Health & Wellness


Curcumin just as effective as anti-depressants in treating depression

Turmeric heals a damaged brain
Depressive disorders affect millions of Americans every year. They can damage family relationships, affect job or school performance and be a risk factors for physical health problems as well. There are many prescription drugs available nowadays, and while they are certainly an improvement over first-generation antidepressants, they still carry with them an array of side effects that many people would like to avoid.

There are, however, natural options to help treat depression, especially if it is mild to moderate in nature. A balanced diet, rest, regular exercise and stress management can all help this condition. And, increasingly, researchers are finding that depression is also responsive to treatment with natural supplements like curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.

New landmark study

A landmark study on curcumin and its effects on depression, however, could spell new hope and an increased quality of life for those suffering from this disorder. The new breakthrough research concluded that curcumin was as effective as Prozac in treating depressive disorders but lacked any serious side effects and was well-tolerated by patients across the board. This could deal quite a blow to the pharmaceutical industry, which makes a whopping $12 billion annually from the sale of antidepressants which carry undesirable side effects and which, for many patients, simply do not work.

Comment: For more on depression and the state of the planet, check out: Epidemic depression as a wake-up call to humanity


Doctors eye implantable antenna for long-term monitoring

RFID has your vital statistics up for grabs.
Tired of using a pesky thermometer to check on your health? If a new project funded by the National Science Foundation proves successful, we may soon have a small antenna implanted into our bodies to report on our vital statistics.

In the interest of what it calls "long-term patient monitoring," the NSF has granted $5,070 to a graduate fellowship project which seeks to develop an antenna that could be implanted inside the human body.

"Antennas operating near or inside the human body are important for a number of applications, including healthcare," reads the project grant. "Implantable medical devices such as cardiac pacemakers and retinal implants are a growing feature of modern healthcare, and implantable antennas for these devices are necessary to monitor battery level and device health, to upload and download data used in patient monitoring, and more."

"Radio-frequency identification (RFID) labeling in humans to store medical and biometric information offers promising possibilities to health care and patient safety. Nevertheless, the use of these devices is attached to not only a host of ethical issues, but possible security and physical risks. Active RFID tags, which contain internal batteries, offer benefits such as better reliability, wider transmission ranges, and increased data storage. But wider transmission ranges may threaten data security and patient privacy. Furthermore, because of their small size, RFID human implants may migrate under the skin and complicate removal. They also may interfere with the performance of electronic medical devices, such as surgical equipment and defibrillators, and medication. It is recommended that the medical community further investigate these concerns before accepting or rejecting RFID labeling in humans." -Robert M. Sade is a professor of surgery and director of the Institute of Human Values in Health Care at Medical University of South Carolina. He is also chair of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the American Medical Association.
Ultra High Frequency (UHF) applications, for which the above bioengineering grant stipulates, are: asset tracking, supply chain, logistics, toll booths, real-time locating systems, container security, library material management and security. And human bio-monitoring? Guess that comes under container security or asset tracking. The medical community might consider the potential social consequences of RFID devices, such as "non-medical" applications in law enforcement.


Airlines spraying fliers with pesticides inside the plane

Chemical pesticide exposure happens... If you live nearby a farm you know what it feels like. Spraying happens. If it's not aerosol spraying high up in the sky or wafts from crop dusting - it's being sprayed while inside a locked, pressurized tube? Is there no escape? What is a chemical sensitive or asthmatic person to do? Have you ever felt sick after a flight but couldn't pin it as a virus? Do you ever feel like a bug?

A few countries require pesticide spraying on flights, yet most countries have quietly reserved the right to do so with or without "need." Many spray for "passenger safety" from rodents and insects - however, bug sprays are among the worst chemicals for human exposure.[1] Previously, flight attendants told Mother Jones that it had nothing to with safety but keeping up appearances - who would want to see pests in their plane? But, is it really necessary to spray you while you're on board?

USA Today corrected "Science Babe" - who incorrectly told Food Babe that airline spraying didn't happen - by verifying that, yes, it does. USA Today claims that misting passengers typically happens on other global airlines but that US airlines usually wait to spray until passengers are gone.

Comment: Pesticides like Chlorpyrifos have some seriously negative health effects:

Piggy Bank

Natural birth & breastfeeding: Replaceable?

How do vaginally delivered, exclusively breastfed infants fare in comparison to their C-section, formula-fed counterparts? Does it impact the delicate infant microbiome?

Now that we know the microbiome exists and is largely responsible for our digestion, immunity, and assimilation and production of nutrients, we are charged with learning about its optimal manifestation. How is it created? What are the ingredients to a healthy microbiome? Are there some more critical and some less critical steps?

As I describe here, it turns out the steps may be as simple as following the evolutionary order of operations.

1. Eat right

2. Birth vaginally in your place of dwelling

3. Breastfeed

A new study in Cell Host & Microbe (don't you love that there are actually journals with these titles?) points a finger at the hubris involved in positioning surgical birth and bottle-feeding as "separate but equal" alternatives.


Researchers find high rate of chronic complications tied to tatoos

© webmd
MRSA Infected Arm Tattoo
In what they believe to be the first survey of its kind in the United States, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have found that as many as 6 percent of adult New Yorkers who get "inked" — in other words, those who get a tattoo — have experienced some form of tattoo-related rash, severe itching or swelling that lasted longer than four months and, in some cases, for many years.

"We were rather alarmed at the high rate of reported chronic complications tied to getting a tattoo," says senior study investigator and NYU Langone dermatologist Marie Leger, MD, PhD, whose team's latest findings appear in the journal Contact Dermatitis online May 27.

"Given the growing popularity of tattoos," says Leger, an assistant professor in NYU Langone's Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, "physicians, public health officials, and consumers need to be aware of the risks involved."

Leger says some adverse skin reactions are treatable with anti-inflammatory steroid drugs, but others may require laser surgery. For stronger reactions, surgery is sometimes necessary to remove tattooed areas of the skin or built-up scar tissue and granular skin lesions, which can rise several millimeters on the skin and cause considerable itching and emotional distress.

According to Leger, an estimated one in five adult Americans now has at least one tattoo.


Study shows abundance and diversity of intestinal bacteria impacts children's behavior

© shocky / Fotolia
Could aggression be attributed to gut microbes?
The next time your toddler acts adventurous, shy, fidgety or cuddly, you might be able to blame the bacteria in his gut.

Researchers from The Ohio State University studied microbes from the gastrointestinal tracts of children between the age of 18 and 27 months, and found that the abundance and diversity of certain bacterial species appear to impact behavior, particularly among boys. The correlation exists even after the scientists factored in history of breastfeeding, diet and the method of childbirth -- all of which are known to influence the type of microbes that populate a child's gut.

Study authors say they aren't looking for a way to help parents modify the 'terrible twos,' but for clues about how -- and where -- chronic illnesses like obesity, asthma, allergies and bowel disease start.

"There is substantial evidence that intestinal bacteria interact with stress hormones- the same hormones that have been implicated in chronic illnesses like obesity and asthma," said Lisa Christian, PhD, a researcher with Ohio State's Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. "A toddler's temperament gives us a good idea of how they react to stress. This information combined with an analysis of their gut microbiome could ultimately help us identify opportunities to prevent chronic health issues earlier."

Comment: Numerous studies have confirmed the importance that our gut microbes have in determining our behaviors, our food choices and the development of disease:


Monsanto's glyphosate banned by Sri Lanka's newly elected president

As the US government comes up with ever more creative stall tactics, Sri Lanka's newly elected president, Maithripala Sirisena, has announced that the import of Monsanto's favorite killing-tool, glyphosate, will no longer be allowed in the country.

Sirisena is a farmer and ex health minister, and blames glyphosate for rising rates of chronic kidney disease (CKD) throughout the Sri Lankan farming community.

Not only has the Sri Lankan president banned glyphosate herbicide, but stocks of already-imported Roundup will be stopped.

CKD has already affected 15% of people working in the northern part of Sri Lanka which amounts to around 400,000 patients and a death count, directly related to Monsanto's chemicals, of 20,000.

This may seem shocking, but these numbers simply relay a truth that another study previously stated: that kidney disease is five times higher in countries that are over-run with glyphosate chemicals. Though this is due in part to the fact that farmers in these countries often where very little in the way of protection when they are spraying Roundup on their rice fields, there is no excuse for such an abominable number of preventable deaths.

Cell Phone

EMF pollution: The health impacts of wireless RF radiation

© (Richard Box’s ‘FIELD’ February 2004 Photo: Stuart Bunce, [With permission – Henshaw 1]
Fluorescent tubes lit by overhead power line
This article is part three in a series of articles on electromagnetic field (EMF) pollution. Part one is available here, part two here. This article will focus on wireless RF radiation and systemic EMF health effects.

Chronic diseases have many potential causes, including genetics, deficient diet, toxin exposure, and repressed emotional expression. Research has mounted over the past two decades in support of adding EMF exposure to the top-level list of causes of chronic disease (including genome/DNA damage). It's likely that a chronic disease condition results from a unique and individual combination of these top-level stressors, so EMF exposure should be considered in the context of other source causes, as suggested in Figure 1.
Figure 1 EMF health effects in the context of diet and toxin exposure

Comment: The final article in this series will address methods to measure your EMF environment, and discuss what you can do to minimize exposure in all EMF categories.

Listen to the Health and Wellness show on EMF Exposure to learn more about man-made sources of EMF, past study results, what you can do to measure your EMF exposure, and what steps you can take to minimize it.

The first two articles in this series can be found here:


More lines drawn: Radio host and guest Gary Null censored by 'progressive' radio station over vaccines


Who would throw out a perfectly good Gary Null interview?

Gary Null has been a popular, longtime radio host with the longest running health talk show which airs on Progressive Radio Network. He has authored and directed dozens upon dozens of books and documentaries.

A few weeks ago, he was asked as an honored guest on Bonnie Faulkner's show, Guns and Butter which talks about the politics of economics and airs on Pacifica KPFA public radio stations. In the spirit of truth, Bonnie wanted listeners to hear the other side of the vaccine talk, not the "case closed" version. What you're not being told about vaccines. And specifically SB277, the California bill to mandate vaccines for virtually all Californian school children. Who better to ask then Null, an alternative health expert, medical activist and Pacifica veteran?

When it came time to air, however, they were told they weren't allowed - or rather, they were outright censored and the show was cut - the first time for Guns and Butter in over 11 years. But Bonnie could not let this breach of truth rest...

Comment: The tyranny is spreading, the battle lines are being drawn, listen to the above radio program to see how this war of information on vaccines is being further fought, and why. See also how the war is being fought, and won - at least for now - on the local legislative level:

Senator explodes when questioned about his Vaccine Bill


Coconut oil can help improve thyroid function

I have people tell me all the time... "I can't seem to lose weight no matter how much I exercise, I feel tired and I don't know what is wrong with me." Does this sound like you?

A good place to start uncovering issues is to consider the efficiency of the thyroid. Often, even if your test results say you are fine, the thyroid is struggling to do its job. Without a properly functioning thyroid, it is nearly impossible to feel and look well.

But, don't dismay, there is a really simple, completely natural way to help your thyroid get back into the game.

Not the villain

Once termed a villain fat armed to destroy, coconut oil is now being embraced as the healthiest saturated fat on the planet — and for good reason...

Coconut oil is truly a jam-packed therapeutic bullet that can tackle even some of the most health destroying conditions, including thyroid problems. It is rich in fatty acids, which support metabolism and provide energy.

Comment: Coconut oil has a number of health benefits. For more information see: