A good diet is the indispensable bedrock of all preventive and corrective medicine. Those patients who come to see me in the mistaken belief that I am going to behave like an allopathic doctor (i.e. an ordinary’ western doctor), par their hand and dispense a herbal remedy instead of a pill to cure all their ills get a jolt when they find out how dependent their treatment is on diet and their willingness to change it. Among their many assets herbs are foods in themselves and serve to supplement and assist the other things

 If in doubt try nutrition first…. The most basic weapons in the fight against disease are those most ignored by modern medicine: the numerous nutrients that the cells of our bodies need…. Faulty cellular nutrition of one type or another may be the most basic cause of the non-infectious diseases – diseases that are at present poorly controlled by medical science.

 He is referring here to diabetes, arthritis, the sclerotic diseases, cancers and heart problems. So, you appreciate why I make a good diet the cornerstone of any healing programmed. Let’s be clear about this. No one diet suits everyone. Our

nutritional needs are as different and as individual as your finger prints. One woman’s meat can literally be another’s poison. It is now readily acknowledged that people’s nutritional needs will vary according to lifestyle and stage of life, and are affected by such factors as stress, illness, puberty, pregnancy and lactation, the menopause and old age. But what is less clearly understood is that structural and enzymatic differences, which are partially determined by genetics, will determine how you will absorb any nutrients. You may be continually urinating a tot rient away simply because your renal threshold for it is very low, or you may have insufficient intestinal bacteria to ensure the absorption or manufacture of a certain nutrient  fundamental “wisdom of the body the wisdom to cat’ may be impaired for any one of myriad of reasons so that you cannot choose food wisely.

   Herbal Health and I’ve subsequently listed the nutritional contents of scores of foods, together with recipes and appropriate advice about their background  to cover this basic ground again here, But there are a few points about food, its selection and preparation which are particularly relevant to women, which I have not covered elsewhere and which do need emphasizing. 

 HORMONES IN MEAT

Modern meat rearing now involves administering hormones to· animals in the form of ear implants. One of these hormones, zeranol,· is a form of estrogen made from moulid called fusarium?· This hormone occurs naturally in crops cut in damp weather and· given our miserable climate, the level of this natural hormone in us food can be quite high.· High levels of estrogen are now known to aggravate cancers of the breast.·  ovary and lining of the womb. While the level of estrogen we eat in meat is not that high in itself. if you couple it with the estrogen already present in women on the pill andpregnant women the balance might just prove damaging. in addition, a large percentage of women in this country are noticeably zinc-deficient. and some · animals ingest copper containing formulae which makes this balance even worse because copper is antagonistic to zinc. 

 ANTIBIOTICS IN MEAT

 Antibiotics have also been used as a growth promoter for forty years and we now get a small but insidious dose of antibiotics in
nearly every meat, dairy product or egg we cat. These kill the benign intestinal bacteria we need for optimum digestion, leaving us wide open to among other nasties – yeast organisms like Candida albicans and consequent infections like thrush. 

 importance of milk in our bodies

Cow’s milk was designed to feed calves. At birth they weigh 70 lb. (30 kg) and once their weight has increased tenfold, they have reached adolescence and are living off grass alone.

This takes less than a year. Humans are designed to increase their weight much more slowly. Many of us do not produce enough lactase to digest cow’s milk properly and consequently get wind, indigestion, and mucus and sinus problems. Pasteurized milk is not the answer.It is vastly deficient in vitamins A, B And C, calcium, iodine

and the enzymes that make it more digestible. Homogenized milk isn’t the answer either. The tiny globules of fat in it pass through the intestinal wall unaltered and the xanthine oxidase (an enzyme that leads to deterioration of heart function) in these globules is now believed to be one of the major causes of heart failure. Under ordinary circumstances, when the fat globules remain their normal size, xanthine oxidase merely gets excreted harmlessly. In case you are beginning to get hopeful, low-fat milk is not the answer either because

the more fat is removed the less calcium is assimilated. By reducing the fat content, the fat-soluble vitamins, A and D are also proportionately reduced, and these are then often added back synthetically which is about as silly as putting petrol in a car without wheels, because the fat in milk facilitates the passage of vitamin D into the · bloodstream. Also, butter fat actually protects us against atherosclerosis.

The Masai people, whom I used to admire as a child in East Africa, ingest well over half their calories in raw butter fat, and heart disease, cancer and diabetes are rarities among them. Roger Williams in his book Nutrition Against Disease details extensive studies providing that non-fat dry milk fed to rats produced atherosclerosis when full-fat did not.  One alternative is raw milk produced by cows certified to be free of disease,

but this is difficult to get hold of. An Eine. alternative is yoghurt or kefir, both of which actually lower cholesterol in the bloodstream. The yoghurt or kefir should ideally be made with sheep’s or goat’s milk. I bought my own kefir plant back from Istanbul and I feed it daily with one or the other It is a cousin to yoghurt but has the added advantage of being extremely easy to make and needing no special temperature control.

It is a mushroom-like fungus which simply needs to be strained through anything other than metal, washed under cold running water, mixed with any quantity of room temperature milk and left until the milk turns the consistency of thin yoghurt, which takes about 24 hours- then the whole process is repeated. Goat’s milk contains fat and protein molecules which are much smaller than those in cow’s milk, making it easier to digest.

Cow’s milk takes two hours, goat’s only twenty minutes. Sheep’s milk, admittedly still a rarity, is better still. For one thing it has no tant and has even smaller fat globules; for another it contains more protein and B vitamins than either of the other two and it freezes · beautifully. Greek sheep’s milk yoghurt is now widely available  commercially.

 YOGHURT  All the vegetable gums 

YOGHURT  All the vegetable gums or gelatin added to commercial yoghurt for thickness actually denature the yoghurt and so invalidate its bacterial content. Be wary of ‘no sugar added’ yoghurt – it is a labelling which may hide the fact that the fruit added has been previously treated with sugar, and remember that sugar kills acidophilus,

the benign flora in yoghurt which helps to protect the intestine. Commercial frozen yoghurt may be ripe with sugar, corn syrup, sodium citrate, polysorbate 80, mono- and di glycerides, carboxymethyl cellulose-enough artificialities to put a chemical factory to shame!

The thickest, creamiest yoghurts often don’t have any live yoghurt culture at all. If in doubt read the label and look for the word ‘live’ or the name of the bacteria in the yoghurt, usually Lactobacillus bulgaricus or Lactobacillus acidophilus.

 CHEESE Traditional rennet 

 Traditional rennet (rennet is used in cheese-making to curdle the milk) comes from calves’ stomachs. Vegetable rennet is not derived from a vegetable source but from chemicals, so when you cat a so-called vegetarian cheese this is what you are caring.

Avoid cheeses containing artificial coloring and go for goat’s milk and sheep’s milk cheeses and those from organic farms. Don’t buy Danish feta cheese-it is made from cow’s milk with additives in it. Greek feta cheese is exceptionally salty and needs to be soaked overnight in water and then drained. Homemade cottage cheese is best.

 Coffee drinkers suffer at least twice the incidence 

Coffee drinkers suffer at least twice the incidence of pancreatic cancer suffered by their coffee-shunning sisters and the rate is directly proportional to the amount consumed. This is probably the result of pesticides, most of which dissolve in oil, and coffee is rich in oil. The caffeine in coffee is linked to heart disease, and coffee drinkers suffer from 60 per cent more heart attacks than abstainers if up to five cups a day are drunk, and 120 per cent more when coffee consumption exceeds this level. It causes palpitations, raises blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increases stomach acid secretion, aggravates fibrocystic breast dis case and increases the risk of miscarriages, premature births and birth defects. Its psychological effects include insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, depression and aggravation of schizophrenic 

psychosis The combination of caffeine and sugar in soft drinks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi is particularly insidious because both caffeine and sugar are addictive. Decaffeinated coffee is not the answer. Trichlorethylene was used to decaffeinate coffee until quite recently when it was proved to be carcinogenic. Now petrol-based solvents are often used · instead and I think these are almost harmful in the long run too. · certainly, going to be proved ·

The only firm I know which does not use chemicals and which is prepared to divulge exactly how their decaffeinated coffee is processed is Nestle. Their beans are flushed several times with pressurized hot water which dissolves the caffeine. This then drains away in the liquid. The green beans are then washed and marketed as freeze-dried instant coffee called Discal.

Please remember that even decaffeinated coffee may upset the digestive process because of the amount of tannic acid which remains in it. The alternatives are grain coffee made from cereals and fruits and readily available in health food shops, chicory coffee; dan deli on coffee -not the shop bought instant stuff which is high in lactose and sickly sweet, but the real root. You can make you own. It requires a little effort but the fresh taste is well worth it.

 Dandelion coffee

 Harvest the taproots especially carefully on a fine November day when the root is at its richest in inulin. You will need to dig deep and carefully, to avoid gouging them. Shake off any surplus soil, hold them under running water, and while you do so scrub them with a stiff brush until they are clean. Pat dry with a cotton tea towel and split any very thick roots with a stainless-steel knife, lay them on a baking sheet and dry them out in the oven at a low heat. Once a root snaps it is ready. If it merely bends it still has some way to go.

I used to use my Rayburn for this but having just moved house I have yet to try drying the roots in my electric oven. I imagine a temperature of about 300″F/150°C/gas mark 2 will be adequate. You can now store these dried roots until you want to use them. I then roast them in an oven until brown, mill them reasonably finely in a coffee grinder and treat the result in exactly the same way as coffee. Dandelion coffee tastes very bitter, so sweeten it with honey if desired. Always serve it black (I think milk makes it taste decidedly odd). It is wonderful for cleansing and strengthening the liver and so purifying the blood but for medicinal use the freshly scrubbed raw root is much more effective. 

 There is twice as much caffeine in tea as in coffee

There is twice as much caffeine in tea as in coffee, which makes it a very strong stimulant. The tannin in it curbs hunger pangs and it is so astringent that it inhibits the absorption of iron. Imported tea contains copper and other impurities. The only alternatives I would recommend apart from herbal teas are green China tea which is actively medicinal and tastes delicious, prefer ably bought direct from China untreated.

I drank it in enormous quantities while in China and found it lowered my body temperature in blistering heat and eased and promoted the digestion of meals (some of which certainly needed the extra help because they contained such exotics as bear’s paw, locusts, camel’s hoof and · moss!). Bancha tea, which is made from the twig of the tea bush and so contains no caffeine, is superabundant in minerals and available in macrobiotic food shops. Rooibos tea, which is made from the Aspalathus linearis, has a pleasantly smoky flavor and is rich in vitamin C and trace minerals while being caffeine-free. 

 

 The good news is that wine and beer are actually healthy taken in moderation 

 The good news is that wine and beer are actually healthy taken in moderation – no more than two drinks daily and these always with meals. Wine is closer in composition to our gastric juices than is any other drink but it may also be loaded with chemicals (none of which need legally be listed on the label). Many asthma tics react severely to the Sulphur dioxide used in wine to halt fermentation and kill bacteria.

Other common additives include white sugar (manufacturers are permitted up to 53 per cent water and/or sugar in wine). Other additives (a choice of nearly too in all) may mean you are virtually drinking a chemical factory, though happily the recent lethal addition of the major constituent of antifreeze was quickly nipped in the bud. To avoid all this, I go over to Germany to buy organic wine yearly. It is also available in this country from the supplier listed in the Appendix. Many beers labor under the same additive problems as wine.

 Judging by the enormous quantities of bran 

 Judging by the enormous quantities of bran many of my patients doggedly chew their way through there is obviously a widespread belief that it is one of the best answers to a constipated maiden’s prayer. It is not. The most commonly consumed form of bran is·      

wheat bran and 30 per cent of my patients are wheat-intolerant, Wheat bran scours the delicate lining of the bowel and if a person is constipated it will often make the condition worse not better. High levels of it can inhibit the absorption of iron and other minerals. I far prefer flax-seed (linseed”) or psyllium mixed with plenty of fruit or vegetable juice and taken twice daily between meals, beginning with a teaspoon of seed taken in plenty of liquid and increasing to a tablespoon. These seeds are soft, mucilage nous and don’t scour. Linseed has the added advantage of actively deodorizing the bowel with tiny amounts of linamarins, blocking reabsorption.

It does not cause bloating or wind even in the ye elderly. To gently correct constipation I will combine the following measures: a bowel cleanse; a high-raw diet where the food i extremely well chewed, grains are avoided completely except in their sprouted form, and plenty of yoghurt or kefir is consumed: colonic massage see Chapter 3); certain yoga positions; regular and vigorous exercise; fasting (see Chapter 2); enemas (see Chapter 6); and 32 pints (2 liters) water daily in addition to the normal liquid intake.

 Artificial Sweeteners

It seems that the phenylalanine component of aspartame used in two top brands of sweetener in the UK, may affect the body’s neuro-transmitters.

Dr Partridge, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, asserts that the US Food and Drugs Agency has seriously underestimated the doses of this sweetener that are likely to be consumed. He asserts that pregnant mothers who unknowingly carry the gene for phenylketonuria are sensitive to phenylalanine and may achieve plasma phenylalanine levels high enough to knock 15 to 20 points from the IQ levels of their children.

He also believes that children might become hyperactive and that adult women might experience menstrual changes, and urgently recommends a moratorium on any new products con training aspartame until the dosage and effects can be re-evaluand.

His opinion is endorsed by Dr Holtzman, chairman of the Genetics Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics’, who concurs that it seems possible that the highest doses may approach the toxic range for the 10 per cent of the population who carry the phenylketonuria gene. Dr Olney, professor of medicine at Washington University, fears that the effects on children might be quite subtle and develop so insidiously that they are not diagnosed and the cause identified until a generation has been exposed for a number of years.

He says:because the harm will already have irreversibly occurred before it is recognized and because large numbers of people are potentially at risk, I consider this a serious health problem.Many soft drink manufacturers use aspartame for their UK diet