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Let the Sunshine In

Sunshine

The sun shines on everyone and all things grow under the shining warmth of the sun. Solar rays penetrate into the deep layers of the earth to sustain all things green and all life on our lush planet. Sunlight ripens fruit, guides the growth of trees, animals and people and prompts petals to close at dusk and awake at dawn. The sun's glorious life-force ignites our light and our cells.

 

Our bodies and bones need the sun. Our skin needs to be out in the sun. It needs ample time in nature to receive the cosmic information that nourishes our cells and our soul. While interacting with the sun’s cathodic, cosmic rays, each pore in our skin opens receptively. Like a cervix, the skin dilates deeply below the epidermis to receive the seminal influence of the sun’s prana, melting and melding with our own rays, to produce melanin and lubricate with oils. These secretions turn sunlight into activating body electrons and useful substances for the immune and endocrine systems. Wise interaction with the sun presents revitalizing, illuminating nourishment.

 

We often think about what the sun is doing to us. We may also want to consider what we offer to the sun. There is a relationship, a union between our bodies and the sun. When our bodies bind with the seminal strength of the sun, the effect of this union is an energy which animates our life force.

 

Good Day Sunshine

Hello, sun in my face.

Hello, you who made the morning

and spread it over the fields

and into the faces of the tulips

 

best preacher that ever was,

dear star, that just happens

to be where you are in the universe

to keep us from ever-darkness,

to ease us with warm touching,

to hold us in the great hands of light –

good morning, good morning, good morning.

~ Mary Oliver

 

 

Our agrarian ancestors spent almost 75% more time outside than we do today.

The past few decades have brought a growing concern about the sun and fear of the sun. Most dermatologists shun the sun. They shall have us all going outside and putting our hands over our heads, weary of the sun’s rays.

 

According to The Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, we live in a sun light deprived society and this deprivation is harming us.1 The sun, even as it rises and sets, radiates the warm energy responsible for universal growth and maturation. The sunlight releases all of the nourishing energies capable of sustaining life -- all the necessary life nutrients. All elements originally emanated from the sun. Our bodies and minds are charged by the sun; they are antennas for the sun. Our cells have a DNA code and photons designed to receive energy and information from the sun. 

 

The results of a 1982 study conducted by Dr. Helen Shaw and published by the medical journal, Lancet, demonstrated that fluorescent light exposure from indoor work (and this is back in 1982 when most of the work force was yet to stare at a computer screen all day), creates twice the incidence of melanoma than outdoor work in the sun. Office workers, exposed to high levels of artificial lighting during the day and minimal exposure to the sun, have the highest risk of developing melanomas and mutations in their cells.

 

Sun-fluid Nutrients

Our bodies are designed to be exposed to the rays of the sun, and our skin contains all the necessary mechanisms to extract and produce beneficial nutrients from the sun. These mechanisms also shield our bodies from harm.

 

When exposed to sunshine, immunity of the skin is strengthened. Our skin has its own form of photosynthesis; it converts sunbeams into the regenerative substance, a steroidal hormone precursor, vitamin D. I like to think of vitamin D as golden drops of sun-fluid that we all need to function optimally.

 

Vitamin D courses through the body, responsible for many body functions and for halting disease processes. The sun, via vitamin D, lets the cells know when it is time to die; cancerous tumors result when cells stop dying when they are supposed to, and yet the cells keep dividing causing disorganization in the body. Also, vitamin D (along with vitamin K2) is essential for proper absorption of calcium and other minerals into the bones and teeth. It promotes efficient neuromuscular functioning and plays a role in anti-inflammatory processes.

 

Our skin's exposure to sun produces two types of essential sulfur: cholesterol sulfate and vitamin D3 sulfate. Sulfur, cholesterol and the vitamin D produced in our skin from sun exposure are necessary for optimal cellular health while protecting us from radiation damage. “Both cholesterol and sulfur afford protection in the skin from radiation damage to the cell’s DNA, the kind of damage that can lead to skin cancer. Cholesterol and sulfur become oxidized upon exposure to the high frequency rays in sunlight, thus acting as antioxidants to “take the heat,” so to speak.” Vitamin D3 from oral supplements, which is unsulfured and fat-soluble, is helpful, but it is not bonded to sulfur to make D3 sulfate. Vitamin D3 sulfate is water soluble and moves freely in the bloodstream providing a healthy barrier against bacteria; it is “synthesized in the skin, where it forms a crucial part of the barrier that keeps out harmful bacteria and other microorganisms such as fungi.”

 

The most natural and effective form of vitamin D is the type that we synthesize when our skin is exposed to the sun – without sunscreen. The best time of day to get out in the sun for making vitamin D is mid-morning to noon, and you only need 10 to 15 minutes to make a day's supply of D. To preserve the juiciness of your sun exposure use only organic botanical oils in and after the sun and be sure not to use soap on the skin’s surface which disrupts these regenerative substances.

 

Our current sun-fear is causing us harm. The rate of vitamin D deficiency in North America is soaring. Almost 75% of adults have insufficient levels of the vitamin in their blood stream. A lack of UV light disturbs normal cell growth, and new research attributes a host of health issues, including heart disease, juvenile diabetes and cancer, to this vitamin deficit. 

 

“The Sun is our most vital factor. Like sea water nourishes seaweed, so the Sun supplies the vitality that human beings live on. Bones and nails especially are concentrations of invisible sunfluid”.

 

Staring at the Sun

Look to the sun for health. Another biological process of sun-energy absorption activates when we have the sun in our eyes. Sunlight enters our eyes and stimulates our pineal gland, which is connected to the hypothalamus, where sun-energy triggers vital magnetic, electrical and chemical reactions in the human body. Science has revealed that sunlight stimulates the production of melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin is a hormone that promotes a general feeling of calmness, regulates our sleep wake cycle and helps us sleep deeply at night. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being, is found in the brain, nervous system and gut. Adequate and increased levels of serotonin protect against various mental and physical disorders: depression, anxiety, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and more.1 Research on how sunlight affects our brain and body chemistry is ongoing.

 

Practicing the ancient tradition of sun gazing may meet all of your body's and spirit's sun-needs. The practice is easy; simply look at sun as it rises or sets. It is safe to look at the sun at any time within the hour after sunrise or before sunset because ultraviolet levels are at zero.

 

You will want to begin sun gazing slowly to acclimatize your eyes to the sun. Start by looking at the sun, during one of the safe hours, for about 10 seconds and then add 10 seconds to your sun gazing practice every day. After three months, you will have built up to 15 minutes, and you will likely start to feel the positive effects; less tension, fewer worries, a more balanced spirit and plenty of vitamin D.

 

Sunscreen verses the Splendor of the Sun

Our skin inhales deeply the powerful light-energy of the sun into the body, and then the skin exhales and releases all of the toxins and the things that we do not want or need in our bodies. If we slather on chemical-laden skin lotions that block exhalation, (like oxybenzone, petroleum, parabens and paba -- ingredients in sunscreen), the offloading of these toxins is blocked. Then, when we go into the sun, these chemicals are baked into our bodies.  Chemicals found in sunscreen pose serious dangers to the environment, too.

 

“Chemical sunscreens are now being recognized as agents that actually increase cancers by virtue of their free radical generating properties.” Sunscreen ingredients are also known to accumulate in our lipid layers (fat tissues) to generate: reactive oxygen species (ROS), estrogenic actions, oxidized amino acids and damaged DNA. The damage to the genes and chromosomes impairs the cell’s ability to properly reproduce itself. Oxybenzene, a powerful free radical generator, is a chemical used in industrial processes to initiate chemical reactions and is non-carcinogenic until it is exposed to sunlight!

 

The sun protection factor from these synthetic ingredients in sunscreens may also give us a false sense of security by disabling our skin's early warning protection system against imprudent lengths of time out in the sun: burns. UV-B rays –- the rays blocked by sunscreens – are what cause sunburn. Yet, the current thought is that UV-A is the cancer culprit.

 

By blocking UV-B rays, sunscreen tricks us into over exposing ourselves to UV-A rays. Even so, The Queensland Institute for Medical Research in Brisbane, Australia, followed 1,300 adults for five years to test the value of sunscreens as a protective agent against skin cancers. They reported that sunscreen reduced the risk of squamous cell carcinoma by 40 percent and the risk of forming melanoma or basal cell carcinoma remained level.

 

We blame the sun for skin cancers, and common beauty ailments, like wrinkles and age spots, are often referred to as "sun damage." Perhaps your skin has true sun damage from over exposure, or maybe the damage is from something else entirely…

 

A Renegade SPF

What we present to the sun, what is on and in our bodies while out in the sunshine, is of vital substance. It is a sacred relationship between the sun and our bodies. Consider your body’s offering to the sun… is it well-nourished and well hydrated inside and out?

 

A diet of processed foods, tap water, birth control pills and trans-fat vegetable oils creates less than healthy chemical reactions in our bodies that trigger collagen breakdown, inflammation, age spots and hyper-pigmentation in the skin. We know that diet and some cancers are correlated. Perhaps sun damage is also the result of malnutrition: lack of dietary essential fatty acids, Vitamin D and antioxidants. Excellent nutrition allows our skin to receive the full blessing of the sun and protect us from over-exposure.

 

I propose a new, renegade definition of SPF: Super Power Foods. Super Power Foods are brightly colored, whole foods brimming with nutrients that comprise a rainbow diet and contribute to an internal sunscreen. Your skin would love for you to integrate into your meals the SPF's like vibrant green chlorella, warm yellow turmeric and bright orange seabuckthorn berry.

 

Dietary essential fatty acids are also Super Power Foods because they cultivate a special relationship between skin and the sun’s rays. Direly depleted in the North American diet, EFAs are key in maintaining healthy skin structure and critical to the skin's protective lipid barrier. They also help to moderate our inflammation response. EFAs from foods like hemp and chia seeds, borage oil and evening primrose oils are readily absorbed and used by the body. 

 

A fun addition to any diet, and a SPF, dark, raw, organic chocolate is full of the anti-oxidant called flavonol. Flavonol fortifies our skin cells by repairing oxidative damage.

 

Botanical Beauty

Plants require wise interaction with the sun, too. Thus, almost all fatty plant oils offer some degree of ultraviolet protection. Plant oils, like virgin coconut oil, jojoba oil and olive oil are especially adept at harmonizing the sun’s rays with your skin. According to a laboratory study, raw raspberry seed oil has potential use as a broad range sun protectant. Under a spectrometer, raspberry seed oil absorbed both UV-B and UV-C rays and scattered UV-A rays; it may provide as much as 25 SPF.

 

Essential oils, the non-fatty oils distilled from plants, harmonize our time in the sun and provide the nourishment and a cooling canopy to restore and adore your skin. When applied to the skin, essential oils and elixirs allow solar rays to meld with our rays into a warm, vibrant health. To preserve the juiciness of your sun exposure, use only organic botanical oils in and after the sun. Also, be sure not to shower with soap, which disrupts these regenerative substances.

 

Rich in antioxidants and cell regenerative activity, some essential oils can prevent and reverse sun damage, fade age spots, reduce photo aging and treat issues of melanoma. Sandalwood, geranium and frankincense oils are especially effective at this. Containing alpha-santol and beta-santol, beautiful sandalwood oil is a potential chemo-preventative agent, and it is really great treatment for dehydrated skin and age spots. Frankincense, distilled from a tree that flourishes in the hot, dry climate of the Middle East, has been revered for thousands of years for its regenerating properties, used in both skin care and oral care.

 

We at Living Libations love soaking up the sun’s rays and getting our daily dose of vitamin D. We created Everybody Loves the Sunshine, a mixture of sun-loving oils, to prepare our skin to welcome the sun's warm rays. Everybody Loves the Sunshine combines the oil of the desert jojoba plant, virgin coco-creme, red raspberry seed oil, seabuckthorn berry oil and tamanu berry with the essential oils of schizandra berry, immortelle, carrot seed, rose otto, cape-chamomile, frankincense, sandalwood, geranium, ginger, lavender, turmeric, calendula and palmarosa.

 

In the summertime, we often long to play outside all day, so we made Everybody Loves the Sunshine with Zinc! Zinc oxide reflects the sun's rays and is a really pure option. Uncoated zinc oxide is purer than both titanium dioxide and coated zinc oxide, which is made with synthetic silicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane. Uncoated zinc is also anti-bacterial and anti-microbial, and it can reduce redness, rosacea, age spots and melasma.

 

For extended periods in the bright sun, you may sensibly don a hat and/or long cotton clothing.

 

If you have already enjoyed a little too much fun in the sun and have red-hot skin, try this cooling combination of botanicals to heal and ease sun-saturation. This anti-inflammation and analgesic formula will also alleviate radiation burns from cancer treatment. If you are missing a few ingredients, make it anyway using what you have on hand -– it will still provide relief.

 

Radiation Rejuvenation

4oz/120ml organic jojoba

1 teaspoon/5ml seabuckthorn berry

20 drops/1ml lavender

20 drops/1ml sandalwood

10 drops geranium

10 drops immortelle (Helichrysum italicum)

10 drops frankincense

10 drops of peppermint

5 drops laurel

5 drops carrot seed

Apply a small amount to the burned area 4-6 x a day

This blend can also be hand mixed or blended into fresh aloe.

 

Rather than being burnt by the sun, be ablaze! Rejoice in the warm sunshine, and let the elements feed your skin and your spirit.

 

The sun has been my faithful lover

For millions of years.

Whenever I offer my body to him

Brilliant light pours from his heart.

~ Hafiz

 

 

Seneff, Stephanie, PhD. “Sulfur Deficiency,” July 2, 2011.  http://www.westonaprice.org/vitamins-and-minerals/sulfur-deficiency

Strott, Charles A. and Yuko Higashi. “Cholesterol sulfate in human physiology: what’s it all about?” Journal of Lipid Research (2003) Volume 44.  p. 1268-1278.

"Vitamin D deficiency soars in the U.S." www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=vitamin-d-deficiency-united-states

Levry, Joseph Michael. The Healing Fire of Heaven. 2004.  p. 62

“The use of sunglasses, including regular UV reflecting spectacles and contact lenses are co-responsible for certain degenerative eye diseases, such as macular degeneration”. Moritz, Andreas. Heal Yourself with Sunlight. 2010. p 76.

Information on sun gazing is from Doreen Virtue

“Common ingredients in sunscreen turn out to prime the growth of a virus in the algae of coral reefs. Researchers estimate between 4,000 and 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen wash off swimmers each year worldwide, threatening to turn 10 percent of coral reefs into bleached skeletons.” Goleman, Daniel. Ecological Intelligence: How Knowing the Hidden Impacts of What We Buy Can Change Everything. 2009. p. 31

Moritz, Andreas. Heal Yourself with Sunlight. 2010. p.54-55

http://news.cancerconnect.com/ask-the-doctor-how-does-sunlight-affect-the-skin/

Also known as polyunsaturated oil, PUFA’s (Mazola, canola, soy, corn): “Since 1974, the increase of polyunsaturated fats has been to blame for the alarming increase in malignant melanoma in Australia.” Moritz, Andreas. Heal Yourself with Sunlight.  2010. p.126,

Food ChemistryVolume 69, Issue 2.  1 May 2000. p. 187–193

Sandalwood oil was used topically for 20 weeks and decreased the incidence of skin papilloma and inhibited TPA and ODC activity which are prominent in skin cancer. (sandalwood at 5% dilution) "Sandalwood oil prevents skin tumor development in Mice." Dwivedi, C, and Zhang Y. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. 1999. Oct; 8 (5):449:55. http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/12/2/151.full. 

Geraniol from geranium, an inhibitor of mevalonate biosynthesis, suppresses the growth of hepatomas and melanomas. Yu SG, Hildebrandt LA, Elson CE. Journal of Nutrition.1995 November; 125 (11): 2763-7. Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Wisconsin Madison.

“Scientists have demonstrated that the [frankincense] oil has potent anti-inflammatory effects and anti-tumor properties when evaluated in tissue culture with tumors such as astrocytomas, melanomas, and fibrosarcomas. Furthermore, it appears to have fairly selective anti-tumor activity and does not appear to disrupt normal cells”. www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/37299.php