Look for this seal on your food

Look for this seal on your food
Live Chemical Free or Die Toxic

Monday, April 30, 2012

Use raw honey for health, skin, hair, and more

(www.Borganic.org) Raw honey is more than just a natural sweetener. Honey has a variety of uses in your beauty regimen and for medicinal purposes. Raw honey, which is not pasteurized or refined, can be especially useful because of its nutritional properties. Although you may have heard about the benefits of raw honey, you might be surprised at some of the creative ways it can be used:

Eight new ways to use raw honey

1. Stock up for emergency food stores. - Raw honey has a long shelf life because of its high sugar content and naturally occurring enzymes. In fact, some say raw honey can last indefinitely. This makes honey an ideal (and delicious) food to add to your emergency stockpile.

2. Sooth a sore throat and ease your cough. - Raw honey is well known for being the perfect cold remedy. A blend of raw honey and fresh lemon juice can be taken as needed to treat a sore throat or cough.

3. Boost your athletic performance. - Don't waste your money on commercial energy gels that contain food additives and artificial coloring. Research has shown honey is effective for improving athletic performance. A spoonful of raw honey before aerobic activity can provide an energy boost plus a variety of important nutrients.

4. Treat minor cuts, scrapes and burns. - Raw honey is an ancient remedy for cuts, scrapes and burns due to its natural antibacterial properties. Simply clean the area, dab on a small amount of raw honey, and wrap as normal. Change wrapping at least once daily until the area is healed. The honey may also help to reduce scar formation.

5. Make a simple sugar scrub. - Soften your skin by exfoliating with a mixture of raw honey, sugar and sweet almond oil. Store the mixture in a glass jar and use as needed. You'll save a fortune if you exfoliate with this instead of using those expensive department store scrubs.

6. Use as a glossing treatment for hair. - Coat your hair with raw honey and let it sit for ten minutes before washing as usual. Honey works as a clarifying and conditioning treatment, making your locks shiny and smooth.

7. Improve your sleep. - A spoonful of honey before bed (by itself or in a cup of warm herbal tea) is a natural sleep remedy that can help you relax and fall asleep faster.

8. Enjoy a honey facial. - Massage a teaspoon of raw honey into your face and let it sit for 10-30 minutes before rinsing with cool water. This simple honey mask can smooth your skin, fight wrinkles, improve skin tone, reduce redness, and help with blemishes.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com

http://www.homestead.org/karynsweet/honeyhealth.htm

http://voices.yahoo.com

About the author:
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:
www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welcome.html


News from www.Borganic.org

Sunday, April 29, 2012

High vitamin D level essential to prevent chronic inflammatory diseases

(www.Borganic.org) The connection between cellular saturation of the prohormone vitamin D and development of chronic conditions ranging from cancer, dementia, stroke and heart disease have been well documented among forward-thinking scientists for at least a decade now. The specific mechanism of action has not been well documented though, as most studies have not drawn a clear line between blood levels of vitamin D and disease prevention.

Researchers from National Jewish Health reporting in The Journal of Immunology have discovered specific molecular and signaling events by which vitamin D inhibits inflammation to help prevent and possibly even treat a host of potentially deadly diseases. Current levels considered satisfactory by most medical professionals did not inhibit the inflammatory cascade, leading to the progression of many forms of disease. Conversely, individuals that maintain significantly higher blood levels of vitamin D had lower levels of inflammatory markers known to aggravate disease progression and were protected against the major killers so prevalent today.

High vitamin D status inhibits inflammatory messengers to prevent chronic disease

The study author, Dr. Elena Goleva noted that this research "goes beyond previous associations of vitamin D with various health outcomes. It outlines a clear chain of cellular events, from the binding of DNA, through a specific signaling pathway, to the reduction of proteins known to trigger inflammation." Current guidelines call for minimum vitamin D blood serum levels of 20 ng/ml, a benchmark set decades ago that was intended to prevent rickets in children and promote bone health. Researchers conducting this study found improvement in inflammation levels at a minimum of 30 ng/ml, leaving millions at risk for chronic disease.

Scientists conducting this study examined the specific mechanisms exhibited by vitamin D to act on immune and inflammatory pathways. They incubated white blood cells with different saturation levels of vitamin D and then exposed the culture to an inflammatory molecule known to promote intense inflammatory responses. Cells exposed to low levels of vitamin D (less than 15 ng/ml) produced excessive levels of the inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha, associated with disease development and progression. The highest level of inflammatory inhibition occurred at 50 ng/ml and above as cells become fully saturated with the prohormone and maximum immune response is observed.

Researchers identified a new location where the vitamin-D receptor appears to bind directly to DNA and activate a gene known as MKP-1, interfering with the inflammatory cascade promoted by long-term stress and a highly refined, processed food diet. Dr. Goleva concluded "The fact that we showed a dose-dependent and varying response to levels commonly found in humans also adds weight to the argument for vitamin D's role in immune and inflammatory conditions." Maintain your vitamin D blood levels above 50 ng/ml (measured with the 25(OH)D test) to afford maximum protection against chronic inflammatory-mediated diseases.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.jimmunol.org
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120223103920.htm
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/242123.php
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/njh-rdh022212.php

About the author:
John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your Free 48 page copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

news from www.Borganic.org

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Starbucks bows to public pressure, removes 'bug juice' from strawberry flavoring

(www.Borganic.org) On Thursday, April 19, Starbucks Corp finally bowed to public pressure and announced, via its blog, that it would no longer use carmine, the crushed beetle food coloring it had switched to using in its strawberry flavoring back in January of this year. Instead, by late June all stores will begin using the natural, tomato-based extract lycopene.

The January 2012 announcement that it would begin using the beetle-based food dye was met with an enormous wave of criticism. No wonder! According to Thermo Scientific, "Cochineal is a natural red color from the egg yolks and other parts of the dried female insect Dactylopius coccus Costa, a parasite of the prickly pear cactus ... it requires 70,000 insects to make one pound of color. The product, which in its processed form is usually called Carmine, is a crumbly solid or a powder." The real news is that it took Starbucks four months to realize that the public might not find that very appetizing.

Lycopene - a solid choice

At any rate, better late than never! Prior to the failed carmine experiment, Starbucks had actually been switching its ingredients to less toxic, more natural sources. This latest ingredient switch is a solid move that other companies that use carmine should emulate. Lycopene, a red pigment found in tomatoes, watermelon, pink grape fruit, and other reddish-colored produce, is an excellent choice to replace the insect juice. Known as an antioxidant with cancer and other disease-fighting capabilities, lycopene also doesn't have the 'yuck' factor nor the allergic reaction history associated with the ingredient it is replacing. Though anyone who frequents Starbucks should be aware of the sugar and caffeine in the desserts and beverages they purchase and consume there, the replacement of cochineal extract with lycopene is certainly a step in the right direction as well as a testament to the effectiveness of public pressure.

As always, truth-in-labeling is key

This story is yet another example of how important truth-in-labeling laws really are. When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to some degree, finally recognized the rights of vegetarians, kosher adherents, those who could be allergic, as well as the general public to know whether or not insects are in the food supply, public pressure could be pointed in the right direction. Thankfully, Starbucks wasn't allowed to make this switch under cover of darkness.

Prior to 2011, companies that used the crushed beetle-juice were not required by the FDA to admit it on their labeling. They weren't even required to use technical names such as carmine or cochineal extract. Instead, though some did label it voluntarily, most would slyly list the ingredient as 'color added.' Nobody knew just how many products contained the insect-based dyes.

However, when the FDA changed their labeling requirements in 2009 (effective in 2011), they only required the technical name. Even now, the word 'carmine' doesn't connote insect-origins, except to those who already know or take the time to look it up. The Juice Products Association said they supported the labeling requirement, but opposes any requirement to specifically label the food dyes as insect-derived. Of course they do. Who would want to eat it then? This is the same logic GMO producers use to resist labeling their products as genetically modified.

Who would want to eat it? The answer would put the likes of Monsanto out of business.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,479233,00.html
http://www.phadia.com
http://www.reuters.com
http://www.naturalnews.com/023959.html
http://www.naturalnews.com

About the author:
Scott is a blogger, writer, and researcher, primarily focused on how to raise healthy kids despite a system and status quo that makes it as difficult as possible. He and his wife, Kim, live in the hills of east Tennessee with their four small children. He holds an MBA from East Tennessee State University. Scott and Kim blog about parenting, marriage, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, and homesteading at www.amorefieldlife.com.

News from www.borganic.org

Thursday, April 26, 2012

7 medicinal herbs and spices that help lower blood pressure

(www.Borganic.org) High blood pressure is an epidemic that is currently sweeping across America. The fast lifestyle of fast food, soda and stress is starting to catch up on the average American, so much so that an estimated one in every three Americans has high blood pressure. This puts them at risk of heart disease, stroke and even kidney disease. Moreover, this condition is costing the country 93.5 billion dollars in health care services.

Putting too much faith in the medical establishment to find a cure for your high blood pressure may no longer be advisable in the least. The number of prescription drugs on the market and the cascade of variations suggest that a cure for blood pressure is not in the offing anytime soon.

Despite all the consequences associated with high blood pressure, it is still a condition that is preventable and easily managed. Observing a healthy balanced diet and enjoying an active, healthy lifestyle can help avoid the risk of high blood pressure as well as reduce one that is already elevated.

High blood pressure - A package of woe

There is no one identifiable cause for high blood pressure. A combination of factors like stress, alcohol, smoking, weight and lack of physical activity seem to have to come together to produce this problem, which is further compounded by family history and age.

Although it is a condition that if left unattended could gravitate to something worse, high blood pressure is not a disease. Taking proactive measures in preventing heart diseases, stroke and even kidney disease by managing your blood pressure may be the best decision you can make today.

While the idea of drug-free high blood pressure management through the use of herbs and spices has slowly been gaining ground, it is still treated with skepticism by the medical establishment. The reliance on prescription drugs, however, has not in any way shown that high blood pressure could be cured through this manner. There are still reports by patients who are currently using drugs to manage their high blood pressure that their condition has not shown any improvement, nor their quality of life. Instead, they have to deal with side effects and drugs that are expensive to maintain.

Spice up your life

In a published study featured in the Journal of Medicine, it was revealed that common spices can protect from heart disease and the deterioration brought about by aging. In the said study, researchers discovered a connection between the phenol content of certain herbs and spices and their capacity to prevent glycation and formation of AGE compounds that are responsible for premature aging and heart disease.

As a way to manage your blood pressure, herbs and spices are a fantastic way to increase the medicinal value of your food. Below are some herbs and spices you may have been enjoying with no idea as to their value:

1. Garlic - Garlic contains allicin, a substance which has antibacterial, antioxidant, lipid lowering and anti-hypertension properties. In a pilot study made at Clinical Research Center of New Orleans on whether garlic could lower blood pressure, nine patients with severe hypertension were given a garlic preparation containing 1.3 % allicin. Sitting blood pressure fell with a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure only five to 14 hours after the dose. Moreover, it was proven in a 2009 study that fresh garlic has more potent cardio-protective properties than processed garlic.

2. Cinnamon - Cinnamon not only prevents heart disease, it can also prevent diabetes. The Center for Applied Health Sciences in Ohio conducted a study of 22 subjects, half of which were given a 250mg of water soluble cinnamon daily while the other half were given placebo. It was discovered that those who drank cinnamon had a 13 to 23 percent increase in antioxidants connected with lowering blood sugar levels.

3. Onions - Onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant flavonol found to prevent heart disease and stroke. In a research study published in the Journal of Nutrition, subjects with hypertension experienced a decrease in their blood pressure by 7mmHg systolic and 5 mmHg diastolic as opposed to those who were taking placebo.

4. Olives - This herb is a significant part of the Mediterranean diet, recognized to be one of the healthiest in the world. Oil made from olives has been found to reduce blood pressure. In a study conducted on the importance of olive oil, Dr. L. Aldo Ferrara, Associate Professor at the Frederico II University of Naples in Italy discovered that the daily use of 40 grams of olive oil reduced the dosage of blood pressure medication in hypertensive patients by about 50 percent. Polyphenols in extra-virgin olive oil was credited for the significant reduction of blood pressure.

5. Oregano - This herb contains the compound carvacrol which has been proven to be effective against blood pressure. In a study conducted on animal subjects, by researchers from Eskisehir Osmangazi University in Turkey, carvacrol was found to reduce heart rate, mean arterial pressure as well as the systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

6. Hawthorn - This herb has been traditionally used to treat high blood pressure. In one study conducted in Reading, UK, 79 type-2 diabetic patients were randomized to receive 1200 mg of hawthorn extract while another group received medication for high blood pressure. Results revealed that patients taking hawthorn by the end of the 16th week showed a reduction in their mean diastolic pressure.

7. Cardamom- In one study published in the Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 20 subjects newly diagnosed with primary hypertension were administered 3 g of cardamom powder. After the end of the 3 months, all the subjects experienced feelings of well-being without any side effects. Moreover, the study was able to demonstrate that blood pressure was effectively reduced. It also improved antioxidant status while breaking down blood clots without significantly altering blood lipids and fibrinogen levels.

Taking advantage of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of spices and herbs is an excellent way to boost your body's health. Herbs have low calorie content, increase the medicinal value of your food and allow you to use natural forms of lowering blood pressure. Mix them up with your soups, salads, fish and meat and vegetable dishes. It's a healthier and cheaper alternative to keeping bottles of prescription drugs and synthetic supplements.

Sources for this article:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp/
http://www.naturalnews.com/033656_blood_pressure_treatments.html
http://orlandobchealth.com/the-blood-pressure-hoax/
http://www.allicinfacts.com/allicin01.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8361870
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19722587
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20361714

by: Aurora Geib
 News from www.borganic.org

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Parsley is a blood purifying superfood

(www.Borganic.org) Parsley is considered the world's most popular garnish. Parsley was originally cultivated in Europe and the Middle East but has become a staple in American cuisine. This herb has remarkable healing and blood purifying benefits that classify it as a superfood.

Parsley has been revered throughout history and used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. The Greeks made crowns of parsley to bestow upon their sports champions. It was used for the Hebrew celebration of Passover as a sign of rebirth in the spring. The Romans used it to deodorize corpses before funerals.

It contains a unique combination of nutrients that make it a powerful superfood. The volatile oil compounds myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene have been shown to inhibit tumor cell formation. Additionally, parsley is rich in flavonoids-including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin that have strong anti-oxidant properties.

Parsley also contains about three times the amount of vitamin C by volume as an orange. Vitamin C is extremely important for healthy immune function and youthful skin & joints. Additionally, it contains carotenoid anti-oxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which enhance eye function and help the body neutralize damage from UV radiation.

Super rich in chlorophyll

Parsley is super rich in chlorophyll, the energy producing substance that gives herbs and plants its characteristic green color. Chlorophyll helps to alkalize the body, purify blood, and form new red blood cells. In addition, the chlorophyll and flavonoids in parsley help to enhance cellular glutathione formation. Higher levels of cellular glutathione allow the body to detoxify and heal more effectively.

Through these properties, parsley is able to improve cellular oxygenation properties. Increased oxygenation = increased cellular energy = increased detoxification & healing mechanisms.

Parsley is a fantastic source of folic acid which is extremely crucial for its ability to reduce homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an inflammatory mediator that is linked with cardiovascular disease and brain degeneration. Folic acid is also important for pregnant women as it plays a critical role in fetal development. It is also an important nutrient for cancer prevention.

Parsley is also known as a powerful diuretic that reduces blood pressure and enhances kidney function. In particular, parsley increases sodium and water excretion thru urine and increases potassium reabsorption into the kidneys. This is particularly useful for anyone with poor circulation, swelling, cellulite, and other cardiovascular problems.

Juiced parsley is also believed to stimulate uterine contractions during labor. This juice has also been used to enhance skin and hair texture. It is also thought to reduce inflammation and mucous formation throughout the body. This is why many individuals see results using parsley to reduce symptoms of asthma, allergies, bronchitis, & urinary tract infections.

The rich chlorophyll content is also a great body odor and breath freshener. Chlorophyll acts as an anti-mutagen and it reduces odor causing bacteria which are responsible for producing bad breath and body odor. Parsley combines well with garlic and onions and reduces the strong pungent body odor these sulfur rich foods are known to cause.

Parsley dipped in apple cider vinegar is especially useful for reducing body odor and improving digestive function. The natural acids, chlorophyll and enzymes present in this food combination synergize to enhance the intestinal microflora. This is one of the best aids for neutralizing acid reflux, gas and bloating.

Sources For This Article Include
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=100
http://ezinearticles.com/?Is-Parsley-A-Bad-Breath-Solution?&id=816422
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsley
http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/parsley.html

About the author:
Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information go to www.exodushc.com To find a Maximized Living doctor near you go to www.maximizedliving.com Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Americans are killing themselves with sugar

(www.Borganic.org) Sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are not just in soft drinks, pastries, and candies. They are hidden in most processed foods, condiments and sauces. Sometimes the sweetening ingredients in those foods and condiments are disguised as dextrose or corn syrup (which is most likely genetically modified) instead of sugar or HFCS.

So sugar is ubiquitous in the standard American diet (SAD). The food like substances from convenience stores, fast food stops, and even upscale restaurants are usually loaded with either sugar or HFCS.

High fructose corn syrup has become the sweetener of choice because it's cheaper and sweeter than sugar. Many say it's worse for you as well. Much of HFCS goes directly to the liver before it is metabolized anywhere else. What isn't used for energy from HFCS is stored as fat. Excess sugar also gets stored as fat.

Even some infant formulas contain sugar or HFCS amounts equivalent to a can of soda. They're getting hooked on sugar early. Sugar and HFCS tend to be addictive.

Since sugar became a household commodity in the 18th Century, sugar consumption has increased from four pounds per person annually to 180 pounds annually for half the American population. HFCS use has increased over ten thousand percent since its introduction into processed foods and beverages in the 1970s.

Health issues with sugar and HFCS

Obesity is obvious. Obesity levels are higher now than ever before. One-third of Americans are obese and another third are overweight. Eating a low fat diet only hurts your health. Our bodies need natural, good fats (http://www.naturalnews.com/035069_low_fat_diet_myths_weight_loss.html).

Obesity and overweight conditions usually lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes type 2, which can also cause kidney disease. If dietary habits remain the same, high blood pressure and artherosclerosis (clogged and hardened arteries) can occur, leading to heart attacks and strokes.

Coinciding with increased HFCS use is a sharp rise in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is a precursor to sclerosis of the liver.

Many tend to make a couple of bad mistakes upon realizing they need to cut down or completely eliminate sugar and high fructose corn syrup from their diet. The first is to use artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and Splenda (sucralose). That's just trading physical problems for neurological issues, while still getting fatter in the meantime (http://www.naturalnews.com/022785.html).

However, you can use naturally plant based Stevia as a healthy sugar replacement.

Another mistake is to cut out obvious sweets and sodas while continuing to frequent fast food places and eat processed food meals at home. The gradual transition from the standard American diet should be toward cutting out processed and fast food meals completely, since most are laced with sugar or HFCS.

Studies are beginning to determine that consuming lots of sugar or HFCS leads to cancer. Anaerobic cancer cells do thrive on sugar. They depend on fermenting glucose (sugar) for their energy because they've lost the ability to metabolize with oxygen (http://www.naturalnews.com/024827_cancer_sugar_women.html).

That's why alternative cancer treatments strictly forbid sugar consumption. Of course, mainstream oncology does not even discourage sugar. It's widely understood that we all contain some free floating cancer cells that have not developed into tumors.

Natural fructose in fruit is okay. But high added sugar/HFCS consumption will only encourage cancer cells and cause the other health issues mentioned in this article.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.foxnews.com

http://nutritiondiva.quickanddirtytips.com

http://healthmaven.blogspot.com/2012/04/sugar-is-toxic.html -
VIDEO CBS 60 Minutes Report

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035566_Americans_sugar_disease.html#ixzz1s3UcBpdK

By by: PF Louis

News from www.Borganic.org

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Baked goods sold in USA contain potassium bromate, a carcinogen banned in Europe but allowed in the US due to chemical loophole

(www.Borganic.org) Much of the flour sold in the United States has been treated with potassium bromate, which causes the flour to bulk up, strengthens the dough, and makes bread rise more rapidly. This decreases the time needed for baking (thereby reducing costs) and also allows the use of low quality flour that might otherwise be unsuitable for baking. There's only one problem with this: Potassium bromate causes cancer.

Potassium bromate is so widely accepted as a carcinogen that it has been banned in the European Union, Canada and even in China. U.S. law only allows the chemical to be used as an ingredient in food because it was first approved by the FDA back in 1958, before modern anti-cancer legislation went into effect. The fact that the ingredient has actually received FDA approval makes it much more difficult for it to be subsequently banned.

Most potassium bromate breaks down during the baking process, but tests have confirmed that trace amounts can remain in finished baked goods. Unfortunately for the careful consumer, U.S. law does not require that potassium bromate be listed as a separate ingredient on food labels. This is yet another example of the government making sure that you don't learn the truth about what's in your food.

See astonishing videos about this subject at www.FoodInvestigations.com

The only reliable away to avoid this poisonous ingredient is to buy organic flours and baked goods. Products sold in California must carry a warning label if potassium bromate has been used.

Source: 25 Amazing Facts About Food, authored by Mike Adams and David Guiterrez. This report reveals surprising things about where your food comes from and what's really in it! Download the full report (FREE) by clicking here. Inside, you'll learn 24 more amazing but true facts about foods, beverages and food ingredients. Instant download of the complete PDF. All 25 facts are documented and true.

Additional sources:
http://www.naturalnews.com/028443_food_additives_dangers.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_bromate

Monday, April 9, 2012

Take a vitamin D supplement during pregnancy

(www.Borganic.org) A study published in the March 2012 issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Association of Pediatrics, has shown again how important vitamin D3 supplementation is during pregnancy. This study measured the vitamin D level of pregnant women and then observed language development in their children at different ages (2, 5, 8, 10, 14, and 17 years of age).

The study found that women who had a vitamin D level less than 46 nmol/L during pregnancy were at least twice as likely to have children with language difficulties at ages 5 and 10 years compared to women with a vitamin D level of 70 nmol/L or higher.

This finding is especially interesting because most labs place the normal limit of serum 25(OH)-vitamin D in the 30 range, rather than the 70 range. Many vitamin D experts have said that a range of 60 to 100 is ideal, and this study suggests that at least during pregnancy these higher levels of vitamin D are ideal. In order to achieve these levels pregnant women need to take a significantly higher level of vitamin D3 than is found in most prenatal or calcium supplements. A supplement in the range of 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily is usually required to raise serum vitamin D levels to these levels.

Vitamin D taken during pregnancy has shown other benefits for later childhood as well. Several studies have shown that higher vitamin D levels during pregnancy are associated with less respiratory problems during childhood. A study published in January 2011 in Pediatrics showed that newborns with a higher cord blood level of vitamin D had less respiratory infections during infancy and less asthma during early childhood. Four previous studies showed that vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy was associated with less asthma during childhood as well.

Pregnant women should take a high quality prenatal vitamin/mineral supplement that contains folate. In addition during pregnancy it is important to take vitamin D, an omega-3 fatty acid supplement with DHA, and probiotics, all of which have proven to have positive health benefits for babies.

Whitehouse, AJO, et al. Maternal Serum Vitamin D Levels During Pregnancy and Offspring Neurocognitive Development. Pediatrics 2012; 129:3 485-493; published ahead of print February 13, 2012, doi:10.1542/peds.2011-2644

About the author:
Dr. Randall Neustaedter, OMD, has practiced and taught holistic medicine for more than thirty years in the San Francisco Bay area, specializing in child health care. He is a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Chinese medicine, author of The Holistic Baby Guide, Child Health Guide and The Vaccine Guide. Visit his website, www.cure-guide.com, to register for a free newsletter with pediatric specialty articles and follow him on Facebook, at Dr. Randall Neustaedter, OMD.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Antidepressant drug sales plummet as patents expire and patients flee to safer alternatives

(www.borganic.org) The market for antidepressant drugs is quickly drying up as patents on long-time blockbusters like Lexapro, owned by Forest Laboratories, and Seroquel, owned by AstraZeneca, continue to expire. And because they are unable to develop new multi-billion-dollar blockbuster drugs to take their places, many drug manufacturers are ditching the antidepressant business altogether, especially as studies continue to emerge showing that antidepressants are largely useless and cause more harm than good.

A recent Reuters report appears to bemoan the fact that development of a new antidepressant drug ceased after it was discovered that the drug was ineffective. Highlighting an overall trend of failure in this area of drug development within the drug industry, the report actually positions drug companies as victims that will stand to lose billions of dollars in profits as a result of their collective failure to come up with new drug options.

According to projections compiled by Thomson Reuters Pharma, worldwide sales of antidepressant drugs are expected to drop by more than half in the next four years. While antidepressant drugs raked in $15 billion in 2003, they are expected to fetch less then $6 billion by 2016 -- and there is no indication that this downward trend will slow any time soon.

Drug-makers also appear to be abandoning research and development of new antidepressants because an increasing number of patients are waking up to the ugly truth about their deadly side effects, and ditching them for safer alternatives. One such reminder of this disturbing truth came in the form of a 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which found that antidepressants are basically useless for the vast majority of people who take them (http://www.naturalnews.com/028498_antidepressants_clinical_trials.html).

Antidepressants are also exceedingly dangerous, as they can lead to suicidal or homicidal tendencies in some patients. A study conducted by drug giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), for instance, revealed last year that its own antidepressant drug Paxil actually make patients worse off mentally, as they are more prone while taking the drug to attempt taking their own lives or the lives of others (http://www.naturalnews.com).

So rather than feel sorry for the drug industry which will have to "suffer" by taking in a few less billion dollars every year, the mainstream media and the public should be chiding Big Pharma for peddling these dangerous drugs in the first place, all the while having exploited the public all these years by charging obscene prices for them.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.reuters.com

http://www.utsandiego.com

http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com

http://www.investorplace.com

Monday, April 2, 2012

The medicinal benefits of Jamaican Dogwood

(www.Borganic.org) Jamaica is known for its beautiful beaches, smiling people and sweet reggae music but the little island offers much more than just the typical tourist scene. The Caribbean climate enlivens the growth of lush jungles and rich vegetation. With the plants comes the medicine, so it no surprise that Jamaica has deep roots in bush medicine and herbal healing. One revered herb that comes to us from the Jamaican bush doctor is Piscidia erythrina, or Jamaican Dogwood.

Bush doctors used Piscidia for insomnia, pain, anxiety, nervous tension, acne, uterine disorders, hysteria and neuralgias like sciatica, toothaches, and migraines. Also, it was used as an external wash for any skin compliant. To cure a headache, crushed leaves are tied around the head so one can inhale the essence. For a sprain, the leaves are beaten and tied around the injury, as an anti-inflammatory.

Western medicine and Piscidia

Although currently under utilized by western medicine, many naturopaths and herbalist still use it today. Piscidia's rich phytochemistry of isoflavones, glycosides, tannins, resins, organic acids, volatile oils and β-sitosterol explain it's versatile actions. Piscidia was also popular in early 20th century America amongst the Eclectic doctors who opposed "conventional" medicine's use of harsh modalities like bleeding, chemical purging and mercury-based medicines. The Eclectics used Piscidia to control pain, especially if opium was not tolerated. It can reportedly even relieve cluster "suicide" headaches and migraines that are unresponsive to other medications.

Piscidia is a strong antispasmodic because of the isoflavones as well. Studies show it reduces cramping better than any other botanical and is reportedly 20x stronger than the closest competition, Viburnum opulus. Eclectics found it relieved the spasmodic element of pertussis, asthma, violent whooping coughs and bronchitis. It is a beneficial addition to cough syrups because it helps control nighttime coughing and promotes a restful sleep.

The Eclectics used Piscidia for all women's woes. Conventionally, this is supported because of the isoflavones. It is recommended for dysmenorrhea and endometriosis, especially with hormone imbalances. Also it increases blood flow to relieve uterine stagnation, deliver nutrients and remove debris. Piscidia additionally reduces excessive flow by preventing small veins from breaking. For PMS, patient reports indicate Piscidia can be more effective than synthetic OTC drugs. The Eclectics recommended it paired with Viburnum for false labor pains and threatened abortion. It helps control erratic pains and promotes rest but does not interfere with normal uterine contractions. Piscidia synergistically harmonizes and promotes the effectiveness of other herbal uterine remedies like Cimicifuga, Viburnum, Senecio, Helonias, Pulsatilla and Dioscorea.

Although there are no human studies, animal studies report that Piscidia possesses weak cannabinoid and sedative activities, as well as antitussive, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic actions. In a comparative investigation on mice CNS activity, Piscidia erythrina produced pharmacological effects between the sedative action of Valeriana and the anti-anxiety activity of Passiflora. The sedative qualities can pacify an overactive nervous system to resolve insomnia, pain, irritation, anxiety, tiredness and depression.

Jamaican Dogwood was recommended for many other ailments as well. It increases secretions, strengthens a weak heart, slows the pulse, increases arterial tension, relieves burns, mites, scalds, eye afflictions, hemorrhoids, toothaches, periodontal membrane inflammation, and alveolar abscess. It was also given during any inflammatory fever and rheumatism. Additionally, Piscidia's isoflavones enhance vitamin and mineral absorption. β-Sitosterol is an anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating constituent that interferes with hyperplastic prostatic tissue growth factors and is supported by extensive research to relieve BPH.

Like so many of our most powerful medicines, Jamaican Dogwood is, potentially toxic. One should always consult a naturopathic doctor for proper dosing before adding it to any health plan.

Sources for this article include
1. Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism. Vermont: Healing Arts Press.
2. University of Maryland medical center: Medicinal Reference "Jamaica Dogwood"
3. Robertson, Diane. 1988. Jamaican Herbs: Nutritional and Medicinal Values. Jamaican Herbs Limited. Kingston, Jamaica.
4. Zampeiron, Eugene. 1999. The Natural Medicine Chest. Natural Alternatives Health, Education and Multimedia Inc. NY.
5. Grieve, M. (2010). A Modern herbal: Jamaican Dogwood
6. Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. 2nd ed. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998
7. Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996
8. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. 2nd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1996
9. 1995-2011 "Jamaican Dogwood" Therapeutic Research Faculty, publishers of Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, Prescriber's Letter, and Pharmacist's Letter.
10. Costello CH, Butler CL . An investigation of Piscidia erythrina (Jamaica Dogwood) . J Am Pharm Assoc 1948 ; 37 : 89-96.
11. Aurousseau M et al. Certain pharmacodynamics properties of Piscidia erythrina. Ann Pharm Fr 1965 ; 23 : 251-257.
12. Della-Loggia R et al . Evaluation of the activity on the mouse CNS of several plant extracts and a combination of them . Riv-Neurol 1981 ; 51 : 297-310
13. University of Florida: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Florida forest trees: Fishpoison tree (Piscidia piscipula)
14. 2001. Piscidia erythrina. ABC Homeopathy
15. Norton, K.J. 2009. Endometriosis and Piscidia erythrina. http://www.worldwidehealth.com
16. Eric Yarnell, Kathy Abascal. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. June 2007, 13(3): 148-152. doi:10.1089/act.2007.13306.
17. Felter, H.W., & Lloyd J.U. (1898) King's American Dispensatory: Piscidia. Jamaica Dogwood.
18. Ellingwood, F. (1919) American Materia Media, Therapeitcs and Pharmacognosy. Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, AZ.
19. Ayensu, E. (1981). Medicinal Plants of the West Indies. Reference Publications, Inc. Michigan.
20. Della, L., Zilli, C., Del Negro, P., Readaelli, C., & Tubaro, A. (1988). Isoflavones as spasmolytic principles of Piscidia erythrina. Progress in Clinical and Biological Research. Institute of Pharmocology and Pharmacognosy, Univerity of Trieste, Italy.
21. Yarnell, E. (2003). Photochemistry and Pharmacy for Practioners of Botanical Medicine. Healing Mountain Publishing. Washington.

About the author:
Lindsay Chimileski: I am a graduate medical student currently pursuing dual degrees in Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture, expecting to graduate in 2013. I have a passion for health education, patient empowerment and the restoration of balance- both on the individual and communal level. I believe all can learn how to live happily, in harmony with nature and in ways that support the body's innate ability to heal itself.

Please note: I am not a doctor and not giving any medical advice, just spreading the word and love of natural living, and the pressing health revolution.

http://blossomingconsciousness.com/
http://harmoniousvibrations.blogspot.com/

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