Herbal Infusions vs. Capsules
Why Herbal Infusions... aka Tea??
Our society is really stuck in the mindset of "popping the pill". Unfortunately, just because someone is trying to be more "natural", doesn't mean that this mindset is still not a huge part of their thinking.
Now before I go on, let me give a disclaimer: Yes, I have taken herbs in capsules for a long time. It has only been recently that I have "changed my tune" (so-to-speak) about why capsules are NOT the best way to introduce the nutrients found in herbs into the body. And yes, I will still recommend to someone to go get herbs in capsule form when needed.
BUT - Personally at NMM we believe there are more effective ways to get all the nutrients offered in the herbs and plants around us - mainly through herbal infusions (tea), tinctures, glycerides and syrups. (We will get into the excellent absorption of tinctures and such, but today we are just talking about teas.) All of our products can be used this way.
Let's talk about why.
What is the "road trip" a capsule takes? The main way our body absorbs nutrients is through digestion (for good reason!). To get to the small intestine, the capsule has to pass the mouth, the esophagus, and the harsh acids in the stomach. Most of the time this is where the capsule breaks and the herbs are released. Then the herbs have to go through digestive juices and enzymes coming from the liver, gall bladder, pancreas and spleen and then into the small intestines where the flora exists. The flora is ACTUALLY where the body will take those herbs and utilize them into the body.
Interestingly, medical research has shown that any substance that passes through the digestive tract whether vitamin, mineral or drug in route to the flora of the intestines (because of capsule form), will have a maximum absorption of between 12 and 18 percent. From the time it is put in the mouth until it actually reaches the flora of the intestine you will lose between 82 to 88 percent of what you originally consumed. The 12% to 18% that is left still after being absorbed through the flora in the intestines goes into the liver to be processed before being put into the blood stream. Consequently, when you think you are getting your recommended daily allowance you are really only absorbing somewhere around 15 percent of that substance.
Herbal Infusions (tea):
This is personally NMM's favorite way of ingesting the nutrients found in various herbs and plants for "Daily Up-Keep". We have tea's on a daily basis. Why?
There is a study by researchers at the University of Montreal (published online in the European Journal of Applied Physiology), that takes a very detailed look at the kinetics of water absorption and offers a lot of answers with the how's and why's of liquid absorption.
The study gave 36 volunteers 300 mL of ordinary bottled water with a specific label for tracking (for specifics, read the study... very interesting with charts and everything, I like stuff like that.). They found that the water started showing up in the bloodstream within FIVE MINUTES. Half the water was absorbed in 11-13 minutes and completely absorbed in 75-120 minutes.
Within 10 minutes fluid levels in our blood stream have risen enough to trigger the processes telling our body to go to the bathroom. That is why when you drink something, you need to go visit the restroom so quickly. You aren't eliminating the same liquid you just drank, you are getting rid of liquid that has been there previously, which you then replaced with new liquid.
So, unlike going through the ENTIRE digestive system, the tea infusions that we drink are absorbed more efficiently and quickly.
Now, that is talking about just water. But when you make an infusion with herbs, there are many nutrients that are absorbed into your body at the same time. An herbal infusion is when the leaves of the herb are soaked and allowed to steep in very warm water (When you make a tea, allow it to steep for at least 30 minutes). Nutrients from the plant are extracted and "infused" into the water.
Because of the absorption rate of water, the nutrients found in the plant are then absorbed into your body! It is a beautiful way of getting daily vitamins and minerals.
See Women's Anxiety Formula for an excellent source of nutrients.
Many people hear the word "Cytokine Storm" and think it is a weather prediction.
However, this storm is one that can kill you. It is a "body weather prediction".
A cytokine storm can kill you. It occurs when a very severe viral infection (such as Swine Flu H1N1 or Bird Flu H5N1) takes control of your immune system and causes immune confusion in your body. Basically your body starts to work on overdrive and becomes really confused. This reaction called "Cytokine Storm" over activates your body to where normal feedback loops designed to calm things down fail to operate. (See the Medical Dictionary definition here.)
Your immune system becomes a runaway freight train where high fever, massive inflammation, extreme fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea dominate every minute of your existence. Did you know that MOST of the 25 million people that died in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic died from a cytokine storm? Wow... that's good information to know. You don’t want to be caught in a cytokine storm.
So what does this have to do with you and your family?
I know what you are thinking... "that's great and all, but what does it have to do with me?"
It actually has A LOT to do with you, especially if you are the caretaker of your family, especially if you are using alternative medicine on a consistent basis. Educating yourself about this is EXTREMELY important.
You see, when someone in your house gets "the sniffles" there are so many wonderful ways of treating the illness through a natural route. Elderberry Syrup, First Defense, essential oils, diffusing, baths, glycerides, tinctures... In essence there are a lot of resources to use in order to combat the illness before it gets worse.
However, if someone in your care (including yourself of course) gets ill and it keeps getting worse, and worse, and worse and worse... you could be FEEDING the problem by what herbs you are using.
There are some herbs that COMBAT the Cytokine Storm and aid your body in fighting it, and there are other herbs that actually make it worse.
Here is a list of herbs that help to COMBAT Cytokine Storm (and if you keep getting more and more sick, these are the herbs to INCREASE), basically the good guys:
-St. Johns Wort
-Tea Tree Oil
-Vitamin C (lots of it!)
Now... here is a list of herbs to STOP taking if an illness is starting to escalate to a BAD stage, basically the bad guys:
-Honey (any sugar of any kind makes it worse)
So... How do I recognize a Cytokine Storm?
Once again, if you or anyone in your care is just starting to get sick, the risk of cytokine storm is NOT real. It's okay to use Elderberry Syrup and First Defense, honey syrups, echinacea and all the other things on that list.
However, if these signs show up and the illness keeps escalating, then be aware that a Cytokine Storm could be upon you:
-High Fever for extended period of time (102*+ for 2 full days without breaking) - See this article about the basics of fevers, gives excellent information and medical guidelines.
-Swelling and redness on the body
-Nausea and diarrhea consistent for 2 full days
-Rapid resting heart rate (over 100 beats per minute)
Remember, please seek medical attention in the case of an emergency. Don't avoid medical help when a Cytokine Storm could be upon you or anyone in your care - because it can be fatal!
NMM Suggestions During Illness
As always, the key to staying healthy is PREVENTION. Eat healthy, wash your hands, take daily herbs (like children's multivitamin) to keep your body healthy.
AS SOON as a sniffle is heard in your household, get out the Elderberry Syrup and/or First Defense Cold and Flu Formulas. These formulas are wonderful as a FIRST attack on an illness. Diffuse essential oils and put Tea Tree Oil on the bottom of your feet. Sleep and douse yourself in water, drink water like crazy!
Let me just add - when I JUMP on a "flu bug" as soon as I recognize the symptoms 90% of the time it goes away within 24-48 hours. Literally.
If the flu bug escalates and gets worse within 48 hours, then decrease the herbs on the "bad guys" list above and increase the herbs on the "good guys" list instead. Watch the fevers and stay hydrated. 95% of the time when a flu bug escalates, if you are smart about watching it a cytokine storm won't appear. Just stay aware and educated.
But remember, please don't shy away from medical help if a major problem arises.
You've got this! You can take care of your family!
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