A NATURAL PRESCRIPTION
-Lisa Shock B.Sc. with Dr. Robert Erdmann
For some people, trying to stop food cravings –an unnatural desire to simply eat or snack on just about anything, is indeed a daunting and daily challenge. The opposite of eating is fasting. Fasting, just like overeating can be dangerous to your health and should only be attempted under a doctor’s supervision. Medically supervised fasting programs use juices with fiber and absorbent additives. In addition, nutritional supplements tailored to individual needs are incorporated into every monitored fasting program.
The following techniques that are outlined below are not about fasting or taking extreme measures, but are tailored to people that simply want to stop food cravings and stop consuming an excessive amount of calories.
Actual hunger is a call to eat and ignoring it can result in numerous health problems, the first of which is usually low blood sugar levels. These low blood sugar levels result in weakness and fatigue –both in body and mind. The eventual result is the breakdown of proteins that manufacture the glucose vital to brain function. The final consequences are often food cravings –which lead to food binging.
If you have ever been stressed out you may have been compelled to start munching. Stress can induce compulsive overeating because eating seems to calm frayed nerves. You don’t need to pig out. In order to stop food cravings, you need to identify your symptoms and take the appropriate supplement or action. If you find yourself eating when irritable, angry or stressed, perhaps you are just trying to calm your nerves. Meditation, exercise or a simple walk are the most common methods recommended to reduce stress –and in turn, help stop food cravings.
If your schedule or personality is not suited to these methods, there are other options. You can try a blend of nutritional supplements that have been shown to be useful in a variety of clinical malaises including: allergies, asthma, migraine headaches, pain, obsessive-compulsive behavior, manic-depressive problems, tremor control, insomnia and other health problems which may contribute to food cravings. Many people report that calming effects occur often within minutes, sometimes even seconds.
Try these supplements:
Supplements can help stop food cravings. Try Histamine, Taurine, Thiamine, Pyridoxine, Calcium, Glycine, Inositol, Riboflavin, Vitamin C, Niacinamide.
Try these nutrients:
Nutrients can help stop food cravings. Try GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), Vitamin B6, Magnesium.
The most effective calming nutrient is tryptophan, an essential amino acid. The best food source is spirulina. You’ll need digestive enzymes to free up the tryptophan.
Sadness, Loneliness, Depression & Apathy
Low levels of certain brain stimulants can change your moods, resulting in feelings of sadness, loneliness or boredom. This is especially noticeable in the morning.
Do you have trouble getting up in the morning? Are you tired and sleepy for an hour or more in the morning? Supplemental amino acids can provide the building blocks to boost these brain stimulants and help stop food cravings as well as excessive eating in general.
To stop food cravings, try the amino acids: phenylalanine, glutamine, tyrosine or pyro-glutamic acid, all can act as stimulants. Take them in the morning before you eat. One or two grams work for most people, but they can also increase blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure you will need your doctor’s advice before taking these amino acids.
Another product that helps many in the morning is DHEA. DHEA is used by the body to make hormones, and if your system is low on DHEA, it may not be making enough hormones to allow you to function at full capacity. Most experts recommend taking DHEA in the morning, however a few people get better results by taking it at night. See what works best for you.
Blood tests are the only accurate way to determine the optimum dose of DHEA. Most people over the age of 40 respond to doses of somewhere between 10 to 200 milligrams.
Herbs, Vitamins, Minerals & Antioxidants
Herbs can also calm frayed nerves and help stop food cravings. The best calming herbs are: Passion Flower and Primula Officinalis.
Milder calming herbs are: Valerian, Skullcap, Chamomile, Hops, Lobelia, Red Clover and Catnip.
Vitamins and minerals can help reduce stress, and stress can trigger binge eating. Take extra if you need to stop food cravings. Especially important are the B Vitamins which include: Inositol, Pyridoxine, Thiamine, Niacin and Riboflavin.
Antioxidants are important. They include: Vitamin E, C, D, and Lipoic Acid.
Minerals can calm nerves and help stop food cravings. Try: Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Silicon, Iodine, Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium.
Don’t forget the calming effects of Essential Oils. Excellent choices are: Sandalwood, Jasmine, and Rose in your effort to stop food cravings.
I struggled for a long time in deciding if I should add this chapter to my new book STOP FOOD CRAVINGS – Their Causes and Their Cures (Apple Publishing). Many prominent scientists and doctors believe that homeopathy has little or no value, and the only effect it may have is that of a placebo. And because I once shared this belief, I can understand their position.
It is not my intention to try and convince others as to the validity of homeopathy. Keep in mind, it was just a few short years ago that acupuncture was also accused of being a worthless placebo. However, today acupuncture is recognized as a valid treatment and useful anesthetic for surgery. Perhaps homeopathy will soon begin to get the recognition it deserves. I’ve added homeopathy here as an alternative addition to your arsenal in helping you stop food cravings.
Homeopathy is the use of an “activated carrier substance” that triggers some sort of physical change. Water and lactose are commonly used as carriers. By careful and precise “percussing” of the carrier in various substances, a homeopathic dilution is formed. Those who believe that these dilute carriers cannot have any effect, base their opinion on the fact that current accepted scientific theory cannot explain the mechanism.
Other scientists, in an effort to prove the validity or nonsense of homeopathy have done extensive testing. Much to their surprise the results indicate homeopathy has a measurable and testable effect. This effect cannot be explained by current scientific beliefs and I am not going to offer any explanation as to how or why homeopathy works.
Before medicine knew about infectious agents like bacteria, it was accepted knowledge that evil spirits cause disease. One observing doctor noticed that if he washed his hands between patients, he could stop or severely limit the spread of childbirth fever.
He tried in vain to get other doctors to wash as well. After all, how could washing hands have anything to do with evil spirits? The point is that I don’t need to understand how homeopathy works to be able to benefit from it. Someday science will give us the answers. Until then, if it’s safe, effective and low cost, I will continue to use it until something better comes along.
Many people have cured their food cravings and other health problems using only homeopathy. It’s true however, that it doesn’t work for everyone. The reason may be in the application. Homeopathy is currently more of an art that it is a science.
There are thousands of remedies available in dozens of potencies. Finding the correct remedy at the right dosage can be a complex puzzle. The study and application of homeopathic remedies can take many years to master. It is also possible to have “beginners luck”, and some doctors seem to have a certain instinct or intuition at finding the correct remedy.
Homeopathic doctors are common in Europe and are gaining popularity in the United States and Canada. The best way to find a good homeopath is by word of mouth. Ask around and find someone that is getting results. If you want to study up on the remedies in depth and learn more about this field, there are plenty of good books available. But for our purposes I have put together a chart of some of the commonly available homeopathic remedies that have been found to be useful for treating a variety of cravings.
This chart below is only a starting place, using commonly available remedies. I have tried to limit the possible remedies to those that have been found most useful for most people. There are hundreds more possible remedies. The ideal remedy for each person takes into account many more physical and emotional symptoms than just the craving itself. My advice is: if you are attempting to treat yourself, research the potential remedy carefully and determine if you have most of the typical symptoms for that particular remedy.
It is possible to make your own homeopathic remedy in your battle to stop food cravings. The preparation is not difficult but the slightest sloppiness or carelessness of even one step can render the final product worthless. Read all instructions several times over before embarking on your homeopathic adventure, and don’t be lulled into thinking it will be easy –because it is not.
However, the cost is virtually free to everyone, and so this option will appeal to all those thrifty people that have the inclination to be self sufficient.
Start with a small sample of the item you crave, for example salt. You’ll need 50 small grains of salt, or about one very small pinch. Use a clean spoon to handle the salt and put it into a small clean glass jar or vial. The glass jar must be absolutely clean. Only use a brand new jar, and even then rinse it together with the cap at least 10 times with distilled water to get all traces of dirt and dust out.
To the jar add salt and about 10 cc distilled water and screw on the cap. There should be ample air space above the liquid level. Now you are going to shake the jar very vigorously. This step is called “percussing” and it is crucial. One hundred and fifty shakes are required. The exact force required in each shake is also important. Too much or too little and the product will be inferior.
Without personal supervision it is difficult to explain how to properly shake but I will do my best. First, prepare a surface onto which you can strike the jar. One historical favorite was a large book with a leather cover. The book’s surface was firm enough to absorb some of the impact, while the cover provided enough protection to avoid breaking the jar. Try to duplicate this arrangement by using a hard surface like a counter top or large book covered with leather or heavy cloth.
You will also need to take into account the jar or vial you will be using as to how much concussion it can tolerate. To provide the force, hold the jar in your hand about 8-10 inches above your prepared surface and rest your elbow comfortably on or near the surface. Bring the jar into contact with the surface by allowing your hand to fall towards the surface. The surface will also absorb the impact. Only the jar should make contact with the surface. Caution: do not break the jar! Wear protective gloves and glasses when first trying this so that if the glass does break you won’t get hurt.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice is essential to get a comfortable but effective stroke. Continue for the first 150 strikes. Once prepared, the solution is called your first extraction. Some items may form better extracts if you use alcohol, such as vodka instead of water for this first extraction.
Now carefully take 1 cc of this extraction and place it into a clean jar adding another 10 cc distilled water and then percussing again for 150 strokes. Continue this dilution and percussing process for 6 or more times. Each solution you have made is a homeopathic solution of different strength. The actual strength that will work best for you is impossible to predict. You will need to simply try different strengths to see if they work. As a general rule, the more dilute solutions work better in resolving chronic and long-standing problems.
To use simply take a few drops, say 10 to 20, and place them in your mouth. Hold for as long as possible before swallowing. You must have not eaten or drunk anything in the last 30 minutes before using.
Another vital consideration and preparing homeopathic remedies is the fact that any contamination, even the touch of your finger on the inside of the cap can ruin the batch. Strong odors, perfumes, magnetic or electrical fields can also ruin the batch. Climate or seasonal changes may also affect the batch, as can the phase of the moon. In short, homemade homeopathic remedies are variable in their quality.
They must be used immediately or re-shaken before use if allowed to sit for even one day. Drops must be taken out in such a way that the jar is not contaminated by an eyedropper or spoon.
Because of all these complications, I usually use commercially prepared remedies. They have been manufactured under strict conditions, and when prepared in pill form are easy to dispense without contamination of the batch. The pill form is more stable and can sit on a shelf for months or perhaps longer and still be effective. All homeopathics should be kept away from sunlight and strong odors.
To help you stop unnatural cravings, I’ve created the following table which lists some commercially available remedies and common cravings associated with their use.
|Alcoholic Drinks||Arsencium Album
|Cold Drinks||Aconitum Napellus
|Acidic Fruit||Phosphoricum Acidum
|Spicy Food||China Officinalis
|Dirt, Chalk, Clay, Pencils||Nitricum Acidum
|Salty Foods||Argentum Nitricum
|Sour Foods||Corallium Rubrum
Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum
|Vinegar||Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum|
|Strange Things During Pregnancy||Lyssin (Hydrophobinum)|
About The Authors:
Lisa Lynne Shock, B.Sc. studied nutritional science and natural remedies for well over two decades. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Davis.
Dr. Robert Erdmann PhD received his degree from Columbia University in Psychology and is renowned internationally as a major health authority. He has published several books including Fats That Can Save Your Life, Minerals: The Metabolic Miracle Workers, The Amino Acid Revolution and a book on Behavioral Psychology.