Nutritional Supplements Archives

Brain power oilTwo weeks ago I talked about (Essential oils that help your brain) a number of essential oils that have been shown by research to be beneficial to our brain and in particular our cognitive abilities. It would be remiss of me to not mention a number of oil blends and oil based supplements that could also benefit people. Essential oil blends are great in that you can combine a number of different but complementary essential oils, such that the resulting blend is greater than the “sum of the parts”. You basically amplify the effects that you would get using a single oil.

Brain Power™

Brain Power™ contains the oils: Blue cypress (Callitris intratropica), cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), frankincense (Boswellia carteri), helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), melissa
(Melissa officinalis) and sandalwood (Santalum album). It was formulated to help give your brain a boost with essential oils that are high in sesquiterpenes. Of the oils included, Cedarwood has the highest
concentration of oxygenating sesquiterpenes. No other essential oil exceeds it. It’s followed closely by melissa, then sandalwood and blue cypress, with frankincense coming in fourth. Why is this so important?
For memory retention and recall, the brain has to have oxygen coming to it. You also have helichrysum in this blend because of its chelating capacity. What is that you say? It will help clear the brain of any chemicals and heavy metals such as lead and mercury, and open the blood vessels up so that the oxygen can get through. Melissa is calming and uplifting. Frankincense is an oil that has been used to battle depression, while lavender is an oil that’s been documented to improve concentration and mental acuity.

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Travelling in India with essential oils

 I was asked just recently what essential oils and essential oil products I took with us to our trip to India last year. So this post is bit of a run-down on what we took and why.
Bear in mind we didn’t need to use all these things.

Food and snacks:

  • Balance complete
  • Ningxia red sachets
  • Wolfberry crisp bars

Being a little unsure of what to expect with regards to food, we brought some food and snacks with us. As it turned out, we had no problems food wise. However the following things came in handy for breakfasts and snacks when out and about. Balance complete is a delicious meal replacement powder, that is high in fiber, protein, good fats, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. I combined this with Ningxia Red juice, which we brought in small sachets, and local coconut water. Coconut water is a nutritious beverage in its own right (see my post The benefits of coconut water). The wolfberry crisp bars came in handy on the long drives we occasionally had travelling through India.

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The benefits of coconut water

Fresh, young green coconuts are the ones you want for the water.

Back in June, I wrote about the super-food that are Ningxia Wolfberries. This week I want to introduce you to another super-food, which I first got to try when I was in India – Coconuts. Much has been written about coconut oil and fat/milk; most of it bad, thanks to the Canola industry in large I suspect. Coconut oil is probably one of the best oils you can have along-side olive oil. Most vegetable oils (including olive oil) when heated at high temperatures (as in frying) actually breaks down into some nasty compounds. Coconut oil doesn’t, so it’s actually the best oil to use for cooking. In Sanskrit, coconut is referred to as Kalp Vriksha, which basically means a tree that gives everything that is needed for life. However I digress. In this post I want to tell you about Coconut water. If you wish to learn more about Coconut oil check out You will find plenty of information there.
Coconut water is the next best thing to drinking plain water. It is the clear liquid you get from a young green coconut ( from the brown, hairy mature coconut you make the milk from the flesh). You can either drink it directly from the coconut or buy the water in packs. There are a number of producers, now putting coconut water into the supermarkets and juice stalls, e.g. Vita-coco in the States and H2Coco and Nudie in Australia. But be careful, some producers of coconut water, add loads of sugar (and God knows what else). Trust me you don’t need the extra sugar. Coconut water is a refreshing beverage that doesn’t need other things added.


So what’s so special about coconut water?

  • It’s 99% fat-free
  • Loaded with calcium, potassium and magnesium
  • Low in sugar (so watch out for those adding sugar)
  • Loaded with vitamins and minerals including zinc, selenium, iodine, sulfur, manganese, boron, molybdenum, ascorbic acid, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates.
  • Composed of numerous enyzmes that assist in digestion and metabolism, e.g. acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase and peroxidise.
  • Apparently it’s very similar to blood plasma. Injured soldiers from WW2 in the Pacific were given coconut water as a substitute, when supplies of blood plasma were short.(1)
  • Treatment of de-hydration and heat-stroke.(2)

Coconut water also contains Cyto-kinins, a plant hormone that regulates cell growth and aging in plant cells. Testing has shown that this hormone has a similar effect on human cells and tissue. Apparently the lifespan of the cell isn’t extended much, however the treated cells when they reach the end appear like cells half their age. (3) Research is still on-going in this area, but you can see the possibilities for things like wrinkles, sagging and aging spots. But more than that, normal cells are kept healthy and free from de-generation, so there is the possibility of something that may prevent the development and spread of cancerous cells.
There are other areas of research surrounding coconut water that show promise (4), including:

  • Improved blood circulation
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Clearing up bladder infections
  • Removal of kidney stones

Over a year ago, a relation of mine who has problems with blood pressure and cholesterol, returned from India, had a blood test. The doctor was amazed at the improvements she found in the results. The only thing we could pin the improvement to, was that my relative drank two coconuts a day while staying in India.

There is debate as to whether coconut water is a suitable replacement for commercial sports drinks. As a way of re-hydrating people suffering illnesses such as cholera and dysentery, coconut water has been very effective. But it could be argued that this is a different condition to an athlete restoring his mineral and electrolyte balance after strenuous exercise. Commercial sports drinks, it’s argued, are especially formulated for this type of thing. On the other hand you have to wonder about the sugar and other additives that go into a lot of sports drinks.
However for most people, I feel coconut water certainly makes a very healthy change to the fruit juices and artificially flavoured beverages out on the market.
Till next time

(1) Drinking Coconut Water, by Maryanne Holm, May 30, 2011
(2)(3)(4) Coconut water: dew from the heavens, by Bruce Fife, N.D.  Survival rates for victims of cholera, increased by 97% when given coconut water.

Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

Dried wolfberries. Delicious but also nutritious. Photo from wstefano, Wikimedia Commons

In our last post, I included some testimonials showing how different people had benefited from drinking Ningxia Red. Gary Young, has also incorporated the wolfberry into numerous nutritional supplements and meal replacement formulae.

Ningxia wolfberries are also found in these other nutritional products:

Balance Complete™ Vanilla Cream Meal  Replacement

This is quite yummy. I have it for breakfast in the mornings (alternate it with powermeal – see below). You can make some great shakes with it. We typically add fruit like apples, bananas, strawberries and blueberries (when in season) as well as Ningxia Red juice and some coconut milk. Occasionally I will add an egg to it as well. It keeps me going till about lunch-time. If you find you’re still feeling hungry, add an extra scoop or add an egg. Balance Complete is high in fiber and protein, along with good fats, enzymes, vitamins and minerals.  It’s designed to be a powerful energizer, immune system booster and cleanser.
Along with the high antioxidant benefits from Ningxia wolfberry powder you’re getting these healthy ingredients:
brown rice bran, barley grass, aloe vera, cinnamon powder and a whey protein blend.

Read other people’s testimonials

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In my last post I mentioned Ningxia Red as the beverage made from the Ningxia wolfberry. This delicious juice contains pureed Ningxia wolfberries (the skin, seeds and pulp), and 4 other high antioxidant fruit juices. It’s sweetened with a low GI nectar from a cactus called “Agave” (pronounced Ah-gar-vay) and contains essential oils that assist the body in assimilating the nutrients from the juice.  The 4 other antioxidant super foods are: blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates and apricots.

  • Blueberries are high in vitamins A, B complex, C and E, copper, selenium, zinc and iron. It’s rich in the antioxidants anthocyanins, flavonoids and carotenoids. Studies have shown anthocyanins to be great for eye health and healthy neurological function. [1]
  • Raspberries are rich in Vitamins B and C, manganese, folate, riboflavin, magnesium, niacin, potassium, copper and ellagic acid. Ellagic acid works against free radicals. Raspberries are a great source of dietary fibre.
  • Pomegranates have higher antioxidant levels than red wine or green tea [2] and research suggests they are beneficial to cardovascular health.
  • Apricots contain Vitamins A,C and E, potassium, iron, beta-carotene and are very high in fibre. They’re also high in antioxidants, specifically lycopene.

The essential oils in Ningxia Red are Lemon and Orange. Gary Young pioneered the use of essential oils in foods and food supplements. Essential oils work to assist the transport of nutrients to the body’s cells. So in the case of Ningxia Red, they work synergistically with the wolfberries and other fruits. Lemon and Orange essential oils are also both very high in the antioxidant d-Limonene, which is known to support immune function and is anti-cancer. Ningxia Red is likely to be one of the most potent antioxidant juices you will find.
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Closeup of wolfberries near Wuzhong, Zhongning County, Ningxia, China (Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve made references in the past to wolfberries and Ningxia Red (the beverage made from wolfberries),
but nonetheless this is a long-overdue post. Because if I had to credit the one thing that has done
the most to improve my health and wellbeing over the last few years, it would have to be the
Ningxia Wolfberry (Lycium Barbarum). Do you have poor eyesight, suffer high cholesterol or diabetes?
Do you want to improve your overall health and longevity? If your answer is YES, then I think you’ll
find the information in this article interesting.

When I first heard of the Ningxia wolfberries in 2003, there were some pretty amazing claims put forward; that the people from the region of China where these berries originate live in good health to well past 100 years of age, in large part a result of their consumption of this food source. I didn’t believe it  at the time, so I did some research and sure enough there had been studies done in China which showed that this food source definitely had some amazing benefits.


That was 2003. I’ve been using Ningxia Red, the beverage that Young Living make out of the wolfberries

Ningxia Province in China (Created by User:PhiLiP, Wikimedia Commons

(more on that later), since then. I can honestly say I experience far less colds and flus, and when I
do get them they don’t last very long. In addition, my eyesight improved. I am short-sighted and many years ago I obtained prescription glasses to handle this. Well, I can’t even remember the last time I used those glasses or feeling the need for them. I visited the optometrist for an eye check-up earlier in the year and he did confirm, that my eyesight had in fact improved. So I’m definitely not going mad.

So what’s in the wolfberries that makes them so potent and what can they be useful for?

Health Properties of the Ningxia Wolfberry

There are at least 21 essential minerals, 16 different amino acids and significant amounts of Vitamins
B1 (thiamin), B3 (niacin) and C. In fact Wolfberries are the richest known food source for Vitamin B1,
which you need to metabolise carbohydrate and for the proper functioning of your thyroid. It’s also very high in Protein.

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