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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Moving Towards Vegetarianism

It wasn't so long ago many people in North America thought vegetarians were weird, lived in hippie communes and lived off of tofu and brown rice. Our cultural ideas have shifted enough in the last decade that this concept has mostly fallen away. There's no question that more people are embracing a vegetarian diet, especially in the under 30 age group, but there is still some resistance.

There are many people out there who are flummoxed by the idea of cooking and eating a meal without meat. We'd like to change that. The challenge this week: Eat just one dinner without meat or fish in it. Read the entire article.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Agave Nectar Fraud

Agave nectar is in reality not a natural sweetener but a highly refined form of fructose, more concentrated than the high fructose corn syrup used in sodas. Refined fructose is not a 'natural' sugar, and countless studies implicate it as a sweetener that will contribute to disease. Therefore, agave nectar is not a health building product, but rather a deceptively marketed form of a highly processed and refined sweetener.

Agave nectar is found on the shelves of health food stores primarily under the labels, "Agave Nectar 100% Natural Sweetener," and "Organic Raw Blue Agave Nectar." In addition, it can be found in foods labeled as organic or raw, including: ketchup, ice-cream, chocolate, and health food bars.

The implication of its name, the pictures and descriptions on the product labels, is that agave is an unrefined sweetener that has been used for thousands of years by native people in central Mexico. They made a traditional sweetener from the agave sap/juice (miel de agave) by simply boiling it for several hours. But, as one agave seller explains, the agave nectar purchased in stores is neither of these traditional foods: "Agave nectar is a newly created sweetener, having been developed during the 1990's." Read the entire article.

Update: 12/31/08 This information has been contested by Madhava Agave Nectar.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Green Space Reduces Fatal Diseases

Across the country, there are "health inequalities" related to income and social deprivation, which generally reflect differences in lifestyle, diet, and, to some extent, access to medical care.

This means that in general, people living in poorer areas are more likely to be unhealthy, and die earlier.

However, the researchers found that living near parks, woodland or other open spaces helped reduce these inequalities, regardless of social class.

When the records of more than 366,000 people who died between 2001 and 2005 were analysed, it revealed that even tiny green spaces in the areas in which they lived made a big difference to their risk of fatal diseases.

Although the effect was greatest for those living surrounded by the most greenery, with the "health gap" roughly halved compared with those with the fewest green spaces around them, there was still a noticeable difference. Read the entire article.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Healthiest Supermarkets

Your weekly (or daily) run to the grocery store is the foundation for your good health. So it’s thrilling news that the supermarket industry is on a health kick — these days you’ll likely find organic produce and “natural” packaged foods at almost any store.

But which chains are outdoing themselves to deliver the freshest and healthiest food? And which provide the best tools to help you make smart choices? Health magazine asked six prominent health experts to help pick the top 10 healthiest grocery stores out of the nation’s largest chains.

And surprise: Many are the traditional, affordable grocers close to your home! Read the results.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Break Bad Eating Habits

A whirlwind of office parties, family reunions, and shopping days, the holiday season can easily sabotage the healthy limits we normally set for ourselves. But it's not just the overabundance of sweets that lures us, says Judith Wright, author of The Soft Addiction Solution (Tarcher, 2006).

“The holidays stir up emotions that we often don't know how to deal with, so we end up self-medicating through unhealthy behaviors,” she says. Plus stress — another bad-habit trigger — can get exceptionally intense during this time of year.

“When we don't have ways to relieve stress every day, our habits tend to break down,” says Wright. Of course, stress isn't exactly a holiday-specific phenomenon. But when compounded with the season's tendency to disrupt our regular routines, it can leave us especially vulnerable to relapse.

Powerless against pumpkin pie? It's likely you're looking for another kind of nourishment, says Carol H. Munter, psychoanalyst and co-author of Overcoming Overeating. “If you're compulsively eating, it's often because you're using food to find calm rather than ease hunger,” she says. “So when you feel the urge to indulge, ask yourself if it's a physical or emotional need. If it's the latter, you need to find another way to soothe yourself.” Read the entire article.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Medications and Thinking Skills Loss

Common medications known as anticholinergic drugs -- used to treat ulcers, stomach cramps, motion sickness, Parkinson's disease and urinary incontinence -- may cause older people to lose their thinking skills more quickly than seniors who don't take the medicines, new research suggests. Medications for bladder problems and Parkinson's appear to have the worst effect on memory, he said.

Anticholinergic drugs are a class of medicines that work by blocking the binding of a brain chemical called acetylcholine to its receptor in nerve cells.

"You need acetylcholine for [good] memory," Tsao explained. Drugs used to treat Alzheimer's inhibit the enzyme which breaks down acetylcholine, he said, allowing more of it to be used by the brain.

Tsao's study adds to the body of evidence on the effect of these drugs on memory. "We've known for a long time that in people with Alzheimer's disease, if you put them on drugs with anticholinergic activity, it clearly worsens their memory, without a doubt."

In the new study, he said, they looked at people who had normal cognitive function. Read the entire article.

Help For The Liver

Reasons to love our liver abound since this organ does all of the following, and more: saves up energy; makes bile to help break down food; keeps pollution from hurting us; stops cuts from bleeding too long; kills germs; gets rid of toxic chemicals; and helps build muscle.

According to the foundation, liver disease affects one in 10 Americans, or about 30 million people — including children.

Liver disease begins with inflammation. If left untreated, especially over time, inflamed liver tissue starts to scar or become fibrous, which is called fibrosis. If fibrosis is not treated or healed, irreversible damage can occur, called cirrhosis; this can lead to liver cancer. If the liver loses most or all of its function, a life-threatening condition called liver failure can result.

In recent years, enlightened medicine has brought popularity to a variety of botanical liver lovers, including milk thistle, which has been used for what we now know as liver disease since the 12th century.

Today, research often attributes milk thistle´s liver supportive effects to a compound complex in milk thistle, called silymarin, which is extracted from the Milk Thistle seed.

One nutrient, however, that has been the subject of research and which shows the greatest promise for liver health has curiously not yet attained the level of popularity enjoyed by milk thistle; it is: alpha lipoic acid.

It is a natural substance that, according to ALA pioneer Burt Berkson, M.D., in the December 2007 edition of the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, is the "rate-limiting factor for the production of energy from carbohydrates." In other words, without Alpha Lipoic Acid we could not obtain energy from the food we eat and we could not stay alive.

Read entire article.
Milk Thistle Combination
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid & Longevity

Monday, December 22, 2008

Getting Out Of The Negative Loops

by Donna L. Watkins

This is the fifth and final article written around a very enlightening book I've read by Jill Bolte Taylor. My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey has put a visual aspect (right brain) to my left brain knowledge of the Scripture commanding us to "take every thought captive" (2 Cor. 10:4-5).

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Lamb's Ears at Montpelier Gardens
The author, a brain scientist who had a stroke and eight years of recovery, paints a picture of how we can control our thoughts which in turn controls our emotions and sets a positive and joyful path through life. Not without troubles, but seeing them in a different light with the choices we make on what we allow our left brain to pump out at us, since it's the story-teller of our brain and will ramble and rattle on forever with things you do not want to waste life listening to.

Jill mentions a few more methods of getting out of the negative loops that our left brain weaves for us: “The cells in our verbal mind [left brain] are totally resourceful in their ability to run our loops of doom and gloom. These cells tap into our negative attributes of jealousy, fear, and rage. They thrive when they are whining, complaining, and sharing with everyone about how awful everything is.

In extreme situations of cellular disregard, I use my authentic voice to put my language center’s Peanut Gallery on a strict time schedule. I give my story-teller full permission to whine rampantly between 9-9:30 a.m. And then again between 9-9:30 p.m. If it accidentally misses whine time, it is not allowed to reengage in that behavior until its next allotted appointment. My cells quickly get the message that I am serious about not hooking into those negative loops of thought – but only if I am persistent and determined enough to pay attention to what circuits are running in my brain.

I’m a devout believer that paying attention to our self-talk is vitally important for our mental health. In my opinion, making the decision that internal verbal abuse is not acceptable behavior, is the first step toward finding deep inner peace. I have learned that in order to protect my overall mental health, it is necessary for me to tend the garden of my mind and keep these cells in check. My story-teller simply needs a little disciplining directive from my conscious mind about what I want versus what I find unacceptable."

Many of us grew up with parents nagging and shouting and saying things they didn't mean to say. Fear makes us project accusations in hopes of some warped way of preventing what we are accusing our children of. Those childhood accusations often continue on when we become adults and they are so deeply rooted that we have a challenge to wake up enough to listen to every conversation, but the more practice you get, the easier it becomes. You will be surprised at what you are saying to yourself once you begin to tune in. This new information has allowed me to go to new levels of subconscious loops that I didn't even recognize as thoughts.

The 9-9:30 routine doesn't fit for me, but what I've found very successful is to first recognize that I'm in a moment where I can take the whine road or "take a right turn" to let my right brain see a bigger picture. Generally I'm off on the rejoicing road focusing on blessings instead of the problem, or putting it up against what God's Word says about it. Since it's winter, I look out at a gray and bleak setting and miss the views of summer with all the color, blooms and butterflies.

So .. I go back to "THIS is the day the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it." Then I think of blessings I can count because it is winter. I can see the birds better. They are willing to eat closer to the windows. I have more time for reading than in summer. And on and on. It keeps me focused on the blessing of today ... and tomorrow may be a sunny day which alters my mind greatly.

However, there are times when something warrants a bit of whine time because I know it's going to come back up if I don't process through it more fully. For example, a beautiful Downy Woodpecker hit our deck door (even though it has 3 decals on it) and died. There are emotions we have to express to go through the steps of grief, but we have the option of moving through those stages a lot quicker than we often choose to. I allowed myself a few moments moaning about its death and it being "not fair" ... but then I moved on. It's okay to give yourself time to whine when life doesn't go your way, but don't let it keep you in its flow. Put your toes in the water, but don't step into the current. Choose to flow in the thoughts of blessings that are all around you.

Jill continues with more specifics to help us: "Just like children, these [left brain] cells may challenge the authority of my authentic voice and test my conviction. Once asked to be silent, they tend to pause for a moment and then immediately reengage those forbidden loops.

If I am not persistent with my desire to think about other things, and consciously initiate new circuits of thought, then those uninvited loops can generate new strength and begin monopolizing my mind again. To counter their activities, I keep a handy list of three things available for me to turn my consciousness toward when I am in a sate of need:

I remember something I find fascinating that I would like to ponder more deeply, or
I think about something that brings me terrific joy, or
I think about something I would like to do.

When I am desperate to change my mind, I use such tools.”

Jill mentions that she had to be willing to make these decisions a thousand times a day initially. That sounds overwhelming. However, in reality, isn’t allowing our mind to control us with negative thoughts overwhelming, besides being so destructive.

Allowing yourself to whine and wallow in despair and grief, fear and worry, or any other negative emotion is totally destructive. There is no good coming out of it. None! Spending that time and energy thinking about the things that bring you joy – even if you can only find one thing – brings about positive change and that change gains momentum.

It’s like exercise. When you begin it is not fun. Every muscle hurts from being reawakened and you can’t see much positive coming out of it ... But if you keep on going you soon begin noticing more energy, more strength, better physical and mental health. It’s worth the investment, but each day it’s a choice on whether to put our mind in gear for it.

Jill also relates all of this to the realm of physical health. She writes, “The first thing every morning and the last thing every night, I faithfully hug my pillow, wrap one hand in the other, and consciously thank my cells for another great day. I care enough to say it out loud. ‘Thank you girls. Thanks for another great day!,’ and I say it with an intense feeling of gratitude in my heart. I then implore my cells, 'Please, heal me,' and I visualize my immune cells responding.

I unconditionally love my cells with an open heart and grateful mind. Spontaneously throughout the day, I acknowledge their existence and enthusiastically cheer them on. I am a wonderful living being capable of beaming my energy into the world, only because of them ...

When I’m having hunger pangs and can’t get to food, I remind my cells that I have fuel (fat) stored on my hips ... I listen to my body when it speaks to me. If I feel tired, I give my cells sleep. When I’m feeling sloth-like, I give my cells movement. When I’m in pain, I become quiet, coddle the wound, and consciously surrender into the pain, which helps it dissipate.

Pain is the tool our cells use to communicate to our brain that there is trauma somewhere in our body. Our cells stimulate our pain receptors in order to get our brain to focus and pay attention. Once my brain acknowledges the existence of the pain, then it has served its purpose and either lightens up in intensity, or goes away.


Deep inner peace is just a thought/feeling away. To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.”

One of the keys to being able to stay centered on peace is knowing you are part of something greater than yourself. For Christians, that’s being in Christ, and all that defines. We are fearfully and wonderfully made and this book certainly broke that down into visual, scientific and factual terms.

Realizing these are real physiological processes that we were wired to control is truly empowering. We can read about having the power of the Creator within us, but this shows exactly where and how He wired it in.

Here's one last tip from Jill: "One of the easiest ways to shift just about anyone’s mood (for better or worse) is through stimulation of their nose. If you are overly sensitive, life in the real world can be unbearable. Capitalizing on our noses to shift ourselves back into the present moment is easy. Light a scented candle and let vanilla, rose or almond life you up beyond your recollections of stress. When random smells waft past you, hook into that cognitive loop and spend quality time trying to identify the scent. Score it on a scale of one to ten for pleasure or yuck. Remember to feel the physiology that underlies different scents. Let them move you into the here and now."

I've found several essential oils that I love and keep them nearby for use. Since I mix them with a massage oil, I use them as my face moisturizer which eliminates all those face products with a long list of chemicals. Even natural products have a longer list than I have come to want on my body.

I have a mixture of Rosemary and Pine essential oils for mornings and Sandalwood for afternoons. Essential oils enter the bloodstream in seconds, so I always feel the joy of them very quickly. I've used Tei Fu for asthma (relaxes arthritis pain for many years and the smell of that lifts my spirit also ... maybe because it's such an effective pain reliever for me.

I pray that these excerpts that I’ve been writing from My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey will bring you much insight into getting out of the darkness that wants to envelope us so that our Light no longer shines.

Related Articles:
Your Amazing Brain
Power To Change Your Mind
Stroke Of Genius On Emotions
Taking Thoughts Captive
Fighting The Darkness

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either or both of them on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com.
Link URL is: http://www.TheNatureInUs.com

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Holiday Cleansing & Weight Loss

All the holiday treats and overeating takes a toll on our digestive system, immune system and certainly on the liver and intestinal system.

What a great New Year's gift to give yourself ... a body cleanse. Cleansing aids so many areas of the body:

Why Should I Cleanse?

Even weight loss is better accomplished once you open the pathways of elimination so any fat you burn off can be removed:

Sensible Weight Control.

Nature's Sunshine's Clean Start Cleanse is on sale from December 21-31, 2008. Wild Berry and Apple flavors at $42.75 ($3.00 off) or you can Buy 4 and Get 1 Free if you're going to cleanse the entire family or do a series of monthly cleanses.

Nature's Sunshine has a big sale on many items. If you're ready to get some energy and nutrition into that partying body, check out the
Nature's Sunshine's products on sale now.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Healthy Legumes

Eating healthy can be part of an alternative treatment against illnesses.

Legumes are a staple food all over the world and are one of the best sources of soluble fiber. Plus, they're low in fat and high in good quality protein -- a great health-saving combination. Beans can be gassy, of course, but there are ways around that. So don't let their "explosive" nature scare you away from some of the best nutrition around.

The soluble fiber in beans helps lower levels of damaging LDL cholesterol in the blood, thus lowering heart-disease risk. And by slowing down carbohydrate absorption, soluble bean fiber fends off unwanted peaks and valleys in blood glucose levels -- especially valuable to people with diabetes. Beans also provide substantial insoluble fiber, which can keep constipation and other digestive woes away.

Legumes are also rich in folic acid, copper, iron, and magnesium -- four nutrients many of us could use more of in our diets. In addition, dried beans and peas are generally good sources of iron, which is especially helpful for people who don't eat meat. Read the entire article.

Beans are an important dietary choice for vegetarians since they contain a great amount of protein. When combined with a grain, they offer complete protein (containing all amino acids) in a more digestible form than meat and dairy products. Read more about vegetarian protein sources.

Beans can really stretch a food budget a very long way, even if you're paying the higher price for canned beans. Phil Lempert at MSNBC.com discusses buying dry beans vs. canned.

"Nearly every bean that is sold in dried form is sold pre-cooked in cans including garbanzo, red kidney, Great Northern white or black beans, pinto, and navy beans. Also available in cans are whole, and both French and Italian cut green beans that are not available in dried form, but also come fresh or frozen. Organic, low sodium and low fat varieties are also available.

Although dried beans are a very inexpensive source of protein, it’s hard to argue with the additional expense of buying precooked beans in cans. With the convenience of saving time soaking, cooking, and seasoning beans, all you need to do is open a can and use them in salads, or heat them up in other dishes.

So, while you could get four cups of cooked beans from a package of dried beans for under 60 cents, and you get only one cup for 90 cents to $1.50 for canned beans, it’s still such a modest investment that convenience here makes sense."


Here's a warm healthy recipe from Delicious Living for one of your cold winter evenings.

Lentil, Mushroom, and Spinach Stew
Serves 6

Lentil Tip:

Grayish-green French lentils stay firm when cooked; red lentils cook quickly but can lose their texture; and brown (often with a greenish cast and simply labeled “lentils”) soften but retain texture when cooked.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, cut in large dice
2 medium carrots, cut in large dice
1 medium celery stalk, cut in large dice
1½ cups sliced cremini or portobello mushrooms
1 cup flat brown lentils, rinsed
7-8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
4 cups (packed) baby spinach leaves
Sherry or sherry vinegar (optional)

1. In a medium soup pot, heat olive oil and sauté onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms until onions are just tender, 3-5 minutes. Stir in lentils. Add 7 cups broth, bay leaf, rosemary, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook on medium, covered, for about 20 minutes, until lentils are tender.
2. Remove bay leaf. Purée half of the mixture and return to pot. If desired, add remaining 1 cup stock to reach desired consistency. Stir in baby spinach leaves and cook for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Top each serving with a spoonful of sherry or sherry vinegar, if desired.

PER SERVING: 180 cal, 14% fat cal, 3g fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg chol, 10g protein, 30g carb, 11g fiber, 348mg sodium

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Least Toxic Denistry

Mercury fillings, dental sealants, and root canals may be linked to health problems. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe.

When you visit the dentist, you’re probably hoping that you’ll get a clean bill of dental health. Keep in mind, though, that you should also be looking closely at the health of your dentist’s office. Many dental procedures that have been used for years—from fluoride applications to amalgam fillings to root canals—are now under scrutiny for their possible role in causing health problems. Learning about the issues surrounding these procedures can make you a more informed and safer dental patient.

The Fuss About Fillings

Amalgam, or silver, fillings, which have been widely used by dentists for more than a century, are about 50 percent mercury; the balance is made up of other metals, mainly silver, copper, tin, and zinc. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), amalgam is an ideal substance for dental restorations because it’s durable, easy to use, highly resistant to wear, and cost-effective.

The ADA claims that the presence of mercury in fillings is not a problem, because the fillings release only minute amounts of mercury vapor, and such low-level exposure has not been proven to be harmful.

A growing number of dental professionals disagrees. “The ADA warns that amalgam is toxic before placement and after removal, so dentists have to take precautions with these procedures,” says Dr. Robert Johnson, a biologic dentist who heads the Natural Horizons Wellness Center in Fairfax, Virginia.

“There’s no reason for amalgam to suddenly not be toxic once it’s in someone’s mouth.”There’s little dispute about one thing: everyday activities like brushing your teeth, eating, and drinking hot liquids cause amalgam fillings to release mercury vapor.

The ADA acknowledges that chewing and grinding teeth may cause amalgam fillings to release one to three micrograms of mercury per day, while the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the average amount is actually three to 17 micrograms per day. Read the entire article.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Don't Want To Eat Greens?

You can juice them and get more of a quantity down besides being able to mix it with fruit juice. Sounds a whole lot better to me than a plate full of bitter greens. Although Randal is juicing organic carrots right now to drink daily, I can't handle the visual look of adding greens. Orange (carrots) and green make brown.

But greens are very important and getting them in a liquid format makes it easier to get a good quantity of them in our children, or even in an older weakened parent or spouse.

I always look for an easier way to deal with getting things into my body that are good for it, but that I can't get beyond my eyes to deliver it to the mouth. So, I get my greens in Liquid Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what makes plants green, and it's the building blocks of the body. It's perhaps the most powerful element that exists in the universe because It increases the flow of oxygen to the entire body. That means we release more toxins and our bodies become more aerobic, which means disease can't live in our cells.

Chlorophyll provides trace minerals which many people are seriously short in, so our bodies are not getting what it needs to fight disease and feel good. You can't open a health book or magazine these days without finding advice to eat your greens. They're important. Raw vegetables and fruits are the foundation of a healthy diet and I don't find anybody that's getting enough of them in by chewing.

Maybe the Liquid Chlorophyll option will work for you as well as it does for me. I use Nature's Sunshine Liquid Chlorophyll because it's pure, potent and has spearmint flavoring which makes it even more tasty. The source of the green is alfalfa. Alfalfa is known to have many great health benefits.

Somehow the green color reminds me of the earth and it makes me feel good to pour in essential nutrients that are readily absorbed in a liquid form. Most of our digestive systems are not up to breaking down the cellular wall of the fibers in greens, so we can get more benefit by taking a "juiced" form.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ginger - Inflammation, BP, Digestion

This spicy Asian flavor enhancer is actually a rhizome — an underground, horizontal-growing plant stem. Much more than just a zesty accent to baked goods and sushi, ginger contains potent compounds that help quell inflammation, ease nausea, and potentially lower blood pressure.

Eat it

To soothe osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, mince about 1/4-inch slice of fresh ginger and add to food every day. Or mitigate hypertension and relieve motion sickness by taking ginger in capsule or tincture form. Talk with your health care practitioner about an appropriate dose.

Drink it


Combat a queasy stomach or morning sickness with simple ginger tea. Place one or two 1/4-inch slices of fresh ginger in a mug of hot water. Let steep for a few minutes, and drink. [I have used one capsule to a cup of water for this.]

To eliminate gas, sip nonalcoholic ginger beer — as opposed to conventional ginger ales, which often don't include any fresh ginger.

Rub it on

When massaged into skin, ginger creates a warming sensation that helps increase circulation, soothe sore joints, and relax muscles. Plus, antioxidants in ginger boost skin's ability to fight free radicals. Mix a couple of drops of ginger essential oil into a carrier oil and knead into problem areas.

Source: Delicious Living Magazine

Ginger is something I take a lot of since I deal with rheumatoid arthritis. I am hot-natured and ginger is known to increase sweating, so I begin using it in September when it cools off here in Virginia. Throughout the winter, I take capsules before each meal, brew tea at bedtime, and cook with ginger as much as I can.

It's a great digestive aid and in cooler months I eat heavier foods, so it's nice to have some extra digestive support. I use Nature's Sunshine Ginger capsules.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Google Spying On Our Health

Google has a plan to spy on its users and report search details to the U.S. government. The project is for Flu Trends. It's monitoring searches for flu-related keywords to determine whether a pandemic outbreak is occurring in a specific geographic region.

The data is then reported in real time to the U.S. government, where offices like the CDC can take action to halt the outbreak. What's really happening? Google is snooping on the search queries of private users and reporting to the federal government!

What's next? If you search for "vaccine side effects," will you be visited by health authorities who will have you arrested for resisting mandatory vaccines? Read NY Times article.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Stroke Of Genius On Emotions


I've been writing about the book I've been reading, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, by Jill Bolte Taylor, and wanted to give you more of her insight into controlling our brain. This brain scientist had a massive stroke and learned so much about controlling all the brain chatter, judging and critical aspects of the left brain. There's much wisdom to be learned for "taking every thought captive" as God tells us to do.

Jill says, "I define responsibility (response ability) as the ability to choose how we respond to stimulation coming in through our sensory systems at any moment in time ... Although there are certain limbic system (emotional) programs that can be triggered automatically, it takes less than 90 seconds for one of these programs to be triggered, surge through our body, and then be completely flushed out of our bloodstream. My anger response, for example, is a programmed response that can be set off automatically.

Once triggered, the chemical released by my brain surges through my body and I have a physiological experience. Within 90 seconds from the initial trigger, the chemical component of my anger has completely dissipated from my blood and my automatic response is over.

If, however, I remain angry after those 90 seconds have passed, then it is because I have CHOSEN to let that circuit continue to run. Moment by moment, I make the choice to either hook into my neurocircuitry or move back into the present moment, allowing that reaction to melt away as fleeting physiology.

I always have an alternative way of looking at any situation - is my glass half full or half empty?

If you approach me with anger and frustration, then I make the choice to either reflect your anger and engage in argument (left brain), or be empathic and approach you with a compassionate heart (right brain).

What most of us don't realize is that we are unconsciously making choices about how we respond all the time. It is so easy to get caught up in the wiring of our pre-programmed reactivity (limbic system) that we live our lives cruising along on automatic pilot.

By paying attention to the choices my automatic circuitry is making, I own my power and make more choices consciously. In the long run, I take responsibility for what I attract into my life.

There has been nothing more empowering than the realization that I don't have to think thoughts that bring me pain. I have the conscious power to stop thinking those thoughts when I am satiated and it is liberating to know that I have the ability to choose a peaceful and loving mind (my right mind), whatever my physical or mental circumstances, by deciding to 'step to the right' and bring my thoughts back to the present moment."

Jill told the story of driving down the highway singing along with one of her favorite CDs, "I've got joy in my heart." She was pulled over by the police for speeding. After receiving the ticket, she had to make the decision at least 100 times not to feel down about it. The little voice of negativity kept raising its head to remind her of the situation, most likely with a lot of name calling. She found her left brain wanting to mull over the event again and again from every angle. No matter how much thought she would've allowed it, nothing would change the situation, and she finds that kind of mental obsessing by the left hemisphere to be a waste of time and emotionally draining.

She tunes in to how thoughts make her feel and then makes the choice for feeling better. Yes, it takes a lot of energy, but it takes a lot less time and mental and physical health than all the negative thinking ... and totally avoids the long-term consequences of allowing that kind of thinking to continue in our minds and set up highway systems to welcome more of it.

We can use our power to stop thinking about events that we cannot change or have any control over, and bring our minds back to the present and the blessings in it. Feeling deep inner peace and sharing kindness rather than anger and frustration (even sharing it with ourselves), is always a choice we get to make. We choose to forgive or stuff it away.

Jill's book, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, has really been a stroke of genius for insight into the workings of the mind and how we can truly be obedient to the Scripture telling us to "take every thought captive" (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

Related Articles:
Your Amazing Brain
Power To Change Your Mind
Taking Thoughts Captive
Getting Out Of Negative Loops
Fighting The Darkness

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either or both of them on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com.
Link URL is: http://www.TheNatureInUs.com

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wild Medicine

Is it possible that your pharmacist could be a chimpanzee? That's not such a silly question. Naturalists are discovering that many animals use a variety of plants and other items to treat their illnesses. Animals often know about the medicinal properties of plants when modern medicine has yet to learn about them.

Recently naturalists noticed that one of the monkeys in the African preserve under their care had become lethargic, lost her appetite, and obviously had a severe gastric upset. A few hours after she became sick, she started munching on a native shrub that is not a normal part of the monkey's diet. She chewed the plant, swallowed the bitter juice and spit out the pulp. By the next afternoon her symptoms were gone and she was feeling better. After a little research, scientists discovered that local tribes use juices from the same plant to treat intestinal upset and loss of appetite.

Studies of the juices of a root that bears rub into their coats show that the bears are using an effective insecticide. Scientists have observed elephants, monkeys, birds and bears eating a variety of things that were not a normal part of their diet only to discover that the things being eaten had medicinal properties. Most amazing is that the animals know how best to take their medicine. If a leaf is best swallowed whole to kill intestinal parasites, it will be swallowed unchewed!

Who but the Great Physician Himself could have taught the animals this medicine?

References: Cowen, Ron. 1990. Medicine on the wild side. ScienceNews, v. 138. p. 280.

Source: Creation Moments.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Obese Employees Pay More

Beginning in January 2009, state employees will be required to receive medical screenings for several conditions, including body mass index (BMI). Those who are considered obese -- along with exhibiting other negative health factors -- will have a year to get in shape.

The penalty for failure? A $25 increase in their monthly insurance costs.

Although critics view the penalty as a "fat tax," Alabama officials believe the new policies will result in fitter, healthier, and happier employees -- as well as help reduce the state's mounting health care costs. Read the entire article.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mobile Phones Causing Skin Problems

Mobile phones users are developing rashes on their faces and ears caused by an allergic reaction to the nickel on handsets, skin experts warn.

The British Association of Dermatologists said the phenomenon is being seen in people who spend long periods of time on the phone.

Nickel is often found in the handset casing or buttons. It could even occur on the fingers if you spend a lot of time texting on metal menu buttons.

The BAD said women who reacted to nickel in jewelery were at a higher risk of a rash from their phones. Nickel allergy is the most common contact allergy in the UK and is thought to affect 30% of the population. Read the entire article.

Related Articles:
Cell Phones - Epidemic of Brain Tumors
Mobile Phones More Dangerous Than Smoking
Cell Phone Precautions - Analysis of Studies

Friday, December 5, 2008

Using Essential Oils At Home

From Delicious Living Magazine

The right mix of pure essential oils can help you relax, recharge, or melt away fatigue, stress, and depression. Derived from plant secretions, the oils are astringent, antibacterial, and highly concentrated (always dilute before using).

Cost usually depends on how difficult a particular oil is to extract, but, fortunately, essential oils are so effective that a little goes a long way. Here's how to try aromatherapy oils at home.

In The Tub

What could be more relaxing on a winter day than a hot, fragrant bath? Place 9 or 10 drops of a gentle oil, such as lavender, in a full tub. The oil will pool on the water's surface, intensifying the aroma, says Jade Shutes, founder of the East West School for Herbal and Aromatic Studies in Willow Springs, North Carolina, and author of Aromatherapy for Bodyworkers (Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007).

If you prefer a mellower experience, add the drops to a dispersing agent — such as a tablespoon of honey, whole milk, or vegetable oil — before placing in the bath water. Oils can be added individually or in combination with other scents. To find a complementary blend, slowly waft two or more open bottles under your nose at the same time. They should smell balanced and not too pungent. Use less of the dominant scent.

"Lavender sedates the nervous system and can calm stress,” says Shutes. It may also help induce sleep. For deep relaxation, Shutes recommends combining 5 drops lavender with 1 drop Roman chamomile and 1 drop comforting neroli.

Although too cooling for use in a full bath, peppermint and rosemary essential oils stimulate circulation and relieve pain — perfect for soothing tired, sore feet. Mix 4 to 5 drops peppermint oil or 5 to 8 drops rosemary oil in a large, hot footbath.

On Your Body

When muscles tighten up, work out knots at home with sedative essential oils. As long as it has very little scent, any light oil — such as vegetable, sunflower, or walnut — or oil-based professional massage lotion can make a good carrier.

Don't use over-the-counter lotions, however; they soak in too quickly. Start with 1 drop of essential oil for every teaspoon of carrier. “If you know your skin sensitivity, you can increase that slightly,” says Ingrid Martin, author of Aromatherapy for Massage Practitioners (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2006).

“Using a strong blend, though, without assessing your skin sensitivity first can result in allergic reactions. But eventually you may want to add more essential oil to have a greater effect on physical injuries.” Mild, sedative oils, such as clary sage and mandarin, calm muscles.

In the Air

Their germ-fighting abilities make essential oils superb natural household cleansers. “The easiest way to mix them is to add essential oils to a spray bottle filled with water. Learn more in the Delicious Living website article How to Use Essential Oils in the Air.

More Information

Quality and Purity Essential For Essential Oils
Q&A
Essential Oil Recipes
Plug-in AromaBall

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oregano's Many Healthful Uses

The leaves of various species of oregano (Origanum genus) have been traditionally used for respiratory and digestive system ailments, and as an antiseptic for fighting infection. These uses date back to the famous Greek physician Hippocrates.

Traditionally taken in tea form, oregano has been used to treat colds, flu, fevers, indigestion, gas and bloating and painful menstruation. It is also a mild sedative and can be used to promote sleep.

Because it is both antiseptic and expectorant, oregano is helpful for respiratory infections. This is why it is an important component of Seasonal Defense Formula.

The most popular modern use of oregano is in fighting yeast and fungal infections. The Oregano essential oil has been shown to have anti-fungal properties 100 times more potent than caprylic acid against Candida, mainly due to the presence of carvacrol. Read the entire article.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Your Amazing Brain

by Donna L. Watkins

I've read a fascinating book that held a lot more than what the title implies. Not only did it give me a detailed view of how our brain functions, but an amazing appreciation for what it accomplishes and makes of my life. And much of that is based on my own control through my choice of thoughts.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Female Pileated Woodpecker Feeding Her Young

Jill Bolte Taylor was a 37-year-old Harvard-trained and published brain scientist when a blood vessel exploded in her brain. Through the eyes of a curious neuroanatomist, she watched her mind completely deteriorate whereby she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Because of her understanding of how the brain works, her respect for the cells composing her human form, and an amazing mother, Jill completely recovered her mind, brain and body.

In My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, Jill shares with us her recommendations for recovery and the insight she gained into the unique functions of the right and left halves of her brain. Having lost the categorizing, organizing, describing, judging and critically analyzing skills of her left brain, along with its language centers and thus ego center, Jill’s consciousness shifted away from normal reality.

In the absence of her left brain’s neural circuitry, her consciousness shifted into present moment thinking whereby she experienced herself “at one with the universe.” That place of peace we reach when we still the brain chatter and tune into God.

Based upon her academic training and personal experience, Jill helps others not only rebuild their brains from trauma, but helps those of us with normal brains better understand how we can ‘tend the garden of our minds’ to maximize our quality of life.

It's the essence of spirituality. Our free will of choosing what to think and believe. Choosing who we are by the thoughts we choose to think.

Jill pushes the envelope in our understanding about how we can consciously influence the neural circuitry underlying what we think, how we feel, and how we react to life’s circumstances. Jill teaches us through her own example how we might more readily exercise our own right hemispheric circuitry with the intention of helping all human beings become more humane. “I believe the more time we spend running our deep inner peace circuitry, then the more peace we will project into the world, and ultimately the more peace we will have on the planet.”

She has a website with forums for people who want to build a community around the ideas presented in Jill's best-selling book. Various forums are available for people who have experienced stroke or other medical issues first-hand or through a loved one; another forum focuses on techniques for how to achieve a balanced brain; and yet another allows people to share their stories of insight and the life lessons they have learned.

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey is a New York Times Bestseller and is published by Viking Penguin Group. It is available in hardcover, audio, and large-print edition. Foreign editions are also available and published in the UK, Germany, Brazil, Holland, and France. Other translations are scheduled to be published in 2009.

Related Articles:
Power To Change Your Mind
Stroke Of Genius On Emotions
Taking Thoughts Captive
Getting Out Of Negative Loops
Fighting The Darkness

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either or both of them on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from TheNatureInUs.com.
Link URL is: http://www.TheNatureInUs.com

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

American Food Fertilized With Melamine

James E. McWilliams, a history professor at Texas State University at San Marcos, points out in a New York Times article, there’s plenty of undetected melamine circulating around in the American food system, thanks to lack of regulation and testing. He explains:

"Fertilizer companies commonly add melamine to their products because it helps control the rate at which nitrogen seeps into soil, thereby allowing the farmer to get more nutrient bang for the fertilizer buck. But the government doesn’t regulate how much melamine is applied to the soil. This melamine accumulates as salt crystals in the ground, tainting the soil through which American food sucks up American nutrients."

More ominous, the United States imports most of its wheat gluten. Last year, for instance, the F.D.A. reported that millions of Americans had eaten chicken fattened on feed with melamine-tainted gluten imported from China. Around the same time, Tyson Foods slaughtered and processed hogs that had eaten melamine-contaminated feed. The government decided not to recall the meat.

Only a week earlier, however, the F.D.A. had announced that thousands of cats and dogs had died from melamine-laden pet food. This high-profile pet scandal did not prove to be a spur to reform so much as a red herring. Our attention was diverted to Fido and away from the animals we happen to kill and eat rather than spoil.

Be informed with this website providing news articles on melamine contamination of our food supply. You might want to begin gardening not only because of the cost of produce, but for your health of your family.

FDA Scientists Report Corruption

A group of scientists working for the FDA have come forward, in a letter, against their corrupt managers, accusing them of committing crimes with this statement, "There is extensive documentary evidence that managers at CDRH have corrupted and interfered with the scientific review of medical devices."

These scientists also report, "It is evident that managers at CDRH have deviated from FDA's mission to identify and address underlying problems with medical devices before they cause irreparable harm, and this deviation has placed the American people at risk."

Congressman John Dingell, chairman of the committee which received the letter, made a statement that you can read here.

The NY Times has reported this story: F.D.A. Scientists Accuse Agency Officials of Misconduct

Monday, December 1, 2008

Help For Caregivers

A new resource is available at the Ask Medicare website. Launched by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the site includes information on navigating through Medicare, health care services, links to partner organizations that assist caregivers, and personal caregiver anecdotes. Visit now.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

GM Crops Threaten Human Fertility and Health

A long-term feeding study commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, managed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health, Family and Youth, and carried out by Veterinary University Vienna, confirms genetically modified (GM) corn seriously affects reproductive health.

Non-GMO advocates, who have warned about this infertility link along with other health risks, now seek an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world. Read the entire article.

What we can do is simply try to avoid the GMO contaminants altogether and be extremely vigilant of how we spend our money and which companies we are choosing to support. Read five simple and effective ways to decrease your contact with untested, toxic and dangerous GMOs.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Relief For Bad Knees

Arthroscopic surgery may be no better than nonsurgical treatment to relieve arthritic pain in the knee, concludes a study in the Sept. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers treated 178 people who had moderate to severe chronic knee pain with both physical therapy and medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen; 86 participants also had arthroscopic surgery. After two years, both groups reported nearly the same levels of pain, disability and stiffness.

“Exercise, weight loss, physical therapy and over-the-counter pain medications are first-line alternatives to surgery,” says John H. Wilckens, M.D., an orthopedist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Arthroscopy may provide some benefit to a very select group.”

Source: AARP article.

Having rheumatoid arthritis, I find essential oils of great comfort since they are safe and easy to use topically. Tei Fu Lotion has been such a benefit to the amount of pain I need to deal with and I've avoided even over the counter medications with this topical relief along with my supplement program. My neighbor has had knee problems and she orders three of these at a time and has shared it with others also. I love it when you can find something "simple" to make such a big difference in your life.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Detoxing The Bathroom For Health

Rub a dub dub, what's that in your tub? Soap scum may be annoying, but it's not as gross as what's in some common bathroom cleaners. And since skin-care and hair-care products aren't always quite as beautiful as they appear on the surface, we'll show you what look out for in those products, too. Get tips from the entire article.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fight The Flu

The flu strikes up to one-fifth of Americans each year, according to the National Institutes of Health. A yearly flu vaccine may help you dodge the dreaded virus, but gentle herbs and supplements also offer targeted prevention.

Remedy How it works Dose
Beta-carotene Feeds the mucous membranes so they can better slough off viral invaders in the nose. Drink an 8-ounce glass of beta-carotene-rich carrot juice daily. Or take an antioxidant formula with 10,000 IUs beta-carotene every day.
Echinacea Boosts the immune system, preparing it for battle against viruses. Take two dropperfuls of a tincture combination of Echinacea angustifolia and E. purpurea every 2-3 hours the first day you start feeling sick. If you don't feel better the next morning, resume dosing.
Rosehips Strengthens immunity with antioxidant properties. To make a tea, steep 2 tablespoons of dried rosehips in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drink a couple of times a day during flu season.
Vitamin C Decreases oxidative stress on cells, making them more resistant to viral intruders. During flu season, take 1,000 mg three times a day. Choose a supplement with bioflavonoids, which increase C's efficacy.
Zinc Works similarly to vitamin C. Take 30 mg a day during flu season.

Consult your health care practitioner for advice before taking any supplement.

Source: Delicious Living

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Rosehips For Osteoarthritis

Powder made from rosehips is more effective at reducing osteoarthritis pain than Tylenol, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California, and Fredericksburg Hospital, Copenhagen University Library and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis - painful joint inflammation - and is believed to be triggered by injury to cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis, a different condition, occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own joint tissue. An estimated 21 million people in the United States alone suffer from osteoarthritis, with studies suggesting that nearly 50 percent of the population will experience symptoms of the disease by age 65, while 80 percent will have asymptomatic arthritis.

Researchers reviewed the results of three prior studies on a total of 287 patients and found that after an average of three months, powdered rosehip was nearly three times more effective at reducing osteoarthritis pain than paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen and marketed as Tylenol, Panadol, Anacin-3, Tempra and Datril. Combinations of paracetamol with other drugs are also sold under a variety of brand names.

Rosehip was also 40% more effective than the common alternative osteoarthritis remedy glucosamine.

Read the entire article.
Purchase Rosehips in capsules.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Stop Smoking Drug Risks Suicide

the popular anti-smoking drug Chantix has been linked to an elevated risk of suicide. This warning comes months after the FDA first expressed concerns over the psychiatric effects of the drug.

Chantix helps people quit smoking by simulating the effects of nicotine in the brain, while at the same time making real nicotine less effective. As early as November 2007, the FDA warned that many people were experiencing changes in emotions and behavior, including depression and suicidal thoughts, within weeks or even days of starting the drug. By February, the agency had strengthened its message, saying, "it appears increasingly likely that there may be an association between Chantix and serious neuropsychiatric symptoms."

At least 40 cases of suicide and another 400 attempted suicides have been reported among those taking Chantix.

Read the entire article.
Quit smoking with herbs: Lobelia.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Acne and Milk

We all know the advertisements where celebrities sport the milk mustache and ask `Got Milk?`. However studies suggest that a more accurate question would be: `Got milk? Got acne?` This article explores how hormones and allergenic proteins in milk could contribute to acne.

At least three large-scale studies reported in the American Journal of Dermatology found a link between drinking milk and acne. NaturalNews reported about a study that found those who drank two or three glasses of milk a day had 44% higher chance of developing severe acne.

Most studies on acne and milk were conducted on teenagers. But anecdotal evidence from thousands of adults suggests that milk also affects adult acne. As many adult acne victims report their skin gets better after quitting milk and dairy products.

But how can a glass of `nature`s perfect food` wreck such disaster on your skin? Read the entire article.

Friday, November 21, 2008

How Food Cravings Work

Food cravings don't dictate everything we eat. We are naturally driven to eat for survival, but cravings go beyond the simple need to quench hunger.

In fact, many times, hunger doesn't play a prominent role in where cravings come from since most revolve around the hedonic, or pleasurable, aspects of dining. Rather, they're a confounding cocktail of body, brain and chemicals that can send us dashing to the grocery store for a tin of anchovies in the middle of the afternoon.

Just about everyone gets food cravings, but gender differences do exist. In general, women are more likely than men to experience food cravings. Read the entire article on how food cravings work.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Waistline Inches or Pounds

If you’re only looking at the numbers on your scale or calculating your body mass index (BMI), you might not be as healthy as you think. Here’s why: Both methods measure your body’s overall weight—not where fat has amassed on your body. And believe it or not, location matters.

Research continues to show that fat that accumulates at your waistline may be more dangerous for long-term health than fat that shows up elsewhere on the body. A recent study found that middle-age women with a waist measurement of more than 35 inches increased their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 92 percent and cancer by 53 percent. Read the entire article.

Get more details on measuring your waistline and measurements for men also in this article.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Feeling Tired? Moody?

By Dr. Mark Stengler

The epidemic of exhaustion affecting so many Americans today may have at its root a condition that is common and easy to correct — yet that condition often goes unrecognized by medical doctors. The culprit is adrenal fatigue (AF).

Adrenal glands produce stress hormones in response to stressful situations. With AF, the hormone response mechanism is so overwhelmed that it becomes ineffective. AF is usually triggered bylong periods of mental, emotional, or physical stress, and it is worsened by poor nutrition and unhealthful lifestyle choices.

In my estimation, 20% of Americans suffer from some degree of AF. And I find that this disorder often causes — or contributes to — the development of numerous other illnesses, particularly chronic fatigue syndrome and diabetes. When AF is correctly diagnosed and treated, the other conditions are often relieved as well.

Read the entire article.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tips for 55+ Health Problems

Very soon the first tide of baby boomers becomes eligible for Medicare. According to an American Medical Association report, some 60 percent of the nation’s physicians say they’ll be forced to limit the number of Medicare patients they can treat.

Can our health care system handle the flood? Probably not. That is why more seniors are turning to natural health solutions. Getting at the root cause instead of suppressing symptoms is their best hope for good health.

There are several common health issues those in the boomer category face. Some of the top concerns I see in my office are about circulatory issues such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, memory and brain health, digestive problems, eye health (glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration). Read the entire article.

All products mentioned are available from The Herbs Place at wholesale prices.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mushrooms Are Super Food

Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years by traditional eastern healers but only recently by western healers in advanced medicine. Mushrooms are often classified as a vegetable or an herb, but they are actually fungi.

Mushrooms provide our bodies with the nutrients, proteins, minerals, and vitamins it needs to generate energy and repair cells. They are one of the most remarkable elements for a healthy immune system. They have been used to cure or improve eyesight, hearing, circulation, impotency, stop migraine headaches, tumors, influenza, and even cancer.

Mushrooms are low in carbohydrates, calories, and sodium and are cholesterol and fat free. High in fiber and protein, mushrooms are also rich in B vitamins to help maintain a healthy metabolism.

Mushrooms are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower elevated blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. One medium portabella mushroom has even more potassium than a banana or a glass of orange juice.

Mushrooms are a rich source of riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. Selenium is an antioxidant that works with vitamin E to protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. Male health professionals who consumed twice the recommended daily intake of selenium cut their risk of prostate cancer by 65 percent.

Regular ingestion of mushrooms over long periods of time has been proven to decrease the amount of cancerous cells in the body. They not only fight and reduce cancerous cells and tumors, but they help prevent more of those cells from forming in the body.

Read entire article.
One great immune-enhancing formula: Immune Stimulator.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Non-Drug Approach to ADD and ADHD

Tom Stone has been conducting groundbreaking research into the root causes of ADD/ADHD and anxiety in both children and adults. Stone's methods for treating ADHD and ADD (which don't involve the use of psychoactive or pharmaceutical drugs) recently underwent double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trials, and the results were remarkable. Some children showed near complete relief of their symptoms in just one or two sessions.

A 15-minute video of a popular morning show on Chicago's ABC affiliate features Tom Stone and more information on this technique. There is footage conducted during the clinical studies, and comments from the parents of the children who participated in the study. View video here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Effects of Noise Pollution

If you have ever lived or worked somewhere that was noisy, you know that it can have a seriously negative impact on your life. While we move ahead with our technological society, there are all sorts of pollution that we didn't have to deal with 50 years, and it is increasingly getting worse. Flights, machines, TV, radio…how often do really get a moment's peace.

Studies are beginning to reveal that noise-related stress can negatively affect our health and wellbeing, sometimes significantly so. According to a recent report from the World Health Organization, noise pollution is causing hearing problems such as tinnitus, causing disturbed sleep, and triggering stress hormones which can play a major role in many illnesses.

Unwanted noise also makes us feel powerless and potentially more aggressive. The risk of having a heart attack or stroke is increased; in fact it is estimated that 3% of ischeamic heart disease, which is the most common cause of death, is caused by noise. Read the entire article.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cell Phones - Epidemic of Brain Tumors

A new review of more than 100 studies on the safety of mobile phones has concluded that cellular devices are poised to cause an epidemic of brain tumors that will kill more people than smoking or asbestos.

The review was conducted by neurosurgeon Vini Khurana, who has received more than 14 awards in the past 16 years, who made headlines worldwide with his warnings. He called upon the industry to immediately work to reduce people's exposure to the radiation from mobile phones.

According to Khurana, research demonstrates that long-term use of mobile handsets, more than 10 years, can double the risk of contracting brain cancer. While a number of studies have concluded that there is no such risk, Khurana said that most of those studies only examined short-term use. But because a brain tumor can take 10 years to develop, studies without a long follow-up period are largely meaningless. Read the entire article.

Related Articles:
Mobile Phones and Skin Problems
Mobile Phones More Dangerous Than Smoking
Cell Phone Precautions - Analysis of Studies

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Car Smell Toxic

All these years, while we were being offered safety first, last and front, side and rear ways, hardly anyone in the vehicle industry had given much thought to what actually was in that perfume de profit, the new car smell that car buyers sought and bought.

The new car smell comes from toxic gases. Not only that, but like a two dollar cologne, the effects can linger and linger for years, stinking up not only your shiny new car, but the reputation of the entire vehicle industry itself.

Who says so? Just about everyone in the vehicle business these days. In a 2006 industry-awakening report entitled "Toxic At Any Speed: Chemicals in Cars and the Need for Safe Alternatives", this independent green organization declared that much of the material in most car interiors that produce that new car smell is made with toxic chemicals known to pose major public health risks.

The report says these chemicals give off gases that not only contaminate the air, but also coat interior surfaces with toxic "fog," generally seen as that new car film common to new car interior windshields and windows. Read entire article

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Zinc, Acne and Good Health

According to the American Zinc Association, zinc seals and protects skin:

"Zinc is essential for healthy skin. As a drying agent and astringent, zinc oxide has been used for generations to soothe diaper rash and relieve itching. And zinc is a natural sun screen, protecting chapped lips and skin from the sun's harmful rays. Zinc sulfate is effective in treating some cases of acne. And in a water-based solution, zinc sulfate helps remedy cold sores. Zinc also improves healing of wounds, like surgical incisions, burns and other skin irritations. Used as an anti-inflammatory, zinc soothes skin and skin tissue. Poison ivy, sunburn, blisters and gum disease are all improved when treated with zinc. It is even a natural insect repellent. And zinc stimulates the transport of Vitamin A from the liver to the skin, helping to protect body tissue from damage."

Sounds like it would do a lot of good besides the acne benefits mentioned in medical research results. Read the research article.

Zinc - Essential for Human Health

Zinc is an essential trace element for humans, animals and plants. It is vital for many biological functions and plays a crucial role in more than 300 enzymes in the human body. The adult body contains about 2-3 grams of zinc. Zinc is found in all parts of the body: it is in organs, tissues, bones, fluids and cells. Muscles and bones contain most of the body’s zinc (90%). Particularly high concentrations of zinc are in the prostate gland and semen.

Zinc is necessary for growth and cell division, fertility, menstrual problems and PMS, and the immune system. It's vital for skin, hair and nails; taste, smell and appetite; and is used in the treatment of anorexia.

Zinc is also used as an anti-inflammatory agent and can help sooth the skin tissue, particularly in cases of poison ivy, sunburn, blisters and certain gum diseases. Zinc may also protect from night blindness and prevent the development of cataracts.

Sources of dietary zinc are red meat, poultry, fish and seafood, whole cereals and dairy products. Zinc is most available to the body from meat. The bioavailability of plant-based foods is generally lower due to dietary fibre and phytic acid which inhibit the absorption of zinc.

As a vegetarian for almost 30 years, zinc is a dietary supplement I use. Zinc Lozenges can also be used especially for those who tend to get a lot of colds. Research on sublingual administration of zinc to be very effective against colds. Read The Handbook for Curing the Common Cold.

Mild zinc deficiency symptoms include dry and rough skin, dull looking hair, brittle finger nails, white spots on nails, reduced taste and smell, loss of appetite, mood swings, reduced adaptation to darkness, frequent infections, delayed wound healing, dermatitis and acne.

Since I take Chelated Zinc tablets in a formula that helps with assimilation of it by adding herbal and mineral co-factors.

The upper limit for zinc is set at 40 mg per day for adults over 19. Doses up to 30 mg per day are generally well tolerated. Be sure to take zinc with a meal. If taken on an empty stomach it can and probably will make you throw up.

Reference: American Zinc Association

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

FDA Approval and Pharmaceutical Marketing

Four modules have been created that detail the extent and effect that pharmaceutical marketing may have on prescribing behaviors.

The content of the video modules includes information on the FDA and the drug approval process, promotions and marketing activities by pharmaceutical companies, and the ethical dimensions of prescribing.

Experts from the fields of nursing, medicine, bioethics, health care policy and journalism are interviewed in the documentary. Dramatic vignettes are also presented with a humorous interplay in order to create a format that is educational, thought provoking and entertaining.

Module One - Why and how are drugs approved?
Overview of drug research and development in the United States; the FDA drug approval process.

Module Two - There’s no such thing as a free lunch…or dinner
Overview of pharmaceutical marketing practices, scientific evidence on the effect of marketing methods on prescribing behavior (drug samples, free meals, interactions with drug industry representatives, industry sponsored CME and lectures at national conferences, free gifts, office supplies).

Module Three - Is this the right thing to do?
Overview, discussion and presentation of opposing views regarding the ethical dimensions of pharmaceutical marketing and direct-to-consumer advertising; conflict of interest debate; effect on costs to patients and health care system as a whole.

Module Four - How can I improve my practice?
Overview of strategies to improve prescribing, i.e. evidence-based prescribing vs. market-based prescribing; cost-effective prescribing; strategies to improve interaction with representatives; critical evaluation techniques of pharmaceutical company information (data and claims).

Monday, November 3, 2008

Local Food Trends

Eating locally raised food is a growing trend. But who has time to get to the farmer’s market, let alone plant a garden?

That is where Trevor Paque comes in. For a fee, Mr. Paque, who lives in San Francisco, will build an organic garden in your backyard, weed it weekly and even harvest the bounty, gently placing a box of vegetables on the back porch when he leaves.

Call them the lazy locavores — city dwellers who insist on eating food grown close to home but have no inclination to get their hands dirty. Mr. Paque is typical of a new breed of business owner serving their needs.

The highest form of luxury is now growing it yourself or paying other people to grow it for you,” said Corby Kummer, the food columnist and book author. “This has become fashion.” As a result of interest in local food and rising grocery bills, backyard gardens have been enjoying a renaissance across the country.

For a growing number of diners, a food’s provenance is more important than its brand name, said Michelle Barry, who studies American eating patterns for the Hartman Group, a research firm in Bellevue, Wash. As a result, grocery stores are looking to repackage products like milk and cheese to play up any local angle.

“It’s a very savvy crowd that understands how all the pieces of sustainable farming and nutrition fit together,” said Larry Wisch, one of five worker-owners at Three Stone Hearth. “But they don’t want the headaches of getting here.”

The author Barbara Kingsolver, whose book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” was a best seller last year, did not have the lazy locavore in mind when she wrote about the implications of making her family spend a year eating local. But she celebrates the trend.

Finding Local Food.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Health Knowledge Is Power

Are patients swimming in a sea of health information? Or are they drowning in it?

The rise of the Internet, along with thousands of health-oriented Web sites, medical blogs and even doctor-based television and radio programs, means that today’s patients have more opportunities than ever to take charge of their medical care. Technological advances have vastly increased doctors’ diagnostic tools and treatments, and have exponentially expanded the amount of information on just about every known disease.

The daily bombardment of news reports and drug advertising offers little guidance on how to make sense of self-proclaimed medical breakthroughs and claims of worrisome risks. Patients have more than ever to gain by decoding the latest health news and researching their own medical care. Read the entire article.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dangers of CT Scans

Everything in medicine is risk versus benefit.

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine by Brenner, et al, has alerted the public as well as physicians about the possible dangers of radiation exposure with increased use of the CT scan.

Much of the data we have concerning radiation exposure comes from that gathered on the survivors of the atomic bombs we dropped on Japan in 1945. It has been suggested that the median dose of radiation in these studies that has shown an increase in cancer risk is the equivalent of 2-3 CT scans. It is worth noting that the type of radiation emitted by a bomb is different than that used in scanning, but it is still ionizing radiation.

In a Swedish study by Hall,et al, looking at infants who had received radiation treatments for cutaneous hemangiomas, such as wine-stain birthmarks, showed some decrease in cognitive abilities in their teenage years and early adulthood. It is well known that children are more sensitive to ionizing radiation than adults. It has been suggested that after the age of 50 the increased risk of cancer is not statistically relevant if the patient has not received CT scans in the past. Read the entire article.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Chronic Fatigue and Stress

Chronic Fatigue with its debilitating constant tiredness, is a condition of our times, affecting teenagers, as well as men and women of all ages. But have you ever wondered what its real cause might be?

Part 1 and 2 of an article at NaturalNews.com examines the hidden causes of Chronic Fatigue. It might surprise some of you to learn stress is the culprit.

5 major stress categories are mentioned:

1. Physical survival or basic life needs:
enough food, shelter, clothing, money to get by. Very basic survival needs.

2. Biochemical stress:
sleep deprivation, hormone imbalances, malnutrition and malabsorption, drugs and too much caffeine or stimulants.

3. Mental:
work commitments, deadlines, constant work pressure, running away or avoiding work related confrontations, dealing with bosses and executives or study/exam pressure, over thinking, over analyzing. Many people experience this stress all the time.

4. Environmental stress:
noise pollution and chemical toxicity from environment or sudden chemical toxicity such as mercury leakage from amalgam fillings or inhaling paint fumes.

5. Emotional stress:
anything to do with any relationship, human connectedness, family, self worth etc., love and bonding.

Out of all the stress categories, the Mental and Emotional stresses create the most havoc in your mind/body system with debilitating symptoms particularly if the stress is prolonged.

Read the entire article.
Read Part 2 on Chronic Fatigue.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trans Fats And Colon Cancer

Increased intakes of trans fatty acids may increase the risk of colorectal tumours by about 86 per cent, suggests new research from the US.

The study followed almost 622 North Carolinians who underwent complete colon exams between 2001 and 2002 and found significant colorectal cancer risk increases for higher intakes of trans fatty acids.

The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, looks set to heap more pressure on the food industry to remove and reformulate products without trans fats, one of the industry’s bêtes noires. Read the entire article.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Recall On Halloween Candy

I see no reason to celebrate Halloween, but many people participate in this holiday that is focused on evil and death for pets and children being reported after each year's celebration.

Here's the information I just received on contaminated candy:

Sherwood brand Pirate's Gold Milk Chocolate Coins are being recalled due to the fact that they contain Melamine, the ingredient in milk product that has caused many infant (and dog) deaths in China.

These candies are sold at Costco, as well as many bulk and Dollar Stores. Please make sure to check your children's candy and DO NOT LET THEM EAT THE PIRATE COINS - the ones wrapped in the shiny gold foil.

Please let other parents know about this! Verified on Snopes.com.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Silver To Fight The Germ War

Antibiotics are becoming more potent and dangerous as their failure rate increases. They are also the cause of new strains of superbugs, like MRSA. Health care costs are rocketing out of control and bioterrorism is a real threat. We've stocked up on this item because of it's effective for many health ailments.

With a variety of viral flu outbreaks, e-coli contamination, and a host of other potential pandemics that create a strain on health in America, the new Silver Shield solution and gel offers a fighting chance in germ warfare.
"Silver has undergone rigorous testing and has been found to kill anthrax, bubonic plague, hospital staph and SARS. This product is EPA approved ... In short, we currently do not have anything with such a wide spectrum of efficacy in our inventory." General P.K. Carlton, M.D., Director of Integrative Center for Homeland Security
Silver provides a simpler and more economical solution for many health issues besides fighting any invaders that would challenge your immune system.

Silver products have been used safely as antimicrobial agents for many years. Silver is mentioned in the Egyptian writings. Greek and Romans used silver vessels for water purification. In the early plagues, the wealthy used silverware to protect themselves.

Doctors have used silver sutures in surgical wounds and to combat wound infections during WWI. Silver is used widely in hospitals and even commercial airlines use silver water filters.

Not all silver is alike, so it's important to know what to look for in colloidal silver. There is now technology that makes it safe and non-toxic. The product, Silver Shield, has EPA designation as non-toxic (EPA# K043106) and a US patent (#7,135,195) for safe technology. The fine particle-size colloids ensure maximum efficiency.

Silver Shield has a long shelf life and is a great item to include in your emergency preparedness supplies. With winter on our heels, it's time to get prepared for the first signs of colds and flu so you can ward off any real symptoms and lost work and living time. Get current information on colloidal silver.

Omega-3's Weight Loss and Improved Memory

Australian researchers say that daily doses of fish oil containing Omega-3 fatty acids, when combined with moderate exercise, helped obese people burn off excess weight.

The researchers at the University of South Australia say that the Omega-3 found in fish oil increases the body's fat-burning ability by improving the flow of blood to muscles during exercise.

Researcher Alison Hill says it was a surprise to find that those who took the fish oil doses and exercised lost an average of 2 kg (4.5 lb.) over the three months, especially since they were still eating whatever they wanted.

The groups that took sunflower oil, which does not contain Omega-3 fatty acids, and exercised did not lose any weight.

The two groups that did not exercise also lost no weight, the study found.

Meanwhile South African researchers say that primary school children who were given daily doses of fish oil rich in Omega-3, as part of a study, showed improved learning and memory.

Read the entire article.
Nature's Sunshine Omega-3 EPA Fish Oils.