HealthFreedoms Protect & Preserve Your Health Freedoms 2016-05-30T16:47:01Z WordPress alodin <![CDATA[Late Night Eating is NOT a Good Thing]]> 2016-05-30T16:32:16Z 2016-05-30T16:35:46Z  

Eating late at night when you can’t sleep can lead to problems beyond weight gain – it may compromise your concentration and alertness.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania report that adults consume about 500 extra calories late at night when their sleep is limited.

To investigate the effects of those excess calories, the researchers gave 44 adults ages 21 to 50 unrestricted access to food and drink but allowed them to sleep for only four hours a night for three nights.

On the fourth night, 20 of the participants could eat and drink all they wanted, while 24 were prevented from snacking – they were allowed to drink only water from 10 p.m. until their 4 a.m. bedtime. Each night at 2 a.m. during the study all the participants took tests to evaluate their working memory, cognitive skills, sleepiness, stress levels and mood.

Participants who drank only water after 10 p.m. performed better on tests of reaction time and attention than those who had eaten, even though both groups had the same sleep restrictions.



alodin <![CDATA[Top 10 natural heartburn home remedies you’ve never heard of]]> 2016-05-30T16:31:54Z 2016-05-30T16:35:36Z Maybe you took that second helping of lasagna.  Or perhaps you couldn’t stop yourself from going back for that third slice of pizza. But now the burn of acid reflux won’t let you forget your slip.

Or maybe you’ve just made the wrong food choice.

Those hot wings might have tasted delicious going down, but now the gnawing pain of heartburn has you regretting your decision.

Get fast relief with with 10 surprising heartburn home remedies

This handy list of the top 10 natural heartburn home remedies you’ve probably never even heard of can help you put the pain behind you fast…

1. Raw-potato juice:

Rinse off a potato and toss it, with the peel still on, into a juicer. Drink the juice immediately.

2. Fresh papaya:

At the first sign of heartburn, try eating some fresh papaya WITH the seeds. There are enzymes in the tropical fruit that help break down food.

You can also keep a bottle of papaya tablets around to accomplish the same thing.

3. Fresh pineapple:

Like papaya, pineapple is packed with an enzyme that aids digestion by helping to break down food.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar:

If you know you’re going to overindulge, or that a particular food is likely to cause heartburn, fix yourself a vinegar tonic by mixing a tablespoon of organic apple-cider vinegar into a glass of water to sip during your meal.

5. Fennel seed:

Grab the fennel seeds off of your spice rack and mix 2 tbsp. into about a cup of boiling water. Let the mixture steep for several minutes to make a tea to sip on.

6. Rhubarb:

Slice off a piece of rhubarb stalk and chew on it for a few minutes. It will be sour, but many swear by its ability to sooth the burn.

7. Anise seed:

Visit your spice rack again and grab a few anise seeds to chew on.

8. Fresh parsley:

Don’t toss out that parsley garnish at the end of the meal. Nibble on the fresh sprig to relieve indigestion.

9. Aloe-vera Juice:

You can buy Aloe-vera juice online or at your local natural-food store. (If you’re diabetic, however, be careful with Aloe-vera juice as it may lower your blood-sugar levels.)

10. Peppermint:

You can grow your own peppermint or pick it up at the grocery store. Chew on the fresh leaves at the first hint of heartburn.

Natural peppermint tea works too.

If you’re feeling the burning pain of a little overindulging, why not give one of these natural heartburn home remedies a try? You can avoid those stomach-acid-robbing drugs and still get a good night’s sleep.


alodin <![CDATA[Very Important Alzheimer’s News that Everyone Should Know!]]> 2016-05-30T16:32:41Z 2016-05-30T16:35:25Z

It’s a staggering statistic, but we are told that by the year 2050 as many as 16 million Americans will be living with Alzheimer’s disease. Projected costs, mostly dedicated to nursing homes and homecare, are estimated to exceed $1.1 trillion.

Research dedicated to Alzheimer’s disease is laser-focused on finding a cure. Unfortunately, our most well-respected institutions are coming up empty-handed despite the incredible dedication of monetary resources in this area.

With these ideas in mind, it is unfortunate, if not heart-wrenching, to consider the simple fact that there is a profound relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.

brain_insulin_alzheimers_type_3_tnMelissa Schilling, a professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, has just completed a large scale study in which she reviewed the extensive literature that clearly associates diabetes with Alzheimer’s disease, both in terms of risk and now in terms of mechanism. She was able to find robust evidence that links insulin, as well as the enzyme that degrades insulin (insulin-degrading enzyme or IDE), and the development of Alzheimer’s disease in itself. Her study strongly suggest that elevated insulin plays a critical role in the development of the various hallmarks characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

To be clear, there are a variety of so-called “Alzheimer’s drugs” on the market. These drugs do not treat the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s and are designed to simply work on reducing symptoms of the disease. That said, the overwhelming evidence indicates that these drugs are ineffective, even as it relates to managing symptoms.

I have nothing against research focused on finding a cure for this dreadful disease. However, I am quite taken by the fact that hardly any attention is given to the notion of preventing Alzheimer’s in the first place, despite the fact that we now have such solid evidence that lifestyle choices, predominantly diet and exercise, play a huge role in determining who does or who doesn’t end up with this diagnosis.

It is for this reason that I have been so deeply dedicated to supporting a low carbohydrate diet, a diet that’s very restrictive when it comes to simple sugars, to do everything possible to reduce the risk for diabetes. The evidence relating dietary choices to diabetes risk is well substantiated at this point and should be, in my opinion, part of the routine discussion in a doctor’s office. This discussion now takes on an even higher level of importance as we recognize this relationship between elevated insulin, as is seen in type II diabetes, and risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

Back in 2013 when I wrote Grain Brain, I emphasized the importance of insulin in terms of brain health, and included a fasting insulin level in laboratory recommendations. Dr. Schilling now confirms the fundamental importance of testing insulin levels precisely because of this implication for brain health. As she was recently quoted in Diabetes News Journal:

If we can raise awareness and get more people tested for hyperinsulinemia (elevated insulin), especially those who have been diagnosed with or who are at risk for dementia, it could significantly lessen the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, as well as other diabetes-related health problems.

You will also recall how in Grain Brain I emphasized the importance of focusing on eating foods that have a low glycemic index. It appears that Dr. Schilling agrees as she plans to petition the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to add glycemic index to food labels.

The take-home message is that brain health depends on keeping blood sugar levels normal, and thus avoiding elevated insulin.


alodin <![CDATA[Guide to The Healthiest Summer Skin Ever]]> 2016-05-30T16:33:10Z 2016-05-30T16:35:17Z

Keeping skin healthy and youthful looking is the desire that’s launched thousands of skin and so-called beauty products. But if you really want skin to glow this summer and beyond, skip the chemical-laden, endocrine-disrupting lotions and potions and instead focus on putting nature’s bounty to work for you.

Eating fresh, wholesome foods will not only help you get the radiant skin you’re after this summer, but also provide many other health benefits—you’d be crazy not to indulge! All those nutrient-rich foods will help enhance your skin’s appearance, boost its wrinkle-fighting ability, and protect against skin cancer. Summer is coming—here’s how to get your skin ready for it now:

1. Be A Summertime Green Machine

The more fresh (preferably organic) leafy greens you can incorporate into meals, the more resilient your skin will be. Go heavy on nutrient-dense leafy greens because they’re loaded with antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which research indicates are beneficial not only for overall skin health but also for their protective effects against the sun’s damaging UV rays. Remember, however, that eating more anti-inflammatory greens supports skin health—it’s not a hall pass to roast yourself for hours in the sun without sunscreen.

So, how much leafy green goodness do you need? Just a 1 cup serving of spinach, Swiss chard, or kale a few times a week will do the trick. No veggie stand nearby? Then fill the antioxidant gap by adding a scoop of powdered greens to your morning smoothie or your water bottle to sip on throughout the day.

2. Feed Your Skin Good Fat

Another way to improve skin health and help make it more sunshine-ready is to ditch sugar and processed foods. Also, lighten up on coffee, which can leave skin looking dull and dehydrated. Instead, eat lots of fresh, whole produce to maximize nutrients at every meal—and be sure to make room for good fats.

A skin-savvy summer plate will include good fats to hydrate and nourish your skin (and the rest of you) with fatty acids, which help protect against sun damage and skin cancer. Delicious, skin-supporting options include:

  • Avocados: A tasty, creamy, and rich source of healthy fatty acids.
  • Chia Seeds: Tiny seeds, big benefits. Packed with inflammation-taming omega-3s, they help tame hunger, too.
  • Coconut Oil: A spoonful in your morning smoothie adds medium-chain fatty acids and saturated fats to help fuel the formation of new skin and prevent sun damage.
  • Olive Oil: A staple of the Mediterranean diet and a heart-healthy fat with anti-cancer effects.
  • Fatty Fish: Wild salmon and sardines come complete with omega-3 fatty acids to help keep inflammation in check and protect skin from damage and skin cancer. Not a regular fish eater? You can still reap many of its benefits by supplementing with krill oil, which contains astaxanthin to support skin health and helps protect against the UV damage that leads to sagging and wrinkles.

3. Get Your Antioxidants On

To boost the health of your skin, look for foods that pack in the antioxidants, like carotenoids and catechins. To take advantage of as many of these health-enhancing, collagen-boosting, protective antioxidants as possible, “eat the rainbow.” Rich, green leafy veggies, deep purple, dark red, bright red, yellow, and orange veggies and fruits, raw or cooked—all should have a place in your skin-supportive menu. Among must-haves:

  • Greens: Leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula, turnip greens, and collard greens, plus broccoli, brussels sprouts, etc.
  • Blue/Purple: Eggplant, purple asparagus, blackberries, black currants, blueberries, plums, etc.
  • Red: Beets, red cabbage, red onions, tomatoes, pomegranates, strawberries, cherries, cranberries, etc.
  • Orange/Yellow: Carrots, yellow onions, butternut squash, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, apricots, peaches, etc.

4. Have A Tall Glass Of Iced Polyphenols

How to fit even more skin protection into those hot summer days? With polyphenol-rich green, white, black, or red teas, preferably organic. For thousands of years, tea has been known for its positive effects, due in part to the significant amount of antioxidant polyphenols found in every cup. More recently, studies have linked tea drinking to lower cancer rates and protection from premature skin aging, so drink up all summer long and beyond.

5. Get Smart About Your Sunscreen

Your body needs sunlight to thrive, but it also needs protection from UV rays. Short bouts of sun exposure are necessary for your body’s natural vitamin D production, but you don’t want to risk a sunburn either. How to do it safely? Click here for my timely tips on sensible sun exposure. After you’ve had your fill—about 15 minutes, a few times a week, before skin starts to turn pink—it’s sunscreen time. But not just any old sunscreen. With so many of them containing dangerous ingredients, I urge everyone to buy the best quality they can and shop according to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Sunscreen database. Among its top-rated sunscreens based on safety is Protect All Over SPF 30 Sunscreen by Beauty Counter (a summertime favorite of mine).

6. Boost Skin From Within—And Protect It Too

By eating antioxidant-rich produce and drinking antioxidant-rich teas throughout the season, you’ll be boosting summertime skin health as well as your skin’s ability to protect itself from sun damage. Add to that a well-chosen sunscreen that’s low in toxins, and you’re well on your way to healthier summer skin—inside and out. But don’t stop there. Consider adding even more skin support with my three favorite supplements for summer skin:

  • Krill oil, which contains astaxanthin to support skin health and helps protect against sun damage.
  • Alpha lipoic acid, the antioxidant that helps protect skin collagen and combats signs of cellular aging.
  • Vitamin D3, to boost levels, protect against skin cancer, and help make your skin more prepared for sun exposure by producing melanin faster to better protect itself.



alodin <![CDATA[Plants And Herbs – Boost Lung Health, Heal Respiratory Infections And Repair Pulmonary Damage]]> 2016-05-30T16:32:05Z 2016-05-30T16:35:08Z

When it comes to taking herbs as a form of treatment for illness, it seems the mainstream belief is that they are not as effective and not worth taking. While effectiveness of each herb and their use has not been studied deeply to determine how effective it can be across the population, the same could be said for most pharmaceutical drugs. Much of the time, pharmaceutical drugs attempt to mimic a compound that occurs naturally in nature (herbs) but often bring the risk of side effects.

Safety is one of the most critical areas of review amongst herbs and drugs. So far, zero deaths have been reported due to the use and consumption of herbs. However, pharmaceutical drugs and physician prescribed medications kill approximately one million Americans each year. While it is important to note that herbal medicines can be lethal in extreme doses, it appears their safety is much greater than that of pharmaceutical drugs. [2]

Interestingly, pharmaceutical drugs are actually adding to the world-wide issue of declining health due to their side effects and encouragement of viral resistance. Antibiotics in particular are adding to the wave of increased viral strength when it comes to certain infections. [3] Herbs on the other hand can be a useful tool in fighting infections that have turned into super bugs due to the overuse of antibiotics.

It is always useful to perform as much research as possible, or as you see fit, when it comes to both pharmaceutical drugs and herbs prior to taking them. Just as we would be so skeptical about herbs, we should be just as skeptical about pharmaceutical drugs. Contrary to popular belief, the un-popularity of herbs in western culture is due to scrutinization that comes from pharmaceutical companies and those to can benefit from the sale of pharmaceutical drugs. Herbs cannot be patented and owned, only synthetic drugs can which is why many pharma companies operate the way they do. Seek out the assistance of a Naturopathic doctor before you use herbs.

Below is a list of herbs that can not only boost lung and respiratory health but can also repair it.
Herb information is courtesy of John Summerly who is nutritionist, herbologist, and homeopathic practitioner.

1. Licorice Root

Licorice is one of the more widely consumed herbs in the world. In Traditional Chinese Medicine it occurs in more formulas than any other single herb because it is thought to harmonize the action of all other herbs. Licorice is very soothing and softens the mucous membranes of the throat and especially the lungs and stomach and at the same time cleanses any inflamed mucous membrane that needs immune system support . It reduces the irritation in the throat and yet has an expectorant action. It is the saponins (detergent-like action) that loosen the phlegm in the respiratory tract so that the body can expel the mucus. Compounds within this root help relieve bronchial spasms and block the free radical cells that produce the inflammation and tightening of the air ways. The compounds also have antibacterial and antiviral effects to them as well which helps fight off viral and bacterial strains in the body that can cause lung infections. Glycrrhizins and flavonoids can even help prevent lung cancer cells from forming which means they can even prevent lung cancer.

2. Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot has been traditionally used by Native Americans for thousands of years to strengthen the lungs. It clears out excess mucus from the lungs and bronchial tubes. It soothes the mucus membranes in the lungs, and has been shown in research to assist with asthma, coughs, bronchitis, and other lung ailments. Coltsfoot is available in dried form for tea or as an alcohol extract known as a tincture.

3. Cannabis

The toxic breakdown of therapeutic compounds in cannabis from burning the plant are totally avoided with vaporization. Extraction and inhaling cannabinoid essential oils of the unprocessed plant affords significant mitigation of irritation to the oral cavity that comes from smoking. Cannabis is perhaps one of the most effective anti-cancer plants in the world shown in study after study to stimulate cannabinoid receptor activation in specific genes and mediate the anti-invasive effect of cannabinoids. Vaporizing cannabis allows the active ingredients to stimulate the body’s natural immune response and significantly reduces the ability of infections to spread. Vaporizing cannabis (especially with very high amounts of cannabinoids) opens up airways and sinuses, acting as a bronchodilator. It is even a proven method to treat and reverse asthma.

4. Osha Root

Osha is a herb native to the Rocky Mountain area and has historically been used by the Native Americans for respiratory support. The roots of the plant contain camphor and other compounds which make it one of the best lung-support herbs in America. One of the main benefits of osha root is that it helps increase circulation to the lungs, which makes it easier to take deep breaths. Also, when seasonal sensitivities flare up your sinuses, osha rootm, which is not an actual antihistamine, does produce a similar effect and may be help calm respiratory irritation.

5. Thyme

Thyme is very powerful in the fight against chest congestion. It produces powerful antiseptic essential oils which are classified as naturally antibiotic and anti-fungal. Thyme is well known to zap acne more so than expensive prescription creams, gels and lotions. Thyme tea has the power to chase away and eliminate bacteria and viruses so whether your infection is based on either, it will work. Thyme has been used as a lung remedy consumed since antiquity and is used extensively today to prevent and treat respiratory tract infections and bacterial infection pneumonia.

6. Oregano

Although oregano contains the vitamins and nutrients required by the immune system, its primary benefits are owed to its carvacrol and rosmarinic acid content. Both compounds are natural decongestants and histamine reducers that have direct, positive benefits on the respiratory tract and nasal passage airflow. Oil of oregano fights off the dangerous bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, better than the most common antibiotic treatments. Oregano has so many health benefits that a bottle of organic oregano oil should be in everyone’s medicine cabinet.

7. Lobelia

Did you know that horses given lobelia are able to breathe more deeply? Its benefits are not limited to equestrians. It has been used as “asthmador” in Appalachian folk medicine. Lobelia, by some accounts, is thought to be one of the most valuable herbal remedies in existence. Extracts of Lobelia inflata contain lobeline, which showed positive effects in the treatment of multidrug-resistant tumor cells. Lobelia contains an alkaloid known as lobeline, which thins mucus, breaks up congestion. Additionally, lobelia stimulates the adrenal glands to release epinephrine, in effect, this relaxes the airways and allows for easier breathing. Also, because lobelia helps to relax smooth muscles, it is included in many cough and cold remedies. Lobelia should be part of everyone’s respiratory support protocol!

8. Elecampane

Elecampane has been used by Native Americans for many years to clear out excess mucus that impairs lung function. It is known as a natural antibacterial agent for the lungs, helping to lessen infection particularly for people who are prone to lung infections like bronchitis. Herbal practitioners often recommend one teaspoon of the herb per cup of boiling water, drunk three times daily for two to three weeks. Elecampane is also available in tincture format for ease.

9. Eucalyptus

Native to Australia, eucalyptus isn’t just for Koala bears! Aborigines, Germans, and Americans have all used the refreshing aroma of eucalyptus to promote respiratory health and soothe throat irritation. Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in cough lozenges and syrups and its effectiveness is due to a compound called cineole. Cineole has numerous benefits — it’s an expectorant, can ease a cough, fights congestion, and soothes irritated sinus passages. As an added bonus, because eucalyptus contains antioxidants, it supports the immune system during a cold or other illness.

10. Mullein

Both the flowers and the leaves of the mullein plant are used to make an herbal extract that helps strengthen the lungs. Mullein is used by herbal practitioners to clear excess mucus from the lungs, cleanse the bronchial tubes, and reduce inflammation that is present in the respiratory tract. A tea can be made from one teaspoon of the dried herb to one cup of boiled water. Alternatively, you can take a tincture form of this herb.

11. Lungwort

Lungwort is a tree-growing lichen that actually resembles lung tissue in appearance. However, this natural remedy doesn’t just look the part. As early as the 1600′s, lungwort has been used to promote lung and respiratory health and clear congestion. Pulmonaria selections come in all kinds so seek a herbologist for direction. Lungwort also contains compounds that are powerfully effective against harmful organisms that affect respiratory health.

12. Chaparral

Chaparral, a plant native to the Southwest, has been appreciated by the Native Americans for lung detoxification and respiratory support. Chaparral contains powerful antioxidants that resist irritation and NDGA which is known to fight histamine response. NDGA inhibits aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis (the energy-producing ability) of cancer cells. Chaparral is also a herb that fights harmful organisms. The benefits of chaparral are mostly available in a tincture extraction but chaparral tea may support respiratory problems by encouraging an expectorant action to clear airways of mucus.

13. Sage

Sage’s textured leaves give off a heady aroma, which arises from sage’s essential oils. These oils are the source of the many benefits of sage tea for lung problems and common respiratory ailments. Sage tea is a traditional treatment for sore throats and coughs. The rich aromatic properties arising from sage’s volatile oils of thujone, camphor, terpene and salvene can be put to use by inhaling sage tea’s vapors to dispel lung disorders and sinusitis. Alternatively, brew a strong pot of sage tea and place it into a bowl or a vaporizer.

14. Peppermint

Peppermint, and peppermint oil, contains menthol — a soothing ingredient known to relax the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract and promote free breathing. Dried peppermint typically contains menthol, menthone, menthyl acetate, menthofuran and cineol. Peppermint oil also contains small amounts of many additional compounds including limonene, pulegone, caryophyllene and pinene. Paired with the antihistamine effect of peppermint, menthol is a fantastic decongestant. Many people use therapeutic chest balms and other inhalants that contain menthol to help break up congestion. Additionally, peppermint is an antioxidant and fights harmful organisms.

15. Plantain Leaf

With fruit that is similar in appearance to a banana, plantain leaf has been used for hundreds of years to ease cough and soothe irritated mucous membranes. Many of its active constituents show antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, as well as being anti-inflammatory and antitoxic. Clinical trials have found it favorable against cough, cold, and lung irritation. Plantain leaf has an added bonus in that it may help relieve a dry cough by spawning mucus production in the lungs.


alodin <![CDATA[Most Natural Mosquito Repellents Don’t Work – Which One Did?]]> 2016-05-30T16:32:54Z 2016-05-30T16:35:03Z

All right, people. We’ve got some upsetting news. It looks like most natural mosquito repellents don’t work. No one wants to waste money on products that don’t work. But these recent findings are especially discouraging now that Americans may find themselves exposed to mosquitoes with the Zika virus this year. And we know what you’re thinking, pregnant ladies: what the heck are you supposed to do?

Before everyone panics, let’s break down the news from Consumer Reports.

The natural mosquito repellents test

Consumer Reports tested six plant-based repellents against the type of mosquitoes that carry Zika. All but one didn’t work. So, if you have repellents from All Terrain Kids Herbal Armor, Burt’s Bees Herbal, California Baby Natural Bug Blend, Cutter Natural, or EcoSmart Organic in your medicine cabinet, stop using the product, or reapply it every hour—that’s how long each of these lasted.

Now, a bit more about the one that did work: Repel Lemon Eucalyptus. “This insect repellent warded off Aedes mosquitoes, Culex mosquitoes (which can spread West Nile), and ticks (which can spread Lyme) for at least 7 hours,” according to Consumer Reports. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus contains 30 percent lemon eucalyptus, which is its active ingredient.

Also, Consumer Reports found that wristband insect repellents don’t work well, either.

Other repellents

If you’re in a pinch and can’t find this version of Repel quickly, Consumer Reports does note that there are other bug sprays that work well, but most of them aren’t natural. However, if used correctly, you should be able to wear them on rare occasions.

Those repellents include:

  • Products with 20 percent picaridin (a synthetic compound resembling a chemical in the black pepper plant), including Sawyer Picardin and Natrapel 8 Hour.
  • And products with 15 to 30 percent deet, including Ben’s 30% Deet Tick & Insect Wilderness Formula, Repel Scented Family (15 percent deet), and Off! Deepwoods VIII (25 percent deet).

All these repellents typically become dangerous when too much of the product is applied and when the product is applied too often. Here are some best practices when it comes to insect repellents, according to Consumer Reports:

  • Apply just enough to cover exposed skin, and only for as long as needed.
  • Don’t use it on wounds, cuts, or broken or irritated skin.
  • Never put it on under your clothes.
  • For your face, spray it on your palms first, then rub it in, avoiding your eyes and mouth, and using sparingly around ears.
  • Adults should put it on children, since children often put their hands in their eyes and mouths.
  • Don’t use near food, and wash hands after application and before eating or drinking.
  • At the end of the day, wash treated skin with soap and water, and wash treated clothing in a separate wash before wearing again.
  • Wash repellent off your skin and launder treated clothes.


alodin <![CDATA[Dig In! Bacteria in Soil Can Make us Happier and Smarter]]> 2016-05-30T16:47:01Z 2016-05-30T15:51:40Z Many people, including me, talk about the restorative benefits of gardening and the reasons why it makes us feel good. Just being in nature is already therapeutic, but actively connecting with nature through gardening is value-added. And why is that? All sorts of reasons have been posited: It’s a meditative practice; it’s gentle exercise; it’s fun; it allows us to be nurturing and to connect with life on a fundamental level.

And some recent research has added another missing piece to the puzzle: It’s in the dirt. Or to be a little more specific, a strain of bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, has been found to trigger the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. And on top of that, this little bacterium has been found to improve cognitive function and possibly even treat cancer and other diseases. Which means that contact with soil, through gardening or other means (see Elio, above), is beneficial.How did this discovery come about?

Mary O’Brien, an oncologist at Royal Marsden Hospital in London, first stumbled upon these findings while inoculating lung cancer patients with a strain of M. vaccae (pronounced “emm vah-kay”) to see if their symptoms improved. She noticed that in addition to fewer cancer symptoms, patients also demonstrated an improvement in emotional health, vitality, and even cognitive function.

Dr. Chris Lowry, at Bristol University, decided to explore O’Brien’s discovery. He hypothesized that the body’s immune response to the bacterium causes the brain to produce seratonin. Lack of seratonin is one symptom, or perhaps even cause, of depression. He injected mice with the M. vaccae (pronounced “emm vah-kay”) and then observed both physiological and behavioral changes. He found that cytokine levels rose – cytokines are part of a chain reaction, the end result of which is the release of seratonin. To test behavioral stress levels, Lowry put the mice into a miniature swimming pool, knowing that although stressed mice get even more stressed by swimming, unstressed mice don’t seem to mind. And voila! His M. vaccae mice did not exhibit higher stress levels after swimming.

Could M. vaccae be used as a sort of vaccination to treat depression? Possibly, and it is still being explored as a treatment for cancer, Crohn’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. For a more detailed but still understandable summary, see this article inThe Economist, “Bad is Good.”

More recently, Dorothy Matthews and Susan Jenks, at the Sage Colleges in Troy, NY tested the findings, again on mice, but this time by feeding the bacterium to them rather than injecting it. They fed the mice tiny peanut butter sandwiches with a little M. vaccae smeared on. Yummm.

Then they ran the mice through a difficult maze. Compared to those that did not ingest the bacterium, the M. vaccae mice “navigated the maze twice as fast and exhibited half of the anxiety behaviors.” Seratonin is also thought to play a role in learning, so it may have helped the mice not just by making them less anxious but by facilitating greater concentration. Once the bacterium was removed from their diet, they continued to perform better than the control group for about three weeks. As the bacterium left their system, the superhero effects tapered off and by the third week, the difference was no longer statistically significant.

This research is important because it indicates that the bacterium could potentially affect us through normal everyday contact and not just injection. Just how does M. vaccae affect people (as opposed to mice), and how much would be needed to influence us? We don’t know that yet, because that study has not yet been done. “Gardeners inhale these bacteria while digging in the soil, but they also encounterM. vaccae in their vegetables or when soil enters a cut in their skin,” says Matthews. “From our study we can say that it is definitely good to be outdoors–it’s good to have contact with these organisms. It is interesting to speculate that creating learning environments in schools that include time in the outdoors where M. vaccae is present may decrease anxiety and improve the ability to learn new tasks.”

Matthews and Jenks shared their results at the 110th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in San Diego and at the Annual Animal Behavior Society Meeting at William and Mary College. For a more detailed summary of this research, see the Cosmos Magazine article, “How gardening could cure depression.”

Interestingly, with gardens and horticultural therapy in healthcare facilities, practitioners often use sterile soil, in which all bacteria has been removed, to reduce risk of infection. This has been thought to be particularly important for people with immune disorders like cancer and AIDS. It’s certainly true that soil can harbor harmful bacteria as well (not to mention the occasional piece of glass or rusty nail, so make sure those tetanus shots are up to date!). But what if bacteria were found to have more of a benefit than a risk? Further research might change the types of soil that are specified for certain populations and activities.

In the meantime, gardeners have one more excuse to root around in the dirt, and parents and teachers have another incentive to let their kids play in the great outdoors.

Follow-up from March, 2011: A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that children who grow up on traditional farms are 30% – 50% less likely than other children to develop asthma. Researchers correlated the high diversity of bacteria and fungi in household dust  – from soil and farm animals – with the low likelihood of asthma. Even parents and teachers who believe in the joys of connecting with nature may hesitate to let their kids fully engage (in other words, get dirty). But perhaps a little extra soap and elbow grease at home is a fair trade for healthier, happier, and smarter kids?


alodin <![CDATA[Don’t Let These 3 Fitness Myths Hold You Back]]> 2016-05-30T09:03:11Z 2016-05-30T09:04:52Z

Everyone, at one time or another, has been given less-than-great advice for their health. Fitness and weight loss, due to their touchy and unique nature, have been particularly clouded with mountains of bad advice over the years. And if you are like everyone else, sifting through it can be hard, and tedious.

As a personal trainer, I see my clients believing in some of the same big myths, over and over again. Here’s some of the loudest, and most erroneous, advice that could be slowing down your fitness gains, and what you should do instead.

1. If I take a workout supplement, I don’t have to work as hard.

This fitness myth is mostly perpetuated by the radical claims that supplements, both natural and unnatural, make. Countless supplements claim they can “speed up your metabolism” or “burn fat for you” or even “put muscle on you.” This is just not true. Working out will help you speed up your fat burning, not a supplement. And eating right, and eating enough, will help you put on muscle. Besides, even if a supplement could help, there could be a trade-off. In the end, the chemicals that fill those bottles could do more harm than good to your fitness gains by damaging your glands and leading to poor health.

2. I have to go to the gym because I need weight machines to get fit.

So many people think that they need to go to the gym so that they can use all of the special machinery that is available. But lifting free weights is just as effective as, if not better than, using weight-lifting machinery. Machines do not mimic the body’s natural movement, but rather, can restrict your movement and even be harmful if they are used incorrectly.

One of the biggest advantages of using free weights in place of heavy machinery is that you have the freedom to work out from your own home. Investing in your own set of weights at home can eliminate the need for expensive gym memberships. This gives you the luxury of working out on your own time, in your own home.

3. Running on the treadmill is the most effective form of cardio.

Every day I see people sweating away on the treadmill, logging long miles at one easy pace—sometimes for hours! It’s no secret that cardio is pushed on us as the best weight-loss option at the gym. It’s also great for your heart and your health. But not all cardio is the same; there are two types to consider. One is steady-state cardio, the type you will get just running on the treadmill, at the same speed from start to finish, for an hour a day. This type of cardio burns fat for the length of time you do it. But, the second type of cardio, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), actually burns fat for up to 24 hours after your workout.

HIIT workouts tend to be shorter but more intense than traditional cardio, and they can burn more calories through out the day. Sure, you can do them on the treadmill—but you can’t just press one button and zone out to your favorite TV show. And the beauty of HIIT is that you can do it anywhere, incorporating pretty much any type of cardio: running, cycling, swimming, circuit training, you name it.

It’s true that there is a lot of good fitness advice out there. But sifting through the mounds of bad advice and myths that are perpetuated over and over again can take a lot of work. These top three now-busted myths should help you realize what may be holding you back—and how to break through to the next level, no matter what your fitness goals.


]]> 0 alodin <![CDATA[Improve Vision And Lower Intraocular Pressure with This Homemade Remedy]]> 2016-05-30T09:02:42Z 2016-05-30T09:04:31Z


This medical treatment is used by one Russian physician, surgeon, and ophthalmologist, Vladimir Petrovich Filatov. This medical recipe was successful in treating people who have problems with vision and high eye pressure.

It will prevent the further loss of vision and will help to restore your vision. All the people who have used it had great and positive experience.


  • Lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
  • 500 g ground walnuts
  • 300 g honey
  • 100 g aloe juice


Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix them well.

Consume 1 tablespoon half an hour before a meal, 3 times a day.

It will regenerate and speed up the entire body.

The Aloe Vera juice helps with cardiovascular problems, hemorrhoids, tuberculosis, and inflammation of the reproductive organs of the females, kidney disease, and digestive tract issues.

Make sure that the Aloe Vera is not older than 2-3 years




alodin <![CDATA[Naturally Clean Your Shower, Tub, and Tile Cleaner – DIY]]> 2016-05-30T09:02:53Z 2016-05-30T09:04:27Z

We recently remodeled our bathroom and updated our old cinderella tub into a fully functional tub/shower combination surrounded by glass tile. While I absolutely adore how the project turned out, I’m a little daunted when it comes to cleaning.

We had rarely used that tub prior to the remodel, so I never knew how much soap scum would start to accrue once we started using the tub daily. For a while, I was buying a natural shower cleaner which worked wonderfully for the tub, but not so wonderfully for our budget. Plus, it contained a very strong fragrance which lingered for quite some time. The fragrance bothered me so much that I had to open a window after using it.

To save our budget and my sense of smell, I decided that I would make a homemade shower cleaner that was able to cut through soap scum. My version is very simple and uses ingredients found in our home.

Ingredients for a Homemade Shower Cleaner

I chose to use white vinegar as the base of the spray because it works wonders as a natural cleaner. Check out this post on other ways to use white vinegar for cleaning. It is very effective at cleaning the shower as well and rinses away quite easily.

Next, I added some fragrance free natural dish soap. I like this because it cuts through the grease and soap scum very easily. It mixes well with the vinegar.

Finally, I chose two great cleaning essential oils: tea tree essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil. Both oils have been used to combat fungus and bacteria. They also help prevent mold and mildew in the shower. Plus, these essential oils smell super fresh. I use them in many of my home cleaning products because of their effectiveness at combating germs and keeping things clean. The recipe will work just as well to combat soap scum and residue without the essential oils, but it won’t be as effective at keeping away mold, mildew, and fungus. However, if you are just looking for an everyday maintenance cleaner, you can omit the essential oils.

A Natural Shower, Tub, and Tile Cleaner

Supplies & Ingredients

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons fragrance free dish soap 
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil 
  • 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil 
  • colored spray bottle 

*I prefer to use this recipe in a colored spray bottle because it includes essential oils.


  1. In a spray bottle (8 oz or larger), combine white vinegar and dish soap. Swirl to combine.
  2. Add in essential oils.
  3. Cap and shake well.
  4. Shake before each use.

To use

  1. Shake bottle well before using.
  2. Spray generously in tub and on tile.
  3. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Wipe with a clean rag.
  5. Use daily for best results.

I also rinse the tub down with water after using the spray, just to make sure there is no cleaner residue, before giving my little one a bath. Tea tree and eucalyptus are wonderful cleaners, but they can be irritating to the skin. Definitely an optional rinse, but that’s what works best for us.

That’s it! Just an easy DIY tub and tile cleaner that will help keep your shower sparkling and soap scum free.