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6 Effective & Natural Alternatives To Ibuprofen

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There are a number of reasons to avoid taking Aspirin or Ibuprofen regularly. You may be seeking alternatives because you experience pain but like to stay away from conventional medicines, or you could be someone who just learned about the potential dangers these drugs pose and are ready for something different. Ibuprofen and Aspirin have been linked to anemia, DNA damage, heart disease, hearing loss, hypertension, miscarriage, and even influenza mortality — just 7 of the over 24 adverse health effects with which they have been connected.

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As Reuters reports, “Long-term high-dose use of painkillers such as ibuprofen or diclofenac is ‘equally hazardous’ in terms of heart attack risk as use of the drug Vioxx, which was withdrawn due to its potential dangers.”

Pile of Ibuprofen tabletsAlthough there are a number of adverse health effects that go along with Ibuprofen, we continue to take it in vast amounts because we are a society built upon quick fixes and short-term results. According to some previously recorded statistics, in 1998,  over 500,000 pounds of acetyl-salicylic acid (the main component used in aspirin) were produced in the United States alone. That number is likely even greater now. Usage of such medicines can be linked back to cultural conditioning, which has caused us to forget the value of eating well and taking care of our mental and emotional states in addition to our physical bodies. When these things are out of balance, it is common to experience pain.

The Natural Approach

You might be surprised to learn that most conventional medicines are inspired by natural sources. Pharmaceutical companies will run tests and studies on the efficacy of a natural substance for any given ailment. Once they see positive results, they create a synthetic version of that same substance and patent it so that it can be sold. At times, the synthetic version may work faster, and depending on the quality of the natural substance, may even work better. But the health costs that come with using the synthetic versions are often not worth the potential trade-offs of speed and efficacy. Since nature already provides us with what we need to deal with ailments we might have, why not use what our bodies can process and recognize rather than turning to synthetic and potentially dangerous options out of impatience?

1. White willow bark: This herb was the original aspirin. It contains a substance called salicin which converts to salicylic acid when in the stomach. Salicylic acid is the main component of Aspirin and when its synthetic form is ingested, it irritates the stomach. White willow bark is effective in relieving pain, inflammation, and fever. A suggested dose is one to two dropperfuls of white willow bark tincture daily.

2. Capsaicin: This remedy is mainly used topically and is effective in relieving nerve, muscle, and joint pain by interfering with a chemical in the body known as substance P, which transmits pain signals to the brain. It is often found in gel or cream form and comes in a variety of potencies. This remedy can be used three to four times daily. Since Capsaicin comes from chlli peppers, some first time users have reported a light stinging pain upon initial application. This does subside and often disappears with further use.

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3. Boswellia: This is also known as “Indian frankincense” and is available as a supplement and a topical cream. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that come from the boswellic acids extracted from the tree. They help improve blood flow to joints and prevent inflammatory white blood cells from entering damaged tissue. The suggested dose for pain is 450 – 750 mg daily for three to four weeks.

4. Cat’s claw: Also known as Uncaria tomentosa, or una de gato, cat’s claw grows in South America and is known for containing an anti-inflammatory agent that aids in blocking the production of the hormone prostaglandin, which contributes to inflammation and pain within the body. The suggested doses for cat’s claw are 250 to 1,000 mg capsules one to three times daily. Exceeding this amount can result in diarrhea.

5. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are known to have anti-inflammatory properties proven to be beneficial for people who suffer from arthritis, other inflammatory joint conditions, and inflammatory bowel diseases. Along with their pain and anti-inflammatory properties, they are also known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Not only is this helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis, which carries an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, but it also helps to stop the number one killer in the world, heart disease. A suggested dose of omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil is 1,000 mg daily.

For vegans looking for dietary omega-3, you can try hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, various berries, seaweed, leafy greens, and more.

6. Curcumin: Also sometimes referred to as turmeric, since curcumin is a component of that herb, curcumin is a potent painkiller. Like capsaicin, it helps to block pain signals running to the brain. Studies have shown that curcumin is effective in receiving pain, even chronic pain, and can treat rheumatoid arthritis. One suggested dose is 400 to 600 mg of curcumin taken three times daily for pain and inflammation.

Curcumin has also been found to be as effective as Prozac in treating depression, but comes without the nasty side effects.

Why Pain?

I feel it’s important to remember that sometimes when we are having the experience of physical pain, there can be a number of reasons why it is there. In our society we feel pain and immediately want to get rid of it, yet we don’t think to find out why we may have the pain or what it is telling us. Pain can exist in the body for a number of reasons, from simple physical ailments to emotional tensions. Next time you are feeling pain, remember to take a moment and relax. Get in touch with your body and feel out what is going on. The more we get in touch with our body’s own consciousness, the more we learn about it and what may be causing these ailments in the first place. Pain is like Mother Nature’s way of saying something might need to transform, whether it be strictly physical or something emotional. There is a lot we can learn from our experiences when we pay attention.

 

 

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5 Reasons Why The Ketogenic Diet Might Not Be Right For You

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Dr, Michelle McMacken, an internal medicine physician shares why she doesn't recommend the ketogenic diet to her patients.

  • Reflect On:

    There is no doubt that ketone production has a wide range of benefits, but do we have to adopt a ketogenic diet to stimulate the production of ketones? What about fasting?

The ketogenic diet has gained a tremendous amount of popularity over the past few years, and it’s become a trend that many people are adopting without doing their own research first. We’ve written multiple articles on the ketogenic diet, a diet that promotes a high fat/low carb intake in order to prolong the production of ketone bodies in one’s blood. The release of these ketone bodies happens when we fast and deplete our glucose reserves, which develop from eating carbohydrates that turn into sugar. One can prolong the production of these ketones by sticking to a low carbohydrate/high fat diet, and essentially run off of fat instead of their glucose reserves.

The ketogenic diet is being used as an intervention for cancer, and there are multiple studies showing how ketones can actually kill cancer. It’s becoming well known that cancer cells cannot efficiently process ketone bodies for energy. Essentially, the cell starves itself, and ketones help slow the proliferation of tumor cells. Dietary ketones have been shown to completely halt metastasis. For example, a study titled “The Ketogenic Diet & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic Metastatic Cancer” explains how it’s already known that the ketogenic diet elevates blood ketones and has been shown to slow cancer progression in both animals and humans. The study also revealed that the ketogenic diet “significantly decreased blood glucose, slowed tumor growth, and increased mean survival time by 56.8 percent in mice with systemic metastatic cancer.”

Fasting (when you fast you produce ketones) is also being used for cancer intervention, seizure prevention (epilepsy), and as a potential therapy for alzheimer’s disease, parkinson’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders.

A TEDx talk given by Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience, at the National Institute on Aging goes into detail about fasting, ketones, and how beneficial it is for the brain. He is also a professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University and one of the foremost researchers of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying multiple neurodegenerative disorders.

In 1923, scientist Otto Warburg hypothesized that cancer was caused by a metabolic process whereby cancer cells fuel their growth “by swallowing up enormous amounts of glucose [blood sugar] and breaking it down without oxygen.” Coined the Warburg Effect, the theory was considered controversial at the time, but the past few decades have sparked new interest in it and oncologists now use the dependence on glucose that cancer cells have to locate tumours within a patient’s body.

Warburg made his discovery around the same time the ketogenic diet was found to be beneficial for epilepsy. Studies have shown that when the body produces ketones, they form a protective barrier around the brain, which is why more and more paediatricians are recommending the diet for children with epilepsy. It has a huge success rate, but since fasting is neither marketable nor profitable, it receives little mainstream attention.

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All of these are specific interventions for certain diseases, and they can be healthy. On a personal level, I believe fasting a few times a month is extremely healthy and can be very beneficial for the body. All of the studies in human and animal models show nothing but benefits.  Keep in mind that while you fast, you also get the benefits of ketones.

This is far different from continuing on with a no carb, high fat diet where you are constantly producing ketones and burning fat. It doesn’t seem normal unless you have to do it for a specific intervention, like cancer. Despite the potential health benefits, the ‘ketogenic diet’ has become a fad with potential dangers that people should also be aware of.

The Five Reasons

Below is a list of points regarding the ketogenic diet from Michelle McMacken, an internal medicine physician, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine, and Director of Bellevue Hospital Weight Management Clinic.

I came across these via her Instagram, which make it clear she does not support the diet:

1. That we know of, no population in history has ever thrived on a very-low-carb/high-fat diet. There is exactly zero scientific evidence that a keto diet is conducive to longevity & longstanding vitality – unlike a plant-centric diet, the foundation of the longest-lived people on earth.

2. A keto diet may cause short-term weight loss, but possibly at a serious price. A 2010 review found that low-carb, animal-based diets increased cardiovascular death by 14%, cancer death by 28%, & all-cause mortality by 23%- trends confirmed in other large studies.

3. A keto diet hasn’t been shown to prevent, control, or reverse type 2 diabetes in the long run. Avoiding carbs will temporarily lower your blood sugar if you have diabetes. But this simply masks the underlying problem, which is insulin resistance – ie. glucose in our blood can’t enter our cells & the liver overproduces sugar. This is NOT the fault of carbs from healthy foods – whole grains, legumes, fruit, or even starchy vegetables. In fact, a high-carb, high-fiber, plant-based diet is exceptionally protective against diabetes & can actually REVERSE insulin resistance & lower diabetes complications. In contrast, low-carb diets can promote diabetes over time, as they foster inflammation & fat buildup in our cells, causing insulin resistance.

4. Keto diet research is in its infancy, focusing on short-term blood results & body weight – not actual rates of disease or death. And some findings are concerning. LDL cholesterol levels tend to rise (or at best, stay the same) on keto diets. An overwhelming wealth of research shows that the higher the LDL, the higher the risk of cardiovascular disease.

5. A keto diet is low in refined grains & added sugar, which is great. But it also can be low in phytonutrients, antioxidants, & fiber, all of which have profound benefits, and it forbids some of the most powerfully health-promoting foods on earth – whole grains, legumes, & many fruits. To me, that’s just not good medicine.

Her references:


The Takeaway

It’s great to see the world becoming more health conscious, it’s one of multiple contributing factors in raising our vibrational frequency, and feeling more ‘alive.’ That being said, a lot of ‘fads’ seem to pop up in this field, which are coupled with a great misunderstanding of how these specific diets, like the ketogenic diet, is supposed to be used. At the end of the day, balance is key, and it’s best to incorporate more organic fruits and vegetables in your diet, and completely cut out all processed foods, and substances like high fructose corn syrup etc. Being healthy is not hard, and it’s not complicated. If you’re going to incorporate a specific diet into your lifestyle, just make sure it’s not one that’s specifically designed to combat certain diseases, like the ketogenic diet.

Related CE Articles:

Study Shows What A Ketogenic Diet Did To Mice With Systemic Metastatic Cancer

Doctor Explains What Happens To The Body When It Goes Into Ketosis

The Biggest Misconception About The Ketogenic Diet…You Don’t Actually Have To Follow It

Ending The Debate About The Ketogenic Diet – 9 Studies You Must Be Aware Of 


 

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Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Sues Rep. Adam Schiff For “Censoring Vaccine Debate”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons are suing Rep. Adam Schiff for "censoring vaccine debate."

  • Reflect On:

    Should information that creates and generates concern among the population about vaccines and vaccine safety be censored, even if it's factual and not actually 'fake news?'

Vaccines are a hot topic right now, and vaccine hesitancy is growing and quickly gaining momentum. The reality of vaccine hesitancy is no longer a secret, as many studies on the matter have been published. And it is no longer simply among concerned parents. This study published in the journal EbioMedicine discusses how practitioners in France are becoming increasingly hesitant to prescribe some controversial vaccines to their patients.

The World Health Organization believes vaccine hesitancy is one of the biggest threats to global health security. Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project, was one of many academics to speak at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit, where she explained why this is being considered a major problem:

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider. And if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

Dissenting Professionals, Conflicting Statements

This type of hesitancy among health professionals has begun to spawn organizations looking for answers to their questions. ‘The Physicians for Informed Consent’ is one of multiple examples. It’s promising that doctors, scientists and health safety advocates that have come together to share resources about vaccines, and more importantly voice concerns that they have about certain vaccines and their safety.

At the summit, Dr. Martin Howell Friede, Coordinator of Initiative For Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization, brought up the issue of adjuvants, noting some of the problems with using adjuvants that do not have a proven track record of safety. Many people at the conference also emphasized the need for more safety testing and studies to address the concerns that are being made by vaccine safety advocates. Personally, I think this is encouraging. Science should never cease to question, and who wouldn’t want more safety studies and testing on medications that are being administered worldwide?

As this issue becomes more scrutinized by the public as well as health care professionals, more and more conflicting statements made by high-ranking health authorities are being uncovered, which in themselves may lead to a breakdown of confidence in vaccines. For example, Soumya Swaminathan, MD and Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, stated at the conference,

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I don’t think we can overemphasize the fact that we really don’t have very good safety monitoring systems in many countries and this adds to the miscommunication and the misapprehensions, because we’re not able to give clear cut answers when people ask questions about deaths that have occurred due to particular vaccines… One should be able to give a very factual account of what exactly is happening, what the cause of deaths are, but in most cases there’s some obfuscation at that level and therefore there’s less and less trust then in the system.

Prior to this statement, the WHO released a promotional video just days before the conference began, where Dr. Swaminathan contradicted her statement above, saying “we have vaccine safety systems, robust vaccine safety systems.”

It would be nice to have answers as to why the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid close to 4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children, and what that says about these ‘safety systems’ she is talking about. Clearly, there seems to be a need to make our vaccines safer and more effective. Personally, I believe forced vaccination to be quite unethical given the fact that so many questions remain unanswered.

Read more about the conference here: Scientists Share Facts About Vaccines At World Health Organization Conference For Vaccine Safety

Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Sue Rep. Adam Schiff

The growing vaccine hesitancy has led the pharmaceutical industry and its supporters to a dangerous strategy: mass censorship. For those of you who haven’t heard, politicians and social media outlets are taking action steps to censor information about vaccines that is not aligned with the industry and its regulatory ‘arm,’ the CDC. In other words, just about anyone who is even questioning vaccine safety, let alone providing evidence that vaccines are not safe, is liable to be discredited, de-monitized, or de-platformed from social media.

Leading the charge is Congressman Adam Schiff, an advocate of vaccine safety and friend of the pharmaceutical industry, who has used his power and influence to immediately strengthen censorship efforts. His moves have been seen as unfair, unethical, and even illegal. In fact, on Jan 15, 2020, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, along with Katarina Verrelli, on behalf of herself and others who seek access to vaccine information, filed suit against Adam Schiff in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Schiff has abused government power and infringed on their free-speech rights.

Here’s how the association characterizes the situation:

Who appointed Congressman Adam Schiff as Censor-in-Chief?” asks AAPS General Counsel.  “No one did, and he should not be misusing his position to censor speech on the internet.”

In February and March 2019, Rep. Schiff contacted Google, Facebook, and Amazon, to encourage them to de-platform or discredit what Schiff asserted to be inaccurate information on vaccines. He then posted the letters and press release on the House.gov website.

Within 24 hours of Schiff’s letter to Amazon dated Mar 1, 2019, Amazon removed the popular videos Vaxxed and Shoot ’Em Up: the Truth About Vaccines from its platform for streaming videos, depriving members of the public of convenient access.

Under a policy announced in May 2019, Twitter includes a pro-government disclaimer placed above search results for an AAPS article on vaccine mandates: “Know the Facts. To make sure you get the best information on vaccination, resources are available from the US Department of Health and Human Services.” The implication of this disclaimer is that if information is not on a government website, then it is somehow less credible.

On Facebook, a search for an AAPS article on vaccines, which previously would lead directly to the AAPS article, now produces search results containing links to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visits to the AAPS website have declined significantly since March 2019, both in absolute terms and relative to the decline that would result from a story’s losing its recency.

“The internet is supposed to provide free access to information to people of different opinions,” stated AAPS Executive Director, Jane Orient, M.D.

Dr. Orient continues, “AAPS is not ‘anti-vaccine,’ but rather supports informed consent, based on an understanding of the full range of medical, legal, and economic considerations relevant to vaccination and any other medical intervention, which inevitably involves risks as well as benefits.”

AAPS argues in the complaint against Rep. Schiff: “The First Amendment protects the rights of free speech and association. Included within the right of free speech is a right to receive information from willing speakers. Under the First Amendment, Americans have the right to hear all sides of every issue and to make their own judgments about those issues without government interference or limitations. Content-based restrictions on speech are presumptively unconstitutional, and courts analyze such restrictions under strict scrutiny.”

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.

The Takeaway

The terms “anti vax” and “pro vax” are really not serving in the best interest of the collective. All they do is divide people when in reality, all of us want the same thing, healthy children, and effective and safe medications if we are going to use them. With all of the concerns that are still being made about vaccines, questioning vaccine safety should not be a problem and in fact, should be welcomed by everybody. Forcing mandatory vaccination policy and censoring information on vaccines, in my opinion, seems to be quite tyrannical and immoral at this stage. I may have a different opinion if vaccines were 100 percent safe and effective for everybody, but they’re not.

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Togo, West Africa Added To A Growing List of Countries That Are Banning Glyphosate

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Togo, a country in West Africa has decided to ban the use of toxic chemical pesticide, glyphosate because of growing health and environmental concerns.

  • Reflect On:

    Togo joins 20 other countries who have decided to ban this pesticide, do you think your country will ever do the same?

Recently, a country in West Africa, Togo has prohibited the ‘import, market or use of glyphosate and any other product containing it.’ This decision was finalized in December of last year by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Production and Fisheries, Noel Kouerta Bataka.

If you are unfamiliar with glyphosate, it is a chemical pesticide made by none other than agricultural giant, Monsanto, Bayer. Glyphosate can be found in RoundUp and used on crops that have been genetically engineered specifically to resist its toxicity, allowing farmers to kill the weeds and pests without killing their crops. The problem is, it is extremely toxic not only for the consumer of products containing it, but for the land and soil as well where it is grown.

There have been numerous studies, many of which CE has reported on that link it to cancer, liver disease, autism, birth defects, brain damage and more.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage (et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691)

After 2 years of political discussions in Togo, regarding the worlds most popular herbicide, many are celebrating the decision that was finally made to have it outright banned. Bataka has allowed a 12-month moratorium for all of the current glyphosate supplies to be either used or destroyed.

Ban Of Glyphosate Around The World

As awareness grows regarding the health concerns of glyphosate, so does government level support worldwide. Not only has Key West, Los Angeles, Miami and The University of California banned or restricted the use of this toxic chemical so, have 20 countries around the world. These countries are,

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  • In Africa — Malawi and Togo.
  • In Asia — Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar.
  • In Central America — Bermuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Costa Rica
  • In Europe — Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands

So we still have yet to see bans in Canada, United States, Mexico and many other countries, but hopefully stories such as these will keep the awareness and momentum going and help others to see that this toxic chemical pesticide should not be anywhere near the food we are eating or on our precious Mother Earth.

It’s a big problem, and it’s now entered into our food supply.

How To Avoid Glyphosate

One might believe that they simply have to avoid genetically engineered foods to avoid glyphosate, and while that is a good start, unfortunately it’s not that black and white. There are many non-GMO foods that are still sprayed with this chemical and thus have high concentrations of it.

In reality your best bet would be to grow all of your own fruits, vegetables and even nuts, but unfortunately in this day and age this is not very plausible for everyone.

The foods that are highest in glyphosate are: soy, wheat, almonds, peas, beetroot (including beet sugar), carrots, sweet potatoes, quinoa, peas, tea, meat and dairy, corn and oats. However, many other unsuspecting foods have also have tested positive for high levels of glyphosate including many fruits and berries such as: apples, apricots, cherries, grapefruit, grapes (wine as well), lemons, olives, peaches, pears and more.

To avoid glyphosate altogether sticking to an all-organic diet is necessary. If this is an obstacle for you, consider locally grown produce where you can talk directly with the farmers about their growing practices. Many farmers grow organically , but cannot afford to obtain the organic certification. You can also wash your produce in baking soda and vinegar click HERE for instructions.

Final Thoughts

While it may seem hopeless at times to even try to avoid environmental toxins like glyphosate, we have to remember that the more we do, and the more we put our money where are mouths are and vote with our dollars, the less these chemicals will be used. We have already seen many big brands step away from using GMO ingredients because of consumer demand, so it may not be as far off as you think.

As countries like Togo step forward and do what is right for their citizens and the planet, awareness will continue to grow and it will assist others in seeing the truth about these chemicals and inspire others to make a change as well. We have more power than we realize and anything can change, with enough awareness.

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