A couple of weeks ago, all within a period of 7 days, I succumbed to first laryngitis, then gastro enteritis, then (apparently, since a colleague officially got diagnosed with it) swine flu. I haven't been struck down with such nasty bugs for a good decade, so it was quite an onslaught to have so many things passing through my body all at once. In recent times, I've become almost paranoid about catching a cold or getting sick. I'm really worried about the impact that an over-stressed immune system might have, with my worst fear being a total relapse into my worst days of M.E., which was close to bed-bound for much of the week. As many of you may know already, the majority of M.E. sufferers pinpoint the onset of their M.E. symptoms to a second round of illness that overlaps the tail end of a first illness. My own M.E. seemed to originate somewhere between such a dual dose of really nasty viruses that occured one after the other and a set of immunizations a couple of months after they subsided. However, I'm pleased to say that after around a week of feeling really terrible, I felt pretty much back to 'normal'. Another week on, and I've woken up this morning with a slight sore throat and fever. I'm not sure what that's going to entail, but I'm feeling really positive that the viruses from a couple of weeks ago have not encouraged my M.E. to be any worse than normal. Fingers crossed.
Secondly, following my previous post about hovenia dulcis, I happened upon some tea which contains a 50% mix of hovenia dulcis. [picture above] The other ingredients are licorice, arrowroot, and a couple of other things that I can't decipher. It cost around US$6 for 24 tea bags. This very tea uses the image of a man waking up after a night of drinking, and the name of the tea includes 'Good Morning Tea', so it's very much intended as the hangover drink which IS part of a lot of promotional literature for hovenia dulcis. However, it's 'power' is supposed to lie in being a liver detoxifier, so I'm focusing on that and reckon it could help in aiding more body detoxification overall. Again, my quest for this year is to improve my immune system and find ways to aid the body cells to process energy and toxins more efficiently than is supposed in the average M.E. case. I can report that the tea is quite pleasant to drink. It does have a fruity taste, which lives up to the other name of hovenia dulcis as the raisin tree. I'm consequently thinking that there might be sugar compounds in the tea which means that diabetics might want to be cautious. It may just be in this particular tea form that there are some issues, since in other accounts I've seen, it says that hovenia dulcis is fine for diabetics. Diabetics should do some more research first, since I am no expert on diabetic-friendly foods.
The other nutritional powerhouse that I've 'discovered' over the past couple of weeks is parsley. Previously, I had only ever had parsley as part of those dried herb sets, but now I've been buying a stack of 'fresh' parsley at the weekends and trying to consume that. I've read that parsley is a really optimally beneficial food, being in particular 'anti-inflammatory'. One handy Internet resource that I've come across that can give you a good set of descriptors for a vast list of foods is a site called Self Nutrition Data. It lists all the nutritional values for each food, and importantly, for M.E. sufferers, gives an anti-inflammatory reading for each of the food. Foods that show a positive number are anti-inflammatory. As it appears that digestion problems and food processing problems can occur in M.E. sufferers where cellular processes are sub-optimal, M.E. sufferers should be cautious about eating foods that are harder to digest and which can trigger more reactive agents and toxins in the body. Remember, it makes so much sense to try and minimize putting any extra strain on your body's cells than need be. Food digestion and processing consumes so much more energy and resources than we could imagine. I see food digestion as being the most energy consuming activity for the human body, and I'm of the growing belief that M.E. sufferers need to start looking into the dietary aspect much more. I'm only starting out on this route, and barely know anything at this stage, as I've never been one to follow any diet at all in all my life. The only dietary caution that I've followed since I was very young was not to consume soft drinks, since I had seen some friends who got super hyper on the artificial colorings that were in these drinks. Apart from that, I've generally just eaten whatever I wanted. But now I'm really hoping that better nutrition will help me to get to the next level of recovery.
As for eating parsley, I have to confess that I'm not particularly fond of its taste, especially when trying to consume a whole crop load of the stuff in one meal. So far, I've been chopping it up into very small pieces (just the kind of size that you get when you see parsley as a dried herb) and been boiling it among my other vegetables. That makes the taste of parsley fairly inperceptible. Another option is to get a juicer and to put parsley through that. It was actually a YouTube channel that talked about juicing and juicers that got me started on this whole nutrition and revival of M.E. research at the start of 2012. The guy who runs several channels related to juicing and nutrition is called John Kohler, and comes from California. I have to admit that I would never in my whole life imagined I'd watch a YouTube video about a household appliance, but am now totally glued to his channel and totally convinced by his attitude to juicing and blending more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet. I'll aim to post more about John Kohler and his videos later on, but for now, all I can say is that this kind of guy can truly change your life.