Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Amazing Hoodia Plant

The Amazing Hoodia Plant
by Patsy Hamilton.

While there are nurseries that may advertise the hoodia plant for sale, this is not the hoodia gordonii variety which contains the natural appetite suppressant.

Hoodia is a genus in the plant family Apocynaceae. Advertisements which reference the appetite suppressing abilities of the hoodia plant are referring to the hoodia gordonii species. This is the only species on which research has been done to this date. Any website, nursery or other company which advertises that they have a hoodia plant for sale is referring to the typical garden variety of hoodia plant.

Though the hoodia plant is commonly referred to as a cactus, it is actually a succulent. Succulents and cacti are very similar plants and it is relatively difficult for anyone other than a botanist to tell the difference. There are a few differences which may help consumers distinguish the hoodia plant from some form of cactus. The major one is country of origin. An advertisement which offers a hoodia plant for sale and lists the country of origin somewhere in North or South America is probably selling some sort of cactus.

The hoodia plant is native to the continent of Africa. As an interesting note, only one form of cactus grows wild in Africa. Botanists believe that the cactus did not develop until after the continents drifted apart millions of years ago. Succulents are found on most continents and are believed to have developed before the continental drift. Any hoodia plant which was not imported from Africa is not a genuine hoodia plant.

Offering a wild hoodia plant for sale in many countries in South Africa is illegal. The hoodia plant has been placed on a protected status due to the large publicity it has received for its natural appetite suppressing abilities. Many South African farmers have begun to cultivate the hoodia plant for sale to health supplement companies throughout the world. A special license is required to export the hoodia plant, since wild stands are practically depleted. This is referred to as a CITES certification. Most health supplement companies which are licensed to export hoodia gordonii will display their CITES certification in order to support the claim that their product contains genuine hoodia gordonii. This became necessary after several companies offering hoodia for sale were found to be scammers.

Another factor which may help a consumer distinguish between the gordonii variety of the hoodia plant and some other hoodia plant for sale is price. Currently, as of April 2006, sources say that authentic hoodia gordonii is selling for $300/kg on the open market. This price is expected to go up as supplies become more and more limited. The gordonii species of the hoodia plant is difficult to grow and requires four or five years to reach maturity. It also has a very strong smell. Some companies are developing their own hoodia plantations in Africa to guarantee their continued supply of product.

It may be years before Phytopharm, the British pharmaceutical company which holds a patent on the isolated active molecule in hoodia gordonii, releases its product to the world. There are a few reputable health supplement companies that deal exclusively in herbs and other natural products which offer the powdered form of hoodia for sale to dieters. One such product is Hoodia XR. Hoodia XR has received positive reviews from dieters, offers a money back guarantee on unused portions and contains 1000mg of powdered hoodia gordonii in a time released capsule. The best advice for dieters not willing to wait for the Phytopharm product is to do a little research on the health supplement company and be wary of anyone offering the hoodia plant for sale.

For more information about the hoodia plant and to view pictures of different varieties of hoodia, visit the Hoodia Info Blog.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps Can Improve Your Health, Too!

250 million year old Himalayan Salt Crystals have been known for improving air qualities by enriching the air with negative ions, thus enhancing your well being and improving your health. Salt Crystal Lamps naturally improve the quality of air we breathe by neutralizing the positive ions generated by electrical devices. The Salt Lamps glow with warm pinks and oranges, beautifying any room. Life in the 21st century has become stressful for our body, mind and spirit. Surround yourself with the soothing, elegant, and healing energy of the Salt Crystal Lamps.

Scientific studies show that Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps can increase the negative ion count. The feeling generated by negative ions is one you find at the ocean, or in the high you experience in the midst of a big storm, or near a big waterfall. Positive ions, on the other hand, called pos-ions, are overwhelming in our polluted cities and buildings made of synthetic materials.

Humans respond most positively to a ratio of 2 negative ions to 1 positive ion, but such a ratio is rare at best. Yosemite Falls has a negative ion count of over 100,000 per cubic centimeter. Fresh, country air has a negative ion count of around 2,000 to 4,000 per cubic centimeter. Los Angeles during rush hour has a negative ion count of around 100 per cubic centimeter.

Here is a simple, natural way to increase the negative ions in our home or office.
Himalayan Salt Crystal Lamps are 50% off now at the Nature's First Law Online Superstore. Each authentic lamp varies slightly in shape and weighs between 10 and 12 pounds. Includes replaceable bulb and cord with on/off switch. Also included with each lamp is a nice wooden base.

Check them out by clicking on the picture:

Friday, May 05, 2006

Using Hypnosis to Quit Smoking

All habits, inhibitions, and mental blocks are stored in our subconscious mind. With each of these factors there are associated feelings and sensations. Some time in the past these emotional inputs - feelings and sensations - were experienced repeatedly. The repetition reinforced those emotions and made them more dominating than other emotions. The subconscious mind tries to re-live the experience, creates situations so that dominating emotions appear again and again and get further reinforced. As a result the subconscious mind creates and maintains self-made limitations.

To take an example, say a person has a habit of smoking. There are physical and mental sensations connected with smoking. The subconscious mind will try to experience those sensations again. It will create a situation in which smoking will become a "necessity". The data stored with the subconscious will be confirmed and the subconscious mind will happily conclude that smoking is a necessity.

To break any bad habit or limitations set up in the subconscious it will be necessary to change the conviction held by it. The stored emotions of bad habit will have to be replaced with desirable emotions. Hypnotism is one of the methods for changing the beliefs held by the subconscious mind.

There are two broad stages in the process of hypnotism.

1. Relaxation
2. Focus on the problem

In the relaxed condition the subconscious mind is more receptive. You will need to have some perfection in achieving relaxation by practicing stage 1 several times. This is a necessary precondition for hypnosis. After you are sufficiently trained in relaxation you can divert your attention to problem solving. By this technique it is possible to solve virtually any personal problems.


Try to recall an event in which you felt totally relaxed. It could be your recent vacation or meeting with old friends or time you spent in reserve forest away from daily problems. It could be any situation with which memory of your relaxation is connected. If you cannot recall any event you can invent one in your imagination. You can have a combination of real life and imaginary situations.

After deciding the situation you will mentally go there. Write down the steps for going there from your present position. Your steps could be something like this.

1. I am sitting comfortably on my favorite chair.
2. Now I am shutting out my worries.
3. My nerves have calmed down and I am feeling more relaxed.
4. My breathing is becoming more rhythmic and relaxed.
5. I am breathing more deeply. (Concentrate on your breathing for a minute or two.)
6. I am feeling that I have descended into Endcity Park. (Try to remember the park in detail.)
7. I am enjoying the natural surroundings, the smell of fresh air, all around there is feast for my eyes.
8. The atmosphere is so soothing and relaxing.
9. I feel totally relaxed.
10. I am totally relaxed.

After writing these steps, revise and remember them thoroughly because once you start the process of relaxation you cannot break to consult your notes.

In the entire process of relaxation you will be talking to yourself. You can silently talk to yourself or record your talk in your voice and play the recording when you want to relax. While recording speak in slow and soothing voice. For each step give sufficient time in your recording to experience the feelings as if you are really there.

When you are ready to start the process, sit comfortably in your favorite chair. Close your eyes, silently start talking to yourself and go through the steps one by one. (Or play the recording). Give sufficient time and stress to each step to capture the emotions. After you reach equivalent of step 10 given in the example above you can retrace your steps and return back to normalcy. You should practise these steps few times so that you are able to relax quickly at will.

Now you are ready to focus on your attention on resolving the problems. From step 10, or its equivalent, you can go directly to the next stage.

Focus on Problem Solving

There are several methods of concentrating on the problems. A method called 'pattern interrupting' works well for eliminating habits like smoking. In this method you start with writing the steps and feelings associated with execution of your bad habit.

If you wish to quit smoking, make a list of all the steps you take when you smoke. Following steps are only suggestive; you can make your own steps:

1. I am totally relaxed (you will be continuing from the relaxed position).
2. I have an urge to smoke.
3. I take out a cigarette. There goes my 50c (or whatever the cost of one cigarette).
4. I take out my lighter.
5. I can already feel the excitement of smoking.
6. I light my cigarette.
7. I am now smoking (remember the taste and the sensation of smoking).
8. My cigarette is over and I throw away the stub.
9. The evil act of smoking is over. At last!
10. Feeling of guilt.
11. Feeling of mischievous accomplishment because I finished my cigarette before Anita could see me smoking.
12. Comforting feeling that I will not be smoking for some time at least.
13. I am still relaxed.
14. What a great achievement it will be when I totally quit smoking.

After writing down the steps, try to remember them.

Next time after you are in relaxed stage start with the steps to focus on the problem. Try to re-live the experience. After completing the steps again think of steps 2 to 12 but not sequentially. Think of the steps in random order to break the pattern. Try to think of each step randomly about 3 times.

Now think of desirable steps. For example, you can concentrate on these steps:

1. I am totally relaxed.
2. It is good that my last cigarette is over.
3. It feels great just to think that I will not smoke again.
4. I am happy that I will not have to hide anything from Anita.
5. What a sense of achievement. I have finally quit smoking. I have done it!
6. This is the victory of my will power over my useless habit.
7. I am still relaxed.

After repeating those desirable steps few times you can slowly come back to your normal self.

Hypnotism has amazing power. When used properly it can bring about tremendous benefits. It is a formidable tool and should be used wisely.