Black Cohosh: Help For Menopause

Energy Medicine, Flower Essences, Herbal Remedies, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Jan 27 2013

Black Cohosh Helps You Wave Goodbye to An Old Friend

Black Cohosh is an excellent herb for easing both the physical and the spiritual symptoms of menopause and other female health issues.

Remember when you got your first period? The exciting, yet somehow-at-the-same time terrifying realization that now, you were able to conceive; you could actually create life! That heralding of womanhood made all the discomfort worth it. Having periods every month was inconvenient and sometimes bothersome. But they were also familiar companions whose visits you could mark on your calendar to spend time with your most intimate self and commune with your creative femininity.

That’s why, in the old days, women would refer their periods as having their “friend.” No wonder getting toward the end of that path is seldom an entirely smooth transition. When you no longer have monthly cycles, you have to find a different kind of compass to get your life back in rhythm. Black Cohosh can help you lift your hand and wave good-bye to your old best friend.

 

Black Cohosh, a member of the ranunculacea family, is a wildflower native to eastern North America. Cohosh is an Algonquian word meaning ‘rough,’ named after the plant’s lumpy and knotted brown-black rhizomes that drill deep into the earth. Its spiky white flowers, by contrast, point straight up to the sun. It’s also been called rattletop for the sound its dry seed pods make. The Black Cohosh plant also has a strong odor that is believed to repel insects.

Black Cohosh contains phytoestrogens, making it a natural alternative to hormone replacements and a favored ingredient in any menopause formula. Native Americans have used the rhizome to relieve a wide array of female issues, from easing menstrual cramps to easing childbirth.

As both a nervine and mild tonic, Black Cohosh has been used to treat everything from arthritis, coughs, diabetes, ringing in the ears, neuralgia, malaria, yellow fever, and lung disorders. It’s also sometimes referred to as black snakeroot because the rhizomes are also good as poultices for snakebites.

Black Cohosh flower essences helps you adjust to the changes, of both your physical and subtle body. Black Cohosh helps you redefine your femininity while keeping you connected to your female divinity. It lends grounded strength and eternal courage for overcoming obstacles along life’s path such as addictions, emotional dependencies, and lack of self-confidence. True liberation may follow, as the soul gives rise to the luminous purity of the essential, divine self reborn.

Black Cohosh’s Secret Lore  

Black Cohosh is considered the embodiment of female energy and corresponds to the Second Chakra (Womb, Creativity). The purity of its white flowers are said to embody the power of transformation, from their dark tangled roots buried deep in the earth to their unbelievably perky flowers. Kali, the black warrior goddess is Black Cohosh’s archetype. Kali knows how to untangle even the tightest knots, and can give reassuring comfort to a woman who is transforming from her fertile, childbearing years to a post-menopausal state.

A good affirmation while meditating on Black Cohosh is, “I trust my life and easily transition my creative flow to spiritual knowing.”

Warnings: Blue Cohosh or White Cohosh are different plants and may not have the same effects or benefits as Black Cohosh. Black Cohosh has a potent effect on estrogen and can be used to induce labor. It may increase or decrease the effects of estrogen in the body so should be used with caution and the advice of a physician or naturopath.

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Sagebrush Flower Essence a Great Help for Coping With Stress

Energy Medicine, Herbal Remedies, Mental Health, Radical Raves | Posted by Kim
Nov 14 2012

Integrating Loss and Devastation With Sagebrush Flower Essence

Sagebrush’s Plant Essence Can be A Helper for Coping with Stress When Your Soul Is Laid Bare.

Hurricane Sandy’s rude arrival and destructive forces were a reminder that sometimes loss and devastation are going to be part of our lives. Like a manic maid with an evil broom, Sandy brought sweeping changes to many people’s lives, stripping them of all they cherished. In our culture, we often talk about change and loss being opportunities for renewal and transformation–a chance for our souls to cleanse old attachments and negative habits. But it is necessary first to have time for recovery from the initial shock. The problem with natural disasters and sudden loss is, they don’t care what stage of preparedness you are in when it happens. Coping with stress when external forces challenge your inner resources can be overwhelming.

Sandy and other natural disasters are a perfect metaphor for Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata). Sagebrush’s signature, its ‘personality,’ is one of rising anew after devastating or sweeping losses. According to flower essence philosophy Sagebrush is useful to people who have been stripped of their most dearly held possessions and relationships.

Sagebrush is a bittersweet plant used to growing in areas of extreme or harsh conditions like the Russian Steppes or the southwest desert. One of its most common uses is as a smudge stick to remove or neutralize negative energies from a person or room.

A flower essence tincture is the best way to benefit from Sagebrush. It is an excellent complement to somatic therapies that work to help release trauma from the body such as the fiber arts, and other types of mind-body therapies for processing, integrating and transcending the effects of loss and grief.

All loss, no matter how present, stirs up old hurts and pushes us to see our negative patterns. Sagebrush gives us the fortitude to confront them and put our focus on changing things to serve the present, not the past. Sagebrush can help a person overcome repetitive, intrusive, or painful memories and negative patterns, even those stemming from childhood.

Sagebrush’s Secret Lore

Artemisia tridentata belongs to the Sunflower family and shares some of their sun loving family traits and characteristics of strong, sturdy stems and branches. Members of this family know how to deal with themes of spiritual reintegration, soul purpose, and spiritual self development. Sagebrush knows how to thrive through and win over deep loss, cut through vicious cycles and unwinnable situations. If you are stuck in an unhappy relationship, suffering unrelenting grief or obsessing about past events, for example, Sagebrush’s resilient and persevering energies can give you a great boost over that wall of seemingly impossible-to-heal or recover from emotions. Sagebrush will literally help you ‘get over it.’ Because one of Sagebrush’s properties is to act as a decongestant, its personality is noted for removing blocks. It is a favorite plant for those needing a catalyst to move through especially stubborn problems.


Sagebrush lends the strength and courage to hang out in that empty space–between old life and new–that disasters create, and to await patiently for something new to appear.

 

Powerfully Potent Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Letters from the Heretic, Recipes, Spirituality, The Kitchen Witch | Posted by Kim
Nov 01 2012

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are rich in fiber, vitamins A and C, manganese, potassium and zinc, protein and Omega-3 essential fatty acids.

Rinse seeds well in a colander to remove strings and pulp and soak them in salt water overnight for better taste.

Pat dry.

Season with a light coating of grapeseed, olive or coconut oil and toss to coat evenly.

Sprinkle with your choice of turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, clove or herbs such as nettle, thyme or tarragon.

Add sea salt.

Place seeds on a baking sheet, giving them space for thorough baking.

Bake at 300 degrees  45 minutes to an hour, or until crispy or golden.

Great for snacks, trail mix or sprinkled on salads or omelettes.

Finding Your True Career Along the Eightfold Path

Energy Medicine, Letters from the Heretic | Posted by Kim
Oct 11 2012

Dear Readers,

I’ve been on safari these past few months, navigating the miasma that is the jungle of the job hunt. I’m back with the bounty of my forage. You can read all about it here in my post about right livelihood.

 

Hawthorn Berry Heals Hearts

Herbal Remedies, Radical Raves | Posted by Kim
Apr 12 2012

Heartful Hawthorn

Part of the rose family, the berry-like fruit of this thorny tree is called a haw. Hawthorn’s Latin name, crataegus, means strength and has been noted to treat heart problems, from heart health to helping heal a broken heart, for centuries.

Like the pomegranate, the anti-oxidants in hawthorn are more potent than vitamin C. Doctors have been using hawthorn to treat circulatory and respiratory systems since the 19th century. Hawthorn berries are also useful for controlling cholesterol.

On an energetic level Hawthorn flower essence works to balance strong emotions, from aggression, impatience, irritability and the too strong-willed person. Four drops four times a day impart strength (coping), courage, life force and will to live.

Active ingredients found in hawthorn include tannins, flavonoids such as vitexin, rutin, quercetin, and hyperoside, oligomeric proanthocyanidins and Vitamin B-2. Help yourself to happiness with heartful hawthorn!

Naturally Nutritious Nettle Lasagne

Herbal Remedies, Recipes, The Kitchen Witch | Posted by Kim
Apr 01 2012

A great source of protein, nettles also have a supernatural healing quality to them.
Urtica means stinging and its personality signature is that of ‘whipping things into shape.’

Nettles’ uses date back at least 2,000 years. Its sting comes from the underleaf hairs that contain histamine and formic acid. Centuries ago people would whip themselves with fresh nettle to cure their arthritis.

Some of the health benefits of eating nettle include: Stabilizing blood sugar; enhancing the circulatory, immune, endocrine, nervous, and urinary systems; reducing fatigue and exhaustion; reducing allergic and menopausal problems; eliminating chronic headaches, and is also good for treating gout and impotence.

Nettle Lasagne

12 brown rice or quinoa lasagne sheets [low glycemic + rich in the amino acid lysine + folate, manganese]

1 jar of pasta sauce [lycopene + Vitamin C]

8 cloves garlic diced [cardiovascular protective allacin + manganese + Vitamins B6, C]

2 tbs. cold pressed extra virgin olive oil [anti-inflammatory, digestive, cardiovascular protective polyphenols]

16 oz. whole milk mozzarella cheese grated [calcium, potassium, chloride, iron, sodium]

15 oz. ricotta cheese [calcium, selenium, zinc + Vitamins A, B12, riboflavin]

1 small onion [high flavanoid polyphenol + quercetin + Vitamin C]

2 small red or yellow bell peppers diced

2 cups eggplant diced [high in dietary fiber + good cholesterol buster + postassium]

2 cups zucchini diced [potassium + betacarotene + Vitamin C]

2 cups fresh basil leaves [polyphenol flavanoids + iron + Vitamins A, K]

12 cups fresh nettle leaves [calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium + B complex vitamins]

Instructions:

Saute the onion, eggplant, zucchini and peppers with olive oil and garlic until tender, approx. 5 minutes.

Combine the two cheeses in a bowl.

Place fresh nettles on a large cutting board, use the top 6 to 8 leaves and stems (the most tender) and add them to your saute. Toss in basil leaves.

In an ungreased baking pan pour part of the pasta sauce and place 4 sheets on top of sauce.

Add half the veggie mix, half the cheese mixture, and half the nettles.

Repeat in layers until the top layer is complete.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. 

From the Sacred to the Profane in 30 Seconds Flat – Notes From the Vortex

Letters from the Heretic, Radical Rants, Spirituality | Posted by Kim
Mar 25 2012


Say what you will about astrology but I’ve found too many accuracies, had so many rich experiences come to fruition as predicted in astrological readings and horoscopes to think there’s nothing to it. A friend told me all about New Moon Wishing a while back.  She even gave me Jan Spiller’s book on the subject, New Moon Astrology, as a gift a couple of years ago. Each month the New Moon correlates to an astrological sign and meditating on the qualities of that sign lend the highest potency to one’s wishes. I have had varying degrees of success in realizing my wishes over the years. In March the New Moon is in Aries and is about new beginnings. But, Jan warns, Mercury is also retrograde so she advises on her website to take extra care to communicate clearly and meaningfully when writing down wishes this month.

Not only I am in deep need of renewal this month, but my ruling planet is Mercury. So, imagine my excitement when I found myself in Sedona, Arizona this week with an opportunity to hike one of the area’s vortexes. I set my alarm, with two alerts, to be sure I was sitting on a ledge on Bell Rock, my pen and wishing journal in hand, within the first eight hours (when the energy is most potent) after the new moon, meditating on the wording and spirit of my wishes. I was going to use the power of the new moon and the magnetism of Bell Rock’s iron rich earth to put some super strength muscle into removing some particularly stubborn karmic stains in my life.

The morning was clear and cool and traffic on the trails was sparse so quiet was plentiful. With a blue sky above me and the red earth under my half lotus seated body, I settle onto a wide flat rock and give myself over to well considered thought, asking the earth and the sky to help me with my delicate task of well worded wishes. Time and time again I’ve learned that the universe takes things literally so I wanted to place my order with the Life Cafe just right. Beside me I find a detached cactus leaf. I gently poke its spines  against my fingertips, tapping into some chi before setting it next to me to stand sentinel over my journal. New Moon wishing guidelines suggest no more than ten wishes, hand written on a piece of paper, per day. I pace myself, taking time to meditate, stretch and breathe between my wishes. I find myself still struggling with wording; between invocations that leave room for infinite possibility and creative imagination and pragmatism. Between direct requests and thoughts that betray my unconscious unworthiness. At eight down and two to go I set my favorite pen in the crook of my journal and leave my seat. I notice a gentleman wandering the rocks a few yards ahead of me. He approaches me and asks directions for taking the trail to the top of the rock. Nodding toward my journal he inquires if I am writing a novel. I smile and eagerly explain that it is the new moon and what an exciting time I am having of it. “The new moon is for increasing things you want in your life,” we talk over each other affirmatively. Then he asks what about full moons? We both agree it’s a time for wishing for those negative things, bad habits and unhealthy relationships to leave our lives. Do I give equal time to Full Moon wishing, my new friend wants to know. In that moment, when one is tasked with stuffing volumes of thought, experience and explanation into that impossibly small space of time only a brief crossing of paths with a stranger can create, I stumble over my words to let him know that I’ve only been studying and, as far as I know is practiced, the New Moon. “Oh,” he quips. “Does that mean you are perfect?” he demands smarmily as he tracks across the trail toward the base. I laugh nervously as I glance longingly at my journal and my cactus talisman. My peace is broken. Confusion gathers around my head and something akin to anger rises in my belly. I’m at communication odds with this male stranger. Wires are crossing and sparks, the bad kind, are flying. All my anxiety about saying the right thing—not being heard, fear of misinterpretation and its consequences—come tumbling down what just before had been my calmed mind, cleared by careful in breath and out breath. Now my mental  pathway was littered with the debris of conflict and self doubt. It’s so much easier to talk to rocks than it is to human beings, I think wearily. “Let’s just say resolved,” I answer to his retreating figure as I head back to my journal. Taking inventory of my emotions, I am surprised to admit that, actually, I feel like slugging the guy. I imagine hurling my spiny cactus leaf straight across the red rocks and beaning him with it.  How did I get into this argument, albeit mostly on an energetic level, with another soul when just a few seconds ago I was sitting here, on Bell Rock, happily minding my own business? So much for sacred space. Then I pick up my pen and smile. That, I remind myself, was a Virgo Sun and Mercury retrograde classic. With both feet planted firmly on the earth now, I write out my last two wishes, carefully, in no uncertain terms.

Sinfully Sweet Almond Joy Muffins

Recipes, The Kitchen Witch | Posted by Kim
Feb 15 2012

Ancient Grain Almond & Pomegranate Seed Muffins

 

HH Recipes_Almond & Pomegranate Seed Muffin

Bite down. Chew. Taste its chalky blandness, with just a hint of smooth nuttiness. Wait. Wait. Ah! A sweet, aromatic spray of pure almond extract hits the back of your throat. This is the sweet, honest almond experience. Nirvana. You’ll never want to go back to ordinary processed almonds after eating from the fruit of the almond tree.

Fresh fruit from the almond tree resembles apricots but are paler. Remove the fleshy hull and break open the shell to reveal the seed. A member of the Prunus genus, almonds are not nuts, but  drupes and are most closely related to the peach.

Taste and you will be convinced it was not an apple but an almond with which Eve caused all the ruckus in the Garden of Eden. Try one, you’ll see.

The sweet almond (prunis dulcis) is a culinary contradiction. Its essence tastes like Amaretto, but Amaretto, in Italian, means “a little bitter.” The standard base for Amaretto liqueur is apricot pits. Many pits are poisonous, but the sweet almond’s harmless.

Sweet almonds can also be processed into essential oils or extracts. Almond extract is a safe substitute for vanilla extract for diabetic or other sugar-restricted recipes.

Sweet Almond Joy Muffins

1 egg
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/3 c. raw honey [calcium + magnesium; also an natural antimicrobial and antibiotic]
1/4 c. grapeseed oil [a proanthocyanidin antioxidant derived from pinebark known to 
improve circulation and support female reproductive health] 
1 c. milk
2 c. brown rice or spelt flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
3/4 c. almonds, chopped [calcium, magnesium, protein, fiber]
1/3 c. pomegranate seeds [Vitamins A, C, E + folic acid]

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat egg, salt and sugar until light and fluffy. Add oil in a stream to ensure more even distribution and continue beating. Beat in the milk.

Sift flour and baking powder together several times and add to batter, stirring until mixed.

Add in almonds and pomegranate seeds.

Bake in greased muffin tins for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Guest Blogger Capt. T.C. Randall on Human Eco-Chemistry and Cancer

Radical Rants | Posted by Kim
Feb 09 2012

The Healer’s Grail

WE have all been alive since the first spark in the beginning, carrying the flame of life through the epochs and are of the primordial mother cell, all of us. The oneness of all living is exceeded only by the fact we are all (one) matter, born of the original energy that blasted the worlds into existence. You are me, the rock, the ocean and the galaxy. I’d say EVERYTHING is pretty closely related.

The molecules that surround us are the same ones that construct our bodies and perpetuate life out of air, water and soil. These molecules may be packed with electrons or hungry for some, and this determines their behavior and associations (redox). Electrons themselves capture the power of photons and radiant heat from the Sun as the common currency of energy. Have-not molecules seek out those that have, and take them or share, and in sharing become larger. Large enough to build cells, large enough to build DNA and carry information and large enough to generate magnetic fields and… consciousness.

It stands to reason that if molecules build cells and our bodies, that they must be of the correct elemental type and charge…and be capable of performing the business of cells, the biochemistry of life. Just as Dr Frankenstein infused his monster with gobs of electricity, we must quantitatively supply electrons to the body we live in and its cells must generate more. When through inappropriate nutrition or charge-robbing toxins and toxic thoughts our actual measurable voltage drops, our molecules begin to act erratically, cells refuse oxygen, immune systems grow weak and DNA malfunctions. Unchecked, this condition spirals down into disease, YES, MOST ALL DISEASE.

When a healer’s efforts are organized to reverse these negative conditions, magically cells regain function and the monster rises robust and healthy. These efforts must be directed at the inventory of molecules AND their energetic condition, their electron balance. Once an overwhelming electron presence is restored, oxygen becomes available, mitochondria fire up their furnaces and the grid is brought to full power.

A healer will not accomplish success with a single drug or supplement, he must address everything. It takes a holistic approach to reverse the CAUSE of the ultimate source of disease and bad ageing, a condition where essential molecules are attacked by electron have-nots, are oxidized and torn apart; oxidative stress. Sometimes oxidation is required to “fight fire with fire” and destroy sources of free radicals and unwanted pathogens. You can see oxidation in rusting metal, a burning match or an apple that turns brown. The medical mindset of chasing “unique” symptoms ignores the fact of this root cause which manifests in particular ways due to the nature of biochemical deficiency in areas of fluid stagnation.

A close analogy to disease is the car that won’t start. Jumper cables boost charge so the starter can engage. Then Oxygen and fuel rush in (to mitochondria) to supply energy. As soon as the engine turns over, the generator is activated, the dashboard lights up, the radio comes on and perpetual electron flow restores battery (fluid/electrolyte/cell membrane) charge.

The causes of oxidation/reduction imbalances are mostly modern side effects of the industrial revolution which have undeniably altered our chemistry. Nutrition has changed from the paleo diet our bodies were adapted to over the eons. Instead of fish/animal fats and proteins, and wild plant foods “science” rearranged the food chain and based it on easily mass produced grains like wheat, corn and rice, and soybeans, and all their processed derivatives as well as grain feed-lotted meats/milks/eggs. Put simply, we shifted to electron-poor diets, high in carbs/sugars and bereft of minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats and diverse proteins.

Thinking on cancer (and most other disease) is beginning to recognize this view. Somewhere in the distant past our primordial cell line existed in anaerobic environments. When our typically oxygen-rich conditions of today are preempted by poor charge and growing acidity, cells revert to anaerobic fermentation to produce only small amounts of energy and are called cancer or other disease by degree.

Folks are terrorized over this apex disease, become emotionally crippled and lose all coping ability. Having reversed cancer and many other diseases, I recognized the successful therapies of many alternative physicians and realized the common working thread; cell energy-draining acidic hypoxia. Once inner conditions decline, they favor primitive anaerobic life forms lying dormant in our DNA. Not only do our evolved oxygen loving cells decline, but oxygen-resistant survivors of the past like bacteria/molds/yeasts/fungi…reappear.

The Grail of healing lies ultimately in restoring (electron) energy and total body charge in order to move more O2 into cells and mitochondria (a primitive cellular organelle responsible for energy production found in all living cells) and so power us. The healing protocol includes a combination of efforts to raise antioxidant intake AND stimulate (counter-intuitively) immune oxidative bursts. Alkalization of the system is aided by a boost in oxygen protective K, Mg, bicarbonate electrolytes. Detoxification involves raising charge to mobilize metals and organo-toxins. Replacing damaged/oxidized fat molecules incorporated in cell membranes removes a major bottleneck to oxygen penetration.

No drug or single supplement can restore vibrant physiology and initiate self-healing. It takes a protocol equivalent to the bad foods, environmental toxins and negative emotions that initially eroded health. When the condition of our “inner ocean” becomes accepted as the cause of disease, we can begin treating our cells more like fish in an aquarium. Just “change the water” and provide fresh live food.

The entire area of health and healing has become overcomplicated and financially conflicted so that information is not only confusing and subject to fraudulent science, but officially controlled. Real solutions are forbidden. Compartmentalization of scientific disciplines persists where chemistry, biology and physics must cross-pollinate and become integrated.

A mass awakening is urgently needed to replace our environmentally unsustainable and artificial chemical grain-based agriculture and toxic industrial practices that seem to require an extravagantly expensive and ineffective pharma-care system. Higher consciousness and levels of intelligence depend on a strong body voltage. Restoration of health precedes improved mind function… so desperately needed by civilization.

Biospheric suicide is the result of man’s mal-applied industrial technology that has resulted in acidic hypoxic oxidative stress, globally.

We are the cancer.

Sincerely, Capt. Randall, author Forbidden Healing 

 

Class Action Lawsuits: 7 Insider Tips

Letters from the Heretic, Radical Rants | Posted by Kim
Feb 01 2012

Insider Tips From a Data Entry Clerk

I am here to report from Class Action Lawsuit Data Entry World. The place where those forms-cum-confessors, cum-rants against the collective machine are processed.

After several grueling weeks, spiced with both day shift and swing shift assignments (can you hear the crickets?), I have some practical information about the dos and don’ts of filling out those class action lawsuit forms you’ve received in the mail.

When you mail in your class action form, here’s what happens to it:  It is received at a giant, airplane hanger type office building where it gets date stamped, scanned into a computer and passed along to the drudges in data processing whose job it is to pull up the scanned form on their computer screens, set it side by side with a pre-formatted form and transfer all of your answers into the database form. Although your scribbles outside the lines undoubtedly make you feel better, and do provide momentary relief from our tedium, understand that we drones are powerless beyond belief to do a gosh darned thing about it.

It’s like screaming into space. You will get more satisfaction from planting some marigolds after mailing in your form than you will from over-analyzing and second guessing what you wrote on your form.

  1. First of all, I’m serious here. Listen to me. If you want your reward, your recompense, your justice, write your phone number, address, email and social security number legibly. If you don’t know how to spell, or you have a shaky hand, be it from a self-imposed neuro-toxin or some other misfortune, get someone else to fill out the form for you.
  2. Write your trials and tribulations; rant away all you want in the margins, addendum and on the  return envelope. Nobody but the poor stiff in data entry who is chained to her keyboard is going to read it. Know this.
  3. If I can’t read your phone number, name, address, social security number or email address, how do you expect the corporate lawsuits who invited you to hop on board this grievous gravy train to give you your due?
  4. I want you to think Judge Judy now and “Just answer the question! Yes or No?” On your form there will be check boxes and spaces for writing your answer. If it is a yes or no question, check Yes or No. Do not write N/A. Don’t draw an extra box because you are having some existential crisis you want the reviewer to consider. The only person reading it is the data entry clerk who is tasked with deciding what you meant. In data entry land we have a code for people like you who check both yes and no, or don’t check any box at all. The code is confidential, but I’m just sayin’. It gets recorded as a big non-answer.
  5. Write information clearly and completely. Don’t get cute and xxxx your social security number, or be clever with your email address.  The days of  jimmying the last two digits of your phone number so he can’t really call  have passed away along with drunken pick-up lines at the disco.
  6. Numeric versus alpha. On your form, when a question asks for numbers, write in numbers; neither words nor convoluted calculus. We have one field that only accepts digits, not alpha answers. If you are asked what value was your account at close of market, for example, give us a solid, bottom line number. 
  7. Regarding narratives. Some questions provide a few lines below them for you to answer, in your own words, how, what, when or where. Just tell us how, what, when or where. With the small gift of address, time frame, names, account numbers, dates. No more.

Chances for your claim being considered valid increase with clarity, concision, legibility and emotional composure.

Good luck and happy litigating.