Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cancer: New Science on How to Prevent and Treat It

CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE HAS LOST THE BATTLE WITH CANCER. But that doesn’t mean the war is over. Let me explain why we may finally be heading in the right direction.

I just returned from TEDMED, an extraordinary gathering of brilliant minds from science, medicine, business, and technology—a veritable intellectual orgy. During the conference, there was a theme that emerged: Synthesis.

Instead of dividing everything into diseases and labels, emerging science is pointing to a different way of thinking about diseases. The thread that ran through the conference was that disease is a systemic problem and we have to treat the system, not the symptom; the cause, not the disease. This completely redefines the whole notion of disease. The landscape of illness is changing.

At TEDMED I spoke about a new way to define disease, to navigate the landscape of illness. It is called functional medicine, which is a systems-biology approach to personalized medicine that focuses on the underlying causes of disease. That definition of functional medicine is a mouthful. But in a word, it is the medicine of WHY, not WHAT.

Conventional medicine is focused on naming diseases based on geography, body location, and specialty, instead of by the cause, mechanism, or pathway involved. Doctors say you have a liver, kidney, brain, or heart disease. But this approach to naming disease tells you nothing about the cause, and it is quickly becoming obsolete as we understand more about the mysteries of human biology.

Instead of asking what disease you have and what drug should be used to treat it, we must ask WHY the disease has occurred—what are the underlying causes that lead to illness and how do we look under the hood to find out what’s going on. Modern medicine is like trying to diagnose what’s wrong with your car by listening to the noises it makes without ever looking inside to see what’s going on. Functional medicine allows us to look under the hood. It gives us a method for identifying the conditions in which disease arises and shows us how to begin changing those conditions.

This shift toward a more functional, systems-based, environmental approach to treatment is happening in cancer research right now, and this change was one of the main topics explored at TEDMED this year.

Looking at Cancer a New Way: Treatment in the 21st Century
The problem with conventional cancer treatment is simply this: We look at the disease the wrong way. This reality was illustrated over and over again by the leading thinkers in the field of cancer treatment at TEDMED.

For example, Greg Lucier, Chairman of Life Technologies, talked about how thinking about specific cancers is essentially flawed. How we label cancer is no longer synced up with what we know about the origins of cancer or the fact that two people who have cancer with the same name—like breast cancer—can have two completely different diseases which require different treatments. Just because you know the name of your disease, it doesn’t mean you know what’s wrong with you or what to do about it.

Classifying tumors by body site—lung, liver, brain, breast, colon, etc.—misses the underlying causes, mechanisms, and pathways involved in a particular cancer. The fact that cancer appears in a given region of the body tells us nothing about why the cancer developed in the first place. What’s more it gives us no information about how it manifested in a given patient. Two people with cancers in different parts of the body may have developed it for same reasons. Similarly, two people with cancers in the same part of the body may have developed it for different reasons. A patient with prostate cancer and one with colon cancer may have more in common with each other than two patients who have colon cancer.  Historically we have practiced medicine by geography – where a disease occurs in the body. That doesn’t make scientific sense anymore. Now we have the potential to treat illness by understanding the underlying mechanisms and metabolic pathways.
These and other misconceptions about cancer and cancer treatment are leading to terrifying results. From the perspective of curative and preventive therapy, we have lost the war on cancer. Clinton Leaf explained how fancy statistics manipulate the data to show that cancer deaths are going down, while they are in fact going up. Overall cancer rates or incidence is significantly increasing. Deaths from cancer are also increasing. In 2008, there were 565,000 deaths in the US alone. One in three people will get cancer in their lifetime. While few are aware that solid tumors grow slowly for thirty years before they can be detected, 17 million Americans are walking around with cancer somewhere along the continuum from initiation of a cancer cell to detectable tumor.

In the “war” on cancer, we are fighting a losing battle for one simple reason: we’re focusing on the wrong target. As a physician I was trained to focus on the tumor—to burn, poison or cut it out, and then wait, watch and pray for the cancer to stay at bay. Newer gene-targeted treatments will help to improve chemotherapy and improve survival rates, but they won’t prevent cancer in the first place or even prevent it from coming back once you‘ve had it. Hope is not the only way to straddle the scary territory between remission and recurrence. There is a different way of thinking about how to treat the system, not just the cancer that holds promise for a proactive approach to helping both prevent occurrence as well as recurrence.
Cancers arise from a disturbance in your physiological state. Addressing that disturbance is the foundation of future cancer care.
Tending Your Garden: Treating the Soil in Which Cancer Grows
Dr. Anna Barker, deputy director of the National Cancer Institute, explained how new groups of researchers are collaborating to think differently about cancer—to understand and treat it as a systemic problem.

The problem with cancer—one which almost no oncologists think about—is not the tumor, but the garden in which the tumor grows. In caring for a garden, if the weeds get too big, we pull them out, just as we do with cancer using conventional therapies such as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation. But then what?
Traditionally, we have focused on late-stage curative care, and in doing so, we have missed the thinking and the treatments focused on changing the underlying conditions that led to the cancer in the first place. Diet, lifestyle, thoughts, and environmental toxins all interact with our genes to change the landscape of our health.

We have been asking the wrong question about cancer. We have asked “what”: What tumor do you have? What kind of chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation is needed for that tumor? What is your prognosis? Instead, we need to be asking “why” and “how”: Why did this cancer grow? How can you change the conditions that feed and support cancer-cell growth? How did the terrain of your garden become a host to such an invasive weed?

Surprisingly, scientific literature is abundant with evidence that diet, exercise, thoughts, feelings, and environmental toxins all influence the initiation, growth and progression of cancer. If a nutrient-poor diet full of sugar, lack of exercise, chronic stress, persistent pollutants, and heavy metals can cause cancer, could it be that a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet, physical activity, changing thoughts and reactions to stress, and detoxification might treat the garden in which cancer grows? Treat the soil, not the plant. It is a foundational principle of sustainable agriculture, and of sustainable health.

In my oncology rotation in medical school, I asked my professor what percentage of cancer was related to diet. Expecting a gracious but insignificant nod to the role of diet as a cause of cancer, I was surprised when he said that 70 percent of all cancers were related to diet. The 2008-2009 report from the President’s Cancer Panel found that we have grossly underestimated the link between environmental toxins, plastics, chemicals, and cancer risk. They have yet to acknowledge how thoughts, emotions, and overall stress impact that risk—but it is sure to come. The facts that gravitate around cancer support evidence that will motivate us all to take a deeper look.

Consider this fact: 16 percent of all cancers are new, primary cancers in patients who have already had one cancer, not recurrences. This means that people who have cancer are more likely to get a second and independent cancer. Could it be the garden? I recently saw a patient after her third cancer, wondering what she could do to prevent cancer rather than waiting around for another one.

Consider this fact: The lifetime risk of breast cancer of those with the “breast cancer gene” or BRCA1 or 2 is presently 82 percent and increasing every year. Before 1940, the risk of getting cancer for those with the cancer gene was 24 percent. What changed? Our diet, lifestyle, and environment—both physically and emotionally. Might these factors be a better place to look for answers on how to address our cancer epidemic?

Cancers arise from a disturbance in your physiological state. Addressing that disturbance is the foundation of future cancer care. This approach might be called milieu therapy. Rather than treating cancer per se, we treat the milieu in which cancer arises.

And this is manageable. We can enhance immune function and surveillance through dietary and lifestyle changes, nutrient or phytonutrient therapies. We can facilitate our body’s own detoxification system to promote the elimination of carcinogenic compounds. We can improve hormone metabolism and reduce the carcinogenic effects of too much insulin from our high sugar and refined carbohydrate diet. We can help the detoxification of toxic estrogens through modulation of diet, lifestyle, and elimination of hormone-disrupting xenobiotics or petrochemicals.

We can also alter how our genes are expressed by changing the inputs that control that expression: diet, nutrients, phytonutrients, toxins, stress, and other sources of inflammation. And we can focus on less divisive and more generative thoughts that, in turn, create more uplifting emotions—all good fertilizer for the soil in the garden of our body.

The future of cancer care must use medicine’s understanding of the mechanisms of disease and we must use this information to create physiologic and metabolic balance, to design treatments that support and enhance normal physiology. The future of cancer care lies not in finding the best cocktail of chemotherapeutic agents, the right dose of radiation, or a new surgical technique, (all of which are still important and will continue to be refined) but in finding the right way to personalize treatment according to the individual imbalances in each person.

The pieces of the puzzle that hold the answers for cancer prevention and treatment are strewn about the landscape of medical science. They need only be assembled into a story that can guide clinical care. The time is ripe to accelerate this process. Thankfully, more scientists are now exploring the story of how to tend the gardens of our body, mind, and soul.

To learn more about how to tend your garden and create metabolic and physiologic balance for yourself see
To your good health,

Friday, January 30, 2015

Mixed fruit smoothie

  • 1 small bowl of mixed fruit (blueberries, pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries, cherries)
  • Almondmilk (enough to allow it to blend ingredients together)
  • 1 Frozen bananas
  • 1 tsp Maca powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin powder power
  • 1/2 tsp goji berry powder
  • 1 scoop of Raw hemp Meal replacement 

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!
 All ingredients
 mixed frozen fruit

Thursday, January 29, 2015

10 Tips for Good Sleep

 How to Sleep Better: 10 tips for healthy & restorative sleep
by Kris Carr
Hiya Sleepy Head,
Sleep impacts every part of our lives, from our performance at work and interactions with loved ones, to our long-term health and mental well-being. In today’s 24/7 go-go-go world, restorative, blissful sleep is often hard to come by. I’ve sacrificed many nights of slumber to stress, work, over-indulgences (gulp gulp, nosh nosh), and Boardwalk Empire marathons (just one more!).

Today I want to talk to you about why sleep is integral to your health. A few small tweaks to your everyday habits can make big improvements in dreamland. Trying one of my 10 tips for better sleep (see below!) is a great place to start. I hope this blog empowers you to make sleep a priority. Once you start clocking more restorative z’s you’ll be amazed at how fabulous you feel.


What happens while you sleep?

Many major restorative functions occur while we sleep. For adults, the biggies are muscle growth, protein synthesis, tissue and cell repair. For infants and children, hormone production and brain development are key (which is why they need so much more sleep than adults).

But perhaps the most restorative function of sleep has to do with a neurotransmitter called adenosine. While we’re awake, our neurons fire and cells power us through the day, this process produces adenosine. It builds up all day long, leading to a decrease in dopamine—the neurotransmitter that keeps us alert and focused. So as adenosine goes up, dopamine goes down, resulting in that sleepy feeling you get at night.

While we sleep, we clear adenosine from the body and start fresh in the morning feeling alert (study). The more sleep you get, the lower the level of adenosine, and the more alert you’ll feel in the morning.


How much sleep do you need and when?

The number of hours you should sleep depends on your age, gender, lifestyle, current health, and simply how you feel after X amount of sleep. Basically, it’s different for everyone, but usually between 7 and 9 hours does the job. If you feel energized all day long on 7 hours of sleep, then you don’t need 8. But if you’re groggy and relying on caffeine to get you through the day, then you likely need more than that.

When it comes to the timing of your night-time snooze, the most restorative window is typically between 11pm and 7am because your circadian rhythm is likely at its lowest point. (Although your dream time can vary—just try to nod off before midnight and sleep 7-9 hours.) Your circadian rhythm is influenced by your environment—namely lightness and darkness. It controls many of the physical, mental, and behavioral changes you experiences in a 24-hour cycle, including your sleep pattern. Paying attention to your circadian rhythm and going to sleep when you feel drowsy means you’ll hit deep, restorative sleep more rapidly (Sleep Health Foundation).


What happens if you don’t get enough sleep?

If you’re cutting yourself short in the sleep department, you’re also cutting your overall well-being short. Inadequate sleep can lead to increases in appetite because your body is compensating for a lack of energy and struggling to find fuel for your everyday activities. This can result in weight gain and obesity, which increase your risk for many health challenges.

Too little sleep also increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, heart problems, respiratory disorders, depression, and problems with substance abuse, not to mention a lessened ability to pay attention, react to unexpected events, and remember new information. These last few items often make driving a vehicle as dangerous as driving while intoxicated (National Sleep Foundation).

Now that we’ve covered the impact of poor sleep, let’s talk about how you can improve your sleep habits and get back on track. Even if you’ve always struggled with bedtime you can learn to love hittin’ the hay!

10 tips for how to sleep better:

1. Rest in cozy comfort: A quality mattress, soft blankets and cool temperature will reduce annoying distractions (too hot! achy back!) and help you relax.

2. Turn on some soothing sounds: Use a sound machine or a fan to drown out what may be preventing you from falling asleep within 15 minutes of laying down.

3. Complete darkness: If your room isn’t completely dark, consider a sleep mask—this will also increase your natural production of melatonin, which is not only a great sleep inducer but a great cancer fighter as well (study).

4. Snooze-inducing smells: Wearing lavender lotion or using a diffuser with lavender essential oil may help you hit deep sleep sooner. Plus, who doesn’t love the smell of lavender? Ahhh…

5. Turn off tech at least 1 hour before going to bed. Then, keep lights dim and read or meditate to let your body naturally make some sleepy melatonin (the hormone that is produced as it gets dark out, and regulates sleep and wake cycles).

6. Skip or reduce caffeine. Caffeine not only prevents many folks from falling asleep at night initially, but it can also decrease the amount of restful sleep that happens at night (study). If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, try decaf, herbal tea or keep it to one cup very early in the morning.

7. Go easy on the alcohol. Alcohol feels like a sedative at first because it slows down motor and brain function, leaving us feeling relaxed and worry-free. But, as it’s metabolized, acetaldehyde is produced, which acts like a stimulant in our bodies. This is what wakes us up in the wee hours of the morning unable to get the rest we need. So for a good night’s sleep, peel back on the alcohol and drink it earlier and with food (or not at all).

8. No nicotine. Nicotine is similar to caffeine in that it’s a stimulant and may cause insomnia. And even once you fall asleep, you’ll have decreased slow wave sleep, which means it’s less restorative (study). Tough love: stop smoking. Period. (I adore you too much not to say this.)

9. Exercise. Try to fit in 20-30 min of moderate exercise daily, but make sure to do it several hours before bed. Ideally, 20-30 minutes of cardio in the morning with some restorative yoga in the afternoon.

10. Clear your mind. If you’re tossing and turning after switching the lights off, you may need to hit the reset button on your mind. Here are a few things to try. Before going to bed, journal—jot it all down. You could also try a guided meditation (I recommend Deepak’s Blissful Sleep on Spotify) or Tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique tutorial here). If you can’t fall asleep after lying in bed for 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing for 15-30 minutes before returning to bed. Don’t give up. You’ll find a strategy that works for you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Detoxify Your Body Chart

Even though modern medicine has other plans when it comes to overall health, fasting and colon washing, nobody can deny the fact that our bodies are exposed to toxins, and that the elimination of such toxins only provides great benefits.

Detoxification treatments always target organs that are in direct contact with the toxins that enter our body, including the liver, kidneys, intestine or colon.

Check these science-supported natural methods to cleanse your body and feel much better, stronger and healthier using some detoxifying foods:

Liver is known as The Great Detoxifier. It accepts all the noxious chemicals and fats we eat and turns them in material that can be later excreted by the body. But, your liver sure needs a little detoxifying itself.

Alcohol, non-steroidal anti0inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and diabetes mostly affect liver. They cause injuries and inflammations, and stop this organ from functioning properly.

Bitter gourd is a natural product that detoxifies the liver, eliminating the effect of alcohol, NSAIDs and diabetes. This fruit reduces the liver oxidation and inflammation caused by alcohol, and it stimulates the scavenging of liver free radicals caused by diabetes. It also increases the glutathione level, which alleviates inflammation caused by NSAIDs.

Eat more lemons, avocados, apples, dandelion leaves, and garlic to detoxify and rejuvenate your liver.

Kidneys are better known as blood filters. They collect and eject toxins from the blood. However, they are vulnerable to toxins like drugs, microorganism infections, and excessive calcium or blood sugar.

Cranberry juice is excellent when it comes to kidney detoxification. Scientists say that cranberries combat viral infections and calcium deposits.

Onions counteract kidney toxicity from cadmium intoxication. They are also effective in the treatment of renal Toxoplasma gondii infections.

Once our stomach muscles mash up the food into a liquid, the small intestines absorb all the nutrients and send them to the bloodstream, and they are later sent to the rest of the body. the waste material is pushed into the large intestine – the colon.

Practically, colon is body’s trash can. Just imagine how disgusting it can be if it is not regularly cleaned and emptied. The bacteria-filled waste can seriously damage our body and its functions. Lentils are known to be effective in this aspect, and they are an excellent colon detoxifier.

You do not need to go for a colonic irrigation if you feel like washing out your colon. Most doctors do not recommend colonics, as it increases the risk of bowel perforation, infection, and electrolyte imbalance.

Pineapple juice can do the work! It is packed with vitamins and fiber, which make it efficient in the cleaning process. It is often given to patients before they undergo a colonoscopy procedure, so they can clear their colon.

And last, but not less important, encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms in the colon. Eat globe artichokes for that purpose.

Although modern medicine supports other aspects when it comes to this issue, there is rich scientific evidence that supports common ways of detoxification – through eating healthy food and avoiding unhealthy, chemical-loaded foods.

However, some foods are healthier and more powerful detoxifiers than others, and it is good to know which foods provide the greatest benefits and health properties.

You will all agree that our body needs the best help it can get to combat all the toxins that surround us…

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Four Anti-Inflammatory Spices

Once in a while I come across a study that’s so juicy I have to do a whole video about it (Which Spices Fight Inflammation?).

A group of researchers at the University of Florida, Gainesville and Pennsylvania State set up a brilliant experiment. We’ve known that ounce per ounce, herbs and spices have some of the greatest antioxidant activities known. But that’s only ever been tested in a test tube. Before we can ask if an herb or spice has real health benefits, it is first necessary to determine whether it is bioavailable — whether the active ingredients are even absorbed. This had never been done, until now.

The researchers could have taken the easy route and just measured the change in antioxidant level in one’s bloodstream before and after consumption, but the assumption that the appearance of antioxidant activity in the blood is an indication of bioavailability has a weakness. Maybe more gets absorbed than we think but doesn’t show up on antioxidant tests because it gets bound up to proteins or cells. So the researchers attempted to measure physiological changes in the blood. They were interested in whether absorbed compounds would be able to protect white blood cells from an oxidative or inflammatory injury—whether herb and spice consumption would protect the strands of our DNA from breaking when attacked by free radicals. I cover the DNA findings in my video, Spicing Up DNA Protection. They also wondered if the consumption might alter cellular inflammatory responses in the presence of a physiologically relevant inflammatory insult. What does this all mean?

The researchers took a bunch of people and had each of them eat different types of spices for a week. There were many truly unique things about this study, but one was that the quantity of spices that study subjects consumed was based on the usual levels of consumption in actual food. For example, the oregano group was given a half teaspoon a day—a practical quantity that people might actually eat once in a while. At the end of the week, they drew blood from the dozen or so people they had adding, for example, black pepper to their diets that week, and compared the effects of their blood to the effects of the blood of the dozen subjects on cayenne, or cinnamon, or cloves, or cumin. They had about ten different groups of people eating about ten different spices. Then they dripped their plasma (the liquid fraction of their blood) onto human white blood cells in a Petri dish that had been exposed to an inflammatory insult. The researchers wanted to pick something really inflammatory, so they chose oxidized cholesterol (which is what we’d get in our bloodstream after eating something like fried chicken. If oxidized cholesterol is a new concept for you, please check out its role in heart disease progression in my video Arterial Acne). So they jabbed the white blood cells with oxidized cholesterol and measured how much tumor necrosis factor (TNF) they produced in response.

TNF is a powerful inflammatory cytokine, infamous for the role it plays in autoimmune attacks like inflammatory bowel disease. Compared to the blood of those who ate no spices for a week, black pepper was unable to significantly dampen the inflammatory response. What about any of the other spices? The following significantly stifled the inflammatory response:
  • cloves
  • ginger
  • rosemary
  • turmeric
And remember, they weren’t dripping the spices themselves on these human white blood cells, but the blood of those who ate the spices. So the results represents what might happen when cells in our body are exposed to the levels of spices that circulate in our bloodstream after normal daily consumption—not megadoses in some pill. Just the amount that makes our spaghetti sauce, pumpkin pie, or curry sauce taste good.

There are drugs that can do the same thing. Tumor necrosis factors are such major mediators of inflammation and inflammation-related diseases that there are TNF-blocking drugs on the market for the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, and ankylosing spondylitis, which collectively rake in more than $20 billion a year ($15,000–$20,000 per person per year). At that price, the side effects better be hugs and rainbows. But no, the drugs carry a so-called “black box warning” because they can cause things like cancer and heart failure. If only there was a cheaper, safer solution.

The spice curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric, is substantially cheaper and safer, but does it work outside of a test tube? There’s evidence that it may help in all of the diseases for which TNF blockers are currently being used. So with health-care costs and safety being such major issues, this golden spice turmeric may help provide the solution.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Herbs for Pain Relief

By Gina Mohammed, Ph.D.

Healthy Oils Help Relieve Aches and Pains

Gamma-linolenic acid is one of the good fats. It may help the body produce the kinds of prostaglandins and leukotrienes (hormone-like substances that influence the immune system and many other processes) that can reduce inflammation. It curbs rheumatoid arthritic pain, relieving morning stiffness and joint tenderness. Some evidence indicates that GLA also can help migraine headaches and mild diabetic nerve damage. Borage (Borago officinalis) and black currant (Ribes nigrum) seed oils are the richest sources of GLA, containing up to 25 percent and 20 percent, respectively, while evening primrose (Oenothera biennis), a traditional source, delivers 7 percent to 10 percent. The recommended daily dose for rheumatoid arthritis is 1 to 3 grams GLA supplement, and for mild diabetic neuropathy 400 to 600 mg daily. GLA is not an overnight fix and may take up to six months for significant relief. Also, long-term use may lead to inflammation, blood clots or decreased immune system functioning. A safe route to introduce a little GLA into your diet is by eating a handful of black currants regularly or spreading the preserves onto your morning toast—you might as well enjoy your medicine!

More Pain-relieving Herbs

To complete your anti-pain arsenal, consider these herbs:

Arnica (Arnica spp.), available in creams and tablets,relieves osteoarthritic pain in the knee and pain following carpal-tunnel release surgery. It contains helenin, an analgesic, as well as anti-inflammatory chemicals. Apply cream twice daily; use tablets according to package directions.

Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic boswellic acids that can soothe pain from sports injuries and also can help osteoarthritic knee pain. Take 150- to 400-mg capsules or tablets (standardized to contain 30 percent to 65 percent boswellic acids) three times daily for two to three months.

Clove oil (Syzygium aromaticum) is a popular home remedy for a toothache. Apply a drop or two of this excellent anti-inflammatory directly to your aching tooth or tooth cavity.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seeds are stocked with 16 analgesic and 27 antispasmodic chemicals. It makes a pleasant licorice-flavored tea and is especially good for menstrual cramps. But avoid the herb while pregnant or nursing because of its estrogenic effects.

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) is a remedy many people swear by for headaches, including migraines. Feverfew can reduce both the frequency and severity of headaches when taken regularly. It is available in 60-mg capsules of fresh, powdered leaf (1 to 6 capsules daily), or 25-mg capsules of freeze-dried leaf (2 capsules daily). You can also make tea—steep 2 to 8 fresh leaves in boiling water, but do not boil them, since boiling breaks down the active parthenolides.

Gingerroot (Zingiber officinale) has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can alleviate digestive cramps and mild pain from fibromyalgia. You can take 1 to 4 grams powdered ginger daily, divided into two to four doses. Or make tea from 1 teaspoon chopped fresh root simmered in a cup of water for about 10 minutes.

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) is great for stiff muscles—it has nine muscle-relaxing compounds, more than just about any other plant.

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is recommended by the German Commission E for sore throat. Not surprising, considering its nine anesthetic, 10 analgesic and 20 anti-inflammatory compounds. To make tea, simmer about 2 teaspoons of dried root in a cup of water for 15 minutes; strain. Do not take licorice if you have high blood pressure, heart conditions, diabetes, kidney disease or glaucoma.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare ssp. hirtum), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) are herbs you should be sprinkling liberally onto your food, as they are replete with analgesic, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory compounds. (Oregano alone has 32 anti-inflammatories!) Mix and match these garden herbs into a pain-relieving tea: Pour a cup of boiling water over a teaspoon of dried herbs, steep 5 to 10 minutes and strain.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Yoga for Abs & Arms

This Yoga for Abs and Arms Workout with Caitlin Turner is a 10 minute, abs and upper body Yoga routine that uses a flowing series of core-strengthening exercises to sculpt lean muscle, improve balance, increase flexibility and tone the abs, arms, obliques and back to shrink the waistline and tighten the midsection fast. Relieve tension, awaken the core and boost energy with Expert Yoga Instructor, Blogger and Host of the TV Show “Yoga Bliss”, Caitlin Turner (aka Gypset Goddess), as she takes you through this ab-sculpting journey that will build a stronger and healthier new you.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Vitamin K1 & K2 
Click HERE to watch the full interview!
Natural health expert and founder Dr. Joseph Mercola and Senior Scientist Dr. Leon Schurgers, discuss vitamin K and its health benefits.
By Dr. Mercola
Most readers here appreciate the importance of vitamin D, as do many physicians. However, there’s another vitamin that is virtually equivalent in terms of benefit that is still sorely underappreciated, and that is vitamin K2.
Very little is known about it, and it doesn’t get much media attention. Dr. Leon Schurgers is a senior scientist who did his PhD work on vitamin K, and I recently had the pleasure of interviewing him on this important topic.
He began his research on vitamin K some 20 years ago at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and he’s currently one of the leading researchers in the world on this vitamin.
Vitamin K—both K1 and K2—are well known for their function in thrombosis. According to Dr. Schurgers, all K vitamins actually have more or less the same function, which is related to the first part of the vitamin, called the naphthoquinone ring structure.
This ring structure is identical for both K1 and K2. The two vitamins are only different in their side chains.

The Blood Clotting Functions of Vitamins K

Vitamin K1 is well known for being crucial for proper blood clotting. But Dr. Schurgers clarifies this by saying that both vitamins K1 and K2 activate certain coagulation factors. Specifically, there are four coagulation factors (Factor 2, 7, 9, and 10) in the coagulation cascade that are activated by vitamins K1 and K2.
According to Dr. Schurgers, there’s no risk of over coagulating if you take a lot of vitamin K. In other words, your coagulation factors will not become overactive if you take high amounts of vitamin K1 or K2. So it is quite safe to consume vitamin K when you are not taking an oral anticoagulant drug.
Elderly people with atrial fibrillation (AF) or venous or deep-vein thrombosis are often put on oral anticoagulants, which are vitamin K antagonists, meaning they block the recycling of vitamin K—not only K1, but also K2. In this case, you do need to be cautious.
According to Dr. Schurgers:
“If you take oral anticoagulants – Coumadins and Warfarins, you have to be careful with K1 AND K2. However, the advice in the United States is to skip everything that contains vitamin K, and that is something I argue against.
Because if you take away all the K1 and K2 from the diet, every little interference—if you take a little bit of vitamin K—will have a dramatic effect on the anticoagulant level. However, if you have a steady intake level of vitamin K1 or K2, or both, a little bit of interference is not that bad anymore.
So I advocate, please take vitamin K from the diet every day, and put the anticoagulant level on top of that”... [But] there is no real benefit to take extra vitamin K on top of Coumadin, and I would not advocate that.”
In other words, get your baseline PT (prothrombin) measurements while you are taking vitamin K 1 and K2 from the diet and your oral anticoagulant. Then have your doctor adjust your dose based upon that. However, it is important you take the same dose of K1 and K2 all the time or else the drug may over-anticoagulate you.

Vitamin K Benefits Go Far Beyond Blood Clotting

Vitamin K also has important benefits beyond healthy blood clotting. In the 1980s, it was discovered that vitamin K is needed to activate the protein osteocalcin, which is found in your bone.

A decade or so later, another vitamin K-dependent protein was discovered: matrix Gla protein (MGP), found in your vascular system. Without vitamin K, these and other vitamin K-dependent proteins remain inactivated, and cannot perform their biological functions.

Another important finding was that MGP is a very strong inhibitor of calcification. If you inactivate MGP, you end up with serious arterial calcifications, and this is why vitamin K is so crucial for cardiovascular health. Evidence suggests vitamin K can even regress arterial calcification induced by vitamin K deficiency. According to Dr. Schurgers:
“There is a very strong correlation between inactive MGP and microcalcifications. It’s very interesting to speculate that vitamin K deficiency is causative of microcalcification, which then sets on a whole cascade of processes leading to atherosclerosis.”
On a side note, when I was in medical school in the late ‘70s, MGP was completely unknown, which underscores the importance of doctors to stay on top of the research, which is moving quite quickly these days.

Key Differences Between K1 and K2

The difference between vitamins K1 and K2 was first established in the Rotterdam Study,1 which Dr. Schurgers was part of. He explains:
“We published this in 2004... I measured a variety of food items for vitamin K content... Vitamin K1 is highly available in green, leafy vegetables – spinach, kale, broccoli, and cabbage.
However, the absorption of vitamin K1 from food is extremely low. Only 10 percent of the vitamin K, which is found in green leafy vegetables, is absorbed in your body... And there’s no variable or modification of the consumption that will significantly increase the absorption...
That was when we started to measure vitamin K2 in food items. We discovered that it was only present in fermented foods. Vitamin K2 is produced by bacteria in the fermentation product...
The total amount of vitamin K2 in cheese is lower than K1 in green leafy vegetables. However, all the vitamin K2 is absorbed by the body... Vitamin K2 in the food item is nearly completely absorbed...

Vitamin K2 Is Important for Cardiovascular Health

The Rotterdam Study found that those who consumed the greatest amounts of K2 had the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular calcification, and the lowest chance of dying from cardiovascular disease. This was a profound discovery, because such a correlation did not exist for K1 intake. Later on, other studies also showed that while K2 has health benefits, K1 has none. That’s when the investigation into the differences between K1 and K2 began in earnest.
“If you absorb vitamin K1 and K2, we showed that K1 is mainly going to your liver and stays there,” Dr. Schurgers says. “It has a relatively short half-life. After three to four hours after ingesting a dose of vitamin K1 from food, it is gone. It is taken up by the liver. K2 also goes to the liver, but the liver redistributes it via the low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol fraction... [which] is going to peripheral tissues such as bone and vasculature.
Both K1 and K2 are fat-soluble, but K2 is more fat-soluble, at least in long-chain menaquinones such as MK7. MK7 is transported more to the vasculature as compared to the vitamin K1. We hypothesized that that is one of the main functions – that K2 has additional benefit in the cardiovascular system, and K1 is more present in the liver.”
So, in addition to activating MGP, which is a potent inhibitor of calcification, K2 also helps prevent arterial calcification by transporting calcium away from areas where it shouldn’t be (in the lining of your blood vessels) to where it’s really needed (such as in your bone).
K2 also appears to be important for vascular flow to your brain. Upon autopsy, many with Alzheimer’s are found to have vascular degeneration, which is thought to produce symptoms of Alzheimer’s. And although there’s limited research in this area, evidence suggests vitamin K2 might help prevent Alzheimer’s by preventing plaque deposition. According to Dr. Schurgers, at least one study has also shown that vitamin K2 has a major function in delivering cellular energy for Parkinson’s disease patients, and may be beneficial in the treatment of this disease.

How to Measure Vitamin K Deficiency

Just as you can measure your serum vitamin D level to ascertain whether you might be sufficient or deficient, you can measure your vitamin K1 and K2 levels as well. The problem, however, is that it really only reveals what you ate the day before, which makes it very difficult to judge sufficiency or deficiency.  
“For example, if I measure vitamin K in your blood and yesterday you consumed a lot of spinach, your vitamin K1 will be high. If you consumed a hamburger, for example, with low amount of vitamin K, your vitamin K will probably be very low. So it’s not a very good marker for vitamin K status,” Dr. Schurgers says.  
To get around this problem, researchers have developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). These blood tests measure the active and inactive forms of MGP. By that, you can more accurately determine whether you’re sufficient in vitamin K or not. These tests are currently being commercialized, and should be available in both Europe and the US in 2015. Interestingly enough, Dr. Schurgers has found that virtually everyone is clinically vitamin K-deficient based on these tests. And, it’s particularly noteworthy that, in studies, patients with the highest levels of inactive MGP had the highest chance of dying from cardiovascular disease.
“There is always a certain amount of matrix Gla protein, which is circulating in the inactive form, meaning in biochemistry, you need extra vitamin K to activate this form,” he explains.

Recommended Dosages

To avoid vitamin K1 deficiency, Dr. Schurgers recommends eating a minimum of 200 grams of vegetables each day. He also suggests consuming K2 on a daily basis, which means you need to eat some form of fermented food.
“Some people ask: ‘Why is vitamin K2 more important [than K1], whereas there’s K1 in the diet? Where does this benefit come from?’ The only explanation I can come up with, which is just purely hypothetical, is that 100 years ago, we didn’t have refrigerators. Most of the food were in our house for more days and were most likely fermented,” Dr. Schurgers notes. 
While the ideal dosage has yet to be determined, studies suggest you need about 360-500 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K2 per day. There are no known side effects of higher dosages, however, so it’s likely better to err on the higher side. At bare minimum, you need 45 mcgs per day to help ward off cardiovascular disease, as evidenced in the Rotterdam Study,2 which was the first study demonstrating the beneficial effect of vitamin K2. In this study, people who consumed 45 mcg of K2 daily lived seven years longer than people getting 12 mcg per day.
Foods high in K2 include raw dairy products such as hard and soft cheeses, raw butter, and kefir, as well as fermented vegetables like sauerkraut. Keep in mind that the K2 content of pasteurized dairy and products from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), which comprise most commercial sources, are NOT high in K2 and should be avoided. Only grass-fed animals (not grain fed) will develop naturally high K2 levels. The following table contains estimates of the K2 content of various foods.

Food Vitamin K2
Natto (3.5 ounces) 1,000 mcg
Fermented vegetables made with Kinetic Culture (2 ounces) 400-500 mcg
Whole egg mayonnaise 197 mcg
Gouda or Brie cheese (1 ounce) 75 mcg
Miso 10-30 mcg
Lamb or duck (1 cup) 6 mcg
Beef liver (1 cup) 5 mcg
Dark meat turkey (1 cup) 5 mcg
Chicken liver (1 cup) 3 mcg

Also keep in mind that fermented foods contain a wide variety of different bacteria, and only certain ones—such as Bacillus subtilis—actually make vitamin K2. You can boost the K2 content of fermented foods by making them yourself, using a starter culture specifically designed to optimize K2. My research team found that we could get 400 to 500 mcgs of vitamin K2 in a two-ounce serving of fermented vegetables using a starter culture, which is a clinically therapeutic dose.

Take-Home Message...

Optimizing your vitamin K level has tremendous potential for improving your health, and it’s such a simple intervention—especially if you opt for fresh vegetables and fermented foods. For me, that’s the real take-home message here. Sure, you can swallow vitamin K supplements, but it’s far easier to get vitamin K2 from fermented vegetables. I believe taking this simple step is a really crucial nutritional strategy that can go a long way toward optimizing your health.
While most if not all people are deficient in vitamin K to some degree, if you’ve already been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, you can be absolutely certain that you are deficient, and it would behoove you to take steps to ensure you’re getting plenty of vitamin K1 and K2, which may help regress some of the damage. Eating lots of green vegetables, especially kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, will increase your vitamin K1 levels naturally.
For vitamin K2, cheese curd is an excellent source. You can also obtain about 200 mcgs of K2 by eating 15 grams of natto each day, which is half an ounce. It's a small amount and very inexpensive, but many Westerners do not enjoy the taste and texture. If you don't care for the taste of natto, do try some fermented veggies made with Kinetic Culture, which will produce high levels of K2. This is what I do nearly every day. As a last resort, take a high-quality K2 supplement.
Remember you must always take your vitamin K supplement with fat since it is fat-soluble and won't be absorbed without it. Again, 45 mcg/day is the bare minimum, but you could go as high as 500 mcgs per day or even much higher, as this is one of the few supplements where toxicity has never been demonstrated.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Scientific Proof That We Can Heal Ourselves

In this TEDtalk, Lissa Rankin explores the spiritual and scientific implications that the placebo effect has over us. She discusses how our thoughts powerfully affect our physiology when we believe we can get well.

The placebo effect is concrete evidence that the body has its own innate self repair system.

A study was conducted with 3500 participants who had all been diagnosed with an incurable disease like cancer, HIV, various heart diseases, etc. Through the placebo effect, everyone’s illness had all disappeared without treatment.

Lissa goes on to talk about a specific case about a man named Mr. Wright, who had been given drugs that he truly believed would cure his cancer. Within days his tumors shrunk to half their size!

After a report was released stating the drug didn’t actually work, Mr. Wright’s cancer came back. His doctor sneakily told him that he had a higher quality version of the drug, and injected Mr. Wright with nothing more than water. Again, his tumors went away because he believed they would.

In this TEDtalk, Lissa describes some of the countless occurrences with measurable proof where people actually cure themselves. They grow back hair, heal their ulcers, shrink tumors, and diminish all signs of sickness! Even though this healing is initiated by the mind, the body really reacts.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Most Powerful Natural Antibiotic

This is The Most Powerful Natural Antibiotic Ever – Kills Any Infections in The Body
The basic formula of this powerful tonic dates back to medieval Europe, that is, from the era when people suffered from all sorts of diseases and epidemics.

This master cleansing tonic is actually an antibiotic that kills gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. It has also a powerful antiviral and antifungal formula, increases blood circulation and lymph flow in all parts of the body. This plant-based remedy is the best choice for the fight against candida.
This tonic has helped many people to cure many viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal diseases and even plague! Its power should most certainly not be underestimated.
It can cure many chronic conditions and diseases. Encourages blood circulation, and purifies blood. This formula has helped millions of people throughout the centuries to fight the most deadliest diseases.

The secret is in the powerful combination of high-quality natural and fresh ingredients!

To sum up, this tonic is effective in the treatment of all diseases, successfully strengthens the immune system, acts as an antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic medicine. Assists in the most severe infections.

Master tonic – Recipe
You may want to wear gloves during the preparation, especially when handling hot peppers, because it is difficult to get the tingling off your hands! Be careful, its smell is very strong, and it may stimulate the sinuses instantly.

  • 24 oz /700 ml apple cider vinegar (always use organic)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 fresh peppers, the hottest you can find (be careful with the cleaning – wear gloves!!!)
  • ¼ cup grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp grated horseradish
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder or 2 pieces of turmeric root
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the vinegar.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a Mason jar.
  3. Pour in some apple cider vinegar and fill it to the top. It is best if 2/3 of the jar consist of dry ingredients, and fill in the rest with vinegar.
  4. Close well and shake.
  5. Keep the jar in a cool and dry place for 2 weeks. Shake well several times a day.
  6. After 14 days, squeeze well and strain the liquid through a plastic strain. For better results put a gauze over it. Squeeze well so the whole juice comes out.
  7. Use the rest of the dry mixture when cooking.
Your master tonic is ready for use. You do not need to keep the tonic in your fridge. It will last for long.

Extra Tip: You can also use it in the kitchen – mix it with some olive oil and use it as a salad dressing or in your stews.

  1. Caution: The flavor is very strong and hot!
  2. Extra Tip: Eat a slice of orange, lemon or lime after you take the tonic to ease the burning sensation and heat.
  3. Gargle and swallow.
  4. Do not dilute it in water as it will reduce the effect.
  5. Take 1 tablespoon every day to strengthen the immune system and fight cold.
  6. Increase the amount every day until you reach a dose of 1 small glass per day (the size of a liquor glass).
  7. If you struggle against more serious disease or infection, take 1 tablespoon of the tonic 5-6 times a day.
  8. It is safe for pregnant women and children (use small doses!) because the ingredients are all-natural and contain no toxins.
Warning: Do not use on an empty stomach, and start with a teaspoon for the first few times. It is POTENT and can cause nausea or vomiting if you are not used to it.

Health benefits

Garlic is a strong antibiotic with a wide range of health benefits. Unlike chemical antibiotics that kill millions of friendly bacteria your body needs, its only goal is bacteria and microorganisms. Garlic also encourages and increases the level of healthy bacteria. It is a powerful antifungal agent and destroys any antigen, pathogen, and harmful disease-causing microorganisms.

Onion is garlic’s closest relative ​​and it has a similar but milder action. Together they create a strong fighting duo.

Horseradish is a powerful herb, efficient for sinuses and lungs. It opens sinus channels and increases circulation, where common colds and flu usually begin, as most doctors would agree.

Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and it is a strong circulation stimulant.

Chili peppers are the most powerful circulation stimulators. They just send their antibiotic properties to fight the disease where it is mostly needed.

Turmeric is the most perfect spice, cleanses infections and reduces inflammation. Blocks the development of cancer, and prevents dementia. It is especially useful for those who struggle with joint pain.

Apple cider vinegar – there must be something very healthy in the use of apple cider vinegar as the father of medicine, Hippocrates, used vinegar around 400 BC because of its healthy properties. It is said that he used only two remedies: honey and apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is made from fresh and ripe apples which are later fermented and go through rigorous process to give the final product. Apple cider vinegar contains pectin, a fiber that reduces bad cholesterol and regulates blood pressure.

Health experts agree that people need more calcium as they get old. Vinegar helps the extraction of calcium from foods it is mixed with, which helps in the process of maintaining bone strength. Potassium deficiency causes a variety of problems including hair loss, brittle nails and teeth, sinusitis, and runny nose.

Apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium. Studies have shown that potassium deficiency results in slow growth. All of these problems can be avoided if you use apple cider vinegar regularly. Potassium also removes toxic wastes from the body.

Beta-carotene prevents damage caused by free radicals, maintains skin firm and young. Apple cider vinegar is good for those who want to lose weight.

It breaks up fat which supports a natural weight loss process. Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid, efficient in the fight against fungal and bacterial infections. This acid dissolves uric acid deposits that form around the joints, and thus alleviates joint pain. Dissolved uric acid is later eliminated from the body.

It is believed that apple cider vinegar is useful in treating conditions like constipation, headaches, arthritis, weak bones, indigestion, high cholesterol, diarrhea, eczema, sore eyes, chronic fatigue, mild food poisoning, hair loss, high blood pressure, obesity, and many other health problems.

The master tonic is the best combination to fight each of these conditions. Protect your health using natural antibiotics!