July means . . .it’s summer!

July means . . .it’s summer!. . . in the northern hemisphere where long days of sun bring us some of our hottest temperatures. If you live where it’s sweltering, you may also be living where air-conditioning is the primary way to stay cool.  In the interest of reducing greenhouse gases and avoiding the unhealthy transition from hot to cold and back, there are natural ways to stay cooler without missing the benefits (yes benefits!) of hot weather.  Heat that brings on a sweat can: cleanse the pores of your skin, burn fat and detox substances held in fat, increase overall circulation, relax muscles and help them stretch further, make it easy to eat more raw food, which is enzyme rich and strengthens digestion. 
Cool off naturally by . . .
Planning your outdoor activities in the early morning/early evening hours when it’s cooler.  Take short rests in shade if you are out mid-day.
 
Wetting your hair under your hat or helmet  if your are biking or hiking.  You can also wet your T-shirt or a thin cotton scarf that your wring out and wear around your neck.  Keeping head and neck cool is the most important.  Cooling the feet (standing in cold water) helps cool the entire body down.  Keep a hydrosol (distilled plant water) of rose or lavender in your refrigerator to spay on sunkissed skin.
Drinking more cold water and adding electrolytes like lemon, lime, apple cider vinegar, Celtic or unprocessed sea salt.
By adding hydrating plants to your water so your intestines can more readily absorb it.  These would include: chia seed, aloe vera juice, coconut water, flaxseed, marshmallow root.
Make a tea of one or more of the seeds or marshmallow root by soaking 1 part of plant to 4 parts room temperature water.  Soak overnight, then strain and add the demulcent ‘tea’ water to your drinking water throughout the day.
Eating or drinking herbs that are naturally cooling diuretics:
Mints (all of them), cardamom, blue and black berries, rose petals, rosehips peaches (the fruit and tea of the leaf), melons, cucumbers, cayenne/chili, raddicco, dandelion leaf (bitter greens) and parsley and celery. 

You can make a Cucumber Cooler by . . . Peeling and coarsely chopping a large cucumber and putting this in a blender with 3/4 cup cool water, 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut water, a Tb of fresh squeezed lime juice and about a half cup of fresh peppermint leaves.  Frappe on high speed, then pour over glasses with ice – enjoy!  This refreshing diuretic is safe in pregnancy.
What’s Hot, What’s Not
What’s not hot is when bowel movements are irregular and less frequent as can be the case in travel, dehydration, unusual food combinations, etc..  What’s Hot is the 3-fruit, Ayurvedic (traditional medicine of India) herb combination called Triphala.  Triphala is an effective laxative that also supports the body’s strength and has been a favorite herbal formula for thousands of years.  Because of its high nutritional value, Triphala uniquely cleanses and detoxifies at the deepest levels without depleting the body’s reserves. This makes it a valuable herbal preparation for balancing the entire digestive system that can be used over an extended period of time.  It contains lubricating linoleic oil along with bitter anthroquinones that stimulate peristaltic action and promote the release of bile from the liver/gall bladder.  Constipation or irregularity is often caused by liver/gall bladder congestion, dehydration and poorly digested food.
Each of the 3 fruits are high in vitamin C and help to tone all levels of the alimentary canal; stomach/liver/pancreas, small intestine and large intestine.  Used over time, Triphala has been shown to reduce serum cholesterol, improve circulation and can help reduce blood pressure.  It has also been shown to improve liver function and has
anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
The Short Answer . . . .
I used to be able to eat red meat, but now I seem to be allergic to it.  Hours after eating a hamburger I break out in hives and feel like my throat is closing – what is going on?
First I would ask you if you’ve have had any tick bites that caused a reaction of redness, swelling and itching or hives.  Research has shown certain tick bites can cause an allergy to alpha-gal (short for alpha-galactose), which is a sugar that ends up in the bloodstream after ingesting mammalian or red meat (cows, pigs, sheep, goat, etc.). The Lone Star tick, which originated in eastern USA injects alpha/gal sugar which triggers the body’s immune system to produce antibodies to alpha-gal as a reaction to the proteins from the tick bite.   Then when you later eat meat, which naturally contains the alpha-gal sugar, the antibodies respond with a release of histamine, which can cause anything from mild hives (irritating) to anaphlactic shock (dangerous).  This reaction to red meats is becoming more common in the USA and is spreading west. The reaction is delayed because the sugar is in the animal’s fat cells and these take longer to break down. Another reason for histamine reactions to meat are the antibiotics, growth hormones and chemicals found in animal farming practices.  By only choosing to consume meats that are grass-fed, free range and hormone/antibiotic free, this reaction usually subsides.  Even for those who have the alpha-gal sensitivity, doing some blood and bowel cleansing and eating healthy meats, has shown to reduce or eliminate the reaction. 
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