“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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Source: Alternative news journal

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Saffron: Ancient Healing Powers Confirmed By Science

Saffron: Ancient Healing Powers Confirmed By Science | Saffron | Natural Medicine Science & Technology

Clearly there is something magical about the Crocus sativus flower, from which the spice saffron is derived.  If its striking beauty does not immediately cast a spell on its beholder, often it simply takes experiencing the spice to fall into full enchantment with it.  While saffron is exceptionally expensive, because it takes approximately 150 flowers to yield just 1,000 mg (0.035 oz) of dry saffron threads, and costs approximately $1,000 a pound, it does not take much to have an effect. Its uniqueness is also illustrated by the fact that it shuns mechanization, requiring of its would-be possessors that it be painstakingly harvested by hand , as no doubt has been done for tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years. Because each Crocus sativus flower bears no more than four flowers, each with three vivid crimson stigmas from which the spice is derived, at most only 12 stigma are produced by each, which yields the equivalent of 30 mg (0.011 oz) of fresh saffron or 7 mg (0.00025 oz) dried.

Saffron: Ancient Healing Powers Confirmed By Science | saffron-313x300 | Natural Medicine Science & Technology

Saffron has been documented to have been used as a versatile medicine since ancient times. In 2004 researchers studying 3,500 year old frescoes at Thera, a Greek island in the Aegean, found depictions of a goddess presiding over the manufacturer and use of a drug from the saffron flower. [i]   Perhaps even more amazing is the fact that 50,000 year-old depictions of prehistoric places in northwest Iran contained saffron-based pigments, indicating the human relationship with saffron is as old as time itself.[ii]

Saffron: Ancient Healing Powers Confirmed By Science | saff1 | Natural Medicine Science & Technology

A Minoan goddess supervising saffron use

Saffron’s chemistry expresses otherworldly complexity. It contains over 150 volatile and aroma-yielding compounds – a biochemical symphony that ensures its mystery will never fully be plumbed, at least insofar as it great medicinal power remains refractory to the reductionist gaze of modern pharmacology. What power might that be?

While recent mainstream coverage of saffron weight loss promoting properties (via appetite suppression) on the Dr. Oz show has caused quite a surge of renewed interest in this exotic spice, saffron has far more to offer than that. It may, in fact, hold promise for serious neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease…

A 22-week multicenter, randomized, double-blind controlled trial of saffron in the management of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease published in 2010, showed 15 mg twice a day was as effective as donepezil (Aricept) at 5 mg twice a day, with significantly less vomiting as a side effect. Another 16-week, randomized and placebo-controlled trial also published in 2010, showed that 15 mg of saffron twice per day was both safe and effective in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

The petals of the Crocus sativus plant have also been shown nearly equipotent to Prozac (fluoxetine) as a treatment for depression.  According to a study published in the journal Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry in 2007, 15 mg of Crocus sativus petals were as effective as 10 mg of Prozac in treating mild to moderate depression, putting 25% of the participants into full remission. Another depression study published 2004 showed that saffron, at 30 mg a day, was as effective as the drug imipramine, at 100 mg a day, in the treatment of mild to moderate depression.

Other experimentally confirmed, potential medicinal properties of Saffron are:

Anxiety Disorders Asthenozoospermia (low sperm) Cardiac Hypertrophy
Chemotherapy-Induced Liver Toxicity Colorectal Cancer Diabetic Neuropathy
Dysmenorrhea (irregular menstrual cycles) Erectile Dysfunction Hypertension
Inflammation Liver Cancer Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion
Multiple Sclerosis Opiate Addiction/Withdrawal Pancreatic Cancer
Psoriasis Respiratory Disease Wound Healing

Saffron has been shown to modulate at least 22 biological pathways through the following pharmacological actions:

Anti-anxiety Anti-inflammatory Anticarcinogenic
Antidepressive Antimutagenic Antioxidant

AntiproliferativeAphrodisiacApoptoticBronchodilatorCalcium Channel BlockerCardioprotectiveChemopreventiveChremotherapeuticCyclooxygenase inhibitorExcitatory Amino Acid AgonistHypnotics and SedativesHypotensiveNeuroprotectiveProstaglandin AntagonistsTumor Necrosis Factor Alpha Inhibitor

A note of caution is due with saffron, as any plant with such a great many modes of action and high biological activity at exceedingly low quantities, should be used with caution. In very small amounts, an herb like saffron may nudge a system into balance, or in a direction that the user may experience as a positive shift — for example, as occurs when saffron is used in a dish as a spice, or consumed as a tea.  However, in higher “pharmacological dosages,” especially when mixed with over-the-counter and prescribed drugs, there is a risk of doing serious harm. Therefore please be careful, and consult a medical herbalist and/or physician whenever possible before using more than culinary doses of saffron.

[i] Honan, W. H. (2004), “Researchers Rewrite First Chapter for the History of Medicine”, The New York Times, 2 March 2004, retrieved 13 September 2011

[ii] Willard, P. (2002), Secrets of Saffron: The Vagabond Life of the World’s Most Seductive Spice, Beacon Press (published 11 April 2002), ISBN 978-0-8070-5009-5

© July 16, 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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Eating Dates Produces Powerful Health Benefits, Religion And Science Agree

Eating Dates Produces Powerful Health Benefits, Religion And Science Agree | dates_health_benefits_greenmedinfo | Natural Medicine

Since biblical times, dates were to believed to possess profound healing properties, but only now is science catching up to confirm our distant ancestors knew exactly what they were talking about. 

If you go by the Nutrition Facts panel of an ordinary package of dates, they look more like sugar bombs than a healthy snack. Check this one out:

Eating Dates Produces Powerful Health Benefits, Religion And Science Agree | Dates_Nutrition_Facts_Label__7_ | Natural Medicine

But are they really as nutritionally vapid as these label claims make them seem?

Not by a long shot.

When we apply the complementary lenses of modern scientific investigation and ancient wisdom, dates begin to look like both a holy- and a super-food of immense value.

Here’s a neat example.

From the Koran to Clinical Trials: Dates for Better Birthing

In the Koran, the central holy book of Islam, Allah instructs the Virgin Mary to consume dates when she gives birth to Jesus.[1] And so, not surprisingly, dates are commonly referred to within the Islamic tradition as beneficial to pregnant women. We might chalk this up as “pre-scientific” magical thinking without basis in medical fact, were it not for a remarkable human clinical study that confirmed their value in pregnancy…

Published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2011 and titled, “The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery“, researchers set out to investigate the effect of date fruit consumption on labor parameters and birth outcomes. Over the course of 11 months at Jordan University of Science and Technology, two groups of women were enrolled in a prospective study where 69 women consumed six date fruits per day for 4 weeks prior to their estimated date of delivery, versus 45 women who consumed none. These women were matched so there was no significant difference in gestational age, age and parity (the number of times a woman has brought a pregnancy to viable gestational age) between the two groups.

The results of the date intervention were reported as follows:

  • Improved Cervical Dilation: “The women who consumed date fruit had significantly higher mean cervical dilatation upon admission compared with the non-date fruit consumers (3.52 cm vs 2.02 cm, p < 0.0005).”
  • Less Damage to Membranes: “[The intervention group had] a significantly higher proportion of intact membranes (83% vs 60%, p = 0.007).”
  • More Natural (Spontaneous) Labor: “Spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates, compared with 79% women in the non-date fruit consumers (p = 0.024).”
  • Less Drugs Required: “Use of prostin/oxytocin was significantly lower in women who consumed dates (28%), compared with the non-date fruit consumers (47%) (p = 0.036).”
  • Shorter Labor: “The mean latent phase of the first stage of labour was shorter in women who consumed date fruit compared with the non-date fruit consumers (510 min vs 906 min, p = 0.044).”

The researchers concluded:

“It is concluded that the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome. The results warrant a randomised controlled trial.”[2]

Thanks to research like this we can see how the mythological and scientific ways of understanding now converge and confirm one another. I believe that rather than contradict and/or negate one another, the mythos and logos are beginning to assume a far more productive complementary relationship as we move into a new era of understanding where the profane and sacred are perceived as intimately entwined in our direct experience. The field of nutrition, as you can see, is no exception.

Dates Contain Nourishing Information

Dates, of course, are in the palm tree family, and along with coconut and red palm, are some of the oldest cultivated plants known in the historical record; in fact, they are so old we don’t know where they first originated.  They have provided life-sustaining nutrition in regions that are often sparse in edible resources, and are increasingly being researched as a powerful medicinal food that could reduce much suffering in malnourished and disease prone populations, especially in underdeveloped countries.

Even while scientific analysis of dates are beginning to reveal that they are actually densely packed with a wide range of minerals, vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids, it should be emphasized that they are not just sources of energy and material building blocks for our body. We must acknowledge that they are also sources of biologically valuable (perhaps indispensably so) information. We can not analytically decompose a food into the minerals, vitamins, and macronutrients (e.g. lipids, fats, and protein), that we believe are responsible for its nourishing and life-sustaining properties, without losing quite a lot in the process. Foods contains hundreds, if not thousands, of physiologically important biomolecules, together which modulate the expression of thousands of genes in our body, as well as affecting our microbiome. In fact, our microbiome works on the foods we ingest, and together produce an intermediary layer of biomolecules known as the metabolome, many of which may be indispensable to our health.

This is why when we say food is medicine, we are not simply using a metaphor. We now know that food is capable, on a molecular level, of positively modulating a wide range of biological pathways simultaneously, in a manner that drugs simply can not replicate. In fact, I believe food contains an immense, if not infinite, amount of information which our bodies draw from to realize optimal gene expression, especially in times of stress or imbalance. Looking at it granularly, I believe food contains discrete units or packets of gene-regulatory energy and information. This can be inferred by the way curcumin, for instance, which is only one of hundreds of biomolecules found in the spice turmeric, is capable of modulating over 2,000 genes simultaneously within a cancer cell line, with a positive end result. Both the specificity and broadness through which these food compounds are capable of correcting imbalances is simply astounding and speaks to an intelligence within certain plants of particular food and medicinal purpose that can not be exhaustively explained through terms and methods of the reductionistic sciences that still form the backbone of our understanding of conventional nutrition.

So if my theory holds true, and dates, which are a food type (namely, fruit) we co-evolved with for quite some time, are more than just a package of mainly simple carbohydrate (half fructose/half glucose) and mineral quantities of alphabetic vitamins and minerals, but also possess gene-regulatory energy and information, shouldn’t it perform a number of therapeutic effects?  Indeed, the research now bears testimony to exactly this fact.

I took the liberty of doing a cursory meta-analysis of the extant research on dates available through the National Library of Medicine’s biomedical database MEDLINE, accessible of course through the google-like search engine pubmed.gov. And to my pleasant surprise the research on dates as a whole (including the fruit, pollen and seed extract) reveals approximately 19 specific beneficial modes of action, and a preventive and/or therapeutic role in about 40 different health conditions.

Consider for a moment that most of the blockbuster drugs on the marketplace only have one therapeutic mode of action and one condition they are approved to treat. Additionally, there are on average 75 adverse health effects for each drug. The fact that it is classified and sold as a food and not a drug should not delude us into thinking it is not as powerful as a pharmaceutical. In fact, it should be clear that foods are actually far more powerful in affecting root cause resolution of health conditions by nourishing us deeply, nutritionally, and again, informationally (literally: to put form into).

To gain greater familiarity with the literature demonstrating the various therapeutic properties of dates, view our Date research page.  You will notice that one of the potential therapeutic properties of dates are its beneficial properties in diabetes – which underscores our original point, that if you go by nutrition facts panels alone you are bound to miss out on a number of healthy foods include fruits like dates.

For more information on Food as Information & Medicine you can watch my lecture below:


 

Notes

[1] The Holy Koran, Chapter 12 – verses 22-25, retrieved on Feb. 28 2015, “So she [Virgin Mary] conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm tree. she cried (in her anguish): ‘Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!’ But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): ‘Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee; And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree; it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee.’”

[2] [Note: “non-significant” here means insignificant in statistics, which is often due to insufficient numbers of subjects enrolled to draw results with adequate statistical power]

© July 15, 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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Source: Alternative news journal

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23 Awesome Uses For Lemongrass Essential Oil

23 Awesome Uses For Lemongrass Essential Oil | lemongrass | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Anyone who has used essential oils for a period of time will find that they reach for the same tried and true oils over and over again.  In my case, there are the go-to standards lavender, peppermint, rosemary and frankincense but in addition, there is Lemongrass.

Three years ago, I thought lemongrass was an herbal plant used in tea and in Asian cuisine.  While I still enjoy a soothing cup of lemongrass and ginger tea, these days lemongrass essential oil serves an important role in my first aid kit as well.

The lemongrass genus has over fifty different species worldwide, but only some of the species are suitable for utilization as essential oil.  The two most commonly used in essential oils are are Cymbopogan citratus and Cymbopogan flexuosus.

Historically, lemongrass has been used to treat fevers, inflammation and indigestion as well as a sedative. These days, it is used for an armload of other ailments as well as for purification and odor control.  Today I share 23 uses for lemongrass essential oil that will set you a a path of wellness.

How is Lemongrass Essential Oil Used?

Lemongrass is effective in resolving a number of first aid woes. It has anti-microbial properties and is also an anti-inflammatory.  As a powerful analgesic, it offers immediate topical pain relief and reduces inflammation.  In addition, it is  antibacterial and antimicrobial which means it can prohibit bacterial growth and it is effective in controlling a fever caused by infection.

With its strong lemony scent and earthy, grassy undertones, it is also effective in aromatherapy and especially when used in a diffuser. If you drink lemongrass tea like I do, that will make perfect sense since the aroma of even the tea is quite lingering.

Used topically, a carrier oil is usually recommended as lemongrass is one essential oil that can cause sensitivity or irritation if utilized undiluted on the skin, or “neat”.  A common dilution is 2 drops of lemongrass to 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil but this is considered just a guide line and is quite conservative.  Still, this 2% dilution is a good starting point especially when using lemongrass for the first time.

23 Uses for Lemongrass Essential Oil in the First Aid Kit

1. Muscle and tendon relaxer:  When muscles and tendons tighten up, an application of lemongrass essential oil will typically bring immediate relief.  It works extremely quickly on those “knots” and spasms that can come on very quickly in the middle of the night.

2. Headache relief:  When it comes to headaches, and especially allergy-related headaches, lemongrass is a super star. It is also useful for individuals who are sensitive to Peppermint essential oil which is usually the recommended EO for headaches.

3. Arthritis joint pain:  Lemongrass works well to resolve joint pain and works especially well when mixed with Birch EO and Geranium EOs.  (See Birch Essential Oil for Arthritis, Muscle and Joint Pain.)   Since the use of birch essential oil is not recommended for people on blood thinners, lemongrass is an effective alternative.  That said, layering “the Birch” over lemongrass works surprisingly well to relieve deep joint pain.

4.  Pulled muscles:  By treating the inflammation created by a pulled muscle, lemongrass essential oil can bring immediate relief.  (An easy peasy pain relief formula is shown below).  This will also work on tender bruised areas.

5. Shock:  If you feel that someone is in shock, add 1 or 2 drops to a cotton ball and place the infused cotton ball under the nostrils.  Do this as soon as possible then, if you can, summon medical help.

6.  Treat wounds:  Blend a few drops with Witch Hazel or Saline to flush wounds. Afterward, blend with some BDS Simple Salve for an antiseptic application. Apply a bandage or gauze to the wound to keep it clean and free from dirt.

7. Heartburn:  Spread a couple of drops mixed with a carrier such as coconut oil or BDS Simple Salve over the throat and chest area to relieve heartburn.

8.  Indigestion:  A drop or two massaged into the abdomen will assist digestion and relieve the symptoms of indigestion..

9.  Sprains and sports injuries:  Lemongrass essential oil will treat both the pain and inflammations associated with sprains and sports injuries.

10.  Reduce fevers:  Use lemongrass to help fight the infection that causes fevers and also to keep the toxins from spreading. To use, blend with your basic Simple Salve (or even plain coconut oil) and apply to the back of neck, chest area, and the bottom of feet.

11.  Flea repellant: Lemongrass will repel fleas.  For dogs, apply to a piece of cloth (such as a bandana) or collar.  Since cats are more sensitive to essential oils in general, check with your veterinarian before using any essential oil on your kitty.

12.  Insect repellent: Insects don’t like lemongrass!  Apply to the edges of your clothing edges to repel climbing insects like ticks, or to exposed skin to repel mosquitos and other flying biting bugs. Just remember to dilute with a bit of carrier oil or salve when applying directly to the skin.

13.  Acne: Lemongrass is a mild astringent and is also antimicrobial. To help clear up acne, add one drop  to a carrier oil and dab on to affected areas once or twice a day.

14.  Athlete’s Foot:  Athlete’s foot is fungal skin infection and lemongrass can help address it. Utilize a drop of lemongrass in a carrier oil of salve, and rub on the feet a few times a day. If you wear shoes most of the day, try rubbing it on first thing in the morning, as soon as your shoes come off, and again before bed.

15.  Oily skin:  Utilize lemongrass in the same manner as that for acne, or utilize a drop in warm water as a skin rinse. The astringent properties of lemongrass have a naturally drying effect, without the potential over dryness caused by stronger astringents.

16. Stress relief:  One of the best ways to use lemongrass essential oil to relieve stress is via aromatherapy. Add 5 to 6 drops to your diffuser, or put a drop on your palms and inhale the scent. You can also put a drop on a cloth, or pillow for nighttime or travel aromatherapy.

17.  Fatigue:  Like stress relief, you can use lemongrass essential oil aromatically to mitigate fatigue.  A diffuser or even a few drops on a cotton ball will work beautifully.  Topically, mix a drop or two with a carrier oil and either massage into your temples.

18.  Anti-depressant:  Use a few drops in a diffuser daily.  I find it works great at night while sleeping.

19.  Anti-bacterial cleaning products:  Use lemongrass in homemade cleaning products to reduce bacteria in your home.  You can also use it in a diffuser to reduce airborne bacteria.  See this article on making your own DIY cleaning products. As an added bonus, lemongrass has a wonderful, and uplifting aroma.  You home will smell fresh and inviting!

20. Reduce high blood pressure:  Lemongrass is a vasodilator and can help reduce high blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.

21.  Water retention: The diuretic properties of lemongrass can help clean and flush toxic wastes out of the body.  This can be done via topical applications such as in a salve or by adding a drop to your glass of water or cup of tea.

Note:  normally I do not suggest ingesting essential oils although with high quality oils, the practice is safe.  Always do your own research and if in doubt, consult a physician first.

22.  Insomnia:  Applying lemongrass to the bottoms of your feet at night is calming and helps induce a deep sleep.  Sipping a cup of lemongrass tea also helps.

23.  Body odor:  Commercial deodorants often contain lemongrass.  If you are prone to body odor, adding a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to your moisturizing body lotion or salve will help combat unpleasant body odors.

Lemongrass Pain Relief Formula

I personally use lemongrass essential oil in a roller ball mixed with fractionated coconut oil to provide immediate relief to painful muscle and tendon cramps in my hands, feet, and calves.

Lemongrass Pain Relief Formula
10 to 15 drops of Lemongrass essential oil
Fractionated Coconut Oil (or other carrier oil)
10ML Roller Ball (about 2 teaspoons)

Optional:  Add 5 drops of Clove essential oil

Add the lemongrass to the roller ball then top with a carrier oil.  I use FCO (fractionated essential oil).  Shake well before each use then apply copiously. Rubbing the area gently will accelerate the relief.

I find that I get better results with the roller ball application but you could also make up a salve using 2 teaspoons of BDS Simple Salve (or other carrier) and up to 15 drops of essential oil.

Side Effects of Lemongrass

Although considered one of the safer oils, lemongrass should always be diluted before applying it to the skin.  Even with low dilutions, it can be an irritant to some people so use a conservative amount to begin with.  If in doubt, perform a patch test first.

As with all essential oils, lemongrass essential oil should be kept out of the reach of children and pets, and should not be used if pregnant or nursing unless approved in advance by a medical professional.

A Word About Carrier Oils

Using a carrier oil makes an essential oil application so much easier and less wasteful.  Although I personally prefer coconut oil or BDS Simple Salve (which you make yourself), feel free to experiment with olive oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, or even an organic, unscented lotion.

Where to Purchase Lemongrass Essential Oil

Lemongrass essential oil is widely sold both online and in health food stores.  I personally purchase therapeutic grade Lemongrass from Spark Naturals.  Their quality standards are high and because they sell direct and not through a membership or MLM program, their prices are affordable.

Spark Naturals also carries a number of supporting carrier oils as well as accessories such as roller ball bottles, dropper tops and more. Furthermore, you can use the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL to get a 10% discount off your entire order.

The Final Word

It was close to two years ago that I tossed two drawers full of OTC remedies into a box in favor of essential oils.  To this day, I am still learning how to use the various oils to improve my health and to remedy everyday aches and pains.  Essential oils have become my band-aid of choice and not a day goes by when I don’t use them for one thing or another.

My own education continues.  A few months back I purchased a big fat book entitled “Essential Oils Desk Reference” and I use it almost daily.  If you can afford it, I highly recommend that you add this desk reference to your survival library.  Although it promotes another brand of oils, the information is presented in an unbiased manner and there is never a sales pitch one way or another.

It has been my pleasure to share this information about Lemongrass essential oil.  Over time, I will continue to share information on additional, less common, essential oils with a special focus on the less expensive, more affordable oils that can be purchased for $10 or less.

There are dozens of oils out there and I am convinced that we can all maintain our health and wellness during times of crisis with the proper selection of essential oils in our first aid kits.

Be well and stay safe!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

 


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Using Red Clover in Tinctures and Teas for Women’s Health

Using Red Clover in Tinctures and Teas for Women’s Health | red-clover | Natural Medicine

ReadyNutrition Gals (that’s right, Gals, just for you!), here we are going to focus on an herbal supplement that is seasonally dependent…. that’s right, you guessed it…and falling due to harvest at this time. The herb we’re talking about here is Red Clover, with the scientific name of Trifolium pretense. From a naturopathic perspective, the flower buds, dried or fresh are used to make the herbal preparation.

Red Clover to Naturally Help Women’s Needs

Ladies, this drug is important primarily for you. The Isoflavones in Red Clover have a wide variety of effects that you need to consider. In women suffering from menopause, studies have shown that these isoflavones from Red Clover improve arterial functions termed arterial compliance. Isoflavones also have a protective effect on the lumbar spine of women.

Another component of the flower is Biochanin A, and this is a compound that is found within Red Clover extract that has a chemoprotective effect and inhibits carcinogen formation in cells. Carcinogens are cancer-causing substances. It also has estrogenic effects. The extract decreased bone mineral density loss and losses in the mineral content in the lumbar spine for women who undertook a 12-month treatment.
Women who took Red Clover extract who suffered from hot flashes in post menopause had those flashes reduced by 44%. This was determined after a 12-week study. In addition, Red Clover can also be used for respiratory conditions and coughs, particularly pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

The extract comes usually as pills, capsules, or a liquid extract, the latter being the most commonly found form. The reason it is a summer-dependent drug is that after the summer ends, Red Clover should not be harvested, as it becomes toxic around late August to early September, depending on your geographic locale of residence.Contraindications include if you are using anticoagulants (that prevent blood clotting), contraceptives, estrogen/progesterone therapy (due to the potential for potentiation, or an increase in the effects of the already prescribed drugs), and Tamoxifen (Tamiflu), as it will decrease the effectiveness.

How to Use Red Clover

It can also be prepared at home as a tincture in a 1:1 liquid extract utilizing 25% ethanol (also known as grain alcohol).


For Red Clover Tincture:

  1. Pick blossoms in the early morning.
  2. Wash and place blossoms into a jar and pour alcohol over the blossoms, ensuring all are covered.
  3. Seal your jar and place your clover tincture in a dark cabinet.
  4. Store tincture in dark place and allow to sit for 6 weeks and shake 2 times a day.

The daily dosage is 4 grams of the extract, usually taken as an infusion (a tea) in three divided dosages. Sometimes those using Red Clover will have an allergic reaction to it. Consult with your family doctor prior to utilizing it as described within this article.


Red Clover Tea:

  • Add the dry red clover flowers into the hot water and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
  • Drink 3 times a day.

When harvesting it on your own for a tincture, remember to leave a good amount of the plants intact in order that they may reproduce more for the next season. A good rule of thumb is to leave 30% to grow in nature. When you wildcraft your herbs, it is best to place them (the flower heads in this case) in paper bags, so as not to have any leeching from plastic sandwich/Ziploc bags. This will help to wilt the flowers to release their curative properties. In this case, sandwich bags used to “brown bag” lunches for school (do they even do that anymore?) are more than adequate.

So, ladies, try to incorporate Red Clover into your supplies for those conditions outlined. Some things are just made with women in mind, and it appears that the Red Clover was designed in such a way. We’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, and experiences with this herb. Keep fighting that good fight! JJ out!

Please note that red clover is not recommended for use by pregnant women, or those struggling with estrogen dominance conditions. As well, those with breast or ovarian cancer and liver problems should not use this herb. Not for use with contraceptive pills or for those on blood thinners.


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Is This Fruit Extract 10,000 Times Better Than Chemo?

Is This Fruit Extract 10,000 Times Better Than Chemo? | Graviola-fruit | Natural Medicine

Over a quarter of a century ago, a study was performed on the seeds of the Soursop fruit, also known as graviola, which at that time demonstrated such amazing cancer-fighting potential, that those exposed to it within the conventional medical community looked upon it with complete incredulity.

Published in the Journal of Natural Products in 1996, Compound 1, one of five extracted from the seed of the graviola fruit, was found to be “selectively cytotoxic to colon adenocarcinoma cells (HT-29) in which it was 10,000 times the potency of adriamycin.” [emphasis added]

Adriamycin is the trade name for the chemoagent doxorubucin and is known by the nickname “red devil,” because of  both its deep red color and terrible side effects, which include life-threatening, even fatal damage to the cardiovascular system. This abject lack of “selective cytotoxicity” — the ability to kill only the cancer cells and not healthy ones  — is what makes Adriamycin so dangerous. And yet, it has been a first line treatment for a wide range of cancers for almost half a century.

Since the 1996 study, little research on graviola was performed. There was a cell study in 1999 which showed it had anti-prostate cancer and breast cancer activity; another 2002 cell study showed that graviola exhibited anti-hepatoma (liver cancer) activity, but nothing as promising as the original 1996 study ever followed.

Then, in 2011, the journal Nutrition and Cancer revealed highly promising research on graviola and breast cancer. Researchers found that graviola fruit extract (GFE) suppressed so-called oncogene (or cancer-causing gene) expression in the cell and animal models of breast cancer. The oncogene known as epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is commonly over-expressed in breast cancer, and therefore an ideal target for therapy.

According to the researchers

“A a 5-wk dietary treatment of GFE (200 mg/kg diet) significantly reduced the protein expression of EGFR, p-EGFR, and p-ERK in MDA-MB-468 [breast cancer] tumors by 56%, 54%, and 32.5%, respectively. Overall, dietary GFE inhibited tumor growth, as measured by wet weight, by 32% (P < 0.01).”

The study authors concluded

“These data showed that dietary GFE induced significant growth inhibition of MDA-MB-468 cells in vitro and in vivo through a mechanism involving the EGFR/ERK signaling pathway, suggesting that GFE may have a protective effect for women against EGFR-overexpressing BC [breast cancer].” [emphasis added]

Given these findings the time may be ripe for reconsideration of graviola in the prevention and/or treatment of cancers, such as colon and breast cancer.

© July 5, 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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1 Gram Of Turmeric Boosts Working Memory In Just 6 Hours

1 Gram Of Turmeric Boosts Working Memory In Just 6 Hours | turmeric_brain_boosting_memory | Natural Medicine

Need a caffeine-free, memory-boosting alternative to coffee? Just one dose of turmeric powder (1 gram) was found to improve working memory in pre-diabetics in hours. 

Interest in turmeric as a tonic and regenerative agent for brain conditions is growing rapidly. Given the increased prevalence of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, as well as an alarming uptick in brain cancer and the cognitively impairing metabolic dysregulations associated with type 2 diabetes.

Turmeric and its primary polyphenol curcumin hold great promise as an alternative to pharmaceuticals, none of which have been shown to address nor resolve the root causes of disease.

A recent study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition titled, “Turmeric improves post-prandial working memory in pre-diabetes independent of insulin“, reveals the unique therapeutic profile of this ancient Indian spice in preventing cognitive impairment linked to pre-diabetes and dementia.

The study enrolled 48 60-year olds with newly recognized yet untreated pre-diabetes. They were randomized to receive either a placebo, turmeric (1,000 mg), cinnamon (2,000 mg) or both (1,000 mg & 2,000 mg respectively), ingested at a white bread (119 g) breakfast.

The researchers observed the participants’ metabolic responses over a 6 hour period for the following parameters:

·      Pre- and post-working memory (WM),

·      Glycemic and insulin responses

·      Biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)(measured at 0, 2, 4 and 6 hours):

o   amyloid precursor protein (APP),

o   γ-secretase subunits presenilin-1 (PS1),

o   presenilin-2 (PS2),

o   glycogen synthase kinase (GSK-3β).

The study results were reported as follows:

“We found that a modest addition of 1 g turmeric to a rather nutritionally-bland breakfast of white bread improved working memory (WM) over 6 hours in older people with pre-diabetes. This was not the case for 2 g cinnamon.”

Moreover, they observed that body fatness and insulin resistance modulated the effect that turmeric had on improving working memory, “suggesting that the benefits of turmeric might be enhanced where these characteristics were less abnormal.”

While the study found the Alzheimer’s biomarkers “showed active correlations among themselves during the 6 hour study, these did not account for the link between turmeric and WM.” In other words, the researchers surmised that while the spice components access and modulate traditional Alzheimer’s biomarker pathways, no definitive mechanisms of action explaining how they affect working memory could be discerned in the study.

Interestingly, the study intentionally selected whole turmeric powder instead of extracts of curcuminoids, as is normally the case, in order to simulate real-world culinary exposure to the spice:

“We deliberately used whole turmeric rather than curcuminoids or turmeric extracts. We wanted to examine the commodity used in daily life and with which there are generations of experience and presumptive safety across Asian food cultures – south, north-east and south-east Asia, albeit in a range of cuisines. The amounts used were also within the usual household range.”

This study adds to a growing body of literature showing that turmeric/curcumin is both an excellent intervention for pre-diabetics (with up to a 100% prevention rate, according to a Diabetes Care study published two years ago), as well as anti-dementia agent, as evaluated in greater detail in previous reports we have done on the subject:

Learn more by visiting the world’s largest turmeric database on Greenmedinfo.com: Turmeric Health Guidetionally recognized as the largest and most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

© July 1, 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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Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | pain-relieving-cream-recipe-3 | Natural Medicine Special Interests

A few months back I made a batch of Cayenne Salve.  It was simple to do.  After infusing the ground cayenne pepper in olive oil, I added some beeswax and was good to go.  My feeling was this: if a catastrophic disruptive event occurred, after a year or two I would exhaust my supply of pain relieving essential oils and then what?

The answer, I hoped, was to infuse spices and herbs in a carrier oil and use the resulting concoction instead.  If I could turn the results into a salve, all the better.

Fortunately, infusing spices and dried herbs is very easy to do.  It does take a couple of weeks but other than that, all you need is a carrier oil, your spice and herb mixture, and a covered jar.  It really does not get much simpler than that.

Here in my own household, my first attempt at creating a pain relieving cayenne salve was met with mixed results. I personally do not have many aches and pains so self-testing was not an option.  On the other hand, the Survival Husband is a walking pain machine.  The problem was that he was achieving such good results, fantastic actually, with “The Birch” salve, that he was loath to change.

Recognizing the importance of having an alternative to essential oils for pain relief, I took my missive out to readers via the weekly Survival Buzz.  I was thrilled to find a volunteer to test the salve and now, two months later, the reports are glowing.  This stuff really works on chronic pain resulting from woes such as arthritis, sore and stiff muscles, and more.

Test Results from the Field

When I sent my DIY Cayenne Salve to Dee in Oregon, I was cautiously optimistic about the results.  I knew that Dee was already a proponent of natural medicine and cayenne in particular.  It is one of the ingredients in the tonic she uses and also in the tonic that prevented me from having to have a root canal. (You can read about that particular adventure here and here.)

Initially she wrote and said that she had been “having fun watching reactions to people trying your salve. Only had one who didn’t like it.  Tried it on 8 different people and each found it worked well enough they want to know where they can buy some.  So….are you making enough to sell? “

Note:  Nope.  I am not selling anything.  This is so simple to make that you can do it yourself!

I needed more information, naturally, and asked about the type of pain that the Cayenne Salve appeared to mitigate.  Here is what she had to say:

As to your cream, I had a couple of people with arthritis in their hands who applied it.  They felt significantly less pain almost immediately. Enough so in a couple of weeks, I’ll be hosting them so they can learn how to make your salve.

Another who has aches and pains but no dx, she too, was helped enough so she could function w/o pharma meds during the daily chores.  One young woman in her early 30s was having pain in her hips (no knowledge as to why). She applied it to them on several occasions and she has said it works almost as good as my pain tonic. She’s tried both now.

I did have one who wouldn’t try it since I had told him it had cayenne in it.  As to myself, when my pain level gets to 7, using your salve and my tonic, eliminates the pain for hours.

There may be something to the idea that for some it takes a few weeks but I didn’t find any of that in my limited number to subjects.

In further research, it seems even used topically, it helps the circulation. Enough so that one person who has tingling in her hands and tried it, it helped her to get feeling back into her hands.  I do not begin to understand all this. I am still amazed.

How to Make Cayenne Salve for Pain Relief

This is another one of those DIY recipes that is so simple it is embarrassing.  I will first share the basic recipe that suggest some variations.

Ingredients
1/2 cup olive oil (or 1/4 cup each coconut oil and olive oil)
1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon beeswax pellets
Cheesecloth

Optional:  1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes

Directions
1.  The first thing you are going to do is infuse the oil.  This can be done in the top of a double boiler but I found it simpler to use a Pyrex measuring cup or mason jar sitting in a water bath on the stove.  Combine the oils and the cayenne in your vessel and set aside.

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | 1cayenne-salve-ingredients | Natural Medicine Special Interests

2.  Heat the water until is boils then turn down the flame to low and let the jar of oil and cayenne steep in the water bath for about an hour.  Turn off the burner.

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | cayenne-salve_34 | Natural Medicine Special Interests

3.  Stir up your infusion and let it sit for awhile.

4.  After an hour or two, or the next day it really does not matter, repeat the process in #2 and #3.

Optional:  At this point I got lazy and let my infusion sit around for a week.  I am not sure whether that made it stronger and more potent but it certainly did not hurt. Because I used half coconut oil, before proceeding to the next step, I gently heated the infusion so that it was liquid again.

5.  After the second session, get out your cheesecloth and strain the infused oil into a clean glass cup or mason jar.  Hopefully you will remove most of the spice which, while not a bother, can feel a bit gritty on the skin.

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | 1cayenne-salve-straining-380 | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | 1-cayenne-salve-leftover-gunk | Natural Medicine Special Interests

I actually set the cheesecloth on top of a small strainer to “double strain” but this is totally optional.

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | 1-cayenne-salve-adding-beeswax014 | Natural Medicine Special Interests

6.  Add the beeswax and return your infused oil and beeswax mixture to the water bath.  Set the burner on low and allow the beeswax to melt, stirring occasionally.  You want a nice slow melt.

7.  When done, pour your liquid salve into a jar or tin and allow it to cool.  I have no qualms using plastic jars (like these) but given a choice prefer glass jars.

Make An Awesome Cayenne Salve For Pain Relief | 1cayenne-salve-sets-up-quicky | Natural Medicine Special Interests

The salve sets up quickly.  This is within minutes of pouring it into the jar.

This will make about 4 ounces but can easily be doubled or tripled.

Variations
Here’s the thing: the smell is not too pretty.  That will not matter during SHFT but to sweeten things up plus add extra pain-relieving benefits, you can add 8 to 10 drops of clove bud or peppermint essential oil to the salve.  You will want to do this before you add the warm liquid to your jar or tin then stir it up a bit after the fact.

Resource:  The Miracle of Cloves and Clove Oil and The Miracle of Peppermint Oil: 20 Practical Uses for Survival

Although I have not tried it myself, you could substitute ginger or turmeric or even combine one or the other with the Cayenne.  Both spices have their own healing properties that would be useful in a salve.

The last variation I will propose is making your Cayenne Salve in a stick, or lotion bar form.  The only change in the formula would be to use 2.5 tablespoons of beeswax pellets.  For some, rolling on the salve may be more desirable then dipping your fingers into a jar.  I have purchased empty stick containers to use for this purpose but you can also re-use old deodorant containers.

Resource:  Learn about making lotion bars in the article Make Your Own Healing Lotion Bars

How to Use Cayenne Salve

This salve is great for aches and pains, including joint pain from arthritis, sore muscles, stiffness swelling an inflammation.  It is probably not a good idea to use on open wounds, though, because it may sting.  Also, it may stain so be mindful of your clothing.

That said, one thing you can do to prevent staining is to really rub it in well.  You want to massage it gently into your muscles and not simply let it sit on top of the skin.  It you skin becomes stained, use a bit of vinegar to clean it right up.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it may take a week or so to begin to feel relief:

“Pain may get slightly worse at first, but then may get better over the next few days. Capsaicin should be applied regularly several times a day. It usually takes 3 – 7 days before you notice substantial pain relief.”

On the other hand, from what Dee says above, she has not found that to be the case.  Bottom line?  Everyone’s body is unique and your mileage may vary.

Dee also offered up some additional information on cayenne (aka red pepper or Capsicum annuum or frutescens):

Now, 2 things which people should know: 1. Cayenne works to relieve pain but it’s also a blood thinner internally, so if you’re anemic, this isn’t something you should take w/o consulting with your doctor. If you’re on some form of blood thinner, again, consult with your doctor. 2. For those who produce too much iron in the blood (hemochromatosis), this will ease that condition because cayenne binds iron to it as it passes through the body.

For those interested, here’s an article to help you understand better, then consider what Gaye is offering to inform you about:  http://jonbarron.org/herbal-library/herbs/cayenne

A Word About Cayenne

For my salves, I used the standard household spice that you can pick up at the grocery store.  For storage purposes, I recommend buying in bulk then packaging the excess in a Mylar or metalized bag with an oxygen absorber in the same manner as the rest of your food storage.  For salve making purposes, a pound of cayenne will go a long long way.

If you are lucky enough to have a cool, dark basement, storing in mason jars with an O2 absorber will also work.

More of a challenge for long term storage will be the oils but, then again, you could use 100% coconut oil which has a very long shelf life. There really is a reason I purchase coconut oil in 5 gallon tubs!  In a true, long term SHFT situation, oils of any type will become precious over time but if I had to, I would get over the negative connotation and use rendered animal fat.  There will always be options, just not those we are accustomed to.

The Final Word

Truth be told, I still believe that using essential oils for pain relief should take priority over an herbal remedy.  They are many times stronger and more powerful, they do not leave a residue, and smell nice.  That said, how much can you store?  A five year supply of essential oils is pricey plus, if you lack a cool dark storage area and your home gets hot and humid,  the shelf life might become limited to just a few years.

The nice thing about Cayenne is that it is inexpensive, plus, you can grow it yourself.  While I will not give up my essential oil salves unless forced to, it is good to know that I have some alternatives.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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Can Turmeric Support Thyroid Health?

Can Turmeric Support Thyroid Health? | turmeric-root-and-powder-fotolia | Natural Medicine Special Interests

Turmeric is one of the most potent spices, and when it comes to health benefits, nothing can match it. Not only is turmeric one of the most impressive free radical scavengers, it’s also been shown to support brain health, protect cell integrity, and even encourage a balanced mood. New research is showing that turmeric may also play a key role in supporting thyroid health.

Turmeric and Thyroid Health

If you want to be healthy, your thyroid needs to be healthy. It regulates metabolism and keeps hormonal health in check. To say it’s important is an understatement. Unfortunately, everything from plastics to pesticides are disturbing the thyroid’s delicate balance, contributing to the current rise of thyroid disorders. Turmeric, according to a recent study, may be one of the most efficient defenses we can use.

According to the study, individuals who consumed turmeric on a regular basis were less likely to suffer from goiter, a common symptom of iodine deficiency. [1] Goiter and iodine deficiency are also two symptoms of hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid is producing insufficient amounts of thyroid hormone. This leads to weight gain, lethargy, and even depression. Can you see now how important thyroid health is for maintaining a sense of wellbeing? While researchers are unsure as to the cause of the correlation, it could be related to turmeric’s antioxidant, nutritive, and soothing qualities.

Turmeric Soothes Your Body

The key to turmeric’s success is that it soothes. [2] Turmeric may soothe irritation in blood vessels, skin, and the brain, and researchers believe this—along with its antioxidant potential—is what supports thyroid health. The thyroid, when it’s irritated by endocrine disruptors of any kind, needs to be soothed before it is repaired, and turmeric may do just that.

How to Use Turmeric

The powdered spice is perhaps the most commonly-used turmeric option, typically incorporated into things like curries and soups. It gives a distinct yellow color to foods and adds enormous health benefits with very little bulk. A liquid extract, may provide more benefits as they’re more concentrated and offer a greater punch. They can be added to smoothies, beverages, or consumed straight without any taste issues.

Do you enjoy turmeric? How do you use it? Please let us know how you enjoy this ancient spice in the comments!

References:

  1. Jawa A, Jawad A, Riaz SH, et al. Turmeric use is associated with reduced goitrogenesis: Thyroid disorder prevalence in Pakistan (THYPAK) study. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2015 May-Jun;19(3):347-50. Doi: 10.4103/2230-8210.152768.
  2. Jurenka JS. Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent of Curcuma longa: a review of preclinical and clinical research. Altern Med Rev. 2009 Jun;14(2):141-53.


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10 Infused Detox Waters For Healthy Living

10 Infused Detox Waters For Healthy Living | infused-water | Natural Medicine Toxins

We all have our quirky ailments. Some of us have digestion issues, while others are arthritic inflammation and some have a suppressed immunity. Whatever the case may be, there is a simple way to reduce symptoms that go along with these personal ailments. By gently flushing the system on a daily basis with infusions of fruit, herbs and water, you can start taking steps to get your health to the standards you want to be at.

Infused detox waters act by gently flushing out toxins and provide you added antioxidants and other health boosting nourishment. As well, many of the detox waters improves immunity and digestive function, cleanses and revitalizes the urinary tract, improves your complexion and curbs the appetite and creates a general overall health and wellbeing.

I began making infused detox water so I could get my family away from unhealthy sugar-filled juices and sodas, now it is all they reach for in the refrigerator. Drinking infused waters are great because they add subtle flavor and touch of sweetness. I prefer using filtered water as they do not contain fluoride and other harmful chemicals and organic fruits and herbs from the garden. Steering clear of fruits that have herbicides and pesticides will undermine your detox efforts. Try some of these out during get together, spa days with the girls or as a refreshing treat for yourself.

Best Foods to Add to Your Water to Aid in Detoxing

Adding a few or all of these to your water will give your detox water more of a punch, so to speak. In fact, making a water from all of these ingredients will create a very effective detox water that will help to suppress the appetite for better weight management, and aid in digestion. Not to mention all of these foods are great for naturally detoxing the body.

  • Lemon – Adding a wedge or two of lemon to your water is great for alkalizing the body and maintaining a balanced pH level. As well, lemon juice helps to break up fat in the digestive tract and gives you an added vitamin C boost.
  • Mint – This aromatic herb is wonderful for helping with digestive issues, as well as adding a nice crisp flavor to your waters.
  • Cucumber – Adding a few slices of cucumber to your water is excellent for re-hydrating the body, flushes out toxins and also contains anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Ginger – The spicy root helps to cleanse and detox your entire system, aids in digestion, settles the stomach and gives your water an exotic flavor.
  • Berries – Antioxidants are one of the first lines of defense for the body to remove free radicals and prevent them from causing a domino effect of damage on other cells. All berries possess these antioxidants and help to keep you healthier.

10 Delicious Detox Waters

Each one of the ingredients listed here will provide slightly different benefits, so be sure to choose it according to the particular goal you have.

1. Lemon Cucumber Ginger Mint Water for Appetite Suppression

This recipe is favorite amongst those who are looking to suppress their hunger, naturally cleanse the body, as well as help to get you hydrated. All the ingredients combined create a very effective detox tonic that will help you flush out toxins and the refreshing taste will keep you wanting more.

  • 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of mint leaves
  • 1 quart of filtered water
  1. Add all ingredients to a pitcher and fill with water.
  2. Let the mixture infuse overnight and enjoy.

 2. Strawberry Pineapple Basil Water to Relieve Stress

Stress can really put a damper on things. Why not drink it away. Pineapple has bromelain that cleanses the bloodstream and breaks down harmful enzymes so that they can be flushed from your body. As well, pineapple has anti-inflammatory properties that helps relieve joint pain and arthritis. Basil fights free radicals and is an excellent source of magnesium so it’s really good for your heart. Apple cider vinegar is rich in acetic acid, which regulates blood sugar levels by slowing the digestion of starch. As well, it also contains in ash, which equalizes the body’s pH levels.

  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks
  • 5 strawberries
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 quart filtered water
  1. Mix ingredients in a pitcher and add vinegar and water.
  2. Stir well and set in refrigerator.

3. Blueberry Cherry Lime Water for Antioxidant Boost

This flavorful infused water will be the hit at the party and is a great way to quench your thirst. Blueberries and cherries alike are bursting with antioxidants. As well, lime adds a zesty refreshing taste and aids in digestion and removing free radicals in the system.

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup cherries
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 quart of water
  1. Muddle blueberries and cherries and remove cherry stones.
  2. Add ingredients into a pitcher and add filtered water.
  3. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy!

4. Lavender Cucumber Mint Water for Stomach Health

This refreshing water recipe will aide in any tummy issues you may have – including bloating and help flush your system at the same time. As well, the calming nature of lavender will help you reduce stress. The cucumber will flush out toxins and help to rehydrate, as well as add anti-inflammatory properties to the water. The mint is a flavorful addition that will also aid in stomach upsets.

  • 1 tablespoon lavender dried or fresh, culinary grade
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon of mint dried or fresh
  • 1 quart filtered water
  1. Add lavender, lemon wedges and mint to a tea bag and set in pitcher.
  2. Fill pitcher with filtered water and allow it to sit overnight.

5. Cilantro Lemon Water for Removing Heavy Metals

Because cilantro is so rich in manganese, an antioxidant that helps reduce the effect of oxidative stress at a cellular level, it can rid the body of heavy metal poisoning from elements like mercury and lead. Scientists have even theorized that the outer cell wall of cilantro is ideal for capturing metals. You can use cilantro to purify water by filling a tube with dried, ground cilantro. When the water runs through the tube, the cilantro absorbs the metals. An easier home solution for a cilantro water cleanse is to fill tea bags with dried cilantro. Place the tea bags in water for a few minutes and voila! Filtered water! Out of cilantro? Its rumored dandelion and parsley have the same effect! Read more here.

  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 3 tablespoons honey, optional
  • 1 quart filtered water
  1. Muddle the cilantro leaves add them to a pitcher.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and pour filtered water over them.
  3. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy!

6.  Berry Rosemary Water for Inflammation

This detox drink is great for reducing inflammation naturally. All berries pack powerful antioxidant compounds like proanthocyanidins and ellagic acid, which fight inflammation and cell damage. Rosemary is equally helpful with inflammation. A  recent study of plant-based anti-inflammatories showed that rosemary significantly inhibits the inflammatory response. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and contains high levels of calcium, iron, and vitamin B6; so drink up!

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • dash of coarse sea salt
  • 1 quart filtered water

1. Muddle the berries and rosemary in a bowl.

2. Add the muddled ingredients to a large pitcher. Pour water over the ingredients and stir.

3. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy!

7. Watermelon, Lemon and Mint Water for Hydration

Adding watermelon to your water is a great way to flush out toxins from the body because it contains the organic compound citrulline. Citrulline is an amino acid that has been shown to help the liver and kidneys filter and get rid of ammonia. Alternatively, you can use cucumber and gain the same effect. Mint leaves are a refreshing flavor to add to your drink and can help you digest more effectively, improving the flow of bile from the liver, to the gallbladder, to the small intestine, where it breaks down dietary fats. This is one of my kids’ favorites!

  • Part of 1 watermelon or 1 cucumber
  • 10-15 leaves of fresh mint leaves
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon or lime wedges (optional)
  • 1-2 quarts filtered water
  1. Slice up watermelon into cubes, and add to a pitcher.
  2. If you prefer, add lemon or lime wedges and toss in with the watermelon. Add a handful of mint leaves and pour in 2 liters of cool water, filling the jug all the way to the top.
  3. Allow pitcher to sit overnight in the fridge in order for flavors to release into water.

8. Grapefruit Mandarin Cucumber Ginger Mint Water for Cleansing System and Immunity Boost

Grapefruits are wonderful for aiding with healthy blood circulation, and ginger is a notorious for being an immune system booster and provide detoxifying properties. The cucumbers help to rehydrate and provide additional anti-inflammatory relief. As well, the mint provides relief against any tummy upsets and add a splash of flavor. This is also a great infused water to drink when you are nursing a hangover.

  • 6 wedges pink grapefruit
  • 1 tangerine, mandarin, or small orange, sliced
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 6 slices of fresh ginger
  • 2 peppermint or mint leaves
  • 2 quarts of filtered water
  1. Combine all ingredients in pitcher. Add water.
  2. Allow the ingredients to sit in refrigerator overnight. .

9. Cranberry Apple Raspberry and Rosemary Water for Liver Detox and Overall Health

Your liver is the body’s purifier, and keeping it healthy is essential in removing toxins from the body. When the liver is clogged with toxins or excess fats can’t perform its duties and your health suffers, as a result. All of the fruit in this infused water will give your liver what it needs to flush out toxins and provide you with better health. As well, the rosemary has as powerful effect on cleaning the liver and has even been shown by studies to protect the liver, especially with those who are suffering from cirrhosis.

  • 2 cup fresh cranberries, crushed
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 quart filtered water
  1. In a bowl, muddle cranberries and raspberries.
  2. Add apples and rosemary sprigs in a pitcher and add muddled fruit.
  3. Add water and refrigerate overnight.

10. Pomegranate Lemon Berry Water for Age Defiance

Pomegranate seeds have one of the densest antioxidant concentrations of any fruit. As well, blackberries and blueberries are highly nutritious and rich in antioxidants. Drinking this infused water will help the skin stay supple and help to remove heavy toxins from the body. Adding a few slices of lemon to this refreshing beverage will help detoxify the kidneys, and promote clear skin.

  • 2 cups pomegranate
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 quart of filtered water
  1. Muddle pomegranate seeds and berries in a small to break up juices.
  2. Add crushed berries to a pitcher and add lemon. Fill with water
  3. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy!

Try some of these infused waters out and you will feel better and enjoy drinking water all the more.


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The post 10 Infused Detox Waters For Healthy Living appeared first on The Sleuth Journal.


Source: Alternative news journal

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