Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ibuprofen Kills Thousands Each Year, So What Is The Alternative?

The 2004 Vioxx recall, as you may remember, was spurred by the nearly 30,000 excess cases of heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths caused by the drug between 1999-2003. Despite the fact that scientific research had accumulated as early as 2000 linking Vioxx to increased heart attacks and strokes, the drug's manufacturer Merck, and the FDA, remained silent as the death toll steadily increased.

The Reuters report focused on new research published in Lancet indicating the risk of heart attack increases as much as a third and the risk of heart failure doubles among heavier users of NSAID drugs.

INFLAMED: Our Default Bodily State
Why are so many folks taking NSAID drugs like ibuprofen anyway?

Pain and unhealthy levels of inflammation are fast becoming default bodily states in the industrialized world. While in most cases we can adjust the underlying pro-inflammatory conditions by altering our diet, and reducing stress and environmental chemical exposures, these approaches take time, discipline and energy, and sometimes we just want the pain to stop now. In those often compulsive moments we find ourselves popping an over-the-counter pill to kill the pain.

The problem with this approach is that, if we do it often enough, we may kill ourselves along with the pain...

Ibuprofen really is a perfect example of this. As mentioned above, this petrochemical-derivative has been linked to significantly increased risk of heart attack and increased cardiac and all-cause mortality (when combined with aspirin), with over two dozen serious adverse health effects, including:

DNA Damage[2]
Hearing Loss[3]
Influenza Mortality[5]
Ibuprofen is, in fact, not unique in elevating cardiovascular disease risk and/or mortality. The entire category of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) appears to have this under-recognized dark side; cardiovascular disease and cardiac mortality score highest on the list of over 100 unintended adverse health effects associated with their use. See also our analysis of the rarely acknowledged dark side to aspirin: The Evidence Against Aspirin And For Natural Alternatives.

So, what does one do? Pain is pain. Whether it happens to you, or you witness it in another (which can be worse), finding relief is a top priority.
Research on Natural Alternatives To Ibuprofen
Here is some evidence-based research on alternatives to ibuprofen, sourced from the National Library of Medicine:

Ginger – A 2009 study found that ginger capsules (250 mg, four times daily) were as effective as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen for relieving pain in women associated with their menstrual cycle (primary dysmenorrhea). [7]
Topical Arnica – A 2007 human study found that topical treatment with arnica was as effective as ibuprofen for hand osteoarthritis, but with lower incidence of side effects.[8]
Combination: Astaxanthin, Ginkgo biloba and Vitamin C - A 2011 animal study found this combination to be equal to or better than ibuprofen for reducing asthma-associated respiratory inflammation.[9]
Chinese Skullcap (baicalin) – A 2003 animal study found that a compound in Chinese skullcap known as baicalin was equipotent to ibuprofen in reducing pain.[10]
Omega-3 fatty acids: A 2006 human study found that omega-3 fatty acids (between 1200-2400 mg daily) were as effective as ibuprofen in reducing arthritis pain, but with the added benefit of having less side effects.[11]
Panax Ginseng – A 2008 animal study found that panax ginseng had analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity similar to ibuprofen, indicating its possible anti-rheumatoid arthritis properties.[12]
St. John's Wort – A 2004 animal study found that St. John's wort was twice as effective as ibuprofen as a pain-killer.[13]
Anthrocyanins from Sweet Cherries & Raspberries – A 2001 study cell study found that anthrocyanins extracted from raspberries and sweet cherries were as effective as ibuprofen and naproxen at suppressing the inflammation-associated enzyme known as cyclooxygenase-1 and 2.[14]
Holy Basil – A 2000 study found that holy basil contains compounds with anti-inflammatory activity comparable to ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin.[15]
Olive Oil (oleocanthal) – a compound found within olive oil known as oleocanthal has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen16

101 Essential Oil Uses & Benefits

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in various cultures for medicinal and health purposes. Essential oil uses range from aromatherapy, household cleaning products, personal beauty care and natural medicine treatments.

The particles in essential oils come from distilling or extracting the different parts of plants, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, resin and peels. In ancient times, Jews and Egyptians made essential oils by soaking the plants in oil and then filtering the oil through a linen bag.

Essential oil benefits come from their antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These healing oils are rapidly growing in popularity because they act as natural medicine without any side effects. Ready to harness the power of the world’s most proven therapeutic compounds? Then let’s talk about 101 ways to use these amazing essential oils.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

10 amazing uses for coconut oil

I’m going a little cuckoo for all things coconut oil

. It’s been a kitchen staple for a few years – and not just because it tastes good; it has outstanding health benefits, too!

Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids, including lauric acid, which are metabolized differently. They can increase your energy expenditure, reduce your appetite and have been shown to fight bad bacteria. Coconut oil is also high in saturated fat, which raises the good cholesterol (HDL) and keeps your heart healthy. When shopping, look for pure virgin coconut oil.

Aside from the array of health benefits, coconut oil works wonders around the house. Here are a few unexpected uses for this affordable and versatile oil.


How to be Awesome at Everything

Last year, I did The No Junk Food Challenge, and it went really well.  It was a good exercise in self-control and gave me a reason to say no, when I would have said, "Why not?"  I even lost like four pounds, just by cutting out junk for three weeks!  Not bad!  It was especially nice just before the holidays, when I knew I would be eating a lot more junk than usual.

So I'm doing it again this year, from November 1-November 21, which is the week before Thanksgiving.  Anyone care to join me?  If you do, let me know how it goes!



Lazy Way to Lose Weight: Cinnamon, Honey, and Water

This is an extremely lazy way to lose weight. It burns hundreds of calories even if you are just sitting down on your computer and doing nothing. It also increases gently boosts your metabolism which aids in weight loss.

2 tsp Honey
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup Water

1) Use 1 part of cinnamon to 2 parts of raw honey. 1 tsp cinnamon to 2 tsp honey is recommended.
2) Boil 1 cup of water.
3) Pour the boiling water on cinnamon. Cover it and let it steep until it is warm enough to drink.
4) Add honey when the water is cool/warm. Never add honey when it is hot as the heat will destroy the enzymes and other nutrients in the raw honey.
5) Drink half before going to bed. The other half should be covered and refrigerated, drink it the following morning. Do not re-heat.

Do not add any flavors in this mixture as this recipe only works if you drink it on empty stomach.

This drink works great with our All-Natural Weight Loss Supplements listed below:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


This Lemon Ginger Morning Detox Drink is something that I’ve been making for years.

 Sometimes I drink it warm and sometimes I fill a couple of mason jars with it to keep in the refrigerator and drink it chilled.  Years ago, a woman that I used to work with turned me on to this recipe.  She told me that she drinks it every morning, so I decided to take up her ritual and make it my own.  Today this woman is 78 years old and going strong.  She still works at a full-time demanding job, and she works because she wants to, not because she has to.  She does pilates every Saturday (she used to do ballet on Saturdays) and she’s as fit physically and mentally sharp as she was year

This Lemon Ginger Morning Detox Drink is something that I’ve been making for years.  Sometimes I drink it warm and sometimes I fill a couple of mason jars with it to keep in the refrigerator and drink it chilled.  Years ago, a woman that I used to work with turned me on to this recipe.  She told me that she drinks it every morning, so I decided to take up her ritual and make it my own.  Today this woman is 78 years old and going strong.  She still works at a full-time demanding job, and she works because she wants to, not because she has to.  She does pilates every Saturday (she used to do ballet on Saturdays) and she’s as fit physically and mentally sharp as she was year

Before I wrap this post up….I want to share something with you.  I received a call the other day from my good friend, Malcolm with some really bad news.  He has a 31 year old nephew who has just been diagnosed with Stage IV Stomach Cancer.  Stage IV!  His nephew is a paramedic so he’s physically fit. I’m sharing this news with you because I want you to know about Helicobacter Pylori.  It is a major risk factor in developing stomach cancer.  At any age.  If you or anyone you know has any of these symptoms… an ache or burning pain in your abdomen, nausea, loss of appetite, bloating or unintentional weight loss – you might want to get checked for Helicobacter Pylori.  BUT….often times a person can be infected with pylori and have NO symptoms at all.  They can test for it with a simple blood test during your next physical.  And the treatment is a simple one – antibiotics and a couple of other meds for 10 days or so.  You can read more about pylori here and here.   And yes, there are other causes of stomach cancer as well…. but I’m guessing if you’re reading this site – you’re not eating a bunch of pickled, salty, nitrate rich foods.  And I’m betting you don’t smoke either. I just want you to know about it in case you’ve never heard of it.  It’s worth getting tested for it at your next physical or if you’re having any symptoms.

yield: 2 servings total time: 35 minutes

2-1/2 cups boiling water
1 organic lemon cut into slices (I like the taste of Meyer lemons best)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons honey (optional)

Bring the water to a boil.
Turm the heat off and add the lemon, ginger and turmeric.
Let steep for 30 minutes.
Strain and drink at room temperature or reheat (but don't bring to a boil).

Thieves Vinegar – Immune Booster & Germ Killer

No matter what you call it, thieves vinegar has a long history of use.  From Scientific American’s 1910 reference to  “medicated vinegar was invented by four thieves of Marseilles who successfully employed it as a prophylactic during a visitation of pestilence” to current references recommending it as an insect repellant and a popular essential oil company creating a product line based off of the blend, antimicrobial herbs have a well earned reputation for their usefulness.

History of Four Thieves Vinegar
Vinegar has been used as a health tonic for centuries.  It is mentioned in the Bible and the writings of Ancient Greece.  All of the four thieves vinegar stories that I read are set during the Bubonic plague, but there are a number of variations.  Some say that condemned criminals were sent out to bury the dead, but some survived by drinking large amounts of vinegar infused with garlic.  Other say that there were many thieves robbing the homes and corpses of those that had died, and most of them died, but one particular group of thieves survived.  They were granted leniency in court when they shared the secret of the herbal vinegar blend they used to protect them from the plague.  The name “Forthave’s Vinegar” was used to describe the vinegar tonic of Richard Forthave.

How to Make Thieves Vinegar
My friend, Chris, from Joybilee Farm, referred to Thieves Vinegar as a “folksy recipe”, and said that when she listened to Rosemary Gladstar, a well-known herbalist, Rosemary used the herbs she had on hand.  Mountain Rose Herbs offers this version of the traditional recipe, which uses dried bulk herbs that you can find at their online store:

Basic Four Thieves Vinegar Recipe

1 tbsp organic sage leaf
1 tsp organic lavender flowers
1 tsp organic rosemary leaf
½ tsp organic thyme leaf
½ tsp organic peppercorns
16oz raw organic apple cider vinegar

Place the herbs in a pint jar and fill to the top with gently warmed (not boiling) apple cider vinegar. Close with a plastic lid or place a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal. Allow to extract for four weeks. Strain the vinegar into a clean glass jar. Store in a cool, dark area.

Rustic Thieves Vinegar Recipe
My friend, Betty Jean, uses this homespun version:

I just throw a couple heads worth of peeled garlic into a 2 quart jar along w/ hot peppers (cayenne), a handful each of oregano, cloves, thyme, and other herbs with antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral properties such as

lavender blossoms
cinnamon stick
lemon balm
Pour apple cider vinegar over it to the top. Put on a lid and let sit for at least 2 weeks…  I usually steep for about 6-7 weeks. Gently shake the jar each day. Strain. Take 1-2 tablespoons with a tablespoon of raw honey several times a day when sick or take one tablespoon per day for immunity boosting.

I went out in the garden to see what was still fresh, snipped a bit from the herbs in the window sill, and dug around in the herb cabinet for a few other odds and ends.  (Top photo in the post.)

I ended up with:

Lemon Balm
Aloe Vera
Mixed Hot Peppers
Chocolate Mint
Licorice Root
Ginger Root

Licorice Root and Ginger Root are both specifically mentioned in the book Herbal Antivirals:  Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections, so I wanted to make sure to include them with all the nasty viral illnesses going around.

You can use the strained vinegar as a base for a vinaigrette.  You can also use wine as a base instead of vinegar, with complimentary herbs, so make it more pleasant to consume, or make an thieves herb blend in a vodka base to use as a tincture.

Ways to Use Thieves Vinegar
For illness or immune boosting.  Take 1-2 tablespoons with a tablespoon of raw honey several times a day when sick or take one tablespoon per day for immunity boosting.
As a surface disinfectant – put strained vinegar in a spray bottle, spray on surfaces and wipe clean.  Chris mentions that the pH will rise after steeping, so the spray will be milder on surfaces.
As a insect repellent – put 1/4 cup vinegar in a spray bottle and fill the rest with water.  Spray on skin, clothes, etc.  From Wellness Mama.
Diluted, as a topical treatment for dandruff, or as a foot soak for nail fungus.
Remember, in case of serious illness, always contact a trained healthcare professional.  This post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

Have you ever tried thieves vinegar or do you plan to?  Do you have a favorite home remedy for cold and flu season?  I’d love to hear about it.*

Monday, October 24, 2016

How to Make Lavender Oil at Home in 6 Simple Steps

Did you know that lavender oil was used to dress wounds during the First World War due to the shortage of antiseptics? This oil is used not just for aromatherapy, but for various healing purposes as well. So, try making lavender oil at home and enjoy its benefits.

Lavender oil is one of the most commonly used multipurpose oils. This oil can be added to the bathtub, some drops can be sprinkled on a pillow, or it can be used for a massage. It has relaxing properties and can also be mixed with a carrier oil and used over burns and cuts as it has antibacterial properties too.

Lavender oil not only heals the skin but also provides a scar-free healing! Lavender also helps in sinus problems, and this oil can be inhaled deeply to reduce congestion.

It is not possible to make lavender essential oil at home, but the process of making infused lavender oil is fairly easy and can be done at home. In this process, you just have to let the lavender herb soak in a carrier oil, and then strain it. A carrier oil is a base oil, which is usually used to dilute pure essential oils.
Mass Producing Lavender Oil
Commercial manufacturers use the steam distillation process to make lavender essential oil. This process is a type of distillation process used for natural aromatic materials, wherein steam or water is added to the aromatic compounds to lower their boiling point. They are then allowed to evaporate at lower temperatures, because such compounds tend to decompose at high temperatures.
Steps to Make Lavender Oil
Here are the things you require and the procedure you should follow:

Things you will need:

◆ One big bottle of carrier oil

◆ Bunch of lavender flowers

◆ A small glass jar

◆ Rubber band

◆ Plastic cling film

◆ Strainer

◆ Saucepan

◆ Spoon

Step #1: The process of making lavender oil from dried lavender plant is also possible in case you don't have fresh lavender flowers. Take the twigs of lavender and run your fingers along the stem to take out the flowers. Collect enough flowers in this way and then fill them up in the jar.

Step #2: Now, take the carrier oil in a saucepan. The quantity of the oil should be enough to fill the glass jar. Slightly warm this oil and then pour it slowly in the jar till it has nicely covered the jar. You can choose from a range of carrier oils available. The most suitable is olive oil, as it can be used for skin care and massage as well. My favorite choice of oil is jojoba oil, as it is non-greasy and gets absorbed by the skin easily. But, jojoba oil is not a preferred massage oil, as it doesn't have the slippery effect. Another good choice for a carrier oil is almond oil, as it is good for skin care and has a high amount of vitamin E in it.

Step #3: Take a piece of cling film and wrap it around the opening of the jar. Secure the plastic cling film using a rubber band.

Step #4: Let this essential oil mixture steep for a month. Keep shaking the bottle lightly everyday to let all the ingredients mix well. Store the bottle in a cool and dark place.

Step #5: After a month's period, take out the jar and strain the mixture and use a spoon to press the lavender flowers to completely separate the precious oil from the flowers.

Step #6: Pour this oil in an amber-colored glass bottle and close it using a cap. There you have it; your own homemade lavender oil.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab all the things you need and follow the above steps for making this essential oil, and enjoy all the benefits and uses of it!

Infographic: Nature’s 11 Most Powerful Antibiotics

Every day, millions of Americans swallow pills that endanger our entire population by making bacteria increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Scientists worry that one day soon, our antibiotics won’t work any more, leaving us vulnerable to all sorts of infections that will spread around the globe without stopping.

 To break this cycle, we need to be using fewer antibiotics — not just in our medicine, but also in our animal food supply.