Natural healing, natural wellness

Archive for August, 2009

A Psalm For Protection

People are made up of more than just mind and body. We’re spiritual beings too. Deep within us, when we’ve tried everything and the trial is just too much for us to handle, we need to believe that our Creator cares. We need to know that He hears when we call and is there for us. We need to know that God will help us win the battle.

Psalm 91 from the Bible has been called the psalm of protection, as it defies the enemy and makes a stand that our Heavenly Father will not fail those who trust in Him. Many people have drawn strength from it. The interesting thing is that it’s all about taking refuge and resting in God’s love, faithfulness and promises, the kind of rest which can result in miracles. Here is Psalm 91 from the New King James version of the Bible:

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “[He is] my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler [And] from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth [shall be your] shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, [Nor] of the arrow [that] flies by day,
[Nor] of the pestilence [that] walks in darkness, [Nor] of the destruction [that] lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side, And ten thousand at your right hand; [But] it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look, And see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the LORD, [who is] my refuge, [Even] the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
In [their] hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I [will be] with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”

Psalm 91 is from the Old Testament, written in Hebrew. In verse 16, the last verse, the word ’salvation’ in the original Hebrew is ‘Yeshua’, or Jesus. Salvation and Jesus are synonymous. That’s something to think about.

Don’t let negative thoughts get to you. May Psalm 91 protect you and encourage you.

Goodbye Cold Sores

I’ve been plagued by cold sores for umpteen years. Once these mouth ulcers break out, they can get pretty gross, and they last for days. It’s really embarrassing when they sprout on the lips, because they’re impossible to hide. One time my lips swelled up so badly I looked like a goldfish who had been in a bar fight.

When a cold sore developed recently, I decided to try a simple kitchen remedy which I had just read about – bicarbonate of soda. I put some of the powder on my fingertip and dabbed it directly on the ulcer. Whoa, did it sting! Tasted very salty too. I reapplied the bicarbonate of soda several times during the day, including just before bedtime.

The next day, the mouth ulcer was still there but it seemed to be healing. I continued applying the baking soda the rest of the day. By the third day, the cold sore didn’t hurt anymore and it was closing up nicely. I stopped using the bicarbonate of soda as the ulcer was almost healed. This is the fastest healing time ever for me for cold sores.

Looks like I won’t be suffering from cold sores anymore. Whoopee!

Are Your Food Habits Giving You Cancer?

Watch what you eat, how it’s cooked and when you consume it. It can help keep you cancer-free. Some cancer-causing food habits include:

1) Drinking very hot liquids
In a study published in the British medical Journal in March, Iranian researchers showed a connection between drinking very hot tea – at a temperature higher than 70 deg C – and an eight-fold increase risk of throat cancer. The researchers also discovered that people who regularly drank hot tea less than two minutes after pouring were five times more likely to develop throat cancer than those who let their tea cool down for at least four minutes. Injuring the lining of the throat repeatedly with hot fluids very likely triggers the cancer.

My hot beverages are often stone-cold by the time I get around to drinking them because I get engrossed in other things easily. It’s just as well.

2) Eating meats cooked at very high temperatures
In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in June, a significant link was found between breast cancer risk and red meat intake in countries where high-temperature cooking methods like roasting, grilling, frying, deep frying and barbecuing were popular. Chemicals which are carcinogenic or cancer-causing are produced when certain meats are cooked at high temperatures.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the US, heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are created from the cooking of muscle meats like beef, pork, fish and poultry. High cooking temperatures cause a chemical reaction between creatine (a chemical found in muscles) and amino acids (the building blocks of protein), resulting in the formation of HCAs. NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics established a link between the consumption of cooked meats and people with stomach cancer. They observed that those who ate their beef medium-well or well-done had more than three times the risk of stomach cancer than those who preferred their beef rare or medium-rare. Very high temperature cooking methods like barbecuing, frying and broiling produce the most HCAs.

Now, I’m not much of a meat eater but I do like to make gravy from meat drippings during special occasions like Christmas dinner. Apparently, this is a no-no too as such meat drippings contain substantial amounts of HCAs. What a party-pooper.

3) Eating foods in general cooked at very high temperatures
Acrylamide is a carcinogen formed at very high cooking temperatures, including French fries, potato chips, biscuits, crisps and other baked foods. Foods cooked at temperatures less than 120 deg C show no signs of acrylamide so far.

The rule of thumb, advises the World Health Organisation, is avoid cooking food at too high a temperature or for too long.

4) Re-using cooking oil
Oh dear, I’ve done this many times. Using cooking oil repeatedly releases carcinogenic substances, so this is a bad habit.

5) Consuming processed food
Research has shown that food additives or preservatives found in processed food may react with DNA in cells to cause cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research published a report in 2007 which showed convincing evidence that eating processed meat increases colorectal cancer risk.

6) Eating salty foods
The same report stated that consuming salt, salted and salty food leads to a probably increased risk of stomach cancer. A pharmacist at Singapore’s National Cancer Centre, Ms Chang Yok Ying, said that excessive salt intake causes damage to the lining of the stomach which increases the risk of gastric cancer.

7) Drinking alcohol
There is convincing evidence that alcohol injures the tissues in the mouth and throat, thus increasing the risk of mouth, pharynx, larynx and oesophagus cancer. If you must drink, keep it to no more than one glass, can or shot of alcohol a day, if you’re a man. Women should drink even less.

Don’t wait till cancer gets you before changing any unhealthy food habits.