Health & Wellness


Lost knowledge — 10th century cure for MRSA "Superbug"

© The British Library Board (Royal 12 D xvii)
If the "leech" doctors circa 1000AD were able to treat superbugs that modern doctors struggle with, I wonder what other knowledge has come and gone and had to be rediscovered?

How many lives have been lost because information was not there when they needed it?

Judith Curry posted a link this week to a story about a medieval recipe for an "eyesalve" that rather surprised researchers when it worked against the ghastly MRSA superbug, which is resistant to almost all modern antibiotics.

The book is one of the earliest known medical texts, called Bald's Leechbook. The recipe called for garlic, onion, wine, and bile from a cow. It was very specific — the mix had to be brewed in brass and then left for nine days. The researchers at the University of Nottingham followed it closely, then it was tested in the lab. Will it work on people, and what are the side-effects?

I wonder if the nine day wait is an incubation period for microbial growth? Some of our best antibiotics come from fungus like penicillin and the cephalosporins - which has had five hundred million years or so to figure out uber-tricky ways to kill competitors and pests.

Perhaps the stew gets the conditions right for one particular type of mould to grow? Though the story doesn't mention that (and I would expect the researchers would have looked for it). They suggest it may be a slow chemical reaction.


Truth emerging: More psychiatrists question low serotonin theory of depression

The common belief that depression is linked to low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin is again being questioned by top psychiatrists.

Professor David Healy of the Hergest Unit, Bangor, U.K., writes in the British Medical Journal that the idea that serotonin levels might be lower in people with depression was rejected in the 1960s. But when serotonin reuptake inhibiting (SSRI) drugs were developed in the 1980s, the manufacturers searched for a problem the drugs could solve.

So drug companies attempted marketing SSRIs for depression, Healy writes, even though they were less effective than older tricyclic antidepressants, and "sold the idea that depression was the deeper illness behind the superficial manifestations of anxiety."

"The approach was an astonishing success, central to which was the notion that SSRIs restored serotonin levels to normal, a notion that later transmuted into the idea that they remedied a chemical imbalance," he writes.

But "[N]o one knew if SSRIs raised or lowered serotonin levels; they still don't know," he states. "There was no evidence that treatment corrected anything."

Comment: Once again, we see the hand that BigPharma has played in co-opting science, much to the detriment of millions of people who have likely worsened their overall health due to the predatory nature of this criminal industry.


Pollution blamed for nearly 10,000 deaths in London in 2010

© AFP /Ben Fathers
Air pollution obscures the view of the London eye in central London on April 9, 2015
Air pollution was the cause of the early deaths of almost 9,500 people in Britain's capital city in 2010, according to research by King's College London.

The study showed for the first time the impact of nitrogen dioxide from exhaust fumes and fossil fuel burning, and showed the problem was far greater than previously thought.

According to the study for Transport for London and the Greater London Authority, in 2010 there were 3,537 premature deaths in London due to particulate matter, and 5,879 due to nitrogen dioxide.

The knock-on cost to the economy was estimated at £3.7 billion.

"In one of the busiest cities in the world people are at greater risk of being killed by the air they breathe than in a car accident," said Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation.


Heart - Black

Fracking linked to high hospitalization rates in people living near drilling sites

© Unknown
Hospitalizations for heart conditions, neurological illness, and other conditions were higher among people who live near unconventional gas and oil drilling (hydraulic fracturing), according to new research from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University published this week in PLOS ONE. Over the past ten years in the United States, hydraulic fracturing has experienced a meteoric increase. Due to substantial increases in well drilling, potential for air and water pollution posing a health threat has been a concern for nearby residents.

To address this issue, researchers from two Environmental Health Science Core Centers (EHSCC) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences -- the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET) at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine and the Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, examined the link between drilling well density and healthcare use by zip code from 2007 to 2011 in three northeastern Pennsylvania counties.

Comment: More evidence keeps emerging that fracking causes devastating consequences to health and the environment, yet the EPA under the sway of the oil industry keeps sidestepping the issue.


New research shows GMO soy accumulates carcinogenic formaldehyde and depletes glutathione

A new study published today in the peer-reviewed journal Agricultural Sciences reveals genetic engineering of soy disrupts the plant's natural ability to control stress, and invalidates the FDA's current regulatory framework of "substantial equivalence" used for approval of genetically engineered food (GMOs).

The study, led by Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D., an MIT-trained systems biologist, utilizes his latest invention, CytoSolve, a 21st century systems biology method to integrate 6,497 in vitro and in vivo laboratory experiments, from 184 scientific institutions, across 23 countries, to discover the accumulation of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and a dramatic depletion of glutathione, an anti-oxidant necessary for cellular detoxification, in GMO soy, indicating that formaldehyde and glutathione are likely critical criteria for distinguishing the GMO from its non-GMO counterpart.

Comment: Considering the influence that the biotech and agriculture industries wield, it is unlikely that there will be imminent changes to the safety assessments of GMO soy, despite the thoroughly documented scientific studies describing the serious negative consequences to health and the environment.


Rhodiola: An arctic herb that acts as a stress vaccine

Dry roots and fresh flowers of Rhodiola rosea
Constituents Of This Arctic Plant Act Like A Stress Vaccine.

Our stress response system — the HPA axis — is calibrated for intermittent, severe threats (such as lions). Not for the incessant, trivial threats of modern life (such as difficult phone calls). We don't want our hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis to charge up and release cortisol every time we drive in heavy traffic, but it will do so.

If you're like me, you are trying to ease up on the HPA throttle. I practice yoga. I take magnesium. I switch off my computer in the evening like a good naturopath. I sternly instruct my HPA axis to power down, but I must say that it does not always listen. If I could only be more Buddha-like, then I would not need to coax my adrenal axis with an herbal medicine like rhodiola.

Comment: For more information on this beneficial herb, see the GreenMedInfo database on Rhodiola and Rhodiola Rosea: The Herb That Came in From the Cold


Got sleep? 7 Reasons the well-rested prepper will prevail

According to the CDC, there's a public health epidemic you need to be on the lookout for. It's not contagious, but has spread due to the North American lifestyle. You may have suffered from it yourself, without even realizing you were part of the population at risk.

That epidemic is insufficient sleep.

Blamed for automotive accidents, industrial disasters and occupational errors (including ones by those chronically sleep deprived health care workers) lack of sleep affects more than 35% of adults in our country each day. Each year, according to the National Department of Transportation, drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 deaths and 40,000 injuries in the United States.

The trouble is, most of us push sleep to the back burner. We have so many things to do. Just getting through the demands of work, family life, chores, and a bit of leisure leaves little time for much else - sleep seems to draw the short straw. Add prepping to the equation and, well, you get the drift: burning the candle at both ends becomes the norm rather than the exception.

Arrow Down

Dumb study! Schizophrenia linked to smoking

Who would say, tobacco is a plant!
The association between psychosis and smoking tobacco has been observed for a long time. In England alone, 42% of cigarettes are smoked by people with mental health problems, and in the United States, 80% of those with schizophrenia smoke, compared to a national average of 20%. This has focused a debate around what came first, the smoking or the mental illness?

Comment: Has anyone ever thought that these people are actually self-medicating? Is this so hard to understand? From Schrand JR., Does insular stroke disrupt the self-medication effects of nicotine?, Med Hypotheses. 2010 Sep;75(3):302-4:
The Native American population has used tobacco for 2000 years. Tribal shamans used this medicinal herb to treat respiratory disorders [12,13]. In the late 1800's, physicians used tobacco products to treat asthma [14]

A new study, published in The Lancet, suggests that smoking tobacco might be a modest causal factor in psychosis. By completing a meta-analysis of 61 studies, the team found that 57% of people who were first diagnosed with psychosis were smokers, which the researchers claim implies that - at least in some cases - the smoking came first. But of course, there are underlying genetic factors that this fails to take into account, meaning that although a diagnosis may not have been made before they started smoking, they could have had a genetic predisposition for some form of psychosis.

Comment: What a discombobulated way to deny the fact that tobacco has medicinal properties, like a lot of plants out there in the world. Herbal medicine, anyone?

From: Nicotine - The Zombie Antidote
Tobacco has nicotine in it, which is related to acetylcholine, and this fact is very important indeed, as we are going to learn.

Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter responsible for learning and memory. It is also calming, relaxing and is also a major factor regulating the immune system. Acetylcholine also acts as a major brake on inflammation in the body and inflammation is linked to every known disease. For example, inflammation of the brain is linked to every known mood, behavior and attention disorder and every neuro-degenerative disease.

Receptors for acetylcholine, also known as cholinergic receptors, fall into two categories based on the chemicals that mimic or antagonize the actions of acetylcholine on its many target cell types. In classical studies, nicotine, isolated from tobacco, was one of the chemicals used to distinguish receptors for acetylcholine. That is why there are nicotinic receptors for acetylcholine.

People who smoke often experience cognitive impairment when they stop smoking. This worsening is due to the fact that nicotine acts as an agonist (that is, it mimics) receptors of acetylcholine which are important for learning, memory and cognitive functions. Daily infusions of nicotine actually increase the number of acetylcholine receptors.

As in a kind of 'blessing from above', local and systemic inflammation is calmed down by the brain through what is called the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway, which is a mechanism consisting of the vagus nerve and its neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a process dependent on a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor1. Nicotine, the prototypical nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist, counteracts inflammatory cytokine production and has demonstrated protective effects in blood poisoning2.

Nicotine has also been used to prevent kidney failure and improve kidney function. Nicotinic receptors in the brain are associated with neuronal plasticity and cell survival, which is why tobacco has been linked with better thinking and concentration. Nicotine has been used to treat ulcerative colitis, a disease characterized by inflammation of the large intestine3. It is clear from available medical literature that the benefits are far-ranging when it comes to this natural compound - nicotine - that acts as an anti-inflammatory and facilitates the creation of new brain cells!
For these reasons, people who have a neurological chemical imbalance or impairment might find smoking very relieving.

Comment: Do we detect some kind of sick logic here? Don't hold your breath though.

Don't miss The Health and Wellness Show: The Truth About Tobacco with Richard White


Essential oils that stop cancer in its tracks

Even scientists now recognize the power agents that exist within some essential oils which stops cancer spreading, and which induces cancerous cells to close themselves down. Their disease-preventing ability is no longer doubted, especially for cancer. A healthy body, from head to foot, typically has a frequency ranging from 62 to 78 MHz, while disease begins at 58Hz. During some testing with frequency and the frequency of essential oils it was measured that: Holding a cup of coffee dropped one man's frequency from 66 Hz to 58 MHz in just 3 seconds. It took three days for his frequency to return to normal.

Other studies show that: Negative thoughts lower our frequency on average 12 MHz. Positive thoughts raises our frequency on average 10 MHz.

Studying some of the most popular essential oils in current use, such as mint, ginger, lemon, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, chamomile, thyme, rose, and cinnamon, researchers sought out to discover how these oils may combat cancer. They did so by testing antibacterial potency as well as in vitro toxicology against human cancer cell lines.


Judge halts food behemoth merger: People need real food justice on all levels

In fear of rising food prices and more

© Unknown
A judge recently halted the merging of two of the largest food corporations in the world - Sysco and US Foods. Think of Sysco and US Foods like Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Were they to merge, the global market would be under the control of two corporations who already distribute 'food' to the masses which likely causes diabetes, obesity, digestive disorders, and neurological disease - only with twice the power to do so.