John Douillard

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In Michael Pollan’s new book, Cooked, he makes the case that Homo sapiens (that’s us) are here because we learned how to cook. Via Dr. John Douillard’s LifeSpa post

About 2 million years ago, with the emergence of our predecessor Homo erectus, there was a change in the size of the brains and guts in the Homo genus. Homo erectus had a smaller jaw and gut and a bigger brain compared to their mostly plant-eating ancestors.

To survive, our plant-eating ancestors—much like today’s gorillas—had to eat about half their body weight in plants each day, leaving little time for anything other than chewing.

According to Pollan, Homo erectus with their bigger brain and smaller gut figured out how to use fire to cook, allowing them to digest more nutrient-dense cooked foods quicker, leaving more time to use that bigger brain. Food was now being cooked over a fire rather than in the digestive tract, making a more moderate-sized gut plausible.

Cooking hearths dating back 1 million years BC have recently been found in Africa.

Raw foodists, Pollan claims, have difficulty keeping weight on. He goes on to cite one study that recorded menstruation cycles of women on a raw food diet, and found that half of them had stopped menstruating.

The main premise here is that we have evolved away from eating a solely raw food diet, and without blenders and juicers we would have a difficult time getting the nutrients we need.

Ayurveda, which is perhaps the oldest system of medicine still practiced today, also suggests a diet of mostly cooked foods. The cooked foods recommended are always fresh, unprocessed, and slowly cooked over a low flame.

It should be noted that in the warmer climates south of India, more raw foods and fruits are consumed as the warm sun ripens the fresh, growing food “on the vine,” making it much easier to digest. At the same time, the traditional diets of the north almost always include more cooked foods.

To be clear, neither Pollan’s book nor I suggest a diet of just cooked foods. As I discussed in my book, The 3-Season Diet, I find it hard to ignore nature’s harvest cycles and the natural shift from more cooked foods in the winter to less cooked foods in the spring and summer, when more fresh, “cooked on the vine” produce is available.

Cooked. Michael Pollan. Penguin Group. New York. 2013

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By John Douillard | April 2, 2013

In a recent study, an extract of turmeric was tested against the growth of herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) in a cell culture.

One group of cells was treated with a turmeric extract and the other group was left untreated. HSV-1 was then introduced into the cell culture.

The cells treated with turmeric experienced significantly less growth and a reduced size of HSV-1 compared to the untreated cells. These results indicate that turmeric extract aided cells in resisting an HSV-1 infection and slowed the replication or growth of the herpes culture (1,2). The mechanism for the anti-viral effects was thought to be the suppression of the HSV-1 gene expression (1).

This study was of course done on a growth medium, and whether a turmeric extract will have a corresponding effect in the human body requires further study.

Another strategy to prevent cold sores or herpes outbreak is to not feed the virus its favorite food. Herpes will be stimulated by arginine rich foods like seeds and nuts – especially walnuts – chocolate, carob and orange juice. Caffeine and watermelon can also drive arginine levels. Help balance arginine foods with foods rich in lysine, which is found in most vegetables.

0. Kutluay SB. Curcumin inhibits herpes simplex. Virology. 2008 Apr: 239-47
1. Ninger L. In the News. Curcumin Shows Promise Against Cold Sore Virus. Life Extension Mag. Dex 2008

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Posted by: By lifespa | December 26, 2012 Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 Do you find yourself holding on to old protective and destructive mental patterns?

According to Ayurveda, toxic emotions, known as mental ama, are created in the mind as a means of self-preservation. Such emotions can create destructive behavioral patterns that can linger for a lifetime.
We spend years of our life trying to change our minds, to free ourselves from emotional pain, often times with little success. The reason changing the mind is so difficult is because these emotions, while created in the mind, have actually taken up permanent residence in the cells – not just in the mind but all over the body!
So, to change your mind and break out of old destructive patterns of behavior, you must first dig these emotions out of the body on a cellular level.
Research at the National Institute of Health has now proven the existence of mental ama (toxins), in the form of emotional chemicals trapped deep in the cells throughout the body.
Read on to find out how to root out old emotional pain!
How Do Emotions Get Stored?
Childhood traumas, as well as pent-up emotions like anger, jealousy and grief, are often repressed because the child may not feel safe expressing them. We often judge these emotions as “bad,” and we do our best to stuff these so-called negative emotions while making every effort to express only the positive sentiments.
When we choose not to express emotions like anger, resentment, emotional pain or sorrow, they store deep within the cells as old memories, also known as mental ama or “molecules of emotions,” a term coined by the renowned researcher Candace Pert.* According to her research, these repressed emotions alter the flow of the body’s information network, compromising immunity, mood and energy.*
Pent up emotions also block blood flow to parts of the brain, says Pert,* since this blood flow is regulated by small information (emotion) carrying peptides.
Pent-up childhood emotions like anger, jealousy and grief often get repressed and then store deep within the cells as “molecules of emotion.”
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Hug and Cuddle Away the Emotional Pain
In one study, a group of monkeys were raised without the natural nursing, cuddling and touch of their mothers. Not surprisingly, they all quickly showed signs of trauma and depression.
They were cured when researchers brought in what they called a “monkey hug therapist,” an older monkey who constantly held and cuddled with the stressed out and depressed baby monkeys.*
The Cortisol Connection
Any type of trauma, whether it be physical or emotional, will surge cortisol into the blood from the adrenals. If the trauma is repeated or chronic—as it often is with emotional stress—the receptors for handling the stress become overwhelmed. The receptors break down, and thus fail to function or send feedback to the brain that there is enough stress hormones and to turn them off!*
As a result, the levels of stress hormone releasing factors rise to dangerous levels. In one study, cortisol releasing factor was tenfold higher in severely depressed or traumatized individuals’ brains compared to those not stressed nor depressed.* Excess cortisol has been linked to most every type of chronic disease.
Decreased Blood Flow = Mental Fogginess and Poor Decision-Making
The blood flow to the brain is also regulated by these emotional peptides. We know that people become white as a ghost when they are frightened and red as a beet when angered. But, research has shown that if this emotional charge is caused by a repressed emotion, denial or trauma, blood flow can become chronically constricted.*
This can shut down blood to the frontal lobes, which is where most of the emotional peptides are found. This lack of blood flow to the frontal lobes as well as other parts of the body can affect mental clarity and the ability to handle stress and make decisions well.
A Vicious Cycle
When emotions are felt and not expressed, they can block the flow of chemical information through the cellular receptors. When these information systems break down, emotions get stuffed and traumatic molecules of emotion cannot be released or processed. This blocks the natural processing of emotions and the free flow of hormones, neurotransmitters and other information-carrying chemicals found in the immune and endocrine (hormone) systems, as well as the brain.
Rooting Out Old Emotions
Based on this research, the only “bad” emotion is the one that is not
Safe and supportive touch like hugging and snuggling with loved ones has been shown to support healing of the signs of trauma and depression.
Based on this research, the only “bad” emotion is the one that is not
expressed. Does that mean we should scream and yell while throwing pots and pans? While that might help and be healthier than suppressing those feelings, it rarely completely solves our problems.
That’s because anger is rarely a core emotion – it typically is a reaction to a deeper underlying issue. For this, Ayurveda prescribes a process of “critical analysis” or “self-inquiry” to root out the underlying issue.
To achieve the same result, Dr. Pert has discovered the value of touch therapies to gain access to these emotional issues. Dr. Pert found that the entry points for repairing these emotionally-damaged receptors are found in the skin, spine and organs. The skin is accessed through touch – including hugs, cuddling and massage. The spine is accessed most directly through massage, chiropractic, craniosacral therapies, and other touch therapies.
So, while being a little touchy-feely might rub you the wrong way, a life without it just might deny you access to a healthy body and mind.
Touch and Other Therapies
Throughout Dr. Pert’s research, she makes constant reference to “touch therapies” as a critical piece of the emotional repair puzzle. She also discusses meditation, breathing, diet, yoga, exercise, and many other modalities also taught as a part of Ayurveda.
Remember: the only reason Ayurveda exists is to help balance the body in order to increase the mental clarity needed to free oneself from old repressed and harmful emotions. It is the key to unlock both perfect health as well as spiritual wellbeing.
Ayurvedic Touch Therapy
Perhaps the most popular and effective touch therapy in Ayurveda is a daily self-massage called Abhyanga. This can be a quick oil massage in the shower, or a more elaborate and classical Daily Ayurvedic Massage.
>>> Find instructions for Abhyanga self-massage
The most elaborate of Ayurvedic touch therapies is called Panchakarma, which was originally reserved only for the royalty.
>>> Learn more about Panchakarma
* Source – Pert, C. Molecules of Emotion. 1997 Simon and Schuster
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Self-massage is one great way to get the benefits of “touch therapy,” an entry point for repairing emo tio nally- damaged receptors found in the skin.
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