Here are a few tips:
Seal leaks: Locate places in your home where heat can escape. To find the source of a draft, light a stick of incense on a windy day, keeping track of where the smoke drifts. Common culprits include windows, electrical outlets, doors, and flues. Once you find a leak, repair it with exterior silicone caulk or insulation strips.
Let the sun shine in: Open your curtains during the day to let in the sun’s heat and close them at night to keep in the warmth.
Turn it down: When you are not at home turn your thermostat down, 65 degrees is a good start. When you are home, try lowering your thermostat a few degrees from where you normally keep it or put on a sweater rather than turning up the heat.
Circulate the heat: Use slow rotating fans to move heat from radiators or heaters around your rooms.
Close off rooms: Don’t heat unused areas of the home if it’s not necessary. Consider closing doors to spare bedrooms, closets, or the basement.
Watch those windows: Install clear plastic covers or inexpensive storm windows on your existing windows to reduce heat loss.
Maintenance matters: Replace your furnace filters regularly, and make sure all heating equipment is running efficiently before cold weather sets in. Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators often. Make sure heating units are not blocked by furniture, rugs, or drapes.
Drop a few degrees: Turning down your home thermostat two degrees can save 24 kilowatt hours a month. Lowering your hot water heater by 10 degrees, while maintaining a minimum of least 120 degrees, can save 25 kilowatt hours a month while still enjoying all the hot water you need.
Wash with less water: Opt for a front loading washing machine as they use 50 percent less energy and one-third less water. Front load washers also remove far more water in the rinse cycle, helping save money by requiring less time in the dryer.
Nov 18, 2015
Full disclosure: I am an acupuncturist, so of course I think you should get acupuncture! But there was a time when I wasn’t an acupuncturist. There was a time when I didn’t even know what acupuncture was. Then there was the first time I tried Five Element acupuncture. I remember my acupuncturist listening to me, really listening to me, and having a plan where so many others had none. She helped me recover from back pain I had suffered with for over 10 years and also helped me overcome depression. Through Five Element acupuncture, I felt like I got my life back. Because of that experience, and because of the many others I have had since then as both an acupuncturist and a patient, I think you should get acupuncture. And only 9% of the population is currently getting acupuncture, so to the other 91% — take note because this is for you.
- It improves blood flow.
I mentioned above that acupuncture improves blood flow to help speed injury recovery. This is true, whether it be a sports injury, a work injury, an overuse injury (like tendonitis) or an auto accident injury. The other important aspect to this is that it helps improve blood flow to your organs, and specifically to your uterus. This is of huge importance for women who have fertility issues due to improper or low blood flow to the ovaries or the uterus. The techniques used to achieve better blood flow to reproductive organs can be used on someone who is attempting to conceive naturally or someone who is undergoing IVF. Fertility clinics frequently refer to acupuncturists to correct this issue.
- It leads to faster recovery times.
If you are into sports, acupuncture should be a regular part of your fitness routine. For athletes, acupuncture is sometimes the secret in their faster-than-expected recovery times when injured. Acupuncture increases blood flow to the area of injury and speeds healing of tissues, so the sooner after an injury you get treated, generally the better your outcome. Many people routinely come in before and after big races or events because it helps them prepare their bodies before, and then helps the sore stiff muscles after.
- It is utterly relaxing.
We’re starting here for two reasons: it’s true, and it speaks to people’s biggest fear about acupuncture — the needles. How can having someone poke you with needles possibly be relaxing? It just so happens that those teeny tiny hair-thin needles can release endorphins, making you feel happy and relaxed. Many of my patients report lowered stress levels, better sleep, and more ease in their lives because of acupuncture. Yes, it is true that some types of acupuncture or some parts of your treatment may be a bit intense, but intense like a deep tissue massage can be intense. The majority of the time, people don’t want to leave because they feel so peaceful at the end of their treatments.
- It can help you quit your bad habits.
Acupuncture is fairly well known at dealing with addiction, and is in fact used in many inpatient recovery centers as part of a treatment plan. It can also be used to help you quit smoking or to help with overeating. It is also great at helping reduce the duration and intensity of discontinuation symptoms for patients who are (with their doctor’s support and guidance) attempting to stop taking SSRI’s or other medications with difficult withdrawals.
- It can get rid of your headaches.
Acupuncture can be used to treat tension headaches, migraines, hormonal headaches, chronic headaches and acute headaches. In fact, about 90% of the time if someone walks into my office with a headache, the headache will be gone by the time they leave. You may need a course of treatment for chronic headaches, but it does not have the negative side effects of those pain relievers you pop, and acupuncture’s effects are long-lasting.
- It can help you get pregnant.
As mentioned in #3, one way acupuncture can help get you pregnant is by increasing blood flow to the uterus. If you see an acupuncturist who specializes in fertility, you will find that they can help with all manner of fertility issues, from PCOS to endometriosis to unexplained infertility. They can also help with male-factor infertility (which is thought to be responsible for about half of all fertility issues). If you are planning to undergo IVF, make sure you have an acupuncturist as part of your team. Research shows that having acupuncture right before and right after an IVF procedure can improve outcomes by 40-60%. The evidence is compelling enough that, in some cities like Portland, all of the major reproductive clinics make it possible for your acupuncturist to be onsite for your procedure.
- It can help you get through the winter.
Acupuncture is a great choice for dealing with the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This can be somewhat of an epidemic during a long rainy winter. This year, El Nino promises to make that happen, so start early — find an acupuncturist now so that you can start preparing for the gray. Acupuncture, although relaxing, can also help increase your overall energy, improve your immunity, and will help you release those feel-good endorphins. Acupuncturists are also good at treating non-seasonal depression.
- It can treat your chronic pain.
Arthritis? Fibromyalgia? Lingering pain from an accident or high school football injury? Acupuncture could be the answer for you. Much research has been done showing the efficacy of acupuncture in regards to pain management, and the outcomes are positive. Clinically I have seen 80 year-olds, who were told their only option was surgery, be able to avoid surgery and manage their pain with acupuncture. I have seen people with carpal tunnel from their computer job not only be able to work without pain, but also go back to playing piano and guitar when they aren’t at work. The pain relieving aspect of acupuncture is one of the best documented (and often insurance-approved) uses of acupuncture.
- It can help you have a smoother period.
If you have irregular periods, painful periods, terrible PMS, migraines with your period — all of these things can be well-treated with acupuncture. Your acupuncturist can target certain times of your menstrual cycle that will best change the aspects of your period that are out of harmony.
- It works.
Does acupuncture work for everyone 100% of the time? No. But neither does surgery nor medications nor any other medical therapy. The truth is that acupuncture works for most people and can help many issues. It is a great stand-alone therapy, and also works in combination with care that you are already receiving from an MD, DC, ND, PT or Massage Therapist. In fact, a good percentage of my patients come to me as a direct referral from their MD, PT, or chiropractor, and we see greater recovery rates and faster healing when we work together. Acupuncture is also used in combination with the other therapies that Chinese Medicine has to offer: herbs, diet, meditation.
The beauty of acupuncture is that it is holistic – meaning it treats the whole person, and it is individualized – meaning your treatment is designed especially for you. This is one of the reasons it works so well. An acupuncturist treats YOU, not your disease or ailment. Go ahead — find yourself a licensed acupuncturist and get started on the road to feeling better.
Lanelle Durst, LAc, is the owner of and acupuncturist at On Point Wellness in San Jose, CA. She creates custom health plans for patients to help them tackle their most complicated health concerns, including chronic and acute pain conditions, infertility, stress, insomnia, fibromyalgia, anxiety and depression, to name a few. Visit her website for more information and to download her free e-book “How to Thrive in the Modern World: Guide to Chinese Medicine”.
9 Toxins to Avoid in Personal Care Products
Jul 15, 2013
Find product safety ratings at CosmeticDatabase.org.
Find research on individual ingredients at Toxipedia.org, and always avoid these nine worst toxins.
1. PARABENS: They’re in adult and baby shampoo and many other products, and they are estrogen mimickers that can lead to cancer.
2. FRAGRANCE: The FDA requires that food, drug, and body care companies list their ingredients on their products—but chemicals used to scent products can be clumped under the vague term “fragrance.” Found in everything from shampoo to deodorant, a single product’s secret fragrance mixture can contain potentially hundreds of toxic volatile organic compounds.
3. NANOPARTICLES: Found in lotions, moisturizers, make-up, and particularly sunscreen, these untested ingredients are so small, many scientists are very concerned about their potential health effects, as they can penetrate cell walls and are highly reactive. Products with nanoparticles aren’t often labeled as such, so check your conventional body care products at CosmeticDatabase.org orNanotechProject.org/inventories/consumer/.
4. FORMALDEHYDE: A common hardener in nail polish and an ingredient in bath products, this chemical is a known carcinogen. Nail polish also often contains the developmental toxicant TOLUENE.
5. PHTHALATES: These hormone disruptors have been linked to male genital abnormalities, liver and kidney lesions, and higher rates of childhood asthma and allergies. They’re often hidden in the fragrances of an array of products for men, women, and children, and listed as DIBUTYL PHTHALATE in nail polish.
6. PETROLEUM BY-PRODUCTS: Listed as mineral oil, petrolatum, liquid paraffin, toluene, or xylene, these chemicals are found in a dizzying number of products, including many shampoos and soaps. Of most concern is the fact that they are often contaminated by cancer-causing impurities like 1,4 DIOXANE, which is a probable carcinogen. Industry has done very little to prevent such contamination.
7. TRICLOSAN: A primary ingredient in anti-bacterial soaps and products, triclosan has been linked to hormone disruption and the emergence of bacteriaresistant “superbugs.”
8. LEAD: It’s a potent neurotoxicant, and it’s been found in several popular brands of lipstick and men’s hair coloring kits.
9. MERCURY: A neurotoxicant that can severely damage human health, mercury— often listed as “thimerosol”—is still used in some cosmetics like mascara.
Ketogenic Diet May be Key to Cancer Recovery
Jul 04, 2013
By Dr. Mercola, March 10, 2013
To some, a ketogenic diet amounts to nothing less than a drug-free cancer treatment. The diet calls for eliminating carbohydrates, replacing them with healthy fats and protein.
The premise is that since cancer cells need glucose to thrive, and carbohydrates turn into glucose in your body, then cutting out carbs literally starves the cancer cells.
This type of diet, in which you replace carbs with moderate amounts of high quality protein and high amounts of beneficial fat, is what I recommend for everyone, whether you have cancer or not. It’s simply a diet that will help optimize your weight and health overall, as eating this way will help you convert from carb burning mode to fat burning.
Ketogenic Diet May Be Key to Brain Cancer Recovery
The featured video shows Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D, who is one of the leaders in teasing the details of how to treat cancer nutritionally. I am scheduled to interview him shortly and hope to have that interview up later this year. In the video, Professor Seyfried discusses how, as a metabolic disorder involving the dysregulation of respiration, malignant brain cancer can be managed through changes in the metabolic environment.
“In contrast to normal neurons and glia, which transition to ketone bodies (beta-hydroxybutyrate) for respiratory energy when glucose levels are reduced, malignant brain tumors are mostly dependent on non-oxidative substrate level phosphorylation due to structural and functional abnormalities in mitochondria. Glucose and glutamine are major fuels for malignant cancer cells.
The transition from glucose to ketone bodies as an energy source is an ancestrally conserved adaptation to food deprivation that permits the survival of normal cells during extreme shifts in nutritional environment. Only those cells with a flexible genome, honed through millions of years of environmental forcing and variability selection, can transition from one energy state to another.
We propose a different approach to brain cancer management that exploits the metabolic flexibility of normal cells at the expense of the genetically defective and metabolically challenged. This evolutionary and metabolic approach to brain cancer management is supported from studies in orthotopic mouse brain tumor models and from case studies in patients.
Calorie restriction and restricted ketogenic diets (R-KD), which reduce circulating glucose levels and elevate ketone levels, are anti-invasive, anti-angiogenic, and pro-apoptotic towards malignant brain cancer.”1
Current conventional cancer treatment typically involves chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is a cytotoxic poison, and radiation is devastating to the human body. More often than not, the treatment is what eventually kills the patient. This can no longer be accepted as “the best we can do.” As Dr. Seyfried says:
“The reason why we have so few people surviving is because of the standard of care. It has to be changed, if it’s not changed, there will be no major progress. Period.”
Metabolic Therapy/Ketogenic Diet Being Investigated as Cancer Treatment
CBN News recently published an article on the ketogenic diet.2 Clearly, many people are realizing that what we have been doing in terms of fighting cancer is simply not working, and we cannot afford to continue in the same way. Preventionmust be addressed if we ever want to turn the tide on the growing incidence of cancer across all age groups. But even more astounding, in terms of treatment, is that cancer may respond to diet alone.
“Dr. Fred Hatfield is an impressive guy: a power-lifting champion, author of dozens of books, a millionaire businessman with a beautiful wife. But he’ll tell you his greatest accomplishment is killing his cancer just in the nick of time,” CBN News writes. “The doctors gave me three months to live because of widespread metastatic cancer in my skeletal structure,” he recalled. “Three months; three different doctors told me that same thing.”
Dr. Hatfield was preparing to die when he heard of metabolic therapy, also known as the ketogenic diet. He had nothing to lose so he gave it a try, and… it worked. The cancer disappeared completely, and at the time of his interview (above), he’d been cancer-free for over a year.
The video above also features Dr. Dominic D’Agostino who, along with a team of researchers at the University of South Florida studies metabolic therapy. They found that when lab animals were fed a carb-free diet, they survived highly aggressive metastatic cancer better than those treated with chemotherapy. CBN reports:
“’We have dramatically increased survival with metabolic therapy,’ [Dr. D’Agostino] said. ‘So we think it’s important to get this information out.’ It’s not just lab mice. Dr. D’Agostino has also seen similar success in people – lots of them. ‘I’ve been in correspondence with a number of people,’ he said. ‘At least a dozen over the last year-and-a-half to two years, and all of them are still alive, despite the odds. So this is very encouraging.’”
How Does Ketogenic Diet Starve Cancer Cells?
Dr. D’Agostino explains how the ketogenic diet can have such a dramatic (and rapid) effect on cancer. All of your body’s cells are fueled by glucose. This includes cancer cells. However, cancer cells have one built-in fatal flaw – they do not have the metabolic flexibility of your regular cells and cannot adapt to use ketone bodies for fuel as all your other cells can.
So, when you alter your diet and become what’s known as “fat-adapted,” your body starts using fat for fuel rather than carbs. When you switch out the carbs for healthy fats, you starve the cancer out, as you’re no longer supplying the necessary fuel – glucose – for their growth. As D’Agostino explains:
“Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. But cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility. So we can exploit that.”
I’ve previously discussed ways to “starve” cancer, and eliminating sugar/fructose and grains (ie carbohydrates) is at the very top of the list. It’s the most basic step without which few other dietary strategies are likely to succeed. In order to be effective, you must first STOP doing that which is promoting cancer growth (or poor health in general), and then all the other preventive strategies have the chance to really have an impact.
What Makes for a Cancer-Fighting Diet?
Please remember addressing your diet should be at the top of your list. Naturally, processed foods and soft drinks do not belong in a cancer-preventive diet, as they are loaded with carbs that turn into fuel for cancer cells. Carbs also raise your insulin and leptin levels, and keeping your insulin and leptin signaling healthy is imperative if you want to avoid chronic disease of all kinds, including cancer.
Processed foods may also contain trans fat – the only type of fat you really need to avoid like the plague. They are also loaded with omega-6 fats which the featured otherwise excellent video failed to mention. Increasing the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is another potent way to increase your risk of cancer cell proliferation.
What About Protein?
One of my primary mentors in the importance of insulin and leptin, Dr. Rosedale. was one of the first professionals to advocate both a low-carb and moderate protein (and therefore high quality fat) diet. This was contrary to most low-carb advocates who were, and still are, very accepting of, if not promoting, high protein, as a replacement for the carbs.
If you or someone you know is challenged with cancer, the healthiest option may be to replace the carbs with beneficial fats, and limit your protein to high quality organic/pastured sources only. Dr. Rosedale advises 1 gram of protein per kilogram of lean body mass which for most people will be about 50 grams of protein a day (or 0.5 grams per pound of lean body weight). While you can take carbs to very low levels in ketogenic diets, you must have some protein every day to replace your body’s requirements. The key is to add healthy fat to replace the carbs and excess protein.
- Olives and Olive oil
- Coconuts and coconut oil
- Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk
- Organic raw nuts, especially macadamia nuts, which are low in protein and omega-6 fat
- Organic pastured egg yolks and pastured meats
The Fallacies of Fats and Carbs
Coincidentally, Dr. Robert Lustig – another expert on the dangers of high carb diets – was recently interviewed by NPR radio’s Science Friday segment.2 His new book, Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease, tackles the persistent myths about fat that is endangering the health of millions. It’s difficult to know just how many people have suffered poor health because they followed conventional low-fat recommendations, but I’m sure the number is significant.
The fact is that you’ve been thoroughly misled when it comes to dietary advice. Still today, many doctors, nutritionists, and government health officials will tell you to avoid saturated fat and keep fat consumption to below 10 percent while keeping the bulk of your diet, about 60 percent, as carbs. This is madness, as it’s the converse of a diet that will lead to optimal health. As an example, you’ve probably seen the whole grain label, which is certified by the American Heart Association3 of all things. Do whole grains support heart health? Hardly. The following outtake from the transcript addresses this head on:
“Flatow: …there’s something that came out yesterday released from Harvard… and it talks about one of the most widely used industry standards, the wholegrain stamp. [It] actually identified grain products [bearing the stamp] were higher in both sugars and calories than products without the stamp.
Lustig: Absolutely. And to be honest with you, wholegrain doesn’t mean much… Basically what it means is you start with a whole grain; that is the starch on the inside, the kernel, or the husk or the bran on the outside, and then whatever you want to do with it is perfectly fine. It’s still a whole grain. So if you pulverize it and add sugar to it, hey it’s still a whole grain because that’s what you started with. But you know what? All the benefits you get from whole grain are gone as soon as you pulverize it. So…. what it means is irrelevant because the definition is not helpful.”
Other Lifestyle Factors that Influence Your Cancer Risk
Other lifestyle factors that have been found to have an impact on chronic disease and cancer include:
o Vitamin D: There’s overwhelming evidence pointing to the fact that vitamin D deficiency plays a crucial role in cancer development. You can decrease your risk of cancer by more than half simply by optimizing your vitamin D levels with sun exposure or a safe tanning bed. And, if you are being treated for cancer, it is likely that higher blood levels – probably around 80-90 ng/ml – would be beneficial. To learn the details on how to use vitamin D therapeutically, please review my previous article, Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency. In terms of protecting against cancer, vitamin D has been found to offer protection in a number of ways, including:
§ Regulating genetic expression
§ Increasing the self-destruction of mutated cells (which, if allowed to replicate, could lead to cancer)
§ Reducing the spread and reproduction of cancer cells
§ Causing cells to become differentiated (cancer cells often lack differentiation)
§ Reducing the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, which is a step in the transition of dormant tumors turning cancerous
o Getting proper sleep: both in terms of getting enough sleep, and sleeping between certain hours. According to Ayurvedic medicine, the ideal hours for sleep are between 10 pm and 6 am. Modern research has confirmed the value of this recommendation as certain hormonal fluctuations occur throughout the day and night, and if you engage in the appropriate activities during those times, you’re ‘riding the wave’ so to speak, and are able to get the optimal levels. Working against your biology by staying awake when you should ideally be sleeping or vice versa, interferes with these hormonal fluctuations.
There’s a spike of melatonin that occurs between midnight and 1am that you don’t want to miss because the consequences are absolutely spectacular. Melatonin is not only a sleep hormone, but it also is a very powerful antioxidant. It decreases the amount of estrogen your body produces, and boosts your immune system. It also interacts with other hormones. So, if you go to bed after 10, it can significantly increase your risk of breast cancer.
o Effectively addressing your stress: The research shows that if you experience a traumatic or highly stressful event, such as a death in the family, your risk of breast cancer is 12 times higher in the ensuing five years. I believe energy psychology tools are ideal to address stressors in your life. My favorite is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), but there are many others available as well.
o Exercise: If you are like most people, when you think of reducing your risk of cancer, exercise doesn’t immediately come to mind. However, there is some fairly compelling evidence that exercise can slash your risk of cancer.
One of the primary ways exercise lowers your risk for cancer is by reducing elevated insulin levels, which creates a low sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells. Additionally, exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood. Your immune system is your first line of defense against everything from minor illnesses like a cold right up to devastating, life-threatening diseases like cancer.
The trick about exercise, though, is understanding how to use it as a precise tool. This ensures you are getting enough to achieve the benefit, not too much to cause injury, and the right variety to balance your entire physical structure and maintain strength and flexibility, and aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels. This is why it is helpful to view exercise like a drug that needs to be carefully prescribed to achieve its maximum benefit. For detailed instructions, please see this previous article.
Additionally it is likely that integrating exercise with intermittent fasting will greatly catalyze the potential of exercise to reduce your risk of cancer and stimulate widespread healing and rejuvenation.
You CAN Beat ‘the System’…
Cancer is the second most lethal disease in the US after heart disease (not counting iatrogenic mortality, aka “death by medicine”). We all know that the war on cancer has been a dismal failure. Tragically, conventional wisdom is blind when it comes to cancer prevention and treatment and hundreds of thousands die prematurely every year as a result. They have little to no appreciation of the concepts discussed in this article. But you don’t have to fall into that trap as you know better and can take control of your health and ability to treat cancer in your own hands.
The ketogenic diet, which can be summarized as a high-fat, moderate-protein, no-grain-carb diet, has brought many back to health, even after being diagnosed with aggressive cancer, and given no hope of survival. Hopefully, research by the likes of Dr. D’Agostino will become more widely known. Until then, do your own research and take control of your own health, and that of your family.
Severely limiting sugar/fructose, processed foods of all kinds, sweetened beverages (as well as diet versions), and replacing carbs with healthy fats and high quality protein can do what no medicine can – it can prevent disease from setting in, and may even be the U-turn you’re looking for if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or other chronic disease. Add to that appropriate sun exposure, sleep, effective stress management, and regular exercise, and you’ll be well ahead of the rest of the population.
Six Safe Natural Solutions to Get Rid of Migraine Headache Pain
Jul 03, 2013
By JB Bardot, Natural News
Migraines can be debilitating and sufferers are often only too anxious to rid themselves of the terrible pain characterizing this condition.
Many migraine sufferers don’t realize the effects certain foods and chemicals may have on their systems, contributing to the development of migraines, or to their resolution.
The good news is that dietary changes, herbs and supplements can all work to provide natural relief to some migraine patients.
1. Avoid Food Additives and Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners, preservatives and flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), are known to create severe reactions in some people, triggering migraine headaches.
Despite numerous reported side effects and symptoms of aspartame toxicity, the FDA has allowed the product back on the market where it continues to cause numerous problems for consumers.
Sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and Splenda can be replaced with stevia, a naturally sweet herb with no known side effects and no calories.
2. Avoid Foods that Trigger Migraines
Chocolate, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, sodas, refined sugars, genetically modified foods, gluten-containing grains, aged cheeses and peanuts are some of the more common food culprits that may cause migraines.
Reintroduce potential problem foods one at a time over a period of weeks to find out which one is causing the problem. Taking these foods out of your diet may feel like a sacrifice; however, if your headaches are eliminated or greatly reduced, then it may be worth it.
3. Add Tryptophan to Your Diet
Tryptophan, one of the 10 essential amino acids, stimulates the production of the brain transmitter dopamine, which in turn contributes to the release of serotonin. Migraine relief often results from the flow of serotonin, which elevates moods, relieves anxiety and tension, and relaxes tiny muscles around capillaries in the scalp.
Add tryptophan to your diet either in supplement form or by eating foods like turkey, red meat, legumes, nuts and seeds.
4. Lavender – the Natural Analgesic
Lavender is used by herbalists to soothe jangled nerves and has an analgesic effect on migraine sufferers. Lavender reduces the inflammation that occurs in blood vessels during a migraine, and relieves spasms in the muscles of the neck, around the eyes and in the scalp. Place dried lavender flowers in sachets or herbal hot packs to use when headaches start. Alternatively, make a tea by steeping one teaspoon of the dried flowers in one cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Sip slowly throughout the day and sweeten if desired.
5. Ginger, Peppermint and Cayenne – the Natural Pain Relieving Herbs
Use common household herbs like ginger, peppermint and cayenne pepper to treat a migraine. Ginger or peppermint can also be helpful in reducing the nausea accompanying many migraine headaches.
To make a herbal tea, mix the three herbs together. Place a pinch of cayenne pepper, a one inch piece of fresh ginger and a teaspoonful of dried peppermint in two cups boiling water and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Remove the herbs and sweeten with honey to taste.
Natural pain relievers in each of these herbs can help ease away your migraine headache.
6. Butterbur – a Natural beta-blocker
Butterbur, a herb native to Europe and Northern Asia, was found to reduce the intensity of migraine headaches by lessening inflammation and stabilizing blood flow to the brain. It acts as a beta-blocker, helping to control blood pressure and preventing spasms in the capillaries.
Only use butterbur that is labeled PA-Free, ensuring that any harmful toxins have been thoroughly removed from the supplement, making the herb safe for use. Butterbur is also known to relieve numerous allergies, especially those that may contribute to causing headaches.
The Healing Power of Spices
Jun 28, 2013
Humans have been using spices on their foods as far back as 50,000 B.C. But, beyond adding flavor, these dried seeds, fruits, root or bark can also add years to your life.
Spices are rich in phytonutrients and other active ingredients that protect against disease and promote healing. In worldwide studies, spices have been linked to the prevention and treatment of chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, Type II diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, spices can be used long- term without concern for side effects.
In short, spices are among the great gifts nature has bestowed upon us.
Here are 3 common spices with numerous health benefits you might not have known about.
Vanilla (Vanilla fragrans) gets its name from Spanish vainilla meaning “little pod” because it comes from the thin, seed-containing pods of an edible tropical orchid plant. Possessing one of the world’s most enticing flavors, it is the world’s next most expensive spice after saffron and cardamom. It is also among the most popular – 10,000 tons a year – not enough to satisfy demand, which is why imitation vanilla has become a market necessity, though lacking the potency of the real stuff.
The orchid is a very sensuous flower and has an ancient reputation for enhancing romance. Hence, vanilla was often recommended as a tonic for virility, fertility and for aromatizing perfume, cigars and liqueurs. Native to Mexico, the Aztecs treated it as a medicinal charm, prescribed for hysteria and depression (so-called “women’s troubles”), as well as for patients coughing up blood. In 18th century Europe it was popular as a nerve stimulant. 19th Century American medical texts praised its powers to “exhilarate the brain,…increase muscular energy, and stimulate the sexual energies.”
Today, especially in the last two decades, vanilla has been the subject of much scientific investigation because its seeds contain over 200 phytonutrients – bioactive plant compounds which have healing potential for many conditions. Its most studied main constituent, vanillin, which produces the mellow fragrance, has shown promise in cancer and sickle cell anemia. True to its ancient heritage, the spice also has proven aphrodisiac ability – in treating impotency, frigidity, erectile dysfunction and loss of libido – and is valued as an anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory and for its general relaxing and calming effect on the brain and nerves, relieving anxiety and anger.
Cancer: Numerous studies have demonstrated that vanillin, the major component of vanilla, has anti-carcinogenic properties, killing human cancer cells, limiting metastasis (movement of cancer cells from the original site to the rest of the body), inhibiting angiogenesis (creation of new blood supply for tumor). Bromovanin, a vanillin derivative, has been found to stop the advance of a broad spectrum of human cancers. Research at New York University School of Medicine concluded that vanillin is antimutagenic – in human cells it reduced by up to 73% the ability of toxins to mutate DNA in 64 genes that may play a role in cancer.
Sickle Cell Anemia: This inherited, incurable condition warps the round, flexible shape of oxygen-carrying red blood cells into rigid, sticky “sickles,” slices of cells like crescent moons. Misshapen cells snag and stall in the bloodstream, choking blood and oxygen flow, producing pain and fatigue, the main symptoms of the disease. In studies at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a vanillin-derived drug on mice with the disease “significantly reduced” the % of sickled cells. Human studies are in the works.
Aphrodisiac: Since the time of the Aztecs, vanilla has been considered an aphrodisiac, now confirmed by science. A systematic administration of vanilla essential oil to patients with impotency, erectile dysfunction, frigidity, loss of libido, etc., has been proven to relieve these conditions. This oil stimulates secretion of certain hormones like testosterone, estrogen, etc., which can help bring about normal sexual behavior, as well as promote arousal. The oil has also been shown to regularize menstruation by activating certain hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
Anti-depressant: Vanilla essential oil with its soft, rich aroma is an effective mood up-lifter. Perhaps this is why “plain” vanilla ice cream is the most universally popular flavor!
Sedative: The essential oil of vanilla soothes all types of inflammations and hyperactivity in body systems, particularly the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, nervous and eliminations systems.These relaxant properties can alleviate insomnia, as well as lower blood pressure. In general, the oil has a calming effect on the brain and nerves, giving relief from convulsions, anxiety, stress, anger, hypersensitivity, restlessness, etc.
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), a nut-like pit or seed, got its English name from Latin nux, meaning nut, and muscat, musky. From the 14th-18th centuries, nutmeg was at the center of the bloody spice wars as the Dutch, Portuguese, French, and English fought over the “spice islands,” the Moluccas in Indonesia, until the English realized they could grow nutmeg trees on their own turf – the Caribbean. Today the Moluccas and Grenada are the largest world suppliers.
Nutmeg has a taste unlike any other in the world. Its intense, musky-sweet flavor comes from myristicin, a volatile oil also found in plants (carrots, celery, parsley), but most abundantly in nutmeg. Today, this oil and other compounds in the spice are the subject of much scientific research, thus far showing promise in pain relief, lowering cholesterol, improving memory and sexual desire, relieving anxiety, indigestion, even reducing wrinkles.
Nutmeg also has a reputation, now confirmed by animal studies, as an inexpensive narcotic (”a cheap high”). However, to feel any effect one would have to consume a heck of a lot: about 2 ounces, an impossible amount to eat in normal food where a teaspoon suffices for a whole cheesecake – which is probably why we never hear of drug enforcement raids on spice cabinets! It’s also why experimentation is a very bad idea – there are more than a few cases of fatal nutmeg poisoning in people who did!
As mentioned, large amounts of nutmeg can be toxic. It is considered safe, however, when used for culinary purposes, even in generous amounts.
Pain relief: Nutmeg oil is an excellent sedative and anti-inflammatory. Massaging with the oil helps ease muscular and joint pain and sores. It’s very effective for reducing the painful swelling of joints in arthritis, rheumatism, lumbago, etc.
Indigestion: Used in small doses, nutmeg can reduce flatulence, aid digestion, improve the appetite and treat diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
High cholesterol: Animal studies have found that nutmeg reduces total and LDL (”bad”) cholesterol.
Cancer: Studies have shown that nutmeg extract killed human leukemia cells.
Anxiety: Nutmeg is a relaxant, used in folk medicine to relieve anxiety and depression. Animal studies in India found that nutmeg had an effectiveness similar to common anti- anxiety drugs in alleviating symptoms. The spice also “significantly improved” learning and memory.
Wrinkles: Of 150 plants tested, nutmeg was one of 6 plants found to contain compounds that could inhibit elastase, an enzyme that breaks down elastin, the protein fibers that keep skin youthfully taut and flexible (if elastin breaks down, skin sags). When added to cosmetics, the researchers, reporting in International Journal of Cosmetic Science, concluded that nutmeg has “anti-aging effects on human skin.” A Korean study, found nutmeg protected skin from the sun’s damaging UVB rays.
Sexual desire: Nutmeg is a central nervous stimulant. In ancient Greek medicine it was considered an aphrodisiac, as it is today in India and Pakistan. Investigating this premise, researchers in Journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that when experimental animals were fed nutmeg, they went nuts: “The resultant significant and sustained increase in sexual activity indicated that extract of nutmeg possesses aphrodisiac activity, increasing libido.”
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) bears the royal pedigree, “King of Spices.” In early times, it was more valuable than gold. Only the wealthy could afford it; dowries were endowed with it and many bribes for special favors were paid with it.
Black peppercorns were found stuffed in the nostrils of Ramesses II, part of the mummification ritual after his death in 1213 B.C. In classical times, both Attila the Hun and Alaric I the Visigoth insisted on pepper as a large part of Rome’s ransom. In 1492, demand for it was one of the main reasons Queen Isabella sent Columbus west in search of a new route to the Indies. As fate would have it, he ended up discovering a new continent, but 8,000 miles off from the “land of peppers” – India’s Malabar Coast where the spice has thrived for over 4,000 years.
So why all the hoopla? Pepper hasn’t the instant allure of a juicy, aromatic fruit or berry, nor the glitter of gold or other precious stones. The one irresistible quality of this drab, wrinkled little bead is its particular pungent flavor that can perk up the dullest of dishes and, thereby, unleash it’s considerable curative powers. In pre-modern times it was believed to alleviate a whole host of ills, from constipation, earache, insect bites to hernia, gangrene, arthritis, heart and lung disease.
Today researchers are learning that the ancients were onto something. The sharp flavor and healing prowess come from piperine and other volatile oils in the pepper. It’s the piperine that zaps the taste buds, often triggering a sneeze when it hits the nerve endings inside your nose. Studies are finding that piperine can be effective in treating a vast array of conditions, including cancer, digestive disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, loss of hearing, quitting smoking, and more.
Digestion: Piperine stimulates the taste buds, triggering the pancreas to start producing digestive enzymes. It also tones the lining of the intestines which boosts digestive power in numerous ways, including more efficient absorption of foods and faster transit time. In a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, gastroenterologists found that 1.5 grams of black pepper (about 1/20 ounce) sped up the time it takes for food to move all the way through the GI tract. Slow transit time is linked to many problems, from constipation to colon cancer. The researchers concluded that black pepper “is of clinical importance in the management of various gastrointestinal disorders.” Black pepper has also been shown to relieve flatulence and calm nausea. (Precaution: black pepper is not recommended post abdominal surgery or for ulcer patients.)
Cancer: Lab studies have shown that piperine may play a role in preventing or treating cancer. Researchers discovered that regular use of black pepper inhibited growth of human colon cancer cells. In animal studies on lung cancer, piperine changed the level of several enzymes, producing an anti-tumor effect. Black pepper extracts added to the diet of mice with breast cancer increased lifespan by 65%.
Arthritis: Korean researchers found piperine reduced compounds that worsen inflammation, especially in rheumatoid arthritis, and eased other arthritis symptoms.
Prevent Alzheimer’s: In Thailand researchers found that piperine extract given to animals with Alzheimer’s-like brain changes “significantly improved memory impairment and neurodegeneration [destruction of brain cells].”
Better brains: The same team discovered that piperine had “anti-depression-like activity and cognitive-enhancing effect” when fed to lab animals, leading them to conclude that piperine may “improve brain function.”
Improve balance in elderly: Japanese studies found that sniffing black pepper oil stabilized the ability to stand, lowering the risk of falling in people aged 78 and older. As reported in the journal Gait and Posture, “Olfactory stimulation with black pepper may improve postural stability in older adults.”
Quit smoking: Scientists at the Nicotine Research Laboratory in Durham, NC, discovered that the craving for cigarettes decreased after smokers puffed on a vapor containing black pepper essential oil. In the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependency, they wrote: “Cigarette substitutes delivering pepper constituents may prove useful in smoking cessation treatment.”
Lower blood pressure: In the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology Pakistaniresearchers presented studies showing that piperine lowered blood pressure in lab animals.
Help prevent heart disease: Scientists in India found that lab animals fed a high-fat diet and black pepper or piperine had much less oxidation – a crucial step in the process that turns dietary cholesterol into artery-clogging plaque. They concluded: “Supplementation with black pepper or piperine can reduce high-fat diet induced oxidative stress to the cells.”
Protect hearing: Korean studies noted that piperine protected cells in the cochlea (the sensory organ of hearing in the ear) from chemical damage. Cochlear damage leads to hearing loss.
14 Reasons You Can't Lose Weight
May 03, 2013
By Jessica Sepel, May 1, 2013
Are you eating well and exercising, but your weight just won’t budge? Or it’s going up? Desperate attempts to lose weight can be so frustrating and create a real stress in our lives. In fact, I’ll go as far as saying that weight is the NUMBER ONE stress for women I know.
It’s a vicious cycle of trying to control what we eat, feeling like a failure because the scale doesn’t move, punishing ourselves for not being “more in control,” and then manifesting a huge amount of bodily stress that causes further havoc in our bodies. Then we binge or take our diet to an extreme (never healthy) and the cycle continues…
Oh gosh I’ve exhausted myself just typing that!
Our self-esteem is measured by what the scales say, right?
Of course not, but that’s what I believed. Now I believe that when we are kinder to ourselves, and practice positive thinking, our body will start to work in our favor. And the weight will go down.
Of course it’s not thaat simple, but it’s the first part of being more in control of your own body weight.
And it doesn’t need to be such a stress! There is a way to live without worrying about your weight and watching everything that enters your mouth. Once we have the skills in place to find happiness and psychological well being, healthy eating habits (and a healthy weight) will follow easily.
Here are 14 reasons you may be hitting the wall with your weight…
1. Your hormones aren’t balanced.
If you are fatigued, suffer from PMS, experience irregular menstrual cycles, find it hard to lose weight, feel depressed or anxious, you may have a hormonal imbalance. Best to see a nutritionist or doctor who can support you and suggest certain tests that will confirm this so you can take appropriate action.
2. You’re not getting enough Vitamin D.
A huge number of the population have low Vitamin D, which is associated with weight gain and several metabolic processes. If you spend much of your life indoors, get your Vitamin D checked with your doctor.
3. You’re exercising, but not in a way that’s benefiting your body!
You are either exercising too much or you need to mix it up a bit and give the body a bit of a shock. (Funnily enough, most people I see who over exercise tend to put on weight easily.) Enjoy a variety of workout techniques: weight training, Pilates, yoga and interval training. Quick and hard bursts are good. And weight training is very helpful to raise your metabolism.
4. Your digestion and absorption is not optimal.
You are not what you eat; you are what you digest and absorb! Our gut health will determine our overall well being. The bacteria that lies in our gut helps us to fight disease, process our food, make nutrients and make hormones etc.
5. You’re sitting on your ass all day.
You’re not moving your body enough throughout the day, and your body does not like this. I understand some of your have office jobs and are tied to your desk, but is it possible to go for a few minute stroll every hour? Or walk 20 minutes to grab lunch?
6. You’re eating too much.
I’d love to be able to say you can eat as much healthy food as you like, but unfortunately this is just not the case. The body cannot cope with a lot of food at once. It’s vital to put good portions on your plate. (I usually say: ¼ of the plate should be protein, ¼ carbohydrate and ½ veggies.) Fill that plate with your greens, my love, and eat 5 to 6 small meals a day. We must learn to listen to our bodies when it’s full and to stop eating! We all need to work on this.
7. You’re not chewing your food.
Chewing your food until it’s liquid will really help with weight loss and better digestive performance.
8. You’re stressed and not finding balance in your days.
Stress can impact your weight in a number of ways. Long term stress = high cortisol, which is linked to blood sugar imbalance and weight gain around the mid-section.
9. You’re not sleeping enough.
Sleep = repair. When your body gets enough rest, it’s able to perform.
10. You’re a fad dieter.
This is not way of life. I often ask people are you weight conscious or health conscious? They’re very different mentalities that foster very different choices.
11. You’re eating out too much and not cooking at home.
Trust me, you just don’t know what that restaurant is using to cook your food. Assume they’re using the worst vegetable oils, heavy amounts of butter and oil, and poor-quality produce. Unless you’re dining at a place that claims healthy cooking and uses healthy produce, learn to love your kitchen!
12, You’re not adding protein to your plate.
Protein is the satiety macro-nutrient that helps us to balance out blood sugars and therefore helps to control our weight
13. You’re scared of good fats.
Don’t be! Good fats are so so important to your brain and for making hormones. (So you can imagine why many of those who suffer from hormonal imbalances usually eat a low-fat diet) and your heart. The body actually uses the good fats and they will help to lower your LDL cholesterol.
14. Your liver is sluggish and you need a good cleanse!
If you’re feeling low, tired, and moody and your diet contains alcohol, coffee and sugar, you need to give your body a break. When your liver is sluggish, it struggles to process substances/toxins/hormones efficiently and this leads to toxic build up and this will inevitably cause weight gain. You might benefit from a seasonal cleanse.
6 Lessons We Can Learn From Eastern Chinese Medicine – from a Western-trained MD
Jan 29, 2013
How a Harvard-trained doctor began to appreciate traditional Chinese medicine
Published on January 27, 2013 by Leana Wen, M.D. in The Doctor Is Listening
As a child growing up in China, I was always aware of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM is what we refer to as Eastern medicine, in contrast to the Western medicine we know from U.S. hospitals. I never understood much about TCM, only that it somehow involves herbs and that many Chinese people used it. The more I progressed in my medical training in major U.S. academic centers, the more distanced I felt from TCM. Why should I learn about something that lacks evidence, when there’s so much to know about for which there is good research?
Last fall, I went to China on a research trip. While my study is primarily on its Western medical system, I was so fascinated by what I learned of Eastern medicine that I spent many free evenings observing TCM practitioners. There is so much I didn’t know. As a discipline, TCM is far too complex for me to understand in my short observation, but there are some very important “lessons from the East” that are applicable to our Western medical practice:
#1. Listen—really listen. The first TCM practitioner I shadowed explained to me that to practice TCM is to “listen with your whole body”. Pay attention and use every sense you have, he said. I watched this doctor as he diagnosed a woman with new-onset cervical cancer and severe anemia the moment she walked into his exam room, and within two minutes, without blood tests or CTs, sent her to be admitted to a (Western) medical service. I’ve seen expert clinicians make remarkable diagnoses, but this was something else!
“How could you know what you had and that she needed to be admitted?” I asked.
“I smelled the cervical cancer,” he said. “I looked and saw the anemia. I heard her speak and I knew she could not care for herself at home.” (I followed her records in the hospital; he was right on all accounts.)
#2. Focus on the diagnosis. I watched another TCM doctor patiently explain to a young woman with long-standing abdominal pain why painkillers were not the answer.
“Why should we treat you for something if we don’t know what it is?” he said. “Let’s find out the diagnosis first.” What an important lesson for us—to always begin the diagnosis.
#3. Treat the whole person. “A big difference between our two practices,” said one TCM doctor, “Is that Western medicine treats people as organs. Eastern medicine treats people as a whole.” Indeed, I watched her inquire about family, diet, and life stressors. She counseled on issues of family planning, food safety, and managing debt. She even helped patients who needed advice on caring for the their elderly parents and choosing schools for their child. This is truly “whole person” care!
#4. Health is not just about disease, but also about wellness. There is a term in Chinese that does not have its exact equivalent in English. The closest translation is probably “tune-up to remain in balance”, but it doesn’t do the term justice, because it refers to maintaining and promoting wellness. Many choose to see a TCM doctor not because they are ill, but because they want to be well. They believe TCM helps them keep in balance. It’s an important lesson for doctors and patients alike to address wellness and prevention.
#5. Medicine is a life-long practice. Western medicine revers the newest as the best; in contrast, patients revere old TCM doctors for their knowledge and experience. Practicing doctors do not rest on their laurels.
“This is a practice that has taken thousands of years to develop,” I was told. “That’s why you must keep learning throughout your life, and even then you will only learn just a small fraction.” Western medicine should be no different: not only are there new medical advances all the time, doctors need to continually improve their skills in the art of medicine.
#6. Evidence is in the eyes of the beholder. Evidence-based medicine was my mantra in Western medical training, so I was highly skeptical of the anecdotes I heard. But then I met so many patients who said that they were able to get relief from Eastern remedies while Western treatments failed them. Could there be a placebo effect? Sure. Is research important? Of course. But research is done on populations, and our treatment is of individuals. It has taken me a while to accept that I may not always be able to explain why—but that the care should be for the individual patient, not a population of patients.
“In a way, there is more evidence for our type of medicine than for yours,” a TCM teacher told me. “We have four thousand years of experience—that must count for something!”
There is so much I have not covered about TCM. Its practices vary regionally, and no doubt, there are more and less capable practitioners (as there are in Western medicine). More research into TCM methods will be important. However, regardless of whether we Western doctors want to prescribe TCM treatments, we should recognize there is much to learn from Eastern medicine, including what it means to be a physician to really care for our patients. Upon my return from China, I, for one, have a newfound appreciation for Eastern medical practice a renewed of holistic medical care.
Acupuncture beats drugs for irritable bowel syndrome
Jan 08, 2013
Acupuncture combined with moxibustion is more effective than conventional ‘western’ medicine for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A new meta-analysis of 11 research investigations with a sample size of over 950 patients shows that acupuncture with moxibustion leads to better clinical outcomes than conventional pharmaceutical drug therapy. In addition, the study shows that acupuncture combined with moxibustion is not only effective but is also safe. The researchers conclude, “Acupuncture-moxibustion for irritable bowel syndrome is better than the conventional western medication treatment.”
This is not the first time Chinese medicine has been shown effective for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. The Journal of the American Medical Association made an impact in the western world with its ground breaking publication of findings showing that Chinese herbal medicine “offer(s) improvements in symptoms for some patients with IBS.” This early study used the modern standards of investigation now commonly employed in acupuncture and herbal medicine studies. It was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Gastroenterologists worked in combination with herbalists but both groups were blinded to the treatment group. The study discovered that Chinese herbal medicine improved patients’ health with irritable bowel syndrome including significant improvements documented 14 weeks after completion of the herbal medicine treatments.
One effective herbal formula used for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome is Shu Gan Wan. Often referred to as soothe the liver pills, this formula is known for its ability to prevent Liver Qi stagnation from attacking the Spleen and Stomach. This syndrome is indicated by abdominal discomfort and gas, bloating, hiccups, belching, abdominal pain, erratic stools and poor digestion. In some cases, hypoglycemia or ulcerative gastritis develops. This syndrome is common when emotional, physical and dietary stresses cause stomach and digestive upset. Irritability and anger during or after eating is a common example of when Liver Qi stagnation attacks the Stomach and Spleen. This is why Chinese medicine doctors often recommend not reading the newspaper during meals or eating in rush or under pressure.
One effective acupuncture point for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome is LV13 (Zhangmen, Completion Gate). LV13 is the Front Mu point of the Spleen, the Influential point of the Zang organs and is the meeting point of the Liver and Gallbladder channels. This point harmonizes the Liver and Spleen and regulates both the middle and lower burners (jiao). Located anterior and inferior to the free end of the 11th rib, this point is never needled deeply and has many benefits to the digestive system. Indications for the use of this point include pain in the hypochondrium, diarrhea, indigestion, vomiting and abdominal distention.
Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 Oct;32(10):957-60. [Meta analysis of acupuncture-moxibustion in treatment of irritable bowel syndrome]. Pei LX, Zhang XC, Sun JH, Geng H, Wu XL. Acupuncture and Rehabilitation Department, Jiangsu Province Hospital of TCM, Nanjing, China.
JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1585-9. Treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with Chinese herbal medicine: a randomized controlled trial. Bensoussan A, Talley NJ, Hing M, Menzies R, Guo A, Ngu M. Research Unit for Complementary Medicine, University of Western Sydney Macarthur, Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia.
Chinese Plant Compound Wipes out Cancer in 40 Days, Says New Research
Nov 12, 2012
By Anthony Gucciardi
A little-known plant with a truly bizarre name is now making headlines as a cancer killer, with the compound of the plant vanishing tumors in mice with pancreatic cancer. Known as the ‘thunder god vine’ or lei gong teng, the Chinese plant is actually integrated into Chinese medicine and has been used for ages in remedying a number of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis.
According to the new research out of the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center, the thunder god plant compound led to no signs of tumors after a 40 day period — even after discontinuing the treatment. Published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health, even the scientists working on the project were stunned by the anti-cancer properties of the compound. Known to contain something known as triptolide, which has been identified as a cancer fighter in previous research, it is thought to be the key component that may be responsible for the anti-tumor capabilities.
Study leader and vice chairman of research at the Cancer Center explained to Bloomberg how he was blown away by the effects of the simple plant:
“This drug is just unbelievably potent in killing tumor cells,” he said.
And just like with numerous other powerful substances like turmeric and ginger, mainstream science is still slowly confirming what many traditional practitioners have known for their entire lives. This is, of course, due to the fact that there is simply no money for major corporations in researching the healing powers of natural herbs and compounds such as the compound found in the thunder god vine. Turmeric and ginger, for example, have been found to be amazing anti-cancer substances that are virtually free compared to expensive and dangerous cancer drugs.
Nevertheless, the Big Pharma sponsored corporate scientists have managed to ignore these spices as much as possible. In fact, they have even been caught time and time again faking thousands of studies to fraudulently demonstrate the supposed value of pharmaceutical drugs pushed by major pharma juggernauts — many of which are later forced to pay millions in fines which only slightly stack up against their billions in profits.
Profits that are threatened by the many real studies that were performed by scientists examining the rejeuvenating power of cheap ingredients like turmeric, which has been found by peer-reviewed research available on PubMed to positively influence over 590 conditions.
While it is great news that this study is bringing the beneficial effects of inexpensive and near-free plant compounds to light, the bad news is that the individuals responsible for the research are actually looking to create a pharmaceutical drug from the essential component triptolide. A drug that will seek FDA approval and ultimately be patented, nutritionally ruined, and sold for exorbitant amounts of cash. Instead, just get your hands on some thunder god vine for yourself.
Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/chinese-plant-compound-cancer-research/#ixzz29h4PcEHd
Exposure to light at night may contribute to depression, study says
Aug 29, 2012
By Nika Soon-Shiong, Los Angeles Times, July 25, 2012, 7:00 a.m.
TV sets, laptops, iPads and iPhones are modern society’s instruments for increased productivity, social connectedness and entertainment after a long day’s work. Ironically, a new study published in Molecular Psychiatry shows that these devices also contribute to an increase of major depressive disorder.
The 24-hour society made possible by the advent of the electric light bulb has come at a significant biological cost. Light at night disrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythms and has been linked to breast cancer, heart disease and obesity.
The new experiment, led by Tracy Bedrosian, a doctoral student in neuroscience at Ohio State University, analyzed the relationship between exposure to artificial light at night and mood disorder. The subjects of the study were adult female hamsters, since females — both rodent and human — are twice as likely as males to develop major depressive disorder. One group of hamsters was kept on a cycle of 16 hours of normal light and eight hours of dim light, which was five times brighter than the maximum light power of a full moon and comparable to light pollution in urban centers. The control group of hamsters was on a schedule of 16 hours of daylight and eight hours of darkness.
The researchers tested the hamsters in the nighttime light group for signs of depression. After four weeks of sleeping with light at night, the hamsters lost some of their appetite for sugar. In addition, when forced to swim, the animals spent more time immobile in the water and less time trying to reach safety. According to the research team, the results show that there was some physiological change in the hamsters’ brains when they were exposed to light at night. For instance, they produced more of a protein called TNF, or tumor necrosis factor. This is one of a family of proteins called cytokines — chemical messengers in the body that are released in response to injury or inflammation. If they are released constantly — such as during exposure to light at night — damage occurs that could result in depression. In the brain, the hippocampus is extremely vulnerable because it has many receptors for these cytokines. The hippocampus plays a critical role in major depressive disorder.
Furthermore, the amount of nighttime light used in the study is enough to suppress the release of melatonin, which is linked to depressive effects. Melatonin is a hormone secreted during the dark, and when that doesn’t happen, the body’s time-of-day information is distorted. In rodents, melatonin prevents stress-induced, depression-like behaviors.
The study authors noted that 99% of people in the United States and Europe deal with light pollution on a nightly basis. This could account for some of the increase in the incidence of major depression over the last few decades, they wrote, adding that further research is necessary to explore the extent of the link.
There was some good news: The negative effects of exposure to light at night are reversible if that exposure is decreased. Within two weeks of returning the hamsters to a standard light/dark cycle, the hamsters regained their taste for sugar and were more willing to swim, the researchers reported. Also, hamsters that were forced to endure the nighttime light but allowed to take a drug that inhibited their production of TNF swam just as much as the control hamsters on the normal light/dark schedule.
You can read a summary of the study online here.
Chronic Inflammation Causes Virtually All Leading Diseases
Jul 23, 2012
Lisa Garber, NaturalSociety, July 18, 2012
Glancing through the channels of news media and pharmaceutical ads, the overriding impression we have about health is that cancer, dementia, stroke, heart disease, and diabetes are things that simply happen to us. We are simply genetically pre-programmed to get sick at some point past age 40, but this just isn’t true. While genes may play a role in our health quality, many experts agree that chronic inflammation causes virtually all leading diseases due to a poor diet and lack of exercise.
Inflammation in the Body
When we experience an injury, our bodies’ natural response is inflammation. Wendy Weber, a program director at the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, explains: “You need to have inflammation when you have a wound and the immune system goes in to heal it. Yet we don’t want too much inflammation in our system causing damage to our arteries” and the body.
Cat scratches swell on our arms because our bodies are fighting bacteria. Our glands swell when we’re experiencing allergies or a sniffle because it’s fighting irritants or infection. The problem is when the irritants and infection don’t go away—smoking, excess fat in the diet, lack of detoxification of the body through sweat and exercise.
Reducing Inflammation and Risk of Disease
“We’ve learned that abdominal fat tissue is a hotbed of inflammation that pours out all kinds of inflammatory molecules,” says Dr. Peter Libby of Harvard Medical School. Losing excess weight lowers levels of C-reactive protein, an indicator of inflammation. This can be achieved in a matter of weeks.
Another Harvard medical professor, Christopher Cannon, advocates an anti-inflammatory diet—high in whole grains, unsaturated fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, poultry, eggs, and some dairy.
As The Daily Show faithfuls will remember, Dr. David B. Agus touted other ways to reduce inflammation earlier this year with his book, The End of Illness. They include:
1. Avoiding vitamins and supplements and obtaining nutrients from whole foods wherever possible.
2. Exercising regularly and moving during the day.
3. Attaining a lean body mass.
4. Minimizing use of tobacco products.