Saturday, June 29, 2013

How a Trip to Africa Changed One Doctor Forever

A doctor who is on-call throughout the developing world and has been devoting his life to the needy for some time. This is the first time I have heard about him and I'll bet others will meet him for the first time. Dr. LaBrot is a Great American.  This is an article by Gabriel Noble, "How a trip to Africa changed one doctor forever" published on The Upbeat on Yahoo!

When Benjamin LaBrot was in second grade in Southern California, he told his class that when he grew up he wanted to be two things: a doctor and a marine biologist. His teacher told him he had to choose one, but he was determined to combine his love of the ocean with his desire to help people.

He started achieving his goals in junior high school, when he worked on sport and commercial fishing boats and the Marine Science Floating Laboratory vessel as a research diver. This led him to become certified as an emergency medical technician and a scuba dive buddy for divers with paraplegia, quadriplegia or blindness.

Throughout his schooling, he and his peers went on personal medical missions all over the developing world. After college he moved to Ireland and joined the global medicine program at the Royal College of Surgeons.

It was on one particular mission to Tanzania in 2006 that he truly found his calling. With a backpack full of medicine, he set up under a tree in a desolate and impoverished village in the Serengeti. A line of 50 patients formed, all of them with a variety of ailments from tuberculosis to lion wounds to common colds.

It was not long, however, before the supplies in his backpack were depleted and the line had only grown longer. Heartbroken and driven to tears by the fact that he would have to leave patients untreated, he decided then and there that he would never leave a patient untreated, no matter what the circumstance.

In 2008, the group Floating Doctors was established with the mission to bring medical relief to remote coastal communities around the world. With the realization that approximately 80 percent of the world’s population lives within 5 miles of the coast and that access to the poorest communities is often best attained by waterways, the group decided to buy a 76-foot sailboat, called “The Southern Wind.” LaBrot now had “a much bigger backpack” and would never run out of supplies again.

With his sister Sky LaBrot — then a Hollywood restaurant and club opener — and a handful of volunteers, they loaded “The Southern Wind” with 25,000 pounds of medical supplies and set sail for their first medical mission in 2010: the coast of Haiti to respond to the cholera epidemic that resulted from the tragic earthquake. In roughly three months they facilitated 35 mobile clinics and treated 2,500 patients.

“If you can do Haiti, you can do anywhere,” says LaBrot, who learned Creole during his stay to communicate with patients and build trust with the community. “So we set sail for the Bay Islands of Honduras, and then onward to Bocas Del Toro, Panama.”

Since 2012 LaBrot has been in Panama, which is ideally suited for Floating Doctors as it has hundreds of small island communities that are widely dispersed and accessible only by water. These communities have no access to health care and lack the transportation infrastructure to get to a hospital during an emergency scenario. In the villages where the Floating Doctors sets up mobile clinics, LaBrot and his volunteers treat patients with tuberculosis, respiratory infections, diabetes and a variety of local tropical diseases. “Too often,” he says, “it is not so much treating, as it is preventative medicine. It’s the little things that make the most impact: a toothbrush, a bar of soap and a pair of glasses. “

To this day, Floating Doctors has treated approximately 20,000 patients in three countries.

A saying that LaBrot follows is, “to the world you may be just one person, but to another person, you might be the world.” This is what drives him to push through physical, financial, cultural and sometimes logistical barriers to do whatever it takes to treat every patient in need.

LaBrot says many people have asked him, “Wouldn’t you rather be in private practice in Southern California, making tons of money and do this relief work a couple weeks a year?” And he responds, “Why? Why would I work all year round to do what I love for a couple weeks? It will never compare to what I get out of this project every single day. Floating Doctors has changed me in ways I never anticipated, and I will do this for the rest of my life.”

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Beware: Sub-Standard Supplements

MyAchingKnees comment: I really don't have a dog in this fight since I take pharmaceutical grade supplements. But I am glad others are talking someone if dangers of taking off the shelf products. I would think that some food grade supplement manufacturing companies make a viable effort to ensure their products are toxin free, but you will never know with the food grade GMP standards. You get what you pay for.

Your Vitamins May Be Doing More Harm Than Good, We’ll Show You How You Can Check. An article from

Next time you go to purchase those multivitamins do a little digging, you may be surprised to find out that your “vitamin” is not made by who you thought. Did you know that more than 95% of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that you can buy at “health food” stores and close to 100% of those sold in other stores are now made by the same few pharmaceutical and chemical companies who supply them to most all the vitamin and mineral companies?

Many popular brands of vitamins are “fortified” with the synthetic counterpart of the nutrient claimed to be in the pill. There are many reasons for these synthetic ingredients but the main reason they are used is to increase the bottom line; it is much cheaper to source different chemical byproducts to simulate a chemical make-up than it is to extract minerals and vitamins from growing healthy food. After the money is saved by sourcing dangerous chemicals instead of real ingredients, Big Pharma and their “chemical brothers” can now spend billions making you think that these imitation vitamins are good for you; for every dollar pharmaceutical companies spend on “basic research,” $19 goes toward promotion and marketing.

Below is a list of 5 toxic ingredients contained in versions of the most popular vitamin on the market today, Centrum, made by Pfizer. Less than a year ago, Pfizer was being sued for making false claims about their Centrum multivitamins and there alleged ability to promote “breast health” and “colon health.” The reality is that these supposed “vitamins” are merely synthetic chemical counterparts that do not carry the same benefits as the naturally occurring minerals and, in fact, can cause a myriad of damaging health effects.

First toxic ingredient: Ferrous Fumarate

Ferrous fumarate is the anhydrous salt formed by combining ferrous iron with fumaric acid and used as a hematinic (a preparation used to improve the quality of blood). Unfortunately, inorganic iron is pro-oxidative, stimulating the damaging effects in the body of substances known as free radicals. There is evidence linking high inorganic iron intake to cardiovascular disease and cancer. Excessive iron accumulates in the liver, and may feed bacterial and viral infection. Iron is found, in a healthy body, in the form of metalloproteins, because in exposed or in free form it causes production of free radicals that are generally toxic to cells. In its “free” form iron binds avidly to virtually all biomolecules so it will adhere nonspecifically to cell membranes, nucleic acids, proteins etc., causing substantial damage. When, for instance, iron binds with LDL, it oxidizes it, resulting in obstruction.

Second toxic ingredient: Chromic Chloride

Although trivalent chromium like Chromic Chloride is far less poisonous than the hexavalent form, it is definitely a toxic substance, known to exhibit genotoxic, mutagenic, teratrogenic (reproductive hazard) and is on the Hazardous Substance list. Its main use is in the metal industries for chromizing; in the manufacture of chromium metal and compounds; as a catalyst for polymerization of olefins and other organic reactions; as a textile mordant; in tanning; in corrosion inhibitors; as a waterproofing agent.

Third toxic ingredient: Magnesium Stearate

Used to make large scale production tableting of supplements and drugs possible, this chemical excipient is produced through reacting sodium stearate with magnesium sulfate, in a way similar to the production of other hydrogenated oils. Magnesium Stearate has shown to cause death from inhalation of the powder.

Fourth toxic ingredient: Manganese Sulfate

The Material Safety Data Sheet classifies this chemical as a hazardous substance. Toxicological data indicates it is tumerigenic, mutagenic and teratogenic (adversely effects reproduction).

Fifth toxic ingredient: Sodium Selenite

An inorganic form of selenium with known toxicity. Studies have shown it may cause tumors, genetic mutations, interfere with reproduction, and cause birth defects. Although it is an essential antioxidant when found in food as biologically active selenium, inorganic selenium as selenite has a pro-oxidative effect.

What can you do to make sure your vitamins are not just chemical cocktails with ostensible health benefits?

Below is a list of precautions one can use to avoid purchasing synthetic vitamins.

From Cheryl Myers,

Step 1
Look for the words “100 percent natural” on the product’s label. Some product labels may contain the words “natural,” but manufacturers can claim “natural” on their nutritional products if at least 10 percent of the product comes from natural food sources. The Organic Consumers Organization recommends looking for products that contain “100 percent plant-based” or “100 percent animal-based” on the product’s label.

Step 2
Find the “food source” list on the products label. If the product’s label does not contain a list of natural food sources, then the product is synthetic. Look for food sources such as yeast, fish, vegetable and citrus.

Step 3
Identify whole foods in the ingredient list instead of the particular nutrient. Dr. Ben Kim, a chiropractor and acupuncturist with his own radio show, says to look for foods on the list of ingredients that contain a certain vitamin, such as “acerola cherry powder,” which contains vitamin C. If you can identify “vitamin C” in the ingredient list, Kim says you can almost guarantee that the vitamin is synthetic.

Step 4
Look for salt forms on the product label, a synthetic added to supplements for increasing the stability of the vitamin or mineral. Some of the salt forms to look for include acetate, bitartrate, chloride, gluconate, hydrochloride, nitrate and succinate.

Step 5
Learn how to read the product’s label by looking for keywords that indicate the supplement is synthetic. Words that end in “ide” or “ate” indicate that the product contains salt forms, which are synthetics. For instance, if you see chloride, hydrochloride, acetate or nitrate on the list of ingredients, the manufacturer used synthetics for the product. Additionally, the letters “dl” that appear before the name of an ingredient indicates the supplement is synthetic. As an example, look for “fish oils” when buying a vitamin A supplement. If the product’s label states “palmitate,” it is a synthetic vitamin A supplement.

There is more to the article if you click on the link in the beginning of the post. My bottom line on "how make sure my vitamins are not just chemical cocktails with ostensible health benefits" is that I consume only products that have a USP certification.

For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pesticide Laden Produce

New 'Dirty Dozen' List of Pesticide-Laden Produce, released by Beth Greenfield, Shine Staff
I like this article since our position is that today's foods are much less nutrient laden and possess many more and higher levels of toxins.  

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its newest Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides on Monday, which is Earth Day. And apples top its annual “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residues for the third year in a row.

Other changes from the 2012 findings: cherry tomatoes and hot peppers are newcomers this year. Blueberries and lettuce, meanwhile, dropped off the Dirty Dozen list.

The environmental watchdog group uses data compiled by the USDA, based on pre-washed samples of 48 types of conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables, to produce its findings. “I think most Americans would be very surprised about how prevalent pesticide residue is,” EWG senior analyst Sonya Lunder told Yahoo! Shine, noting that pesticides were still seen on 67 percent of the samples, which were all either washed or peeled before being tested.

Among the top three worst offenders—apples, strawberries and grapes—nearly every sample had pesticides on it, Lunder said, with one grape alone showing traces of 15 pesticides.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Services acknowledges that scientists do not have a full understanding of the health risks associated with exposure to pesticide residues through food, soil, water, or air. Still, notes EWG, various U.S. and international government agencies have linked pesticides to a slew of health risks, including cancer, hormone disruption, brain and nervous system toxicity and irritation to the skin, eyes and lungs.

Dirty Dozen 2013:
Sweet bell peppers
Nectarines (imported)
Cherry tomatoes
Hot peppers

Additionally, the EWG added a “plus” category for the second year, noting two items—domestically-grown summer squash, plus kale and collards—that, though they didn’t meet Dirty Dozen standards, were commonly contaminated with exceptionally toxic pesticides.

These organophosphates, dangerous to the nervous system, were phased out of agricultural use in the 1970s and ’80s, but still linger on many farm fields.

Still, there’s also good news, as the guide includes the “Clean Fifteen”—fruits and veggies with the lowest levels of pesticides, offering hopeful solutions for anyone not in the position to find or pay for more expensive organics.

Many of these safest options have naturally protective coatings, such as corn, which tops that list once again this year, and papaya, which is a newcomer. Watermelon, sadly, dropped off the clean list from 2012. “The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure,” notes the EWG report, stressing that “eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all.”

Clean Fifteen 2013:
Sweet peas (frozen, since they’re more readily available)
Sweet potatoes

The consumer list, Lunder said, “shows the real difference you can make in your purchasing habits, even if you’re only buying conventional.”

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Monday, June 17, 2013

The Miracle of Tea Tree Oil: 80 Amazing Uses

From an article titled, The Miracle of Tea Tree Oil: 80 Amazing Uses for Survival, by Gaye Levy posted Wake Up World - Information From A Different Perspective

Essential oils have been used for healing and medicinal purposes for centuries and most certainly long before we had pills, capsules and big pharma to take care of our medical woes. And while there is a place for manufactured pharmaceuticals in our survival medicine kit, there exists the possibility that none will be available or that they will be in such scarce supply that they should be reserved for only the most dire of circumstances.

For that reason, many preppers and individuals seeking self-reliance are learning to use essential oils to manage the both routine and not-so-routine maladies that occur in daily life. There are about a dozen or so essential oils that belong in every survival kit including tea tree, peppermint, lavender, clove, rosemary and lemon among others. All of these essential oils have healing properties but today I would like to focus on just one, tea tree oil.

A Brief History of Tea Tree Oil

It is believed that the Aborigines of Australia have been using the leaves of the indigenous Malaleuca Tree (whose leaves are used to make tea tree oil) in their medications for centuries. They inhaled the oils from the crushed leaves to treat coughs and colds, sprinkled crushed leaves on their wounds and used an infusion of soaked leaves to treat sore throats or skin ailments.

Use of the oil itself, as opposed to the un-extracted plant material, did not become common practice until researcher Arthur Penfold published the first reports of its antimicrobial activity in a series of papers in the 1920s and 1930s. In evaluating the antimicrobial activity, he found that tea tree oil was 11 times more active than phenol.

The commercial tea tree oil industry was born shortly thereafter although interest in tea tree oil ebbed after World War II, presumably due to the development of effective antibiotics and the waning image of natural products. Interest was rekindled in the 1970s as part of the general renaissance of interest in natural products.

80 Uses of Tea Tree Oil for Survival

For thousands of years, the derivatives of the Malaleuca Tree have been effective in treating a wide variety of ailments. Here are 80 reasons why you should use it, too!

1. Abrasions and Minor Cuts: After cleaning the area well, apply a few drops of the oil directly. If a bandage is needed, allow a few drops of the oil to penetrate a cotton ball, then lay it face down on the wound with a bandage on top.

2. Acne: Add a drop to your normal cleansing routine or dab a very small amount on acne breakouts. You can also add 20 – 40 drops of the oil to your regular face wash.

3. Air Freshener: Keep a supply of cotton balls soaked in tea tree oil packed away in a plastic bag or tin. When confronted with foul smells from cooking, musty orders from dampness or even the medicinal smell in a sick room, take a few out the freshen the air and remove the nasty smell.

4. Allergies: Use topically by massaging into the chest, abdomen or the reflex points of the feet.

5. Arthritis: To help reduce pain associated with the swelling of arthritis, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to 2 ounces of grapeseed or other carrier oil. Massage into affected area 2-3 times a day.

6. Asthma: Add a few drops of oil to a pan of water and heat on stove. When cooling, drape a towel over head and breath in for a few minutes.

7. Athletes Foot: Clean feet thoroughly, especially between toes. Add oil directly to feet every two weeks, dusting with corn starch after. Or add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp of grapeseed or other carrier oil and massage on feet and between toes daily.

8. Baby Care: Keep your diaper pail clean and fresh with a spray of tea tree oil mixed with water.

9. Bacterial Infections: Use topically, either massaging into the reflex points of the feet, adding several drops to a bath or cautiously applying over an infected site.

10. Bad Breath: Rinse with 1 ounce water and 1 drop oil. Do not swallow!

11. Bladder Infection: In a shallow bath, add 10 – 15 drops of oil. Sit and wash area carefully.

12. Blisters: Wash area carefully, then apply as for cuts and wounds.

13. Boils: Apply a warm washcloth for a few minutes. Then apply a drop or two of oil to the area – the infection should rise to surface and eventually be released.

14. Bronchial Congestion: Use as directed for Asthma. Add 5 – 10 drops to 1 ounce of carrier oil, and massage into chest and throat 2 – 3 times daily.

15. Bronchitis: Add 1-2 drops to a pan of hot water and breath in the steam, or massage the oil over the chest.

16. Bruises: After icing, apply oil as directed for Arthritis.

17. Bunions: Massage area with 5 drops oil to 1 tbsp. of carrier oil.

18. Burns: Run icy cold water on area. After a few minutes, add a mix of 5 drops oil with 1 tsp. raw honey. Repeat 3 – 5 times daily.

19. Calluses and Corns: Massage area with 5 drops oil to 1 tbsp. of carrier oil. Repeat 2 times daily. Once the corn or calluses have become soft use tweezers to remove, and apply a few drops of tea tree oil and cover with bandage.

20. Canker Sores: Apply a drop or two of oil directly to infected area with a cotton swab, 2 times daily. Also, rinse as directed for bad breath.

21. Carbuncles: Add a drop or two of oil to cotton swab and apply directly to carbuncle. Repeat twice daily.

22. Chapped Lips: Add 1 or 2 drops of oil to lip balm. Apply to lips as necessary.

23. Chicken Pox: Apply a drop of oil directly to blisters. Allow to dry, then dust with corn starch. Repeat every few hours or until blisters disappear.

24. Chigger Bites: Apply a drop of oil directly to bites.

25. Cold Sores: Apply a drop or two of oil directly to the sore with a cotton swab. Re-apply 2 – 3 times daily.

26. Coughs: Use as directed for bronchial infections. For a vaporizer, add 10 drops to steamer and leave on 5 – 10 minutes.

27. Dandruff: Add 20 – 30 drops oil to any shampoo. Apply a few drops to scalp and massage after washing.

28. Dermatitis: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp of grapeseed or other oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily.

29. Dry Skin: Add 5 drops oil to 1 tbsp sweet almond oil. Massage into skin.

30. Earache and Infection: Add 2 – 3 drops of oil to 2 tbsp warm olive oil. With a dropper, drop a small amount into aching ear, tilting head to one side for a moment. Use cotton swab to absorb oil. Repeat 2 – 3 times daily.

31. Eczema: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp grapeseed oil or coconut oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily. Also can be applied undiluted.

32. Emphysema: Use as directed for bronchial infections. For a vaporizer, add 10 drops to steamer and leave on 5 – 10 minutes.

33. Flea Bites: Apply a drop of oil directly to bites.

34. Gout: Add 10 drops of oil to 2 tbsp of carrier oil; massage into affected area 2-3 times a day.

35. Gum Disease: Create a mouthwash with purified water, 1 drop of peppermint and 1 drop of tea tree oil.

36. Head Lice: Add 20 drops of oil to 2 tbsp shampoo. Massage into scalp and hair, leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse. Repeat 3 – 4 times daily, until eggs are gone.

37. Hives: Add 10 drops of oil to 4 tbsp of witch hazel. Apply with cotton ball. Or, mix with coconut oil (which is naturally healing and soothing itself) and gently apply to the infected areas.

38. Homemade Mouthwash: Make a simple homemade mouthwash with purified water and tea tree oil.

39. Household Cleaning: Can be used aromatically or added to homemade cleaners to kill germs and prevent the spread of cold and flu. You can make a general tea tree cleaner by combining 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake to blend and use for household cleaning tasks. This is especially good in the bathroom and in toilets.

40. Immune System: To stimulate the immune system, diffuse through the air on a regular basis, massage into the soles of the feet to increase your immune response.

41. Infected Wounds: Adding the oil to steaming water, hold the infected area over the steam. Or dilute 1 drop of tea tree with 1 cup of water and rinse the infected area 1-2 times a day, as needed.

42. Inflammation: Massage over the inflamed areas, gently and always toward the heart, or diffuse and inhale the tea tree oil directly or indirectly.

43. Ingrown Hairs: Add 1 – 2 drops of oil directly to area. Repeat every 2 hours or until signs of infection disappear.

44. Insect Repellant: Add 15 drops to a quart of water and use as an effective insect repellent.

45. Jock Itch: Apply 10 – 15 drops of oil to 2 tbsp of carrier oil. Apply 2 times daily. Dust with corn starch, to reduce chapping.

46. Laryngitis: Add 5 – 10 drops of oil and pinch of sea salt to 1 cup of warm water, gargle 2-3 times a day. Do not swallow!

47. Laundry Helper: Add 1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil to your laundry for towels and other fabric prone to getting moldy.

48. Mildew and Mold Remover: Spray an all-purpose cleaner made with 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil and 2 cups of water on growing mold and mildew. Shake well before using and do not rinse.

49. Mosquito Bites: Apply a drop of oil directly to bites.

50. Muscle Aches and Pains: Add 10-15 drops of oil to half cup Epsom salts, and dissolve in bath. Add 10 drops of oil to 2 tbsp of carrier oil. Massage well.

51. Mumps: Massage over the body and into the feet, and diffuse through the home.

52. Nail Fungus: Add 1 – 2 drops of oil directly to nail and the surrounding tissue. Allow to dry completely on hands before touching anything. Repeat morning and night for a week.

53. Pest Control: Household ants and other pests dislike Tea Tree Oil, so a few drops put at the point of entry will deter them. Wipe cupboards out with an oil and water solution to keep ants away.

54. Plantar Warts: Apply oil undiluted to affected area 2-3 times daily.

55. Psoriasis: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp carrier oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily. Also can be applied undiluted.

56. Rashes: Mix with coconut oil and massage over the affected areas.

57. Rheumatism: To help reduce pain associated with rheumatism, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to 2 ounces of carrier oil. Massage into affected are 2-3 times a day.

58. Ringworm: Apply a drop or two of oil undiluted, repeat 2 times daily. Can also mix 1 drop of tea tree oil with 1 drop of lavender oil for added benefit.

59. Rubella: Dilute as needed and massage into the affected areas.

60. Scabies: Apply 1 – 2 drops of oil directly to area in the morning and at night.

61. Sciatica: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp carrier oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily. Also can be applied undiluted.

62. Seborrhea: For skin: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp of carrier oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily. For scalp: Add 10 drops of oil to 2 tbsp shampoo. Massage into scalp and hair, leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse. Repeat 3 – 4 times daily. Bath: Add 10-15 drops of oil to bath.

63. Shingles: Add 10-15 drops of oil to half cup Epsom salts, and dissolve in bath. Add 10 drops of oil to 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil or coconut oil and massage well.

64. Shock: Massage tea tree oil into the soles of the feet as needed.

65. Sinusitis: Use as directed for bronchial infections. For a vaporizer, add 10 drops to steamer and leave on 5 – 10 minutes. Also add 2 drops to a neti pot.

66. Sore muscles. Fill your bathtub with warm water. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to the water to relax tight muscles.

67. Sore Throat: Add 2 drops of oil to 1 cup of warm water with pinch of sea salt, gargle 2-3 times a day. Do not swallow!

68. Staph Infection: Best used topically, rubbed into the soles of the feet to increase the immune response and fight infection.

69. Stye: Add 5 drops oil to a pan of steaming water. Drape towel overhead and steam 5 minutes. Apply warm compresses directly to stye.

70. Sunburn: Mix 1 TB coconut oil with 1 drop of tea tree and 1 drop of lavender and gently apply to to sunburned areas.

71. Tattoos: Apply after tattoos to avoid infection. Use undiluted, diluted with coconut oil or as a spray with purified water.

72. Thrush: Gargle with sea salt, warm water and 1 drop of tea tree.

73. Ticks: Apply a drop or two directly to the tick and the surrounding area.

74. Toenail fungus: Rub the tea tree oil directly onto the affected toenail and underneath the tip of the nail. Apply 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil. Apply the oil once a day, preferably at bedtime.

75. Toothbrush Cleaner: Apply oil directly to toothbrush 1-2 times a week to kill bacteria.

76. Tonsillitis: Inhale from steaming water with tea tree, gargle, and massage into neck and soles of feet.

77. Vaginal Infection: Add several drops to the bath water.

78. Viral Infections: Diffuse tea tree oil throughout the home or inhale from steaming water.

79. Warts: Apply undiluted directly to wart. Use morning and night, until wart begins to disappear. Dilute if necessary for sensitive skin.

80. Wounds: Soak wounded area in water with tea tree oil, or spritz from a bottle of water with several drops of oil. Depending on the wound and your own sensitivity you may be able to apply directly.

A Note About Carrier Oils

In order to effectively use essential oils – not just tea tree oil – it is often necessary to dilute the essential oil in another oil so that it can be easily spread or massaged on the affected area. These oils are called “carrier” oils. Common carrier oils include coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil and others.

Fractionated coconut oil and grapeseed oil are favorites because they are odorless and in the case of fractionated coconut oil, immune to rancidity. In practical use, any oil can be used if you do not have one of these more therapeutic oils on hand.

The properties of the various carrier oils is beyond the scope of this article but my favorite? Easy… Fractionated coconut oil. Is is relatively inexpensive, odorless and has a long shelf life making it perfect for the survival kit.

The Final Word

My first experience with tea tree oil occurred in the 80s when I was faced with a nail fungus that would not go away. The pharmaceutical solutions at the time (and for all I know, even now) were harsh and required frequent monitoring of liver enzymes. For a simple, non-life threatening nail fungus, I chose to pass. After using a topical application of tea tree oil for three months, the fungus was all but gone.

I then became interested in aromatherapy (which uses essential oils). I read every book I could get my hands on and dabbled at creating synergy’s (a combination of two or more oils that create a chemical compound that is greater than the sum of its individual components). My bible then, and even now, is The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood.

Since then I have used essential oils off and on for a variety of woes and have never been disappointed. My recommendation is that you pick up a few essential oils – and especially some tea tree oil – and start to use them now to supplement any other remedies that you are using to keep your family and your home in tip top shape.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

For Information on the Products I recommend, click here, to contact me.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Juice Frauds: What's Really in Your Juice

Article by Marcy Franklin of the Daily Meal on Yahoo! Shine, about what is really in your juice drinks, and like some of you I once thought that Orange Juice was healthy just because it was orange juice. Maybe ten years ago I started buying only 100% fruit juices and not from concentrate when I possibly could, but even then, like Marcy says in this article, you are getting more than you bargined for. Read on,.....

There's nothing quite like a glass of juice first thing in the morning to kick-start your day. And with so many delicious flavor combinations these days - both to make and to buy - there's no shortage of delicious juices to enjoy. But unless you have lots of time to spare, tons money to spend on costly juicers, and the means to buy lots of fruits and veggies, you may not always find the time to fresh-squeeze your juice every time you want it.

What's in Your Drink? 11 Misleading Beverage Labels

So we know it's tempting to pick up a bottle of juice in the supermarket aisle and call it a day. But the closer you look at the ingredients, the more alarmed you might be. Not every juice is as natural and pure as you might think - what we found, when examining ingredient labels and investigating claims, are some seriously stale ingredients.

As with any drink or food you might buy, it never hurts to take a close look at the ingredient label before buying. But what should you look for? There are some key words that can tip you off that your juice might not be as great as you think. There are even drawbacks to the supposedly 100 percent fruit juice label; for one, that 100 percent fruit juice can pack a whole lot more sugar and calories in one serving that the fruit its supposedly made from.

Many dietitians and websites recommend eating your fruit, not drinking it; fruit juices won't have any of the fiber that a piece of fruit has because it's been stripped away during the processing. But that doesn't mean you should avoid juices altogether - you just have to know what to look for.

100 Percent Fruit Juice

The term "100 percent fruit juice" sounds innocent and wholesome, right? Sure - but you have to know what you're looking for. The good news is that 100 percent fruit juice is made purely from the juices of real fruits. And that means you're getting all the antioxidants and vitamins from fruit in one powerful punch. (One study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion even found that kids who drank more than 6 ounces of 100 percent juice had more nutritious diets than their peers.) But there are a few problems with 100 percent real fruit juice: you get way more sugar and calories, for starters. Your glass of 100 percent fruit juice has about twice the amount of calories as a piece of fruit; so, if you're drinking a glass of orange juice, you're getting the caloric equivalent of two to three oranges. And you're not getting the full amount of fiber from 100 percent fruit juice either, as it's stripped away when the juice is processed.

Juice 'Fillers'

You might think that your fruity combination juice is a mix of all your favorite juices - but you're more likely to find apple and grape juices in there. Apple and grape juices are seen as the "fillers" of most juices, because they're cheap to make. So that blueberry-pomegranate juice may contain 100 percent fruit juice of blueberries and pomegranates, but may also have apple and grape juice in it. Pomegranate juice was one of the top "food frauds " found in a recent hot button study of fake ingredients from the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention. As most versions are often diluted with grape and apple juice, pomegranate juice that's straight-up pomegranate is harder and harder to find. Markus Lipp, senior director for Food Standard, told ABC News, "Pomegranate juice is a high-value ingredient and a high-priced ingredient, and adulteration appears to be widespread… It can be adulterated with other food juices… additional sugar, or just water and sugar." How to avoid that sticky problem? Stick to single-fruit juice (like 100 percent pomegranate fruit juice) and read the ingredients labels very carefully. The higher up the ingredient is on the list, the more you'll find of it - so if your juice has apple and grape way up at the top, you're getting a lot of those from your bottle.

Fake Fiber

Because juicing strips away the fiber from natural fruits, some juice makers add additional fiber back into their products. But some juice makers have been found in the past to add in synthetic fiber, making your wholesome juice not quite so natural. For example, one review of supermarket juices published by the nonprofit watchdog Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) found that Welch's 100 Percent Grape Juice with Fiber (which suggests that one serving can give you 10 percent of your daily needs in fiber) was made with maltodextrin, an additive that acts more like a starch-like carbohydrate. However, the study said, the label advertised that the fiber came from the whole grapes, and not an additive. One other juice maker that came under fire for fake fibers? Naked Juice. In 2011, a lawsuit was filed against the company for misleading language on the labeling that ignored the "added synthetic compounds," like "Fibersol-2 (a proprietary synthetic digestion-resistant fiber produced by Archer Daniels Midland and developed by a Japanese chemical company), fructooligosaccharides (a synthetic fiber and sweetener), and inulin (an artificial and invisible fiber added to foods to... increase fiber content without the typical fiber mouthfeel)." You can still find maltodextrin on the ingredient list for Blue Machine Naked Juice.

Artificial (and Natural) Colorings

This one is almost a no-brainer: certain juices will contain dyes in them. The one under the most fire is Red 40, a dye that was linked to childhood ADHD (the link was later disputed by the FDA); another one, Yellow 6, was found in several brands of orange juice in one study. The CSPI points out that these bright colors in juice can often mask what's really in your drink - so you might think you're drinking a berry juice that's really just bright red because of the dye. Of course, that doesn't mean natural colorings are that much better for you. Take the Starbucks debacle when it was found to be using cochineal coloring for its Strawberry Frappuccinos - beetles may be natural, but we don't want them in our juice. And as some point out, using additives like beet concentrate or carrot concentrate for color can cause big problems for those with food allergies, so it's best to read those ingredient labels carefully.

'Flavor Packs'

This last one has everyone talking: ethyl butyrate, one ingredient you might see on your juice ingredient label, is better known as the "flavor pack" that makes your juice so appetizing. Tropicana Juice is one such company to come under fire (and lawsuits) for using flavor packs in orange juice to give it a "distinctive" and consistent taste. As Food Renegade explains: "When the juice is stripped of oxygen it is also stripped of flavor-providing chemicals. Juice companies therefore hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that formulate perfumes for Dior and Calvin Klein, to engineer flavor packs to add back to the juice to make it taste fresh. Flavor packs aren't listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. Yet those in the industry will tell you that the flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice, resemble nothing found in nature."Coca-Cola's Simply Orange juice is another such example of a product "made with an algorithm." The "Black Book" model, Bloomberg recently revealed, is how Coca-Cola can replicate the same taste of orange juice despite the variables of juice production - using "natural fragrances and flavors."

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Non-Caloric Sweetners Contribute to Diabetes

Diabetes is becoming epidemic across the United States. With all the high glycemic foods we are eating what we don't need is another artifical way to help induce Metabolic Syndrome enroute to Diabetes. Thanks to Natural News and Jonathan Benson for this article,...and warning.

Splenda and sucralose proven to contribute to development of diabetes

One of the world's most popular non-caloric sweeteners has recently been exposed as a complete fraud. A new study published in the journal Diabetes Care reveals that Splenda (sucralose), which is commonly marketed to diabetics as a safe, non-nutritive sweetener (NNS), actually elicits a diabetes-promoting effect in people who consume it.

Researchers from the Center for Human Nutrition at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, made this discovery after evaluating the metabolic effects of consuming Splenda on a small group of 17 human participants, all of whom were obese and who did not consume artificial sweeteners at the beginning of the study. Each participant was subjected to either Splenda or control water 10 minutes prior to undergoing a five-hour glucose tolerance test.

At the conclusion of the randomized crossover trial, the team observed that Splenda consumption prompted noticeable changes in terms of insulin production, circulating insulin levels, and bodily sensitivity to insulin. As relayed by, a single dose of Splenda was found to increase plasma glucose concentrations by 0.6 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L). It also led to a 20 percent spike in insulin levels, a 22 percent increased peak insulin secretion rate, a 7 percent decrease in insulin clearance, and a 23 percent decrease in insulin sensitivity.

"Compared with the control condition, sucralose ingestion caused 1) a greater incremental increase in peak plasma glucose concentrations, 2) a ... greater incremental increase in insulin area under the curve (AUC), 3) a ... greater peak insulin secretion rate, 4) a ... decrease in insulin clearance, and 5) a ... decrease in SI (insulin sensitivity)," wrote the authors in their abstract. "These data demonstrate that sucralose affects the glycemic and insulin responses to an oral glucose load in obese people who do not normally consume NNS."

Splenda also linked to causing gastrointestinal upset, migraine headaches and environmental damage This is all quite shocking, especially when considering that Splenda's entire existence is predicated on the notion that it is a safe and acceptable sweetening substitute for refined sugar products, which are widely known to spike blood glucose levels and trigger excess insulin production. Many diabetics use Splenda because they have been told that it has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels, and is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

But it gets worse. Not only has Splenda now been shown to be detrimental for diabetics, but it has also previously been shown to cause a host of other health problems. A 2011 study published in the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology, for instance, identified a link between sucralose consumption and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). And a 2008 study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A found that consumption of Splenda well below the FDA's acceptable daily intake levels disrupted gut flora in test rats.

Beyond this, Splenda has also been linked to causing migraine headaches, and numerous studies have found that the sweetening chemical is persistent in the environment. According to information compiled by, the discovery of sucralose, Splenda's primary active ingredient, was an accident -- pesticide researchers stumbled upon it after observing that it is closely related to the retired insecticide chemical DDT.

"Industry influence largely accounts for the fact that synthetic chemicals like aspartame, neotame, saccharin and sucralose are being foisted onto the public as 'safe,' non-calorie sweeteners, despite obvious research to the contrary," writes Sayer Ji for

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Well,....The Russians Get It

This is more of a "politics of food" article than anything else, but I am posting it in the interest of people who don't do much data mining on subject's like this. I have no idea to the veracity of this report, I'll leave that up to the readers, but even if just a little bit of it is true then we are in a world of hurt. This was reported by

The shocking minutes relating to President Putin’s meeting this past week with US Secretary of State John Kerry reveal the Russian leaders “extreme outrage” over the Obama regimes continued protection of global seed and plant bio-genetic giants Syngenta and Monsanto in the face of a growing “bee apocalypse” that the Kremlin warns “will most certainly” lead to world war.

According to these minutes, released in the Kremlin today by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation (MNRE), Putin was so incensed over the Obama regimes refusal to discuss this grave matter that he refused for three hours to even meet with Kerry, who had traveled to Moscow on a scheduled diplomatic mission, but then relented so as to not cause an even greater rift between these two nations.

At the center of this dispute between Russia and the US, this MNRE report says, is the “undisputed evidence” that a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically related to nicotine, known as neonicotinoids, are destroying our planets bee population, and which if left unchecked could destroy our world’s ability to grow enough food to feed its population.

So grave has this situation become, the MNRE reports, the full European Commission (EC) this past week instituted a two-year precautionary ban (set to begin on 1 December 2013) on these “bee killing” pesticides following the lead of Switzerland, France, Italy, Russia, Slovenia and Ukraine, all of whom had previously banned these most dangerous of genetically altered organisms from being used on the continent.

Two of the most feared neonicotinoids being banned are Actara and Cruiser made by the Swiss global bio-tech seed and pesticide giant Syngenta AG which employs over 26,000 people in over 90 countries and ranks third in total global sales in the commercial agricultural seeds market.

Important to note, this report says, is that Syngenta, along with bio-tech giants Monsanto, Bayer, Dow and DuPont, now control nearly 100% of the global market for genetically modified pesticides, plants and seeds.

Also to note about Syngenta, this report continues, is that in 2012 it was criminally charged in Germany for concealing the fact that its genetically modified corn killed cattle, and settled a class-action lawsuit in the US for $105 million after it was discovered they had contaminated the drinking supply of some 52 million Americans in more than 2,000 water districts with its “gender-bending” herbicide Atrazine.

To how staggeringly frightful this situation is, the MNRE says, can be seen in the report issued this past March by the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) wherein they warned our whole planet is in danger, and as we can, in part, read:

“As part of a study on impacts from the world’s most widely used class of insecticides, nicotine-like chemicals called neonicotinoids, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has called for a ban on their use as seed treatments and for the suspension of all applications pending an independent review of the products’ effects on birds, terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, and other wildlife.

“It is clear that these chemicals have the potential to affect entire food chains. The environmental persistence of the neonicotinoids, their propensity for runoff and for groundwater infiltration, and their cumulative and largely irreversible mode of action in invertebrates raise significant environmental concerns,” said Cynthia Palmer, co-author of the report and Pesticides Program Manager for ABC, one of the nation’s leading bird conservation organizations.

ABC commissioned world renowned environmental toxicologist Dr. Pierre Mineau to conduct the research. The 100-page report, “The Impact of the Nation’s Most Widely Used Insecticides on Birds,” reviews 200 studies on neonicotinoids including industry research obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act. The report evaluates the toxicological risk to birds and aquatic systems and includes extensive comparisons with the older pesticides that the neonicotinoids have replaced. The assessment concludes that the neonicotinoids are lethal to birds and to the aquatic systems on which they depend.

“A single corn kernel coated with a neonicotinoid can kill a songbird,” Palmer said. “Even a tiny grain of wheat or canola treated with the oldest neonicotinoid — called imidacloprid — can fatally poison a bird. And as little as 1/10th of a neonicotinoid-coated corn seed per day during egg-laying season is all that is needed to affect reproduction.”

The new report concludes that neonicotinoid contamination levels in both surface- and ground water in the United States and around the world are already beyond the threshold found to kill many aquatic invertebrates.”

Quickly following this damning report, the MRNE says, a large group of group of American beekeepers and environmentalists sued the Obama regime over the continued use of these neonicotinoids stating: “We are taking the EPA to court for its failure to protect bees from pesticides. Despite our best efforts to warn the agency about the problems posed by neonicotinoids, the EPA continued to ignore the clear warning signs of an agricultural system in trouble.”

And to how bad the world’s agricultural system has really become due to these genetically modified plants, pesticides and seeds, this report continues, can be seen by the EC’s proposal this past week, following their ban on neonicotinoids, in which they plan to criminalize nearly all seeds and plants not registered with the European Union, and as we can, in part, read:

“Europe is rushing towards the good ol days circa 1939, 40… A new law proposed by the European Commission would make it illegal to “grow, reproduce or trade” any vegetable seeds that have not been “tested, approved and accepted” by a new EU bureaucracy named the “EU Plant Variety Agency.”

It’s called the Plant Reproductive Material Law, and it attempts to put the government in charge of virtually all plants and seeds. Home gardeners who grow their own plants from non-regulated seeds would be considered criminals under this law.”

This MRNE report points out that even though this EC action may appear draconian, it is nevertheless necessary in order to purge the continent from continued contamination of these genetically bred “seed monstrosities.”

Most perplexing in all of this, the MRNE says, and which led to Putin’s anger at the US, has been the Obama regimes efforts to protect pesticide-producer profits over the catastrophic damaging being done to the environment, and as the Guardian News Service detailed in their 2 May article titled “US rejects EU claim of insecticide as prime reason for bee colony collapse” and which, in part, says:

“The European Union voted this week for a two-year ban on a class of pesticides, known as neonicotinoids, that has been associated with the bees’ collapse. The US government report, in contrast, found multiple causes for the collapse of the honeybees.”

To the “truer” reason for the Obama regimes protection of these bio-tech giants destroying our world, the MRNE says, can be viewed in the report titled “How did Barack Obama become Monsanto’s man in Washington?” and which, in part, says:

“After his victory in the 2008 election, Obama filled key posts with Monsanto people, in federal agencies that wield tremendous force in food issues, the USDA and the FDA: At the USDA, as the director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto Danforth Center. As deputy commissioner of the FDA, the new food-safety-issues czar, the infamous Michael Taylor, former vice-president for public policy for Monsanto. Taylor had been instrumental in getting approval for Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone.”

Even worse, after Russia suspended the import and use of an Monsanto genetically modified corn following a study suggesting a link to breast cancer and organ damage this past September, the Russia Today News Service reported on the Obama regimes response:

“The US House of Representatives quietly passed a last-minute addition to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 last week – including a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks.

The rider, which is officially known as the Farmer Assurance Provision, has been derided by opponents of biotech lobbying as the “Monsanto Protection Act,” as it would strip federal courts of the authority to immediately halt the planting and sale of genetically modified (GMO) seed crop regardless of any consumer health concerns.

The provision, also decried as a “biotech rider,” should have gone through the Agricultural or Judiciary Committees for review. Instead, no hearings were held, and the piece was evidently unknown to most Democrats (who hold the majority in the Senate) prior to its approval as part of HR 993, the short-term funding bill that was approved to avoid a federal government shutdown.”

On 26 March, Obama quietly signed this “Monsanto Protection Act” into law thus ensuring the American people have no recourse against this bio-tech giant as they fall ill by the tens of millions, and many millions will surely end up dying in what this MRNE report calls the greatest agricultural apocalypse in human history as over 90% of feral (wild) bee population in the US has already died out, and up to 80% of domestic bees have died out too.

Does Monsanto have some sort of inside leverage with the White House and the Obama Administration?

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Just Label It!

Is it asking too much just to label it? This article from Natural News states it very well what a gigantic monster Monsanto is and their plan to have our Congress and Senate to add a provision in the Farm Bill that will make it “Illegal” for states to have laws that will mandate labeling of GMO’s.

It will not only take away states rights to decide for themselves but make it illegal for the states to decide otherwise.

Monsanto hates the fact that individual states are beginning to pass laws that will require labeling of foods that contain the poisonous GMO’s. We are only asking that they be labeled so we have the option of “knowing” what we are eating. We are not even asking them to stop manufacturing them, just label them!!!

If you are concerned about your health and the food we have available to eat, please read this article, click on the petition and sign it…that’s all.

Please tell our elected representatives that our freedom is more important than Monsanto’s profits and their jobs!

Read the article linked above to understand what the GMO fight is about. Let the consumer beware!

MyAchingKnees comment: We don't endorse Natural News, however from time to time there are very good articles posted on this site. Our issue with Natural News is the host of capture pages advertising products like "cures for cancer - for $5.15 a day" or the list of other miracle, super supplements that are advertised.

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