The dangers of sulphites

So what’s the big deal with sulphites? They are yet another assault on our toxic load that our bodies (more precisely our livers) must deal with. Our liver has so much work to do, it is forever working overtime! You may be having problems with them and not even know it.

Sulphites/sulfites are both naturally occuring and a food additive that Health Canada lists as one of the top ten priority food allergens. Sulphites do not provoke a true allergic reaction involving the immune system, but will cause similar reactions in sulphite-sensitive people – such as:
skin, digestive or respiratory problems, headaches, weakness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat and more. Sulphite reactions are more likely to occur and can be more serious in those with asthma.
Sulphites are a used as a preservative and prevent discolouration in foods, prolong shelf life and maintain potency of some medications. You are likely to find them in products such as;

  • bottled lemon and lime juices
  • vinegars
  • wines and beers (even non-alchoholic)
  • condiments
  • processed potato products, including french fries
  • dried fruits (ie. bright orange apricots)
  • canned and frozen fruits and vegatables
  • fruit fillings and syrups
  • jams, jellies
  • cereals, crackers, granola bars, muesli
  • deli meats
  • dressings, gravies, sauces, soup mixes

Sulphites/sulfites or sulfur dioxide are used as a preservative in wine. They have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Red wines contain naturally occurring anti-oxidants acquired from skins and stems during fermentation, so there is no need to add sulphur dioxide to them, but conventional winemakers often add it anyway. White wines and rosés tend to have greater amounts of sulphur dioxide added because they are missing naturally occurring anti-oxidants – they are not left in contact with their skins after crushing. This means they are more prone to oxidation. Sweet wines contain the largest dose. Organic wines are not allowed to contain added sulphites, but may contain naturally occurring sulphites (a byproduct of fermentation) at less than 20 parts per million. Wine made from organic grapes may contain added sulphites, so it is important to note the distinction between organic wine and that made from organic grapes if you want to avoid sulphites.

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Arnica To The Rescue!

I recently had the misfortune of tripping over the power cord to my laptop and was not able to break my subsequent fall in time. I landed flat on the bridge of my nose. It was a hard enough fall to cause pain and profuse bleeding.
I was able to locate a small vial of arnica montana (more on that below) and took 3 pellets within 30 minutes of falling and about every 30 minutes after. I went to the hospital to get checked for a broken nose and to see if I needed stitches. Ex-rays confirmed no broken bones (yeah!) and the doctor felt that a bandage for 5 days would do the same job as stitches, so I opted for the bandage.
The doctor advised me that I would probably have 2 black eyes within 48 hours and the expected swelling etc.
I am writing this post 2 1/2 days after the fall and am ecstatic to report I only have very slight redness under 1 eye. No visible bruising or swelling has occurred. I have incurred bruising many times in my life under much less trauma than this and I believe that my face would look very different had it not been for arnica.
So what is arnica montana? Very simply, it is a homeopathic remedy. I took the oral version, which are very small sugar pellets with a remedy coating on the outside. Avoid touching the pellets directly with your fingers, as the remedy can rub off on your fingers.  Arnica dilates your blood vessels, stimulates white blood cells to the injured site, decreases swelling and bruising. When ever you have physical trauma that produces pain, bruising, swelling or inflammation of any kind, reach for Arnica, (in addition to seeking qualified medical help if necessary). Homeopathy is an ancient type of alternative medicine that is based on “like cures like”.
The moral of my story is two-fold:

  • not being present in the moment can have disasterous effects , so take the time to slow down
  • arnica montana is a must in a first aid kit. This rememdy is available at any health store for under $10.

It doesn’t really matter if you have an active lifeltyle, have children engaged in sports activities, are recovering from surgery or are just running an errand, arnica is very useful to have on hand at all times. It comes in such a small vial, it can easily fit into a purse, glove box or back pocket. Get some today because you never know when you might need it!

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