Nigeria’s rain season is on its traditional august holiday, the august break, and should get to work again next month as a herald of the harmattan season in December. But in July, the rain season wasn’t as forceful and pounding as it does every July, redrawing the climate map and making the weather extremely cold. This cold season, I ran out of cayenne pepper capsules and made do with a local brand.
Maybe because this is not freeze dried, it tends to oxidize and become less effective. Cayenne, a sun herb, energises the blood, thins it, removes the sluggishness of thick blood and makes it circulate faster throughout the body, breaking the barriers set up by congestions and bringing oxygen, nurture and heat to every part of the body, however far away from the heart it may be. Half a loaf of bread, as we say, is better than no crumb at all. So this cold season, I make do with whatever I have till my friends abroad send me something.
In addition to the local cayenne which I add to orange juice for breakfast, I add to my lunch one 100mg of ubiquinol, that variant of co-enzyme Q10 (coQ10) which energises the heart to pump better with no additional work stress, protects us against heart disease and puts energy in every cell of the body.
Another 100grams of ubiquinol joins a light dinner with some fat in it as ubiquinol is better absorbed into the bloodstream in a fat medium. The fat medium I enjoy for this purpose is guinea fowl egg, which has been in season for about two or three months. I do not eat poultry egg because of its near lifelessness and load of antibiotic and chemical dyes which give the York a false beta carotene yellow colour.
If you wonder if I am not mindful of the cholesterol in egg York, I’ll answer that we need cholesterol and the liver makes it, anyway. With no cholesterol in our bodies, we’d be goners from this earth. I catch myself sounding like Dr. Robert Atkins and Dr. Udo Erasmus, arguably the world leading authority on fat and oils, whose views you can read in his master- class book, FAT THAT HEAL AND FAT THAT KILL. He teaches the need to eat more of the good cholesterol (HDL) and less of the bad one (LDL). It is LDL which oxidizes in the arteries and in the cells, damaging and killing them. We should know how to prevent the oxidation or rusting of fats in our bodies and how to keep total cholesterol count (HDL+LDL+Lipo A etc) from going up the roof. We can do this by improving liver function and by consuming more vitamins and multi-minerals. They help the liver convert excess LDL to HDL. Wheatgrass, Spirulina, Chlorella, Alfafa, Barleygrass etc are rich store houses of minerals, vitamins, trace elements, co-factors etc. Herbs like Chickweed detoxify the liver and make it more functional. Herbs like Eclipta alba, my new-found love, not only help to detoxify the liver, they support it to produce more bile. Not only that, eclipta alba ensures that the bile is not re-absorbed into the system when it finishes its job in the intestine. This job includes the digestion of fat and the capturing or entrapment of fat-soluble poisons for excretion through the stool. Where the bile hands over its “captives” or “prisoners” and returns to the system, the cholesterol load rises. No, eclipta alba would not permit this. The bile has to be excreted with the load of toxins. With this batch of cholesterol out of stock as it were, the body has to make a new stock for the shelves. Excess fat and incoming new fat supply the materials. as it has been suggested by some researchers, this is how this herb support healthy total cholesterol count and helps to keep us slim.
When a reader of this column telephoned me last week to ask me about what this week’s column would feature, I thought of a group of young acquaintances I have made lately and some men and women who are being treated by their doctor for Candida – or yeast – related ailment. My young acquaintances gather at week ends and long holidays to enjoy themselves with harsh spirits without any consideration whatsoever for their livers. I often advise that people who must drink for whatever reason need to understand the bashing they are giving their livers thereby, the health hazards the liver is exposed to, including fatty liver, Cirrhosis (hardening) and even Cancer. These conditions, individually or jointly, may predispose the body to many degenerative health conditions. I suggested they add Milk thistle or Eclipta alba to their diet, for liver protection. It would now appear some of them are excusing themselves from these week-end and holiday drink orgies having been suffering for weeks either from Insomnia, indigestion, bloating, gas and Catarrhal conditions. In fact, one of them is discharging green mucus from the nose. This informs the attention given today to Mucus discharge. And, of course, the Candida question gave rise to another consideration.
Sinusitis and mucus discharge
When, before I became a father, I saw my grandmother suck mucus out of the nostrils of babies I little realised that, some day, I, too, as a parent, would help relieve nasal congestion in my babies in like manner. It can be irritating, though, doing it for someone you do not deeply love. We all think mucus is a bad thing. It isn’t. But too much of it may be a bad health omen. It is produced in the mucus membrane lining of the Sinuses. The sinuses are cavities around the cheekbones, the nose and the eyes. One of the functions of the mucus secretion is to warm and moisten air as it flows from the nostrils and the sinus cavities to the lungs. Dry air and cold air may damage the lungs. Secondly, the mucus secretion helps to trap dust, germs, environmental pollutants such as chemicals, fumes, smoke and prevent them from reaching the lungs. The mucus, having done its job, drains naturally into the stomach, where stomach acid, if in adequate quantum, kills the germs and the immune system, if strong and healthy enough, takes care of the other “foreigners”. Mucus from the sinuses does so in obedience to the Law of Motion, one of the Laws of Nature which compels everything to be in perpetual motion. We may also call it the Law of Movement. Anything that isn’t moving or moving not well enough will soon stagnate, depreciate and despoil or die. This applies also to our way of thinking. If our ideas are stagnant, so shall we soon become. People who do not exercise soon become obtuse. So are we when we top reading or clarifying our thoughts and ideas. We suddenly become “old school” people and the young moving world leave our old, stagnant world behind. Spiritually, too, we may suffer from this lack inward. Of movement if we do not re-examine and re-clarify some of those religious dogmas we were fed from infancy but which may be wrong.
In the sinuses, there are hair – like projections called cilia which rustle or knock against one another to provide the mechanism which propels the mucus forward towards its destination. Any obstruction to this unidirectional flow would create traffic congestion, blockages, breeding grounds for germs, irritation of the mucus membrane and its enlargement which narrows the flow line and the possibility of germ action creating abscesses and poisons. The poisons from such abscesses may be impacted on the eyes, brain, ears or find their ways to the lungs. The swelling of the sinuses is called sinusitis.
We cannot understand the treatment of Sinusitis or treat it well if we do not understand its causes,. There may be a thousand and one possible causes, as in any health malaise. If we do not apply the rule of the thumb, we may have to rely on a thorough examination by an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) doctor. He is likely to diagnose such possibilities as swollen adenoids/polyps/allergens/antibiotics to suppress vaginal discharge/damp weather/dust/environmental pollution/respiratory system infections/systemic candidiasis/pregnancy – induced hormonal changes/cluster headache/ deviated septum/food allergies or sensitivity to cow’s milk/diet high in mucus – forming foods/dental infection/immune system reaction to the presence of fungi in the sinuses e.t.c. But many ENTs and doctors pay not enough heed, in the opinion of alternative medicine practitioners, to the possible links between sinusitis and systemic candidiasis. Yet, the respectable Mayo Clinic of Canada, drew the links as long ago as 1999 in studies which have since been found correct and possible by many research institutions worldwide. It is such a link which informs the linking of sinusitis to systemic candidiasis in this series.
One of my young acquaintances has suffered from cold and flu for weeks, bringing up phlegm now and then, unable to sleep or breathe well and inundated with headaches. I know of an elderly man about two years younger than I am who suffers from enlargement of his heart and who believes the alcohol he takes every evening takes the pressure off his heart. I advise him to no avail that the alcohol may merely be dulling or suppressing his senses, like the sedative that it is, giving large amounts of hops present in it. When he coughs or brings up phlegm you have to keep a safe distance to avert a droplet infection. One doctor suggests that you can run a self- test to determine if your sinuses are being blocked. He advises that you bend forward from the waist and observe if there is heavy pressure or pain against your cheekbone or eyes. If the pain is present, that’s a possibility of sinusitis. It may be present on one side of the face or across the face. Sinusitis may be acute or chronic, that is sudden or longstanding. The acute one is more painful and hardly subsists for longer than two weeks. Chronic sinusitis is less painful and lasts longer than two weeks. Acute sinusitis often arises from the complications of another respiratory infection, including a cold, flu or bronchitis. The common cold is caused by a virus. Mayo clinic says there are more than a 100 viruses which can cause it. In a flu infection, the virus attacks nose, throat and lungs, unlike the common cold virus(es) which restrict action to the nose. A flu attack is more devastating to children and the elderly. In these conditions, more mucus is produced to trap the germs. Before they get to the lungs and other parts of the body.
According to James F. Balch. MD, and Mike Stengner N.D., in their PRESCRIPTIONS FOR DIETARY WELLNESS some of the symptoms include (in their words)
- “Pressure and pain around the cheekbone and the eyes
- Clogged nasal passages
- Thick greenish-yellow nasal discharge,
- Diminished sense of smell or taste
- Toothache,fatigue,fever (more often in acute cases, rarely in chronic)”.
Besides the possibility of abscesses in the sinuses feeding the eyes, ear and brain with poisons and germs, beyond the throat of pain and infections in these parts of the body, post nasal drip is a most nauseating experience. A greenish- yellow runs down the nostrils as though it were water flowering down an open tap. It brings fatique, nausea, irritability and knocks the sufferer out of work. Who wants to speak with or stay near such a person, anyway?
In alternative medicine, a five-step approach is adopted as therapy objectives or goals.
- Elimination of the culprit viruses or bacterial
- Thinning the mucus to decongest the sinuses and promote mucus flow
- Eliminating allergens and reducing exposure to them
- Healing any cellular damage the infection may have caused.
- Boosting immunity.
In respect of acute and chronic sinusitis, these objectives will be discussed in more detail in the course of the series. Meanwhile, I would like to mention a supplement often used for this condition… SHARK LIVER OIL. In 1997, four researchers published a book on shark liver oil which they thought would now have become a star agent on therapy; it received wide exposure in the medical community. The researchers were Dr. Neil Solomon M.D., Ph.D., Richard Passwater Ph.D., Ingeman Joelson M.D., Ph.D., Leonard Halmer M.D. Their book was titled SHARK LIVER OIL, NATURAL AMAZING HEALER.
The book details the many healing effects, as they found, of shark liver oil. They name as some of healing agents the following chemical substances
- Centrophorus squamosus
- Alkozyglycerols (AKGs)
- Omega -3 fatty acids (blood thinner)
AKG is plentiful in mother’s milk, to strengthen immunity of the infant. In shark liver oil, it provides an immune boosting factor which, like shark cartilage, probably accounts for shark’s not easily developing cancer. It is instructive that cow’s milk fed to human infants has no AKG, which may be the reason many human infants on cow milk feed develop colic and other ailments.AKG in shark liver oil has been found to improve the well-being of people of all ages. In cold and flu infections, it enhances immune activity ditto for allergies. Today, research has established a relationship between weak immunity and allergies of all kinds, including those of food, dust, pets, asthma etc.
Dr. Hubert prescribes shark liver oil for fibromyalgia (muscle, bone, nerve pain and tendon). His book says it strengthens connective tissue. There are reports that arthritic sufferer who couldn’t make a fist do so why on shark liver oil therapy. Recovery from stress and fatigue in good time is mentioned as well. I find interesting the report that it crashed blood sugar count in diabetes by many points. Ditto the positive effect on multiple sclerosis. Ditto high blood pressure. In respect of skin problems, shark liver oil softgels are punctured and the oil is dabbed on affected areas. In cancer treatment, AKG given to patients before and after radio therapy is said to reduce sharp drop in white blood and platelet count which this therapy often causes as a common side effect of radiation. Dr. William Lane stirred controversy with his books, SHARK DON’T HAVE CANCER, and SHARKS STILLDON’T GET CANCER both of which were reviewed and should find a place for it in my food supplements wardrobe in this column years ago. Since then, Smiththsonian Institution has found only one malignant tumor in 250,000 sharks it examined, justifying Dr Lanes assertions. Dr Brohult and Dr Joelson have gone on to publish that shark liver oil reduces cancer mortality. Can the fact that cancer hardly assails sharks be because one third of a shark’s weight is its liver? I cannot forget SQUALINE in shark liver oil. That’s the stuff which makes sharks stay deep under water where there’s little or no oxygen without feeling stressed by the insufficiency of oxygen. It is also in human skin, but produced less as we age. Suddenly, now, I am reminded of shark liver oil all over, and should find a place for it in my food supplements wardrobe.