What Should Eating Gluten Free Mean?

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It should mean getting back to basics of eating real foods that our ancestors ate 100 years ago or more, but with some twists. Not buying up all the trendy gluten free products on the store shelves.When a loaf of bread or bagels weren’t filled with artificial ingredients and preservatives with high sugar contents.

Everything now is made to be so fast and convenient but not many of us even read what the ingredients are.We eat at all these fast food places that have souped up sauces, bread on top of breaded meats,and french fries that live forever when dropped under the seats of our vehicles. More than half the things on store shelves have ingredients we can’t even pronounce, let alone do we know what they are.

As someone who has had Crohns Disease for 28 years it has been trial and error to just stay away from all the junk out there. All the artificial ingredient filled breads,cookies and fast foods are always so tempting. Gluten is added unnecessarily to thicken things like meats, sauces, soups and boxed foods. Then add in the extra artificial sugars and outrageous amounts of sodium to food products, so that our bodies can’t even process it to get proper nutrients.

There are so many diseases like diabetes, ADHD, IBS, and more that can benefit from eating real food like meat,fruit and vegetables. We don’t always need to eat all the bread, pasta and rice. If you do want grains without all the gluten try Ronzoni mixed grain pasta and real rice. The tough one is bread because there aren’t many gluten free bakeries and the store stuff is outrageous. It is however easy to make real bread at home. A Betty Crocker Cookbook has a REAL bread recipe which  has all purpose flour, 1-2 tbsp. sugar, salt, butter or shortening, yeast, and water or milk. That’s what real bread used to be, but there are also gluten free all purpose flours for making bread.

WELL GOOD LUCK IF YOUR JOURNEY TO BETTER HEALTH INCLUDES BECOMING GLUTEN FREE.

Are We unknowingly Gluttons for Gluten?

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Why do so many doctors in the US ignore that many more people than you think are affected by gluten? It is because they are backed by big pharmaceutical and food companies, plus not taught the importance of  food intolerances on health. Other countries like Australia, Ireland,Italy, Finland and South America recognize food intolerances, especially gluten.If you have a disease like Crohn’s,Colitis, diabetes,Celiac, autism,thyroid disease, migraines and more, you can vastly improve your health.

Many people don’t even understand just how much gluten is hidden in all of our foods. Since the late 60’s and early 70’s the food industry has introduced more hidden gluten containing foods than people ever used to eat. Almost all of our boxed, bottled and packaged food products have outrageous amounts of gluten and other unnatural ingredients.People used to eat more real homegrown and homemade foods. Now because of stress, poor diet, fast paced lives and different bacteria from other places coming into our lives, the gene has been awakened more in many people.

Gluten is the protein component in wheat, Barley, Rye and a sticky binding substance added to many foods. Many of us have digestive systems that cannot digest gluten protein into amino acid building blocks.When this happens the inside of our intestines become inflamed and release antibodies that can cause a cavalcade of reactions throughout the body. It is estimated that 1 out of 133 Americans have gluten sensitivity or even Celiac disease.The gene for Celiac and gluten intolerance is usually carried throughout a families genetics.

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is a multisystem disorder that has a wide range of symptoms and effects many body functions. The most alarming thing for me is that Celiac disease is often misdiagnosed as Crohns disease, IBS,Chronic fatigue syndrome and acid reflux. I was diagnosed with Crohns disease as a child and have almost all the symptoms listed. Here is a partial list of Celiac indicators:

Abdominal pain, Anemia,constipation,Diarrhea, Distension, Excessive weight loss with a large appetite, excessive weight gain, Fatigue, gas,Headaches,Joint/bone pain, muscle cramps,skin rashes, smelly bowel movements,inside mouth sores, vitamin deficiency, missed periods,delayed puberty and stunted growth in children.

If you are now concerned because your health hasn’t really improved with all the drugs, get tested.There are a few tests for Celiac disease: a blood test that runs the following panel(Antiendomysial antibody, Total serum IgA, Antigliadin antibody,Tissue transglutaminase), an endoscopy biopsy and Human Leukocyte antigen test.

Much of this research came from Dr. Peter Green, Dr. Andrew Weil, Elisabeth Hasselback, Jennifer Esposito

Anti-Inflammatory Healing Foods and spices

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Whenever I think about staying healthy these are some scientifically and patient approved soothing foods for healing and wellness to incorporate in your daily or weekly eating habits.Soon I will be adding creative recipes and ways to incorporate many of these foods to make them digestible and delicious for IBD sufferers.

Nature has given us some wonderful foods in nature and they can be used  in your diet to defy age, also to help fight against autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.

Note: If you have allergies to the foods listed here, you must of course avoid them, no matter how nutrient-packed they may be. Consuming food that you are sensitive to will only cause more inflammation — not reduce inflammation.

Dark Chocolate

(ACS) in Dallas revealed a discovery about how chocolate benefits the heart. “Specific chocolate-loving microbes in the gut convert an otherwise indigestible portion of the candy into anti-inflammatory compounds,” which can help cardiovascular function.When broken down by the colon bacteria, the molecules are then absorbed by the colon and serve as highly anti-inflammatory, which can delay or even prevent the onset of certain cardiovascular diseases connected with inflammation. The amount of cocoa powder that appeared to produce beneficial effects was about two tablespoons a day. But don’t plan on getting that benefit from candy bars loaded with dairy and sugar. The researchers found those substances can actually hinder the cocoa’s benefits. So opt for pure cocoa powder or extremely dark chocolate that’s only lightly sweetened to get the desired results.

organicauthority.com/dark-chocolates-magic-anti-inflammatory-powers-finally-revealed/

Avocados .

15 health benefits of avocados:

http://www.healthonlinezine.info/health-benefits-of-avocados.html

  1. Maintain a healthy heart
    Avocado contains vitamin B6 and folic acid, which help regulate homocysteine levels. High level of homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Avocado also contains vitamin E, glutathione, and monounsaturated fat, which help in maintaining a healthy heart.Heart Health
    One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.
  2. Lower cholesterol levels
    Avocados are rich in a compound called beta-sitosterol which has been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels. According to a study, patients with mild hypercholesterolemia who included avocados in their diet for 7 days had 17 percent decrease in total blood cholesterol levels, a 22 percent decrease in both LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, and a 11 percent increase in HDL (good cholesterol) levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for only one week.
  3. Control blood pressure
    Avocados are also a great source of potassium, which helps in controlling blood pressure levels.
  4. Anti-Inflammatory properties
    Phytonutrient compound found in avocados, such as polyphenols and flavonoids have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders.
  5. Promote eye health
    Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.
  6. Regulate the blood sugar levels
    The monounsaturated (good) fats in avocados can reverse insulin resistance which help to regulate blood sugar levels. Avocados also contain soluble fiber which keep a steady blood sugar levels.
  7. Prevent birth defects
    Avocados are rich in folate, a B vitamin commonly known as folic acid. One cup of avocado provides about 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. The high amount of folate in avocado is essential in the prevention of birth defects, such as neural tube defect and spina bifida.
  8. Stroke Prevention
    The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don’t.
  9. Protect against cancer
    Many studies have shown that avocado can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. .Avocado, like olive oil, is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.Research has shown that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells.have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.
  10. Glutathione Source
    Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.
  11. Anti-aging properties
    Being rich in antioxidants, avocado is beneficial in preventing aging symptoms. The glutathione in avocado may boosts immune systems, slows aging process, and encourages a healthy nervous system.
  12. Cure bad breath
    Avocados are one of the best natural mouth wash and bad breath remedies. It cleanses intestine which is the real cause of coated tongue and bad breath.
  13. Increase nutrient absorption
    Avocado intake is linked with an increased nutrient absorption. A study suggests that, when participants ate salad included avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes beta carotene and lycopene) than those who did not include avocados.
  14. Skin Care
    The avocado oil is added in many cosmetics because of its ability to nourish the skin and make your skin glow. It also aids in treating psoriasis, a skin disease that causes skin redness and  irritation is Vitamin E Powerhouse. Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.
  15. Weight gain
    The avocado has 200 calories for 100 grams. Typically, fruits has approximately 60-80 calories for 100 grams. Due to the high amounts of calories, avocado is a best diet for people who want to gain weight. Avocado is a healthy source of calories, unlike many other calorie-dense foods that may contain excess saturated fats and sugar.

1.Kelp

  • KelpAnti-Inflammatory Agent: Kelp such as kombu contains fucoidan, a type of complex carbohydrate that is anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-oxidative. A few studies on fucoidan in recent years have found promising results in using the brown algae extract to control liver and lung cancer and to promote collagen synthesis. The high fiber content of kelp also helps to induce fullness, slow fat absorption and promote weight loss. But whenever possible, get only organic kelps harvested from unpolluted sea.Sidekicks: Need another good reason to re-visit your favorite Japanese restaurants? Besides kombu, wakame and arame are also good sources of fucoidan. A marine vegetable native to the Tongan Islands called limu moui is also a fucoidan powerhouse.Arch-Enemy: Seaweed snack. Go easy on seaweed snacks as they can be heavily salted and coated with a thick layer of vegetable oil. Check the ingredients list before buying.

2. Turmeric

  • TurmericAnti-Inflammatory Agent: This Asian spice commonly found in pre-mixed curry powder contains a powerful, non-toxic compound called curcumin. Studies found that turmeric’s anti-inflammatory effects are on a par with potent drugs such as hydrocortisone and Motrin, but yet having none of their side effects.Sidekicks: Ginger. This relative of turmeric is also highly prized around the world for its anti-inflammatory benefits, and are used to expel cold and relieve motion sickness and vomiting.Arch-Enemy: Sugar. It can hardly be called a spice, but the widespread use of sugar rivals that of any spice and has led to a host of illnesses linked to this additive condiment. A diet high in sugar is decidedly inflammation-promoting and should be controlled.
  • 3. Wild-Caught Salmon

    • Wild Alaskan SalmonAnti-Inflammatory Agent: Salmon is an excellent source of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), two potent omega-3 fatty acids that douse inflammation. The benefits of omega-3 have been backed by numerous studies and they range from preventing heart disease and some cancers to reducing symptoms of autoimmune diseases and psychological disorders. Be sure to include some oily fish such as wild Alaskan salmon in your diet twice a week. Alternatively, you can also get omega-3 fatty acids from high quality fish oil supplements such as this one that I recommend and use myself.Sidekicks: Anchovies, mackerel and sardines are also rich sources of omega-3 fats. Flaxseeds and walnuts also supply omega-3 fats called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which can be converted into EPA and DHA inside the body. But the conversion has been found to be low, and hence they may not be reliable sources of EPA and DHA.Arch-Enemies: Polyunsaturated vegetable oils. You may be surprised to see polyunsaturated oil (like those from safflower, soybean, corn and sunflower) listed here, but polyunsaturated fats have been found to be unstable and easily damaged by oxygen. High consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, present in higher amount in polyunsaturated oil, have also been linked to inflammatory response in the body, leading to heart disease and cancer. While omega-6 is important to health, the key is to balance your omega-6 and omega-3 intake so that you don’t end up becoming a factory for pro-inflammatory compounds.

    4.  Mushrooms( for most IBD patients they must be cut up in tiny pieces and incorporated in meals, otherwise they don’t digest well)

    • ShitakeAnti-Inflammatory Agent: Enjoyed by the Chinese and the Japanese since ancient times, shiitake mushroom is revered for its immune-boosting properties and its mild smoky taste.Sidekicks: Maitake, enoki, oyster mushrooms. There is no better way to fight cancer and enhance your health than to feast on a plate of stir-fried medicinal mushrooms. Yummy!Arch-Enemy: Deep-fried mushrooms and vegetables. Throwing fresh mushrooms and vegetables into a big pot of boiling oil will not only soak up lots of cancer-causing compounds from the overheated oil, their healing powers will also be greatly diminished by the high temperature.
    • 5. Green Tea

      • Green TeaAnti-Inflammatory Agent: The flavonoids in green tea are potent natural anti-inflammatory compounds that have been shown in numerous studies to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.Sidekicks: Don’t forget about water because it has been shown in many studies that water accelerates the body’s metabolism and speeds up the removal of harmful by products of metabolism.Arch-Enemy: Processed cow’s milk. Non-organic milk carries antibiotics and growth hormone residues that can irritate immune system when they are consumed long-term. Many people, especially those in the East, also cannot digest milk properly, causing distress to the digestive tract.
      • 6. Papaya

        • PapayaAnti-Inflammatory Agent: Coined by Christopher Columbus as the ‘fruit of the angels’, papaya contains papain, a protein-digesting enzyme. Together with other nutrients such as vitamin C and E, papain helps to reduce inflammation, and improves digestion and healing from burns.Sidekicks: Pineapple. A tropical fruit worthy of mention, pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that aids in the healing of indigestion, sports injury, trauma and other kinds of swelling. Extracts of bromelain have also proven to be as effective as some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and are used in a number of natural anti-inflammatory supplements for arthritis.Arch-Enemy: Preservative-laden fruits. Dried fruits can contain high levels of chemicals such as sulphur dioxide, a preservative which has been linked to increased respiratory disease. Eat fresh fruits whenever possible, but if you must opt for the dried form, make sure it is preservative-free.

        7. Blueberry

        • BlueberryAnti-Inflammatory Agent: An antioxidant powerhouse, blueberry is high in phytonutrients that confer anti-inflammatory protection against many diseases such as cancer and dementia.Sidekicks: Blackberries, cranberries, strawberries and raspberries. These berries are comparable alternatives to blueberries and are equally high in antioxidants. So start feasting on one type of berries each week.Arch-Enemy: Berries with pesticides. Insects and fungi love berries as much as we do. So berries are often sprayed with pesticides to ward off diseases and pests. To make matter worse, it is hard to wash away pesticides from berries due to their size. So it is safer to opt for organic or wild crafted version as much as possible.

        8. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

        • Extra Virgin Olive OilAnti-Inflammatory Agent: Virgin olive oil is Mediterranean’s secret to longevity. Its rich supply of polyphenols protects the heart and blood vessels from inflammation. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil are also turned into anti-inflammatory agents by the body that can lower occurrences of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.Sidekicks: Avocado oil. Also known as alligator pear, avocado produces oil that has a fat composition similar to olive oil, containing high heart-beneficial monounsaturated fats. But it has an even higher smoke point than olive oil, making it the ideal oil for cooking.Arch-Enemy: Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. This commercial oil contains trans-fatty acids that lowers the ‘good’ cholesterol and raises the ‘bad’ ones — a shortcut to contracting cardiovascular disease.

        9. Broccoli

        • BroccoliAnti-Inflammatory Agent: Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable that contains anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer phytonutrients such as sulforaphane which helps the body to get rid of potentially carcinogenic compounds.Sidekicks: Cauliflower. A close relative to broccoli, this cruciferous vegetable also contain similar goodness as broccoli that aids the body’s detoxification.Arch-Enemies: Nightshades vegetables. Tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, bell peppers and others are classified as nightshade vegetables, which contain high alkaloid — a substance that may affect the joints, nerve-muscle function and digestion in some individuals. If you are suffering from any of these problems, you may want to try cutting down on the consumption of nightshades vegetables.

        10. Sweet Potato

        • Sweet PotatoAnti-Inflammatory Agent: Sweet potato is often overshadowed by other exotic vegetables and fruits. But it is also a good source of complex carbohydrate, beta-carotene, manganese, vitamin B6 and C as well as dietary fiber. Working in concert, these nutrients are powerful antioxidants that help to heal inflammation in the body.Sidekicks: Spinach. This dark green leafy vegetable is such a rich source of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative flavonoids and carotenoids that it is almost impossible to believe. But it is true. And here is only a partial list: Vitamin A, B2, B6, C, E, K, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and tryptophan. But be sure to buy organic ones whenever possible as it is also among the foods on which pesticide residues have been most frequently found.Arch-Enemies: Processed potatoes. Although potato is a good source of vitamin C and other minerals, potato chips and french fries aren’t. Commercially processed potatoes are usually prepared in overheated polyunsaturated or hydrogenated oils, and are loaded with high amounts of sugar and salt, increasing the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes for anyone who munches on them.

Spices and Herbs

Cinnamon Turmeric
Basil cumin
Cloves Thyme
Mint Chili pepper
Parsley Licorice
Oregano Rosemary

Seeds and Nuts

All of these can be ground up to use as a flour for baking or eaten as nut butters.

Walnuts Linseed
Hazelnuts Sunflower seeds
Almonds  Macadamias

Fruits

These are the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory power sources effective against a number of diseases like acute traumas, injuries, arthritis, cancer, indigestion, acid peptic disease, dementia and many other chronic inflammatory conditions. Examples are:

Papaya (rich in vitamin C and E and papain, an enzyme that digests proteins) Pineapple (contains an enzyme Bromelain with excellent healing properties)
Blueberries (rich in phyto nutrients) Goji berries
Cherries Cranberries
Apples Oranges
Kiwifruit Rhubarb
Lemon Limes
Avocados Guavas
lychees Mulberries

Vegetables

This anti inflammation foods group is another major ally to the anti-inflammatory warfare. Examples include:

Cruciferous vegetables (rich in phyto nutrients i.e. sulphoraphanes which has anti cancer properties) Spinach (source of carotenes, flavonoids, vitamins, potassium, magnesium, tryptophan, calcium, iron and folate)

Ginger

Sweet potatoes (contains fiber, vitamin C and B6, beta carotenoids, manganese and carbohydrates)
Squash Chards
Green beans
Kale Bok Choy
Olives Fennel bulb
Spring onions Mushrooms
Leeks

Fish

Various kinds of cold-water fish like:

Cod Tuna
Herring Trout
Salmon Striped Bass
Halibut Whitefish
Sardines Snapper Fish
Oystershttp://www.naturalantiinflammatory.org/anti-inflammatory-foods.html

Creating Wellness for IBD

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For the person who hasn’t read any of my other blogs, I have lived with Crohns complications for now 27 years. I was diagnosed at the age of 14 in 1987, when doctors were still baffled by treating the disease. I have been on every modern medicine that modern doctors have available and even done clinical trials.Throughout this time I have have had at least one hospital visit a year, a take down and reconstruct surgery due to a puncture during a colonoscopy. I have avoided further surgery because it is not a cure and I know this because It runs in my family history.
Now I have decided to buckle down and live a natural lifestyle because modern meds and modern doctors have not improved my disease long term. Only with an all natural lifestyle have i had success. Then when I got lazy, overstressed or too busy with life I left my health on the back burner. Eating junk food on the go or at home because it is part of our easy access lifestyles. After this hospital visit my doctors again urged me with surgery as the best option and basically that I’m making a mistake by not doing it. So this time I built up a network of friends and family to call, text, e mail or message whenever I think of getting off track.
I will still need to follow up with my modern medical doctors, but not use all the damaging drugs with so many side effects. So here I go with a renewed sense of determination. stay tuned for updates.
Note:Most of these treatments are from past experience, friends with IBD and other things have been obtained by  natural Full Circle medical doctors.

REST, RELAXATION and REJUVINATION.

First of all getting your mind and body aligned is what it takes to get well. You must find ways to slow down, and destress. Only then will you be able to follow a healthy eating lifestyle.

People with IBD tend to be over achievers who are hyper and try to take on a superhero mentality of doing to much all at once.

Do you relate to many of these?
• Addicted to perfectionism
• A control freak, OCD about cleaning and etc…
• Fearful of rejection?
• Fearful of failure?
• Worried too much about what others think?
• A people pleaser?
• Afraid to say no?”
• An emotional eater?
• Angry at yourself or someone else?
• Needing to forgive someone or repair a relationship?
• Needing$to$ditch$certain$relationships$altogether?$
• In need of better boundaries?
• Consistently anxious?
• Depressed?
• Overworked?
• Overwhelmed?
• Stressed out?
• Spread too thin for your own good?
• Pushing yourself to exhaustion?
• Missing someone?
• Grieving a loss?
• In a toxic relationship?
• In a toxic living environment?
• Hiding?
• Blaming others?
• Playing the victim?

These are some of the circumstances that could be contributing to your illness,keeping you sick and preventing you from bringing the health vision you desire.

Nutritionally

Getting hydrated and reducing or eliminating sugar, caffeine, preservatives and artificial substances will reduce the stress on your GI tract and get you pointed in the right direction. Also eat smaller meals and drink fortified shakes and smoothies with added vitamins and minerals.

• Going gluten free
• Going dairy free
• Increasing therapeutic foods like kefir,fermented foods,homemade broth,and more
• Targeted supplements like probiotics and vitamins like B12
• Elimination diets

Crohn’s and Colitis patients suffer from malnutrition due to our body’s inability to absorb nutrients because our gut bacteria is not normal. If you ignore taking this area of understanding, then your GI tract won’t heal well.Also stress and a damaging emotional state plays a big part on a rode to wellness.

Steps to healing inflammatory bowel disease are:

1. Providing bowel rest. Find a high protein and vitamin, mineral rich drink to keep up calories between meals and on the go.

2. Killing off the bad bacteria and fungus in the gut (disease-causing organisms)

3.Re-Populating The Gut Flora , by taking a broad spectrum pro-biotic,a minimum of 7 to 10 billion CFU (colony-forming units) of each species, per day

4. Healing intestinal inflammation and ulceration. aloe juice

5. Resolving nutritional deficiencies

A full spectrum multi-vitamin and multi-mineral,

  • 3,000 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. Use the right dosage for your skin color and environment.
  • B12
  • 4 to 6 capsules of cod liver oil per day (or 2 teaspoons).
  • 2 tablespoons of Udo’s Oil per day.
  • Pycnogenol or grape seed extract.
  • Coenzyme Q10.
  • Vitamin C in mineral ascorbate form – needed for your immune system and for blood clotting. Do not take it in ascorbic acid form, or it will cause loose bowel movements or diarrhea.
  • If you are having more than 3 bowel movements per day, take powder or liquid supplements, or open the capsules and dissolve them in liquid.

6. Detoxing your living environment

7. Healing the contributing emotional factors.60% of your body’s neurotransmitters are not in your brain, but in your gut!

8. Balancing your hormones. f you have had Crohn’s disease symptoms for longer than eight months, or if you have taken any kind of steroid or immune suppressant drug, then it is highly likely your thyroid gland is not functioning properly, and quite likely your adrenal gland isn’t either. Ideally, you should see a doctor who specializes in hormone balancing and have your endocrine system (glands that produce hormones) tested properly.

People Crohn’s disease have bacterial flora that is unbalanced throughout their gastrointestinal tract. The repeated use of antibiotics (often since childhood) and the invasive medical diagnostic tests alone have destroyed much of the “good” protective bacteria in their small and large intestines. When the good, protective bacteria are depleted, then disease-causing organisms like yeast (candida albicans), viruses, parasites, and bad bacteria flourish.This excess of disease-causing organisms causes inflammation and damage to the mucosal lining, resulting in leaky gut syndrome – a condition where undigested food particles and bacteria seep into the bloodstream, triggering allergic reactions and infection in other places in the body (the joints, skin, eyes, etc).

If you have back or belly pain or discomfort use this tried and true reliever from our great grandparents and many cultures.

Castor Oil Pack Components:

  • Cold-Pressed Castor oil.
  • Two sheets of plastic (garbage bags OK).
  • 1 yard cotton or wool flannel.
  • Heating pad (if indicated).
  • Large old bath towel.
  • 3 safety pins.

Preparing a Castor Oil Pack

Cut a piece of plastic that will cover the flannel with at least 1 to 2 inches extra around the border of the flannel. Drizzle approximately 1/4 cup of castor oil onto the flannel, then fold it in half to saturate. The pack should not be dripping with oil – it should have just enough oil to make a slight oil mark on furniture, as if you were going to polish it.

NOTE: The first couple of weeks you use the pack you will have to apply a tablespoon or so of oil about every 3 to 4 days. Eventually the pack will be saturated enough that reapplication of oil should only be needed every couple of weeks.

Lay out an old towel on the surface you will be lying on. Castor oil stains, and you want to avoid getting it on sheets, carpet, or clothing. Lie on your back and place the saturated flannel on your abdomen. Cover the flannel with plastic. Then place the thin dish towel or old cloth over the plastic. Place a hot water bottle or heating pad over the thin towel and plastic, and wrap the bath towel around you to hold it all snug.

Relax for 30 to 60 minutes. This is an excellent time to practice visualization, meditation, or deep breathing exercises, listen to classical music or sleep – or to watch a good movie!

When finished, you can remove the oil with warm water and soap in the shower. I prefer to just wipe my abdomen with an old towel and leave the oil on my skin to be completely absorbed while I sleep (I apply the pack at night, before bed – but I sleep on a towel or old sheets, as even the oil residue can stain).

Store the pack in a large zip-lock bag. You can reuse it many times, adding more oil as needed to keep the pack saturated. Replace the pack after it begins to change color (usually several months). Do not wash the flannel – just throw it out.

 Yoga – Yoga is very helpful for back pain. Look for a video or yoga class that is either specifically geared to resolving back pain, or one that is called ‘therapeutic’ yoga.

a bath- with epsom salt and lavender also helps pain.