Saturday, December 29, 2012

Powerful natural elixer

What if there was a powerful natural elixir that can relieve indigestion, make you more energetic and preserve youth... has been taken around the world by scores of people for thousands of years... and costs a whole lot less than expensive pharmaceuticals.  
It's for real, and available at your local grocery store. What is it?
Good old-fashioned apple cider vinegar (ACV)! 

This tart tonic has been used for centuries in many different countries, for a variety of uses and conditions. And the good news is that the science behind it is sound. 
Apple cider vinegar helps with many modern-day diseases and conditions, including:
  • Clearing up stubborn acne
  • Giving relief to persistent allergies
  • Improving insulin levels for folks with diabetes
  • Reducing inflammation and gout
  • Giving instant relief to cases of the hiccups
  • Lowering high levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad variety)
  • Banishing nighttime leg cramps and providing more restful sleep
  • Relieving sinus or other infections
As revealed in a study published in Diabetes Care, researchers discovered that Type 2 diabetes patients who took two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at bedtime showed favorable changes in blood sugar levels the next morning.

In a study published in a foreign medical journal, scientists found an apple cider vinegar-enhanced diet may increase in HDL (good cholesterol), and reduce levels of triglycerides – a harmful type of blood fat.

When you consider the benefits of  apple cider vinegar listed from thousands of years of history, this is a natural remedy worth considering. Here are even more benefits!
  • Gives you more energy while decreasing recovery time from workouts. ACV has compounds that counteract lactic acid buildup in the muscles after exercise.
  • Gargling with ACV can kill bacteria in your mouth and gums and give you whiter teeth.
  • If you have diarrhea caused by bacteria, sipping water with ACV can be just what the doctor ordered. The apple pectin can also soothe intestinal spasms.
  • To cure a case of the hiccups, take a teaspoonful of pure ACV. The sour taste will stop it in its tracks. 
  • To prevent indigestion or heartburn, take a teaspoon with a glass of water 30 minutes before your meal.
  • Nighttime leg cramps can be relaxed when you add two tablespoons of ACV with honey to a glass of warm water.

Good ACV will look dark and murky, with a cobweb-like substance floating in it known as the "mother" (or the culture). This contains a number of beneficial living enzymes, which are responsible for most of the health benefits from apple cider vinegar.

When you take ACV with a 12-16 ounce glass of water, you can add honey, lemon, and/or Stevia for taste. Once you experience the health benefits of apple cider vinegar – higher energy levels, better digestion, or relief of leg cramps at night (getting longer, less interrupted sleep) – you'll actually look forward to making apple cider vinegar a part of your daily health routine.

Are there any side effects to taking this natural supplement?

Not really.

Since it's a natural product, the health risks of taking apple cider vinegar are very low, especially when compared to the possible side effects of synthetic pharmaceutical drugs. If it can possibly help one or more health ailments... and there's very little downside... why not give good old apple cider vinegar a try?

While ACV isn't a panacea, it has the potential to relieve a variety of medical conditions. It's a versatile, inexpensive remedy that can improve the quality of your health and life.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Natural antiobiotics in your pantry

Here are 5 items you should always keep in or near your kitchen. They're useful for everyday tasks, but in an emergency they do double-duty.     

Vinegar: You can use vinegar to keep your home clean and sanitary. In any sort of a breakdown, hygiene and a clean home become more important than ever – it's the first line of defense against disease, which often follows in the wake of a disaster or social breakdown.

You can use vinegar to clean sink drains, to clear away mildew, and to deodorize just about anything.

You can make sure produce is safe to eat by washing it in a mix of vinegar and water. Adding four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a gallon of water makes a sanitizing wash that's good for fruits and vegetables – it will remove pesticides and nasty germs.

You can also use vinegar to treat mild ailments. Dabbing a cotton ball soaked in vinegar on minor burns or insect bites relieves pain and itching. Mix equal parts vinegar and honey and take a tablespoon every four hours to relieve a sore throat and cough. Vinegar is cheap and lasts a long time in storage. Stock up!

Honey: This sweet, golden substance can be a real lifesaver when it comes to health issues. During any sort of social breakdown that makes it more difficult to get medical care, infection becomes an important concern.

Honey can help. It works as a natural antiseptic. You can apply honey to cuts and abrasions to prevent infection.

You can also use honey to treat the symptoms of many mild illnesses. For example, mix honey with lemon juice to help soothe a sore throat.

It's an unpleasant topic, but during times of unrest, you're also more at risk of picking up parasites. Drinking honey mixed with vinegar and water can clear most parasites out of your system.

Bleach: Bleach is excellent for sterilizing surfaces, which can keep your food safe to eat. But more than that, you can use bleach to make water safe to drink. Add 1/8 of a teaspoon of chlorine bleach to a gallon of clear water (1/4 teaspoon if the water is cloudy), and allow it to stand for at least 30 minutes. Then it will be safe to drink, cook with, or clean with. Like vinegar, it's cheap and easy to store.
Baking Soda: Baking soda works well as an antacid. In the event you have an upset stomach, stir ½ teaspoon of baking soda into a half a cup of water and drink it. Repeat every two hours as necessary, but don't take more than seven glasses in the course of a day. Limit your doses to three if you're over sixty.

Apply a paste of baking soda and water to poison ivy or other rashes for nearly instant relief.

In a pinch, you can also use baking soda as a fire extinguisher. Pouring baking soda on a small fire will quickly suffocate it.

Salt: Few pantry items are more common and everyday than salt. But this favorite food seasoning can be a lifesaver during turbulent times.

First, your body needs salt to survive. In the modern American diet, too much salt is more typical than too little, but that can change and change fast during a breakdown. Having plenty of salt on hand not only makes your food reserves more palatable, but also keeps this critical nutrient as part of your daily diet.

That's not all, though. Salt is one our earliest ways of treating wounds and staving off infection. To this day, a saline wash is a typical first-line treatment for cleaning wounds or eye injuries. You can dissolve 1½ tablespoons of salt in one cup of water to make a 10% saline rinse that you can use to clean small cuts and abrasions. This is one more household item you can use to prevent infection.

Salt is also an excellent food preservative. You can pickle and can a number of foods with salt and you can even preserve meat with it, should you be without power and looking for ways to make your food last longer.

Coating raw meat completely in coarse salt and storing it in a cool place (around 59 degrees) can keep the meat safe to eat for up to three weeks. And, it makes it taste good when you cook it, too. Avoid eating meat that takes on a bad smell during this process – it's a time-tested means of preserving meat, but that doesn't mean it's 100 percent foolproof, so use your common sense.

Between these five items, a few rolls of duct tap, and several packs of zip-ties, you'll be prepared to deal with minor illnesses and injuries, to keep your food supply safe, to treat water if needed, and to keep your environment clean and safe. That's not too shabby using just a handful of things that don't cost much and that you probably keep on hand anyway.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mistletoe - the next cancer killer

When you see a sprig of mistletoe hanging in a doorway, your first thought is probably of giving your special someone a smooch.

Scientists in Australia recently found that mistletoe has the power to actually kill cancer cells, and they're even talking about it as a future alternative to chemo.

In Europe, mistletoe extract is authorized for treating colon cancer. We are not quite so lucky in the United States. But with evidence like this, it's definately getting harder to ignore the power hidden in this festive plant.

The recent research shows that the most effective mistletoe extract comes from a species called Fraxini. Not only is it a cancer cell killer, but it's also much more friendly to the healthy cells in the intestines.

That's because the extract targets and kills just cancer cells. This is in stark contrast to chemotherapy, which kills both healthy cells and cancer cells without discrimination. Extracts from the two other species of mistletoe tested were also more harmful to healthy Fraxini is unique.

In Europe, it's easy to choose mistletoe extract for cancer therapy. Here in the States, there are companies that sell mistletoe extract online, but it's very important to work closely with a doctor skilled in natural medicine if you want to explore this option yourself.

Not only is mistletoe making cancer-fighter news, along comes calcium.

A new study has shown that getting more calcium in your diet could mean a lower risk of prostate cancer. Researchers compared men who had positive biopsy results with those whose results were negative and healthy men who didn't need a biopsy. They found that increasing calcium intake from food was linked to a lower risk of high-grade (more likely to spread rapidly) prostate cancer among all races.

So what are the best sources of dietary calcium?

Well, despite what you may have heard steer clear of milk. The list of reasons is long. To name just a couple, it's been linked to lower sperm count and contains bacteria that could cause Crohn's disease. A few good calcium-rich bets are leafy greens, broccoli, figs, and almonds.

Two very good supplements for calcium are Enriching Gifts Coral Life and Enzyme Research Products Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium Plus. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday stress and your waistline

A new study in the journal Sleep finds that forgoing a full night's sleep could sabotage your efforts to stay slim.

Normal-weight men and women were studied under two conditions: getting a short amount of sleep (4 hours--which I sometimes get) and normal sleep (9 hours--oh, if only!).

The researchers found that, in men, short sleep led to a spike in levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates hunger. In women, short sleep reduced the hormone (GLP-1) that makes you feel full.

So, getting too-few hours of sleep had different effects on men (increased appetite) and women (reduced feelings of fullness), but with the same result: a tendency toward overeating.

Of course, during the holidays that's particularly dangerous. So looking around your what do you see: a gift tin of holiday popcorn right now and on the counter, a box of chocolates. There are all sorts of holiday food temptations right now. And it turns out that our reduced head-on-pillow time is increasing our chances of being hit.

The obvious solution is to get more sleep. But that's just not always realistic. So here's a strategy for fighting those munchies: loads of cut, easy to grab, veggies in the fridge; a full bottle of water by your side at all times; and taking the stairs when you come back from those shopping trips (bonus--that "step" could actually add a few years to your life). 

If you're concerned about what the holiday season could be doing to your waistline, these tips might be just what you need to sidestep those extra holiday pounds.

If you need something natural to help you sleep, click here.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dangerous tap water

Put down that glass and step away from the sink. It turns out that pesticides in your tap water could be causing food allergies.

So now it's not only flouride that's floating in your tap water...but pesticides as well. But this new link to allergies is making even the mainstreamers sit up and take notice.

Worst of all this isn't some accidental exposure. They're actually dumping this stuff into the water on purpose. Specifically, researchers say it's a kind of chlorine called dichlorophenols used to kill bacteria in water that could also be killing the "good guy" bacteria that live in your gut. And when that happens it could cause food allergies.

The researchers also said that exposure could come from eating fruit and drinking fruit juices. (I can't help but wonder if these are some of the same "experts" that tried to convince us that buying organic is a waste of money.)

Always eager to cover for conventional farming, mainstream sources are saying that there's only an association, and that it's not yet clear that the pesticides are actually the culprit.

But we know better, don't we? The link between food allergies and pesticides has long been established and you already know how important it is to choose organic foods. But to tackle this newly revealed threat...and avoid pesticides in your drinking'll also need to invest in a reverse osmosis water filter.

For more information on probiotics, click here
To rebuild healthy gut-flora click here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Vitamin D and it's fight against cancer

A "new" cancer-fighting discovery really isn't that new after all. I'm talking about vitamin D.

A team of Canadian researchers has just found that the vitamin may block the growth of cancer cells and slow down the progress of cancer from pre-malignant to malignant. 

It finally explains--on a molecular level--just how it is that vitamin D has been so successful at fighting cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer. This news makes it hard it ignore or even say that vitamins are a useless waste of money.

Basically, vitamin D targets a protein that cancer depends upon for cell division. This protein, called cMYC, is active at elevated levels in more than half of all types of cancer. Vitamin D slows it down, while at the same time boosting the production of substances that can outright shut it down. As one of the researchers said, vitamin D "puts the brakes on cMYC function" and therefore puts the brakes on the spread of cancer.

This is one of those times that "more research is NOT needed". In this case the researchers are so sure of their findings that they said they hope their research will "encourage people to maintain adequate vitamin D supplementation."

The preferred method of getting natural vitamin D is spending 20 minutes in the sun with your face and arms exposed. A general daily dose for adults is 4,000 IU, which can be achieved by spending 20 minutes in the sun with your face and arms exposed.

If you can't get enough from the sun (especially now that it's December and sunny days are few and far between), cod liver oil is a good source of D. Or check out this excellent vitamin D supplement

Monday, December 10, 2012

Resveratrol and prostate health

You probably already know that the resveratrol in wine is great for your heart and could help prevent metabolic syndrome. It also may help you manage your weight, and protect against breast cancer.

But now comes something important if you're a guy.

A researcher at the University of Missouri has discovered that resveratrol could help fight prostate cancer. More specifically, for people who have made the choice to go with conventional therapies, resveratrol could increase the effectiveness of those therapies.

Researcher Michael Nicholl found that resveratrol can make prostate tumor cells, even in aggressive tumors, more susceptible to radiation. Previous studies have shown a similar effect with chemotherapy.

Resveratrol appears to target two proteins already present in the tumors--proteins that cause the tumors to self-destruct. Using the wine compound led to up to an amazing 97 percent of tumor cells dying after radiation treatment. This is a vast improvement over the percentage tackled using just radiation, and it worked on all types of prostate cancer cells.

The only drawback is that the dosage of resveratrol needed to have this effect is very high. While not much is needed at the site of the tumor for it to work the body processes resveratrol very quickly, so a person would need to take a great deal of it to make sure there's enough left to get to the tumor.

This research is still in the early stages, but no side effects have been described in studies of resveratrol, so it's a safe (and possibly very effective!) possible addition to a cancer fight.

For general long-term use of resveratrol a suggested dose ranging from 30 to 100 mg per day. You should consult with a doctor skilled in natural medicine to determine the right course of action and the right dose for your body and situation.

More information on resveratrol here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Three safe solutions for high blood pressure

When it comes to natural blood pressure control, you have a lot of options. You don't need to turn to drugs with dangerous and debilitating side effects. You can look to the foods you eat and the kinds of exercise that you do.

1. Go for a walk. Going for a brisk walk every day can lower your systolic blood pressure by as many as 8 points, and it can curb your diastolic pressure by 6 points.

Aim to walk one to two miles at a pace that gets your heart rate up. This is a simple, effective workout that you can do anytime and that really works when it comes to lowering blood pressure.
2. Another way to control blood pressure is as easy as breathing. For five minutes twice a day, make it a point to breathe deliberately, slowly, and deeply. Use your abdominal muscles to draw in each breath. Exhale by relaxing your muscles completely and allowing the breath to leave naturally. This kind of practiced breathing reduces stress hormones that are linked to increases in blood pressure.

3. A third way to reduce your blood pressure is to cut down on wheat, corn, and sugar. For as many as one in three people, these foods have a very aggravating effect on the body, triggering low but still unhealthy levels of chronic inflammation and inducing chronic stress. In clinical settings, many people see their blood pressure fall by as many as 40 points after cutting out these foods. That's a dramatic change!
I know cutting down on the above foods is tough, but if you're struggling with high blood pressure, try it for a month and see what happens. You may be so pleased by the results that you find it easy to make the change a permanent one.
High blood pressure ages your brain rapidly. So, if you're 40, you can expect to start having the same kind of memory and cognitive issues that a 50-year-old has. And if you're 60 and have high blood pressure... well, your brain is going on 70.
In the most dramatic situations, high blood pressure can cause mini-strokes or full-blown strokes that can leave you permanently disabled or event dead. But high blood pressure can also lead to:
  • Dementia: Narrow, partially blocked arteries caused by high blood pressure lead to difficulties thinking, speaking, solving problems, and remembering things.
  • Cognitive Impairment: Milder than dementia, cognitive impairment is still alarming. You forget things more easily, have a more difficult time reasoning through problems, and are at much higher risk for full blown dementia.
  • Stroke: A stroke happens when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted long enough that your brain cells begin to die off. It's a common and often tragic situation that can permanently impair your ability to walk, talk, and reason.
In addition to these potentially devastating conditions, high blood pressure prematurely ages your brain. In a research study, scientists examined the affects of blood pressure on brain mass. They found a strong correlation between jumps in blood pressure and a decline in brain mass similar to what's expected with aging.
You can turn things around, though, with these simple solutions. Walking more, breathing deeper, and cutting back on wheat can put the brakes on your skyrocketing blood pressure and help you keep your brain young and sharp.
If you've got high blood pressure, then your brain is aging faster than you are and your quality of life is on the decline. Find out more on high blood pressure here.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Important vitamins during pregnancy

Here's a crucial reason to make sure vitamin D plays a starring role in pregnancy.

Research published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry reveals that getting enough vitamin D may cut the risk of the unborn child developing multiple sclerosis (MS).

Researchers looked at data on about 152,000 people with MS. Then, they compared it with expected birth rates for the disease. What they discovered speaks volumes about the benefits of vitamin D.

From October to March, less of the ultraviolet light that lets our bodies make vitamin D reaches the skin. Researchers connected this with a significantly greater risk for MS among people born in April and May. On the other hand, the risk for MS was lowest among people born in October and November...right after their mothers had spent a summer soaking up the sun.

The researchers concluded that vitamin D supplementation while pregnant is very important for preventing MS.

The second piece of news is about another powerhouse vitamin: vitamin C.

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen found that not getting enough vitamin C during pregnancy can put the unborn child's brain in serious danger.

Even "marginal" vitamin C deficiency affects the memory center of the brain, stunting its development by 10 to 15 percent. This, of course, sets the child up for learning difficulties later in life. And once the damage is done, it can't be corrected after birth by giving the child extra vitamin C.

Let expectant moms know that the best way to find out if they're getting enough of these vitamins is to work with a doctor skilled in natural medicine to find their optimal levels, which may be different while they're carrying that precious cargo.

Here are some excellent sources for vitamins.
Vitamin D
Vitamin C
Multi Vitamin
Liquid Multi Vitamin

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Foot massage and cancer (reflexology)

Michigan State University researchers have recently uncovered strong evidence that reflexology (a special type of foot massage) can help cancer patients better manage their symptoms and go about their daily lives.

This was the first large-scale, randomized study of reflexology's use along with standard cancer treatment. And it's the first time the benefits of reflexology--beyond simple relaxation-- have been documented. The results are strong enough that the lead author is hoping they represent a step toward moving reflexology out of the fringe and into the mainstream.

Reflexology has been practiced since the days of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt. The idea is that certain points on the feet are linked to specific organs and other parts of the body. Stimulating those points on the feet is thought to help those organs and body parts function better.

In the study, 385 women with advanced-stage breast cancer and being treated with chemo or hormonal therapy were assigned randomly to three groups. One group received treatment from a certified reflexologist. The second received a "regular" foot massage. The third had no foot treatment.

When the researchers checked in with the patients at the five-week and 11-week marks, they found that the women who received reflexology had significantly less shortness of breath. This is a common symptom in breast cancer patients. Daily tasks like grocery shopping and getting dressed were also easier for the women receiving reflexology.

The lead researcher was surprised that the effects seemed mostly to be physical rather than psychological. She had been expecting more changes in the anxiety and depression that can go along with breast cancer.

She was also surprised that the "placebo" massages reduced patients' fatigue, while reflexology did not.

In a follow-up study, the researchers plan to explore how the benefits of reflexology-type massage done by a patients' friend and family stack up against those done by certified reflexologists. If they show the same kinds of benefits then at-home reflexology treatments could turn out to be a simple and free way to help women deal with some of the most troubling symptoms of their battles with breast cancer.

If you're undergoing treatment for breast cancer, or know someone who is, and are interested in learning more about the benefits of reflexology, you can find a reflexologist through the
Reflexology Association of America.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday favorites

'Tis the season for showing your family how much you love them. Show them by piling your holiday buffet high with delicious cancer-fighting foods?

Cranberries. These tart little fruits are packed with benzoic acid. This can block the growth of some types of leukemia as well as lung cancer and colon cancer. Buy them fresh now. They're at the peak of their nutritional value, and you can capture that power by freezing them to use later. The jellied can version can't hold a candle to the real thing.

Try to avoid loading it with sugar. While a little sweet is needed to cut the sour, I have found that you can cut more than half of the sugar out of the recipe on the back and still have a great side dish. I've also had luck substituting agave or stevia (avoid Truvia).

Apples. Another season favorite  that could help prevent several types of cancer. They contain quercetin, which protects your cells' DNA from the kind of damage that can lead to cancer. This nutrient can also slash your stroke risk by more than 50 percent.

Of course, you may be tempted to take that as permission to cut yourself a giant piece of apple pie. If it's a very occasional indulgence, go for it--I mean, it IS Christmas time after all! But if you really want to get the most out of your apples, eat them raw with the skin on. Here's a great
raw apple crisp recipe from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The color orange. Make sure there's plenty of the color orange featured in your holiday spread. Squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins contain carotenoids, which have been associated with prevention of cancers of the colon, prostate, breasts, and lungs and have also been linked to shedding abdominal fat.

Food that packs a powerful disease-fighting punch is great and knowing that you are taking care of your freinds and family at the same time is fabulous!