Category Archives: Natural Medicine

Turmeric’s ‘Smart Kill’ Properties Put Chemo And Radiation To Shame

turmeric_beats_radiation_chemo_stem_cells

The ancient Indian spice turmeric strikes again! A new study finds turmeric extract selectively and safely killing cancer stem cells in a way that chemo and radiation can not.

A groundbreaking new study published in the journal Anticancer Research reveals that one of the world’s most extensively researched and promising natural compounds for cancer treatment: the primary polyphenol in the ancient spice turmeric known as curcumin, has the ability to selectively target cancer stem cells, which are at the root of cancer malignancy, while having little to no toxicity on normal stem cells, which are essential for tissue regeneration and longevity.

Titled, “Curcumin and Cancer Stem Cells: Curcumin Has Asymmetrical Effects on Cancer and Normal Stem Cells,” the study describes the wide range of molecular mechanisms presently identified by which curcumin attacks cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are the minority subpopulation of self-renewing cells within a tumor colony, and which alone are capable of producing all the other cells within a tumor, making them the most lethal, tumoriogenic of all cells within most if not all cancers.  Because CSCs are resistant to chemotherapy, radiation, and may even be provoked towards increased invasiveness through surgical intervention, they are widely believed to be responsible for tumor recurrence and the failure of conventional treatment.

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The study identified the following 8 molecular mechanisms by which curcumin targets and kills cancer stem cells:

  • Down-regulation of interleukin-6 (IL-6): IL-6 is classified as a cytokine (a potent biomolecule released by the immune system) and modulates both immunity and inflammation. It’s over expression has been linked to the progression from inflammation to cancer. Curcumin inhibits IL-6 release, which in turn prevents CSC stimulation.
  • Down-regulation of interleukin-8 (IL-8): IL-8, another cytokine, is released after tumor cell death, subsequently stimulating CSCs to regrow the tumor and resist chemotherapy. Curcumin both inhibits IL-8 production directly and indirectly.
  • Down-regulation of interleukin-1 (IL-1): IL-1, a family of cytokines, are involved in response to injury and infection, with IL-1 β playing a key role in cancer cell growth and the stimulation of CSCs. Curcumin inhibits IL-1 both directly and indirectly.
  • Decrease CXCR1 and CXCR2 binding: CXCR1 and CXCR2 are proteins expressed on cells, including CSCs, which respond to the aforementioned cytokines in a deleterious manner. Curcumin has been found to not only block cytokine release, but their binding to these two cellular targets.
  • Modulation of the Wnt signaling pathway: The Wnt signaling pathway regulates a wide range of processes during embryonic development, but are also dsyregulated in cancer. Curcumin has been found to have a corrective action on Wnt signaling.
  • Modulation of the Notch Pathway: The Notch signaling pathway, also involved in embryogenesis, plays a key role in regulating cell differentiation, proliferation and programmed cell death (apoptosis), as well as the functioning of normal stem cells. Aberrant Notch signaling has been implicated in a wide range of cancers. Curcumin has been found to suppress tumor cells along the Notch pathway.
  • Modulation of the Hedgehog Pathways: Another pathway involved in embryogenesis, the Hedgehog pathway also regulates normal stem cell activity. Abnormal functioning of this pathway is implicated in a wide range of cancers and in the stimulation of CSCs and associated increases in tumor recurrence after conventional treatment. Curcumin has been found to inhibit the Hedgehog pathway through a number of different mechanisms.
  • Modulation of the FAK/AKT/FOXo3A Pathway: This pathway plays a key role in regulating normal stem cells, with aberrant signaling stimulating CSCs, resulting once again in tumor recurrence and resistance to chemotherapy. Curcumin has been found
  • in multiple studies to destroy CSCs through inhibiting this pathway.

As you can see through these eight examples above, curcumin exhibits a rather profound level of complexity, modulating numerous molecular pathways simultaneously. Conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy is incapable of such delicate and “intelligent” behavior, as it preferentially targets fast-replicating cells by damaging their DNA in the vulnerable mitosis stage of cell division, regardless of whether they are benign, healthy or cancerous cells.  Curcumin’s selective cytotoxicity, on the other hand, targets the most dangerous cells – the cancer stem cells – which leaving unharmed the normal cells, as we will now learn more about below.

Curcumin and Normal Stem Cells

Normal stem cells (NSCs) are essential for health because they are responsible for differentiating into normal cells that are needed to replace damaged or sick ones. If curcumin were to kill normal cells, like radiation and chemotherapy, it would not provide a compelling alternative to these treatments.  The study addressed this point:

“The safety of curcumin has been long established, as it has been used for centuries as a dietary spice. The question arises as to why curcumin does not seem to have the same deleterious effects on normal stem cells (NSCs) as it does on CSCs. There are several possible reasons that curcumin has toxic effects on CSCs, while sparing NSCs.”

The study offered three potential explanations for curcumin’s differential or selective cytotoxicity:

  • Malignant cells take in much more curcumin than normal cells.
  • Curcumin alters the microenvironment of cells in such a way that is adverse to CSCs and beneficial to NSCs.
  • Curcumin may not only directly attack CSCs, but may encourage them to differentiate into non-lethal, more benign cells.

Concluding Remarks

This study adds growing support to the idea that safe, time-tested, natural substances are superior to synthetic ones. Given the evidence that a safe and effective alternative may already exist, chemotherapy, radiation and even surgery may no longer be justified as the first-line standard of care for cancer treatment. In fact, a significant body of evidence now implicates these treatments in worsening prognosis, and in some cases driving cancer stem cell enrichment in tumors. Radiotherapy, for instance, has been found to induce cancer stem cell like properties in breast cancer cells, essentially increasing their malignancy and tumoriogenicity by 30 fold.  This is hardly progress when one considers the role that CSCs play, especially in contributing to post-treatment secondary cancers.

Turmeric and its components, of course, are not FDA approved drugs, and by definition the FDA will not allow an unapproved substance, natural or synthetic, to prevent, treat, diagnosis or cure a disease.  This means that you will not be seeing it offered by an oncologist as an alternative to chemotherapy or radiation any time soon.  This does not, however, mean that it does not work. We have gathered over 1500 citations from the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database MEDLINE, accessible through pubmed.gov, and which can be viewed on our database here: Turmeric Research, showing that curcumin and related turmeric components possess significant anti-cancer activity.  Truth be told, the information is so extensive, revealing over 700 possible health benefits, that I believe this plant embodies a form of intelligence and even compassion. You can learn more about this supposition here: Turmeric’s Healing Power: A Physical Manifestation of Compassion?  I also discuss this concept in my lecture, Food As Medicine Rebooted, which you can watch below:

Of course, the point is not to wait until one has such a severe health problem that taking heroic doses of spices or herbs becomes the focus. It is important to remember that ancient cultures used spices like turmeric mainly in culinary doses, as part of their dietary practices. These smaller amounts, delivered mainly as whole food extracts, likely constituted effective preventive strategies – perhaps preventing the need for radical, heroic intervention later in life. If you read our previous article, Turmeric: A Wellness Promoting Tonic at Low Doses, Research Reveals, you’ll see this point explored in greater depth in light of a human clinical study.

For more research on turmeric and cancer, you can view our two database sections on these topics below:

For a far more in depth exploration of the truth about cancer, natural cancer cures, the many causes of the present day cancer epidemic, and testimony from camcer scientists, physicians and researchers, sign up for the upcoming free, 11-part docu-series ‘The Truth About Cancer,’ which goes live March 30th.


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

 

6 Ways Drumming Heals Body, Mind And Soul

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From slowing the decline in fatal brain disease, to generating a sense of oneness with one another and the universe, drumming’s physical and spiritual health benefits may be as old as time itself.

Drumming is as fundamentalform of human expression as speaking, and likely emerged long before humans even developed the capability of using the lips, tongue and vocal organs as instruments of communication.

To understand the transformative power of drumming you really must experience it, which is something I have had the great pleasure of doing now for twenty years. Below is one of the circles I helped organize in Naples Florida back in 2008, which may give you a taste of how spontaneous and immensely creative a thing it is (I’m the long haired ‘hippie’ with the gray tank top drumming like a primate in the background).

Anyone who has participated in a drum circle, or who has borne witness to one with an open and curious mind, knows that the rhythmic entrainment of the senses[i] and the anonymous though highly intimate sense of community generated that follows immersion in one, harkens back to a time long gone, where tribal consciousness preempted that of self-contained, ego-centric individuals, and where a direct and simultaneous experience of deep transcendence and immanence was not an extraordinarily rare occurrence as it is today.

This experience is so hard-wired into our biological, social and spiritual DNA that even preschool children as young as 2.5 years appear to be born with the ability to synchronize body movements to external acoustic beats when presented in a social context, revealing that drumming is an inborn capability and archetypal social activity.[ii]

drum

Even Bugs Know How To Drum

But drumming is not a distinctively human technology. The use of percussion as a form of musicality, communication, and social organization,[iii] is believed to stretch as far back as 8 million years ago to the last common ancestor of gorillas, chimpanzees and humans living somewhere in the forests of Africa.[iv]

For instance, recent research on the drumming behavior of macaque monkeys indicates that the brain regions preferentially activated by drumming sounds or by vocalizations overlap in caudal auditory cortex and amygdala, which suggests “a common origin of primate vocal and nonvocal communication systems and support the notion of a gestural origin of speech and music.”[v]

Interestingly, percussive sound-making (drumming) can be observed in certain species of birds, rodents and insects. [vi]  Of course you know about the woodpecker’s characteristic pecking, but did you know that mice often drum with their feet in particular locations within their burrow, both for territorial displays and to sound alarms against predators? Did you know that termites use vibrational drumming signals to communicate within the hive? For instance, soldiers threatened with attack drum their heads against tunnels to transmit signals along subterranean galleries, warning workers and other soldiers to respond accordingly.[viii]  See the video below for an example of termite drumming.

Percussion: Sound Waves Carry Epigenetic, Biologically Meaningful Information

Even more amazing is the fact that wasps appear to use antennal drumming to alter the caste development or phenotype of their larvae. Conventional thinking has held for quite some time that differential nutrition alone accounted for why one larvae develops into a non-reproductive worker and one into a reproductive female (gyne).  This is not the case, according to a 2011 study:

“But nutrition level alone cannot explain how the first few females to be produced in a colony develop rapidly yet have small body sizes and worker phenotypes. Here, we provide evidence that a mechanical signal biases caste toward a worker phenotype. In Polistes fuscatus, the signal takes the form of antennal drumming (AD), wherein a female trills her antennae synchronously on the rims of nest cells while feeding prey-liquid to larvae. The frequency of AD occurrence is high early in the colony cycle, when larvae destined to become workers are being reared, and low late in the cycle, when gynes are being reared. Subjecting gyne-destined brood to simulated AD-frequency vibrations caused them to emerge as adults with reduced fat stores, a worker trait. This suggests that AD influences the larval developmental trajectory by inhibiting a physiological element that is necessary to trigger diapause, a gyne trait.” [vii]

This finding indicates that the acoustic signals produced through drumming within certain species carry biologically meaningful information (literally: ‘to put form into’) that operate epigenetically (i.e. working outside or above the genome to effect gene expression).

wasp

This raises the question: is there ancient, biologically and psychospiritually meaningful information contained within drum patterns passed down to us from our distant ancestors? Could some of these rhythms contain epigenetic information that affect both the structure (conformation) and function of biomolecules and biologically meaningful energetic/information patterns in our body? If so, this would mean these ancient patterns of sound could be considered “epigenetic inheritance systems” as relevant to DNA expression as methyl donors like folate and betaine and not unlike grandmother’s recipe (recipe literally means “medical prescription” in French) for chicken soup that still adds the perfect set of chemistries and information specific to your body to help you overcome the common cold or bring you back from fatigue.

We do have some compelling evidence from human clinical and observational studies on the power of drumming to affect positive change both physically and psychologically, seemingly indicating the answer to our question about the biological role of acoustic information in modulating micro and macro physiological processes in a meaningful way is YES.

Naples drum circle joins the African cultural festival performance in Fort Myers, 2008

6 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Drumming

Drumming has been proven in human clinical research to do the following six things:

  1. Reduce Blood Pressure, Anxiety/Stress: A 2014 study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine enrolled both middle-aged experienced drummers and a younger novice group in a 40-minute djembe drumming sessions. Their blood pressure, blood lactate and stress and anxiety levels were taken before and after the sessions. Also, their heart rate was monitored at 5 second intervals throughout the sessions. As a result of the trial, all participants saw a drop in stress and anxiety. Systolic blood pressure dropped in the older population postdrumming.
  2. Increase Brain White Matter & Executive Cognitive Function: A 2014 study published in the Journal of Huntington’s Disease found that two months of drumming intervention in Huntington’s patients (considered an irreversible, lethal neurodegenerative disease) resulted in “improvements in executive function and changes in white matter microstructure, notably in the genu of the corpus callosum that connects prefrontal cortices of both hemispheres.”[ix] The study authors concluded that the pilot study provided novel preliminary evidence that drumming (or related targeted behavioral stimulation) may result in “cognitive enhancement and improvements in callosal white matter microstructure.”
  3. Reduced Pain: A 2012 study published in Evolutionary Psychology found that active performance of music (singing, dancing and drumming) triggered endorphin release (measured by post-activity increases in pain tolerance) whereas merely listening to music did not. The researchers hypothesized that this may contribute to community bonding in activities involving dance and music-making.[x
  4. Reduce Stress (Cortisol/DHEA ratio), Increase Immunity: A 2001 study published in Alternative Therapies and Health Medicine enrolled 111 age- and sex- matched subjects (55 men and 56 women; mean age 30.4 years) and found that drumming “increased dehydroepiandrosterone-to-cortisol ratios, increased natural killer cell activity, and increased lymphokine-activated killer cell activity without alteration in plasma interleukin 2 or interferon-gamma, or in the Beck Anxiety Inventory and the Beck Depression Inventory II.”[xi]
  5. Transcendent (Re-Creational) Experiences: A 2004 study published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis revealed that drumming enables participants to go into deeper hypnotic states,[xii] and another 2014 study poublished in PLoS found that when combined with shamanistic instruction, drumming enables participants to experience decreased heartrate and dreamlike experiences consistent with transcendental experiences.[xiii]
  6. Socio-Emotional Disorders: A powerful 2001 study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that low-income children who enrolled in a 12-week group drumming intervention saw multiple domains of social-emotional behavior improve significantly, from anxiety to attention, from oppositional to post-traumatic disorders.[xiiii]

Taking into account the beneficial evolutionary role that drumming likely performed in human history and prehistory, as well as the new scientific research confirming its psychosocial and physiological health benefits, we hope that it will be increasingly looked at as a positive medical, social and psychospiritual intervention. Considering the term recreation in its root etymological sense: re-creation, drumming may enable us to both tap into the root sense of our identity in the drumming-mediated experience of being joyous, connected and connecting, creative beings, as well as find a way to engage the process of becoming, transformation and re-creation that is also a hallmark feature of being alive and well in this amazing, ever-changing universe of ours.

New to drumming and want to try it?

Fortunately, drum circles have sprouted up in thousands of locations around the country spontaneously, and almost all of them are free. You will find them attended by all ages, all walks of life and all experience levels. The best way to find one is google the name of your area and “drum circle” and see what comes up. Also, there is an online directory that lists drum circles around the country: http://www.drumcircles.net/circlelist.html  

You can also find a drum online through sites like Djembe Drums & Skins. For the record, I have no affiliate relationship with Shorty Palmer or his site, but only know him as a humble master craftsman and the source for all the drums I own today.

REFERENCES


[i] Shinya Fujii, Catherine Y Wan. The Role of Rhythm in Speech and Language Rehabilitation: The SEP Hypothesis. Front Hum Neurosci. 2014 ;8:777. Epub 2014 Oct 13. PMID: 25352796

[ii] Sebastian Kirschner, Michael Tomasello. Joint drumming: social context facilitates synchronization in preschool children. J Exp Child Psychol. 2009 Mar;102(3):299-314. Epub 2008 Sep 12. PMID: 18789454

[iii] Magdalena Babiszewska, Anne Marijke Schel, Claudia Wilke, Katie E Slocombe. Social, contextual, and individual factors affecting the occurrence and acoustic structure of drumming bouts in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Am J Phys Anthropol. 2015 Jan ;156(1):125-34. Epub 2014 Oct 18. PMID: 25327570

[iv] W Tecumseh Fitch. Four principles of bio-musicology. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2015 Mar 19 ;370(1664):20140091. PMID: 25646514

[v] Ryan Remedios, Nikos K Logothetis, Christoph Kayser. Monkey drumming reveals common networks for perceiving vocal and nonvocal communication sounds. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Oct 20;106(42):18010-5. Epub 2009 Oct 1. PMID: 19805199

[vi] W Tecumseh Fitch. Four principles of bio-musicology. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2015 Mar 19 ;370(1664):20140091. PMID: 25646514

[vii] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4321132/#RSTB20140091C80

[viii] Felix A Hager, Wolfgang H Kirchner. Directional vibration sensing in the termite Macrotermes natalensis. J Exp Biol. 2014 Jul 15 ;217(Pt 14):2526-30. PMID: 25031457

[ix] Claudia Metzler-Baddeley, Jaime Cantera, Elizabeth Coulthard, Anne Rosser, Derek K Jones, Roland J Baddeley. Improved Executive Function and Callosal White Matter Microstructure after Rhythm Exercise in Huntington’s Disease. J Huntingtons Dis. 2014 ;3(3):273-83. PMID:25300331

[x] R I M Dunbar, Kostas Kaskatis, Ian MacDonald, Vinnie Barra. Performance of music elevates pain threshold and positive affect: implications for the evolutionary function of music.Evol Psychol. 2012 ;10(4):688-702. Epub 2012 Oct 22. PMID: 23089077

[xi] B B Bittman, L S Berk, D L Felten, J Westengard, O C Simonton, J Pappas, M Ninehouser.Composite effects of group drumming music therapy on modulation of neuroendocrine-immune parameters in normal subjects. Altern Ther Health Med. 2001 Jan;7(1):38-47. PMID:11191041

[xii] R L Maurer, V K Kumar, L Woodside, R J Pekala. Phenomenological experience in response to monotonous drumming and hypnotizability. Mult Scler. 2004 Aug;10(4):417-24. PMID:9385724

[xiii] Bruno Gingras, Gerald Pohler, W Tecumseh Fitch. Exploring shamanic journeying: repetitive drumming with shamanic instructions induces specific subjective experiences but no larger cortisol decrease than instrumental meditation music. PLoS One. 2014 ;9(7):e102103. Epub 2014 Jul 7. PMID: 24999623

.[xiiii]Ping Ho, Jennie C I Tsao, Lian Bloch, Lonnie K Zeltzer. The impact of group drumming on social-emotional behavior in low-income children. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.2011 ;2011:250708. Epub 2011 Feb 13. PMID: 21660091


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

Managing Blood Pressure With Essential Oils

herbs and essential oils on science sheet

Something of that concerns every single one of us is how we will deal with health issues in the event modern medicine and western doctors are no longer available to keep us well.  This goes far beyond current health woes because, as you know, stuff happens and someone that is perfectly healthy one day may be stricken with a health-related malady the next.

With that introduction, a few months back I decided to explore whether the use of essential oils could help manage high blood pressure during times of trouble.  From the get go, I will tell you that managing blood pressure with essential oils is a very personal quest.  My own, traditionally perfect blood pressure, had suddenly taken a leap from 120/80 to 160/90 and higher.  I was not a happy camper.

After consulting with my physician, I decided to experiment using essential oils before taking more drastic measures, named pharmaceuticals.

What is Blood Pressure?

Let me quote from Joe and Amy Alton’s excellent book, The Survival Medicine Handbook:

Blood pressure is the measure of the blood flow pushing against the walls of the arteries in your body.  Without this flow of blood, oxygen would never get to all the organs of the body.

If this pressure, however, is elevated over time, it can cause long-term damage.  Many millions of adults in the U.S. have this condition, which is often asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms).  Because of this, it has been referred to as a “silent killer”.  Blood pressure tends to rise with increasing age and weight.

For better or for worse, many adults routinely take blood pressure medications to control this silent killer.  The hope is that by managing blood pressure, a stroke or heart attack can be avoided.

Essential Oils to Manage High Blood Pressure

The results of my research and testing have been quite remarkable.  Before I share what has worked for me, I want to state that my use of essential oils to manage high blood pressure began with a baseline of good health.  A healthy diet, frequent exercise, and height and weight in proportion are always a good starting point for any sort of natural protocol and I passed on all accounts.

With that out of the way, I can tell you that by applying the blend below, my blood pressure has stabilized at about 110/76 in the mornings and 106/66 in the evenings.  On a few occasions it has been lower; low enough for me to verify that it was not too low. (It wasn’t.)

After a bit of trial and error, here is the recipe I use.

Blood Pressure Salve

1 ounce Simple Salve
30 drops Ylang Ylang
15 drops Cypress
15 drops Marjoram
15 drops Rosemary
15 drops Frankincense

After melting the Simple Salve, add the essential oils and mix well using a small stick or toothpick.  Set it aside to firm up overnight.

Twice a day, take a bit of BP Salve, as I call it, and rub some into the sole of the left foot, right below the big toe.  Also rub some below the ring finger of your left hand and over your heart.  These are commonly referred to as the “reflex points” for the heart.  (You might find the WikiHow on Reflexology interesting.)

If you don’t want to make up a batch of Simple Salve (directions here), you can use coconut oil, olive oil, or some other carrier oil.

Although I prefer the salve, I have also used the same essential oils in a roller ball topped with fractionated (liquid) coconut oil.  In that case, use just 10 drops of Ylang Ylang and 5 drops each of the other oils.

Essential Oils Equals Calm Equals Less Stress

There is one additional step I have been taking as part of my overall blood pressure management protocol.  Nightly, I have set a diffuser up on my nightstand and have diffused this same blend throughout the night.

To simplify the process, I have mixed a small bottle of the oils in the proportions shown.  Then before bed, I add water to the diffuser and 8 drops of my blend.  Whether it is a coincidence or not, my nocturnal visits to the bathroom have gone from six or seven times a night to one or two.  I am sleeping better and, of course, my blood pressure is back in the normal range.

This has me thinking that perhaps the reason this protocol is working is because the the oils have been calming.  Calm evokes relaxation and the end result is less stress.  Is that really what is happening here?

I leave it up to you to decide whether you want to try a diffuser; all that I can say is that it is working for me.

A Word About Blood Pressure Monitors

I currently have two blood pressure monitors, although one is new and did not arrive in time for this article.  One, the LifeSource UB-512 is more than a few years old and is being replaced because the battery cover has broken.  It is being held together with tape at the moment but still is cranking away giving readings very similar to those in my doctor’s office.  That said,  I am looking forward to my new Omron 7 and expect that it will perform equally well.

Both Shelly and I have found that our BP readings are lower at night than in the morning. According to our physicians, it is normal to have some fluctuation so there is no cause for worry unless the numbers start to climb above the 140/90 range and stay there.

Regardless of what particular monitor you choose, taking a periodic reading is important so that you can take action if your levels become too high.  As I discovered myself, that can happen in a flash.

The Next Step

Before you rush off and begin to self-medicate using essential oils let me say this.  If you are under a doctor’s care for hypertension (high blood pressure), keep track of your results and share them with your health care provider before making any change in your drug protocol.  With Shelly (aka the Survival Husband), his cardiologist was on board and  changed his drug protocol ever so slightly because the results with EOs were promising.  Not as good as mine, but promising.

The other thing is similar to all natural remedies, what works for one person make work better – or not at all – for someone else.  Always keep that in mind and anticipate the need to experiment to find your own unique formula.

Disclaimer:  Remember that I am not a health care professional.  Furthermore, essential oils have not been approved by the FDA for medical use and this should not be construed as medical advice.

Essential Oils for Health and Wellness

After a ton of research, for wellness purposes I use 100% pure essential oils from Spark Naturals.  There are a lot reasons the most important being their commitment to both quality and value.  I am satisfied that the raw materials used in Spark Naturals products are tested and authenticated to be of pharmaceutical grade purity.

I also like that they are not an MLM and everyone pays the same price without having to cough up dues or membership fees. Spark Naturals is open about the fact that there is no official system that grades essential oils as A, B, C or Therapeutic grade.  If you see a site that makes that claim, it is marketing hype and not fact.

If you decide to purchase the essential oils used in my Blood Pressure Salve from Spark Naturals, you will receive a 10% discount when you use the discount code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” at checkout.

The Final Word

I personally feel that essential oils are minor miracle workers.  Some of my personal favorites include Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Oregano, Peppermint, and Lavender as well as the oils used in the blood pressure salve/blend.  That said, if you are just starting out, I suggest you start with these four and branch out as you become more comfortable with using essential oils for day to day first aid purposes.

If the time ever comes when modern medicine is not available, I know for sure that I will turn to my cache of oils to get me through.  As I have taken to saying:  Stuff Happens – Be Ready!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. At Backdoor Survival, Gaye speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us.

10 Natural Substances That Could Help Cure Type 1 Diabetes

Natural Substances That Could Help Cure Type 1 Diabetes

Could the long-sought after cure for type 1 diabetes be as close as your kitchen cupboard? An accumulating body of scientific research appears to point in exactly that direction.

One so-called ‘incurable disease’ that afflicts millions of people around the world is type 1 diabetes. Unlike type 2 diabetes, where the body becomes resistant to its own insulin, type 1 is characterized by the inability of the body to produce enough insulin, as the beta cells within the pancreas which are responsible for the production of insulin (and the proinsulin from which it is made) are either destroyed or seriously impaired. This can happen due to autoimmune issues, bacterial or viral infections, incompatible foods in the diet and chemical exposures (or a combination of any one or more of these factors), to name but a few major triggers.

And yet, plenty of peer-reviewed and published research now indicates that plant compounds, including many found within commonly consumed foods, are capable of stimulating beta cell regeneration within the pancreas, and as a result may be potentially provide a cure – truly a four letter word, as far as the profit-based model of medicine goes, which thrives on the concept of the incurability of the disease-afflicted human body in favor of symptom management.

The discovery of the beta cell regenerative potential of various food and compounds is bound to upset a burgeoning diabetes industry, with millions of dollars of public and private money continually being poured into fund-raising efforts for a future “cure”; A cure that will presumably be delivered through the prohibitively expensive pharmaceutical,vaccine or biologic (e.g. stem cells, islet cell xenotransplantation) pipeline, which by the very nature of the FDA drug approval process requires the promotion of synthetic (and therefore patentable) compounds over natural ones.

Let’s take a look at the latest preclinical study on the topic, published last month in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology[1]. An active fraction of flaxseed, which researchers named Linun usitassimum active fraction (LU6), was found to generate a wide range of benefits in a type 1 diabetes animal model, including the following:

  • Improved glucose utilization in the liver
  • Supported normalized glycogenesis (glucose forming activity) in the liver and muscle tissue
  • Reduced pancreatic and intestinal glucosidase inhibitory activity, which translates into lower post-meal blood sugar elevations

Even more remarkable was the observation that this flaxseed compound normalized plasma insulin and C-peptide levels (C peptide is not C-reactive protein, rather it is a direct indicator of how much insulin is being produced by the beta cells in the body. Learn more), an indication that beta cell function was effectively restored. The researchers described the truly amazing results as follows:

Normalization of plasma insulin and C-peptide levels were observed in diabetic mice, indicating endogenous insulin secretion after the treatment with LU6. The histochemical and immunohistochemical analysis on pancreatic islets suggests the role of LU6 fraction in islet regeneration and insulin secretion as evident in increase functional pancreatic islets producing insulin. Furthermore, significant insulin producing islet formation was also observed in in vitro PANC-1 cells after LU6 treatment, indicating the cellular aggregates to be newly formed islets. This suggests the potential of LU6 fraction in the formation of new islets in vitro, as well as in vivo. Thus, LU6 can be used as a nutraceutical-based first-line treatment for diabetes. [emphasis added]

Keep in mind that this is not the first time that flaxseed has been found to improve blood sugar disorders. We have a few studies on GreenMedInfo.com already indexed on the topic that you can view here: Flaxseed and Diabetes.

Furthermore, we have found a broad range of natural substances experimentally confirmed to stimulate beta cell regeneration, 10 of which are listed below:

  • Arginine: a 2007 study found that the amino acid L-arginine is capable of stimulating the genesis of beta cells in an animal model of alloxan-induced diabetes.[2]
  • Avocado: A 2007 study found that avocado seed extract reduced blood sugar in diabetic rats. Researchers observed a restorative and protective effect on pancreatic islet cells in the treated group.[3]
  • Berberine: A 2009 study found that this plant compound, commonly found in herbs such as barberry and goldenseal, induces beta cell regeneration in diabetic rats, which lends explanation for why it has been used for 1400 years in China to treat diabetes.[4]
  • Chard: A 2000 study found that chard extract given to diabetic rats stimulates the recovery of injured beta cells.[5]
  • Corn Silk: A 2009 study found that corn silk reduces blood sugar and stimulates beta cell regeneration in type 1 diabetic rats.[6]
  • Curcumin (from Turmeric): A 2010 study found that curcumin stimulates beta cell regeneration in type 1 diabetic rats.[7] Additionally, a 2008 study found that curcumin preserves pancreatic islet cell survival and transplantation efficiency.[8]
  • Genistein (from soy, red clover): A 2010 study found that genistein induces pancreatic beta-cell proliferation through activation of multiple signaling pathways and prevents insulin-deficient diabetes in mice.[9]
  • Honey: A 2010 human study found that long-term consumption of honey might have positive effects on the metabolic derangements of type 1 diabetes, including possible beta cell regeneration as indicating by increases in fasting C-peptide levels.[10]
  • Nigella Sativa (black seed): A 2003 animal study found that black seed consumption lead to partial regeneration/proliferation of the beta-cells.[11] A 2010 human study also found that the consumption of one gram of black seed a day for up to 12 weeks had a broad range of beneficial effects in diabetics, including increasing beta cell function.[12]
  • Stevia: A 2011 human study found that stevia has anti-diabetic properties, including revitalizing damaged beta cells, and compares favorably with the drug glibenclamide but without the adverse effects.[13]

For a full list of beta cell regenerating substances, view our page on the topic. The data is also available to download as a PDF, which members can acquire by using their membership tokens without paying the nominal fee.

For additional research on the topic of regenerative medicine and diabetes you can consult the articles 6 Bodily Tissues that Can Be Regenerated Through Nutrition and Diabetes: An Entirely Preventable and Reversible Disease. Or, visit our Health Guide on Blood Sugar Disorders.


[2] Ana Vasilijevic, Biljana Buzadzic, Aleksandra Korac, Vesna Petrovic, Aleksandra Jankovic, Bato Korac.Beneficial effects of L-arginine nitric oxide-producing pathway in rats treated with alloxan. J Physiol. 2007 Nov 1;584(Pt 3):921-33. Epub 2007 Aug 23. PMID: 17717015

[4] Jiyin Zhou, Shiwen Zhou, Jianlin Tang, Kebin Zhang, Lixia Guang, Yongping Huang, Ying Xu, Yi Ying, Le Zhang, Dandan Li. Protective effect of berberine on beta cells in streptozotocin- and high-carbohydrate/high-fat diet-induced diabetic rats. Eur J Pharmacol. 2009 Mar 15;606(1-3):262-8. Epub 2009 Jan 19. PMID: 19374872

[5] S Bolkent, R Yanardağ, A Tabakoğlu-Oğuz, O Ozsoy-Saçan. Effects of chard (Beta vulgaris L. var. Cicla) extract on pancreatic B cells in streptozotocin-diabetic rats: a morphological and biochemical study. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Nov;73(1-2):251-9. PMID: 11025163

[6] Jianyou Guo, Tongjun Liu, Linna Han, Yongmei Liu. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Nutr Metab (Lond).2009 Nov 23;6:47. PMID: 19930631

[7] Malee Chanpoo, Hattaya Petchpiboonthai, Busaba Panyarachun, Vipavee Anupunpisit. Effect of curcumin in the amelioration of pancreatic islets in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. J Med Assoc Thai. 2010 Nov;93 Suppl 6:S152-9. PMID: 21280528

[9] Zhuo Fu, Wen Zhang, Wei Zhen, Hazel Lum, Jerry Nadler, Josep Bassaganya-Riera, Zhenquan Jia, Yanwen Wang, Hara Misra, Dongmin Liu. Genistein induces pancreatic beta-cell proliferation through activation of multiple signaling pathways and prevents insulin-deficient diabetes in mice. Endocrinology. 2010 Jul ;151(7):3026-37. Epub 2010 May 19. PMID: 20484465

[10] Mamdouh M Abdulrhman, Mohamed H El-Hefnawy, Rasha H Aly, Rania H Shatla, Rasha M Mamdouh, Doaa M Mahmoud, Waheed S Mohamed. Metabolic Effects of Honey in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Randomized Crossover Pilot Study. J Med Food. 2012 Dec 20. Epub 2012 Dec 20. PMID:23256446

[11] Mehmet Kanter, Ismail Meral, Zabit Yener, Hanefi Ozbek, Halit Demir. Partial regeneration/proliferation of the beta-cells in the islets of Langerhans by Nigella sativa L. in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2003 Dec;201(4):213-9. PMID:14690013

[12] Abdullah O Bamosa, Huda Kaatabi, Fatma M Lebdaa, Abdul-Muhssen Al Elq, Ali Al-Sultanb. Effect of Nigella sativa seeds on the glycemic control of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2010 Oct-Dec;54(4):344-54. PMID: 21675032

[13] Himanshu Misra, Manish Soni, Narendra Silawat, Darshana Mehta, B K Mehta, D C Jain. Antidiabetic activity of medium-polar extract from the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana Bert. (Bertoni) on alloxan-induced diabetic rats. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011 Apr ;3(2):242-8. PMID: 21687353


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

8 Amazing Benefits Of Olive Oil

benefits-of-olive-oil

Olive oil has received well-deserved attention over the last 10-15 years. This is the main ingredient that plays an important role in the Mediterranean diet. For years, studies have shown people who consume this type of diet live longer and enjoy a better quality of life. Olive oil is a lot more than just a health food. In fact, it can be used for soothing skin, managing hair, and as a natural sunscreen.

8 Surprising Benefits of Olive Oil

Olive oil is a fantastic ingredient that can be added to your salads and roasted vegetables. Aside from consuming olive oil to receive its benefits, you can use it in other ways and reap similar, if not greater, rewards. Here are 8 amazing benefits of olive oil, many of which may surprise you.

  1. Heart Health

Olive oil has nutrients that support the heart and brain, and the Omega-3s in olive oil make blood flow easier. The antioxidants found in the oil protect against aging by reducing damage from free radicals and oxidative stress. [1] Populations who consume the highest amounts of olive oil enjoy low rates of coronary heart disease.

     2. Heals Burns Faster

Olive oil is loaded with vitamins and essential fatty acids involved in speeding the healing of burns. [2] [3] The Amish are often credited for creating a natural method for reducing burns with olive oil that’s as effective as conventional treatments, [4] and they’re not alone. The Hatay of middle Turkey use a mixture featuring olive oil to ease the severity of burns. [5] The olive oil supplies essential nutrients to the injured skin and discourages harmful organisms from infecting the wound.

  1. Speeds Wound Healing

Although olive oil aids skin recovery when applied to wounds like burns, eating olive oil or foods featuring olive oil also improves wound healing time. [6] Regular consumption of olive oil lowers inflammation and heals the body from the inside out.

  1. Skin Health

Your skin and hair shine and glow following topical application of natural products like olive oil. It’s used in organic cosmetics, and it works as a topical therapy to treat eczema and skin ailments of the lower body. [7] [8] Olive oil is even recommended as a treatment for diaper rash and is commonly used to relieve psoriasis. Men and women around the world use it to keep hair vibrant and skin young and healthy.

  1. Erase Stretch Marks

If there’s a downside to pregnancy, it’s the stretch marks. In one study, olive oil reduced scarring from severe stretch marks following pregnancy. [9] The topical as well as the internal use of olive oil may provide this benefit.

  1. Aids Recovery in Athletes

Ancient Greek athletes prized olive oil for the way it soothed and protected their skin and relaxed their muscles. It was so revered that Athenian sponsors made it freely available to all participants in their sporting events. The ancient Greeks recognized the therapeutic value of olive oil to reduce muscle fatigue, improve the strength and flexibility of the skin, and prevent sports related injuries. [10]

     7. A Natural Sunscreen

Next time you go to the beach, skip the chemicals and use olive oil for protection from the sun. It’s what people around the world have done for thousands of years. Recent studies support this traditional use as olive oil has a higher SPF than other natural oils. [11]

  1. Promotes Smooth Skin

Rubbing a little olive oil on the skin provides essential vitamins and nutrients, keeping the skin nourished and smooth. This could mean fewer wrinkles. Studies have also found consuming olive oil regularly affects the overall health of the skin, possibly protecting against aging and wrinkles. [12]

Is Ozonated Olive Oil the Super Olive Oil?

Ozonated olive oil combines the natural healing and nourishing benefits of olive oil and oxygen. Study after study shows oxygen cleanses wounds and encourages faster healing. [13] Researchers have even noted it promotes healthy teeth and gums when taken orally. [14] This combination of olive oil and oxygen in ozonated olive oil delivers powerful therapeutic healing where it’s needed most.

Do you use olive oil regularly? How has it worked for you? Share your experiences with us below!

References:

  1. Owen RW1, Giacosa A, Hull WE, Haubner R, Würtele G, Spiegelhalder B, Bartsch H. Olive-oil consumption and health: the possible role of antioxidants. Lancet Oncol. 2000 Oct;1:107-12.
  2. Najmi M1, Vahdat Shariatpanahi Z2, Tolouei M3, Amiri Z4. Effect of oral olive oil on healing of 10-20% total body surface area burn wounds in hospitalized patients. Burns. 2014 Oct 8. pii: S0305-4179(14)00279-4. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2014.08.010.
  3. Edraki M1, Akbarzadeh A, Hosseinzadeh M, Tanideh N, Salehi A, Koohi-Hosseinabadi O. Healing effect of sea buckthorn, olive oil, and their mixture on full-thickness burn wounds. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2014 Jul;27(7):317-23. doi: 10.1097/01.ASW.0000451061.85540.f9.
  4. Amish Burn Study Group, Kolacz NM1, Jaroch MT1, Bear ML1, Hess RF2. The effect of Burns & Wounds (B&W)/burdock leaf therapy on burn-injured Amish patients: a pilot study measuring pain levels, infection rates, and healing times. J Holist Nurs. 2014 Dec;32(4):327-40. doi: 10.1177/0898010114525683.
  5. Sumer Z1, Yildirim G, Sumer H, Yildirim S. Cytotoxic and antibacterial activity of the mixture of olive oil and lime cream in vitro conditions. Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2013 May 16;10(4):137-43. eCollection 2013.
  6. Rosa Ados S1, Bandeira LG, Monte-Alto-Costa A, Romana-Souza B. Supplementation with olive oil, but not fish oil, improves cutaneous wound healing in stressed mice. Wound Repair Regen. 2014 Jul-Aug;22(4):537-47. doi: 10.1111/wrr.12191.
  7. Baumann L1, Woolery-Lloyd H, Friedman A. “Natural” ingredients in cosmetic dermatology. J Drugs Dermatol. 2009 Jun;8(6 Suppl):s5-9.
  8. Kränke B1, Komericki P, Aberer W. Olive oil–contact sensitizer or irritant? Dermatitis. 1997 Jan;36(1):5-10.
  9. Soltanipoor F1, Delaram M, Taavoni S, Haghani H. The effect of olive oil on prevention of striae gravidarum: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Med. 2012 Oct;20(5):263-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2012.05.001.
  10. Nomikos NN1, Nomikos GN, Kores DS. The use of deep friction massage with olive oil as a means of prevention and treatment of sports injuries in ancient times. Arch Med Sci. 2010 Oct;6(5):642-5. doi: 10.5114/aoms.2010.17074.
  11. Kaur CD1, Saraf S. In vitro sun protection factor determination of herbal oils used in cosmetics. Pharmacognosy Res. 2010 Jan;2(1):22-5. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.60586.
  12. Purba MB1, Kouris-Blazos A, Wattanapenpaiboon N, Lukito W, Rothenberg EM, Steen BC, Wahlqvist ML. Skin wrinkling: can food make a difference? J Am Coll Nutr. 2001 Feb;20(1):71-80.
  13. Valacchi G1, Fortino V, Bocci V. The dual action of ozone on the skin. Br J Dermatol. 2005 Dec;153(6):1096-100.
  14. Patel PV1, Patel A, Kumar S, Holmes JC. Effect of subgingival application of topical ozonated olive oil in the treatment of chronic periodontitis: a randomized, controlled, double blind, clinical and microbiological study. Minerva Stomatol. 2012 Sep;61(9):381-98.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Can You Eliminate Stress With Aromatherapy?

aromatherapy spa massage

Aromatherapy is the use of essential plant oils to improve well being. Natural plant oils are often placed in diffusers and allowed to permeate the air and have been used for centuries to address mostly psychological issues. Aromatherapy as a practice is thousands of years old. Ancient Egyptians employed the use of essential oils and other plant substances for massages, bathing, and healing. One of the major uses of aromatherapy in the US is for stress management.

How Aromatherapy Works

Some of the methods of aromatherapy include aerial diffusion (typically with an oil burner), topical application, and inhalation. It’s even occasionally administered vaginally, rectally, and orally for things like infection and congestion. Many practitioners use only natural essential oils since synthetics don’t provide the same benefit as the natural compounds. Synthetic fragrance oils may also contain chemical additives that can irritate the skin if applied topically.

Aromatherapy is very popular today for stress relief. [1] It offers a natural, organic alternative to pharmaceutical substances and works to enhance lifestyle modifications that further reduce stress. These natural lifestyle modifications are of course exercise, diet, meditation, and proper sunlight exposure. One primary application method for essential oils is indirect and direct inhalation. Through inhaling the oils (from a safe distance, of course), the brain reacts by slowing down. This elicits a deep level of relaxation.

Massage is another stress-relieving technique that commonly employs essential oils, incorporating touch and the physical manipulation of joints and muscles to relieve tension and stress. Many essential oils used during massage are often diluted.

Aromatherapy has seen a great deal of scientific scrutiny, and research continues to report the amazing benefits of these natural concentrated plant oils. The scientific research being done so far reports positive results. In France, it’s already part of their mainstream medicine, which is appropriate considering that France is credited with being the birthplace of “aromatherapy.”

The Stress of Daily Life

Stress is an aspect of life; however, there are different types of stress that must be addressed. ‘Good’ stress, or eustress, can actually motivate you to accomplish goals and keep you safe from adverse situations. Negative stress, on the other hand, usually stems from some prolonged negative thought about the past or the future. The negative stress is what should be dealt with in order to support good health.

While you may not be able to always eliminate a negative situation, there are many things you can do to reduce stress which will hopefully eliminate health problems related to that stress. Aromatherapy is one effective way to combat the emotional upheaval that accompanies stressful events. Stress can hinder digestion, immune function, and increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. [2] [3] [4] Simply by reducing your negative emotions that surround a certain situation, you begin to change the way you think and act, thereby minimizing the situation.

The Dangers of Unmanaged Stress

It’s not worth ignoring stress or accepting it; you have power over the stress you experience. You can attenuate the effects of stress in your life by practicing meditation, deep breathing, exercising, socializing, or simply taking a hot shower. Of course, using essential oils in your daily routine will also support a positive mood no matter what the situation. If you choose to ignore stress, your body becomes worn down in multiple ways. Not only do you become tired and lose motivation, your immune system, cells, and brain weakens.

Consider the following:

  • Stress can affect your blood sugar levels, leading to hunger and, eventually, insulin insensitivity.[5]
  • Many people who do not properly manage their stress experience weight gain.
  • Premature aging is another possible danger of not properly managing your stress levels.
  • General pain throughout the body can be a side effect of unmanaged stress.

Some of the most popular essential oils with stress-relieving properties include geranium, peppermint, lavender, jasmine, chamomile, and lemongrass. Add aromatherapy to your arsenal as you fight against stress. The benefits can be quite effective, and the ease of use makes it a great choice.

How to Use Essential Oils

Be sure to read your labels to make certain that your oil contains organic, all-natural essential oils. Never apply essential oils to the skin without proper diluting it in a carrier agent. Proper carrier oils include jojoba, olive, and coconut oil. Because oils are concentrated, they can irritate the skin without a natural and benign carrier oil accompanying its application. One method of using aromatherapy is simply applying oils to your hands and breathing in the oil deeply. You can apply the oils to clothes, handkerchiefs, pillows, and just about anything. When you go for a massage, ask your masseuse if they can use essential oils geared toward soothing, relaxing, and de-stressing. You may be able to bring your own oil to the session.

How do you use essential oils? We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments!

References:

  1. Tang SK, Tse MY. Aromatherapy: does it help to relieve pain, depression, anxiety, and stress in community-dwelling older persons? Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:430195. doi: 10.1155/2014/430195.
  2. Bhatia V, Tandon RK. Stress and the gastrointestinal tract. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Mar;20(3):332-9.
  3. Suzanne C. Segerstrom and Gregory E. Miller. Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry. Psychol Bull. 2004 Jul; 130(4): 601-630. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.130.4.601.
  4. Steptoe A, Kivimaki M. Stress and cardiovascular disease. Nat Rev Cardiol. 2012 Apr 3;9(6):360-70. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2012.45.
  5. Shiloah E, Witz S, Abramovitch Y, et al. Effect of acute psychotic stress in nondiabetic subjects on beta-cell function and insulin sensitivity. Diabetes Care. 2003 May;26(5): 1462-7.

 

We recommend ‘Best Blends’ Set of 6 (Organic) 100% Pure, Best Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil – Which consists of various oil blends oncluding Lavender, Peppermint, Bergamot, Patchouli, Ylang-Ylang, Orange, Tea Tree, Lemon and Four Others.

 


Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

The 7 Best Herbs For Women’s Health

herbs

Herbs are widely used by many people all over the world, mostly by those seeking alternatives or adjuncts to traditional pharmaceuticals. While no one herb will solve every health issue, scientific data exists to show specific chemicals within certain herbs have the power to affect biological function. Herbs for women’s health have been researched extensively over the past few decades, with many showing promise for improving libido, supporting energy levels, and elevating mood.

The Top Herbs for Women’s Health

Many scientists believe that specific chemicals isolated from plant materials and then extracted provide the most benefit to human health. Still, the whole herb, when used in conjunction with other herbs that provide similar chemical constituents and/or health benefits, is equally as effective. Here are some of the top herbs, extracted or otherwise, that have shown benefit to female health.

1. Muira puama

Muira puama is also known as ‘potency wood,’ and for very good reason. One study evaluating over 200 women found that the bark and root of muira puama significantly stimulated libido. [1] Over 65% of women in the study had better sexual satisfaction and orgasm intensity. Muira puama may also be helpful for increasing motivation for sex, supporting energy for day-to-day activities, and stress reduction. [2]

2. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an ancient Indian herb that is said to support female reproduction and libido. The herb has been used for centuries to combat stress in women and men alike. Ashwagandha specifically targets the endocrine system and encourages hormonal balance. One study with over 50 menopausal women looked into the effects of supplementing with ashwagandha and found a significant decline in symptoms such as anxiety, hot flashes, and mood. [3] Ashwagandha has been used to support good mood for centuries, and research is beginning to find that the plant may play a powerful role in combating mental and emotional stress. [4] This makes ashwagandha a potent tool against mood swings.

3. Tribulus terrestris

Tribulus terrestris is also used for supporting hormonal balance, and research hints at its role for boosting female libido. Tribulus has plenty of research behind it for supporting libido in both men and women. An important study showed that tribulus improved desire for intercourse in 49 out of 50 female participants. [5] A recent study from 2014 found that female desire, arousal, and satisfaction is greatly improved following tribulus supplementation. [6] The herb may also combat mood swings commonly experienced during the menstrual period. Similar in action as kava kava, tribulus terrestris may positively improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety. [7]

4. Maca

Maca root is a popular herbal tool commonly used by men to support healthy hormone levels; however, women also report great benefits balancing hormonal levels with maca. While studying the root for its potential weight loss benefits, researchers observed that women enjoyed a significant reduction in common menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and depressed mood. [8] Another similar study found beneficial effects of maca supplementation on menopause symptoms. [9] Supporting healthy libido in women is also a benefit of using maca. One important study found that supplementation with maca was effective for combating sexual dysfunction in women, particulary after taking SSRI, a commonly-prescribed antidepressant. Throughout the study, women enjoyed improvement in sexual satisfaction with three grams of maca per day. [10]

5. Avena Sativa

Natural aphrodisiacs have been used successfully for thousands of years, with avena sativa being no exception. Also referred to as ‘oat straw,’ avena sativa is a powerful natural aphrodisiac, and recent research is validating its common use. [11] Oats may also support bone health, which is important because osteoporosis is more common in women than it is in men. Avena sativa is rich in calcium, a nutrient that plays an important role — along with vitamin D and vitamin K — in bone density. Oat straw increases levels of luteinizing hormone in rats, a hormone that is crucial for stimulating cell growth. This may help initiate bone cell production, possibly supporting bone health. [12]

6. Catuaba

The catuaba tree was first utilized by the Tupi Indians in Northern Brazil, who brewed the leaves to make an aphrodisiac tea. Traditional cultures have used catuaba bark for a wide range of benefits, but its potent aphrodisiac qualities is perhaps its most popular application. Catuaba bark contains the chemical yohimbine, the active compound that provides a stimulatory effect. [13]

7. Suma

Usually referred to as South American Ginseng, suma is often used to support stamina. Natives in the Amazon have looked toward Suma root for aiding libido in women, and research confirms this ancient belief. Some research also suggests that suma root may be helpful for supporting female fertility by balancing hormone levels. This is especially important today as the world becomes increasingly overwhelmed with hormone disruptors. [14] Research shows that suma root can be helpful for encouraging estradiol-17 beta, an estrogen hormone produced in women during reproduction years, further improving hormone balance. [15]

Further Actions You Can Take

Herbs are an excellent complementary approach to an overall healthy lifestyle, and as you can see above, research supports it as a powerful way to support female health. Many of the above herbs are found in Female Fuzion™, carefully paired with other similar organic herbs that support physical drive and function. Avoiding environmental endocrine disruptors, like plastics and pesticides, can also be a great way to protect your hormones. Getting enough sleep, staying physically active, and receiving an optimum level of sunlight exposure are also excellent methods you can use to keep hormones running smoothly.

Have you been experiencing hormonal issues lately? What have you been doing to get it back into balance? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

References:

  1. Waynberg J1, Brewer S. Effects of Herbal vX on libido and sexual activity in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Adv Ther. 2000 Sep-Oct;17(5):255-62.
  2. Mendes FR1, Carlini EA. Brazilian plants as possible adaptogens: an ethnopharmacological survey of books edited in Brazil. J Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Feb 12;109(3):493-500.
  3. Modi MB1, Donga SB, Dei L. Clinical evaluation of Ashokarishta, Ashwagandha Churna and Praval Pishti in the management of menopausal syndrome. Ayu. 2012 Oct;33(4):511-6. doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.110529.
  4. Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Sairam K, Ghosal S. Anxiolytic-antidepressant activity of Withania somnifera glycowithanolides: an experimental study. Phytomedicine. 2000 December;7(6):463-9.
  5. Mazaro-Costa R1, Andersen ML, Hachul H, Tufik S. Medicinal plants as alternative treatments for female sexual dysfunction: utopian vision or possible treatment in climacteric women? J Sex Med. 2010 Nov;7(11):3695-714. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2010.01987.x.
  6. Akhtari E, Raisi F, Keshavarz M, Hosseini H, Sohrabvand F, Bioos S, Kamalinejad M, Ghobadi A. Tribulus terrestris for treatment of sexual dysfunction in women: randomized double-blind placebo – controlled study. Daru. 2014 Apr 28;22(1):40.
  7. Wang Z1, Zhang D, Hui S, Zhang Y, Hu S. Effect of tribulus terrestris saponins on behavior and neuroendocrine in chronic mild stress depression rats. J Tradit Chin Med. 2013 Apr;33(2):228-32.
  8. Meissner HO1, Reich-Bilinska H, Mscisz A, Kedzia B. Therapeutic Effects of Pre-Gelatinized Maca (Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon) used as a Non-Hormonal Alternative to HRT in Perimenopausal Women – Clinical Pilot Study. Int J Biomed Sci. 2006 Jun;2(2):143-59.
  9. Meissner HO1, Kapczynski W, Mscisz A, Lutomski J. Use of gelatinized maca (lepidium peruvianum) in early postmenopausal women. Int J Biomed Sci. 2005 Jun;1(1):33-45.
  10. Dording CM1, Fisher L, Papakostas G, Farabaugh A, Sonawalla S, Fava M, Mischoulon D. A double-blind, randomized, pilot dose-finding study of maca root (L. meyenii) for the management of SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Fall;14(3):182-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2008.00052.x.
  11. Malviya N, Jain S, Gupta VB, Vyas S. Recent studies on aphrodisiac herbs for the management of male sexual dysfunction–a review. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceutica. 2011 January-February;68(1):3-8.
  12. Fukushima M, Watanabe S, Kushima K. Extraction and purification of a substance with luteinizing hormone releasing activity from the leaves of Avena sativa. The Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine. 1976 June;119(2):115-22.
  13. Oliveira CH1, Moraes ME, Moraes MO, Bezerra FA, Abib E, De Nucci G. Clinical toxicology study of an herbal medicinal extract of Paullinia cupana, Trichilia catigua, Ptychopetalum olacoides and Zingiber officinale (Catuama) in healthy volunteers. Phytother Res. 2005 Jan;19(1):54-7.
  14. Persistent environmental pollutants and couple fecundity: the LIFE study. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2013 February;121(2):231-6.
  15. Oshima M1, Gu Y. Pfaffia paniculata-induced changes in plasma estradiol-17beta, progesterone and testosterone levels in mice. J Reprod Dev. 2003 Apr;49(2):175-80.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Why The Law Forbids The Medicinal Use Of Natural Substances

medicine

According to the FDA’s legal definition, a drug is anything that “diagnoses, cures, mitigates, treats, or prevents a disease.”

The problem with this definition is that there are numerous substances, as readily available and benign as found on our spice racks, which have been proven by countless millennia of human experience to mitigate, prevent and in some cases cure disease, and which cannot be called drugs according to the FDA.

How can this be? Well, the FDA has assumed for itself Godlike power, requiring that its official approval be obtained before any substance can legally be used in the prevention and treatment of disease.

The FDA’s legal-regulatory control therefore is totalitarian and Napoleonic in construct; what it does not explicitly permit as a medicine is implicitly forbidden.

Historically the FDA has required new drugs undergo expensive and elaborate multi-phased clinical trials, which are out of the grasp of any ordinary interest who might want to demonstrate the efficacy of a non-patentable (and therefore unprofitable) herb, food or spice.

The average out-of-pocket cost for obtaining a new drug approval is US$ 802 million dollars,[1] and therefore an investor putting capital into bringing to market a substance that does not lend itself to market exclusivity and therefore cannot produce a return on investment, is committing economic suicide, if not also breaking the law. The investor actually has a legally-binding fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders to make a profit. And therefore, capital will not flow into any would-be commodity that can be produced or obtained with ease, including most things that grow freely on this Earth.

It is an interesting footnote in history that shortly after the Declaration of Independence, Congress declared that natural substances, e.g. water or salt, were God’s gift to mankind and that therefore products of nature should be limited in their patent protection. While this was a noble declaration, it has actually been used against those whose rights it would protect. It has forced private interests to synthetically alter natural substances — for instance the burgeoning biotech field of recombinant DNA technology, i.e. genetically modified organisms (GMOs) — for the sole reason that it guarantees them ownership/patent rights.

In fact, a medical system that legally requires it make a profit threatens to destroy and/or incriminate itself if non-patented, non-profitable natural substances or therapies are employed. It also results in so much collateral damage to those it purports to serve that it could rightly be called a modern form of human sacrifice.

As a result, instead of choosing prospective medicines logically: because they work, are easily accessible, and safe, billions of dollars flow in the exact opposite direction, capitalizing only those substances which are unnatural, and therefore while proprietary are almost invariably unsafe, and whose access and administration can be intensively controlled.

Has The Attempt To Co-opt Medicine Through the Drug-Based Model Undone Itself? 

And yet, there is a silver lining to the story. Due to the fact that our bodies are ultimately constructed from the natural things (food, air and water), and obey very strict natural laws such as the well-known principle of chirality (handedness) – the fact that all amino acids in our body turn a beam of polarized light in the left-handed direction (L-lysine) and sugars to the right-handed direction (D-ribose)– one cannot simply create biologically active, synthetic drugs arbitrarily, as a mistake in handedness (or similar property) could be fatal. Nature, therefore, still provides an elegant biomolecular architecture of irreproducible intelligence and complexity, from which synthetic analogs are modeled and/or derivatives are spun.

As a result, billions of dollars of drug industry and government money (i.e. tax payer money) flow into finding lead compounds for drug development.  Nature is put on the rack, if you will, and her secrets teased from her through innumerable animal and test tube experiments, in order to find compounds that can then be converted into synthetic, patented drugs.

Inadvertently, some of the very same companies and interests which require that natural substances not receive the same drug-approval status as synthetic ones, are funding research that prove basic vitamins, foods and spices are as effective or more effective – and usually much safer – than the drugs  they are developing to replace or supplant them.

This means that tens of thousands of studies do exist showing that natural substances may prevent and/or treat disease, at least in the in vitro (test tube) and animal models. These results often confirm traditional uses in Ayurvedic, Chinese and other traditional systems of medicine, and therefore may be compelling enough for individuals or healthcare practitioners to use the information to inform their treatment decisions.

tumeric-fda

The Case For Curcumin In the Prevention and Treatment of Disease

The government biomedical and life sciences database known as Medline contains over 21 million published study citations, and is accessible to search through engines such as Pubmed.gov.  2.6 million of them contain reference to cancer.  115,000 of them remain after applying the “Complementary Medicine” filter.   There are 2,625 topics on cancer which can be found indexed on the GreenMedInfo.com database, referencing 612 natural substances of potential value.

Turmeric, and particularly its polyphenolic constituent known as curcumin, which gives the spice its golden hue, is one of the most extensively studied natural compounds of all time, with 4588 references to it on the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database known as Medline [as of 2.25.2012]. And yet, despite having been shown to have therapeutic value in over 500 disease states in animal and in vitro studies, it still has not been the subject of extensive human clinical research – for the reasons stated above.

GreenMedInfo.com, an open source natural medicine database, has indexed curcumin’s anti-cancer properties in over 50 cancers, with the top 10 most cancers researched in association with curcumin listed below.

Cancer Number of Articles
Breast Cancer 58
Colorectal Cancer 23
Colon Cancer 51
Prostate Cancer 42
Pancreatic Cancer 24
Cancers: Drug Resistant 40
Lung Cancer 37
Liver Cancer 27
Cancer Metastasis 32
Skin Cancer 15

Sources: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/curcumin

As one can see curcumin holds great promise. It has been repeatedly demonstrated to possess simultaneously both chemoprotective/chemosensitizing and radioprotective/radiosensitizing properties, meaning it is capable of reducing the adverse effects on healthy cells caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as enhance the cancer-killing properties of these conventional therapies. It also has an exceptionally high margin of safety, at least an order of magnitude greater than commonly used conventional chemotherapy agents such as 5-fluoruracil.[2] Given these facts curcumin, at the very least, should be considered an ideal candidate for use as an adjuvant in integrative cancer care, and perhaps as a first-line treatment alternative to conventional chemo-agents.

For additional information on the remarkable research supporting the use of Turmeric and Curcumin in medicine, watch the video below.  Join our Facebook research page on Turmeric for updates: Turmeric — What The Research Reveals

[1] http://www.cptech.org/ip/health/econ/dimasi2003.pdf

[2] Curcumin’s LD50 (lethal dose, 50%) in mice is at least 2,000 mg/kg, versus 5-fluorouracil 115 mg/kg, or


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

DIY Simple Salve: An All Purpose, All Natural Ointment And Carrier Oil

Hand-salve-in-jars

It has been a year since I first proposed that you ditch the petroleum jelly in favor of a more natural DIY salve.  At the time, I named the salve I came up with “Plain Ole’ Salve”.

During the ensuing year, I have turned to this easily made salve over and over again.  Not only is it a superb moisturizer, but because it is fragrance free, it has become the perfect base for all of my many essential oil concoctions.

Making your own Simple Salve is a cinch and it only takes a few minutes using just three ingredients. Here, once again, is the recipe and directions.

How to Make BDS Simple Salve

Those of you familiar with  Miracle Healing Salve already know how to make Simple Salve.  Basically you take the same recipe and leave out the essential oils.  That’s it.

But there is more.  You can make a more budget-friendly, colorless and odorless version by using “pure” olive oil instead of extra virgin olive oil.  I actually prefer it.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, you can use a combination of oils, mix and match, such as Jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil and more.  The options are limitless.

Backdoor Survival Simple Salve – The Recipe

Ingredients:
1  Cup Coconut Oil
1  Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Pure Olive Oil
5 to 5 1/2 Tbl. Organic Beeswax Pastilles

Containers:
8 x 2 ounce jars (mason jars or ointment jars) ** OR **
4 x 4 ounce jars (mason jars or ointment jars)

Directions:
1.  Put a pot of water on the stove to simmer.  While the water is heating, put the coconut oil, olive oil and beeswax pastilles in a heatproof jar or measuring cup.

2.  Set the jar filled with the coconut oil, olive oil, and wax into the water and leave it there until it melts, giving it a stir from time to time.  You want a slow, gentle melt so take your time.  It could take 15 or 20 minutes depending on the temperature of the water bath.

3.  Pour the melted oils into each of the smaller jars and allow to cool.

4.  Set the jars aside for up to 24 hours.  Although the salve will start to firm up within minutes, it takes at least 12 hours to complete the firming process.  If you are in a hurry, you can refrigerate the salve and it will solidify in just a couple of hours.

5.  Store in a cool location or even in the refrigerator.  The shelf life should be six months but in my home, it does not last that long.

Note:  For a budget friendly version, skip the coconut oil and use two cups of pure olive oil (I use the Kirkland brand).  If you do this, I suggest adding an extra teaspoon of beeswax pastilles.  The therapeutic qualities of coconut oil will be gone but this will still create an amazing salve.

How to use BDS Simple Salve

First and foremost, BDS Simple Salve makes it easy peasy simple to blend essential oils into a custom salve.  By scooping some salve into a small jar (I like these 1/2 ounce jars from Amazon that run about 50 cents each), you can add a few drops of this and a few drops of that to come up with your own healing concoction.

In effect, you are using you homemade Simple Salve as a carrier oil.

There are a few ways to do this.  The first, and the easiest, is to scoop some Simple Salve into the palm of your hand, add a few drops of essential oil, the apply the oil topically.  The second method, as I have described above, is to scoop some into a jar, add your oils, and stir like crazy to mix them up.

The third method, and the one I prefer, is to first melt the Simple Salve in your small container of choice.  After it has reached its melting point, add your essential oils, cap the jar and shake it up to blend.  After blending, take the cap off, and allow the enhanced salve to set up and cool before using.

Note: I use a microwave but you can also place your jar of salve in a hot water bath to melt. As long as you do not overheat the salve and take it just to melting point, you can add your oils right away without harming them.

That is really all there is to it.  After dropping a roller ball filled with precious oils and breaking it to bits, I have begun to use Simple Salve as a base carrier oil instead of fractionated coconut oil.  That is not to say that I don’t use FCO for some things, but Simple Salve has become my carrier oil of choice.

The Final Word

With this article, I am renaming Plain Ole’ Salve BDS Simple Salve” or just “Simple Salve”.  Simple Salve better describes the this very special blend of oils and also reflects the simplistic nature of this all-natural, all-purpose, salve.

Where do we go from here?  I am glad you asked.

Over the past eighteen months, I have created specialized essential oil salves that I use for blood pressure management, psoriasis, arthritis, charley horses, colds and flu, and common cuts, scrapes, burns and “owies”.  Each starts with a base of Simple Salve and while some of these recipes have already been shared, others will be showing up soon.

Why not be ready with a batch of Simple Salve set aside and ready to go?  It really is wonderful stuff!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. At Backdoor Survival, Gaye speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us.

5 Food-Medicines That Could Quite Possibly Save Your Life

garlic

Though Mother Nature’s formulas are proprietary, she does not grant patents.

~ Sayer Ji

Some of the most powerful medicines on the planet are masquerading around as foods and spices. While they do not lend themselves to being patented, nor will multi-billion dollar human clinical trials ever be funded to prove them efficacious, they have been used since time immemorial to both nourish our bodies, and to prevent and treat disease.  So valued were these in ancient times that they were worth their weight in gold, and entire civilizations either rose to great power or collapsed as a result of their relationship to them.

What is even more amazing is that many of these “plant allies” are found growing in our backyards, and often sitting there in our refrigerators and spice racks, neglected and under appreciated.  In fact, many of us use these daily unaware that this is why we don’t get sick as often as those who do not incorporate them into their diet. Let’s look at a few examples….

1) Garlic – with the increasing prevalence of multi-drug resistant bacteria and the failure of the conventional, drug-based model to develop effective solutions against them (nor accepting responsibility for creating them), spices have regained their once universal reign as broad spectrum infection-fighters with sometimes life-saving power. Garlic, in fact, has several hundred therapeutic properties, confirmed by a growing body of scientific research, which you can view directly on GreenMedInfo.com.[i]  One quick example of garlic’s power, is in killing multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), which the mainstream media has termed the “white plague,” roiling the masses with a fear of drug-resistant (but not plant-extract resistant) they are made to believe they are defenseless against.  Last year an article was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal showing that garlic was capable of inhibiting a wide range of multiple drug resistant tuberculosis strains.[ii] The authors concluded “The use of garlic against MDR-TB may be of great importance regarding public health.”  Garlic’s anti-infective properties do not end with MDR-TB, as it has been demonstrated to inhibit the following pathogens as well:

  • Amoeba Entamoeba histolytica (parasite)
  • Cholera
  • Clostridium
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Dermatophytoses (a type of topical fungal infection)
  • Haemophilus Influenzae
  • Helicobacter Pylori
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1
  • Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2
  • Klebsiella
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus A. (MRSA)
  • Parainfluenza Virus
  • Peridontal Infection
  • Pneumococcal Infections
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Streptococcus Mutans
  • Streptococcus Infections: Group A
  • Streptococcus Infections: Group B
  • Streptococcus pyrogenes
  • Thrush (oral fungal infection)

This amazing list underscores how important it is to keep a supply of garlic close by!

honey

2.)  Honey – bees produce a wide range of therapeutic substances beyond honey, e.g. propolis, bee venom, royal jelly, beeswax, bee pollen, etc., but this sweet, sticky stuff that we all love to dip our paw into occasionally, is the most well-known and most copiously consumed of them all – and for good reason, it tastes great!  But did you know that this sweet treat is one of nature’s most powerful healing agents, as well? Here is just a smattering of some of honey’s more scientifically researched health benefits and/or applications:

  • Aspirin-Induced Gastrointestinal Toxicity  (honey  coats the delicate linings of the stomach, preventing aspirin-induced lesions and bleeding)
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Burns
  • Candida infection (despite the fact that honey contains sugar, it demonstrates anti-fungal properties)
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Dental plaque (a recent study showed that Manuka honey was a viable alternative to chemical mouthwash in dissolving dental plaque)[iii]
  • Dermatitis
  • Diabetic Ulcer
  • Herpes-related ulcers
  • MRSA (especially for Manuka honey)

There are many more uses for honey than covered here. Needless to say, replacing synthetic sweeteners or highly processed sugars or high fructose corn syrup with a moderate amount of honey may be a great preventative health step to take.

red-apples

3) Apples – an apple a day does in fact keep the doctor away, especially cancer specialists it would seem.  For instance, one of the most well-established health benefits of consuming apples is to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. The more apples you consume, the less likely you are to develop this potentially fatal disease.  To view the 5 studies that reference this relationship, go to the GreenmedInfo.com apple research page where you will also find 50 other health benefits of apple or apple byproducts (e.g. apple vinegar) consumption which include:

  • Aging, Reduce Rate
  • Allergies
  • Allopecia (Hair Loss)
  • Diarrhea
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Liver Cancer
  • Radiation Induced Illness
  • Staphylococcol Infection

sunlight-palm-frawns

4) Sunlight – this one may throw some of you off, but sunlight possesses both energy and information with real, metabolic value and is therefore a source of usable energy for the body – and so, in a very real sense it can be considered a form of food that we consume through our skin by way of its built in, melanin-based “solar panels.”  Not only does adequate sunlight exposure result in the production of vitamin D, a hormone-like substance that regulates over 2,000 genes in the human body — and as a result prevents or ameliorates hundreds of vitamin D deficiency associated health conditions — but sunlight exposure itself has a unique set of health benefits not reducible to simply vitamin D production alone.  One of the more interesting studies performed on sunlight exposure, based on data gathered from over 100 countries and published earlier this year in the journal Anticancer Research, showed that there was “a strong inverse correlations with solar UVB for 15 types of cancer,” with weaker, though still significant evidence for the protective role of sunlight in 9 other cancers. Here are some additional benefits of sunlight exposure:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Depression
  • Dopamine Deficiency
  • Dermatitis
  • Influenza
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Psoriasis

turmeric

5) Turmeric  – quite possibly the world’s most important herb. Named “Kanchani,” or literally “Golden Goddess,” in the ancient Indian healing tradition, its healing properties have been deeply appreciated, if not revered for countless centuries. Turmeric has been scientifically documented to have over 500 applications in disease prevention and treatment. It also has been shown to modulate over 150 distinct biological and genetic/epigenetic pathways of value in health, demonstrating a complexity as well as gentleness that no drug on the planet has ever been shown to possess.

As there are too many health conditions that turmeric may benefit to list, we are listing the top 10 as determined by the GreenMedInfo algorithm which calculates both the evidence quantity (number of articles) and evidence quality (human study valued higher than animal, and so on). Also, the number in parentheses denotes the number of studies on the database demonstrating the beneficial relationship.

  • Oxidative Stress (160)
  • Inflammation (51)
  • DNA Damage (48)
  • Lipid Peroxidation (34)
  • Colorectal Cancer (24)
  • Breast Cancer (60)
  • Colon Cancer (52)
  • Chemically-Induced Liver Damage (34)
  • Alzheimer’s Disease (34)
  • Tumors (23)

For a more in depth look at the 1500+ studies on our site on Turmeric (and its primary polyphenol Curcumin), watch the video below and please share it with others if you find the information compelling.

[i] GreenMedInfo.com, Garlic Research Page: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/substance/garlic

[ii] Pak J Pharm Sci. 2011 Jan;24(1):81-5. PMID: 21190924

[iii] Contemp Clin Dent. 2010 Oct ;1(4):214-7. PMID: 22114423


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

 

Worried About Clogged Arteries? Drink This.

pomegranate juice

Millions take toxic cholesterol and blood pressure lowering drugs that may do nothing to reduce heart disease specific mortality. Pomegranate juice, on the other hand, actually reverses underlying pathologies of the cardiovascular system that lead to bypass surgeries and heart attacks. 

One of the most amazing clinical studies ever performed has been hidden away behind a pay wall for over a decade. When I first stumbled upon this clinical pearl two years ago, in the form of the publicly indexed abstract on pubmed.gov, my jaw nearly dropped. I’ve finally acquired the full version of the study and am now excited to report on its implications in greater depth to help raise awareness about the power of pomegranate to heal the body, and I believe, save millions lives from premature death from heart disease.

The most eye-opening line in the abstract reveals why our original report on the study, How To Clean Your Arteries With One Simple Fruit, received over 500,000 social media shares:

“Pomegranate juice consumption resulted in a significant IMT [intima media thickness] reduction, by up to 30%, after 1 year.”

We shouldn’t be that surprised at how great an interest there is among the masses in safe, delicious, and affordable drug alternatives that have the power to unclog arteries? Certainly the drugs aren’t working, with the most popular class — cholesterol-lowering statins — being linked to over 300 adverse health effects. But sometimes the technical language of medicine gets confusing: what does this pomegranate-induced reduction in the intima media thickness (IMT) of the arteries mean?

Reducing The Intima Media Thickness: Reversing Atherosclerosis

The intima media is the middle portion of the arteries that become inflamed and fill up with plaque comprised of oxidized fats, immune cells, and their debris, in the condition known colloquially as “blocked arteries.” As the intima media grows thicker, less space is available for the blood contents to move through the opening (lumen) of the arteries. When the arteries eventually close or are blocked, catastrophic injury or death may follow. Therefore, anything that can safely reduce, or better, reverse intima media thickening is the holy grail as far as obtaining a root cause resolution of atherosclerosis, and by implication would profoundly reduce deaths linked to cardiovascular mortality.

plaque clogged arteries

Indeed, in a world where the #1 cause of death is cardiovascular disease, and where we preemptively medicate millions more with drugs that only reduce surrogate markers for cardiovascular disease risk – i.e. lipoproteins carrying cholesterol – without showing any convincing evidence that it is reducing cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality, how could something as simple and powerful as pomegranate be overlooked? In fact, if a simple daily dietary intervention is capable of regressing and/or reversing the underlying disease process in millions of fatal cardiac cases, it would seem highly unethical not to use it.


Here, we wish to bring some of the finer details of this clinical trial to light, to further substantiate the value of botanical and food-based interventions not only in preventing but treating major chronic disease processes like cardiovascular disease, the developed world’s most deadly disease.

The Pomegranate “Artery Cleaning” Clinical Trial

pomegranate juice study

Published in Clinical Nutrition in 2014 and titled, “Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation,” Israeli researchers discovered pomegranate, administered in juice form over the course of a year, reversed plaque accumulation in the carotid arteries of patients with severe, though symptomless, carotid artery stenosis (defined as 70–90% blockage in the internal carotid arteries).

The study consisted of nineteen patients, 5 women and 14 men, aged 65-75, non-smokers. They were randomized to receive either pomegranate juice or placebo. Ten patients were in the pomegranate juice treatment group and 9 patients that did not consume pomegranate juice were in the control group. Both groups were matched with similar blood lipid and glucose concentrations, blood pressure, and with similar medication regimens which consisted of blood-pressure lowering (e.g. ACE inhibitors, β-blockers, or calcium channel blockers) and lipid lowering drugs (e.g. statins).

pomegranate(1)

The ten patients in the treatment group group received 1.69 ounces (50 ml) of pomegranate juice per day (about the volume of a shot glass), which contained .036 milligrams of total polyphenols (primarily tannins and anthocyanins), for a period of 1 year, and five out of them agreed to continue for up to 3 years.

The remarkable results were reported as follows:

“The mean intima media thickness the left and right common carotid arteries in severe carotid artery stenosis patients that consumed pomegranate juice for up to 1 year was reduced after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of pomegranate juice consumption by 13%, 22%, 26% and 35%, respectively, in comparison to baseline values.”

You can only imagine what would happen if a pharmaceutical drug was shown to reverse plaque build up in the carotid arteries by 13% in just 3 months! This drug would be lauded the life-saving miracle drug, and not only would be promoted and sold successfully as a multi-billion dollar blockbuster, but discussion would inevitably follow as to why it should be mandated.

While these results are impressive, if not altogether groundbreaking for the field of cardiology, they may be even better than revealed in the stated therapeutic outcomes above.  When one factors in that the carotid artery stenosis increased 9% within 1 year in the control group, the pomegranate intervention group may have seen even better results than indicated by the measured regression in intima media thickness alone.  That is, if we assume that the pomegranate group had received no treatment, the thickening of their carotid arteries would have continued to progress like the control group at a rate of 9% a year, i.e. 18% within 2 years, 27% within 3 years. This could be interpreted to mean that after 3 years of pomegranate treatment, for instance, the thickening of the arteries would have been reduced over 60% beyond what would have occurred had the natural progression of the disease been allowed to continue unabated.

3 Ways How Pomegranate Heals The Cardiovascular System

The researchers identified three likely mechanisms of action behind pomegranate’s observed anti-atherosclerotic activity:

  • Antioxidant properties: Subjects receiving pomegranate saw significant reductions in oxidative stress, including decreases in autoantibodies formed against ox-LDL, a form of oxidized low density lipoprotein associated with the pathological process of atherosclerosis. Decreases in oxidative stress were measurable by an increase in the blood serum enzyme paraoxonase 1 (PON1) of up to 91% after 3 years; PON1 is an enzyme whose heightened activity is associated with lower oxidative stress. All of this is highly relevant to the question of pomegranate’s anti-atherosclerotic activity because of something called the lipid peroxidation hypothesis of atherosclerosis, which assumes that it is the quality of the blood lipids (i.e. whether they are oxidized/damaged or not), and not their quantity alone that determine their cardiotoxicity/atherogenicity. Essentially, pomegranate prevents the heart disease promoting effects of oxidative stress.
  • Blood Pressure Lowering Properties: The intervention resulted in significant improvement in blood pressure: the patient’s systolic blood pressure was reduced 7%, 11% ,10%, 10% and 12% after 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of pomegranate consumption, respectively, compared to values obtained before treatment. Pomegranate’s ability to reduce systolic blood pressure indicates it has a healing effect on the endothelium, or the inner lining of the artery which fails to relax fully in heart disease; a condition known as endothelial dysfunction.
  • Plaque Lesion Stabilization: Because two of the ten patients on PJ (after 3 and 12 months) experienced clinical deterioration, carotid surgery was performed and the lesions were analyzed to determine the difference in their composition to those who did not receive pomegranate. The researchers noticed four distinct positive differences in the composition of the pomegranate-treated lesions:

1.     Reduced Cholesterol Content: “The cholesterol content in carotid lesions from the two patients that consumed PJ was lower by 58% and 20%, respectively, in comparison to lesions obtained from CAS patients that did not consume PJ (Fig. 3A).”

2.     Reduced Lipid Peroxides: “[T]he lipid peroxides content in lesions obtained from the patients after PJ consumption for 3 or 12 months was significantly reduced by 61% or 44%, respectively, as compared to lesions from patients that did not consume PJ (Fig. 3B).

3.     Increased Reduced Glutathione Content: “A substantial increase in the lesion reduced glutathione (GSH) content, (GSH is a major cellular antioxidant) by 2.5-fold, was observed after PJ consumption for 3 or 12 months, (Fig. 3C).

4.     Reduced LDL Oxidation: “LDL oxidation by lesions derived from the patients after PJ consumption for 3 or 12 months, was significantly (Po0.01) decreased by 43% or 32%, respectively, in comparison to LDL oxidation rates obtained by lesions from CAS patients that did not consume PJ (Fig. 3D).”

Essentially these results reveal that not only does pomegranate reduce the lesion size in the carotid arteries, but “the lesion itself may be considered less atherogenic after PJ consumption, as its cholesterol and oxidized lipid content decreased, and since its ability to oxidize LDL was significantly reduced.”

This finding is quite revolutionary, as presently, the dangers of carotid artery stenosis are understood primarily through the lesion size and not by assessing for the quality of that lesion. This dovetails with the concept that the sheer quantity of lipoproteins (i.e. “cholesterol”) in the blood can not accurately reveal whether those lipoproteins are actually harmful (atherogenic); rather, if lipoproteins are oxidized (e.g. ox-LDL) they can be harmful (or representative of a more systemic bodily imbalance), whereas non-oxidized low density lipoprotein may be considered entirely benign, if not indispensable for cardiovascular and body wide health. Indeed, in this study the researchers found the pomegranate group had increased levels of triglycerides and very low density lipoprotein, again, underscoring that the anti-atherosclerotic properties likely have more to do with the improved quality of the physiological milieu within which all our lipoproteins operate than the number of them, in and of itself.

Finally, it should be pointed out that all the patients in this study were undergoing conventional, drug-based care for cardiovascular disease, e.g. cholesterol- and blood pressure-lowering agents. Not only did the pomegranate treatment not appear to interfere with their drugs, making it a suitable complementary/adjunct therapy for those on pharmaceuticals, but it should be pointed out that the control group’s condition got progressively worse (e.g. the mean IMT increased 9% within 1 year), speaking to just how ineffective drugs are, or how they may even contribute to the acceleration of the disease process itself.

Pomegranate’s 100+ Health Benefits

Believe it or not, pomegranate has many other ways in which it can help to heal the cardiovascular system, as well as other organ systems. Our research project has identified over 100 distinct health benefits of pomegranate: View the Pomegranate Research Database. Learn more by reading some of our other articles on the topic:


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.

Sayer Ji  is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

 

The Benefits Of Kamala

lotus_flower

Kamala (also known as Kamcela, Spoonwood, or Mallotus philippinensis) is a well-known plant coming from the humid tropical forests of Australia, the Philippines, India, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Africa, Southern Arabia, and southern China. First mentioned in the ancient Indian text, The Kurma Purana, kamala’s health-supportive properties have been highly revered the world over for thousands of years.

Kamala is a firm staple in India’s traditional Ayurvedic practices and is currently still being used as a natural and potent herb in the developing world. The narrow-stemmed kamala tree grows up to twenty meters high, although smaller evergreen versions grow wild in India. The most used component of kamala is the reddish-brown fruit. The fruit is crushed and dried and processed into a fine herbal powder. [1]

The Health Benefits of Kamala

Although kamala has a number of potential health benefits, many traditional societies have valued the plant as an aid for combating harmful organisms, particularly those involving the skin and the GI tract. While the fruit and its hairs are most often used for internal cleansing purposes, the bark of kamala is also an excellent anti-microbial agent. Studies have found that the glands and hairs of the kamala fruit are a useful anthelmintic, possibly effective for reducing fascioliasis, a condition related to liver flukes and other forms of intestinal worms. Several studies have reported that kamala resin can offer significant purgative action in the GI tract. In animal trials, the resin was able to eliminate infestation of tapeworms in the small intestines by 78.21%. [2]

Kamala may also offer the following health benefits and actions:

    • A quick and effective purgative for elimination of any toxic activity in the GI tract.
    • A cutaneous purifier, often used to prevent scabies, ringworm, skin pustules, leprosy, and other cutaneous eruptions.
    • Potent taenifuge for expelling tapeworms. Kamala is ranked second only to male fern root in its ability to eliminate intestinal worms.
    • Potent anthelmintic, expelling parasites, especially the Taenia solium variety.
    • Excellent general digestive support and laxative, promoting increased bowel action and powerful detoxification.
    • Remedy for various ocular diseases in traditional forms of medicine.[3]

Chemical Components and Actions

The active constituents of kamala are associated with the tannic acids and volatile oils of the fruit and hairs. Kamala is also composed of health-boosting resins, crystallines, flemingin, and homoflemingin. These plant-based chemical constituents eradicate worms in the body through a mechanism of creating a harsh intestinal environment that is toxic to harmful organisms. The resins, acids, and oils cause worms to become immobile, preventing the worms’ larvae from attaching themselves to the interior lining of human intestine walls. Not only does this cleanse the system of parasitic organisms, it also promotes overall digestive health.

Other Uses of Kamala

Kamala can be used as a natural oil for cosmetic preparations. It has also been used traditionally as a natural dye for silks and wool, beverages and foods, and its pulp has been used to make tools, paper, and brushware.

References:

  1. Thomas S. Blair. Botanic Drugs Their Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics. The Therapeutic Digest Publishing Company.
  2. Gupta SS, Verma P, Hishikar K. Purgative and anthelmintic effects of Mallotus philippinensis in rats against tape worm. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1984 Jan-Mar;28(1):63-6.
  3. Verma P, & Hishikar K. Experimental Evaluation of Anthelmintic and Purgative Activity of Myrsine Africana Fruits. Anc Sci Life. 1983 Oct-Dec; 3(2): 82-84.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

 

This Humble Food Extract Puts Bone Drugs To Shame

soup

According to research published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2008, alendronate (Fosamax), raloxifene (Evista) and estradiol (estrogen, E2) are inferior to the phytoestrogen genistein commonly found in fermented soy*, red clover, kudzu, fava beans and coffee, in preserving bone mineral density (quantity) and strength (quality), in an animal model of menopausal osteoporosis.

Genistein has been extensively researched for its potential therapeutic role in osteoporosis prevention and treatment,  as well as a mind-boggling 140 additional health conditions. It is likely the main reason why soy, and particularly fermented soy, has been regarded as both a food and a medicine in Asian culture.

What makes this finding so groundbreaking is that genistein is a food derivative, whereas the three categories of drugs compared to it in the study are evolutionarily and biologically alien chemicals (xenobiotics) with profound, unintended adverse health effects.

In essence, this study calls into question the multi-billion dollar “osteoporosis” and “osteopenia” industry’s most lucrative commodities. Foods and food extracts, of course, do not lend themselves to being patented, which is why this study will likely never receive the multi-million dollar funding required to bring it to the level of a human clinical trial.

*non-fermented soy contains genistin, whereas friendly bacteria in our gut or in cultured foods such as miso biotransform it into genistein.

———————-

The true value of this study becomes apparent when we look at the drugs in greater detail. Alendronate (Fosamax), for instance, was originally used to soften water in irrigation systems used in orange groves. It has the ability to ulcerate and puncture the stomach, which is why it is suggested it be taken with water and the person stands or sits up for half an hour. It has been linked to at least 18 serious adverse health effects, including bone fracture itself!

fosomax_disease_list

View All 24 Articles Here

Raloxifene (Evista), on the other hand, has been proven to increase the risk of pulmonary embolism, venous thrombosis, sroke and coronary artery disease to name but only a few areas of grave concern.

evista_disease_list

View all of our articles on raloxifene

Estradiol, though produced naturally in our body, may have cardiotoxic and carcinogenic properties when levels are too high, as may occur during pharmaceutically-based hormone replacement therapy, or when detoxification/transformative pathways are working sub-optimally.

Genistein has much weaker estrogenic activity in comparison to estradiol, and yet it is capable of binding to the same estrogen receptors for a much longer duration, which may result in significant positive ffects when endogenously produced estrogen levels fail to meet the body’s optimal requirements. Genistein is also highly selective, capable of binding and stimulating bone estrogen receptor sites (resulting in increased strength/density), whereas down-regulating breast density by taking up, and weakly stimulating estrogen receptor sites within breast tissue.

This enables the plant estrogen – paradoxically – to block out and/or reduce the proliferative activity of excess estradiol and related xenobiotic estrogen exposures. The same principle, also known as Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulation (SERM), has also been observed operative within the phytoestrogens found in flaxseed.


Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of GreenMedInfo.com.

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded Greenmedinfo.com in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is internationally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

 

What Is Male Fern Root?

male fern root

Male fern root, also known as Dryopteris filix-mas, Bear’s paw, Knotty Brake, and Sweet Brake, has been used for centuries as a defense against harmful organisms. [1] Beyond that, the male fern root also offers other health benefits for humans such as digestive support and detoxification.

Origins of Male Fern

Male fern is native to the temperate climates of Asia, Europe, and much of South and North America. The plant is highly adaptable and can grow well in both arid and fertile soils. The root of the male fern, usually harvested in early autumn, is dried for therapeutic purposes.

As far back as 103 A.D., Greek and Roman physicians used the male fern root to help expel harmful organisms from the intestines and digestive tract. In fact, it is rumored that Louis XVI of France paid large sums of money to add this powerful fern to his own medicine chest.

How Does Male Fern Root Work?

The male fern root is loaded with cleansing compounds known as filicin and filmarone. These essential oils are responsible for eradicating harmful organisms by creating a harsh intestinal environment that is toxic to harmful intestinal organisms. [2]

Studies also show that male fern root’s oleo-resins cause harmful organisms in the intestines to become immobile, preventing them from attaching themselves to the interior lining of human intestinal walls. In both human and animal case studies, male fern root was shown to have a dramatic effect on eliminating harmful organisms both inside and outside of the GI tract.

Health Benefits of Male Fern Root

Male fern root is also rich in antioxidants, folic acid, phloroglucinol derivatives, and several other necessary trace essential oils which promote overall digestive health.

Traditionally cited benefits of male fern root include:

  • Powerful astringent
  • Promotes harmful organism cleansing
  • Supports digestive health
  • Natural intestinal cleanser
  • Encourages normal liver function

Supplementing With Male Fern Root

Male fern root works to establish an environment in the body that is inhospitable to harmful invaders. Have you used it? I’d love to hear from people who’ve had first hand experience. Leave a comment below and share your tips with us.

References:

  1. Herbs 2000. Male Fern. Herbs 2000.
  2. James Copland, MD. A Dictionary of Practical Medicine. New York. 1869.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Heal Lips Naturally With This Soothing Lip Balm

diy-lip-balm-1

Your lips are one of the most exposed areas of the body. With only a thin layer of skin to protect them, the cold, dry air can wreak havoc. When every ounce of moisture counts, we have to take steps to protect them. For convenience sake, many of us run down to the local market to pick up our favorite brand of pre-made chapstick.

As convenient as this is, some of the ingredients in these brand name products can do more harm than good. Certain ingredients in pre-made lip balms dry your lips out, which in turn makes you apply more, and then it starts an addicting habit that isn’t doing you, or your lips, any favors.

The sad part is, the cosmetic industry already knows this and regulates itself so they have no one to answer to. This means you need to be on the ball and do your own research so you’re aware of the toxic ingredients. Moreover, these no-no ingredients can also have harmful side effects such as skin irritations, allergic reactions and, in some cases kidney and liver damage. Before you purchase lip balm at the store, make sure they do not have any of these ingredients. Chances are, most of them will.

 Avoid these lip balm ingredients altogether:

  1. Vaseline – Vaseline is an extremely effective and non-irritating lip moisturizer. As well, because it is derived from oil, it may contain carcinogens and cause allergic reactions.
  2. Fragrances and artificial colors – Simply put, these added artificial ingredients can cause lip irritation.
  3. Menthol, camphor and phenol – these ingredients are what causes that cooling sensation on the lips, but can also dry your lips out further, thus causing your body to need more of the product. As well, they have a tendency to produce redness and swelling. Some of these ingredients are even toxic to the point of causing kidney and liver damage.
  4. Parabens –  This is used as a preservative in some cosmetic products, but so-called “long-chained” parabens can act as estrogens and disrupt hormone signaling. You want to ensure that your chapstick does not have this ingredient. Note: A very popular lip balm at the store has this harmful ingredient.
  5. Salicylic acid is used to exfoliate dry skin and relieves pain but it also has a tendency to irritate skin, leading to inflammation and dryness. Note: Salicylic acid contains the same anti-inflammatory ingredients as aspirin. This product should be avoided if you are allergic to aspirin.

Feel confident knowing there is an alternative – a natural alternative

Homemade lip balm is far more gentle on your sensitive, chapped lips. Making lip balm is also one of the easiest homemade products you can make and is a great project to get the kids involved. This homemade lip balm recipe is soothing, moisturizing and will help heal chapped, sensitive lips.

Soothing Lip Balm

  1. In a double broiler, on low heat, melt the beeswax until it has almost liquified.
  2. Next, add the coconut oil and honey when about half of the beeswax is no longer solid.
  3. After the oils are liquified, remove from heat, add vitamin E oil and essential oils and stir well.
  4. Transfer to a small container and let set for 3 hours (or until completely set).

You can purchase different types of lip balm containers at Amazon. These are the ones that I use.

Lip balm can not only be used for chapped lips, but can be used on chapped skin. Gently rubbing lip balm onto dry skin such as the hands, knuckles or even on the heels of the feet can do wonders. Here are 6 emergency uses for lip balm that may come in handy.

Stop using store-bought lip balms and make your own! It’s one of the easiest projects and your lips will stay moistened much longer.


Tess Pennington is the editor for ReadyNutrition.com. After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999, Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management and response. Tess is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But by following Tess’s tips for stocking, organizing, and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months, or even years.

 

Survival First Aid: DIY Healing Vapor Rub For Coughs And Congestion

diy salve

When it comes to prepping, having the ability to fend for yourself for an extended period is a universal goal.  First comes water, then comes food, and next, for many, comes first aid.  And therein lies the rub, no pun intended.

A cold or cough can take you down in a flash, whether it is an annoying sniffle or a wracking, chest pounding cough.  It is no fun and you are going to want to get rid of it fast. Alas, there are all types of over-the-counter remedies available to you but there are a few problems with them.

First, they may include ingredients, chemicals really, that elevate blood pressure.  Then there is the sugar and the preservatives and a bunch of other unpronounceable stuff.  The topical ointments can be just as nasty and may contain thick, gooey, petroleum jelly.  You can judge for yourself, but the article Petroleum Jelly May Not Be As Harmless As You Think will give you some insight as to why you don’t want to use it.  Ever.

So what are you supposed to do when someone in your household comes down with what we like to call “the creeping crud”?

My solution is to make your own DIY Healing Vapor Rub for coughs and congestion.  Now truth be told, I have been meaning to make up a batch of DIY vapor rub to have on hand and never quite got around to it.  As bad luck would have it, Shelly (aka the Survival Husband), recently came down with a severe case of chest congestion and a cough so bad it made his stomach hurt.  It was time to set things in motion and make some DIY vapor rub to see if it really worked.

The good news It has now been three days and his recovery has been this side of a miracle.  We both thought he would be down for a week but here we are today, and his wellness quotient is at 90%.

How to Make DIY Healing Vapor Rub

This is so darn easy that it is almost embarrassing.  I am first going to describe what I did then add some variations.

Ingredients

1/2 cup Coconut Oil ( I use Tropical Traditions but any brand will work)
15 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
15 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
15 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
10 drops Cedarwood Essential Oils

Directions

Put your coconut oil in a bowl and add the essential oils.  Get out a fork or whip and mix them together until light and fluffy.  If your home is on the cool side, the coconut oil will be quite firm and whipping it up a bit will soften it nicely.

Note that if you have the luxury of time (because you thought to make your Healing Vapor Rub in advance), put the jar of coconut oil in a pan of hot water on the stove and leave it there until it melts.

I did not have the luxury of time so I used my stick blender to whip up the coconut oil and essential oils and was pleased with the results.

When your Healing Vapor Rub is soft, fluffy, and to your liking, transfer it to a small, clean jar and you are done.

That’s it.  Were you expecting something more difficult?

Variations

1.  Substitute olive oil, jojoba oil, Plain Ole Salve (soon to be renamed “BDS Simple Salve”) or any other preferred carrier oil for the coconut oil.  You may also use a combination of carrier oils.

2.  For a more salve like consistency, you can also add 2 teaspoons of beeswax pastilles to the coconut oil and process the two in the same manner as DIY Healing Salve.  Add the essential oils after the beeswax has melted.

3.  Cedarwood is not what I would call a mainstream essential oil so consider it’s use optional.  That said, I am convinced that it’s ability to break up phlegm was a factor in the success of quickly nailing the symptoms of chest congestion.  More about that below.

How to Use DIY Healing Vapor Rub

Generously rub your DIY Healing Vapor Rub all over the chest and neck area every three to four hours.  Also rub some on the bottoms of both feet.  If stuffiness is a problem and is making breathing difficult, put a little dab on the upper lip to help clear the nasal passages.

Note:  This is a strong dilution of essential oils so if you plan to use it on children, I suggest doubling the amount of coconut oil to make a half-strength version.

A Special Word About Cedarwood Oil

When I received my bottle of Cedarwood essential oil from the SN Oil of the Month Club, I did not have a clue as to how I was going to use it.  I took to my big fat book on essential oils as well as Valerie Worwood’s book and read that it was useful for sleep and bronchitis.  While interesting, that was not enough.

Then, at the Organic Facts website found this:

If you are suffering from cough, cold and related congestion, you should try Cedarwood Oil to alleviate the irritation. It is an expectorant and efficiently eliminates coughs and removes phlegm from the respiratory tracts and lungs, thereby relieving congestion. It also gives relief from headaches, red and watery eyes, and other symptom of coughs and colds.

A small amount of this oil can also help you get a good night’s sleep when suffering from cough and cold. By stimulating the loosening of phlegm and the coughing which will remove it, you also protect your respiratory tract and overall health from toxins and conditions that excess phlegm can cause.

After reading that, I knew I was on to something.  As another one of those inexpensive oils I favor so much, this one is a keeper and I intend to identify other practical uses over time.

By the way, as a side note, I am rubbing Cedarwood on my own feet and chest to see if it will help me sleep more soundly.  Supposedly, it will trigger the production of Melatonin.

The Final Word

One of the things I like about this version of DIY Healing Vapor Rub is that it comes together very quickly.  A stove or other heat source is not required and I can make small batches to suit my needs.

The same general procedure can be used with other essential oil remedies as well.  I find that while it is nice to have a big fat jar of this kind of salve or that, sometimes, I will simply mix up a bit of coconut oil with my EO of choice and give it a whirl.  I find that in the long run, this is less wasteful than making a big batch of something that does not work as I had planned.

One more thing.  A reader recently asked my opinion on using plastic jars to hold EO concoctions.  While I prefer to use glass, I often use small 1/2 and 1 ounce jars for my ointments salves.  They are inexpensive, easy to clean, leak proof and unbreakable when tossed into a day pack, pocket, or handbag.

For longer term storage of six months or more, sure, use glass. But for my thinking, plastic is fine for day to day use.  It really is a matter of preference.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. At Backdoor Survival, Gaye speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us.

 

Herbal Supplements Banned From GNC, Walmart, Target And Walgreens (VIDEO)

herbal supplements

Herbal supplements BANNED from GNC, Walmart, Target and Walgreens after a study supposedly discovered that 4 out of 5 herbal supplements contain ZERO herbs. Chain stores are now being ordered to pull products from their shelves in what seems to be a major victory for the big pharma mafia.


Mark Dice