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Sun, 23 Feb 2020
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Health & Wellness

Life Preserver

Five therapeutic effects of honey in treating wounds and infections

Natural remedies can do wonders in treating painful mouth ulcers, stomach inflammation, wounds and infections. When it comes to dealing with these cases, honey is a time-tested treatment to alleviate symptoms and provide relief for patients, whether young or old

Consuming honey often has a soothing effect and this sweet treat also has several notable health benefits. Its medicinal properties include being used as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent, as well as acting as a natural cough remedy.[i] At the same time, this celebrated ingredient is applied for chronic wound management and as a therapy for certain infections.

1. Honey for Painful Mouth Blisters and Ulcers

Research suggests that honey can help reduce painful mouth blisters among children with herpes simplex gingivostomatitis.[ii] Caused by the herpes virus, herpes simplex gingivostomatitis is an inflammation of the gums and lips, damaging the skin and resulting in mouth ulcers.

One of the earliest signs of herpes simplex gingivostomatitis is when your child refuses to eat because chewing has become too painful. While this disease is common among kids, there is a risk of dehydration since the patient often will not drink or eat.


Sperm counts continue to drastically drop in Western men

sperm illustration
A team of international researchers studied men in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand and found that Western men were having a decline in their sperm count. They looked at the semen samples of 42,935 men from 50 countries from 1973 to 2011. Their findings revealed that sperm concentration, as in the total number of sperm per millilitre of semen had declined each year. Over time this has amounted to a 52.4 percent total decline.

The total sperm count among the same group of continued to drop each year for a total decline of 59.3 percent over an almost 40-year period.

A male fertility startup called Legacy has raised $3.5 million from Bill Maris's venture firm, Section 32, Y Combinator and Bain Capital Ventures. Bain Capital Ventures had previously led a seed round up worth $1.5 million last year for Legacy.

Comment: Anyone who regularly reads the Health and Wellness section of Sott could probably come up with a dozen or more theories of why Western men's sperm counts are dropping. And the answer isn't to freeze your sperm - it's to take control of your health, avoid the toxins and pollutants in the environment and feed yourself truly nutritious foods. This, at least, is the right way to start.

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Bacon n Eggs

Federal dietary guidelines need to cut carbohydrates

myplate dietary guidelines
This year, as they do every five years, federal officials will publish a new version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These periodic updates to federal nutrition guidelines influence everything from school lunches and military meals to public health initiatives and products developed by the food industry.

In theory, these guidelines reflect the latest, most rigorous nutrition research, but, in reality, they tend to peddle lousy and unscientific advice. Most shockingly, recent studies suggest that the guidelines' central recommendation, that people consume lots of carbohydrates but limit fat intake, has probably fueled the chronic disease epidemic.

Responding to new research showing that low-carb, high-fat diets help people stay healthy, the committee that drafts the guidelines is now considering recommending a low-carb dietary pattern. However, at the end of October, committee members announced that the supposedly "low-carb" pattern they were debating would still encourage people to consume almost half of their calories from carbohydrates.

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I had to start eating meat again for medical reasons, and now I'm questioning everything

BBQ burgers and dogs
"White rice and water," my doctor clarified, after I asked what, exactly, he meant by elimination diet, "nothing else. For three days."

My reason for seeing Dr. Schwartz that day was the same as it had been the past three visits: constipation and abdominal bloating that left me feeling (and sometimes looking) as if I was in my second trimester of pregnancy. I had long identified with the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (which I had Googled no less than two hundred times), but Dr. Schwartz insisted on ruling out other gastrointestinal disorders before corroborating my diagnosis.

If the symptoms persisted while I followed the elimination diet, he would refer me to a specialist; if not, and I began to feel better, we would slowly begin adding food groups back to find out how much of each I could tolerate.

Comment: It just goes to show, vegetarianism (and veganism) are often more about group identification and tribalism than health or animal rights. That even when staring down the barrel of serious health complications due to diet has one thinking "but what will my friends think if I change my diet?" is quite telling. If they actually care, it might be time for some new friends.

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Chaga mushroom: This unusual tree fungus is a medicinal powerhouse

Chaga Mushrooms
The mysterious Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) is a non-toxic, medicinal mycelium with a propensity for birch bark. If you were to spot it while roaming through a birch forest in the Northern hemisphere, you'd probably assume (based on its rather unappealing appearance), that it was some kind of tree infection. But Chaga is a whole lot more than just an unsightly forest blemish.

The chaga mushroom is actually a treasure trove of science-backed healing potential that's been a prominent feature in folk medicine for thousands of years.

Chaga's reputation as a powerful natural remedy for everything from gastrointestinal disease to tuberculosis to cancer spans at least as far back as the 16th century when botanical artisans are said to have figured out that it could be steeped as a tea for a variety of therapeutic purposes.1

The historical record suggests that, even prior to this, natural healers in Asia were likely among the first to document Chaga's medicinal potential more than 4,600 years ago. They observed that the strange fungus has a unique ability to extract nutrients from its hosts and concentrate them into itself. Hence the chaga mushroom's incredible density of B vitamins, antioxidants, trace minerals, enzymes, and more.

Since these ancient times, science has taken our understanding of Chaga to a whole new level, and the West is finally catching on to what this amazing mushroom is capable of. Just in the last century the Chaga mushroom's antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, cardio-protective, anti-hyperglycemic, and anti-cancer properties have become more widely known.

Comment: See also: Chaga mushroom tea: The many benefits of this health-boosting beverage


How to make thieves oil and why you should be using it daily

Thieves oil ingredient
Most of you probably know what Thieves Oil is, but if not have I got a story for you?! The name and recipe for Thieves Oil have an interesting backstory and explains why this blend of oils is so good for you.

The recipe varies and dates back to the Middle Ages where Thieves Oil kept a group of merchants safe from the Black Plague. The mixtures of antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties were able to stave off the Plague and keep these merchants safe.

The Thieves Story

In the early 1990s, Gary Young studied essential oils and recreated a blend he had been researching. According to Gary, there are 17 different versions of the "Story of Thieves" and each contains different amounts of different oils. This intrigued Gary to research essential oils and make the perfect Thieves Oil blend for everyday use.

He researched the properties of the different oils in the multiple ingredient lists he found. His research lead to a proprietary oil blend called Young Living Thieves Essential Oil. His research also lead him to the historical story of the "Thieves" this blend is named after.


Electronic health records prioritize insurance billing over patients and doctors hate them

© Adobe Stock
The House of God, my first novel, was about the abuses of medical internships. After it was published in 1978, it started a conversation that led to significant real-world reform in the way that first year doctors are treated. Our schedules had been 36 hours on call, every third night — sometimes, every other night. The fatigue was hellish. We had no real life outside our job. Medical interns now are prohibited from working such schedules.

Yet somehow the medical profession is worse now. We doctors face an epidemic of burnout. It is estimated that a doctor commits suicide almost every day in the US. More than half of physicians reported symptoms of burnout in a 2014 study, and while that rate dropped to 43 percent in a 2017 follow-up, it is still much higher than the rate for all US workers, which stayed essentially flat in those years. What has gone wrong with our once beloved profession?

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Caffeine has been a boon for civilization, Michael Pollan says. But it has come at a cost

caffeine coffee
Michael Pollan laughs and says, yes, he's on drugs while conducting this interview. Okay, he doesn't use those exact words, but he acknowledges that he has a "tall, takeout container" of half-caff coffee at his side as we discuss, via phone, his latest project, simply titled Caffeine, available only as an audiobook from Audible. (Audible is a subsidiary of Amazon, whose founder, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post.)

Pollan, the author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, The Botany of Desire, In Defense of Food and How to Change Your Mind — in which he has explored our complicated relationship with food, plants, drugs and many other things we take for granted — has turned his imposing analytical skills to caffeine, the most popular mind-altering chemical on the planet.

"For most of us, to be caffeinated to one degree or another has simply become baseline human consciousness," Pollan writes, well, reads in Caffeine. "Something like 90 percent of humans ingest caffeine regularly, making it the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world and the only one we routinely give to children, commonly in the form of soda. It's so pervasive that it's easy to overlook the fact that to be caffeinated is not baseline consciousness but, in fact, is an altered state."

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South Dakota considers first state bill to outlaw all vaccine and medical mandates

South Dakota

Will there be a medical refugee migration to South Dakota?
Who owns your body?

A growing number of legislators in South Dakota believe you do.

They have introduced a bill to not only end vaccine mandates in the state, but all future medical mandates that my be introduced in generations to come.

One hundred and fifteen years ago this month, the US Supreme Court made a decision that because there was a deadly smallpox epidemic, the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts was allowed to charge a pastor five dollars to opt out of a city wide vaccine mandate. The law didn't apply to children.

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The importance of melatonin for optimal health

Sleeping well is an essential strategy to optimize your health, and at the heart of it is your circadian rhythm. This is also known as your body clock. It's a natural, biological timer present in every one of your cells that helps your body recognize sleepiness and wakefulness over a period of 24 hours.

Your circadian rhythm is largely dictated by your pineal gland, located near the center of your brain, which produces melatonin, a hormone that is crucial for the regulation of your sleep cycle.

If you have had enough exposure to bright light in the daytime, your pineal gland typically starts secreting melatonin around 9 p.m.1 As the amount of melatonin in your brain increases, sleepiness sets in as your body begins to prepare for sleep.

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