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Alzheimers

General characteristics

General characteristics

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive degenerative condition characterised by two physical abnormalities within the brain. Areas of plaque form between the nerve cells and proteins within the nerves become twisted into bundles causing the transmission of incorrect messages between the nerve cells. This eventually leads to death of the nerve cell and accounts for the loss of proper functioning in parts of the brain. It is not yet known if these changes are a symptom or cause of Alzheimer's disease.
It is very interesting to note that high levels of aluminium are found bound into the tangled nerves on post mortem of Alzheimer's sufferers. Aluminium inhibits the work of vitamin B12 and results in the build up of the nerve hardening plaque. Aluminium usually enters the body by way of aluminium cookware, wrapping foil, cans, processed foods, deodorants and aerosols, tap water, certain drugs such as antacids and even food colourings and toothpastes (especially whitening products). It was found that feeding small amounts of aluminium salts to laboratory rats lead to identical changes in the brain as that of an Alzheimer's sufferer. Aluminium poisoning has virtually identical symptoms to Alzheimer's disease. Another lesser known fact is that fluoride (toothpastes, some water supplies, mouthwashes etc) encourages the body to absorb extra aluminium.
There is also a growing body of evidence to suggest that Alzheimer's is caused by a poor diet that is rich in refined carbohydrates and excess sugars. This excellent article by journalist George Monbiot investigates the findings of several studies and post mortems.
Initially, people with Alzheimer's can experience a gradual loss of cognitive ability, loss of memory, language and communication difficulties and confusion. This then progresses onto more serious symptoms such as aggression, irrational or dangerous behaviour, depression, agitation and delusions.
One of the first signs of early Alzheimer's is a loss of smell as the olfactory nerves are among the first to become damaged. However, there is no single test for Alzheimer's and diagnosis is made by excluding other possibilities, looking for genetic markers and other tests.
Early diagnosis is essential to planning for the future and taking remedial action before it gets very serious. It is now known (in some circles) that new brain cells can and do grow throughout our entire lives in the area of the brain dealing with memory and learning, so it is never too late to start consciously healing.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

Stop smoking and avoid places where tobacco smoke is abundant.

Daily exercise such as walking or swimming positively effects all systems of the body and slows the ageing process generally.

Keep your brain active by completing puzzles, quizzes etc and socialise as much as possible.

Adapt a high fibre, low salt and low adulterated fat diet with plenty of leafy and other vegetables and fruits. A daily breakfast of muesli containing oats and other grains would provide ample B vitamins and fibre. Raw carrots and carrot juice contain large amounts of calcium which is vital for nerve function, dark leafy veg will do the same.

Eat calcium and phosphorous rich foods such as egg, swede, turnips, olives, lentils, cauliflower, bran, almonds and all nits, peas, cheese, radishes, cucumber, beans, seeds etc, all fresh seasonal fruit, veg and whole grains.

Avoid all sources of aluminium in your diet and lifestyle. This list includes the well known sources of food additives containing aluminium; E173, E520, E521, E523 E541, E545, E554, E555 E556, E559. Check everything you eat and avoid these E numbers.

Other foods containing aluminium include dry cake mixes, pastries and croissants made from frozen dough, processed cheeses, donuts and waffles, some breakfast cereals, raising agents, muffins and food coloring.

The following list contains foods and supplements which help eliminate excess aluminium from the body and will play a vital role in recovery and prevention of Alzheimer's disease;

  • Apples contain pectin and malic acid, both of which help to remove aluminium from the body. Eat 2 apples a day and/or take apple pectin in capsule form.
  • Lemon Juice - Squeeze half a lemon in a glass of water, drink two or three times a day
  • Coriander
  • Do a foot soak with Epsom salts and sea salt (1/2 cup each) every few days
  • Chlorella, a form of algae carries aluminum out of the body via the colon and also provides excellent nutrition and energy to the body.
  • Turmeric  used in food or a pinch in a glass of warm milk before bed
  • Garlic in its raw form in capsules or in cooking thins the blood and improves blood flow to the brain
  • Fish Oil
  • Kelp
  • Eat sulphur-rich foods such as eggs, cabbage, beans and onions and leeks.

The B vitamins and particularly B12 are very important to the healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system so the diet should include plenty of foods rich in B vitamins such as organic lean meat, fish and seafood, milk and eggs. See also the chapter on 'vitamins' in the 'natural healing' section of this site for more ideas of foods high in the B vitamins.

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Ginkgo is perhaps the most famous herbs used in Alzheimers. It thins the blood, dilates the peripheral blood vessels and enhances blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain and is a potent anti-oxidant.
Turmeric has been shown to reduce the destructive plaque like deposits from in between the nerve cells and actually even inhibit it's formation entirely. Barberry root has similar properties.
Kelp and blue green algae and chorella (from good non-toxic sources) inhibit the uptake of heavy metals and toxins into the brain.
Hawthorn flowers and berries are excellent for dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow and oxygen supply. They also lower blood pressure which is important for controlling the onset of Alzheimers. Hawthorn can be used daily as a tea or a teaspoon of tincture for long periods as a preventative.
Lemon balm and gotu kola tea. Use 3 heaped teaspoons of the mixed herbs and put in a teapot. Strain off cups throughout the day for a delicious and revitalising brain food and protective drink.
A useful formula could contain tinctures of ginkgo, gotu kola, rosemary, peppermint, lemon balm, ginger and a pinch or splash of cayenne. Take 1 teaspoon 3 times daily in water. As a preventative and to boost memory and brain function drink a cup of gotu kola and ginkgo tea daily, using a teaspoon of each herb.
Ashwagandha is a powerful nervine tonic that rejuvenates the brain cells and boosts energy. Take a teaspoon 3 times a day of the tincture or as part of a formula like the one above.
Wipe arnica tincture across the forehead daily.
Echinacea may help protect aginst nerve damage.

Natural healing

Natural healing

Try this old Ukrainian elixir, tried and tested as a tonic against the frailties of old age. Peel a pound of fresh garlic and combine with the juice of 24 lemons. Put in ajar in a cool dark place and leave for 24 days. Shake vigorously before taking 1 teaspoonful in half a glass of warm water at night. Within 10 days you should feel like a youngster again!
Many people are finding that symptoms can be improved by taking virgin cold pressed coconut oil daily. Although this simple remedy has been all but dismissed by Alzheimer research organisations, stories continue to suggest that giving coconut oil is well worth a try. Read this article for starters.
Magnesium  helps shut out aluminum from cells and works in synergy with the malic acid found in apples.
Vitamin A and C and E supplements or foods rich in these.
Zinc has shown to significantly slow the progress of the disease so take a good quality supplement.
Folic acid and all the B vitamins
Evening primrose oil or any other oil such as flax seed, hempseed, starflower, cod liver oil as a supplement to the diet.
If alzheimers is in your family, to lessen the chances of developing the condition or if you are in the early stages of alzheimers, do not use any products containing fluoride. Many toothpastes are available that are fluoride free and use natural substances ( such as sodium bicarbonate) and herbs to clean and protect the teeth.

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