4 Do you drink What How often or much

This question pertains to any liquid, from water to alcoholic beverages. What we put into our systems our kidneys must eventually deal with. Too little water prevents the kidneys from dispensing toxic waste material that has accumulated. Hence, many people who drink perhaps only one glass of water a day at the most end up with an inflammation of the bladder (cystitis) that may have secondary complications affecting the kidneys, prostate gland or urethra. Thus the medical astrologer should ascertain how much water a person drinks per day.

The astrologer also needs to find out what kind of water an individual drinks—i.e., faucet water, distilled water or spring water. Faucet water in most places in the United States is polluted with chemicals. This is one reason processed sodas and powdered drink mixes are so popular: they disguise the horrible taste and smell of local, city water. Distilled water is certainly better than faucet water; however, because all the minerals have been washed out of it, if a person drinks it for a prolonged time he or she should take a mineral supplement. Bottled, fresh spring water still has the minerals intact and is even better to use than distilled water.

Americans often substitute caffeine drinks, such as coffee, black tea and sweetened, carbonated sodas, for water. All of these substances are nutritionally poor and may produce health repercussions if drunk in excess; therefore, a medical astrologer needs to pay careful attention to a person's habits with such drinks.

For instance, coffee can cause the loss of 35 to 40 essential nutrients required for health by washing them out of the urine. Furthermore, it stimulates the respiratory process and kidneys, excites the brain functions and raises blood pressure. Although it makes a person feel less fatigued for a while, in ex cess it causes nervousness, irritates the lining of the stomach and heart and creates problems with the arteries. Coffee may also force the loss of inositol and biotin (both ruled by Jupiter), prevent iron (Mars) from being used properly and cause many other vitamins to be pumped through the body before they can be absorbed.

Coffee acts as a stress to the body, causing a prompt rise in blood fats and cholesterol. In one study involving 2,000 men over a seven-year period, individuals who developed coronary problems drank five cups or more of coffee daily. Caffeine is also known to make the liver torporific or sluggish, affecting that organ's ability to manufacture glycogen, filter out and destroy bacteria in the bloodstream and perform several other equally important functions.

Black tea normally purchased in stores is high in caffeine, too. In addition, it contains tannic acid. Thus tea has little nutritional value other than supplying flouride (Mars). It can especially have a harmful effect on the mucous membranes of the mouth and the gastrointestinal system. And, like coffee and cocoa, tea is alkaline in reaction. Its residue, combined with uric acid and other colloids, is manufactured into crystal urates, which can become deposited in the body, causing rheumatism, arthritis and kidney stones. Herbal teas are highly recommended, instead, because of their high nutritional value. (See Chapter Nine.)

There is also little nutritional value in sweetened, carbonated drinks. All such drinks contain either or-thophosphoric or citric acid that eats away the enamel protection on teeth. Furthermore, there is a large dose of caffeine in such drinks to overstimulate the metabolism and wash out needed nutrients from the body. And, most importantly, carbonated drinks are potentially dangerous to anyone with sugar-related problems—that is, to almost all Americans. A 16-ounce bottle of soda pop contains six teaspoons of white sugarl And we wonder why American children are so overweight, sluggish and unhealthy and why hypoglycemia and diabetes are so rampant among Americans.

Finally, a medical astrologer should find out the kinds and amounts of alcoholic beverages a person drinks. Some alcoholic beverages are mildly helpful to the body. Wine made from natural grape sugar (fructose) is fine when taken in moderation, i.e., one glassful a day. Beer contains some protein. But pure alcoholic spirits do nothing positive; instead, they disrupt the body in many ways. Once the alcohol hits the stomach, it acts, first, upon the central nervous system, changing the mental functions and destroying brain cells. Then the liver works to neutralize the alcohol by breaking down its composition. Heavy drinking may trigger scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), pancreatic and gastrointestinal reactions as well as mental and emotional problems. Alcohol can also force the loss of great amounts of magnesium (Sun) from the body, causing jitters, nervousness and tension.

Knowing the amount of alcohol a person drinks will clue a medical astrologer in on how hard the liver is working to keep up with the intake: a supplement of B vitamins can be suggested to help support the liver if a client insists on maintaining his or her drinking habits. Knowing the amount consumed can also indicate whether or not a client has emotional problems. But a note or warning: a person does not have to drink a quart or two of a beverage a day to be an alcoholic; alcoholism is a disease and a blood disorder, and a medical astrologer must sometimes look for other signs to diagnose alcoholism—such as the presence of planets in Virgo, ruling the pancreas, or its opposite sign, Pisces. Many other factors must be present before one can diagnose alcoholism. In many instances the consumption of much alcohol is really triggered by hypoglycemia or prediabetic tendencies.

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