The Haven and Spa, Boquete Panama
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A handful of healthy reasons why Boquete, Panama

A handful of healthy reasons why Boquete, Panama

Fresh mountain air is full of ‘negative ions’ and although they are called “negative” they have a positive effect on our whole body. Health Shops in the US, Canada, and Europe sell electrical ionizer you plug in to create ‘negative ions’. No need to plug-in a machine here in Boquete, as the air is full of them. The fast flowing rivers and abundance of waterfalls fill the air with these ‘negative ions’. Even if you did have a machine, it could only fill one room with these healthful ions.

The perfect temperature all year round means we don’t have to live in an artificial (unnatural) atmosphere of either air-conditioning or central heating. Good for our health and our pocket. It is true though, that at certain times of the year you will need a dehumidifier in areas where little air circulates for instance in your dressing room/closet.

The pace of life. Don’t be fooled into thinking it could be boring! There seems to be a balance between socializing, nature, tranquillity, and pursuits like white water rafting or taking an ATV into the mountains. Life here is as fast or as slow as you want to make it. Finding like minded people, making friends and having fun is easy. As we all know having fun and ‘a laugh’ is really healthy.

Back in the US, Canada, and Europe, there is a growing movement back to naturally reared grass-fed beef. At a premium price of-course, and places like Trader Joe just can’t get enough of it. It is a much healthier meat, raised in the way nature intended. Here in Boquete and Panama in general grass-fed beef is everywhere, reared naturally, the fillet steak is particularly good. This naturally reared grass-fed beef is much higher in vital nutrients and lower in saturated fats.

There are good doctors (speaking English) and good surgeons at the local hospitals in this area of Panama, plus medical insurance is cheap. There is a new ambulance in town. You can find really good dentists in the area, and you’ll be happy with the work and the cost

What about health alternatives? The Haven Spa and Alternative Health Clinic with internationally trained practitioners, has been in Boquete for nearly three years now. The clinic specializes in chronic conditions like arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, joint problems, skin problems and so much more. The practitioners consist of acupuncturists, naturopath/nutrition specialist, reflexologist, physiotherapists, chiropractor, joint and sports injury specialist and so much more. Besides being a clinic the Haven is also a spa where you can get therapeutic treatments that just are a pure pleasure, like aromatherapy wraps that can help to address health issues, to massages proven to improve your health, there are many different ones to choose from – hot stones to lymphatic drainage.

Fresh fruit and vegetable that have not been flown around the world to get to you. Enzyme rich papaya and pineapple are always available and extremely cheap. But more importantly these fruits are full of highly beneficial enzymes, highly beneficial especially as we get older. Pineapple contains an enzyme known as bromelain, it’s anti-inflammatory and helps to ease joint aches, as well as enhancing digestion. Bromelain is present in all parts of the pineapple (Ananas comosus), but the stem contain the most and is used to produce the enzyme commercially. Pineapples have had a long tradition as a medicinal plant among the natives of South and Central America.

Papaya contains papain, an enzyme that helps to break down protein, so it will help with digestion. Papaya can be used on simple insect bites, as the enzymes will break down the venom. Also a fresh papaya mashed and used as a face mask is fantastic, the enzymes digest the surface dead cell revealing a glowing skin.

Borojo found in Panama and Colombia grown organically and highly prised by the indigenous Indians.

Borojo – This highly nutritious fruit is known in Columbia and Panama as “The Natural Viagra”. However, it can be consumed by both men and women for its many other medicinal properties. Research at the University of Santiago in California, has shown an abundance of a chemical called sesquiterpelantond, which inhibits the cell growth in harmful tumors. After detailed analysis, the Borojo fruit has proved to be a superior natural energizer. Many researchers and European businesses are focusing on this fruit right now. Borojo is known to have a very high percentage of phosphorus. This element is excellent for brain function, such as memory and concentration. Borojo has one of the highest levels of water-soluble B vitamins and protein among fruits! The high levels of vitamins, minerals and proteins found in this fruit make it an excellent supplement and general tonic for anyone. The Borojo fruit is collected once it falls to the ground as this indicates its full maturity. The fully ripened fruit has a consistency much like a very thick paste.  It has shown to have excellent results in balancing blood sugar levels, in controlling arterial hypertension (High Blood Pressure), hormone balance and much, much more. The Borojo fruit tastes very pleasant. Here are some of the properties and benefits of borojo – High energy and protein source, Natural aphrodisiac, The high phosphorus content stimulates cellular activity promoting hormone generation for all types, Helps to maintain normal blood pressure, Fortifies DNA and RNA structures and helps cellular regeneration, Stabilizes blood sugar levels, Improves estrogen production in women and Immune function. It’s local, organic and available from the clinic in bottles.

Noni leaf tea – organic and grown here in Panama. It will surprise you, it takes good. The LEAF was used traditionally more than any other part of the noni plant. However, these days the fruit and its juice are the best known internationally and how bad the fruit smells and taste. However, the remarkable properties of the leaf are equally valued, the taste and smell is good, unlike the fruit! There is no comparison. Studies have shown the leaf to be the most nutrient-rich part of the plant, containing health promoting nutrients including phyto-chemicals, antioxidants and bio-flavonoids. Rich in a number of vitamins and minerals – phosphorus, iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K1, niacin and more. Noni leaf is rich in plant sterols, protein, glycosides, and anthraquinones. The leaf has many benefits when taken regularly – will protect us from toxins and pollutants, encourage the body to detox, helps prevent the premature onset of age-related diseases, boosts our immune defenses, reduces our risk of developing cancer, aids in better digestion and assimilation, helps to cleanse our intestinal system in a very mild way, inflammation and pain relief, has mild anti-bacterial properties, helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Safety - if you are pregnant or nursing I would avoid drinking this tea for now. If you are pregnant a very good tea for you would be ‘raspberry leaf tea’. To make the tea – 1 tsp per 8 ounces of water, (increase the amount depending on how much you decide to drink for instance 3 tsp per 24 ounces), of room temperature /tepid water, set a side for a few hours or overnight. Strain, cool and drink as ice tea with lemon or warm up. Or make by pouring boiled water over the leaves and steep for 5 minutes. Add a little cold pressed honey or Stevia (a natural no-calorie plant sweetener), only if necessary. This is also available from the clinic.

The organic movement in Panama is growing, more and more farmers are getting certified. A friend of mine is working tirelessly to make it all happen here in Panama. She has a business in Panama City called Organica working with farmers from every remote corner of Panama.

Last but not least the altitude here is very healthy for us, as I am sure you have read many times before. A higher altitude seems to encourage a longer healthier life. However, too high is not better, it has been found that living in an altitude of over 4,000 meters actually speeds up aging. This would be in the Andes, Alps, Rockies, or Himalayas. The town of Boquete is approximately 1,200 meters well within a healthy height. You would have to live on top of Volcan Baru (3,475 meters) to get close.


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