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Agent Tips

WHY I ONLY USE SOAP AND WATER INSTEAD OF HAND SANITIZER

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.
By Jena Covello and @SimpleOrganix
Everywhere we go these days you can find a hand sanitizing station. Between doctors, media and advertisements constantly warning people about germs, I find that the public has been programmed to be in a constant state of sanitizing panic. But is it setting up a false sense of cleanliness? Am I really combatting germs or am I creating new ones?
Most hand sanitizers found today contain some form of toxic alcohol (some of my patented ingredients for Agent actually include a trace amount of benzyl alcohol, but this is for preservative purposes and it is Ecocert approved for organic cosmetics), fragrance, thickening agents and other chemical solvents. What many don’t know is how these ingredients affect health and microbes in general.
Soap and water kill and flush germs from skin. Hand sanitizers work by sitting on skin and killing germs on contact. They only work if they have enough alcohol to kill the germs—at least 60 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Many hand sanitizers these days are made with triclosan. This antibacterial has been found in animal studies to disrupt hormone function. It’s also connected to the rise of so-called “superbugs”—bacteria and viruses that can resist antibiotics. The CDC announced in 2013 that the rise of superbugs (as a result of overuse of antibiotics) was a serious threat to human health, and had caused at least 23,000 deaths that year.

We think we’re reducing our risk of getting sick when we use hand sanitizers, but they can actually weaken the immune system. Studies have shown that ultra-clean environments, particularly early in life, can contribute to reduced immune defenses later on.

The FDA states that there is no evidence that antibacterial soaps (and sanitizers) are any more effective than regular soap and warm water in helping to prevent the spread of germs. A 2000 study found that sanitizers do not significantly reduce the amount of bacteria on the hands, and may actually even increase it. Researchers added that the products strip the skin of its natural oils—and since those oils usually prevent bacteria from coming to the surface, the sanitizer can actually reduce the skin’s own defenses.

Here is a list of some of the ingredients found in hand sanitizers today:
Alcohol:
  • Ethyl alcohol is a chemical compound called ethanol derived mostly from the fermentation process of yeast, sugar and starches. About 90% of ethyl alcohol is converted in the body as carbon dioxide. It may affect the central nervous system, may inhibit activities in the brain and impair coordination.
  • Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) is an antiseptic that has similar function and structure of ethanol but derived from crude oil. Isopropyl (aka Isopropanol) is converted into acetone in the liver.
  • Triclosan/Triclocarban is a synthetic chemical introduced in 1972 with antimicrobial properties which destroy or inhibit the growth of microorganisms, bacteria and fungi. Triclosan is also lipophilic, which means it can bioaccumulate in your fat and release formaldehyde. It may be detectable in human breast milk, blood, and urine. It may be linked to abnormal endocrine system, abnormal thyroid hormone signaling, weakening of immune system, developmental and reproductive abnormalities.
Fragrance:
  • Personally, I wear synthetic fragrance.  I attended school in France and I know that it is very hard to create a natural perfume that lasts.  Just because something is synthetic does not mean it is toxic.  I trust fragrances that are made in Europe and Japan because they have safety regulations unlike the US.  The problem is that the fragrances made in the USA don't go through any sort of safety testing.  The ingredients in synthetic fragrance may be linked to birth defects, central nervous system damage, endocrine disrupters, allergic reactions and much more. Most forms of fragrance are also environmental toxins, allergens, carcinogens, neurotoxic chemicals and may irritate the respiratory, endocrine and reproductive system. There are many hidden chemicals in this ingredient as US companies are not required to list the ingredients that make up the scent according to the Environmental Working Group.
Inactive Ingredients:
  • PEG-12 is a silicone-based polymer used as an absorption enhancer which allows both good and bad ingredients to be absorbed faster into deeper parts of skin. According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, PEGs may be contaminated with heavy metals including arsenic, cadmium, lead, nickel, cobalt and iron. PEG-12 may be linked to breast, brain, bladder, stomach and pancreatic cancers according to the International Journal of Toxicology.
  • Caprylyl Glycol is an alcohol derived from caprylic acid, a fatty acid found in the milk of some mammals (Natural versions are derived from palm and coconut oils). It is used as a skin conditioning agent with antimicrobial properties however according to Environmental Protection Agency, excessive contact with glycols may play a role in brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.
  • Isopropyl Myristate is a synthetic oil composed of Isopropyl alcohol used as a thickening agent or lubricant. It is linked to acne inflammation, skin irritation and clogged pores.
  • Tocopheryl Acetate is Vitamin E mixed with Acetic acid as a preservative most often derived from soy and used in skin products. Studies have found that it may encourage the carcinogenic effects of the sun’s UV rays.
  • Parabens are a series of esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid used as preservatives to extend shelf life. Not all parabens are dangerous and it is going to become illegal to use the term "Paraben Free" on packaging in the EU.  The parabens that have been around the longest for 30 plus years with the smallest molecular structure is not carcinogenic and the public has been mislead.  Parabens with a long molecular structure were banned in the EU a long time ago. Again, the issue is that the US doesn't test a Parabens safety so products made in the US should be avoided.  In Europe it safe to use: methylparaben, ethylparaben and propylparaben.  The following parabens have been in Europe but are still used in the US.  In fact, if you find any of the following parabens listed as an ingredient in a brand's product in EU you can sue the brand because they are banned.  They are: butylparaben, isobutylparaben, and isopropylparaben. Studies are now showing parabens can mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in the body's cells by binding to estrogen receptors and have been found present in breast tumors. They are also found to be toxic to the reproductive, endocrine and digestive system.
Now that we understand and can identify what some of these ingredients are, it is safe to say that these hand sanitizers may be causing more harm than good. Not to mention alcohol based hand sanitizers are less effective when dirt, oil, or grease is present on hands while statistics show that it is 60% of the reason why people use them to begin with. In recent years the over usage of hand sanitizers has contributed to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance may lower your resistance to diseases because the over usage of anti bacterial products is killing the good bacteria that helps protect against the bad bacteria. This is a natural function in nature, microbes and immunity. As we continue to eradicate both good and bad bacteria’s, they continue to get stronger and more resistant in order to adapt. This eventually creates what is now known as “super bugs”. This cycle has the potential to be dangerous and never ending as they continue to adapt.
Not only are hand sanitizers boosting bad bacteria but they are also now linked to boosting the negative effects of BPA found in plastic products. The act of sanitizing your hand and then handling items containing BPA such as receipts or plastic bottles has shown to increase the BPA absorption in blood and urine by 40% within 45 seconds of exposure according to a study published by The University of Missouri.
BPA is a chemical that can be mixed with other compounds that create a stronger and more resilient plastic product. This chemical is commonly used in:
  • Plastic containers and packaging
  • Tupperware
  • Water bottles
  • Canned foods
  • Toiletries
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Thermal printer receipts
  • CDs & DVDs
  • Electronics
  • Sports equipment
  • Dental filling sealants
  • Soda & Beer cans
  • Plastic Bags
  • Fast Food packaging
  • Food packaging
  • Baby bottles and toys (especially pre 2011).
  • Industrial usage
BPA has been linked to:
  • heart disease (Epidemiology and Public Health Group 2008)
  • infertility & miscarriages (Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nagoya City University Medical School 2005)
  • hormone disruption
  • endocrine disruption (Hotchkiss Brain Institute 2013)
  • type 2 diabetes
  • prostate health
  • neurological problems
  • fetal development disruption (Kaiser Foundation Research Institute 2011)
  • PCOS (Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Hospital 2011)
  • central nervous system disruption
  • impotence & low sperm count
Many of these problems arise because it is know to imitate hormones which intern interfere with the production, function and elimination of the bodies natural hormones. It is also known to behave in a similar way to estrogen and other hormones in the human body. All of these problems are amplified when hand sanitizers are facilitating a faster absorption especially when fingers are wet or greasy.
Some of the things you can do to avoid the problems listed above are:
  • Avoid alcohol based hand sanitizers and purchase ones made with thyme, fennel, rosemary, tea tree, grapefruit and pine essential oils and extracts.
  • Avoid thermal printed receipts, opt for emailed instead.
  • Avoid plastics by replacing with glass containers and bottles.
  • Use reusable shopping bags.
  • Avoid anti bacterial soaps unless necessary
  • Thoroughly wash and dry hands with soap and water as a form of sanitizing.
  • Sanitize surfaces with natural plant based disinfectants.
  • Avoid other products with ingredients listed above by reading labels.
  • Avoid recycled plastic numbers 7,3 & 6 as they contain highest BPA. Use recycled plastic numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5 as they are BPA free.
  • Avoid constantly focusing on germs, bacteria and the notion of contraction.
  • Have natural wipes on hand to sanitize shopping carts.
  • Do not handle food or eat after using hand sanitizers and BPA products.
  • Buy BPA free products when possible.
  • Hand sanitizers should only be used in places such as hospitals to avoid the spread of C-Difficile and other virus and bacteria.
Just like a baby builds immunity with natural hand to mouth action, the immune system has provided skin with powerful good bugs to protect while allowing necessary bad bugs to enter and keep the system functioning. Hand sanitizing is slowly destroying this function in immunity. I find that knowledge and a few easy changes are always the key to finding safer options. While many of these toxic materials, ingredients and products have become the “new normal”, I believe it is my responsibility to control as much exposure as I can.
Natasha M
@simpleorganix

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THE YUMMY BENEFITS OF SWEET POTATOES AND YAMS

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.
By @simpleorganix
Sweet Potatoes and yams are one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. Did you know that the rich orange color provides one of the highest sources of beta carotene in the form of Vitamin A? However, not all sweet potatoes are orange as there are over 400 varieties of sweet potatoes found around the world. The best way to reap all of the health benefits of sweet potatoes and yams is to consume steamed or baked. One of my personal favorites are the beautiful purple variety. Science has identified the exact genes in sweet potatoes that get activated to produce the purple anthocyanin pigments responsible for the rich color. These anthocyanin’s have important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Some of the benefits of sweet potatoes and Yams are as follows:
  • Antioxidants: one serving provides a 90% increase in Vitamin A. Beta carotene scavenge the body for free radicals. (fat soluble best when coconut oil is added). Antioxidant anthocyanin is highest in purple variety.
  • Anti inflammatory: sweet potatoes contain compounds that target inflammation at a cellular level. Phytonutrients in purple sweet potatoes have the ability to reduce inflammation in both nerve and brain tissue according to a study done by Neurochemistry International in 2010.
  • Blood sugar: sweet potatoes are a slow burning starch that increase blood levels of adiponectin, an important modifier of insulin metabolism.
  • Potassium: helps regulate blood pressure, sweeps sodium and fluid out of the body and regulates heart rhythm.
  • Magnesium: helps alleviate symptoms of insomnia, anxiety and depression. Neutralizes stress adrenaline, protects brain from trauma, calms nerves, relaxes muscles and balance cognitive function.
  • Heavy metal removal: purple sweet potatoes contain compounds that can bind to heavy metals such as lead, mercury, copper, & cadmium when passing through the gut. 
  • Sporamin: a storage protein founded in 1930 that helps the plant heal any damage makes up 80% of the sweet potato. Numerous studies have shown this proteins healing effect against leukemia, colorectal, tongue/oral, colon, skin, breast and pancreatic cancers.
  • Vitamin C: over 50% of a sweet potato contains vitamin C. It is also found in high concentrations in the ovaries and is essential for hormone production/ regulation, when absorbed in ovaries, it then stimulates the production of the Progesterone hormone.
Even though all of these are reason enough to integrate sweet potatoes and yams to a daily regimen, one of the biggest benefits of eating them is their Progesterone delivery. Both sweet potatoes and it’s cousin the Yam contains what is most referred to as the “happy hormone” or the “fountain of youth”.
Progesterone is a natural hormone produced by the ovaries after a woman ovulates. It plays a big role in getting and maintaining a pregnancy amongst many other hormonal functions in the body.
When progesterone hormone levels are low (usually between the age of 30-50) in the body it may:
  • be difficult to get pregnant. (Progesterone helps thicken uterus in anticipation of a fertilized egg. If the uterus isn't thick enough, implantation may not occur).
  • raises the rate of miscarriage during pregnancy, Progesterone protects the egg from the body absorbing it.
  • cause estrogen dominance which may lead to the buildup of tissue in the inner lining of the womb.
  • increase premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention, breast pain and cramping. It also may play the same roll in uterine and endometrial disease pain.
  • increase weight gain, hair loss, brittle nail and dry skin. (Progesterone increases collagen, reduces androgen that hinders hair/nail growth)
  • play a roll in postpartum depression. (The ovaries make progesterone but are turned off during pregnancy while placenta makes it. Once the placenta is removed it takes a few months for hormones to kick back in again and normalize, hence placenta therapy helping with PPD ).
  • cause uterine bleeding.
  • cause irregular and missed periods.
  • cause low sex drive and hot flashes.
  • affect blood clotting process which hinders wound healing and increases blood loss.
When progesterone hormone levels are normal in the body it may:
  • prevent muscle contractions from happening in the uterus that would cause a woman's body to reject an egg.
  • prevent low breast milk production as the progesterone is made by the placenta about 8 weeks into pregnancy which prepares the breast to create breast milk. Consumption of sweet potatoes and yams after birth may help continue ample milk production. 
  • balances estrogen and testosterone
  • promotes fertility (iron in sweet potato promotes fertility).
  • protects from Breast Cancer according to a study done in 1981 by John Hopkins School of Epidemiology.
  • help better assimilate thyroid hormones.
  • increases brain serotonin.
  • build new bone alongside magnesium, vitamin D & K
  • increases your metabolic rate by increasing your appetite and energy levels.
  • protect against endometrial diseases.
  • prevent nerve cell damage.
  • relieve depression, anxiety and insomnia (Increases GABA in the brain).
  • nourish hair, skin and nails, hence the “your glowing” affect in pregnancy due to high amounts of vitamin A, C, E & collagen builders.
  • protect from auto immune disease caused by estrogen dominance according to article published in 2014 by Nature Reviews.
  • lightens painful and heavy periods.
Estrogen dominance is one of the biggest health issues affecting women today when it comes to Progesterone health. The focus on balance between the two can be a powerful tool in combatting estrogen dominance. For example, estrogen increases body fat, while Progesterone helps use fat for energy. Because they work hand in hand, when one is off, another function may suffer. Introducing a diet high in sweet potato and yams may help balance this hormonal relationship.
Other helpful tools to combat estrogen dominance and help balance hormones may be:
  • eating organic, grass fed beef, pasture raised eggs and chickens (free of antibiotic & hormone feed)
  • consuming wild fish while avoiding farmed and large mouthed fish.
  • eliminating xenoestrogens such as pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
  • improve liver function/health (milk thistle, artichoke, dandelion root) The liver is responsible for eliminating metabolized or “used up” estrogens.
  • daily bowel movements aid in removal of estrogen from the body.
  • avoiding all soy (raises estrogen).
  • avoiding wheat and gluten. (Inflammatory)
  • avoiding GMO and processed foods.
  • consuming cruciferous veggies (steamed or cooked is best), raw broccoli sprouts as a form of DIM (a metabolic I3C).
  • dry skin brushing to help circulation
  • avoid plastic and BPA. (raises estrogen)
  • find alternatives to birth control pills. (BC pills are synthetic estrogen)
  • eat more fiber.
  • proper daily intake of magnesium, iron, zinc and selenium rich orange and green fleshed foods.
  • Antioxidant rich foods, (750mg Vitamin C a day for 6 months can considerably increase the progesterone production).
  • eat healthy clean fats.
  • drink clean water and stay hydrated.
  • manage stress (medical medium suggests sweet potatoes neutralize damaging stress adrenaline).
  • look into anti inflammatory supplements such Turmeric w/black pepper.
  • consume organic bone broth.
  • detox heavy metals and reduce exposure to heavy metals (see HMD blog).
  • maintain healthy weight.
  • eliminate toxic cosmetics and beauty products.
  • balance gut microbe and digestive enzymes, consume raw dairy, pre & probiotics may be beneficial. Digestive issues may inhibit the estrogen detoxification process in the liver and overproduce cortisol which blocks progesterone receptors.
  • focus and repair sacral chakra which interacts with relationships, expressions of sexuality, creativity and human connection.
  • work through past trauma, resentment, fear, anger, emotional attachment and other negative energy that may congest the chakra energy fields.
  • journaling and positive affirmations such as “I am radiant, beautiful and strong and enjoy a healthy and passionate life. I am in touch with my feelings. I am a creative being.”
  • maintain healthy thyroid function.
  • diet high in wild blueberries, sesame, avocados, black beans, asparagus, apples, spinach, black grapes, cucumbers, raspberry leaf, nettle & elderberry according to Medical Medium.
  • chamomile & raspberry leaf teas help reduce estrogen.
Also, Keep in mind that estrogen dominance may not be present because of too much estrogen but because the body and hormonal eco system is not breaking down and evacuating these estrogens well enough. And if any symptoms are present that may suggest a concern, it is always best to seek a Doctor and have hormones levels tested. If Progesterone levels don't increase or decrease monthly, this may indicate a problem. Thus keeping in mind that there are many factors that play a role when imbalance is present. Many studies are proving the positive effects that sweet potatoes and yams have on women’s health making them one of my daily favorites.
Natasha M.
@simpleorganix

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EATING FOR YOUR ANCESTRY

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.
By @jenacovello and @simpleorganix
Have you ever wondered if we are genetically engineered to digest certain things depending on our blood line?
Does our DNA interact with our diet? Both science and the world of natural medicine is now trying to dig a bit deeper into nutritional genomics and how ancestry built certain genes to either protect or harm depending on centuries worth of exposure, adaptation to environment, and food.
Dairy as an example, in most mammals the gene for lactose tolerance switches off once an animal matures. Humans shared that as well until a mutation in the DNA of an isolated population of Northern Europeans 10,000 years ago introduced a tolerance for dairy. The likelihood that we tolerate dairy well now depends on the degree to which we have a Northern European bloodline, according to studies.
Our bodies are made up of trillions of cells, each containing different genes. Genes are segments of DNA that communicate a particular set of instructions. And the very recent discovery of the MTHFR gene has recently connected the world of diet and DNA. MTHFR is a gene that provides the body with instructions for making a certain enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase. When there is an MTHFR gene mutation, this may change the way the body metabolizes and converts nutrients from food into active vitamins, minerals, and proteins the body is able to use.
Because the studies are so young, lets travel the world of genes and see what science has discovered thus far:
Central America: Mexico was the highest likely to carry MTHFR mutation and is more in need of foods high in folate according to a study done in 2003 on genotype analysis. Foods high in folate such as legumes, asparagus, broccoli and brussel sprouts (DIM) respond well in improvement of health when it comes to this mutation. As well as the addition of a B complex to help correct. One study done by the national cancer institute showed Mexican women consuming a U.S. diet high in processed foods, refined carbs and sugars lead to metabolic and/or inflammatory response placing them at a higher risk of metabolic diseases such as obesity, insulin resistance and breast cancer. When going back to the traditional Mexican diet consumed by their ancestors, all of the health problems listed decreased drastically. Mexicans with Pima Indian ancestry did very well with a diet rich in beans, seeds and whole grains.
Europe: A study by UC Berkeley showed that people from southern Europe regions are optimized for a high-plant based diet. But people from other areas, such as Greenland have a biochemistry that is better able to process lots of meat fat and lactose. Western Europe was high in lactose intolerance (France, Germany). Polish & Greeks showed a tolerance for low lactose foods. All ancestry connected to the coasts of Europe should have a diet higher in fish as it is tolerated best. MTHFR mutations were higher in Southern Italians (introduce diet higher in folate and B complex to correct) whereas northeastern France was lowest. A Mediterranean diet showed positive health results for most all ancestry from coast lands in Europe.
Africa: showed to be a low starch society that did well with lower carbs and additions of fruits, rice, sweet potatoes & root veggies. Low lactose tolerance, diet void of dairy was best. Lowest cases of MTHFR mutation was Africa in general was a low MTHFR mutation country. The diet showed best based on whole plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, especially leafy greens, beans of all kinds, nuts and healthy oils.
Asia: MTHFR mutations were high in northern China and lower in southern. Japanese people showed a high starch forager genome which did well with diets high in carbohydrates and veggies. In Asia everyone but the Mongolians, the central Asian steppe peoples, and the inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent are entirely intolerant of lactose and dairy. A study documented by the Journal of nutrition showed women (living only in Asia) had a higher tolerance of Soy genistein (a chemical in soy, which attaches to estrogen receptors and starts regulating genes) due to different lifestyle and diet factors versus those living in the U.S which still had high occurrences of estrogen fueled cancers such as breast.
United States: The American diet high in animal fat, processed foods and refined sugars all showed highest in disease, genetic disorders, MTHFR mutations and cancers in most all studies done. Risk of developing diseases is thought to be caused by genetic susceptibility differences among ancestry to the effect of the modern Western diet in the cause of insulin resistance. Only when ancestors genetics were identified and diet changes made did all studies show signs of drastic improvement.
Some of the healing traditional diets and foods depending on countries include:
  • China traditionally eats for each organ that is tied to an element and a taste for the “Yin & Yang”. (bitter tied to the heart & fire, sweet: spleen & earth, sour: liver & wood, spicy: lungs & metal, salty: kidneys & water). A diet high in green tea, white rice, meat & fish in moderation. No dairy. Fermented soup with most all meals, vegetables are main course, medicinal herbs daily. Fruits daily consumed, lychee, mangosteen, kumquats, dragonfruit & pomelo.
  • Japan’s diet includes soybeans in the form of tofu, fermented foods, miso, large portions of land and sea vegetables, persimmons, Fuji apples for breakfast & matcha daily. Okinawa, which is a “blue zone” (longevity) consume a diet high in veggies, mandarin, persimmons, beans & sweet potatoes. Low in fish, meat & eggs with the regular consumption of bitter melon, mugwort, ginger, wasabi (real) shiitake & turmeric.
  • Korea’s diet is composed of mostly veggies & fermented foods, moderate legumes & fish, low red meat. Kimchi, rice, ginger, grapes, pears, durian, lychee, garlic, pepper & medical herbs consumed daily. Very low in dairy.
  • Turkey is known for their rich foods, however traditional diet consists of daily soup containing lentils & yogurt, low meat and dairy consumption. Higher meat consumption is in southwest population only. Turkish tea served with dried fruits & nuts. Pomegranate, figs, dates, cucumber, olives, mint & lemon tea, oregano tea, rose water, bitter melon & chickpeas are much consumed daily.
  • Syria traditionally consumes a diet heavy in veggies such as zucchini, eggplant, mint, garlic, and turnips. Daily consumption of sesame seeds, dates, lentils, figs, fava beans, pistachio, tamarind & honey. Low meat & dairy consumption of mostly sheep & lamb. A spice mixture containing healing clove, cardamom, cumin & cinnamon is heavily utilized.
  • Iran’s diet is heavily influenced by Europe, the Far East and Africa. The red meat of choice is lamb while the coasts consumption was heavy in fish. Daily consumption of pistachios, almonds, walnuts, fruits, pomegranates, quince, apricots, figs, prunes, dates, herbs, spices, mint, parsley, saffron, sour cherries, cinnamon & rosewater. Raw milk cheeses & fermented dairy products of sheep & goat. Rice, soups & hearty stews are consumed all year. Seafood on north & south coast is moderately high.
  • Germany is a large consumer of baked bread such as pumpernickel. Lunch is the largest meal consisting heavily of meat and wild game accompanied by potato and veggies. Sausage, soups and stews are consumed daily, while garlic is avoided. White asparagus, apples, pears, bananas, mustard, pickled veggies, beans and eggs are are found to be high in the diet.
  • Greece’s Mediterranean diet (found to be the lowest in heart disease & digestive issues) consists of seafood, yogurt, olives, potatoes and seasonal veggies. Crete and Ikaria being “blue zone” (longevity) diet consists heavily of what their lands produce. Olives, olive oil, Honey, nuts, dried fruits, goat milk, red wine, dark leafy greens, beans & yogurt. Very low use of clean red meat, eggs, fish, dairy & poultry. Diet Heavy in fruits such as apricots, grapes, figs, nectarines, plums and peaches. Herbs are used daily such as wild sage, oregano, rosemary, chamomile, dandelion & marjoram. Most everything is locally sourced, farmed & grown. Garlic, lemon, oregano, mint & wormwood often accompany meals. Wine is served with most meals, seafood is fresh caught and consumed often.
  • Italy traditionally features lots of fresh foods. The diet's core clings to the consumption of fruit, vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, beans & nuts. Fish is preferred to meat. Olive oil is the main fat consumed. Meat, eggs, and dairy products in small amounts. Olives, eggplant, parsley, prickly pears, lemon, basil, fennel, raspberry, cherries, apricots, and oranges consumed often. Wine, garlic, olive oil included in most meals. Low in processed foods.
  • South America consists of fresh fruits and veggies, corn, rice, beans, cassavas, greens, avocado, cilantro, cocoa. Meat and cheese are usually heavily eaten in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, & Paraguay. Quinoa, hot chilies, peppers. Peru consumes mostly potatoes, goat, young pig and corn. Mexico is low meat and high in root veggies, watermelon, mango, pineapple, chilies, cactus, avocados, cilantro, corn and lime daily. Most all of South America consumes tropical fruits: soursop, mangosteen, pineapple, lychee, banana, cherimoya & coconut. Costa Rica is a “blue zone” (longevity) with a diet high in plantains, eggs, beans, rice, seafood and fruits such as: passion fruit, guava, rambutan, soursop, mango, star fruit and dragonfruit consumed daily. Low meat consumption.
  • India consists of a wide variety of aromatic herbs and spices, plant foods, lentils and fruits. The traditional Indian diet supports immunity, inflammation and brain function. A diet high in spices and herbs such as healing Turmeric, black pepper, cumin, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, star anise, nigella seeds, curry leaves, onion, garlic, tamarind, holy basil and neem are very often integrated in every meal. Also High in grains and carbohydrates such as mungbean, chickpea, lentil, rice and wheat. Low in meat consumption such as lamb, chicken and goat, but high in dairy such as paneer and ghee. Black salt, Pink salt and Rock salt are added to dishes. Pickles and chutneys provide probiotics and accompany every meal. They also consume a diet high in healing fruits such as mangosteen, mangos, persimmons, langsat, guava, apricot, lychee and pomegranate. Apricot seeds (b17, cancer fighter) are often consumed daily with dried apricots, currants, dates and figs. After meal digestive aid consisting of fennel seed, coconut, sesame and anise seed called Mukhwas are common
Of course let’s not forget the many factors that play a role in the way we are reacting to what we eat. Thousands of DNA alterations take place in human cells daily, lifestyle is a major mediating factor in this equation. DNA damage may be accelerated by oxidative stressors such cigarettes, environmental exposures, heavy metals, virus, bacteria, processed foods, stress factors and a high-fat diets. There are many different approaches to diet and the way health is reacting to food, this may be just another approach to improving health. As science, DNA and genetics all scramble to figure out how it plays a role in general health, I myself will continue to reference the words of Hippocrates, the father of medicine... ”Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Natasha M.
@simpleorganix

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  • HPV
  • Post author
    Jena Scaccetti

HPV

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.
By Jena Covello and @simpleorganix
Did you know that there are more than 150 different strains of The Human Papillomavirus (HPV)? Only about 40 can affect the genital area, but most don't pose a serious risk to health. High-risk HPV strains include HPV 16 & 18, which cause about 70% of cervical cancers. Low-risk HPV strains, such as HPV 6 and 11, cause about 90% of genital warts, which rarely develop into cancer. It is now being said that HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection globally. What most people don’t realize is that the popular HPV vaccine only covers 9 strains (previously 2) and only 4% of the women in the US where exposed to the those two strains. Even with 7 new strains added to the vaccine, is it enough to feel protected? What happens if you have already contracted HPV? What about pre cancerous cells found in your last pap exam? All of these questions have now become a familiar and fearful discussion starting at the very young age of 9 for kids, and up to 45 for adults.
The truth is most people with HPV don’t know they’re infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it. About 70% of new infections will spontaneously clear within one year, while 90% of cases clear ON THEIR OWN within 2 years. Medical Medium and many people in the natural & medical communities have now linked HPV directly to the Herpes Virus and a slew of reproductive diseases in both men and women. Thus, linking these problematic viruses to mystery autoimmune diseases, gut issues, cervical and uterine difficulties, UTI’s, yeast infections, painful menstruation and head and neck cancers. Many of these strains are still undiscovered and unexplained as well as being connected to other bacteria’s and viruses. Even though these viruses can lay dormant (10-20 years) in the body after transmission, we are now seeing that environmental factors, diet and lifestyle are waking them up quicker and more aggressive than before. Providing an unhealthy environment and diet for these viruses are how problems begin to arise in the body for the virus to thrive. However, there are many things one can do to help avoid a progressive virus and protect and build your Immune System, especially if you have already been vaccinated for HPV.
Things to avoid:
  • Oils such as canola, soy, corn, vegetable and cottonseed
  • All products containing soy, wheat and corn (feeds virus, raises estrogen, GMO, inflammation)
  • All gluten (inflammation)
  • MSG, natural/artificial flavor/dyes, citric acid & preservatives
  • All processed sugar, candy and foods (feeds virus, burdens immune system)
  • All high fat conventional animal products, especially pork & eggs (burdens liver & immune systems)
  • Exposure to heavy metals (see previous article)
  • Pesticides and herbicides via food and environment
  • HPV vaccine
  • Oral contraceptives as they have 4 times the risk of cervical diseases and deplete folic and zinc.
  • Alcohol (depletes B vitamins, Folic Acid and Zinc)
Healthy Additions:
  • 16-32 oz fresh celery juice aid in immune building.
  • Lemon/Lime water cleanses liver to aid in immune building.
  • Fresh berries - especially wild blueberries from Maine.
  • Daily raw fresh fruits & veggies
  • Sweet potatoes/yams have progesterone to balance hormones and keep reproductive organs healthy.
  • Garlic can be applied on to genital warts, when taken orally/eaten can attack HPV from the bloodstream.
  • Heavy Metal Detoxes remove the form of food for the virus. (See HMD blog)
  • Prebiotics & Probiotics encourage immune building.
  • Antioxidants & Vitamin C help remove free radicals that encourage virus progression
  • Folic Acid and B12 together help prevent cervical disease.
  • Selenium can improve cervical tissue.
  • Liquid Zinc deficiency is a high risk factor. Study (NCT03404310) concurred Zinc has been shown to play a central role in immunity in HPV infected patients.
  • Turmeric inhibits certain genes that help with tumor progression.
  • Vitamin D supports immune function. (sun is best, orally should include vitamin K)
  • Green tea inhibits cancer cell growth and can clear genital warts.
  • Condoms to prevent transmission
  • DIM aid immune system, minimizes cellular changes and hormone stabilizer.
  • Exercise encourages detoxing and immune building.
  • Meditation, journaling & positive affirmations.
  • Chakra energy balancing especially on Crown, Third eye, Root & Sacral chakras where HPV is most present.
  • Monolaurin destroys viruses by attacking the protective lipid sheath of a virus' DNA & RNA, effectively disintegrating the virus and can prevent the replication of viruses. (slow build up is necessary to avoid herxheimer reaction)
Countless studies have shown positive outcomes with cervical dysplasia and most all symptoms of HPV when applying diet and lifestyle changes alone. Building immunity and creating an uncomfortable environment for the virus are not only a preventative but also a powerful healing tools. While those few steps are important one of the best things to integrate into fighting HPV has also been antimicrobial Herbs. These herbs have secured their importance in the healing process of HPV, Herpes, Strep and so much more when aiding in immune building.
Herbs to help the immune system:
  • Goldenseal is antiseptic and antiviral, also use on genital warts as a tincture. Goldenseal also can enhance the abilities of other antimicrobial herbs listed below.
  • Tea tree oil as immunity aid and can help prevent re-infection of HPV.
  • Echinaceas phytosterols & antioxidant compounds can boost white blood cells & improve the antiviral impact.
  • Calendula clears up genital warts and aids in immune and lymphatic system.
  • Cats Claw aids in healing of cold sores, aids in immune building. (avoid if leukemia is present)
  • Astragalus Root has been known to be the most effective in healing cervical abnormalities and attacking HPV. It modulates immunity by increasing the numbers of white blood cells that attack invading organisms. It enhances the ability of T-cells and NK cells to destroy tumors according to The University of Houston. Astragalus improves cellular health by slowing down the wear and tear of your DNA. It can strengthen its antiviral immunity, and inhibits virus replication. It can target genes (p-53 gene) which turn on anti cancer capabilities according to The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins. It is immune building and a powerful antioxidant that relaxes the central nervous system and improves sexual heath.
These herbs used together work in synergy to become a powerful anti microbial, anti viral and anti bacterial elixir. Integrating diet and lifestyle changes to the regimen is a steadfast way to eliminate HPV and other harmful viral, bacterial and parasitical activity in the body. Because healing is multi faceted, working with different therapies and a trusted holistic MD offers the most successful outcome, It is always best to see which therapy resonates with you.
Natasha M.
@simpleorganix

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HOW I HEALED MY UTI NATURALLY AND AVOIDED CIPRO

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.
by @simpleorganix
One of the most over used and over prescribed drugs on the market today are Antibiotics. An antibiotic is an anti microbe that becomes active against different bacteria strains when a bacterial infection is present. This is essentially two organisms fighting against each other. However, nature tends to adapt and becomes resilient, creating antibiotic resilient strains (aka superbugs). This is a normal response to pharmaceutical created anti microbes. Thus, pharmaceutical companies continue releasing drugs that are “stronger” with side effects that have been doing more harm than the bacteria it is being prescribed to eliminate.
One of the most common bacterial infection for women happens to be a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). This bacteria infection can occur in any part of the urinary system, the kidneys, bladder, or urethra. One of the most commonly prescribed drugs for this problem is Cipro (Cetraxal, Ciloxan, Cipro in D5W, Otiprio, and Cipro XR) and Levaquin (Levofloxacin). Two of the most dangerous strains on the market today. Even though there are lawsuits and debilitating side affects connected to both drugs, they continue to be heavily prescribed by the medical industry.
They both come from a family called fluoroquinolones (floxacin). This drug is prescribed as an alternative to individuals who are allergic to or have infections resistant to other antibiotics. These antibiotics are also commonly over prescribed for colds, sinusitis, sore throats, stomach pain, viral infections and pneumonia. According to CBS, The FDA has reported concerns about fluoroquinolones since 2008. A study on Nucleic Acids published in 2018 showed the same process that allows Cipro to inhibit a specific enzyme in bacterial invaders inhibits the same enzyme in our healthy cells. This particular enzyme is important to our metabolic function. Studies also now show they may have a permanent side effect on our stem cells which happen to be our bodies repair men.
Side effects (many permanent) acknowledged both by the drug companies, documented studies and lawsuits are as such:
  • Skin disorders, rash and damage
  • Blood vessel inflammation
  • Joint pain (permanent)
  • Muscle pain and spasm
  • Allergic pneumonitis in the lungs
  • Kidney disorder and failure
  • Hepatitis (liver inflammation)
  • Jaundice
  • Blood-related issues
  • UTI (prescribing the same drug to treat what it may cause)
  • May harm developing fetus
  • Behavioral changes
  • Vaginal itching and discharge
  • Alters colon and gut bacteria
  • Tendinitis and tendon rupture and permanent damage (most common)
  • Permanent nerve damage and central nervous system damage
  • Aortic dissection
Today, women have a 1 in 2 chance of contracting a UTI bacterial infection in their lifetime. Symptoms include frequent or urge to pee, cloudy or bloody urine, discomfort or burning pain when trying to urinate, pain in kidney areas, feeling tired accompanied by fever and chills. As E. coli is responsible for 90% of UTI infections, prevention is one of the best things you can do to avoid contraction.
Because women have short urethras (tube that allows urine to empty) it becomes easier for bacteria to enter the body. Causes and prevention of a UTI include:
  • Improper personal hygiene: wear cotton panties, avoid thongs, leaving pubic hair intact (this protects bacteria from getting into the vagina) avoid toilet backsplash
  • Swimming: chlorine kills off good vaginal bacteria while lakes and oceans may allow bad bacteria in
  • Exercise: avoid synthetic fabric where bacteria can thrive
  • Sex, multiple partners, spermicide: urinating and cleansing right after sex
  • E. coli: wiping front to back, avoiding vaginal contact with feces (common in babies)
  • Diabetes, pregnancy and menopause: healthy diet, removal of processed sugars, foods, gluten, corn, soy and dairy to balance hormones, eliminate candida and strengthen immune system
  • Dehydration, not urinating frequently: drink lots of clean water, empty bladder, don’t hold urine in
  • Tampons, douches, powders and scented soaps: use tampons and pads void of chemicals and synthetic ingredients, natural soaps without heavy scents and antibacterial properties, avoid powders and douches as these all kills good bacteria that protect the vagina
Although the “floxacin” family of antibiotics has been shown to be troublesome, there are infections that still need Doctor and antibiotic intervention. There are safer antibiotic options available to us and should be discussed with your doctor. Many of these other strains of antibiotics have been shown to heal an E-coli UTI in 3-7 days. If a UTI is reoccurring, resistant to antibiotics or contracted via chlamydia, stronger antibiotic interventions may be necessary. Because antibiotics may target both good and bad bacteria alike, there are many steps you can take to protect your gut during and after a course of antibiotics. These steps may also help reduce the side effects that may be caused by antibiotics.
-Probiotics can help reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea according to the world journal of gastroenterology. Probiotics help protect and restore gut flora, especially ones containing the Lactobacilli strain. Integrating prebiotic foods such as apples, onions, garlic and bananas can help feed and fuel probiotics.
-Fermented foods produced by microbes that include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi also help restore gut flora, heal and ease antibiotic symptoms.
-High Fiber foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, lentils, beans, bananas, berries and cruciferous veggies are known to stimulate the growth of good bacteria as well.
-Avoid foods that are fortified with calcium, grapefruit juice and alcohol which all may hinder the effectiveness of most antibiotics.
-Vitamin K helps reduce the impact of antibiotic side effects. Eating foods high in vitamin K include: turnips, spinach, kale, swiss chard, brussel sprouts, parsley and other leafy greens.
Now let’s talk about the natural approach you can take to help treat a UTI infection. The great thing about these natural therapies is that many of them can be discussed with your healthcare provider to take in conjunction with traditional UTI therapies. Some of the natural treatments that have been shown to be successful include:
Cranberry: 100% unsweetened juice can prevent bacteria from sticking to walls of the urinary tract. Prevents reoccurring UTI and protect bladder and kidneys. Relieves discomfort when urinating and reduces inflammation.
Lemon Balm & Nettle: antimicrobial, reduces inflammation in kidney and bladder, calms nervous system, works synergistically combatting bacteria.
Golden Seal: antimicrobial, strengthens other antibacterial herbs and properties.
Vitamin C & Liquid Zinc: supports immune system, work together to increase antioxidant activity, reduces acidity of urine, antimicrobial, removes pathogens.
Garlic: antibacterial properties, suppresses inflammation, provides immune support, decreases urge to urinate.
D Mannose: natural occurring sugar that is found in fruits attaches to bacteria (bugs love sugar) and prevents the bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract walls, draw bacteria out through urine, prebiotic that stimulates natural growth of good bacteria, empowers probiotics.
Lauricidin: antibacterial, specifically against pathogenic bacteria, It works by disturbing the integrity of the bacterial cell membrane, blocking replication and making it easier for the immune system to destroy the pathogen.
Oil of Oregano: powerful antibacterial properties, wild oregano containing 80% of it’s active ingredient carvacrol eliminates E. coli. Take for 14 days maximum due to irritation of stomach lining.
Vitamin D: boosts immune system, induces the antimicrobrial peptides in the bladder that help prevent UTI, deficiency associated with reoccurring bacterial infections.
Probiotics: restores good bacteria, boosts immune system, fights infection, deficiency associated with reoccurring bacterial infection. Canadian study showed Lactobacillus prevented UTI.
Apple Cider Vinegar: prevents bacterial infections, contains acetic acid that is effective in reducing the growth of bacteria, restores gut microbes, supports immune system, alkalizes urine.
Honey: antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, local honey is always more affective in immune response, anti inflammatory, reduces growth of bacteria.
Horsetail: used when suppressed urination that is accompanied by blood and severe pain is present, diuretic plant relieves pain when bladder feels full yet unable to be relieved by urination. Contains silica to promote cellular repair, not to be used longer than 12 days, strengthens immune system.
Many of these remedies have been a personal success with the complete elimination of my reoccurring UTI, however taking a few steps towards prevention, communication with your health care provider and listening to your body are always suggested. Everyone’s healing journey and approach varies, looking into what works best for you can be a powerful way to successfully eradicate this common bacterial infection in women.
Natasha M
@simpleorganix

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Combatting Constipation

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

Many of us get constipated during the holidays and when we are traveling.  In fact, 16% of Americans suffer from chronic constipation, especially the elderly and women with autoimmune conditions.  When we move our bowels regularly, the liver is able to detox from toxins and bad estrogen. You should be able to go at least once every 24 hours. If you are going at the same time every day, that’s even better. 

Constipation can be caused by many factors. Dehydration, lack of exercise, insomnia, low fiber diet, high dairy and protein diet, scar tissue from previous surgeries, low magnesium, stress, anxiety or some medications might bind you up. Around 50% of people taking a narcotic pain reliever suffer from constipation. 

If your medication is the culprit leading to constipation, it could help to see a holistic MD and functional nutritionist.  Here are some of the ways I combat constipation:

  • Beginning the day by juicing and drinking 16oz of fresh celery juice on an empty stomach
  • I follow this with a green smoothie consisting of wild blueberries, lemon, kiwi, spinach, kale, water and a small piece of raw garlic
  • Drinking 2 liters of water each day
  • Eliminating all dairy and red meat
  • Consuming 6-8 cups of cruciferous and green, leafy veggies per day.  Sweet potatoes are also helpful!
  • Probiotics
  • Magnesium Citrate supplements 
  • I take 2 digestive enzymes with each meal.  I am MTHFR positive so I take a methylated B complex at the same time so that I absorb it better
  • I avoid food on planes.  It's usually cooked in canola oil, which is very hard on the digestive system

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DETOXING FROM HEAVY METALS

 

By @simpleorganix @jenacovello

 ***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

We all remember sitting in Chemistry class staring down at a periodic table trying to remember every element's name and symbol. Yes, we were taught about the potential dangers of some of those elements, but never of how they truly affect our health, environment and well-being and how one should remedy the toxicity of heavy metals. If people realized the importance of gathering this knowledge, heavy metals would be included in a standard blood panel regularly. Unfortunately the reality is only holistic doctors seem to have the knowledge. Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic and cadmium and the less commonly tested copper, zinc, aluminum, and thallium require far more attention then they are being given in the medical community.

Heavy metals are found naturally in the environment, soil, oceans, pesticides, herbicides, seafood, home applications, pharmaceutical drugs, mercury dental fillings, IUD's, processed foods, animal products, vaccines, pollution in the the air and water (yes, bath and drinking water), etc.

Heavy metals enter the system in different ways. You breathe them, eat them, or absorb them through skin. Often symptoms of heavy metal toxicity are mistaken for things like autoimmune, thyroid dysfunction, gut problems such as IBS and mental disorders, depression, fatigue, nerve pain, insomnia, dementia, Alzheimer's, headaches, heavy periods, endometriosis, adenomyosis and imbalanced hormones. Heavy metal poisoning can include organ damage, behavioral changes and cognitive function difficulties. The specific symptoms and how it affects someone depends on the type of metal and how much of it is in the system. The only sure fire way to know and remedy is to maintain a healthy panel surveillance and safe chelation therapy, a treatment that uses medicine, food and herbs to remove these metals so they don't make you sick.

Here is a list of some of the heavy metals in our environment and the symptoms they cause:

Mercury Toxicity: Depletes glutathione (an incredible antioxidant that regenerates itself in the liver. It’s one of the important molecules you need to stay healthy and prevent disease.) vitamin C, inhibits thiamine, B1 and B6. Elemental mercury is found in dental amalgams, fish, soil (the reason so many vegans are now testing positive), electrical switches, thermometers, fossil fuel plants, and latex paints prior to 1992.  It finds its way into the brain, where it will stay in the blood for 45 days and in the brain for up to 22 years.  It is excreted in bile, although urinary excretion will increase as the toxic burden increases. Organic mercury is extremely toxic and stays 50 to 80 days in the blood and 20 years in the brain. mercury in organic form is absorbed 90% from the gut. Studies now show that mercury lowers T-Cell counts.  Mercury cuts the oxygen carrying capacity of blood by half.  When blood is deprived of oxygen, it contributes to disease. Mercury poisoning can cause muscle twitching, insomnia, imbalanced hormones, muscle atrophy and a metallic taste in the mouth. 

Lead Toxicity: Children and unborn children are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning. It can cause developmental and neurological issues, reduced brain volume, blue tinge around the gums, hearing loss, anemia, constipation, nausea, pain in abdomen and joints, headache, memory loss, irritability, fatigue, kidney damage, central nervous system problems, high blood pressure, carpal tunnel and autoimmune and thyroid symptoms. Lead heavily impairs kidney and liver detoxification. The typical amount of time Lead stays in the blood for several months and is stored in the bones for up to 30 years, usually released at 60 years old when bones are brittle. Other conditions that cause early release of stored lead is pregnancy, stress, hormonal and thyroid issues.  Lead is found in water, (California's tap water has higher lead content than Flint, Michigan https://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-essential-education-updates-southern-over-300-l-a-neighborhoods-had-higher-1492797611-htmlstory.html), burning fossil fuel, mining, batteries, pipes, solder, jewelry, soil containing lead from lead-based gasoline or paint, toys that might have been colored with lead-based paint (although this is illegal in the US, toys from other countries may still use lead-based paints), cosmetics (kohl, used as an eyeliner, has been found to contain high levels of lead), stained glass (making stained glass involves using lead solder), pottery (some ceramic glazes contain lead), tobacco smoking (active, second and third hand smoking is linked to higher lead levels in the blood.)

Aluminum Toxicity: Paramount to protecting yourself from the toxic effects of aluminum poisoning is taking care to avoid ingesting it to not increase your risk for diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Fortunately, researchers are discovering a host of natural substances that can prevent and/or treat aluminum’s toxic effects. Observational studies show that people who ingest more aluminum from drinking water or have a higher geographical exposure to aluminum show greater cognitive decline with time and are at a significantly increased risk of dementia. An increase in silica intake is associated with a reduced risk of dementia. Silica helps aluminum to be excreted via urine but allows essential metals to stay in the body. Avoid the following:

Commercial deodorant: Switch to a natural deodorant. 

Commercial baking powder: Switch to a brand that says “aluminum free.” 

Aluminum foil and aluminum cookware: Replace all aluminum-based and Teflon cookware with glass, iron, or safe ceramic. Lightly roast veggies and fish in a glass container instead of putting them on the grill wrapped in aluminum foil. Store leftovers in glass containers as well.

Arsenic Toxicity: According to Australian Medical Journal, arsenic exerts its toxicity by deactivating up to 200 enzymes, especially those involved in cellular energy pathways and DNA synthesis and repair. More symptoms include abnormal heart rhythm, skin issues, muscle cramps, tingling fingers and toes, consistent sore throat. 90% of all arsenic produced today is used as a preservative for wood. It is also found in alloys, car batteries, pesticides, cigarettes, herbicides and seafood. A single meal consisting of fish can increase the arsenic level in urine up to a hundred times. Anemia is one of the biggest side effects of arsenic exposure. Pesticide and herbicide exposure increase arsenic tremendously.  It was recently banned from conventional chicken feed. 

Cadmium Toxicity: Targets the body's cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, neurological, reproductive, and respiratory systems. It is found in tap water, tobacco products, non-organic leafy greens, potatoes, grains, fruits and vegetables which are contaminated through fertilizers made of sewage sludge and zinc tailings. Non-organic organ meats (e.g., kidneys, livers, hearts) and shellfish have very high concentrations of cadmium. Cadmium is absorbed in bone, pancreas, adrenal, placenta, liver and kidneys.

Of course metals such as zinc, copper, magnesium, chromium and iron in small amounts exist and are necessary in our bodies, Chelation and detoxing heavy metals may also deplete these metals we need. Monitoring the levels of the metals needed is also an important part of detoxing correctly as the process is a delicate one.

The first form of attack to detoxing and chelating heavy metals should always start with diet changes and restrictions:

Foods and herbs to add that aid in removal:

• Cilantro (can bind and immobilize mercury and methylmercury from water and body)

• Garlic (contains many active sulfur compounds derived from cysteine with metal chelating power)

• Wild blueberries from Maine

• Lemon or lime water

• Spirulina

• Chlorella/broken cell wall (binds fo cadmium, zinc, copper, and lead).

• Barley grass juice powder

• Atlantic dulse

• Turmeric

• Probiotics (certain strains of probiotic bacteria may minimize toxin exposure by trapping & metabolizing heavy metals)

• Milk Thistle

• Dandelion root (cleanses the blood)

• Green tea

• Herbal teas

• Ginger

• Healthy fibers

• Sulfuric veggies

• Pectin rich fruits

• Raw fruit and veggie juices

• Medical Medium's Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie recipe

• Celery Juice on an empty stomach

• Clean water (natural spring water)

Foods and products to eliminate:

• Dairy (high in lead).

• Sugar

• Processed foods

• Non-organic animal products

• Wheat

• Corn

• Calcium fortified food (high in lead).

• Seafood (shrimp, clams, mussels, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tuna or tilefish)

• Alcohol

• Tobacco

• Eggs

• Oils such as canola, veggie, soy and corn, sunflower, cottonseed (high In cadmium).

• Coffee

• High fructose corn syrup (high in mercury)

• Non organic foods

• Cleaning products such as Ajax and Comet.

• Bath and body products

• Fluoridated water and products (toothpaste etc.)

• Antiperspirants and beauty products (lipstick highest in lead) containing aluminum, lead and other toxic ingredients).

Detox and chelation is a delicate process that requires the body to focus mostly on the removal of heavy metals, focus on reduction of daily toxins is a crucial part in detox. Metals leave the body via stool, urine, breast milk and sweat. Avoid heavy metal detox or chelation during pregnancy and breast feeding. Intake of foods high in fat, sugar and carbs may hinder the systems detoxing process. Chelation also helps target inflammation which is found to be the root cause of most diseases.

Vitamins and minerals to help assist in removal of heavy metals:

• Liquid zinc

• Selenium (inhibits absorption of mercury and lead)

• Alpha Lipoic Acid (must be used correctly in order not to redistribute metals as it crosses blood brain barrier)

• Melatonin (promotes the synthesis of glutathione)

• Glutathione (antioxidant that is depleted by heavy metals. Works on a cellular level when detoxing).

• Probiotics

• NAC

• B complex

• Vitamin C (Free-radical scavenger protects against oxidative damage from heavy metals).

• Vitamin D

• Zeolite

• Bentonite clay

• Fulvic acid

• Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP increases in urinary excretion of arsenic, Mercury, Cadmium, Lead).

• Activated Charcoal

• Non-GMO Vitamin E (ability to support detoxification and scavenge tissue-damaging free radicals)

Chelation therapy can also be done by intravenous (IV) liquid EDTA and oral EDTA, DMPS, DMSA. These must be administered under professional medical care and strict guidelines in a course of weeks or months. These therapies are always administered with other forms of vitamin therapy, electrolyte replacement and monitored replacement of lost nutrients and good metals. You should only receive this type of chelation therapy from a trained doctor/holistic MD/practitioner. Some of these therapies can redistribute heavy metals to different organs and parts of the brain, this delicate process should always be monitored to make sure removal is successful and safe.

Relaxation and stress control is also encouraged during Heavy Metal detoxing. Things such as meditation, journaling, positive affirmations, infrared sauna sweating encouragement, exercise, epsom salt baths, cryotherapy, and essential oils have all proven to positively assist in ridding the body of these metals. Stress reduction helps reduce inflammation, which is a link to heavy metal toxicity and disease.

Studies all over the world have shown a significant reduction in many diseases and symptoms linked to heavy metal toxicity.

• A study done in 2003 at The New England Journal reported that chelation therapy reduced health costs by 95% in the treated group in improved kidney function.

• A study completed in 2014 by TACT showed EDTA chelation therapy alone reduced cardiac and diabetic events.

• A 1955 report in Alternative Medicine review showed that patients with Ischemic Heart Disease had improvement in angina and cardiovascular symptoms while undergoing EDTA chelation therapy for lead poisoning.

• A study done in 2008 by Eliaz on MCP (Modified Citrus Pectin) showed a 74% average decrease in toxic heavy metals after treatment.

• A study done by Nwokocha in 2012 showed garlic treatment reduced the frequency of metal-related lesions in the livers of rats. Garlic may also increase the bioaccessibility of iron and zinc (both antagonists of cadmium and lead absorption).

• According to Dr Mercola, if thyroid test results are high T4 but a low T3, then mercury, cadmium, or arsenic levels should be checked to remedy.

As science and nature merge now more than ever, people are beginning to notice that there is a correlation between heavy metals and general health. Because our bodies are equipped with such a multifaceted immune system, different approaches and techniques are encouraged. There is no right or wrong way, everyone’s exposure and levels are different and may require multiple approaches. The key is finding what is the safest way to successfully help rid yourself of these harmful heavy metals and begin your journey to better health.



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WHY WE DRINK ROSE WATER

Besides it's beautiful scent and topical properties, rose water has incredible internal benefits. 

Cultivated in Iran with more than 18,000 cultivars, Iranians call the plant the "flower of prophet Muhammad" because they believe the scent reminds them of him.

Rosa Damascena is used for rose water and rose essential oil. Rose water has been used since the time of Cleopatra. It contains vitamins: A, C, E, and B. It has been used to treat coughs sore throats, reflux, anxiety and stress. It may help speed the recovery of wounds, allergies, skin conditions and headaches. Sipping rose water tea is hydrating and cooling.

You can make your own rose water at home by storing organic rose petals in a jar filled with distilled water and steeping it in the sun for 2 days. To make rose water tea, steep a handful of rose petals in boiling water for 10 minutes and strain. Pink and red petals make the most fragrant tea. You can also buy commercially prepared rose water. 

So Why Do We Drink It?

  • hydrates the skin from within
  • anti-aging properties help with skin aging by reducing wrinkles, lightening dark spots and tightening pores
  • mood enhancer, promotes calmness
  • helps digestion 
  • helps recover from colds, flu and sore throats
  • relieves fluid retention

 ***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA.  WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

 

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VITAMIN A: THE AGELESS VITAMIN THAT IS OFTEN OVERLOOKED

 ***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA.  WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

Vitamin A has a profound effect on the eyes and visual system and  An article in Life Force Homeopathy even dubbed it the “angel vitamin” because it can keep you looking and feeling ageless.

Vitamin A helps the adrenals and thyroid hormones function properly, maintains nerve cell structure and immune function. Research suggests vitamin A helps with many skin ailments, including acne and psoriasis. It enhances new skin cells and repairs injuries. It works alongside calcium and vitamin d to form teeth and bones and it also helps to keep those organs and structures strong.

Vitamin A reduces inflammation which slows down the aging process and allows you to retain a youthful appearance. It supports the immune system through its strong antioxidant activity.

Despite its importance, vitamin A is prescribed much less often than the other vitamins. This contributes in part to diseases and disorders that stem from insufficient amounts of the nutrient.

Countries from around the world have identified vitamin A deficiency as one of their most serious public health concerns. It is most prevalent in Africa and Southeast Asia. The most common people who are deficient are children and pregnant women.

Some effects of vitamin A deficiency are:

• Poor growth and development.

• Suppressed immune function characterized, for example, by reduced ability to launch an effective antibody response and lowered levels of helper T-cells. This makes a person more prone to infectious diseases, including chicken pox, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), measles, pneumonia, sinusitis, AIDS, colds and other respiratory infections. Worse, during the course of an infectious disease, the body's stores of vitamin A are depleted, contributing to a vicious cycle which further increases one's infection rate.

• Vision issues like night blindness and dry eyes (cornea and conjunctiva). In severe cases, an eye disease known as xerophthalmia could result, a condition which afflicts millions of Asian children annually.

• Dry hair 

• Wrinkles, dry skin and skin disorders like acne.

• Compromised mucous membranes in the respiratory, gastrointestinal and   genitourinary tracts.

• Ear abscesses

• Insomnia

• Fatigue

• Reproductive issues

• Weight loss

 How Can you increase your Vitamin A intake?

A number of studies have raised warnings about vitamin A supplementation, which is why it’s so important to get this vitamin from natural sources. 

Vitamin A is the term for retinoids that can be dissolved in fat. They include beta carotene, retinal, retinol, and retinoids.

Small amounts of micronutrients that contain vitamin A are enough to ensure the normal function of the body.

Food sources

Dietary sources of vitamin A fall into two categories - foods which contain preformed vitamin A and foods which contain provitamin A; compounds that are converted to vitamin A in the body. The body's ability to properly absorb vitamin A is dependent on healthy mucosal cells plus the presence of bile, pancreatic enzymes, fat, protein and antioxidants. Conversion of provitamin A to vitamin A depends on the presence of protein, zinc, vitamin C and thyroid hormones.

In plants, Vitamin A is found as carotenoids: bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, kale and collards, sweet potatoes, yams, apricots, dandelion root and squash.

In animal foods, it is available as the aforementioned retinoids. Good sources of this pre-vitamin form include raw organic butter, organic egg yolks, fish, liver, and organic meat.

One of the many beneficial vitamins we get from raw butter is vitamin A, which has a wide range of functions for our bodies. Compared to standard butter, grass-fed butter can have 3% or more vitamin A per tablespoon. This might not sound like a lot, but over the course of a day and a lifetime, that added vitamin A can really add up.

Your body needs a daily dose of this fat-soluble vitamin to maintain healthy bones, cell membranes, immune function, skin, teeth and vision. Vitamins A and D work together, and there's evidence suggesting that without vitamin D, vitamin A can be ineffective. 

It’s important to have your vitamin A and vitamin D levels checked by a holistic MD.

SKINCARE:

Rosehip oil is naturally high in vitamin A, an ingredient in our holi oil and body oil.

 

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A Reason To Be Concerned About Imported Garlic

By Ashuri

***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA.  WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.

There are not many foods that give the same mouth-watering delight than garlic. Garlic is not only delicious and used in almost every recipe one can think of; it is also a powerful super-food. Garlic has been used around the world for centuries for cooking and because of its effective medicinal properties. Garlic is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and many other trace minerals that are vital for healthy immune function. The most popular compound found in garlic is allicin, which is what gives it that lovely flavor and its powerful antioxidant punch. Studies have shown that garlic has the power to prevent colds and flu and reduce the length of time these viruses are in the system by roughly 70 percent. In addition, garlic has been shown to reduce high blood pressure, reduce high –bad- cholesterol, improve the immune system, remove parasites from the GI tract, and work as a natural antibiotic in all areas of the body.  

With that being said, should you be concerned about where your garlic comes from? Well, YES! Although the information about the dangers of imported garlic  has been available for decades, the concerns have recently popped up again, and I’m here to shed some light on them.

 Here’s the quickie

Other countries produce about 75 percent of the world’s supply of garlic. In 2017, the US imported approximately 225 million pounds of garlic, both fresh and dried. It is estimated that the FDA only catches about 2 percent of imported hazardous produce before it makes its way in to the USA. 

Some countries have virtually no regulations on the use of toxic pesticides and fertilizers used in farming. If that isn’t scary enough, the food handling safety, sanitation and hygiene regulations in some countries are even worse. 

Imported garlic is often grown in sewage water and human sewage is specifically used as an inexpensive fertilizer.  It is then sprayed with chemicals to prevent sprouting, bleached with chlorine to make it look white, and, by law, fumigated with methyl bromide, according to Henry Bell of the Australian Garlic Industry Association. High doses of methyl bromide can cause respiratory and central nervous system damage. According to the UN, it’s 60 times more dangerous than chlorine.

Every time imported garlic from a specific country is tested, it tests positive for toxic chemicals, pathogens and heavy metals including: lead, arsenic, chlorine, methyl bromide, melamine, E Coli, and the list goes on. 

*This applies not only to raw garlic, but also to garlic powder and garlic oil. 

*Check your spices and pre-made sauces! 

How can I tell the difference between US grown garlic and imported grown garlic?

This is a picture of garlic grown in the US.  It has roots:

How To Identify Imported Garlic:

Lack of roots. It is required by the FDA that all roots be removed from imported produce to prevent soil-bornepathogens from entering the US. This is not a requirement for US garlic farmers so they often leave the roots attached. If the bottom of a garlic bulb has a bare, concave surface where roots would naturally be, it is most likely imported.  This is a picture of imported garlic...

 

Lack of soil stains. It is completely naturally for garlic to have soil stains. Imported garlic is heavily bleached to remove soil stains and has an unnaturally white color.

Sprouting. Garlic bulbs naturally sprout and will sometimes grow little green shoots. Again, the heavy bleaching of imported garlic will kill the garlic and prevent this from occurring. If there are shoots coming from the top of the bulb, you are good to go. 

Weight. Imported garlic contains more water so by the time it makes it to US supermarkets much of the water has evaporated making it much lighter and less firm than US garlic. Check for weight and density. 

Taste. Imported garlic has a more metallic and bitter taste due to a lower concentration of allicin and higher concentration of chemicals and heavy metals. 

 

A Note About Pet foods *  (For those of you who have the very good fortune of sharing your life with an animal companion, even the US has poor regulations for what goes into our pet food. Many of the popular-name pet food companies, even the ones sold at your Vets office, get their ingredients from other countries. Pet food ingredients  have been found time and time again to contain some of the most despicable ingredients that you should never give to your pet, including: formaldehyde, plastics, cardboard, other non-edible materials, petroleum, lead, arsenic, feces, melamine, mercury and more).

Now that more light has been shed on this issue, I hope that it has inspired you to take a deeper look into where ALL of your food comes from. I really encourage all of you to go out and do your research into ALL matters that are important to you. There is a great sense of personal empowerment in being able to say, “I know all of the facts AND I am choosing to do it this way” VS “I’m doing what someone else said I should do”. Well wishes on your journey of living your best life… 

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