Posted by: colegrove | Saturday 7 March 2009

The Sun and Health

sun in handsThe Sun.  Without it no life on earth would exist.  It’s energy fuels all other energy here on this global sphere.  Plants leaves absorb it and make chlorophyll – the equivalent of blood to plants.  It is also essential to life and health of humanity.  As one of the 11 pillars of health I mentioned in a previous blog, adequate sunlight exposure is essential to proper health.

Many think that the sun is to be avoided at all costs.  To be fair, excessive sun exposure is very risky.  No one in their right mind would ever recommend being sun burnt.  For the last 30+ years there has been a campaign to reduce sun exposure by government and dermatological societies in America, based on the belief that sunlight is the cause of skin cancer.  True, excessive amounts of sunlight can contribute to the dreaded disease, but proper understanding of the amount of sunlight, the best time to get sunlight, and what sunlight actually does for humans is essential to gain the best health one can.

sunbathing-775054According to Genesis 1:14-19 (Geneva Bible, 1587)

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years.  And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. and it was so.  God then made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made also the stars.  And God set them in the firmament of the heaven, to shine upon the earth,  And to rule in the day, and in the night, and to separate the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.  So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”

chloe-sunbathingIt wasn’t until after the creation of the sun that animal life began.  When my family had a cat growing up, “Sam” (1990-2007) (part Siamese we figured), I remember how he could almost always  be found basking in a ray of sunlight or on the window sill soaking up the UV light.  This is telling in and of itself, when the most prominent Dermatological society of America claims that no amount of sunlight is beneficial to human skin.

Sunlight provides Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin”.  Utilizing UVB radiation from the sun, photochemically Vitamin D is produced in the skin. We get 90% of our Vitamin D from the Sun, and lack of sunlight will only reduce the amount we will have in our systems.  Supplementing with Vitamin D may be beneficial, but God provided a natural way to get the best type: via sun exposure.  Supplementation may be beneficial in the winter, but it’s not recommended to ingest an excessive amount without having Vitamin D testing done, to see how much you already have in your system.

vitamin_d_sourcesBesides rickets and poor growth during childhood, high blood pressure and many types of cancers, especially Colon and Breast cancer can be linked to reduced levels of Vitamin D.  The further north of the equator one goes, the more and more incidences of cancer appear, as the amount of sunlight decreases.

One of the biggest reasons people contract the flu during flu season (winter) is because of the lack of Vitamin D during the winter months when the amount of exposure to the sun is greatly decreased.  Getting enough sunlight during autumn and winter is the best preventative (besides general sanitation) of the flu and is one of the best things one can do to keep the immune system working properly.

The best way to avoid the negitive pitfalls of the sun would NOT be to wear sunscreen.  As the video below explains, we produce Vitamin D with UV light, and sunscreen blocks the beneficial UV light, while allowing the other types of radiation that DO contribute to skin cancers through to the skin.  An EWG study concluded in 2006 that 84% of sunscreens actually are harmful to your health.  Instead, as we need the sunlight, limit yourself to 30 minutes of direct sublight in the morning hours and 30 more minutes of direct sunlight in the late afternoon / evening hours.  Never spend an excessive amount of time in the sun at the height of the day, 11am-3pm.  This is one of the best ways to avoid problems with sunlight.  In addition, following a healthy diet, as part of a healthy lifestyle – being clean inside – also will reduce most negative effects of sunlight on the outside of ones body.  More and more recent research suggests that exposure to the sun is more beneficial than to hide from it.

I urge you to watch the following video with Bill Sardi on this topic:

Necessary to produce Vitamin D

Necessary to produce Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the main nutrient we get from the sun, but there may be many others yet to be known that bring health and life to the world.  Even in ancient times, many knew the theraputic benefits that the sun provided (within moderation).  Herbert Shelton, famous natural hygene proponent of the early 20th century, wrote:

Positive evidence of the hygienic use of the sun is found in the history of the Egyptians and other peoples. The Babylonians, Egyptians and Assyrians had their sun gardens; the Greeks their helioses; the Romans their solaria… The great sanitarium of Hippocrates, on the Island of Cos, was equipped with a large solarium for the use of the sun. The Roman thermæ were all equipped with solaria for those taking sun-baths. Pliny says that in these hot-houses the sun is very helpful. Hippocrates extols the exsiccative (drying) action of sun-light. Herodotus gives extensive instructions for the use of the sun-bath, emphasizing its effect in strengthening the muscles and nerves. Antyllos describes at some length the effects of sunlight, his description comparing well with those of modern users. Philostratus tells us that the Olympian athletes were required to take sun-baths.

hes_got_the_whole_sun_in_his_handCelsus, Pliny the younger, Galen, and Cicero, are among the Roman writers who describe the use of the sun-bath. “Sol est remediorum maximum”–the sun is the best remedy–declared Pliny. The flat roofs of the southern houses were esteemed as solaria by the Romans. In Rome, Pliny the younger, tells us of Vestricus Spurina, that as soon as the hour of the bath had come, he went to walk completely naked in the sun if the air was calm, then played with a ball a long time.

The old German epic poem, the Edda, tells us that Germans used to carry their sick, in the springtime to the sunny mountain slopes, in order to expose them to the sunshine. Certain Germanic tribes placed their feverish children in the sunlight on the tops of their houses. On the shores of the Bay of Gascony, sunlight is still employed in rheumatism. The Incas of Peru treated “syphilis” with sun baths. In Haiti similar procedures are still employed.


I hope this posting brings a renewed interest to be responsible for ones own health and begin to take control and steer one’s lifestyle towards a brighter future.

vitamin-d

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