Natural Energy

by Judith G. Cobb, MH, CI, NCP

This article is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. It is meant for educational purposes only. Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health, and Nature’s Sunshine Products accept no responsibility for results you get, whether good or bad, from using this information. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

Note: More information about the products mentioned can be found at the end of the article.

Several months ago I did my best to show the negative aspects of foods and beverages containing caffeine.  As I thought about it, it seemed a little unfair that I would take away something that is, for many people, the kick-start to their day. Perhaps I should teach you some alternatives for energy enhancement.

There are several things that can be done to enhance energy, including dietary modifications, lifestyle changes, and nutritional supplements.

The first place to start is with sleep patterns.  Remember the adage, “Early to bed, early to rise ….”  In many cases this is true.  Dr. Bernard Jensen often taught that we have done terrific damage to the metabolism by creating artificial light.  We now are able to work many more hours in the day than our bodies are designed to handle.  If one is feeling sluggish, the hours of sleep, timing of sleep, and quality of sleep are important to examine.  Sleeping too little is an obvious source of fatigue. The body needs time to recharge, regenerate, repair, and in the case of children, grow.  Many people don’t recognize that too much sleep can have the same lethargy-producing effect, for different reasons.  Physical exercise allows the body to eliminate carbon dioxide from the blood.  Oxygen demands are lower during sleep, and the body does not eliminate carbon dioxide quite as well.  Increased CO2 means decreased O2 in the blood, and thereby lowered energy levels.  Of course, disrupted sleep is another reason for sluggish energy.  The source of the disruptions should be investigated.  New moms are often sleep deprived.  People with insomnia, prostate problems, or urinary tract problems can also have problems with poor energy due to sleep disruption.  It is obvious that these problems need correcting in order to build energy.

The next significant area to examine is exercise.  Again, oxygen is taken in in greater quantities during exercise.  Oxygen is required for the clean and efficient burning of glucose from the blood stream by the body cells.  Low exercise levels can mean decreased efficiency in the energy metabolism department, and this leads to poor energy.  This is particularly important for people who work in sedentary and low movement jobs.  Early afternoon hits and the ‘sleepies’ attack.  This can be countered by using lunch hours or breaks to take brisk walks, do step aerobic classes, go swimming … any type of aerobic exercise.

One must also consider lifestyle.  Some people are very busy, perhaps too busy, taking on more than one person should.  The most important vocabulary-expanding word to learn here is ‘No.’  Sometimes people need to learn to say this to themselves.  Consider the time and season an individual is in.  A young mother or father may not be able to healthfully fit in time for gardening, horseback riding, and sports pursuits on top of the demands of parenting, a paying job, and a social life. Learn to prioritize and gain control of time demands.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Diet and eating patterns are very important factors in energy production and maintenance. Eating regularly (and for some people this means every two to three hours) can go a long way to keeping blood sugar stable and energy up.

If you’ve been one of my readers for any length of time you already know how damaging caffeinated drinks can be and that it is generally best to avoid them. Some other things to eliminate are refined sugars and refined carbohydrates. (This means avoiding candy, pop, pastries, and junk food in general.)  Just as caffeine picks one up then drops one flat, so do refined sugars and refined carbohydrates.  Important substitutes are complex carbohydrates like whole grain cereal and whole grain bread – the kind Mom used to say would ‘stick to your ribs.’

Look also at protein consumption.  Red meat tends to be heavier and require more energy to digest. Energy going to the digestive tract cannot also go to the muscles and brain.  Poultry, with its complement of tryptophan, tends to make people sleepy. ‘Wide awake’ types of protein include fish, nuts, seeds, sprouts, tofu, lentils and beans.  Many of these make great snacks.

Elimination is important to good energy.  People with sluggish bowels tend to have sluggish energy. Remember the importance of drinking water between meals, eating enough grains and vegetables, and using a bowel tonic (LBS II, LB-X) and/or fiber supplement (Loclo, Psyllium Hulls) if required.  

Many people are familiar with herbs for building energy.  Bee Pollen, which is rich in proteins (30%) and natural sugars (50%) has been recognized for centuries as an energy builder and wellness enhancer.The B vitamins (as in Stress Formula) can help one cope with stress. Stress tires one out, and coping with stress can reduce fatigue.Vitamins can also enhance energy.  People with unstable blood sugars (and hence, unstable energy) can often benefit from using GTF Chromium.  This mineral is necessary for escorting sugar molecules that are bound to insulin into cells for energy production.

Licorice Root, another herb rich in natural sugars, feeds and supports the adrenal glands, which produce stress-coping hormones and energy-releasing hormones.  As a word of caution, Licorice Root must be used cautiously, if at all, by people suffering from heart disease, hypertension, or kidney disease.

Another overall energy-enhancing and protein-containing supplement is Spirulina. The protein in this herb, along with the ocean minerals, has been found helpful by many in controlling snack attacks and keeping energy stable.

Adaptogens have been found beneficial for overall health, including energy.  An adaptogen, according to Michael T. Murray, is a substance that “(1) must be innocuous and cause minimal disorders in the physiological functions of an organism; (2) must have a nonspecific action; and (3) usually has a normalizing action irrespective of the direction of the pathologic state (alterative action).”  A commonly known adaptogen is Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero senticosus), which is not a true ginseng.  Michael T. Murray states “… that the regular use of eleuthero will increase longevity, improve general health, improve the appetite, and restore memory.”

Panax Ginseng, also known as Chinese or Korean Ginseng, is another well-known adaptogen.  Although, according to Michael T. Murray, “For largely economic purposes, the majority of ginseng in the American marketplace had been derived from the lowest grade root, diluted with excipients, blended with adulterants, or it is totally devoid of active constituents, that is, ginsenosides.  High-quality roots and extracts are available, however.  These preparations are the main root of plants between 4 and 6 years of age, or of extracts that have been standardized for ginsenoside content and ratio to ensure optimum pharmacological effect.”  (Nature’s Sunshine’s Korean Ginseng is just such a preparation.  It’s guaranteed potency is 12 mg of ginsenoside per capsule.)  As a rule of thumb, Panax Ginseng is most effective when used for two to three weeks and then omitted for two weeks.  Panax Ginseng has had many controlled laboratory studies done on it.  Results indicate it is beneficial in increasing resistance to infection, increasing ability to cope with stress, increasing virility, increasing physical endurance, and, when used properly, is beneficial in relieving menopausal symptoms.

Energy need not be linked to caffeine consumption.  It can instead be a valid indicator of a healthy lifestyle.

If you have concerns about your health, or just don’t know where to begin making improvements, please contact me, Judith Cobb, to book an appointment. Skype, phone, webinar, and face-to-face appointments are available. I also invite you to like us on facebook and visit our other websites:
FB: Cobblestone Health

Products referred to in this article:

Nature’s Sunshine Products CANADANature’s Sunshine Products USA
LBS IILBS II, capsules
Psyllium Hulls CombinationPsyllium Hulls Combination
Chromium GTF MineralsChromium-GTF
Stress FormulaNutri-Calm
Bee Pollen is available through the
Sunshine Direct program (contact Nature’s Sunshine
Canada at 1-800-265-9163 for instructions)
or by special order from Cobblestone Health or 403-850-5503).
Bee Pollen
LicoriceLicorice Root
Siberian Ginseng is available through the
Sunshine Direct program (contact Nature’s Sunshine
Canada at 1-800-265-9163 for instructions)
or by special order from Cobblestone Health or 403-850-5503).
Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero)
Korean Ginseng is available through the
Sunshine Direct program (contact Nature’s Sunshine
Canada at 1-800-265-9163 for instructions)
or by special order from Cobblestone Health or 403-850-5503)
Korean Ginseng (Panax Ginseng)

Source: Murray, Michael. The Healing Power of Herbs. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1995.

Copyright © 2015 by Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health Ltd. All rights reserved. Please respect the time it takes to write and publish articles. If you will link to this article and give proper attribution, you are encouraged to quote sections (though not the entire article).

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