“Killer Germs” Obliterated By Medicinal Smoke (Smudging), Study Reveals

"Killer Germs" Obliterated By Medicinal Smoke (Smudging), Study Reveals | medicinal-smoke-smudging | Natural Medicine Sleuth Journal Special Interests

The ritualistic use of plant smoke stretches back to the prehistorical era and is still used, the world over, as a way of ‘cleansing’ the spirit. Now modern scientific research reveals that the practice may actually have life-saving implications by purifying the air of harmful bacteria. 

The burning of herbs and plant resins for medicinal and spiritual purposes – so-called ‘smudging’ – is an ancient practice among indigenous people around the world; one increasingly adopted by Westerners. Smudging is a technology believed to unlock the ‘spirits’ of various plant allies to restore balance and ease to the individual or group.  Some liken it to taking a ‘spiritual shower,’ enabling you to wash away emotional and spiritual negativity that accumulates in your body and the spaces you live.

That said, skeptics believe attributing health benefits to the burning of sage and incense reflects ‘magical thinking.’ The practice has even been accused of being a New Age form of cultural imperialism where ‘plastic’ or ‘white’ shamans mimic and co-opt the traditions of indigenous people their predecessors essentially conquered.

"Killer Germs" Obliterated By Medicinal Smoke (Smudging), Study Reveals | burning-white-sage | Natural Medicine Sleuth Journal Special Interests

Burning white sage

Given the polarized view on this increasingly common practice, as well as the well known role that the burning of incense plays in even Western religious traditions, such as Catholicism, we decided to explore the published literature on the topic of smudging’s scientifically validated medical benefits, to see what we could find.

First, we uncovered a 2006 review published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology titled “Medicinal smokes,” that looked at single and multi-ingredient herbal and non-herbal remedies administered as smoke from 50 countries across 5 continents. The researchers found, with surprising overlap worldwide, medicinal smoke is mostly used to address the following specific organ systems: “pulmonary (23.5%), neurological (21.8%) and dermatological (8.1%).” They also found that “ambient smoke,” which is the type of passively inhaled smoke generated by smudging/incense, is traditionally believed to be an effective “air purifier.” The review argued that modern medicine should investigate medicinal smoke as a drug delivery system, owing to the following advantages: “The advantages of smoke-based remedies are rapid delivery to the brain, more efficient absorption by the body and lower costs of production.”

(click image to enlarge)

"Killer Germs" Obliterated By Medicinal Smoke (Smudging), Study Reveals | medicinal-smoke-2 | Natural Medicine Sleuth Journal Special Interests

Smudging, of course, as a ‘spiritual’ ritual, is not aimed at ‘killing germs,’ or becoming a ‘new drug delivery system.’ But because modern biomedicine only acknowledges what is empirically verifiable – which does not include ‘the soul’ or ‘negative vibes’ – the practice will only attain a modicum of credibility from the perspective of the dominant, scientism-contaminated worldview, if it can be demonstrated that it actually performs a useful function, such as destroying disease-causing germs.

Thanks to a remarkable 2007 study titled, “Medicinal smoke reduces airborne bacteria,” published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, we now know that smudging may be one of the most powerful antiseptic technologies ever discovered.

(click image to enlarge)

"Killer Germs" Obliterated By Medicinal Smoke (Smudging), Study Reveals | medicinal-smoke | Natural Medicine Sleuth Journal Special Interests

The researchers reported their amazing findings:

We have observed that 1 hour treatment of medicinal smoke emanated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan sámagri=material used in oblation to fire all over India), on aerial bacterial population caused over 94% reduction of bacterial counts by 60 min and the ability of the smoke to purify or disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner was maintained up to 24 hour in the closed room. Absence of pathogenic bacteria Corynebacterium urealyticum, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Enterobacter aerogenes (Klebsiella mobilis), Kocuria rosea, Pseudomonas syringae pv. persicae, Staphylococcus lentus, and Xanthomonas campestris pv. tardicrescens in the open room even after 30 days is indicative of the bactericidal potential of the medicinal smoke treatment. We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.” [email info@greenmedinfo.com to request the full PDF of this study]

Did you catch that?

Not only did the burning of medicinal herbs clear aerial bacterial populations by 94% within one hour, but a full day later, the closed room was still effectively decontaminated. Even more amazing, a full month later, seven other pathogenic bacteria in the open room were still non-detectable.

When one considers that modern urban air has been found to contain at least 1800 diverse bacterial types[1] – including families with pathogenic members – this finding could have profound implications for combating a increasingly deadly array of antibiotic-resistant bacteria against which even the CDC itself has acknowledged its impotence.  Consider also that a recent microbiome of NYC’s subway system found close to 1700 different microbes, including those responsible for Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)  and Bubonic Plague (yersinia pestis).[2]

Also, considering that conventional methods of air and surface sterilization and odor neutralization use chemical cocktails (e.g. Lysol) that are much less effective than advertised (one study found them up to 10 times less effective than believed), smudging or the use of natural incense products might constitute a far safer and more effective approach.

Given this discovery of medicinal smoke’s potent cleansing properties on aerosol microbes, we might look at Smudging’s traditional use as a cleanser of ‘evil spirits’ or ‘negative energy’ as less like a primitive projection and more like a metaphor for its very real antiseptic properties. This does not, of course, take away from its ‘cleansing’ effects upon the body’s subtler energy systems; nor does it take away from the the effects the medicinal smokes and its various small-molecule aromatic compounds have upon the olfactory system, which are largely responsible for the clinically proven health benefits of aromatherapy-based interventions.


References

[1] Brodie, E.L., DeSantis, T.Z., Moberg Parker, J.P., Zubietta, I.X., Piceno, Y.M., Andersen, G.L., 2006. Urban aerosols harbor diverse and dynamic bacterial. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104, 299–304.

[2] Ebrahim Afshinnekoo et al,  Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics, published online Cell Systems, Feb. 2015

© July 20, 2017 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.


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Donald Trump Supports Coup d’Etat in Venezuela

Donald Trump Supports Coup d’Etat in Venezuela | donald-trump1 | Politics Sleuth Journal Special Interests Trump World News

[image: AP]

No one enjoys seeing Venezuelans going hungry, being oppressed by the military or not having electricity or running water. Venezuela is a very rich nation and should be in complete ruin as it is now.

It is true that Hugo Chavez and now Nicolas Maduro have served as oficial destructors of a nation that once was one of the most bountiful in the region, but it is also true that the instability in the South American country has also been spurred by American interventionism, both direct and indirect.

Today, we have another example of that interventionism as US President, Donald J. Trump has called the Venezuelan opposition’s plan to create a parallel government an “unmistakeable message” as he threatened to impose strong sanctions against the Venezuelan people if Nicolas Maduro dares to carry out a referendum.

Not everyone in North America is insane to threaten a population that is hanging by very thin threads. Both Mexico and Canada support Maduro’s initiative. It is within his purview as the democratically elected of President of Venezuela to hold such referendum.

Despite the legality of the referendum, the Venezuelan opposition announced on Monday, the day after achieving massive support among their fellow citizens in a symbolic referendum, that this Wednesday it will lay the groundwork for forging an unconstitutional “unity government” – with the incognito of whether it will include critical Chavistas – and call a general strike for Thursday.

The National Assembly will also appoint new judges for the Supreme Court on Tuesday – another illegal initiative – according to the announcement of the opposition deputy Freddy Guevara.

Almost midnight on Sunday, rectors acting as guarantors of the unpublished consultation reported that, with 95% of the votes counted, 7.2 million people had heeded the opposition appeal to express their rejection of the future National Assembly , Which the government of Nicolás Maduro promotes, and to support in turn the formation of a unity government. In other words, the opposition, although not elected by the popular vote, desires to gain power without going through the proper channels, which is the true meaning of a Coup d’Etat.

“On Wednesday we will announce preparations to form a government of national unity,” Guevara told a news conference.

On Sunday it was speculated that a parallel or shadow government would have beforehand the recognition of international powers and other governments in the region.

“This Thursday we are preparing for a 24-hour national civic strike,” he added. The measures announced by the Bureau of Democratic Unity (MUD) seek to make the referendum an ultimatum to the Chavista regime.

“Sunday’s consultation is something that has neither parameters nor antecedents,” warns the political analyst and professor at Caracas Simon Bolivar University (USB), Colette Capriles.

“It was something between an election and a protest, something that perhaps could be called an electoral protest, that nevertheless cannot be measured neither with the criteria of one nor with the criteria of the other.

But it was not the rout that the MUD had wanted in an ideal scenario: the goal would have been to surpass the figure of the 7.5 million votes with which Nicolas Maduro won the presidency in April 2013.

“I think the results have a tactical and a strategic significance,” says Capriles, who is not related to the opposition leader. “The first is that the National Assembly, so battered, is relegitimized to resume its powers and advance in the appointment of new members of the Supreme Court and Electoral Council, the other is the mandate to form a government of national unity.”

Any new step acquires urgency as it approaches July 30, the date on which the electoral authorities, allies of the Government, have scheduled the elections of new deputies who will form the National Constituent Assembly.

This is seen by its proponents and opponents as the final twist that the Chavista regime will try to close the possibility of having an alternative government.

The MUD, which has given definite term features to that date, announced that Sunday’s popular consultation also marked the beginning of a zero hour or countdown to prevent the Constituent Assembly from being held. Thus the MUD intensifies the pressure that has been putting on the streets since April, when a wave of protests began in which a hundred people died.

Trump threatens “strong economic actions”

In a statement Monday, the president of the United States warned the Maduro government that he will take “strong and quick economic actions” if necessary should the Venezuelan government dare to hold the National Constituent Assembly convened for the 30 of this month.

“On Sunday, the Venezuelan people clearly repeated that they support democracy, freedom and the law, but their brave and courageous actions continue to be ignored by a bad leader who dreams of becoming a dictator,” Trump said.

The US president also assured that the US will not remain still before the collapse of Venezuela. Unfortunately, the US has been and continuous to be involved in the collapse of Venezuela.

The declarations come a day after more than seven million Venezuelans, both inside and outside the country, voted in an unofficial popular referendum organized by opposition leaders, who are supported by the American government, to test their strength among the citizenship.

Success for them is a rejection of the Assembly planned by the Maduro administration. On Monday, Freddy Guevara, one of the deputies and organisers of the consultation, announced that the opposition will use citizen support to justify the appointment of new judges to the Supreme Court and to establish a government of national unity.

The threat launched on Monday is a tightening of Washington’s discourse to the actions of Maduro, who for months has been trying to cling to power with small concessions such as the recent release of opposition leader Leopoldo López.

It also pressures Maduro with a deadline, forcing him to proceed or to retreat with his call to the Constituent Assembly, which would serve to annihilate the opposition and impose greater control.

So far, the United States has faced the Venezuelan crisis – which since early April had killed at least 90 people and injured thousands – assuming a leading role in the constant denunciations of the situation in the Organization of American States (OAS).

In addition, the Trump government has issued new sanctions in recent months against members of Chavismo such as Vice President Tareck El Aissami as well as Supreme Court justices.

These measures have served to deprive members of the Chavismo of assets and properties they may have in the United States, blocking access to economic resources. However, for months the US government has valued sectoral sanctions against the country to put more pressure on Maduro.

In particular against industries such as oil, which is an important economic support for the regime. PDVSA, the Venezuelan state oil company, is the third US supplier, which is why it had escaped sanctions so far.

The multilateral efforts, however, were frustrated when the OAS – the most important hemispheric body – was unable to pass a resolution last June condemning the Maduro regime.

The failure, which marked the organization’s annual summit and which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson did not attend, was a “disappointment” for the US, Vice President Mike Pence said.

Hours earlier, White House spokesman Sean Spicer insisted on concerns over the Venezuelan crisis and applauded the massive participation in Sunday’s popular referendum organized by opposition groups to President Nicolas Maduro. Spicer, said the success of the referendum sends an “unmistakable message” to the Maduro regime.

“We’ve been watching what happened. We congratulate the Venezuelan people for their massive participation in Sunday’s referendum,” Spicer said. “We condemn the violence of the groups against innocent voters as well as the government’s efforts to erode democracy in Venezuela,” he concluded.

Spicer cynically forgot to mention that much of the violence seen on the streets is carry out by agent provocateurs led by groups financed and supported by the US government.

 


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A Prepper’s Guide to Respirator Masks

A Prepper’s Guide to Respirator Masks | Preppers-Guide-to-Respirator-Masks | Medical & Health PreparednessSurvival

A respirator mask is a prep that is potentially lifesaving, doesn’t cost a lot of money, and is oft-overlooked in the prepper world. Some folks like to invest in gas masks (which, of course, are irreplaceable during certain types of disasters) or they forget about respiration altogether.

The importance of something that can help you breathe without sucking harmful particles or vapors into your lungs cannot be overstated. After all, in the prepper’s adage of 3, air comes first:

3 minutes without air

3 days without water

3 weeks without food

I recommend keeping disposable masks on hand. They aren’t just for people whose budget is tight. Disposable masks can be used in many different scenarios in which a gas mask may not be practical.

It’s interesting to note that in China, the particulate levels due to pollution are so high that many people won’t leave their homes without donning a protective mask. (source)

Classifications of masks

A major question when purchasing respirator masks is which kind to get.

There are many different classifications, but today, we’ll discuss 3 popular types: the N, R, and P series masks.

The letter in the classification indicates the resistance of the mask to oil.

  • N – is not resistant to oil
  • R – is resistant to oil
  • P – is oil-proof

Then there are numbers, generally between 95 and 100. The number indicates the percentage of potential leakage.

  • 95 – filters out 95% of airborne particles
  • 99 – filters out 99% of airborne particles
  • 100 – filters out 99.97% of airborne particles

The type of filter you need depends on the type of threat you are facing. I don’t spend money on anything less than 100 series filters unless it is for something very minor, like working with sawdust.  These will screen out the smallest of particulates and because you never know what type of disaster you’ll be facing, it seems to me the best idea to filter out as much as possible.

If you’re only getting one kind, get the P100 type because this will be resistant to just about any threat. It comes in a reusable ($16.95 at the time of posting) and disposable ($8.21 apiece at the time of posting) version. If you get the reusable type, be sure to stock up on replacement filters.

10 Reasons Why Preppers Need Respirator Masks

There are many different situations in which a respirator mask could be handy – or even life-saving.

  1. Evacuating from a fire: Having lived in wildfire country for the past few years, my vehicle kit contains swim goggles and N100 masks for everyone. In the event of a fire, the goggles will protect our eyes from the smoke, and the respirator mask will help us breathe despite the ash and smoke. These would also be helpful bedside during a house fire.
  2. In the event of a nuclear strike: If a nuclear strike were to occur, as I’ve written before, it wouldn’t automatically be a death sentence if you are outside the initial blast zone. If you must travel to get away from the radioactive aftermath, wearing gear like a P100 mask, goggles, and a Tyvek suit will provide some protection from radiation.
  3. During a pandemic: If an airborne contagious illness is spreading, you can prevent inhaling the virus with an N100 or P100 mask. It all depends on the size of the virus (this information will generally be available from the CDC. Ebola, for example, is .02 microns, so the protection of a 100 series mask is essential.
  4. During search and rescue: After a building collapse, many dangerous particles will be floating through the air. A huge number of first responders and people working at the WTC on 9-11 ended up with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood. Thousands of people have fought off the cancer, only to have it reoccur repeatedly. (source) During search and rescue after any type of structural collapse, after an earthquake, for example, protect your lungs from the toxic debris floating through the air. An N-series mask will work in this situation.
  5. When performing work that involves particles: Protect your lungs with the appropriate masks if you are doing any type of work in which dust particles are prevalent. For concerns about sawdust, for example, an inexpensive N95 mask will suffice. If you’re cleaning up an area in which rats have been present, you’ll need to be concerned about hantavirus, and an N100 is in order. Particles from welding can be very small, also necessitating an N100 mask.
  6. When performing work that involves fumes: If you are spray painting or using strong chemical solvents, protect your lungs with a P100 mask.
  7. During a chemical attack…sort of: A P-100 mask may provide some protection during a chemical attack, but some weaponized gases will also absorb into your body through your skin. As well, unless you are expecting the attack and already wearing the mask when the chemical weapon was dispersed, it’s unlikely that you’d be able to get your protective gear on before the damage was done.
  8. During a riot: Of course, I always recommend avoiding large angry crowds, but if for some reason you’re in the midst of one, be prepared for the opposition to use a method like tear gas to disperse the crowd. Only a P-series mask will help in this situation.
  9. After a volcano: This seems like a far-fetched scenario, but with all of the recent seismic activity at Yellowstone, the possibility of a volcanic eruption isn’t totally out of the question. One of the biggest risks if you survive the eruption is breathing in the volcanic ash. An N-series mask will protect your lungs.
  10. Working in an area with mold: Mold spores can be a cause of severe chronic illness. If you’re working in an area in which mold is suspected, an N100 mask will protect you from the spores.

What are some good respirator masks?

If you are going to add respirator masks to your preparedness supplies, practice putting them on. If you are in a situation during which you need them, seconds may count and there won’t be time to be bumbling around.

Below, you can find links to some of the respirator masks that I recommend:

In most situations when you’ll need a mask, safety goggles will also be necessary. Get the kind with an elastic band around the back and rubber around your eyes to ensure a good, snug fit. In a pinch, you can use anti-fog swim goggles.

What protective respirator masks do you keep on hand?

Do you have any type of protective respirator devices? If so, what type do you use and why? Please share your knowledge in the comments section below.


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Cholera Ravages Yemen

Cholera Ravages Yemen | yemen-cholera-outbreak | Special Interests World News

[image: A Yemeni child suspected of being infected with cholera is treated at a hospital in Sanaa.
Mohammed Huwais/Getty Images]

Multiple plagues of Job ravage millions of Yemenis, including devastating US-planned and orchestrated war, famine, and untreated diseases, out-of-control cholera epidemic alone taking a devastating toll.

Known outbreaks exceeded 300,000 as of June 30, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN currently reported over 320,000 outbreaks in all governorates except one.

The ICRC said the epidemic “continues to spiral out of control,” known deaths more than 1,700, according to its spokeswoman Iolanda Jaquemet.

Its regional director Robert Mardini said about 7,000 new cases are known daily in Sanaa and three other areas alone.

Yemen’s collapsed infrastructure, including minimal or lack of medical treatment for millions, created a “perfect storm for cholera,” the WHO explained.

According to UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs Stephen O’brien, the rampant disease is “a direct result” of Saudi aggression – complicit with Washington.

O’Brien calls what’s ongoing a foreign-sponsored “cholera scandal…entirely man-made by” naked aggression devastating the country – compounded by famine conditions affecting half the population.

Two-thirds of Yemenis are food insecure, struggling with hunger and malnutrition, unsure where their next meal is coming from.

O’Brien explained “Yemen is facing critical stoppages of hospitals and a lack of doctors and nurses.”

“The health system has essentially collapsed, with an estimated 55 per cent of facilities closed due to damage, destruction or lack of funds.”

“Some 30,000 health care workers have not been paid in nearly a year, and no funding has been provided to keep basic infrastructure such as hospitals, water pumping and sanitation stations operating.”

Millions face famine conditions, “vulnerable to disease…at risk of a slow and painful death.” Over half the population has no access safe and adequate water, sanitation and hygiene.

International aid organizations can’t cope with the crisis because of war and inadequate resources, most donor pledges not fulfilled.

Appalling conditions threaten the lives of millions. One Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes from war-related starvation.

One Yemeni dies almost every hour from cholera. Since Saudi terror-bombing and blockade began in March 2015, thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of Yemenis perished from naked aggression on their country.

Millions suffer from devastation, disease and famine conditions. Media scoundrels largely ignore the ongoing horror – no coverage at all about US responsibility for what’s happening. Trump is captive to dark forces running America.


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The Republicans In Congress Have Betrayed Us Again

The Republicans In Congress Have Betrayed Us Again | Obamacare-2.0 | Government Medical & Health Special Interests US Congress

I guess by now we should be accustomed to politicians lying to us. For years, Republicans have been promising to repeal Obamacare if we would just give them control of the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. We did that, and now they are breaking that promise. Because even if “Obamacare 2.0” miraculously gets through the Senate, most of the essential elements of Obamacare will survive. If you look at the latest Senate bill, most of the Obamacare subsidies are still in there, many of the Obamacare taxes are still in there, and most of the Obamacare regulations are still in there. On top of everything else, the bill would create an absolutely massive health insurance company bailout superfund, and that is something that the Democrats never even dared to do. The bill being pushed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wouldn’t actually fix much of anything, and it certainly cannot be called a “repeal” of Obamacare.

I have said this before, and I will say it again. The Republicans got a bill to repeal Obamacare through Congress and on to Barack Obama’s desk in early 2016. Obama vetoed that bill, but now the Republicans should take that exact same bill and get it to Donald Trump’s desk.

Of course repealing Obamacare won’t fix our deeply broken health care system. But it would be a giant step in the right direction.

So why won’t the Republican do it?

Instead, they are trying to “fix” Obamacare, and that is about as futile as trying to “fix” a steaming pile of garbage.

In a recent editorial, Rand Paul explained why he cannot support this bill

The Senate Obamacare bill does not repeal Obamacare. Not even close.

In fact, the Senate GOP bill codifies and likely expands many aspects of Obamacare.

The Senate Obamacare-lite bill codifies a federal entitlement to insurance. With the Senate GOP bill, Republicans, for the first time, will signal that they favor a key aspect of Obamacare – federal taxpayer funding of private insurance purchases.

The bill will transfer billions of dollars to people who will then transfer billions of dollars to insurance companies. What a great business model – encourage the federal government to use taxpayer money to buy a private company’s product. Great business model, that is, if you are Big Insurance. Remarkable.

The Senate Obamacare-lite bill does what the Democrats forgot to do – appropriate billions for Obamacare’s cost-sharing reductions, aka subsidies. Really? Republicans are going to fund Obamacare subsidies that the Democrats forgot to fund?

Since it looked like the first version of the bill was destined to fail, Mitch McConnell released a new version of the bill today which includes even more government spending and interference

Seeking to quell a revolt from more than one-fifth of his conference, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to forego two significant tax cuts for the wealthy and instead pour hundreds of billions of dollars back into the proposal he released two weeks ago. There’s now $45 billion to combat opioid addiction and even more funding to help mitigate higher insurance costs for low-income people and to stabilize the individual markets. An additional $70 billion would go to states to to help drive down premiums, on top of $112 billion that was in the original proposal. McConnell’s target was senators toward the center of the Republican ranks, who represented the largest bloc of opposition to his first legislative draft.

This version is almost certainly destined to fail as well, because Rand Paul and Susan Collins have already come out against it, and McConnell can only afford to lose one more vote.

If a Republican bill cannot get through the Senate, McConnell is already talking about a bipartisan effort that would involve cooperation with the Democrats. And of course the Democrats will want to keep as much of Obamacare as they possibly can.

So at the end of the day it looks like we are going to end up with either “Obamacare”, “Obamacare 2.0” or “a new and improved version of Obamacare”.

Did we really spend all of that time, effort and energy getting Republicans elected for this?

Time after time these professional politicians use labels such as “Republican”, “conservative” and “Pro-Life” to get elected, but then once they get into office they betray our values over and over again.

When are we going to start electing real conservatives instead of placeholders? When the Democrats get power, they aggressively move their agenda forward, but when Republicans get power nothing too significant ever seems to change.

If I get the chance to go to Washington, I plan to be a wrecking ball. Party leaders like Mitch McConnell won’t like that very much, but if we can get enough good people elected in 2018 the Republicans will have entirely new leadership soon enough.

Health care is an issue that deeply affects all of us. So many middle class families have seen their health insurance premiums go up by hundreds of dollars a month, and that can be absolutely crippling for a family budget. At one point a health insurance company tried to double what I was paying per month, and so I can definitely relate to what so many others are going through.

We have got to dramatically lower health care costs. That means that we need substantial legal reform so that the cost of malpractice insurance goes way down, we need to remove as many “paper pushers” from the system as possible, and we need to restore as much competition to the system on every level as possible.

The health care system should be built around doctors and patients. There is way, way too much bureaucracy in the system right now, and lots of people that are never directly involved in providing health care are becoming exceedingly wealthy as a result.

Ronald Reagan once famously said that “government is the problem”, and this is another case where that phrase rings so true.

If you take the shackles off, the free market system actually works extremely well, but these days both parties seem to want to constantly drag us toward socialism.

If we do nothing, they will win, and that is why we need to stand up and fight for what we believe while we still can.


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Are Probiotics Right For You?

Are Probiotics Right For You? | probiotics | General Health Special Interests

Maybe you’ve heard how probiotics can help your digestion, perhaps you’ve even tried them. But do you know exactly what they are, and just how they work? Don’t worry, because you’re not alone. There’s a lot of confusion about probiotics, and I want to try to clear that up as best as I can.

Benefits of Probiotics

Probiotics are really just live bacteria that are constantly replenishing and growing inside of your intestines. Don’t freak out. A large number of these bacterial critters is actually a good thing, as they have been shown to be beneficial for healthy digestion, nutrient absorption, and even mood balance. After entering the body and feeding on prebiotics (food for probiotics, usually fiber), these microorganisms populate the microbiome, taking up residence in your gut. So while the main benefit is to the digestive system, studies suggest they could boost the immune system and even strengthen respiratory health. [1][2]

And probiotic supplementation could even aid in mental health! For years, scientists have noted the importance of maintaining healthy bacteria levels in the gut for physical health, but one recent study suggests decreased levels of gut bacteria could be connected to behavioral conditions like autism and depression. [3] Another report suggests probiotic treatments could even help autistic children by helping to counteract the “bad” bacteria. [4]

Sources of Probiotics

So now you’ve read about these microorganisms and what they can do, but where exactly are they found? Well, here are three foods that contain a plentitude of probiotics, and they’re very easy to access.

Yogurt

For the full benefit, make sure you’re buying or, even better, making your own live-cultured yogurt. Much of the yogurt you buy nowadays even has added probiotics like lactobacillus or acidophilus. Of course, you want to stray away from yogurt with high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.

Kefir

Sort of a cousin to yogurt, kefir is a fermented dairy product made from dairy milk and fermented kefir grains. Goat’s milk is commonly used, especially since it’s high in probiotics like thermophillus, bifudus, bulgaricus, and acidophilus. Kefir is also a great source of lactobacillus and bifudus. If you don’t consume dairy (which is probably a good thing), then you can also make kefir using coconut milk.

Tempeh

Not only is tempeh a fermented soybean product rich in probiotics; it’s also high in vitamin B12, making it a healthier substitute for meat or tofu.

Probiotics: Why You Need Them

Probiotic supplements are an excellent way to ensure a steady supply of probiotic strains in your intestines, especially when your diet is less than ideal. Remember, the goal with probiotics is to maintain or restore the balance of your gut’s “good” bacteria, and taking antibiotics could actually work against that. You should never stop taking a prescribed medication without consulting your doctor, but a recent study suggests that common antibiotics could change “the microbial and metabolic patterns of the gut,” decreasing the diversity of bacteria. [5][6]

Do you take probiotics? Please let us know in the comments!

References:

  1. Behnsen, J, et al. Probiotics: Properties, Examples, and Specific Applications. Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Medicine.
  2. West, N. P. et al. Probiotic supplementation for respiratory and gastrointestinal illness symptoms in healthy physically active individuals. Clinical Nutrition. 33 (4).
  3. Kang, D. et al. Reduced Incidence of Prevotella and Other Fermenters in Intestinal Microflora of Autistic Children. PLoS ONE.
  4. Patterson, P. et al. Microbiota Modulate Behavioral and Physiological Abnormalities Associated with Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Cell. 155 (7).
  5. Perez-Cobas, A. E. et al. Gut microbiota disturbance during antibiotic therapy: a multi-omic approach. Gut. 62.
  6. Hassan, T. Pharmacologic considerations for patients taking oral contraceptives. CONNECTICUT DENTAL STUDENT JOURNAL.

 


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US Coast Guard Shuts Down Stretch of Potomac River so Trump can Golf

US Coast Guard Shuts Down Stretch of Potomac River so Trump can Golf | trump-golf-trip | Special Interests Trump US News

[image: Trump National Golf Club, Sterling, Virginia. © Rob Carr / AFP]

(RT) On days when President Donald Trump hits the links at his private Virginia golf club, the US Coast Guard can expel boaters and paddlers from the Potomac River where it borders the president’s club, authorities have said. Some water lovers are not happy.

One benefit of designating the area as a “permanent security zone” would be that boaters would now know exactly what was off-limits and would be notified of the closures, Coast Guard spokeswoman Lieutenant Amanda Faulkner told the Washington Post.

The Coast Guard has already closed the two-mile stretch of the river next to the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling five times since March on an ad hoc basis.

“In a lot of ways this is better for the public, because they have more information,” Faulkner said.

Not everyone agrees, though.

“It’s just heartbreaking,” former marine John Deitle told the Post. He uses a kayaking program for wounded and disabled veterans at Riley’s Lock which would be blocked off under the new policy.

“Granted, it’s his golf course… but he has other golf courses,” said Deitle.

“This is a river-access issue. It’s not a political issue,” Canoe Cruisers Association Chairwoman Susan Sherrod told the Post.

Among a number of complaints from the paddling community, the newspaper also quoted Brett Mayer of the American Canoe Association who said, “We’ll do the best we can with the situation, but I don’t think it’s the end of the world.”

Public comments on the new policy must be submitted by August 9, after that it will be adjusted and the order made final.

The community of boaters and paddlers are not the only ones complaining about the enhanced security measures for Trump and his family.

In March, DC neighbors of Trump’s daughter and White House official Ivanka Trump and her husband, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, complained that the Secret Service was taking up too much of the parking space in their ritzy Kalorama neighborhood.


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US Relocating ISIS Terrorists

US Relocating ISIS Terrorists | isis-created-by-the-US | War Propaganda World News

In war theaters where ISIS operates, America supports the scourge it pretends to oppose, along with al-Nusra and other terrorist groups.

An often used tactic involves relocating ISIS fighters from one area to another – last year from Mosul to Syria, currently from Raqqa to elsewhere in the country.

According to Fars News, “US-led forces have several times transferred the ISIL leaders from Iraq and Syria to other regions by heliborne operations.”

“Local sources reported on Wednesday that three military helicopters of the US-led coalition carried out another heliborne operation in Eastern Homs, carrying a number of ISIL terrorists on board.”

“The Arabic-language al-Hadath news quoted the sources as saying that a group of ISIL terrorists were transferred by a van from the town of Ayash in Eastern Deir Ezzur to a ISIL-held desert region in the Eastern direction of the town of al-Sukhnah in Eastern Homs, where three helicopters of the US-led coalition were hovering over the region.”

On July 14,  AMN news reported “foreign fighters” in Raqqa, saying US forces are aiding ISIS terrorists they claim to be combating, providing them “with military assistance, including air cover and munitions.”

In France at the Elysee Palace with French President Macron, Trump ignored daily US-led coalition terror-bombing in Iraq and Syria, responsible for massacring thousands of civilians, instead saying “ceasefire (in Syria) would be a wonderful thing.”

Macron deceptively said “(w)e have one main goal, which is to eradicate terrorism, no matter who they are. We want to build an inclusive and sustainable political solution.”

“Against that background, I do not require Assad’s departure. This is no longer a prerequisite for France to work on that.”

Regime change, replacing Assad with pro-Western puppet rule, destroying Syrian sovereignty, and isolating Iran ahead of plans to oust its government remain key US/French imperial goals.

Their strategy throughout years of war remains in place. Tactics alone changed. On Thursday, Sergey Lavrov said Russia’s policy on Syria strictly adheres to international law and Security Council resolutions.

They clearly affirm the right of the Syrian people to decide the fate of their country, Lavrov stressed.

Separately, aboard Air Force One en route to Paris, Trump commented on dismal US/Russian relations, saying he’d like to invite Putin to the White House, but now isn’t “the right time,” adding:

“We have very heavy sanctions on Russia right now. I would never take (them) off until something is worked out to our satisfaction and everybody’s satisfaction in Syria and in Ukraine.”

Bipartisan US hostility toward Russia makes improved relations unattainable. Trump is captive to dark forces running America.


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The Natural Pantry: A Long-Term Storage Guide For Honey

The Natural Pantry: A Long-Term Storage Guide For Honey | jars-of-honey | Organic Market Classifieds PreparednessSurvival

Raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized honey has been a pantry staple for centuries. In the far stretches of human history, honey was stored for food, making wine and used for medicinal purposes. Theystored raw, unfiltered honey in porous, sealed jars and stacked them in cold caves. In fact, recently, scientists examined five-millennia-plus-old jars of honey unearthed in Georgia and declared that the artifacts contain the world’s oldest honey. This only proves that honey can stand the test of time – but there is no guarantee it will. If improperly stored, honey can crystallize or ferment. This article will explain the what, when and why’s of how to perfectly store your honey for long-term use, as well as explain what mistakes to avoid.

There are more than 300 different types of honey in the United States, each with a unique flavor and color depending on the blossoms visited by the honey bees. In fact, the coloring of honey is largely dependent on which flower pollen it collects. For instance, honey is a darker color when nectar is collected from blossoms of avocado and buckwheat, while nectar collected from blueberries, alfalfa, clover and sage are lighter in color.  In general, the lighter the color of honey, the milder the flavor.

The Natural Pantry: A Long-Term Storage Guide For Honey | honey-shades | Organic Market Classifieds PreparednessSurvival

Shades of honey

Where to Find Bulk Honey

Buying honey at the store can be expensive, especially in bulk quantities. For years, my husband and I were purchasing five pound containers of honey for over $20, when we could have purchased it for much cheaper from local distributors. I was lucky to find a local honey supplier in my area that sells us 20 pounds of honey at a time for a better deal. This is enough for a year supply of honey for my family. We usually end up purchasing one to use for the year and another for long-term storage. As well, farmers markets are great for finding local produce, meat and honey. I have also found locals selling honey through Craigslist. If you plan on purchasing honey from a local supplier, make sure they can answer these questions:

  1. What are the kinds of flowers the bees have been foraging on?
  2. Is it organic honey?
  3. Do they mix the honey with any additives?
  4. Has the honey been filtered to remove pollen?

Read more about the importance of buying raw, unfiltered honey and where to find it.

Properly Storing Honey

As dependable as honey is in a crisis, it can be finicky if not stored properly. Where and how you store honey makes a huge difference. If honey is stored in the wrong place, it’s viscosity, color, texture, aroma and flavor can change.

Like most of your pantry items, honey should be stored in a cool, dry area avoiding sunlight. The best storage temperature for honey is between 70-80°F, and is best if kept at a constant temperature with minimal fluctuations. Therefore, try to avoid storing honey near “hot or cold spots” in the home or by air conditioning or heating areas. If the temperature drops below 65°F, honey will begin to crystallize.

Interestingly, did you know that honey can be frozen? Liquid high-glucose honey that is frozen, will never crystallize and never lose vital nutrients. Although most preppers prefer not to concentrate their preparedness stores in the freezer, it can be used.

The main two points to keep in mind:

  • Honey should stay at a constant temperature with minimal fluctuations. Erratic temperature fluctuations can quickly cause the honey to stay in a perpetual state of crystallizing or liquefying. According to a Master Beekeeping Program hosted at Cornell University, if honey is stored at 77°F for 40 days, it will incur as much damage as honey heated to 145 °F for 60 minutes. The constant cool temperatures of root cellars (55°F) are perfect for storing creamed honey and will minimally affect the viscosity and texture.
  • Moisture can also greatly affect honey. Too much moisture, and it begins to ferment. If you see clear liquid floating on top a more solid brown honey mass, then the honey has started the fermentation process. While fermentation does not necessarily pose any health risk (mead by the way is fermented honey), it could destroy the integrity of the honey. As well, because honey absorbs moisture, it should be kept it in a tightly lidded container.

Best Containers for Re-Packing Honey:

  • Plastic food grade buckets – I have my long-term honey stored in 2-gallon containers. I avoid storing honey in 5-gallon containers for long-term storage because of the possibility of crystallization and fermentation. I’d rather lose a jar of honey than a pail of honey. Make sure that your containers are BPA free and food grade.
  • Glass canning jars – My short-term pantry is stocked with honey filled quart-sized (wide mouth) canning jars. These also make great gifts!
  • Plastic containers – Plastic containers and jars that once held honey are great for short-term storage, as well. However, if honey ferments, the pressure could pop the top off and cause a big mess.
  • Repurposed glass jars –  Glass jars can also be reused for other purposes. Make sure that the jars are thoroughly washed before reusing. If you do not have any jars to repurpose, these make excellent honey containers.

Keep in mind that because crystallization can easily occur, many suggest that if you purchase large quantities of honey for long-term storage, you should distribute it into smaller, more usable quantities to minimize any issues that may occur. That way, if it does solidify or crystallize, you can scoop out honey in smaller containers easier than the larger 5-gallon pails.

A Word on Crystallization

As much as we try to prevent crystallization in honey, it is a natural process. The higher the glucose/fructose level in your honey the faster it happens; as well, temperature fluctuations can also increase crystallization.

If your honey crystallizes, it is still edible – just not in the way you were expecting. Many suggest adding the crystallized honey to a double boiler and heating it up. While you can do this, it will destroy any health benefits honey offers. Crystallized honey is delicious in tea, on yogurt, on a toasted bagel, and on oatmeal. It can also be used as a glaze for cooking meat or vegetables. Moreover, you can make granulated or creamed honey by mixing one part of crystallized honey with 9 parts of liquid honey. Store it at 55 degrees°F until it becomes firm.

To conclude, those who are making attempts at storing natural foods in their pantry can do no wrong by storing honey. It is one of the most versatile preps you can have on hand and a viable investment in long-term preparedness planning. Use the above listed storage tips to make the most of your investment so you can enjoy this liquid sweetener for years to come.

Additional Resources:

‘Honeytime, Anytime’ booklet

USDA Honey Labeling

National Honey Board

 


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The Vicious Truth About Antidepressants And Violent Behavior

The Vicious Truth About Antidepressants And Violent Behavior | Antidepressants | General Health Sleuth Journal Special Interests

The brain is a complex organ, controlling our actions, cells, and emotions. When we mess with the brain, either inadvertently or with pharmaceutical medications, we can only expect a negative consequence in the process. If our body is exposed to toxins on a consistent basis, then there’s no doubt that our brain is too, and these environmental toxins–like aluminum and PCBs–are contributing to everything from Alzheimer’s disease to ADHD. [1][2] Interfering with brain chemistry through the use of psychiatric medications is equally as harmful, more so than many people realize.

Antidepressants and Violent Behavior: What Nobody is Talking About

The mind is prone to neuroses, particularly during stressful or traumatic times. Using psychiatric drugs to “treat” depression is more often than not a bandaid approach, and only addresses the biological symptoms of depression rather than the root cause. Instead of addressing nutritional concerns and psychological barriers to personal happiness, many people are doped up on SSRIs, tranquilizers, and similar drugs. Research over the past few years has steadily shown a strong correlation between antidepressants and homicide. World Psychiatry published a recent study confirming past research, making it startlingly clear: psychiatric drugs may ease depressive symptoms, but they possibly increase a person’s chances of exhibiting violent behavior. [3]

You’re probably aware of the mass shootings across the nation in recent years, and many people are left wondering what could be causing the uprising of these violent crimes. Gun control is seen as a solution to this problem, but what if the issue is much more covert? Taking antidepressants is considered normal in this day and age, and no one questions their use. But could it be that this overly-prescribed pharmaceutical is altering minds to a greater degree than we’ve ever imagined? The antidepressant trazodone, for example, was given to a man who shot and killed 12 people at a Navy facility in Washington, D.C. Trazodone carries with it a list of side effects, including suicide behavior, panic attacks, worsening depression, aggressive behavior, impulsive behavior, and abnormal excitement. [4]

The Real Causes of Depression

While many wish to brush off one example of antidepressants and violent behavior as a mere coincidence, we can’t ignore the many other cases of suicides, murders, and violence in the country at the hands of those drugged with these psychiatric pharmaceuticals. [5] Depression isn’t a Zoloft deficiency; it’s a real illness that, at its root, contains one or more causative factors. Improper nutrition is virtually ignored by today’s psychiatrists, but it just so happens that all neurotransmitters responsible for mood stabilization require nutrients for proper functioning. Tryptophan, for instance, requires zinc, copper, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium in order to perform efficiently.

Another hidden and rarely discussed factor related to depression is mold exposure. Mold can remain hidden in a home for years, but the effect it has on your health is insurmountable. Studies have shown that mold exposure, whether you know you’re being exposed to it or not, contributes to neurobehavioral issues. These health issues include worsening memory, mood impairments, and even Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms. [6][7][8]

One Final Thought

When it comes to psychiatric illness, it is up to you and your doctor to find the best way you can to improve your wellbeing. Always keep in mind that there are a number of components playing into disease, including mental illness, so speak to your doctor and do your research to determine the plenitude of factors associated with your particular case. If you are taking pharmaceutical drugs for any kind of mental distress, it is important to not stop taking them, because this action could lead to adverse symptoms, including worsening depression. Supplementing with probiotics can also be a helpful measure, as could physical exercise, meditation, and socialization.

References:

  1. Tomljenoivc L. Aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease: after a century of controversy, is there a plausible link? J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;23(4):567-98. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-101494.
  2. Paul A. Eubig, Andrea Aguiar, and Susan L. Schantz. Lead and PCBs as Risk Factors for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Environ Health Perspect. 2010 Dec; 118(12): 1654-1667. doi: 10.1289/ehp.0901852.
  3. Health Day. Do Certain Medicines Raise Murder Risk? Medline Plus.
  4. Medline Plus. Trazodone. NIH. National Library of Medicine.
  5. David Healy, Andrew Herxheimer, and David B Menkes. Antidepressants and Violence: Probles at the Interface of Medicine and Law. PLoS Med. 2006 Sep; 3(9): e372. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030372.
  6. Kilburn KH. Indoor mold exposure associated with neurobehavioral and pulmonary impairment: a preliminary report. Arch Environ Health. 2003 Jul;58(7):390-8.
  7. Crago BR, Gray MR, Nelson LA, et al. Psychological, neuropsychological, and elctrocortical effects of mixed mold exposure. Arch Environ Health. 2003 Aug;58(8):452-63.
  8. Rutgers University. Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease Linked to Fungus. Rutgers Today.

 


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