This is the place that I use to list “stuff” that I’ve found useful, or that clients have found useful. If there’s anything or anyone you think belongs here please let me know firstname.lastname@example.org and we can share it.
Now, I am regularly asked for suggestions for products to help with “maintenance issues”- I mean products that help keep the body in good order, or that might help with problems. Equally I’m asked what I am reading, or where have I been or anything interesting I have seen. I even get questions about recipes- I’m very keen on cooking (especially eating!).
So, I’ve decided to keep a running column to document those things - things that I personally have checked out, and can recommend. It could be a book I have read, a supplement I have tested, an exhibition I have seen or place I have visited, a recipe or, in fact, anything.
Of course, especially if it’s a supplement, that does not mean it will be right for you! Please remember that I am not a doctor or medical practitioner in any way. You must check with your own practitioner before taking anything, and use your own discriminating wisdom in choosing what works for you. But, I’m going to mention things that I have tried and found helpful, or checked out in some way (energetically) and think have benefits to offer.
In case you are interested in how I check something out energetically it’s quite a big subject so I’ll just give you some basic information here. First, most simply- sometimes when I hear the name of a product, or see a package, information comes to me. Usually it is quite quick and “strong”. Woe betide me if I go against intuitive information received like that! Even if I do not understand the message or reaction I have received I must follow it, and I do. Of course in many other cases it helps very much to hold a product. When I do that, I usually get a clear indication of whether it is helpful or not. Sometimes, having “got” an “OK” (better still “good”) message I try it to see how it feels in my body. I hope that makes sense- and also makes it quite clear why I say you must check with your own practitioner. To those who ask for “facts”, I can only say that my intuition is a cherished tool, an invaluable adjunct for me to facts that sometimes it overrules.
I’ll list Helpful Stuff in no particular order, just as it comes up. I’d love to hear how you get on if you try any of my suggestions, and really glad to have suggestions from you- is there anything you want me to try out, or want to recommend?
Modere Products I really like their shampoo- very clean, at a reasonable price. I think the soaps might be good too. But I’d strongly suggest staying away from all the diet related products.
Davines shampoos are great, but very pricey.
Dead Sea Salt. I have written and spoken about Dead Sea salt often, but it is a staple that I come back to again and again - which is why I am mentioning it again. Dead Sea salt in a bath at the end of the day is an amazingly good way of soaking in magnesium! Magnesium is the great soother. I suspect many of us are deficient in magnesium, or could use a boost from time to time. The one caveat I'd include is to make sure your Dead Sea salt is food grade, because you are, after all, drinking it in to your body. I hope you enjoy your soak!
On the subject of drinking, I have been experimenting. So, water, as ever, is an issue. I have not yet found a filtration system that fits all my requirements - table top and fitting all my criteria including not to add anything to the water. If anyone has a suggestion, I'd be glad to hear it. Meanwhile, at the moment, the bottled water I favour, and I know there are so many arguments for not drinking water in plastic bottles, is Volvic. I think it has particular qualities for drawing out metals from the body. My sense is that it is particularly effective for aluminum. My own favourite "recipe" for metal detox is to sip Volvic through the day having first added a couple of grams of ascorbic acid to the water in the bottle.
I've also tried two new teas recently, and can report that I like both, but cannot yet say that I feel either has a particular role, or efficacy. The two teas are Chaga tea, a mushroom product - a bit musty but OK, on occasion. The other is Cat's Claw which Anthony William, who calls himself the medical medium, is supporting. William says it is helpful in killing the Epstein Barr virus (actually a group of viruses I understand) that he feels is responsible for so much chaos on the health front today. I don't know if he is right or wrong. I think there are so many environmental factors to consider, it's hard to blame one thing. However, I was happy to try Cat's Claw and have to say that it was acceptable - not too horrid a taste, but I'll persevere and a little with it before making my mind up on its effects. I am also enjoying kombucha from time to time, but there I am being very careful to find varieties that are as natural as possible with no added flavourings and also trying to check out the alchohol content. I find I am really susceptible to even tiny amounts of alchohol.
Exercise related: This might seem an odd one, but I have recently found that wearing peep toe yoga socks when inside is a great way of strengthening my feet. It's better than being barefoot and at least as comfortable. I believe you can wear the peep toe socks under shows as well, but I have not tried that.
I’ve been experimenting widely here. As ever clients tell me what they are using and ask for my input. It means one way or another I am exposed to a wide variety of products.
Problems with absorption? I have seen good results from liquid vitamins. One that I personally have tried is METABOLICS B Complex Liquid. The blurb on Metabolics B Vitamin Complex Liquid claims its composed of "highest quality B Vitamins, all in the most bio available, co enzyme forms. This means the body can readily absorb the vitamins“. The information on absorption is correct, and it is particularly helpful for anyone whose liver is struggling or overburdened.
Jarrow B Right My favourite B vitamin at the moment.
BioCare Vitasorb A Vitamin A in a liquid form. This is a basic for vision and the immune system.
Allergy Research D3 Complete withVitamin D with A, K2 and E. A great supplement for bones, and excellent balancing Vit D with Vit A. I like it.
Thorne Research Selenium, as selenomethionine
Selenium often gets overlooked, actually it’s important for reproduction, thyroid gland function, DNA production, and protecting the body from damage caused by free radicals and from infection.
Collagen is fashionable at the moment- that almost put me off trying it. But, I’m assessing Pure Encapsulations CollagenJS. There seems to be real research supporting this one (there are loads of collagens on the market) especially for benefit to joints. Later: I’ve been very positively impressed by this form of collagen, I’ve seen good results on all those trying this one. "Hair Skin and Nails'. The excellent collagen product from Pure Bio mentioned above (Pure Encapsulations Collagen) has been discontinued. Instead they have come out with this new formulation. I plan to try it and let you know.
Chromium Piccolinate. Good for dealing with sugar cravings - but definitely not one to take too often.
Lughols iodine - lots of uses, from adding to water for washing salad greens and vegetables, to treatment for underactive thyroid. It's very strong! Caution.
If you check out the web you will see there are lots of studies on Berberine and suggestions that it's helpful in a number of different ways from diabetes to heart disease. Personally I’ve seen good results for digestive disturbance and feel it is really powerful.
This has come up several times in the last month or two. My favourite brand at the moment is Optibac Probiotic. There are two versions, strong and regular. I don’t think it's necessary to take the strong unless you know you have a really serious problem. Otherwise the regular seems to work very well. Warning here. if you are tempted by the Optibac version for women, its seems to be heavily reliant on dairy derived strains - not so good for everyone.
Metabolics Krill Oil. There's no doubt about Fish Oil being good for you (provided its not contaminated by, for example, mercury.) But there is talk now that Krill oil is even better for you. Krill are tiny shrimp-like creature- not much chance of their containing mercury. Some studies suggest that the body may absorb and use the fatty acids in krill oil better than those in fish oil. I think this brand is rather good.
Jarrow Krill Oil. I have found this a good product - as above, I think it is essential to stay off fish oil now, and the diversity of krill oil on offer can be confusing, but I like this Jarrow product.
Pipkin Organic Hemp Seed Oil. This is not exactly a supplement, but I think it works like a supplement. It's Cold Pressed Raw Unrefined Extra Virgin Dark Green Color, and contains Omega 3 6 9. It's not for cooking, but it is good used in small quantities - the taste takes a bit of getting used to - on salad.
Pancreas Natural Glandular Extract Allergy research group. This is an unusual product, sourced from lamb, pork or beef raised in New Zealand, and consequently very pure. It's a digestive aid for those with very sensitive digestion. I think use for a limited period of time could be useful in appropriate cases.
NADH Professor George Birkmayer this was brought to my attention by a client with chronic fatigue syndrome, who found it really helpful. I understand it's used in sports to enhance performance, which would support its claim to help energy production. As with many supplements it is not cheap, in-fact it's very expensive . Holding the package, I like the energy! (If I don’t like the feeling of the energy of a product I will not try it myself, or ask anyone else to try it. ) I have asked someone else in an appropriate situation to try it out and will then let you know.
NADH. I have mentioned George Birkmayer’s formulation above. I now have several more very positive reports on it. But, I have also come across a product by Nutri Advanced offering the same NADH, nothing else I can see added- but in a much smaller dose, 5mg versus Birkmayers 20 mg, and at a much more reasonable cost. I am going to check it out.
Oliveleaf Colloidal Minerals This is a great small company concentrating on supplements made from handpicked worldwide wild sources, they write : “ We believe that we should demand the same quality from our supplements as we do our food in that they should be free of man made chemicals, processed to preserve the phytonutrients mother nature provides and thus be effective and beneficial”. That says it all. (However, sometimes we do need the man made- despite the problems with “Big Pharma”etc etc..)
BioCare Vitamin C powder. This is a store cupboard essential for me. It’s a buffered, low acid form of vitamin C which reduces the chances of stomach irritation. It's a good antioxidant, and in the appropriate dose (you need a qualified practitioner) very helpful for de-tox too.
Restore. Zac Bush is the maestro of the Biome. This is his signature product for gut health, which is of course absolutely fundamental. Well, I though it might be a forever product, but actually I have found that after 4 or 5 months I no longer feel the need to take this. Will it come up again? I'll let you know if it does. Meanwhile, I am glad to hear that others have found it useful.
Digestive disturbance is something that lots of us suffer from, from time to time. Pain, wind, nausea or variants thereof, are remarkably common. The cause can be too much fibre, or a host of other problems. Poor digestion can also make a consent of taking supplements because they simply don't get digested, and just pass through the body. One possible way of treat poor digestion, in some circumstances, is with HCl and Pepsin, and also Pancreas extract. I am about to try both and will let you know how I get on.
BioCare Hal and Pepsin. Allergy Research Pancreas, which comes from either beef or pork. I'm not very good with beef, so am trying the pork version.
Calcium and magnesium. For some of us this is an essential supplement. I have tried various brands or formulas. At the moment I am trying SAN Cal-Mag, and like it very much. There are various formulations with different amounts of calcium and magnesium. I am going to experiment and again will let you know how I get on.
Moths! Clothes moths! I am paranoid about them. Most people living in cities have experienced the damage they can cause. I am using cedar wood chips, doused in cedar wood oil to deter them. So far so good. Fingers crossed.
FOOD Food is medicine of course. It's also too closely related to your taste, you at a particular time, where you are and a host of other factors to be prescriptive. But, as ever there are some constants. One of them is sea vegetables. I have often had trouble with these, though in theory I know what a great source of iodine and therefor thyroid support they are. But, taste too awful, potentially contaminated with mercury, impregnated with vegetable oil etc etc.. However, I have now found one that I love! Its called Dulse, and I particularly favour the dulse from Maine- it feels very clean to me.
Red Notice: How I Became Putin's No.1 Enemy by Bill Browder
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker is described as a Feminist Iliad. I am not sure about that. But I am sure that it is masterly, accomplished and very powerful.
Circe by Madeline Miller. I simply loved this book. I had read and very much enjoyed The Song of Achilles also written by Madeline Miller a year or two ago, but this one struck an even deeper cord. Interestingly, as the names give away, both are inspired by Greek Myths - Miller was a classics teacher - but this re-telling, or indeed re-working of the stories is utterly modern and altogether compelling. I took note of the fact that both she and JK Rowling are drawing inspiration from legend, and that both have been immensely successful doing so (albeit to different degrees in different genres.) But it does say to me that there is something very deep and compelling that speaks to our psyches in those myths and legends.
The Essential Oils Hormone Solution by Dr Mariza Snyder.
The Sight of Death by T J Clark. An experiment in Art writing.
Pierre Bonnard. The Colour of Memory, The CC Land Exhibition. A beautiful book - I dip back into it regularly.
How We Win by Farah Pandith.
Winston Graham. Poldark series. I thought it would be very dated and uninteresting but actually it’s an old fashioned series (I’ve only read two of the series) that concentrates on character development and emotions, as well as the relationship between the characters and the environment. Easy pleasurable holiday reading.
Ursula Le Guin. It’s several years since I last read Tales from Earthsea, but re-visiting them is magical.
Rose Tremain. Restoration and Merivel. History repeats itself. I found these books very compelling.
Philip Pullman. The Book of Dust, volume 1, La Belle Sauvage. I have been wary of Phillip Pullman - too dark for my taste. But, this volume is different. Yes, it's a frightening world, but not without hope. the Light is there. I look forward to reading the next volume.
STUFF TO WATCH
Looming Tower. Excellent series shown on BBC2 in the UK, made in America. Watch it if you can.
Cider House Rules. An uplifting film (older), look for the Michael Caine version.
Dr Jill Carnahan, a functional medicine doctor in Colorado, has some good recipes.
I'D LOVE TO HAVE YOUR SUGGESTIONS FOR ANYTHING YOU'VE FOUND USEFUL OR INTERESTING. PLEASE SEND THEM TO ME AT Michal@michal.uk.com. THANK YOU!
Needless to say I am not paid to mention anything here. I am also not qualified to give any professional advice, everything here is just my own opinion, and I hope it's helpful, entertaining or interesting. If you would like to make a contribution to the cost of my explorations it would be much appreciated, you can do so here.
OTHER PEOPLES SUGGESTIONS
A four part series by Manda Scott, including " Boudica Dreaming the Eagle” , “ Boudica Dreaming the Bull”, and "Boudica, Serpent Dreaming”. It is a fascinating take on tribal Britain and on the Romans and their approach to war and healing. It’s also of course sad as the last battle against the Romans is lost but it really has made me think about the Romans and how different pre Roman Britain was. Also how the Romans are still present to us today in so many places in Britian.
Here are some resources that some of us have come across, or that members of our community offer. We can't guarantee them obviously, but we can say - if you feel inclined to try them out, please do, and please let us know know how you get on.
If you have any resources of your own that you'd like to suggest others might want to try, we'd love to hear from you. Please email team@MichalLevinInstitute.com.
Here they are:
Jonathan Treasure, herbalist
Alliance for Natural Health International send out a regular, information newsletter and alerts on specific subjects
Cathy Mills, Artist
Organic herbal skincare range herbfarmacy.com