Many women don’t even know they are pregnant for the first six to eight weeks, yet this is the time the fetus is developing very rapidly, drawing her very life-blood from her mother. So, it is obviously vital to prepare for pregnancy way in advance of conception in order to give the best possible chance of optimum health to both mother and child.
A Canadian study revealed that nearly six times as many women on an inadequate diet before and during pregnancy had uncomfortable complications including nausea, anemia, threatened miscarriage, toxemia and varicose problems, compared with those on a good diet. It was particularly striking that although a woman may have appeared to be healthy on a poor diet, very often the baby was born in extremely poor physical condition.
We pass on our genetic blueprints to our children, and sadly they tend to get scruffier as they go down the line. So, if you come from a family with a history of allergies, asthma or hay fever, it is more likely that your children will suffer from the same problem. If your child has to wear glasses or has a mouthful of fillings in spite of a reasonable diet, the chances are that you, your parents and even their parents have all been lacking in adequate nutrition, and the problem has been exacerbated generation by generation. It is possible to change this dismally predictable pattern by looking to your own state of health well before you attempt to conceive. Far better to prepare and prevent than repair and repent!
If you have a particular health problem and you are planning a family sometime in the future, resolve to put all your energies now into eliminating or at least alleviating it. If you have or have had in the past, an unhealthy lifestyle – perhaps involving a
junk-food diet, smoking, heavy drinking, drugs, obesity or lack of exercise – allow yourself at least a year to prepare for a really healthy conception You can go a step further and contribute to the health of future generations by bringing up your own children with a clear understanding of the philosophy behind your diet and life style. This is probably the greatest and most durable gift you can pass on to your children. Be persistent and make it fun, so that good health and all that its maintenance entails become second nature to your children and not just one of ‘Mum’s little quirks’.
My god-daughter will willingly eat even the bitterest of herbal tablets because she has never been given any allopathic medication and has consumed very little sugar. She actually asks for her favorite herbal teas. Remember too that allopathic drugs can be stored in the body for years, usually settling in a long-suffering liver, and can be passed on to the fetus via the placenta or in breast milk, so use natural remedies for all your ailments as far as you possibly can.
An excellent way to clean up the body prior to conception is to go on a grape fast for three to four weeks, eating 4-6 lb. (2-3 kg) well-washed grapes daily. (Basil Shackleton’s book The Grape Cure is particularly helpful here: see Bibliography.) After the period of the fast, gradually return to a normal diet as described in Chapter 1, taking the same amount of time to do so as you did fast, and if you are not a vegetarian stick to chemical-free chicken and fresh fish by way of flesh products.
MEN NEED CLEANSING TOO
Potential fathers are not let off the hook. Dr Bayer, a German obstetrician, has stated that he’d never known a mentally handy capped child to be born provided the father took vitamin E on a regular basis for many months prior to conception. (The dosage depended on the history of diseases such as rheumatic fever and hypertension.) In the Arab world it is customary to feed stallions on wild mint
in order to increase their potency. So perhaps plenty of pepper. mint tea might be worth a try. The Arabs also recommend as generally strengthening a drink made of the powdered root of the wild orchid (Orchis macula) sweetened with honey and served well spiced. This ‘sale’ was quite popular in this country before the proliferation of coffee houses and I have often encountered it in Turkey. Its taste is milky and pleasant and it is quite palatable. Men should give up smoking and drinking, especially in the few months prior to attempting to conceive, and while the couple is attempting to conceive, in order to improve both the quality and quantity of sperm. It is advisable that they follow the same programmed of diet and exercise as prescribed for their partner.
HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
Unhappily the air we breathe and many of the products we touch are full of toxic minerals which can cause both physical and mental problems. Lead, mercury, aluminum and cadmium are all toxic minerals which are increasingly threatening health in our industrial society. They have no use at all as far as the body is concerned, and prolonged exposure to them decreases vitality, shortens lifespan and generally aggravates disease. Exhaust fumes are the main source of lead. Others are lead piping, the solder used on food cans, cigarette smoke and lead based pottery and glazes.
There is increasing evidence to suggest that raised body levels of lead lower IQ, decrease mental concentration, increase the chance of miscarriage, birth defects and still-births, can lead to criminal and delinquent behavior in children, increased cancer rates and generally accelerate the ageing process. Mercury is present in the fungicides used to protect grain, fish swimming in mercury-saturated seas, some fabric softeners and floor waxes, mercury vapor lamps, some cosmetics and ache saves, and of course dental amalgams.
Mercury, like lead, will cross the placental barrier during pregnancy, so that mothers exposed to it, though they may show no signs of mercury poisoning themselves, can produce babies which are grossly mentally and physically deformed. In the United States alone, about 450 tons of mercury a year are used in fungicides and insecticides. For every ton of chlorine produced, approximately 8 oz (250 g) mercury is released into the atmosphere- making the staggering quantity of over a million pounds a year in the USA.
Amalgam fillings use approximately so per cent mercury, and present estimates show that (again, in the USA) about 100 tons mercury are used in dentistry every year and this amount is on the increase Mercury breaks down in the fillings and is gradually absorbed into the body, causing many ailments, both minor and serious, which have only recently been attributed to mercury poisoning. Problems such as blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, depression and irritability can all be the result of mercury poisoning. Some brain tumors can be caused by mercury poisoning.
If you are interested in the subject it is well worth reading The Toxic Time Bomb by Sam Ziff free Bibliography Aluminum, in the form of aluminum kitchenware, alumni ham foil, aluminate salts (this includes most table salt), baking powder, antacids, toothpaste, cigarette filters, buffered aspirin, cosmetics, hot-water heaters with aluminum heating elements, processed cheese, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, is all around us, Symptoms of toxicity usually begin with persistent indigestion and lead on to gastrointestinal upsets, rickets (by interfering with phosphate absorption), cirrhosis, cystic fibrosis and senility.
Alu- minimum reacts vigorously with alkaline saliva, so that by the time food cooked in aluminum saucepans reaches your stomach, gas is being produced in just the same way as baking powder acts on a rising cake. To some extent the hydrochloric acid in the stomach keeps this under control, but the situation is less happy in the duodenum. So never cook or bake in aluminum. Use iron, earthenware, china, glass, stainless steel or enamel-lined sauce- pans. Aluminum from aluminum saucepans goes on reacting and producing painful gas all the way through the colon, upset ting the delicate pH of the whole digestive tract, flooding the bloodstream and burdening the body’s organs.
Aluminum accumulates in the body, so the overall effect gets worse with age. Fortunately, it can be sped out of the body by eating foods high in pectin, particularly bananas, apples, lemons, lemon rind and sunflower seeds. Smokers have much higher levels of cadmium in their livers than non-smokers, and it is also found in tap-water from galvanized or plastic water-pipes, tin cans, instant coffee, many processed meats, cola drinks, and refined cereals (which have a low zinc to cadmium ratio). Some scientists believe that cadmium
is an even greater threat to health than either lead or mercury. Cadmium poisoning can result in hypertension, emphysema, arteriosclerosis, cerebral hemorrhage, kidney and liver damage, cystic fibrosis, cirrhosis and eventually a painful softening of the bones. It is very hard to hustle cadmium (unlike lead and mercury hour of the body quickly, but cadmium antagonists are calcium, iron, protein, vitamin D and zinc. So, protection against toxicity would seem to be provided by a diet of rich unprocessed foods and a reasonable degree of sunshine in as unpolluted an atmosphere as possible.
Once you have ensured that all six eliminative channels are functioning properly it is excellent preventive medicine to embark on a heavy-metal cleanse as almost all of us have too much lead, mercury, aluminum and cadmium in the system. Do not undertake a heavy-metal cleanse unless the eliminative channels are working well, otherwise you will ex patience weakness, dizziness, headaches and nausea. This is an extremely deep level of cleansing and is best undertaken in three-week periods, so you do three weeks on and three weeks off, over a period of three to four months.
Heavy-metal detoxification programmed
1. Two level teaspoons of kelp powder or, two sheets of dulse, nori, seaweed or laver, daily.
2. One cup of homemade apple sauce. (Cook the apple with a squeeze of lemon juice and plenty of grated lemon rind in a tightly covered saucepan over a low heat.) During digestion the apple pectin is transformed into galacturonic acid, which combines with the toxic metals to form an insoluble metallic salt, which is then excreted. Perhaps surprisingly, homemade apple sauce is a better-utilized source of pectin, as far as the body is concerned, than fresh apple.
3. Calcium is mopped up in advance of lead in the digestive tract, so high levels will act as a buffer against lead absorption. Don’t think that you should be consuming lots of dairy products in order to boost calcium levels. Besides being mucus-forming, they actually increase lead absorption There are other natural sources of calcium, such as oatmeal.
millet, bone-meal, alfalfa, sesame seeds, tahini, parsley, wheatgerm and chamomile. Take 8oo mg daily.
4. Vitamin E is known to be a protective agent in metal toxicity, so ensure that you get Boo-1,000 IU daily (unless you have a history of rheumatic heart fever or hypertension).
5. Vitamin C is an extremely powerful anti-toxin, so take a minimum of 4-5 gm daily.
6. Vitamin A helps to activate the enzymes that will detoxify poisonous metals, so eat plenty of the gold-, orange- and red-colored plants. If taking a supplement, combine vit amins A and D – 25,000 IU vitamin A with an appropriate balancing amount of D (2,500 IU). Take this for only two out of the three weeks you are doing the heavy-metal detox- fiction, so that your liver does not get overburdened with it (it will store what it doesn’t immediately need).
7. Try and eat a couple of cloves of raw garlic daily or, if this is too antisocial, take six garlic Perles daily with meals. Like the seaweeds, garlic is rich in the Sulphur-containing amino acids. If you can’t bring yourself to take the garlic, use onions instead but you will need more about two dailies, which are best taken in onion soup. Alternatively, use half a cup of cooked kidney beans or broad beans daily which will carry out the same task.
8. Take daily Epsom salt baths to encourage elimination through the skin.
9. As the kidneys get particularly heavily burdened by the toxic metals pouring out of the system, drink three wineglassful’s of parsley tea daily, and ensure that your liquid intake is kept high.
10. Take the following formula: 3 parts gipsy-weed 3 parts yellow dock I part chaparral 1-part plantain I part lobelia Take three size “O’ capsules of the finely powdered herbs morning and evening. Try to get aluminum out of your life; and, if you possibly can, cut down your exposure to lead by living away from a town or
city center or main road. Certainly, children should not live within 200 yd (180 m) of a motorway. Be careful where you buy your vegetables. Those grown in large cities are liable to be heavily polluted.
When news of the Chernobyl nuclear accident reached Britain thephone lines of organizations like the Friends of the Earth and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament were jammed by worried people wanting to know whether to drink milk, whether their water was safe, whether they could eat vegetables or allow their children to play outside. The bland reassurance of an indifferent government resulted not so much in panic as in an understand. able demand for reliable, practical advice. On a recent BBC Panorama’ programmed it was revealed that the limits set by the government for exposure to radiation may be more than ten times too high.
It seems that safety limits are based on estimates of acceptable risks, and a one in 100,000 risk of cancer is seen to be acceptable that is, approximately 600 extra deaths a year in this country from cancer. The radiation exposure limits are calculated on the basis of figures for deaths from cancer rather than those suffering from cancer. This further increases their inaccuracy. It is only now being understood that some people are much more sensitive to radiation than others. Quite apart from this, the official safety limits for exposure do not reflect the scientific estimates of risk anyway.
When legislation for this country was being drawn up last year, the International Commission for Radiological Protection recommended that a limit of millisievert (unit of radiation) per year be set for public exposure to radiation. Instead a limit of s millisievert was adopted. People around Sellafield are exposed to levels of radiation of about 2-3 millisieverts, so accepting a limit of just I would clearly cause problems for the government.
Radiation is known to cause cancer, and the rates of leukemia among children living near Sellafield are nine times higher than the national average. Radiation is known to cause cancers of the breast and thyroid, of the lung, stomach, liver, large intestine, bone, esophagus, small intestine, urinary system, pancreas rectum and lymphatic tissues in roughly that order of frequency.The genetic damage caused by radiation may result in death, disease and disability to children as yet unborn for many generations to come.
Rough calculations by British experts on the worldwide effect of the Chernobyl disaster, using scanty evidence and optimistic assumptions, suggest that, between two and 100 people will die from the first three waves, and there will be 1000-10000 extra cancers over the next forty years. It is estimated that background radiation causes 1-2 per cent of cancers, i.e. 2,000 a year in the UK.
If the level of background radiation is higher, proportionately more cancers will result. In the week of the Chernobyl cloud, the increase the normal annual dose for natural radiation averaged over people of all ages was 15 per cent in the north and 1 per cent in the south of the country. Averaged over all ages and areas the increase was 4 per cent. Radiation damages by smashing molecules. Some of these broken fragments, known as free radicals, are highly reactive and can disrupt normal cell metabolism.
Help against radiation
The best way to counter any damage is to take large quantities of vitamin C which acts as a free-range scavenger. Take a dose that stops just short of inducing diarrhea. (My dose tends to be 9 g but this varies from person to person.) Vitamin C with bioflavonoids is a helpful long-term antidote to damage from all kinds of pollution Buckwheat is the only herb I know of which will help with radiation damage. Take three size ‘o’ capsules of the dried finely powdered herb three times daily.
If couples are using oral contraception. I advise them to switch to another method for at least six months before trying to conceive a baby. The Pill can cause many unpleasant side-effects in some women, including migraine, oedema, depression, weight gain. extreme mood changes, circulation problems and nausea, and recently it has been linked to both cancer of the cervix and cancer of the breast. There is also a school of thought which suggests thatchildren born to a woman who has been taking the Pill for many years could develop sexual problems as they grow up. It takes some months for the Pill to be totally removed from the body and for a normal menstrual cycle to re-establish itself. Use the sheath a diaphragm or the ‘temperature’ method. The latter is owl advisable if you have a full understanding of it. Do not use copper IUD as it depletes zinc levels in the body. While coming off the Pill, take one of the preconception formulae given below.
PRECONCEPTION HERBAL FORMULAE
Any of the following herbs will help to tone and balance the body gynecologically: red raspberry, squaw vine, tansy (which should not be taken during pregnancy), pennyroyal (which should not be taken during pregnancy), blessed thistle (which acts as an excel lent tonic when drunk cold), false unicorn (which is excellent for both male and female reproductive organs), cramp-bark, blue cohosh, true unicorn root.
I part true unicorn root
I part squaw vine
Make a standard infusion and take half a cup 3-6 times daily. Or:
4 parts squaw vines
I part true unicorn
I part cramp-bark
I part wild yam Make a decoction and take 2-3 tablespoons three times daily.
Dr Christopher’s female reproductive formula This is designed to tone, strengthen and regulate the gynecoid logical organs, rebuilding, harmonizing and healing the repro ductile system. It should not be used in isolation but needs to be coupled with an herbal programmed aimed at cleansing any weak eliminative channels
3 parts golden-seal I part blessed thistle
I part cayenne I part cramp-bark part false unicorn
I part ginger part red raspberry 1-part squaw vine
I part uva-ursi
Drink one cup of the tea morning and evening.
Hormone herbal combination
This is helpful for correcting hormone balance and then maintaining the proper balance in both women and men. Equal parts of:
black cohosh sarsaparilla ginseng blessed thistle liquor ice false unicorn wild yam squaw vine garlic
Take three size ‘o’ capsules of the finely powdered herbs morning and evening. For women, ensure that the ginseng is Siberian. For men, it should be Asiatic.
The following formula combined with the bowel and lymph cleansing programmed will strengthen the male prostate gland. Equal parts of:
gravel root marshmallow root parsley ginger cayenne bunch
golden-seal echinacea yellow dock root mullein burdock Take three size ‘o’ capsules of the finely powdered herbs morning and evening for eight weeks with a cup of pumpkin-seed tea. Pumpkin seeds are rich in a male androgen hormone which will also cleanse the prostate gland. Make up the tea as a decoction, remembering to crush the seeds well first.