Ecuador Shaman Tip for Spring


Ecuador shamans are not all that aware of the impact of seasons on health.

ecuador-shaman-health-tip Candace Newman is an expert in essential oils has spend considerable time with us and the shamans and yatchaks in Ecuador. Here she is at the indigenous market checking spices and oils.

In Ecuador there are not seasons as we know it.  Once an Ecuador shaman visited Merri and me in North Carolina during the winter. This was his first trip out of Ecuador and when he saw the trees, his eyes really opened. “They are all dead!” he exclaimed in horror. “No, just asleep” I told him.

Slowly he understood.

However, the shamans are very aware of differences in altitude, dryness and wetness and what these differences can mean to health.

Ecuador has this all when it comes to lifestyles, mountains, valleys, deserts and rain forests.  The biodiversity in Ecuador equals a range from the Arctic Circle to the Equator.

Here is Candace with our daughter, Francesca, a Taita Yatchak and friends at Machu Pichu.

ecuador-shaman-health-tip

So Ecuador shamans know about wetness and the dark side of weather we know as spring. The dark side to this time of rapid growth is an upswing in suicides.

Here is Candace at Lake Titicaca (dry) and…

ecuador-shaman-health-tip

Here she is at our Hacienda Rosaspamba…

ecuador-shaman-health-tip

a damp cloud forest.

ecuador-shaman-health-tip

Lifestyles in each place require different foods, spices and oils.

Despite popular myths that suicides are highest in the winter, particularly around the holidays, statistics show that suicides are highest in Spring.

“In one study of suicide in 28 countries, suicide deaths were lowest in winter and highest in spring. They reached a peak in May in the Northern Hemisphere.

“But the researchers found that the peak existed only in temperate climates — places with distinct seasonal changes in weather. The link was strongest in agricultural societies and weakest in urban areas.”

winter-sun

Spring depression is not such a problem in Ecuador because there is little seasonal change. Here I am with Ma in the dead of winter!   Yet there are rainy seasons and there are places where is is continually damp and spring like.

Extra depression in spring or continually damp places is not surprising.

Ancient  disciplines of health view good health as  a balance between three physical elements “air and motion”,  “material and physical”  and “digestion and fire”…air, water and fire.

These disciplines also view the seasons as an important factor in this air, water and fire balance.

Winter is dry and brittle and aggravates air.  Summer is hot and increases fire.

Spring is wet and increases depression.

Our farm is beautiful in spring….but wet!

farm-spring-shot

Imbalances in these elements affect emotions.   Excessive anxiety suggests an air imbalance. Too much anger means too much fire.

Too much water creates depression.

Fortunately the wisdom of the ancients also tells us what to do to maintain balance in the face of seasonal change.

Here are three balancing tips for spring.

Tip #1: Categorize foods into six categories, sweet, salt, bitter, astringent, sour and pungent.

Each category either pacifies or aggravates an element.  For example sour and pungent aggravates fire (the digestive element) which is sensitive to heat. Sweet and bitter on the other hand pacify air.

So during the depressive days of spring take additional care to live and eat in a way that stops a buildup of water.   Pungent and astringent flavors help resist  water imbalances.

During this sluggish time our bodies need to be stimulated and warmed up. Light, dry, warm foods reduce water. Use minimal amounts of fats and oils. Sweeten foods with honey, but never cook or bake with it. Grains such as barley, buckwheat, and rye are the best during this time, as are light, dry fruits, such as apples and cranberries. Low or nonfat milk is good, but minimize cultured dairy products. Eat more spices and herbs but be cautious with salt. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds and all beans, with the exception of the soybean, are excellent.

Tip #2: Exercise more.  Yoga and walking (best after meals) can especially be helpful at this time.

Tip #3: Use water reducing essential oils such as lemon oil.

A scientific study on this oil says:

“Lemon oil vapor causes an anti-stress effect via modulating the 5-HT and DA activities in mice”

This was written by Migiwa Komiyaa, and Takashi Takeuchib, graduates of the  School of Veterinary Science  at Yamaguchi University in Japan.

The abstract of the article says:

“We examined the anti-stress action of the essential oils of lavender, rose, and lemon using an elevated plus-maze task (EPM), a forced swimming task (FST), and an open field task (OFT) in mice. Lemon oil had the strongest anti-stress effect in all three behavioral tasks.  Moreover, the lemon oil significantly accelerated the metabolic turnover of DA in the hippocampus and of 5-HT in the prefrontal cortex and striatum. These results suggest that lemon oil possesses anxiolytic, antidepressant-like effects via the suppression of DA activity related to enhanced 5-HTnergic neurons.”

In short, one’s mood may be improved simply by using lemon oil.

Upon reading this, I immediately contacted our friend Candace Newman and asked her to tell us more. Candace  wrote:

Lemon Essential Oil – Citrus limonum

Sometimes I call Lemon the “Good Morning Oil”. It is bright and uplifting like the sun. What a great essential oil for springtime and summer…cooling and refreshing. There are hundreds of essential oils, and I place Lemon in the top ten for its ability to help us feel better and be balanced in so many ways. Its clean, clear scent helps relieve fatigue and mental overload. It is uplifting to the mental and physical state, so it can also help with depression.

Lemon is stimulating and energizing and helps move the rivers in the body. It is great to use when we feel fatigued, congested, and slow. This is one of the best oils for improving circulation, and can relieve aches and pains. Lemon’s clean “cut-to the quick aroma” is good for concentration and focus. Inhaling directly from the bottle of pure essential oil, can assist in coffee and cigarette withdrawal. It has been known to help with addictions.

In Aromatherapy it is well-known for its antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, anti-gout, and anti-arthritic qualities. It serves as a tonic for the nervous system, promotes a healthy immune system, and simply lifts the spirit with its cheerful aroma which can also help with depression.

How to Use: Use it straight for inhalation and in a diffuser. Combine it with a base oil (like Jojoba) to rub on your skin. A palm-full of base oil and 1-2 drops of Lemon is a good start….or add this palm-full to your bath after you get in the water. Lemon oil straight on the skin can irritate and burn. Lemon is photo-sensitive, so should not be used directly on the skin prior to sun exposure. Dark brown spots may occur. Enjoy the freshness of this joyful oil!

Candace offers exquisite pure Lemon Essential Oil from Italy
10 ml (1/3 oz) is $11.95.
lemon-oil

You can order this lemon oil from Candace here.

Until next message, may your spring be successful and bright.

Gary

Learn more Ecuador shaman health tips on our Shamanic Mingo Tour.

June 12-14 Shamanic Mingo Tour

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 18-21 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Other 2009 Ecuador Courses & Tour

July 4-8  Ecuador Export Tour

July 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

July 10-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

July 24-26 IBEZ North Carolina

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Expedition

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.



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