Health & Wellness


Our constant companion, the common mallow

© Chris Hope
The common mallow (Malva sylvestris) has a range of medicinal and food uses, and can be found across the globe, from Asia to Africa and Europe.
Some plants seem to be our constant companions, no matter where we live. Often, they will also be some of our really useful species. It will soon become clear that the common mallow (Malva sylvestris) is one of these plants.

Rather than being looked upon as a weed, the mallows can be more usefully described as some of our gloriously abundant plant helpers. A number of mallow species have long been used as a food and medicine, wherever they are found native, and especially in the Middle East and Asia. You won't have far to go to find the common mallow in most parts of Europe, North Africa and Southwest Asia either.

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The Pertussis Vaccine: The ugly untold truth

© Alain Grillet/Sanofi Pasteur
Electron microscope image of the bacteria (bordetella pertussis) responsible for pertussis (whooping cough).
The New York Times reports on a new study finding that the greatest risk to infants of being infected with the bacteria that causes whooping cough, or pertussis, now comes from their older siblings. TheTimes explains that this is "probably a result of waning immunity among children and adolescents who had received the DTaP vaccine."

Indeed, waning immunity is a serious problem with the DTaP combination vaccine (which contains diptheria, tetanus, and pertussis antigens). One recent study published in Pediatrics concluded, "
Tdap protection wanes within 2 to 4 years. Lack of long-term protection after vaccination is likely contributing to increases in pertussis among adolescents."
But the Times is misleading its readers by telling only one part of the story, leaving readers with the impression that simply giving more "booster" shots would solve the problem.

Comment: Why vaccines spread disease and vaccine science is flawed
Over the past few years, parents of unvaccinated children have been publicly blamed for increasing cases of B. pertussis whooping cough and deaths.

This despite the fact that even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) admits that the rise in reported whooping cough cases cannot be blamed on unvaccinated children because "they are not the driving force behind the large scale outbreaks and epidemics."1

Going back decades, rates of whooping cough have been nearly identical in countries with high and low vaccination rates. And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pertussis vaccination rates in the U.S. have remained stable or have increased since 1992.

It's important to realize that the pertussis vaccine has never conferred lifelong immunity to whooping cough - even after multiple doses.2

Gold Coins

Soda Politics: Coke spends lavishly on Pediatricians & Dietitians

When the American Academy of Pediatrics needed support for a website it created to promote children's health, it turned to a surprising partner: Coca-Cola.

The world's largest maker of sugary beverages, Coca-Cola has given nearly $3 million to the academy over the past six years, making it the only "gold" sponsor of the website. Even though the pediatric academy has said publicly that sugary drinks contribute to the obesity epidemic, the group praises Coke on its website, calling it a "distinguished" company for its commitment to "better the health of children worldwide."

The extent of the financial ties between Coke and the Academy of Pediatrics was revealed last week when the company released a detailed list of nearly $120 million in grants, large and small, given to medical, health and community organizations since 2010. Not only has Coke's philanthropy earned it praise from influential medical groups, the soda grants appear to have, in some cases, won the company allies in anti-soda initiatives, wielded influence over health recommendations about soft drinks, and shifted scientific focus away from soda as a factor in the causes of obesity.

Comment: More information about Coke's influence on a number of 'respected medical and health groups'


Medicinal and household uses of tea tree oil

Americans are scooping up bottles of essential oils, lured by their amazing scents, household uses, and health benefits. They're natural medicines that are highly concentrated, which means they last forever (depending on how often you use them, of course) because - as the saying goes - "a little dab'll do ya."

Preppers love essential oils because they know that if society were to crumble and picking up Tylenol at the drugstore wasn't an option, essential oils would be there to often save the day.

Tea tree oil is a favorite among consumers who know their essential oils because of its seemingly endless uses. Also known as melaleuca oil, this natural cleaner/remedy is made from the leaves of the tea tree plant, native to Australia.

People used to crush the leaves and apply them directly to any number of skin conditions. Sometimes they inhaled the oils from the crushed leaves to relieve colds and coughs. These days, tea tree oil is distilled to a clear or very pale golden or yellow color and sold in dark-colored bottles. [1]

Comment: See also: Tea Tree Oil And Silver Together Make More Effective Antiseptics


Sweden leads us into the future with the 6-hour workday


Switching to a 6-hour workday increases moral, energy levels and reduces the need for social-media based distractions while at work
Despite research telling us it's a really bad idea, many of us end up working 50-hour weeks or more because we think we'll get more done and reap the benefits later. And according to a study published last month involving 600,000 people, those of us who clock up a 55-hour week will have a 33 percent greater risk of having a stroke than those who maintain a 35- to 40-hour week.

With this in mind, Sweden is moving towards a standard 6-hour work day, with businesses across the country having already implemented the change, and a retirement home embarking on a year-long experiment to compare the costs and benefits of a shorter working day.

"I think the 8-hour work day is not as effective as one would think. To stay focused on a specific work task for 8 hours is a huge challenge. In order to cope, we mix in things and pauses to make the work day more endurable. At the same time, we are having it hard to manage our private life outside of work," Linus Feldt, CEO of Stockholm-based app developer Filimundus, told Adele Peters at Fast Company.

Filimundus switched to a 6-hour day last year, and Feldt says their staff haven't looked back. "We want to spend more time with our families, we want to learn new things or exercise more. I wanted to see if there could be a way to mix these things,"he said.

To cope with the significant cut in working hours, Feldt says staff are asked to stay off social media and other distractions while at work and meetings are kept to a minimum. "My impression now is that it is easier to focus more intensely on the work that needs to be done and you have the stamina to do it and still have energy left when leaving the office," he told Fast Company.


Determining the quality of essential oils

The quality of essential oils is often a contentious subject, bringing up feelings of protectiveness and challenging beliefs. I have written this post, not so much as a definitive answer to discerning quality, but rather to raise some valuable points of reference.

The Rise of Essential Oils for Aromatherapy

When I first began my aromatherapy education in England (1988) there were only a handful of companies selling essential oils specifically to the aromatherapy market. What is interesting to note about the British essential oil market is that the first few aromatherapy companies were designed to meet the needs of aromatherapy practitioners. This is in stark contrast to the later developing American market which was primarily retail-driven.

Because the British market was practitioner-driven, the essential oil quality was initially quite high. It was only years later as interest in aromatherapy spread to the retail market that a plethora of essential oil companies arose both in Britain and even more so in the United States.

Naturally (no pun intended), with this rise in the number of essential oil suppliers, extremes in quality variation also arose. With such an increase in companies offering essential oils, differentiating between companies selling high-quality and low-quality essential oils became incredibly challenging particularly for the newcomer.

Comment: More info on essential oils:


Attorney demolishes Pro-Vaccine talking points: Suggests suing U.S. Federal Government & Big Pharma

Finally! it's happened. An attorney feels that the U.S. federal government and Big Pharma must be sued and taken to task legally for their liability in causing false and inaccurate information about vaccines to be disseminated upon which FORCED vaccinations are based, including health damages that have resulted to infants, toddlers, teens (adults, too) from those forced vaccinations.

James Robert Deal, JD, a Washington state attorney, has considered horrendous vaccine damages caused and suffered, the lack of informed consent, and that
No entity under the sun has the right or lawful authority to arrogate [claim/appropriate/misappropriate] power unto itself to harm or injure, sicken or infect, paralyze or kill the people of this nation. Not only is such conduct by the state a serious breach of the social contract, it represents a profound violation of the public trust. Vaccination programs therefore break the inviolable bond between the citizenry and the government. [1]


Organics Board to review GMO vaccines for animals & 'Inert' pesticides allowed in food

The fall meeting of the National Organic Standards Board is coming up. As usual, we need your help to prevent some bad decisions being made at the behest of industry.

The semi-annual meeting of the NOSB will take place October 26 - 29 in Vermont. Because NOSB makes decisions that, in large part, determine the future of organic foods, ANH-USA has been engaged with the Board for some time.

After reviewing the agenda, we noted two items of concern.

Comment: What does 'Certified Organic' really mean? Especially when you consider the information in the article above? Will NOSB allow synthetic materials, GMOs and inert pesticides based on the 'recent changes' undermining ' and 'how' and 'when' provisions change? Sounds like more of the USDA's Organic Deception!
The word "organic" is fast becoming a high-dollar money-maker for corporations smart enough to jump on the bandwagon and start marketing their products as "made with organic ingredients," or "certified organic." Even Monsanto is taking advantage of this burgeoning market, and people naïve enough to believe that what we have traditionally thought of as pure, organic food, is still that way, are being duped.

It makes perfect sense, however, in a Machiavellian sort of way. Flood the food supply with poisons, then lead people to believe that the only safe choice left is USDA Certified Organic. Then buy up the organic companies one by one, and start changing the "organic" rules from the inside out via the bought and paid for government agencies so that you can reap the profits from those trying to escape the poisons.


Vaccine-Autism studies: What the news isn't saying

A new study this week found no link between vaccines and autism. It instantly made headlines on TV news and popular media everywhere. Many billed it as the final word, "once again," disproving the notion that vaccines could have anything to do with autism.

What you didn't learn on the news was that the study was from a consulting firm that lists major vaccine makers among its clients: The Lewin Group.

That potential conflict of interest was not disclosed in the paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine; the study authors simply declare "The Lewin Group operates with editorial independence."


Research confirms endocrine disrupting chemicals are linked to diabetes, obesity, infertility and breast cancer

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals known to interfere with development and reproduction. Research has found that they may cause serious neurological and immune system effects and are not something to ignore.
Scientific research has increasingly linked common chemicals found in everyday products to diabetes, obesity, cancer, and other major ailments, according to a new policy statement.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) like bisphenol A and phthalates, found in food can linings, plastics, cosmetics, and pesticides, are common to the point that everyone on Earth has been exposed to one or more. EDCs - which influence the body's natural hormones - mimic, block, or simply interfere with hormone functions, leading to the malformation of cells.

The Endocrine Society now says in a new scientific statement that research in recent years has repeatedly pointed to links between these and other chemicals to not only diabetes and obesity, but infertility and breast cancer.

"In 2015, there is far more conclusive evidence about whether, when, and how endocrine-disrupting chemicals perturb endocrine systems, including in humans," said the Endocrine Society, which includes health specialists involved in EDC research.

Comment: Studies have been coming to the same conclusions for years, yet little has been done to regulate the use of these chemicals because of the assumption that low doses don't pose significant risks. On the contrary, even low doses of exposure can have serious long-term negative health consequences, and we are being bombarded by these chemicals daily.