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Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods and Supplements

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of virtually all disease, including cancer, obesity and heart disease. Your diet plays a significant if not primary role as it can either trigger or prevent inflammation
  • Leafy greens, berries, and mushrooms are potent anti-inflammatory foods. People with autoimmune diseases may want to limit vegetables high in lectins, though, as they may cause more problems than they solve
  • Traditionally fermented and cultured foods are anti-inflammatory staples that work their “magic” by optimizing your gut flora. Examples include kefir, yogurt, natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other fermented vegetables
  • Marine-based omega-3 fats found in fatty cold-water fish that are low in environmental toxins are important anti-inflammatories that are particularly crucial for brain and heart health
  • Other anti-inflammatory foods and supplements include green tea, spices such as cloves, ginger, rosemary and turmeric, herbal remedies such as white willow bark, maritime pine bark, and Cat’s claw, and supplements such as resveratrol, curcumin, capsaicin, vitamin D, zinc and SAM-e

Chronic inflammation is a hallmark of virtually all disease, including cancer, obesity and heart disease. While inflammation is a perfectly normal and beneficial process that occurs when your body’s white blood cells and chemicals protect you from foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses, it leads to trouble when the inflammatory response gets out of hand and continues indefinitely.

Your diet plays a significant if not primary role in this chain of events and is the perfect place to start to address it. Certain nutritional supplements can also be helpful as add-ons.

Below, I’ll review some of the foods, spices, and supplements are known for their anti-inflammatory power (and the foods known for their inflammatory effects). If you struggle with any chronic health condition, chances are you have inflammation in your body, and would be wise to take a cold hard look at what you’re putting into it.

Anti-inflammatory food basics

A key part of an anti-inflammatory diet involves excluding refined vegetable oils, as they are clearly one of the most pernicious and pervasive poisons in the food supply. Simply avoiding all processed foods and most restaurant foods will go a long way toward helping you avoid them.

As for anti-inflammatory foods to eat more of, vegetables are a key staple. Dark leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard contain powerful antioxidants, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C that can help protect against cellular damage. Ideally, opt for organic locally grown veggies that are in season, and consider eating a fair amount of them raw.

Juicing is an excellent way to get more greens into your diet. There’s a caveat, though. If you struggle with autoimmune disease or have significant inflammation in your body, consider limiting vegetables with high lectin content, as the lectins may pose a problem.

Among the most problematic lectin-containing foods are beans, grains, legumes and members of the nightshade family like eggplants, potatoes and peppers. High-lectin foods can be made safer to eat through proper soaking and cooking, as well as fermenting and sprouting. Using a pressure cooker is particularly beneficial for beans. You can learn more about this in my interview with Dr. Steven Gundry, author of “The Plant Paradox.”

Oxalates are another plant component that can cause problems, as they not only will increase inflammation but will worsen your mitochondrial function. Those prone to oxalate kidney stones typically need to be on an oxalate-free diet as well. Foods high in oxalates include potatoes (white and sweet), almonds, seeds, dark chocolatebeets, beans, and many others.

On the other hand, raw berries — especially blueberries — are an anti-inflammatory basic, as most tend to be low in fructose while rating high in antioxidant capacity compared to other fruits and vegetables.

The same goes for mushrooms, which are commonly overlooked. Shiitake mushrooms, for example, contain ergothioneine, which inhibits oxidative stress. Mushrooms also contain a number of unique nutrients that you may not get enough of in your diet.

One of those nutrients is copper, which is one of the few metallic elements accompanied by amino and fatty acids that are essential to human health. Since your body can’t synthesize copper, your diet must supply it regularly. Copper deficiency can be a factor in the development of coronary heart disease.

Another excellent anti-inflammatory mushroom is the Reishi, which contains ganoderic acid, a terpene that induces apoptosis (programmed cell death of damaged cells) and enhances the immune system.

Fermented and cultured foods

Traditionally fermented and cultured foods are other anti-inflammatory staples that work their “magic” by optimizing your gut flora. A majority of inflammatory diseases start in your gut as the result of an imbalanced microbiome.

Fermented foods such as kefir, natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other fermented vegetables will help reseed your gut with beneficial bacteria. Ideally, you’ll want to eat a wide variety of them as each contains a different set of beneficial bacteria (probiotics).

Fermented foods can also help your body rid itself of harmful toxins. Kimchi, for example, has been shown to break down pesticides that promote inflammation. As reported in a study1 in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos degraded rapidly during kimchi fermentation and was 83.3% degraded by Day 3. By Day 9, it was degraded completely.

If you don’t like fermented vegetables, consider yogurt made from raw organic milk from grass-fed cows. Yogurt has been shown to reduce inflammation by improving the integrity of your intestinal lining, thereby preventing toxins in your gut from crossing into your bloodstream.

Other potent anti-inflammatory foods

Marine-based omega-3 fats found in fatty cold-water fish that are low in environmental toxins — such as wild Alaskan salmonsardines, and anchovies — are also important anti-inflammatories2 and are particularly important for brain and heart health. In fact, your omega-3 level is a powerful predictor of mortality.

If you don’t enjoy these types of fish, you could consider using krill oil instead. Research published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology3 in 2012 confirmed that dietary supplementation with krill oil effectively reduced inflammation and oxidative stress.

As with vitamin D, it’s advisable to check your omega-3 index on a regular basis to ensure optimization. Ideally, you’ll want to maintain an omega-3 index of 8%. (GrassrootsHealth offers a convenient, cost-effective test4 to measure both your vitamin D and omega-3 levels.)

Many teas also offer anti-inflammatory benefits that can be enjoyed by most. Matcha tea is the most nutrient-rich green tea5 and comes in the form of a stone-ground unfermented powder. The best Matcha comes from Japan.

It’s an excellent source of antioxidants, especially epigallocatechin gallate6 (EGCG), catechin with anti-inflammatory activity.7 Tulsi is another tea loaded with anti-inflammatory antioxidants and other micronutrients that help protect against damage caused by chemical pollutants, heavy metals, and physical stress.8

Anti-inflammatory herbs and spices

Ounce for ounce, herbs and spices are among the most potent anti-inflammatory ingredients available and making sure you’re eating a wide variety of them on a regular basis can go a long way toward preventing chronic illness.

According to a novel, study9 in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, published in 2012, “cloves, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric were able to significantly reduce oxidized LDL-induced expression of TNF-α” or tumor necrosis factor, a cytokine involved in systemic inflammation.

Ginger lowered three different inflammatory biomarkers, suggesting its superior anti-inflammatory action, but rosemary and turmeric also “showed protective capacity by both oxidative protection and inflammation measures.”

The interesting thing about this study is that they used “real world” dosages, meaning amounts you would normally use in your daily cooking, not megadoses you might find in a concentrated supplement. For example, those in the oregano group ate just half a teaspoon of oregano daily for seven days.

Garlic is another kitchen staple that has been treasured for its medicinal properties for centuries. Garlic exerts its benefits on multiple levels, offering antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant properties. Most recently, a 2019 review and meta-analysis10 concluded garlic effectively lowered several inflammatory biomarkers, including C-reactive protein, TNF-α, and interleukin-6.

It’s thought that much of garlic’s therapeutic effect comes from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. Research11 has revealed that as allicin digests in your body it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts faster with dangerous free radicals than any other known compound.

An earlier study published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods12 found a direct correlation between the antioxidant phenol content of spice and herb extracts and their ability to inhibit glycation and block the formation of AGE compounds (advanced glycation end products), making them potent preventers of heart disease and premature aging.

Here, cloves were ranked as the most potent of 24 common herbs and spices found in your spice rack. The following were found to be the top 10 most potent anti-inflammatory herbs and spices:

Cloves Cinnamon
Jamaican allspice Apple pie spice mixture
Oregano Pumpkin pie spice mixture
Marjoram Sage
Thyme Gourmet Italian spice

Curcumin — A powerful anti-inflammatory with poor absorption

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, also has a solid foundation in science with numerous studies vouching for its anti-inflammatory effects.13 As noted in a 2017 review in the journal Foods:14

“[Curcumin] aids in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia. It may also help in the management of exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness, thus enhancing recovery and performance of inactive people.

In addition, a relatively low dose of the complex can provide health benefits for people that do not have diagnosed health conditions. Most of these benefits can be attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.”

A drawback of turmeric is its poor absorbability and rapid elimination. As noted in this Foods review, taken by itself turmeric typically does not impart the health benefits with which this spice is associated.

Certain components or additives can significantly boost its bioavailability though. One is piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper, which has been shown to increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2,000%.15 This is why you’ll typically find piperine as an ingredient in most curcumin supplements. A typical dosage of a standardized curcumin supplement is 400 to 600 milligrams three times a day.16

Anti-inflammatory ingredients can provide natural pain relief

Another interesting paper in the journal Surgical Neurology International, “Natural Anti-Inflammatory Agents for Pain Relief,” highlights several foods and spices already mentioned, specifically omega-3, green tea, and turmeric. In addition to those, it also discusses the anti-inflammatory potential of:17

  • White willow bark
  • Maritime pine bark (pycnogenol)
  • Resveratrol
  • Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
  • Chili pepper (capsaicin)

Interestingly, a 2013 animal study18 found capsaicin “produced anti-inflammatory effects that were comparable to diclofenac,” a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly prescribed to patients with mild to moderate arthritis.19

Frankincense

The Surgical Neurology International paper20 also addresses the use of Frankincense extract (Boswellia serrata resin), noting it “possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, and analgesic properties” and is an inhibitor of leukotriene biosynthesis.

As such, it’s valuable in the treatment of inflammatory diseases driven by leukotrienes,21 such as degenerative and inflammatory joint disorders. According to this paper, Frankincense:

“… reduces the total white blood cell count in joint fluid, and it also inhibits leukocyte elastase, which is released in rheumatoid arthritis. In one recent study, a statistically significant improvement in arthritis of the knee was shown after 8 weeks of treatment with 333 mg B. Serrata extract taken three times a day …

A combination of Boswellia and curcumin showed superior efficacy and tolerability compared with nonsteroidal diclofenac for treating active osteoarthritis. Boswellia typically is given as an extract standardized to contain 30-40% boswellic acids (300-500 mg two or three times/day).”

An earlier study22 published in Scientific Reports in 2015 confirmed Frankincense and myrrh are both capable of suppressing inflammation by inhibiting the expression of inflammatory cytokines.

The importance of vitamin D

Some anti-inflammatory supplements have already been mentioned, such as curcumin, Cat’s claw, Frankincense, and capsaicin. Other supplements with well-documented anti-inflammatory effects include vitamin D, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM-e) and zinc. As reported by Science Daily, vitamin D inhibits inflammation by reducing inflammatory proteins:23

“… [R]esearchers examined the specific mechanisms by which vitamin D might act on immune and inflammatory pathways.24 They incubated human white blood cells with varying levels of vitamin D, then exposed them to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a molecule associated with bacterial cell walls that are known to promote intense inflammatory responses.

Cells incubated with no vitamin D and in a solution containing 15 ng/ml of vitamin D produced high levels of cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha, major actors in the inflammatory response. Cells incubated in 30 ng/ml vitamin D and above showed significantly reduced response to the LPS. The highest levels of inflammatory inhibition occurred at 50 ng/ml.

Through a complex series of experiments, the researchers identified a new location where the vitamin-D receptor appears to bind directly to DNA and activate a gene known as MKP-1. MKP-1 interferes with the inflammatory cascade triggered by LPS, which includes a molecule known as p38, and results in higher levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha.

‘This newly identified DNA-binding site for the vitamin-D receptor and the specific pathways inhibited by higher levels of vitamin D provide a plausible mechanism for many of the benefits that have been associated with vitamin D,’ said Dr. Goleva.

‘The fact that we showed a dose-dependent and varying response to levels commonly found in humans also adds weight to the argument for vitamin D’s role in immune and inflammatory conditions.’”

While I strongly recommend getting your vitamin D from sensible sun exposure, if you cannot maintain a protective level of 60 to 80 ng/ml year-round, a vitamin D3 supplement would be prudent, considering its importance for your overall health.

Zinc and SAM-e

Zinc is a commonly overlooked antioxidant, but research shows it’s a potent anti-inflammatory. According to a 2014 review article25 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition:

“Zinc supplementation trials in the elderly showed that the incidence of infections was decreased by approximately 66% in the zinc group. Zinc supplementation also decreased oxidative stress biomarkers and decreased inflammatory cytokines in the elderly.

In our studies in the experimental model of zinc deficiency in humans, we showed that zinc deficiency per se increased the generation of IL-1β and its mRNA in human mononuclear cells following LPS stimulation.

Zinc supplementation upregulated A20, a zinc transcription factor, which inhibited the activation of NF-κB, resulting in decreased generation of inflammatory cytokines.”

Similarly, SAM-e is commonly recommended for patients with osteoarthritis,26 as it has both anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. According to Arthritis.org,27 “Results may be felt in just one week but could take more than a month.”

Inflammatory foods to avoid

Last but not least, it’s important to realize that dietary components can either trigger or prevent inflammation from taking root in your body, so avoiding inflammatory foods is just as important, if not more so, as eating anti-inflammatory ones.

As a group, processed foods of all kinds tend to be pro-inflammatory, thanks to ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, soy, processed vegetable oils (trans fats) and chemical additives. So, in addition to adding anti-inflammatory foods, herbs, spices, and supplements (if needed) to your diet, you’ll also want to avoid the following as much as possible:

Refined sugar, processed fructose, and grains — If your fasting insulin level is 3 or above, consider dramatically reducing or eliminating grains and sugars until you optimize your insulin level, as insulin resistance is a primary driver of chronic inflammation.

As a general guideline, I recommend restricting your total fructose intake to 25 grams per day. If you’re insulin or leptin resistant (have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease or are overweight), consider cutting that down to 15 grams per day until your insulin/leptin resistance has normalized

Oxidized cholesterol — Cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked, scrambled eggs

Processed meats

Industrial vegetable and seed oils (a source of oxidized omega-6 fats) such as peanut, corn and soy oil

Foods cooked at high temperatures, especially if cooked with vegetable oil

Replacing processed foods with whole, ideally, organic foods will automatically address most of these factors, especially if you eat a large portion of your food raw. Equally important is making sure you’re regularly reseeding your gut with beneficial bacteria, as mentioned above.

To help you get started on a healthier diet, I suggest following my free Optimized Nutrition Plan, which starts at the beginner phase and systematically guides you step-by-step to the advanced level.

Read more great articles at mercola.com




Different Ways to Consume CBD

Cannabis is the hottest new thing everyone is either talking about or doing. Whether it’s for medicinal purposes or for recreational, it’s no doubt that more people are trying it because of the legalization of marijuana sweeping the world. With that in mind, more people are learning about it and becoming curious. With this curiosity, it led to the research of different cannabinoids, including CBD.

What is CBD

CBD or Cannabidiol is one of more than 100 active cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. CBD has been known to be the next in line as far as how much it can help in animals. Humans and animals have an endocannabinoid system which is responsible for our bodies experiencing the benefits from THC or CBD. This system in our body comes with two receptors and each one is responsible for different cannabinoids entering our body and taking effect.

Unlike weed with THC, you can get CBD from anywhere. You can get it at dispensaries, CBD shops, smoke shops, online vape shops, some gas stations and much more.

How to Consume CBD

Just like with marijuana, you can consume CBD in various ways. Some people might not like smoking or their illness won’t support the habit of smoking so you need to change your ways. CBD is smokable too but it’s more popular in every other alternative.

Vaping

Vaping is very popular nowadays because it can be done in various ways. Whether your preferred method is through dry herbs, wax or an oil cartridge, a vape can help with all of that. There are many different types of vapes and they all have a different reason to use it. Some are just batteries for your cartridge and others come with the full atomizer.

Tincture Oil

The most popular way to ingest CBD is through tincture oils. It is known to be one of the fastest ways to absorb it into your body after vaping and smoking. It’s best to drop a few drops under your tongue to get the effects to the fullest.

Edibles

Edibles are not a very popular way to take in THC or CBD however for those that have been diagnosed with any disease that can irritate the throat, vaping and smoking might be out of the question. Edibles can come in a lot of different forms but CBD gummies are the most popular.

Smoking

Smoking is one of the most popular past time activities around the world and ironically, it’s still a taboo in most places too. Most people still love to smoke regardless of the adverse effects. CBD still comes in smokable hemp because of the immediate effects it gives. Your body and lungs absorbs smoke through the lungs quicker than any other method.

Creams and Lotions

In the case of arthritis or a specific location that is bothering you, it’s best to use CBD creams and lotions. Simply lather it on the area that is inflamed every couple of hours. You will notice the movements and flexibility are much higher than usual.

Benefits

Cannabidiol is very helpful for humans and pets for many different illness and diseases. It can help against:

Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the most popular reasons as to why people use CBD. Whether it’s your wrist or your legs, arthritis usually worsens from inflammation. Cannabidiol is a great way to reduce the inflammation.

Relaxes Body

Whether you have anxiety or you can’t get your mind to relax and sleep at nights, CBD can help with either one. A lot of people have anxiety and they get it from the thought of being around or in front of people usually.




CBD vs. THC: Differences, Benefits, and Effects

As people continue looking for a more natural approach to deal with chronic health conditions, cannabinoids such as Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are becoming increasingly popular.

This is because, research has continuously exhibited these compounds as very beneficial and helpful natural remedies against an array of many health conditions including but not limited to chronic pain, muscle spasms, cancer symptoms, anxiety, and depression.

Unknown to many, although these compounds come from the same plant, they are very different as far as their effects on the human body, chemical composition, and even legality are concerned.

In this post, we will let you know what cannabinoids are, the differences between THC and CBD as well as their benefits and effects.

What Are Cannabinoids?

Cannabinoids refer to the over 120+ chemical compounds existing naturally in the cannabis plant. These compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system in the human body to bring about various effects such as pain relief.

The most popular or well-understood cannabinoids are THC and CBD.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

As already mentioned, both THC and CBD exist naturally in the cannabis plant. What you may not know, however, is that cannabis can either be classified into hemp or marijuana.

What is the difference? You ask.

Hemp is described as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC. On the other hand, marijuana is described as cannabis, with more than 0.3% THC.

So in short, CBD is more concentrated in the hemp plant while THC is more concentrated in the marijuana plant.

CBD VS THC

So far, we have not mentioned anything that helps us differentiate CBD from THC.

The main difference between the two compounds is psychoactivity. It turns out that, the high effect associated with the cannabis plant is a result of THC.

On the other hand, CBD or cannabidiol has zero mind-altering effects and hence an ideal option for anyone wishing to try cannabis without getting high.

According to experts, tetrahydrocannabinol binds with the CB1 receptors found in the human brain bringing about the euphoric effect associated with the marijuana plant.

On the other hand, Cannabidiol, yes, binds with the CB1 receptors, but very weakly. As a result, CBD has no mind-altering effects. Some experts actually suggest that CBD can counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.

CBD vs. THC: Chemical Composition

A very interesting thing to note here; although these two compounds have different effects on the human body, they have the exact same chemical makeup.

Ie, 21 carbon atoms, 20 hydrogen, and two oxygen atoms.

What makes the two compounds different is the arrangement of these atoms. This is illustrated in the following diagram:

Amazing how such a minor difference can make all the difference!

CBD vs. THC: How Each compound Affects The Human Body

As aforementioned, although both THC and CBD bind to the CB2 receptor, they interact or impact the CB1 receptors differently.

The THC’s molecular structure allows it to directly bind with the CB1 receptors. This creates a bond that results in chemical signals being sent to the human brain. This is how you get high after consuming marijuana products.

On the other hand, Cannabidiol does not directly bind to the CB1 receptors and hence, does not cause any ‘high’ effect.

Although THC has a lot of health benefits, not everyone is comfortable with its psychoactive effect. This is where CBD comes in to save the day.

CBD vs. THC: Legality

The legality of cannabis products is still faced with a lot of controversies. This is because different states and countries have different laws regulating the use and possession of various cannabis products.

In the US, for instance, while hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 US states, marijuana products are legal in only a few states and completely illegal according to federal law.

So the question of legality really depends on where you are. Make sure you are conversant with the law regulating the use of cannabis products in your location to avoid getting on the wrong side of the authorities.

THC vs. CBD: Health Benefits

Although the two compounds impact the body differently, many of their health benefits are the same.

However, it is not up to a mid-last year that the 1st cannabis-based drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug’s name is Epidiolex which contains CBD and is used in treating rare forms of epilepsy.

CBD is said to be helpful in the treatment of conditions such as seizures, chronic pain, inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, mental disorders, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, depression, and muscle spasms.

On the other hand, THC is popular for its hand in treating conditions such as pain, glaucoma, muscle spasticity, low appetite, insomnia, and anxiety.

So the choice between CBD and THC for medical use comes down to personal preference as well as the legality of these products in a given locality.

THC vs. CBD: Side Effects

At the moment, no research has linked CBD to any severe side effects. However, some side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, have been reported. According to experts, this is mostly due to the interactions between Cannabidiol and other drugs or medications.

On the other hand, Tetrahydrocannabinol is known to cause short-term side effects such as coordination problems, increased heart rate, red eyes, dry mouth, and memory loss.

THC’s side effects are connected to its psychoactive properties.

THC vs. CBD: Wrapping Up

It is clear that although the two compounds share a lot of similarities, they are also very different in molecular makeup, side effects and even before the law.

However, we cannot say that compound A is better than compound B. This is because both CBD and THC are very beneficial to human health and either of them could come in handy depending on the situation.

While some people would never welcome the high effect associated with THC, others find it helpful. It all comes down to your personal needs and preferences.

It is expected that as more findings on the benefits of cannabinoids come to light, more countries will continue legalizing both CBD and THC.




Having Sciatica Pain? Number #3 Will Definitely Change Your Life!

There you are, going about your business and living your life, when suddenly a lightning bolt shoots through your lower back and your legs. At least, that’s what it feels like. This sharp pain is most likely a condition that many of us will have at some point in life: sciatica.

In a nutshell, sciatica occurs when something compresses your sciatic nerve in your lower back. There are many potential causes, from a herniated disc near the nerve to spinal stenosis: a condition which gradually narrows the space around your spinal cord. Sciatica is common in case of people who work long hours. Hence its important to choose the right chairs for work. Chairthrone has several chairs that help in preventing sciatica pain.

If you’re feeling the pain of sciatica, you don’t have to suffer in silence. These treatments may be able to help, depending on the cause of your sciatica.

1. Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Part of the problem with sciatica is that the compression causes your sciatic nerve to become inflamed. Easing the inflammation can reduce your pain. One easy way to do this is by taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen.

To make it even more effective, you can change some of your other health habits to reduce your body’s inflammation overall. For instance, try an anti-inflammatory diet and find ways to reduce the stress in your life.

2. Cold Packs

Speaking of inflammation, have you ever wondered why ice packs reduce pain from so many different injuries? It’s because the cold temperatures reduce inflammation in the area.

For that reason, cold packs often help sciatica too. Put the cold pack on your lower back for up to 20 minutes at a time and do this as needed or a few times per day. Be sure not to put the cold pack directly on your skin. Have clothing or a towel on the cold pack.

3. Physiotherapy

While many sciatica treatments are aimed at reducing pain and inflammation, people who treat their sciatica with Scarborough Physiotherapy services are getting to the root of the problem.

Depending on what is causing your sciatica, physical therapy may be able to relieve some of the pressure on your sciatic nerve. According to Willowdale Physiotherapy services, If the problem is a misalignment or a muscular issue, your physiotherapist may also be able to give you stretches to do or posture correction to help you prevent further symptoms.

4. Acupuncture

All the needle-phobes may be panicking, but acupuncture is easier and more relaxing than you think.

During acupuncture for pain relief, a therapist places tiny needles at various pressure points in your body. This triggers a reaction that releases endorphins to reduce pain, and it can decrease inflammation as well.

The results last far longer than your treatment session, but you will need repeated maintenance sessions to maintain your results.

5. Pain Management Injections

With the well-known opiate epidemic today, doctors are more and more hesitant to prescribe addictive pain medications. They don’t want to replace anyone’s sciatica with a drug addiction.

One of the alternative pain relief methods that has become common is using injections. There are different types of injections that work in different ways. For instance, steroid injections reduce inflammation while nerve blockers prevent the nerves from sending pain signals.

For sciatica, your doctor would inject the medication of choice into your lower back to target the sciatic nerve. The results typically last several weeks at a time.

6. Surgery

When it comes to sciatica, surgery is considered a last result. Only a small percentage of people with sciatica have pain that is severe enough and persistent enough to warrant surgery.

The surgery itself will depend on the cause behind your sciatica. In general, the goal is to remove whatever it is that is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Living Your Life Free from Sciatica

There’s no doubt about it: sciatica is a painful condition and sometimes it’s painful enough to prevent you from living your life to the fullest. The treatment options above can help you get back your freedom.




Harvard Study on Cannabis Flavonoids Could Change Cancer Treatment Forever

By Phillip Schneider | Waking Times 

Scientists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard University recently discovered something that could change cancer treatment forever.

In their study, Harvard researchers learned that a compound in the cannabis plant called “flavonoids” can be used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer with a survival rate of only 20 percent within one year.

Flavonoids are a common compound found in most plants, fruits, and vegetables, but the drug used to treat cancer, called FBL-03G, is specifically synthesized from the cannabis plant.

“In this study, a flavonoid derivative of cannabis demonstrates significant therapeutic potential in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.” – Michele Moreau, et al.

This discovery could provide much-needed hope and relief to patients with an illness that has only an 8-percent five-year survival rate. Although pancreatic cancer only affects 3 percent of all cancer patients in America, it is on track to become the second leading cause of cancer-related death in America by as early as 2020.

“The most significant conclusion is that tumor-targeted delivery of flavonoids, derived from cannabis, enabled both local and metastatic tumor cell kill, significantly increasing survival from pancreatic cancer. – Wilfred Ngwa, Ph.D., study researcher

However, the flavonoid compound only makes up about 0.14 percent of the cannabis plant. In order to extract enough to use as a treatment, drug manufacturers would need to grow fields of cannabis, something they are not likely to do.

To get around this, scientists are making a controversial move by learning how to genetically engineer the cannabis plant to produce more flavonoids. They are having trouble however, as genetic engineering still cannot yield enough cannflavins at this time.

“The problem with these molecules is they are present in cannabis at such low levels, it’s not feasible to try to engineer the cannabis plant to create more of these substances.” – Steven Rothstein, Molecular and Genetic Researcher at the University of Guelph, and co-author of a study on the use of cannflavins as painkillers

Perhaps the most exciting discovery is that the introduction of flavonoids not only kills cancer in the pancreas, but in cancer cells found throughout the body. This could mean that cannflavins may be used to treat other forms of cancer in the future.

“We were quite surprised that the drug could inhibit the growth of cancer cells in other parts of the body, representing metastasis, that was not targeted by the treatment. This suggests that the immune system is involved as well, and we are currently investigating this mechanism.” – Wilfred, Nwga

Scientists have found success in treating cancer with cannabis compounds in the past. The main components of the plant, THC, and CBD, have been found beneficial in the treatment of lung, blood skin, and liver cancer, among others, but until recently have been kept illegal by big money interests like the alcohol and prison industries, which benefit from the illegality of these highly medicinal compounds.

Many anecdotal cases also exist of patients who believe that cannabis cured their cancer, including Cheryl Pearson who recovered from stage 4 Ovarian cancer after having an allergic reaction to her chemotherapy drugs and was told that her death was “imminent.” Three months after her supposed end of life date, she was officially in remission, she believes, thanks to cannabis oil.

“I guess I never would have believed it—the results I saw from this plant… Initially, I only thought you could smoke it and I was not going that route. I didn’t have the knowledge. I was just thinking it was a puff of smoke and if I have cancer, I’m not going to add to it.” – Cheryl Pearson

As cannabis becomes more mainstream and scientists discover its medical benefits, we are likely to see a future where debilitating diseases like cancer can be treated not with harmful, synthetic drugs, but with compounds found in plants used for thousands of years – bringing that ancient wisdom into modern, everyday medical life.

About the Author

Phillip Schneider is a student as well as a staff writer and assistant editor for Waking Times. If you would like to see more of his work, you can visit his website, or follow him on the free speech social network Minds.

This article (Not Just CBD – Cannabis Flavonoids Also Show Promise in Fighting Cancer) as originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Phillip Schneider and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Take CBD Oil

Back in 2012 a CBD product was developed for a little girl suffering from hundreds of seizures a week. The product is called Charlotte’s Web (named after the girl) and it helped to manage the seizures more than any other medication did – but we should also mention that they used a combination of CBD, terpenes, and essential oils.

This isn’t to say that CBD is a guaranteed medicine for seizures, but from the look of things, the compound has some amazing medicinal value for treating neurological conditions. If you don’t believe me, check out this FDA-approved CBD drug for epilepsy.

CBD has been studied for its effects on pain, anxiety, depression, and a host of other conditions affecting millions of people today. The biggest selling point for CBD is the fact that it doesn’t make the user high; so naturally, it can be used by anybody and not affect your ability to work or remain mentally alert. (It doesn’t even show up on drug tests!)

How can I use CBD to manage my condition?

To understand some of the ways CBD can be useful as an alternative medicine, let’s take a look at some of the most common ailments, and the effect of the compound in the body.

1) CBD gets rid of period pain

If you’ve ever had those painful periods, or any cramping as a result of PMS, then using CBD oil can help to regulate hormonal function in a way that reduces period pain. There are many kinds of therapies used to manage period pain, but many of these treatments combine different methods such as essential oils to reduce pain and crumps; but what makes CBD more effective is the fact that it targets the hormones directly through the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

This is important because the endocrine system and the ECS are responsible for regulating mood, pain, sleep, hunger, cognitive function, and many other processes that are altered during PMS. By regulating the hormones, CBD is able to reduce many of the symptoms associated with PMS.

2) CBD reduces anxiety

Another major reason for people using CBD today is anxiety. As much as a third of the U.S. population has some experience with anxiety, and for many of these people, the challenge of finding effective medication through pharmaceuticals has led them to try alternative treatments.

For an anxious person experiencing anxiety in big groups or in a public setting, taking CBD an hour before such an event can reduce symptoms of anxiety significantly. It works by modulating the hormones associated with anxiety – so in the case of stress hormones like cortisol, CBD reduces the production of said hormones and triggers the endocannabinoid system to release more serotonin, which makes you feel calmer and more content.

3) CBD improves quality of sleep

With so many people dealing with stress and chronic pain, being able to sleep through the night can be challenging. Again, with a reduction of anxiety and stress levels, you’re more likely to sleep through the night. CBD regulates the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone that is often disrupted by stress, age, disease, and many more factors. Taking CBD about an hour before sleep can increase quality of sleep significantly, without causing any dependency (because CBD is anti-addictive).

4) CBD improves mood

One of the downsides of hormonal disruption is the fact that it causes a change in mood. When this happens, energy levels start to drop, and cognitive function is impaired. Productivity goes down, and any project that you’re working on; whether at home or work, is severely affected. Using CBD regularly can keep your mood levels normal and help to prevent conditions that may arise from it (such as depression).

Having that overall sense of wellbeing is important to our health, and what many people forget is the fact that hormones play a big role in maintaining our physical and mental health; and we must pay attention to any changes in the hormones in order to keep our health in check.

5) CBD prevents insulin resistance

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have the same origin: too much blood sugar. The human body uses insulin to regulate blood glucose levels, and when you eat, the pancreas produces a certain amount of insulin, which triggers the cells to take in glucose from the food to use for energy. Most cases of diabetes involve type 2 diabetes, which occurs when cells don’t respond to insulin.

This is what’s called insulin resistance, and it leads to too much glucose circulating in the blood, depriving the cells of essential energy. CBD oil may have a positive effect on insulin function and reduce the chances of acquiring type 2 diabetes in humans.

Although CBD is still being studied for its medicinal value, there’s plenty of data supporting its use in treating common ailments. We’ve outlined several CBD publications from renowned authorities at the bottom to give you a better idea of how CBD works, and how it’s used.

To learn more about how CBD works, and how it can improve your health, check out our articles on CBDCentral.com.

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-ibd-research

https://www.forbes.com/sites/joresablount/2019/08/29/cbd-research-what-we-know-and-where-the-industry-is-going/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319475.php

https://www.livescience.com/65811-what-is-cbd.html

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/01/cannabis-medical-cannabidiol-cbd-uk-consumers




University Study Shows Legalized Marijuana Could Cut Medicare Costs by Billions (Here’s Why)

Video Source: University of Georgia

By Marco Torres | Prevent Disease

A well-known fact still denied by conventional medicine is that marijuana saves lives by curbing highly addictive prescription painkillers known to kill tens of thousands every year. In fact, drug overdoses by prescription opioids kills more people than suicide, guns or motor vehicle accidents. University of Georgia researchers has now found that implementing medical marijuana could also reduce Medicare costs by billions.

Related Article: Medical Marijuana Shows Promise for Treating Depression

There is an abundance of evidence that the suppression of medical marijuana is one of the greatest failures of a free society, journalistic and scientific integrity as well as our fundamental values. There is no plant on Earth more condemned than marijuana.

There is solid evidence that marijuana is effective at treating one big condition: chronic pain. There is an abundance of evidence finding that there is at least a 30% greater improvement in pain with cannabinoid compared with placebo across hundreds of studies.

Some studies have examined the effect of adding a cannabinoid to the regimen of patients with chronic pain who report significant pain despite taking stable doses of potent opioids.

An investigational cannabinoid therapy helped provide effective analgesia when used as an adjuvant medication for cancer patients with pain that responded poorly to opioids, according to results of a multicenter trial reported in The Journal of Pain, published by the American Pain Society.

An NBER working paper found that access to state-sanctioned medical marijuana dispensaries is linked to a significant decrease in both prescription painkiller abuse, and in overdose deaths from prescription painkillers. The study authors examined admissions to substance abuse treatment programs for opiate addiction as well as opiate overdose deaths in states that do and do not have medical marijuana laws.

Medical marijuana is having a positive impact on the bottom line of Medicare’s prescription drug benefit program in states that have legalized its use for medicinal purposes, according to University of Georgia researchers in a study published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

The savings, due to lower prescription drug use, were estimated to be $165.2 million in 2013, a year when 17 states and the District of Columbia had implemented medical marijuana laws. The results suggest that if all states had implemented medical marijuana the overall savings to Medicare would have been around $468 million. Translate those savings over a period of just one decade and the figures escalate to billions of dollars.

Compared to Medicare Part D’s 2013 budget of $103 billion, those savings would have been 0.5 percent. But it’s enough of a difference to show that, in states where it’s legal, some people are turning to the drug as an alternative to prescription medications for ailments that range from pain to sleep disorders.

Their most intriguing finding is that medical marijuana laws alone aren’t enough to cause a significant shift in prescription painkiller use. Rather, the availability of medical marijuana through licensed dispensaries is the key

Because medical marijuana is such a hot-button issue, explained study co-author W. David Bradford, who is the Busbee Chair in Public Policy in the UGA School of Public and International Affairs, their findings can give policymakers and others another tool to evaluate the pros and cons of medical marijuana legalization.

“We realized this question was an important one that nobody had yet attacked,” he said.

“The results suggest people are really using marijuana as medicine and not just using it for recreational purposes,” said the study’s lead author Ashley Bradford, who completed her bachelor’s degree in sociology in May and will start her master’s degree in public administration at UGA this fall.

To obtain the results, they combed through data on all prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, a total of over 87 million physician-drug-year observations.

They then narrowed down the results to only include conditions for which marijuana might serve as an alternative treatment, selecting nine categories in which the Food and Drug Administration had already approved at least one medication. These were anxiety, depression, glaucoma, nausea, pain, psychosis, seizures, sleep disorders, and spasticity.

They chose glaucoma in particular because while marijuana does decrease eye pressure caused by the disease by about 25 percent, its effects only last an hour. With this disorder, they expected marijuana laws–as a result of demand stimulation–to send more people to the doctor looking for relief. And because taking marijuana once an hour is unrealistic, they expected to see the number of daily doses prescribed for glaucoma medication increase.

They were not disappointed. While fewer prescriptions were written for the rest of categories–dropping by 1,826 daily doses in the pain category and 265 in the depression category, for instance–the number of daily doses for glaucoma medication increased by 35.

“It turns out that glaucoma is one of the most Googled searches linked to marijuana, right after pain,” David Bradford said. “Glaucoma is an extremely serious condition” that can lead quickly to blindness. “The patient then goes into the doctor, the doctor diagnoses the patient with glaucoma, and no doctor is going to let the patient walk out without being treated.”

Marijuana is classified federally as a “Schedule 1” under the Controlled Substances Act. With its placement in this most restrictive of drug categories, it means that the federal government has determined it has high abuse potential, no medical use, and severe safety concerns. Several states don’t agree with this assessment, and, in 1996, California became the first to legalize it for medical purposes, followed by Alaska, Oregon, and Washington in 1998. As recently as June of this year, Pennsylvania and Ohio passed laws allowing its medical use.

Related Article: Medical Marijuana Could Be Legal in Pennsylvania by Week’s End

Each of the 25 states plus the District of Columbia with a medical marijuana law has different guidelines for its use and possession limits. Also, physicians in these states may only recommend its use; it remains illegal for them to prescribe the medication.

Patients also can’t walk up to their neighborhood pharmacy to pick up a marijuana prescription; they have to either go to a dispensary or grow it themselves–and the legality of having marijuana plants differs by state. This lack of patient oversight by a trained health care profession, in particular, worries David Bradford.

“Doctors can recommend marijuana and in some states can sign a form to help you get a card, but at that point, you go out of the medical system and into the dispensaries,” he said. “What does this mean? Do you then go less frequently to the doctor and maybe your non-symptomatic hypertension, elevated blood sugar and elevated cholesterol go unmanaged? If that’s the case, that could be a negative consequence to this.”

The researchers will explore these consequences further in their next study, Ashley Bradford said, which will look at medical marijuana’s effects on Medicaid, a joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs and typically serves an older population.

They expect the cost savings seen in their current study to be repeated when they look at Medicaid, saying their findings suggest a more widespread state approval of medical marijuana could provide modest budgetary relief. Their current study suggests total spending by Medicare Part D would have been $468.1 million less in 2013 if all states were to have adopted medical marijuana laws by that year, an amount just under 0.5 percent of the prescription drug benefit program’s spending.

Sources:
healthaffairs.org
washingtonpost.com
sciencedaily.com
nber.org

Read more great articles at Prevent Disease.




The Benefits of Hemp Oil

Hemp oil refers to a full-spectrum oil that’s often derived from hemp seed or marijuana plants. There’s minimal risk of intoxication associated with hemp oil since it’s commonly created from food-grain strains of hemp, which contain less than 0.3 percent THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the compound that actually causes the ‘high’ effect of marijuana.

Remember, hemp oil isn’t the same as CBD oil. Hemp seed oil is produced from the seeds of Cannabis sativa plants. While CBD oil comes from the stalks, leaves, as well as flowers of the hemp plant that contain higher levels of CBD.

Hemp seed oil offers numerous health benefits, including:

Promoting Skin Health

Hemp oil comprises of fatty acids which can significantly benefit the skin. The oil is highly nutritious and can help keep your skin healthy and also prevent breakouts. A recent study found that hemp seed is extremely rich in healthful oils as well as fatty acids. And this is what makes it an excellent option for nourishing the skin and safeguarding it against inflammation, oxidation, and aging.

Applying hemp seed oil on your skin can go a long way in strengthening it while also preventing it from infections. The oil can be particularly helpful in treating skin conditions such as eczema, lichen planus, dermatitis, varicose eczema, acne rosacea, and psoriasis. Get yours from Nordic Oil’s CBD shop.

Brain Health

The fatty acids found in hemp seed oil have also been proven to be highly beneficial for the brain. A recent study performed on mice showed that hemp seed extracts featuring these active compounds were capable of protecting the brain from inflammation. Besides, it was established that hemp seed oil comprises of polyphenols, which can play a significant role in protecting the human brain.

Though these initial results may look promising, scientists still need to perform further studies to confirm the safety and effectiveness of this oil in humans.

Treating Health Issues

Research has also shown that hemp seed oil can be beneficial for the heart. Nonetheless, much information that’s currently available was extracted from older studies or clinical research that utilizes animal models.

Hemp seed oil can help in curing health conditions, such as atherosclerosis, cholesterol levels, as well as high blood pressure. An increase in  alpha-linolenic acid, which is commonly found in hemp oil, can reduce a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease. Fish oils plus flaxseed oil are also other great sources of this fatty acid that doctors commonly refer to as linolenic acid.

Relieving Pain

Hemp oil can be used for relieving inflammation pain. Most people utilize CBD or hemp oil as a natural remedy for pain. Those who aren’t willing to take over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications might turn to hemp oil for pain relief.

Preventing Acne

The fatty acids found in hemp seed oil might help balance your skin and prevent inflammation which can result in acne. Research shows that CBD oil can affect the sebum glands in persons with chronic acne, reducing the production of sebum and potentially helping cure or prevent acne breakouts.

Muscle tension

Full-spectrum hemp oil which contains CBD can help relieve general stress and muscle tension. Just like fatty acids, hemp oil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can relieve muscle tension and promote quick recovery from exercise.

The Bottom Line

Research shows that consuming hemp oil helps treat several health problems, including acne, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, chronic pain, and certain skin disorders. However, it should be taken in moderation.




Healthy Foods That Helps Combat Congestion

Are you going through a frustrating pain in your chest or throat along with mucus, soreness, continuous cough, and cold? Whatever your triggers are, it is a symptom of congestion. Congestion is an illness that when you don’t take proper precaution, it could harm you. It is essential to know the leading cause of blockage in your body so that you can treat the infection, instead of just the signs. Irritation plays a large part in the misery accompanying congestion. Severe irritation in the body might stimulate illnesses such as heartburn, asthma, and arthritis.

A stable diet is a perfect method of protecting infections related to congestion, and anti-inflammatory foods can benefit reducing symptoms once they start. And when you’re unwell, eating the right foods is more significant than ever.

There are numerous reasons for Congestions to occur in the body they are:

  • Common Cold
  • Red Meat 
  • Bacterial and virus-related infections
  • Asthma
  • Spicy Foods
  • Wine & Alcohols
  • Sensitivities and reactions
  • Severe Bronchitis
  • Tuberculosis

Dismissing congestion can necessarily be as simple as eating the right foods. Here is a list of common foods present which helps to fight congestion:

1. Turmeric and Apple Cider Vinegar 

While this mixture, suggested by a nurse, author, and healthcare doctors, is a gargle instead of a drink, turmeric has antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Pair one tablespoon turmeric with half a cup of apple cider vinegar and gulp it. It will surely relieve congestion.

2. Chicken soup

Chicken soups are a great fragility with plenty of health advantages. Chicken soup and its healing effectiveness have been observed from the earliest literature. The jelly in bone broth defends and settles the mucosal lining of the gastric tract and helps in relieving any congestion. It even lessens the inflammation pain and joint pain. Homemade chicken soup is easy and cheaper and better than store-bought.

3. Garlic

If you feel you are stuffed up, then there is another effective medication that is Garlic. Garlic’s antifungal and antibacterial properties can aid to ease congestion. Garlic, when crushed, it releases a healing factor called allicin. All you have to do is to boil garlic and strain it. Drink the juice at least thrice a day, and this will help soothe the throat and chest congestion if any.

4. Apple cider vinegar

Next time when you are heavily congested buy a bottle of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is made of inflamed apple juice that is usually treated in preservers and flavoring of food. This all-around remedy comprises potassium, and the acetic acid in it stops bacteria growth, which might contribute to nasal congestion.  Sip apple cider vinegar daily, and you will be assured that you are alright.

5. Turmeric

Turmeric is connected to ginger and has numerous advantages. It is usually used while cooking. It helps in surging the antioxidant volume of the body. It even includes curcumin a natural anti-inflammatory compound when mixed with a little heat to clear and heal the congestion at the same time.

6. Spicy Mustard

Another lovely and beautiful condiment to remove all the congestion is spicy mustard. Yellow mustard is a unique spice due to its exclusivity and fiery flavor. It is also used in many dishes.

7.  Honey 

Honey contains loads of nutrients; it is an environment’s magical gift. It can be used in numerous techniques to give relief to different well-being circumstances. It is very comforting and helps to cure sore throat naturally or any other pain in the body. Honey can be taken directly, warm with water, or it can be added to numerous food items such as tea for cold.

8. Bananas

Banana is a source of vitamin C, Manganese, and potassium. It is a great fruit to eat when you’re sick and feel congested. They aid digestion and gives energy. Besides easy to chew, it even provides the right amount of nutrients and calories. Due to a higher number of BanLec and banana, lectin has the persuasive power to break viruses.

9. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a fantastic source of nutrients and simple to eat. It can fuel your resistant system, enhance blood sugar control, and reduce congestion and inflammation in the gastric order.  The oatmeal is bland and gives loads of calories, vitamins, and minerals you need when you feel you are heavy and congested.

Conclusion:

Congestion is an uncharacteristic or extreme accumulation of body fluid. Herbs and food have been guards for quite a long time. The risk factors included in this severe health condition can be due to excess of smoking, obesity, alcoholism, strain, junk foods. Therefore, eating healthy food should combat congestion.




Dr. Joseph Mercola: How Exercise Treats Depression

Video Source: FoundMyFitness

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Research suggests an exercise is a powerful tool for the prevention and management of depression, in part by normalizing insulin resistance
  • Mechanistic studies have also linked the antidepressant effects of exercise to molecular mechanisms involving kynurenine, myokines, BDNF, the endocannabinoid system, and beta-endorphin
  • By allowing for more tryptophan to be transported into your brain, exercise raises your serotonin and inhibits conversion into kynurenine, thereby boosting mood and preventing depression
  • Low BDNF levels have been implicated as a central component of depression, as depressed patients typically have lower levels than healthy controls
  • While exercise euphoria is typically attributed to the release of endorphins, vigorous exercise also dramatically increases anandamide — an endocannabinoid — in the body, which influences opioid and endorphin receptors. The higher your anandamide level, the better you feel

In this short video, Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., a biomedical scientist, and researcher with the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, California, discusses the science behind the mood-lifting effects of exercise.1 Indeed, many experts agree that exercise is one of the most powerful tools available for the prevention and management of depression.

For example, a meta-analysis2 published in 2016, which looked at 23 randomized controlled trials in which exercise was used as treatment for unipolar depression, found that, compared to no intervention, exercise “yielded a large and significant effect size,” which led them to conclude, “Physical exercise is an effective intervention for depression.”

How exercise ameliorates depression

One of the ways exercise promotes mental health is by normalizing insulin resistance. Mechanistic studies, several of which are highlighted in Patrick’s video, have also linked the antidepressant effects of exercise to molecular mechanisms involving:

  • Kynurenine, a neurotoxic stress chemical produced from the amino acid tryptophan
  • Myokines
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a growth factor that regulates neuroplasticity and new growth of neurons
  • The endocannabinoid system
  • Beta-endorphin, an endogenous opioid neuropeptide, and peptide hormone

Exercise boosts the metabolism of kynurenine

As explained by Patrick, tryptophan is an essential amino acid required for the synthesis of serotonin, melatonin, vitamin B3 and kynurenine. While kynurenine is associated with stress and depression at higher levels, higher levels of serotonin are associated with improved mood.

To a degree, exercise will allow you to control what the tryptophan will be synthesized into. By allowing for more tryptophan to be transported into your brain, exercise raises your serotonin and inhibits conversion into kynurenine, thereby boosting mood and preventing depression.

Conversely, chronic stress and low-grade inflammation make more tryptophan available for conversion into kynurenine and less into serotonin, which has a depressive effect.

Kynurenine, in turn, is a precursor to a neurotoxic compound called quinolinic acid, as well as a neuroprotective compound called kynurenic acid. Here too, exercise — and especially endurance exercise — activates a gene that prevents kynurenine from forming quinolinic acid, and makes it form kynurenic acid instead.

Animal research3 has also shown that well-trained muscles have higher levels of an enzyme that helps metabolize kynurenine, thereby ridding the body of it. As noted by the authors:4

 “Our initial research hypothesis was that trained muscle would produce a substance with beneficial effects on the brain. We actually found the opposite: well-trained muscle produces an enzyme that purges the body of harmful substances. So in this context, the muscle’s function is reminiscent of that of the kidney or the liver.”

Endurance training promotes anti-inflammatory myokines

Myokines are a type of a chemical messenger in a class called cytokines. Many of the cytokines we already know about are the kind liberated from adipose tissue, your body fat, particularly the truncal fat mass that gives you that apple-shape.

Many of these are inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1 family (IL-1), which are involved in a variety of disease states, including cancer. Interestingly, the cytokines produced by muscle tissue, which are known as myokines (“myo” being the Latin root for muscles), have anti-inflammatory effects.

Myokines also increase your insulin sensitivity by improving glucose utilization inside your muscles and, acting as chemical messengers, myokines help inhibit the release of inflammatory cytokines produced by body fat.

Transient inflammation has beneficial effects

As explained by Patrick, microglia in your brain secretes neurotropic substances such as BDNF in response to exercise. Interestingly, it is inflammatory cytokines that are responsible for this beneficial effect.

So, while the chronic release of inflammatory cytokines can cause grave harm — and is associated with depression — the transient inflammation caused by vigorous exercise actually has a beneficial impact.

According to research cited by Patrick, low BDNF levels have been implicated as a central component of depression, as depressed patients typically have lower levels than healthy controls. As noted in a 2013 study5 on the interactions between exercise, depression and BDNF levels:

“[T]here is strong evidence that decreased BDNF is associated with … increased risk for depression, whereas increasing BDNF by aerobic exercise appears to … reduce depression.” 

Exercise is known to enhance BDNF secretion, while chronic stress reduces it. In one study,6moderate and vigorous-intensity cycling raised BDNF levels by an average of 32% compared to baseline.

As you might expect, duration plays an important role in how much BDNF is produced. Moderate to vigorous intensity for 40 minutes produced a more significant increase than those exercising at the same intensity for just 20 minutes.

The endocannabinoid connection

Cannabinoid receptors in the human body were discovered in the 1990s, which in turn led to the realization that we make compounds in our body — endogenous cannabinoids — that influence these receptors.

It was also discovered that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) orchestrates communication between other bodily systems, such as your respiratory, digestive, immune and cardiovascular systems.

One of the cannabinoids your body produces is called anandamide — a nod to the word “Ananda,” the Sanskrit word for “bliss,” as it attaches to the same CB1 receptors that the psychoactive THC in cannabis attaches to.

While runner’s high is typically attributed to the release of endorphins, running also dramatically increases anandamide in the body, and anandamide not only targets the CB1 receptor, but it also influences opioid and endorphin receptors. Not surprisingly, then, the higher an individual’s anandamide level, the better they report feeling.

Research cited by Patrick shows people engaging in moderate-intensity running or cycling increase their anandamide levels, and that the greatest increase occurs when you’re exercising at 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate.7

Exercise boosts feel-good hormones

Exercise also triggers the release of beta-endorphin, an endogenous (meaning it’s made by your body) opioid neuropeptide and peptide hormone produced in specific neurons located in your central and peripheral nervous systems. As noted in the 2008 paper,8 “The Runner’s High: Opiodergic Mechanisms in the Human Brain”:

Reductions in opioid receptor availability were identified preferentially in prefrontal and limbic/paralimbic brain structures. The level of euphoria was significantly increased after running and was inversely correlated with opioid binding in prefrontal/orbitofrontal cortices, the anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral insula, parainsular cortex, and temporoparietal regions.

These findings support the ‘opioid theory’ of the runner’s high and suggest region-specific effects in frontolimbic brain areas that are involved in the processing of affective states and mood.”

Other studies showing exercise can treat depression

As noted by Patrick, there’s a solid and ever-growing body of scientific evidence showing physical exercise is a major key in the successful treatment of depression. Aside from the mechanistic studies highlighted in her video, here’s a short-list of studies and scientific review articles that have investigated this oft-ignored prescription:

JAMA Psychiatry 20189,10 (a study funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health) concluded exercise “may have greater efficacy than current approaches that target depressed mood.”

Contrary to popular belief, they found that while physical activity affected the participants’ mood afterward, their mood did not affect the amount of physical activity they engaged in. This defies the common assumption that depression causes physical inactivity. In fact, the results suggest it’s largely the other way around.

Frontiers in Pharmacology 201711 addressed the question of whether a comparison between exercise and drug treatment is evidence-based, noting that:

The literature on the benefits of exercise for depression is extensive. Nevertheless, two recent reviews focusing on antidepressants vs. other therapies as a basis for clinical practice guidelines recommended mainly antidepressants, excluding exercise as a viable choice for treatment of depression. The aim of this perspective is to analyze the literature exploring the reasons for this discrepancy …

[I]t is possible that academics and health care practitioners are skeptical of viewing exercise as medicine. Maybe, there is a reluctance to accept that changes in lifestyle, as opposed to pharmacological treatment, can alter biological mechanisms.”

In conclusion, they found three randomized controlled trials comparing four months of exercise to the use of antidepressants (two of which involved patients with major depression and one recruited those with minor depression). All of them found that exercise and antidepressant treatment were equally effective.

Of 11 randomized controlled trials comparing exercise as an adjunctive treatment to antidepressants (combination comparisons) against a wide variety of controls, 10 of them found “a significant depressive improvement after the exercise period, and/or that the proportion of patients with a clinical response was larger for the exercise group than the control.”

The paper reviews a variety of biological mechanisms by which exercise can benefit those with depression, including boosting BDNF and serotonin and lowering inflammation biomarkers. The authors also point out that:

“Two meta-analyses examining the efficacy of exercise as a treatment for major depression concluded that exercise as a treatment for depression can be recommended as a stand-alone treatment or as an adjunct to antidepressant medication, and that exercise can be considered an evidence-based treatment for the management of depression …

Almost all reviews examining exercise vs. other treatments of depression, including antidepressants, support the use of exercise in the treatment of depression, at least as an add-on therapy …

Based on the present review, which examined most or all RCTs published in 1999–2016, and most or all meta-analyses/systematic reviews published in 2009–2016, it can be stated that exercise is an evidence-based medicine for depression — at least as an add-on to antidepressants.”

Current Opinion in Psychology 201512 highlighted the role of inflammation in depression, and how biological markers can help explain how exercise reduces depressive symptoms. As explained in this review:

There is growing support for the efficacy of exercise interventions for the treatment of individuals who present with mild-to-moderate depression … The present article reviews contemporary theoretical accounts and recent empirical data pointing to neuroinflammatory states and neurotrophin production as possible biomarkers of the antidepressant response to exercise …

Recent research suggests that depressed patients have elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, with the most reliably observed elevations in Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) …

Along with the elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines among depressed individuals, several studies show lower than average levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as Interleukin-10 (IL-10) and a lack of correlation between IL-10 and IL-6 that typically is present, suggesting there is a dysregulation of the inflammatory system among depressed patients …

Exercise has emerged as an effective strategy to target inflammatory deregulation … For example, acting as a stressor, acute bouts of exercise result in the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 from muscles.

This release of IL-6, in turn, activates the synthesis of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10 and inhibits the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha, suggesting that exercise promotes, in this way, an anti-inflammatory environment.

Similarly, when occurring chronically, exercise (training) reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-alpha and increases the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.”

Many other studies support the view that depression is mediated, and perhaps directly caused,13by inflammation, especially gastrointestinal inflammation.14 Cytokines15 in your blood, and/or inflammatory messengers such as CRP, interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and TNF-alpha are all predictive of16 and correlate17 to depression.

In melancholic depression, bipolar disorder and postpartum depression, white blood cells called monocytes express pro-inflammatory genes that provoke secretion of cytokines.18

At the same time, cortisol sensitivity goes down, and cortisol is a stress hormone that buffers against inflammation. Together, these inflammatory agents transfer information to your nervous system, typically by stimulating your vagus nerve, which connects your gut and brain.

In one study,19 the researchers suggested “depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome,” and that “these findings justify an assumption that treating gastrointestinal inflammations may improve the efficacy of the currently used treatment modalities of depression …”

In this model, depression is the result of your body’s attempts to protect itself from an inflammatory response and involves hormones and neurotransmitters. Depressive symptoms most strongly associated with chronic inflammation include:20

  • Flat mood
  • Slowed thinking
  • Avoidance
  • Alterations in perception
  • Metabolic changes
Asian Journal of Sports Medicine 201521 looked at “systematic reviews, meta-analyses and large-scale randomized control trials on effects of exercise on depression” to devise recommendations for doctors “who plan to use exercise protocols in depression.”

Here, they highlighted 10 different biological effects of exercise known to have a beneficial effect on people with depression. These effects include22 upregulation or increase in the levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, BDNF, endorphins, and endocannabinoids, and downregulation or decrease in the levels of cortisol, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6, and ACTH.

They also note psychosocial effects that have a beneficial impact, such as self-mastery, social interaction, and distraction from rumination. According to this evaluation, depressed patients most likely to benefit from exercise are: Between 20 and 40 years old, have higher education status, are untrained and have mild to moderate depression.

Characteristics of an exercise program most likely to benefit people with depression include: Supervised and/or structured exercise; individually tailored exercise consisting of aerobic exercise and resistance training (or a mix); low to moderate intensity; 45 to 60 minutes per session at least three to four times per week for a minimum of 10 weeks. The authors also encourage physicians to employ a multidisciplinary team, noting that:

“It is very beneficial to encourage physicians and exercise specialists to work in collaboration on depression and exercise treatments. It seems that most medical professionals have little or no training in exercise programs and exercise specialists are not familiar with the clinical population, particularly depressed patients.

Physicians’ recommendation is often limited to ‘get more exercise’ while the exercise specialist may advise physical activities that are not actually useful for patients with depression.

However, with a multidisciplinary team, it is possible to prescribe an exercise program more safely, efficiently, operatively, objectively and realistic. Such a multidisciplinary team may include a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, sports medicine specialist and exercise trainer.”

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 201123 concluded 12 weeks of high-intensity exercise led to a 28.3% remission rate in patients who had previously failed to get any relief from SSRIs.
Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 2006.24 This meta-analysis of 11 studies concluded doctors would be well advised to recommend exercise to patients suffering from depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, as the evidence showed “substantial benefit.”
Archives of Internal Medicine 199925 reported 16 weeks of aerobic exercise was just as effective as Zoloft for the treatment of major depression in older patients.

Consider lifestyle changes before resorting to drugs

While there’s strong evidence to support moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise and strength training for the treatment of depression, I would also urge you to reassess your diet.

Foods have an immense impact on your brain, and eating whole foods as described in my nutrition plan will best support your mental and physical health. Avoiding processed foods, sugar and grains is particularly important as it will help normalize your insulin and leptin levels, which is an important contributing factor to depression.

Certain nutrients are also known to cause symptoms of depression when lacking, and specific herbs and nutritional supplements may also help counteract symptoms.

For a list of nutrients, herbs and supplements that have been shown to be particularly helpful for depression, as well as a long list of studies showing just how ineffective antidepressants are, and guidelines for safe drug withdrawal, please see “What Does the ‘Best Evidence’ Say About Antidepressants?

You can also learn more about depression and its contributing causes on Patrick’s website26 and in her full-length interview with Dr. Charles Raison27 (who is only briefly featured in the video above), in which he expounds on the links between depression and inflammation, and the use of heat stress as a therapeutic intervention for depression.

Read more great articles at mercola.com




National Academy of Sciences Issues Landmark Statement on Medical Cannabis

By Alex Pietrowski | Waking Times

In 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States issued a long-awaited decision on the medical benefits of cannabis, and instead of validating what millions of people already know to be true about this healing plant, the DEA chose to keep intact the 1970 designation of cannabis as a Schedule I substance, a drug which has, as they claim, no medical benefit.

Furthermore, in an even more egregious affront to justice and common sense, in December of 2016, the DEA made an overnight decision to create a new classification of schedule I drugs for cannabis extracts in order to stop the sale and consumption of CBD oil, a non-psychoactive derivative of cannabis which is known to have many health benefits.

Related Article: Dr. Oz Changes Opinion on Medical Marijuana, Says it’s ‘Hugely Beneficial’

These decisions contradict hundreds of studies, an abundance of medically verified success stories, and countless pieces of anecdotal evidence that cannabis in fact has wide-ranging medical value.

Seen as preposterous to those who support legalization, these rulings appear to be rooted in the status quo tyranny of the drug war and prison industrial complex, two monolithic cash cows which bring immense profit to those who persecute others for recreational and medical use of a plant. Now, however, this DEA’s attitude towards cannabis should come under even more scrutiny and criticism, as the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has just released a press release which supports the claims that cannabis has therapeutic benefits.

“… the lack of any aggregated knowledge of cannabis-related health effects has led to uncertainty about what, if any, are the harms or benefits from its use.  We conducted an in-depth and broad review of the most recent research to establish firmly what the science says and to highlight areas that still need further examination.  As laws and policies continue to change, research must also.”

In the groundbreaking report released this week entitled The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids:
The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research
(2017)
, the NAS issued a comprehensive, researched-backed statement on the validity of medical marijuana, including pros and cons, outlining its clinical effectiveness.

“The report states that there is conclusive evidence that marijuana can be used as a medicine. The report did not find clinical evidence for all conditions marijuana treatment is often associated with, but it recognizes its efficacy for treating many medical conditions such as “chronic pain in adults…chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and multiple sclerosis spasticity symptoms.” [Source]

Speaking on the significance of a statement such as this coming from such an authoritative scientific body as the NAS, Deputy Director of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance, Michael Collins said:

“This report is vindication for all the many researchers, patients and healthcare providers who have long understood the benefits of medical marijuana. To have such a thorough review of the evidence conclude that there are benefits to medical marijuana should boost the case for federal reform. It also underlines how out of touch the DEA and other marijuana reform opponents are when they claim otherwise.” [Source]

Key findings in the NAS report of particular interest to advocates of legalization include the following:

  • Cannabis has significant therapeutic benefit in the treatment of chronic pain, for spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, and in the reduction of discomfort for chemotherapy and radiation treatment patients.
  • Smoking cannabis does not increase the risk for cancers often associated with tobacco use.

Related Article: Medical Marijuana Shows Promise for Treating Depression

The NAS report does not appear to show favoritism in its findings, duly noting and reporting evidence of both the positive and negative aspects of chronic cannabis usage, which includes the increased risk of mental health issues and psychosocial issues due to overuse. However, the report should be considered a win for those advocating for the legalization of cannabis-based therapeutic medicines and remedies, as well as a rejection of the DEA’s classification of cannabis and cannabis extracts as substances devoid of medical benefit.

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider of storable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.

This article (National Academy of Sciences Issues Landmark Statement on Medical Cannabis) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to AlexPietrowski and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

Read more great articles at Waking Times.




Cannabis Terpenes and Their Effects

Image credit to alchimiaweb.com

Most animal studies using cannabidiol use a synthetic single molecular CBD produced in biochemical laboratories for research purposes. Meanwhile, whole plant extracts usually include CBD, THC and more than 400 trace compounds. Many of these compounds act synergistically to create what scientists call the “Entourage effect”, a mechanism by which compounds found in the cannabis plant act synergistically to modulate the overall psychoactive effects of the plant, primarily by the action of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which increases the therapeutic benefits of individual ingredients, so that the therapeutic effect of the whole plant is greater than the sum of its parts.

It’s important to consider the effect of the Entourage effect (or lack thereof) when extrapolating data from animal studies: 100 milligrams of synthetic, single molecular CBD isn’t an equivalent to 100 milligrams of extract from an entire CBD-rich cannabis plant! The good thing is, many producers of CBD Oil products started to add flavonoids to their oils and liquids, making them not only smell like a “real cannabis” but also give a fantastic taste that’s truly indistinguishable from smoking real cannabis.

Cannabis is inherently a polypharmaceutical and the synergy results from the interaction between many of its components.

Terpenes

Let’s talk about the role of terpenes. Terpenes are volatile aromatic molecules that evaporate easily and get into your nose. Various researchers have stressed the pharmacological importance of terpenes or terpenoids, which are the basis of aromatherapy, a popular method of treatment for the whole. The stunning aroma and the exceptionally psychoactive taste of marijuana are caused by the terpenes that dominate the strain.

About 200 terpenes have been found in cannabis, but only a few of these fragrant oily substances appear in quantities significant enough to be noticed or smelled in this case. These include monoterpenes, diterpenes and sesquiterpenes, which are characterized by a number of repeating units of 5 carbon atoms, called the structural isoprene, the hallmark of all terpenoid compounds. The terpenes in marijuana have given the plant a sustained evolutionary progression. The suffocating terpenoid oils repel insects and grazing animals, when others prevent the formation of fungi.

As it turns out, terpenes are beneficial for both humans and plants. In September 2011, Dr. Ethan Russo’s report in the British Journal of Pharmacology discussed the wide-ranging therapeutic benefits of terpenoids, which are sometimes not present in CBD “only” products.

Beta-kariofilen, for example, is a sesquiterpene found in black pepper oil, oregano and other edible herbs, as well as various cannabis strains and many green leafy vegetables. It’s gastro-protective, ideal for treating certain ulcers and appears to be a promising drug for inflammatory conditions and autoimmune diseases, as it’s directly linked to the peripheral cannabinoid receptor known as “CB2”.

In 2008, Swiss scientist Jürg Gertsch documented the affinity of the binding of beta-karyllene to the CB2 receptor and described it as a “dietary cannabinoid”. It’s the only known terpenoid that directly activates cannabinoid receptors in our brain. This is one of the reasons why green leafy vegetables are so healthy.

Terpenoids and cannabinoids increase blood flow, increase cortex activity and kill respiratory pathogens, including MRSA, a nasty antibiotic-resistant bacteria that have killed tens of thousands of Americans in recent years. Cannabinoid-terpenoid interactions can produce synergies with regard to the treatment of pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial diseases.

A bouquet of marijuana terpenes – “perfume rebellion”, as the poet (and hashish connoisseur) Arthur Rimbaud once said – plays a different, important role. Terpenes and CBDs reduce the dangerous psychoactive effects of THC. Cannabinoid-terpenoid interactions increase the beneficial effect of cannabis, while reducing the anxiety caused by THC.

Terpenoid profiles may vary considerably from strain to strain. Patients who abandon a strain for one with a higher THC and/or CBD content may not experience greater relief if the terpenoid profile differs significantly. The nose knows best: choose the cannabis strain that you think smells best.




Curcumin May Help Prevent Or Combat Stomach Cancer, Study Finds

Image Credit: Waking Times

Mandy Froelich | Truth Theory

Though few of us know it, the majority of the populace suffers from stomach problems. If low hydrochloric acid levels (which can result in poor digestion, bloating, and skin conditions) isn’t the issue, ulcers or acid buildup (typically caused by stress and poor diet) might be. Fortunately, a component found in turmeric may be able to prevent and possibly combat stomach concerns — specifically, stomach cancer.

Curcumin — derived from the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa) — has been used to impart color and flavor to food in many areas of the world. But long ago, scientists discovered that the bright, yellow powder can also help prevent and fight stomach cancer.

In a study conducted by researchers at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) and the Federal University of Pará (UFPA) in Brazil, the possible therapeutic effects of the pigment were identified. The study was part of a Thematic Project supported by São Paulo Research Foundation, or FAPESP. The findings have been published in the journal Epigenomics.

“We undertook a vast review of the scientific literature on all nutrients and bioactive compounds with the potential to prevent or treat stomach cancer and found that curcumin is one of them,” said Danielle Queiroz Calcagno, first author of the study and a professor at UFPA.

Calcagno, who conducted the postdoctoral research at UNIFESP with a scholarship from FAPESP, claims compounds such as cholecalciferol (a form of vitamin D), quercetin, and resveratrol (a polyphenol) may be able to prevent stomach cancer because they are natural regulators of histone activity.

Histones are proteins in cell nuclei that organize the DNA double helix into structural units called nucleosomes. Each nucleosome is composed of DNA coiled like a spool around eight histone proteins to compact the DNA. In the cell, it is packaged into chromatin.

Science Daily reports: “Posttranslational chemical modification of the amino acid chain in these proteins, such as acetylation (introduction of an acetyl group) or methylation (addition of a methyl group), can affect chromatin compaction and hence gene expression.”

“If the histones are acetylated, for example, the chromatin will be less condensed, and a gene in a region of the DNA segment inside it will be available to be expressed. In contrast, if the histones aren’t acetylated, the chromatin will be more condensed, and the gene won’t be expressed,”Calgano explained.

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How To Experience Full Frequency Living

We all feel as if life can get a bit monotonous once in a while. But when that once in a while begins to fade into the norm, life can start to feel draining rather than nourishing, and who the hell wants that, right? We all inherently know on some level that the whole point here is to find that warm fuzzy feeling, the love we feel and see in the eyes our children, our lovers, our dying grandmothers…within ourselves. And honestly, it is only when we forget that fact that life ever seems to appear routine…

Image result for attitude is everythingI know it is beyond cliche, yet it remains a cornerstone of excellent advice when it comes to spiritual growth, and so I’m going to share it here. That stroke of genius is this right here…ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. Your attitude is what sets the vibrational frequency that you are emitting out into the world. Call it your own nonverbal signature that introduces you in the most honest way to people, whether either of you is consciously aware of it or not.

Your attitude is a choice to resonate with a certain frequency. Some are high and some are lower. The higher frequencies tend to open us up to communicate to our higher selves, spirit guides, astral beings and beings from higher dimensions, because these frequencies carry amazing feeling emotions and states of being such as love, gratitude, forgiveness, and peace which widen your receptive abilities, like zooming out a camera to view a wider perspective. Higher frequencies are expensive while lower ones are constricting. We can literally feel this in our bodies.

But contrary to what mainstream New Age news might suggest, I don’t always recommend staying in high frequencies, unless that is what your body is telling you and what feels right to you. Rather I do always recommend meditating on matching your own heart with the Earth’s frequency. I believe all frequencies serve their purpose or else we wouldn’t have access to them and our bodies wouldn’t respond to them and be able to work with them. The higher frequencies serve a purpose of healing, connection, direction, love, but I do not feel we need to necessarily “ascend” into them per se as we are already all-encompassing emotional, mental and spiritual beings, simply remembering who we are.

Image result for vibrational frequency

Humans feel and yes, humans think…a lot. But regardless of the implications of the famous quote by Descartes, “I think, therefore I am,” just thinking something doesn’t actually make it so. It turns out that for things to happen, there needs to be an initial cause. It turns out that for us to have the things that we want to show up in our lives to snap us out of monotony, WE need to show up first! So, one of the best ways to know things are about to get interesting in your life is after assessing your own pro-active involvement in it!

I truly believe none of us ever really grow up and that we are all just growing children until the day we die. With that being said, there are some things we learn and some things we don’t. Regardless, we ALL lose touch with who we are from time to time and fall into the trap of victimhood where we stop appreciating and start complaining. We all tend to find more ease in throwing energy into our problems than in attempts to find solutions as if we genuinely fear there may not even be one. Image result for vibrational frequency

The hardest lesson to learn and the easiest one to forget to live in the third-dimension is that the mere fact a problem exist also proves there is a solution, as 3-D reality is one of duality, polarity and NOTHING exists without its opposing (yet cosmically complimenting) counterpart. No, not even your problems!

When we begin to feel disconnected from our family, friends, lovers, or source of spiritual solace, what we are really feeling disconnected from is ourselves. This is always a time where your inner child is literally screaming for some attention. It is making you feel unsatisfied and bored in all facets so eventually, if you don’t catch on, you will have no direction to turn but inward. And when you finally do, you will see yourself, who’s been waiting for you all this time.

Looking at our own Soul in perhaps one of the most terrifying things a person can do. And yet we fight ourselves in the reflections of others each and every single day. We just may not be aware of the fact that this is what relationships are all about. Until facets of your own unhealed parts are looked upon, they will continue to be reflected back to you. When we are tired of being blinded by reflections, then sometimes we just gotta look to see.

 

Tamara Rant is a Co-Editor/Writer for CLN as well as a Licensed Reiki Master, heart-centered Graphic Designer and a progressive voice in social media activism & awareness. She is an avid lover of all things Quantum Physics and Spirituality. Connect with Tamara by visiting Prana Paws/Healing Hearts Reiki or go to RantDesignMedia.com

Tamara posts new original articles to CLN every Saturday.

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This article was originally created and published by Conscious Life News and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Tamara Rant and ConsciousLifeNews.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement.




Essential Oils and Travel- A Complete Guide

Ahhh, the joys of travel. Whether it’s by plane, train, boat, automobile or any other mode, the need to get out there and go is strong. But as truly exhilarating as exploring new places can be, venturing outside of our normal routines can also take a toll on our well-being. And without the comforts of home, simple ailments like headaches, stomachaches, motion sickness, stress, jet lag, anxiety, sore muscles, and even bug bites can feel like a major imposition. Fortunately, with a little preparation and some smart packing, you can soothe those travel-related ills and get on with your trip. Here are some of the most common ways essential oils are being used to help people feel their best when traveling:

Stress and Anxiety

No matter where your trip takes you, there’s a good chance that unexpected circumstances–things like lost luggage, heavy traffic, delayed flights, and long security lines–will add worry to your itinerary. So, make sure you have the right essential oils for stress and anxiety There is a wide range of relaxation-promoting essential oils available. You’ll have plenty of options to choose from, including popular floral scents like lavender and bergamot, and lesser-known oils like basil. In addition, blended essential oils like Worry Free Synergy or Relax Synergy are a convenient way to get the benefits of multiple oils at once.

Immune support

Jet lag, changes in diet and activity level, altered sleeping patterns–all of these travel-related factors can put added stress on your immune system. Combine that with exposure to new foods, viruses, bugs, and bacteria, and you could have a perfect storm for travel-related illness. However, having the right essential oils on hand may be able to help you avoid getting sick on your next trip. Orange sweet essential oil, for example, is a popular, uplifting scent that’s often used to freshen a room, relieve nervous tension and support the immune system. There are also essential oil blends designed to boost the immune system. For easy use on the road, just dilute with your favorite carrier oil in a roller and apply topically to your chest and neck. And if you want to avoid the germs altogether, you can always make your own DIY hand sanitizer to bring with you.

Headaches

Whether it’s a result of dehydration from flying or just from the stress of trying to get from one place to another, headaches are a common complaint when traveling. In addition to carrying a water bottle and drinking regularly, it’s a good idea to have headache remedies on hand. Peppermint essential oil is a popular natural remedy for headache pain that’s been used in aromatherapy for thousands of years. And modern science supports its use. According to a 2015 Review of Essential Oils, when peppermint essential oil is applied around the head and temple, it produces good results. Just make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil like almond or jojoba before applying. Straight peppermint essential oil can irritate the skin. Other popular options for headache relief include eucalyptus essential oil and blends like Tension Relief Synergy.

Insomnia

Not being able to sleep is never fun. But when you’re away from home, it can be especially problematic. Those racing thoughts–and the resulting fatigue—can put a serious damper on your work performance and/or your ability to enjoy yourself. Fortunately, traditional sleep medicines and all their side effects aren’t your only option. According to a 2014 review, essential oils may be helpful for mild sleep disturbances. And lavender essential oil, in particular, stands out. Often used in pillow sprays, lotions, and Epsom salt baths, it has a sweet, dry scent that promotes calm and relaxation. Other essential oils known for their ability to help with insomnia include mandarin, vetiver and rose absolute. There are even special blends for kids that can safely help promote calmness and relaxation before bedtime, so everyone can wake up refreshed and ready to go.

Jet Lag  

Just ask any experienced traveler: Jet lag can put a damper on even the most well-planned excursions. Fly across a couple of time zones and you might find yourself dealing with fatigue, irritability and maybe even gastrointestinal problems. It’s all due to your circadian rhythms. This internal “clock” tells your body when to stay awake and when to go to sleep. Problems arise when this internal clock remains synced to your original time zone. However, having a few key essential oils for travel on hand can help your body adjust to time changes faster and minimize the effects of jet lag. Peppermint essential oil, for instance, is known for its revitalizing and energizing properties. Inhaling this strong, fresh scent is a great way to wake up a foggy mind. A few drops of lemon and eucalyptus globulus essential oil sprinkled on the shower floor can also help shake off grogginess. Chamomile essential oil, on the other hand, is a calming and relaxing scent that can help circadian rhythms adjust more quickly at bedtime so you can get to sleep.

Motion Sickness/Nausea

When queasiness hits, once again, it’s peppermint essential oil to the rescue. Inhaled straight from the bottle or diluted and applied to the temples or back of the neck, this fresh, cooling scent is the most popular home remedy for motion sickness and nausea. Another tried and true option is ginger. It’s common knowledge that sipping ginger tea or drinking ginger ale can help with a queasy stomach. So, it makes sense that ginger essential oil is often used in essential oil blends for stomach upset. Just dilute with your favorite carrier oil and massage directly on the stomach. It can also be helpful to make a personal inhaler that can be used on the go for long car and plane rides. 

Digestion issues

That essential oil blend you packed for nausea? Turns out it may do double-duty for digestion issues as well. When diluted with a carrier oil and rolled or massaged onto the abdomen, stomach relief blends may help calm nausea, encourage smooth digestion, ease gas and bloating and promote regularity. Other essential oils that are helpful for tummy troubles include ginger root and dill weed. For children, sweet-smelling spearmint essential oil and blends like Tummy All Better are a safe and convenient way to keep everyone feeling their best on long trips.

Bug Bites

Traveling for vacation often means more time outdoors or in tropical climates, and that can mean more bugs–and possibly bites. Luckily, essential oils can help in several ways. First, fragrances like citronella and lemon eucalyptus may be helpful in repelling insects. To use on the go, dilute with water in a glass spray bottle and apply to clothing or skin, or dilute with a carrier oil in a roller. For those who want the power of many oils at once, pre-made synergy blends can also be used in the same way to help keep pesky critters at bay.  

But what if the bugs find their way to you and you end up with a bunch of itchy, inflamed bites?  It turns out there are several essential oils that have antimicrobial properties that may help reduce the risk of infection. Of these, peppermint essential oil is a favorite due to its fresh scent and cooling sensation on the skin. Tea tree essential oil is another popular choice for bug bites. Not only does it have the potential to reduce the risk of infection, research in a study in the British Journal of Dermatology suggests that it may reduce histamine (and therefore itching) when applied topically.

4 Essential Travel Tips

When it comes to traveling with essential oils, the most important thing to know is this: it’s easier than you think. Thanks to a whole array of innovative solutions like balms, creams, pre-made rollers, portable aromatherapy inhalers, travel-sized essential oil diffusers and carrying cases for bottles, you can transport your favorite essential oils safely to your final destination without worrying about spilling or leakage.

Tip #1: Take time to plan ahead

No matter where you’re going or why planning ahead is the single most important thing you can do to ensure you have all the essential oils and accessories you need to make your trip as comfortable and relaxing as possible. Start by considering what kind of issues/ailments you’re likely to encounter. If you’re traveling to a remote tropical location, bug bites and digestive issues may be a concern. Headed off on a stressful work trip? You may want remedies for things like headache and insomnia. 

Also, think about the modes of transportation you’ll be using. Airplane travel may require extra careful packing to ensure your essential oils don’t leak in transit. And certain items, like mini USB diffusers, might be better suited for car trips where you’re not seated near strangers. The bottom line is, by taking the time to consider the unique circumstances of your trip, you’re more likely to have the essential oils you need at-the-ready. 

Tip #2: On planes, make packing a priority

When navigating airline travel with essential oils, packing is key. And whether you’re checking luggage or putting all your liquids in the quart-sized Ziploc bag that’s allowed for carry-ons, preventing leaks should be your primary concern. Be sure to double-check all lids because many oils can eat through plastic bags. By using a carrying case designed especially for essential oils AND then placing it in a plastic bag, you can minimize your chances of a leak onto your clothes or belongings.  Spray bottles tend to leak, so pack them empty if you need them for pillow or room sprays, and then add water and essential oils at your destination. 

Planes use recirculated air. So, it’s best not to use essential oils when flying, and definitely, don’t open a bottle and risk having it spill on a plane full of people who may not love the scent as much as you do. However, if there’s an oil that you really want to use, apply it to your body or a piece of jewelry designed for essential oils before boarding. 

Tip #3: Put the brakes on car spills

Cars are a great place to use essential oils. However, once again, spillage is a major concern. Drop an open bottle between your seats and it could be filling your car with fragrance for a very long time! In order to prevent spills, go for options like rollers, sprays and mini USB diffusers that you can prepare before getting into your vehicle. Packing pre-made rollers for kids is another great way to be prepared for minor ailments and boo-boos along the way.

Tip #4: Don’t forget your hotel room essentials

It’s a fact: No matter how much you paid for your accommodations, a strange or musty odor in the room can make it feel less than luxurious. Fortunately, having the right essential oils on hand can help you freshen things up and make you feel good about where you’re staying. Popular room-freshening scents include staples like lemon and orange, as well as lesser-known options like a kumquat. Just take an empty spray bottle and make a DIY room or linen spray. Spray in the air, on pillows and bed linens or use to wipe down bathroom counters and fixtures. You can even pour a few drops near the drain in the shower for a spa-like shower experience. For an even stronger scent, pack a small diffuser that you can leave running. This can be especially good for those who use lavender essential oil to help promote sleep.

Bottom line? Bring the scents that soothe you.

No matter where you’re going, essential oils may be able to help make your trip more enjoyable. All it takes is a little bit of planning, smart packing, and preparation and you’ll be ready to breathe in all the new adventures life has for you.