Category Archives: Natural Medicine

Coconut Oil Fights Deadly Yeast Infections, Study Suggests


A common food oil has been found to have potent antifungal properties that could literally save lives. 

The coconut palm is perhaps the world’s most widely distributed and versatile food-medicine, and has been prized and even revered by indigenous cultures for a wide range of health complaints since time immemorial. Increasingly, scientific evidence is emerging validating its traditionally ascribed health benefits, and more, including supporting brain healthprotecting the heart, and even reducing stress and depression.

Now, a new study led by researchers at Tufts University has found that coconut oil is highly effective at controlling the overgrowth of the opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans in mice.

Published in the American Society for Microbiology’s journal mSphere and titled, “Manipulation of Host Diet to Reduce Gastrointestinal Colonization by the Opportunistic Pathogen Candida Albicans,” the study identified C. albicans as the most common human pathogen, with a mortality rate of about 40% when causing systemic infections.


C. albicans is normally present in the human gastrointestinal tract, but antibiotics can destroy commensal bacteria that normally keep Candida populations within a healthy range. According to the study, compromised immunity is also a major cause of C. albicans overgrowth, and  “Systemic infections caused by C. albicans can lead to invasive candidiasis, which is the fourth most common blood infection among hospitalized patients in the United States according to the CDC.”

Conventional anti-fungal drugs carry with them significant risk of adverse effects, and their repeated use leads to the development of drug resistant strains of fungal pathogens, making natural approaches all the more attractive. The researchers hypothesized that a coconut-based dietary intervention might reduce Candida infection in mice. The study design and results were reported on as follows:

The team, led by microbiologist Carol Kumamoto and nutrition scientist Alice H. Lichtenstein, investigated the effects of three different dietary fats on the amount of C. albicans in the mouse gut: coconut oil, beef tallow and soybean oil. A control group of mice were fed a standard diet for mice. Coconut oil was selected based on previous studies that found that the fat had antifungal properties in the laboratory setting.

A coconut oil-rich diet reduced C. albicans in the gut compared to a beef tallow-or soybean oil-rich diet. Coconut oil alone, or the combination of coconut oil and beef tallow, reduced the amount of C. albicans in the gut by more than 90% compared to a beef tallow-rich diet.

“Coconut oil even reduced fungal colonization when mice were switched from beef tallow to coconut oil, or when mice were fed both beef tallow and coconut oil at the same time. These findings suggest that adding coconut oil to a patient’s existing diet might control the growth of C. albicans in the gut, and possibly decrease the risk of fungal infections caused by C. albicans,” said Kumamoto, Ph.D., a professor of molecular biology and microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine and member of the molecular microbiology and genetics program faculties at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.

These preliminary results have profound implications for the practice of medicine, according to a statement made to ScienceDaily by Alice H LIchtenstein, D.Sc., director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University:

“This study marks a first step in understanding how life-threatening yeast infections in susceptible individuals might be reduced through the short-term and targeted use of a specific type of fat. As exciting as these findings are, we have to keep in mind that the majority of adult Americans are at high risk for heart disease, the number one killer in the U.S. The potential use of coconut oil in the short term to control the rate of fungal overgrowth should not be considered a prophylactic approach to preventing fungal infections.”

The first author of the study, Kearney Gunsalus, Ph.D. an Institutional Research and Academic Career Development (IRACDA) postdoctoral fellow at the Sackler School in Kumamoto’s lab, also offered his opinion on the study implications:

“We want to give clinicians a treatment option that might limit the need for antifungal drugs. If we can use coconut oil as a safe, dietary alternative, we could decrease the amount of antifungal drugs used, reserving antifungal drugs for critical situations.”

Previous research, available to view on, indicates that coconut oil is also an effective anti-fungal agent against the growth of dermatophytes, a type of yeast which can cause infections of the skin, nails, and hair because they can utilize keratin.

For more research on the health benefits of coconut oil, view our database section on the topic here. For more research on natural interventions to prevent and/or treat Candida infection, view our database on the topic here.

Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded 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.

10 Food-Medicines That Could Save Your Life


Guest Interview: Sayer Ji, founder of


Dr. Axe: Welcome to The Natural Cures Summit. I am your host, Dr. Josh Axe, along with one of my co-hosts and partners here in putting on this summit. And that is Sayer Ji from GreenMedInfo. And we have an absolutely incredible segment here for you today. We’re going to be talking about the five herbs that could save your life, as well as Sayer going through all of the evidence-based material on why herbs are superior to pharmaceuticals.

And one of the things that I’ve loved about Sayer over the years, he’s really been a pioneer in our industry and really going through and laying out, “Hey, here’s the true evidence of what we’re looking at.” Sayer’s also the founder of one of the largest and fastest growing health websites in the world today with

By the way, if you’ve never been to Green Med Info, you’re missing out. You need to check it out. They’ve got the best evidence-based articles on nutrition, herbal remedies, and natural medicine that I’ve ever seen. Also he has been a lecturer. And he’s a member of The Global GMO-free Coalition so he’s been really fighting GMOs on the forefront of that. And just has an incredible background. I think you’re going to learn a lot from him today.

Sayer, welcome here to our Natural Cures Summit!

Sayer Ji: It’s a great honor, Josh. You’ve done such an incredible job with this awareness-raising project. The natural cures movement is truly a global movement. And I’m honored to be part of this Summit. So thank you for having me.

Dr. Axe: Hey, no problem. Well, let’s talk about first, I’m really interested into why Green Med Info and why you’re in this natural cures movement?

Sayer Ji: Thank you so much. I mean the reality is that I was honored and very grateful to be exposed to the vast database available today on natural medicine, which most people are not aware of. So, GreenMedInfo, my website was dedicated to the cause of bringing to the people the resource that’s already available supporting natural and integrative interventions for prevention of disease, as well as for treatment.

Most people don’t know that billions of dollars of their own taxpayer money goes through the National Institutes of Health to support a database which you can access through, which contains 23,000,000 citations that they can basically search like Google. You type like “osteoarthritis” or type in “turmeric,” and you’ll get thousands of results.

So what I spent many years doing was just sitting there in front of the computer amazed and really kind of methodically indexing the research that supports using what you and I know is the most ancient form of medicine on the planet, which is natural medicine.

Dr. Axe: Yeah, absolutely. And again this is one of the reasons why you’ve grown so much. You know, I was reading an article today on and someone was making this claim that this does this. And, of course, there’s nothing to back it. And not to say that that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. But that’s the thing that’s so great about your site is you really go through the medical journals and proving here’s what the actual literature says from a unbiased standpoint.

Let’s talk about this. What are some of the roadblocks today in natural healing? You know, chemical poisoning, misconceptions. I will say this. I’m sure you’ve seen this. Over the last ten years, there’s definitely been a better shift. We’re definitely going into the right direction in certain areas.

Like if I would have told my dad to do a cleanse ten years ago, he would have just been like, “What are you talking about?” And now he’s taking turmeric and milk thistle and a few other of these super herbs on a regular basis. But still today, what are some of these mental roadblocks that are blocking people from connecting with this movement? 

Sayer Ji: Great question, Josh. I appreciate it. Really people don’t seem to recognize sufficiently that the primary medical model that dominates today is based on using patented chemicals in order to suppress symptoms that are often associated with chemical poisoning. So it’s a very oxymoronic almost Orwellian situation.

What I mean by that is if you look any pharmaceutical that’s received FDA drug approval beyond what are called biological, which themselves have problems because a lot of them are based on recombinant DNA manipulation of things like recombinant antibodies or different things that are not really natural. But if you look at most of the drugs on the market from COX-2 inhibitors to antibiotics and chemotherapy, they’re actually chemicals.

And the reason why they exist as medicines today is because they’ve gone through a very elaborate process of receiving FDA drug approval. And what most people don’t realize is that there’s a huge gauntlet that has to be run in order to get a chemical to be approved as an FDA-approved drug. So what I mean is there’s about $800,000,000 on average that goes into phase one, two, three clinical trials to get that drug to be accepted as legal and viable to treat disease. And the problem with that, of course, is that those compounds are not, unfortunately, available to traditional approaches.

A traditional approach is you take food. You take plants. And they’re growing in your backyard. They don’t require all this investment of capital. So the drug approval process today actually attracts multinational corporations whose vested interest is to make a profit on their products. And therefore they actually have a legal fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders.

And so what that means is that even if they wanted to just do good and point to turmeric in our backyard or maybe cannabis for treating some type of neurological issue, they’re not able to do that because they have to make a profit. And that is not consistent with a fundamentally ethical approach to medicine, which is to just alleviate suffering.

So what GreenMedInfo was based on was this concept well, okay, there’s all this research supporting traditional medicine: plants, herbs, nutrients, minerals. Let’s just get the research out to the people so they can see that despite the dominant medical model, you can get things from your grocery store or your produce case that do at least as well as the pharmacies out there.

Dr. Axe: Wow. You said a quote there, several quotes, that I think should be etched in stone. I’ll probably quote you on some articles I’m going to be writing coming up. But the thing about medications is you look at the track you’ve set is pretty much a medication is a patented chemical used to block symptoms that usually causes another symptom because it causes toxic poisoning in the body. You actually look at the track that we go on.

And again this isn’t us making stuff up. This is thinking very rationally about what is happening today with our FDA, with the drug industry. For people if they can actually think about it without bias and connect the dots, it’s obvious that our pharmaceutical industry today, it’s dangerous. It’s not safe the way it’s set up from a business standpoint, obviously from a health standpoint. There’s so many issues there.

Let’s talk about pharmaceutical drugs. They are so popular today. Why do you think, also on the other end though, why is there so much misinformation today about natural cures? I know in the past people referred to it as things like—I’m trying to think of the popular term—like what do they call it? Like snake oil or something like that? But why is there so much information out there about natural cures?


Sayer Ji: Well, that’s a great question. If you look at the reality, the problem is that our body is composed basically of food and things that we eat and the things that have been in our environment for literally millions of years. So when you start introducing what are primarily petrochemical derivatives into the body, they’re actually defined as xenobiotics, which is basically a foreign substance that our body has no evolutionary pre-history in dealing with.

So despite that, thankfully, we have the cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver that almost anticipated the industrial revolution. They kind of non-specifically often are capable of detoxifying chemicals that really just came about after the 1880s, which is in the Industrial Revolution globally.

So chemicals that are patented as drugs are technically alien to our physiology and have to have effects by definition that are toxic. And so when we look at natural approaches, we’re basically just using things that our body has had many millions of years of time to adjust to and adapt to. So when you look at the difference, it’s very clear. Chemicals, patented drugs, are not consistent with a model of healing which I think we all are starting to recognize is fundamental, meaning we cannot look at disease as a deficiency of drugs. But we can certainly look at disease as a deficiency of nutrients. And that’s, I think, the model that we’re all moving towards.

Dr. Axe: Yeah, I couldn’t agree with you more. What are you thoughts on this term “natural cures” because I know it’s actually something that people are very careful in using often times when it comes to not making claims. And, obviously, with this summit, we’re not claiming any of these things. We’re just saying a lot of these herbs today have been proven in the medical literature to support healing the body from certain conditions. But what do you think about that term? And I know it’s something that the FDA doesn’t like people to use.

Sayer Ji: Yeah, great question, Josh. It really is. The reality is the FTC and FDA presently define any substance that prevents, treats, diagnoses, or cures a disease as a drug. And what that means is if you’re taking basically cherries for osteoarthritis—which Michigan State University actually proved is as effective as taking an NSAID like ibuprofen or naproxen—that actually violates the law. And in Florida, it’s a class D felony for someone at a health food store to tell someone, Okay, you have arthritis? Well, take turmeric or take cherry juice to reduce your inflammation.

So the challenge is that when you come to the FDA/FDC’s definition, it’s a really Napoleonic version of truth which is if the FDA/FTC doesn’t explicitly acknowledge something as being therapeutic, then by implication, it’s not legal. And it’s not considered relevant for healing. So the natural cures movement is very powerful because people are basically able to take back control of their health. And so here we have in this present day medical system a model where medicine is really not so much focused on trying to heal which is to empower you to live a healthy, balanced well being saturated life. It’s to control the body.

And so what people don’t seem to acknowledge, I think, well enough is that we have a political system that depends on making the body sick. Look at the FDA. In many ways, they represent the food and drug manufacturer’s interest. You know the Food and Drug Administration. So the food gets you sick, and the drugs then suppress symptoms of the illness. And, of course, there’s chemicals that also make you sick so it’s more complex than that. But the idea here is the natural cures movement is empowering millions and millions around the planet just to kind of disengage from the system that is a system of control so they can, again, attain wellness and balance and healing without having to depend on having, for example, lots of money in your account.

Some of the treatments…I think there’s a new drug that a was approved for cystic fibrosis just a few months ago and it’s $600,000 a year for these folks with a specific type to benefit from this “pharmaceutical intervention.” At Green Med Info, we’ve basically indexed hundreds of studies on natural compounds from N-acetyl cysteine to turmeric to basic vitamin E that have been proven to be effective.

So I think people are waking up and realizing okay, there are things we can use in our diet and even from your supplement store that are going to basically benefit them in a way that drugs cannot.

Dr. Axe: Yeah, there’s no doubt about it as we were mentioning earlier is that the tides are changing. And so much of it’s due to social media today and the Internet. It’s like you can go online where before these media channels, they were able to keep stuff from us. It’s scary. I know that you’ve researched this when you start looking into who owns what from the media companies to the pharmaceuticals, how much the pharmaceutical companies own television today. But the great thing is they don’t own the Internet. We have freedom here. And that’s why your health website and so many of the others we have on here.

Sayer Ji: Yours, too.

Dr. Axe: Yeah, mine too. We’re growing rapidly, which is fun. And it’s great.

Sayer Ji: I love this point. This is the beauty of where we are today is that if you have a mobile device. If you have an iPhone or an Android, you can access the global brain. And you have access to research that just ten years ago was not really available to the public. So you go to the World Health Organization’s website. You go to your website,, Food Is Medicine. And it’s an equal playing field.

If you are a consumer of information, you have a choice. And you can go vet information as you please. And you can have access to whatever you want. So there’s a lot of change that’s occurred. And a lot of it’s good. And I think primarily it’s based on what Thomas Jefferson said, which is that information is the currency of democracy. And we have that now. So it’s just about people coming the summit, realizing, yes, natural cures, natural solutions exist. And here’s the research.

Dr. Axe: Couldn’t agree more. Let’s actually jump into some meat here and talk about some of these cures that we’ve alluding to. And I was actually reading through your website, reading some great articles here just this week. And one of them I came across that I’d love to hear from and then I’d love to hear some more.

But one of those was you wrote an article titled “Coconut Oil: Better Than Thirteen Drugs.” So, it’s been proven to be more beneficial than thirteen medications that are out there today. So what are some of the most amazing examples you have of natural remedies that are out there that are beating drugs for healing? So maybe you can offer a couple here.

And then I know we have five specific ones we’re going to talk about later. And there’s five herbs that could save your life. But what are a few others here that beat conventional medicine?

Sayer Ji: Well, what’s amazing is if you actually go to Medline and you go through the search engine, which again is what GreenMedInfo is based on is literally I took five years of my time. I sat there and I basically indexed and researched all these different natural interventions. I was shocked, Josh, to find all these comparison studies where they looked at a drug versus a natural compound. And they often found the natural compound was more effective.


So one of the substances that came to the fore was coconut oil. And it’s so ironic because for many years the nutritional powers that be here in this country with their food pyramid, so to speak, put fats in a place that made it seem like it causes heart disease and it makes you fat. What we’re learning today is quite the opposite.

So in the article you’re referring to, “Thirteen Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil,” we looked at its fat burning properties, number one. There were actually two studies: one in a male and one in a female cohort that saw that it was actually reducing belly fat, which completely explodes the myth that somehow coconut oil causes you to become fat. 

Now, qualification, yes, you consume too much of it beyond your energy needs, yes, it can contribute to weight gain. But, generally those who use it do not see that effect. And because it’s saturated, it doesn’t oxidize, which means that, unlike vegetable oils, which have been promoted as the ultimate beneficial fat for us, they don’t oxidize and therefore cause a lot of inflammation.

So some of the other benefits that have been described just with coconut oil is that it’s effective as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, fever-reducing compound as sort of a drug when it comes to its ability just to kill pain, as well as it’s brain-boosting effects. And most people don’t realize this. But when it comes to the brain’s energy needs, it’s constantly dependent on sugar. You can go maybe two or three minute without steady glucose in your blood. And you won’t necessarily freak out.

But if you take away glucose after three minutes, your brain is going to freak out. It’s going to release adrenaline, cortisol, and try to get the blood sugar back up. And that’s because it’s so dependent on sugar and “complex carbohydrates,” which are themselves hidden sugar. What coconut does is it has these medium-chain triglycerides that the liver breaks down into ketone bodies, which provides the brain a steady source of fuel that gives it the ability to just basically stay focused and satisfied. And so that’s one of the things that coconut oil’s been found to do.

So there are a lot of benefits. We went over thirteen of them- antifungal, anti-ulcer, helps with blood lipids. Many people think that, “Oh, coconut oil is full of saturated fat therefore it raises your bad cholesterol.” It actually raises your good cholesterol and keeps your LDL within range, as well as it has benefits for bone health, healing wounds when applied topically. It’s even been used for head lice. It was even superior to some of the chemicals out there like permethrin.

So the beauty of it is if you look at any of the natural compounds out there today and you go to Medline, you search for the research, you’re probably going to find a significant body of evidence showing that, yes, traditionally what we were doing was the right approach. And chemicals don’t do as good.

Dr. Axe: Yeah, you are right. It is incredible when you look at the number of studies out there that say and they’ve compared some of these things head-to-head. And the natural remedies that we were referring to in these herbs will perform much better than a lot of these conventional medications.

One other thing…And this is a side note. I wasn’t planning on asking you this. But this just kind of jumped in my head. I’d love to hear your thoughts behind—and you kind of alluded to it earlier—but the way that herbs work with your body.

I was reading a study recently on adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha. And they did a study on how that could affect your thyroid health. But it could actually in some people it could raise their thyroid hormones, in others it could reduce it. So explain a little bit or let me hear your thoughts on how these herbs actually work with the body versus medications working either with it or against it or how does that work?

Sayer Ji: That’s a great question, Josh. The reality is that people seem to not comprehend fully how an herb could have “intelligence.” And that’s what we’re talking about because adaptogens exhibit properties that are completely opposite depending on the needs of the individual. And that’s the basis for functional medicine, of course, which is this burgeoning movement, which is looking at bio-individuality.


So, for example, like ginseng has the ability in those with high blood pressure to lower their blood pressure, but in those with low blood pressure can raise their blood pressure. There’s not a single sort of hypotensive agent out there within the drug model like beta-blockers, ace inhibitors, diuretics, calcium channel blockers that have the ability to work with individual constitution. So the adaptogens like ashwagandha, ginseng, and there are many others out there seem to have a “intelligence,” meaning it’s almost like in quantum mechanics where depending on the observer, the observed is going to act differently so meaning the subject and object are intertwined.

When it comes to an herb’s activity and its awareness of our needs, it actually is able to adjust to accommodate what our body needs. And that’s something that really the pharmaceutical model doesn’t allow for. Many people think, “This is magical thinking. There’s no explanation.” But a new study that came out this year showed that plants actually exude these “nanoparticles” called exosomes that contain within them regulatory RNAs, which are non-coding, meaning they don’t produce proteins. But they are information-containing sequences that modulate the DNA within those who consume them.

So if you’re eating ginger, grapefruit, for example, grapes, those RNAs go into our body and actually start to modulate the expression of our DNA. And that’s almost like the plant is talking to our body and enabling our body to kind of come back into balance.

So what I understand about adaptogens is that they probably gear into an ancient relationship we had with certain types of foods. There’s even a concept out there called xenohormesis, which acknowledges that for many millions of years, we were in an environment where the plants actually communicated to us what the future environmental circumstances would be.

Resveratrol, for example, everyone’s heard of it. It’s great. They actually believe it basically prolongs our longevity. It kills obesity and overweight. That plant produces resveretrol under times of stress. And resveretrol’s actually produced by other things like peanuts. So when there’s stress, they produce this compound and communicate to our body a signal that says, “Hey, listen. Things are getting tough. You might want to calm down with accumulating extra calories and basically over replicating your cells. Let’s just start focusing on longevity.”

So just consuming these compounds actually communicates to our body okay, let’s get ready to live longer. Let’s actually activate pathways in our body that help us survive. So there’s this growing awareness that in the science itself that what we eat is going to directly affect our health outcomes. And that’s a good example of it.

Dr. Axe: Wow. It is incredible when you think about it. I think it is hard for people to gain that concept that a plant does have intelligence. But if you think about it, plants are always growing. They’re protecting themselves on a regular basis. So it makes sense.

So let’s jump into and talk about some of these healing herbs we’ve talked about. I know I want to go through several including black seed, which, by the way, the title of this article is amazing: “Black Seed the Remedy for Everything But Death”. So we’ll talk about black seed. Let’s also go through one of the things that I know your specialty is. And that’s turmeric and curcumin. Let’s hit on garlic and then maybe raw honey and Manuka honey. And then also this is one that might surprise people is frankincense. There’s some fantastic research you’ll share with us. And then maybe we’ll do a bonus remedy after that. But let’s talk about black seed. This is an article you have on your site, has 33,000 shares.

Sayer Ji: Surprise!

Dr. Axe: Yeah, it’s an amazing article. Let’s talk about what is black seed exactly? And what’s it good for?

Sayer Ji: Well, it’s an amazing thing. I had no idea this article would be so popular. Probably the title, actually, was responsible: “Black Seed the Remedy for Everything but Death” does sound rather sensationalistic. But when it comes down to it, the Islamic prophet Muhammad said of it that it is a remedy for all diseases except death. And I always found that to be, okay, that’s poetic. That’s beautiful. But where’s the research?


And in fact what happens was that since 1964, there have been almost 500 studies on its benefits and many of them confirm the traditional use because this was found in Tutankhamen’s tomb. This goes back to 3,300 years ago. I mean it was considered a very sacred herb. In fact, in Arabic cultures it was considered the seed of the blessing, meaning it just gave you a beautiful healing effect. And so far there are over twenty different “pharmacological” actions that have been identified—analgesic pain killing, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer, antifungal, antispasmodic, antioxidant, antiviral. And it just goes on and on. This is not unique necessarily.

One of the things, Josh, that I found in my project was…Because we have over 1,500 substances that are now indexed. Turmeric has 1,500 studies…And it goes over 600 different benefits. So black seed isn’t necessarily the “best” thing on the planet for us to take. But it is interesting because when you look at pharmaceuticals, they on average have seventy-five adverse health effects. And these are actually identified pre-market approval. So there are many more that often emerge afterwards. And yet they’re approved.

My understanding is let’s say you have a drug that has an adverse effect like it makes you sleepy. Well, they just take that symptom. And they say, “Hey, this is a great sleep medication.” You can look at like the drugs out there like Lunestra, which actually increase your risk of death, and say there’s a good example.

So whereas natural compounds have the opposite meaning they have side benefits. So you take side effects with drugs. You take natural compounds, side benefits. Now, this is not always true. There are some natural compounds that will have adverse effects that are severe. And, of course, if you’re on a medication and you take a natural compound, you could compound the adverse effects of the medication. And often the natural compound is blamed for those adverse effects. So I’m not trying to present the image that natural substances are always beneficial and that you should take as many of them as possible because I’m more of a food is medicine person.

But we have to look at the literature. And it’s very clearly showing things like black seed have profound benefits. It’s very interesting because with drugs, Lipitor (atorvastatin), for example for cholesterol. There’s not precedent. It’s basically a synthetic chemical that the body has never been exposed to before. There’s no 3,000- or 10,000-year history behind taking a pharmaceutical compound. So when you have the research confirming at least in pre-clinical studies that black seed is beneficial, it’s really encouraging.

One of the things too, Josh, I would say is that this is one of the few compounds that’s been studied to regenerate the beta cells, which die in type I diabetes. Whereas you have this elaborate pharmaceutical enterprise convincing type I diabetics that if you have type I, you have to take lifelong recombinant basic GMO insulin for the rest of your life and all these oral anti-diabetic drugs, which actually have been found recently to increase the risk of dying from diabetes.

This is one substance that’s been shown to stimulate the regeneration of the very cells in the pancreas that produce insulin and therefore may provide a “cure.” So for me and for those interested in the natural cures movement, this is a very profound finding. And I think that people really need to start looking at this research.

And if it were me, if I had type I diabetes, would I wait until there’s $800,000,000 available to fund a trial? Probably not because this is actually used as food. One of our recent videos on GreenMedInfo was using watermelon and sesame seed oil and black seed as just a summer salad just to eat. And you’re always doing amazing recipes showing food as medicine. So I would encourage those to start basically use common sense. Use traditional recipes and start looking at the research. But also start realizing that, yes, food is medicine. And we don’t necessarily need to wait around for some future drug cure.

Dr. Axe: Love it. Couldn’t agree more. And black seed here reading up on here. This is a form of cumin, of black cumin. I cook with cumin all the time. Some of these things are in our kitchen cabinets, which is just amazing.

So let’s talk about another one of my favorites. You have not just one article, but probably ten to twenty phenomenal articles on turmeric and curcumin. Let’s talk about that as a super herb.

Sayer Ji: I love it. Turmeric is sort of a gift from the heavens in so far as since ancient times, you can go back to the Ayurvedic tradition in India, which is really the oldest medical system that was very science and what I would call phenomenologically based, looking at empirical effects of different interventions.

What they found, this was actually considered a goddess of compassion. And it was considered to heal many different diseases. And what’s happened in the past twenty years is that the biomedical establishment in the West has looked at it as an answer to many solutions that they were looking for.

Literally on Medline, you have 7,000 articles on turmeric. And about 1,500 of them right now on our site show the benefits of this herb at least in pre-clinical research for 600 different diseases. And that’s a lot because in our site, which is extensive, we have 3,000 ailments indexed. That’s pretty much one fourth of all the disease that affects humankind. And so if turmeric, which is simpler—it’s affordable. It’s safe. It’s wonderful. You can use it in foods. You can take it by the teaspoon—has all these benefits then what are we waiting for? So to me, turmeric is really most amazing.

Our most popular blog on the topic was titled 600 reasons turmeric may be the world’s most important herb. And was shared like 80,000 times because people are looking for these natural solutions. They’ve even compared turmeric to thirteen different drugs. The Fluoxetine study which Prozac, it was found at least as effective as Prozac for depression. It’s been found to be as effective as hydrocortisone in the animal model. It’s been found to be as effective as ibuprofen in the human model. It’s even been found superior pre-clinically to chemotherapy agents, which unfortunately often, as I understand, cause the death of the patient. So to me it’s definitely one of the best herbs on the planet. And people really need to know more about it.


Dr. Axe: Yeah, it’s incredible. And you’ve got so many articles here on some of the treatments with it. One of the things I’ve seen some research on it with is cancer. I know that this is another touchy thing that I would just love to hear your thoughts on, but I know that the cancer industry today is one of those industries that doesn’t seem to like the word “natural cures.” Or I don’t even know how they feel about turmeric. What are your thoughts on our cancer system today and the way that they’re treating cancer, versus what place do you think herbs like turmeric have in this?

Sayer Ji: That’s a great question, Josh. Thank you. I mean, to me, because this has been a primary advocacy of mine is really first people need to understand that what we understand about cancer today is absolutely false. Meaning the way that they envisioned it for at least half a century was that it’s just a bi-product of genetic mutation in the nucleus of the cell. The cell gets all deranged and goes rogue and starts replicating clonally, just making a big mess without any kind of logic.

But what we know today is that cancer is a very organized phenomenon. And it’s actually something the body does in response to conditions within the cell that are natural, meaning if you introduce radiation, if we introduce chemicals that are carcinogens or you deprive the body of its optimal nutrition then the cell goes through a change in the way it behaves which is called a phenotypal change consistent with cancer.

So most people don’t realize that cancer is really not so much something that just happens in the genes like some kind of genetic time bomb you inherited from bad genes from your parents. Rather it’s a byproduct of the post-industrial revolution. And those cells are trying to survive.

What’s most ironic about the situation is that these are cells that go through immortalization. So the cells are actually causing harm in your body because they won’t die which is a very interesting fact. There are many explanations for why this happens, one of which is that it’s a survival instinct. The default state of the cell is to replicate and not die. It’s only later in the development of multicellular organisms that the cell decided, “Okay, well, my hair, my skin, my pancreatic cells are going to basically die at some point and be replaced by stem cells, while my germ cells, which are my sperm and if you’re a woman an egg cell will live on forever.”

Well, cancer basically takes back that immortality, and I think the reason is because it’s being whacked by all of these factors that are so unnatural to it, that are so preventable, meaning don’t ingest aspartame. Don’t saturate your body with sunscreen full of petrochemicals, which are carcinogens. Don’t expose yourself to unnecessary medical radiation. And guess what? Cancer probably won’t emerge in your body. 

So given that circumstance and that context, I think what’s happening today is people are not realizing fully it’s not just about trying to find natural substances to prevent cancer. It’s about removing the cause. And once you remove the cause of cancer by getting back into an optimal nutrition, focusing on things like raw juices and getting rid of all the sugar, which is known to be carcinogenic, focusing on eating foods that are consistent with your own bio-individuality, your genetic background, what happens is that cancer doesn’t have an environment within which it thrives. And that’s really the cure is you remove the cause.

Now, given that I said that, there’s always another level, which is that today there’s no cognizance of this at all. And if you go into a hospital today, they literally have McDonald’s set up within the hospital complex. And what they’re doing is they’re exposing “people with cancer” with radiation and chemotherapy, which is an intrinsically carcinogenic. And they’re being faced with taking a highly toxic chemo therapeutic agent like 5-fluorouracil, which is so deadly. It’s so bad that arguably the drug is actually causing the death of the cancer patient. Statistically they write it off as, “Oh, the cancer took the patient.” But the chemo agents are so toxic that I think they’re actually killing most of the people with cancer.

So in that circumstance, we have research on Green Med Info showing even things like pineapple core extract, which is bromelain, is more effective than 5-fluorouracil for killing and dissolving tumors. Turmeric has been shown in a number of studies to kill multi-drug resistant cancer cells. So the idea is that as we move towards a natural cure movement is people are going to start understanding that they don’t need to use the conventional approaches. They have choices.

In the medical system you have a choice. You have every right to stand up and say, “You know what, doctor? I don’t want to take this particular intervention.” I have a right to try a natural approach.” And that would include things like Gerson Therapy, using juices all day long, natural interventions, detoxification. That’s certainly where I would like to see the future of medicine go.

Dr. Axe: Yeah. I couldn’t agree with you more. And I know one of the other things I want to mention to everybody is Sayer here has a fantastic book. In fact, what I believe to be probably the simplest but most thorough book on the natural cancer killers that are out there today. And the book is called The Cancer Killers. He co- authored that book with Dr. Ben Lerner and Dr. Charles Majors. Check it out. If you go to, check out The Cancer Killers.

If you or anyone you know has cancer, I couldn’t recommend a book more. In fact, any time anybody is diagnosed with cancer asks me, “Hey, what do I need to do?” I just tell them, “Hey, go get the book The Cancer Killers.” And so again check it out there,, great place to find it.

Let’s talk about another herb that is in that family along with turmeric as a cancer killer along with many other health benefits. Let’s talk garlic.


Sayer Ji: Yes! I love garlic! Garlic is really one of the oldest remedies known to man that has been shown to have powerful healing properties. At GreenMedInfo, I think we have 100 different diseases that have been shown to benefit from garlic. Some of the most therapeutic of all diseases that it’s good for are cancer, interestingly enough. Garlic is certainly considered more of an antiseptic. But when it comes to the research itself, I think it’s pretty clear that garlic is one of the biggest anti-cancer agents on the planet.

When it comes to infection, because that’s what most people think about when they think of garlic—against vampires, which is a metaphor for an evil germ pathogen trying to kill us from the outside in—studies on amoeba, cholera, Clostridium, Cytomegalovirus, Helicobacter pylori, which is basically responsible for ulcers, herpes simplex, Klebsiella, MRSA, which everyone is so afraid of because it’s the drug that the CDC claims is a nightmare bacteria they have no way to actually defend you from. Well, guess what? Garlic has been clinically proven to kill MRSA.

Parainfluenza virus, periodontal infection, pneumococcal infection, streptococcus mutans which causes cavities, even group B strep, which the CDC now requires all pregnant women to receive intrapartum antibiotics. This means at the moment of birth when the microbiome is being transferred over to the infant, they want to give the mother these antibiotics that prevents that implantation in the infant because they’re concerned that group B strep is causing problems. Well, garlic actually kills that strain.

Then you have streptococcus pyogenes, thrush. It really goes on and on. And this is only the surface of what they’ve already studied. My understanding is that garlic has these essential oils that pretty much produces almost like a force field. So if you’re concerned about Ebola, if you’re concerned about a new type of influenza, why not just use good ole grandma’s chicken soup and use the garlic? And just saturate yourself in the beautiful medicine that has been provided by our ancestors. I think the research really does support that today, Josh.

Dr. Axe: Yeah, I totally agree. I know for myself, any time over the years where I’ve traveled too much, not slept enough, felt like I was coming down with a cold, I’ll make this mixture with garlic and apple cider vinegar. And it works. It’s powerful.

Sayer Ji: Beautiful. Beautiful.

Dr. Axe: Yeah, so let’s talk. We got a couple more here. One is honey. I think raw honey or Manuka honey, both forms, there are so many researched benefits. But also it’s kind of used as a sweetener. But I think it’s gotten this bad rap as well because it contains fructose. What are your thoughts on using honey as a form of medicine and then just as a food in general?

Sayer Ji: It’s a great question. I think you’re right. I think there’s a misconception about honey, although it is definitely a precious commodity. And we are seeing globally the bee colony collapse phenomena, thanks in part to agrochemical corporations like Dow and Monsanto basically trading insecticidal sort of herbicides, which a side effect is that it’s killing all the bees. A lot of vegans, for example, say don’t eat honey because you’re taking their food from them.

There’s something unique about honey. It’s like milk. It’s like there’s two substances we know of on the planet that were produced just for food. Not for us necessarily, but for other species. And honey is one of them. But honey, when it comes to the research, just blows my mind. Like if you go on Medline, you type in the word “bee,” type in the word “honey,” you will get tens of thousands of studies now showing the benefits of the different compounds that the hive produces.

And it extends beyond honey. Propolis, which is the mortar for the hive. You have bee venom, which interestingly enough is an incredible anti-inflammatory. It’s like the homeopathic ‘like cures like’ concept. If it causes pain in someone who’s healthy well then someone who has pain, it might help them. Royal jelly, which is actually produced exclusively for the queen bee and helps her differentiate into one, but has been shown to have powerful therapeutic effects. And then bee pollen, which has a lot of effects. Some people know it for energy and allergy.

So honey is really a complex food. And although it contains fructose, it’s actually chock full with all these other oligosaccharides. And what we’re learning about, which is true for milk as well especially breast milk, is these oligosaccharides contain information which literally call in different types of bacteria to populate our gut. So when you’re eating honey, it actually brings in certain strains of beneficial bacteria, like lactobacillus which are coded in the information of the food to say, “Hey, come on and live within us.”

And, in fact, in terms of the bee, if this midgut that’s been found to be populated by beneficial bacteria that are over 60,000,000 years old in terms of their lineage. And when you eat raw honey, you sometimes actually get some of the same bacteria from those honey bees that will then populate your gut and provide benefits that go so far back in time that it really roots you back into the essence of health.

When it comes to honey’s benefits, one of the interesting things is if you take aspirin—which hopefully you do not out there because turmeric, for example, is a good alternative; aspirin is very gastro ulcerative—honey actually protects against that. So if you are taking it, one integrative approach you can take is to take honey with your aspirin or even your ibuprofen.

It heals bacterial infections very effectively. You mentioned Manuka honey, which is from New Zealand. And it has a specific compound that’s extracted from the Manuka flower that’s been found to be extremely effective against MRSA. That’s methicillin-resistant staph, the so-called flesh-eating super bug that the CDC is freaking out about. Well, hello, CDC. Please tell the public about the reality of natural flower- based remedies.

Candida, which is interesting. Most people think, “Oh, sugar feeds yeast.” Well, it turns out that it has antifungal, anti-candida properties. Dental plague, a lot of new research shows actually is more effective than the chemical use in most dentistry offices, which is chloroxedine. Dermatitis, interestingly enough, if you have this flaky scalp, a new study this is human, showed that just applying honey daily basically killed and reduced the inflammation associated with that flaky scalp phenomena. A lot of people use chemicals to do that. And it doesn’t always help.

Diabetic ulcer, herpes-related ulcers, meaning if you have in the corner of your mouth this weird ulcer, you can actually use honey. It goes on and on. So, honey is true medicine on the highest order possible. And I think people need to understand too, if you’re getting honey, make sure it’s not necessarily adultered because a lot of it they put corn syrup in today. You really want to ultimately know your local bee farmer. And get in touch with your community-supported agriculture in order to obtain a form that’s not hurting the environment.

Dr. Axe: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more, Sayer. And I just wanted to make a few side notes here. It’s amazing when you look at it and even the way you elaborated on these oligosaccharides and really supporting the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

I saw some good research on Manuka honey and the treatment of ulcers and even SIBO—small intestinal bacterial overgrowth—which was just really, really incredible. Because a lot of people think oh well, if you’re doing sugar, like you said, it’s going to cause candida, but not with raw honey. One of the studies you were referring to out of Texas A&M, they said seventy-seven percent of the honey that you buy in your grocery store has zero pollen.

Sayer Ji: Wow, really?
Dr. Axe: Pretty much it’s been turned into corn syrup almost in terms of how bad it is.
Sayer Ji: That’s terrible.

Dr. Axe: But the good news is, as you’re saying, if everybody listening if you do what Sayer’s suggesting, go to your local farmer’s market. Meet your local Beekeepers. And get your honey there. You’re going to be able to get some really good quality raw honey that’s absolutely fantastic. And let’s talk here one of, I think, a surprising thing for somebody, for many people, they may not have heard of this, but frankincense oil. Frankincense obviously I’m sure dated back a very long period of time. You’ve got a great article on your site on this. Let’s talk about the number five food here, or herb that could save your life. Let’s talk about some of the benefits of frankincense especially with cancer.

Sayer Ji: Yeah, it’s amazing. You think of the magi who went to visit Baby Christ and obviously who were ahead of the curve. They were trying to bring gifts of healing to Jesus. And it turns out that there’s a lot of research actually today on boswellia, which is one of the compounds in frankincense. People don’t realize that, but when you go to your health food store and you buy boswellian capsules, that’s frankincense. It’s an incredible aroma. If you put it on, and you smell it and you kind of get into the olfactory dimensions of this herb, you start to recognize, wow, this is really healing and beautiful.

Well, a lot of research has accumulated. There was actually a recent study that found that it kills ovarian cancer in a way that a lot of the chemo agents don’t do. It’s very selective. It’s able to kill just the cancer cells, whereas a lot of chemo agents out there, they basically broad spectrum kill any cell that replicates rapidly. So this is one of many compounds out there today that actually has benefit for cancer.

But the thing about frankincense is a lot of the research is actually on this broad spectrum lipooxygenase inhibitor property. So it’s a LOX-2 inhibitor. And therefore is able to reduce inflammation that a lot of associate with just common aches and pains, whereas it’s not a patented chemical like ibuprofen.

Which, by the way, if you take ibuprofen, there’s two compounds in there. One of them is oppositely angled so that it actually contributes to cardiovascular mortality. There was a Lancet study that showed the ibuprofen maybe as toxic as Vioxx, which kills more people every year than were killed in the whole duration of our conflict in Vietnam, over 50,000 a year. And the reason is because that ghost molecule was not identified until later.

So Naproxen, for example, if you’re going to take a pharmaceutical, doesn’t have that ghost molecule. But, hey, why even mess with the whole pharmaceutical chemist pot? Why not use a natural compound? So boswellia is one of the few things that is actually quasi-marketed for this. I mean, there’s certain FTC rules that prevent you from saying this is basically an alternative. But if you go out there and you look at boswellia supplements, you’ll find that it actually is marketed for inflammation and arthritis.

Dr. Axe: Wow.

Sayer Ji: And, oh, by the way, cancer is an inflammatory state, which is consistent with the concept that boswellia or frankincense would be really good for inflammation and/or cancer.

Dr. Axe: Love it, Sayer. Well, great information. I want to encourage everybody here, as well. If you want to get more information about some of the things that Sayer’s talking about, check out his website:, amazing evidence- based research. One of the last questions I have for you here, Sayer, is do you think times are changing? Are we going to see natural cures offered in the future even as part of our medical system? What do you think?

Sayer Ji: That’s a great question, Josh. Thank you. I would say absolutely because of necessity. When we look at the present pharmaceutical model, we’re talking about markups of cost that are over 100,000 times, which means that it’s almost like the federal reserve. They basically can still coin capital by fiat. They can just generate value from nothing because that’s the basis for the global currency.

In the drug markets, the same thing applies. They take a poison. They patent it. They make all these outlandish claims. And they say basically this is worth 500,000 times what we invested into the production of it. And, of course, they have a billion dollars of clinical trials to pay off. So in some way it’s justified. But the idea is that natural substances are consistent with our biological inheritance, our physiology.

And certainly the future of medicine will be acknowledging that grandma was right. If you’re sick, take chicken soup. Okay, Ebola virus is hitting your neighborhood? Well, guess what? It’s doubtful that a pharmaceutical intervention or vaccine is going to do anything but cause more harm. Let’s start using natural compounds.

And I will encourage everyone out there to please visit Medline. You don’t even have to go to GreenMedInfo. Go to the actual mother site,, 23,000,000 studies that you have paid for with your taxpayer money and start doing your own little googling, your own little spelunking. If you find some good studies, email us. We’ll put them on our database. But the idea is that people need to realize that the science supports the tradition. And it doesn’t involve patented chemicals.

Dr. Axe: Amen. Well, I couldn’t agree more. Well, guys, you’ve been hearing Sayer Ji and myself here talking about some of the natural cures that are out there that a lot of people aren’t aware with. And if you want to go to the site that has I believe to be has the best research and evidence to support what we’re talking about, something that has literally hundreds of thousands of medical references, check out

And, by the way, Sayer on there has a great health newsletter. I would check out his popular articles section. He’s got so many articles on there that are just surprisingly very well written, but yet meat and potatoes in terms of really going through the best overall ways to also implement some of these herbs into your health. And so again check out Also his co-authored book, The Cancer Killers. You can find that there on

Any last words of advice here, Sayer, for somebody who is just getting involved into this natural cures movement on ways that they can start? What are some of the first action steps you’d say for people who are saying, “Okay, I want to start using these. But I haven’t done this before.”

Sayer Ji: Thank you. Yeah, absolutely. I would say the number one thing I advocate for is please remove grains from your diet. And I know you do the same, Josh, which is again why we’re such close colleagues and admirers of one another. And exercise. Like that’s the whole point. Nutrition’s great. But if you really put in the effort and you bring yourself to a peak level where you feel like you’re going to die—but you’re not—you’re going to start experiencing regenerative phenomena in your body that will truly bring you back to the basis of your power and your ability to heal.

So I would say eliminate grains. Incorporate high-nutrient low-carb hydrated vegetables. Start getting high-quality protein sources in. In fact, a lot of the recommendations you make, Josh, I am completely in agreement with. Start incorporating more fats into your diet. Don’t be afraid of them. It’s really excess protein actually and excess carbohydrate that I think causes the most problem.

And also open your mind. Like start being aware that your body is a miracle. Every moment that you’re alive is not being caused by the foods you’re eating or not eating. It’s because you’re like a miracle in existence. And the body heals when you let it. And half of that at least is your mindset, just being aware that we are destined to be healthy. And we just have to stop interfering with that with negative thoughts and thinking there’s some cure outside of us in pill form.

Dr. Axe: Awesome. Well, thanks, Sayer. Well, again, everybody, check out, the world’s number one source for evidence-based natural cures, at least in my book. This has been Sayer Ji and Dr. Josh Axe here with The Natural Cures Movement. Hey, thanks, guys.


 [Important Qualification: The purpose of this presentation is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure your condition. These interviews are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with your medical professional if you have questions. ]

Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded 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: The Earth’s Most Widespread Medicinal Fruit Plant


Besides hemp, there are few if any plants that produce as much food, shelter, and medicine as the coconut palm. 

A new scientific review on the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera), referred to as “the most naturally widespread fruit plant on Earth,” reveals its various constituents, which include husk, root, oil, water, and flesh, together possess the following 20 biological effects:

  • Analgesic (Pain-Killing)

  • Antibacterial

  • Anti-diabetic

  • Anti-fungal

  • Anti-hypertensive

  • Anti-viral

  • Anti-parasitic

  • Anti-Leishmanial

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Antioxidant

  • Antifungal

  • Anti-malarial

  • Anti-triochomonal

  • Anti-tumor activities

  • Bone supportive

  • Cardioprotective

  • Depressant & Anticonvulsive

  • Kidney Protective

  • Liver protective

The table below reveals in detail what parts of the coconut palm are responsible for producing these aforementioned biological effects.

(click images to enlarge)

coconut oil extracts

coconut oil extracts 2

Click to view the fully enlarged versions of the table here.

In support of these findings, the database presently contains research on the coconut palm’s potential therapeutic value in preventing and/or treating over 50 different conditions, and expressing 16 different beneficial biological effects. You can view the supporting studies on our coconut research page.


The new study, titled “Cocos nucifera (L.) (Arecaceae): A phytochemical and pharmacological review,” also reviewed the toxicity literature on the coconut palm’s various constituents and found there was no evidence of acute toxicity, and only low toxicity associated with chronic exposure.

The study summarized the story of the coconut palm’s fascinating spread around the world as follows:

The plant is originally from Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines) and the islands between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. From that region, the fruit of the coconut palm is believed to have been brought to India and then to East Africa. After the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope, this plant was introduced into West Africa and, from there, dispersed to the American continent and to other tropical regions of the globe.”

The review also summarized the traditional healing applications of the coconut palm. This is an important, complementary data set, because though many of the traditional uses have not yet been tested and validated by science, they may actually work exceptionally well for these conditions in actual practice. Below is a table showing many of these traditional uses:

(click image to enlarge)

coconut oil

The traditional uses were also summarized in the following paragraph:

In Brazil, extract from the husk fiber of C. nucifera is used to treat diarrhea (7). In Papua New Guinea, the leaves and roots of young plants are chewed as treatment for diarrhea and stomachaches (8,9). In Fiji, coconut oil is used to prevent hair loss and coconut water is used to treat renal disease (10). In Ghana, people use coconut milk to treat diarrhea (11). In Guatemala, the husk fiber extract is used as an antipyretic, to reduce renal inflammation, and as a topic ointment for dermatitis, abscesses, and injuries (12). In Haiti, a decoction of the dry pericarp is used for oral treatment of amenorrhea, and the oil is applied as an ointment to burns (13); an aqueous extract from the husk fiber is also used for oral asthma treatment (14). In India, infusions made with the coconut inflorescence are used for the oral treatment of menstrual cycle disorders (15). In Indonesia, the oil is used as a wound ointment, the coconut milk is used as an oral contraceptive, and fever and diarrhea are treated with the root extract (16–18). In Jamaica, the husk fiber extract is used to treat diabetes (19,20). In Mozambique, the fruit is consumed by men as an aphrodisiac (21). Peruvians use the aqueous extract of the fresh coconut fiber orally for asthma, as a diuretic, and for gonorrhea (22). In Trinidad, bark extract is used orally for amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea, and bark tea is used to treat venereal diseases (23). In Mexico, coconut is used to treat various disorders associated with urogenital tract infection by Trichomonas vaginalis (24). A decoction of the white flesh of the fruit is used in rural Malaysia to treat fever and malaria (25). In Kenya, the fruit is used to relieve skin rash caused by HIV infection (26).

The study concluded,

Cocos nucifera is a widely dispersed plant that has important pharmacological effects with low toxicity. Furthermore, medicinal use of C. nucifera has an environmental appeal, since this plant is widely used in the food industry and use of discarded plant parts will reduce waste and pollution. The pharmacological effects of the plant differ according to the part of the plant or fruit used. Antioxidant activity predominated in the constituents of the endocarp and coconut water. In addition, the fiber showed antibacterial, antiparasitic, and anti-inflammatory activities. Only the ethanolic extract of the root had depressant and anticonvulsant action on the central nervous system. Coconut water seems to have protective effects, e.g., on the kidney and heart, and antioxidant activity, as well as a hypoglycemic effect.

For more information on the amazing properties of coconut, read the following popular articles on the topic:

Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded 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.

Why All Diabetics Should Know About Turmeric


Many diabetics already know about the benefits of a low-glycemic diet, but why haven’t they heard about turmeric, one of the world’s most extensively researched anti-diabetic plants?

A recent literature review published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism titled, “Anti-Hyperglycemic Effect and Insulin Sensitizing Effects of Turmeric and Its Principle Constituent Curcumin,” adds promising new support to the notion that the ancient Indian spice turmeric may provide an ideal drug alternative to treating and perhaps even preventing type 2 diabetes, which has become of the world’s most prevalent diagnoses.

The study reviewed research published between 1998 to 2013 that indicates the active polyphenol in turmeric known as curcumin may provide an ideal intervention for type 2 diabetes, capable of mitigating characteristic pathophysiological hallmarks of the disease such as elevated blood sugar (hyperglycemia) and insulin resistance.

Nineteen of the studies reviewed were cell (in vitro) and animal (in vivo), all which showed beneficial effects.  Five of the studies were human clinical trials using turmeric or curcumin, three of which were performed in those with either diabetes or prediabetes.

Amazingly, the animal and cell research literature review concluded that curcumin could improve the type 2 diabetic state through 10 distinctly different mechanisms, such as:

  • Reduction in liver glucose production
  • Reduction in liver glycogen production
  • Stimulation of increased glucose uptake (by increasing GLUT4, GLUT2 and GLUT3 gene expressions)
  • Increasing the activation of AMP kinase
  • Promoting PPAR γ ligand- binding activity
  • Suppressing hyperglycemia-induced inflammatory state
  • Stimulating insulin secretion from pancreatic tissues
  • Improvement in pancreatic cell function,
  • Increasing phosphorylation of AKT
  • Increasing insulin receptor β and reduction of insulin resistance

The human clinical research conducted on diabetic and pre-diabetic patients revealed that curcumin had the following beneficial effects:

  • Glucose lowering effect
  • Improved beta cell function
  • Improved fatty acid oxidation and utilization

One of these studies is especially worth highlighting, as it found a turmeric extract was highly effective in preventing the development of diabetes within pre-diabetic subjects. The study published in 2012, in the American Diabetic Association’s own journal, Diabetes Care, and titled, “Curcumin extract for the prevention of type 2 diabetes,” found that the administration of six capsules containing 250 mg of curcumin daily for 9 months was 100% effective at preventing the development of type 2 diabetes in prediabetics; more specifically: “16.4% of the subjects in the placebo group were diagnosed with T2DM, whereas none were diagnosed with T2DM.”

Observed effects like these are extremely promising when viewed within the context of the highly dismal pharmaceutically-based standard of care. For instance, oral anti-diabetic drugs like metformin are notorious for their serious side effects. They often lower blood sugar, generating the surface appearance of physiological normality, e.g. blood sugar within range, but actually increase morbidity and mortality. With the possibility of deadly side effects, we need natural, safe, affordable and easily accessible alternatives like turmeric now more than ever.

Moreover, despite the well known problem of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes, recombinant or genetically modified insulin is often used in these patients – a highly illogical and irresponsible approach, and which is endemic to a medical paradigm that does not seek to identity for resolve root causes of disease. A small, but highly concerning recent clinical study found that insulin accelerated the progression of type 2 diabetes, as well as caused type 1 diabetes, or “double diabetes.”

Diabetes is, of course, driven by a dietary pattern that reflects evolutionary mismatch, i.e. the Western diet is a lethal disease vector that has no resemblance to the traditional diet humans consumed for thousands of years, and upon which it still depends for good health. Turmeric, therefore, while an amazing alternative to diabetic drugs, should not be considered a “natural cure”; rather, it is something of a palliative counter-balance to a biologically inappropriate diet, which while far better than pharmaceuticals (learn more by reading: Science Confirms Turmeric As Effective As 14 Drugs), still needs to be part of a broader, more holistic plan that takes into account diet, exercise, toxicant exposure, and mind-body/emotional factors that underpin well-being and contribute significantly to most dis-eases.

For more information on the therapeutic value of turmeric/curcumin diabetes, read our previous articles on the topic:

Learn even more by viewing the firsthand research on the anti-type 2 diabetic effects of turmeric by viewing these 23 studies, as well as visiting our Blood Sugar Disorder research page, which covers natural health information on both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded 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.

Only 1 TBSP Of Coconut Oil Produces Powerful Health Changes, Study Confirms


A simple tablespoon daily of coconut oil could promote weight loss and improve cardiovascular health, reveals a new clinical study. 

A new study titled, “A coconut extra virgin oil-rich diet increases HDL cholesterol and decreases waist circumference and body mass in coronary artery disease patients,” holds great promise in those suffering from overweight, obesity, and heightened cardiovascular disease risk, and against which pharmaceutical approaches often fail.

Coconut oil was once considered a “bad fat,” as it contains saturated fatty acids which conventional nutritionists did not distinguish from synthetically produced ones such as margarine. We know far better now, and increasingly, natural sources of saturated fats are gaining appreciation as not only “not-bad,” but actually beneficial, particularly for the brain. You can check out the first hand literature on coconut’s helath benefits on the database, or read our article, 13 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil.

The new study evaluated the health effects of a nutritional treatment with extra virgin coconut oil, focusing primarily on how it affects HDL cholesterol and a range of anthropmetric measurements (e.g. body weight, size, circumference).

The average age of the participants was 62.4 ± 7.7 years, with 70% of elderly individuals, and 63.2% of males. All of them were hypertensive and 94.5% had blood lipid profiles indicating “dyslipidemia” and on standard, cholesterol lowering drug treatment.

In the first phase, a three month period, 136 enrollees were put on a standardized diet. From the third month onward, the 116 who completed the first phase were place in two intervention groups: 22 remained on the diet, and 92 were put on the diet + 13 ml (.43 ounces) daily of extra virgin coconut oil, which is equivalent to about 14 grams, or about 1 Tablespoon (15 grams).

The results of the the three-month coconut oil intervention showed that relative to the standard diet, the coconut group saw a decrease in all six of the bodily parameters measured, including:

  • Weight: -.6 kilograms (1.322 pounds)

  • Body Mass Index: – .2 kg/m2

  • Waist Circumference: -2.1 cm

  • Neck Perimeter: -4 cm

  • Systolic Blood Pressure: -3.3 points

  • Diastolic Blood Pressure:  -3.5 points

(click image to enlarge)

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Additionally, the coconut oil intervention group saw a 3.1±7.4 mg/dL increase in HDL cholesterol.

The researchers concluded:

“Nonpharmacological interventions are essential for risk factor control in secondary prevention among patients with coronary disease. Our study showed that a diet rich in extra virgin coconut oil seems to favor the reduction of WC and the increase of HDL-C concentrations, aiding with secondary prevention for CAD patients.”


This study is far more powerful than may first meet the eye. For instance, at present, pharmaceutical interventions to raise HDL cholesterol lack solid scientific support. Only yesterday, I reported on a new JAMA review which revealed an astounding number of medical procedures have no benefit, even harm, wherein it was concluded that ,”In patients with low HDL-C levels who are treated with statins, there is no clinical benefit to HDL-C–targeted therapies.” Considering the fact that pharmaceutical interventions to lower HDL cholesterol have a wide range of serious side effects, the new finding that coconut oil may provide a natural alternative with side benefits, is all the more encouraging.

Additionally, midsection fat, also known as abdominal obesity, is a serious risk factor for cardiovascular events and cardiac mortality. In fact, a 2007 study published in the journal Circulation found that of three risk factors evaluated for heart attack, namely, abdominal obesity, abnormal lipids, and smoking, abdominal obesity was the most powerful: 48.5%, versus 40.8% for abnormal lipids, and 38.4% for smoking.

When one considers these two factors, any safe, diet-based lifestyle modification that can safely raise HDL-C cholesterol, and reduce midsection fat and related anthropometric parameters such as BMI and midsection circumference, is a home run.

This is, of course, not the first time we have reported on the powerful health benefits of coconut oil. In fact, it doesn’t take months, or even days, to observe positive changes in certain populations. We reported previously on what can only be described as an amazing study where just one dose of coconut oil derived medium chain triglycerides produced positive cognitive changes in Alzheimer’s patients in only 90 minutes. You can read about it in greater detail here:  MCT Fats Found In Coconut Oil Boost Brain Function In Only One Dose.

For additional research on how to raise HDL cholesterol, take a look at our database on the topic here: Raise HDL Cholesterol Naturally. For reducing abdominal obesity, you can take a look at our database on the topic: Reduce Belly Fat (Abdominal Obesity).

Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded 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.

Make Your Own Whipped Vapor Rub

homemade vapor rub

I grew up with Vick’s VapoRub always being present in my childhood medicine cabinet. When I was feeling under the weather, my mother would rub this on my chest, and almost immediately, the mentholated fumes would start working their magic.

I decided to make my own whipped version of this old-fashioned herbal ointment using natural ingredients and couldn’t be more pleased with the end result. By whipping the coconut oil and shea butter together it created a soft texture that rubs on smoothly. And, since this was such a simple recipe, I had to share it!

Alleviate Cold and Cough Symptoms with Essential Oils

Ensure that the essential oils you purchase are therapeutic grade oils. The essential oils I used were ones that were decongestants, helped relieve symptoms associated with cold and flu symptoms, and possessed antimicrobial properties.

  • Camphor essential oil acts as an antispasmodic, antiseptic, decongestant, anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, calms and gently sedates.
  • Eucalyptus essential oil is antimicrobial, as well as an expectorant, making it a good oil to use for respiratory issues.
  • Peppermint essential oil is antibacterial, soothes pain and has anti-inflammatory properties. The menthol cools and refreshes.
  • Lavender essential oil is soothing and promotes sleep.
  • Tea tree essential oil is antimicrobial, making it a good addition to this rub if the chest congestion is the caused by some sort of pathogen.

A Special Note: If you plan on making a Vapor rub for children to use, reduce the essential oil amounts by half. The essential oils listed in the recipe below can be harmful to youngsters. It has ingredients that act as irritants which the body reacts to by producing even more mucous. Reducing the essential oil amounts and using small amounts on children will help reduce the reaction.

 Vapor Rub

  1. In a mixer ( I use an immersion hand mixer), whip coconut oil and shea butter together until combined. About 45 seconds.
  2. Stop mixer and use spatula to bring whipped mixture to middle of bowl.
  3. Add the essential oils to whipped butter mixture and slowly stir to blend. Note: Reduce essential oils by half if vapor rub will be used on children.
  4. Pour mixture into clean containers and add lid.

To use: Rub a small amount on the chest as needed to relieve congestion and reduce coughing.

Also, try these vapor bath blocks to add to your bathwater. The essential oils in the bath blocks create a powerful bond and helps to ease symptoms through aromatherapy; especially those of the upper respiratory tract, nose and sinuses. Additionally, the baking soda in these bath blocks assists your body in purging toxins and softens the skin.

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

An Herb For Thought: Pine



When European settlers came to the continent and were suffering from scurvy due to lack of vitamin C, the Native Americans introduced them to pine needle tea. It is believed that this tree has originated from Austria and Russia and then spread to different parts of the world. Pine needle tea is a centuries-old healing remedy for Native Americans. They filled mattresses with pine needles to repel certain parasites. The tea extracted from pine needles is regularly used by natives, hunters, and explorers in nearly every region around the globe. Pine oil has also been used to treat lung infections.

The healthy fats contained in pine nuts work to balance the lipids inside the blood and in cell formation. These processes both work to lower triglyceride, or fat storage, levels within the body. In turn, both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats help reduce the risk of heart disease by maintaining healthy blood pressure and fat count. One ounce of pine nuts contains nearly 9500 mg of the Omega 6 fatty acids while also containing about 30 mg of Omega 3 fatty acids. This high amount of healthy fats nearly cancels out the mere 1 to 2 grams of saturated fat found in each serving of pine nuts.

Health Benefits of Pine Tea

The tea has a pleasant smell and taste. This tea is so mild and originally sweet that you may not need sugar.
It can be taken with sugar, honey, and even peppermint.

For Cancer

Pine needle tea has strong antimutagenic, antioxidant and antiproliferative properties, which help in preventing cancer producing cells. Along with that, they also have anti-tumor effects on the body. Adding white tea to a diet that includes a wide variety of antioxidant-rich foods may assist in the prevention, occurrence or recurrence of some cancers. Antioxidant power abounds in white teas, including the silver needle variety. Augment the diet with frequent sips of white tea to enhance the immune system. White tea is thought to contain more antioxidants than other teas due to the lack of processing of this tea type.

For Cold

Try pine needle tea to relieve wintertime colds and respiratory infections. Drinking a cup of pine needle tea may help the body expel phlegm causing the congestion of colds or coughs. Pine needles are strongly aromatic and even just inhaling the vapors from the tea may break up mucus in the lungs.

For Scurvy

Its vitamin C content makes it as good a cure for scurvy as citrus fruits. Scurvy often presents itself initially as symptoms of malaise and lethargy, followed by formation of spots on the skin, spongy gums, and bleeding from the mucous membranes. Spots are most abundant on the thighs and legs, and a person with the ailment looks pale, feels depressed, and is partially immobilized. As scurvy advances, there can be open, suppurating wounds, loss of teeth, jaundice, fever and death.

For Sclerosis

Pine Tree Needle Extraction is a traditional remedy that may be used in the treatment of about 80% of human diseases. The remedy is effective for working with the smooth muscles that line the blood vessels and other muscular related diseases such as sclerosis, a condition in which soft tissues inside the body become unusually hard.

For Flu

White pine needles help fight disease. The needles are anti viral because contain high amounts of shikimic acid, from which Tamiflu is derived.

As Digestive Aid

A cup of silver needle white tea during meals can soothe a touchy stomach. It may be just the remedy for those who suffer with minor digestion discomforts. The silver needle tea, sometimes called silver tip white tea, aids the digestive processes. Consult a medical or health practitioner before drinking white tea for digestive disturbances.

Alternative to Caffeine

For those who don’t need or want a strong dose of caffeine to help them wake up, silver needle white tea may be the right alternative. This purest form of the tea family has less caffeine than its green, black and oolong family members. One cup of silver needle white tea contains 1 percent of the caffeine contained in a cup of coffee.

For weight loss

Drinking white tea, including the rare silver needle variety, may well help you trim the fat. A German study published in the May 2009 issue of the “Nutrition and Metabolism” medical journal found that white tea effectively assists the body to better metabolize lipids, or fats.

For Aging

The tea has many benefits; cleans the veins, increases the strength and vitality and helps in reversing or slowing the aging process. Pine needle tea was known to be used by Taoist priests to promote longevity.

For Skin

It also has a healing effect on the endocrine system, and aids the body in cleansing impurities from the skin.
Pine needles contain a high level of Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) which is a natural form of sulfur. This acts in a detoxifying way to the body. Sulfur is also essential to various parts of the body like the skin, hair and nails.

For Bath

Pine needle tea may also be useful as a bath infusion. Pour it in the tub and soak for relief of cramped muscles and sore joints. Sometimes pine needle tea is also recommended in the bath to treat rheumatism and gout. However, there is no conclusive clinical evidence to support using pine needle tea in the bath to treat these conditions.

For Clearness

Pine needle tea brings you clarity and mental clearness when you drink it. Pine hydrosol is an immune-stimulant and body tonic, enhancing overall mental and physical balance.

For Urinary Infections

Pine needles are also antiseptic and may help heal infections in the urinary system.

Relieves Menopause Symptoms

Women who are going through menopause and have consumed this tea have exhibited less fatigue and tiredness.

As a Disinfectant

Pine oil, added to the household cleaner, will disinfect surfaces and help to purify the air.

For other conditions

It is also beneficial to fight ailments like fatigue, allergies, depression, kidney stone, varicose veins, ulcers and headaches. So also, it helps in promoting better eyesight.

How to make pine tea

The type of tree ideal for pine tea is the White Pine. Pick at least 1 cup of fresh, green pine needles. The freshest ones will be bright in color, and will give the best taste to the tea. Rinse them in fresh water to clean off any surface dirt. Chop the pine needles into small pieces. Measure 3 cups of water in a large measuring cup. Pour the water into a saucepan. Place the saucepan on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Place the pine needles on a chopping board. Chop the needles into small pieces. Remove any faded or imperfect needles. Add the chopped pine needles to the water as soon as it comes to a boil. Stir the needles in the water with a wooden spoon. Bring the water to a simmer; let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes. Don’t over boil the tea; doing so will lessen its amount of vitamin C. Steep the tea mixture for an additional 20 minutes. Add the juice squeezed from one lemon to the tea if you like. You may let the tea steep overnight; it will be a deep reddish color and taste stronger if you do. Strain the pine needles out of the tea. Pour into cups and sweeten with a teaspoon of sugar, honey or maple syrup, if desired.

Pine tea – Side effects and cautions

Despite its long history of use, there is no conclusive clinical evidence to support the health benefits of pine needle tea. Do not use it to replace conventional treatments, and talk to the doctor before using any alternative medicines.

Caution: Women who are pregnant, or who could become pregnant, are advised NOT to drink pine needle tea in general for fear it could cause abortion.

Varieties to be avoided

Most conifers are safe to experiment with tea preparations, but there are three you must avoid! There are only a few varieties of pine that are toxic and they are: Norfolk Island Pine, Yew and Ponderosa Pine. Avoid these by researching what they look like before you pick pine needles.

Pine Oil

Pine oil, obtained by extracting essential oils from the needles of pine trees, is a strong medicinal aid. Similar to tea tree and eucalyptus oil, extracts of pine are powerful anti-septic agents. It also holds anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, insecticidal, analgesic, diuretic, aromatic and anti-inflammatory properties.

For Bronchial Infections

Studies have shown the usefulness of pine oil in relieving bronchial infections. As a powerful antibacterial agent and antiseptic, it can help the body fight off infections. As an aromatherapy tool, it may be used to help prevent lower respiratory infections like bronchitis. Research collections from the University of Maryland Medical Center have demonstrated that its use for respiratory tract infections is solid and effective. Research also shows that use of pine oil may fight off sinus infections and colds when used as a steam inhalation.

As An Anti-inflammatory

Because of its potent analgesic properties, pine oil acts as an anti-inflammatory for people with joint pain, arthritis and rheumatism. Used topically, it may also help relieve general muscular aches and pains. Add to a hot bath, or to a base massage oil, such as almond or coconut.

As an Expectorant

Essential pine oil may also help relieve congestion and acts as an expectorant, aiding the body to break up mucus and remove it from the lungs. It also helps reduce the incidence of sinus infections.

For Skin Care

Pine oil may be useful with a variety of skin conditions due to its strong antiseptic capacities. This includes psoriasis, acne, boils, Athlete’s foot, eczema and itching. Applied topically, it can also be used for a remedy of the scalp, especially in cases of dryness and dandruff.

The most important health benefit of pine essential oil is in treating various skin problems. Dermatologists often prescribe the oil in treating psoriasis, itching, pimples, eczema, skin diseases, poor skin, scabies, sores, and fleas. It gives you a balanced, smooth, renewed and shinny skin.

For Stress Disorder

The health benefits of pine oil also include some emotional benefits. It gives an energizing feeling and hence it is effective in removing mental stress. It is also used as a medicine for removing adrenal fatigue and refreshes the spirits as it is an excellent mood elevator. Regular massage with pine essential oil gives you mental clarity. It removes anxiety and nervous tension, and is useful for people suffering from loss of concentration and loss of memory.

For Aromatherapy

Pine oil stimulates the body and mind, and has an energizing effect on the overall person. As an aromatherapy agent, it has been used to support adrenal fatigue and mild depression. The numerous health benefits of pine essential oil have made it one of the most important essential oils used in aromatherapy. Pine essential oil blends well with many other oils including cedarwood, rosemary, lavender, sage, laudanum, juniper, etc., and hence can be widely used in making numerous aromatherapy preparations.

As an Anti-oxidant

Through neutralizing free-radicals, pine oil helps us slow the process of cellular deterioration, thus slowing the process of aging. Anti-oxidants aid in protecting us from, eye-diseases, muscle degeneration, as well as many nervous-system disorders.

For Protection from infection

With regular use, pine oil may help protect us against many types of fungal infections. It also holds anti-bacterial properties. This essential oil may aid in the prevention of common bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections and skin infections.

As an Anti-Viral Agent

Pine nut oil may also aid in protecting us against the common cold and flu. Following a balanced diet, and plenty of foods high in vitamin c is also a great way to prevent colds.

Increases Metabolism

Pine essential oil also increases metabolism and thus boosts the activity levels. It is also helpful in purifying the body due to its ability to treat intestinal problems. It is diuretic and helps in removing water from the body. It is also used in case of food poisoning.

For Gall Stones

Pine essential oil is effective in reducing the inflammation of gall bladder and incidence of gallstones.

In Cosmetics

Pine essential oil also has a mesmerizing essence and hence gives a sweet aroma to the cosmetics it is used in. It is also used in making perfumes and scents. It is also used in removing lice from hair. Pine essential oil is widely used as massage oil and bath oil. Hence it is used in soap making. Pine oil is also added in many household products due to its aroma. These include room sprays, volatile liquids and room fresheners.

As a Disinfectant

It is a great cleaning agent, and can be added to sprays and room-fresheners for a cleansing and brightening effect. Pine oil disinfectants have been shown to be effective in killing off many household germs, including mildew, yeast spores and E. coli.

For Injuries

Pine essential oil is antiseptic and hence it is used in treating boils, cuts, sports injuries, and athletes foot.

Usage of Pine Oil

Add 4-6 drops of undiluted pine essential oil to warm bath water or dilute at 50/50 ratio with organic coconut oil or olive oil and apply to chest for respiratory distress. You can also put it in an aromatherapy diffuser.

Cautions & Side Effects of Pine Oil

Essential pine oil should be used with care, as it is very powerful. If left undiluted, it may irritate skin and mucous membranes. Internal consumption may be hazardous to human health and can be dangerous as there is a possibility of kidney damage. It should also not be given to people who are suffering from kidney disorders. Further, pine essential oil can cause irritations on highly sensitive skin. Hence it must be used in diluted form. Children and elderly people should not be given pine essential oil as it may cause hypertension.

When The Meds Run Out, These Are The Natural Alternatives That Could Save Your Life

healing herbs on wooden table, herbal medicine

One of the perks of Ready Nutrition is to read books on prepping and natural living and share which ones I like with all of you. Like many of you, I have a natural curiosity about natural medicine and practiced using essential oils and herbs to make my own salves and teas. I am by no means a master herbalist but love learning about the subject.

Cat Ellis, blogger at Herbal Prepper and author has a long-time background in herbal medicine and is something that I believe will serve her well during a time when there is no doctor. I was so excited when she decided to do a book on the subject and she was kind enough to let me interview her about her book, the Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor.

1. Tell us a little bit about your book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine. 

Prepper’s Natural Medicine is the book I wish I had when I first started learning about herbal medicine. It is written for the total beginner, with no assumptions of prior experience with herbs. However, I have a few tips and tricks that even experienced herbalists would find interesting.This book covers all of the basic skills necessary to make herbal medicine, the therapeutic properties of 50 herbs that will grow almost anywhere in the United States, plus provides formulas for how to create your own medicine. Instructions are provided in an easy to read, conversational style, much as I would speak if the reader were taking one of my classes in person. While this book would be of use to any budding herbalist, it specifically addresses concerns that preppers have, especially long term disasters where the option of getting professional medical care is off the table. For example, how would you treat a snake or spider bite? What about anaphylaxis? Hypothermia?There’s a trend to sanitize herbal medicine with claims that “herbs work gently”. And to a point that’s true. Chamomile is a gentle herb that helps with stress and winding down at the end of the day. On the other hand, some herbs are potent analgesics, antispasmodics, and antimicrobials. Some herbs can help stop bleeding both internally and externally. Others help with seizures.This book is primarily a medicine-making book using herbs for one’s primary source of medicine. It is not a gardening, foraging, or a plant ID book. If your survival plan is to stay mobile, this may not be for you. I do have thoughts for a future book to address those needs, though. If you are stocking up on food, water, ammo, silver, and other supplies, then this is the herbal book for you.

In your book, Prepper’s Natural Medicine, you emphasize the importance of having herbs as part of your preparedness plan. What would you recommend as a starting point for beginners?

I would start off with easy to grow herbs, such as comfrey and peppermint- just try getting either of those two not to grow, and herbs that do dual duty as culinary and medicinal herbs, such as cayenne, garlic, ginger, thyme, and sage. These are familiar to most people, which makes learning how to make herbal medicines less intimidating.

In the book, you mentioned that ingesting essential oils has its place. When is that?

Very rarely, and almost never. There are oils which have GRAS status, which means, “General Recognized As Safe” by the FDA as a food additive. The most common use of this is as a flavoring, whether that be in food or in cosmetics, such as lip balm or lip stick. What this normally means is a drop or two of, say, lemon essential oil in a batch of lemon squares. It is diluted across the entire recipe, and most people don’t sit down to eat the entire batch in one sitting.

However, from a therapeutic standpoint, essential oils are best inhaled or applied topically in some type of carrier, like a salve or lotion, as many are irritating to the skin to apply directly. Regular ingestion of essential oils over time leads to complications, like liver damage, and really misses the mark on how essential oil work best.

That being said, a drop of clove oil applied to a painful tooth, or peppermint oil in an enteric coated capsule for intestinal infections and cramping, or a drop of cinnamon oil added to herbal cough drops or an herbal sore throat spray, are good examples of when ingestion has its place. And, of course, in that batch of lemon squares.

My favorite chapter in the book is the herbal first aid kit. What herbs would you consider the most important and why?

It was tough to narrow it down to just the 50 herbs in the book! But, if I had to pick just 10, my choices would be:

  1. Peppermint: This one herb does so many things. Peppermint can settle the stomach, relieve congestion, soothe away a headache, help cool a person’s temperature, it has a pleasant taste, and kids readily take it.
  2. Comfrey: Two of this herb’s folknames are “knitbone” and “bruisewort”. Comfrey helps to knit tissues back together. This goes in my burn care salve, is excellent in a poultice for a sprained ankle, helps the skin to heal quickly and with minimal (if any) scarring. It works so well, that it should not be used on deep wounds, healing the upper tissue layers and trapping bacteria inside. Short term use only as a tea, though. But could be very useful for someone healing from a serious sprain or broken limb.
  3. Thyme: This is your respiratory system’s best friend. Use in teas, syrups, and most importantly, in herbal steams for any respiratory infection, either bacterial or viral. Add to bath water when you feel sick, to benefit from the steam and sooth the entire body, or use thyme’s antimicrobial properties in herbal cleaning products. Blends well with lavender for the same purposes. Thyme can be taken as a tea or syrup for sore throats and general respiratory relief.
  4. Yarrow: Easy to find growing wild, yarrow is known for its ability to stop bleeding. It is taken both internally and applied externally for this purpose. It can also help reduce fever through sweating, and is an anti-inflammatory, making it a wonderful flu herb, chasing away the aches and pains and fever associated with the flu.
  5. White willow: This tree’s bark contains a chemical called salicin. Salicin is metabolized into salicylic acid, which is the origin of aspirin. The active ingredient in aspirin is acetylsalicylic acid, a synthesized version of salicylic acid. White willow is much less irritating to the stomach than aspirin, and in my experience, is more effective and lasts longer. If you don’t have a white willow nearby, meadowsweet is a good alternative for your herbal garden.
  6. Cayenne: Cayenne contains capsaicin, which is well known for pain relief by blocking the signaling of pain from the source to the brain. Cayenne is a vasodilator, primarily of the small blood vessels and improves circulation. This is really important for people who are sedentary or diabetic. Cayenne is also anti-inflammatory, and analgesic. It is a primary ingredient in one of my oxymel (herbal vinegar sweetened with honey) recipes, which I use as an herbal decongestant.
  7. Berberine: This is actually a chemical found in various herbs, not an herb itself. Berberine has more uses than can be listed here. It’s top uses are as a local antibiotic, for blood glucose management, to strengthen the gut wall, lowering liver inflammation, and promoting healthy cholesterol and triglycerides levels. A berberine-containing herb can be used for wound powders. Berberine is excellent for throat infections as a spray, though it does have a very bitter taste. It must come in contact with the infected tissue to have an effect, so sweeten it up with honey or glycerin, then thin with water to work in a spray bottle. Some people taking berberine for its blood glucose and metabolic benefits prefer to take theirs encapsulated. Wherever you live in the United States, there is at least one herb that contains berberine that grows in your area naturally. These might include the Amur cork tree (an invasive on the east coast), Oregon grape root (Northwest), chaparral (Southwest), algerita (Texas and southwest), barberry (not a native plant, but can be grown almost anywhere), and goldenseal (endangered, but was native to east coast and midwest).
  8. Echinacea: This herb has been pigeonholed as a cold and flu herb, but it offers so much more. Echinacea is excellent for wound care, and makes a great addition to wound powders. The tincture is slightly warming and numbing, making it perfect in a spray for sore throat spray, or dental infection or wound. Echinacea is an immuno-stimulant, and it can act as a systemic antibiotic at the right dosage. Dosage is usually far more frequent than people expect, all the way up to once every hour. My preference is for Echincea angustafolia root.
  9. Garlic: Everyone needs lots and lots of garlic. This is the posterchild herb for food being medicine. Have your garlic raw, fermented in honey, or cooked, it’s all beneficial. Garlic supports immune function, is antibacterial, antifungal, and is well known for it’s heart health benefits. If you want to stay healthy, eat a lot of garlic.
  10. Valerian: In about 10% of the population, it can have the opposite effect, but valerian helps almost everyone sleep. Valerian also helps with pain, spasms, coughing, and can be used topically for sore muscles. Something to be aware of with valerian is that the dose is really dependent upon the individual. A very small dose may be fine for one person, and the next may need three times that amount.
  11. Mullein: This list needs a good expectorant to round out the list, and mullein is one of the best. The soft leaves from the first year plant are excellent for helping break up stuck phlegm. In the second year, the plant sends up a large stalk with yellow flowers. Pick the flowers and infuse them in olive oil for earaches.

What three points of the book do you want readers to walk away with? What tools would you recommend?

First, herbal medicine works, and works very well, even in serious cases. Herbs aren’t just for gently falling asleep after a stressful day. They can help . Second, while there is a lot to learn in order to use herbal medicine safely and effectively, it is fun learning. This process is enjoyable and empowering, and my book gets you started off on the right foot. And thirdly, the time to learn how to use herbal medicine is right now, while things are still relatively good.

In a long-term emergency, what natural medicines do you think will be needed most?

In a long term emergency without access to a doctor, pharmacy, or a hospital, we will still need to have the ability to treat both acute and chronic conditions. Acute injuries and infections are obvious, and require antimicrobials and analgesics. According to the CDC, however, 1 out of every 2 adults in the United States have a chronic illness, and that’s just based on people who actually go to the doctor for a proper diagnosis.While a lot of preppers are concerned with how to treat a bullet wound, and that’s a valid concern, far more people will require a sustainable source of medicine for heart conditions, diabetes, arthritis, mood disorders, and so on.

We will need:

Antimicrobial herbs: wounds, respiratory infections, and intestinal infections. Several I mentioned above, but I would add clove, black walnut hull, and artemesia for parasitical infections. I would also put special attention toward herbal antibiotics in the face of every-increasing antibiotic resistance. We would need both local and systemic herbal antibiotic alternatives to drugs. Herbs that come to mind as local antibiotics would be berberine herbs, garlic, juniper, burdock, and sage. Systemics are a little more scarce, but sida, bidens, and artemesias such as sweet Annie, cover a lot of ground.

Cardiovascular herbs: In addition to the cayenne, garlic, and berberine, I mentioned above, as well as the yarrow to stop bleeding, I would also add bilberry, hawthorne, and motherwort.

Analgesics: In addition to the pain-relieving white willow bark, we will need additional pain relievers. Arnica is great for join pain, especially from arthritis, sprains, and repetitive motion injuries. Corydalis, California poppy, and Jamaican dogwood is a combination used for severe pain. Black cohosh and lobelia can be infused into an oil and a salve or lotion made from it for muscle spasms.

Anti-diabetics: Diabetes is one of our most common chronic illnesses in the United States. For type two, goat’s rue is the origin of the active ingredients for metformin. A three month study found berberine as effective as metformin.[1] There is some hope for type one diabetics with Gymnema sylvestre and fenugreek, as both help to regenerate the beta cells in the pancreas to help the body start to make its own insulin again. Gymnema is not available in plant or seed form in the United States, so one would have to stock up on the dried herb, and tincture it for both dosage and longer term storage.

You have a new book coming out. Can you tell us about it?

My new book is called Prepping for a Pandemic: Life-Saving Supplies, Skills, and Plans for Surviving an Outbreak, and is available for preorder on Amazon. This book covers a whole range of issues related to pandemics, and is in direct response to emails I received from readers of my blog and my live internet radio show audience.We have had this unique opportunity to observe and learn from the Ebola crisis in West Africa. We have been witness to individuals attack clinics, what happens when medical facilities reach surge capacity, curfews and quarantines, martial law leaving people without food, had the specter of bio-terrorism lingering, and how our government and media control what the public know. The goals of individuals, staying healthy and not dying, are not the same as government concerns, which are maintaining order and suppressing panic. And, of course, we had the tragic case of Thomas Eric Duncan who brought Ebola to the United States by plane, and spread the disease to hospital staff. There is so much to learn from all this that helps us make better plans in case of an outbreak. If there is any positive side to the horrific loss of life in this unprecedented Ebola outbreak, it would be how to better prepare for pandemic threats.

In the book, I cover seven illnesses I believe are the most significant threats to trigger the next great pandemic. This includes drug-resistant bacteria, viruses which have a demonstrated history of causing pandemics, the human involvement of both terrorism and human error, and the conventional and herbal treatment approaches, if any, are provided. The book wraps up with a pro-active section on how to establish a Self Imposed Reverse Quarantine (SIRQ), with resources to learn more about pandemic preparedness.

My Thoughts on Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor

Have you ever wondered what you would do if there were no pharmacy? In the early onset of my prepping endeavors this question plagued me. Dying from illness or infection is one of the most likely ways one can die in a long-term emergency and without the knowledge of medicinal herbs and natural medicine, you could be a world of trouble. This very question was the first sentence that Cat wrote in her book and what I loved so much about the book. From the very beginning, she cuts to the chase and gets to the heart of topic. Throughout the book (and something she mentioned in her interview with me) she listed fifty of the most useful herbs, medicinal uses and recipes to practice. She holds nothing back in this book and uses a layered medical approach to assembling a natural medicine kit.

This book teaches you the how’s, what’s and why’s about creating a natural medicinal pantry. Because Cat comes from a prepping background she uses a common sense approach to emphasize the vulnerabilities of solely storing western medicine supplies including how supplies will expire, run out and the ever-looming antibiotic resistance bacteria in the near future.

The book is easy to read, written in a friendly manner and is packed with information. If I could give this book 10 stars, I would. From start to finish, I absolutely loved it! Cat is a wealth of knowledge and I will recommend this book for years to come. As well, Cat has an equally informative website, Herbal Prepper that all of you should check out!


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

What Is Adrenal Fatigue? – Causes And Symptoms


Life moves fast and a lack of energy is a complaint for many. Fatigue or tiredness has become an increasingly common symptom, and there is a theory floating around that has taken on this issue. Adrenal Fatigue was a term coined by James M. Wilson, and it proposes that chronic mental, physical, or emotional stress taxes the hormone production of your adrenal glands and wipes out your energy levels. As of today, there has been no scientific research backing up this theory, but we will explore this issue while providing some facts around it.

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

The theory states that common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include problems falling asleep at night, staying asleep, difficulty waking up, and increased of food cravings, especially for salt and sugar. Even if a good night’s sleep is had, an individual with adrenal fatigue feels tired all the time.

What are the Adrenal Glands?

You have two adrenal glands, each paired with one of your kidneys. They belong to your endocrine system along with your thyroid, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries/or testes, and parathyroid glands. These organs produce hormones that regulate growth, sleep, mood, metabolism, and your fertility.

What is Adrenal Insufficiency?

Adrenal fatigue is different from adrenal insufficiency. Also known as Addison’s disease, adrenal insufficiency occurs due to the disruption of your adrenal glands due to nutritional imbalances. This causes them to stop producing aldosterone, the hormone that regulates blood pressure and salt levels in the blood, and also cortisol, the hormone your body uses to counteract stress, but cortisol does a lot more. It helps maintain blood pressure, slows inflammatory response, and also contributes to metabolism.

Autoimmune disorders account for the majority of cases of Addison’s disease where tuberculosis, fungal infections, and cancer account for the remainder of causes. [1]

The symptoms of adrenal insufficiency are mostly different and much more dramatic than adrenal fatigue. It usually begins with loss of appetite, weight loss, and weakness. Half of the people affected will have nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms also include low blood pressure, dizziness, and darkening of the skin in scars, skin folds, areas like knees, elbows, knuckles, toes, and lips. If left unaddressed, it can be fatal.

Adrenal insufficiency can be treated with hormones to replace the ones not being produced.

How to Keep Your Endocrine System in Balance

If you’re under constant stress and feel chronic fatigue, you can take a few simple steps to keep your endocrine system in balance.

  1. Set time aside to rest. While sleep may be difficult to come by, when you take some time to wind down, it helps your body relax.
  2. Exercise. It may seem counterintuitive, but exercise decreases stress and reduces cortisol levels. [2]
  3. Avoid endocrine disruptors. These chemicals and some foods interfere with your hormones and can overly stress your adrenal glands if exposed in excess.
  4. Implement an adrenal fatigue diet. You need a variety of natural, organic foods including healthy proteins, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables for proper adrenal nutrition.
  5. Adrenal Fatigue Supplements. Iodine plays a large role in hormone balance. To promote hormone balance naturally, make sure you supplement with vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium and magnesium. For more information on a high quality vitamin supplement, I personally recommend IntraMAX®.

Hormonal imbalance affects every aspect of your body and life, and the effects create a wide variety of symptoms including feeling fatigued. As stated in this article, hormones regulate many body functions and is imperative to know how to take control of your health. I created a webinar where you can learn all about hormonal imbalance, from causes to symptoms and remedies. I highly recommend taking the time to watch it!

Now, if you do have chronic fatigue and your symptoms are seriously disrupting your life or you’re feeling depressed, you should see your healthcare provider to rule out more serious conditions.


  1. Pituitary Network Association. Adrenal Insufficiency (Addison’s Disease).
  2. Alghadir AH1, Gabr SA2. Physical activity and environmental influences on adrenal fatigue of Saudi adults: biochemical analysis and questionnaire survey. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Jul;27(7):2045-51. doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.2045. Epub 2015 Jul 22.

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.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Tamarind?


Grown around the world, the tamarind tree and its fruit that grows in pods and appears brown when mature, delivers B vitamins and is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, and iron. An important part of the tropical cuisine and traditional medicine for centuries, the tamarind fruit has gained a reputation as a powerful super-food that can help fight several modern diseases.

The sweet and sour fruit called tamarind has a unique “super-power.” It removes one of the most toxic substances ingested by most Americans – fluoride.

Traditional Uses of Tamarindus indica

Everywhere tamarind has spread, healers have found it useful for supporting good health. It’s been used to remedy fevers, speed healing of wounds, diarrhea, malaria, abdominal pain and indigestion, constipation, eye diseases, and disinfecting. Tamarind is also widely used in many dishes and candy around the world.

Tamarind’s Health Benefits

In recent years, tamarind has caught the attention of modern medicine. Like so many plants and herbs consumed for their health benefits, it helps your body resist common physical stresses caused by diet and environmental pollutants. Here are a few ways it helps.

Supports the Liver

In one study, an extract of tamarind fruit stimulated production of the liver’s natural antioxidants superoxide dismutase and glutathione. With the increase in antioxidant protection, the livers of test subjects experienced less damage. [1]

Soothes Joint Inflammation

Tamarind seed extract protects joints, bones, and cartilage from arthritis. [2] It breaks down inflammatory chemicals like interleukin and prevents the formation of enzymes that break down bone and cartilage.

Supports Normal Blood Sugar

While cutting out foods loaded with sugar makes a good first step, it’s important to add foods that support blood sugar control. Based on research so far, regular consumption of tamarind offers positive effects on blood sugar. [3]

  • Regular consumption of tamarind lowers fasting and blood glucose levels in as little as five days. [4]
  • Helps return triglyceride levels to normal. [5]
  • Promotes balance blood sugar and the way your cells use calcium, an important component of cellular metabolism. [6]

Promotes Fluoride Detoxification

With fluoride in toothpaste and a fluoridated water supply, the majority of Americans are in “overload status” of this toxic, non-useful metal. Once in your body, it disrupts your hormones and weakens your bones.

Detoxing fluoride can be a challenge, but tamarind can handle it. In one study, 18 healthy boys were given a third of an ounce of tamarind daily for 18 days and eliminated what researchers described as a “significant” amount of fluoride. [7]

One note about tamarind…the researchers did report increased loss of essential minerals zinc and magnesium. So you should consider supplementing with these minerals if you eat tamarind over a period of time.

Tamarind Nutrition Facts Table

Tamarind’s unique as it is a fruit that’s an excellent source of calcium. It’s also loaded with B vitamins that support energy.

Tamarind at a Glance

  • Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
  • Energy: 239 kcal (1,000 kJ)
  • Carbohydrates: 62.5 g
  • Sugars: 57.4 g
  • Dietary fiber: 5.1 g
  • Fat: 0.6 g
  • Protein: 2.8 g
Vitamins % RDA
Thiamine (B1) 0.428 mg (37%)
Riboflavin (B2) 0.152 mg (13%)
Niacin (B3) 1.938 mg (13%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.143 mg (3%)
Vitamin B6 0.066 mg (5%)
Folate (B9) 14 μg (4%)
Choline 8.6 mg (2%)
Vitamin C 3.5 mg (4%)
Vitamin E 0.1 mg (1%)
Vitamin K 2.8 μg (3%)
Minerals % RDA
Calcium 74 mg (7%)
Iron 2.8 mg (22%)
Magnesium 92 mg (26%)
Phosphorus 113 mg (16%)
Potassium 628 mg (13%)
Sodium 28 mg (2%)
Zinc 0.1 mg (1%)

Tamarind Fruit: A Natural Superfood

Traditional healers consider tamarind a superfood. And the way it helps control blood sugar, reduce the symptoms of arthritis, and protect the liver supports this long held view. But its special ability to detox fluoride takes it way beyond simply a food or supplement for health support. This tropical fruit offers an effective way to remove fluoride, the dangerous mineral toxin linked to bone loss, hormone imbalance, arthritis, infertility, thyroid disease, heart disease, kidney disease, and more.

For more information on fluoride and fluoride detox, check out Reducing Your Exposure to Fluoride.


  1. Amir M1, Khan MA, Ahmad S, Akhtar M, Mujeeb M, Ahmad A, Khan SA, Al-Abbasi FA. Ameliorating effects of Tamarindus indica fruit extract on anti-tubercular drugs induced liver toxicity in rats. Nat Prod Res. 2015 May 15:1-5.
  2. Sundaram MS1, Hemshekhar M2, Santhosh MS3, Paul M1, Sunitha K1, Thushara RM1, NaveenKumar SK1, Naveen S4, Devaraja S5, Rangappa KS6, Kemparaju K1, Girish KS7. Tamarind Seed (Tamarindus indica) Extract Ameliorates Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis via Regulating the Mediators of Cartilage/Bone Degeneration, Inflammation and Oxidative Stress. Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 10;5:11117. doi: 10.1038/srep11117.
  3. Huang, Elbert S. et al. “Projecting the Future Diabetes Population Size and Related Costs for the U.S.” Diabetes Care 32.12 (2009): 2225–2229. PMC. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.
  4. Nahar L1, Nasrin F2, Zahan R1, Haque A2, Haque E1, Mosaddik A1. Comparative study of antidiabetic activity of Cajanus cajan and Tamarindus indica in alloxan-induced diabetic mice with a reference to in vitro antioxidant activity. Pharmacognosy Res. 2014 Apr;6(2):180-7. doi: 10.4103/0974-8490.129043.
  5. Agnihotri A1, Singh V2. Effect of Tamarindus indica Linn. and Cassia fistula Linn. stem bark extracts on oxidative stress and diabetic conditions. Acta Pol Pharm. 2013 Nov-Dec;70(6):1011-9.
  6. Sole SS1, Srinivasan BP. Aqueous extract of tamarind seeds selectively increases glucose transporter-2, glucose transporter-4, and islets’ intracellular calcium levels and stimulates β-cell proliferation resulting in improved glucose homeostasis in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetes mellitus. Nutr Res. 2012 Aug;32(8):626-36. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2012.06.015. Epub 2012 Aug 3.
  7. Khandare AL1, Rao GS, Lakshmaiah N. Effect of tamarind ingestion on fluoride excretion in humans. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Jan;56(1):82-5.

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.

25 Natural Remedies For Diabetes


A few weeks ago I read an email from a reader that made me sad.  In it, she said that given her daughter’s reliance on insulin, she had come to terms with the fact that in a true SHTF scenario, her daughter would die. Those of you that have read William Forstchen’s book, One Second After may recall that the main character’s daughter was a diabetic and died because of a lack of insulin.

I really had no words of wisdom to pass on to this reader.  I am, after all, not a healthcare or medical professional.  On the other hand, I did know that Backdoor Survival featured contributor Joe Alton, a medical doctor, has written extensively about diabetes in a survival situation.  When I reached out to him for advice, he graciously agreed to address this topic in a newly refreshed article just for us.

If you, or someone you know has diabetes, you will find this article interesting.  Just be aware that there has not been a lot of scientific studies proving that one remedy or another will be beneficial.  Then again, the same applies to essential oils and we all know how well they work!

As you read though this list of natural remedies for diabetes, take special note of Joe’s last paragraph; it might surprise you.

Natural Remedies for Diabetes

One of the most difficult issues that the medic will encounter in a survival setting is that of chronic illness. Of these, diabetes is perhaps the most problematic. In the U.S., more than 29 million cases of diabetes were identified with more than 1 million requiring insulin therapy (type 1 diabetes). Diabetes causes damage to the heart, kidneys, eyes, extremities, and more. It is the 7th leading cause of death in the country, and that’s in normal times.

What is diabetes? To understand this, you should know a little about how your body works to process food into energy. When you eat, food is turned into glucose, sometimes referred to as “sugar”. An organ in the body called the pancreas releases a substance called insulin in response. Insulin allows glucose to be used for energy.

In diabetes, this process doesn’t work due to various reasons. The pancreas may not produce enough insulin or certain factors may cause the body to be resistant to its effects (Type 2 diabetes).

We’ve discussed diabetes and survival in detail in a series of five articles some time ago; here’s a link to Part 1: Diabetes in a Collapse Situation.

In today’s article, we’ll explore some of the natural substances that may have a beneficial effect on diabetes. Alternative therapies encompass a variety of disciplines that include everything from diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes to herbal remedies, acupuncture, yoga, hypnosis, biofeedback, aromatherapy, and others.

It should be noted that a honest conversation with your medical caregiver is important before embarking on a new course of therapy. It’s also important to realize that it’s much more difficult to control type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes than the much more common type 2 (non-insulin dependent) with either conventional or alternative strategies.

Having said that, there are quite a few natural substances that have been put forth as being helpful in the control of diabetes . Most of these are thought to have effects on type 2 diabetics only. Unfortunately, there is a lack of hard scientific data on many, and variability exists in terms of effect on each individual.

Here are some natural substances, taken alphabetically, that may have a beneficial effect on glucose control:

Aloe Vera
Aloe may lower blood glucose in type 2 diabetics, especially when used in conjunction with some conventional oral drugs.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that helps decrease insulin resistance and the effects of kidney and nerve damage due to diabetes.

The leaf and seed of some types of Basil may help people with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar levels. The seed may work by providing fiber which slows the elevation of blood sugar levels after meals.

Bilberry contains substances called anthocyanosides which improve blood flow which may prevent vessel damage caused by type 2 diabetes.

Bitter Melon
Bitter melon contains several substances, including some insulin-like compounds, that may lower blood sugars in type 2 diabetics.

Cayenne contains capsaicin, something we’ve talked about before as a form of natural pain relief. Indeed, capsaicin creams may improve pain due to damaged nerves in diabetics.

Gaye’s Note:  See Make an Awesome Cayenne Salve for Pain Relief

Chromium supplements improve sensitivity to insulin in those resistant to it. It’s thought to be helpful in those who are pre-diabetic and in women with pregnancy-related diabetes.

Research suggests that regular intake of cinnamon may help reduce levels of blood glucose by augmenting the action of insulin.

Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) is needed for normal blood sugar metabolism. Type 2 diabetics have been shown to have lower Co-Q10 levels than non-diabetics, suggesting that supplementation may be helpful in control.

Evening Primrose Oil
Studies have shown that 4 grams of evening primrose oil per day improves, over time, the pain associated with diabetic nerve damage.

Fenugreek may improve glucose control in both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. It may even lower cholesterol in those with coronary artery disease.

Studies have shown that American Ginseng (there are several kinds) gives some sugar-lowering effects as well as a decrease in A1c levels (Hemoglobin A1C is a blood tests that measures long-term glucose control).

Glucomannan is fiber derived from konjac root (Amorphophallus konjac). It delays stomach emptying, which leads to slower absorption of dietary sugars which results in lower glucose levels after eating.

Gymnema leaves were documented in studies to raise insulin levels in healthy volunteers.

L-carnitine helps you utilize fat to produce energy. When people with diabetes were given L-carnitine, high blood levels of fats decreased, including triglycerides and cholesterol.

Type 2 diabetics often have low magnesium levels. Magnesium supplements are thought to increase insulin production in older people with type 2 diabetes.

Animal studies suggest that mistletoe can stimulate insulin secretion from pancreatic cells, which might decrease glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Onion contains allyl-propyl-disulphide (APDS), and certain flavonoids, such as quercetin (see below). APDS has been shown to prolong the effect of insulin and stimulate insulin production as well, thereby improving glucose control.

The fiber in psyllium may improve blood glucose in some diabetics.

Quercetin can help diabetics by reducing levels of sorbitol—a sugar that accumulates in nerves, kidneys and eyes of type 2 diabetics.

Vanadium is an element that, in preliminary studies, helped improve blood glucose levels in diabetic animals. When humans with type 2 diabetes were given Vanadium, a decrease in insulin resistance was noted.

Vitamin B1, B6, B7, B12
These vitamins are thought to be deficient in diabetics with neuropathy (nerve damage). Supplementation has been associated with improvement in related pain.

Taking Vitamin B7, also called Biotin, for two months dropped fasting glucose levels significantly in some patients.

Vitamin C
Like Quercetin, vitamin C may reduce levels of sorbitol (see above). Also, 500 mg of Vitamin C twice a day decreases loss of protein in the urine in diabetics. High levels of protein in the urine are associated with poor outcomes among those with glucose issues.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is needed to maintain normal blood levels of insulin. The cells that produce insulin in the pancreas have receptors that accept vitamin D, suggesting that supplements might help improve sugar control.

People with type 2 diabetes are often zinc-deficient; adding some through the diet or supplements may correct the deficit.

The above list doesn’t take into account some techniques that aren’t associated with ingesting a substance, such as yoga and acupuncture. These methods are valid options, as is strict attention to diet, exercise, and lifestyle. All these can be incorporated as a component of a holistic approach to diabetes. Again, you can expect the effectiveness of alternative modalities to vary greatly from person to person.

You might be surprised to hear my belief that, in a true survival scenario, the condition of some type 2 diabetics may not worsen and, indeed, might even improve. The restrictions that we’ll see in our diet and the increased physical exertion necessary for activities of daily survival may have a positive effect, at least from a glucose standpoint.

By Joe Alton, MD, of
Co-Author, The Survival Medicine Handbook

Joe and Amy Alton are the authors of the 3 category #1 Amazon Bestseller “The Survival Medicine Handbook.  See their articles in Backwoods Home, Survival Quarterly, and other great magazines. For over 600 articles on medical preparedness in wilderness, disaster, or other austere settings, go to their website at The opinions voiced by Joe Alton, M.D., and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P. are their own and are not meant to take the place of seeking medical help from a qualified healthcare provider.


The Final Word

Diabetes is often referred to as the silent killer because the symptoms can mimic other ailments or simply be ignored.  My recommendation is that you educate yourself relative to those symptoms and of necessary, have your health care provider perform a simple blood sugar test.  If diagnosed, consider incorporating some of these natural remedies into your daily routine and continue to monitor your progress.

As I like to say, knowledge is power, and knowing how to control diabetes with natural remedies  could become a lifesaver down the road.  Thinking out loud, many of the remedies listed above are quite commonplace; it simply makes sense to stockpile a few for the long term.

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 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.

True Healing: Beyond “Managing”, “Treating” And “Curing” A Disease

true healing

True healing and true health are deep concepts which by their very definition imply oneness and unity (the word heal is etymologically derived from various words such as the Old English hælan meaning “to make whole”). True healing includes the many levels within you beyond just the physical – the integration of the emotional, sexual, mental, spiritual and other selves or layers. True healing is far beyond just “managing”, “treating” and “curing” disease, which Big Pharma and its lapdog the FDA like to focus so exclusively upon. Western medicine has its place in society as an excellent tool for specialized surgical or other emergency interventions – however it came into being from the Rockefeller-Big Pharma cartel, whose business model thrives on repeat customers who can’t get off the hamster wheel of drug after drug after drug. On a deeper level, is it really any wonder that Western medicine can’t deliver true healing, when its approach is narrow and materialistic, rather than broad and holistic – when it’s fixated on managing, treating and curing, rather than healing?

Big Pharma and Western Medicine: Hooked on “Treating” Disease

Hooked on “treating” disease, but not going any further.

Hooked on “treating” disease, but not going any further.

If you’re wondering where the notion of “treating” come from, look no further than the FDA-mandated disclaimer that many natural health and holistic practitioners and companies are forced to use on their products. It states that “this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease” because only a drug can legally make such a claim. And, in a great example of FDA circular logic, if a substance does have an effect on the human body such as preventing or curing a disease – then it must be drug and not a food!

Guess what? The moment something becomes a drug and not a food, it’s regulated differently. If you’re a producer of a food that wants to state its natural effects on the body, now you have to jump through all sorts of expensive hoops just to state the truth. This is despite the fact that scientific studies have shown, for instance, that cherries have a positive effect on gout and arthritis, coconut oil on Alzheimer’s, and turmeric, spirulinagraviola/soursop on cancer. It is an upside-down, outrageous situation where people are being silent about the clear and scientifically provable effects of foods and other natural medicines out of fear of being sued into poverty, taken down or taken out. Ignorant people defend the Big Pharma system by claiming it’s backed by “science”; meanwhile, insiders and experts state categorically that most scientific research is fraudulent, and most science is actually corporate junk science that is paid to produce the results its funders want.

Managing Disease: A Big Pharma Specialty

True healing has nothing to do with disease management, Big Pharma style.

True healing has nothing to do with disease management, Big Pharma style.

The truth is that managing disease is a Big Pharma specialty. The most profitable customers are those patients who are going to be reliant on prescription drugs – just to exist – for the rest of their lives. In those cases it’s all about managing disease. How interesting that the word itself management is a very corporate word. Another aspect of the managing of disease is all the unnecessary (but very fancy and impressive sounding) testing that is done to people, under the guise of “early detection”. In his revealing book Confessions of a Medical Heretic, Dr. Robert Mendolsohn quotes an article entitled “Cleveland’s Marvelous Medical Factory” which boasted of the Cleveland Clinic’s “accomplishments last year: 2,980 open-heart operations, 1.3 million laboratory tests, 73,320 electrocardiograms, 7,770 full-body x-ray scans, 24,368 surgical procedures.”

Seems wonderful … except for the very obvious point that none of these procedures has been proven to have anything to do with restoring health or true healing. When people get screened for a disease, they are being subjected to dangerous radiation (more money for the Rockefellers) which harms tissue and can end up causing the exact disease it is supposed to be protecting against – as happens daily with the mammogram scam, designed to drum up new breast cancer clients.

Healing vs. Curing

Healing vs curing: there is a difference. Healing takes into account the energetic and holographic nature of our body and reality.

Healing vs curing: there is a difference. Healing takes into account the energetic and holographic nature of our body and reality.

At this stage you may be thinking: well, Big Pharma and Western medicine do a lot of “managing” and “treating”, but aren’t they also in the business of “curing”? Yes – but even in this case, Western medicine is falling short of the ultimate goal of healing. Curing a disease and healing a disease are different things. As this website Healing Through The Arts states:

Curing is what medical science attempts to do through medication, treatment and external intervention. It usually is the result of a series of treatments that hopefully lead to an event – the absence of disease.

Healing is an internal process you do for yourself. Healing restores the balance and harmony to the body, mind and spirit. It can be done without a cure. Healing activities are essential when the negative influences of illness, loss or life changes encompass your life.”

The website MindBodyGreen states:

Curing is a restoration of health, an absence of symptoms, and a remedy of disease. Healing, on the other hand, is a restoration of wholeness — not the level of wholeness before the diagnosis, but a restoration of wholeness that is new, different, and comparatively better than before the onset of disease. Healing is not the removal or cessation of symptoms, but rather an integrative process that transcends the physical and includes mental, emotional, and spiritual vitality and wellness.”

Others have defined curing as the “elimination of all evidence of disease” and healing as “becoming whole”. There are many ways to conceive and verbalize the difference between curing and healing, but the overall point is that healing is a deeper concept which includes the understanding that we are not just physical beings. If we want to attain true health, we must address all the levels of our being. Often a “disease” is merely an outer physical manifestation of a psychological, energetic or spiritual blockage which is taking place at a much deeper level.

Deep down, we all want true healing.

Deep down, we all want true healing.

Big Pharma has (rightly) been accused of making drugs that just mask symptoms without healing the underling cause. In many cases, they transfer the disease or imbalance from one part of the body to another. From a holistic perspective, this is only minorly helpful or not helpful at all, because as long as you have some imbalance, you’ve still got a health problem you have to deal with. So, even if Big Pharma actually cures your disease, rather than just treating it or managing it, you still aren’t really at a place of true healing, or real health and balance. If the cause of your disease is happening on an energetic level, how can drugs, surgery or radiation ever address it?

Towards True Healing

In conclusion, if you want true healing, look at all aspects of your entire life. Are you indulging in negative thought patterns? Are you involved in toxic relationships? Are you getting the right type, frequency and duration of exercise? Are you sleeping well? Is your lifestyle too sedentary? Are you allowing questionable food items into your diet? How are you dealing with stress? Even if you are doing a good job on most of these, being weak in one of these areas may be enough to throw your system off balance and lead to disease. We’re all on a journey of remembering our true selves, and reclaiming our wholeness through true healing is an inseparable part of it.


Makia Freeman is the editor of The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at, writing on many aspects of the global conspiracy, from vaccines to Zionism to false flag operations and more, and also including info on natural health, sovereignty and higher consciousness.

The Secret Health Benefits Of Probiotics For Women

Smiling women

Appreciation for the role probiotic bacteria play in promoting good health has reached the mainstream, and now more people than ever before are taking notice. Whether they’re reaching for yogurt or kombucha or popping a probiotic supplement, it’s almost basic knowledge that probiotics offer a huge health benefit. Not only are probiotics helpful for easing digestive upsets, research shows these beneficial microbes may also support immunity, mood, vaginal health, and urinary health. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and constipation are also two concerning issues that may be helped with probiotic supplementation.

Women, IBS, and Constipation

Women are more susceptible to developing constipation and IBS, yet many don’t seek the quality care they need. Fortunately, drugs and other medical interventions may not be necessary in cases of constipation and mild to moderate IBS. Both conditions have seen an excellent response to the use of probiotic therapy. According to one study, all 20 IBS patients who received one probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum, reported resolution of their abdominal pain. [1] This study also showed an improvement in stool frequency for patients suffering from constipation. In addition, the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium lactis contributed to the easing of constipation symptoms in another study. [2]

Probiotics for Healthy Feminine Flora

Probiotics have benefits for everyone, but for women, the benefits may extend to controlling common feminine issues. Beneficial microbes help keep the vaginal area somewhat acidic, creating a hostile environment to infectious bacteria. Also, an imbalance of beneficial flora and pH levels are conducive for yeasts to infect and grow. This is why it’s so crucial for women to consume probiotics on a regular basis while eating an alkaline diet. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) and bacterial vaginosis (vaginitis) are also commonly associated with a deficiency in positive gut flora. [3]

Many of the conventional approaches to UTIs use antibiotics, but this route is becoming more problematic with the dramatic rise in antibiotic resistance. [4] So, while antibiotics may provide short-term benefit, their long-term effect remains debatable. Probiotics actually promote the growth of beneficial bacteria that fights the bad, compared with antibiotics which kill all bacteria (including the good guys). Vaginitis is also an irritating condition that results in unpleasant discharge and and itching. Fortunately, probiotics have also shown promise in approaching this condition by fighting the main causative bacteria, Gardnerella vaginalis.

Probiotic Strains that Support Women’s Health

According to the latest research, there are specific strains that may be helpful for fighting vaginitis, UTIs, and IBS. Research suggests some strains of Lactobacillus inhibit Gardnerella vaginalis from adhering to vaginal epithelium. [5] It appears that loss of vaginal lactobacilli is a major component in the development of changes contributing to bacterial vaginosis, making probiotic supplementation crucial. [6] As previously mentioned, L. plantarum may help women with irritable bowel symptoms; however, most probiotic strains show benefit for this condition. With UTIs, the strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri appear to be the most effective at reducing risk. [7]

What is the Best Probiotic for Women?

There are different types of probiotic supplement options for women, from vaginal suppository to dietary supplements. A suppository supplement works by inserting the probiotic into the vaginal cavity at the first sign of issues. This is supposed to restore bacterial balance within the vagina while fighting harmful microbes that cause yeast infections, UTIs, and general vaginitis. A dietary supplement is less invasive and only requires swallowing one or two small capsules. This method allows for proliferation of billions of viable bacteria to populate both the intestines and other areas of the body. Because of its wide range of proliferation, this may be the preferred method for providing a larger health benefit.

Why Probiotics Matter

Probiotics support healthy vaginal environment and urinary tract environment. Without an appropriate bacterial balance, vaginal health is threatened by a wide range of harmful invaders. One way to ensure the correct quantity and quality of beneficial bacteria your body has at all times is to take a probiotic supplement, particularly one that contains a number of different beneficial bacteria strains. FloraTrex™ is one that I highly recommend, especially to women.

Have you taken a probiotic supplement to support feminine health? We’d love to hear of your experiences in the comments!


  1. Niedzielin K, Kordecki H, Birkenfeld B. A controlled, double-blind, randomized study on the efficacy of Lactobacillus plantarum 299V in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2001 Oct;13(10):1143-7.
  2. Dimidi E, Christodoulides S, Fragkos KC, Scott SM, Whelan K. The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-anlysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Oct;100(4):1075-84. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.089151.
  3. Nikhil Kumar, Beauty Behera, Sai S. Sagiri, et al. Bacterial vaginosis: Etiology and modalities of treatment–A brief note. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2011 Oct-Dec; 3(4): 496-503. doi: 10.4103/0975-7406.90102.
  4. J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC. Urinary Tract Infections and Resistant Bacteria. Rev Urol. 2007 Spring; 9(2): 78-80.
  5. Joana Castro, Ana Henriques, Antonio Machado, et al. Reciprocal Interference between Lactobacillus spp. and Gardnerella vaginalis on Initial Adherence to Epithelial Cells. Int J Med Sci. 2013; 10(9): 1193-1198.
  6. Beerepoot Ma, ter Riet G, Nys S, et al. Lactobacilli vs antibiotics to prevent urinary tract infections: a randomized, double-blind, noninferiority trial in postmenopasual women. Arch Intern Med. 2012 May 14;172(9):704-12. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2012.777.
  7. Falagas ME, Betsi GI, Tokas T, Athanasiou S. Probiotics for prevention of recurrent urinary tract infections in women: a review of the evidence from microbiological and clinical studies. Drugs. 2006;66(9):1253-61.

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.

If Cannabis Can Kill “Incurable” Brain Cancer, Why Is It Criminalized? (VIDEO)


Cannabis contains a compound that may kill brain cancers that chemotherapy and radiation can’t touch, so why isn’t it being used today? 

In recent years, we’ve focused heavily on educating our readers about the still relatively unknown role that cancer stem cells play in cancer, both in terms of conventional cancer treatment failure and the exceptionally promising role that natural interventions play in targeting these highly malignant cells.

It is encouraging to witness a growing awareness that cancer has been completely misunderstood, and that in order to make progress against the global epidemic we will have to go back to the wisdom of the ancients by using foods and spices instead of toxic chemicals and radiation to fight a disease that should be classified more as a survival mechanism unmasked than an inexorably lethal, genetically-driven condition. Even the National Cancer Institute now admits that it had been wrong for decades about “early stage” breast (DCIS) and prostate (HGPIN) “cancers,” and that they should be reclassified as indolent or benign lesions of epithelial origin, i.e. not “cancer” at all! Essentially, therefore, millions were overdiagnosed and overtreated for cancers they never had. Even now, despite this admission, the vast majority of conventional doctors have yet to account for, acknowledge, or integrate this radically different definition of cancer and its implications for treatment into their “standard of care.”

Only last week, we featured a new review on natural therapies that target cancer stem cells, many of which included common foods and spices. You can view it here. But one substance conspicuously absent from the list was cannabis, which is the herb we now turn to to give it a fair representation in the context of this topic.


A recent article published in the Journal Neuroimmune Pharmacology titled, “The Antitumor Activity of Plant-Derived Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids,” reviewed the therapeutic potential of a non-psychoactive class of phytochemicals found in cannabis known as cannabinoids. Unlike THC, cannabinoids do not activate the cannabinoid 1 and cannabinoid 2 receptors in the central nervous system in any significant way, making their activity less controversial as they do not produce changes in perception and sensation associated with “recreational” and/or “psychedelic” drugs. There are actually over 60 cannabinoids in cannabis, but the second most abundant one, cannabidiol (CBD), has been found to inhibit and/or kill a wide range of cancers in the animal model, including gliobastoma (a difficult-to-treat type of brain cancer), breast, lung, prostate, and colon cancer. There have been a wide range of mechanisms identified behind these observed anti-tumor activities, including anti-angiogenic (preventing new blood vessel formation), anti-metastatic, anti-cell viability, but the one we wish to focus on in this report is its ability to to inhibit the stem-like potential of cancer cells.

Stem cells are unique within the body as they are capable of continual self-renewal, theoretically making them immortal relative to regular body cells (somatic cells), which die after a fixed number or replication cycles. In their normal state of function they are essential for healing and bodily regeneration, as they are capable of differentiating into the wide range of cells that make up the body and need to be regularly replaced when damaged.


This so-called pluripotent property of stem cells is also observed in tumor formation and maintenance, as cancer stem cells are capable of producing the entire range of different cells that make up a tumor colony. Unlike regular tumor cells, cancer stem cells are uniquely tumorigenic because they are capable of breaking off from an existing lesion or tumor and forming a new tumor colony of cells. In this sense, they are “mother cells” at the heart of cancer malignancy, whose ability to colonize other tissues by producing all the “daughter cells” necessary to form a new tumor make their existence highly concerning from the perspective of cancer prevention and treatment. Radiation and chemotherapy, while capable of reducing the size of a tumor, actually enrich the post-treatment residual lesion or tumor with higher levels of cancer stem cells, and in some cases transform non-cancer stem cells into cancer stem cells, ultimately making the post-treatment state of the treated tissue far worse than its pre-treatment condition. This is why identifying and using natural, safe, effective and affordable ways to target cancer stem cells versus the non-tumorigenic tumor cells in a lesion or tumor is the only rational way to treat cancer, and should be the primary focus of present day cancer treatment approaches.

The new review discussed the way that cannabidiol targets and/or inhibits the cancer stem cell subpopulation in cancers such as the highly treatment-resistant form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma, which is widely considered by conventional medicine as “incurable.” A 2013 study,1 mentioned in the review, found that patient-derived glioblastoma cells when exposed to cannabidiol saw a significant down-regulation of the genetic tumor marker Id-1, which has been closely correlated with brain cancer cell invasiveness. They also found that cannabidiol was capable of inhibiting neurosphere formation (a sign of cancer stem cell tumor formation), as well as was capable of inhibiting glioblastoma tumor invasiveness in an animal model.

The results of this preclinical study were so compelling that the researchers concluded cannibidiol might make an ideal adjunct treatment:

With its lack of systemic toxicity and psychoactivity, cannabidiol is an ideal candidate agent in this regard and may prove useful in combination with front-line agents for the treatment of patients with aggressive and high-grade glioblastoma tumors.

Integrative approaches often focus on using natural interventions as “adjuncts” to conventional, inherently toxic approaches like chemotherapy and radiation, we believe that another possibility exists, namely, that cannabidiol in combination with a wide range of other natural substances studied for targeting glioblastoma is more effective (and certainly far safer) than a combination approach. To view other anti-glioblastoma substances, view our database on the subject.

Another highly relevant study published in 2007 titled, “Cannabinoids induce glioma stem-like cell differentiation and inhibit gliomagenesis,”2 found that cannabinoids target the stem-like properties of glioma cells, encouraging their differentiation into functioning, non-tumorigenic cells, and inhibiting the dysregulated increased production of glioma cells.

A more recent 2015 study,3 found that glioblastoma cells treated with cannabidiol inhibited their self-renewal by down-regulating “critical stem cell maintenance and growth regulators.”

Another study, published last month, found that cannabidiol inhibits glioma stem-like proliferation by inducing autophagy, a natural form of programmed cell death.4

Consider, finally, that the cancer stem cell targeting and killing properties of cannabidiol are only one of a wide range of potential mechanisms through which cannabis as a whole plant, comprised of hundreds of different phytochemicals and phytonutrients, can treat cancer. We have indexed hundreds of studies on cannabis’ therapeutic properties, a good subset concerning its ability to prevent, kill, or regress a wide range of different cancer types. You can view them all on our cannabis research database.

Research on cannabis and brain cancer has only just begun, but considering the abject failure if not also sheer violence of conventional approaches, waiting for sufficient quantities of Pharma or government capital to flow in the direction of a non-patentable substance already saddled with archaic laws in some cases criminalizing its possession is a no win proposition. Anecdotes of healing with cannabis are not uncommon. One such report can be viewed on our colleague Dr. Jeffrey Dach’s website, titled, “Cannabis Oil Brain Tumor Remission,” demonstrating just how powerful cannabis and its cannabinoids may be for accomplishing what conventional approaches can not. Last year, we reported on a similar case of temporary remission in childhood leukemia using cannabis extract. Also, consider reports like this one, where a woman clearly being victimized by conventional medicine was able to replace 40 different medications through using raw cannabis juice.

The short of it is that the future of medicine, if it is to continue to advertise itself to be concerned with alleviating human suffering and being guided by “evidence,” must incorporate this safe, time-tested, affordable and effective healing agent into its standard of care. Failing to do so will not de-validate cannabis, rather, but the medical system itself. One might ask, if cannabis can treat “incurable” brain cancers, and is safer and more effective than chemotherapy and radiation, shouldn’t withholding it or information about its healing properties be considered criminal? Instead we still live in a time and age where simply possessing it or using it is in some jurisdictions classified as a criminal offense of dire if not irreparable consequence to our civil liberties. Perhaps we are at a critical turning point now and the aforementioned research will lead us all forward to a more enlightened medical ethos that respects the right of a patient to choose his or her treatment as long as it does no harm to others.


1Soroceanu L, Murase R, Limbad C, Singer EL, Allison J, Adrados I, Kawamura R, Pakdel A, Fukuyo Y, Nguyen D, Khan S, Arauz R, Yount GL, Moore D, Desprez PY, McAllister SD (2013) Id-1 is a Key transcriptional regulator of glioblastoma aggressiveness and a novel therapeutic target. Cancer Res 73:1559–1569

Tania Aguado, Arkaitz Carracedo, Boris Julien, Guillermo Velasco, Garry Milman, Raphael Mechoulam, Luis Alvarez, Manuel Guzmán, Ismael Galve-Roperh. Cannabinoids induce glioma stem-like cell differentiation and inhibit gliomagenesis. J Biol Chem. 2007 Mar 2;282(9):6854-62. Epub 2007 Jan 2.

Singer E, Judkins J, Salomonis N, Matlaf L, Soteropoulos P, McAllister S, Soroceanu L (2015) Reactive oxygen species-mediated therapeu- tic response and resistance in glioblastoma. Cell Death Dis 6:e1601

4 Nabissi M, Morelli MB, Amantini C, Liberati S, Santoni M, Ricci-Vitiani L, Pallini R, Santoni G. Cannabidiol stimulates Aml-1a-dependent glial differentiation and inhibits glioma stem-like cells proliferation by inducing autophagy in a TRPV2-dependent manner. Int J Cancer. 2015 Oct 15;137(8):1855-69. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29573. Epub 2015 May 8. PubMed PMID: 25903924.

Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of

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

The Health Risks And Benefits Of The Oleander Plant

Warning: Oleander extract is made from a highly-lethal, poisonous plant. The following post is meant to offer exciting insight into emerging scientific evidence of its use as a natural remedy. Taking this extract without the guidance of an expert can lead to serious health complications, including death.

Recently I have had alot of questions regarding the benefits and risks of taking Oleander Extract for cancer as well as the bird or swine flu and other conditions. I think that this plant has amazing properties and is definitely worth writing a post about.

I do, however, recommend anyone wanting to take this herb do their own research. Sometimes the most poisonous plants give us the most rapid health benefits but must be used with extreme caution.

The Origins of Oleander

oleander_flowerKnown in ancient texts as “the desert rose,” historical references show that 15th century B.C. Mesopotamians trusted in the healing benefits of oleander extracts. From a remedy for hangovers to a herb studied for cancer, the Babylonians, Romans, Arabs and ancient Greeks alike used this herbal extract for a variety of health concerns.

Oleander, also known as laurier rose, dogbane and rosebay, is native to the Western Himalayas. It is an incredibly hardy, adaptable plant which grows thick and green in mountainous climates.

Quickly growing, this plant bears clusters of lovely pinkish-white and red flowers in the spring time. Traditionally, oleander leaf has been used to treat a number of health conditions. If you live in the southern United States, chances are you or your neighbors may have some growing in the yard.

Modern studies show that while no single chemical component of the extract can be stated as the sole source of its health benefits, the powerful activity of the plant comes from a highly complex amalgamation of components held within the combined form of the extract. These components work synergistically to boost and stimulate the human immune system, offering support for a wide variety of health concerns.

List of Possible Health Benefits of Oleander

Oleander also works as a low-level toxicant to boost immune function in individuals in the following ways:

  • Contains tremendous immune boosting action
  • Inhibits angiogenesis
  • Inhibits NF-kB factor in cancer cells
  • Causes apoptosis in cancerous cells (natural cell death)
  • Causes and increased rates of autophagic cancer cell death when tested on pancreatic cancer

Today, scientists are looking into the possible health benefits of heavily diluted oleander:

  • Helping with muscle cramps
  • Natural support for asthma, epilepsy and paralysis
  • Help for skin conditions such as eczema
  • Powerful all natural organic insecticide
  • Usefulness in aiding heart conditions
  • Natural support for healthy blood sugar levels
  • Possible support for the HIV virus
  • Usefulness in increasing healing times for wounds, when crushed and applied topically
  • Powerful immune-system stimulator
  • Promoting normal menstrual cycles
  • Aiding the body in the fight against arthritis, psoriasis & hepatitis C

Oleander Extract: Did You Know?

The government of South Africa is currently endorsing the use of oleander extract as a treatment for HIV. Similarly, many universities and institutions in the country are following suit, using the extract for the support of cancer patients [1].

Studies by Doctor Ozel, head of the surgical department at Mugla State Hospital of Turkey, found that oleander extract was useful in treating human cancer patients who had been considered terminal cases by conventional medical therapy [2].

Oleander: Side Effects & Contraindications

While oleander may possess many healing properties, much like many powerful botanical remedies, this plant can also be deadly when taken or prepared incorrectly. This plant should never be eaten raw, as its raw extract form is highly toxic. One raw leaf has enough poison in it to kill a small child, as well as any pet [3].

There have been many cases of poisoning and death due to intake of oleander, oleander leaf tea, and its extracts. Even eating honey made from the nectar of the plant can produce dangerous effects [4].

Due to this fact, supplemental use of this plant should ONLY be done under the guidance of a trained herbalist or doctor, under careful observation and controlled conditions. Similarly, due to the highly toxic nature of the plant, this botanical should only be taken in cases of disease support, and is NOT recommended as a daily supportive health supplement.

If anyone is interested I would only recommend using the Sutherlandia OPC brand. Studies show that Dr. Ozel’s oleander-based remedy was over six times as potent as the most powerful, commercially sold immune-stimulants.

Please remember, that when it comes to Oleander, do the proper research and check with a trained herbalist or doctor prior to ingesting any supplements with Oleander extract in it.


  1. Tony Isaacs. History of the Oleander Plant. Disabled World. 2007 November 28.
  2. Tony Isaacs. An Amazing Discovery in Turkey-Part1 of the Oleander Series. Natural News. 2008 April 6.
  3. Davies MK, Mayne AJ. Oleander poisoning. Arch Dis Child. 2001 Jan;84(1):9.
  4. Jacob L. Heller MD MHA,Virginia Mason, David Zieve, MD MHA. Oleander Poisoning. The New York Times Health Guide. 2009 October 13.

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.

25 Cancer Stem Cell Killing Foods Smarter Than Chemo And Radiation


A new scientific review identifies 25 of the top foods and herbs which kill the cancer stem cells at the root cause of cancer malignancy. 

There are thousands of natural compounds that have been studied with demonstrable anti-cancer activity (check out over 600 on our cancer research database), but only a small subset of these have been proven to target and kill the cancer stem cells which lie at the root of cancer malignancy. Turmeric, for instance, we have featured a number of times for this “smart kill” property of targeting just the heart of cancerous tumors. More recently, ginger has been found in pre-clinical research to contain a compound up to 10,000 times more effective than the chemotherapy drug Taxol at killing breast cancer stem cells. Even common food like blueberry have special cancer killing properties, as discussed in a previous article: Research: Radiotherapy Causes Cancer, Blueberry Kills It.

A new study published in the journal Anticancer Research titled, “Natural Products That Target Cancer Stem Cells,” has made our job much easier of identifying this special category of cancer killers by reviewing the extant literature on the topic and listing the top 25 substances in this category. They are listed here below, along with some of their commonly recognizable dietary sources:

  1. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)Green Tea

  2. 6-Gingerol – Ginger

  3. β-Carotene – Carrot, Leafy Greens

  4. BaicaleinChinese Skullcap

  5. CurcuminTurmeric

  6. Cyclopamine – Corn Lilly [we do not suggest consuming this plant; this simply illustrates natural components exist that kill cancer stem cells]

  7. Delphinidin – Blueberry, raspberrry

  8. Flavonoids (Genistein) – Soy, red clover, coffee

  9. Gossypol – Cottonseed [we do not suggest consuming this plant; this simply illustrates natural components exist that kill cancer stem cells]

  10. Guggulsterone – Commiphora (myrrh tree)

  11. Isothiocyanates – Cruciferous vegetables

  12. Linalool – Mint

  13. Lycopene – Grapefruit, tomato

  14. Parthenolide – Feverfew

  15. Perylill alcohol – Mint, cherry, lavender

  16. Piperine – Black pepper

  17. Placycodon saponin – Playycodon grandifloruim

  18. Psoralidin – Psoralea corylilyfolia

  19. Quercetin – Capers, onion

  20. Resveratrol – Grapes, plums, berries

  21. Salinomycin – Streptomyces albus

  22. Silibinin – Milk Thistle

  23. Ursolic acid – Thyme, basil, oregano

  24. Vitamin D3 – Fish, egg yolk, beef, cod liver oil

  25. Withaferin A – Withania somnifera (ashwaganda)

Why are these substances so important?

The primary reason why conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy have failed to produce any significant improvements in cancer survival rates is because cancer stem cells are resistant to these interventions. In fact, chemotherapy and especially radiation are both capable of increasing the number and virulence of these cells in a tumor, while at the same time having the well known side effect of further damaging the patient’s immune system.

While the cancer industry is still very much resistant to incorporating the implications of these findings into their standard of care (which is highly unethical), there are an increasing number of health practitioners that will not turn their back on the truth and are very much interested in alternative ways to prevent and treat cancer using food and/or plant-based approaches.

The new study addresses the relevance of cancer stem cells as follows:

The cancer stem cell model suggests that tumor initiation is governed by a small subset of distinct cells with stem-like character termed cancer stem cells (CSCs). CSCs possess properties of self-renewal and intrinsic survival mechanisms that contribute to resistance of tumors to most chemotherapeutic drugs. The failure to eradicate CSCs during the course of therapy is postulated to be the driving force for tumor recurrence and metastasis. Recent studies have focused on understanding the unique phenotypic properties of CSCs from various tumor types, as well as the signaling pathways that underlie self-renewal and drug resistance.”

At present, the cancer industry has failed to produce a single drug that targets the cancer stem cell population of cells within a tumor, as confirmed by the study:

If indeed the CSC response is a vital criterion for cancer treatment evaluation, there are still no drugs in clinical use that specifically target CSCs.

The ability to selectively target cancer cells, and cancer stem cells in particular, while leaving intact the non-tumor cells in tissue is extremely important. We have created a section on our database that indexes research on these substances and now includes sixty seven of them here. We are also building a section that collates research cancer stem cells, a topic will no doubt become a central part of the future of cancer treatment, assuming the priority is to actually alleviate suffering and not just make money off of patients.

Article Contributed by Sayer Ji, Founder of

Sayer Ji is an author, researcher, lecturer, and advisory board member of the National Health Federation. He founded 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.

Rosacea: Symptoms And Natural Remedies


Earlier this year, researchers at Stanford University identified genes connected to Rosacea. [1] Maybe this knowledge will help create better treatments for those suffering from this skin condition. In the meantime, there are simple, inexpensive natural remedies to help heal and reduce the dry skin, itchiness, and redness of rosacea.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition easily recognized by redness, bumps, and pimples that appear on the nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin. It can spread to the ears, back, and chest. It’s estimated that more than 16 million Americans suffer from it, especially in the 30-50 year old age group from Celtic and Baltic descent. [2]

Causes of Rosacea

Many people who develop rosacea tend to have family members with it. This makes sense with the recent Stanford University research. The specific cause of rosacea is a unknown, but there are many factors that can trigger it. These include:

  • Immune response to a bacteria. Those with acne rosacea often experience a heightened immune reaction to B. oleronius.
  • H. pylori is a type of bacteria that can live in your digestive tract. Many people with rosacea have H. pylori infection.
  • A mite that lives on the nose and cheeks of every human, Demodex, occurs in large numbers on the face of people with rosacea.
  • A skin protein that protects from infection may cause redness and swelling in some people.
  • Another research suggests sunlight, food, and chemical toxins may be factors in rosacea too. [3]

What are the Symptoms?

There are four types of rosacea:

1. Facial Redness

Appears as constant flushing and redness in the cheeks and nose with blood vessels often visible. Dry, itchy skin and roughness may also appear. It’s officially called Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea.

2. Acne rosacea

Breakouts like acne with bumps or actual pimples appear with this type of rosacea. Some people even develop raised patches of skin called plaques. This type is called Papulopustular rosacea.

3. Swollen Nose

In some cases, the skin of the nose thickens and becomes bumpy, irregular, and swollen. Like the other forms of rosacea, the skin is also red. This condition is also known as Phymatous rosacea.

4. Ocular Rosacea

As it sounds, this condition afflicts the eyes. They may appear red and irritated or bloodshot or watery. The eyelids may swell. Styes are common in those who suffer from eye irritation caused by rosacea.

Watch Your Diet

Your diet plays an important role in your health. Some foods and germs (like H. pylori) can trigger immune system reactions in your gut that can make conditions like rosacea worse. To keep your gut healthy, eat probiotics like yogurt and kefir regularly. They keep harmful organisms like H. pylori under control and aid digestion to prevent foods from causing irritation.

Some foods trigger rosacea. Common foods that lead to complaints include:

  • Dairy like sour cream and cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Vinegar
  • Veggies: eggplant, avocados, spinach, beans
  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas
  • Spicy foods

Lifestyle Factors May Contribute to Rosacea

Food’s not the only way to trigger rosacea. Many patients claim alcohol triggers their symptoms. When it comes to skin care products, avoid makeup and lotions with fragrance or perfume, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus, and witch hazel.

Stress and anxiety also trigger the immune system to respond and can make symptoms appear or current symptoms worse. Heat, sun, winds, and humidity may also make this skin condition appear.

Find Natural Skin Care that Works for You

Aloe Vera

You can buy an Aloe vera gel or use aloe vera fresh from the leaf of an aloe vera plant. To use fresh, pluck a leaf from an aloe vera plant, break it open, and lightly massage the juice on your face. Once it dries, rinse with lukewarm water.


With anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, oatmeal moisturizes and delivers nutrients that help calm the redness and itchiness of rosacea. Mix oatmeal with half that amount of water and spread over the face and irritated skin. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes and rinse with cool water. Dry your skin gently.

Green Tea

Soak a facial towel in green tea and place it on your face for 20-30 minutes. Its nutrients cleanse, calm, and soothe your skin.

Raw Honey

Raw honey is a sweet treat that makes an excellent skin treatment. It protects against germs, acne, and dryness. Simply rub one or two tablespoons of raw honey – it must be raw – on your face for 10 minutes and rinse with warm water. Do this a couple times a week.


Mix Turmeric powder or crushed fresh turmeric with plain yogurt. Apply and leave the mixture on for 15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water. Do this daily to get the most from turmeric’s antioxidant and cleansing effect.

You can find other natural home remedies to treat rosacea. I personally recommend a two-faceted approach. Soothe the irritated skin with Parfait Visage®. And use a probiotic such as FloraTrex™ to encourage healthy digestion, prevent bacterial infection, and reduce redness and swelling associated with immune system response.


  1. Stanford Medicine News Center. Genetic basis of rosacea identified by researchers. 2015 Mar 12.
  2. National Rosacea Center. What is Rosacea?
  3. Vemuri RC1, Gundamaraju R1, Sekaran SD1, Manikam R2. Major pathophysiological correlations of rosacea: a complete clinical appraisal. Int J Med Sci. 2015 May 5;12(5):387-96. doi: 10.7150/ijms.10608.

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.