Most people assume that those are who are active and/or athletic are well and will stay that way, they also assume that only those people can practice Yoga & follow the yogic way of life, but at brave we see the commonality between the conditions that are prevalent in the so-called "active" population and those in Recovery.
We not only are we witness an ever increasing and alarmingly high incidence of the common yet poorly understood acidity based disEASES - arthritis & osteoporosis, in which calcium is leeched from the bones in 'ACTIVE' people, but also we see how the body responds similarly to those in Recovery, who are immobile, when faced with high acidity/heat and therefore a compromised digestion.
This is often because our strengths are usually our weaknesses, so a strong digestion (high Pitta) can very quickly become an erratic over-heated one, presenting the same problems as those in whom the fire has gone out - so to speak :)
We are inclined to think that calcium is necessary mainly for the teeth and bones.
But it is vital in many bodily functions such as nerve responsivity, muscle control, blood coagulation, regulation of heart rhythms and blood pressure.
The blood must contain a specific calcium level to enable these functions to progress normally.
If this level drops and no usable calcium is available from the diet, then the body will begin to borrow from the bones.
One of the main reasons our system looses calcium is because of our acid forming western diet,
a low protein intake facilitates calcium retention. Certain foods, such as animal products, pasteurized milk, eggs, cheese, and to a lesser degree heavy grains, have an acidic reaction on the blood and leave acid ash in the blood stream. We see the same occur when eating heavy meals... or eating at times when the digestion is designed to rest for example after 7pm.
When our diet is more than 25% acid, or our lifestyle passive, particularly when immobile or semi-mobile like when in Recovery, if we have a disability but one could also argue that those sitting behind desks, driving when they used to walk and essentially leading very sedentary lifestyles are as much at risk... the body needs to neutralize the acidity in some way:
the reason being that the blood is slightly alkaline +-7.35 - 7.45 on the p.h. scale and if the blood were to become acidic we would die. Rather than allow this eventuality the body, in it's natural wisdom, utilizes it's natural buffer -
and the main ingredient of this response system happens to be mineral CALCIUM,
obtained from the only source available - your bones, joints, hair and teeth -
resulting in dental decay, arthritis, inflamed joints & colons, increases chronic pain and stiffness, increases lower back pain and ultimately osteoporosis.
The Ayurveda teaches that this excess Pitta can invariably result in Parkinson’s, Cancers, M.S. and even Alzheimer’s.
In immobility, we see a strong link between acidity, chronic Back pain, spasm frequency & severity, general range of movement, wound healing, even bladder infection rates.
In countries that have the highest incidence of dental decay and Osteo, we also find the highest intake of hard to digest food like high levels of animal protein and pasteurized dairy products -
In the West est we are also more prone to COMBINING proteins, or combining foods with opposing actions... A low protein, easy to digest intake facilitates CALCIUM RETENTION.
Research done by Cornell University together with the aid of Chinese researchers and Oxford University show that neither dairy nor additional calcium supplement are needed to prevent Osteo. The research involved the Chinese because they consume very little dairy and do not consume "off the shelf" supplements, and yet have minimal percentages of Osteo sufferers as well as, dental decay. According to Dr. Campbell who headed the project, sufficient calcium is obtained from vegetables and grains. The South African Medical Research Council confirms this in a report that states that every single fruit, nut, seed and vegetable contains calcium and therefore acknowledges that a fruitarian or vegetarian diet can supply recommended daily requirements.
Unfortunately with the advent of genetically modified and hydro-ponically grown plant material i.e. in poor or no soil, natural mineral content levels in the plant kingdom are declining.
So what of supplements?
The majority of calcium supplements don't work for a number of reasons -
the first being that its easy to get calcium into the stomach, but very difficult to get it from there into the cells. Calcium absorption requires a very specialized process as it is dependent upon a delicate balance between acid and alkaline, to be absorbed calcium must also be of a usable type - there are TWO TYPES OF CALCIUM - organic and inorganic. Inorganic calcium is derived from minerals and is held together by what pharmacists term "ionic bonds". These are extremely hard, strong bonds which the body cannot break apart and therefore this form of calcium is not only unusable by the body but it must then find a place to deposit these minerals. Dolomite is of the 'Ionic Bond" type that the body simply CANNOT use no matter how desperately the calcium may be needed. We just are not designed to digest and assimilate rock!
The second being that because plants have the ability to take the "ionic" bonded minerals and change them into a form that we can use - ALL ORGANIC MINERALS come to us from the PLANT KINGDOM. Plants CAN break apart these hard minerals and arrange their bonding into what pharmacist’s term "covalent bonds" - loose gentle bonds that the body can combine as needed. This is one of the reasons for us having a fruit and vegetable base diet, not only do they supply us with minerals but also every complete protein we need for ALL bodily functions.
Why can’t we get Calcium from milk, its organic???
Because milk is altered in the pasteurization process, the heating process turns it into non-organic mineral calcium, much more like the bonding in Dolomite and unlike that of fresh fruits and vegetables. This type of calcium unfortunately gets into the blood stream and the body not only can't use it but again, has the added chore of neutralizing it in some way. Some of it is stored along the inside of the blood vessels where it contributes to the formation of arthrosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
Another place to deposit it is in or onto the joints, where it shows up as arthritis. It might seem unreasonable that the body manifests calcium deposits as arthritis on the outsides of the very bones it is leeching calcium from inside, showing up as Osteoporosis - but how intelligent to not only differentiate but to strengthen outside that which is weakest inside in the most economical way possible.
So what can we eat that will help our calcium intake???
Increase fruit and veg content, if possible following your Dosha or Brave lists given that different bodies need different foods, decrease protein intake to responsible and digestible levels.
eat at times your body is designed to breakdown food and not when it should be sleeping, your digestion has to create twice the amount of acid to re-open the kitchen for business.
YOGHURT is great because the bacteria in it have already began the digestion process for you. Lassi ie. half yoghurt 1/2 water is really ideal as a digestive aid and a way of getting calcium into your body.
Should you insist on taking a store bought calcium supplement, make sure it contains ORGANIC calcium.
MAKE YOUR OWN CALCIUM & TAKE IT DAILY
We, at Brave, recommend that
if you are over 40
if you are in the early stages of Recovery, especially during the bone building and/or immobile/ less mobile stages
if you have any disability that limits your mobility
if you are prone to accumulating acid (pitta)
if you experience joint pain, itchy rashes, acid reflux, back pain, especially if you have no past injury or any degenerative bone or joint condition
that you make and TAKE the simple supplement below,
it will provide the very best calcium available, at very little cost, and only a small amount of effort –
1. Take 6 washed eggshells - they must be uncooked and if possible, free range. No need to remove the thin film inside, it’s very nutritious. We wash our shells whenever we use then, simply dry them on a sunny window sill, and store them in a jar for future use. Restaurants that serve breakfast are often happy to donate too!
2. Place them into a glass jar ( plastic cannot be used) breaking them up gently (don’t crush, you will damage the bonds) rinse with hot water for a few minutes.
4. Now cover once more with freshly squeezed lemon juice (concentrate will not do the trick) until the juice is about a centimetre and a half above your shells.
5. Close the lid and AGITATE (shake vigorously)
6. Place into the fridge or a cool dark place for 48 hrs, agitating as often as you remember. The mixture may bubble or become gassy - don't worry that's just the citric acid doing it's work and leaching the calcium out of the egg shells for you
7. After two days, strain. Throw away any left-over bits of eggshell. a tea strainer works well. You will leave behind a milky white liquid.
That is your precious Calcium Lemon Remedy
8. You will Notice that as it settles, the mixture will separate into white dense calcium at the bottom, and clear citric acid lemon juice at the top - that’s ok.
9. Just Shake and take a teaspoon to a tablespoon per day taking into account your acid levels, size, your constitution/ dosha, seasonal change or temperature, mobility & infections if possible.
10. If in doubt send us a message and we will happily advise you!
11. You can take this neat, it's not unpleasant, but much more palatable in yoghurt/Lassi (half water/ half yoghurt)...pretty much tastes like cheese cake :))))))))
12. Please REFER to our pic as a reference for quantities
Remember that no supplement or even one food stuff should be ingested daily for more than 6 - 8 weeks at a time without a break.
It's important that the lemon juice be included because there is a complex bio-chemical process in the body called the citric acid cycle in which many different substances are acted upon with the net result being ENERGY. Some of the citrate part of the remedy enters this process thereby improving your energy.
there are a few natural bone supplements that are ok to take, they are however very costly, most do not contain the special citric acid- calcium relationship, many have other minerals added which is not the Ayurvedic way and in essence as Yogi's we take responsibility for what we put into our body and there is no better way to do that than to make it yourself.
The above quantity should last around 10 days so always get two bottles going. We have noticed a great improvement in those with inflamed skin conditions when used in conjunction with brave propolis.
Give your body a head start by reducing or eliminating all acid forming especially refined sugars and salts and acidic, heavy foods from your diet, at least will symptoms are present that means cut out TOMATO, YELLOW CHEESE, MEAT, CHICKPEAS, ORANGES, PINEAPPLE, WHITE BREAD, CHILI, MUSTARD, CINNAMON, CLOVES, TINNED FOODS, SALT
Also most importantly, only YOGIC MOVEMENT is load bearing for the spine -
you must continue your practice to ensure your spine remains healthy and strong as well as your posture aligned. It's also vital since your bones are LIVING things, they are continuing to grow, heal and strengthen throughout your life, but particularly when we have recent injury!
Immobility quickly leads to loss of bone density.
Also, a collapsed posture is a squashed digestive area - it's an acid trap.
For vegans, a teaspoon of raw sesame seed or tahina a day is another great way to take in calcium. This is also ok for those with reasonable digestion and no excess heat.
Thanks to Turiyana Achariya for her original article, THE LIFE SAVING REMEDY and inspiration
brave is a registered non-profit that has supported over 2000 people through their Recovery from Serious Physical Trauma - on a donation basis. Using an integrated rehabilitative approach, we practice a daily brave Recovery Regime of Breath, Yoga Therapy, Ayurvedic nutrition, Inversion Therapy, Somatics, Homeopathy and Peer to peer support. United, we are committed to using the Physical Trauma Recovery Experience as an opportunity for building a new life filled with unlimited possibility.Based in the BoKaap, Cape Town, over the past 9 years, our community has grown across continents, injuries, abilities and disabilities, cultures and conditions toward one goal - well BEing The information shared is not intended as a substitute for the advice and treatment by your doctors and/or health care professionals from all disciplines, Allopathic, Homeopathic, Ayurvedic. It is designed to compliment and enhance a Health Care Regime. If you are injured, have an illness and/or are pregnant, you must seek professional treatment and advice from registered, reputable health care provider before practising any of the techniques, practises or treatments recorded, published and depicted by brave and it's members.
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