Category Archives: Conditions

Freud’s Cocaine Cure for Depression

Actually, Freud advocated cocaine for “whatever ails you”. Partly because he got so much benefit from using it himself, partly because he was paid handsomely by two competing drug companies to promote it.

What I find so shocking about this is — nothing much has changed in the “depression business” since cocaine fell out of official favor. Its been a parade of one drug after another, sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, loyal psychiatrists and media to the detriment of those who are having some real problems in life. In fact, recent statistics show that these psychotropic drugs result in 700,000 adverse reactions and 42,000 deaths a year in the United States and Europe. Folks, this really has to stop. Depression can be successfully treated without the use of dangerous drugs.

This is the first of a series of posts outlining the problem. We’ll then invite you to discover the solution. Hop on over to my other blog at Ozark Herbal Academy to follow this series, click the direct link here.

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Ebola – An Herbalist’s Point of View (new series)

This excerpt comes from a new series I’m writing that appears at the Ozark Herbal Academy, to follow the series please subscribe to that blog, or the Academy’s newsletter.

Herbalists are accustomed to hearing the phrase, “There is no cure,” arise from conventional medical practitioners. We understand that this is the honest response from folks who are looking “in all the wrong places” for an effective treatment. If there is no vaccine, no pharmaceutical drug…it follows that there is no cure, end of story. In the case of Ebola, anyone who claims to know how to prevent or cure this disease is threatened with arrest and prosecution.

Now that Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) is so mainstream, I’m surprised that the threat of an emerging global pandemic — with no cure in the pharmaceutical cupboard — doesn’t have the CDC and WHO running to herbalists, Naturopaths, TCM doctors, etc. for possible treatments!

For example, this recent article on Garcinia kola tells us “…results just presented at the 16th International Botanic Congress in St Louis, Missouri, suggest that a plant widely used in traditional African medicine may contain a compound that is effective against its causative agent, the Ebola virus. Read more…

Overcoming Radiation Pt 2 – Miso

 

Miso belongs to the highest class of medicines, those which prevent disease and strengthen the body through continued usage.
— Dr. Shinichiro Akizuki,
Director, St. Francis Hospital, Nagasaki

When Hiroshima was destroyed by nuclear bombs, a physician named Tatuichirou Akizuki, was treating 70 tuberculosis patients at St. Francis hospital only a mile from the epicenter. Neither he, nor his staff of 20, nor his patients suffered the effects of the radiation. Akizuki attributed this to the wakame miso soup all of them consumed daily.

The University Hospital, also a mile from the epicenter, served a modern diet of white rice, sugar, refined flour products…but no miso. Its 3,000 patients suffered terrible radiation burns and leukemia.

Later, when Chernobyl had its 1986 meltdown, word on miso had already spread so many Europeans took to eating miso soup. Here we are again, with Fukushima, miso is back in the limelight. But does it really work? Will any miso do?

For those asking, “What is miso?” – it’s a natural living fermented food containing vitamins,probiotic microorganisms, salts, minerals, plant proteins, carbohydrates, enzymes and fat. Miso also contains saponin inhibiting lipids peroxide, trypsin inhibitor, isoflavon, lecithin, choline, and prostaglandin E . Its an alkalizing food that provides energy throughout the day. Many drink it in the morning instead of coffee.Think of it as a probiotic condiment, usually made of soybeans but can also be made from other beans, wheat,rice,oats and even peanuts. While there are several varieties, for the purpose of radiation protection, we’re most interested in barley miso aged for three years.

Dr. Watanabe (see below) states,

It is considered as a food with health-promoting benefits, such as effectiveness in relieving fatigue, regulation of the intestinal function, digestive supplement, protection against gastric ulcer, decrease of cholesterol, decrease of blood pressure, whitening ability, prevention of diseases associated with adult lifestyle habits, apoplexia cerebri, accumulation of brain metabolism, protection of aging, healing radiation damage and prevention of cancers for biological effects.

Scientists and physicians confirm miso can protect us from cancer, even when caused by ionizing radiation.

In The Cancer Prevention Diet (pg. 335) we read;

In 1985 Lidia Yamchuk and Hanif Shaimardanov, medical doctors in Chelyabinsk, organized Longevity , the first macrobiotic association in the Soviet Union. At their hospital they have used dietary methods and acupuncture to treat many patients, especially those suffering from leukemia, lymphoma, and other disorders associated with exposure to nuclear radiation. Since the early 1950s, wastes from Soviet weapons production had been dumped into Karachay Lake in Chelyabinsk, an industrial city about nine hundred miles east of Moscow. In particular they began incorporating miso soup into the diets of patients suffering from radiation symptoms and cancer. “Miso is helping some of our patients with terminal cancer to survive, “ Yamchuk and Shaimardanov reported. “Their blood (and blood analysis) became better after they began to use miso in their daily food.”

Over a 25-year period, the Japanese Cancer Institute tested and tracked 260,000 subjects. These were divided into three groups; those eating miso daily, those eating it 2 or 3 times a week, and those who never ate it. Those who never ate miso had a 50% higher cancer rate.

Another study showed that miso soup protects against breast cancer risk, but other forms of soy do not.

Then there’s the case of a California surgeon, Dr. Evelyn Waselus, who, having read about how Dr. Akizuki used miso as a plaster over radiation burns, used it as a plaster over her own breasts after a double mastectomy. It took away the terrible pain. Now she uses miso in her practice with outpatients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. Her patients don’t lose their hair ( there’s a direct relationship between intestinal villi and our hair). She uses three-year barley miso to restore their beneficial “gut flora”. Her external plaster for patients in radiation treatment combines miso and aloe vera.

Dr. Kazumitsu Watanabe, professor of cancer and radiation research at Hiroshima University investigated the radioprotective effect of miso by testing small intestine cells of lab mice. These cells absorb nutrients and are particularly sensitive to radiation, which can easily destroy these cells. Radiation damage to these cells in humans  is seen as severe diarrhea after exposure.

When the mice were exposed to lethal x-rays, of those consuming miso 60% survived. Only 9% survived from the group that wasn’t fed miso. Dr. Watanabe went on to test different kinds of miso and discovered that the greatest radiation protection came from 3-year aged miso, with 2-year providing good results, and less impressive results shown as the age declined down to newly made miso.

Researchers at Hiroshima University concluded that people who eat miso regularly may be up to five times more resistant to radiation than those who don’t. Akihiro Ito, head of one of the research teams found that it eliminates toxins from the body by stimulation of circulatory and metabolic systems.

You can read Watanaby’s study here.

How to Use Miso

Use as a condiment, just a few teaspoons daily per adult since it has a high salt content. I love making a very simple soup/beverage. Never heat it, first make your basic broth and add the miso only after removing the pot from heat. I even let it cool down a little just to be sure I don’t “kill” the beneficial organisms. My simplest quick soup: heat water over the stove, add a pinch of powdered ginger, a few dashes of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or a quality soy sauce), a tsp of onion or garlic powder, stir and remove from heat. When its at drinking temperature, I take up to a tablespoon of miso and hold it in the broth while rubbing it with another spoon (its a thick paste) until it’s mixed smoothly into the broth. If you have green onions, chop a few to float in the soup.

You can experiment with adding other wonderful ingredients to your broth; astragalus root (immune system enhancer); instead of powdered ginger, simmer chopped fresh ginger; medicinal mushrooms like shitake or reishi; seaweeds (if you can find them grown away from radioactive ocean dumping)…the alginate in seaweeds helps remove internal radionuclides. And check out miso recipes on the web. Its delicious!

Although it does lose flavor over time, it will keep for up to a year in your refrigerator. If you discover blue or white mold, just scrape it off, it’s fine. However, if you discover pink mold…toss it out.

This is just one of the delicious options available to ward off the nuke demons…stay tuned for part 3 where we unlock Kombucha.

Sources for aged barley miso

 

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Overcoming Radiation Pt 1

This spring’s gardening and herbal workshops are overshadowed by radiation streaming out of Japan. Overshadowed by the callous disregard for life demonstrated by governments and corporations telling us its not harmful, hiding the facts not only from us, but each other!! The EPA’s clever side-step…just increase the “safe level” of radioisotopes several thousand times (see here). Its got to be “safe” so long as we aren’t immediately keeling over on exposure, right?  Is that all they can do? Obfuscate, cover-up? I just watched a lecture by a chemical geologist who explained that the EPA was created by the military and nuclear industry to protect – not the environment – but the nuclear industry! Finally, the odd behavior of the EPA makes sense! (There’s a link to the video below, its a ‘must watch’ to understand what we’re up against regarding the Fukushima event)

Thankfully, “the people” are going into action. Many are setting up independent monitoring networks, others are providing expert, credentialed, analysis. And we have scientists, physicians, health care workers informing us as to how to overcome exposure to the various isotopes that threaten our well-being.

Ever since the March 11 quake in Japan, I’ve been reporting the developments of Fukushima’s multiple nuclear meltdowns-in-progress on my blogs at www.dcoda.amplify.com and www.ozarkherbs.tumblr.com. I’ll continue to track the story there, and offer my research into the health aspects here. Below, you’ll find some links on radiation & health concerns.

 

The big question on everyone’s mind is just how exposed they are, has the radiation reached them and to what degree. I’ve spent countless hours researching to get answers to this question in order to give you accurate information and avoid alarming folks for no good reason. What I’m personally finding alarming is that NO one really knows what’s going on!! We have computer models telling us that the plumes are reaching us, estimating the types of radiation they contain but actual measurements are withheld. Independent testing of foods by the Dept. of Nuclear Engineering, U.C. Berkley, in California, showed the presence of radionuclides on foods such as spinach,mushrooms,strawberries (see here). But there’s little in the way of a follow up or wider testing.  Closer to home, on April 10 we learned that Little Rock, Arkansas tested out with the nation’s highest levels of iodine-131 in milk, some 300% over the EPA’s limit (see here). So we know its in our food and water, but testing and reporting is sporadic at best. Since radiation continues to spew out of the reactors, since is accumulates, we know we’re exposed enough to take precautions.

The first question I get is, “Should I be taking potassium iodide?” Given that iodine intake has dropped 50% in the U.S. since the 1970s, most Americans have hungry thyroids that will snap it up in whatever form comes along. When the thyroid is full of iodine, it won’t absorb more of it, that’s why potassium iodide is used to block the radioactive iodine-131. But it takes some time to fill the thyroid up with healthy iodine , that’s why the fast-acting pharmaceutical forms, potassium iodide and p. iodate, are handed out a.s.a.p. to everyone in range of a nuclear accident. But these forms can have some toxic side-effects and cannot be taken long-term. Its a little late now for potassium iodide anyway. Better to start ingesting safer, bioavailable iodine in the hope we can block additional absorption of iodine-131. Some forms, like atomic Nascent iodine also help clear out the bad stuff once its in our glands.

Seaweed is recommended but I’m not comfortable with that option now that the ocean has become the dumping ground for Fukushima’s radioactive water…how can we know where the seaweed is coming from and when it was harvested? If we can get “older” seaweed, then yes, let’s add it to our diet.

Two of the nation’s leading experts on iodine are Dr. Mark Sircus and Dr. David Brownstein. Dr. Brownstein has tested 5000 patients for iodine, 95% were deficient. They are the “go-to” guys for finding out about iodine supplementation.

Another doctor, Dr. Michael B. Schachter, says, “The treatment dose when a person is iodine insufficient is generally between 12.5 mg and 50 mg daily. Preliminary research indicates that if a person is iodine insufficient, it takes about three months to become iodine sufficient while ingesting a dosage of 50 mg of iodine daily and a year to achieve that while ingesting a dosage of 12.5 mg of iodine daily.

Since there can be side effects to high doses, and some cautions for folks who already have thyroid problems, its important to read up on this before taking these high doses. Sircus’ website covers it well.

Watch the video discussion between Sircus & Brownstein, then read Dr. Sircus’ iodine information here  (the video is also located on this site). Regarding Nascent Iodine, Dr. Sircus writes:

Nascent iodine, though more expensive, actually tastes and feels good while going down and is gentle enough to give to children, who do not seem to complain about its taste. My recommendation would be to use the Nascent Iodine in high dosages to both saturate the thyroid (which makes it less vulnerable to chemical and radioactive attack) while it will also knock out any contaminants already absorbed. Nascent iodine contains approximately 400 mcg per drop so 10 drops is 4 mg and 100 drops is only 40 so it’s safe to take much higher dosages than is suggested on the bottle. In fact one has to completely ignore the suggested dosages on the bottle and take some of the information below as ones guidance for dealing with threatening radiation dropping down out of the clouds that are moving along with the jet stream.

One hundred drops a day is a strong dose, but when treating life threatening diseases it would not be unheard of to use upward of 200 drops a day in divided doses, but if you get your iodine on the day the news is sounding the radiation alarm I would jump right to 100 drops or 50 drops in divided dosages for children. It is my belief that the Nascent atomic form is much more efficient than the molecular form meaning you would need less but when confronted with a cloud of radiation one wants to work beyond the speculative. Again the government is recommending a onetime dosage, which makes sense if there is no time to address iodine deficiencies.

He goes on to say that under normal conditions one wouldn’t start with such high doses.  He covers the side effects and ,also, other forms of iodine we can take.

Unfortunately, radioactive iodine isn’t the only issue. In addition, we’re exposed to cesium-137, strontium-90, uranium and plutonium, plus other nucleotides. Check out Dr. Sircus’ full protocol using Iodine, Glutothione, Natural Chelation, Clay and Baking soda here.

LINKS:

  • This is THE best presentation on, not only Fukushima, but on our exposure to nuclear isotopes since 1945. Its two hours long and worth every minute. Geoscientist, Leuren Moret, who worked for nuclear research labs and has been tutored by Dr. Marion Fulk, a former Manhattan
  • Project scientist,  tells us that she and her scientific friends around the world are "terrified" at the situation in Japan. See it here.
  • EU and EPA up safety level of cesium-137 in food
  • Beyond Nuclear, useful updates & info
  • Regular video updates by nuclear expert, Gunderson here
  • University of Maryland Computer Model using NOAA data tracking plume here   Note; lately it hasn’t been keeping up to date, check in on it though.
  • Europe, Radioactive Monitoring (shows global) here

 

I’ll be back with part 2 soon…please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

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The Curable Migraine

What actually works to end migraines once and for all? Or at least make life with them bearable? I’ve never had one, but the suffering I’ve seen in friends prompts me to write this. Approximately 12 million people in the US have migraines every year. They tend to run in families and women are three times more likely to have them than men.

Unfortunately, suffering isn’t the entire story. Recent research from clinical studies on rats at the Rochester Medical Center indicates migraines actually induce a form of brain damage. During an attack swelling in some parts of the brain deprive it of oxygen. Persistent attacks cause brain cell death since these cells are extremely sensitive to inadequate oxygen.

Also, migraine sufferers are more prone to strokes.

Could these headaches be inflicting their torture as a sign that something is seriously wrong and MUST be treated? It doesn’t help that migraines have an air of mystery about them. There are different theories about what causes them. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic think they’re caused by a nervous system disorder affecting the trigeminal pathway (stretching from the brain stem to the head). Some think its related to low levels of serotonin.

They can be triggered by such things as stress, medications,lack of sleep, excessive exercise, skipping meals, msg, glaring lights, female hormones, caffeine, odors, alcohol. The first step is to figure out what’s triggering the attacks, a journal helps.

While herbal lore has plenty of recommendations, I decided to go to the migraine sufferers themselves and find out what worked for them. My big surprise was finding so many effective self-treatments. It’s not just feverfew, folks! Here’s a sampling of what I found (kept anonymous) :

  • Apply cold packs to the neck while soaking the feet in a very hot bath. Drink lots of feverfew tea and water (some migraines are caused by lack of water), and take copious amounts of Dr. Christopher’s Herbal calcium. Try to enjoy the bath.
  • Dong Quai tincture helps prevent them. (Makes sense if they’re triggered by hormonal changes since this herb regulates female hormones)
  • Cayenne sprinkled on food or in juice (try tomato juice) to relieve pain
  • Passionflower for its relaxing effect
  • Tilden flower for migraines associated with high blood pressure
  • At the first sign, dip a toothpick in cayenne and sniff it in each nostril
  • Increased intake of folic acid and other B vitamins can reduce frequency and severity. (This was confirmed by a study at the Genomics Research Center at Australia’s Griffith University).
  • A lot of success is reported by using a special extract of Butterbur (Petasites hybridus), marketed as Petadolex. It should be used several months and after a period of “being free” of migraine, one tapers off of it. Not all Butterbur products are safe, stick with the Petadolex, 50-100 mcg. twice daily with meals.
  • Someone else found using a magnetic  therapy pillow case helpful.
  • Someone wrote: “Marjoram tea relieved my migraine. I’ve suffered from migraines for over 20 years and have tried most medications OTC & prescriptions. I know most of my triggers but sometimes one sneaks up on me anyway. I found a remedy online and now its all I use. I steep 1 1/2 – 2 tsp of marjoram in a small 2 cup teapot and drink it. After one cup I find relief from the pain and foggy head feeling.”
  • Another, “I run menthol-camphor ointment all over my temples and forehead and put a small amount just under my nose and it begins to relieve the tension in my head and put me to sleep.”
  • This one was different, “Get yourself a really thick milkshake and suck it through a straw as fast as you can. Don’t eat it slowly. The speed plus the cold and stop the pain in minutes.” I wonder what flavor?
  • “Magnesium. Up to 50% of patients experiencing an acute migraine attack have low levels of magnesium. One study showed that migraine attacks were reduced by 41.6% in those who participated in regular magnesium supplementation.
  • Take 5-HTP in the morning. It’s the precursor to serotonin. Migraines are caused in part by low serotonin, when serotonin levels are low, blood vessels dilate. Therefore, increasing serotonin may be helpful in preventing migraines. Supplement with CoQ10. In one key trial, 61.3% of migraineurs who supplemented with CoQ10 during a four-month trial reduced occurrence of migraine attacks by at least 50%
  • Add coconut and flaxseed oil to your diet
  • Eat plenty of unrefined low-glycemic carbohydrates (brown rice, sprouted grains, winter squash)
  • Limit fruits that have a high glycemic index such as apricots, raisins, banana, papaya, mango
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and vegetable juices
  • Drink clean water throughout the day
  • Stay away from coffee (substitute with Ganocafe)
  • Tian ma mi huanjun pian is cheap and effective. Available from chinese medical shops.
  • Inhaling lavender,eucalyptus, or peppermint oil. Dab some diluted peppermint oil to your temple. An eye pillow stuffed with lavender helps.
  • Rub half a lime on your forehead.
  • Rub the area right above your eyebrows slowly in a circular motion.
  • A study at Michigan State University suggests that apples act as a tranquilizer. The study reveals that eating 2 apples a day reduces tensions, headaches, and emotional upsets.
  • Apply a cold compress of witch hazel over the forehead.
  • Spicy soups will cure a migraine. Its the hot peppers that do it.
  • One woman gets relief if one has just started by juicing 4 grapefruits, or eating a lettuce, and doing EFT.
  • Research was done with niacin. At the first sign of aura, 300-500mg of niacin were ingested orally, slightly chewing the pills. Best on an empty stomach. Migraines were resolved when the flushing occurred. See this study here.
  • Others have had success with oil pulling. One Tbs of oil every morning. For instructions on oil pulling go here and here.

Yikes, I’m only about half-way through my list of remedies! I’d be interested in finding out what success readers have with the above. If still more are needed, I’ll whip out another blog post. Please do let us know what works for you…