Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Endless War on Terror (Part 1)

The real terrorists wear $5,000 suits.
Terrorized by 'War on Terror'How a Three-Word Mantra Has Undermined AmericaBy Zbigniew Brzezinski
Sunday, March 25, 2007; Page B01
The "war on terror" has created a culture of fear in America. The Bush administration's elevation of these three words into a national mantra since the horrific events of 9/11 has had a pernicious impact on American democracy, on America's psyche and on U.S. standing in the world. Using this phrase has actually undermined our ability to effectively confront the real challenges we face from fanatics who may use terrorism against us.
The damage these three words have done -- a classic self-inflicted wound -- is infinitely greater than any wild dreams entertained by the fanatical perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks when they were plotting against us in distant Afghan caves. The phrase itself is meaningless. It defines neither a geographic context nor our presumed enemies. Terrorism is not an enemy but a technique of warfare -- political intimidation through the killing of unarmed non-combatants.
But the little secret here may be that the vagueness of the phrase was deliberately (or instinctively) calculated by its sponsors. Constant reference to a "war on terror" did accomplish one major objective: It stimulated the emergence of a culture of fear. Fear obscures reason, intensifies emotions and makes it easier for demagogic politicians to mobilize the public on behalf of the policies they want to pursue. The war of choice in Iraq could never have gained the congressional support it got without the psychological linkage between the shock of 9/11 and the postulated existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Support for President Bush in the 2004 elections was also mobilized in part by the notion that "a nation at war" does not change its commander in chief in midstream. The sense of a pervasive but otherwise imprecise danger was thus channeled in a politically expedient direction by the mobilizing appeal of being "at war."
To justify the "war on terror," the administration has lately crafted a false historical narrative that could even become a self-fulfilling prophecy. By claiming that its war is similar to earlier U.S. struggles against Nazism and then Stalinism (while ignoring the fact that both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were first-rate military powers, a status al-Qaeda neither has nor can achieve), the administration could be preparing the case for war with Iran. Such war would then plunge America into a protracted conflict spanning Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and perhaps also Pakistan.
The culture of fear is like a genie that has been let out of its bottle. It acquires a life of its own -- and can become demoralizing. America today is not the self-confident and determined nation that responded to Pearl Harbor; nor is it the America that heard from its leader, at another moment of crisis, the powerful words "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself"; nor is it the calm America that waged the Cold War with quiet persistence despite the knowledge that a real war could be initiated abruptly within minutes and prompt the death of 100 million Americans within just a few hours. We are now divided, uncertain and potentially very susceptible to panic in the event of another terrorist act in the United States itself.
That is the result of five years of almost continuous national brainwashing on the subject of terror, quite unlike the more muted reactions of several other nations (Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany, Japan, to mention just a few) that also have suffered painful terrorist acts. In his latest justification for his war in Iraq, President Bush even claims absurdly that he has to continue waging it lest al-Qaeda cross the Atlantic to launch a war of terror here in the United States.
Such fear-mongering, reinforced by security entrepreneurs, the mass media and the entertainment industry, generates its own momentum. The terror entrepreneurs, usually described as experts on terrorism, are necessarily engaged in competition to justify their existence. Hence their task is to convince the public that it faces new threats. That puts a premium on the presentation of credible scenarios of ever-more-horrifying acts of violence, sometimes even with blueprints for their implementation.
That America has become insecure and more paranoid is hardly debatable. A recent study reported that in 2003, Congress identified 160 sites as potentially important national targets for would-be terrorists. With lobbyists weighing in, by the end of that year the list had grown to 1,849; by the end of 2004, to 28,360; by 2005, to 77,769. The national database of possible targets now has some 300,000 items in it, including the Sears Tower in Chicago and an Illinois Apple and Pork Festival.
Just last week, here in Washington, on my way to visit a journalistic office, I had to pass through one of the absurd "security checks" that have proliferated in almost all the privately owned office buildings in this capital -- and in New York City. A uniformed guard required me to fill out a form, show an I.D. and in this case explain in writing the purpose of my visit. Would a visiting terrorist indicate in writing that the purpose is "to blow up the building"? Would the guard be able to arrest such a self-confessing, would-be suicide bomber? To make matters more absurd, large department stores, with their crowds of shoppers, do not have any comparable procedures. Nor do concert halls or movie theaters. Yet such "security" procedures have become routine, wasting hundreds of millions of dollars and further contributing to a siege mentality.
Government at every level has stimulated the paranoia. Consider, for example, the electronic billboards over interstate highways urging motorists to "Report Suspicious Activity" (drivers in turbans?). Some mass media have made their own contribution. The cable channels and some print media have found that horror scenarios attract audiences, while terror "experts" as "consultants" provide authenticity for the apocalyptic visions fed to the American public. Hence the proliferation of programs with bearded "terrorists" as the central villains. Their general effect is to reinforce the sense of the unknown but lurking danger that is said to increasingly threaten the lives of all Americans.
The entertainment industry has also jumped into the act. Hence the TV serials and films in which the evil characters have recognizable Arab features, sometimes highlighted by religious gestures, that exploit public anxiety and stimulate Islamophobia. Arab facial stereotypes, particularly in newspaper cartoons, have at times been rendered in a manner sadly reminiscent of the Nazi anti-Semitic campaigns. Lately, even some college student organizations have become involved in such propagation, apparently oblivious to the menacing connection between the stimulation of racial and religious hatreds and the unleashing of the unprecedented crimes of the Holocaust.
The atmosphere generated by the "war on terror" has encouraged legal and political harassment of Arab Americans (generally loyal Americans) for conduct that has not been unique to them. A case in point is the reported harassment of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) for its attempts to emulate, not very successfully, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Some House Republicans recently described CAIR members as "terrorist apologists" who should not be allowed to use a Capitol meeting room for a panel discussion.
Social discrimination, for example toward Muslim air travelers, has also been its unintended byproduct. Not surprisingly, animus toward the United States even among Muslims otherwise not particularly concerned with the Middle East has intensified, while America's reputation as a leader in fostering constructive interracial and interreligious relations has suffered egregiously.
The record is even more troubling in the general area of civil rights. The culture of fear has bred intolerance, suspicion of foreigners and the adoption of legal procedures that undermine fundamental notions of justice. Innocent until proven guilty has been diluted if not undone, with some -- even U.S. citizens -- incarcerated for lengthy periods of time without effective and prompt access to due process. There is no known, hard evidence that such excess has prevented significant acts of terrorism, and convictions for would-be terrorists of any kind have been few and far between. Someday Americans will be as ashamed of this record as they now have become of the earlier instances in U.S. history of panic by the many prompting intolerance against the few.
In the meantime, the "war on terror" has gravely damaged the United States internationally. For Muslims, the similarity between the rough treatment of Iraqi civilians by the U.S. military and of the Palestinians by the Israelis has prompted a widespread sense of hostility toward the United States in general. It's not the "war on terror" that angers Muslims watching the news on television, it's the victimization of Arab civilians. And the resentment is not limited to Muslims. A recent BBC poll of 28,000 people in 27 countries that sought respondents' assessments of the role of states in international affairs resulted in Israel, Iran and the United States being rated (in that order) as the states with "the most negative influence on the world." Alas, for some that is the new axis of evil!
The events of 9/11 could have resulted in a truly global solidarity against extremism and terrorism. A global alliance of moderates, including Muslim ones, engaged in a deliberate campaign both to extirpate the specific terrorist networks and to terminate the political conflicts that spawn terrorism would have been more productive than a demagogically proclaimed and largely solitary U.S. "war on terror" against "Islamo-fascism." Only a confidently determined and reasonable America can promote genuine international security which then leaves no political space for terrorism.
Where is the U.S. leader ready to say, "Enough of this hysteria, stop this paranoia"? Even in the face of future terrorist attacks, the likelihood of which cannot be denied, let us show some sense. Let us be true to our traditions.
The Truth Exposed: Islamic Terrorist Training & Fundraising in America
Part I: The run-up to urban warfare & a warning of coming attacksBy Doug Hagmann
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Since 2004, investigators of the Northeast Intelligence Network have been performing an extensive investigation and surveillance operation of the activities of Jamaat ul Fuqra, an Islamic terrorist group that is currently active and operational across the US and Canada. The findings of our investigation and surveillance operations are as extensive as they are disturbing.
This organization of Muslim terrorists are actively training for urban warfare, infiltrating our government institutions, securing positions of public trust, and raising substantial sums of money through a wide range of white collar criminal activity and Islamic charities which is being funneled to terrorist kingpin Sheikh Mubarek Ali Gilani in Pakistan. The money is used for terrorist operations and organizational advancement. From their US headquarters in rural Delaware county, New York at the base of the Catskills where recruitment is brisk, especially from within our prison system, they have also reinforced their operations into Mexico, Latin America, the Virgin Islands, and elsewhere. Their primary focus, however, remains the US and Canada, and their targets are both religious and secular in nature, with emphasis on the former. Such targets include Jews and Christians, churches and synagogues, and perhaps most insidiously, our schools and school children. The latter will be for psychological effect.
Members associated with this terrorist organization have killed and will kill and attack again, although their future attacks will be much more horrific. Mark my words.
It is important to point out that the results of our investigations have been submitted to numerous local, state and federal law enforcement agencies within the US and Canada. In fact, over the last few years excerpts from our submitted reports have appeared verbatim in law enforcement bulletins, been the subject of a number of news reports within the media, and referenced on numerous Internet blogs. Still images copied from video footage surreptitiously secured during our on-site surveillance operations have turned up on countless web sites, been included in books, and shown on national television.
Despite the submission of evidence to authorities at the highest of levels, the followers of top Palistani Sheikh Mubarek Ali Gilani, the man who Wall Street Journal reporter was allegedly on his way to interview when he was kidnapped and beheaded, continue to operate their conclaves of seditious conspiracy unfettered by any agency tasked with securing our homeland against threats. Not only do they continue in their missions, they are embraced by clueless politicians and allowed parades that close American streets to celebrate Mohammed’s birthday, joined by equally clueless revelers in an orgy of interfaith dialogue. One can question “why,” although perhaps an answer to the latter question could be found by speaking to Tarik Abdelazim, Executive Assistant to Mayor Matthew Ryan of Binghamton, NY.
It is most disturbing and important to point out that despite such widespread coverage and level of law enforcement awareness, however, this terrorist organization not only continues to exist, but has become exponentially more dangerous than the day we first began our investigation in 2004. There are several but simple reasons for this.
This terrorist organization has been permitted to exist, operate and flourish under the freedom of religious education and sheltered by democratic laws, both rights that are treasured by Americans and flawlessly exploited by Jamaat ul Fulqra in the form of The Muslims of America and The International Qu’ranic Open University. They have deliberately nested themselves within rural communities and carefully structured a life-style of isolationism within their enclaves. Beyond the perimeter of their compounds, some members have secured employment in the security industry, in finance, and public service. Their relatively quiet existence within their own community, created by a strictly enforced code of conduct taught by Gilani himself, has effectively created the perception with some local residents of the communities in which they live that they are “good neighbors.” The absence of law enforcement calls to their community is often cited as evidence of their upstanding behavior and reinforces this appearance. Unfortunately, some people don’t understand that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
It should have been of no surprise, then, as the findings of our investigation and surveillance operations began to emerge on Internet websites in early 2005, the members of this organization quickly denounced allegations of illegal, improper or seditious activity as rooted in religious intolerance. They protested that observations or documentation of questionable or suspicious activity were misunderstood, misinterpreted or convoluted to intentionally portray something sinister, an explanation that has been eagerly accepted by those who don’t believe that such activity could exist in their neighborhood. Even Gilani himself took umbrage with our findings, so much so that he published a diatribe accusing me of trying to initiate a holy war against Islam. I still have the business card from the federal official who first told me about Gilani’s displeasure with me, and his suggestion that anonymity offers more protection than body armor.
As exposure of the legitimate threat posed by Jamaat ul Fuqra grew, there was a proportional growth in the number of bloggers more interested in writing dramatic headlines about the terrorist group, while others, not unlike storm chasers who get an adrenaline rush from chasing tornados, took day trips to search out the compounds for themselves. It became a cottage industry of Internet sleuths who were more interested in getting jump and run photos of well-placed signs and other artifacts of the controversial properties.
This became the norm for many Internet researchers, rather than engaging in the tedious but professionally necessary investigative task of documenting facts and evidence. Sadly, the tabloid mentality consumed even the most popular denizens of the blogoshphere, all chasing headlines in a frenzy for notoriety. That mentality was further illustrated by the recent production of a documentary of this terrorist organization, and was panned by at least one major media network for its hype over substance. This is one rare occasion where in my capacity as an investigator do I find myself in agreement with the network.
The documentary is based in part on a report submitted to law enforcement by the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC), in which the Northeast Intelligence Network is cited as a source. The report also contains significant historical information mixed with information current at the time of its 2006 publication, some of which cannot be referenced as current or presented as evidence of current activity in 2009. Doing so gives those who are determined to minimize the threat, or even deny that any threat exists, enough of an opportunity to do so by pointing to such perceived inaccuracies. It also empowers the enemy by marginalizing those who are attempting to present clear and factual evidence in an effort to educate a wary public about a growing danger.
Spawned perhaps by the renewed interest in the terrorist organization and superficial references on Internet blogs did the attention-deficit corporate media again become interested, rushing once more to grab some suitable footage of a terrorist training camp in America. Unfortunately, they could not see through the veneer of contrived serenity, and were disappointed by the lack of directional signs pointing to the nearest Salman Pak mock-up. Whether they were denied the ability to look around or most recently, denied entry onto private property despite multiple requests, their disappointment seemed to manifest itself as a situation where “there is nothing to see here.” Leaving the audience confused about whether the headquarters of the terrorist group Jamaat ul Fuqra was akin to a year-around bible retreat or a boot camp for followers of Mohammed, the media will again lose interest as they had not uncovered any evidence by merely showing up and asking for it.
It is for the above reasons that Jamaat ul Fuqra is now more dangerous than ever, more emboldened, more organized, and more powerful. The blood of the next victims of Gilani and his disciples will be on the hands of many, spread through the hegemonic influence of Internet, an inept media, and at the highest levels of an infiltrated American government who have been aware of this group’s existence and activities for not only the last five years, but the last 2 ½ decades.
To fully understand the horrific nature of the threat posed by Gilani the terrorist and those who have sworn allegiance to him, it is necessary to understand their renewed objectives, their current method of operation, and perhaps most importantly, how they have adapted and their operations have evolved as a result of the spotlight that has been shined upon them over the last few years.
Domestic Terrorists in Our MidstBy Geoff Metcalf
February 25, 2009
“Homeground Jihad: The Terrorist Camps Around the U.S.” is a new documentary that needs public attention.
“Act like you are his friend. Then kill him.” –Sheik Muburak Gilani explaining how to kill American infidels
The 2006 Justice Department document that exposes 35 terrorist training compounds in the U.S. was marked “Dissemination Restricted to Law Enforcement.” All the copies of Sheik Muburak Gilani’s terrorist training video, “Soldiers of Allah,” had been confiscated and sealed—all of them, except one…That one errant surviving copy landed with the Christian Action Network and became the foundation for the compelling documentary Homegrown Jihad: The Terrorist Camps Around the U.S
I too often say, it is not a question of WHO is right or wrong but WHAT is right or wrong that counts. The “Soldiers of Allah”/ Jamaat ul-Fuqra is flat out WRONG on multiple levels.
That the FBI, Homeland Security and other law enforcement knows who and what this group is and has apparently not moved aggressively to shut them down and make arrests is counter-intuitive brain flatulence of epic (and potential deadly) proportions.
After watching the video twice the obvious question is, where is the Main Stream Media? This story is what Sixty Minutes, 20/20, and the gaggle of presumptive wannabes is supposed to be all about.
Sheik Muburak Gilani can be seen on video saying, “We are fighting to destroy the enemy. We are dealing with evil at its roots and its roots are America.”
If a GOP candidate, talk show gadfly or militia even hinted at the domestic terrorism “Soldiers of Allah” advocates, they would be raided, shut down, tried and jailed quicker than a minnow can swim a dipper. How long did it take to drop chlorine in the Timothy McVey gene pool?
However, despite an abundance of evidence and series of violent crimes, Sheik Gilani appears literally to be getting away with murder.
• FBI Special Agent Jody Weis said, “What we are witnessing here is kind of a brand-new form of terrorism. These home-grown terrorists can prove to be as dangerous as any known group, if not more so.”• Former FBI Director Robert Mueller said, “These home-grown terrorists may prove to be as dangerous as groups like al Qaeda, if not more so.”• Senator Joseph Lieberman said, “We must also work to protect our country against the next attack---terrorism spawned right here among us.
That 2006 Department of Justice report said, “Today, Jamaat ul-Fuqra has more than 35 suspected communes and more than 3,000 members spread across the United States, all in support of one goal: the purification of Islam through violence.”
The documented list of this group’s violence screams out for action. So why is law enforcement sitting on their hands?
George Santayana is often quoted as having said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Six years ago I wrote about Peter Lance’s gripping series of books. In the wake of interviews with scores of central figures and hundreds of pages of declassified documents, Lance uncovered startling evidence of FBI negligence that even a joint congressional committee either missed or ignored. His revelations can be read in “1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI – The Untold Story.”
It is a tragedy to not know what we don’t know. To know what we know and not do anything about it exceeds mere malfeasance.
Sheik Gilani’s “soldiers have been actively engaging in domestic terrorism” since 1979 and reportedly continue to this day.
While hiding in plane view in 35 states and responsible for some 50 terrorist attacks on American soil linked to Jamaat ul-Fuqra the obvious question is what is law enforcement waiting for?
I was once attacked by CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) over something I said (on WMAL in D.C.). Basically I observed that the Qur’an allows Muslims to lie to unbelievers. Kinda/sorta like what Sheik Gilani said, “Act like you are his friend. Then kill him.”
Robert Spencer (from Jihad Watch) noted in a FrontPage article, “Yet even as it complained about Metcalf’s statement, CAIR’s press release attacking Metcalf doesn’t say what Metcalf said was false. Why not? Because it’s true.” Duh!
“The truth,” Ann Coulter has observed, “is the truth whether we like it or not.”
The allegations in the referenced documentary are serious as a heart attack…and potentially more deadly.
At an absolute minimum, the Foggy Bottom Bureaucrats should add Jamaat ul Fuqra to the State Department's Foreign Terrorist Organization Watch List, thereby shutting down the domestic terrorist camps in the U.S. run by ul-Fuqra's front group, Muslims of America.
Six Algerian soldiers killed in terrorist attack
Submitted by Sahil Nagpal
Fri, 06/06/2008
Algiers - Six Algerian soldiers were killed and four were injured Thursday in an attack by suspected Islamic terrorists, Algerian security sources said Friday.
The soldiers were returning from a fishing excursion when a bomb concealed on the roadway exploded under their vehicle. The attack took place in the small port of Cap Djinet, near the city of Dellys, about 60 kilometres east of the capital Algiers.
On Wednesday, a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a barracks of the Algerian Republican Guard in a suburb of Algiers, injuring as many as six people.No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb has carried out a series of bloody bombings in Algeria since it linked itself to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network at the beginning of 2007.
"Islamic Terrorists" supported by Uncle Sam: Bush Administration "Black Ops" directed against Iran, Lebanon and Syriaby Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, May 31, 2007
The Bush administration has admitted that covert actions of an aggressive nature were applied against Iran and Syria. The stated objective was to wreck the countries' economies and currency systems. The infamous Iran-Syria Policy and Operations Group (ISOG) created in early 2006, integrated by officials from the White House, the State Department, the CIA and the Treasury Department, had a mandate to destabilize Syria and Iran, and bring about "Regime Change" :
"The committee, the Iran-Syria Policy and Operations Group [ISOG], met weekly throughout much of 2006 to coordinate actions such as curtailing Iran's access to credit and banking institutions, organizing the sale of military equipment to Iran's neighbors and supporting forces that oppose the two regimes." (Boston Globe, 25 May 2007)
ISOG had also been providing undercover assistance to Iranian opposition groups and dissidents. The group's propaganda ploy consisted in feeding disinformation into the news chain and "building international outrage toward Iran". (Boston Globe 2, January 2007)
About-Turn in Iran-Syria Policy?Washington has recently announced an apparent about-turn: no more treacherous covert ops directed against "rogue enemies" in the Middle East. The Iran-Syria Policy and Operations Group (ISOG) has been disbanded on the orders of President Bush. The US will no longer be involved in "[covert] aggressive actions against Iran and Syria", according to State Department officials.
"The group had become the focus for administration critics who feared that it was plotting covert actions that could escalate into a military conflict with Iran or Syria. The air of secrecy surrounding the group when it was established in March 2006, coupled with the fact that it was modeled after a similar special committee on Iraq, contributed to those suspicions.
A senior State Department official,... said the group [ISOG] was shut down because of a widespread public perception that it was designed to enact regime change. State Department officials have said the focus of the Iran-Syria group was persuading the two regimes to change their behavior, not toppling them." (Ibid)
Believe it or not?Foreign policy analysts have described Washington's decision as proof of a welcome "softening" of US strategy in the Middle East. The Bush administration is said to have discarded " regime change" in favor of a more flexible approach, consisting of constructive dialogue with Tehran and Damascus. Aggressive covert actions, we are told, have been swapped for bona fide international diplomacy:
The [dissolution of ISOG] comes as the Bush administration has embarked on a significant new effort to hold high-level meetings with Iran and Syria.
Shortly before the Iran-Syria group was shut down, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice launched a major initiative to engage Iran and Syria in a regional effort to stabilize Iraq, reversing longstanding U.S. policy against high-level contact with the countries.
For years, the Bush administration has shunned meetings with Syria. ...But Rice met this month with Syria's foreign minister in Egypt, the first such high-level meeting between the two countries since 2004, and on Monday, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, is scheduled to meet his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad.
Kenneth Katzman, a Middle East specialist at the Congressional Research Service, the research arm of the U.S. Congress, said he did not think it was a coincidence that the Iran-Syria group was disbanded at the same time the State Department began its diplomatic outreach.
"I think the rationale for that group was promoting regime change, and Rice is going in a much different direction from that," Katzman said. "The regime-change school within the administration has really gotten quite a bit weaker." (Ibid)
The decision to dismantle ISOG is largely cosmetic. Most of these intelligence operations remain intact. ISOG was one among several covert initiatives to destabilize Iran and Syria. Regime change and outright war are still part of the Administration's agenda. In fact, destabilizing covert intelligence operations directed against Iran and Syria have been stepped up in the course of the last four years. Moreover, these operations are closely coordinated with Israeli and NATO war plans, which constitute an integral part of the US sponsored military operation directed against Iran, Syria and Lebanon.
The covert ops have been synchronized with the military road map, including the various US war scenarios envisaged since the launching of " Theater Iran Near Term" (TIRANNT) in May 2003, barely a month after the invasion of Iraq. These war-like scenarios explicitly envisage regime change:
... Under TIRANNT, Army and U.S. Central Command planners have been examining both near-term and out-year scenarios for war with Iran, including all aspects of a major combat operation, from mobilization and deployment of forces through postwar stability operations after regime change." (William Arkin, Washington Post, 16 April 2006)
The US is on a war footing and the various covert operations and Psy-Ops --which routinely feed despicable images of the Iranian head of State into the news chain--, are an integral part of the military-intelligence and propaganda arsenal.
In turn, the covert ops are coordinated with US, Israeli and NATO military deployments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf including the conduct of major war games, which have been carried out almost continuously since Summer 2006.
CIA " Black Ops" directed against Iran
Coinciding with the announcement on the closing down of ISOG, "The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, according to current and former officials in the intelligence community... " (ABC News Report 22 May 2007). This parallel CIA sponsored initiative, which "received approval by White House officials and other officials in the intelligence community", has broadly the same mandate as that of the defunct ISOG:
"The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions.
"I can't confirm or deny whether such a program exists or whether the president signed it, but it would be consistent with an overall American approach trying to find ways to put pressure on the regime," said Bruce Riedel, a recently retired CIA senior official who dealt with Iran and other countries in the region.
A National Security Council spokesperson, Gordon Johndroe, said, "The White House does not comment on intelligence matters." A CIA spokesperson said, "As a matter of course, we do not comment on allegations of covert activity." (ABC News Report 22 May 2007)
The CIA plan was apparently "designed to pressure Iran to stop its nuclear enrichment program and end aid to insurgents in Iraq." The covert operation, according to US officials, was a softer alternative to that of a military strike on Iran, an option which was favored by Vice President Dick Cheney and other hawks within the administration:
"Current and former intelligence officials say the approval of the covert action means the Bush administration, for the time being, has decided not to pursue a military option against Iran.
"Vice President Cheney helped to lead the side favoring a military strike," said former CIA official Riedel, "but I think they have come to the conclusion that a military strike has more downsides than upsides." (Ibid)
The covert intelligence operations directed against Iran and Syria is not an alternative to military action. Quite the opposite. The CIA plan was designed to support Washington's strategy to destabilize Iran and Syria, through both military action and non-military means including covert intelligence operations.
Unleashing The Islamic Brigades Inside IranIn relation to Iran, US intelligence has been supporting a Pakistani based terrorist group, Jundullah (Soldiers of God), that has conducted terrorist raids inside Iran. The group operates "from bases on the rugged Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan 'tri-border region'." According to a report by ABC News:
"A Pakistani tribal militant group responsible for a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran has been secretly encouraged and advised by American officials since 2005, U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources tell ABC News.
The group, called Jundullah, is made up of members of the Baluchi tribe and operates out of the Baluchistan province in Pakistan, just across the border from Iran.
It has taken responsibility for the deaths and kidnappings of more than a dozen Iranian soldiers and officials." (ABC News, 2 April 2007)
Abd el Malik Regi, the leader of Jundullah, commands a force of several hundred guerrilla fighters "that stage attacks across the border into Iran on Iranian military officers, Iranian intelligence officers, kidnapping them, executing them on camera, ... Most recently, Jundullah took credit for an attack in February that killed at least 11 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard riding on a bus in the Iranian city of Zahedan." (Ibid)
US government sources have acknowledged that Jundullah's leader "had regular contact with US officials" but denies any "direct funding" of Jundullah by US intelligence.
Inherent in CIA covert operations, the Agency never grants funding "directly". It invariably proceeds through one of its proxy organizations including Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), which historically, since the Soviet-Afghan war, has provided support to Islamic terror groups, including the funding of the training camps and the madrassahs, always acting on behalf of the CIA. In fact this insidious role of Pakistan's ISI (on behalf of the the CIA) is candidly acknowledged by US intelligence:
"American intelligence sources say Jundullah has received money and weapons through the Afghanistan and Pakistan military and Pakistan's intelligence service. Pakistan has officially denied any connection." ( Brian Ross and Christopher Isham, The Secret War Against Iran, April 03, 2007
Other channels used by US intelligence in funding terrorism is through Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, where foundation money is funneled to various militant Islamic groups on behalf of Uncle Sam. "Some former CIA officers say the arrangement [with regard to Jundullah] is reminiscent of how the U.S. government used proxy armies, funded by other countries including Saudi Arabia, to destabilize the government of Nicaragua in the 1980s [reminiscent of the Iran-Contra affair]." (Ibid)
Consistent Pattern: Historical Origins of "Islamic Terrorism"Ironically, the Islamic groups are portrayed as working hand in glove with Tehran. Iran, a predominantly Shia country, is accused of harboring Sunni Islamic terrorists, when in fact these Islamic terrorists are " intelligence assets" of the United States, supported indirectly by Washington.
This role of US intelligence in support of "Islamic terrorists" is well established. The covert op applied in Iran are part of a consistent pattern
The not so hidden agenda of US intelligence, applied throughout Central Asia and the Middle East, is to trigger political instability and foment ethnic strife by supporting "Islamic terrorist organizations", ultimately with a view to weakening the Nation State and destabilizing sovereign countries.
From the onslaught of the Soviet-Afghan war and throughout the 1990s, a central feature of CIA activities has consisted in providing covert support to " Islamic terrorist organizations":
In 1979 "the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA" was launched in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in support of the pro-Communist government of Babrak Kamal.(See Fred Halliday, "The Un-great game: the Country that lost the Cold War, Afghanistan, New Republic, 25 March 1996): Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban: Exporting Extremism, Foreign Affairs, November-December 1999. See also Michel Chossudovsky, America's "War on Terrorism", Global Research, 2005, Ch. 2.)
With the active encouragement of the CIA and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, "some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 40 Islamic countries joined Afghanistan's fight between 1982 and 1992. Tens of thousands more came to study in Pakistani madrasahs. Eventually more than 100,000 foreign Muslim radicals were directly influenced by the Afghan jihad." (See Chossudovsky, op cit)
These covert operations in support of the "Islamic Brigades" continued in the post-Cold war period. The ISI's extensive intelligence military-network was not dismantled in the wake of the Soviet-Afghan war. The CIA continued to support the Islamic "jihad" out of Pakistan. New undercover initiatives were set in motion in Central Asia, the Middle East and the Balkans. Pakistan's military and intelligence apparatus essentially "served as a catalyst for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of six new Muslim republics in Central Asia." (Ibid). "Meanwhile, Islamic missionaries of the Wahhabi sect from Saudi Arabia established themselves in the Muslim republics of the Former Soviet Union as well as within the Russian federation encroaching upon the institutions of the secular State." (Ibid)
A similar pattern emerged in the Balkans. Starting in the early 1990s, the Clinton Administration supported the recruitment of Al Qaeda Mujahideen to fight in Bosnia alongside the Bosnian Muslim Army. Ironically, it was the Republican Party in a document published by the Republican Party Committee of the US Senate which accused Clinton not only of a "''hands-on' involvement with the Islamic network's arms pipeline" but also of collaborating with the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), "a Sudan-based, phony humanitarian organization believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing) and Osama Bin Laden,... " (The original document can be consulted on the website of the US Senate Republican Party Committee (Senator Larry Craig), at )
Since the launching of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) in the wake of September 11, 2001, many of the official documents, which single out the insidious relationship of US intelligence to the "Islamic terror network", have been carefully removed from the public eye.
US Sponsored "Islamic Terrorists" inside LebanonThe recent killings of civilians in Palestinian refugee camps in northern Lebanon, resulted from the confrontation between Fatah Al Islam and the Lebanese armed forces. Fatah al-Islam is a predominantly non-Palestinian Sunni fundamentalist group, operating inside the refugee camps. Fatah Al Islam is also inspired by the Wahabi sects of Saudi Arabia, which were part of the CIA's covert operations since the onslaught of the Soviet-Afghan war.
The Lebanese armed forces have been involved in raids on the camps, leading to the uprooting of the Palestinians refugees. The number of Fatah al Islam militants (made up of Saudi, Syrian, Yemeni and Moroccan fighters), inside the camp was of the order of 150-200 according to press reports. The Lebanese military offensive has been disproportionate, resulting in countless civilian casualties.
"Yet, the massively disproportionate assault on the camp has been unconditionally endorsed by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. “The Siniora government is fighting against a very tough extremist foe,” Rice said. “But Lebanon is doing the right thing to try to protect its population, to assert its sovereignty and so we are very supportive of the Siniora government and what it is trying to do.”
Lebanon has used the police action against this tiny group to ask the US for $280 million in military assistance to help put down what it grandiosely calls an “uprising.” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the request for funds, $220 million of which would go to the Lebanese Armed Forces and another $60 million to security forces, was being considered by Washington. The US gave $40 million in military aid to Lebanon last year and an additional $5 million so far this year. (Chris Marsden, 27 May 2007)
Fatah Al Islam has been presented in media reports, in an utterly twisted logic, as an organization linked to the Fatah movement in Palestine, a secular organization, founded by Yaser Arafat. From an ideological standpoint, Fatah al Islam, is similar to Al Qaeda, which is known to financed out of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and supported by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in liaison with its US counterpart.
According to Seymour Hersh, Saudi Arabia is providing funding as well as covert support to Fatah Al Islam, in close consultation with the Bush administration
Hersh points to a "private agreement" between top NeoCon officials and Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, who worked closely with CIA Director George Tenet, when he was Saudi Ambassador in Washington. The Lebanese government is also involved in this intelligence operation:
“The key player is the Saudis. What I [Hersh] was writing about was sort of a private agreement that was made between the White House, we’re talking about Richard—Dick—Cheney and Elliott Abrams, one of the key aides in the White House, with Bandar [Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi national security adviser]. And the idea was to get support, covert support from the Saudis, to support various hard-line jihadists, Sunni groups, particularly in Lebanon, who would be seen in case of an actual confrontation with Hezbollah—the Shia group in the southern Lebanon—would be seen as an asset, .as simple as that.. We're in the business now of supporting the Sunnis anywhere we can against the Shia, against the Shia in Iran, against the Shia in Lebanon, that is Nasrullah. Civil war. We're in a business of creating in some places, Lebanon in particular, a sectarian violence..”(CNN Interview with Seymour Hersh, CNN International's Your World Today, 21 May 2007)
The pattern of Saudi support to Fatah Al Islam is part of a US sponsored covert operation similar to those conducted by the CIA in the 1980s in support of Al Qaeda.
Well, the United States was deeply involved. This was a covert operation that Bandar ran with us. Don't forget, if you remember, you know, we got into the war in Afghanistan with supporting Osama bin Laden, the Mujahideen back in the late 1980s with Bandar and with people like Elliott Abrams around, the idea being that the Saudis promised us they could control -- they could control the jihadists so we spent a lot of money and time, ... in the late 1980s using and supporting the jihadists... And we have the same pattern, ... using the Saudis again to support jihadists [Fatah Al Islam], Saudis assuring us they can control these various group, the groups like the one that is in contact right now in Tripoli with the government. (CNN Interview with Seymour Hersh, CNN International's Your World Today, 21 May 2007)
Staged Event in Lebanon? Building a Humanitarian Justification for Military Intervention
Fatah Al Islam is an "intelligence asset" financed by Saudi Arabia. While the Bush administration accuses Damascus of supporting Fatah Al Islam, there are indications that the killings in the Palestinian refugee camps were the result of a carefully staged military intelligence operation..
Since the Summer 2006 following the Israeli bombing of Lebanon, NATO forces are present inside Lebanon as well as off Syrian-Lebanese coastline. The UN Security Council Resolution allowing for the deployment of NATO peace-keeping forces was the first step in this process, which followed the 2005 withdrawal and Syrian forces from Lebanon.
The objective of the military roadmap, is to create sectarian violence inside Lebanon which will provide a pretext "on humanitarian grounds" for a stepped up military intervention by NATO forces under a formal UN mandate. This humanitarian military NATO intervention in liaison with Israel, is envisaged as a sequel to the withdrawal of Syrian troops in 2005 and the Israeli bombings of 2006. If it were to be launched it could lead to a situation of de facto foreign occupation of Lebanon as well as the enforcement of a economic blockade directed against Syria.
The pretext for these stepped up military actions are Syria's alleged support of Fatah Al Islam and Damascus' supposed involvement in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri. The timely "investigation" into Hariri's assassination and the setting up of a kangaroo court are being used by the coalition to foment anti-Syrian sentiment in Lebanon. From a military and strategic standpoint, Lebanon is the gateway into Syria. The destabilization of Lebanon supports the US-NATO-Israeli military agenda directed against Syria and Iran. US intelligence sets loose its Islamic brigades, while also accusing the enemy of sponsoring terrorist groups, which are in fact covertly supported and financed by Uncle Sam.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

If You Know what's Good for You ... (Part 1)

Learn How to Relieve Arthritis and Joint Pain with Apple Cider Vinegar
Tuesday, July 28, 2009 by: Elizabeth Walling
(NaturalNews) We are a society deeply familiar with joint pain. Nearly 50 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with arthritis or a similar rheumatic condition, and countless others experience general joint pain on a regular basis. Conventional medicine offers minimal relief for joint pain, but natural wisdom teaches us that there is hope beyond pharmaceutical drugs. Lifestyle changes and dietary habits can have a profound effect on joint pain. Simple remedies like a daily regimen of apple cider vinegar can also work to naturally ease pain in the joints.
The Science Behind the Folk RemedyWith a history rooted in folk medicine, apple cider vinegar is brushed aside by many members of the medical field. Naturopathic doctors and other natural health enthusiasts, however, sing nothing but praises when it comes to this traditional remedy. Apple cider vinegar offers the body a variety of benefits, many of which work together to help relieve joint pain.
Apple cider vinegar is rich in minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and potassium. Mineral deficiency can worsen joint pain, so a diet rich in essential minerals is an important step to relieving the pain of arthritis. The potassium in cider vinegar may be especially beneficial because it works to prevent calcium build-up in the joints, which is linked to joint stiffness.
Raw, unprocessed apple cider vinegar is also rich in beneficial enzymes and acids that improve digestive health. Taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before a meal will encourage proper digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. This is vitally important for those with arthritis, a condition which is connected to poor digestion that can lead to deficiencies in minerals and other nutrients. These nutrients are crucial for joint health, so it is imperative that the body be capable of absorbing and using them. With apple cider vinegar, this is made possible even if you have arthritis.
Experts suggest that joint pain and arthritis may be linked to toxins accumulating in the joints, since metabolic waste is often stored in connective tissues. At the same time, people with joint pain tend to shun activities that might trigger more pain, and the lack of movement may cause toxins to build-up even more. The pectin in apple cider vinegar helps absorb toxins and move them out of the system, while the acids in cider vinegar work to purify and detoxify the entire body.
How to Use Apple Cider to Relieve Joint Pain
All of the benefits of apple cider vinegar can only be achieved with vinegar that is organic, raw, unfiltered and unprocessed. Your apple cider vinegar should be ruddy-colored with a noticeable amount of residue floating around in the bottle. This is the "mother," the natural accumulation of beneficial enzymes and nutrients. Apple cider vinegar in any other form, including pills, is inferior and much less effective.
The simplest way to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet is to mix 1-3 teaspoons in eight ounces of water three times per day, preferably just before meals. You can sweeten the drink with a small amount of honey or stevia if you like.
For those who suffer from joint pain, apple cider vinegar can also be used topically to relieve pain. You can make a relaxing foot or hand soak using one cup of apple cider vinegar with six cups of warm water. Or you can mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one tablespoon of coconut or olive oil for a soothing ointment to rub directly on your joints.
Beware Dangers in Teflon and Non-Stick Cookware
Thursday, July 23, 2009 by: Natalie June
(NaturalNews) It seems today that everyone is trying to market their product as "green". Consumers need to be aware, though, that just because their merchandise is labeled as "green" or "good for the environment," it does not mean that it actually is. A perfect example of this can be found in the cookware aisle. A pan that has a bamboo handle is made from some recycled materials and can be recycled after use, but it should not claim to be a "green" pan, especially when that pan is coated with a substance like Teflon. Not only can Teflon-coated and other non-stick cookware produce fumes that are highly toxic to birds, but it is clear that these products are also unhealthy for humans.
According to tests commissioned by Environmental Working Group (EWG), in the two to five minutes that cookware coated with Teflon is heating on a conventional stovetop, temperatures can exceed to the point that the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases. At various temperatures these coatings can release at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens. Birds` respiratory systems are sensitive to the fumes of heated non-stick pans. The lungs of exposed birds have been known to hemorrhage and fill up with fluid leading to suffocation, a condition called "Teflon Toxicosis." Most bird owners are unaware of this hazard.
For humans an effect called "polymer fume fever" has been acknowledged. This is said to be a temporary influenza-like syndrome, but it is still unknown what the long term effects of exposure might be. As if this was not bad enough, when the pans with these coatings get scratched during cooking, small amounts of plastic and leached aluminum cling to the food and then are ingested.
Toxic chemicals are also prevalent in the environment because of the use of these pans. A study done in 2005 by the Environmental Working Group in collaboration with Commonweal found perflourooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical found in such pans and a known carcinogen, in the umbilical cord blood of newborns. John Hopkins Medical Center did a similar test in 2006 where PFOA was present in the umbilical cord blood of 99% of the 300 infants tested.
There are many new pans on the market today that are considered safe, but research is necessary to figure out exactly what chemicals are present. Cast iron pans are also a great alternative. They add beneficial iron to the diet and they heat evenly without adding toxic chemicals to the dish.
Irish Moss is a Revitalizing Super Food
Tuesday, July 21, 2009 by: Sheryl Walters
(NaturalNews) Irish moss is not moss at all. It is in fact seaweed that grows along the rocky coast lines of the Atlantic Ocean. It is especially found in Ireland where it has a long history in Irish folklore as a good luck charm to be taken on long journeys, or to be placed under the rug at home to bring money and prosperity to the household. Irish moss was also used as stuffing for mattresses and cattle feed, but in the 19th century the people of Ireland underwent a horrific famine and Irish moss became one of the main sources of food and nutrition. More recently, Irish moss is becoming known as a healing and exciting super food.
Irish moss is now thought to contain 15 of the 18 essential elements that make up the human body. This includes great amounts calcium, iodine, sulphur, and potassium as well as Vitamins A, D, E, F and K. This is why this most amazing seaweed is thought to be able to cure everything from bladder disorders, bronchitis, halitosis (bad breath), intestinal disorders and glandular problems to swollen joints, lung difficulties, thyroid conditions, tuberculosis, tumors, and ulcers. Recent studies have found that Irish moss does in fact have some great anti-viral properties and can help fight the Influenza B and mumps viruses.
Irish Moss And The Skin
Irish moss is also thought to have many cosmetic properties from helping rid the body of varicose veins to reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Irish moss is even added to creams that are becoming known as the new miracles in the anti aging battle. These new creams are thought to be so effective because of the high amounts of Vitamin K found in the moss. Recent studies in to the effects of Vitamin K on the body have linked it to the elasticity of the skin. As you get older your skin begins to wrinkle because it starts to lose some of its elasticity from when you were young. Adding a cream that is packed with Vitamin K can help improve this elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and things like bags or dark circles that can form around the eyes. These creams are also thought to heal all sorts of skin problems from eczema, psoriasis and even sunburn.
But one of the main uses of Irish moss within the health community is to help people recover from debilitating illnesses such as TB and Pneumonia. Its high Vitamin and mineral content make it the perfect food to replenish and revitalize the body after a long battle with disease.
How Grapes Protect Your Heart
Dr. Mercola
May 14 2009
A diet enriched by grapes may prevent the downhill sequence of heart failure after years of high blood pressure. A study suggests that grapes may prevent heart health risks beyond the simple blood pressure-lowering benefits that come from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
The heart-healthy benefits of grapes may be the result of the phytochemicals (naturally occurring antioxidants) activating a protective process in the genes that reduces damage to the heart muscle.
Researchers studied the effect regular table grapes had when added to the diets of rats. After 18 weeks, the rats that received the grape-enriched diet powder had lower blood pressure, better heart function, and fewer signs of heart muscle damage.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Although I often suggest most people limit their fruit intake due to its high sugar content, fruit does have some beneficial properties, and grapes are a great example of this.
When rats bred to develop high blood pressure were fed a powder made from green, red, and black grapes, not only did their blood pressure go down, but their heart function improved and they had fewer signs of heart muscle damage than rats not fed grapes.
The grape powder even outshined the blood pressure medicine hydrazine, as although it lowered the rats’ blood pressure, it did not protect their hearts from damage.
This is because grapes contain a blend of phytochemicals -- naturally occurring antioxidants -- that work synergistically to turn on protective genes that reduced damage to heart muscles.
A study last year also found that grapes go a long way toward preventing clogged arteries. Compared to the control group that was given water, those given grapes or grape juice experienced several health benefits, including:
• Lower cholesterol • Less oxidative stress • Less fat accumulation in their aorta
The Seeds and the Skins: Two Important Parts of Grapes
When enjoying fruits it’s important to eat them in whole, fresh form, as this way you get access to all of their beneficial properties. In the case of grapes, 90 percent of the nutritional health benefit is located in the skin and seeds.
Grape seeds are powerful antioxidants, and their extract is rich in proanthocyanidins. Scientific studies have shown the antioxidant power of proanthocyanidins is 20 times stronger than vitamin C and 50 times stronger than vitamin E. Aside from helping to lower your blood pressure, grape seed extract may have a positive impact on a number of diseases including:
LeukemiaSkin cancerObesity
Grape seeds have also been shown to improve flexibility in joints, arteries and body tissues such as your heart, and research studies have shown grape seed helps improve blood circulation by strengthening capillaries, arteries and veins.
Resveratrol, meanwhile, is an antioxidant found in grape skins. It is making headlines because it appears to slow down aging and even increase the lifespan of human cells. It reduces oxidative stress damage to your cardiovascular system by neutralizing free radicals, and helps support your body’s natural defenses.
Resveratrol is also unique among antioxidants because it can cross the blood-brain barrier to help protect your brain and nervous system, and studies show that its benefits are wide reaching, including:
• Protecting your cells from free radical damage• Inhibiting the spread of cancer, especially prostate cancer• Lowering your blood pressure• Keeping your heart healthy and improving elasticity in your blood vessels• Normalizing your anti-inflammatory response• Helping to prevent Alzheimer’s disease
Can Grapes be a Healthy Part of Your Diet?If you are healthy, eating a handful of organic grapes as a snack is certainly reasonable. However, I would conservatively estimate that 75 percent of the U.S. population needs to restrict fruit intake. Anyone with high insulin levels needs to be careful.
You can measure your fasting insulin level, or if you have any of the following problems it is highly likely you have insulin resistance syndrome, and would benefit from restricting fruit:
• Overweight• High Cholesterol• High Blood Pressure• Diabetes• Yeast Infections
Additionally, protein nutritional types need to be careful about eating too much fruit.
To get the most health bang for your buck, if you eat grapes choose muscadine grapes. Muscadine grapes actually have the highest concentration of resveratrol in nature because of their extra thick skins and numerous seeds, where it is concentrated.
How Else Can You Get the Benefits of Grapes?Some of the healthy compounds in grapes, such as resveratrol, are also found in abundance in red wine. Resveratrol in particular is highly soluble in alcohol, meaning your body may absorb more of it from red wine than from other sources. But there ARE other sources out there, including cocoa, dark chocolate and peanuts, so don’t feel you must drink alcohol to get the benefits.
You can also get many of the benefits of grapes in supplement form, which may make sense particularly for those of you trying to cut back on sugar in all forms. Be sure to look for one made from muscadine grapes that uses WHOLE grape skins and seeds, as this is where many of the benefits are concentrated.
New Studies Reveal the Medicinal Benefits of Honey
Thursday, May 07, 2009 by: Sheryl Walters
(NaturalNews) For centuries honey had been known as nature's medicine. Both the Greeks and Egyptians used honey as one of their main healing tools, with the famous Greek thinker Aristotle saying that pale honey was "good as a salve for sore eyes and wounds". But despite its long history within the healing community honey is now seen as something of a fad, another money making scam from the natural health industry that actually has no medical benefits at all. But there are new studies being conducted that could see us all adding honey not to our toast, but back into our medicine cabinets.
Many of these studies have been aimed at one particular type of honey, Manuka Honey. Each beehive will produce a different type of honey depending on which flower the bees get their nectar from. Manuka honey comes from the flower of the Manuka bush that is native to New Zealand and has been found to have amazing anti bacterial properties. Bandages are now being made that contain traces of Manuka honey; this helps stop the growth of harmful bacteria even when wounds are badly infected. The Manuka honey's amazing healing properties come from a chemical reaction that takes place while the honey is being made. This reaction produces hydrogen peroxide, which is a well known antiseptic. "Since Manuka Honey is a natural ingredient, it has been found to have no negative side effects when used for medical purposes," says Frank Buonanotte, CEO of Honeymark International.
While Manuka honey aids healing another type of honey has been found to ease children's colds, sooth their chesty coughs and promote sleep. The Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine recently published the results of a study that seemed to confirm this fact. The study included 105 children between the ages of 2 and 18. In a partially blind test some of the children were given buckwheat honey, some honey flavored syrup and some nothing. Short surveys filled in by the children's parents showed that when their children were given just a little bit of honey before bed they slept better and coughed less than when they took the syrup or nothing at all. "This is the first time honey has been actually proven as a treatment," says lead study author Dr. Ian Paul, a researcher at Penn State College of Medicine.
Research in to the healing properties of honey is ongoing, but with many bacteria now becoming immune to prescribed antibiotics honey is being seen by many as an amazing natural alternative. Also See:
Can You Use Honey to Stay Young?
Dr. Mercola
October 04 2007
Adding a dollop of honey to your daily diet may help to fight your aging process, according to researchers from the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand.
The researchers fed 2-month-old rats a diet containing 10 percent honey, 8 percent sucrose, or no sugar at all for 12 months. They were tested every three months to measure their anxiety and spatial memory.
Honey-fed rats seemed to hold up better to the effects of aging. Specifically:
· Honey-fed rats spent close to double the time in open sections of an assessment maze than sucrose-fed rats, which suggests they were less anxious.
· Honey-fed rats were more likely to enter novel sections of a Y-shaped maze, which suggests they knew where they had been before and had better spatial memory.
The researchers believe that a honey-sweetened diet may also decrease anxiety and improve memory in aging humans. The beneficial effects may be due to the antioxidant properties of honey.
The study was funded by Fonterra, a dairy company that’s looking to market a honey-sweetened yogurt.
Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour meeting at Newcastle University, UK September 5-7, 2007
New Scientist September 14, 2007
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Honey has numerous beneficial properties, many of which I've reported on this site in the past. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of confusion when it comes to this natural sweetener.
What is honey good for? Well, it's been shown to provide natural support for a wide range of body structures and functions. For one thing, honey contains a number of good health-promoting antioxidants.
Vitamins found in honey include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-12, and biotin. Along with minerals and amino acids, honey also contains a number of live enzymes that help promote optimal health.
Honey is also known to help with occasional diarrhea and insomnia.
The Problem With the Majority of U.S. Honey
If you've read my book Sweet Deception, you're likely already familiar with the massive fraud going on with U.S. honey. As many VitalVotes readers have pointed out, much of the honey in the United States (perhaps up to two-thirds of the annual honey production) is made by force-feeding bees high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or other sugars.
This is done so that the bees can produce honey year-round; however the end result is NOT pure honey, but rather a partial honey/HFCS mix.
Most honey sold is also pasteurized, which means that the beneficial enzymes have been damaged or killed off entirely.
So if you choose to use honey, either topically to soothe your skin or as a sweetener, make sure you are getting pure RAW honey. Perhaps the best way to do this is to find a local source for the raw honey, and then ask the beekeeper directly whether or not he or she supplements the bees' diet with HFCS.
If you are unable to find any reliable sources of raw honey, I recently found one I can recommend. I was also able to secure a supply for our store to make it more convenient for you. Pure Gold Raw Honey is an awesome alternative to table sugar.
Is Honey an Acceptable Sweetener?
Many feel that because honey is "natural", it is OK to use. However, this is not entirely true, particularly if you use the processed and refined varieties.
I believe that, similar to most refined foods, refined and pasteurized honey can promote disease and damage your health. Raw honey, on the other hand, can be used as a sweetener - as long as you use it in moderation.
The average American consumes far more than 150 pounds of sugar every year, primarily in the form of high-fructose corn syrup. If you restricted your use of Pure Gold Raw Honey to less than 5-10 pounds per year - and used that as your sole source of sugar - in my opinion, it would be unlikely to cause you significant health concerns.
Remember though, even raw honey is still a form of sugar, and it will cause your insulin levels to increase. This should not be a problem if you are healthy and only eat it in small amounts, but you should NOT use raw honey or any form of sweetener if you suffer from signs of elevated insulin levels, such as:
High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
Bees are truly a gift to our society, even beyond the honey they produce. Sadly, more than one-quarter of America's 2.4 million bee colonies have recently died, and experts are still trying to figure out why. Everything from "colony collapse disorder" to genetically modified crops and cell phones have been suggested as causes.
If honeybees disappear, it could quickly eliminate much of our food supply. Why? Because the bees are a necessary part of the equation for pollination of many of our food plants. It's just one more example of how fragile and interdependent our biosystem really is.
Other than honey, natural bee products like propolis and royal jelly can also be very powerful natural healing adjuncts if used wisely and properly. Bee venom, too, has some incredibly potent neuroactive peptides that have been used by medical science to treat rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Omega-3s - Fish Oils, Flaxseed Oil and Prostate Cancer - What do the Experts Say?Monday, April 20, 2009 by: Mike Adams
(NaturalNews) Just how good are fish oils, flaxseed oils and other omega-3s at preventing prostate cancer? According to the experts quoted below, they may represent some of the most powerful anti-cancer nutrients available today!
Read this large collection of quotes on omega-3 oils and prostate cancer, and you'll learn how boosting omega-3 intake while reducing omega-6 intake can help halt prostate cancer tumor growth and end the chronic tissue inflammation that ultimately contributes to prostate cancer.
What are good sources of fish oils? I personally like both marine omega-3 oils (from green-lipped mussels) and high-quality fish oils like those from Nordic Naturals ( Carlson Labs is also a trusted source ( I don't trust most other brands of fish oil or krill oil because of the lack of ethics demonstrated by the people selling them. Krill oil harvesting, in particular, negatively impacts the fragile Antarctic marine ecosystem (, unlike aquaculture farming of green-lipped mussels, which is clean and sustainable.
Do your homework on fish oils and marine omega-3s. Since entering this realm, I've discovered this segment of the nutritional products industry is rife with dishonest people who are intentionally putting out all kinds of misinformation (even from people I once trusted). Ask for certification of eco-sustainability (virtually nobody has any). A good eco-certification group is the MSC (Marine Stewardship Counsel). Ask for test results showing the products are free from mercury, PCBs, pesticides and other man-made chemicals. And most importantly, find out how the oils are processed!. I've come to learn that some omega-3 oils sold by apparently reputable people are, in reality, heat processed, which destroys much of the nutritional potency of the oils. So all their great marketing copy is worthless when you consider how the product itself has been largely destroyed by heat.
If you're not getting cold-processed oils, you're not getting what you're paying for. And if you don't check out the eco-sustainability and purity of the oils, you might end up inadvertently supporting a company whose harvesting methods negative impact the environment (or whose oils are contaminated). So do your homework and ask tough questions of any supplier of fish oils, krill oil or other omega-3 oil sources.
Authors' Quotes on Omega-3 and Prostate Cancer
Below, you'll find selected quotes from noted authors on Omega-3 oils and Prostate Cancer. Feel free to quote these in your own work provided you give proper credit to both the original author quoted here and this NaturalNews page.
Omega-3 consumption in the Western diet has become so low that researchers can't find it in lab sample tissues. A study of men found higher concentrations of omega-3s in blood serum samples taken from healthy males, with lower concentrations taken from men with prostatitis. The lowest rates were found in men with prostate cancer. Fish oil has about 30% omega-3 oil while flaxseed oil has about 60% omega-3 oil. So flax is the only oil that can correct the imbalance in omega-3 & 6 oils in the Western diet. - You Don't Have to be Afraid of Cancer Anymore by Bill Sardi.
Reducing total fat intake and increasing the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in the diet may be particularly useful for groups at a relatively high risk of cancer, and may also be useful after surgery to help prevent disease recurrence. Prostate cancer dietary intake of essential fatty acids may play a role in prostate cancer cell proliferation. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that men whose dietary intake is high in omega-6 fatty acids have a higher incidence of clinical prostate cancer. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids may have protective effects.- The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs by Nicola Reavley. [Read the rest of the quotes at:]
Common Peas Can Help Your Blood Pressure?
Dr. Mercola
April 14 2009
Researchers have found that proteins in common garden peas can help fight high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD patients are actually at highest risk from the cardiovascular complications arising from high blood pressure associated with kidney malfunction.
Peas long have been recognized as healthy, containing protein, dietary fiber and vitamins. The new research focuses on the yellow garden pea, a mainstay pea variety.
Scientists purified a mixture of small proteins called pea protein hydrolysate. When researchers fed small daily doses of the protein mixture to laboratory rats with a severe form of kidney disease, the rats showed a 20 percent drop in blood pressure.
The researchers also report that consumption of the pea extract produced a 30 percent increase in urine production in the diseased rats, bringing their urine to within normal levels. March 24, 2009
American Chemical Society's 237th National Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah March 22-26, 2009
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Nature is full of simple solutions to many of the health ailments plaguing the world right now, and the healthy compounds in yellow peas are a great example of that.
Rats with chronic kidney disease fed a mixture of small proteins called pea protein hydrolysate had a 20 percent drop in blood pressure. This is important not only for those with chronic kidney disease -- who often face high blood pressure and associated heart complications -- but would likely be welcome news to many of you.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is such a common health problem that one out of three of you reading this has it. Uncontrolled hypertension is a serious health concern that can cause heart disease and increase your risk of having a stroke -- and it’s especially dangerous because it often has no warning signs or symptoms.
Unfortunately, simply eating peas in their natural state may not produce the same blood pressure lowering effects as the protein extract used in the study. The researchers say the beneficial proteins are inactive in natural peas and require treatment with special enzymes to become active.
In the near future, the beneficial protein extract could be made into a powder to add to foods or beverages, or it may be put into a pill form, the scientists said.
However, it’s important to realize that drugs used to treat hypertension -- even natural ones -- will not change, modify, or in any way address the underlying cause of your high blood pressure. Additionally, statistics show that over half of people taking multiple medications for high blood pressure are still not able to manage their condition, so for many these drugs simply don’t work as promised.
What is One of the Most Common Causes of High Blood Pressure?
High blood pressure is associated with kidney malfunction in people with chronic kidney disease, but much more often high blood pressure is related to your body producing too much insulin. As your insulin levels rise, it causes your blood pressure to increase. Hence, if you have hypertension, chances are good that you also have poorly controlled blood sugar levels. The two problems often go hand in hand.
In fact, groundbreaking research published in 1998 in the journal Diabetes reported that nearly two-thirds of the test subjects who were insulin resistant also had high blood pressure.
So if you fall into this group, and your hypertension is the direct result of an out-of-control blood sugar level, then normalizing your blood sugar levels will also bring your blood pressure readings into the healthy range.
Ideally, this can be done without the use of any drugs, which is to your advantage considering beta-blockers -- a class of drugs frequently prescribed to manage high blood pressure -- have been found to cause type 2 diabetes by decreasing your insulin sensitivity. This is actually promoting the very problem you’re trying to solve.
That said, although I hardly ever recommend the use of drugs, it’s VITAL that you do go on a medication to lower your blood pressure if your blood pressure is very high! Otherwise you are putting yourself at serious risk of a stroke, and the brain damage that occurs during a stroke tends to be permanent and irreversible.
Once you begin to address the underlying causes of your high blood pressure, and your levels begin to go down, then you can slowly wean off the medication.
Natural Methods to Lower Your Blood Pressure
Although the pea protein extract mentioned in the study sounds like a promising alternative to pharmaceuticals for blood pressure, you really want to focus on techniques that will address the underlying causes, namely high insulin levels. These include:
1. Exercise: A regular, effective exercise program consisting of aerobics, sprint-burst type exercises, and strength training, can go a long way toward reducing your insulin levels and your blood pressure.
2. Eat for your nutritional type, and avoid foods that raise insulin levels: Foods that will raise your insulin, such as sugar-type foods and grains, should be avoided if you have high blood pressure. This includes eve whole, organic grains, as they rapidly break down to sugars.
Foods to avoid include:
• Breads
• Pasta
• Rice
• Cereal
While cutting out these insulin-boosting foods, focus your diet on the healthy foods that correspond to your nutritional type. One food in particular that can also be helpful for reducing your blood pressure is crushed, raw garlic. Many people swear by it, and it's something you can easily add to your diet.
3. Use stress management techniques. Even mild stress can raise your blood pressure. Prayer, meditation, or the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) are all useful techniques for managing your emotions.
4. Optimize your vitamin D levels. It has recently become clear that normalizing your vitamin D levels can have a powerful effect on normalizing your blood pressure.
5. Balance your omega-6 to omega-3 fat ratio. Most Americans eating a standard American diet have a ratio of 25:1, which is highly unbalanced. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1. Therefore, you’ll want to lower the amount of vegetable oils in your diet (omega-6), and make sure you have a high quality, animal-based source of omega-3s, such as krill oil.
Over 85 percent of those who have hypertension can normalize their blood pressure through lifestyle modifications like these. So if you have hypertension, or hope to avoid it, taking control of your health now is one of the best decisions you could make.
Blueberries Lower High Cholesterol and Boost Cardiovascular Health
by: Mike Adams
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
NaturalNews) How good are blueberries at lowering high cholesterol and protecting cardiovascular health? This article compiles a collection of quotes and statements about blueberries from doctors, authors and health experts.
Learn about anthocyanosides and the natural medicine found in blueberries and other types of berries. You'll learn how these berries not only protect your cardiovascular health, but they also boost brain health and protect your entire nervous system.
Berries are truly medicine from Mother Nature, and they support human health in so many ways that if berries were drugs, they would be called "miracle drugs.
"The best way to get berries, of course, is to eat them fresh (like I do in Ecuador). But if you can't get them fresh, here are two sources I recommend (I have no financial relationship with any of these companies): - they make outstanding concentrated liquids and food bars with cherry, blueberry, pomegranate and other superfruits. This is my favorite source for fruit concentrates. Read my review here: - They make the ever-popular "Bear Fruit Bars" which are concentrated organic fruit bars (way better than Larabar, which sold out to the big food companies). Read my review here: If you're looking for fruit concentrates in capsules, check them out at Vitacost: Here's the collection of quotes from other sources:
Authors' Quotes on Blueberries and Cholesterol
Below, you'll find selected quotes from noted authors on the subject of Blueberries and Cholesterol. Feel free to quote these in your own work provided you give proper credit to both the original author quoted here and this NaturalNews page. Recently, doctors in Paris and Budapest isolated chemicals in blueberries called anthrocyanosides. In tests on rabbits, they found that these chemicals were effective in reducing the damage caused to brain blood vessels from a high-cholesterol diet. The anthrocyanosides helped block cholesterol from penetrating into the brain blood vessels. And since proper blood flow to the brain is essential for mental energy and health, it looks like blueberries may very well help improve brain function.- Natural Health Secrets From Around the World by Glenn W. Geelhoed, M.D. and Jean Barilla, M.S.- Available on
A collaborative team of scientists at the University of Paris and the Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest extracted anthocyanosides from blueberries and injected them in rabbits eating a high cholesterol diet. The blueberry chemicals counteracted some of the ill effects of the atherosclerosis brought on by the high cholesterol diet. Rabbits fed high cholesterol plus blueberry chemicals had less severe calcium-fat deposits in their aortas and less-diseased small blood vessels in the brain than animals fed only cholesterol. - The Food Pharmacy: Dramatic New Evidence That Food Is Your Best Medicine by Jean Carper- Available on
Since arteriosclerosis is worsened by high cholesterol levels, which contribute to the formation of dangerous blood clots, you should consider using the herbs recommended in "Cholesterol Reduction" and "Blood Clots." For example, compounds called anthocyanidins, which give foods such as bilberries, blueberries, grapes, hawthorn berries and cherries their bright coloring, reduce your chances of developing arteriosclerosis by slowing down both cholesterol buildup and the blood's tendency to clot.- Herbs for Health and Healing by Kathi Keville- Available on
We know that high-fiber foods, and the pectin found in apples, will lower cholesterol. Blueberries are very good at this, too. Hot grain cereals such as oats, barley, and buckwheat are also good. Therefore, having some apples and blueberries in your cereal is exceptionally helpful. Other anticholesterol foods are polyunsaturated oils (in small amounts only!) and linoleic oils from cold fish (but do not eat shellfish), walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and nut butters.- Gary Null's Power Aging by Gary Null- Available on
Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity, making them highly protective for the cardiovascular system. They contain pterostilbene, which lowers cholesterol, and anthocyanins, which improve vision and brain function and guard against macular degeneration. The ellagic acid in them has anticancer activity.- The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.- Available on
My choice for the top foods for cholesterol are blueberries (1 pint a day), garlic, ginger, onions and anything with omega-3 oils such as chia seeds, flax seeds, salmon or oily fish. On the supplement side, I recommend cod liver oil, policosinol, macadamia nut oil and medicinal mushrooms like Reishi and Shiitake. And if you really need a boost from supplements, try red yeast rice. In addition to good nutrition, achieving healthy cholesterol levels also requires avoiding all dairy products (milk, cheese, etc.) except, perhaps, raw organic milk.- Natural Health Solutions by Mike Adams- Available on
It's simple: blueberries, garlic and lots of superfoods. Nutrition is the best medicine in the world. Plus, my medical bills are zero, I have no side effects, and I don't need a doctor's permission to treat myself with blueberries. The medicine found in everyday foods flatly makes statin drugs obsolete. If the FDA or conventional medicine had any remaining ethics whatsoever, you would have already been told this fact. But, alas, there's no money in teaching people to eat healthy and treat high cholesterol with nature's medicines.- Natural Health Solutions by Mike Adams- Available on
They also decrease tumor growth; reduce elevated blood cholesterol, and prevent oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol and blood cell clumping; enhance the activity of vitamin C; strengthen collagen (the main protein in skin and other tissues, including blood vessel walls); improve peripheral circulation; and help safeguard eyesight, especially in individuals with diabetic retinopathy. Some sorghum varieties have been found to contain as high or even higher levels of anthocyanins than blueberries, a highly touted source of these protective plant compounds.- The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D.- Available on
A compound found in both cranberries and blueberries, called Pterostilbene, is crucial for the metabolism of lipids, including cholesterol. Blueberries are packed with antioxidant phytonutrients called anthocyanidins which neutralize free radicals. Anthocyanins improve the integrity of the veins and entire vascular system.
Where to buy it: At the grocery store-fresh, dried, frozen or as a juice (with little to no sugar added) are all good sources.- The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D.- Available on
Blueberries contain powerful cholesterol medicines that lower LDL cholesterol even better than drugs, without the risk of side effects. These phytonutrients are found in the skin of the blueberry, by the way, and they are called anthocyanins (another phytonutrient).- Natural Health Solutions by Mike Adams- Available on
Pectin, a soluble form of fiber found in apples, blueberries, and grapefruit, particularly helps reduce cholesterol. If you want to add more fiber, take 1 teaspoon a day of psyllium with 8 ounces of water or juice. Psyllium is the active ingredient in Metamucil, but the latter also has sugar, preservatives, and food colorings. Stick to the plain psyllium found in your health food store it's cheaper, too. Make olive oil and fish oil your predominant dietary fats. They both can actually lower LDL cholesterol. However, don't entirely neglect the other fats: Keep your nutrition in balance.- Bottom Line's Prescription Alternatives by Earl L. Mindell, RPh, PhD with Virginia Hopkins, MA- Available on
Other good sources include blackberries, black chokeberries, boysenberries, black currants, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, red grapes and red raspberries. I suspect that all of these fruits might help prevent and treat angina. Garlic (Allium sativum) and onion (A. cepa). Both of these spicy herbs help treat heart disease by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and by preventing formation of the blood clots that trigger heart attack. According to one study, munching one clove of garlic daily cuts cholesterol by 9 percent.- The Green Pharmacy: New Discoveries in Herbal Remedies for Common Diseases and Conditions from the World's Foremost Authority on Healing Herbs by James A. Duke, Ph.D.- Available on
Anthocynanins are the reddish-blue pigments found in cherries, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, red currants, and red cabbage. There are over 150 different anthocyanins in the plant world. They inhibit cholesterol synthesis by limiting the production of HMG-COA reductase, a precursor to cholesterol. This may make anthocyanins protective against both cancer and heart disease. Ascorbic acid is the plant form of vitamin C. It is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, most notably citrus fruits and their juices, broccoli, green pepper, and tomatoes.- Foods That Fight Disease: A Simple Guide to Using and Understanding Phytonutrients to Protect and Enhance Your Health by Laurie Deutsch Mozian, M.S., R.D.- Available on
Blueberries: High in pectin, which can help lower cholesterol, blueberries contain antioxidants which may help prevent different forms of cancer as well as increase resistance to infections. Cranberryjuice: Contains a component that has a "Teflon effect" on E. coli bacteria, preventing it from sticking to the endothelial cells of the urinary tract, which may help prevent urinary tract infections. Garlic. Diallyl sulfide (DAS), a component of garlic oil, may deactivate carcinogens and help prevent the growth of cancerous tumors.- Dr. Earl Mindell's Unsafe at Any Meal: How to Avoid Hidden Toxins in Your Food by Earl Mindell and Hester Mundis- Available on
With a plethora of recent research, the specific healing properties of pecans, almonds, grapes, cranberries, blueberries, kiwi, pomegranates, mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage, cinnamon, and a whole host of other popular foods have been revealed not just as anecdotal chatter but rather as documented medical facts. According to a 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition, eating a handful of pecans daily reduces cholesterol and may be a viable alternative to using cholesterol reducing drugs. - Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC- Available on
The stronger concentrated bilberry extracts are needed with more serious diseases such as MS and macular degeneration, unless you love to eat blueberries. The best thing about them is that, like raspberries and blackberries, they contain less sugar than most other fruits. The antioxidant action of bilberry extracts can help prevent the problems caused by elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (Laplaud et al., 1997). Other reported benefits based upon pharmacological studies include wound healing, antiulcer action (Martin A et al).- The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook: Everything You Need to Know About Chinese, Western, and Ayurvedic Herbal Treatments by Alan Keith Tillotson, Ph.D., A.H.G., D.Ay.- Available on
Suffer from high cholesterol? Eat blueberries. At risk for breast cancer? Drink green tea. These are all examples of limited, allopathic thinking. It's sometimes called "green allopathy" because it uses natural medicine in an allopathic way. But if you wish to truly be healthy, you must move beyond allopathic thinking and understand the Unified Theory of Health.
All those different diseases have the same common causes.
Just two or three significant underlying physiological or biochemical problems, you see, can manifest themselves in a hundred different ways, depending on circumstances.- Natural Health Solutions by Mike Adams- Available on
Apricots, blackberries, black cherries, blueberries, cranberries, dates, figs, gooseberries, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, prunes. Eat foods low in cholesterol and fat, as well as high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, for healthy circulation. If arteries lose their elasticity, harden, and have calcium deposits, it is arteriosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a similar condition except that the deposits are fatty substances. One-quarter of deaths in the U.S. occur from heart attacks and most are attributed to these causes.- Prescription for Dietary Wellness: Using Foods to Heal by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC- Available on
Blueberries dramatically slows impairments in motor coordination and memory that are the usual accompaniments of aging. What's more, they may help lower blood cholesterol and promote urinary health. Bilberries, a close European cousin of the blueberry, have been shown to promote eye health and protect against glaucoma and cataract progression.- The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.- Available on
Blueberries: Contain disease-fighting, age-proofing antioxidants and anticancer properties. They help lower cholesterol levels, help prevent short-term memory loss, and help promote weight control. Wild salmon: One of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce heart disease and inflammatory conditions. Rich in carotenoids, vitamins B, A, and D; good for calcium absorption. Pomegranate: Rich in potassium and vitamin C, and has three times the antioxidants of red wine and green tea.- The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Eat and Why by Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., C.N.S.- Available on
Good fruits to include are apples and blueberries, because of their gel-forming fibers. As these foods travel through the intestines, they provide a sense of fullness, which signals the brain to turn off its hunger appestat. Additionally, sea vegetables, such as kelp, nourish the thyroid, which in turn keeps the metabolism running smoothly. Drinking plenty of pure water is important as well. Dieters should be wary of the no-fat craze, as avoiding fats completely can be dangerous. Each cell in our body is lined with cholesterol or fat.- The Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing: A Comprehensive A-Z Listing of Common and Chronic Illnesses and Their Proven Natural Treatments by Gary Null, Ph.D.- Available on
Foods that are high in flavonoids include wine that is made from red grapes, and berries (such as blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries). Both are very good for keeping the heart healthy. The cholesterol-reducing agents found in herbs in the mucus-removing group help prevent vessel clogging. Tonic herbs found in the immune group help keep the heart muscle energized. Any of the herbs from the blood-nourishing group will strengthen the heart, because the blood nourishes all the muscles, including the heart muscle.- The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook: Everything You Need to Know About Chinese, Western, and Ayurvedic Herbal Treatments by Alan Keith Tillotson, Ph.D., A.H.G., D.Ay.- Available on
Apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, and blueberries are some of the fruits and berries also loaded avocado slices and with antioxidants. Enjoy them on mandarin oranges on cereal, in salads, or by themselves a bed of greens. Top it as snacks. When possible, eat the off with a few slivered skins of fruits and vegetables, too. almonds and a low-fat vinaigrette dressing. The extra fiber adds even more protection for your brain by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, both linked to Alzheimer's.- Unleash the Inner Healing Power of Foods by The Editors of FC&A- Available on
Some of the best sources are in seasonal fruits such as grapes, blueberries, cherries, and plums. The proanthocyanidins are found mainly in the peels, skins, or seeds. Food processing and storage will reduce bioavailability. PCO selectively binds to the connective tissue of joints, preventing swelling, helping heal damaged tissue, and lessening pain. PCO has also been shown to prevent the stickiness of blood platelets that can lead to blood clots and strokes. Patients taking PCO of grape seed extract have reported reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels.- Gary Null's Power Aging by Gary Null- Available on
The exception to the rule is blueberries, which can be stored for about 5 days or so. A 10 percent higher free-radical-scavenging activity for red grapefruit. This was followed by a human trial of postoperative bypass patients with high triglyceride levels who were put on a very low-fat diet (the standard for fighting heart disease), but one group was given red or white grapefruit every day for 30 days. The grapefruit eaters, in general, had lower total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.- Food Synergy: Unleash Hundreds of Powerful Healing Food Combinations to Fight Disease and Live Well by Elaine Magee- Available on
A decade ago, we knew much less about phytochemicals, such as the powerful antioxidant lycopene (a red carotenoid found mainly in tomatoes), anthocyanins (potent antioxidants that give berries their deep blue color), and pterostilbene (which appears to turn on a switch in cells that breaks down fat and cholesterol) in blueberries and two grape varieties Gamay and Pinot.- Food Synergy: Unleash Hundreds of Powerful Healing Food Combinations to Fight Disease and Live Well by Elaine Magee- Available on
Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries are loaded with antioxidants and with powerful healthful plant compounds called proanthocyanidins protective against all degenerative diseases, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Plus they have a low glycemic index. Raw almond butter: Loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which lower blood lipids (e.g., cholesterol). Also loaded with fiber and vitamins and minerals, in particular magnesium and vitamin B6 (two nutrients that many are people deficient in). Also an excellent source of vitamin E. cell membranes.
'Holy Powder' Makes Your Cell Membranes Behave for Better Health
Dr. Mercola
March 24 2009
The marigold-colored spice known as turmeric, which is revered in India as "holy powder," has been used for centuries to treat wounds, infections and other health problems. In recent years, there has been increasing research into turmeric's main ingredient, curcumin, and its astonishing array of antioxidant, anti-cancer, antibiotic, antiviral and other properties.
Now, researchers have discovered that curcumin acts by inserting itself into cell membranes and making them more orderly, a move that improves cells' resistance to infection and malignancy.
Scientists had previously speculated that curcumin does its health-promoting work by interacting directly with membrane proteins, but the new findings challenge that notion. Instead, curcumin appears to regulate the action of membrane proteins indirectly, by changing the physical properties of the membrane.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Turmeric is a yellow spice most often associated with Indian food, curry and yellow mustard, but as research into this powerful spice increases, it’s becoming clear that it may be one of nature’s most powerful potential healers. Both the ancient Chinese and Indian systems of medicine have recognized turmeric’s beneficial properties for thousands of years, but this new study is the first to show how exactly it does its work.
It appears that curcumin -- the pigment that gives turmeric its yellow-orange color, and which is thought to be responsible for many of its medicinal effects -- is able to “discipline” cells and get them back into working order. When curcumin enters a cell, the study’s lead researcher said:
"The membrane goes from being crazy and floppy to being more disciplined and ordered, so that information that flows through it can be controlled."
This not only improves your cells’ resistance to infections, but it also may help prevent cancer.
Turmeric May be a Potent Cancer FighterIn India where turmeric is widely used, the prevalence of four common U.S. cancers -- colon, breast, prostate and lung -- is 10 times lower. In fact, prostate cancer, which is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in U.S. men, is rare in India and this is attributed, in part, to turmeric.Numerous studies have looked into this potential cancer-fighting link, with promising results. For instance, curcumin has been found to:
• Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells
• Inhibit the transformation of cells from normal to tumor
• Help your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body
• Decrease inflammation
• Enhance liver function
• Inhibit the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation
• Prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth
And according to researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, curcumin blocks a key biological pathway needed for development of melanoma and other cancers.The spice actually stops laboratory strains of melanoma from proliferating and pushes the cancer cells to commit suicide by shutting down nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB), a powerful protein known to induce an abnormal inflammatory response that leads to an assortment of disorders such as arthritis and cancer.
More Reasons to Add More Spice to Your LifeThe reason people in India refer to turmeric as “holy powder” is because it has such a broad range of health effects. In fact, curcumin has been shown to influence more than 700 genes, with benefits that include:
• Strengthening and improving your digestion
• Supporting healthy liver function and detoxification
• Purifying your blood• Fighting cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease
• Anti-inflammatory properties
Further, evidence suggests turmeric may play a beneficial role in the following diseases:
Cystic fibrosis
• Type 2 diabetes
• Crohn’s disease
• Psoriasis
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Cataracts
• Gallstones
• Muscle regeneration
• Inflammatory bowel disease
A Few Turmeric Tips
You can absolutely use turmeric in your cooking, and in case you haven’t tried it, it has a warm, peppery flavor. However, when you do choose a pure turmeric powder, rather than a curry powder, as at least one study has found curry powders tend to contain very little curcumin, compared to turmeric powder. Be sure to listen to your body as always, and if turmeric is a spice you do not enjoy it may be a sign that it’s not right for your body. If you are not one who enjoys the flavor of curry, you can also get the benefits of turmeric by taking it in a high-quality, organic supplement form.
Related Links:Super Spice Secrets: Can This Miracle Spice Stop Cancer, Alzheimer's and Arthritis?
How to Beat Arthritis Naturally With Acupuncture, Turmeric
Powerful Spices Block Cancer Development
Also See:
Super Spice Secrets: Can This Miracle Spice Stop Cancer, Alzheimer's and Arthritis?
By Dr. Mercola
February 17 2009
For more than 5,000 years, turmeric has been an important part of Eastern cultural traditions, including traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Valued for its medicinal properties and warm, peppery flavor, this yellow-orange spice has more recently earned a name for itself in Western medicine as well.
Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, which is native to Indonesia and southern India, and is widely used as an ingredient in curry dishes and yellow mustard. As research into this powerful spice has increased, it has emerged as one of nature’s most powerful potential healers.
Said Dr. David Frawely, founder and director of the American Institute for Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico:
“If I had only one single herb to depend upon for all possible health and dietary needs, I would without much hesitation choose the Indian spice Turmeric. There is little it cannot do in the realm of healing and much that no other herb is able to accomplish.
Turmeric has a broad spectrum of actions, mild but certain effects, and is beneficial for long term and daily usage. Though it is a common spice, few people, including herbalists know of its great value and are using it to the extent possible. It is an herb that one should get to know and live with.”
Turmeric’s Beneficial Effects in a NutshellStrengthens and improves digestionReduces gas and bloating
Assists in the digestion of protein and with rice and bean dishes
Improves your body's ability to digest fats
Promotes proper metabolism, correcting both excesses and deficiencies
Maintains and improves intestinal flora
Improves elimination of wastes and toxins
Supports healthy liver function and detoxTurmeric helps increase bile flow making it a liver cleanser that can rejuvenate your liver cells and recharge their capability to break down toxins
Helps to prevent alcohol and other toxins from being converted into compounds that may be harmful to your liver
Supports formation of healthy tissue
Purifies your bloodStimulates formation of new blood tissue
Anti-inflammatory: Helps to reduce irritation to tissues characterized by pain, redness, swelling and heat
Contains curcuminoids that fight cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’sCurcuminoids are potent phytonutrients (plant-based nutrients) that contain powerful antioxidant properties
Counteract the damaging effects of free radicals in your body
Relieve arthritis pain and stiffness, anti-inflammatory agent
Anti-carcinogenic: “Curcumin has been shown to prevent a large of number of cancers in animal studies. Laboratory data indicate that curcumin can inhibit tumor initiation, promotion, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis.”
Supports treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: “Because Alzheimer's disease is caused in part by amyloid-induced inflammation, curcumin has been shown to be effective against Alzheimer's. Clinical trials are in progress at UCLA with curcumin for Alzheimer's.”
Curcumin: Turmeric’s Active Anti-Inflammatory “Ingredient”Most notably turmeric is known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties, which come from curcumin -- the pigment that gives turmeric its yellow-orange color, and which is thought to be responsible for many of its medicinal effects. There are an estimated three to five grams of curcumin in 100 grams of turmeric.
Curcumin has been shown to influence more than 700 genes, and it can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation.[3]
Turmeric’s Cancer-Fighting PropertiesIn India where turmeric is widely used, the prevalence of four common U.S. cancers -- colon, breast, prostate and lung -- is 10 times lower. In fact, prostate cancer, which is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in U.S. men, is rare in India and this is attributed, in part, to turmeric.
Numerous studies have looked into this potential cancer-fighting link, with promising results. For instance, curcumin has been found to:
Inhibit the proliferation of tumor cells
Inhibit the transformation of cells from normal to tumor
Help your body destroy mutated cancer cells so they cannot spread throughout your body
Decrease inflammation
Enhance liver function
Inhibit the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation
Prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth
As for the results of research studies, a study in Biochemical Pharmacology found that curcumin can slow the spread of breast cancer cells to the lungs in mice.[4]
"Curcumin acts against transcription factors, which are like a master switch," said lead researcher, Bharat Aggarwal. "Transcription factors regulate all the genes needed for tumors to form. When we turn them off, we shut down some genes that are involved in the growth and invasion of cancer cells."
A second study in Biochemical Pharmacology also found that curcumin inhibits the activation of NF-kappaB, a regulatory molecule that signals genes to produce a slew of inflammatory molecules (including TNF, COX-2 and IL-6) that promote cancer cell growth.[5]
Turmeric’s Essential Role for Your LiverYour liver’s primary role is to process and remove toxins carried in your bloodstream. When functioning at its peak, it can filter up to two liters of blood per minute and easily break apart toxic molecules to reduce their toxicity. Your liver is also a crucial part of vitamin, mineral, protein, fat, carbohydrate and hormonal metabolism.
However, poor diet, allergens, pollution and stress can cause your liver to become sluggish, and this can impair its vital functions. This is where turmeric can be a very useful part of your liver support system. Studies have shown that it:
May increase important detoxification enzymes in your liver
Induces the formation of a primary liver detoxification enzyme, glutathione S-transferase (GST) enzymes
Turmeric is also a natural cholagogue, a medicinal agent that promotes the discharge of bile from your system. Increased bile flow is important to help your liver detoxify and to help your body digest fats.
Turmeric for Your Heart, Brain and Overall HealthTurmeric inhibits free radical damage of fats, including cholesterol. When cholesterol is damaged in this way, or oxidized, it can then damage your blood vessels and lead to a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, research suggests that turmeric’s ability to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol may be beneficial for your heart. It’s also rich in vitamin B6, high intakes of which are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
Meanwhile, turmeric appears to be highly protective against neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, in India levels of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s are very low, and studies have shown that curcumin can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in mice. The compound has also proven capable of blocking the progression of multiple sclerosis.
Further, Professor Moolky Nagabhushan from the Loyola University Medical Center, Chicago, IL, who has been studying turmeric for the last 20 years, believes that turmeric can protect against harmful environmental chemicals, and in so doing protect against childhood leukemia. The research showed that curcumin in turmeric can:[7]
Inhibit the toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (cancer-causing chemicals in the environment)
Inhibit radiation-induced chromosome damage
Prevent the formation of harmful heterocyclic amines and nitroso compounds, which may result in the body when eating certain processed foods, such as processed meat products
Irreversibly inhibit the multiplication of leukemia cells in a cell culture
Turmeric's volatile oils also have external anti-bacterial action. As such, they may help prevent bacterial wound infections and accelerate wound healing. Johnson & Johnson even sells a curcumin-containing Band-Aid in India!
And the therapeutic potential of turmeric and curcumin do not end there. Evidence suggests the spice may also be beneficial for:
Cystic fibrosis
Type 2 diabetes
Crohn’s disease
Rheumatoid arthritis
Muscle regeneration
Inflammatory bowel disease
Which Type of Turmeric is Best?For use in cooking, choose a pure turmeric powder, rather than a curry powder. At least one study has found that curry powders tend to contain very little curcumin, compared to turmeric powder. Turmeric is also available in supplement form and for many this is a more convenient method to obtain these health benefits discussed above, especially if they are from a high-quality organic source and if one doesn’t particularly enjoy the taste of curry.
Posted On Feb 18, 2009I run a multidisciplinary practice with MDs, chiropractors, physiotherapists etc. here in Finland. We have now more than 4 years experience of using curcumin ( Fortodol commercial name here; produced by american company Donsbach) for various medical problems. Mostly we have been using it for joint and muscle pain syndromes, but also for other inflammatory conditions like Irritable Bowel syndrome, migraine to name a few. Our experiences of the efficacy of this substance has stunned us all. We have realised that 7 out of 10 patients have extremely good response to this natural wonder-drug. Dosage varies a lot individually. We usually start by trying with a relatively high dose to see the instant effect, if the patient does not have any contraindications for using curcumin (pretty rare). Side-effects are almost non-existent, and not severe. Only few patients get slightly elevated blood pressure or loosening of the stools, but that is about all we have seen. And these side-effects seem to be in the range of 1-2 % of users. As far as I understand, there have been numerous efforts from the medical companies to protect by patent the curcumin molecule. As the turmeric (curcumin) has been used for thousands of years and considering the lack of serious side-effects, all those efforts have resulted in failure, so far. We all have to take action what ever it takes, that curcumin will remain prescription-free in the future. It would be a shame and a disaster for many if it would be considered as a drug. We all know the price would jump up like a rocket. Let´s make sure that our governments don`t do the mistake by changing the law in that sad direction! We need surveillance and alertness in order to control governing and changing of the laws. Medical companies are constantly trying to brainwash the politicians hoping they would regulate the laws favorably. Great web-site dr. Mercola! Dr. Jarkko Kause, DC Helsinki Finland
Posted On Jan 31, 2009Beware the FDA. Pharmaceutical companies are tripping over themselves to find something patentable from Tumeric. If you research what happened with Red Yeast Rice, tumeric could very well be the next superfood classified as a drug. In 2007 this is the very thing that happened with Red Yeast rice.The active ingredient in Red Yeast was isolated and then approved as a prescription drug in the statin class. Baycol is one of the drugs. In what has to be one of the most perverse actions to date, the FDA is now treating Red Yeast rice as a drug. Do not be surprised when they pull the same thing with tumeric.I can see it now... out at your favorite Indian restaurant chowing down on your curry when the US Marshals show up to bust the drug den.
Posted On Feb 17, 2009If you can, try to find fresh turmeric. It is sold in Asian markets, gourmet stores, and healthfood stores. It looks like ginger root, except smaller and orangish. It is DELICIOUS. I like to grate it and mix it with grated carrots for an ambrosia salad, or slice it thin and put it with vegetables or meat or poultry. It's good cooked or raw. I am going to try making a fresh curry with fresh turmeric, fresh ginger, and fresh red pepper. Yum, looking forward to it. When you cut it, it is brilliant orange inside and will stain your cutting board and fingers, even the knife. So scrub up afterwards.
Posted On Jan 30, 2009Thank you for this very informative piece on Tumeric. I am a walking testimonial as involves its benefits. Over the past several years I have been burdened with digestive and gastrointestinal difficulties that led to a pH imbalance. This condition took a severe toll on my overall quality of life. I consulted an Ayurvedic doctor, and one of the main things she prescribed was a daily cleansing tea. The main ingredient is -- you guessed it -- Tumeric. Actually I was already familiar with Tumeric's beneficial properties based on several practitioners, and have since made it a regular part of my dietary regimen. I use a pinch of it in my rice, use it liberally in vegetables and legumes and as part of the cleansing tea. Tumeric has significantly enhanced my digestive balance, even when my eating schedule is compromised. (The source of my difficulties stems from an acidic imbalance,.exacerbated by anxiety. Frankly I am unsure which came first, the anxiety or the acid.) At any rate, the Tumeric has made a world of difference in my life in its role as an anti-inflammatory, which has restored much of my system's balance. This also contributed greatly to my enhanced peace of mind. Thank you for this enlightening article that discusses the beneficial properties of Tumeric on our health.
New Year, Younger You -- 20 Anti-Aging Herbs and Spices to Add to Your Diet
Dr. Mercola
January 08 2009
The typical American diet that is high in simple carbohydrates--white flour, white salt, and processed food--is aging us. We are getting all the bulk without the nutrients, plus adding to our propensity for developing real food cravings. So whether you are a vegetarian or an omnivore, you can start to reverse aging by simply choosing to eat the right foods to keep you full of vim, vigor, and vitality, especially over the holidays.
The easiest way to make sure you are getting more nutrients into every meal.Every time you flavor your meals with herbs or spices you are literally "upgrading" your food without adding a single calorie. You are taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary by adding color, flavor, vitamins, and often medicinal properties.
Here's why:* Spices and herbs maximize nutrient density. Herbs and spices contain antioxidants, minerals and multivitamins. At the cocktail party, choose the Thai chicken satay stick over the tried and true fried chicken strip.
* Spices and herbs create a more thermogenic diet. Because spices are nutrient dense, they are thermogenic, which means they naturally increase your metabolism.
* Some spices and herbs increase your overall feeling of fullness and satiety, so you'll eat less. One study conducted at Maanstricht University in the Netherlands showed that when one consumes an appetizer with half a teaspoon of red pepper flakes before each meal, it decreased their calorie intake by 10-16 percent.
* Spices and herbs have real medicinal properties. Study after study shows the benefits of distinct herbs and spices. For example, one 2003 trial of 60 people with type 2 diabetes reported that consuming as little as two teaspoons of cinnamon daily for six weeks reduced blood-glucose levels significantly. It also improved blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, perhaps because insulin plays a key role in regulating fats in your body. Choose flavor over blandness every time, and try to incorporate these specific herbs and spices into your diet if you have the following health concerns:
rosemary and basil for their anti-inflammatory power
cumin and sage for their dementia-fighting power
cayenne and cinnamon for their obesity-fighting power
coriander and cinnamon for their sugar regulating powers
lemon grass, nutmeg, bay leaves and saffron for their calming effects on your mood
turmeric for its cancer fighting power
oregano for its fungus-beating power
garlic, mustard seed and chicory for their heart-pumping power
basil and thyme for their skin-saving power
turmeric, basil, cinnamon, thyme, saffron, and ginger for their immune-boosting power
coriander, rosemary, cayenne, allspice and black pepper for their depression-busting power
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Spices are absolutely wonderful, and can help make a dramatic difference – adding both flavor and health benefits to your food.
Many plants synthesize substances that are useful to the maintenance of health. These include health-promoting substances like phenols, and their oxygen-substituted derivatives such as tannins.
One study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods, found a direct correlation between the antioxidant phenol content of extracts of spices and herbs, and their ability to inhibit glycation and block the formation of AGE compounds that contribute to damage caused by aging and elevated blood sugar levels.
But remember, just like food, most herbs offer the greatest benefits in their unprocessed state, from where the known active ingredients can work synergistically with other agents in the plant. Small Doses Pack a Big PunchIt may come as a surprise to some that herbs and spices are some of the most potent antioxidants. In fact, on a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano and other herbs rank even higher in antioxidant activity than fruits and vegetables, which are known to be high in antioxidants.
Compared to the antioxidant activities of a few select fruits and vegetables, the potency of oregano ranks supreme. It has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges, and 4 times more than blueberries! As an example, one tablespoon of fresh oregano contains the same antioxidant activity as one medium-sized apple.
I personally love oregano and grow it in my garden every year, as it is a perennial plant and faithfully comes back every year. It is easy to harvest in late summer and fall, and dehydrate and store to use for the following year.
Great Reasons to Spice Up Your Life!
Choosing flavor over blandness can add a beneficial punch to both your taste buds and your health. What could be easier and more gratifying than that?
Here are a compilation of some of the most potent herbs and spices, and their health benefits:
ClovesIn the study mentioned above, cloves came out as a clear winner, being the most potent of 24 common herbs and spices found in your spice rack. Fortunately, they have a sweet and spicy, aromatic flavor that makes a great complement to many foods.
Among the clove’s most well-known healing properties is its ability to relieve tooth and gum pain, but it has many benefits beyond that, including:
· Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antioxidant properties
· Relief from respiratory ailments such as asthma and bronchitis
· Relief from muscle pains from injuries or arthritis and rheumatism
· Eliminates intestinal parasites, fungi and bacteria
· May encourage creativity and mental focus
CinnamonCinnamon and cinnamon extracts have previously been shown to effectively lower blood sugar. In one such study, cinnamon was found to increase glucose metabolism 20-fold! In another, half a teaspoon of cinnamon a day significantly reduced blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. It also reduces triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels among this group.
Interestingly, cinnamon lowers your blood sugar by acting on multiple levels. It slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals, and improves the effectiveness of insulin. It also enhances your antioxidant defenses.
Researchers have even gone so far as to say cinnamon could play the role of an insulin substitute in the treatment of type 2 diabetes!
Cinnamon’s other benefits include:
· Supports digestive function
· Constricts and tones tissues
· Relieves congestion
· Relieves pain and stiffness of muscles and joints
· Relieves menstrual discomfort
· Blood-thinning compounds that stimulate circulation
· Anti-inflammatory compounds that may relieve arthritis
· Helps prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease
· It’s a powerful anti-microbial agent that can kill E. coli and other bacteria
NutmegNutmeg is another spice that has a variety of healing properties and has been studied by science for a variety of ailments. One recent study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food discovered that an extract of nutmeg seeds elicited a significant antidepressant-like effect in mice; in some doses comparable in potency to the antidepressants imipramine and fluoxetine.
In fact, reducing anxiety and treating insomnia are two ailments that nutmeg has been traditionally used for.
Another study in the Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering found that nutmeg extract has antibacterial activity that can significantly reduce certain strains of E. coli.
Nutmeg is also beneficial for:
· Calming muscle spasms
· Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
· Indigestion
· Joint pain and gout
· Lowering blood pressure
· Male infertility and impotence
· Improving concentration
· Increasing circulation
· Lowering cholesterol
· Toothaches (nutmeg oil)
** Please note that nutmeg contains volatile oils comprised of alkyl benzene derivatives, terpenes and myristic acid. The spice has a long history of abuse; taking too much nutmeg (one to three nuts; in some cases less) can cause side effects such as nausea, hallucinations, swelling and shock.
GingerGinger is another spice with a potent flavor that is great for warming your body and adding kick to foods. Its medicinal properties include:
· Most notably and reliably known for its consistent ability to resolve nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness, and other stomach upset
· Anti-inflammatory properties
· Eliminates intestinal gas
· Relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract
· Antioxidant properties
· Relieves dizziness
· Boosts your immune system
· Protects against bacteria and fungi
· Encourages bile flow
· Promotes cardiovascular health
PeppermintThe therapeutic effects of fresh peppermint leaves have been known since ancient times. It’s been used to sooth the digestive tract, and one study published in the journal BMJ earlier this year found peppermint oil may be beneficial in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.
Other healing properties include:
· May protect against cancer
· Inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungus
· Relieves the symptoms of allergies and asthma
CurcuminThe antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties of curcumin, the powerful yellow spice found in both turmeric and curry powders, has undergone intense research in various parts of the world.
According to researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, curcumin blocks a key biological pathway needed for development of melanoma and other cancers. Results showed that regardless of how much curcumin was used, the spice still worked to stop the growth of melanoma by inducing cell suicide.
Can Some Spice Each Day Keep the Doctor Away?
While there are many benefits to be had by adding spices to your diet, remember that spices, just like drugs and supplements, should not be considered as "cures" for your health problems. They should not be taken every day or you run the risk of developing an allergy to them.
Only by addressing the underlying causes of illness with a healthy diet and lifestyle will you be able to achieve optimal health.
That said, spices used with the above advice in mind are indeed an excellent way to add flavor and healing properties to your diet. They have very low calorie content, they’re relatively inexpensive, and they can turbo-boost the natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power of your food.
Just remember to use care when selecting your spices.
The U.S. irradiates over 65 million pounds of spices, herbs and dry ingredients each year. Fortunately, in the U.S. and Canada irradiated spices must to be labeled with the international symbol for irradiated foods, the "radura" symbol. So before you purchase a spice, be sure to check the label to ensure that it has not been irradiated.
Naturally, organic varieties are your healthiest option.
Top Ten Spices That Defend You Against Aging
Dr. Mercola
August 21 2008
Herbs and spices are rich in antioxidants, and they are also potent inhibitors of tissue damage and inflammation caused by high levels of blood sugar.
When researchers tested extracts from 24 common herbs and spices, they found a direct correlation between antioxidant phenol content and the ability of the extracts to block the formation of compounds that contribute to damage caused by diabetes and aging.
Spices such as cloves and cinnamon have phenol levels that are 30 percent and 18 percent of dry weight, respectively, while herbs such as oregano and sage are 8 and 6 percent phenol by dry weight. Blueberries, which are widely touted for their antioxidant capabilities, contain roughly 5 percent phenol by dry weight.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Any molecule in your body is capable of causing damage, but probably the most damaging of all are glucose and other sugar molecules. They cause more inflammation that leads to heart disease than cholesterol could ever hope to.
How Does High Blood Sugar Cause Tissue Damage and Heart Disease?Glucose and other sugar molecules cause glycation; a process in which the sugar bonds with proteins and form so-called advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. It’s a fitting acronym as it – along with oxidation -- is one of the major molecular mechanisms whereby damage accrues in your body, which leads to disease, aging, and eventually, death.
When sugar glycates it creates inflammation, which activates your immune system in a defensive maneuver. Macrophages are scavenger cells that are part of your immune defense system, and as such they have special receptors for AGEs, aptly called RAGEs (think: raging inflammation). These RAGEs bind to the AGEs and get rid of them. Unfortunately, this process can leave its fair share of battle scars.
Essentially, when you consume excess sugar you tend to produce and accumulate AGEs, which frequently lead to raging inflammation, which leads to damage in your arteries. The damage control ultimately takes its toll and you begin to form scar tissue, which inside your arteries is called plaque.
And, voila! -- Heart disease.
This is why there’s such a strong correlation between diabetes and heart disease – and shortened lifespan.
People with Type 2 diabetes get heart disease about 15 years earlier than non-diabetics, and also lose about 18 years from their expected life span, according to findings from hospital and death records of close to 9.5 million Canadians.
How Common Spices Can Protect Against Heart Disease and the Ravages of Aging
This study, published in the current issue of the Journal of Medicinal Foods, found a strong and direct correlation between the phenol content of common herbs and spices and their ability to inhibit glycation and the formation of AGE compounds, making them potent preventers of heart disease and premature aging.
The top 10 most potent herbs and spices are:
Cloves (ground)
Cinnamon (ground)
Jamaican allspice (ground)
Apple pie spice (mixture)
Oregano (ground)
Pumpkin pie spice (mixture)
Gourmet Italian spice
This is not the first time scientists have declared culinary herbs and spices as potent anti-diabetic alternatives.
Cinnamon and cinnamon extracts have previously been shown to effectively lower blood sugar. As a matter of fact, cinnamon was found to increase glucose metabolism 20-fold, in one such study!
Interestingly, cinnamon lowers your blood sugar by acting on several different levels. It slows the emptying of your stomach to reduce sharp rises in blood sugar following meals, and improves the effectiveness, or sensitivity, of insulin. It also enhances your antioxidant defenses.
Researchers have even gone so far as to say cinnamon could play the role of an insulin substitute in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
1 in 4 Americans Now Suffer From Pre-Diabetes or Some Form of Diabetes
The latest statistics on diabetes indicate that the U.S. now has as many as 24 million people with diabetes, or 8 percent of our total population. However, the statistics are even more grim when it comes to the prevalence of pre-diabetes (impaired fasting glucose).
Almost 26 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 20 are pre-diabetics, and more than 35 percent of seniors, 60 and older. In total, that’s 57 million Americans walking around with pre-diabetes, in addition to the 24 million that have already crossed the line.
That means that just over 26.5 percent of the entire U.S. population either has pre-diabetes, or some form of diabetes!
My personal experience with diabetes and review of the literature has made it VERY clear to me that virtually every case of type 2 diabetes is 100 percent reversible without the use of prescription drugs.
And let me assure you, the cure for type 2 diabetes has NOTHING to do with giving insulin. Giving someone insulin with type 2 diabetes is one of the WORST things that can be done. Any physician doing this for type 2 diabetes is suffering from profound ignorance of insulin physiology.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of physicians are still seriously confused about this issue, which is why most doctors cause diabetics to D. I. E.
How to Prevent Diabetes and Heart Disease, and Increase LongevityFirst things first: For people with diabetes, the last thing you want to eat is a lot of grains, or any sugar for that matter. Swap out your grains and sugar for high-quality sources of protein, healthy fat (which INCLUDES saturated fat) and vegetables according to your nutritional type, all of which is outlined in my Take Control of Your Health Program, and you’ll be off to a great start.Add in regular exercise, the other essential key to preventing and reversing diabetes, and you’ll be even better off. These two measures alone will help you to shed excess weight, and a weight loss of 10 pounds can reduce your risk of diabetes by nearly 60 percent.
Last but not least, why not add some spice to your life?
Herbs and spices have very low calorie content, they’re relatively inexpensive, and they’re a great way to turbo-boost the natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power of your diet!
Tons of benefits and zero hazardous side effects. It doesn’t get any better than that, which is why I keep advocating for the return to a healthy whole food diet that is tailored for your individual biochemistry, rather than stocking up on a cabinet-full of (often synthetic) supplements.
Set up a good herb and spice cabinet and season your food liberally, and you could potentially double or even triple the medicinal value of your meal.
Exercise as Good as Surgery for Knee Pain
By Dr. Mercola
January 05 2008
An exercise regime is as effective as surgery for people with a chronic pain in the front part of their knee, known as chronic patellofemoral syndrome (PFPS).
PFPS is often treated with arthroscopic surgery, in which equipment is inserted through small incisions in your knee to diagnose and fix the problem. However, there is little evidence that this treatment is the best option.
The study, conducted by researchers at The ORTON Research Institute in Helsinki, Finland, compared arthroscopy with exercise in 56 patients with PFPS.
One group of participants was treated with knee arthroscopy and an eight-week home exercise program, while a second group received only the exercise program.
After nine months, patients in both groups experienced similar reductions in pain and improvements in knee mobility. A follow-up conducted two years later still found no differences in outcomes between the two groups.
The only difference discovered was in cost: those who had received the surgery had to pay over $1,300 more than the exercise-only group.
The researchers concluded that arthroscopy is not a cost-effective treatment for PFPS.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Arthroscopic surgery is performed on about 650,000 people in the United States every year, at a cost of about $5,000 per procedure.
Well, that’s $5,000, and a lot of unnecessary recovery time, wasted because this surgery has been proven time and time again to work no better than a placebo.
While this may seem like a shocking statement, it was published in one of the most well-respected medical journals on the planet and was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial performed at some of the top U.S. hospitals.
This was, without question, one of the most amazing studies I have ever seen published, as it definitely proves the power of your mind in healing.
The home-based exercise program used in the study above also likely provided some relief of the symptoms, but when it comes to pain, your mind has an ability to heal you.
Folks, the placebo effect is REAL.
And when I say that, I mean that if you believe you will benefit from something, you will. And the more you focus your intention on this, the more you’ll find that you can manifest nearly any result you desire.
But there is one caveat: you must resolve any emotional blocks that are standing in your way first.
In the case of knee pain, this could be disbelief that the pain will go away, resentment that you have the pain, or even an unconscious desire to keep the pain because of the extra attention you gain from it.
As Bruce Lipton, PhD., a forerunner in the field of epigenetics and The New Biology, said in my recent interview with him:
“A lot of people use the energy psychology just like a drug. ‘Oh, you’ve got a pain here. If I do this, you can get rid of the pain.’ But here’s the problem. A symptom is not generally the problem. A symptom is a reflection of a problem.”
So the pain in your knee (or any location) is not what you should focus on relieving. Instead, you must get to the root of the problem, which started in your mind. If you simply relieve your knee pain without addressing the related emotional conflict, your body will manifest another ache, pain or illness to tell you that there’s a problem with your system.
This is a new way of thinking about healing for most people. But if you look at it in terms of energy -- pain is energy, and your mind is also energy -- you can see how one directly influences the other.
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an extremely powerful tool that you can use to get to the root of your emotional conflicts, and to release them.
EFT is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over 5,000 years, but without the invasiveness of needles. Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to input kinetic energy onto specific meridians on your head and chest while you think about your specific problem -- whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, etc. -- and voice positive affirmations.
I highly suggest that you explore this healing modality for yourself, and if you have an especially traumatic, complex or deep-seated emotional challenge to overcome that you find an EFT therapist to guide you.
Fats and Meats are Not the Cause of Prostate Cancer
Posted by Dr. Mercola
October 27 2007
A diet rich in fats and meat does not increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a large, ethnically diverse study.
The researchers examined the diets of over 82,400 men aged 45 or older, from four ethnic groups (African American, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and Whites). They measured the participants’ intake of the following components:
Different fats (including saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fat, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids)
Meat (including total, red, processed, and poultry)
Fats from meat
After eight years of follow-up, the study found no association between the intake of fat and meat and prostate cancer risk or advanced tumors.
A “weak protective effect” was found between the intake of omega-3 fats and prostate cancer in Whites and Latinos.
Previous studies examining high-fat and high-meat diets and prostate cancer have found conflicting results.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Fats and meats have been wrongly made the scapegoat for a host of diseases when a variety of other factors are actually at play. Check out this great article on the misconceptions surrounding fats from Thursday’s newsletter to see what I mean.
In the case of prostate cancer, the second most common cancer in U.S. men (after skin cancer), diet is very important, but not in the sense that you should try to lower your fat and meat consumption. In fact, a low-fat diet has been found to NOT prevent prostate cancer.
The major dietary additions you can make to prevent and even help treat prostate cancer are as follows:
Get plenty of omega-3 fats from krill oil. Foods rich in omega-3 fats may help prevent prostate cancer from spreading. Omega-3 fats also provide a wonderful benefit for prostate cancer patients by blocking the functioning of omega-6 fats (from vegetable oils) that cancer cells use as an energy source.
Eat more high-lycopene foods such as tomatoes and watermelon. One study found that men whose average intake of the antioxidant lycopene was 19 milligrams each day had a 16 percent lower risk of prostate cancer than men who took in 3 milligrams of lycopene daily.
Eat foods high in selenium. A number of studies have indicated that selenium intake offers some protection from prostate cancer. Brazil nuts, eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, and sunflower seeds are all good sources.
Freshly ground flaxseeds. While ground flaxseeds may benefit prostate cancer, flaxseed oil may increase your risk. It is important to recognize that this should NOT be your exclusive source of omega-3 fats, because flaxseed oil has actually been shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer.
With all of the foods above, keep in mind that you should eat them according to your nutritional type, and always listen to your body. If a certain food doesn’t agree with you, that’s a sign that you shouldn’t eat it.
Important Lifestyle Factors to Prevent Prostate Cancer
Aside from your diet, sun exposure is also an incredibly important factor in preventing prostate cancer (and other forms of cancer).
According to one study, men with higher levels of vitamin D (typically obtained through sunshine exposure) in their blood had a 50 percent lower risk of developing aggressive forms of prostate cancer than those with lower amounts. Experiments also suggested vitamin D inhibits cell growth.
There are also numerous studies supporting a link between pesticides and prostate cancer, so you should seek to limit your exposure to these as much as possible.
Finally, while I had previously believed that in the majority of cases, what “causes” cancer and illness is a breakdown in your system due to an unhealthy lifestyle and exposure to toxins in your environment, I am now convinced that unresolved emotional trauma is one of the primary factors in most cancers.
Your best approach to understanding this is German New Medicine.
Because we all have emotional hurdles to overcome, I highly recommend that you find a stress relief method that works well for you. My personal favorite, and the one I routinely use in my practice, is the psychological acupressure tool called the Emotional Freedom Technique
The Cruel Truth About Factory Farms -- Don't Read If You're Squeamish
Posted By Dr. Mercola
October 25 2007
Corporations have turned family-farming methods into cost-saving, mass-production strategies, which endanger public health and treat animals cruelly.
Also known as large confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), factory farms treat animals like production units, and the result is poor food quality for you, and inhumane conditions for the animals.
Consider some of the ingredients commonly used in factory-farmed animal feed:
Excessive grains, fed to animals designed to eat grass
Plastic pellets, fed to animals as “roughage” because the factory diet doesn’t contain natural fiber
Meat from their own species, turning farm animals into cannibals (this practice has also been linked to the spread of mad cow disease)
Animal byproducts, such as feathers, blood, intestines, euthanized cats and dogs, and road kill
Drugs and chemicals, including antibiotics (an estimated 13.5 million pounds each year) and antimicrobials (which promote the accumulation of arsenic in chickens)
Antibiotics fed to factory-farmed animals are so grossly overused that they are contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the United States.
Meanwhile, according to this article, “Approximately 95% of factory-raised animals are subject to deplorable conditions such as overcrowding, hunger, thirst, and sometimes-fatal weather extremes. Many times, they are kept conscious or even skinned alive during the process of slaughtering.”
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
The methods used to raise and grow most food in the United States will not support your health, or the health of the environment. Factory farms attempt to mass produce animals to have the most profit value, with little regard for the life of the animal or the final quality of the meat.
What the factory farmers don’t understand, or perhaps do understand but just don’t care about, is that raising animals in this way leads to major imbalances in the environment (agricultural runoff of animal waste is the major reason why 60 percent of the rivers and streams in the United States are impaired) and in the health value of the meat.
Since nearly all factory-farmed cattle are grain-fed before slaughter, if you eat most factory-raised beef it will typically worsen your omega-6:omega-3 ratio.
According to a study published in The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, livestock that are fed on grain have more omega-6 fat (which may promote heart disease), and less omega-3 fat (which is beneficial for cardiac health), than both wild animals and grass-fed livestock.
There is also the issue of additives. Because factory-farmed animals are raised in such poor, overcrowded conditions, they are extremely vulnerable to becoming ill. So the farmers use huge quantities of vaccines, antibiotics, and other chemicals as a preventative measure, because they assume that without artificial intervention, the animals will become sick.
One such additive, Roxarsone, is fed to about 70 percent of broiler chickens raised in the United States every year. It’s used to promote growth, kill parasites, and improve the color of chicken meat.
Folks, Roxarsone is an arsenic-based additive that can be converted into arsenic, which has been linked to bladder, lung, skin, kidney, and colon cancers. Even low-level exposure to arsenic can lead to partial paralysis and diabetes.
Further, many of these animals are also given synthetic hormones and protein supplements to make them gain weight quickly (and therefore bring in more money, faster). Measurable amounts of hormones in factory-raised beef are transferred to humans, and some scientists believe that human consumption of estrogen from hormone-fed beef can result in:
Premature puberty
Falling sperm counts
You Must Choose Your Food Sources Carefully
It is because of the reasons above that I often discuss the importance of choosing humane, socially responsible sources for your food (not only meat but also raw dairy products and produce).
Your best choice for finding such sources will always be small local farmers that, ideally, you can speak with in person and see for yourself what type of conditions their food is raised in.
I’ve compiled an excellent list for you to find sustainable agriculture groups in your area, and many of them even hold annual meetings for you to meet local farmers. If you search and are unable to locate a source for local food in your area, your next best option would be to purchase grass-fed, organic beef and other free-range organic meats and produce at a health food store.
However, even then you need to be careful, as many stores will advertise beef as grass-fed when it really isn't. They do this because ALL cattle are actually grass-fed most of the time, but the question is: what they are fed in the months prior to being processed? You will need to call the person who actually raised the cows, NOT the store manager, to find out the truth.
Many people choose not to eat organic meats and produce because they believe it is too expensive. However, if you find a local source you’ll be able to cut out the middleman, and I think you’ll find the prices to be only slightly higher than your supermarket’s.
And, surely, you will make up that extra cost in saved health care bills later on, because you and your family will be much healthier eating naturally raised food.
Shocking Revelation -- This Cancer Drug CAUSES Cancer
Posted by Dr. Mercola
October 23 2007
Tamoxifen is a drug that binds to your estrogen receptors. Therefore it was thought that it could prevent excess estrogen binding, hence halting cancer from forming.
It is generally prescribed to high-risk women to prevent breast cancer, and is usually taken for five years.
However, Tamoxifen has been found to cause cancer instead. According to a study published in the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, the treatment of breast cancer with tamoxifen results in an increased risk of uterine cancer incidence and mortality.
This is just one in a growing line of studies published, raising serious concerns about the increased risk of uterine cancer for women who take tamoxifen as a cancer preventive drug.
Despite these concerns, tamoxifen is still on the market.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s spread some real cancer awareness. Western medicine’s approach to cancer treatment is based on profit, not safety and effectiveness.
Let’s recap just a handful of the numerous deadly conventional cancer drugs on the market, and then I’ll share with you the best cancer-avoidance techniques I know.
Cancer Drugs – All Hype, Very Little Substance
Prices for new cancer therapies have skyrocketed. Cancer drug costs rose nearly 16 percent in 2006, while other prescription drugs averaged a 3 percent price increase.
But are they worth it? The fact is, these expensive medications often give patients just a few more months of life – and sometimes they kill people prematurely.
Take a look at these examples.
AVASTIN – Avastin, when used to treat colorectal cancer, sold for $50,000 per year. However, once it was approved to treat breast and lung cancer as well, Genentech announced a new price tag: $100,000 per year, even though it may extend your life by no more than a few months.
ERBITUX – Another colorectal cancer drug, with a price tag of nearly $10,000 per month, even though there is not a single study showing it helps colorectal cancer patients live longer.
EVISTA (Raloxifene) -- This Eli Lilly drug was found to prevent breast cancer by one-third in a study of more than 10,000 postmenopausal women. Your true cost? Trading your breast cancer prevention for a 50 percent increased risk of fatal strokes and blood clots. Ironically, Evista was once sold as an osteoporosis drug, being illegally promoted for treating cardiovascular disease back in 2002.
GLEEVEC – Also sold under the name Glivec. This cancer drug, used to treat leukemia, unfortunately also kills heart muscle cells, which may cause fatal congestive heart failure.
ABRAXANE – A new version of an old cancer drug, Taxol, sells for $4,200 per dose. The older version, which has similar effects, costs 25 times less.
The financial sacrifices you might make in order to afford a “miracle” cancer drug can be staggering. But what you need to know is that these exorbitantly priced drugs do not in any way, shape, or form, treat the cause of your problem, and pharmaceutical companies earn billions of dollars on this deception.
It seems that the more serious and life threatening the disease, the more expensive your drug solution is. The very vocal former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell, sums up the situation brilliantly: "It's really exploiting the desperation of people with a life-threatening illness."
So, how can they get away with charging such astronomical prices that only the very wealthy can afford? In case you were not aware of it, it’s a very specific strategy. The trick is to have your insurance company pay for it, or their main backup, YOU, through the federal government and your taxes.
This kind of behavior is the reason why the United States spends more than $2 trillion every year for healthcare, and it is ruining the American economy in the process -- all due to corporate greed.
Making matters worse, as soon as a drug company comes out with a more expensive alternative, that’s the pill they’ll promote to both you and your physician. Suddenly, they want you to believe the older drugs are virtually worthless even though just a few years prior, when they were the new kid on the block, they were being heavily promoted as your latest and greatest must-use approach.
How to Prevent Cancer
Is it possible to prevent cancer? Yes. It is possible. But not by swallowing a chemical cocktail.
A more sensible, safer, and less expensive approach is to simply make some lifestyle changes. Even the American Cancer Society – which is as traditional as medical organizations come -- now suggest you can achieve a 62 percent risk reduction with simple lifestyle changes, including:
Make sure you get adequate sun exposure as that will not only reduce your risk of breast cancer by 50 percent, but ALL other cancers by the same amount. Remember that one million people die EVERY year due to lack of optimal sun exposure.
Eat healthier (ideally based on your body's unique nutritional type)
Incorporate more exercise in your daily routine
Stop smoking today
Perform monthly breast self-examinations
But, one of the skills my father drilled into me from early childhood was: “Never settle for second best.” Why would you settle for a meager 62 percent reduction?
I believe you can VIRTUALLY ELIMINATE your cancer risk if you follow these risk reduction strategies, even though they have not been formally "proven" yet by conservative researchers, including:
Control your insulin levels: Make certain that you limit your intake of processed foods and sugars as much as possible.
Get appropriate amounts of animal-based omega-3 fats and make sure you use cod liver oil if you don't have regular access to sun exposure.
Get appropriate exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.
Normalize your vitamin D levels with safe amounts of sun exposure, or use a safe tanning bed. Alternatively you could use oral vitamin D and carefully monitor blood levels to prevent overdose.
Eat according to your nutritional type. The potent anti-cancer effects of this principle are very much under appreciated. When we treat cancer patients in our clinic, this is one of the most powerful anti-cancer strategies we have.
Have a tool to permanently erase your neurological short-circuiting, which can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. Energy psychology seems to be one of the best approaches and my particular favorite tool, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique.
Only 25 percent of people eat enough vegetables, so by all means, eat as many vegetables as you are comfortable with. If you are a carb nutritional type you may need up to 300 percent more vegetables than a protein nutritional type.
Ideally, they should be fresh and organic. However, please understand that, frequently, fresh conventionally grown vegetables are still healthier than old and wilted organic ones. They are certainly better than no vegetables at all.
Maintain your ideal body weight.
Get enough high-quality sleep.
Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners, and air pollution.
Boil, poach, or steam your foods, rather than frying or charbroiling them.
Save your health and your money. You work too hard to waste either one on man-made "miracle" drugs and cures.
Pancreatic Cancer is Deadly -- So Cut Your Risk By 25 Percent
Posted By Dr. Mercola
October 20 2007
An eight-year long multi-ethnic study from the German Institute of Human Nutrition indicates that a diet rich in flavonols may slash your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by about 25 percent.
For smokers, your risk reduction is even more pronounced, lowering your risk by more than 59 percent.
The researchers also stated that this is the first study to examine specific classes of flavonols and their impact on pancreatic cancer risk reduction. The three types of flavonols covered were:
Type of Flavonol: Food Source:
Quercetin Onions, apples
Kaempferol Spinach, cabbage
Myricetin Red onions, berries
Of the three individual flavonols, kaempferol provided the largest amount of risk reduction – 22 percent – across all participants.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Pancreatic cancer is a devastatingly fatal form of cancer, and is typically regarded as the most deadly and universally rapid-killing form of cancer. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, close to 38,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S., and of those, some 34,000 die from their disease. That’s a radical fatality rate.
Part of the problem is that this cancer is usually diagnosed quite late, contributing to the horrid fact that only one in every 50 pancreatic cancer patients will be alive five years later. It also shows you just how ineffective conventional treatment is.
With statistics like that, the importance of prevention cannot be downplayed, and your diet is your most logical place to start.
What Causes Pancreatic Cancer?
Three lifestyle issues keep popping up on the radar when you look at what’s contributing to pancreatic cancer:
Sugar intake
Lack of physical exercise
Lack of sunshine exposure
Obesity and physical inactivity makes your body less sensitive to the glucose-lowering effects of insulin. Diminished sensitivity to insulin leads to higher blood levels of insulin, which in turn can increase your risk of pancreatic cancer.
One previous study found that men and women with high Body Mass Index (BMI) faced a pancreatic cancer risk 1.5 to 2 times higher than those with low BMI. And for women who are both overweight and sedentary, your risk is 2.5 times higher.
When they reduced their weight and exercised, they lowered their risk. In fact, the men who exercised strenuously at least 8 hours a month were found to have only 59% of the pancreatic cancer risk of men who exercised less.
And, when we talk about sugar, don’t forget about your carbohydrates! A diet high in white bread, white rice, and potatoes also puts you at much higher risk of pancreatic cancer -- especially if you are overweight and don't exercise enough.
Insulin seems to be one of the main drivers for cancer in general, and for pancreatic cancer in particular.
Because insulin production is one of your pancreas' main functions, used by your body to process blood sugar, and, in the laboratory, insulin actually promotes the growth of pancreatic cancer cells. Researchers suspect that if your body maintains high levels of insulin, you increase the pancreatic cancer's ability to survive and grow.
In fact, researchers now believe that up to a third of all cancers may be caused by diet and lifestyle. So if you want to prevent cancer, or want to treat cancer, it is imperative that you keep your insulin levels as low as possible.
How to Prevent Pancreatic Cancer
Two of the most effective ways of maintaining low insulin levels is by:
Eating a diet appropriate for your nutritional type
Regular exercise
And, based on the above information about flavonols’ cancer-busting capacity, making sure to add plenty of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet is a no-brainer. Just select the foods that are good for your nutritional type.
Additionally, vitamin D has been found to cut your pancreatic cancer risk nearly in half as well. So make sure you get plenty of regular exposure to sunlight!
In addition to eating a varied diet, tailor-made to your individual biochemistry, and getting out into the sun on a daily basis, I’d like to remind you to look at the sources of your whole foods as well. To optimize your entire diet, and hence, your overall health – including reducing your risk of cancer – you’ll want to make sure you’re getting:
Grass-fed meats
Organic produce, grown locally
Clean, pure water
Raw dairy products
Are Sports Drinks Junk Food?
Posted By Dr. Mercola
October 16 2007
Public health advocates are pushing for a ban on the sale of sports drinks and flavored waters in schools, warning that drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas, and more than three times the sodium.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has introduced a bill that would let the government decide, and set nutritional standards for all foods and drinks sold in schools. The issue of whether sports drinks and vitamin waters should be considered “healthy alternatives,” or “junk food,” has now brought this bill to the forefront in congress.
The trade group representing bottlers like Coca-Cola and Pepsi are vehemently countering the bill, stating sports drinks are lower in calories, “appropriate” for high school students, and “essential” to young athletes.
But a report from the University of California at Berkeley warns that students who drink one 20-ounce sports drink every day for a year may gain about 13 pounds. This is no surprise to some nutritionists, who note that when you look at the ingredients, it’s water, high-fructose corn syrup, and salt.
According to Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “For years we’ve been programmed to believe that sports drinks are healthy and you need to replenish those electrolytes after you go out and walk your dog. They don’t want any official sanctioning of the idea that sports drinks are associated with obesity.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
It wasn’t until earlier this year that I realized the food industry actually outspends the drug industry in seeking to brainwash you, and manipulate the truth so you will increase their profits, usually at the expense of your long-term health.
The fact is that the food industry spends about $40 billion a year on advertising, brainwashing you to believe that junk food is somehow good for you and your kids. And the beverage industry is part of that pack.
Sports drinks hit $7.5 billion in sales last year alone, and according to the trade journal Beverage Digest, sports drinks were the third fastest growing beverage category in the United States in 2006, after energy drinks and bottled water. Of course they want you to believe sports drinks are healthy!
But when you look at the main ingredients: water, high-fructose corn syrup, and salt, how healthy is that really?
Not very.
The Problem with Sports Drinks
There are situations where use of sports drinks is an option, but after mild exercise, or no physical exertion, it’s just not a wise choice. Unfortunately, less than one percent of those who use sports drinks actually need them.
The only time you should resort to these drinks is after vigorous exercise, such as cardiovascular aerobic activity, for a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour, and you’re sweating profusely as a result of that activity.
Anything less than 45 minutes will simply not result in a large enough fluid loss to justify using these high-sodium, high-sugar drinks. And, even if you’re exercising for more than an hour, I still believe there are far better options to rehydrate yourself.
There are many reasons why you should stay away from sports drinks in all instances. For example, they’ve been found to corrode your teeth. As it turns out, ironically, drinking sports drinks when you exercise is particularly problematic because your mouth is dry, which means you don't have enough saliva in your mouth to combat the drink's acidity.
But that’s just for starters. The real problem lies in their choice of ingredients – the use of high-fructose corn syrup in particular – which should be your first tip-off that this stuff is bad news.
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the number one source of calories in the US. It is the most prevalent sweetener used in foods and beverages today, and has been clearly linked to the rise in obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Just like other sugars it disrupts your insulin levels, and elevated insulin levels are going to increase your risk of nearly every chronic disease known to man, including:
Heart disease
Premature aging
Arthritis and osteoporosis
You name it, and you will find elevated insulin levels as a primary factor.
There’s also new evidence that HFCS increases your triglyceride levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Part of what makes HFCS such an unhealthy product is that it will tend to raise your blood sugar levels and cause sugar to attach to many of your body’s proteins, thus causing permanent damage to them. Because most fructose is consumed in liquid form, these negative metabolic effects are significantly magnified.
Although these drinks are often referred to as “energy” drinks, in the long run, sugar does just the opposite. It acts like an H-bomb – a quick explosion of energy followed by a plummeting disaster, as your pancreas and other glands do all they can to balance out the toxic stimulation to blood sugar. Any kinesiologist or chiropractor will show you how sugar dramatically reduces strength!
Your Best Alternatives to Sports Drinks
It is, however, important to replace the water you’ve lost during exercise. But the question is: are sports drinks really as “essential” to young school athletes for this purpose as the manufacturers would like you to believe? Are they the best alternative for your children?
Well, no. They’re not. (After all, these trade group representatives are paid to say whatever their clients want them to say. They’re not nutritional experts.) Neither are “energy” drinks like Red Bull and many others, which are high in caffeine – a natural diuretic – which will actually dehydrate your body further.
Your best bet for your primary fluid replacement is pure, fresh water.
If your child is going to be involved in a long game or match, drinking simple carbs (sugar, corn syrup, and so on), will give him or her a quick spike in blood sugar followed by a fall, causing sluggishness and hampering overall performance. Pure water is a far better alternative to rehydrate.
If your child is involved in athletics, I highly recommend you review my related article, Energy Rules, for great tips on how to optimize your child’s energy levels and physical performance through correct nutrition.
The Dangers of Processed Meats
Posted By Dr. Mercola
December 10 2006
In a recent study, over 1,500 patients suffering from colorectal adenomas (precancerous polyps of the colon) were given a survey about their diet. Several years later, they were examined again to see if their polyps had returned.
Greater Risk With Processed Meats
The patients who consumed diets higher in processed meats experienced a greater risk of the problem recurring. However, those with diets high in certain meats, like chicken, were less prone to the risk.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States; more than 57,000 die of colorectal cancer each year.
High Blood Pressure
Meanwhile, another study indicates that consumption of meat raises the risk elevated blood pressure. The diets and blood pressures of 4,300 subjects were assessed over the course of 15 years. As plant food intake increased, the risk of elevated blood pressure fell. The opposite trend was seen with meat intake.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Earlier this year, I told you about a study that offered a non-drug solution, and a faulty one, for lowering your hypertension risks: Passing up meat entirely for a strict vegetarian diet.
Eating more vegetables isn't a bad thing at all, especially if that means curbing your intake of processed foods. But cutting out meat entirely for most people is not going to make you healthier.
I understand many have strong spiritual convictions about killing animals, but what many fail to appreciate is that this is precisely what occurs in nature. Most animals have no moral qualms about eating other animals for their next meal. It is simply the natural order.
However, if you feel compelled that your spiritual path prohibits meat that would be a rational decision. To me that is the only defensible position for many who choose to avoid eating meat.
Anyone who makes this choice, though, needs to understand that if they are in the same group as two-thirds of the planet -- who are protein types -- they will have some adverse health consequences.
However, if you are a carb type you can actually thrive on avoiding meat. You will still require small amounts of some type of animal protein, such as eggs, low-fat milk or fish. They have a variety of micro-nutrients like B12 that are simply very challenging to obtain in non-animal foods.
Most of our culture is not aware that the central issue here is not the meat itself, but the kind of meat you're using and the way you prepare it. If you eat meat that is loaded with pesticides and hormones and then cook it at high temperatures you are asking for trouble. This is one reason I strive to restrict my meat choices whenever possible to grass-fed and organic meats.
I also consume the majority of my meat raw so the heterocyclic amines that form when you cook meat at high temperatures are completely eliminated.
Remember, cancer -- not heart disease -- has become America's top killer, which is why you'll want to seriously consider these recommendations that can virtually eliminate your odds of developing colon and many other types of cancer. If you're having trouble with high blood pressure, start taking better control over it first by taking the free nutritional type test so you can learn what foods your body burns best.
U.S. STD Rates On the Rise
Posted By Dr. Mercola
December 06 2007
Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis infections rose again in the United States in 2006, the second year in a row that rates of these sexually transmitted bacterial infections increased.
The rate of chlamydia increased by 5.6 percent between 2005 and 2006, with more than 1 million reported chlamydia cases in 2006 -- the highest number of annual U.S. cases ever for any sexually transmitted disease. According to the CDC, the reported cases of chlamydia are likely less than half the actual occurrence.
The rate of gonorrhea rose 5.5 percent in 2006, with more than 350,000 cases reported, and the rate of syphilis rose 13.8 percent, with nearly 10,000 cases.
About 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year in the U.S., almost half among people ages 15 to 24. “This is a hidden epidemic,” said Dr. Stuart Berman, who helps track STD’s for the CDC.
According to Dr. John Douglas, who heads CDC STD prevention efforts, local and state health departments lack the funds necessary for prevention programs, and lack of health care insurance among many Americans might be a contributing factor as well.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
These alarming statistics should serve to reinforce the benefits of abstinence, or at the very least safe sex. Staying involved with your children’s lives and teaching them about the “realities of life” is paramount in this case, as they will surely learn other, less responsible versions through mass media.
In previous studies, teen intercourse has also been linked to higher incidences of depression and suicide. Energy psychology tools like Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) can be very helpful to teens who are having problems with sexual addictions, feelings of pressure, or negative self-images that may be leading them to have sex before they are emotionally ready.
It is important to educate sexually active teens and young adults that safe sex practices do NOT include birth control pills. In fact, the risk of contracting an STD when on the pill, or using other hormonal contraceptives, is 35 to 50 percent higher than when using non-hormonal contraceptives, such as condoms.
It is also important to know that while many STD’s are easily treated when caught early, they can cause severe health problems if left untreated.
Chlamydia: Health Risks and Treatment
The chlamydia bacteria, for example, can trigger heart disease, in addition to lung and eye infections.
A protein on the outer coat of the bacteria mimics a protein found in your heart muscle. Normally this molecular mimicry allows the bacterium to evade your immune system. But sometimes your immune cells are not fooled; they mount an attack against the chlamydia germs, which can be misdirected against your heart cells as if they were the enemy. So what scientists found is that you do not need to have bacterial damage to your heart in order for bacteria to cause heart disease.
Heart attack survivors may also quadruple their risk for a second coronary or other adverse cardiac problems if blood tests show evidence of infection with a form of chlamydia. Other health problems caused by untreated chlamydia, as well as gonorrhea infections include:
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Ectopic pregnancy
Chlamydia is easily treated with antibiotics. However, it is also very important to boost your immune system with nutritional interventions, as people who follow my diet recommendations do much better with the antibiotics. They do not generally experience a severe worsening of their symptoms, and usually respond very well to the treatment.
Gonorrhea Becoming Antibiotic Resistant
As of this year, the CDC had to revise their antibiotic treatment guidelines after a sharp and rapid rise in fluoroquinolone-resistant gonorrhea. Currently, only the cephalosporins, which are antibiotics such as Rocephin, are recommended for gonorrhea treatment. According to the CDC, new gonorrhea drugs are urgently needed, but none is in the drug development pipeline as of yet.
Since treatment options are rapidly running out for this common STD, making sure you’re practicing safe sex, and maintaining a healthy immune system, would surely be the most logical option.
If left untreated, gonorrhea can lead to infertility. It can also spread to your blood or joints, which can be a life threatening condition. In addition, if you have gonorrhea you can more easily contract HIV, and HIV-infected people with gonorrhea are more likely to transmit HIV to someone else.
Syphilis – A Dangerous Imitator
The syphilis bacterium has often been called “the great imitator” because so many of its signs and symptoms are indistinguishable from those of other diseases, which makes it that more important to get properly tested for the disease at frequent intervals.
While the first two stages are marked by the appearance of small sores, followed by skin rashes or lesions, the late stages of syphilis may cause severe damage to your internal organs, including your:
Heart and blood vessels
Bones and joints
This internal damage can take years to show up. Signs and symptoms of the late stage of syphilis include difficulty coordinating muscle movements, paralysis, numbness, gradual blindness, and dementia. It can even be serious enough to cause death.
Fortunately, syphilis is also easy to “cure” if you catch it in its early stages. A single intramuscular injection of penicillin will kill the bacteria if you’ve had syphilis for less than a year. Additional doses are needed if you’ve had syphilis for longer than a year.
It’s important to remember that the antibiotic treatment kills the syphilis bacterium and prevents further damage, but it cannot repair damage that has already been done.
What You Need to Know When Taking Antibiotics
As you can see, antibiotic treatment is the only treatment protocol currently available for these STD’s. And while they can save you from further internal damage caused by the bacteria, taking antibiotics comes at a price as well.
Simply put, antibiotics are poisons that are used to kill, and they do so quite indiscriminately, killing both good and bad bacteria at the same time. As an adult human, you have three to four pounds of beneficial bacteria and yeast living within your intestines. These microbes compete for nutrients from the food you eat. Usually, the strength in numbers that beneficial bacteria enjoy keeps the ever-present yeasts in check, and causes them to produce nutrients such as the B vitamins.
However, every time you swallow antibiotics, you kill the beneficial bacteria within your intestines. As your intestinal bacteria die, you upset the delicate balance of your intestinal terrain so that yeasts can grow unchecked into large colonies and take over.
Any time you take antibiotics, your friendly bacteria, which include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidus and Bulgaricus, must be replaced. Fortunately, you can easily buy these probiotics supplements at your local health food store.
Powerful Spices Block Cancer Development
Dr. Mercola
July 30 2005
The antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties of curcumin, the powerful yellow spice found in both turmeric and curry powders, have been undergoing intense research in various parts of the world.
According to researchers from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, curcumin blocks a key biological pathway needed for development of melanoma and other cancers.
The spice stops laboratory strains of melanoma from proliferating and pushes the cancer cells to commit suicide by shutting down nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB), a powerful protein known to induce an abnormal inflammatory response that leads to an assortment of disorders such as arthritis and cancer.
Flavorable FindingsResearchers treated three different melanoma cell lines with curcumin and evaluated the activity of NF-kB, as well as IKK, a protein that triggers NF-kB. Results showed that despite how much curcumin was used, the spice still:
Prohibited both proteins from being activated
Worked to stop the growth of melanoma
Induced cell suicide
More on CurcuminCurcumin has long been utilized in India and other Asian nations for multiple uses, including a food preservative, a coloring agent, a folk medicine to cleanse the body and as a spice to flavor food.
What's telling, however, is that in India (where the spice is widely used) the prevalence of the top four U.S. cancers -- colon, breast, prostate and lung -- is 10 times lower.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:Wouldn't life be boring without spice?
Spices are absolutely wonderful and make quite a dramatic difference in the flavor of food. I also find it amazing that not only do we get a flavor boost, but many of the spices will actually improve our health.
Some of my favorite spices are the hot spices, and I love Thai food. I am not as attracted as much to the curries, though.
That brings up a point, as you really do want to honor what your body tells you. If any food or spice does not taste good or "feel right," stay away from it -- no matter who is telling you how good it is for you. Your body is a far better judge of that than anything you will ever read. In other words:
Listen to your body.
Your body is designed to give you all the feedback you need to make the right food and lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, most of you do not tune in to this important feedback system and do not fully utilize the benefits it can bring you.

It can even cure cancer.
Cancer is a big deal. It's estimated that nearly 1.5 million new cancer cases and nearly 600,000 cancer deaths will occur in the United States this year. Cancer has recently unseated heart disease as
America's number one killer of people under the age of 85.
So if you like curry, then by all means use it regularly in your diet, as the evidence is very compelling that it will prevent cancer. But if you don't like it, then don't worry, as there are no "magic bullets" for cancer. Just incorporate the other approaches to avoiding cancer into your life:
A healthy diet
Stress reduction
Limit toxin exposure
Herbs Rich Source of Healthy Antioxidants; Oregano Ranks Highest
Dr. Mercola
January 23 2002
Better health may be only a dash and sprinkle away: Researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture have found that herbs, in addition to making food tastier, are an abundant source of antioxidants and could provide potential anticancer benefits when supplementing a balanced diet.
Herbs have higher antioxidant activity than fruits, vegetables and some spices, including garlic, the researchers say. Some herbs should be considered as regular vegetables. People should use more herbs for flavoring instead of salt and artificial chemicals.
In what may be good news for pizza lovers and Italian food connoisseurs everywhere, the herbs with the highest antioxidant activity belonged to the oregano family. In general, oregano had 3 to 20 times higher antioxidant activity than the other herbs studied.
On a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano and other herbs ranked even higher in antioxidant activity than fruits and vegetables, which are known to be high in antioxidants. In comparison to the antioxidant activities of a few select fruits and vegetables, the potency of oregano ranks supreme: Oregano has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and 4 times more than blueberries.
For example, one tablespoon of fresh oregano contains the same antioxidant activity as one medium-sized apple, she says.
Adding a moderate amount of herbs may go a long way toward boosting the health value of a meal, especially as an alternative to salt and artificial additives.
Even if you're not into oregano, other herbs also appear to pack a significant antioxidant punch. Among the more familiar, ranked in order, are dill, garden thyme, rosemary and peppermint.
The most active phenol component in some of the herbs with the highest antioxidant activity, particularly oregano, was rosmarinic acid, a strong antioxidant.
Antioxidants have become synonymous with good health. They are a class of compounds thought to prevent certain types of chemical damage caused by an excess of free radicals, charged molecules that are generated by a variety of sources including pesticides, smoking and exhaust fumes. Destroying free radicals may help fight cancer, heart disease and stroke, researchers believe.
Fruits and vegetables have long been viewed as a rich source of antioxidant compounds. Health officials have been urging consumers for years to eat more fruits and vegetables in order to gain the health benefits of antioxidants, but progress has been slow, according to researchers.
More recently, researchers have begun to formally study the health benefits of herbs and spices. The two differ mainly by source. Herbs typically come from the leaves of plants. Spices come from the bark, stem and seeds of plants. Both have been used for thousands of years to flavor foods and treat illness.
Now, herbs have emerged as a quick and easy way to get a concentrated source of antioxidants - without all the extra calories of whole foods.
Herbs can be consumed in a variety of ways. Some people prefer to drink herb extracts, which can be made by adding herbs to hot water to make potent antioxidant teas. Others use concentrated herbal oils available in some health food stories. Most of us prefer a little dash and sprinkle of the familiar leafy or powdered versions to add flavor to our favorite meats and vegetables.
In general, fresh herbs and spices are healthier and contain higher antioxidant levels compared to their processed counterparts. For example, the antioxidant activity of fresh garlic is 1.5 times higher than dry garlic powder.
Just as consuming too much of any food product can carry health risks, herbs should be used with moderation.
Whatever form they take, herbs are no substitute for a balanced diet. Pregnant women in particular should consult their physicians before taking herbal supplements.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry November 2001
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Well, now we know the difference between an herb and a spice.
Amazing how two of the most popular Italian herbs, garlic and oregano are two of the most useful nutritional herbs.
If you are not using these two useful herbs I strongly encourage you to consider using them. Remember that most of the major anti-infection benefits of garlic are lost unless you use it raw.
You can use 1-2 cloves in your vegetable juice to obtain maximum benefit. The chlorophyll in the juice also tends to cut down on the potentially offensive garlic odor.