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5 Warm, Delicious & Chemical Free Vegan Homemade Drinks To Replace Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Why indulge in overpriced, sugary drinks when you can make tastier, healthier ones at home?

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Autumn is upon us here in North America, and that means fast-food chain marketers are set to enter a pumpkin spiced frenzy, playing well into our desires to snuggle up with a hot cup of ‘something’ in hand. Establishments like Starbucks, for example, offer seasonal beverages like the ever-anticipated Pumpkin Spiced Latte — a drink that, despite its virtuous sounding name, contains 50g of sugar (in a grande) and natural flavours. For the most part, when you order any pumpkin spiced delights, what you’re getting is an abundant amount of sugar, which makes them taste good, and genetically modified ingredients, which makes them cheap to manufacture.

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The best way to avoid consuming drinks that are high in sugar and animal fat? Make them yourself of course! The key to these recipes is ensuring that you are starting from scratch with whole ingredients. Sure, you can go out and buy a pre-made packet, but these are unlikely to offer you that powerfully warming, cozy feeling you’ve been craving!

Turmeric Latte 

This drink will provide all the spice you need this fall to keep you warm, all while helping to keep inflammation down. Turmeric contains anti-tumour, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, along with a hefty dose of antioxidants. We already have a lovely turmeric smoothie you can try out here and a Golden Milk recipe here.Ingredients
(1 serving)

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup organic full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 heaped teaspoon fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped (substitute with 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch each of black pepper, sea salt, and ground ginger

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and gently warm while stirring with a spoon to combine.
  2. Carefully transfer hot liquid into a high-speed blender.
  3. Blend mixture on high for about 30 seconds, until frothy. Serve hot and drink immediately. Note – rinse your blender ASAP too, so you don’t stain it turmeric hued!

Thanks to Kate from Organic Authority for the recipe!

Chai Latte

Another Indian treasure, chai is even more flavourful than turmeric alone, with six spices combined. Chai also comes with a number of its own benefits, like improving digestion, enhancing the immune system, and fighting inflammation, along with its own dose of antioxidants. If you’d like another chai recipe, you can try out our Apple Chai Granola Recipe to go along with your yummy latte.

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Ingredients
(2 servings)

  • For the Chai Spice Mix (yields ⅓ cup):
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2½ teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • For the Vegan Chai Lattes:
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 black tea bags
  • 2 tablespoons chai spice mix (see above)
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (light or full-fat), or other non-dairy milk
 Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients until fully combined. Store in an airtight plastic bag or glass jar.
  2. In a small saucepan, place water, tea bags, and 2 tablespoons chai spice mix. Bring to a boil; put the lid on, remove from heat, and let it steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the tea bags and stir. Pour equally into two mugs. Sweeten with 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup in each latte.
  4. Pour ½ cup milk into each mug; stir until well combined. Garnish with coconut whipped cream and a sprinkle of spice mix.
  5. *Optional: Instead of pouring the tea into two mugs, pour the maple syrup and coconut milk into the pot and warm over low heat. Then separate the mix into two mugs and serve.
 Thanks to Emilie from Emilie Eats for this tasty recipe!

Mulled Cranberry Cider

Now this is more of a specialty drink, but also quite potent. Cranberries help to lower the risk of urinary tract infections, improve immune function, and decrease blood pressure. They also helps prevent certain types of cancer, particularly of the breast, thanks to the presence of polyphenols.

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of cranberry juice (not cocktail, just cranberry juice)
  • 8 cups of good apple cider (get it fresh from the farm if you can)
  • 2-4 T brown sugar
    4 cinnamon sticks
  • Allspice (just a pinch in)
  • 8 whole cloves
  • Slices of orange

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, combine the cranberry juice and apple cider.
  2. Stir in brown sugar.
  3. Add cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves and orange.
  4. Heat until it almost boils and then reduce it to simmer.
  5. Taste it and if it needs a little more sugar or whatever you can add to it.
  6. Strain out your cloves and cinnamon sticks before you serve.

Thanks to Melissa from The Inspired Room for this creative recipe!

Hot Chocolate

This wouldn’t be a proper list of delicious hot food beverages if chocolate weren’t included, and more specifically, cacao. Amazingly, cacao contains bioactive ingredients called flavanols that help to reverse the memory decline that comes with age. Cacao helps to relieve stress, lower cholesterol, and improve brain power, and it has one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any food. It’s also loaded with minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper, manganese, fibre, phosphorous, zinc, and selenium.

Ingredients
(2 servings)

  • One 13.5 oz can “lite” coconut milk (this truly is the best milk to make hot chocolate, I would advise against subbing as others I’ve tried were not good. Lite leaves NO coconut taste!)
  • 2 tablespoons (12 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 heaping tablespoons (40 g) semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
  • 1-2 tablespoons (20 g) maple syrup, depending on your sweet-o-meter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground espresso or instant coffee (you can leave out if you want, it just makes the chocolate flavor stronger)
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Optional: whipped cream, shaved chocolate, marshmallows, etc.

Instructions

  1. If you have a Vitamix, then add all of the ingredients to the blender and blend for a few minutes on high until completely smooth and frothy. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, then add all of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, to a blender or food processor and process until smooth and frothy. It will only get frothy on a high speed and after a few minutes.
  2. Add the mixture to a pot over medium heat and then add the chocolate chips. Once it begins to bubble, whisk continuously for about 4 minutes until well heated and has thickened just a bit. You don’t want to overcook it, or it will get too thick. I found this to be the perfect level of sweetness, but if you want yours a tad sweeter, add a little more maple syrup. Remove and pour into mugs and add whipped cream, shaved chocolate, marshmallows, cinnamon, etc. Enjoy!
  3. This makes enough for 2 mugs. If you are just wanting 1 serving, then place the rest in the fridge and when you are ready to use it, give it a good whisk and reheat on low.

Thank you Brandi from The Vegan 8 for this mouth watering recipe!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Of course we had to add a pumpkin spice latte, and yes, pumpkins also come with a long list of awesome benefits. Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which help prevent hypertension, and contains vitamin A, which promotes good vision. Pumpkin seeds also contain zinc, which can assist the brain in converting tryptophan into serotonin — great for sleep issues — and the flesh, used in the recipe below, is high in fibre, which helps protect the heart, improve digestion, and manage blood glucose.

Ingredients

For the Salted Pumpkin Spice Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup (80 g) coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) unsweetened pumpkin purée*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla bean powder or 1 vanilla bean, seeded or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Pumpkin Spice Latte:

  • 2 tablespoons (1 shot/1 ounce) espresso
  • 1 cup (250 mL) unsweetened almond milk
  • 3-4 teaspoons (15 to 20 mL) Salted Pumpkin Spice Syrup
  • Coconut Whipped Cream, for garnish (optional—I usually skip it)
  • Dash cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, for garnish

Instructions

  1. For the Pumpkin Spice Syrup: Whisk together all syrup ingredients in a medium pot over medium heat. Simmer for about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until smooth and slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Once cool, pour leftovers into a jar and secure lid.
  2. Prepare the espresso or pick some up from a local coffee shop.
  3. Add milk into a small pot. Heat over medium and bring to a simmer. Immediately remove from heat. Froth the milk using a milk frother or a French press. Tip: I use my French press to froth the milk. Simply add the heated milk into the press and secure lid (make sure it’s closed and not vented). Pump the plunger vigorously for about 30 to 60 seconds. Be careful, as the hot milk can shoot out.
  4. Pour hot espresso into a mug. Top with all of the frothy milk. Add 3 to 4 teaspoons of the syrup, to taste, and gently stir to combine. Top with a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, and Coconut Whipped Cream, if desired. Serve immediately. The syrup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 2 weeks, most likely longer. You can use it in regular coffee, too, or try stirring it into a bowl of hot oatmeal for a seasonal twist!

*If your pumpkin puree is on the grainy side (some brands are more than others), it might benefit from a quick blend or puree in the blender or food processor before using.

Thanks to Angela of Oh She Glows for delivering another delicious recipe!

If you really want to incorporate more pumpkin spice into your kitchen this fall, check out 5 Delicious Fall Recipes That Actually Include Pumpkin Spice, which has recipes like energy bars, baked apples, and even hummus.

 

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Health

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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Alternative News

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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Awareness

Alternatives To Viagra That May Treat Erectile Dysfunction

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Erectile dysfunction is something that affects man men. It seems the only solution is medication, but their maybe other alternatives available.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is there such a lack of resources when it comes to the research of alternatives methods for treat certain health problem?

For many men experiencing erectile dysfunction, a little blue pill known as Viagra can be a quick fix thanks to modern medicine. However, like many other quick fixes developed by the pharmaceutical industry, those benefits don’t come without some added risks. Pharmaceuticals often impose the “bandaid effect” on our bodies, covering up the problem rather than actually solving it through addressing the root cause of the health issue. 

When it comes to Viagra, choosing to take this little blue pill is sort of like choosing the blue pill in the Matrix. Sometimes we can become so blinded by the advantages of something that we forget about its potential side effects, and ultimately fail to address the real issue at hand. So, in hearing that this blue pill could seemingly fix your sex life again, many men choose to take it, while simultaneously ignoring the risks.

In reality, there are some pretty serious health risks associated with Viagra. Like many other pharmaceutical products, by ‘fixing’ one area of the body, you could be harming another.

The Viagra website states it can potentially cause some serious side effects, including:

  • Priapism, otherwise known as a long-term erection that can permanently damage your penis
  • Loss of vision in one of both eyes
  • Hearing loss, damage to hearing, or ringing in ears
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Heart attack or irregular heartbeat
  • Stroke
  • Death

Despite these potential risks, over 23 million men have been prescribed Viagra. This indicates there’s a huge number of men who experience erectile dysfunction, and it’s understandable they’d turn to Viagra given how normalized pharmaceuticals are in our society and how cruelly men who suffer from this problem are portrayed in the media.

Instead of going deeper and asking ourselves why our health problems occur, we tend to go to the pharmacy for a quick fix or ask our doctors to prescribe us some pills. However, just like any other health problem, erectile dysfunction is simply a symptom of your current state of being. Our health issues don’t just “happen to us,” they manifest as a result of our past and current health and wellbeing.

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Erectile dysfunction can occur due to high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, high cholesterol, hormonal problems, alcohol abuse, smoking, cocaine use, pelvic injuries, spinal issues, radiation therapy around the pelvic region, obesity, and more.

These underlying causes of erectile dysfunction may explain why some of the side effects of Viagra can be so life-threatening in the first place. When men take those blue pills, they can get lost in the excitement of the experience and end up exerting themselves beyond their physical limitations. If these men already have preexisting conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure (which could all be the root causes of their erectile dysfunction), they could already be at risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.

Though the root problem could be considered more difficult to identify and treat than taking that little blue pill, it’s ultimately the only sustainable, long-term solution, and it could save your health (or even your life)!

However, if you are in need of a quick fix while you’re trying to figure out what that root cause could be, there are plenty of alternatives to Viagra that don’t pose the same health risks.

Here’s a list of all-natural alternatives to Viagra:

L-arginine and Pycnogenol

L-arginine is a non-essential amino acid that is important during times of trauma or stress. During these times, the body is unable to produce as much as it needs, and so taking this supplement while you’re stressed is often beneficial. What’s more, studies have found that taking this amino acid supplement can treat erectile function.

It has been found to perform well when taken in combination with pycnogenol. One study involving men experiencing erectile dysfunction found that taking these two supplements together restored participants’ sexual ability to 80% in about a month. After only a few months, 92.5% of the men experienced a normal erection.

Red Ginseng

This incredible herb has been used to improve erectile dysfunction for centuries, and as it turns out, there’s now science to support the herbal wisdom behind it.

2012 study published in the International Journal of Impotence Research concluded that red ginseng can be used as an alternative to erectile dysfunction medication, and another review published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) determined that red ginseng could improve erectile dysfunction and sexual performance, though further research is required.

Maca

Maca is well-known for being nature’s own powerful aphrodisiac. In a study on patients with mild erectile dysfunction, maca was found to produce a “small but significant effect” on both the participants’ general and sexual wellbeing.

You could try adding some maca to your morning smoothies or beverages, or even take a supplement. Plus, maca is an excellent source of vitamin C, iron, potassium, and copper, so you’ll be loading up on nutrients in addition to boosting your sex drive.

Saffron

That’s right: That expensive member of your herbs and spices cabinet can also aid men who suffer from erectile dysfunction! One study found that saffron works surprisingly quickly, showing “a positive effect on sexual function with increased number and duration of erectile events seen in patients with ED even only after taking it for ten days.”

Tribulus terrestris

Tribulus terrestris is a plant often used in Ayurvedic medicine, as the root and fruits are said to benefit both male virility and general wellbeing. A study published in NCBI suggests that tribulus terrestris can be beneficial in treating men who experience erectile dysfunction.

Studies in primates, rabbits, and rats have yielded some promising results, with Tribulus terrestris being found to increase some sex hormones and effectively treating mild and moderate cases of erectile dysfunction.

Reduced Intake of Meat and Fried Foods

Some of the worst foods for your heart include meat and fried foods. Foods high in animal fat, sodium, and unhealthy oils pose serious risk to your heart and can also worsen your blood circulation, a necessary aspect of getting an erection in the first place.

As it turns out, erectile dysfunction could signify underlying heart problems, so eating “heart healthy” foods is a necessary component of good sexual health as well. Try swapping the animal protein for some plant-based protein, cutting the dairy, and ditching the fast food!

Essential Oils

There are a number of essential oils that can be used to reduce stress, increase sex drive/libido, and lower blood pressure, all of which could potentially affect erectile function. Ylang ylang, rose, and lavender essential oils are all really great at reducing stress and in some cases lowering blood pressure, too.

Spicier scents like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove can aid in increasing sex drive and improving sexual function, and nutmeg can also improve blood circulation, an important part of getting an erection.

Final Thoughts

As with many other pharmaceuticals, taking Viagra clearly has its advantages and disadvantages. Sure, it might improve your sex life in the short term, but at what cost? Maybe you’ll take Viagra and never experience any negative side effects, but at the end of the day, there’s no guarantee of that.

Any ailment or disease that manifests in the body is always a sign of sickness or stress, and this includes erectile dysfunction; if everything is operating well in your body, then you will not run into any operational issues.

This applies for many health issues, and I encourage you to continue on your journey in searching for the root cause of all of your health problems!

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