. Go for it! I promise to be there with you every monotonous step at a time.
I have ALWAYS lived by this motto and here is why. Whenever we attempt something new in our lives it is important to realize that although we haven’t done it before, somewhere on a spiritual level, we have already mastered it! We must step into each new experience with the belief that we CAN do it! Regardless of what it is, if we look at ourselves as spiritual beings having a physical experience, then there truly is NOTHING that we cannot do. We can go into every new opportunity with an attitude of knowing that we can become a master.
When I first started as a waiter, I stretched the truth on my resume in order to get the job. I did this not to mislead anybody but rather because I believed without any doubt that I could do the job well and I just needed the chance to shine. While I am not suggesting that anybody cheat or tell big lies, I AM saying that sometimes we need to fake it til we make it. We can live in a place where everything that we want, envision, and speak affirms it as if it’s already accomplished.
Another example is what you put on your email signature. I added TV Host and Author well before I landed any significant gigs at either. I had written numerous blogs and articles but had no book deal in sight. I had been hosting my own show online but had not yet landed a TV hosting job. I wasn’t harming anybody by having this signature but rather was embracing what I felt was inevitable. By becoming who you believe you can be, before it actually happens, it often leads to fulfilling those very desires.
So this week go out there, fake it a little. Tell people you’re a singer, writer, or actor regardless of what you’ve done and make NO apologies. Begin writing statements about your life in a positive way that begins with I AM. I AM a successful business owner. I AM married and in love with my life partner. I AM enjoying prosperity as an entertainer. Whatever it is that you want to accomplish, consider it already complete. The Universe doesn’t know the difference between what is fact and what is in your imagination and will quickly get busy bringing forth what you desire.
I first learned about testosterone replacement when I visited an anti-aging doctor in Beverly Hills two years ago. Blood tests revealed that my “T” levels were on the low side of normal for my age. I hadn’t even thought about hormones before visiting his office and suddenly I was introduced to a whole new world of possibilities. For years, I felt lethargic, experienced moderate depression and was less vital than years earlier. The changes were something I figured I’d have to deal with. After all, I remember having depression as a kid so maybe it was a chemical thing.
If you’re like most people in North America over the age of 30, you are probably experiencing some signs of age-related hormonal imbalances. For men, the changes are usually gradual while for women, they can be more sudden and dramatic.
Many of my clients have just accepted that their aches, pains, foggy memory, and low libido are an inevitable part of aging. What they don’t realize is that many of these challenges can be due to lack of exercise, unhealthy lifestyle, stress, and environmental toxins. The other missing piece of the puzzle for many is imbalanced hormones. Something can be done about it and bio-identical hormone replacement (BIHR) may be the answer for you.
Once I began testosterone replacement, I immediately felt better! It was as if somebody had given my wilted body some water. Suddenly I perked up. My workouts improved, I felt more rested in the mornings and the depression seemed to reside. I was already quite lean but whatever body fat I had around my tummy also dissipated and my muscles looked and felt stronger and leaner. Numerous people were telling me how great I looked.
If you are confused about the use of hormone replacement, you are certainly not alone! There are numerous conflicting views out there and it is so difficult to know which ones to believe. Some studies tout hormone replacement as the key to feeling and looking great for as long as possible while others suggest that adding hormones can lead to cancer and other diseases. Who do we believe?
Studies dating back to 1940 revealed that testosterone replacement had a direct connection to increased prostate cancer. Unfortunately, those beliefs have held strong in the medical community, even today. In his book Testosterone for Life by Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, he reveals how those early studies were inaccurate and discusses hundreds of newer, more up to date research that in fact, show there is NO connection between healthy testosterone levels and cancer. In fact, it is low “T” that is the perpetrator. Testosterone replacement in moderate doses, evaluated by your doctor also has no effect on heart disease, liver damage or high blood pressure.
In her book Ageless, Suzanne Somers speaks in great depth about her positive experience as a cancer survivor using BIHR and interviews numerous leading anti-aging doctors about the benefits of all hormones including estrogen, testosterone, HGH, progesterone, pregnenolone, DHEA, melatonin and thyroid.
Hormones are like the spark plugs for your body and in order to experience vitality, it is imperative to fine tune and balance the KEY hormones. Here are the hormones which most anti-aging doctors test you for and a little bit about their role in your body. The goal of most anti-aging specialists is to bring our hormones back to the levels they were in our mid 20’s-early 30’s, a time when most of us felt our absolute best. The vital hormones to look at are testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, insulin, thyroid, cortisol, and melatonin
Testosterone is the hormone that makes a man male. It works to create muscle, body hair, lower body fat and all other male characteristics. Testosterone is at its peak during our 20’s and begins to decrease in most men at the age of 30. Testosterone is released from the testes and is also responsible for sperm production.
Normal levels of testosterone in men range from approximately 348ng/DL to 1197ng/DL. A blood or saliva test will reveal what your levels are. I was surprised to find out that my levels were sitting at 440ng/DL. This is definitely considered the lower side of normal. Since doing bio-identical hormone replacement I have managed to get my levels between 800-1000ng/DL
A great reference on testosterone for men is the book Testosterone for Life by Dr. Abraham Morgentaler.
Estrogen is the hormone that makes a woman female. It creates feminine characteristics. Like testosterone, bio-identical estrogen replacement has also brought up some controversy.
Suzanne Somers has written numerous books on the topic and has become an advocate for both male and female bio-identical hormone replacement. In her book called “Ageless; the naked truth about bio-identical hormones” she has researched this topic at great length along with numerous leading doctors in the field of anti-aging and wellness. Suzanne believes whole heartedly in estrogen replacement for those who struggle with imbalances. Having been a cancer survivor, she talks openly about why she feels estrogen replacement decreases cancer and other disease.
HGH (Human Growth Hormone)
HGH or Human Growth Hormone is getting a lot of press these days. It is a natural hormone in our bodies that we often overlook. As children, these hormones help our bodies and our internal organs to grow and become strong. As we age, the amount of HGH in our body decreases dramatically. At age 25, the average HGH level in our body is around 600ug and by age 60, the amount can gradually goes down to 15% or 90ug. When HGH decreases, our bodies begin to age more rapidly.
Numerous anti-aging experts are recommending that people with low levels of Human Growth Hormone begin HGH replacement as a tool to reverse the aging process.
Like testosterone, HGH can aid the body in building lean muscle, burning fat and increasing overall energy. It also works on reversing aging on a cellular level.
Human Growth Hormone should only be considered if there is a deficiency. It should never be used as a body building or fitness tool. Find out your levels and get a skilled professional to weigh your pros and cons. Keep in mind that HGH is expensive; anywhere from $500 to $800 US per month.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that my HGH levels were quite good for somebody my age. I attribute this to the interval cardio training that I do called Sprint 8 and a healthy diet and lifestyle. I would certainly consider HGH replacement should my levels decrease in the future. It’s just one more tool that we can use to turn back the clock and live our life to the fullest!
Progesterone is produced in both the ovaries and the adrenal glands and works to normalize blood sugar levels and facilitate proper thyroid function especially during a woman’s menstrual cycle. It can also assist in countering depression and anxiety, cognitive function, regulating thyroid, and increasing libido. A healthy pregnancy and embryo depends on this vital hormone as well. It is important for men to have adequate amounts of progesterone too. Bio-identical, oral supplementation and cream is available and is relatively safe as long as you are monitored by a doctor regularly.
Pregnenolone is naturally produced in the adrenal glands, liver, skin, brain, testicles, ovaries, and retina of the eyes. It has been shown to improve cognitive function, increase energy, reduce the effects of stress, improve mood, and immunity. It is most commonly available as a supplement or cream.
The thyroid gland is located in the neck and it produces the hormone thyroid. Our pituitary gland can also affect the production or thyroid. Our thyroid levels can be affected or even halted by stress, illness, anxiety, and even dieting.
Hypothyroidism or low thyroid can cause hair loss, weight gain, constipation, cold hands and feet, and foggy thinking. Hyperthyroidism is the opposite which means that the thyroid is overactive possibly leading to hyperactivity, muscle weakness, sudden weight loss or gain, increased appetite, and sensitivity to heat.
Finding the right treatment can be tricky which is why it’s important to find a knowledgeable doctor who will offer suggestions on how best to treat you for under or over-active thyroid.
Insulin is secreted by our pancreas and it works to regulate our blood sugar and assists our body in burning carbohydrates rather than storing them as fat. Some people have become insulin resistant which means that the body no longer accepts sugar and fat for energy but rather stores them which can produce even more insulin. Long term high insulin levels can lead to weight gain especially in the mid-section. Increased insulin can also lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, plaque in the arteries, and cancer.
Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle along with exercise is very important in balancing your insulin. Ask your doctor how balancing all of your hormones will positively affect your insulin levels too.
Cortisol is known as the stress or the fight or flight hormone. Our adrenal glands send adrenalin into our system which can cause an energizing effect. But because of our modern day stresses, our cortisol is pumping way too much and far too often. Over time, too much cortisol can wreak havoc on our system causing insulin resistance, weight gain, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
Reducing stress levels through meditation and lifestyle changes will help a lot in conjunction with balancing all of your other hormones.
Melatonin is known as the sleep hormone. It is secreted from the pineal gland that is located in the brain. It is also a very powerful antioxidant which assists the body in squelching free radicals in our system. Like other hormones, as we age, our body slows the production of Melatonin. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential if we want to live longer, look younger, and feel better. Quality sleep is restorative to our entire system and with high levels of Melatonin our body has a better ability to fight off infection and remain strong.
Have you experienced sleeping through the night and still waking up tired? I know that I have. This could be a sign that your Melatonin levels are low.
Often supplementing with Melatonin helps people to get a better night’s sleep. It is gentle and effective and even at high doses it has not been shown to be toxic.
In the United States, you can purchase Melatonin supplements at a health food store. If you are having sleep issues, consider supplementing for a few weeks and see if your sleep improves. Sometimes even a tiny dose will make all the difference.
Melatonin is also great for those who travel often and deal with jet-lag due to time zone changes.
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is secreted by our adrenal glands and is considered by many doctors to be an anti-aging hormone. It has positive effects on almost every part of our body including the brain, muscles, immune system, organs, and tissues. DHEA also helps the body’s production of collagen which promotes younger skin.
DHEA levels start to decline in most people after the age of thirty which is why it is vital to get tested regularly. Healthy levels for women range from 150 to 350ug/dL and 250 to 450ug/dL for men.
DHEA is available as a supplement and like Melatonin is relatively safe at moderate doses. Always consult your physician to find out what dose is best for you.
I recently found out that my levels were at 101ug/dL which is considered to be low. I just began to supplement with 50 mg of DHEA per day and will re-test in one month to check on my levels.
The key is to ensure that you find a qualified doctor who specializes in hormones. Initially, it may take a few appointments to get your levels balanced but once they are, only yearly blood work is advised as maintenance. The results will be well worth it!