Category Archives: Natural Medicine

What Is Shilajit?

Shilajit For Diabetes

Hailing from the Caucasus and Himalayan mountains, Shilajit (pronounced shi-lah-jeet) is a naturally-occurring substance that’s rich in beneficial nutrients. Although it’s somewhat unknown today, it is still prominent in many natural health practices, including Ayurveda. This blackish, smooth substance can be found in high concentrations in the Altai Mountains. One of the main constituents of the material is fulvic acid, which has shown some promise in heavy metal protection and brain support.

What is Shilajit?

Shilajit is a sticky resin that oozes from rocks in the mountains in response from the heat of the sun. It is often referred to as “rock sweat” and “stone oil” for its tar and sap-like texture. You’ll often see shilajit as a black color, but it typically ranges in hue depending on location. The substance is rich in nutrients, like humic acid, A, B, and C vitamins, and trace minerals, and it may be useful for supporting men’s health. While shilajit research is by no means large, there is some evidence that its compounds can provide many health benefits.

What are the Benefits of Shilajit?

Shilajit may support healthy aging, increase the body’s ability to rejuvenate tissue, increase metabolism, boost the immune system, promote digestive health, and even help strengthen bones. Its effects on brain health should also be noted. Research shows that compounds in shilajit may be helpful for reducing Alzheimer’s disease risk. [1] According to some spiritual traditions, shilajit may also be helpful for cleansing chakras, or energy centers at various points of the body. [2]

Shilajit contains at least 85 substances and minerals that are essential for the human body, including vitamins A, B, and C, and essential minerals like iron, zinc, and magnesium. Due to its mineral content, some research suggests it may be helpful in cases of anemia. [3] It’s incredible as an antioxidant and helps neutralize harmful free-radicals. The antioxidants may explain why shilajit is so beneficial for brain health. Review of the literature on shilajit also shows the substance to be a powerful adaptogen. [4] Perhaps its best feature though is its rich concentration of fulvic acid.

What is Fulvic Acid?

Fulvic acid–also known as humic acid–is like an octane booster for your body. It is a mixture of a number of different acids and is composed from degraded organic matter. Fulvic acid helps makes nutrients more absorbable, supports brain health, and makes it easier for your body to cleanse itself of chemicals, toxic metals, and harmful compounds that negatively affect your health.

Supplementing With Shilajit

Shilajit can be taken as a standalone supplement, and it’s also sometimes added to herbal formulations to supercharge their effect. In fact, that’s why we’ve added it to several of our products, including Zeotrex, our solution for chemical and toxic metal cleansing.

Have you ever used shilajit? What were your experiences?

References:

  1. Carrasco-Gallardo Carlos, Guzmán Leonardo, and Ricardo B. Maccioni. Shilajit: A Natural Phytocomplex with Potential Procognitive Activity. National Center for Biotechnology Information. USA.Gov, 2012.
  2. Ayurvedic Living. Shilajit: A Cure For All Weakness. AyurvedicLiving.org. AyurvedicLiving.org, 2015.
  3. C. Velmurugan, B. Vivek, E. Wilson, T. Bharathi, and T. Sundaram. Evaluation of safety profile of black shilajit after 91 days repeated administration in rats. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2012 Mar; 2(3): 210-214. doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(12)60043-4.
  4. Agarwal SP, Khanna R, Karmarkar R, Anwer MK, Khar RK. Shilajit: a review. Phytother Res. 2007 May;21(5):401-5.

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.

Why Cannabis Is The Future Of Medicine

cannabis_the_future_of_medicine

The future of medicine rests on the fundamental right we all have to use things that spring from the Earth naturally as healing agents. Why should cannabis, used for at least 10000 years by humankind to alleviate suffering, be excluded from this inexorable mandate?

The politics of cannabis are exceedingly complex, and yet the truth is simple: this freely growing plant heals the human body – not to mention provides food, fuel, clothing and shelter, if only we will let it perform its birthright. In a previous article, we investigated the strange fact that the human body is in many ways pre-designed, or as it were, pre-loaded with a receptiveness to cannabis’ active compounds — cannabinoids — thanks to its well documented endocannabinoid system.

But the medical-industrial complex in the U.S. does not want you to use these freely growing compounds. They threaten its very business model and existence. Which is why it synergizes so naturally with the burgeoning privatized prison sector, which now has the dubious title of having the highest incarceration rate in the world. The statistics don’t lie:

“far surpassing any other nation. For every 100,000 Americans, 743 citizens sit behind bars. Presently, the prison population in America consists of more than six million people, a number exceeding the amount of prisoners held in the gulags of the former Soviet Union at any point in its history.”

According to a recent Al-Jeezera editorial, “One explanation for the boom in the prison population is the mandatory sentencing imposed for drug offences and the “tough on crime” attitude that has prevailed since the 1980s.”

Cannabis/marijuana is presently on the DEA’s Schedule 1 list.  Since 1972, cannabis has been listed on the Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the most tightly restricted category reserved for drugs which have “no currently accepted medical use”. Opioids, stimulants, psychedelics and a few antidepressants now populate this list of substances that can put you in jail for possessing without a prescription.

The notion that marijuana has no ‘medicinal benefits’ is preposterous, actually. Since time immemorial it has been used as a panacea (‘cure-all’). In fact, as far back as 2727 B.C., cannabis was recorded in the Chinese pharmacopoeia as an effective medicine, and evidence for its use as a food, textile and presumably as a healing agent stretch back even further, to 12 BC.[1]

When it comes to cannabis’ medical applications, cannabis’ ‘healing properties’ is a loaded term. In fact, it is extremely dangerous, as far as the medical industrial complex goes, who has the FDA/FTC to enforce it’s mandate: anything that prevents, diagnoses, treats or cures a disease must be an FDA approved drug by law, i.e. pharmaceutical agents which often have 75 or more adverse effects for each marketed and approved “therapeutic” effect.

Indeed, the dominant, drug-based medical system does not even acknowledge the body’s healing abilities, opting for a view that looks at most bodily suffering as fatalistic, primarily genetically based, and resulting from dysfunction in the mechanical design of a highly entropic ‘bag of enzymes and proteins’ destined to suffer along the trajectory of time.

And so, an at least two trillion dollar a year industry stands between you and access to the disease alleviating properties of this humble plant.

As Emerson said, “a weed is an herb whose virtues have yet to be discovered,” and yet, by this definition, cannabis is not a weed, but given that is has been extensively researched and used for thousands of years for a wide range of health conditions, it should be considered and respected as a medicinal herb and food. Sadly, the fact that the whole herb is non-patentable is the main reason why it is still struggling to gain approval from the powers that be.

Let’s look at the actual, vetted, published and peer-reviewed research – bullet proof, if we are to subscribe to the ‘evidence-based’ model of medicine – which includes over 100 proven therapeutic actions of this amazing plant, featuring the following:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Pain
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Brachial Plexus Neuropathies
  • Insomnia
  • Multiple Splasticity
  • Memory Disorders
  • Social Anxiety Disorders
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Cancer
  • Opiate Addiction
  • Anorexia
  • Bladder Dysfunction
  • Bronchial Asthma
  • Chemotherapy-induced Harm
  • Constipation
  • Crack Addiction
  • Dementia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Heroin Addiction
  • Lymphoma
  • Nausea
  • Neuropathy
  • Obesity
  • Phantom Limb
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Endotoxemia
  • Myocardia Infarction (Heart Attack)
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Diabetes: Cataract
  • Tremor
  • Cardiac Arrhythmias
  • Fatigue
  • Fulminant Liver Failure
  • Low Immune Function
  • Aging
  • Alcohol Toxicity
  • Allodynia
  • Arthritis: Rheumatoid
  • Ascites
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes Type 1
  • High Cholesterol
  • Liver Damage
  • Menopausal Syndrome
  • Morphine Dependence
  • Appetite Disorders
  • Auditory Disease
  • Dystonia
  • Epstein-Barr infections
  • Gynecomasia
  • Hepatitis
  • Intestinal permeability
  • Leukemia
  • Liver Fibrosis
  • Migraine Disorders
  • Oncoviruses
  • Psoriasis
  • Thymoma

Moreover, this plant’s therapeutic properties have been subdivided into the following 40+ pharmacological actions:

  • Analgesic (Pain Killing)
  • Neuroprotective
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anxiolytic
  • Tumor necrosis factor inhibitor
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiproliferative
  • Apoptotic
  • Chempreventive
  • Antidepressive
  • Antiemetic
  • Bronchodilator
  • Anti-metastatic
  • Anti-neoplastic
  • Antioxidant
  • Cardioprotective
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Anti-tumor
  • Enzyme inhibitor
  • Immunomodulatory
  • Anti-angiogenic
  • Autophagy up-regulation
  • Acetylocholinesterase inhibitor
  • Anti-platelet
  • Calcium channel blocker
  • Cell cycle arrest
  • Cylooxygenase inhibitor
  • Glycine agents
  • Immunomodulatory: T-Cell down-regulation
  • Intracellular adhesion molecule-1 inducer
  • Matrix mettaproteinase-1 inhibitor
  • Neuritohgenic
  • Platelet Aggregration Inhibito
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A inhibitor
  • Anti-apoptotic
  • Anti-proliferative
  • Anti-psychotic
  • Antiviral
  • Caspase-3 activation
  • Chemosensitizer
  • Immunosupressive agent
  • Interleukin-6 upregulation
  • Tumor suppressor protein p53 upregulation

Thanks to modern scientific investigation, it is no longer considered strictly ‘theoretical’ that cannabis has a role to play in medicine. There is a growing movement to wrench back control from the powers that be, whose primary objectives appear to be the subjection of the human body in order to control the population (political motives) — what 20th century French philosopher Michel Foucault termed biopower, and not to awaken true healing powers intrinsic within the body of all self-possessed members of society. Even the instinct towards recreational use – think of the etymology: to re-create – should be allowed, as long as those who choose to use cannabis instead of tobacco and alcohol (and prescription drugs) do not cause harm to themselves or others. How many deaths are attributed to cannnabis each year versus these other societally approved recreational agents, not to mention prescription drugs, which are the 3rd leading cause of death in the developed world?

Ultimately, the politics surrounding cannabis access and the truth about its medicinal properties are so heavily a politicized issue that it is doubtful the science itself will prevail against the distorted lens of media characterizations of it as a ‘dangerous drug,’ and certainly not the iron-clad impasse represented by federal laws against its possession and use. All we can do is to advocate for the fundamental rights we all possess as free men and women, and our inborn right towards self-possession, i.e as long as what we do does not interfere with the choices and rights of others, we should be free to use an herb/food/textile that sprouts freely and grows freely from this earth, as God/Nature as freely made available.

I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong?

~ Willie Nelson

“Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit . . . unnatural?” – Bill Hicks


[1] Marijuana – The First Twelve Thousand Years


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

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

Migraine Sufferers Look To Oxygen Therapy For Relief

Migraine

Sufferers of migraines and headaches might see some relief in their future thanks to two types of oxygen therapy, according to a review of research from several separate studies [1].

Many people are affected by migraine headaches or know people who are. Migraines are considered a neurological syndrome that, alongside the painful headaches, are often accompanied by vomiting, nausea and sensitivity to light.

Cluster headaches are less known. They tend to affect only one side of your head, and are discernible thanks to their piercing quality.

The Cochrane Collaboration, publishers of The Cochrane Library, evaluate medical research, and in this instance compared nine studies focusing on the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and normobaric oxygen therapy.

Normobaric and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Normobaric oxygen therapy consists of inhaling pure oxygen at a normal room pressure through an oxygen mask. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is more commonly known and is when a patient will breathe oxygen in a specially designed chamber that increases the atmospheric pressure around the body.

Three of the studies that focused on hyperbaric treatment of migraines saw a large number of patients experience a significant relief from migraines after 40-45 minutes in a hyperbaric chamber. Two other studies found a much larger percentage of their patients suffering from cluster headaches experience relief after only 15 minutes of normobaric oxygen therapy.

All studies were tested against placebo/sham studies to gauge their realistic potential for medical benefit.

“We believe that hyperbaric oxygen is also a reasonable measure for migraine sufferers who have not responded to other measures to treat an acute attack,” said lead reviewer Michael Bennett, of Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine at Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney. “However, the poor availability of hyperbaric chambers makes this an option only in a minority of health facilities.”

In the case of oxygen treatments, access to technology comes hand in hand with knowledge of what to do with that technology. Kirchner’s treatment for the thousands of patients that he has dealt with is avoiding triggers and taking preventive and symptomatic medications.

Migraines and Cluster Headaches

I believe that the root cause of migraines and cluster headaches are either a spinal misalignment in the cervical region or toxic compounds introduced into the body. I also believe two substances seem to aggravate or contribute to the initiation of these headaches. They are aspartame and MSG. I recommend eliminating these substances from your dietary intake and seeing a qualified natural healthcare practitioner or chiropractor for proper diagnosis and therapy.

For people who can afford spending around $12,000-15,000, you can purchase your own portable hyperbaric chamber.

References:

  1. Center for the Advancement of Health. Oxygen Therapy Might Ease Pain Of Migraine, Cluster Headaches. 17 Jul7 2008. http://www.cfah.org/hbns/getDocument.cfm?documentID=1740. (last accessed: 2008-07-28).

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.

Even Ants Use Natural Medicine Because IT WORKS

ants_use_natural_medicine

From humans to insects, using natural substances to treat infection is a concept as old as time itself.

A fascinating article published on TechTimes online titled, “Ants Treat Their Own Fungal Infections With Natural Medicine,” illustrates how universal the use of natural substances to maintain health is across the animal kingdom.

Researchers discovered that ants infected with a deadly fungus will ingest a naturally occurring — albeit pro-oxidative — molecule known as hydrogen peroxide when offered in combination with honey, presumably in order to medicate themselves:

Scientists studying an ant species called Formica fusca offered the insects a choice between a pure honey solution and a honey solution spiked with toxic hydrogen peroxide. They found that ants afflicted by a fungal infection tended to opt for the hydrogen peroxide solution, whereas healthy ants were more likely to avoid it. This shift in preference suggests that the ants recognize that hydrogen peroxide helps fight off fungal infections and that its noxious effects become worth the risk when an ant falls ill.”

Furthermore, the infected ants who consumed hydrogen peroxide spiked honey had a significantly lower mortality rate (45%) versus the ants who consumed pure honey (65%). On the other hand, healthy ants fed pure hydrogen peroxide saw a 20% mortality rate, revealing that out of the context of infection where hydrogen peroxide is beneficial unnecessary “treatment” can have adverse health effects.

The researchers also noted that the ants were capable of properly dosing themselves:

When offered a solution that had only a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide, infected ants typically chose to eat equal amounts of the toxic food and the pure food. Offering a stronger hydrogen peroxide solution caused the infected ants to change the balance, eating only half as much of the toxic solution as they did of the pure solution.”

It should also be noted that all honey naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, which is known to contribute to its antimicrobial properties.

Is Hydrogen Peroxide A “Natural Remedy”?

The discovery that ants are capable of using hydrogen peroxide as a “natural medicine” is especially interesting considering that it is one of the most popular over-the-counter remedies for topical infection that humans have ever devised. As you know, it usually comes in a brown bottle at the pharmacy or grocery store and millions of bottles are sold throughout the world.

But hydrogen peroxide isn’t just a natural antiseptic. It is also believed to have a therapeutic role internally. This is accomplished both through direct ingestion (note: extreme caution should be exercised when using it this way), and by being formed as a natural metabolic byproduct of high-dose vitamin C therapy. Indeed, hydrogen peroxide produced via vitamin C treatment or administered directly has been studied as a potential natural alternative for conditions as serious as cancer.[1] [2]  [3]  [4]

Advocates of using hydrogen peroxide internally believe it is safe because our body produces it naturally in immune cells known as phagocytes that engulf pathogens. An important differential consideration, however, is that immune cells are able to produce and utilize very small and specific amounts at the very time and place they are needed — which reduces collateral damage. One cannot expect that orally ingesting hydrogen peroxide would necessarily have the specificity needed to ensure the highly reactive molecules do not damage non-target host tissues.  Nonetheless, there are a wide range of advocates for this approach who may find their claims vindicated a little more knowing that even sick ants have been shown to ingest the stuff with significant benefit.

Regardless of these controversies, the point is that hydrogen peroxide is a relatively natural means to fight infection, and it is a remarkable fact that even ants have evolved to be able to recognize its value and use it in a very specific way that appears very much like self-medication. I don’t think anyone is going to accuse ants of practicing “woo” when the outcome of their “quackery” is decreased mortality. I should only hope that in the future we may all apply the same results-based evidentiary standard to the thousands of natural therapies out there that are at least as effective as conventional treatments, and are almost always safer and more affordable. If it works it works. And for those needing scientific “evidence” in addition to the evidence of experience or timeless folkloric traditions, check out our extensive research database that covers over 3,000 ailments.

References

[1] Qi Chen, Michael Graham Espey, Murali C Krishna, James B Mitchell, Christopher P Corpe, Garry R Buettner, Emily Shacter, Mark Levine. Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 20;102(38):13604-9. Epub 2005 Sep 12. PMID: 16157892

[2] Qiu-Sheng Zheng, Xi-Ling Sun, Chang-Hai Wang. Redifferentiation of human gastric cancer cells induced by ascorbic acid and sodium selenite. Biomed Environ Sci. 2002 Sep;15(3):223-32. PMID: 12500663

[3] Roberto Davicino, María G Manuele, Graciela Ferraro, Blas Micalizzi, Claudia Anesini. Modulatory effect of hydrogen peroxide on tumoral lymphocytes proliferation. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2009;31(1):130-9. PMID: 19951073

[4] Youn Wook Chung, Dae-won Jeong, Joo Yun Won, Eui-Ju Choi, Yung Hyun Choi, Ick Young Kim.H(2)O(2)-induced AP-1 activation and its effect on p21(WAF1/CIP1)-mediated G2/M arrest in a p53-deficient human lung cancer cell. Carcinogenesis. 1998 Aug;19(8):1357-60.PMID: 12054510


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

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

Coconut Oil Improves Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms

caprylic_acid_ad

A new study in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients using dietary supplementation with a unique saturated fat has confirmed earlier research that a non-drug based approach can stabilize and even improve a degenerative disease whose symptoms are usually managed with drugs and not cured.

Published in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment and titled “Retrospective case studies of the efficacy of caprylic triglyceride in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease,” [i]this exploratory study sought to test whether caprylic acid triglycerides  (CT) – a type of fat found naturally in the milk of mammals and a constituent of coconut and palm kernel oil – would improve the condition of mild-to-moderately afflicted AD patients.

The researchers noted that, “The limitations of current pharmacotherapy have prompted interest in diet and dietary supplementation as part of the overall treatment regimen for patients with AD.”

The researchers reviewed the case records of eight patients with extensive monitoring of cognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and who had received on average 20 grams a day of CT for at least 6 months. The patients were at least 50 years of age, were undergoing conventional drug-based therapy for AD of mild-to-moderate severity (MMSE 14-24).

Caprylic acid is commonly isolated from coconut oil.  One cup (218 grams) contains approximately 16.3 grams, according to NutritionData.com’s coconut oil nutrition facts.  While the prospect of consuming over a cup of coconut oil in order to obtain the 20 gram ‘clinical dose’ used in this study may be unappealing, consider that preclinical research on whole coconut oil, which contains other beneficial medium chain triglycerides, is quite encouraging, and that generally speaking one needs to take less of the whole food complex in order to obtain the kind of therapeutic effect observed in one of its isolated components.

The results of the 8-person case study revealed that 2 patients experienced disease stabilization and 2 saw modest improvement, i.e. the CT actually reversed the disease trajectory, with a reduction in symptoms corresponding directly with the initiation of the dietary intervention.

The researchers concluded:

“Results from this case review study indicated that addition of CT to pharmacotherapy for AD was associated with stable disease or improvement for some patients. In particular, addition of CT seemed to have slowed the rate of decline, as measured by MMSE scores, compared with rates of decline reported in larger longitudinal studies. These findings warrant further investigation in a larger study.”

This study has profound implications for the estimated 5.4 million people in the U.S. diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and who are presently taking a class of drugs (cholinesterase inhibitors and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists) that have been linked to a wide range of side effects including seizures and may fail to outperform basic plant therapies such as turmeric, saffron and ginkgo biloba.

The basic premise behind the use of caprylic acid in Alzheimer’s disease is that it addresses region-specific decreases in cerebral glucose metabolism characteristic of the disease. Caprylic acid releases ketone bodies which can be used as an alternative fuel source by the brain during periods of low glucose availability.  Semi-miraculous recoveries have been reported anecdotally, and even within the peer-reviewed medical literature, a 2004 study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging found near immediate improvements in cognition and memory within 20 Alzheimer’s patients who received a single 40 ml (2.7 tablespoon) dose of medium chain triglycerides. Read our article “MCT Fats Found in Coconut Oil Boost Brain Function In Only One Dose” to learn more.

As we have touched upon recently in an article about ‘The Grain That Damages The Human Brain,’ there is increasing recognition among the medical community that dietary interventions and/or modifications are not of secondary importance in treating brain disorders, but constitute – as Hippocrates once taught – an essential element in treating and even reversing chronic, degenerative conditions that are for the most part refractory to conventional, drug-based treatment.  This new study adds to a now substantial body of data that Thomas Edison was absolutely correct:

“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”


[i] Steven Douglas Maynard, Jeff Gelblum. Retrospective case studies of the efficacy of caprylic triglyceride in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.


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

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

Sugarcane Extract Superior To Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs?

sugarcane

There is a little known natural extract of plant waxes known as policosanol, extractable from sugar cane, yams, and beeswax, which has been giving some of the more profitable drugs on the market a biomedical beating since it was first investigated in clinical trials by the Cubans in the 1990’s.

Not only has it been shown superior to aspirin for treating conditions linked with peripheral artery disease (intermittent claudication), but it has put the $29 billion dollar a year statin drug category to shame.  At $5 for a month supply, you can understand why you haven’t heard it advertised on television or promoted through a conventional physician’s increasingly drug dispensary-like office.

And here is the kicker: while aspirin has been linked to 50 serious, if not life-threatening side effects,[i] and statin drugs to well over 300,[ii] policosanol was evaluated for safety in animal toxicity studies and was found to have no negative effects on carcinogenesis, reproduction, growth, and development at 1500 times normal human doses (on the basis of body weight).[iii] With such a low cost, and high margin of safety, it is unconscionable that more are not being made aware of it as an alternative to pharmaceuticals for lipid modulation.

It should be said before we continue, that while we do not subscribe to the intellectually bankrupt and vastly over-simplified “cholesterol hypothesis” of heart disease, if a patient feels compelled to lower cholesterol, or is pressured to do it for financial reasons (e.g. medical insurance premium hikes), they should at least have the option of doing so without poisoning themselves into disability, even death, which sadly, is increasingly the case.

In comparison studies policosanol has been shown either to be superior, or to compare favorably, to the following statin drugs:

Pravachol (Pravastatin) – 10 mg of policosanol given during evening meals for 8 weeks was capable of lowering LDL-cholesterol, (19.3%), total cholesterol (13.9%) and the ratios of LDL-cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (28.3%) and total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio (24.4%).

In comparison, pravastatin, also administered at 10 mg during evening meals for 8 weeks, resulted in lowering LDL-cholesterol, (15.6%), total cholesterol (11.8%) without affecting the ratios of LDL-cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol and total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratios — clearly demonstrating the superiority of policosanol to pravastatin.

Moreover, policosanol and not pravastatin, significantly increased levels of HDL-cholesterol (18.4%) and reduced (p < 0.01) triglycerides (14.1%).  Also, policosanol was more effective at inhibiting platelet aggregation induced by chemical agonists and arachadonic acid (a by-product of omega-6 metabolism).

Simvastatin/Lovastatin – Patients with a LDL cholesterol over 160 mg/dl were studied. They received either policosanol 10 mg/day (55 patients), lovastatin 20 mg/day (26 patients) or simvastatin 10 mg/day (25 patients). Serum cholesterol was measured again after 8 weeks of therapy. A 24% LDL cholesterol reduction was obtained with policosanol, compared with a 22% reduction with lovastatin and a 15% reduction with simvastatin. HDL cholesterol significantly increased in patients on policosanol and did not change in the other treatment groups.[iv]

Lipitor (Atorvastatin) – 10 mg of policosanol was compared to 10 mg of atorvastatin. After 8 weeks of therapy, policosanol lowered LDL-cholesterol  25.7% versus 41.9% for the drug. While atorvastatin was capable of suppressing LDL-cholesterol more dramatically,  policosanol was shown superior in raising the HDL-cholesterol, as well inhibiting platelet aggregation.[v]

Also, LDL-cholesterol may have significant protective effects against cancer, infections and even heart attack itself. In fact, our research project has identified up to 30 conditions that may benefit from higher LDL cholesterol levels, illustrating just how misguided dramatic, drug-mediated suppression of cholesterol may actually be.

Additionally, policosanol has even been compared to another blockbuster class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, the fenofibrates, with the following positive result:

Bezalip (Besafibrate) – 10 mg of policosanol was compared to 400 mg of besafibrate, and after a 8-week course of treatment the policosanol group’s total cholesterol diminished by an average of 15%, LDLP cholesterol fell by 18%, triglycerides by 15%, while in the drug group a respective decrease was 8, 11 and 6%.[vi]

Policosanol has also been shown superior to the statin drug lovastatin in preventing experimentally-induced carotid artery lesions associated with atherosclerosis. [vii]

Research comparing policosanol to aspirin for another cardiovascular disease related complaint, intermittent claudication, is also compelling:

Aspirin – 10 mg of policosanol was compared to 100 mg of aspirin in 39 patients with intermittent claudication, a condition characterized by muscle pain (ache, cramp, numbness or sense of fatigue), which occurs after exercise, usually in the calf muscle. Policosanol was capable of significantly increasing walking distances, whereas aspirin had no discerned effect.[viii]  Incidentally, policosanol has also shown favorable results when compared to the antiplatelet drug tricoplidine for intermittent claudication.[ix]

Another study found that 20 mg of policosanol was as effective as 100 mg of aspirin as a platelet inhibitor, but without the serious side effects associated with taking aspirin, e.g. headache, epigastralgia and nose bleeding.[x]

A final note on aspirin alternatives. A 125 mg dose of the pine bark extract known as pycnogenol has been clinically demonstrated in smokers to be as effective as 500 mg of aspirin as a platelet inhibitor, but without increasing bleeding time — a difference that can mean life or death, when it comes to risks for hemorrhagic side effects associated with the use of blood thinners. .[xi]

Until the conventional medical establishment prioritizes safety, affordability and effectiveness over profit, policosanol will have few advocates within the medical professional caste. On the other hand, if these so-called “health” professionals do not find a place for natural substances for high cholesterol such as policosanol, can they really claim to be practicing medicine, or would it not be more accurate to describe it as glorified, applied pharmacology?

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[i] GreenMedInfo Aspirin Research Page

[ii] GreenMedInfo Statin Research Page

[iii] Policosanol: a new treatment for cardiovascular disease? Altern Med Rev. 2002 Jun;7(3):203-17. PMID: 12126462

[iv] [Comparative effects of policosanol and two HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors on type II hypercholesterolemia]. Rev Med Chil. 1999 Mar;127(3):286-94. PMID: 10436712

[v] Comparison of the effects of policosanol and atorvastatin on lipid profile and platelet aggregation in patients with dyslipidaemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Clin Drug Investig. 2003;23(10):639-50. PMID: 17535079

[vi] [Results of the multicenter controlled study of the hypolipidemic drug polycosanol in Russia]. Ter Arkh. 2000;72(12):7-10. PMID: 11201841

[vii] A comparative study of policosanol vs lovastatin on intimal thickening in rabbit cuffed carotid artery. Science. 2009 Jul 10;325(5937):201-4. PMID: 11207063

[viii] Effects of policosanol (10 mg/d) versus aspirin (100 mg/d) in patients with intermittent claudication: a 10-week, randomized, comparative study. Angiology. 2008 Jun-Jul;59(3):269-77. Epub 2008 Apr 2. PMID: 18388038

[ix] Effects of policosanol and ticlopidine in patients with intermittent claudication: a double-blinded pilot comparative study. Angiology. 2004 Jul-Aug;55(4):361-71. PMID: 15258682

[x] Comparative study of policosanol, aspirin and the combination therapy policosanol-aspirin on platelet aggregation in healthy volunteers. Pharmacol Res. 1997 Oct;36(4):293-7. PMID: 9425618

[xi] Inhibition of smoking-induced platelet aggregation by aspirin and pycnogenol. Thromb Res. 1999 Aug 15;95(4):155-61. PMID: 10498385


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

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

The Essential Oil Benefits That Make Your Life Better

essential-oils-improve-life-fb
By: Dr. Mercola |

Scents can have a powerful influence on your well-being. Aromatherapy, which uses concentrated essences of various botanicals, allows you to harness the olfactory power of plants for healing on many levels.

Essential oils carry biologically active volatile compounds in a highly concentrated form that can provide therapeutic benefits in very small amounts.

Quality is of the essence here. First of all, what we’re talking about here is pure, therapeutic grade essential oils from plants, NOT synthetic fragrance oils or perfumes, which can be toxic and typically contain allergenic compounds.

But even among essential oils, the quality can vary widely and assessing the quality of any given brand can be difficult, as factors such as growing conditions and methods of harvesting, distillation, manufacture, and storage can all affect the final product.

aromatherapy ad banner

The University of Minnesota1 offers some helpful guidance regarding international standard-setting agencies and considerations to take into account when looking for an essential oil.

One of the most important considerations is to look for a statement of purity. What you’re looking for is 100% essential oil (meaning it has not been diluted, altered, or mixed with anything else). Price can be a tipoff. If it’s really cheap, it’s probably a reflection of poor quality.

There are hundreds and many thousands of essential oils available if you factor in combinations. Each have their own potential benefits. The oils tend to work synergistically, and using a combination of oils often creates a more powerful effect than any one individual oil.

There are many ways to use essential oils for health and well-being, and the featured article2 lists no less than 25 ways to enjoy them. But first, let’s address the question of whether or not they actually have a biological effect, and if so, how.

Scents Can Alter Your Nervous System

When you inhale the fragrance of an essential oil, the aroma penetrates your bloodstream via your lungs,3 and this is thought to be one of the mechanisms by which aromatherapy exerts its physiological effects. Essential oils are also easily absorbed through your skin when applied topically.

The fragrance also affects the limbic system in your brain, which controls both memories and emotions. Many essential oils have antibacterial, antifungal, and/or antiviral qualities, and contrary to antibiotics, essential oils do not promote resistance.4

Modern scientists are not only finding compelling links between scents and human behavior,5 scents can actually influence the biochemistry of your nervous system.

This was shown in a 2002 Japanese study,6 which found that certain oils would stimulate sympathetic nervous system activity whereas others would calm it. (Your sympathetic nervous system modulates processes such as your heart rate, blood vessel constriction, and blood pressure.)

For example:

Black pepper, fennel, and grapefruit oil caused a 1.5- to 2.5-fold increase in sympathetic nervous system activity (as measured by an increase in systolic blood pressure)
Rose and patchouli oil resulted in a 40 percent decrease in sympathetic nervous system activity
Pepper oil induced a 1.7-fold increase in plasma adrenaline concentration
Rose oil caused adrenaline to drop by 30 percent

Read the Full Article

Open Sesame! 10 Amazing Health Benefits Of This Super-Seed

sesame_seeds_heart

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, prized as an oilseed for at least 5,000 years.  While it is beginning to regain favor due to its exceptionally high calcium and magnesium content, few realize it is also one of the most potent medicinal foods still commonly consumed today.

In fact, its history as a medicine goes back 3600 years to Egyptian times where it was listed in the scrolls of the Ebers as a favored medicine.  Also, women in ancient Babylon were believed to use a mixture of honey and sesame seeds (havla) to prolong youth and beauty, and Roman soldiers ate the mixture for strength and energy.

In the past twenty years, a glut of scientific information has poured in demonstrating that sesame seed, and its components, have over three dozen documented therapeutic properties [see sesame research page].  Given these new revelations, it would seem that sesame would be just as at home in a medicine cabinet as it would be a kitchen cupboard.

Here are just 10 evidence-based medicinal properties of this food-medicine:

  1. Diabetes: A study published in 2011 in the Clinical Journal of Nutrition showed that sesame oil improved the effectiveness of the oral antidiabetic drug glibenclamide in type 2 diabetic patients. [1]  Another study published in 2006 in the Journal of Medicinal Foods showed that the substitution of sesame seed oil as the sole edible oil lowers blood pressure and glucose in hypertensive diabetics. [2]
  1. High Blood Pressure:  A study published in 2006 in the Yale Journal of Biological Medicine showed that sesame seed oil has a beneficial effect in hypertensive patients on either diuretics or beta-blockers. Substitution of all dietary oils with sesame oil brought down systolic and dystolic  blood pressure to normal, in addition to decreasing lipid peroxidation (bodily rancidity) and antioxidant status. [3] One of the compounds identified behind sesame seed’s antihypertensive effects are peptides that act as angiotensin I-converting enzyme inhibitors.[4]
  1. Gingivitis/Dental Plaque: Sesame seed oil has been used for oral health for thousands of years in the traditional Indian medical tradition known as Ayurveda in a process known as “oil pulling.” It involves swishing sesame seed oil in the mouth for prolonged durations and has been said to prevent teeth decay, halitosis, bleeding gums, dry throat, and for strengthening the teeth, gums and jaw. Clinical research now confirms that it compares favorably to chemical mouthwash (chlorhexidine) in improving plaque-induced gingivitis,[5] and that it is capable of reducing Streptococcus mutans growth associated with oral plaque formation. [6]
  1. Infant Health/Massage Oil:  A study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research in 2000 showed that massaging infants with sesame oil improved both their growth and post-massage sleep, in comparison to control oils such as mineral oil.[7]
  1. Multiple Sclerosis (MS): In the animal model of MS, also known as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, sesame seed oil protects mice from developing the disease by reducing IFN-gamma secretion, a key factor in initiating autoimmune inflammation and injury in the nervous system.[8] It has also been research for its potential beneficial role in another neurodegenerative condition, Huntington’s disease. [9]
  1. Antibiotic-Induced Kidney Damage: Sesame seed oil protects against gentamicin-induced kidney damage in rats by reducing oxidative damage caused by the antibiotic.[10]
  1. Atherosclerosis: Sesame seed oil prevents the formation of atherosclerotic lesions in mice fed an atherogenic diet.[11]  The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory lignan found within sesame seeds known as sesamol has been identified to be partially responsible for its anti-atherogenic properties. In fact, sesamol has been shown to possess over two dozen beneficial pharmacologically active properties, many of which may contribute to improving cardiovascular health.

  1. Depression: The sesame lignin sesamol was shown to exert an antidepressant-like effect in behavioral despair in chronically stressed mice, specifically by modulating oxidative-nitrosative stress and inflammation.[12]
  1. Radiation-Induced DNA Damage: Sesamol has been shown to protect against gamma radiation-induced DNA damage, likely through its antioxidant properties. [13] It is capable of reducing mortality in radiation treated mice, in part through preventing intestinal and spleen damage.[14]   When compared to another powerful antioxidant, melatonin, it was found 20 times more effective as a free radical scavenger.[15]
  1. Cancer: Sesame contains a fat-soluble lignin with phytoestrogenic properties known as sesamin, and which has been studied for inhibiting the proliferation of a wide range of cancer cells, including:
  • Leukemia
  • Multiple Myleoma
  • Colon Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Lung Cancer

Sesamin’s anticancer effects have been linked to the NF-kappaB signaling.[16]

Sesame deserves to be recognized, along with garlic, honey, turmeric and a select few other substances,  as an easily accessible and affordable food-medicine that, if consumed regularly, could quite possibly save lives.


[1] Sesame oil exhibits synergistic effect with anti-diabetic medication in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Clin Nutr. 2011 Jun ;30(3):351-8. Epub 2010 Dec 16. PMID: 21163558

[2] A pilot study of open label sesame oil in hypertensive diabetics. J Med Food. 2006 Fall;9(3):408-12. PMID: 17004907

[3] Effect of sesame oil on diuretics or Beta-blockers in the modulation of blood pressure, anthropometry, lipid profile, and redox status. Yale J Biol Med. 2006 Mar;79(1):19-26. PMID: 17876372

[4] Antihypertensive effect of angiotensin I-converting enzyme inhibitory peptides from a sesame protein hydrolysate in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2006 May;70(5):1118-26. PMID: 16717411

[5] Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Indian J Dent Res. 2009 Jan-Mar;20(1):47-51. PMID: 19336860

[6] Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: a randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2008 Mar;26(1):12-7. PMID: 18408265

[7] Effects of massage&use of oil on growth, blood flow&sleep pattern in infants. Indian J Med Res. 2000 Dec;112:212-7. PMID: 11247199

[8] The Mechanism of Sesame Oil in Ameliorating Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in C57BL/6 Mice. Phytother Res. 2011 Apr 28. Epub 2011 Apr 28. PMID: 21538630

[9]Sesamol attenuate 3-nitropropionic acid-induced Huntington-like behavioral, biochemical, and cellular alterations in rats. J Asian Nat Prod Res. 2009 ;11(5):439-50. PMID: 19504387

[10] Protective effect of daily sesame oil supplement on gentamicin-induced renal injury in rats. Biol Pharm Bull. 2001 Feb;24(2):181-7. PMID: 19487986

[11] Inhibition of atherosclerosis in low-density lipoprotein receptor-negative mice by sesame oil. J Med Food. 2006 Winter;9(4) PMID: 17201634

[12] Neuropsychopharmacological effect of sesamol in unpredictable chronic mild stress model of depression: behavioral and biochemical evidences. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2011 Apr ;214(4):819-28. Epub 2010 Nov 20. PMID: 21103863

[13] Antioxidant potential of sesamol and its role on radiation-induced DNA damage in whole-body irradiated Swiss albino mice. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2009 Sep ;28(2):192-7. Epub 2009 Apr 11. PMID: 21784002

[14] Effect of sesamol on radiation-induced cytotoxicity in Swiss albino mice. Mutat Res. 2006 Dec 10 ;611(1-2):9-16. Epub 2006 Oct 11. PMID: 17045515

[15] Sesamol as a Potential Radioprotective Agent: In Vitro Studies. Radiat Res. 2011 Sep 7. Epub 2011 Sep 7. PMID: 21899433

[16] Sesamin manifests chemopreventive effects through the suppression of NF-kappa B-regulated cell survival, proliferation, invasion, and angiogenic gene products. Mol Cancer Res. 2010 May;8(5):751-61. Epub 2010 May 11. PMID: 20460401


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

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

The Benefits Of Resveratrol For Blood Pressure

health-benefits-of-grapeseed-oil-for-skin

According to statistics from the CDC, around 70 million people–1 in 3 Americans–suffer from high blood pressure. Half of these individuals have their blood pressure under control, probably under some form of blood pressure medication. [1] Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be a silent yet deadly disease, one that doesn’t necessarily need to be managed by medication. While there are some rare hereditary conditions that make it impossible to control blood sugar with just exercise and diet, most people have the ability to use dietary strategies as their first line of defense.

How Resveratrol Supports a Healthy Blood Pressure

Resveratrol is a natural plant compound typically found in grapes, chocolate, and almonds. Its antioxidant capabilities have been studied for years, with each study revealing some type of benefit for health. Whether it’s protecting cells and DNA, regulating a healthy blood sugar, or protecting skin from UV damage, there seems to be a wide range of benefits associated with the compound. [2] [3] A recent meta analysis shows that resveratrol may play an important role in supporting blood pressure health by regulating systolic blood pressure. [4] While the research is far from conclusive, it does lead many to wonder how powerful plant compounds really are.

One of the emerging areas of research in relation to resveratrol is in the field of healthy aging. Resveratrol may provide similar effects of calorie restriction in terms of cellular protection. [5] Its effects on blood pressure are not surprising, if you consider the fact that resveratrol may reduce irritation and improve blood flow through vessels. Resveratrol may even support hormones that play a role in blood pressure. Foods high in resveratrol may also contain a number of other beneficial compounds and nutrients, like antioxidants and fiber, that are responsible for supporting blood pressure.

How to Support Blood Pressure Naturally

One of the key ways you can support a healthy blood pressure is by eating right and exercising. I know, pretty boring advice. But eating right doesn’t mean just eating vegetables; in fact, it means avoiding sugars–including high-sugar fruits–in order to avoid the blood sugar spike that inadvertently leads to a rise in blood pressure. Also, just by walking every day, doing yoga, sprinting, or any other physical activity you enjoy, you’re one step closer to a balanced blood pressure ratio. In the past, a healthy blood pressure reading would’ve been 120/80; yet, recent evidence is suggesting that less than 120/80 is ideal. While you certainly don’t want low blood pressure (hypotension), at or above 120/80 may be signs of prehypertension. In this case, consult with your doctor to know for sure.

How do you support blood pressure health? Please let us know in the comments!

References:

  1. Centers for Disease Control. High Blood Pressure Facts. Centers for Disease Control.
  2. Szkudelski T, Szkudelska K. Anti-diabetic effects of resveratrol. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Jan;1215:34-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05844.x.
  3. Aziz MH, Afaq F, Ahmad N. Prevention of ultraviolet-B radiation damage by resveratrol in mouse skin is mediated via modulation in survivin. Photochem Photobiol. 2005 Jan-Feb;81(1):25-31.
  4. Liu Y, Ma W, Zhang P, He S, Huang D. Effect of resveratrol on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Clin Nutr. 2015 Feb;34(1):27-34. doi: 10.1016/j.cinu.2014.03.009.
  5. Lam YY, Peterson CM, Revussin E. Resveratrol vs. calorie restriction: data from rodents to humans. Exp Gerontol. 2013 Oct;48(10):1018-24. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2013.04.005.

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.

Make Your Own Natural QuikClot (VIDEO)

quikclot

In a post-disaster environment, paramedics and medical response teams are inundated with emergency calls and assign degrees of urgency to emergency calls. If your call is not on the list of priority medical issues, then you will have to wait. Those who understand this know that in these times of crisis, we must become our own medics and know how to treat medical emergencies during disaster events.

Stopping a critical life threatening bleed is paramount in an emergency situation and, in some cases, takes precedence over airways and breathing.  This is one of those medical issues that you need to know how to care for. One product that preppers like to have on hand are the Celox or QuikClot like bandages that help stop this type of excessive bleeding. These wound dressings contain a hemostatic agent in powder or granule form that is applied directly to a wound to help stop bleeding. These dressings are usually reserved for when a major artery has been severed and bleeding out is a concern.

A downside to this type of emergency wound dressing is it is extremely difficult to debride or clean out of a wound. As well, because you are introducing a foreign object into the body, it has the capacity of cause further irritation and possible infection. In fact, many complain that when they used QuikClot, it caused heat in the wound from the chemicals used. This can cause a lot of pain! Moreover, many turn to QuikClot wound dressings prematurely when applying direct pressure may have been the best approach.

Remember: If you have not severed an artery, apply direct pressure to the wound and see if your body creates a natural clot.

Cayenne: A Natural Wound Dressing

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to attend to a bleeding wound, take comfort in the fact that everything you need is sitting in your kitchen pantry. Many have found that cayenne pepper is an effective alternative and natural version of QuikClot. Cayenne pepper contains an active ingredient, called capsaicin, which has analgesic (pain relieving) properties and various other medicinal uses.

Why is cayenne pepper so effective for bleeding wounds?

  • Equalizes the blood pressure and allows cuts—even deep cuts—to clot quickly.
  • Possesses antifungal and antibacterial capabilities, it naturally disinfects the wound
  • Naturally promotes healing in tissues
  • Is a natural pain killer

Cayenne pepper is a great survival plant and also works to improve blood circulation, assist digestion, stimulate perspiration and saliva, and lessen pain from swollen or arthritic joints and limbs.

Cayenne powder can be applied directly to the open wound to stop bleeding. Simply sprinkle a generous amount of pepper to the wound and cover with a gauze pad to apply direct pressure to wound. Apply pressure for up to 10 minutes or make your own cayenne pepper gauze pads.

To Use Cayenne Pepper Gauze

  1. Remove debris and flush wound thoroughly.
  2. Place cayenne-coated gauze on wound and add additional gauze pads to apply pressure.
  3. Apply direct  pressure for up to 10 minutes.
  4. Remove gauze pad and wrap with clean bandage.
  5. If bleeding does not stop, the wound may need stitches.

Additionally, you can make your own bandages using chitosan

Nature always seem to provide us with everything we need to get by. Chances are, many of you have some cayenne pepper laying around, so keep it safe. You never know, you may need it during an emergency.


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

Chocolate Gives Statins A $29 Billion Run For Their Money

chocolate_heart

With the blockbuster cholesterol-lowering class of drugs known as statins being widely promoted for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, despite their having over 300 documented adverse health effects (including heart failure!), how does chocolate sound as a viable, heart-friendly alternative?

We already connect amorously with chocolate (to the tune of 6 billion lbs of cocoa consumed annually worldwide), revealing in heart-felt expressions like “I love it,” and “this is to die for!” how comfortable we are with publicly declaring our affection. But did you know that while it makes our emotional hearts sing, it may actually keep our physical hearts happy, alive and ticking longer, as well?

Indeed, back in 2006, researchers found that for elderly men, eating cocoa intake was inversely associated with blood pressure and 15-year cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. When compared with the lowest tertile (lowest 33%) of cocoa intake, the adjusted relative risk for men in the highest tertile was .50 for cardiovascular mortality, or a 50% reduction, and .53 for all-cause mortality, or a 47% reduction. Not bad considering the median cocoa intake among users was 2.11 grams per day, or just one half an ounce a week. While many people are searching out supplements such as ubiquinol to combat the side effects of statin drugs, they could have been eating chocolate instead.

Anything that can reduce your risk of dying from all causes by 50%, which is not an expensive and potentially dangerous drug, but a food, should be be taken seriously, even if — paradoxically — it is usually found in the candy section of the grocery store.

There is no shortage of solid, human clinical research supporting the consumption of cocoa, the signature ingredient in chocolate, for the reduction of both cardiovascular disease risk factors, and “hard” cardiovascular outcomes, e.g. hypertension, endothelial dysfunction, insulin resistance, low HDL, stroke, heart disease, etc. GreenMedInfo.com has made 30 such studies available to view on its cocoa page.

The remarkable thing about the research on chocolate is that its consumption appears to improve the pathological condition of the blood vessels known as endothelial dysfunction, and which is believed to be at the root of the problem of plaque accumulation in the arteries, as well as elevated blood lipids. Statins may in fact exert their greatly exaggerated health benefits not by suppressing lipids (as popularly advertised), but by acting as a mild vasodilator through enhancing nitric oxide concentrations in the lining of the blood vessels (endothelium). Statins, however, are produced from chemicals, and therefore guarantee a certain degree of collateral poisoning will take place, whereas chocolate has a long history of safe use both as a food and a medicine. Chocolate has also been extensively researched for effectively lowering blood pressure in those who consume it, which is still considered one of the best ways to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, and which drug-based blood pressure medications are notoriously ineffective at, since they may actually raise cardiac mortality even while effectively lowering blood pressure. In a similar way, statins may effectively suppress blood lipids while at the same time weakening the heart muscle.

Some of cocoa/chocolate’s other potential health benefits include:

  • Inhibiting Accelerated Aging – Not only has the preference for chocolate in older age been linked with better health, optimism and better psychological well-being, but it has also been shown in the fruit fly-based experimental model of aging to have antioxidative, pro-oxidative, and metal-chelating effects associated with increased lifespan. Moreover, research in women shows that long-term ingestion of favanol-rich chocolate (raw chocolate is especially rich in these compounds) protects against UV-induced skin redness and improves their skin condition.
  • Protecting Against Alzheimers – Cocoa procyanidins attenuate lipid peroxidation associated neuronal cell death in a manner relevant to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Reducing Stress (Elevated Catecholamines) – Daily consumption of 40 grams of chocolate during a 2 week period reduces the urinary excretion of cortisol and catecholamines, while reducing other metabolic indicators of stress, including gut microbial metabolism.
  • Inhibiting Cholesterol Oxidation – Rather than fixating on the absolute number of lipoproteins or cholesterol within the blood (quantitiative analysis) it makes sense to ensure that those lipids don’t undergo excessive oxidize (qualitative analysis) which is associated with injury to the blood vessels and the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. More than a few studies have found that chocolate prevents LDL cholesterol oxidation, while also boosting the beneficial HDL cholesterol
  • Boosting Cognitive Performance – Chocolate, along with flavonoid-rich red wine and tea, were shown to boost cognitive performance in elderly men and women, with the maximum effect at intacts of 10g/d, or the equivalent of 2 ½ ounces a week.
  • Inhibiting Cancer – Llimited, though significant research indicates that cocoa is capable of inhibiting certain types of cancer. The growth of prostate cancer cells have been selectively inhibited with cocoa polyphenols, and animal research indicates that cocoa liquor is capable of inhibiting chemically-induced liver cancer.
  • Improving Diabetes – New research from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has revealed that the consumption of chocolate, or its active constituents (cocoa, flavan-3-ols), reduces a broad range of risk factors for cardiovascular disease including insulin resistance. The researchers looked at 42 acute and long-term studies and found a 33% median reduction in insulin resistance following chocolate consumption. What is so unique about this new study is that chocolate consumption is generally believed to elevate blood sugar and blood insulin levels; not only does it disprove this myth but it sheds additional light on why chocolate consumption (especially dark, organic) may be beneficial in both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
  • Boosting Sexual Function – Chocolate is an excellent vasodilator, which is one reason why it has been traditionally linked to improved fertility and virility. Research also indicates that chocolate consumption is linked to higher sexual function in women, as well.

This is only a sampling from the research we have gathered on chocolate/cocoa’s potential health benefits, of which there are several dozen.

Lastly, any serious discussion on the medicinal properties of chocolate should be qualified by pointing out that chocolate is often unfairly traded, and has even been linked to child enslavement. Non-organic cocoa may also contain residues of the dangerous herbicide glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), among many other biocides used in conventional farming, so the consumer must take special care to avoid these moral and physiological pitfalls. Also, because chocolate has complex pharmacologically active properties, it must be consumed in moderation, and with attention paid towards the tendency for using it to self-medicate, especially when the cocoa content is lower and the sugar content higher.


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

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

 

Do Probiotics Reduce Cold And Flu Risk?

cold and flu

Your immune system is an intricate, highly-involved structure responsible for defending your body against attack from infective material, like bacteria and viruses. A number of components strengthen immune health, including probiotics. Recent research has shown certain strains of beneficial bacteria could be helpful against cold and flu. Probiotics, an important aspect of diet that is greatly under-consumed, is perhaps one of the best dietary strategies helpful for supporting immunity. Fortunately, there are easy ways to incorporate probiotics into one’s lifestyle during the cold and flu season, like taking a multi-strain supplement and eating more probiotic-rich foods.

Bifidobacterium: A Natural Approach to Immune Support

A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found probiotics–the Bifidobacterium bifidum strain, in particular–may be an effective against cold and flu. [1] This double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined the effects of probiotic supplementation with highly-stressed undergraduate students. As we all know, psychological stress is one of the leading contributors to immune function inhibition, and not managing it properly can result in greater missed days from school and work due to illness. [2] Fortunately, immune health can be supported, if not improved, by incorporating daily stress management techniques, like meditation.

According to the study, implementing natural dietary strategies is also a big help. Supplementation with B. bifidum appeared to reduce the number of sick days among 581 students over a six-week period compared to placebo. The students reporting missing one or more days of school due to the cold or flu was significantly less with this bacterial strain, showing Bifidobacterium bifidum as a possible source of immune-supportive benefits. This makes sense, if we consider the fact that the majority of immune cells reside in the intestines and need regulators (bacteria) to help modulate healthy expression. [3]

Probiotics: Your First Line of Defense

Your diet and lifestyle are two key components for keeping your immune system strong, protecting it from foreign invaders prevalent in the environment. Staying away from sugar, for example, can be extremely effective, because refined sugar and refined carbohydrates in general (like white flour) suppresses immune function. [4] Increasing your intake of vitamin C through leafy greens and small berries, like mulberries, can also support your defense system. [5] Citrus fruits are also excellent supporters of immune health, but try to limit your intake of citrus juice, which is just liquid sugar with vitamins.

Again, stress provides a huge impact on immune health, and not managing it properly can lead you more susceptible to the cold and the flu. Meditation and proper sleep habits are crucial for managing stress levels and are also completely free. Exercise is also an important supporter of good health and is believed to play a role in overall disease prevention. So, in combination with an appropriate diet rich in probiotics, make sure you are staying active throughout the day.

Have the Cold? Do This

When you find you’re succumbing to symptoms of the common cold or flu, one of the things you should take is a high-quality probiotic supplement that contains different probiotic strains as well as prebiotics. The intake of prebiotics, like in the form of inulin, help probiotics grow and colonize the intestinal tract. Oregano oil is also an important immune-supportive item you can use for reducing the duration of the cold and flu. Be sure to increase your fluid intake and get as much rest as you can.

What do you do when you feel a cold coming on? Leave your tips in the comments!

References:

  1. Langkamp-Henken B, Rowe CC, Ford AL, et al. Bifidobacterium bifidum R0071 results in a greater proportion of healthy days and a lower percentage of academically stressed students reporting a day of cold/flu: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Br J Nutr. 2015 Feb 14;113(3):426-34. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514003997.
  2. Dhabhar FS. Effects of stress on immune function: the good, the bad, and the beautiful. Immunol Res. 2014 May;58(2-3):193-210. doi: 10.1007/s12026-014-8517-0.
  3. Hill DA, Artis D. Intestinal bacteria and the regulation of immune cell homeostasis. Annu Rev Immunol. 2010;28:623-67. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol–3-409-101330.
  4. Ian A. Myles. Fast food fever: reviewing the impacts of the Western diet on immunity. Nutr J. 2014: 13: 61. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-61.
  5. Sorice A, Guerriero E, Capone F, et al. Ascorbic acid: its role in immune system and chronic inflammation diseases. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2014 May;14(5):444-52.

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.

Coconut Oil Found Effective In Treating Atopic Dermatitis (Dry, Itchy, Scaly Skin)

Coconut-oil

A promising new study published in the International Journal of Dermatology[i] has confirmed the natural healing properties of virgin coconut oil in treating atopic dermatitis, a chronic skin condition characterized by scaly and itchy rashes.

Researchers at the Department of Dermatology, Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Manila, Philippines compared the effects of topical virgin coconut oil (VCO) to mineral oil, a crude oil derivative, in a randomized, double-blinded clinical trial.

Patients with atopic dermatitis have inflamed skin with defects in the epidermal barrier function, primarily related to inflammation and dehydration, which leads them to use ostensibly soothing moisturizers. Most mass market skin care products, however, contain mineral oil and related petrochemical ingredients which not only may contribute to skin irritation, but more serious skin conditions such as skin cancer, as well as bodily accumulation of significant quantities within internal organs.  This is why natural, food quality ingredients like coconut oil, which have been used in traditional cultures for thousands of years, hold great promise as a viable alternative, and are increasingly becoming the subject of modern scientific investigation.

In the study titled, “The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial,” a total of 117 patients were evaluated at baseline, and at 2, 4, and 8 weeks.  Results showed that atopic dermatitis symptoms decreased from baseline by 68.23% in the VCO group and by 38.13% in the mineral oil group (P < 0.001). The VCO group clearly experienced superior results versus the mineral oil group:

  • In the VCO group, 47% (28/59) of patients achieved moderate improvement and 46% (27/59) showed an excellent response.
  • In the mineral oil group, 34% (20/58) of patients showed moderate improvement and 19% (11/58) achieved excellent improvement.
  • The VCO group achieved a post-treatment mean transepidermal water loss (TEWL) of 7.09 from a baseline mean of 26.68, whereas the mineral oil group demonstrated baseline and post-treatment TEWL values of 24.12 and 13.55, respectively.
  • In the VCO group, post-treatment skin capacitance (an indication of the water content of the outermost layer of skin known as the stratum corneum) rose to 42.3 from a baseline mean of 32.0, whereas that in the mineral oil group increased to 37.49 from a baseline mean of 31.31.

The researchers concluded, “Thus, among pediatric patients with mild to moderate AD, topical application of VCO for eight weeks was superior to that of mineral oil based on clinical (SCORAD) and instrumental (TEWL, skin capacitance) assessments.”

For more information on coconut oil as a moisturizer, and the dangers with petroleum-based ones, read our article on the topic: Let Food Be Your Cosmetic: Coconut Oil Outperforms Dangerous Petroleum Body Care Products.

For additional research on natural interventions and preventable causes of atopic dermatitis, visit our research page on the topic: Atopic Dermatitis research, or a guest post by Pat Robinson from Heal Thyself on 27 Natural Alternatives for Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) which summarizes the most compelling research on our database on the topic.


[i] Mara Therese Padilla Evangelista, Flordeliz Abad-Casintahan, Lillian Lopez-Villafuerte. The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. Int J Dermatol. 2013 Dec 10. doi: 10.1111/ijd.12339.


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

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

Grapefruit Seeds Treat Antibiotic-Resistant UTIs

grapefruit_treat_resistant_UTIs

Antibiotic resistant urinary tract infections are increasingly common, leaving many looking for natural alternatives. Grapefruit seed extract may be an effective treatment that is safe, affordable and easily accessible.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a common nuisance, disproportionately afflicting women, most of who will have a UTI at some point in their lives. UTIs when left untreated or when conventional treatment with antibiotics fail, can progress to more serious kidney infections. They are also of great concern for pregnant women, as the changes in prostaglandins and cytokines they induce can contribute to preterm delivery.

Conventional antibiotics are notorious for killing both the “good” and the “bad” bacteria within the body, as well as leading to the overgrowth of fungi like Candida albicans, which can lead to yeast infections. Moreover, even when conventional antibiotics suppress acute symptoms of infection, they can drive the survival of even more virulent antibiotic resistant bacteria. These surviving colonies form biofilm enabling them to lay dormant and grow back with even greater virulence when the infection recurs post-treatment.

This is why natural alternatives are becoming increasingly popular, especially those within the food category, like cranberry, whose safety is assured relative to what are often highly toxic conventional antibiotics such as the fluoride-based ciprofloxacin.  You can view our Urinary Tract Infection database for over 20 natural substances that show promise as anti-urinary tract infection agents.

Grapefruit is perhaps the most interesting anti-urinary infection agent we have yet stumbled upon in our research. A remarkable case study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in 2005 titled, “The effectiveness of grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) seeds in treating urinary tract infections,” found that the seeds of the grapefruit were highly effective in killing antibiotic-resistant UTIs:

Three middle-aged males and one female were diagnosed as having urinary tract infections (UTIs) between 2001 and 2003 in the Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa, a unit of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria. Of the 4 patients, only the female was asymptomatic. The 3 males had Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella species, and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively, in their urine samples, while the female had Escherichia coli. All 4 patients were treated with grapefruit seeds (Citrus paradisi) orally for 2 weeks and they all responded satisfactorily to the treatment except the man with P. aeruginosa isolate. However, the initial profuse growth of Pseudomonas isolate in the patient that was resistant to gentamicin, tarivid, and augmentin later subsided to mild growth with reversal of the antibiotic resistance pattern after 2 weeks’ treatment with grapefruit seeds. These preliminary data thus suggest an antibacterial characteristic of dried or fresh grapefruit seeds (C. paradisi) when taken at a dosage of 5 to 6 seeds every 8 hours, that is comparable to that of proven antibacterial drugs.”

The authors concluded that based on these case studies, “The adequate clinical response of these patients suggest that the 8-hourly dosage of 5 to 6 seeds of grapefruit seeds taken for a 2-week period may have an effect that is comparable to other proven antibacterial drugs.”

They also referenced research on grapefruit seed extract’s effectiveness at inhibiting bacteria:

Recently, it has been confirmed that grapefruit seed extract (GSE) has antimicrobial properties against a wide range of gram-negative and gram-positive organisms at dilutions found to be safe. With the aid of scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), the mechanism of GSE’s antibacterial activity was revealed (Heggers et al., 2002). It was evident that GSE disrupts the bacterial membrane and liberates the cytoplasmic contents within 15 minutes after contact even at more dilute concentrations. It has also been found that GSE appeared to have a somewhat greater inhibitory effect on gram-positive organisms than on gram-negative organisms; however, its comparative effectiveness against a wide range of bacterial biotypes is significant  (Reagor et al., 2002).”

Indeed, our database contains a number of citations on grapefruit seed extract’s anti-microbial activity, including against MRSA. Also, the more salient difference between GSE is that it also has potent anti-fungal activity, making it superior to conventional antibiotics.

The really amazing thing here is that even if conventional antibiotics were safe, effective, available and inexpensive (which they are not), not everyone in the world has access to them. Grapefruit, and related “medicinal foods,” are far easier to acquire, and also provide significant nutritional benefits, which supports the underlying immune system whose status is responsibility for determining susceptibility to infection. We’ve reported on a similar case study on the use of black seed (nigella sativa) in putting an HIV patient into remission, as well as a case of temporary remission of incurable leukemia using cannabis.

Case studies always provide a powerful window into the role of ancient food-based healing interventions, which, owing to their non-patentability, will likely never receive the massive capital influxes required to fund the RCTs needed to legitimize them in the eyes of a medical model beholden to pharmaceutical interests.


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

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

Vegetable Extract Treats Autism Better Than Drugs

veggie_extract_autism_treats

The CDC says there is no treatment for autism, but this vegetable extract significantly improved the condition in a recent clinical trial.

Presently, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is considered a condition with no known conventional treatment.  According to the CDC: “There are no medications that can cure ASD or treat the core symptoms.”[1] With a prevalence rate in the U.S. estimated to be 1 in every 68 children,[2] a growing number of families are actively searching for safe, affordable and effective interventions.

Thankfully, and despite the failings of pharmaceutical-based medicine, there are natural interventions that have been studied and appear to hold great promise. For instance, we have indexed research from the National Library of Medicine on over 30 natural substances that may play a role in improving the condition. You can view these study abstracts on our Autism Spectrum Disease research database, and you will also find a list there of over 20 substances that should be avoided there, including heavy metals in vaccines and common dietary components like gluten.

Broccoli Extract Does The “Impossible”: Improves Autism Spectrum Disorder

Of all the natural substances we have reviewed with potential value in the treatment of ASD, sulforaphane, a molecule found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, is perhaps the most promising candidate.

A groundbreaking study published in 2014 in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA titled, “Sulforaphane treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD),” found that a broccoli sprout extract significantly improved the behavior of boys and men with ASD.  The researchers pointed out that, presently, no conventional, mechanism-based treatment is available for ASD. Sulforaphane was selected, in part, because its physiological effects are well characterized and ideal for those with ASD:

Dietary sulforaphane, of recognized low toxicity, was selected for its capacity to reverse abnormalities that have been associated with ASD, including oxidative stress and lower antioxidant capacity, depressed glutathione synthesis, reduced mitochondrial function and oxidative phosphorylation, increased lipid peroxidation, and neuroinflammmation.”

The placebo-controlled, randomized pilot study of 44 males, ages 13-27, showed that after 18 weeks of treatment with a sulforaphane-rich broccoli sprout extract, 46% had significant improvements in social interactions and 42% has significant improvements in verbal communication.

Additionally, more than half the participants showed decreases in abnormal behaviors, including irritability, hyperactivity and repetitive movements. Of note, once treatment stopped, most of the behaviors returned to pretreatment levels.  For more details on the study, read a Medscape report on the study, including an interview with the study’s lead researcher.

The dosing schedule was determined by body weight:

  • 100 lbs or less: one capsule containing 50 µmol (232 mg) of sulforaphane-rich broccoli extract was given daily
  • 101–199 lbs, 100 µmol (two capsules of 232 mg each) of sulforaphane-rich broccoli extract was given daily
  • More than 200 lbs: 150 µmol (three capsules of 232 mg each) of sulforaphane-rich broccoli extract was given daily

Sulforaphane: A Largely Ignored Panacea-like Phytocompound

It may come as a surprise to many reading this that so simple and natural a substance as broccoli extract could have significant therapeutic value in a condition which is considered refractory to conventional treatment and whose causes, including vaccines, are considered politically incorrect to discuss, despite evidence provided by one of the CDC’s senior vaccine scientists to support the connection.  

But the truth is that sulforaphane is no newcomer to the medical research community. It happens to be one of the most extensively studied and promising natural substances in existence. You will find over 1200 published studies on pubmed.gov and you’ll find an archive of over 200 citations on our database indicating its value in a staggering 150 different conditions.

Keep in mind that sulforaphane concentrations are several hundred times higher in the broccoli sprout versus mature broccoli.  There are now a wide range of manufacturers that produce broccoli sprout extract making it all the more convenient to obtain and administer a therapeutic dose.

For more information on broccoli sprouts/sulforaphane you can read our recent article, “Mighty Broccoli Sprouts Rapidly Detoxify Pollutants.

Sources

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/treatment.html

[2] http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html


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

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

Should Honey Be Considered A Breast Cancer RX?

breast_cancer_honey_therapy

Breast cancer treatment can have devastating effects on quality of life, but recently two bee products have been found to significantly reduce some their most common adverse effects.  

Few things are as dissonant to me as the use of so-called “anti-hormone drugs” in breast cancer patients to prevent recurrence. Not only are these drugs extremely toxic, with Tamoxifen classified by the World Health Organization as a known carcinogen and a list of over two dozen adverse effects associated with their use on our database, but their much tauted “life saving” benefits may only be theoretical. Furthermore, their use is often completely unjustified given the prevalence of breast cancer overdiagnosis.

First, the Problem with Breast Cancer Overdiagnosis

For those who are not yet aware, it has been estimated that thousands of women each year are subject to breast cancer overdiagnosis.  Overdiagnosis is actually a technical-sounding euphemism. What is actually happening is that women are being erroneously told they have breast cancer when they actually have benign lesions, such as the commonly misunderstood ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), which most of the time would never progress to cause symptoms, much less bodily harm. Even when in rare cases overdiagnosis is identified before the patient undergoes unnecessary treatment, the psychological and physical trauma that follows the initial error can have lasting adverse health effects.

Most overdiagnosis goes unrecognized and results in overtreatment, which includes unnecessary lumpectomy, mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapies. It has been estimated that 1.3 million US women were wrongly diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in the past 30 years for conditions that even the National Cancer Institute’s expert panel in 2013 determined are intrinsically benign and should not be called “cancer” at all.

Following treatment, most “breast cancer survivors” (or, more accurately, “survivors of overdiagnosis and overtreatment”) are given so-called hormone suppressive drug therapies, with Arimidex and Tamoxifen the most commonly used in the category. These drugs happen to be produced by Astra Zeneca, which maintains control of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a monthly promotional campaign to encourage healthy, symptomless women to subject themselves to x-ray mammography, the result of which is significant increases in diagnoses of “early stage,” or “zero stage” breast lesions such as DCIS, as well as increases in drug sales – a conflict of interest that is as obvious as it is unethical.

The Need for Integrative Medical Approaches: Enter Honey and Bee Pollen

But the world is not perfect. The time lag between the emergence of new medical truth and clinical practice can span decades, and with the growing number of Stockholm syndrome afflicted overdiagnosed and overtreated patients doing whatever they are told by their “saviors” following treatment, the reality is that hormone suppressive drugs will continue to be promoted and used by thousands of women, no matter what we write here or how many references we back up our research with.

Because I have personally witnessed and worked with dozens of women who have experienced not only the original traumas and side effects of breast cancer treatment, but also the subsequent hair loss, fatigue, hot flashes, libido crashes, etc., that are often caused by drugs like Arimidex and Tamoxifen, I am reporting on a new study published in Molecular and Clinical Oncology titled, Bee pollen and honey for the alleviation of hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms in breast cancer patients,” which at least offers some palliative support to attenuate these side effects, while also having potential side benefits as well, including anti-cancer properties.

Hormone suppressive drugs commonly result in discontinuation.[1] Some of the side effects are themselves treated with potent psychotropics like Prozac (fluoxetine) and Lyrica (gabapentin), leading to a downward spiral that can be more dangerous to one’s health than the original theoretical cancer risk the original prescriptions are being used for.[2]  The new study aimed to test the hypothesis that bee pollen could be helpful in reducing the menopausal-type symptoms that are caused by chemical hormone suppression, as was recently evidenced by a trial that showed pollen extracts reduced hot flashes and improved quality of life in menopausal women.[3]

Interestingly, the researchers used honey as a placebo, but found that it was as effective as bee pollen at reducing patient symptoms.

The study design and results were described in the abstract as follows:

We compared a pollen-honey mixture with pure honey(placebo) in a prospective, randomized crossover trial in breast cancer patients receiving anti-hormonal treatment. The menopausal complaints were assessed using the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS). A total of 46 patients were recruited; 68.3% (28/41) of the patients reported an improvement in their symptoms while taking honey, compared with 70.9% (22/31) who reported an improvement with pollen (the difference was non-significant). The results were confirmed by significant improvements in the postmenopausal complaints in the two groups in a pre-post analysis in the MRS and its 3 subscales. This study provided evidence that honey and bee pollen may improve the menopausal symptoms of breast cancer patients on antihormonal treatment.” [emphasis added]

The study authors raised a flag of caution regarding the honey’s ability to raise estrogen levels in patients. If the goal of reducing breast cancer recurrence and hormone suppressive drugs like Arimidex is to reduce estrogen levels and/or estrogen activity in the body, clearly this is not a good thing. And yet, estrogenic substances like genistein in soy, enterodiol in flaxseed and resveratrol in grapes have been identified to have potent anti-breast cancer properties. Furthermore, the unsophisticated idea that “estrogen is a carcinogen,” without qualifying by type, estrogen receptor activity and specificity, etc., has been a fundamental part of the  success of the estrogen-blocking drug manufacturers’ promotional copy. The reality, however, is that naturally-induced, and/or naturally mimicking estrogen activity (as is commonly found with phytoestrogens) may be preventive and even therapeutic against breast and other hormone sensitive cancers. This should be taken into account when you read the study’s concluding remarks:

In conclusion, this study provided evidence that honey and bee pollen improve menopausal symptoms in breast cancer patients receiving antihormonal treatment. As we observed an increase in the serum levels of oestradiol with honey treatment in patients receiving aromatase inhibitors/inactivators, and due to evidence regarding the effect of honey and bee pollen on ovarian function and the direct effects of these products, honey and bee pollen should be used with caution in cancer patients. Whether this caution is justified remains to be established. As previously mentioned, the scepticism regarding soy products also does not appear to be justified, according to Chi et al (13). Honey and bee pollen may be offered to women who have failed to respond to other reasonable alternatives to cope with postmenopausal symptoms (e.g., acupuncture) and who would otherwise discontinue treatment. However, the fact that flavonoids, which are found in both honey and pollen, have been found to prevent breast cancer, supports the use of both products in women with menopausal problems without a history of breast cancer. The use of honey and pollen for menopausal complaints in healthy women and patients with breast cancer should be addressed in future trials.”

The study’s findings could be considered a double-edged sword. For instance, women who would normally discontinue hormone suppressive drugs from their side effects (i.e. their body telling them the drug is a bad idea) might stay on them longer while using honey or bee pollen to mask or mitigate the warning signs of incompatibility and/or accumulating toxicity (i.e. like taking an aspirin for a toe pain caused by a splinter that simply needs to be removed). While prolonging medication compliance may be construed as a “good” thing from the conventional perspective, it may also simply enable patients to maintain a suboptimal or misguided drug-based protocol longer. The ultimate outcome, therefore, is they may end up being at higher risk of Tamoxifen-induced liver or endometrial cancer because they were able to stay on it longer: clearly not a “good” outcome.

Thankfully, there is another factor that may help to resolve the dilemma: honey may actually have anti-cancer properties by itself. If this is true, honey certainly can not be looked at simply as a palliative, side-effect reducing adjunct to conventional drug-based treatment.

Plenty of Natural Alternatives Exist and Have Been Researched

Indeed, there may be safer and more effective ways to prevent breast cancer recurrence by using natural anti-hormone and anti-cancer substances. For instance, there are a wide range of natural aromatase inhibitors (“estrogen blockers”) which have been studied to have potential anti-breast cancer properties.  Here is a section on our database on Aromatase Inhibitors. Also, we have amassed a vast database of research on natural anti-breast cancer substances, nutritional protocols and CAM modalities. You can investigate the research on our database: Breast Cancer research.

My hope in writing this article is that for those who have their minds made up that they are going to stay on drugs like Tamoxifen or Arimidex that their side effects can be reduced naturally. However, I also hope that those who are looking for more natural alternatives to these drugs, and to a more root cause resolution-based model of addressing breast cancer (including investigating whether or not their original diagnoses were even valid), will benefit from exploring other approaches that offer more sustainable solutions than the palliative use of natural interventions in the integrative model which still gives conventional medicine the dominant position.


References

[1] Results of the ATAC (Arimidex, Tamoxifen, Alone or in Combination) trial after completion of 5 years’ adjuvant treatment for breast cancer. Howell A, Cuzick J, Baum M, Buzdar A, Dowsett M, Forbes JF, Hoctin-Boes G, Houghton J, Locker GY, Tobias JS, ATAC Trialists’ Group Lancet. 2005 Jan 1-7; 365(9453):60-2. [PubMed]

[2] A randomized, controlled, double-blinded clinical trial of gabapentin 300 versus 900 mg versus placebo for anxiety symptoms in breast cancer survivors. Lavigne JE, Heckler C, Mathews JL, Palesh O, Kirshner JJ, Lord R, Jacobs A, Amos E, Morrow GR, Mustian K Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Nov; 136(2):479-86. [PubMed]

[3] Femal, a herbal remedy made from pollen extracts, reduces hot flushes and improves quality of life in menopausal women: a randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel study. Winther K, Rein E, Hedman C Climacteric. 2005 Jun; 8(2):162-70. [PubMed]


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

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

New Study: Echinacea As Effective As Tamiflu

Commonly used during the cold and flu season, echinacea has been used for years as a remedy for a cold or the flu. While it’s not a cure and conflicting evidence about its true value exists, recent research is showing that a simple echinacea preparation could be helpful much in the same way as Tamiflu. Could it help reduce reliance on over-the-counter medications?

New Research Shows Echinacea as Effective as Tamiflu

A new study published in the April 2015 edition of Current Therapeutic Research revealed that an herbal proprietary blend of concentrated echinacea root extract had a powerful effect on cold and flu. [1] Researchers compared the herbal extract to Tamiflu, a common over-the-counter medication used to combat the symptoms of the influenza virus. Close to 500 people exhibiting flu-like symptoms were involved in the study, each randomly receiving either the echinacea extract or oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Statistical analysis following administration of the two therapies showed no significant differences among groups, and that the herbal extract was equal in effectiveness to Tamiflu in reducing symptoms.

Efficacy is Not the Only Problem With Tamiflu

The main issue with Tamiflu, and most other store-bought medications, is that it has a higher risk factor compared with herbal approaches. Herbs are not without risk, but the risk-to-benefit ratio is considerably lower, for most healthy individuals, when you’re dealing with natural plant material in its pure form. That being said, herbal approaches have been shown consistently to be equal in effect to many conventional influenza and cold medications. [2] [3] Side effects of Tamiflu include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, eye redness, and vomiting.

Natural Cold and Flu Approaches

One of the best ways to reduce the likelihood of developing a cold or the flu is to step outside in the sun. Ultraviolet light is a potent antiviral, and it’s also helpful for producing immune-bolstering vitamin D. [4] Studies also indicate that getting enough quality sleep is an important factor for reducing cold and flu incidence, as is stress reduction. [5] [6] Increasing your intake of antioxidant-rich foods, like vegetables and small berries, also support immune health. Exercise is also a potent supporter for immune health that is often overlooked, so be sure you’re getting plenty of physical activity throughout the day, no matter the season.

References:

  1. Karel Raus, Dr, Stephan Pleschka (Prof), Peter Klein, MSc, Roland Schoop, MSc, Peter Fisher, Dr. Echinaforce Hotdrink versus Oseltamivir in Influenza: A randomized, double-blind, double dummy, ulticenter, non-inferiority clinical trial. Current Therapeutic Research. doi:10.1016/j.curtheres.2015.04.001.
  2. Rajesh Arora, R. Chawla, Rohit Marwah, et al. Potential of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Preventive Management of Novel H1N1 Flu (Swin Flu) Pandemic: Thwarting Potential Disasters in the Bud. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; 2011: 586506. doi: 10.1155/2011/5865506.
  3. M. Jawad, R. Schoop, A. Suter, P. Klein, and R. Eccles. Safety and Efficacy Profile of Echinacea purpurea to Prevent Common Cold Episodes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 841315, 7 pages. doi: 10.1155/2012/841315.
  4. Amir Hashem Shahidi Bonjar. UV Phototherapy Has Positive Effect in Viral Treatments. International Journal of Applied Science and Technology. Vol. 2 No. 6; June 2012.
  5. Luciana Besedovsky, Tanja Lange, and Jan Born. Sleep and immune function. Pflugers Arch. 2012 Jan; 463(1): 121-137. doi: 10.1007/s00424-011-1044-0.
  6. Infante JR, Peran F, Rayo JI. Levels of immune cells in transcendental meditation practitioners. Int J Yoga. 2014 Jul;7(2):147-51. doi: 10.4103/0973-6131.133899.

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.