Gray Hair, Don’t Care: 6 Healthy Habits for the Young at Heart

If you want to keep remaining healthy as you age,
you have to take good care of your mind and body. Keep reading for how to do
just that even if the years have started to sneak up on you.

Spend Some Time with You

There is something to be said about stealing a
few moments of “me” time each day. When it’s time to power down,
grab a steaming cup of tea, take a hot shower, and pamper yourself with a
homemade face mask or hot rock massage. This is one aspect of self-care that
will not only lower stress, but it can also help you clear negative thoughts
from your mind. Take this time to connect with your body and listen to what it
says you need.

Get Medical Checkups

Just because you’ve out-aged your doctor doesn’t
mean he or she can’t provide words of wisdom where health is concerned. Five
Star Senior Living reports that seniors are entitled to a thorough health exam when signing up for Medicare. There are numerous health screenings your doctor
may recommend, including those for colon cancer, bone density, and hepatitis C.
If you’re over the age of 60, you will also likely be recommended a shingles
and pneumococcal vaccine. If you’re a woman, you should also see a gynecologist
for a Pap smear at least once every few years to screen for cervical cancer.
Men, your sexual health also matters, and regular prostate exams can detect
cancer early.

Eat Nourishing Foods

While there’s something to be said about the
“just eat the cake” attitude, the body can’t sustain itself on sugar alone. No
matter your age, eating food that’s good for you is the best thing you can do
for your body. Your meals do not have to be elaborate. Start your day with a
breakfast of whole-grain pancakes topped with berries and nuts, a salmon and
avocado wrap for lunch, and a chicken breast salad for dinner. offers
more simple and healthy meal ideas.

Get Plenty of Rest

If food is fuel for your body, sleep is the oil
that keeps the engine running. Once you become an adult, your sleep needs hold
steady at between seven and nine hours each night. Getting excessively less can
lead to issues with cognition and make you feel run down and drained. Make a
point to get ample shut-eye and allow yourself to wake naturally to feel fully
refreshed. Pay attention to sleep disturbances that develop suddenly, as the
American Academy of Neurology suggests that sleep problems up your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Stay Social

Just because you’re decades out of high school
doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have an active social life. Seniors who maintain a
close network of friends and family are healthier, happier, and enjoy greater
feelings of personal satisfaction. You don’t have to relegate yourself to
playing chess on the park bench. There are many exciting activities to do at
any age. Vive Health suggests trying a new restaurant, going shopping, and


It’s not enough just to keep your mind engaged,
you need to keep your body in motion as well. Exercising at least a few times each
week will keep your muscles strong and your joints limber. Perhaps more
importantly, a good workout will strengthen your heart and lungs. Take
advantage of Silver Sneakers, which offers free gym memberships for seniors.

Stay Young at Heart

Just because you’ve reached your golden years
doesn’t mean you aren’t still in your prime. Make your health a priority and
you will see many more fun, active, and happy birthdays.

Kevin Wells

Lead Writer,

I wholeheartedly agree with Kevin,  I am getting older and have applied these tips, with great success.  Have any other tips you would like to add?  Leave them in the comments below.

Good Health to You





Hawthorn – A Natural Treatment for Cardiovascular Disease

The World Health Organisation (WHO) lists cardiovascular disease (CVD) as globally the number one cause of death, accounting for 30% of all deaths in 2005. The American Heart Association cites heart disease as the number one killer of American adults and further commented that for the year 2005, 80,700,000 Americans suffered from some form of CVD.









There are plenty of prescriptions one can be prescribed, but make sure you do your research and check out hawthorn-a natural treatment for cardiovascular disease.

About Hawthorn

Hawthorn Berries consist of many things, but several of their most active constituents are procyandin oligomers, cholines, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and ascorbic acid. These mentioned items in hawthorn berries work together to help prevent many types of cardiovascular disease including angina, coronary thrombosis (blood clot in an artery near the heart), cardiac arrest, high blood pressure and palpitation (rapid heartbeat). Choline present in the berries is also the main constituent in lecithin.

What does Hawthorn do?

Hawthorn improves blood and oxygen supply, cardiac energy and the metabolic processes of the heart, dilates the coronary blood vessels, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels and restores heart muscle. Hawthorn has a catabolic effect on calories during the process of oxidation in the tissues. In other words, hawthorn “burns up” excess calories and decreases fat deposits levels. It also increases intracellular vitamin C levels.

Hawthorn is a specific for organic or functional heart disorders such as dyspnea, rapid and feeble heart action, hypertrophy, valvular insufficiency, heart oppression. Extracts of hawthorn berries and extracts of the flowering tops of hawthorn are widely used by physicians of Europe for their cardiovascular effectiveness. There is a great article in Pharmacognosy Review on just how effective Hawthorn is on cardiovascular disease. It writes of several studies and the low incidence of reactions.

In this post, several forms of heart disease will be talked about in more detail- angina, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Hawthorn for Angina

Studies have proven how hawthorn extracts are great at reducing angina attacks, which is caused by low blood flow to the heart. This is due in improvements not only from increased blood and oxygen supply to the heart muscle, but is also due to the interaction of hawthorn flavonoids with key enzymes to strengthen the heart muscle’s ability to contract and helps the body to get rid of excess water and salt.

Hawthorn for Conjestive Heart Failure

Hawthorn preparations are very effective in the early stages of congestive heart failure and minor arrhythmias. This effectiveness in CHF has been repeatedly demonstrated studies. In one double-blind study, 30 patients with CHF were assessed in a randomized double-blind study. Treatment consisted of a hawthorn extract, standardized to contain 15 mg of procyandin oligomers per 80mg capsule. The treatment lasted eight weeks, and one capsule twice per day of hawthorn was given. The group receiving the hawthorn extract showed positive changes in heart function.over the placebo group. Blood pressure also improved. As with other studies of hawthorn, no adverse side effects happened.

Here is a link to another remarkable study:. Zick SM, Gillespie B, Aaronson K. The Effect of Crataegus oxyacantha special extract WS 1442 on clinical progression in patients with mild to moderate symptoms of heart failure. European Journal of Heart Failure. 2008:387–93. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

In another large study from the University of Maryland, found that hawthorn was effective in treating 952 people with heart failure. The study compared treating heart failure with conventional drugs to hawthorn alone, and in addition to taking hawthorn with prescription drugs. After two years, participants who took hawthorn supplementation had decreased symptoms of heart failure. Palpitations, breathing problems and fatigue had significantly improved when taking hawthorn alone or with other drugs.

Hawthorn for High Blood Pressure

Two most popular recommendations for high blood pressure are garlic and hawthorn. Studies have demonstrated that hawthorn extracts are effective in lowering blood pressure and in improving heart function. Patients with diabetes who were already using blood pressure medicine experienced a greater drop in blood pressure with hawthorn.

Hawthorn berries may also be useful for controlling blood pressure. A pilot study from Readings University in the UK set out to investigate the hypotensive potential of hawthorn extract and magnesium. Participants were assigned a daily supplement of either 600 milligrams, 500 milligrams hawthorn extract, a combination of both or a placebo. At week 10, researchers found a reduction in the resting diastolic blood pressure in the participants who were assigned the hawthorn extract.

Another compelling study Charts ten patients with hypertension. Every patient had significantly reduced blood pressure, but when taken off of hawthorn, within 14 days all had returned to the original blood pressure level.

I have given it to patients with high blood pressure with very positive results. One patient reduce his High blood pressure by 42 points in just a few days.

Hawthorn for Lowering Cholesterol

Research suggests that hawthorn can lower cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides. It seems to lower accumulation of fats in the liver and the aorta (located near the heart). The extract may lower cholesterol by increasing the excretion of bile, reducing the formation of cholesterol and enhancing the receptors of LDL’s.

Hawthorn Berry Syrup Preparation

In Potters Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations, published by Potter and Clarke, Ltd., 60 Artillery Lane, London, there is a Hawthorn berry syrup which I prepare and give to my clients with great success. It is done by mashing up the berries, low cooking them in water for a short period of time, and cooking down the liquid. Brandy and Glycerin are added to preserve the extract. Every time I have given this extract to a client, they have come back to tell me of the positive results it has had to their heart.


As with most herbs, they are to be used with prudence and thanksgiving. Make sure you check with your doctor to make sure that hawthorn does not interact with any medication you are on.

Hawthorn can interact with certain drugs used to treat heart disease such as Digoxin, Beta-blockers, Calcium channel blockers.

Side effects can include upset stomach, sweating, fatigue, nausea, agitation or dizziness. As a master herbalist, my clients have not had any side effects.

My take-away

In my thirty plus years of working with people that have had cardiovascular disease, hawthorn has been my go-to herb. It is the herb for any malfunction of the heart. Nobody I have ever given hawthorn to has had any adverse reactions; only positive results.

If you have any questions on the use or effectiveness of hawthorn, I will be glad to answer them in the comment section below. Do you have any experience with hawthorn? Let me know that too.

Good Health to You


References used:

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Balch, 5th Edition

Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Murray and Pizzorno, 2nd Edition

School of Natural Healing, Christopher

Science of Herbal Medicine, Heinerman

Other studies reviewed:

Y.Nasa et. al., “Protective Effect of Crataegus Extract on the Cardiac Mechanical Dysfunction in Isolated Perfused Working Rat Heart,” Arznein Forsch 43 (1993) 945-49. – Health Effects of Hawthorn

Lobelia – Is it Safe or is it a Poison

There is a controversy to how safe Lobelia is.  Of the several beautiful varieties of this plant, Lobelia Inflata is the one which has the medicinal values I will talk about today.  Other common names for this herb are pukeweed and Indian tobacco.  There are good reasons for this, which will be discussed here.

This article will also discuss the plant itself, why it is considered safe, why others feel it is a poison and famous herbalist’s experiences with Lobelia.

Lobelia Inflata – The Plant

Lobelia inflata is an annual or biennial meaning it reseeds every year or two.  it grows from 6-39 inches tall with stem that have tiny little hairs at the bottom and becomes smoother at the top with light blue or violet flowers which are asymmetrical and bisexual.

It was named after Mattias de Lobel, a botanist who lived in the 17th century

The stems, leaves, flowers and seeds are what is used.  The main alkaloid is Lobeline which is in the seed, but other alkaloids include lobelacrin, lobelianin, 14 pyridine alkaloids (with a total of 52 alkaloids), acid, fats and gum.

Is Lobelia safe? Or is it a Poison?

This has been the controversy for over 200 years.

In Joseph Meyer’s book The Herbalist states that “lobelia is too dangerous for internal use by the unskilled.”

In Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal, Volume 14, No. 13, June 26, 1850, is an article written: “Supposed Death from Lobelia Inflata.”  In it, it does not say that lobelia killed a women, but it does write about her husband administering lobelia to her but eventually dies from other complications. classified it as one of 12 dangerous supplements along with chaparral, comfrey, yarrow and colloidal silver.

Dr. Herbert Nowell talks about this misclassification:  “So successfully did (Dr. Thomson) use it, that the regulars of his day classed it a poison, as some writers said only a poison could bring about the speedy results that Dr. Thomson obtained by its use.”

Herbalist’s Experiences

There have been many herbalists who have used Lobelia with great success; with the herb having miraculous and life saving benefits.

Professor William Tully of Yale College, wrote to Dr. H. Lee of Middletown, Connecticut in 1838 about how safe lobelia was and it did not have any narcotic powers whatsoever.

Dr. Samuel Thomson,

considered as the father of American Herbalism, said, “there is no vegetable which the earth produces more harmless in its effect on the human system, and none more powerful in removing disease and promoting health than lobelia.”

He first learned of this plant when he was searching for cows in the fields.  He was about four years old when he came upon this singular stemmed plant with pods he had never seen before.  His curiosity overcame him when he picked the seed pods and ate them.  After vomiting profusely, he felt better and then decided he would use this plant for sport for the next 20 years, not knowing the medicinal value. One day when he gave it to one of his coworkers and after he was done vomiting, he said that he felt better than he had in years.  After he learned of its value, he used it in ever disease, “to great advantage.”

Felter and Lloyd state that the emetic action is so prompt and decided, that the contained alkaloid could not, under ordinary circumstances, produce fatal results.”

Dr. Herbert Nowell, who started Dominion Herbal College in Canada, used Lobelia for thirty years without any incident, but only favorable results.

Dr. John R. Christopher, (whom I had the pleasure to know, and is my reason for being an herbalist today), used lobelia in his practice for many years with many “miraculous healings”, on the old and young alike.  He was very unsettled about how allopaths would promote lobelia as a poison.  Dr. Christopher knows from personal experience that this is not true.  One day, he reached for an unlabeled bottle thinking it was apple cider vinegar and honey.  He took four tablespoons at one time!  After “retching and vomiting profusely,” he felt better.  Nothing else happened except a good cleaning out!

What is the application of Lobelia?

Dr. Christopher calls this herb a “thinking herb” because of its selective qualities.  I will give a couple of examples to help explain this further.

The first example would be with a pregnant mother in trouble of miscarriage.  If the baby is too weak or has died, the Lobelia will cause the baby to abort.  If the baby is well and strong, but the mother weak, then the Lobelia will strengthen and heal the mother so she can carry the baby to term.

The next example is in the case of very large boil on the side of the neck.  If the person is fragile and sickly, then the lobelia will cause the boil to burst open so the pus can drain externally.  If the person is strong and robust, then the lobelia will cause the boil to be drained internally and go through the eliminatory channels like the kidneys and colon.

What else can Lobelia do?

The alkaloid, lobeline is an effective expectorant.  It has been long used for asthma, because the action can involve stimulating the release of epinephrine by the adrenal glands, binding to beta-2 receptors, so helping to relax the airways.

Dr. Christopher has a story of an old man who had severe asthma for over 20 years and he could not sleep laying down and could not work.  So, Dr. Christopher gave him peppermint tea, waited 15 minutes and then gave him a teaspoonful of tincture of lobelia, waited ten minutes and then gave him the second teaspoonful of the tincture.  After the second teaspoonful, the man started throwing up mucous and other materials of various colors, from light to dark, which ended up to be a cup or so.  It took about two hours for this process and afterward he went home, laid down in his bed and slept a good 12 hours.  He never slept in his recliner again and was able to go back to work as a gardener, never to have another asthma attack.

Using Lobelia with Prudence and Wisdom

Dr. Christopher, Dr. Thomson and other skilled herbalists all agree that Lobelia is one of the greatest herbs ever given to the world.  Lobelia is a general corrector of the whole system.  It is a proficient relaxant and antispasmodic, thereby relaxing airways, relieving  the respiratory, muscular and nervous systems, especially the sympathetic nervous systems.

Lobelia is a very powerful herb, however, and like other powerful herbs, must be used wisely.  Just as Joseph Meyer had written in his book, it is too dangerous for the unskilled.

Overdose of Lobelia may cause many side effects including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, dizziness, sweating, convulsion, fast heartbeat, and low blood pressure.

I use lobelia in several of my formulas because, as Dr. Christopher said, it is a “thinking herb” and tells the other herbs “what to do”.  I have never had any problems using this herb and feel it is safe and one of the best herbs God has created for the benefit of man.

Please let me know what you think about what you have learned in this article. Do you have any questions?  Let me know in the comments below if you think, after reading this article, if Lobelia inflata is safe, or is it a poison.  Do you have any experiences using Lobelia? Let us know below!

Good Health to You