Breathing Method To Help Reduce High Blood Pressure

The Yoga Cooling Breath – Sheetali Pranayama

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Yoga Technique To Enhance Vitality, Induce Mental Calmness And Normalize Blood Pressure

Sheetali Pranayama is an age-old practice which is included in the teachings of Satyananda.

Sheetali Pranayama will noticeably reduce high blood pressure even after one or two practices of the method.  Over time, if you practice it regularly on a daily basis, you will find that your general health will improve, and that your blood pressure will also improve. Of course, attention to the diet and minimizing any activities which cause your blood pressure to rise are also important in achieving a balanced state.

Basically, this is a very easy exercise to perform.  There are some added sophisticated yoga techniques which  you could add to the exercise if you wish to take your yoga practice seriously.

But here I will give the simple, basic method which is effective in calming the mind and in helping to reduce blood pressure, and which anyone can do easily without any prior knowledge of yoga technique.

First, make yourself comfortable, either in a chair, or in your favourite meditation pose.

Take two or three slow deep breaths to clear your lungs of air and prepare for the Sheetali pranayama cooling breath.

How To Perform The Sheetali pranayama Cooling Breath:

So now you are seated comfortably. Stick out the tongue a little, and make it into a tube shape.  You are going to breathe in through this tube made by the folds of the tongue. Note: This is the only one of Satyananda’s yoga breathing techniques whereby the breath is taken inward through the mouth, and outward through the nose. It is the reverse of the usual method.

So – With the eyes closed, we take the breath in through the curl of the tongue, slowly and evenly. Hold the breath in briefly with the mouth closed.  Then exhale evenly out through the nose.


Be Cautious – Build Up Slowly:

In the beginning, if your blood pressure is high, it might be best to perform only about three or four breaths using this curled tongue technique. Otherwise if you do too many at once,  you might feel awfully light-headed or dizzy as the sudden burst of oxygen into the blood stream takes effect.

As your strength improves with building up your Prana, or nervous energy, you should be able to perform more breaths in the one sitting.  In conjunction with regular pranayama practice, nine rounds is suggested by Satyananda.

For people suffering high blood pressure, Satyananda recommends building up the practice slowly for anything up to 60 rounds.

Many Benefits:

I find that the Sheetali pranayama Cooling Breath has many benefits.  As well as the obvious effects in calming the mind and normalizing the blood pressure, it also oxygenates the blood, helps the eyesight, enhances the intuitive faculties, improves memory, and helps to improve the digestion.  You will notice right away that saliva secretions increase as you perform the exercise.  Stimulating the saliva glands in this way greatly helps the digestion.  After a few days of practicing the Cooling Breath, you will become aware of other more subtle changes occuring throughout the system.

It can be a helpful technique for people suffering all kinds of degenerative disease, such as cancer and arthritis.

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Remember To Drink Plenty Of Water Daily:  This helps keep the blood pressure stable.  Take a glass of water immediately after performing the Sheetali pranayama cooling breath exercise.

Jalandhara bandha – The Chin Lock. If you wish, you could perform the Jalandhara bandha  as you practice the Sheetali pranayama Cooling Breath.

You need to sit in a meditation pose for this, knees touching the floor if possible, and with the arms straightened out, hands holding the knees. Hunch up the shoulders so that the arms can become perfectly straight.

Close the eyes. You then inhale through the curled tongue, then, close the mouth whilst holding in the breath, and push the head forward so that the chin touches the chest.

Hold this position, with the breath retained inward, for as long as is comfortable.  Then, still retaining the breath inside, slowly relax the pose, bringing the head up.  Exhale slowly through the nose as you sit with the head erect.


It is important to remember that the head must be properly erect before breathing in or out.  No breathing should be done whilst the head is down on the chest in the chin-lock.

Personally, I think that the chin-lock is a bit much for most people who are simply wanting to improve their blood pressure. It is not really necessary in order to achieve results.

But there we have it!!!!!!

See the deep relaxation technique which is also helpful for stabilizing blood pressure and calming the nerves:

Yoga Nidra Deep Relaxation





Homeopathic Remedy Arsen Alb For Flu Allergies Asthma

Natural Remedies That Really Work:

Arsen Alb is one of the more commonly used Homeopathic Remedies.   It is considered by many homeopaths to be a prophylactic and a great remedy for general colds and flu. This makes it an ideal remedy to have on hand if you have decided to forfeit those much-promoted and often dubious flu injections.

IMG_6828Pic of a bonny Mother and Child who have never had vaccinations of any kind:  Read Merrilyn’s post entitled:  ‘Health Without Vaccinations or AntiBiotics’.

Kent’s ‘Materia Medica’, a widely studied text-book on homeopathy, indicates Arsen alb for some forms of Asthma.

Physical symptoms indicating Arsen alb:  The patient characteristically feels chilled and needs warmth, except for the head, which is often burning.  The skin is cold and damp to the touch. Sweaty, cold and clammy.  There is often a severe headache when Arsen alb is needed.  ‘Irritable, restless and discouraged’ best describes the Arsen alb patient.

The Arsen alb patient is thirsty but cannot drink much at a time.  There is an ongoing thirst for frequent small sips of drink.

Mental symptoms indicating Arsen alb might include:  Feelings of extreme sadness, depression, wanting to die, mental anguish and anxiety.  Wanting to avoid people because of a fear you have offended them in some way goes with Arsen alb.  Ongoing sadness is one of the  classic symptoms of the Arsen alb patient.

Homeopathic Aconite is another good remedy for when the symptoms come on after getting damp or chilled.  But Arsen alb is another useful remedy to remember in cases of damp and chill.

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I recently had a bad flu which got better with the use of Arsen alb.  This is all I used to treat this intensely debilitating form of flu.  I put up a post a few days ago on just how effective the Arsen alb was for treating this virus.  Within two weeks I was almost recovered, except for a trace of a cough.

Then I went to Auckland for a job interview, and to hang out with friends.  Unfortunately, on my way to my job interview, I got damp walking in the rain.

Getting wet in drissly rain just about always brings on a chill or a cough or cold of some sort, unless I can treat it right away with heat, hot showers, dry clothes, and the help of homeopathic remedies such as Aconite or Arsen alb.

Next thing, without my homeopathics and home comforts, I had severe bronchitis.  I had left my Arsen alb remedy at home, so I had to endure the cough until I returned home five days later, when I again began the Arsen alb treatment. As beforehand, I took four or five doses or more of the remedy during the day, five drops at a time for each dose.  I had a piano committment the following day which involved walking a distance in cold air, so the cough did not have a chance to improve on that day.  But on the second day of taking Arsen alb, with the whole day at-home, resting and keeping warm, the bronchitis has gone again.

Diesel fumes and other pollution in Auckland also seemed to excacerbate my cough, which had arisen as an aftermath flu and getting wet.  Each time I went out in my friend’s car, especially along busy, congested roads such as the motorway, I suffered an asthma-like difficulty in breathing.  I really don’t think I can live back in the city anymore.  The clean country air of Morrinsville really suits me, and I have had no chest problems, except for this bout of flu, since I came here eight months ago.

Arsen alb works very well for me to treat irritation of the lungs which arises from allergies.  I think it is a remedy well worth considering for people who get asthma, especially if they suffer from allergies of various kinds.

I must mention that I DID consume quite a lot of hot lemon drinks over this recovery period.  The lemon juice action works very well with Arsen alb, I think.  Remember not to use coffee, or very little of it, if you are using Homeopathic remedies to cure infections of any sort.  Coffee negates the action of most homeopathic remedies.  So – Wait to get well before you begin drinking coffee again.

See Merrilyn’s other posts on Homeopathy and Herbal Alternatives to Vaccination:

Reading these posts might be helpful if you have decided to forfeit those much-promoted and often dubious flu injections.

No Antibiotics For H7N9 Bird Flu Virus 2013 Human Killer

Homeopathic Remedy Arsen Alb For Flu Allergies Asthma

Homeopathic Arsen Alb For NZ Flu May 2013

Vitamin C Cures Swine Flu Case

Vitamin C and Cancer

Vaccinated NZ Girl Dies From Meningococcal Disease 3rd September 2012

Health Without Vaccinations Or Antibiotics

List Of Homeopathic Remedies As Alternatives To Conventional Medicine

Homeopathic Remedy And Herbs For Cholera

Save Homeopathy – Brief History And A Royal Horse Called Hypericum

Best Homeopathic Remedy For Whooping Cough And Croup

List Of Homeopathic Remedies For Ear Ache

List Of Complementary Homeopathic Remedies And Sequences

How Homeopaths Cured Some Cancerous Tumours

Doctors Used Homeopathy To Cure Fibroid Tumours

List Of Homeopathy Remedies For Shingles Herpes Zoster

Useful Homeopathic Remedies For Measles

Vaccination Alternatives and Homeopathic Remedies For Scarlet Fever

Scarlet Fever Outbreak in Hong Kong/Homeopathic Alternatives

Flu Vaccination Brought On Asthma And High Blood Pressure

Unicef Gives Vitamin A For Measles In Syria

Natural Treatments and Remedies For Scarlet Fever

Herbal Recipe For Cancer Doctor Uses Just Three Herbs

On-Going Chest Pain Is It Lung Cancer?

Homeopathic Remedy To Reduce Craving For Tobacco

Homeopathy For New Strain Of Avian Flu When Vaccines Don’t Work

Complete List of Gluten Free Foods for People with Wheat Sensitivity

Diet To Help Regrow Tooth Enamel



No Cancer Notebook(1)A revised edition of Merrilyn’s 1980’s Health Book entitled: NO CANCER NOTEBOOK is available for purchase.

The cost is $60 New Zealand currency.  This includes postage.

Send an email to [email protected] to order.



Spider’s Web To Treat Asthma, Consumption, Fever, And Ague

My ancient  “Vitalogy Book of Food and Harmless Home Remedies”, written by two doctors in 1904, gives some fascinating information about the use of Spider’s Web, Araneas Tela as, an oral remedy.  It is, apparently, a natural remedy that not only was used in helping to heal cuts and wounds, but was also recommended  for treating asthma, fever and ague.

This Vitalogy Book of Food and Harmless Home Remedies really does seem to have some wonderful recipes in it.  However, I wonder about the safety of some of the given remedies. No different to the questionable use  and safety of some modern-day medicines, I guess.

Whilst I have never ever tried taking a spider’s web orally, I have often snatched down a nice, lengthy cobweb to wrap around a cut on myself or my children. Cobwebs for wounds is a common old folk-lore remedy. Cobwebs have properties which help to stem bleeding, which makes them a great first-aid tool, especially if you do not have plasters or other help at hand.

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Although I might try putting a spider’s web around a cut or wound, swallowing pilules of spider web as an experiment does not appeal to me.  But, if  for some reason I was suffering a life-threatening asthma attack, stuck out in the country with no reliable medicine, I might even try swallowing a spider’s web, if I could find one,  in the hope that it might avert the attack.

So – for your information, I quote this excerpt which comes from the pens of ‘Vitalogy’ Doctors Wood and Ruddock. Nowadays, I guess we call ‘Vitalogy’ Naturopathy, or Holistic Medicine. Doctors Wood and Ruddock copyrighted their health manual  in 1904. My copy of the book was published by the ‘Vitalogy Association’ of Chicago, Illinois, in 1923.   The Queen Mother, who was a great fan of homeopathic medicine, and my Grandma Edie, would have been just four years old when this book was written, and 23 when my copy was published.

Doctors Wood and Ruddock say, in ‘Vitalogy’, p.582-3:

‘The cobweb of the spider is said to be almost a specific for fever and ague.  When rolled into an ordinary-sized pill, two or three will be generally sufficient to effect a cure, but more may be taken if necessary, and to be used every two or three hours.

Some physicians give it in about five-grain doses.  For consumption, where it has been used, it is said to have produced surprising effects.

It is also very valuable in asthma.

Applied externally, it will check the bleeding of wounds.  The brown or black spider produces for the purposes above indicated the best web, and it is usually found in cellars, dark out-houses and barns.

It is recommended in wakefulness, spasms and nervous excitement, and generally produces the most delightful state of bodily and mental tranquility.  (WARNING – THIS SOUNDS LIKE A SEDATIVE.  REMEMBER THAT NOT ALL SPIDER’S WEBS MAY BE SAFE TO USE AS ORAL MEDICINE.  SOME OF THOSE AUSSIE ONES MIGHT BE LETHAL, SINCE MANY OF THEIR SPIDERS ARE SO POISONOUS)  It is given in doses of four and five grains, in the form of pills, three times a day.


Cinnamon and Blood Sugar Levels

Cinnamon Lowers High Blood Sugar

Cinnamon bark  has been used for thousands of years for culinary and medicinal purposes in Sri Lanka, India, and the Middle East.

Recently, research has shown that Cinnamon bark can be helpful to lower blood sugar levels.  It  has been found to be effective in treating people who have type 2 diabetes.  People with this condition do not need to take injections of insulin, but are often taking oral antidiabetic medications and/or are following special diets:  this means that the test group in the research had a less severe type of diabetes than do those  people who need to take daily  insulin injections.

In the research cited by Dr Shaun Holt and Iona MacDonald, in the book entitled ‘ Natural Remedies That Really Work’, cinnamon bark was not given to people who had full blown diabetes.

Important note on Cinnamon Side Effects:   Pregnant women should avoid using cinnamon in large amounts such as is indicated in the study discussed here.  The active ingredient cinnamaldehyde, given  in large doses to pregnant animals,  has been found to cause damage to their offspring.  If you have blood sugar problems, or are on any medication, then you should not try the cinnamon experiment to lower your blood sugar levels without consulting your doctor or health professional.

In the study done on Cinnamon and Blood Sugar Levels, people with diabetes type 2 were tested:   part of the group was given a placebo, and the rest of the group were given  aqueous cinnamon extract in a dose which equalled about 3g of cinnamon powder daily. This dosage was continued for a period of four months.

The results were quite startling, with the best results seen in those diabetics who had the highest blood glucose levels.  At the end of the study, these people, who had taken the cinnamon daily and who had the highest blood sugar levels,  had the most dramatic reduction in blood glucose levels, whilst the test group who had taken the placebo had no change: It was concluded that  Cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels.

More on the  possible side effects of Cinnamon:  However, these authors warn about the side effects of cinnamon:  Cinnamon bark contains a compound called coumarin which can cause damage to the liver.  Whilst taking cinnamon as a condiment to food does not seem to cause any noticeable side effects, taking large amounts of cinnamon for long periods may be detrimental to the functioning of your liver.

There are two types of cinnamon available:  the best one to look out for is the Ceylon cinnamon, as this is the one which has the least amount of coumarin in it.  Cassia cinnamon is the type which contains large amounts of coumarin, and which is therefore best avoided in the use of home remedies of any kind.

Vitamin C and Colds

Vitamin C :  Colds

Does  Vitamin C work as a treatment for the common cold?

Research done thus far suggests that Vitamin C, as an additional supplement to the diet,  does not work on its own as a prophylactic for the common cold in most cases.

However, in groups of people who were tested as for the efficacy of vitamin C in treating the common cold, it was found that Vitamin C did actually work to reduce the expected duration of the common cold.  Dr Holt and Iona MacDonald have an essay entitled ‘Vitamin C and the common cold’ which you can find in their book entitled ‘Natural Remedies that Really Work:  A New Zealand Guide, published in 2010 by Craig Potton Publishing, P.O. Box 555, Nelson, New Zealand.

Also, people who took Vitamin C regularly were more likely to resist getting the common cold as a result of hard exercise followed by chilling, than those who did not take Vitamin C.

This would suggest that Vitamin C in fact does improve resistance and increase immune function.

In the studies which Dr Holt and Ms MacDonald mention, Vitamin C was just used as a supplement:  1000 mg daily was recommended as an average, safe supplement.

These studies do not discuss the use of other herbal treatments such as the use of garlic, or lemon juice which is taken in drinks, or other known herbal remedies which help to reduce the symptoms of the common cold.

Vitamin C, I think, works best when it is taken, not on its own as a supplement, but with those foods which complement it, such as lemon juice, and garlic,  ginger and cinnamon.

Lemon juice contains high amounts of Vitamin C on its own.  The common cold is best treated when the juice of a lemon is made into a hot drink, with added ginger, garlic, and cinnamon, and taken with honey.  If a supplement of Ester C, or Calcium ascorbate, is taken at the same time, with about 500mg-1000mg of vitamin C, then the effect of the spiced up and honeyed lemon drink are remarkably pronounced. Use only 500 mg of Vitamin C for children under twelve years, and 1000 mg for adults.  Up to three doses can be given per day, and continued for three days  if the cold is severe.

Note: Dr Holt does not recommend doses of more than 1000 mg of Vitamin C per day for adults.  Note that Vitamin C can interfere with some medications, so if you are on medication, then you should not take ANY Vitamin C without consulting your health practitioner for professional advice. Even if you are not taking medication, consult your doctor or naturopath to see about taking Vitamin C.

In my experience, this is the best way to use Vitamin C supplements, fo treating the common cold:   that is, in combination with lemon drinks, garlic, ginger and cinnamon.