Category Archives: Natural Medicine

3 Natural H. Pylori ‘Cures’ That Are Clinically Proven

helicbacter_pylori_cures_natural_proven

H. pylori infection is often treated with three drugs simultaneously, but not everyone responds favorably. Thankfully there are clinically confirmed natural, food-based alternatives. 

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria estimated to be found in the body of two-thirds of the world’s population naturally, and usually does not cause symptoms. But in some cases it can be found as a contributing factor in ulcers, and may even drive some forms of gastric cancer.  Modern treatment for H. pylori infection focuses on total eradication using so-called “triple therapy,” which includes two antibiotics and an acid-blocker. Treatment of this kind, however, often results in antibiotic-associated imbalances in the gut flora, as well as driving antibiotic-resistant strains of H. pylori which can cause more serious forms of recurrence. This is one reason why there is growing interest in natural alternatives to drug-based treatment, and why we are excited to highlight some of the more compelling research out there on ‘natural cures’ to this common problem.

Here are three clinically tested solutions that may work in tandem, or as a complete alternative to conventional treatment:

  1. Broccoli Sprouts: A study published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences in 2004 titled, “Oral broccoli sprouts for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection: a preliminary report“, found that seven of nine patients (78%) who consumed broccoli sprouts (14, 28, or 56 g) twice daily for 7 days were stool antigen negative for H. pylori infection immediately after the completion of therapy and six remained negative at day 35. Broccoli sprouts contain extremely high levels of the sulfur-containing biomolecule sulforaphane which we have identified research on mitigating over 150 different diseases.

  2. Probiotics: A 2012 study published in Inflammation and Allergy Drug Targets titled, “Probiotic multistrain treatment may eradicate Helicobacter pylori from the stomach of dyspeptics: a placebo-controlled pilot study“, found that a 10-day treatment with a multi-strain probiotic in patients with H. pylori associated dyspepsia resulted in 13 of the 40 patients experiencing complete eradication. (Note: The patients received 1.8 trillion alive of the following strains: Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacteriuym brevis, Lactobacillus paracasei, Bifidobacterium infantis, Lactobaccilus delbrueckii bulgaricus subspecies). Probiotics fight infection naturally. For additional information consult our research page on probiotics which includes research on its value in over 200 conditions, many of which are infection-related.

  3. Black Seed (Nigella Sativa): A 2010 study published in the Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology titled, “Comparative study of Nigella Sativa and triple therapy in eradication of Helicobacter Pylori in patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia“, found that a dose of only 2 grams of black seed (Nigella Sativa) in combination with an acid blocker was about as effective (67%) as triple therapy (which includes an acid blocker, and two antibiotics) in treating H. pylori infection. Black seed has been studied to have value in a wide range of conditions. Consult our black seed database page for more information.

In addition to these solutions, please consult our growing Helicobacter pylori research page which includes over 50 studied natural, evidence-based interventions, including possible problem substances such as aspirin which may cause underlying damage to the mucosal lining of the digestive tract, producing conditions that lead to the opportunistic overgrowth of “bad” bacteria such as H. pylori.

Also, you can learn more by reading a really wonderful 2014 review published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology titled, “Exploring alternative treatments for Helicobacter pylori infection“, looked at over 300 studies published between 1991 and 2013 which covered plant-based anti-H. pylori activity from around the world, highlighting garlic, licorice, broccoli, green tea, probiotics and the bee products honey and propolis.

Lastly, for additional information on the increasing rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria, and alternatives to conventional treatment suggested by the growing evidence base, consult the following articles:


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.

 

Turmeric Produces ‘Remarkable’ Recovery In Alzheimer’s Patients

turmeric

Turmeric has been used in India for over 5,000 years, which is likely why still today both rural and urban populations have some of the lowest prevalence rates of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in the world. A recent study on patients with AD found that less than a gram of turmeric daily, taken for three months, resulted in ‘remarkable improvements.’

Alzheimer’s Disease: A Disturbingly Common Modern Rite of Passage

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), sadly, has become a rite of passage in so-called developed countries.  AD is considered the most common form of dementia, which is defined as a serious loss of cognitive function in previously unimpaired persons, beyond what is expected from normal aging.

A 2006 study estimated that 26 million people throughout the world suffer from this condition, and that by 2050, the prevalence will quadruple, by which time 1 in 85 persons worldwide will be afflicted with the disease.[1]

Given the global extent of the problem, interest in safe and effective preventive and therapeutic interventions within the conventional medical and alternative professions alike are growing.

Unfortunately, conventional drug-based approaches amount to declaring chemical war upon the problem, a mistake which we have documented elsewhere, and which can result in serious neurological harm, as evidenced by the fact that this drug class carries an alarmingly high risk for seizures, according to World Health Organization post-marketing surveillance statistics.[i][2]

What the general public is therefore growing most responsive to is using time-tested, safe, natural and otherwise more effective therapies that rely on foods, spices and familiar culinary ingredients.

Remarkable Recoveries Reported after Administration of Turmeric

Late last year, a remarkable study was published in the journal Ayu titiled “Effects of turmeric on Alzheimer’s disease with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia.” [ii]  Researchers described three patients with Alzheimer’s disease whose behavioral symptoms were “improved remarkably” as a result of consuming 764 milligram of turmeric (curcumin 100 mg/day) for 12 weeks. According to the study:

“All three patients exhibited irritability, agitation, anxiety, and apathy, two patients suffer from urinary incontinence and wonderings. They were prescribed turmeric powder capsules and started recovering from these symptoms without any adverse reaction in the clinical symptom and laboratory data.”

After only 3 months of treatment, both the patients’ symptoms and the burden on their caregivers were significantly decreased.

The report describes the improvements thusly:

“In one case, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score was up five points, from 12/30 to 17/30. In the other two cases, no significant change was seen in the MMSE; however, they came to recognize their family within 1 year treatment. All cases have been taking turmeric for more than 1 year, re-exacerbation of BPSD was not seen.”

This study illustrates just how powerful a simple natural intervention using a time-tested culinary herb can be.  Given that turmeric has been used medicinally and as a culinary ingredient for over 5,000 years in Indian culture, even attaining the status of a ‘Golden Goddess,’ we should not be surprised at this result. Indeed, epidemiological studies of Indian populations reveal that they have a remarkably lower prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease relative to Western nations, [3] and this is true for both rural and more “Westernized” urban areas of India.[4]

Could turmeric be a major reason for this?

Turmeric’s Anti-Alzheimer’s Properties.

The GreenMedInfo.com database now contains a broad range of published studies on the value of turmeric, and its primary polyphenol curcumin (which gives it its golden hue), for Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment.*

While there are 114 studies on our Turmeric research page indicating turmeric has a neuroprotective set of physiological actions, [5] 30 of these studies are directly connected to turmeric’s anti-Alzheimer’s disease properties.**

Two of these studies are particularly promising, as they reveal that curcumin is capable of enhancing the clearance of the pathological amyloid–beta plaque in Alzheimer’s disease patients,[6] and that in combination with vitamin D3 the neurorestorative process is further enhanced.[7] Additional preclinical research indicates curcumin (and its analogs) has inhibitory and protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease associated β-amyloid proteins.[8] [9] [10]

Other documented Anti-Alzheimer’s mechanisms include:

  • Anti-inflammatory: Curcumin has been found to play a protective role against β-amyloid protein associated inflammation.[11]
  • Anti-oxidative: Curcumin may reduce damage via antioxidant properties.[12]
  • Anti-cytotoxic: Curcumin appears to protect against the cell-damaging effects of β-amyloid proteins.[13] [14]
  • Anti-amyloidogenic: Turmeric contains a variety of compounds (curcumin, tetrahydrocurcumin, demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin) which may strike to the root pathological cause of Alzheimer’s disease by preventing β-amyloid protein formation.[15] [16] [17] [18]
  • Neurorestorative: Curcuminoids appear to rescue long-term potentiation (an indication of functional memory) impaired by amyloid peptide, and may reverse physiological damage by restoring distorted neurites and disrupting existing plaques. [19] [20]
  • Metal-chelating properties: Curcumin has a higher binding affinity for iron and copper rather than zinc, which may contribute to its protective effect in Alzheimer’s disease, as iron-mediated damage may play a pathological role.[21] [22]

Just The Tip of the Medicine Spice Cabinet

The modern kitchen pantry contains a broad range of anti-Alzheimer’s disease items, which plenty of science now confirms. Our Alzheimer’s research page contains research on 97 natural substances of interest. Top on the list, of course, is curcumin. Others include:

  • Coconut Oil: This remarkable substance contains approximately 66% medium chain triglycerides by weight, and is capable of improving symptoms of cognitive decline in those suffering from dementia by increasing brain-boosing ketone bodies, and perhaps more remarkably, within only one dose, and within only two hours.[23]
  • Cocoa: A 2009 study found that cocoa procyanidins may protect against lipid peroxidation associated with neuronal cell death in a manner relevant to Alzheimer’s disease.[24]
  • Sage: A 2003 study found that sage extract has therapeutic value in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.[25]
  • Folic acid: While most of the positive research on this B vitamin has been performed on the semi-synthetic version, which may have unintended, adverse health effects,  the ideal source for this B vitamin is foliage, i.e. green leafy vegetables, as only foods provide folate. Also, the entire B group of vitamins, especially including the homocysteine-modulating B6 and B12,[26] may have the most value in Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment.
  • Resveratrol: this compound is mainly found in the Western diet in grapes, wine, peanuts and chocolate. There are 16 articles on our website indicating it has anti-Alzheimer’s properties.[27]

Other potent natural therapies include:

  • Gingko biloba: is one of the few herbs proven to be at least as effective as the pharmaceutical drug Aricept in treating and improving symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.[28] [29]
  • Melissa offinalis: this herb, also known as Lemon Balm, has been found to have therapeutic effect in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.[30]
  • Saffron: this herb compares favorably to the drug donepezil in the treatment of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.[31]

As always, the important thing to remember is that it is our diet and environmental exposures that largely determine our risk of accelerated brain aging and associated dementia. Prevention is an infinitely better strategy, especially considering many of the therapeutic items mentioned above can be used in foods as spices.  Try incorporating small, high-quality culinary doses of spices like turmeric into your dietary pattern, remembering that ‘adding it to taste,’ in a way that is truly enjoyable, may be the ultimate standard for determining what a ‘healthy dose’ is for you.


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.

Cannabis Superior To Drugs For Inflammatory Bowel Condition (Crohn’s Disease)

medical marijuana

When drugs fail, and surgery is the only remaining option on the horizon, smoking cannabis may provide an effective and safe natural alternative for the debilitating inflammatory bowel disease known as Crohn’s disease. 

Crohn’s disease is a debilitating inflammatory bowel disease that chronically affects the lining of the digestive tract and is usually resistant to conventional drug-based treatment. Even with treatment the condition generally progresses to the point where surgery is required in 70% of sufferers. Surgery, however, does not usually provide a cure, with 30% undergoing surgery seeing a recurrence of symptoms within three years, and 60% within 10 years.1

Given the poor prognosis of those diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, some with the condition have been known to experiment with natural alternatives. At GreenMedInfo.com we have gathered preliminary research on natural interventions for the condition, with probiotics, boswellia and curcumin (a turmeric polyphenol) top on the list. We have also spent a good deal of time reporting on research indicating that wheat is an inflammatory food to the digestive tract and therefore should likely be avoided by anyone with an inflammatory bowel condition.

One potential remedy for Crohn’s disease that we have not yet reported on is cannabis. Animal research already indicates that it can ameliorate colitis, an inflammatory condition of the colon. There is also an established role of cannabis within gastroenterology for the following conditions: “anorexia, emesis, abdominal pain, gastroenteritis, diarrhea, intestinal inflammation, and diabetic gastroparesis.”2 Additionally, a retrospective observational study from 2011 found that 21 of the 30 patients who imbibed inhaled cannabis saw significant improvement, with patients requiring steroid treatment reduced from 26 to 4. [view the full PDF here]

These preliminary results set the groundwork for a new study investigating cannabis in Crohn’s patients published this month in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology and titled, “Cannabis Induces a Clinical Response in Patients With Crohn’s Disease: A Prospective Placebo-Controlled Study.” [view the full PDF here]

In the new study — the first randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded study of its kind on the topic — researchers studied 21 patients (mean age 40) with Crohn’s disease who did not respond to drug therapy (steroids, immunomodulators, or anti–tumor necrosis factor-α agents). Patients were randomly assigned to be given cannabis, twice daily, in the form of cigarettes containing 115 mg of (THC) or placebo containing cannabis flowers from which the THC had been extracted.

The study participants were assessed during 8 weeks of treatment and 2 weeks thereafter and saw the following remarkable results:

Complete remission (CDAI score, <150) was achieved by 5 of 11 subjects in the cannabis group (45%) and 1 of 10 in the placebo group (10%; P = .43). A clinical response (decrease in CDAI score of >100) was observed in 10 of 11 subjects in the cannabis group (90%; from 330 ± 105 to 152 ± 109) and 4 of 10 in the placebo group (40%; from 373 ± 94 to 306 ± 143; P = .028). Three patients in the cannabis group were weaned from steroid dependency. Subjects receiving cannabis reported improved appetite and sleep, with no significant side effects. [emphasis added]

The authors concluded cannabis was a clinically effective intervention in 10 of 11 patients:

“Although the primary end point of the study (induction of remission) was not achieved, a short course (8 weeks) of THC-rich cannabis produced significant clinical, steroid-free benefits to 10 of 11 patients with active Crohn’s disease, compared with placebo, without side effects. Further studies, with larger patient groups and a nonsmoking mode of intake, are warranted.” [emphasis added]

How Does Cannabis Work?

The primary mechanisms through which cannabis exhibits healing properties in Crohn’s disease are its immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties:

“Cannabinoids have a profound anti-inflammatory effect, mainly through the CB2 receptor 2]. Cell-mediated immunity was found to be impaired in] chronic marijuana users [6]. A potent anti-inflammatory effect of cannabis was observed in rodents [7]. Studying the functional roles of the endocannabinoid system in immune modulation reveals that it is involved in almost all major immune events. Cannabinoids shift the balance of proinflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory cytokines (towards the T helper cell type 2 profiles (Th2 phenotype and suppress cell-mediated immunity, whereas humoral immunity may be enhanced [8]. Therefore, cannabinoids may be used to treat various inflammatory conditions ,including rheumatoid arthritis.” [Source]

For more information on the myriad therapeutic properties of cannabis visit our cannabis research database.

References

http://www.ccfa.org/what-are-crohns-and-colitis/what-is-crohns-disease/crohns-treatment-options.html

2 Naftali, T., Bar Lev, L., Yablekovitch, D. et al. Treatment of Crohn’s disease with cannabis: an observational study. Isr Med Assoc J. 2011; 13: 455–458


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.

 

Coconut Oil Pulling Superior To Chemicals For Oral Health (VIDEO)

coconut_oil-sloid

Swishing your mouth out with coconut oil may be a more effective and safer alternative to chemical mouthwashes, according to new research. 

A new study has proven for the first time that the oral use of coconut oil is effective in reducing plaque related to gingivitis, a common form of inflammation in the gum tissue of the mouth that occurs in response to bacterial biofilms (known as plaque) adhering to the surfaces of the teeth and which can lead to more serious oral condition known as periodontal disease.

Titled, “Effect of coconut oil in plaque related gingivitis – a preliminary report“, and published in the Nigerian Medical Journal, researchers decided to test the hypothesis that the increasingly common practice of “oil pulling or oil swishing therapy” today, is as effective for maintaining oral health as has been believed for centuries. Oil pulling, in fact, is a traditional therapy that stretches at least as far back as 1500 years ago, where it was mentioned in the early Ayurvedic text, the Charaka Samhita, and which we covered in our article “Oil Pulling: Ancient Secret for Optimal Health.” Yet, traditional oil pulling was believed performed mainly with sesame oil, with available published studies also using sesame seed oil and not coconut.

The new study aimed to fill the data gap on coconut oil:

“No studies have been done on the benefits of oil pulling using coconut oil to date. So a pilot study was planned to assess the effect of coconut oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis.”

The study enrolled 60 subjects between 16-18 years of age with plaque induced gingivitis. No control was used, rather, “the study was designed to compare the baseline values and the post intervention values in a single group performing coconut oil pulling in addition to their oral hygiene routine.” The subjects were measured for plaque and gingival indices at baseline (day 0), and then on days 1, 7, 15, 30 after the oil pulling was started.

The results were reported as follows:

“The mean gingival index was 0.91 and the plaque index was 1.19 at baseline. In comparison to the baseline values both the gingival and the plaque indices substantially reduced during the period of assessment. There was a steady decline in both the plaque index and the gingival index values from day 7. The average gingival index score on day 30 was down to 0.401 (from .91) and the plaque index score was 0.385 (from 1.19)

The results were found to be statistically significant, indicating that coconut oil is an effective treatment for reducing gingivitis symptoms and plaque build-up on the teeth.

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The reduction of gingivitis and plaque scores within 30 days.

How does it work?

First, coconut oil is a well-known anti-microbial agent, and may have direct anti-bacterial properties due, in part, to its lauric acid content. Second, oil pulling results in the emulsification of coconut oil which greatly increases its surface area and once formed on the surface of the teeth reduces plaque adhesion and bacterial aggregation, according to the study. Third, coconut oil produces a soap like substance when the saliva mixes with the oil (a process known as saponification). This is also why coconut is used in soap-making. According to the study, “The soaps produced with coconut oil can lather well and have an increased cleansing action. The lauric acid in the coconut oil can easily react with sodium hydroxide in saliva during oil pulling to form sodium laureate, the main constituent of soap which might be responsible for the cleansing action and decreased plaque accumulation.”

A video showing you how to oil pull.

Why coconut is better than chemical mouthwashes

The most commonly used active ingredient in mouthwashes are chlorhexidine, phenol (Listerine) and amine/stannous fluoride (Meridol), with chlorhexidine being the most effective at controlling plaque induced gingivitis and inhibiting bacteria. The problem, however, with chemical mouthwashes is that they have significant, even irreversible adverse side effects:

“Chlorhexidine on long term use alters taste sensation and produces brown staining on the teeth which is very difficult to remove. The mucous membranes and the tongue can also be affected and may be related to the precipitation of chromogenic dietary factors on to the teeth and mucous membranes. Staining is also associated with the of long term use of Phenol compound and stannous fluoride containing mouth washes.”

In contradistinction, the researchers noted coconut oil does not appear to carry these side effects:

“In the present study there were no reported alterations in the taste or noticeable staining from coconut oil at the end of 4 weeks.”

The study concluded that “Oil pulling has been proven to be an effective method in reducing plaque formation and plaque induced gingivitis. This preliminary study shows that coconut oil is an easily usable, safe and cost effective agent with minimal side effects which can be used as an adjuvant in oral hygiene maintenance.”

For further research on alternative mouthwashes consult the following research:


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.

20 Ways To Use Honey For Wellness And Survival

honey

Rich, golden honey. What is not to like? Just the thought of sweet, fragrant honey and honey bees makes me think of happy times.  That, coupled with it’s long storage life makes honey a perfect food for the survival pantry.  But did you know that honey has a myriad of other uses, including as a therapeutic ointment that promotes healing?

In this article you will learn all about honey, the various types, its use to promote health and wellness, and other ways to use honey that you may not have thought of.  But first, a little background about honey and its various forms and types.

Honey is made by bees from their own internal digestion (and regurgitation) of flower nectar.  This is stored as a food source in wax honeycombs that are formed within the beehive.  With about the same relative sweetness of granulated sugar, honey has a long history of human consumption, going back as far as ancient Egypt.  Even back then it was used to sweeten cakes and biscuits.

There is also a long history of honey being used for religious and symbolic purposes.  It is reported that jars of honey were found in Pharaoh’s tombs (now that is long term storage for you!) and Alexander the Great was supposedly embalmed in honey. In Jewish tradition, honey is a symbol for the new year, Rosh Hashanah and, at the traditional meal for that holiday, apple slices are dipped in honey and eaten to bring a sweet new year.

Types of Honey

The most recognized form of honey is the sweet, golden liquid that is found on the grocery shelf –often in cute little honey bear shaped squeeze bottles.  Honey, however, can be found in various forms:

Liquid Honey – Free of visible crystals, liquid honey is extracted from the honey comb by centrifugal force, gravity or straining. Because liquid honey mixes easily into a variety of foods, it’s especially convenient for cooking and baking. Most of the honey produced in the United States is sold in the liquid form.

Comb Honey – Comb honey is honey in its original form; that is, honey inside of the honeycomb.  Did you know that the beeswax comb is edible?

Cut Comb – Cut comb honey is liquid honey that has added chunks of the honey comb in the jar. This is also known as a liquid-cut comb combination.

Raw Honey – Raw honey is pure, unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed.  While there is no official U.S. federal definition of raw honey, the National Honey Board defines raw honey as “ honey as it exists in the beehive or as obtained by extraction, settling or straining without adding heat.

Naturally Crystallized Honey – Naturally crystallized honey is honey in which part of the glucose content has spontaneously crystallized.  It is safe to eat.

Whipped (or Creamed) Honey – While all honey will crystallize in time, whipped honey (also known as creamed honey) is brought to market in a crystallized state. The crystallization is controlled so that, at room temperature, the honey can be spread like butter or jelly. In many countries around the world, whipped honey is preferred to the liquid form especially at breakfast time.

Honey Mead – Honey mead is actually a wine.  It is an alcoholic drink  made from honey and water via fermentation with yeast. It may be still, carbonated, or sparkling and  it may be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.

In addition to various forms of honey, there are various types of honey. There is organic honey, local, geographically specific honey, and floral honeys.  Furthermore, the various flavors of honey vary based on the nectar source, such as Alfalfa, Clover, Fireweed,  Orange Blossom and more.

One very special type of honey is Manuka Honey which is s a product of the bees feeding off the Melaleuca blooms.  Melaleuca probably sounds familiar because in its essential oil form, it is also known as tea tree oil!  Manuka honey leads the pack when it comes to therapeutic use and is known as the Queen of medicinal honeys”.

The Use of Honey in Medicine

When it comes to therapeutic use, honey has been used for centuries to promote healing. Ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Chinese, Greeks and Romans employed honey for wounds and diseases of the intestine.  On the other hand, up until very recently, modern medicine has shunned honey for lack of so-called documentary evidence.  That is now changing as more and more members of the medical community embrace the antibacterial, anti-microbial, and wound healing properties.

By far, the most common main stream medical use of honey is to treat sore throats.  Honey has been used in this manner for centuries and to this day it is used as a treatment for sore throats and coughs.  Another use that is becoming more common is the treatment of wounds.

According to Amy Alton, co-author of The Survival Medicine Handbook and an authority on survival medicine at www.doomandbloom.net has this to say:

“Within wounds, honey not only destroys bacterial infections, it creates a moist healing environment that allows skin cells to regrow naturally. This helps prevent raised scarring. Honey both prevents and kills bacterial infections. It has an acidic pH that is inhospitable for bacteria. It also has an osmotic effect which kills by drawing out fluid from the bacteria. Several studies have shown honey heals wounds better and faster, with a dramatic decrease in infection rates, especially in burn injuries.

Apply to cuts, scrapes, burns of any depth if medical help is not available, rashes, or any open skin injury, after good wound cleaning.

In the event of a severe second degree burn or any third degree burn, immediate medical help should be sought. In the event this help is not available, using RAW honey would be the best choice for healing and prevention of infection. Do not rinse off the honey, just add more at least once daily and cover with plastic wrap or a clean linen or cotton wrap to hold the honey in place. Severe burn patients are at a serious risk for many problems and need to be monitored by the best medical personnel possible.”

Recently the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey been studied and chemically explained and even the prestigious Mayo Clinic has recognized various medical uses of honey.

There is just one caution: Honey sometimes contains dormant spores of a type of botulism, which can be dangerous to an infants intestinal tract.  For that reason, children under one year of age should not be given honey in any form.

20 Uses of Honey for Wellness and Survival

If the only time you pull out the honey jar is to sweeten your food, you are in for a surprise.  There are literally dozens of uses for honey that you are missing. Here is a short list of alternative uses for honey.

Treat sore, scratchy throat:  Mix honey with lemon juice to create a throat-relieving serum.  Repeat as often as needed until symptoms are reduced, if not gone.

Cough Syrup:  Use as a cough suppressant instead of using a commercial cough syrup which is full of sugar and unwanted chemicals.  Note:  Do not, under any circumstances, use on children under the age of  one.

Heal Wounds: Honey, and Manuka Honey especially, is known to heal wounds by killing bacterial and fighting infections.  Apply liberally then cover with a dressing.  For an interesting scientific article on using honey to treat wounds, read Patients Should Ask Surgeons About Using Honey To Heal Wounds.

Reduce/Relieve Acid Reflux:  Consume 1 tablespoon a day to relieve to acid reflux.

Topical Antiseptic: The hydrogen peroxide released by honey makes it the perfect topical antiseptic for cuts and scrapes.  In addition, due to its viscous consistency, it also prevents wounds and scabs from sticking to the dressing or bandage.

Remove Parasites – Combine equal parts honey, vinegar and water. Then drink. The combination of these three ingredients is supposedly the perfect parasite killer.

Boost Immunity:  The phytonutrients in raw honey have antibacterial and antiviral properties that may help boost the immune system and fight sickness. If you’re feeling a little under the weather, try combining 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice in a 1/2 cup of hot, but not boiling, water.

Sleep Aid:  Honey is known to facilitate the action of tryptophan, which helps make people sleepy.

Allergy Relief: The daily consumption of locally harvested honey is said to to reduce any allergies you have to localized plant pollens.

Energy Booster: Mix honey with some water then drink the solution. Honey’s glucose content will be absorbed by the brain and in the bloodstream, reducing fatigue in the process.

Improve Blood Flow:  Honey, being rich in glucose, is known to improve the blood flow through the fortification of blood’s formation. Glucose provides energy in the bloodstream, which is distributed throughout the body. As a result, the blood produced has the proper consistency, flowing smoothly through the blood vessels. Glucose is believed to prevent capillary damage due to its ability to improve your blood flow.

Burn Treatment:  Apply honey as a dressing to burns. The hydrogen peroxide released by the honey cleans the wound and soothes the inflammation. Burn marks will heal quickly and with less pain.

Antibacterial Solution: Given its acidic pH balance and viscous base, bacteria and germs won’t survive when covered in honey.  The microorganisms will be trapped in the sticky acidic base, which is too abrasive for their exteriors, killing them off eventually.

Calms Anxiety and Promotes Relaxation: Anytime, but especially while in survival mode, you need to be clear headed and calm. Honey’s nutrients produce a calming effect, especially when taken in significant amounts.

Aids Digestion:  Mix honey and apple cider vinegar in equal proportion then dilute with water. This natural drink aids digestion.

Substitute Honey for Sugar in Baking:  For every cup of sugar a recipe calls for, replace it with 3/4 cup of honey. For best results, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and reduce another liquid in your recipe by 1/4 cup. Also, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Hair Conditioner:  Add a teaspoon of honey to your regular shampoo or conditioner.  You can also combine it with olive oil for a deeper conditioning. Let it soak for 20 minutes with your hair wrapped in a towel before shampooing as usual.

Skin Moisturizer:  Put honey on your skin and leave it there 15 minutes then rinse off.  Your skin will be soft and nicely moisturized.

Zap Acne:  Apply a a small amount of honey directly on acne with a cotton swab or finger. Wait five minutes and then rinse with warm water.

Food Preservative:  Honey is known food preservative, replacing chemical additives and refined sugars in many commercial products.  When used to replace sugar in homemade bread and baked goods, the result will be a moist product that stays fresh longer and will be less likely to mold.

Storing Honey

Storing honey is a easy in that there are just a few simple guidelines that will insure it’s long term viability and pleasing color.  The main thing you want to do is store honey at room temperature.  Extreme high or low temperatures should be avoided although neither will affect it’s quality.

About the worst thing than can happen to honey is that it will crystallize.  This is a normal part of the honey aging process whereby the liquid in honey becomes solid.  Storing honey is the refrigerator hastens this process so don’t do it.  Easy as that.

Regardless of how careful you are, in a long term storage situation, honey will crystallize.  When that happens, simply place the honey jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve. Just be careful not to overdo it since too much heat will darken the honey even more and may possible scorch and burn the honey.

Cooking With Honey

Although it is optimal to use recipes developed for honey, it can easily be substituted for sugar by following just a few simple guidelines.  Begin by substituting honey for up to half of the sugar called for in the recipe.  If that works out well, you can add more next time, gradually increasing the substitution as long as you are satisfied with the results.

Here are some specific tips for using honey in baked goods:

  • Use 75% liquid honey for each cup of sugar called for in the recipe
  • As a rule of thumb, reduce the liquid in the recipe by 1/4 cup for each cup of honey used
  • Add about 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for each cup of honey used
  • To prevent over-browning, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees to prevent over-browning

Worried about a sticky mess when cooking with honey?  For easy measuring and clean-up, coat your  measuring cup or spoon with cooking spray before adding honey.

Here is one of my favorite uses of honey – homemade honey butter!

Honey Butter

1/2 cup butter (fresh, canned or made from butter powder)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/16 vanilla powder
1/2 cup honey

Mix all ingredients together until creamy.  Use to serve on any hot bread, biscuits or cornbread.  Yummy.

Nutritional Profile of Honey

Honey is composed primarily of carbohydrates (natural sugars) and water, as well as trace enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. Providing 17 grams of carbohydrates and 64 calories per tablespoon, honey is an all-natural sweetener without any added ingredients.

Honey also contains a variety of flavonoids and phenolic acids, which act as antioxidants, scavenging and eliminating free radicals. Generally, darker honeys have higher antioxidant content than lighter honeys.

The Final Word

It would be impossible to describe all of the benefits of honey in a single article.  Manuka honey, in of itself, warrants a discussion of the progress the medical community has made in documenting its therapeutic and healing properties.  The more I learn, the more I am convinced that Manuka honey has a place in the emergency survival kit.

Honey blends well with many foods, is delicious to eat, and has an shelf life that does not expire.  Along those lines, for definitive information on the shelf-life of honey, read The Science Behind Honey’s Eternal Shelf Life.

In closing, I want to let you know that I a personally enjoy a bit of organic,100% raw honey when ever I indulge in a bowl of Greek yogurt and bananas.  Simply delicious!  And yes, as I think of honey bees, I do indeed put a big smile in my face!

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.

6 Benefits Of Shilajit For Men

hispanic man running and jumping from a wall

Men who live and work in the mountains are known for their strength and endurance, and it appears there’s more to it than simply the mountain air. Shilajit, pronounced shil-ah-jeet, is an organic tar-like substance that naturally occurs in mountains around the globe, from the Himalayas to the Andes. It may not sound tasty, but as you’ll see in a moment, it works. Ayurvedic doctors began using it hundreds of years ago for its potent health-supportive properties.

6 Benefits of Shilajit for Men’s Health

Shilajit contains several potent substances including antioxidants and humic and fulvic acid. The plant contains over 80 minerals that support the body, and many have an incredible effect on a man’s health. If you’re a man, no matter where you live, you’ll want to look into shilajit. Here are 6 health benefits of Shilajit for men that will hopefully convince you:

1. Supports Fertility

A study gave 60 men suffering from infertility shilajit twice daily for 90 days. At the end of the trial period, sperm counts in the men increased by more than 60%, and sperm activity improved by 12% or more. [1] This supports what Ayurvedic doctors have known for centuries. Any man dealing with infertility should consider this safe, natural alternative to address his condition.

2. Promotes Testosterone Levels Naturally

It does more than increase the number and health of a man’s ‘swimmers.’ Men who take shilajit enjoy a boost to their testosterone levels, and a man needs higher testosterone levels to protect muscle tissue, keep fat off, and maintain a better overall mood and thinking.

3. Enhances Performance

Tradition holds men who take shilajit have more energy and feel generally better. It could be the mountain air, or it could be the nutrient density of shilajit. Researchers have determined shilajit acts at the cellular level to improve energy production at its source, the mitochondria. [2] When your cells are nourished like this, you feel like more awake, your recover faster, and you have what it takes to go that extra mile.

4. Protects the Heart

A recent study using animal models tested how well shilajit protects the heart. The animals who received the hebr showed less cardiovascular damage, with researchers concluding the effect must come from more than simply its antioxidant activity. [3]

5. Supports Memory

Increased testosterone levels play an important role in how well you think. But researchers have identified a special effect created by small molecules called dibezno-alpha-pyrones. These molecules prevent the breakdown of the brain chemicals needed for memory. [4] Other studies report the fulvic acid in shilajit appears to help against some causes of Alzheimer’s disease. [5]

6. Encourages Healthy Aging

Studies report shilajit’s antioxidant activity protects against cellular damage, and it’s this cellular damage that speeds the aging process in your heart, lungs, liver, and skin. The fulvic acid in shilajit delivers antioxidants and minerals directly to cells where they’re needed. This keeps them safe against free radical damage and accelerated aging.

A Final Thought

When it comes to taking shilajit, make sure you get the real stuff. If it’s solid at room temperature, you’ve got a hold of something that is of questionable quality. Shilajit should taste bitter, have a brownish-blackish color and melt in your hand.

Have you tried Shilajit? What did you notice? Leave a comment and let us know!

References:

  1. Biswas TK1, Pandit S, Mondal S, Biswas SK, Jana U, Ghosh T, Tripathi PC, Debnath PK, Auddy RG, Auddy B. Clinical evaluation of spermatogenic activity of processed Shilajit in oligospermia. Andrologia. 2010 Feb;42(1):48-56. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0272.2009.00956.x.
  2. Surapaneni DK1, Adapa SR, Preeti K, Teja GR, Veeraragavan M, Krishnamurthy S. Shilajit attenuates behavioral symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome by modulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and mitochondrial bioenergetics in rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Aug 30;143(1):91-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.06.002.
  3. Joukar S1, Najafipour H, Dabiri S, Sheibani M, Sharokhi N. Cardioprotective effect of mumie (shilajit) on experimentally induced myocardial injury. Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2014 Sep;14(3):214-21. doi: 10.1007/s12012-014-9245-3.
  4. Mao Z1, Sun W1, Fu L1, Luo H1, Lai D1, Zhou L2. Natural dibenzo-?-pyrones and their bioactivities. Molecules. 2014 Apr 22;19(4):5088-108. doi: 10.3390/molecules19045088.
  5. Carrasco-Gallardo C1, Guzmán L, Maccioni RB. Shilajit: a natural phytocomplex with potential procognitive activity. Int J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;2012:674142. doi: 10.1155/2012/674142.

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.

Ginger: The Enemy Of Type 2 Diabetes

 Ginger

Ginger has been studied to have value in over 150 health conditions with type 2 diabetes top on the list. With anti-diabetic drugs linked to increased cardiovascular mortality, natural alternatives are needed now more than ever. 

While ginger is widely used as a spice today, its role as a healing agent is often overlooked in modern society despite its thousands of years of documented use as a powerful medicine.  Modern science, however, is finally catching up to the wisdom of the ancients. For instance, there are over 2100 published studies on the medicinal properties of ginger in the scientific literature, and the Greenmedinfo.com database contains evidence that it has value in over 170 different health conditions, and has over 50 different beneficial physiological effects.

Notably, of all the conditions the research on ginger we have indexed reveals its therapeutic value for, type 2 diabetes is top on the list, with seven studies on our database providing proof of its efficacy. And the research keeps coming…

Half a Billion At Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder dominated by high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), but with inflammation and oxidative stress driving the damage most directly linked to morbidity and mortality associated with the condition. It is our belief that this condition is driven primarily through a combination of an evolutionarily incompatible Western diet, inactivity, gut dysbiosis and multiple, cumulative chemical exposures, and yet rarely do physicians know how or care to address these root causes and reverse them, opting for pharmaceutical intervention and a fatalistic attitude that serves no one’s best interest.

It is estimated that half a billion people will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes globally within the next two decades. The primary conventional treatment approaches using oral anti-diabetics and synthetic (GMO) insulin actually increase the risk of death, making it of vital importance to find safer, more effective alternatives.

New Study Finds Ginger a Power Anti-Diabetic Agent

A new study published in the journal Complementary and Integrative Medicine, “The effect of ginger (Zingiber officinale) on glycemic markers in patients with type 2 diabetes,” confirms that ginger is a serious contender for addressing some of the root causes underlying this devastating condition.

Iranian researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial on 20–60 -year-old patients with type 2 diabetes who were on oral anti-diabetic drugs but not on insulin. Participants in the intervention and control groups received 3,000 mgs of powdered ginger or placebo (lactose) (in capsules) daily for 3 months. Blood sugar (glycemic) indices, markers of oxidative stress (TAC , MDA, serum paraoxonase, HbA1c) and inflammation (CRP), dietary intake and physical activity were measured at the beginning and end of the study, and after 12 h fasting.

Comparison of the indices after 3 months showed the ginger intervention group improved in the following eight ways:

  • Serum glucose dropped significantly (–19.41 ` 18.83 vs 1.63 ` 4.28 mg/dL, p < 0.001)
  • HbA1c percentage (a marker of glucose/oxidative stress mediated amage to red blood cells) dropped significantly (–0.77 ` 0.88 vs 0.02 ` 0.16%, p < 0.001)
  • Insulin dropped significantly (–1.46 ` 1.7 vs 0.09 ` 0.34 μIU/mL, p < 0.001),
  • Insulin resistance dropped significantly (–16.38 ` 19.2 vs 0.68 ` 2.7, p < 0.001)
  • High-sensitive CRP (a marker of inflammation) dropped significantly (–2.78 ` 4.07 vs 0.2 ` 0.77 mg/L, p < 0.001)
  • Paraoxonase-1 (a marker for reduced oxidative stress) increased significantly (PON-1) (22.04 ` 24.53 vs 1.71 ` 2.72 U/L, p < 0.006)
  • Total antioxidant capacity (TAC) increased significantly (0.78 ` 0.71 vs –0.04 ` 0.29 μIU/mL, p < 0.01)
  • Malondialdehyde (MDA) (a biomarker of oxidative stress) dropped significantly (–0.85 ` 1.08 vs 0.06 ` 0.08 μmol/L, p < 0.001)

This study is actually almost identical in its findings to one we reported on last year in an article titled, “A Modest Dose of Ginger Improves 8 Markers of Diabetes Type 2,” where an even smaller dose of ginger (1600 mg), also administered for 3 months, resulted in significant reductions in the following parameters:

  • Fasting plasma glucose
  • HbA1C (aka glycated hemoglobin) – a measurement of how much damage is being caused by sugars to red blood cells in the body, reflective of body wide damage caused by chronically elevated blood sugar
  • Insulin
  • HOMA (the homeostatic model assessment) – which measures insulin resistance and beta-cell function (the pancreatic cells that produce insulin)
  • Triglycerides
  • Total cholesterol
  • C-reactive protein (CRP) – a marker of inflammation
  • Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) – a marker of inflammation

Clearly ginger provides a wide range of side benefits beyond simply lowering blood sugar. Oxidative stress, inflammation, chronically elevated levels of insulin and/or resistance to it, all contribute to the primary cause of morbidity and mortality associated with condition: cardiovascular disease. Whereas conventional drug treatment for type 2 diabetes focuses on lowering blood sugar and HbA1c, even though both oral antidiabetic drugs and insulin appear to raise the risk of heart attack, ginger appears to do reduce the blood sugar and the cardiovascular disease risk, effectively freeing two birds with one hand.

Over 150, Evidence-Based, Anti-Diabetic Substances Exist

While amazing, ginger is not the only natural remedy for type 2 diabetes that has compelling research to support it. You can peruse our type 2 diabetes database and you’ll find over 180 natural substances that have been studied to have potential value in the condition. You’ll also see research there on therapeutic activities like exercise and problem substances like fructose and pesticides that contribute to the condition.

We should note that if there is one substance that holds the greatest promise, even beyond ginger, it is turmeric. This ancient Indian spice appears to prevent and perhaps even reverse some of the damage associated with type 2 diabetes, and has been found to have potential therapeutic value in a staggering 600 plus health conditions. You can read the following research reports to get a better sense of tumeric’s amazing anti-diabetic power:


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.

 

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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Click to view

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.