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It’s Not A Weed! This Health-Boosting Plant Can’t Be Found In A Grocery Store

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In a world increasingly governed by our desire to eat more nutritiously, live more healthfully, and consume more responsibly, deciding what’s for dinner can be a tricky endeavor indeed. Health food trends, like fashion trends, rise and fall at increasing speeds, so that yesterday’s humble leaf becomes today’s kingly kale, seemingly overnight.

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We wait for the media to tell us what the next “it” ingredient shall be, and grudgingly accept that, whatever ‘it’ is, it will likely be costly. And we neglect to look to the ultimate source of nutritional wisdom — nature itself — in our search. More importantly, we associate edible food with grocery store shelves and plastic packaging. We have forgotten, collectively, that real food grows in the ground, requiring no nutritional labels or USDA approvals.

There are, of course, dangers associated with consuming straight from the earth. Some plants are toxic, others hallucinogenic (this particular trait being obviously desirable to some, though likely not when searching for one’s breakfast), and we must approach foraging, as with farming or any other life skill, armed with at least some basic knowledge — knowledge which mothers and fathers used to pass on to sons and daughters, that duty now long-forgotten.

Fortunately, many health food warriors and sustainability advocates are doing some of the work for us, searching their own fields and backyards for solutions to the many crises plaguing the food system today — GMOs, factory farming, and too-long supply chains, to name a few — and empowering us, in the process, to do the same. Kale and spinach are delightful, to be sure, but the human body, just like the human appetite, thrives best when offered a variety of foods, each working together to fill in the nutritional gaps of the other.

Many options exist for those looking to diversify their plates (and their palates), but I wish to highlight just one exciting plant which has been garnering some much-deserved attention recently.

Purslane

Purslane (portulaca oleracea) — also known as duckweed, fatweed, parsley, pussley, verdolagas, and wild portulaca — plagues gardeners around the world, being a persistent and hardy ‘weed’ species which can grow anywhere that has at least a two-month growing season. Once established, it can be difficult to remove, making its recent renaissance as a desirable ingredient a blessing in disguise.

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It originated in Persia and India and has since spread to the rest of the world, with many cultures still using it in dishes regularly. In a beautiful exploration of purslane’s many culinary traditions, New York Times writer Marlena Spieler describes some of the ways it is used around the world today:

In Mexico and California, verdolaga is eaten with pork and tomatillos; at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco, Steve Sando, owner of Rancho Gordo New World Specialty Food in Napa, tucks a few whole stems into his big fat carnitas and tomatillo tamal. Farmers in Provence sell pourpier in wild mesclun. In Greece, little old ladies forage from field to field hunting glistrida, and in Turkey semizotu is mixed with garlicky yogurt and chopped into fetching salads with ripe tomatoes. In Galilee I was told that ”regelah” was delicious in salads — regelah being Hebrew for foot, since purslane is a plant typically found right at your feet.

Described as tangy and bright, purslane leaves make a welcome addition to many refreshing summer meals, like salads and sandwiches, and can also be steamed, stir-fried, or stewed. It also makes a wonderful replacement for traditional greens in pesto, with its high water content replacing much of the oil usually necessary in this sauce.

(Scroll to the end of the article for a roundup of some of the most popular purslane recipes around the web.)

Health Benefits

Useful and tasty it might be, but for something to compete with the likes of kale and the now-ubiquitous collard greens, a vegetable had better pack an impressive nutritional wallop. And purslane does not disappoint. Research has shown it to be remarkably high in antioxidants, featuring two different types of betalain alkaloid pigments (the reddish beta-cyanis and the yellowish beta-zanthins), both of which double as anti-mutagens as well.

Purslane also contains more Omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable, with 100 grams of the fresh leaves providing about 350 mg of alpha-linolenic acid. This makes it an excellent choice for vegans and vegetarians, whose usual recourse in the absence of fish in their diet is most often supplementation. Purslane’s unusually high Omega 3 content was studied extensively in a 1896 New England Journal of Medicine article titled “Purslane: A Terrestrial Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

Purslane also boasts significant amounts of fibre, vitamins (A, B, C), and minerals (iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese). Perhaps more impressive still is its content of melatonin — the hormone responsible for regulating our body clock and sleep cycle — which, as Dr. Bahram Tadayyon notes in his comprehensive book The Miracle of Vegetables: The Scientific Facts About Nuritional Properties and Medicinal Values of Vegetables, is “several-fold [higher] than any other vegetable or fruit.” Purslane therefore can be consumed in order to promote a more restful sleep.

Foraging and Preparing Purslane

The video below, put together by RevolutionOfThought1, highlights the best methods for harvesting and preparing purslane. Check it out!

(List courtesy of eatlocalgrown)

 

 Sources

  1. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3145?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=35&offset=&sort=&qlookup=purslane
  2. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9902E3DB1230F936A35754C0A9609C8B63
  3. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM198609253151313

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Natural Measles Immunity — Better Protection & More Long-Term Benefits Than Vaccines

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Natural immunity compared to the immunity provided by vaccines is extremely different. Public health authorities have made a case for measles eradication since the early 1980s, 50+ years of mass measles vaccination have stopped nothing.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do pharmaceutical companies continue to make false claims about vaccines, using mass marketing? Why are they allowed to? And why does everyone believe them?

Stories about vaccines in the popular press tend to be unabashedly one-sided, generally portraying vaccination as a universal (and essential) “good” with virtually no downside. This unscientific bias is particularly apparent in news reports about measles, which often are little more than hysterical diatribes against the unvaccinated.

Although public health authorities have made a case for measles eradication since the early 1980s, 50-plus years of mass measles vaccination and high levels of vaccine coverage have not managed to stop wild and vaccine-strain measles virus from circulating. Routine measles vaccination also has had some worrisome consequences. Perhaps the most significant of these is the shifting of measles risks to age groups formerly protected by natural immunity. Specifically, modern-day occurrences of measles have come to display a “bimodal” pattern in which “the two most affected populations are infants aged less than 1 year and adults older than 20 years”—the very population groups in whom measles complications can be the most clinically severe. As one group of researchers has stated, “The common knowledge indicating that measles [as well as mumps and rubella] are considered as benign diseases dates back to the pre-vaccine area and is not valid anymore.”

A little history

Before the introduction of measles vaccines in the 1960s, nearly all children contracted measles before adolescence, and parents and physicians accepted measles as a “more or less inevitablepart of childhood.” In industrialized countries, measles morbidity and mortality already were low and declining, and many experts questioned whether a vaccine was even needed or would be used.

Measles outbreaks in the pre-vaccine era also exhibited “variable lethality”; in specific populations living in close quarters (such as military recruits and residents of crowded refugee camps), measles mortality could be high, but even so, “mortality rates differed more than 10-fold across camps/districts, even though conditions were similar.” For decades both prior to and following the introduction of measles vaccination, those working in public health understood that poor nutrition and compromised health status were key contributors to measles-related mortality, with measles deaths occurring primarily “in individuals below established height and weight norms.” A study of measles mortality in war-torn Bangladesh in the 1970s found that most of the children who died were born either in the two years preceding or during a major famine.

Moms who get measles vaccines instead of experiencing the actual illness have less immunity to offer their babies, resulting in a ‘susceptibility gap’…

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Measles vaccination and infants

Before the initiation of mass vaccination programs for measles, mothers who had measles as children protected their infants through the transfer of maternal antibodies. However, naturally acquired immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are qualitatively different. Moms who get measles vaccines instead of experiencing the actual illness have less immunity to offer their babies, resulting in a “susceptibility gap” between early infancy and the first ostensibly protective measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12 to 15 months of age.

A Luxembourg-based study published in 2000 confirmed the susceptibility gap in an interesting way. The researchers compared serum samples from European adolescents who had been vaccinated around 18 months of age to serum samples from Nigerian mothers who had not been vaccinated but had experienced natural measles infection at a young age. They then looked at the capacity of the antibodies detected in the serum to “neutralize” various wild-type measles virus strains. The researchers found that the sera from mothers with natural measles immunity substantially outperformed the sera from the vaccinated teens: only two of 20 strains of virus “resisted neutralization” in the Nigerian mothers’ group, but 10 of 20 viral strains resisted neutralization in the vaccination group. This complex analysis led the authors to posit greater measles vulnerability in infants born to vaccinated mothers.

…many vaccines may eventually become susceptible to vaccine-modified measles…and consequently complicate measles control strategies

The Luxembourg researchers also noted that in the Nigerian setting, where widespread vaccination took hold far later than in Europe, the mothers in question had had “multiple contacts with endemic wild-type viruses” and that these repeat contacts had served an important booster function. One of the authors later conducted a study that examined this booster effect more closely. That study found that re-exposure to wild-type measles resulted in “a significantly prolonged antibody boost in comparison to [boosting through] revaccination.” Taking note of expanding vaccine coverage around the world and reduced circulation of wild-type measles virus, the researchers concluded in a third study that “many vaccinees may eventually become susceptible to vaccine-modified measles…and consequently, complicate measles control strategies.”

Bimodal distribution

With the disappearance of maternally endowed protection, what has happened to measles incidence in infants? A review of 53 European studies (2001–2011) focusing on the burden of measles in those “too young to be immunized” found that as many as 83% of measles cases in some studies and under 1% in other studies were in young infants.

At the same time, the predictions of an increased percentage of measles cases in older teens and adults have also come true. Reporting on a higher “death-to-case ratio” in the over-15 group in 1975 (not many years after widespread adoption of measles vaccination in the U.S.), a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researcher wrote that the higher ratio could be “indicative of a greater risk of complications from measles, exposing the unprotected adult to the potential of substantial morbidity.”

In recent measles outbreaks in Europe and the U.S., large proportions of cases are in individuals aged 15 or older:

  • In the U.S., 57 of the 85 measles cases (67%) reported in 2016 were at least 15 years of age. U.S. researchers also have conservatively estimated that at least 9% of measles cases occur in vaccinated individuals.
  • Among several thousand laboratory-confirmed cases of measles and an additional thousand “probable” or “possible” cases in Italy in 2017, 74% were in individuals at least 15 years of age, and 42% of those were hospitalized.
  • Examining a smaller number of laboratory-confirmed measles cases in Sicily (N=223), researchers found that half of the cases were in adults age 19 or older, and clinical complications were more common in adults compared to children (45% versus 26%). Likewise, about 44% of measles cases in France from 2008 to 2011 (N=305) were in adults (with an average age in their mid-20s), and the adults were more than twice as likely to be hospitalized as infected children.

Time to reevaluate

Pre-vaccination, most residents of industrialized countries accepted measles as a normal and even trivial childhood experience. Many people, including clinicians, also understood the interaction between measles and nutrition, and, in particular, the links between vitamin A deficiency and measles: “Measles in a child is more likely to exacerbate any existing nutritional deficiency, and children who are already deficient in vitamin A are at much greater risk of dying from measles.” Instead of inching the age of initial measles vaccination down to ever-younger ages, as is increasingly being proposed, there could be greater value in supporting children’s nutrition and building overall health—through practical interventions that “improve[e]…existing dietaries through the inclusion of relatively inexpensive foods that are locally available and well within the reach of the poor.”

Ironically, while acute childhood infections such as measles protect against cancer, the rise of chronic childhood illnesses (disproportionately observed in vaccinated children) is linked to elevated cancer risks.

There are many other tradeoffs of measles vaccination that remain largely unexplored, including the important role of fever-inducing infectious childhood diseases in reducing subsequent cancer risks. Ironically, while acute childhood infections such as measles protect against cancer, the rise of chronic childhood illnesses (disproportionately observed in vaccinated children) is linked to elevated cancer risks. These tradeoffs—along with the dangerous loss of infant access to protective maternal antibodies and the higher rates of measles illness and complications in older teens and adults—suggest that measles vaccination deserves renewed scrutiny.

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Awareness

10 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Walk Everyday

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    There are multiple health benefits to be gained by taking a simple walk every day. These benefits are measurable, and if you don't already have an active lifestyle it can be a great way to assist you with your health.

  • Reflect On:

    Reflect on how the human race has become extremely sedentary, and how disease rates continue to climb as a result of the modern human lifestyle.

The human experience has become extremely sedentary, the average human lifestyle in the western world has been linked to multiple diseases and is one of the main causes of why disease rates continue to climb, among many other factors that surround all aspects of human life, like big food, for example. With technology in place and jobs that require tremendous amounts of sitting, there is no doubt that it’s having a detrimental effect on our lives.

That being said, the world is clearly becoming way more health conscious. It’s like we needed this experience of unhealthy food, the corporate take-over of everything, and our motionless lifestyle to knock us out of it. We are seeing a health revolution take place, where more and more people are becoming health conscious, and are always being encouraged to be more active.

Ultimately, we can’t really blame the human experience for our lack of movement, it’s something that all of us have the time to incorporate into our lives in one way or another, and if you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy being too active, a simple walk every day can have tremendous amounts of benefits. As pointed out in the video below, by Bright Side.

If You Want To Increase The Benefits Even More, Walk Barefoot

It’s called grounding, or ‘earthing’ and it involves placing your feet directly on the ground, without shoes or socks as a barrier. Why? Because there is an intense negative charge carried by the Earth, it’s electron-rich, which serves as a good supply of antioxidants and free radical destroying electrons.

A study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health titled “Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons” postulates that earthing could represent a potential treatment for a variety of chronic degenerative diseases.

That’s right, many positive health benefits occur as a result of walking barefoot, and these are measurable.

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The picture below represents improved facial circulation (right image) after 20 minutes of grounding, as documented by a Speckle Contrast Laser Imager (dark blue=lowest circulation; dark red=highest circulation). Image Source: Scientific Research Publishing

If you want to read more publications and access the in-depth science with regards to grounding, you can refer to the article linked above the picture.

10 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Walk Barefoot On Earth 

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Awareness

Nature Valley Ad Shows The Down Side Of Children Addicted To Technology

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Technology has impacted most of our lives in a really big way. We use it daily for everything we do pretty much. Kids today, unlike previous generations, use technology more than ever and spend much less time in nature.

  • Reflect On:

    How much is too much technology for young and developing minds? Is it time to reevaluate our children's relationship with technology and get them back into nature?

Technology has become a staple in most of our lives, really, could you imagine life without it? In the video posted below, Nature Valley asks 3 generations what it was that they did for fun as a kid, the answers from the youngest generation may or may not surprise you, but is it time to cut back on the technology and bring kids back to nature?

Technology is not bad per se, that isn’t the discussion here. This is about how we use it.

Before technology, children would look to nature for entertainment. They would play outside on the lawn, go sledding, build forts, and use their imagination to create their own entertainment. Nowadays it’s all too easy for kids to get sucked into technology, there are video games, tablets, computers, cell phones and television, all of which provide a type of escape from the real world. Although, there are many ways that technology is and has been used for good in the world, is the disconnect that it is causing children and adults to part from nature causing more harm?

With the rise of mental disorders and illnesses, is it possible that the answer to these issues is simply to get kids back into nature, more time with self, using their brains to build things, be creative and connect to the energy from the Earth? We already know how effective a simple walk or hike in nature is and how they both can literally change our brains. Nature appears to be much more important than we generally give it credit for.

In my own experience, disconnecting from technology and going camping on my own proved to be a very cathartic and healing experience for me. I’ve come to realize that although being immersed in nature regularly does have a lot of benefits, but even just making time for it at all can cause a positive impact. For many of us who live in cities, with the constant bombardment of noise and of course EMF frequencies etc., just disconnecting for a short period can make a huge difference.

The following video is a brilliant ad from Nature Valley, check it out.

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It’s easy to get emotional watching something like this as it shows just how far removed the newer generations are from what has been most natural to children for centuries, simply playing in nature. The children are essentially self-proclaimed tech addicts and get their entertainment by playing video games, watching videos or tv shows, texting etc. Is it time to go back to the basics and start evaluating how detrimental too much technology can be on young and developing brains? You can read more about this issue here, Is Your Child Struggling From Nature-Deficit Disorder?

Is it up to the parents to ensure they are setting proper boundaries with the amount of time their children are allowed to use technology? Or is this the future and something we should simply let happen as a natural part of evolution?

Much Love

Free David Wilcock Screening: Disclosure & The Fall of the Cabal

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