Magnesium: An Invisible Deficiency That Could Be Harming Your Health

Magnesium is a mineral used by every organ in your body, especially your heart, muscles, and kidneys.1 If you suffer from unexplained fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms or even muscle spasms and eye twitches, low levels of magnesium could be to blame.

If you’ve recently had a blood test, you might assume it would show a magnesium deficiency. But only 1 percent of magnesium in your body is distributed in your blood, making a simple sample of magnesium from a serum magnesium blood test not very useful.

Most magnesium is stored in your bones and organs, where it is used for many biological functions. Yet, it’s quite possible to be deficient and not know it, which is why magnesium deficiency has been dubbed the “invisible deficiency.”

By some estimates, up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium and may be deficient. Other research shows only about 25 percent of US adults are getting the recommended daily amount of 310 to 320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400 to 420 for men.2

Even more concerning, consuming even this amount is “just enough to ward off outright deficiency,” according to Dr. Carolyn Dean, a medical and naturopathic doctor.

Magnesium Deficiency May Trigger 22 Medical Conditions

Magnesium is often thought of primarily as a mineral for your heart and bones, but this is misleading. Researchers have now detected 3,751 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins, indicating that its role in human health and disease may have been vastly underestimated.3

Magnesium is also found in more than 300 different enzymes in your body and plays a role in your body's detoxification processes, making it important for helping to prevent damage from environmental chemicals, heavy metals, and other toxins. In addition, magnesium is necessary for:

Activating muscles and nerves

Creating energy in your body by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP)

Helping digest proteins, carbohydrates, and fats

Serving as a building block for RNA and DNA synthesis

Acting as a precursor for neurotransmitters like serotonin

Dr. Dean has studied and written about magnesium for more than 15 years. The latest addition of her book, The Magnesium Miracle, came out in 2014 and in it you can learn about 22 medical areas that magnesium deficiency triggers or causes, all of which have all been scientifically proven. This includes:4

Anxiety and panic attacks Asthma Blood clots

Bowel diseases Cystitis Depression

Detoxification Diabetes Fatigue

Heart disease Hypertension Hypoglycemia

Insomnia Kidney disease Liver disease

Migraine Musculoskeletal conditions (fibromyalgia, cramps, chronic back pain, etc.) Nerve problems

Obstetrics and gynecology (PMS, infertility, and preeclampsia) Osteoporosis Raynaud’s syndrome

Tooth decay

Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, headache, nausea, fatigue, and weakness. An ongoing magnesium deficiency can lead to more serious symptoms, including:

Numbness and tingling Muscle contractions and cramps Seizures

Personality changes Abnormal heart rhythms Coronary spasms

The Role of Magnesium in Diabetes, Cancer, and More

Most people do not think about magnesium when they think about how to prevent chronic disease, but it plays an essential role. For instance, there have been several significant studies about magnesium's role in keeping your metabolism running efficiently—specifically in terms of insulin sensitivity, glucose regulation, and protection from type 2 diabetes.

Higher magnesium intake reduces risk of impaired glucose and insulin metabolism and slows progression from pre-diabetes to diabetes in middle-aged Americans.5 Researchers stated, "Magnesium intake may be particularly beneficial in offsetting your risk of developing diabetes, if you are high risk."

Multiple studies have also shown that higher magnesium intake is associated with a higher bone mineral density in both men and women,6 and research from Norway has even found an association between magnesium in drinking water and a lower risk of hip fractures.7

Magnesium may even help lower your risk of cancer, and a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that higher intakes of dietary magnesium were associated with a lower risk of colorectal tumors.8

Results from the meta-analysis indicated that for every 100-mg increase in magnesium intake, the risk of colorectal tumor decreased by 13 percent, while the risk of colorectal cancer was lowered by 12 percent. The researchers noted magnesium’s anti-cancer effects may be related to its ability to reduce insulin resistance, which may positively affect the development of tumors.

Surprising Factors That Influence Your Magnesium Levels

Seaweed and green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard can be excellent sources of magnesium, as are some beans, nuts, and seeds, like pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds. Avocados also contain magnesium. Juicing your vegetables is an excellent option to ensure you're getting enough of them in your diet.

However, most foods grown today are deficient in magnesium and other minerals, so getting enough isn’t simply a matter of eating magnesium-rich foods (although this is important too). According to Dr. Dean:

"Magnesium is farmed out of the soil much more than calcium… A hundred years ago, we would get maybe 500 milligrams of magnesium in an ordinary diet. Now we're lucky to get 200 milligrams.”

Herbicides, like glyphosate also act as chelators, effectively blocking the uptake and utilization of minerals in so many foods grown today. As a result, it can be quite difficult to find truly magnesium-rich foods. Cooking and processing further depletes magnesium.

Meanwhile, certain foods can actually influence your body’s absorption of magnesium. If you drink alcohol in excess, for instance, it may interfere with your body’s absorption of vitamin D, which in turn is helpful for magnesium absorption. If you eat a lot of sugar, this can also cause your body to excrete magnesium through your kidneys, “resulting in a net loss,” according to Dr. Danine Fruge, associate medical director at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida.9 The following factors are also associated with lower magnesium levels:10

Excessive intake of soda or caffeine


Older age (older adults are more likely to be magnesium deficient because absorption decreases with age and the elderly are more likely to take medications that can interfere with absorption)

Certain medications, including diuretics, certain antibiotics (such as gentamicin and tobramycin), corticosteroids (prednisone or Deltasone), antacids, and insulin

An unhealthy digestive system, which impairs your body's ability to absorb magnesium (Crohn's disease, leaky gut, etc.)

Calcium, Vitamin K2, and Vitamin D Must Be Balanced with Magnesium

It may seem like you could remedy the risks of low magnesium simply by taking a supplement, but it’s not quite that simple. When you're taking magnesium, you need to consider calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 as well, since these all work synergistically with one another. Excessive amounts of calcium without the counterbalance of magnesium can lead to a heart attack and sudden death, for instance. Research on the Paleolithic or caveman diet has shown that the ratio of calcium to magnesium in the diet that our bodies evolved to eat is 1-to-1.11Americans in general tend to have a higher calcium-to-magnesium ratio in their diet, averaging about 3.5-to-1.

If you have too much calcium and not enough magnesium, your muscles will tend to go into spasm, and this has consequences for your heart in particular. "What happens is, the muscle and nerve function that magnesium is responsible for is diminished. If you don't have enough magnesium, your muscles go into spasm. Calcium causes muscle to contract. If you had a balance, the muscles would do their thing. They'd relax, contract, and create their activity," Dr. Dean explains.

When balancing calcium and magnesium, also keep in mind that vitamins K2 and D need to be considered. These four nutrients perform an intricate dance together, with one supporting the other. Lack of balance between these nutrients is one of the reasons why calcium supplements have become associated with increased risk of heart attacks and stroke, and why some people experience vitamin D toxicity. Part of the explanation for these adverse side effects is that vitamin K2 keeps calcium in its appropriate place. If you're K2 deficient, added calcium can cause more problems than it solves, by accumulating in the wrong places, like your soft tissue.

Similarly, if you opt for oral vitamin D, you need to also consume it in your food or take supplemental vitamin K2 and more magnesium. Taking mega doses of vitamin D supplements without sufficient amounts of K2 and magnesium can lead to vitamin D toxicity and magnesium deficiency symptoms, which include inappropriate calcification that may damage your heart.

Tips for Increasing Your Magnesium Levels

One way to really increase your magnesium, as well as many other important plant-based nutrients, is by juicing your greens. I typically drink one pint to one quart of fresh green vegetable juice every day, and this is one of my primary sources of magnesium. Organic foods may have more magnesium if grown in nutrient-rich soils but it is very difficult to make that determination. If you opt for a supplement, be aware that there are a wide variety of magnesium supplements on the market, because magnesium must be bound to another substance. There's simply no such thing as a 100 percent magnesium supplement.

The substance used in any given compound can affect the absorption and bioavailability of the magnesium, and may provide slightly different, or targeted, health benefits. The table that follows summarizes some of the differences between the various forms. Magnesium threonate and citrate are some of the best sources, as it seems to penetrate cell membranes, including your mitochondria, which results in higher energy levels. Additionally, it also penetrates your blood-brain barrier and seems to do wonders to treat and prevent dementia and improve memory. If you take a supplement, you can use the “bowel test” to determine if you’re taking too much magnesium. Dr. Dean explains:12

“The best way to tell if you are getting enough magnesium is the “bowel test”. You know when you have too much magnesium when your stools become loose. This, in fact, may be a blessing for people with constipation… [which] is one of the many ways magnesium deficiency manifests.”

Besides taking a supplement, another way to improve your magnesium status is to take regular Epsom salt baths or foot baths. Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate that can absorb into your body through your skin. Magnesium oil can also be used for topical application and absorption. Whatever supplement you choose, be sure to avoid any containing magnesium stearate, a common but potentially hazardous additive.

Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that tends to provide the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability and is typically considered ideal for those who are trying to correct a deficiency. Magnesium oxide is a non-chelated type of magnesium, bound to an organic acid or a fatty acid. Contains 60 percent magnesium, and has stool softening properties

Magnesium chloride/Magnesium lactate contain only 12 percent magnesium, but has better absorption than others, such as magnesium oxide, which contains five times more magnesium Magnesium sulfate/Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) are typically used as laxatives. Be aware that it's easy to overdose on these, so ONLY take as directed

Magnesium carbonate, which has antacid properties, contains 45 percent magnesium Magnesium taurate contains a combination of magnesium and taurine, an amino acid. Together, they tend to provide a calming effect on your body and mind

Magnesium citrate is magnesium with citric acid, which like most magnesium supplements has laxative properties but is well absorbed and cost effective Magnesium threonate is a newer, emerging type of magnesium supplement that appears promising, primarily due to its superior ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane, and may be the best magnesium supplement on the market

12 Amazing Health Wonders Of The Neem Tree.

by Dr Janardhana Hebbar

12 Amazing Health Wonders Of The Neem Tree.

Although Neem (Hindi for “Miracle tree”, Margosa or Indian Lilac), aptly called the “drug cabinet of Mother Nature”, is celebrated for the countless benefits that it bestows, but it’s curative worth is what makes it an essential part of any natural treatment. Neem is widely used in many Ayurvedic medicinal preparations and revered not only for its deep action but also the complete lack of side-effects. There will rarely be a household in India that does not have a bottle of virgin neem oil in their medicine chest.

12 Amazing Health Wonders Of The Neem Tree:
Almost all parts of the neem plant (i.e. its leaves, flowers, seeds, fruit, roots, dried branches and bark) have established medicinal features.
  • Neem sticks (twigs) are used in most of rural India as a toothbrush. It’s a morning ritual to chew on the twig (no need for toothpaste) and then mildly brush the gums and teeth with the same twig. Works better than most “advanced” toothpastes and mouth washes and prevents oral infections, bleeding and soothes tender gums.
  • Neem is an integral part (along with cloves) in natural toothpastes that naturally bleach teeth, fortify gums, and prevent tooth and gum decay.
  • Neem is a natural pesticide, germicide, etc.… all rolled in one. It is known to dissuade around five hundred types of destructive insects such as mites, bugs, ticks and roundworms; threadworms etc. It does this by altering the behavior patterns and physiology of those insects. Due to its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral features, neem assists in safe-guarding from numerous microbes that attack the human body.
  • Neem oil extract reduces wrinkles by assisting the creation of collagen, critical for maintaining the skin’s elasticity and avoiding/delaying sign of aging. Neem oil is supportive in curing diverse ailments of skin like acne, rashes etc.
  • Neem assists in instantly healing wounds by activating the collagen fibers to seal the damaged tissues. The oil extorted from its leaves can assist in curing sores, abrasions, scratches and infections.
  • Topically applying neem paste assists in curing eczema and psoriasis.
  • Neem oil extract relieves joint pains, and helps in the building of tough and resilient bones.
  • Neem tea soothes stressed nerves, calms the mind and provides instant invigoration and relief. A dip in warm bath infused with drops of neem oil can expel muscle stress and soreness after a hectic workday.
  • A paste made of Neem leaves applied on the scalp prevents hair loss, premature graying, dandruff and invasion of lice.
  • Neem tea is known to improve blood circulation and boost the creation of healthy blood cells.
  • Neem tea is highly recommended for diabetics as it has curative properties that reduce blood sugar levels.
  • Neem seeds blended in warm water, taken on an empty stomach for a week, is a time-tested treatment to stop bleeding from hemorrhoids.
The bottom line:
From the crown of your head to the underside of your feet, various yields (created from neem) assist in keeping your hair, skin, teeth and overall your body in best health naturally and organically.

Organic SAGE

Sage is a legendary herb well known for its phenomenal health promoting and disease preventing properties. It is one of the top antioxidants herbs and can provide powerful protection from degenerative diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, macular degeneration, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, prostatitis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Sage contains rosmarinic acid which is a potent anti-inflammatory compound that can help reduce swelling and inflammation and considered highly beneficial for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, bursitis, asthma, and atherosclerosis. Sage has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties and is an excellent natural remedy for fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. It also has the ability to provide relief from acidity and aid in digestion of fatty and hard to digest foods. Sage is known as the “thinker’s herb” as has an outstanding ability to enhance attention span, support concentration, and improve the senses as well as provide support when dealing with grief and depression. It can also help regulate the menstrual cycle and help to prevent excessive sweating in woman after menopause. Sage has the ability to neutralize free radicals and offer significant anti-aging and longevity benefits.

It also contains antiseptic properties and is widely found in natural creams, lotions, and salves to speed the healing of cuts and wounds and clear up most skin diseases and infections. On a spiritual level, sage has long been used to aid in cleansing one’s spirit and surroundings. Sage has a peppery flavor and can be added to soups, potatoes, squash, tomato sauce, salads, guacamole, and even works well with some fruits like strawberries and banana smoothies. It can also be taken as a tea, capsule, or tincture for additional benefits. Sage is a wise, healing, and powerful herb that is a true gift and should not be missed.

Cranberries are natural antibiotic, source of antioxidants

One of only three commercially grown fruits native to the United States, cranberries offer a multitude of health benefits that can help ward off cancer, heart disease, diabetes and bacterial infections.

It is unsurprising that cranberries have so many health benefits, considering that the cranberry plant is a close relative of the blueberry, another superfood known for its incredible healing properties.

Most of the cranberries in the U.S. are grown in Massachusetts, which prides itself in being the nation's number one producer thanks to 14,000 harvested acres of cranberry bogs, most of which are cultivated by small family farms.

Like other berries, cranberries are very high in antioxidants, making them a great resource for boosting the immune system, particularly during the cold winter months when seemingly everybody is getting sick.

Regular consumption of cranberries can inhibit the development of lung, breast, colon, prostrate and other cancerous tumors

Approximately 400 million pounds of cranberries are consumed each year in the U.S., with one-fifth of them being eaten during Thanksgiving. These red-pigmented tart berries have a long history in the U.S., as they were first used by Native Americans to fight scurvy, a disease brought on by vitamin C deficiencies.

Cranberries proved beneficial in earlier times, as they were used to dye porcupine quills for clothing and jewelry. Native Americans also used the berries for other medicinal purposes, including as blood purifiers and laxatives and to treat fever, stomach cramps and even childbirth-related injuries, according to a report by National Geographic.

Today, cranberries are nearly just as important, as they're routinely used to treat a variety of ailments due to their antibiotic qualities. Loaded with proanthocyanidins, antioxidant compounds, cranberries are great for preventing urinary tract infections, as they work by preventing bacteria from binding to the cell walls of the bladder.

These same compounds stop bacteria from multiplying and actually flush them out of the body through urination. Studies show that regular intake can prevent recurring urinary tract infections in middle-aged women and pregnant women.

Cranberries naturally rich in phytonutrients, vitamin C, fiber and salicylic acid

Cranberries have also been proven to inhibit tumor growth due to the presence of polyphenolic compounds. Phytochemicals found within cranberries have the ability to block the activity of cancer cells, preventing them from growing out of control.

Scientists have identified five ways cranberries defeat cancer cells, three of which inhibit cancer-causing agents and two that simulate the destruction of tumor cells. Cranberries have the remarkable ability to suppress certain types of protein enzymes that cause inflammation and if allowed to build up can lead to cancer cell growth.

Cranberries are also able to block an enzyme called ornithine decarboxylase, which can lead to tumor growth, particularly causing breast cancer. Another way cranberries fight cancer is by unlocking certain enzymes that kill cancer cells.

For example, antioxidant compounds found in these red-pigmented berries kick-start the activity of a phase 2 detoxification enzyme called quinone reductase, which offers protection against chemical carcinogenesis. Research has proven that cranberries are very effective at causing apoptosis, induced programmed death of tumor cells.

Why your heart craves cranberries

Cranberries are so rich in antioxidants that they may decrease the threat of atherosclerosis, a disease in which the arteries narrow and harden due to a build up of cholesterol, fat and calcium. This type of build-up can obstruct the body's oxygen flow, which may result in a stroke or heart attack. Cranberries' natural compounds have been shown to suppress the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and beneficially stimulate blood platelets, according to researchers.


7 Super Seeds That Will Change Your Health

Nutrient-dense seeds are finally starting to get the attention that they deserve. Packed with healthy fats, protein, fiber and lots of minerals and vitamins, the following seven super seeds are an ideal addition to your meals to ensure you’re eating a balanced diet.

1. Chia seed

Chia seeds are one of nature’s most perfect superfoods. Yes, they get stuck in your teeth if eaten dry and can become quite slimy when soaked in liquid, but they have very little to no flavor, so if used in a recipe or as a topping, you’ll hardly notice that you’re eating them. Once you frequently start consuming chia seeds, you will quickly notice benefits such as increased energy and digestive regularity. Being an incredible source of fiber, a single ounce of chia seeds has nearly half of the daily recommended requirement of fiber. They have more iron than spinach, more potassium than bananas, and more antioxidant strength than blueberries.

One of my favorite health benefits of eating chia seeds is muscle and tissue regeneration. They contain more calcium than milk and are the richest plant-based source of alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Increasing your intake of omega-3 fats can reduce joint pain and inflammation.

Because of their soft seed coat, you will benefit from chia seeds’ nutrient content without having to grind them down. Sprinkle them on salads, mixed fruit, yogurt and oatmeal. Soaking them in water or juice for about 10 to 15 minutes results in a gelatinous liquid. Consuming chia seeds in this manner will help your body digest them. If you want this extra benefit, add them to smoothies, make a delicious chia seed pudding, or create a thicker gel and use as an egg or oil replacement in baked goods recipes.

2. Flax seeds

Although they are small, flax seeds must be ground so our bodies can digest the nutrients protected by their hard shells. Flax meal offers a nutty flavor and creates a smooth gel when mixed with liquid; hence, it makes a nice addition to baked goods especially if you’re looking for an inexpensive egg substitute.

An ounce of flax seeds contains nearly 8 grams of fiber and 12 grams of fatty acids, as well as about one quarter of daily recommended requirement of magnesium for increased energy. Some research has shown that consuming flax seeds as part of a healthy diet can lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Ideally, you want to purchase your flax seeds whole and grind small amounts to store in the fridge for a week’s worth of use. Pre-ground flax seeds have been exposed to oxygen longer, which causes breaks down the polyunsaturated fats, thus lowering levels of omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid that benefit the heart. Because of this, even whole flax seeds are better when stored in a fridge or freezer.

3. Hemps seeds

These nutritious and healing seeds are starting to be a favorite among vegans and health fanatics, and are often added to smoothies, cereals, oatmeal, and on top of salads. Hemp seeds also can be blended with water to make a nice milk substitute, a nice option for people with nut and soy allergies, although the flavor of hemp milk is less sweet than raw almond milk or cow’s milk.

Hemp seeds are often sold shelled, so you can eat them right out of the package. They offer easily digestible protein and all the essential omega-3 and 6 fatty acids needed by the human body. Hemp seeds are also rich in antioxidants, fiber, various minerals such as zinc, and many vitamins including a hefty dose of vitamin E. They have been used to reduce dry skin and hair, help with muscle regenerations, reduce inflammation, ward off heart disease, and improve immune system function.

4. Pumpkin Seeds

You probably know them best from picking out the slimy insides of a pumpkin each Halloween. These flat slimy seeds dry out into a tasty snack whether you roast them or toast them. If you prefer a salty snack, boil them in salty water before you dry them. Smaller to medium size pumpkin seeds can be eaten with their shells when properly toasted, although the larger seeds are probably best to eat shelled. You can also grind them up into a meal to add to baked goods recipes.

Pumpkin seeds are a great way to add protein, iron, zinc and especially magnesium to your diet. Magnesium helps stabilize blood pressure, assists in bone strength and even reduces stress. Men can benefit greatly from the phytosterols chemicals found in pumpkin seeds, which have been shown to alleviate symptoms associated with having an enlarged prostate.

5. Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds are a common addition to many Asian recipes and stir fries. They are so small, you typically won’t be eating them as a snack, but they are an essential ingredient to keep in your kitchen because they are incredibly rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. You can pretty much add them to any stir fry, inside or outside of sushi rolls, or sprinkle them toasted on a salad. A common Middle Eastern paste, tahini, is made from sesame seeds and is used to make hummus, baba ghanoush and halva. Tahini, when mixed with soy sauce, also makes a nice dip for spring rolls or can be spread on flatbread similarly to peanut butter.

6. Sunflower Seeds

Growing up, picking sunflower seeds right out of the sunflowers outside of our living room windows was one of my favorite activities on those slow summer days. At that time, I had no idea that sunflower seeds actually protect you from the sun, so they are a perfect summertime snack. About half a cup of sunflower seeds has more than 100% of the daily recommended requirement of vitamin E, which is packed with alpha-tocopherol, a powerful antioxidant that protects the body’s cells from UV damage. They are also a great source of the amino acid phenylalanine, which is used by the brain as an anti-depressant and will help keep you focused and alert.

Once shelled, sunflower seeds are very versatile. They can be eaten raw or toasted, put on salads, in breads, in trail mixes…you can even use them to make raw vegan cheese. Another one of my favorites is sunflower-seed butter, a great butter replacement if you’re going dairy free or vegan.

7. Papaya Seeds

I won’t deny it. Papaya seeds are definitely not on the most-delicious list, but they are definitely packed with nutritious goodness. Offering a strong, peppery favor, papaya seeds are often discarded because most people find them difficult to eat. I agree – who wants a mouthful of peppercorns?!? But once you learn about the health benefits of this flavorful seed, you could easily become accustomed to the taste, especially since a spoonful in a morning smoothie often goes unnoticed. You can also dry them and grin them up to use instead of pepper in salad dressings and on other foods.

Papaya seeds are rich in oleic and palmitic fatty acids, which are believed to ward off cancer. In Latin American countries they are used to help protect the body from insect borne diseases, such as dengue, while in traditional Chinese medicine, they are used to detoxify the liver.

Learning to use these seeds in your cooking and baking will quickly transform your kitchen into a superfood pharmacy. Remember, it doesn’t take much to benefit from these amazing super seeds. Use a teaspoon here, a tablespoon there, and guide your body towards optimum health.

Marijuana Research Supports Its Safety and Benefits

The use of marijuana for medical purposes is now legal in 23 states and, as of this writing, 9 states have pending legislation or ballot measures to legalize medical marijuana.1 Estimates are that between 85 and 95 percent of Americans are in favor of medical cannabis, and nearly 60 percent support complete legalization of marijuana.

And doctors agree. In 2014, a survey found that the majority of physicians—56 percent—favor nationwide legalization of medical cannabis, with support being highest among oncologists and hematologists.2

However, many families are still unable, legally or otherwise, to obtain this herbal treatment. Families with a sick child are being forced to split up, just so that one parent can live in a place where medical cannabis can be legally obtained in order to help their child.

A major part of the problem lies at the federal level, where marijuana is classified as a Schedule 13 controlled substance—a category reserved for the most dangerous of drugs, including heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.

According to the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, Schedule 1 drugs are defined as those having a "high potential for abuse" and "no accepted medical use." Research to date shows that marijuana meets neither of these criteria.

The featured documentary covers some of the most recent research on the medical applications of marijuana. In light of recent science, it's clear that marijuana does not meet Schedule 1 criteria and it's high time to revise this classification.

Prominent Physicians Shifting Their Stance on Medical Marijuana

A number of prominent physicians are reversing their opinions about marijuana's medicinal utility. A recent example is US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who in a recent CBS interview, acknowledged that marijuana may be useful for certain medical conditions.

CNN's chief medical correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta also made a highly publicized reversal on his marijuana stance after the production of his two-part series "Weed."4

The US seems to want it both ways. The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug. But in October 2003, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) obtained a patent for marijuana as a "neural protectant," claiming it can protect your brain against stroke and trauma.5

How can HHS own a patent for the medical use of cannabis, while the federal government still classifies it as an unsafe drug with no medical value?

The US Has Much to Learn from Israel

The US is far behind many other countries in harnessing the healing power of marijuana. Israel is the marijuana research capital of the world, thanks to Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, who was the first to investigate the medicinal properties of marijuana way back in the 1960s and the first to isolate THC and CBD.

Israel is now using marijuana to treat cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Tourette's syndrome, and many other conditions. As shown in the film, even residents of Israeli nursing homes are being treated with marijuana.

But in the US, the fact that marijuana remains classified as a dangerous Schedule 1 drug has all but halted scientific progress. American scientists have to jump through a frustrating array of hoops, which are expensive and time consuming and ultimately discourage the majority of researchers from conducting marijuana studies.

Marijuana's Miracle Molecules: Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are the general category of active chemical compounds found in marijuana, or cannabis. Cannabinoids can be separated into several subclasses—two of which are THC (tetrahydrocannabinols) and CBD (cannabidiols).6

CBD is the most abundant cannabinoid, contributing up to 40 percent of cannabis resin. Cannabinoids produce biological effects because, just like opiates interacting with your opiate receptors, cannabinoids interact with specific receptors located in your cell membranes.

The therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when particular cannabinoids activate their associated receptors, and the effects depend on the areas of your body and brain in which they interact.

Some cannabinoids are psychoactive, whereas others are not. THC is the most psychoactive, the one that produces the "high"—which is why marijuana plants have been bred over time to produce ever-increasing amounts of this compound.

However, selectively breeding pot for high THC has diminished its medicinal value and increased its likelihood of producing adverse effects. Although research is still in its infancy, the cannabinoids appear to work in tandem with each other, balancing one another out. According to the University of Washington:7

"CBD may actually have anti-anxiety effects and lessen the psychoactive effects of THC. This means that a plant with a greater percentage of CBD may reduce the intensity of the effects of the THC, which in effect lowers the potency of the plant.

Use of a cannabis plant with less CBD has been shown to have an increased psychological impact and result in unwanted effects such as anxiety."

So, by breeding out the CBD, pot growers have created more intense psychoactive effects that lack any modulation, which is why some people experience adverse reactions such as anxiety and even psychosis. Mother Nature created a delicately balanced chemical system in this plant, which humans have upset with their tampering and manipulation.

Like It or Not, You Are Wired to Respond to Marijuana

The fact that there's a plant that acts on your body's own cannabinoid receptors is a phenomenon Dr. Mechoulam calls a "quirk of nature." He's referring to the fact that we didn't develop these receptors in order to smoke pot—we have them because we have our own endogenous cannabinoid system.

Your body makes its own cannabinoids, similar to those found in marijuana but present in much smaller amounts. These endocannabinoids appear to perform signaling operations similar to your body's neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin. Cannabinoid receptors can be found on cell membranes throughout your body—in fact, scientists now believe they may represent the most widespread receptor system.8 Two receptor types have been identified:

CB1: Cannabinoid receptors that are extremely prolific in your brain (excluding your brain stem), but also present in your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and other parts of your body

CB2: Cannabinoid receptors primarily found in your immune system

Your endocannabinoid system is thought to help regulate nearly every physiological process and plays an important role in maintaining homeostasis—and yet, it's not taught in medical school! We've shared this important system with all vertebrate species and even sea squirts for more than 600 million years. Science to date suggests that your endocannabinoid system is integral to the following biological processes, and chances are we've barely scratched the surface.9

Immune function Inflammation (especially tamping it down) Energy intake and storage

Appetite control and cravings Nutrient transport Cellular communication

Emotional balance Reproduction Pain sensation

Sleep Bone growth Memory

The Growing List of Illnesses Cannabis Can Treat

The fact that your body is replete with cannabinoid receptors, key to so many biological functions, is why there's such enormous medical potential for cannabis. If it can help restore homeostasis, it will prove itself as a very powerful therapy. CBD may be the most potent and beneficial of the cannabinoids, particularly for tamping down an overactive immune system, as is the case with autoimmune disease. CBD also has antipsychotic properties but does not get you high or stoned.

The response of cancer patients to cannabis treatment is very encouraging. Not only does cannabis help with the unpleasant side effects of traditional chemotherapy (including pain, nausea, and insomnia), but the cannabis itself appears to be a natural chemotherapy agent. Over the past several years, dozens of studies point to marijuana's effectiveness against many different types of cancer, including brain cancer, breast and prostate, lung, thyroid, colon, pituitary, melanoma, and leukemia. It fights cancer by at least two mechanisms, making it difficult for a cancer to grow and spread:

Cannabis is pro-apoptotic, meaning it triggers apoptosis (cellular suicide) of cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells untouched

Cannabis is anti-angiogenic, meaning it cuts off a tumor's blood supply

This may explain why chronic pot smokers have such surprisingly low rates of lung and other cancers, especially when compared to cancer rates among tobacco smokers. 10,11 In addition to cancer, cannabis has been found effective against an ever-growing list of illnesses. Research has been limited, but we may be turning the corner. It's likely we'll soon be expanding this list as the evolving political climate becomes more favorable to cannabis research.

Mental disorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mood disorders, and Tourette's syndrome Pain and insomnia Degenerative neurological disorders, dystonia, and tremor

Multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune issues Parkinson's disease Cancer, numerous types

Seizure disorders Rheumatoid arthritis Heart disease

Autism Obesity Nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite

Science Shows Marijuana MUCH Safer Than Prescription Drugs

Many prescription drugs are known to be dangerous. Pharmaceuticals in general are among the leading causes of death in the US, and some drugs have killed tens of thousands of individuals. The painkiller Vioxx is one classic example that killed over 60,000 before being pulled off the market. According to Dr. Margaret Gedde, MD, PhD, owner and founder of Gedde Whole Health and the Clinicians' Institute of Cannabis Medicine, you don't have to look far to find research confirming that cannabis is safer and less toxic than many prescription drugs.

This includes liver and kidney toxicity, gastrointestinal damage, nerve damage, and of course death. Moreover, cannabinoids often work when pharmaceutical drugs fail, so not only is cannabis safer but it's typically more effective. One of the strongest areas of research regarding marijuana's health benefits is pain control.

In 2010, the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR) released a report12 on 14 clinical studies about the use of marijuana for pain, most of which were FDA-approved, double-blind, and placebo-controlled. The report revealed that marijuana not only controls pain, but in many cases it does so better than pharmaceutical alternatives.

If you compare prescription painkillers (opiates) to marijuana, marijuana is much safer. Opioid painkillers can lead to slowed respiration and death if an excess is taken—and the risks are compounded if you add alcohol to the equation. By contrast, cannabis overdose cannot kill you because there are no cannabinoid receptors in your brain stem, the region of your brain that controls your heartbeat and respiration.

The statistics speak for themselves. In 2010, prescription painkillers were responsible for 16,600 deaths, and painkiller overdoses claimed more women's lives than cocaine and heroine combined. In the CDC's Public Health Reports study,13 prescription drugs were involved in fatal car crashes at three times the rate of marijuana.

In states where medical marijuana is legal, overdose deaths from opioids like morphine, oxycodone, and heroin decreased by an average of 20 percent after one year, 25 percent after two years and up to 33 percent by years five and six. As noted by Dr. Gedde:

"There's an ongoing death rate from use of pain medications as prescribed. So, even as prescribed, they're highly dangerous and they are open to abuse. As far as medications used in the pediatric population to control seizures, there are also severe toxicities to organs. Many of them are very sedating. The children become unable to function or really to interact because of the sedating effects. Other medications have a side effect of rage and behavioral problems.

Unprovoked rage is actually a known side effect of some of the anti-seizure medications. Cannabis and in particular cannabidiol has none of these issues. No toxicities. The main side effect of cannabidiol is sleepiness. As a child gets accustomed to it, that does wear off and the child can be very alert and functional on the cannabis oil once they have worked into the dosing. Once you put them against each other, there really is no comparison in terms of safety."

Education Is Key

Because of the issues already discussed, it can sometimes be challenging finding accurate, science-based information about cannabis. Dr. Gedde offers the following suggestions for obtaining reliable information:

"The reason why it's difficult is that the preponderance of research funds have been to show harm related to cannabis, as a drug of abuse... [L]ook for the real research that's there on the endocannabinoid system and the ways that marijuana cannabis has been helping people for centuries. And look into the history of medical practice; that's where the information starts to come out."

She also recommends looking to current clinical practice, which is possible in states where cannabis is now safely and legally accessible. This is where you can learn more about optimal dosing and protocols found effective for various conditions. Other resources that may be helpful include the following:,14 the US government's cancer website, contains research relating to the use of cannabis

PubMed15 is a searchable public resource containing a vast amount of medical literature, including studies involving cannabis

The Journal of Pain16 is a publication by the American Pain Society with a long list of studies on the pain-relieving effects of cannabis

National Institute on Drug Abuse17 is an excellent resource, including information about preclinical and clinical trials are underway to test marijuana and various extracts for the treatment of a number of diseases, including autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease, inflammation, pain, and mental disorders.

I also recommend listening to my previous interview with Dr. Frankel, in which he discusses many of the medical benefits of cannabis.

Lung Cleansing With Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a versatile aromatic oil widely used for various ailments including indigestion, headache, and muscle aches. Found in gum, mints, mouthwash, and many other products, peppermint oil is a powerful cleanser derived from the plant which is native to Europe and has been popular with herbalists for centuries before current appreciation by the scientific and medical community.

Peppermint oil contains vitamins A and C, fatty acids, and minerals; but the main component is menthol, which provides the famous minty scent and cooling sensation. Organic peppermint oil is of specific benefit for lung and upper respiratory system cleansing and persons suffering from ailments related to it.

Peppermint for Respiratory Ailments

The expectorant action of peppermint oil can help clear symptoms of upper respiratory congestion that may stem from allergies, asthma, cold, flu, bronchitis, and the like. For this reason, it’s often an ingredient in therapeutic lung cleansing balms that are rubbed on the chest. This allows for vapors to be almost directly inhaled through the nasal passages and cut through congestion. 

Unlike prescription medications and even certain OTC therapies, peppermint oil is not associated with drowsiness or other common adverse side effects.

Although inhaling peppermint oil often gets the most attention, it should also be mentioned that peppermint is high in many nutrients including phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. These components are beneficial to the systems within our bodies. Illness often stems from the invasion of germs, microbes, toxins, and other maladies within our bodies. Providing a complete spectrum of nutrient bioavailability is paramount to ensuring our bodies are operating at peak harmony and strong enough to fight off invading organisms.

Research Shows Peppermint Can Benefit Lung Health and Respiratory Ailments

The Complementary and Traditional Medicine Unit in the Department of Family Medicine at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Israel investigated the clinical effects of aromatic essential oils in patients with upper respiratory tract infections. Working with 60 study participants, a spray solution of aromatic essential oils, including peppermint oil, was administered. It was concluded that the spray application brought immediate and significant improvement of upper respiratory ailment symptoms. [1]

Research at Germany’s University of Ulm Department of Otorhinolaryngology conducted a study to determine the impact inhaling peppermint sourced menthol has on nasal temperature and obstruction. It should be noted that, although inhaling menthol produces a cooling sensation, researchers did not record any change in nasal temperature after inhalation of menthol. Menthol stimulates cold receptors and merely gives the feeling. However, 16 of the 18 study participants reported improved nasal breathing after menthol inhalation. [2]

If you suffer from symptoms of respiratory ailments, or would like to cleanse your lungs on a regular basis, try a lung cleansing formula such as AllerTrex™.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

Updated August 2014

Article Sources

1. Ben-Arye E, Dudai N, Eini A, Torem M, Schiff E, Rakover Y. Treatment of upper respiratory tract infections in primary care: a randomized study using aromatic herbs. PubMed PMID: 21052500.

2. Lindemann J, Tsakiropoulou E, Scheithauer MO, Konstantinidis I, Wiesmiller KM. Impact of menthol inhalation on nasal mucosal temperature and nasal patency. PubMed PMID: 18702906.

Health and Nutrition Secrets From Around The World

There are many places around the world where people live longer and know how to be happier than the rest of us. They live time-tested lifestyles that promise to protect us from a wide range of diseases. The key is knowing why they work and how to adopt them yourself.

Researchers have long tried to understand why some regions are much healthier than others. Epidemiological studies have looked at disease rates in conjunction with environmental and eating patterns in order to understand which factors are the most influential. This started in earnest in the 1980s, when researchers began studying the Mediterranean diet and found that it had significant health benefits. Additional researchers began employing a vast amount of data in the quest to determine what these people do that’s unique and how we can adapt their secrets to fit our lives.

Instead of depriving yourself, researchers say it’s better to look at cultures and regions around the world where diets are not just healthy, but also have highly protective qualities against scourges like cancer, depression, diabetes and heart disease

Health Secrets From Around The World

Eat fresh food; follow traditions like communal eating; get sugar from whole foods like fruits; get salt from natural and unprocessed sources; if you must eat meat and dairy, make sure it comes from animals naturally raised; incorporate fats from whole nuts, seeds and grains; use fermented and pickled foods; and use spices when possible.

Also, populations living by the sea generally report rates of good health more than similar populations living inland. Coastal environments may not only offer better opportunities for its inhabitants to be active, but also provide significant benefits in terms of stress reduction. Access to ‘good’ environments may have a role in reducing inequality in health between the wealthiest and poorest members of society.

While these lifestyle from around the globe offer useful lessons, they must be accompanied by routine and exercise to be effective.

Okinawa, Japan

Japan has relatively low rates of prostate and breast cancer. The Okinawans practice calorie restriction, which has been linked to improved longevity. They also load up on in-season vegetables like bok choy, mustard greens and kale. They drink green tea rich in antioxidants, and get their fats and vitamin D from fish.

Lessons from the Okinawans:

Develop a strong sense of purpose, called ikigai, or that which makes life worth living, by keeping family ties strong and maintaining close groups of friends. The Okinawans call these moais.

Stay active, and maintain a vegetable garden. Not only do gardens provide natural sources of healthy foods, but also an outlet for daily physical activity. Because of the temperate climate, Okinawans can garden all year round and get plenty of bone-health promoting Vitamin D.

Maintain an herb garden. People living in homes or apartments can grow and maintain herb gardens. Include ginger and turmeric to get the same health benefits as the Okinawans.

Eat a plant-based diet. Use vegetables from your garden, a farmer’s market or even a grocery store. Okinawan centenarians consume soy products, such as antioxidant rich tofu for additional health benefits.

Hara hachi bu. This old agage translates as “eat until you’re 80% full”. The Okinawans say this before every meal to remind them to eat moderate amounts of food.

Smile! Okinawan centenarians embrace a positive outlook on life, in spite of or because of the hardships they endured throughout their lives.

Ikaria, Greece

The Mediterranean is famed for its healthy cuisine, so it may come as no surprise that Grecians have fewer cases of heart disease. Staples, including virgin olive oil, greens like arugula and Swiss chard, carbohydrates like chickpeas, lentils and whole-grain bread, and herbs like oregano, parsley and chives, are great for heart health. The traditional diet also minimizes meat consumption with no more than one red meat dish per week.

Lessons from Ikaria:

Get your antioxidants! Ikarians eat a variation of the Mediterranean diet, which consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and a little fish. One key feature of the Ikarian diet are wild greens, many of which have ten times the level of antioxidants in green tea or red wine.

Drink tea! Regular herbal tea consumption is common of Ikarian centenarians. Many of the teas here act as mild diuretics, prescribed by doctors to lower blood pressure.

Take regular naps. People who nap at least five times a week for half an hour have 35% reduced chance of cardiovascular disease. Stress hormones also decrease when you’re napping.

Make walking part of your daily routine. The hilly land lends itself well to burning calories. The Ikarians exercise without thinking about it just by walking to church or work.

Sardinia, Italy

Sardinians maintain a positive attitude towards their elders and take time out of their days to stop and enjoy the simple beauty of their surroundings. They foster a sarcastic sense of humor, and a unique outlook and perspective on life. This attitude helps them shed stress and diffuse arguments before they start.

You don’t need to run marathons to get and stay healthy! Sardinian centenarians walked long distances their entire lives and suffer from half as many fractures as their Italian counterparts. Men here work typically as shepherds, walking miles a day over the rough terrain with their flocks.

Lessons from Sardinia:

Eat a plant-based, bean rich diet accented with pecorino (sheep cheese) and goat’s milk, using meat as an accent, rather than the main dish.

Put family first. People who have strong family ties have lower rates of depression and stress.

Respect and celebrate elders. Grandparents can help raise healthier, better adjusted children by providing love, wisdom and motivation.

Take a walk. Sardinian shepherds walk 5 miles a day. Regular exercise can boost mood and benefits muscle and bone metabolism.

Drink a glass of red wine. Cannanau, a Sardinian red wine, has three times the level of antioxidants and flavonoids compared to other wines. This makes it particularly beneficial for heart health.

Laugh with friends. The word ‘sardonic’ – meaning a wry sense of humor – originated in Sardinia. Gathering daily to laugh with friends is key to shedding daily stresses.

Nicoya, Costa Rica

Nicoyan centenarians feel needed through fostering a plan de vida, or reason to live. This sense of purpose often centers around spending time with and providing for their family. This often results in centenarians retaining an active lifestyle, reaping the benefits of physical activity and exposure to the sun. Like the Adventists, faith plays a strong role in the Nicoyan lifestyle. Relinquishing control of their life to God helps relieves stress and anxiety related to well-being. They eat rich, colorful fruits. The maronon, a red-orange fruit with more vitamin C than oranges and the anona, a pear-like fruit rich in antioxidants provide Nicoyans with nutrient dense, longevity foods. Their gardens flow rich with rice, beans and corn, all staples in their diet.

Have a plan de vida. Similar to Okinawans ikigai, Nicoyans always nurture their plan de vida, or reason to live, which encourages them to contribute to their community.

Drink hard water. High amounts of calcium and magnesium, essential for bone and muscle strength, abound in Nicoya’s water. By drinking and cooking with this water, people here get their daily intake of calcium throughout their entire lives.

Focus on your family and friends. Having a good relationship with family and maintaining a strong social network contributes greatly to centenarian’s sense of purpose and well-being.

Work hard. Nicoyan centenarians maintain a strong work ethic, which keeps them active and healthy while contributing to their sense of purpose.

Plan your meals. Nicoyans eat their biggest meal in the morning and their smallest meal at night.

Get some sun. Nicoyans enjoy healthy doses of daily sun, enriching their bodies with Vitamin D. Getting at least 15 minutes every day can decrease the risk for osteoporosis and heart disease.

Cameroon, West Africa

In Cameroon, experts have concluded that the diet — which consists largely of fiber, fermented foods, wild greens and healthy fats, and rarely includes meat — is essential to cancer prevention. The reasons? Vegetables and other fiber-rich foods have been shown to positively affect colon cancer risk. Fermented foods like yogurt and pickles provide beneficial bacteria for the gut. Wild greens and healthy fats found in fish, nuts and unrefined cooking oil may also be protective.


Are omega-3 fats essential to preventing depression? Iceland is a country known for its bleak winters but where depression rates are low. The Icelandic diet, which includes fish as a staple, is rich in omega-3 fats. Other sources of the healthy fats are pasture-raised lamb and wild game. To further support brain health, Icelanders also consume plenty of antioxidants in black tea, vegetables, wild berries and whole grains like barley and rye.

Copper Canyon, Mexico

In this very remote region of Mexico, researchers sought out the Tarahumara Indians, who have impressively low blood sugar and cholesterol levels. After studying their traditional diet, exeprts found that Tarahumara benefited from a diet that emphasizes slow-release foods, sending sugar into the bloodstream at a much slower rate than other foods. Their staples include whole corn, beans, squash, jicama and cumin. While the Tarahumara have struggled with poverty-related malnutrition, the slow-releasing carbohydrates help prevent an overproduction of insulin and aid in maintaining blood sugar levels.


Previous articles by April:

Do You Have a Sleep Disorder? Discover The Best Foods to Promote Sleep

Scientists Find That The Human Body Kills Spontaneous Cancers Daily

Forget Fluoride! Make Your Own Toothpaste with These 3 Easy Recipes

Mobile Phone Use in Children and Teens Translates to 5 Times Increase in Brain Cancer Rates

14 Things People Probably Do Not Want To Know About Their Favorite Foods

Why Sea Salt is Good for You (And Table Salt is Not)

Salt has earned a bad reputation in recent years, so it may comes as a surprise to hear this ancient seasoning is actually crucial for good health.

Humans are made up of about 72% water and 28% mineral salts, (plus some bacteria, proteins and fatty acids). As such, there are two “oceans” of water in the body. One ocean is held inside the cells of our bodies, and the other ocean is the sea of fluid existing outside of our cells. Your good health depends on a delicate balance between the volume of these two bodies of water, and this balance is achieved by salt—natural, unrefined mineral salts.

A Grain of Salt

The differences between refined salt (also known as “table salt” and unrefined natural salt are as great as the differences between white sugar and freshly cut sugar cane. These differences can have a major impact on staying healthy, or increasing your risk of diseases you want to avoid.

The typical modern, refined table salt can be compared to refined sugar and refined flour—it used to be a healthful, whole food, but our industrial food system has stripped and processed it into a disaster waiting to happen

Like most factory-made, food-like products Westerners eat today, what began as an essential nutrient has been disfigured into a detriment to our health.

Major table salt producing companies mine unpalatable rock salt from the earth, then dry it in huge, fossil-fuel-guzzling kilns with temperatures reaching 1200 degrees F. This changes the salt’s chemical structure into pure sodium chloride, an unnatural chemical form of salt that your body recognizes as a foreign substance it wants to get rid of it as quickly as possible.

In order to eliminate the invader, water molecules surround the sodium chloride to neutralize it by breaking it into sodium and chloride ions. For this process, water is extracted from our cells, which then can dehydrate and die. This neutralization process not only kills cells, but also takes a tremendous amount of energy, and causes a constant overburden on our excretory organs.

But if that weren’t enough, after this extremely energy-intensive drying process, toxic additives like fluoride, anti-caking agents, excessive amounts of potassium iodide and other poisons are mixed into the salt. Many versions of commercial salt also contain toxic aluminum derivatives, which have been implicated in a number of health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

All these additives can cause discoloration in salt, so bleaching agents are then used to restore the desirable white color. The end product is a highly industrial, toxic pseudo-food Americans have come to think of as “salt” that causes the potential for a myriad of health problems.

Salt of the Earth

Sea salt is better than table salt, by a wide margin. In contrast to refined table salt, most sea salt is naturally harvested and dried in the sun, and contains a wealth of trace minerals and electrolytes that are easily assimilated by your body. Unlike refined salt which contains only 2 or 3 elements, sea salt contains about 80 mineral elements (potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium and more) that are essential in small amounts for a variety of functions in the body.

These mineral salts and electrolytes are key players in enzyme production as well as immune system, adrenal and thyroid function. And while, compared to food, sea salt is not a major source of minerals, like any whole food, sea salt has a natural balance and a lack of toxic additives, so we are actually nourished by it, rather than depleted.

According to Dr. F. Batmanghelidj in his book, Water: For Health, for Healing, for Life:

Salt is most effective in stabilizing irregular heartbeats and, contrary to the misconception that it causes high blood pressure, it is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure—in conjunction with water. Naturally, the proportions are critical.

Salt is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells in the body, particularly the brain cells.

Salt is vital for balancing the sugar levels in the blood; a needed element in diabetics.

Salt is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in the body. It is used for local power generation at the sites of energy need by the cells.

Salt is vital for absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract.

Salt is vital for the clearance of the lungs of mucus plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis.

Salt is vital for clearing up congestion of the sinuses.

Salt is a strong natural antihistamine.

Salt is essential for the prevention of muscle cramps.

Salt is vital to prevent excess saliva production to the point that it flows out of the mouth during sleep. Needing to constantly mop up excess saliva indicates salt shortage.

Salt is absolutely vital to making the structure of bones firm. Osteoporosis, in a major way, is a result of salt and water shortage in the body.

Salt is vital for sleep regulation. It is a natural hypnotic.

Salt on the tongue will stop persistent dry coughs.

Salt is vital for the prevention of gout and gouty arthritis.

Salt is vital for maintaining sexuality and libido.

Salt is vital for preventing varicose veins and spider veins on the legs and thighs.

Salt is vital to the communication and information processing of nerve cells the entire time that the brain cells work—from the moment of conception to death.

The Salt Hypothesis is Bunk

For 4,000 years, we have known that salt intake can affect blood pressure. We also know that a minority of the population can lower blood pressure by restricting dietary salt. And we know that elevated blood pressure, “hypertension,” is a well-documented risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. And we know that reducing high blood pressure can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke–depending on how it’s done.

Some have suggested that since salt intakes are related to blood pressure, and since cardiovascular risks are also related to blood pressure, that, surely, salt intake levels are related to cardiovascular risk. The idea is known as the “salt hypothesis.” The problem with this hypothesis is that it has never been proven. In fact, it has been often disproven.

An eight-year study of a New York City hypertensive population stratified for sodium intake levels found those on low-salt diets had more than four times as many heart attacks as those on normal-sodium diets—the exact opposite of what the “salt hypothesis” would have predicted. (1995). Dr. Hillel Cohen who worked on the study documented no health outcomes benefits of lower-sodium diets.

In fact 17 different studies worldwide have found NO relation between salt intake and the incidence of stroke or heart attack.

“But the medical establishment has revered the low-sodium diet for so long that it’s hard to get doctors to question it,” says Dr. Cohen. Cohen doesn’t bother to follow the conventional wisdom himself. “I actually don’t pay attention to sodium.”

He says his study, which was published in the March 2009 American Journal of Medicine, doesn’t mean that everyone should abandon the low-sodium diet right away. Americans eating a processed food diet simply get too much sodium, no matter how you cut it. He does say, though, that researchers need to ask if the current recommendations are truly useful for everyone—and whether a low-sodium diet might even have negative effects on health.

A Salt Worth its Salt

The balanced sodium, potassium and magnesium in natural, unrefined sea salt can help to regulate fluid balance in the body and allow nutrients and oxygen to travel to their necessary destinations. Unlike refined salt which takes water from your cells, natural salt allows the body to achieve a balance of water in your “oceans,” both inside and outside your cells. With adequate natural salt and pure water, conditions like gout, muscle cramps, water retention and edema disappear.

Balanced natural salts help regulate healthy blood pressure. Natural salt has also been shown to be very helpful in treating adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome where blood pressure issues are common. I put a big pinch of sea salt into every glass of water I drink, and it makes a huge difference for me!

Another benefit of natural salt is that it stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and digestive enzymes in the mouth and intestines, which are necessary for the body to utilize nutrients from the foods we eat. This can be especially beneficial for people whose diet consists mainly of cooked foods, since cooking foods destroys enzyme content. Natural sea salt can help the body digest these foods properly.

Sea salt has been used as a primary medicine for thousands of years. Sea salt can help relieve asthma (by putting a small amount on the tongue and letting it dissolve after drinking a large glass of water). There is a new class of asthma inhalers now that use salt solution only it works so well.

Salt is also essential for nerve conduction and preserving melatonin and serotonin levels in the brain too, so it helps with a variety of emotional disorders such as high stress tendencies, anxiety, and depression. Natural salts have the ability to clean out the acidity in the brain which is very helpful with Alzheimer’s.

Natural salts are also vital for maintaining muscle tone and strength throughout the body. For example, ongoing low salt intake can affect bladder control in those who have urinary incontinence, and can slow down peristalsis (muscular contractions) in your intestines, leading to sluggish digestion.

An 8-ounce glass of water with a half teaspoon of natural salt and a half teaspoon of sugar or honey can even prevent or stop children’s febrile convulsions by restoring electrolyte homeostasis in the body.

Unrefined, natural salt can even help with weight loss. According to Dr. Esteban Genoa, a Miami physician,

“A lot of people are not overweight because of excess body fat; they are overweight because of excessive bodily fluids. This type of person may go on a starvation diet and gain weight.

These people will benefit from adding the right salt to their foods because their kidneys are not working correctly, the water exchange between the body’s organs, as well as between the extra cellular fluid and the intracellular fluid, does not flow properly. These people are not moving fluid through the system, they are water intoxicated, and they are really going to benefit from the proper salt. In addition, a person with this sort of weight problem should limit carbohydrates.”

Sugar cravings are also the result of eating the wrong kind of salt. The only reason people crave sugar is because the brain is not getting enough sugar. If you don’t have the right kind of salt in your system, you will not be able to extract the sugar out of the carbohydrates that you are

eating so your brain keeps looking for sugar, and asking you to eat sugar. In fact, you’ve eaten plenty of sugar; your body just has not digested and utilized it properly. Refined, iodized salt produces a ripple effect in the body. If, however, you consume the right kind of salt, these cravings will disappear in a very short period of time.”

Finally, a number of medical studies have begun to prove what people have known anecdotally for millennia: soaking in natural sea salt baths rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium may be beneficial in the treatment of various diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis.

Given the latest health findings that a balance of minerals is the healthiest choice, it makes good sense to switch to natural salts which contain not only sodium and chloride, but also magnesium, potassium and other essential minerals in a form our bodies can naturally use. Not only do these salts promote good health, they also just taste better.

Avoiding Refined Table Salt

Refined sodium chloride is added to almost every preserved, packaged and processed product that you eat. Unless you diligently read every package label, it’s very easy to get too much of this industrial chemical and throw your body out of balance. This is important since over 90% of the money that most Westerners spend on food is for processed, packaged foods.

To avoid refined table salt and its toxic additives, avoid processed foods as much as possible, and be careful to check the labels of the other foods you buy. Even fresh meats are often packaged in broths made with refined salt.

To avoid the refined salt shaker at restaurants, you can carry packets of sea salt in your purse or wallet. If you have adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome, you should carry sea salt with you everywhere!

Where to Find Natural Salt

Unrefined, natural sea salt is not white and dry; it is gray with minerals and feels damp. Some artisanal natural salts are pink, yellowish or even black to reflect the diverse mineral sources they come from. Each type of natural salt has its own unique flavor to experiment with.

You can find natural, unrefined salts at Whole Foods, natural food stores, as well as online. My favorite sea salt is from the Celtic Sea Salt Company, which sells unrefined salt that is hand raked from the Brittany sea. Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and Real Salt from prehistoric sea beds in Utah are also nice choices.

By choosing a real, whole food salt that is “worth its salt,” you can enjoy the health and taste benefits a balance of minerals from the sea can bring to your favorite dishes.

Chinese herb could help fight pancreatic cancer: study

An obscure Chinese herb with a powerfully bizarre name has been identified as a potential cure for one of the deadliest forms of cancer.

Two thirds of people with pancreatic cancer — including legendary Nine news reporter Peter Harvey — die within the first year of diagnosis due to its aggressive cell replication and tumour growth.

Doctors believe the protein GRP78 is key in pancreatic cancer because it helps the cells survive and thrive.

Now researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that triptolide, an extract from the herb 'thunder god vine', can suppress the protein and ultimately kill the cells.

"Triptolide is a bit tricky because it's not that water soluble, so it's not something you can consume and expect it to have a cancer-fighting effect," he said.

"You would want it in a formulation to take orally or intravenously. It's not something that would be ready for human use in its current form."

Dr Nikfarjam said a lot of current drugs were derived from herbs from Chinese medicines but have been extracted and manipulated to make them more effective.

Many patients choose to try alternative medicines but often the scientific evidence for their success is limited.

"In the medical field, we do hear of patients trying remedies and treatments overseas and come back having had good results. But from a scientific point of view, we don't know if they would have got better anyway," Dr Nikfarjam said.

"Some treatments may be of some benefit, but they haven't been vigorously tested because the cost of those studies to test them is very high and at the end of the day there may be no market value for doing it.

"This may be an opportunity for not-for-profit or philanthropy groups to fund testing of drugs and substances that would not really get to be tested by other ways."

He said more work is desperately needed for pancreatic cancer because by 2020 it is predicted to be the leading cause of oncological deaths in Australia after lung cancer.

Dr Nikfarjam added that patients should always advise their doctor if they are trying alternative therapies.

"Some of these medications can make chemotherapy more toxic," he said.

The study was published in the American Journal of Physiology — Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology.

Source: American Physiological Society Author: Kimberly Gillan. Approving Editor: Wade O'Leary.

Three meditation sessions is enough to ease stress: study

In recent years, mindfulness meditation has been recognised by neuroscientists as a powerful tool for changing our brain structure to improve our cognitive function and reduce stress levels.

A new US study has found that 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation a day for three days is enough to reduce psychological stress.

"More and more people report using meditation practices for stress reduction, but we know very little about how much you need to do for stress reduction and health benefits," said associate professor of psychology at Carnegie Mellon University and lead author David Creswell.

He recruited 66 healthy people aged between 18 and 30 and instructed half of them to participate in a mindfulness meditation training program that went for 25 minutes for three consecutive days.

The other half completed a three-day cognitive training program where they had to analyse poetry with the aim of improving their problem-solving skills.

After the final session, participants were asked to do stressful speech and maths tasks in front of stern evaluators, before reporting their stress levels in response to the different tasks.

The researchers also took saliva samples to measure the participants' levels of stress hormone cortisol.

They found that the people who did the mindfulness meditation training were less stressed by the speech and maths tasks, and their cortisol levels reflected that too.

"When you initially learn mindfulness mediation practices, you have to cognitively work at it – especially during a stressful task," Associate Professor Creswell said.

"These active cognitive efforts may result in the task feeling less stressful, but they may also have physiological costs with higher cortisol production."

Dr Paula Watkins, a psychologist and mindfulness meditation expert, told ninemsn that even five seconds a day can be effective.

"So often we aren’t experiencing the world directly.

"We’re missing the ‘present moment’ because we’re up in our heads stuck in the mind-chatter," she said.

"Once a day, everyday, tune in and take a five-second journey through your five senses by noticing everything you can hear, taste, smell, touch and see. "Do this with an open, curious and welcoming attitude and you just practised five mindful moments."

Edible Flowers, Botanical Cuisines, Ideas & Guide

Roses, violets, calendula, dandelions, chamomile, lily and lavender, just to name a few, are nature’s way of provides us with lots of edible flowers used by many famous chefs to prepare dishes that are just out of this world. Find out how you can choose and use the perfect bouquet. As the latest trend in haute cuisine, edible flowers have brought new botanical species to our plates. But if this is a recent discovery for foodies, the world’s great chefs have been using flowers as ingredients for more than a decade now: from rose petals to lavender, to more reassuring flowers like those of thyme, dill, coriander, chives or violets.

Floral Spices

In the kitchen, flowers get used in the preparation of salads, gelatins, soups, flans, desserts and ice creams, and their use is not solely decorative: each one adds a unique, precise flavor to a dish. Calendula, for example, is slightly spicy; violet adds scent to everything; begonia has a citrus flavor and some spices like cloves can be immersed in wine, caramelized or used as decoration for cakes. And chrysanthemum flowers will add a pleasant bitter bite to your delicacies.


Calendula Flower

Anyone who’s ever had the good fortune to try a dish called Water Lilies from Ferran Adrià of elBulli, will probably never forget the experience, or walk through a garden in the same way: cashews are served over a soup of tea, geranium leaves and begonia flowers.

 The restaurant was only open for six months each year and would receive over 3 million requests for reservations, for its 60 cover space, which could only seat 8000 diners per six-month season. The dish must be unforgettable!

Water Lilies elBulli

Water Lilies from Ferran Adrià of elBulli

When it comes to botanical cuisine, Spain’s chefs have been leading the way. “If I want rosemary I can use its flowers, which have a fabulous aroma, rather than rosemary as such. Another thing we like about them is their texture,” the Catalan chef Andoni Luis Aduriz, who’s been using edible flowers for years, has said. And its phrase that perfectly sums up the philosophy of those who go grocery shopping in the garden. This kind of approach is why flowers are so perfectly suited to the new kind of avant-garde cooking that seeks to satisfy all senses, not just our sense of taste.

Floral Fish

Much more than just a “touch of colour” or a passing fad, starred chefs also use edible flowers as a tool for communication. In 1990, two French chefs, each with three Michelin stars, Michel Bras and Marc Veyrat began experimenting with flowers in order to safeguard a philosophy of cuisine that emphasizes the environment and sustainability. Themes that we all know well now, but that seemed almost radical twenty years ago.

Floral Appetizers

Although really, nothing comes from nowhere: if we think of our grandparents or great-grandparents, it’s not hard to imagine them gathering nature’s bounty and bringing it to the table. And besides, botanically, vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and even artichokes are all actually flowers. The precious spice, saffron, is comes from the stamen of the crocus, and capers come from the flowers of this Mediterranean bush. Before trying your hand at experimentation, however, remember to wash flowers carefully before eating, don’t use anything bought at a florist’s, and don’t gather from the sidewalks. Use only the petals, and throw away the green parts. The darker ones are usually organic and are easily ordered online.

But how should you use them if you’re not necessarily a great chef? The easiest way is to mix them into a salad and dress to your liking. Just one last tip: the best moment to pick them is in the early morning, when the dew has just formed on the petals. Place them gently in a basket as if they were made of crystal. It will do you good both for your spirit as your mind.

Cooking with Flowers

New York is just one of the cities known for its exquisite restaurants and that’s because chefs today have incorporated edible flowers, which are more common than one might think into their cooking. They’re using tulips, roses, dandelions, lilacs, and many more floral elements as part of their ingredients.

Floral pasta

Blossom Infused Pasta

Roll edible flowers into your homemade pasta sheets for this lovely spring dish. Use Bob Red Mill’s Semolina Flour and the basic recipe on the package.

Cathy Wilkinson Barash, come to place flowers into flavor groups such as herbal, sweet and floral. Her list of edible flowers is according to flavor, and some, such as bitter, that may not appeal to everyone. Familiarize yourself with flowers in each of these groups, and then learn how to use them as food.


Sweet Flavors

Banana (Musa spp.)

Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile, Mat­ricaria recutita) — Apple like

Dandelion (Taraxacum spp.) — Bitter when old

Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.) — Sweet to vegetal

Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)

Linden (Tilia spp.)

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) — Mildly sweet

Pineapple guava (Feijoa ­sellowiana) — Tropical

Red clover (Trifolium pratense)

Sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) — Fresh

Yucca (Yucca spp.)


Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) — Licorice

Bee balm (Monarda didyma)

Dianthus (Dianthus caryophyllus) — Clove

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) — Mild licorice

Pineapple sage (Salvia ­elegans)


Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) — Sweet

Jasmine (Jasminum sambac, J. officinale) — Sweet

Lavender (Lavandula spp.) — Strong, Perfumy

Lilac (Syringa spp.)

Rose (Rosa spp.)

Scented geranium (Pelargonium spp.)

Sweet violet (Viola odorata) — Strong, Perfumy


Johnny Jump-up (Viola ­tricolor) — Mild

Mint (Mentha spp.) — Variable

Pansy (Viola ¥wittrockiana) — Mild


Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) — Mild

Lemon (Citrus limon) — Sweet

Lemon verbena (Aloysia ­triphylla) — Sweet

Orange (Citrus sinensis) — Sweet

Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) — Mild

Signet marigold (Tagetes tenuifolia) — Tarragon flavor with citrus undertones

Tuberous begonia (Begonia Tuberhybrida Hybrids)


Arugula (Eruca sativa)

Broccoli (Brassica oleracea, Botrytis Group)

Canary creeper (Tropaeolum peregrinum)

Kale (Brassica oleracea, Acephala Group)

Mustard (Brassica juncea)

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)

Radish (Raphanus sativus)


Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) — oniony

Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum) — garlicky

Nodding onion (Allium ­cernuum) — oniony

Society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea) — sweet garlic


Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) — Strong

Oregano (Origanum spp.)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus ­officinalis)

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Savory (Satureja hortensis, S. montana)

Marjoram (Origanum ­majorana)

Thyme (Thymus spp.)


Calendula (Calendula ­officinalis) — Mild

Chicory (Cichorium intybus) — Mild

Chrysanthemum (Dendranthema ¥grandiflora) — Mild

English daisy (Bellis perennis) — Mild

Safflower (Carthamus ­tinctorius) — Strong

Shungiku (Chrysanthemum coronarium) — Mild

Sunflower (Helianthus ­annuus) — Bittersweet


Borage (Borago officinalis) — Cucumber like

Hollyhock (Alcea rosea) — Mild, Nutty

Pea (Pisum sativum) — Pea like

Redbud (Cercis canadensis) — Pea like

Rose-of-sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) — Mildly vegetal

Runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) — Beanlike

Squash (Cucurbita spp.) — Vegetal

Tulip (Tulipa spp.) — Bean or Pea like

Sweet and flowery

Flowers with a simple, sweet flavor as well as those with a perfumed or floral taste are unbeatable for flavoring beverages, fruit salads and cake batter. Pineapple sage flowers have a hint of spice; dandelion flowers are sweet when they first open but become bitter as they mature. Honeysuckle’s sweet flavor is as magical to me today as it was when I first tasted it more than forty years ago. I make a luscious sorbet with the flowers, strawberries and water—no additional sugar is needed.

Lavendel-cupcakes Cup Cake

platter_edible_flower Floral Salad

‘Sensation’, a showstopping lilac cultivar with deep purple flowers edged in white, is extremely flavorful and fragrant, but some varieties have a grassy flavor (those I don’t bother with). My favorite of all edible flowers are the succulent, fuchsia like blossoms of pineapple guava, a tropical tree that I grow in a tub and move outdoors is summer; they taste like ripe papaya. Flowers with a sweet, perfumy flavor, including lavender and sweet violet, can be overpowering, so use them sparingly.

All of the mints, whether peppermint, spearmint or the less familiar apple mint, ginger mint and others, have flowers with a flavor like that of the leaves. Mint flowers add a cool sparkle to yogurt sauces and vanilla ice cream.

Mint Blossom

Johnny jump-ups and pansies also have a mild minty flavor. Their delightful faces are particularly attractive placed on cheese. I once saw grilled veal chops sauced with a thin layer of parsnip puree and covered with Johnny­ jump-ups; with only the bone showing, it looked like flowery lollipops. The mint flavor of the flowers complemented the grilled chop perfectly.

Red bee balm’s mint flavor has a strong, spicy overtone; other colors I’ve tried taste like mothballs. The licorice-anise flavors of anise hyssop and fennel flowers cleanse the palate and freshen the breath, and the flowers are fun to nibble on in the garden. Anise hyssop, with spikes of tiny violet florets from midsummer to frost, is one of my all-time favorites. Fennel’s yellow umbels pair well with cauliflower and Lima beans and add a different flavour.

Red Bee Balm’s Mint

Hot and spicy

The red, orange or yellow blooms of nasturtiums are everywhere these days, from restaurant salad plates to supermarket mesclun mixes. People tasting them for the first time often are surprised by their peppery flavor. Some of the newer cultivars have a sweet taste first, followed by a good peppery kick.


Arugula and mustard leaves are found in many salad mixes. If you grow these greens, you know that the leaves become too bitter to eat when the plants bloom. Instead of digging out the plants, enjoy the tang of the pale yellow, four-petaled flowers. You can also pick the flowers of broccoli and radishes that are past their prime. With distinctive flavors much like the vegetables themselves, they are especially well suited for salads.

Onions and friends

The flowers of the edible alliums and their relatives are composed of clusters of florets. Because the flavor may be very strong, you’ll want to break the flowers into individual florets when cooking or garnishing with them rather than use the entire flower head.

edible alliums edible alliums 2

I couldn’t bear to be without chive flowers. Harvesting them from the time they begin to bloom in spring keeps them coming, although less profusely, all summer. Rub an entire mauve pom-pom in a wooden salad bowl to give a good oniony flavor to your salad and use florets to flavor marinades.

Chive Flower

In late summer, garlic chives can contribute their white umbels of flowers to stir-fried dishes. The delicate lilac flowers of society garlic have the mildest flavor of this group. Sautéed nodding onion heads are a good addition to soups and stocks in midsummer.

So herbal

Edible herb flowers include the yellow umbels of dill, which give a dill flavor to pickling solutions and pair well with shellfish, and thyme, whose flowers may taste of lemon, caraway or garden thyme, depending on the variety. The tiny flowers of sweet marjoram are more delicately flavored than those of its cousin Greek oregano; both are favorites for flavoring vinegar. Basil’s delicate flowers uplift an otherwise ordinary pesto. Cilantro flowers have a mild flavor reminiscent of the leaves.


Yellow Umbels of Dill

These herb flowers consort well with vegetables, whether sprinkled atop cooked ones or mixed with oil and vinegar in a salad dressing. Chopped and mixed with sweet butter, they make a perky topping to baked or boiled potatoes. A little hyssop goes a long way; it tastes a little like quinine, but it is excellent in a robust salad dressing. Parsley is one of the few culinary herbs with non-edible flowers.

The taste of beans

It’s no surprise that bean blossoms taste like beans. Their colors, ranging from white through pink to vivid red, add a dimension to any dish. What is surprising is that tulips taste like beans—or peas, depending on the variety. ‘Court Lady’, an ivory tulip with a stroke of green down the center of the petals, tastes distinctly like ‘Sugar Snap’ peas. In fact, the base of the petal even gives a wonderful crunch when you bite into it.

Chinese Long Bean Blossom

The small pink flowers of the redbud tree, another member of the pea ­family, also have a good bean like flavor and crunch that are especially good in pasta with asparagus, which is in season at the same time.

Rules for Flower Eaters

Eat only those flowers you know to be safe; some kinds are toxic.

Eat only organically grown edible flowers.

Don’t eat flowers from nurseries, florists or garden centers.

Don’t eat flowers picked from heavily traveled roadsides.

Don’t eat flowers if you have a history of allergies, asthma or hay fever.

Eat only the petals, removing pistils and stamens (except those of tiny flowers such as lilac, basil and thyme).

Don’t assume that a flower is edible just because it is garnishing a dinner plate.

Taste flowers before you use them in a recipe, as they can vary according to variety and cultural conditions.

Rinse flowers in running water before tasting.

Exquisite crystallized flowers aren’t too pretty to eat. Here they add sweet appeal to bakery treats.

Flower Desserts

What goes better with a cup of tea than a tiny frosted cake topped with candied violets and mint leaves? Preserving flowers and leaves with sugar requires some patience and time, but it is quite simple to do. Nearly everything you need is probably in your house. I use powdered egg white that I purchase at a cake-decorating shop; not only is it convenient and easy to use, it carries no risk of salmonella poisoning. I buy extra-fine granulated sugar there as well.

sugar flowers Edible Flora Drink

Any flowers and leaves you use must be edible and free from pesticides or other harmful substances. Choose blooms that are newly opened, free of dew, and clean, but wait to cut them until you are ready to preserve them so they will be fresh and firm. Limp or wilted blossoms will turn into sodden, sticky lumps. Remove any stamens as the pollen on them may cause allergic reactions.

My favorite flowers for crystallizing include violas, pansies, miniature roses, bachelor’s-buttons, fuchsia hybrids, ca­lendula, lavender and lilacs. I use both the leaves and flowers of scented pelargoniums. Mint and lemon balm leaves both contribute a pleasing, sprightly taste and hold their color well.

Use candied flowers or leaves as you would sugar sprinkles to make a simple dish of ice cream or a brownie special. Dress up fruit cups, tarts and pies. A cascade of crystallized blossoms swirling down a wedding or birthday cake is a sight not soon forgotten.

Floral Baking Pansy Flower Drink Floral Desserts

How to Candy Flowers

The delicate beauty and color of flowers can be preserved for months if the flowers are properly crystallized and stored.

sugaring flowers Making Candy Flowers sugar


2 small bowls

Powdered egg white


Salt shaker filled with extra-fine granulated sugar


Fine artist’s paintbrush

A variety of edible flowers

Waxed paper

Cake rack

Small knife

1. In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon powdered egg white together with 3½ tablespoons water until slightly frothy. Lay a piece of waxed paper near your work space.

2. Pick three or four small flowers or one large one. Holding each flower by the petals with tweezers, paint the front and back of each petal with the egg-white mixture.

3. Holding the flower over another small bowl, sprinkle the back heavily with sugar, turning it so the sugar falls into the crevices between overlapping petals. Turn and sprinkle the front lightly. The lighter coating of sugar on the face of the flower will make it look more natural when dry. Place each flower on the waxed paper, face up, allowing plenty of room between blooms.

4. While the first batch dries, pick more flowers and coat them with egg white and sugar until you’ve done as many as you wish. After the first batch has lain on the waxed paper for about an hour, gently touch a flower to see if it has stiffened slightly. If so, slide the tip of a knife under it and move it away from any syrup that may have dripped off. Move it again in several hours. Place larger flowers such as calendulas and roses on a cake rack after the first hour to expedite drying. Place the flower-­covered waxed paper or rack in a warm, well-ventilated area until the flowers are completely dry. This may take as long as two weeks. When dry, the flowers are brittle and quite fragile, so handle them with care.

5. Pack the flowers loosely in airtight, shallow jars (wide mouth half-pint jars are perfect). Stored in a dark, dry place (not the refrigerator), they will keep six to eight months. Exposure to light may cause the colors to fade.

Lilac Flower Sorbet

Lilac flowers give this sorbet a delicate flavor that’s not too sweet.

2 cups water

¼ cup sugar

½ cup lilac flowers, coarsely chopped

Floral Lilac Puree

1. In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the lilac flowers, lower the heat and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Remove the pan from the heat and let the liquid cool to room temperature; strain out the flowers if desired. Pour the liquid into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve topped with candied lilacs. If not serving immediately, place scoops of sorbet on a cookie sheet and freeze, then transfer to a resealable freezer bag or other suitable container.

Serves 4 to 6

Creative Floral Ideas for Any Occasion

A garden party with its own botanical ingredients incorporated into the festivity would not only look beautiful but taste like something your guests have never tasted.


There’s just endless ways you can apply these botanical wonders into our meals. It will bring new pleasure in cooking for those who have lost their desire as well as their touch in creative imaginative, scrumptious meals their families will love. Get creative and put a cute little signature taste to your dishes. Your meals will be something your family and friends will be talking about for years to come.

floral spring roll Edible Flowers Floral Beveraged infused drinks

Want to make a breakfast that’s out of the ordinary for that someone special in your life, check out this great botanical combination.

Flower Omlette Flora Toast

Having girlfriends over for brunch, here is a quick idea that will have them buzzing! Add a delicious salad and cocktail or two and top it with a scrumptious piece of mouthwatering dessert and you’ve got yourself a get together with little effort.

Floral Pizza edible-flowers floral cocktail

Pineapple Guava Cupcake


5 Ayurvedic Herbs That Have Been Shown To Destroy Cancer Cells

In a time where cancer is an extremely popular disease, finding effective and safe cures to treat cancer should be a high priority. The general population doesn’t hear much about alternative cures like dichloroacetate for example which has been shown to be effective in treating cancer.

It is important for these alternative cancer treatments to become more widely accepted, but it is even more important for the information on cancer prevention to become more of a focal point in the “fight against cancer.” Best way to treat cancer? To not get it in the first place. Until we clean up things like our diets and overall toxic environments, cancer will continue to become more popular. Public education is needed.

Without further a dieu, here are the top 5 Ayurvedic herbs that have been shown to destroy cancer cells.

1. Ashwagandha

This herb also known as “Indian Ginseng” is an adaptogen, which means it is able to supplement the body’s ability to deal with stressors such as anxiety, fatigue, or trauma. Because of this ashwagandha is used for literally hundreds of ailments in Ayurvedic medicine. It can increase our resistance to stress while increasing our energy levels.

Research shows that this herb helps to slow down the growth of cancer cells and inhibit the growth of tumor cells, while protecting the “good” cells.

2. Garlic

Garlic is an amazing healing herb. Numerous double blind studies have shown that garlic is also amazing at preventing cancer. It has been a staple used by naturopaths for centuries in raw, juice or soup form to treat various types of cancer.

There have also been studies done to prove that garlic can kill brain cancer cells, without harming the healthy cells.

3. Green Tea

Green tea has long been acknowledged for its antioxidants and healing benefits. In fact there have been multiple studies that show that an active biological agent in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate or “EGCG,” can effectively treat pancreatic cancer.

Also, green tea may lower the risk of digestive system cancers in women , and another study found that when EGCG was administered directly to tumors, two thirds of them shrunk or disappeared within one month.

4. Ginger

Ginger is another staple in the practice of Ayurvedic medicine. It is used in many Indian dishes. Inflammation markers that are precursors to colon cancer can actually be reduced significantly by the consumption of the ginger root, or in its powdered spice form. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory that soothes and heals the digestive tract, which is why it is suggested as one of the best home remedies for the treatment of colon cancer.

Numerous studies have shown that ginger has been effective in destroying ovarian and prostate cancer cells. Not only does ginger kill these cancer cells, but it also prevents them from building a resistance to cancer treatments. Researchers agree that more research would be needed to further understand if this treatment can be effective in humans given various situations.

5. Turmeric

The compounds in the popular Indian spice turmeric have been found to cure many different ailments. The curcumin in the turmeric root literally cause colon cancer cells to self-destruct.

No cancer has been found that isn’t affected by curcumin. -MD Anderson, Cancer Center Texas

Curcumin has been shown to reawaken a key tumor suppressive gene, inhibit metastases, straight up kill cancer cells, and prevent the re-growth of cancer stem cells.

More Research Required

Given the limited effectiveness and toxic effects of our current mainstream modes of cancer treatment, it’s important we expand upon our knowledge by further studying the potential for the above herbs (and other options like cannabis) to be used as cancer treatments. This means clinical trials in humans would have to take place if we want to fully understand the potential here.