TUES., NOV. 30, 2010: JUST-RELEASED NATURAL HEALTH STUDY BPA AND ANTIBACTERIAL SOAPS MAY DISRUPT IMMUNE SYSTEM: Building on previous animal studies on bisphenol A (BPA), a new study has concluded that this compound may cause negative alterations to the human immune system. (BPA is found in many plastics, plastic food storage containers, thermal paper used for receipts, dental sealant, and as a protective plastic lining in food cans.) Although 200 previous studies have linked BPA with negative health effects on animals, this is the first study to find a link between the compound and the human immune system. Researchers detected higher levels of cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibody levels in people who had highest levels of BPA in their urine, suggesting their “cell-mediated immune system may not be functioning properly.” They also noted greater incidence of allergies and hay fever in those with higher urine levels of triclosan. (Triclosan is found in antibacterial soaps, toothpaste, pens and medical devices.) This follows a September 20, 2010 study in the same journal suggesting human exposure to BPA may be greater than formerly suspected and...

Would you benefit from cleansing? Yes, if you: Smoke Are regularly exposed to environmental toxins Drink less than a litre of water daily Drink soda pop, coffee or alcohol Eat processed foods such as white flour baked goods and candy Crave junk food Are tired, constipated, bloated and lack focus Have sticky or malodorous bowel movements Have pasty skin or dark circles under your eyes Have blood sugar problems Have unstable emotions Have unsatisfactory libido or sleep Are over or under-weight Use prescription or recreational drugs regularly If you peruse natural health news, you certainly have read the word “detox” lately.  You may have heard about how “body burden” of unnatural chemicals is higher than ever before. Industrial run-off into our rivers, pharmaceutical pollution flushed down toilets, burning fossil fuels belching into the air, fake food, plastic everywhere — all of this and more comprises an enormous burden for our internal self-cleansing systems. The amazing human body has several mechanisms by which to rid itself of non-nutrients which come in daily through our nose and mouth. We process food across...

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), particularly the seeds, has been used medicinally for over 2000 years.  Ancient writings recommend milk thistle not only for liver and gall bladder disorders, but for poisoning of all kinds including from toxic mushrooms and snakebites. The modern use of milk thistle extract began in 1949 when animal studies showed that it could protect the liver against carbon tetrachloride poisoning.  Since then over 100 clinical trials have been performed on this miraculous medicine and it is carried in the Emergency Department pharmacies of most major European hospitals.  Milk thistle has successfully saved lives by reversing acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Amanita mushroom (one of the most deadly) poisoning. Milk thistle is thought to work in three main ways: first as an antioxidant, “quenching” free radicals created from poisoning or environmental pollution.  Folks living in a smoggy area are well advised to take 600-750 mg daily of standardized milk thistle.  The best quality milk thistle is standardized to contain 70% by weight of the major ingredient silybin.  The other mechanisms of action are by protecting the cell membranes (most...

Origanum vulgare (Oregano) is native to Greece, but mostly produced today in Turkey. Like all mints, the plant has a squared stem and is extremely aromatic. Oregano loves hot dry weather and grows well at high altitudes also. The active ingredients, found in the leaves, are the volatile oils thymol and carvacol. These oils have a complex, strong, and pleasant odor. Oregano is often thought of as a “pizza” herb. The medicinal qualities of oregano fall into two major categories: bronchial dilation and anti-microbial activity. Many volatile oils will help to clear congested sinuses or even a chest cold. You could drop a few drops of the concentrated oil into the bottom of a large bowl, put in a few cups of hot water and situate yourself over the bowl, under a large towel, so you can breathe in the “fumes” of the oil coming up in the steam. Be very careful never to put concentrated volatile oils, and this certainly includes oregano, directly against mucus membranes (inside of nose, mouth, vagina and especially not in the eyes). You could...

If you live in a hot climate, or are planning a winter vacation in the sun, think twice before stocking up on flip-flops at Walmart. Simple, inexpensive ($2.44) shoes for the beach would seem to have mass appeal. Unfortunately, what they have caused is mass peeling because of an as yet unidentified chemical reaction between human skin (maybe sun screen?) and the chemical composition of the sandal. The area of irritation on the tops of the feet, which you can view in the pictures below, corresponds exactly to the thong portion of the plastic sandal.  Clearly the chemical burns are linked to wearing the sandals. Since September of this year, Walmart has reportedly sold “over a million” of these colorful plastic Sand ‘N Sun sandals, which has been supposedly now recalled because they have burned the skin (first and second degree burns) on the feet of at least a dozen consumers.  The flip-flops were made in China. One shopper recently reported that she presented the sandals at a Midwest location Walmart check-out register and the scanner didn’t recognize the code...

MRSA is the scourge of hospitals, but now the discovery in France of a volcanic clay with miraculous healing properties raises the prospect of a cure for it, and to other dangerous superbugs (http://news.independent.co.uk/health/article3104663.) Scientists in England have discovered a new and highly effective weapon against deadly superbugs like the MRSA sweeping through dirty hospital wards green French muck. The dramatic antibiotic success of agricur, a clay made from ancient volcanic ash found in the mountains of central France, marks it out as a potential rival to penicillin, the wonder drug of the 20th century. In experiments, the clay killed up to 99 per cent of superbug colonies within 24 hours. Control samples of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) grew 45-fold in the same period. The clay has a similar effect on other deadly bacteria tested, including salmonella, E. coli, and a flesh-eating disease called buruli, a relative of leprosy which disfigures children across central and western Africa. Buruli has been classed as “an emerging public health threat” by the World Health Organization (WHO). MRSA is also a growing concern. Since...

It is said that Cleopatra bathed in milk, honey, and essential oils followed by gentle abrasion with fine white sand. How did we get from such a wholesome and luxurious cleansing ritual to today’s bar soaps that bubble with toxic and irritating substances, including petroleum-based ingredients? I don’t know, I just can’t picture Cleopatra cleaning herself with crude oil. Find out here what to look for on bar soap labels to ensure safe and soothing suds. While ancient Egyptian-style peeled grapes and bare-chested men with palm fronds might make a positive contribution to our beauty routines, toxic and irritating bar soaps most certainly don’t. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, personal care products and their ingredients are not required to undergo approval before they are sold to the public. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned 11 ingredients—meanwhile the European Union has made a list of 1,100 ingredients deemed too hazardous for use in personal care products. It has become the American consumer’s responsibility to read the labels: to make sense of the gobbledygook listed there...

Acne is a very common disease of the tiny fat glands at the base of hair follicles. The purpose of these follicular glands, most prevalent on the face, is to keep the skin moisturized. Common bacteria can irritate the hair follicles, which ultimately causes the fat gland to rupture and impact the pore. This can lead to blackheads, whiteheads, or the more serious “zits” which are inflamed and pus-filled pores. Deep acne can create permanent scars. While stress and genetics are certainly contributing factors in acne, diet plays a major role. Another key factor is excess androgen (testosterone) production which increases the size and activity of the fat glands in the hair follicles. Concentrated minerals and vitamins can help improve your biochemistry and promote clear, healthy skin.

High-intensity ‘cool’ (blue) laser is being used increasingly to kill superficial bacterial infections. A company called Lumenis has a division of ‘aesthetic’ products including a high-intensity blue laser called “ClearLight” which dermatologists are using to kill the propionic and cornybacterium which are the primary cause of acne. The company claims there are no side effects to the treatments, which generally last about 15 minutes and are painless.

The medical term for stretch marks is “œstriae atrophica” which Tabor’s Medical Dictionary describes as “fine pinkish-white or grey lines, usually 14 cm in length, seen in parts of the body where skin has been stretched. Commonly seen on thighs, abdomen, and breasts of women who are or have been pregnant, in persons whose skin has been stretch by obesity, tumor, or dropsy (swelling); or in persons who have taken [steroids] for a prolonged period.” This is different from cellulite, which is a dimpling of the skin caused by a thin upper layer of the skin with large, irregular fat cells below. Stretch marks are, however, somewhat related to cellulite in that women are much more susceptible than men due to skin anatomy. Women have more subcutaneous fat, which has less of a cohesive cellular structure, and also tend to have thinner top layer of skin which makes the superficial skin more prone to damage of all kinds.

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