Homeopathic medicine

Homeopathy is a system of natural health care that has been in worldwide use for over 200 years.Homeopathy treats each person as a unique individual with the aim of stimulating their own healing ability. A homeopath selects the most appropriate medicine based on the individual’s specific symptoms and personal level of health. It is recognized by the World Health Organization as the second largest therapeutic system in use in the world. While it is most popular in India and South America, over thirty million people in Europe, and millions of others around the world, also benefit from its use.

The name homeopathy, coined by its originator, Samuel Hahnemann, is derived from the Greek words for ‘similar suffering’ referring to the ‘like cures like’ principle of healing. Hahnemann was born in Germany two hundred and fifty years ago. At this time the old world-view was being renovated and traditional beliefs, many flimsily based upon superstition, were being increasingly subjected to the rigour of experimental scrutiny and assessment. The practice of Homeopathy is based upon science while its application is an art.

Homeopathy is founded on two principles that have occurred regularly throughout the history of medicine, both in eastern and western worlds. The first principle of ‘like cures like’ can be looked at in several ways. One way is to assume that the body knows what it is doing and that symptoms are the body’s way of taking action to overcome illness. This healing response is automatic in living organisms; we term it the vital response. The similar medicine acts as a stimulus to the natural vital response, giving it the information it needs to complete its healing work. Since the initial action of the vital response plus the medicine is to increase the strength of the symptoms, this is our first indication of internal healing taking place, of diseases being cured from within – pushed outwards along the established routes of past and present symptoms.

Before the medicines are decided upon, their curative powers are discovered by testing them out on healthy human subjects and carefully noting emotional, mental and physical changes. This is termed a ‘proving’. This information constitutes the basis for ‘like cures like’, for a medicine’s unique symptom picture must match up with the individual’s unique expression of their disease, that is, the present and persisting symptoms of the disease.

The second principle, that only ‘the minimum dose’ should be employed is based upon the understanding that the stimulus of the medicine works from within the vitality and is not imposed from the outside. Only enough is administered to initiate the healing process, which then carries on, driven by its own internal healing mission. Homeopathic medicines given in minimum doses, while they do stimulate the body’s vital response, do not produce the gross side effects that are so often the pit-fall of conventional treatment.

Why is homeopathy so popular?

  • Homeopathic treatment works with your body’s own healing powers to bring about health and well being.
  • You are treated as an individual, not as a collection of disease labels.
  • Homeopathy treats all your symptoms at all levels of your being – spiritual, emotional, mental and physical and finds the ‘like cures like’ match for them.
  • Homeopathically prepared remedies, providing the minimum dose, are gentle, subtle and powerful. They are non-addictive, and not tested on animals.

Homeopaths are given few opportunities in the media to defend their profession, so a lot of misconceptions abound. The medical profession in general presents a fierce and blinkered opposition, yet as Big Pharma is learning of all sorts of amazing cured cases, they are determined to stamp out competition via EU regulation.

Myth No. 1 – Homeopathic medicines cure nothing

Homeopathy works by stimulating the body’s own healing mechanisms, through like for like. A substance that would cause symptoms in a healthy person can be used to cure the same symptoms in a sick person by giving a minute, highly potentized dose of that substance acting as a catalyst to jump start their own healing mechanisms. Everyone of us has our own natural innate healing powers. All that is needed is the correct stimulus to kick start it. In healthy people this may just be rest and good food but many people become ‘stuck’ in their physical, emotional or mental illness and cannot recover. Of course there are different levels of health and the choice of potency given should reflect that. Low potencies are given for very physically ill people and higher doses for those whose problems are emotional or of the mind. Homeopathy is very successful in treating emotional problems such as stress, anxiety and fears.

Unlike orthodox medicine, outcomes of homeopathic treatment are measured by the long term curative effects and the eradication of the disease state culminating in complete restoration of health. If we could have two year trials of outcomes for conditions such as asthma, arthritis and other chronic diseases, this could be proven.

Myth No 2 – Homeopathic medicines are just water

Homeopathic medicines are not made using only dilution. Dilution alone would do nothing whatsoever. Many homeopaths are getting tired of reading this highly inaccurate reporting in the media. All homeopathic medicines are made by a process of dilution and Succussion (potentization through vigorous shaking — 100 shakes between each potency — i.e. between a 1c and a 2c, between a 2c and a 3c potency, between a 3c and a 4c, etc, etc). Most homeopathic medicines can be bought in either 6c or 30c from Boots or from health shops. Higher potencies of 200c and 1m (1000c) can be obtained only from homeopathic pharmacies. Succussion is nowadays done by machines, originally by hand. Succussion brings out the formative intelligence of the substance and imprints it upon the 60% distilled water + 40% alcohol medium used to make homeopathic medicines — alcohol acting as a preservative.

Myth No. 3 – homeopathic medicines are unscientific

Homeopathic medicines undergo a scientific ‘Proving’ where a control group of 50+ healthy volunteers (‘Provers’) are instructed to keep taking a remedy under trial until they develop symptoms which they must record in detail. Substances that have been rigorously tested include nearly everything on the Periodic Table — metals, minerals and gases as well as plants and even things like snake venom.

The Provers are given a bottle of a new remedy being tested in the 30c potency and must keep taking it until they develop symptoms, which must be carefully recorded and then submitted to a database. The Provers must be healthy and symptom-free to start with so that the symptoms they experience are new ones caused by the remedy. They must keep a careful daily note of what happens and not discuss it with any of the other Provers. Whatever symptoms the Provers all experienced in common become the black type symptoms of the remedy which are then added to the Materia Medica of homeopathic medicines and Homeopathic Repertory (encyclopedia of symptoms). Thus the curative indications of a remedy are obtained for clinical use.

Symptoms have also been obtained through historical records of accidental poisonings, such as Arsenic and Belladonna. For example, poisoning by Arsenic causes vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, anxiety and extreme chill. Therefore you might get a patient in this state (possibly after food poisoning) and Arsenicum in a homeopathic tablet will quickly alleviate them.

There are more than 4,000+ homeopathic medicines including nearly everything on the periodic table. But of course all of the remedies tested have been diluted and succussed (potentized), so they are not toxic like modern drugs.

The Homeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory are extremely large books or divided into volumes. The Repertory is divided into sections in this order: Mind, Vertigo, Head, Eye, Vision, Ear, Hearing, Nose, Face, Mouth, Teeth, Throat, External Throat, Stomach, Abdomen, Rectum, Stool, Bladder, Kidney, Prostate Gland, Urethra, Urine, Male, Female, Larynx, Respiration, Cough, Expectoration, Chest, Back, Extremities, Sleep, Dreams, Chill, Fever, Perspiration, Skin, Generals. Obviously some sections are bigger than others!

In the various Repertories, remedies are listed alongside the full range of symptoms (rubrics) in abbreviated form — all information being systematically taken from Provings and clinical practice. Every human state of mind, emotions and body is listed. Symptoms that would mean nothing to a medical doctor can be looked up and the curative remedy found in these huge books. Homeopathy is a study of human nature, endlessly fascinating and how negative states of mind and emotions affect the physical body culminating in illness. Nowadays many homeopaths use computer software programmes which contain all this information.

Myth No. 4 – homeopathic practitioners receive inadequate training

In fact all qualified homeopathic practitioners undergo a four year training course at accredited Colleges, which includes Anatomy and Physiology, as well as Pathology and Disease, Materia Medica, Homeopathic Philosophy and study of the Homeopathic Repertory. Yet medical doctors and nurses treat after much shorter homeopathy courses. To be really good, you need to study intensively for about 10 years. Homeopathy is a lifetime’s work and you never stop learning.

Myth No. 5 – there are no studies that prove homeopathy works

In the past 2-3 decades there have been more than 180 controlled, and 118 randomized, trials into homeopathy, which were analysed by four separate meta-analyses. In each case, the researchers concluded that the benefits of homeopathy went far beyond that which could be explained purely by the placebo effect. Another meta-analysis found that 65 of the 89 trials analysed had produced an effect way beyond placebo, source WDDTY (www.wddty.co.uk) .

A study of 6500 patients at the Bristol Homeopathic hospital was conducted showing that over 70% of patients reported complete cure or significant improvement of their symptoms (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/4…) .

Historical records show that epidemics such as cholera and typhoid were treated successfully using homeopathy in the 19th century with very high success rates, compared to orthodox medicine (http://www.whale.to/v/winston.html) .

A study on the properties of water was performed by Dr. Rustrum Roy. This paper provides an interdisciplinary base of information on the structure of liquid water.

The Structure Of Liquid Water; Novel Insights From Materials Research; Potential Relevance To Homeopathy, Rustum Roy1, W.A. Tiller2, Iris Bell3, M. R. Hoover4
Received: 2 August 2004 Revised: 6 September 2004 Accepted: 14

(http://www.rustumroy.com/Roy_Structure%20of%…)

(http://www.infiniteconferencing.com/Events/n…)

Homeopathy can never be tested properly through conventional trials because each prescription is individualized as every person is unique. Therefore 10 people with arthritis, for example, may all need a different homeopathic medicine. So it is far from ideal to follow the allopathic trial paradigm to test homeopathy. In orthodox medicine trials, all are given the same medicine to be tested. In homeopathy, all may be given different medicines!

“Anybody who has an understanding of the principles of homeopathy can be left in no doubt that we are dealing with a scientific therapeutic method in the best possible sense: it is based on observation, facts and phenomena and follows the rules of inductive logic that can be tested in daily practice. It is a comprehensive and comprehensible mode of therapy, which in some countries is first line treatment for the whole range of acute and chronic conditions. It has been proven abundantly that it is superior in the treatment of epidemic diseases to allopathy.

“It is amazing how people, who like to see themselves on the side of unprejudiced evaluation, can be so blinkered. People pass judgment on homeopathy who have never bothered to study it. Like any science it takes time to learn (especially to learn it correctly) and years of practice to master but the rewards for patients, practitioners and the NHS (National Health Service) purse are great. Before those who preach pure science come down on therapies like homeopathy too heavily, they should ask themselves how many of the accepted treatments within the NHS have a scientific evidence base?” (Peter Morrell. Hon. Research Associate, History of Medicine, Dept of Sociology, Staffordshire University, UK.)

With every homeopathic medicine we know exactly the substance it was made from, unlike most modern drugs where we have no clue of the ingredients. This is ironic too as all natural health products, whether vitamin, mineral or food supplement must clearly state on the label every single ingredient. When we go to the supermarket or health food shop, we hold up the packet or bottle and read what is in the product, yet people happily swallow prescription drugs with no idea whatsoever what they have taken! They could contain cyanide or any poison and the patient would be none the wiser. With the new class of genetically modified drugs, such as the one used in the Northwick Park drug trial in London, the dangers of a massive allergic reaction, such as the drug testers experienced, are even greater.

Those, who claim to be scientists, should have the ability to at least try to understand different paradigms. If not, they look more like people who have settled on a comfortable view of the world which might soon look very outmoded indeed. As the great musician and conductor Sir Yehudi Menhuin once said: ‘Homeopathy is one of the few specialised areas in medicine, which carries no disadvantages but only advantages’.

Regarding the Horizon programme on homeopathy, Prof. Madeleine Ennis was not involved in the Horizon test. The test was carried out by Wayne Turnbull at Guys hospital, London. It has been conceded that the Horizon test was not an exact replica of Ennis’ successful trials. Many of his protocols were different. You can read at this link where he added in an ammonium chloride lysis step which would have ended up killing the very basophils that were such an integral part of the test (http://www.homeopathic.com/articles/view,55) . Ennis’ original test was replicated in 4 different labs in 4 different countries.

Dr. Peter Fisher’s article in PubMed discusses the ‘End of Homeopathy’ editorial and meta-analysis published in the Lancet of 26th August 2005 and how nearly 100 successful studies that showed homeopathy worked were thrown out and only a few that were inconclusive were used. Dr. Fisher is the Queen’s homeopathic physician and heads the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. (The vitriolic editorial was caused by the World Health Organization bringing out a draft report in 2005 which was favourable towards homeopathy!)

“The final analysis which concluded that ‘the clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects’ was based on just eight clinical trials of homeopathy. The Lancet’s press release did not mention this, instead giving the impression that the conclusions were based on all 110 trials.” “One of the most serious criticisms is the complete lack of transparency: we have no idea which eight trials were included in the final, damning, analysis.” “The literature references are not given, nor any information on the diagnoses, numbers of patients, etc., nor can these be deduced from the article. Prof. Egger has refused several requests to disclose the identity of the eight trials. This is not even a matter of scientific method, but of natural justice: the accused has the right to know the evidence against him.”

“The Lancet meta-analysis in 2005 of homeopathic trials was said to be based upon 110 placebo-controlled clinical trials of homeopathy and 110 clinical trials of allopathy, which were said to be matched but were in fact reduced to 21 trials of homeopathy and 9 of conventional medicine and further reduced to 8 and 6 trials.”

* (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerend…)

* Other Responses from the Homeopathic Community on the Lancet Article:(http://www.ontariohomeopath.com/Response2.ht…)

* from WDDTY:
(http://www.zeusinfoservice.com/Articles/Shoc…)

* George Vithoulkas’ ‘Science of Homeopathy’ is still considered an excellent exposition of the science.
(http://www.wholehealthnow.com/books/science-…)

More scientific studies:

* (http://www.vhan.nl/documents/ScientificRepor…)

* (http://ecam.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/f…)

* (http://www.positivehealth.com/research-list….)

* Bizarre chemical discovery gives homeopathic hint
(http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1532-b…)

Myth No. 6 – Homeopathic hospitals are a waste of money

There are 5 homeopathic hospitals in the UK — in London, Liverpool, Tunbridge Wells, Bristol and Glasgow. They cost the NHS around £6 million a year. Compare that to the £100 billion for the total 2008 annual NHS budget! These homeopathic hospitals save money for the NHS as the Smallwood report commissioned by Prince Charles has demonstrated
(http://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/mediacentre/…) .

At one of the earliest debates on the NHS Act 1948 the Government pledged that homoeopathy would continue to be available on the health service as long as there were “patients wishing to receive it and doctors willing to provide it”. Many people who depend upon it are alarmed at the possibility that Homeopathy may no longer be available on the NHS. Since the passing of the NHS Act in 1948, a provision has always been made for people to be treated at homeopathic hospitals in the U.K. and until PCTs began to stop referring patients, there had indeed been long waiting lists, some 6 months or more.

See this letter sent out in May 2006 to the Chief Executives of all Primary Care Trusts signed by a group of Professors hostile to homeopathy and putting pressure on PCTs not to refer patients to the 5 homeopathic hospitals in the U.K. saying there was no evidence homeopathy worked (http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/pdf/Baum…) .

Then another similar letter using the National Health Service (NHS) logo was sent out to PCTs in May 2007 from some of the same professors! It can be read here:

(http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_st…)

(http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/may/2…)

Eventually an explanation was put up on the Department of Health website at the end of October 2007, although by then the damage was done (http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstati…) .

Read what David Tredennick, MP had to say in February 2008 about the possible closure of the homeopathic hospitals, recorded here in Hansard. “The Minister may recall that in May 2007 some doctors issued a spurious document — printed on official paper, with the NHS logo — claiming that homeopathic services should be decommissioned. The Government has never written to PCTs to refute that document.” (http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate/?id=200…)

Myth No. 7 – Cure with homeopathy is simply the Placebo Effect.

When Prince Charles treats his farm animals at Highgrove with homeopathic medicines do they know that a remedy has been put in the water they drink? Farmers successfully use homeopathic medicines for their cows suffering from mastitis. Does a tiny baby know when their fever drops dramatically using Belladonna or Aconite, that they have been given a homeopathic medicine?! As anyone who has treated animals and babies with homeopathic medicines will tell you, homeopathy works even better on animals and babies than it does on adults! If proof were needed, this is it. Not placebo.

Myth No. 8 – Homeopathic medicines contain no molecules

Any remedy under a 12c or a 24x potency still contains the original molecules of the substance and this is known as Avogadro’s number. These low potencies are most suitable for physical illness of long duration as well as to heal specific organs that are not functioning properly.

Myth No. 9 – ‘Anecdotal Evidence’ does not constitute scientific evidence!

Most medical, surgical procedures and drug usage are not backed by studies — only by anecdotal evidence. According to the U.S. Government’s Office of Technology Assessment (Congress of the United States, Office of Technology Assessment: Assessing the efficacy and safety of medical technologies. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1978), only 10-20% of all medical procedures and off-label drug usage are backed by clinical studies.

Strong anecdotal evidence among informed professionals is actually quite reliable — at least as reliable as clinical testing.

Many clinical tests come to diametrically opposed conclusions. You could say that the problem was discovered through anecdotal evidence — and merely confirmed through a peer reviewed study.
(http://www.i-sis.org.uk/peerReviewUnderTheSp…)

The problem isn’t with the use of anecdotal evidence. It’s with the double standard applied by the establishment (medical and regulatory) that holds complementary medicine to an absurdly higher standard, allowing medical doctors to do pretty much whatever they want. If informed anecdotal evidence is allowable for 85% of all medical procedure and drug usage, why is alternative health held to an impossible 0% standard?

Millions of people worldwide testify that homeopathy cures their illnesses yet apparently that cannot be construed as ‘evidence’.

If a person were to walk out of their house to the town centre and witness someone having their bag snatched or witness a car accident, then when they relay this information to the Police or to their friends and family, it is anecdotal evidence.

If someone goes on holiday, stays at a nice hotel, eats delicious food, swims in the sea, comes back home and relates the holiday to their friends, that is anecdotal evidence.

Does that mean that the above never happened? According to the detractors of complementary or alternative medicine, yes it does!

Millions of people have been cured of their diseases and afflictions using homeopathy, herbs, healing, vitamin supplements, special diets and on and on. Yet according to orthodox medicine all of these cures are anecdotal evidence and as such do not merit any further investigation, study, or validity. As far as orthodox medicine is concerned, these cures never happened.

Yet what if someone witnessed a car accident and the Police wanted them to make a statement? Would the statement in court be dismissed as anecdotal evidence? Would the police, even if they arrived at the scene of the accident to find the person still there comforting the passengers or trying to help, say they had not been there and their evidence is non existent? I don’t think so.

So how for so long have we put up with the top dogs in the medical establishment dismissing our cures as total nonsense, figments of our imagination, placebo cures, or outright lies?

How, when millions are cured around the world using homeopathic medicines, can these cures be dismissed as unworthy of attention, simply ‘anecdotal evidence’.

Orthodox medicine implies through this that all cures with alternative medicine are untrue or simply imagined. Even when all the evidence is put before them, they become angry and even aggressive, simply refusing to see or to listen.

All the case notes in the surgery show that Mr. A had arthritis for 5 years, had been on anti-inflammatory medicines, yet after homeopathic treatment, the arthritis is cured. The reaction of the doctor is either disbelief or an attitude where they will not talk about it and do not want to know.

Of course there are some orthodox doctors who practice acupuncture, homeopathy or herbs themselves and who do believe that these therapies cured the patient but they are in a small minority. The opposition is always the top cancer specialists and professors whose lives and vested interests are the most challenged by the idea that anything other than pharmaceutical drugs or surgical interventions can cure the patient.

Very often the doctor’s prognosis can create enormous fear in a patient making them much worse, striking terror in their hearts and creating a mental block to healing when told by ‘experts’ they will never get better.

Yet pharmaceutical drugs cure nothing. They merely suppress the symptoms driving them deeper into the body of the patient. Believe it or not, the disappearance of symptoms does not equal cure! Very often a new and deeper set of symptoms are created which are even more serious. Pharma drugs work through the Law of Opposites, eg. antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, anti-convulsants, anti-hypertensives, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, etc, etc.

Hence the eczema patient whose skin symptoms have been suppressed, goes on to develop asthma. The arthritic patient whose joint pains are suppressed, eventually will go on to develop heart disease.

The doctor makes no connection whatsoever that their drugs have created these deeper illnesses but just goes on to give the patient more and more powerful drugs, making the patient sicker still. Then when they die, they say, ‘We did everything we could’. Yes and you killed the patient!

So there is no question that dismissing cures as Anecdotal Evidence through the use of natural medicine, is nothing more than a whitewash and a desperate means of concealing the knowledge of those cures from the Public as a whole.

Samuel Hahnemann

“Hahnemann was a doctor but gave up his practice because he was appalled at the poisonous side effects of most available medicine. He started experimenting and did something rather novel — he took some quinine, while perfectly healthy. He observed that the effect on him was identical to a malarial attack: alternating fever with heat and chills. This is where homeopathy started: a substance, given to a healthy individual, causes symptoms. If given to someone who suffers those symptoms, it will thus neutralize the sickness.

After his observations on quinine — Hahnemann went on to test hundreds of substances on himself and willing, healthy volunteers — used the tested substances for matching symptoms in his patients and all the while kept accounts of detailed observations. Of course, Hahnemann had an antecedent, still well-known today because all doctors still swear an oath to him to promise best medical practice: Hippocrates.” (Peter Morrell. Hon. Research Associate, History of Medicine, Dept of Sociology, Staffordshire University, UK.)

Hippocrates stated that there were two laws of healing –- the law of opposites (allopathy) and the law of similars (homeopathy). A Greek physician called Galen had laid these rules down in about 150 AD. Homeopathic theories are based on fixed principles of the Laws of Nature which do not change — unlike medical theories which are constantly changing! Homeopathy is both a science and an art.

“Far from being ideas-based, this is completely evidence-based, empirical medicine an almost unique concept at the time. After some years of practicing like this, Hahnemann was still not satisfied. The substances he was using, while more effective than normal medical practice, were still having side effects. Or, if he reduced dosage too far, there was no effect. This is when he developed the concept of potentization, the serial dilution that opponents of homeopathy deride.” (Peter Morrell. Hon. Research Associate, History of Medicine, Dept of Sociology, Staffordshire University, UK.)

Treating the Whole Person or Holistic Healing

We are not just a collection of parts to be fixed as doctors treat us but always operating as a whole person all of the time. In other words medicines are chosen that treat the whole person and not just the part. This may seem strange to grasp and yet doesn’t it in fact make total sense? Do we leave our sore throat on the desk of the physician as we leave the surgery? Or our arthritic knee behind? No, every single tiny function of our body operates as a whole, all of the time. You cannot treat one thing and not affect the rest. That is why pharma drugs are so dangerous, as for example, in treating a cancerous tumour, the medicine will affect and disturb the other systems of the body.

We are all energy beings (http://www.workingwithenergy.co.uk/energy_ce…) . The electricity in our bodies transmits messages to all parts/systems of the body. Illness is caused when these messages are not getting through. All systems of the body are communicating with each other at all times. Water is a great conductor of electricity and it transmits the electrical current. This is how homeopathic mediums work –- by communicating a current/pattern/frequency of energy via the whole human body to jump start the body’s own inherent healing mechanisms.

Homeopathy treats different sorts of people with distinct characters and personalities as well as different physical looks and natures. It individualizes each person treating their diverse pattern of symptoms looking at them as a whole.

Is it not true that no two people are alike? That every person is unique? This is why you could line up 20 people with asthma and they might all need a different homeopathic medicine. There are in fact about 250 homeopathic medicines for asthma but the correct one for each person must be selected taking into consideration such things as what makes the condition better or worse, what time of day it comes on, whether the person is hot or cold, worse for damp, in need of fresh air or prefer the windows closed and so on. You would be amazed at how each person’s symptoms are so different and yet all have been diagnosed with asthma.

After homeopathic treatment, careful analysis is taken of the Direction of Cure of the patient’s symptoms. Constance Hering was a converted skeptic of homeopathy. As a young man in Germany in the early nineteenth century, Hering had been assigned the task of reviewing Homeopathy because his medical mentor (a fervent anti-homeopath) had been asked by a publisher to write a book exposing homeopathy as unworthy. Having been given this task, Hering conducted a detailed study but concluded the opposite from the requested results! He was the first to talk about the Law of Cure which says that symptoms are cured from above down, from the inside out and in the reverse order of their appearance. This has stood the test of time in clinical experience. A simple example would be after a curative remedy is given for eczema all over the body, we would see the eczema start to move down and when it is only on the ankles, we know it is nearly cured.

Continued on next page…

Stem Cells

The primary purpose of stem cells is to maintain, heal and regenerate tissues wherever they reside in your body. This is a continuous process that occurs inside your body throughout your life. If you didn’t have stem cells, your lifespan would be about an hour, because there would be nothing to replace exhausted cells or damaged tissue. In addition, any time your body is exposed to any sort of toxin, the inflammatory process causes stem cells to swarm the area to repair the damage.

“As an example, you might have gone to the gym this morning [and] … done some squats. As a result of that, you would get tiny tears inside the muscle. The stem cells that reside beneath the muscle would come out and repair all those tears.

The reason that, if you continuously go to the gym, you would start to build new muscle, is because those stem cells, hard at work underneath your muscle, are helping to repair and build that new muscle. This would apply to all of the tissues inside your body,” Comella explains.

While it’s easy to think of stem cell therapy as a magic bullet, it would be wise to implement strategies that nourish and thereby help optimize the stem cells you already have in your body. As noted by Comella:

“You have to create an appropriate environment for these cells to function in. If you are putting garbage into your body and you’re constantly burdening your body with toxins, your stem cells are getting too distracted trying to fight off those toxins. By creating an appropriate environment, optimizing your diet and reducing exposure to toxins, that will allow the stem cells that we’re putting in to really home in and focus on the true issue that we’re trying to treat.

The other thing we’ve discovered over the years is that [stem cell therapy] is not the type of thing where you take one dose and you’re cured forever. Your tissues are constantly getting damaged … You’re going to have to repeat-dose and use those stem cells to your advantage.

When you think about a lizard that loses its tail, it takes two years to grow back the tail. Why would we put unrealistic expectations on the stem cells that we’re trying to apply to repair or replace damaged tissue? This is a very slow process. This is something that will occur over months and may require repeat dosing.”

Stem Cell Sources

Historically, stem cells were isolated from bone marrow, and have been used for bone marrow transplants for cancer patients since the 1930s. However, you can get stem cells from just about any tissue in your body, as every tissue contains stem cells.

Your bone marrow actually has very low amounts of mesenchymal stem cells, which are now believed to be the most important, from a therapeutic perspective. Mesenchymal stem cells help trigger an immunomodulatory response or a paracrine effect, which means they send signals out to the rest of your body, calling cells to the area to help promote healing.

“What we’ve discovered in more recent years is that a more plentiful source of stem cells is actually your fat tissue. [Body] fat can contain up to 500 times more cells than your bone marrow, as far as these mesenchymal type stem cells go.

One thing that’s also critically important when you’re talking about isolating the cells is the number of other cells that are going to be part of that population. When you’re isolating a bone marrow sample, this actually is very high in white blood cells, which are pro-inflammatory.”

White blood cells are part of your immune response. When an injury occurs, or a foreign body enters your system, white blood cells will attack. Unfortunately, white blood cells do not discriminate, and can create quite a bit of damage as they clean the area out.

The Benefits of Isolating Stem Cells From Fat

Stem cells, in particular your mesenchymal cells, quiet down the white blood cells and then start the regeneration phase, which leads to new tissue. Bone marrow tends to be very high in white blood cells and low in the mesenchymal cells. Isolating stem cells from fat tissue is preferred not only because it’s easier on the patient, but fat also contains a higher population of mesenchymal cells and fewer white blood cells.

“The benefit also of isolating [stem cells from] fat is that it’s a relatively simple procedure. There’s typically no shortage of fat tissue, especially in Americans,” Comella says. “[Also], as you age, your bone marrow declines with regards to the number of cells in it, whereas the fat tissue maintains a pretty high number of stem cells, even in older individuals.

We can successfully harvest fat off of just about anyone, regardless of their age or how thin they are. The procedure is done under local [anesthesia], meaning that the patient stays awake. They don’t have to go under general anesthesia. We can harvest as few as 15 cubic centimeters of fat, which is a very small amount of fat, and still get a very high number of stem cells.”

Cost-Benefit Analysis

A stem cell procedure can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on what you’re having done, and rarely if ever will insurance cover it. Still, when you compare it to the cost of long-term medications or the out-of-pocket cost of getting a knee replacement, stem cell therapy may still be a less expensive alternative. Also, a single extraction will typically yield enough stem cells for 20 to 25 future treatments, should you decide to store your stem cells for future need.

“I think it’s accessible for patients,” Comella says. “It’s an out-patient procedure. You plan to be in clinic for about two hours; no real limitations afterwards, just no submerging in water, no alcohol, no smoking for a week. But other than that, patients can resume their normal activities and go about their regular daily lives.”

Interestingly, Comella notes that patients who eat a very healthy diet, focusing on organic and grass fed foods, have body fat that is very hearty and almost sticky, yielding high amounts of very healthy stem cells.

“We can grow much better and faster stem cells from that fat than [the fat from] somebody who eats a grain-based diet or is exposed to a lot of toxins in their diet,” she says. “Their fat tends to be very fluffy, buttery yellow. The cells that come out of that are not necessarily as good a quality. It’s just been very interesting. And of note, patients that are cigarette smokers, their fat is actually gray-tinged in color. The stem cells do not grow well at all.”

Autologous Versus Non-Autologous Stem Cell Donation

What’s been described above is what’s called an autologous donation, meaning you’re getting the stem cells from yourself. A number of companies provide non-autologous donations using cells harvested from other people, typically women, like amniotic or embryonic mesenchymal cells. This is an important distinction.

“There are now just a couple of studies that have been published comparing an autologous source, meaning cells from you own body, to an allogeneic source, meaning cells from someone else.

So far, what has been discovered is that the autologous cells, meaning your own cells, will outperform somebody else’s cells inside your body. Now, this is not fully understood at this point. It may be that the environment that your cells function in, they’re used to that environment. They recognize it. It’s the same DNA and they can function well.

However, once you culture expand and get a pure population of these mesenchymal cells — not necessarily the sample that’s coming right off of the liposuction, but a sample that has been taken to the lab and grown — those cells will not elicit an immune response if you use them in someone else. You could scientifically and medically use those in an unmatched person. However, there are some regulatory aspects of that with regards to the FDA.”

In the U.S., there are a variety of new stem cell products available, referred to as amniotic, cord blood products or placenta products, which are prepared at a tissue bank. Such facilities must be registered with the FDA, and the products must undergo additional processing.

For example, they must be morselized, or snap frozen or blended in some way. Such processing typically breaks the membrane, releasing growth factors, and the resulting products are called acellular, meaning there are no living cells remaining in the sample.

Amnio Products Versus Embryonic Stem Cells

The amniotic products available in the U.S. are not so much stem cell products as they are growth factor products. According to Comella, they can be useful in creating an immunomodulatory response, which can help to promote healing, but that still differs from the living stem cell procedures that can be done by either isolating cells from your fat or bone marrow. As a general rule, you don’t achieve the clinical benefits when using an amniotic product, primarily because they don’t contain living stem cells.

“I want to contrast that to what are called embryonic stem cells,” Comella adds. “The products obtained from cord blood, from women who are having babies, are not embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are when you are first bringing the egg and sperm together. Three days after that, you can isolate what is called an inner cell mass. This inner cell mass can be used to then grow cells in culture, or that inner cell mass could eventually lead to the formation of a baby.

Those are embryonic stem cells, and those are pluripotential, meaning that they have the ability to form an entire being, versus adult stem cells or stem cells that are present in amniotic tissue, [which] are multipotential, which only have the ability to form subsets of tissue.

When you’re dealing with different diseases or damaged tissue or inflammation, mostly you want to repair tissue. If somebody has damage in their knee, they don’t necessarily need embryonic cells because they don’t need a baby in their knee. They need new cartilage in their knee.”

Can Stem Cell Therapy Cause Cancer?

A common question is whether stem cells can cause overgrowth, leading to cancer or tumor formation. As noted by Comella, this is a problem associated with embryonic stem cells, which tend to grow very rapidly and can form a teratoma because of the rapid cell growth. Adult stem cells — the cells obtained from your own body — have growth inhibitions and will not form teratomas.

“The theoretical concern that has been addressed in animal models or in petri dishes is that if you take cancer cells that are growing in a dish and apply stem cells, it may make those cancer cells grow more rapidly. But this does not translate in-vivo to humans.

If there was truly an issue with applying stem cells to a patient who has cancer, we would know about it by now, because we’ve been dosing cancer patients with stem cells since the ’30s. The safety profile is strong and there are tens of thousands of patients documented with these treatments,” Comella says.

Platelet-Rich Plasma

Another useful therapy is platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Your peripheral blood contains platelets, which act as first responders when there’s an injury. They come in and start the clotting mechanism, thereby preventing you from bleeding to death. They also give marching orders to other cells. For example, platelets can command stem cells to multiply and grow, or to differentiate and form new tissue.

These platelets also have many different growth factors associated with them, which can help to promote healing and stop inflammation. PRP involves taking a blood sample and then spinning the blood in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected back into the area that is inflamed.

“One of the most common uses of platelet-rich plasma or PRP is in a joint. Now, platelets are going to be most successful in something that is rich in stem cells … [such as] an acute or a very recent injury.

If you just hurt your knee, the first thing you should do is get PRP, because it’s going to help promote healing, and those platelets will attach to the surface receptors of the stem cells that are already going to the area to promote healing. It would be like putting fertilizer on your seed, which are the stem cells.

If you have something more chronic, this tends to be a stem cell-poor environment. In other words, you have osteoarthritis or you’ve got knee pain that’s 5 years old and it’s been there for a long time; just putting PRP in it would be like putting fertilizer on dirt without planting a seed first.”

Clinical Indications for Stem Cell Therapy

The beauty of stem cell therapy is that it mimics a process that is ongoing in your body all the time. Your stem cells are continuously promoting healing, and they do not have to be manipulated in any way. The stem cells naturally know how to home in on areas of inflammation and how to repair damaged tissue.

“All we’re doing is harnessing the cells from one location where they’re sitting dormant and relocating them to exactly where we want them and we need them to work,” Comella says. “Basically, anything inside your body that is inflamed, that is damaged in some way, that is lacking blood supply, the [stem] cells can successfully treat.

That means orthopedics, knee injections, shoulder injections, osteoarthritis, acute injuries, anterior cruciate ligament tears … in your back — back pain associated with degenerative disc disease or damaged tendons or ligaments, herniated and bulging discs. You can also use it in systemic issues, everything from diabetes, to cardiac, to lungs — any tissue organ inside your body that’s been damaged.

Autoimmune diseases [can also be treated]. The stem cells are naturally immunosuppressant, meaning they can help quiet down an over reactive immune system and help the immune system function in a more normal way. Neurological diseases, traumatic brain injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s. All of these have to do with tissue that’s not functioning properly. The cells can be used to address that.”

It’s quite impressive, the list of different diseases that could benefit from this intervention. That said, I want to reemphasize that this is not a magic bullet. However, you can dramatically improve the benefits of this intervention by combining it with other healthy lifestyle factors that optimize mitochondrial function, such as eating a healthy whole food diet, exercising, sleeping well, avoiding toxins and detoxifying from toxic influences.

Stem Cells for Anti-Aging

Stem cells can also be used as part of an antiaging program. Comella has used stem cells on herself for several years, and report feeling better now than she did a decade ago.

“The ability to reduce inflammation inside your body is basically making yourself live longer. Inflammation is what kills us all. It’s what makes our telomeres shrink. It’s what causes us pain and discomfort. It’s what makes the tissues start to die. The ability to dose yourself with stem cells and bring down your inflammation, which is most likely caused by any sort of toxin that you’ve been exposed to — breathing air is exposure to toxins — this is going to lengthen your lifespan.

I typically will do a dose every six to 12 months, regardless of what’s going on. If I have anything that’s bothering me, if I tweak my knee at the gym, then I absolutely will come in and do an injection in my knee. I want to keep my tissue healthy for as long as possible.

I want to stay strong. I don’t want to wait until something is wrong with me. I think that this is the future of medicine. This is what we’re going to start to see. People will begin to get their regular doses of [their own] stem cells and it’ll just be common practice.”

Recommended Supplements

Certain nutrients and supplements can help stem cells grow more efficiently. Regenexx, which specializes in developing stem cell therapies, conducted in vitro studies showing that when stem cells are placed in an environment mimicking an arthritic joint, their growth rate is significantly reduced. They then duplicated the test in various nutrient environments, to determine which nutrients could help the stem cells grow better.

Nutrients and combinations of nutrients that boost stem cell regeneration include vitamins C and D, glucosamine and chondroitin, curcumin, resveratrol, bitter melon, and the amino acid l-carnosine. Leiber recommends these to most of his patients. He also recommends taking a high-quality omega-3 supplement such as krill oil in higher amounts.

“Interestingly, melatonin, which most people are familiar with for sleep … helps stem cells preferentially turn into cartilage over a different kind of cell type. We don’t really know what the right dose is. But it’s safe, it’s cheap, and I think it’s worth taking just because of that information. Other people who I feel may have a need for detoxifying a little bit more, I may add N- acetylcysteine (NAC),” Leiber says.

“If I feel that they have quite a bit of inflammation or I have some testing that tells me they have inflammation, on top of that there’s a product I use that has a mixture of boswellia and willow bark and a whole bunch of different antioxidants, phytonutrients derived from fruits and vegetables. I’ll have them taking them in advance to the procedure as well. If they’re coming with a lot of gut issues, we may start exploring that a little bit and treating that in advance as well.”

On a side note, my latest passion is optimization of mitochondrial function with dietary intervention and supplementation, and many of these supplements are also very useful for improving mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy (mitochondrial autophagy). Resveratrol is a particularly intriguing one. It also stimulates SIRT 1, which activates both of those pathways, as does bitter melon and curcumin.

As for diet, you really need to restrict net carbs, which is total carbs minus fiber, to less than 50 grams a day, or maybe even as little as 30 or 40 grams if you’re trying to address chronic dysfunction. Replace those carbs with high-quality fats like butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and high-quality fat from pastured animals like tallow or lard.

These are strategies that will help you burn fat for fuel, which burns far cleaner and generates less free radicals, which in turn decreases inflammation. By optimizing your mitochondrial function, you optimize health and life in general. It’s a profoundly effective strategy to not only treat disease but improve longevity.

Banking Your Stem Cells Is an Investment in Your Future Health

Keep in mind there’s a gradual and progressive decline in the quality and the number of stem cells as you age, so if you’re considering this approach, it would be to your advantage to extract and bank your stem cells as early on as possible. U.S. Stem Cell provides a stem cell bank service, so you can store them until a later date when you might need them.

“Your stem cells are never as young as they are right now. Every minute that you live, your telomeres are shrinking. The ability to lock in the youth of your cells today can be very beneficial for you going forward, and for your health going forward. God forbid something happens. What if you have a heart attack? You’re not going to get clearance to get a mini-lipo aspirate procedure.

If you have your cells waiting in the bank, ready for you, it becomes very easy to pull a dose and do an IV delivery of cells. It’s almost criminal that we’re not doing this for every single one of our cardiac patients. This should be standard practice. We should be having every single patient bank their stem cells at a young age and have them waiting, ready and available. The technology is there. We have it. I’m not sure why this technology is not being made available to everyone,” she says.

“I think stem cell therapy is very different than traditional medicine. Stem cell therapy may actually make it so that you don’t have to be dependent on pharmaceutical medications. You can actually repair the tissue and that’s it. This is a very different way of viewing medicine.”

More Information

If you’re interested in having this procedure done, contact the U.S. Stem Cell Clinic on USStemCellClinic.com. You could either have the procedure done at their facility, or if there’s a physician in your area providing the service, you can go there. U.S. Stem Cell can help you locate a qualified doctor.

Oftentimes, practitioners will specialize in specific procedures, such as spinal procedures, or knee procedures. There’s also a veterinary division, called Vet Biologics, which offers treatment to small pets like cats and dogs, as well as horses.

“One of the things that we’ve been treating recently is traumatic brain injuries,” Comella says. “We had a woman who fell two stories and hit her head. She spent months in a coma and was not able to talk or walk or do any activities. By the time she came to us, it was two years after her injury. The best hospitals in the world told her this was her life … ‘You’re never going to be able to talk or walk or take care of your young children again.’ That was just not good enough.

She came to us and we began applying stem cells in a way to allow the cells to cross the blood-brain barrier and to get to her brain. After her first treatment, when she walked into the clinic on her own and began telling me, in full sentences, about the day she had the head injury, tears came down my face. This is the kind of thing that traditional medicine would say is impossible.

We’ve had patients who were wheelchair-bound, whether it’s from multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s, up and out of their chair, literally jogging around cones. This is life-changing … Patients who were told they weren’t going to return to sports for years are back on the field and playing. There’s just many ways that you can heal your tissue to change the course of an injury or a disease.”


Source: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/06/04/stem-cell-therapy-repair-regenerate-body.aspx

See Also:

Who Owns Your Stem Cells??

Acupuncture

One of the oldest, most commonly used systems of healing in the world. Originating in China some 3,500 years ago, only in the last three decades has it become popular in the United States. In 1993, the Food and Drug Administration estimated that Americans made up to 12 million visits per year to acupuncture practitioners and spent upwards of half a billion dollars on acupuncture treatments. Traditional Chinese medicine hold that there are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body, which are connected by 20 pathways (12 main, 8 secondary) called meridians. These meridians conduct energy, or qi (pronounced “chi”), between the surface of the body and its internal organs. Each point has a different effect on the qi that passes through it.

According to the most recent National Health Statistics Report, compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 3.5 million American adults receive acupuncture treatments each year.1 Used for thousands of years, this therapeutic technique involves inserting ultrafine needles into the surface of your skin at specific points along your body’s defined energy pathways, which are also known as meridians.

Acupuncture needles are either stimulated by hand or electrically as a means of safely and effectively relieving common health complaints such as back and neck pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, osteoarthritis, shoulder pain and more.

The main aspect of acupuncture that sets it apart from conventional, symptom-based medicine is the fact it seeks to eliminate the root cause of your problem by uncovering dysfunction in your body’s energetic meridian system. Keep reading for all you need to know about acupuncture and how it works.

What Is Acupuncture?

The main goal of acupuncture is to rebalance your body so its energy flow, also called the qi (pronounced “chee”), is able to circulate freely and harmoniously. In layperson terms, acupuncture stimulates the flow of oxygen, nutrients and blood throughout your body in a way that supports your body’s natural ability to heal itself. Encyclopedia Britannica offers the following additional information about acupuncture:2

  • The practice of acupuncture centers around the inserting of ultrafine, metal needles into your skin at specific points on your body along energy pathways, or meridians, that run from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet
  • This ancient medical technique, which many believe originated with the Chinese, has been used in Asian cultures for thousands of years to cure disease, relieve pain and improve general health
  • Acupuncture is believed to have developed out of the ancient Chinese theory of the yin — characterized as female, passive, dark and represented by earth — and the yang — male, active, light and represented by the heavens
  • Chinese tradition suggests disease or physical disharmony is caused by a yin-yang imbalance and only by balancing the yin and the yang can you experience good health
  • Yin-yang imbalances block your body’s qi, which is significant because your qi flows through 12 basic meridians that are associated with your major visceral organs and each functional body system

Acupuncture Interacts With Your Body’s Energy System

At a basic level, your body is an energy system. Your cells are always communicating with each other via chemical signals. These chemical signals require a spark of energy to move throughout your body. When properly energized, your cells support your every movement, thought and bodily function.

Even though you cannot see it, an invisible web of energy connects each part of your body in an orderly way to promote proper function and growth and, when necessary, healing and restoration. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) your body’s energy moves along meridians and they are the foundation of how acupuncture works. About your body’s meridians, TCM practitioner Angela Warburton, writing for The Hearty Soul, says:3

“The fluid in these fascial planes, are rich in ions and an excellent conductor of electricity. When we are healthy, they are free of any obstructions which makes flow in these channels easy. When we are ill or in pain, this space or these channels get compromised or blocked. Where there is a blockage, cells do not flow or communicate as well and the body starts to show signs or symptoms.

When they are blocked, things can’t get through. This is where dis-ease sets in. The body usually sends a sign when something is off or blocked. Pain or discomfort is the body’s way of letting us know something needs attention. Energy disturbance is the root of all diseases. When something is wrong with this flow of energy, our nervous system brings us a message [in the form of] pain, discomfort or dis-ease.”

Warburton notes your body signals problems in the energy flow well before any long-term damage has occurred. “Pain is simply the messenger, not the problem,” she says. “If we simply medicate to make the pain go away, we’re missing the problem — and just shooting the messenger!”4

Rather than ignore the signs and symptoms your body uses to alert you to underlying issues, Warburton validates the usefulness of acupuncture to look at “every little ache, pain, sign and symptom” as a means of not only listening to your body, but also as a means of improving energy flow and clearing up any energy blockages.5

Hypotheses Regarding How Acupuncture Works

While Eastern medicine practitioners believe acupuncture is all about the qi, Western scientists continue to study the mechanism of acupuncture in an attempt to figure out how it works. So far, Western researchers have proposed a few hypotheses about how acupuncture works, including:6

  • Acupuncture works through your neurohormonal pathways: About this theory, Dr. Ting Bao, an integrative medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, notes the placement of acupuncture needles stimulates nerves and triggers your body’s own natural painkillers.
  • She says, “The nerve sends signals to the brain and the brain releases neural hormones such as beta-endorphins. By doing that, the patient may feel euphoric, or happy, and this increases the pain threshold and they feel less pain.”
  • Acupuncture works by reducing pro-inflammatory markers: Some animal and human studies, notes Bao, suggest acupuncture helps significantly decrease your body’s pro-inflammatory markers. In one animal study, manual acupuncture was able to turn off pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages while activating anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages. These actions increased interleukin-10 (IL-10) concentrations in muscle, thereby reducing pain and swelling.7
  • Acupuncture works by stimulating your hypothalamus and pituitary gland: Others, like Kylie Study, licensed acupuncturist and traditional Chinese medicine practitioner with Michigan’s Beaumont Health System, don’t believe acupuncture directly triggers the release of the “feel-good” chemicals that help your body deal with inflammation, stress and other problematic conditions.

Instead, says Study, acupuncture “works higher up the chain, such as affecting your pituitary gland to produce the extra hormones.”8

The reality is acupuncture likely works via a variety of mechanisms. Because it has been proven to impact a number of chronic health conditions, acupuncture may work, in part, by stimulating your central nervous system to release natural chemicals that alter your bodily systems, pain and other biological processes.

A 2010 study, for instance, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience,9 highlighted acupuncture’s ability to activate pain-suppressing receptors and increase the concentration of the neurotransmitter adenosine in local tissues. Adenosine slows down your brain’s activity and induces sleepiness.

Conditions for Which Acupuncture Has Been Shown Effective

In the late 1970s, the World Health Organization recognized the ability of acupuncture and Oriental medicine to treat nearly four dozen common ailments, including neuromusculoskeletal conditions (such as arthritis, neuralgia, insomnia, dizziness, and neck/shoulder pain); emotional and psychological disorders (such as depression and anxiety); circulatory disorders (such as hypertension, angina pectoris, arteriosclerosis and anemia); addictions to alcohol, nicotine and other drugs; respiratory disorders (such as emphysema, sinusitis, allergies and bronchitis); and gastrointestinal conditions (such as food allergies, ulcers, chronic diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, intestinal weakness, anorexia and gastritis).

In 1997, a consensus statement released by the National Institutes of Health found that acupuncture could be useful by itself or in combination with other therapies to treat addiction, headaches, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and asthma.

Other studies have demonstrated that acupuncture may help in the rehabilitation of stroke patients and can relieve nausea in patients recovering from surgery.

In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report based on its review of 255 clinical studies involving acupuncture as a treatment modality. Based on that analysis, the WHO asserts acupuncture has been proven through controlled clinical trials to be an effective treatment for the following conditions:10

  • Adverse reactions to chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy
  • Allergic rhinitis, including hay fever
  • Blood pressure issues
  • Chronic pain, including back pain, headache (including migraines), neck pain, osteoarthritis11 and shoulder pain12
  • Dental pain, including temporomandibular dysfunction
  • Depression, including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke
  • Epigastralgia as in acute and chronic gastritis, gastrospasm and peptic ulcers
  • Facial pain, including craniomandibular disorders
  • Fibromyalgia14
  • Leukopenia
  • Menstrual-related aches and pain
  • Morning sickness
  • Nausea and vomiting, including postoperatively13
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Sprains
  • Stroke
  • Tennis elbow

As you may have noticed, acupuncture is rarely used to treat specific diseases such as cancer or diabetes. That is because most practitioners focus on using acupuncture as a complementary medicine treatment and few, if any, studies have pursued its usefulness for preventing or directly treating major diseases.

About its usefulness for breast cancer patients, Bao said acupuncture is used to “alleviate cancer treatment-induced side effects or cancer-induced symptoms, but never to directly treat cancer. It would be really interesting to see if acupuncture could help prevent cancer, but I don’t think the research has reached that level yet.”15

Trying Acupuncture for the First Time? Here’s What to Expect

When practiced by a licensed, trained acupuncturist, acupuncture is extremely safe. As a system of health care, acupuncture already has some inherent safeguards. Because the treatment is drug-free, patients do not have to worry about taking several doses of a medication or suffering a possible adverse reaction.

Properly administered, acupuncture does no harm. However, there are certain conditions you should notify an acupuncturist about before undergoing treatment. If you have a pacemaker, for instance, you should not receive electroacupuncture due to the possibility of electromagnetic interference with the pacemaker. Similarly, if you have a tendency to bleed or bruise easily, or if you are a hemophiliac, you may want to consider a different type of care. (AcupunctureToday)

If you are trying acupuncture for the first time, below are some tips to make your first appointment more comfortable and successful:16

  • What to wear: Because acupuncture points are located throughout your body and may be far removed from the area where you are experiencing pain or other symptoms, it’s best to wear loose-fitting clothing. Depending on your situation, you may need to slip into a gown or be draped with a sheet or towel. Very often, you will receive the treatment while lying down on a massage table or other padded surface.
  • Inserting the needles: Acupuncture needles are extremely thin, sterile and single-use. The ultrafine tips are easily inserted into the surface of your skin, resulting in minimal discomfort. Instances of bleeding and bruising are rare. You may experience a mild aching or tingling sensation. A typical treatment involves the insertion of between five and 20 needles.
  • Manipulating the needles: Once the needles are in position, your practitioner may manipulate them either by hand, using heat or with a device that generates mild electrical pulses. These methods are used to stimulate your body’s meridians to help restore energy flow.
  • Relaxing with the needles: In most cases, the needles will remain in place for 10 to 30 minutes to promote a period of relaxation while the treatment achieves its desired effects. Most people find the relaxation period to be calming and beneficial because it usually takes place in a darkened room. You may even fall asleep.
  • Removing the needles: When the treatment is complete, your practitioner will return to remove the needles, which he or she will safely discard as medical waste. Each insertion point may be dabbed with rubbing alcohol, marking the completion of the treatment.

In terms of how you will feel after an acupuncture session, some report feeling very relaxed, whereas others feel completely energized. It will take more than one session for your body to experience relief from any troubling symptoms. While an acupuncture practitioner is the best one to estimate the length of your treatment, you should plan on having multiple sessions over a period of weeks or months to fully address most conditions.

If your symptoms do not begin to improve after a series of sessions, acupuncture may not be an effective treatment for your issue. Or, at the least, it may not be a suitable treatment for you at this particular time. You can discuss other possible treatment options with your practitioner.

Want the Benefits of Acupuncture Without the Needles? Try EFT

If you are interested in receiving some of the benefits of acupuncture without the prick of needles, you might want to try the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). EFT is a painless psychological acupressure technique I highly recommend to help optimize your emotional health. While often overlooked, your emotional health is connected to and has a great deal of influence over your physical health and well-being.

Irrespective of how devoted you are to eating well and living a healthy lifestyle, your success will be somewhat limited until you deal with your emotional baggage, much of which, believe it or not, very likely has been following you since childhood. EFT works because it is based on the same energy meridians used in acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments. Rather than inserting needles into specific points along your body’s energy meridians, however, you will simply tap over some of those areas using your fingertips.

As you tap, you’ll be thinking about and talking through your specific problem, whether it be an addiction, anxiety, physical pain or a traumatic event. Along the way, you’ll voice positive affirmations. In the video above, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman demonstrates how to tap to gain relief from physical pain. This is just one of the many areas that have been shown to respond well to EFT.

As you’ll discover, the combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear any emotional blocks, thereby restoring and balancing the connection between your mind and body. Because the results are quick and painless, EFT is sure to become one of your “go-to” healing tools. To learn more about EFT and how it works, as well as the many conditions and situations to which it can be applied, check out my EFT home page.

Source: Mercola.com

Additional Resources:

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Cannabis

better known as marijuana, it has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. It’s been heralded as a “cure-all,” revered for its healing properties. Marijuana was a popular botanical medicine in the 19th and 20th centuries, common in U.S. pharmacies of the time. It wasn’t until 1970 that the herb was declared a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the U.S., a classification reserved for drugs with “high potential for abuse” and “no accepted medical use.” Three years later the DEA was formed to enforce the newly created drug schedules. Although delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (known as THC) is the primary psychoactive ingredient (when aged or heated), other known compounds with biologic activity are cannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabichromene, cannabigerol, tetrahydrocannabivarin and delta-8-THC. Cannabidiol (CBD) is thought to have significant pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory activity without the psychoactive effect of delta-9-THC. While marijuana continues to be abused for recreational use, the tremendous health benefits (including fighting cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain, anorexia, MS, heart disease, glaucoma, and more) can now be harnessed without the psychoactive ingredient of THC.

Cannabis originated in Central Asia, but today it’s grown worldwide. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, cannabis use for medicinal purposes dates back at least 3,000 years. It was introduced into Western medicine in the 1840s by W.B. O’Shaughnessy, a surgeon who learned of its medicinal properties while working in India for the British East Indies Co. It became useful because of its analgesic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and anti-convulsant effects.

The term “marijuana” (derived from the Mexican slang “marihuana”) was popularized in the early 1930s by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (which later became the DEA) in order to make this amazing plant sound sinister and to elude the public’s existing familiarity and comfort level with the plant and the medical application of cannabis/hemp tinctures. “Marijuana” was not a commonly smoked recreational drug at the time.

In 1937, the U.S. Treasury Department introduced the Marihuana Tax Act, which imposed a levy of $1 per ounce for medicinal use of cannabis and $100 per ounce for recreational use. This was opposed by physicians who were not required to pay a special tax for prescribing cannabis, use special order forms to obtain it and keep records detailing its professional use. The American Medical Association believed that evidence of cannabis’ harmful effects was limited and the act would prevent further research into its medicinal worth.

By 1942, cannabis was removed from the U.S. Pharmacopoeia because of persistent concerns about its potential to cause harm. In 1951, Congress passed the Boggs Act, which included cannabis with narcotic drugs for the first time. In 1970, with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act, cannabis was classified as a Schedule I drug, giving it no accepted medicinal use.

Under the Compassionate Use Investigational New Drug program, established in 1978, cannabis distribution was distributed to patients on a case-by-case basis, but this program ended in 1992.

Today, in the U.S., it’s a controlled substance and is classified as a Schedule I agent, which means that it’s a drug with increased potential for abuse. However, it is now approved for recreational and/or medicinal use in many states (over 30) around the country. The term cannabis is used to describe a product of the Cannabis Sativa plant that is bred for its potent, sticky glands that are known as trichomes. These trichomes contain high amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (called THC), which is the cannabinoid most known for its psychoactive properties.

As noted in the above documentary “Cannabis: A Lost History,” written, directed and narrated by Chris Rice, marijuana has been “an integral part of human civilization,” featuring in ancient Japanese cave paintings, as well as Chinese and Siberian burial rites dating back to 3000 B.C. Based on the evidence — especially the discovery that the human body is equipped with a cannabinoid system — it appears our relationship with cannabis goes back to the very dawn of the human species.

Historical remnants from all around the world also reveal the importance of cannabis in medicine and spirituality. For example, Taoist monks in ancient China burned cannabis as incense, and consumed it with ginseng — a combination thought to open your psychic centers, allowing you to see the future. Cannabis was also revered as sacred in Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism.

Cannabinoids and the Cannabinoid Receptor System

The marijuana plant contains more than 60 different cannabinoids; a group of 21-carbon–containing terpenophenolic compounds produced uniquely by cannabis species that the human body is uniquely equipped to respond to. These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. The two primary ones are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the latter of which is the psychoactive component (except in raw, unaged form). Cannabinoids interact with your body by way of naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes throughout your body. Other known compounds with biologic activity are cannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabichromene, cannabigerol, tetrahydrocannabivarin and delta-8-THC.

There are cannabinoid receptors in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system and more; the therapeutic (and psychoactive) properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor. Your body also has naturally occurring endocannabinoids similar to THC that stimulate your cannabinoid receptors and produce a variety of important physiologic processes.

So, your body is actually hard-wired to respond to cannabinoids through this unique cannabinoid receptor system. We still don’t know exactly how far its impact on your health reaches, but to date it’s known that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in many body processes, including metabolic regulation, pain, anxiety, bone growth and immune function.1

In the mid-1990s, renowned Israeli researcher Dr. Ralph Mechaoulam, professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, made an exciting discovery that would forever change how we look at our biological relationship to plant medicine. Dr. Mechaoulam discovered a subtle system within the body that seemed to have a balancing effect on every other system. He called it the Endocannabinoid (EC) System and it can be found in all mammals, including humans.

The EC system consists of a series of molecular receptors that are designed to receive cannabinoids. In particular this includes cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as well as other related substances such as cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN).

Prior research in the 1980s led Mechaoulam and others to pinpoint two main receptors for cannabinoids − cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2). Researchers at the time also defined the natural substances called endocannabinoids, which our body produces on its own in a similar way it produces endorphins. Phytocannabinoids (namely THC, CBD, and their variants), on the other hand, come directly from the cannabis plant.

Cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 are designed by the body to be specific targets for THC, while our natural endocannabinoids help to synthesize it. The process of THC-cannabinoid receptor binding and what this does for the body is what researchers have been studying for over two decades. They are doing this in order to find out exactly how cannabis works in healing cancer.

Cannabis Oil vs CBD Oil

Cannabis oil and CBD oil are not the same thing. So what is CBD oil? Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has a high concentration of cannabidiol, while cannabis oil contains both CBD and THC. CBD oil is created by extracting CBD from either the cannabis or hemp plant and then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil. CBD does not produce a euphoric “high” or psychoactive effect because it doesn’t affect the same receptors as THC.

CBD cannabis oil or CBD hemp oil are both said to be non-psychoactive. However, it gets confusing because any oil that is CBD-dominant is considered a CBD oil, and it produces different effects from THC-dominant cannabis oils. Most CBD oil comes from industrial hemp, which typically contains more CBD than marijuana. CBD oil is now a legalized option in many states for people who are interested in the possible benefits of cannabis oil. (3)

The Earliest History of Cannabis

According to the featured video, the earliest written references to cannabis are found in the Chinese Materia Medica, said to be written by Shen Nung around 2800 B.C. The oldest known copy of this book dates back to 50 B.C. Nung is one of three “celestial emperors” revered in the Chinese culture. “Half emperor, half deity, he is said to have ruled over China long before written history,” Rice says.

Nung is credited with inventing agriculture — including the hoe, plow and irrigation — as well as acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Often depicted draped in leaves and chewing on various plants, Nung was the first pharmacologist, experimenting with and recording the health effects of plants. Nung documented around 100 different conditions that responded well to cannabis, including gout, rheumatism, malaria and absentmindedness.

Before Nung declared its medicinal attributes, the cannabis plant, called “ma” in Chinese, had been used for centuries in the production of textiles, paper, rope and pottery. Around 200 A.D., a Chinese physician named Hua Tuo performed the first surgery using an anesthetic — a formula called Ma Fei San, which translates to “cannabis boiling powder.”

For thousands of years, cannabis remained one of the 50 essential plants used in TCM. It was only removed from widespread use in recent times due to its controversial legal status. The film also reviews the history of cannabis in Indian culture. In the Vedas, the sacred text of India, cannabis (bhang) is listed as one of five sacred plants, and the Hindu god Shiva is referred to as “Lord of the bhang,” meaning the Lord of cannabis.

According to the Mahanirvana, “bhang is consumed in order to liberate oneself,” and liberation is the path to immortality. The ancient Egyptians, Persians and Greeks also used cannabis in a variety of ways, including medicinally and for spiritual upliftment. References to cannabis are even found in Islamic, Judaic and Christian texts, although an error in translation appears to have crept into the Bible along the way. The original Hebrew term “kaneh bosm,” or cannabis, is found several times in the Old Testament.

In Exodus, chapter 30, God instructs Moses on how to make a holy anointing oil: “Take for yourself choice spices: 500 shekels of pure myrrh, half as much fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of kaneh bosm and 500 shekels of cassia and mix these with olive oil.” In more modern Bibles, kaneh bosm has been translated as sweet calamus. The problem is this plant does not have the properties that the Bible ascribes to kaneh bosm.

According to the film, a 12th century painting found in a Sicilian basilica also “appears to show Jesus near a pot leaf.” The painting is titled “Jesus healing the blind.” Interestingly enough, “modern scientific studies have since proven that cannabis delays retinal degeneration,” Rice says.

The American History of Cannabis

In the U.S., the prohibition of marijuana began to turn in 1996 when California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis. Since then, many others have followed. In 2012, Colorado and Washington state became the first states to legalize its recreational use. Today, the majority of Americans support cannabis either as a medicine, for recreational use, or both. Surveys show at least 4 in 10 Americans have tried marijuana, while nearly 60 percent support full legalization.

A 2013 survey found a majority of physicians — 76 percent — also approve of the use of medical marijuana.2 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,” which aired in 2014.3

The American history of cannabis goes back to our Founding Fathers, who cultivated the plant for industrial purposes. George Washington, for example, is said to have grown more than 100 hemp plants at his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia.4 Cannabis is called hemp when being used for its fibers, which are extracted from the stem and constructed into rope, clothing and paper.

Hemp plants are low in tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) levels and therefore do not get you high. During the 17th century, hemp was viewed as an important cash crop. It was used for rope by navies around the world, and as a thick durable linen ideal for clothing and packaging heavy materials. Hemp seed oil was used in soaps, paints and varnishes.

Hemp oil — obtained by pressing benefit-rich hemp seeds — is slightly different than cannabis oil, although they both come from the same genus, Cannabis, and the same species, Cannabis Sativa. The term hemp is used to describe a Cannabis Sativa plant that contains only trace amounts of THC. Hemp is a high-growing plant that’s commonly grown for industrial uses, such as oils and topical ointments, as well as fiber for clothing, construction, paper and more.

The battle that has raged over marijuana is a long and arduous one. You can read a brief history of marijuana prohibition in the Huffington Post.5 Still, movements to legalize marijuana have persisted throughout, starting as early as 1973, when Oregon became the first state to decriminalize cannabis. The most successful movement to date, and the one that produced the first legal marijuana market in decades, is the medical marijuana movement.

Medical cannabis is now legal in 30 U.S. states,6,7 the majority of which allow limited use of medical marijuana under certain medical circumstances, although some limit medical cannabis to oils or pills only. Eight states have legalized it for recreational use.

A number of municipalities have also created their own marijuana rules, either decriminalizing it, legalizing it, enacting rules that direct city law enforcement to cease arresting individuals for marijuana possession, or making cannabis offenses the lowest priority for law enforcement.

What Can Cannabis Treat?

As mentioned, your body makes its own cannabinoids, similar to those found in marijuana, but 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

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. Even though research has been limited by its classification as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, its list of medicinal benefits is still quite long. For example, cannabis has been found useful in the treatment of:9,10,11,12,13

Cannabis Oil Benefits

1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Chronic stress can kill your quality of life, so stressed-out folks are always looking for proven ways to change this reality. Cannabis oil has the ability to both release pleasure hormones and relax the mind. It reduces stress and allows a calming and peaceful feeling to take over the body. Chemical components of cannabis, called cannabinoids, activate specific receptors found throughout the body to produce pharmacologic effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system.

A 2013 study conducted at the University of Haifa in Israel found that cannabinoid treatment after a traumatic experience may regulate the emotional response to the trauma and prevent stress-induced impairment. Cannabinoid treatment minimized the stress receptors in the basolateral amygdala (the nuclei that receives that majority of sensory information) and hippocampus (the part of the brain that is thought to be the center of emotion). (4)

Can’t sleep? Cannabis oil also works for people with insomnia. The calming effects of the oil help people to sleep calmly, relieving issues of anxiety and restlessness. A 2015 scientific review published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy found that cannabis treatment is effective for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research suggests that cannabinoids, the psychoactive components of unrefined cannabis, regulates neurotransmitter release and produces a wide range of central nervous system effects, including increased pleasure and alteration of memory processes.

Cross-sectional studies have found a direct correlation between more severe PTSD symptomatology and increased motivation to use cannabis for coping purposes, especially among patients with difficulties in emotional regulation or stress tolerance. When using cannabis treatment, military veterans with PTSD reported reduced anxiety and insomnia and improved coping ability. (5)

2. Alters Appetite

For people who are looking to gain weight, possibly after an illness or injury recovery, cannabis oil is known to increase appetite. The oil also induces hunger and stimulates the digestive system — this is possible because of the hormones that are triggered by cannabis inhalation and consumption.

According to the International Weekly Journal of Science, cannabis can prompt the release of hunger-promoting hormones or it can help to suppress these hormones. Nerve cells play a key role in this process, as the neurons in the brain release a hunger-suppressing hormone or one that promotes appetite.

Depending on which hormone is stimulated, cannabis can boost or suppress appetite. For this reason, cannabis oil can help patients with eating disorders or be a natural way to treat obesity. This manipulation of the cannabinoid system is becoming popular, and more research is being done to determine its efficacy for patients with weight concerns. (6)

3. Reduces Pain

Cannabis has been used for millennia as a pain-relieving substance. Evidence suggests that cannabinoids may prove useful in pain modulation by inhibiting neuronal transmission in pain pathways. There is evidence that medical cannabis reduces chronic and neuropathic pain in advanced cancer patients. (7)

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include chronic musculoskeletal pain. The use of cannabis oil for pain can also be a part of natural fibromyalgia treatment. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology looked at the effects of medical cannabis on 26 fibromyalgia patients. The researchers found that after an average of about 11 months of medical cannabis use, all of the patients reported a significant improvement in every parameter on the questionnaire, and 13 patients (50 percent) stopped taking any other medications for fibromyalgia.

Overall, the medical cannabis treatment had a “a significant favorable effect” with eight patients (30 percent) experiencing very mild adverse effects. (8)

Overdoses from narcotic pain killers are now the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 50, and pharmaceuticals in general have for decades been among the leading causes of death in the U.S. According to Dr. Margaret Gedde, owner and founder of Gedde Whole Health and the Clinicians’ Institute of Cannabis Medicine, research clearly confirms that cannabis is safer and less toxic than many prescription drugs.

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

In 2010, the Center for Medical Cannabis Research released a report19 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 opioids to marijuana, marijuana is unquestionably safer. Contrary to opioids, a 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.

What’s more, marijuana has been shown to ease withdrawal symptoms in those trying to wean off opioids, which are extremely addictive. In states where medical marijuana is legal, overdose deaths from opioids 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.

4. Boosts Heart Health

Animal studies suggest that 2-AG, an endocannabinoid, can reduce in tension of the blood vessel walls, which is a positive effect when it comes to many cardiovascular conditions, including hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, atherosclerosis and heart attacks.

In 2014, for the first time, the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham conducted a study suggesting that 2-AG affects blood vessels by causing them to relax and widen. 2-AG is one of the body’s own endocannabinoids created to control communication between cells and mediating your body’s functions. (9)

5. Help for Skin Problems

Applying cannabis oil to the skin may help to improve skin conditions such as eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis (AD) and other forms of dermatitis. Cannabis oil contains THC and topical THC has been shown to suppress allergic contact dermatitis in mice by activating CB1 receptors.

Other molecules, similar to those present in cannabis, have also demonstrated significant anti-pain properties in research studies. Another reason why cannabis oil may help skin problem is its a cannabinoid content.

According to the National Eczema Association, “Cannabinoids represent an exciting prospect for the future of AD therapy. With measurable anti-itch, anti-pain, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, the effect of cannabinoids in patients with AD has already begun to be demonstrated.” (10) Cannabinoids can be found in both cannabis oil and CBD oil.

6. May Prevent Cancer

Among the most exciting research is that on cancer. 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. Researchers have found cannabis is pro-apoptotic, meaning it triggers cellular suicide of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells untouched, and anti-angiogenic, meaning it cuts off a tumor’s blood supply. Dozens of studies point to marijuana’s effectiveness against many different types of cancer. For example, Harvard researchers found THC cuts tumor growth in lung cancer while significantly reducing its ability to spread.18

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved alternative cannabis oil cancer treatment or use of cannabis oil for any other medical condition (it cannot be patented by the big pharma industry cartel that controls the FDA), but research shows it is effective without the side effects of conventional treatments. The National Cancer Institute also points out, “Chemical components of Cannabis, called cannabinoids, activate specific receptors throughout the body to produce pharmacologic effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system.” (11)

Microbiologist Dr. Christine Sanchez of Compultense Univeristy in Madrid, Spain has been studying cannabinoids and cancer since the early 2000s. She was the first to discover the antitumor effects of cannabinoids.

“We now know that the endocannabinoid system regulates a lot of biological functions such as appetite, food intake, motor function, reproduction and many others and that is why the plant has such a wide therapeutic potential,” says Dr. Sanchez in a video interview for the web-based cable channel Cannabis Planet.

“We observed that when we treated [astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor] cells with cannabinoids, the THC…was killing the cells in our Petri dishes,” Dr. Sanchez says. “We…decided to analyze these components in animal models of breast and brain tumors. The results we are obtaining are telling us that cannabinoids may be useful for the treatment of Breast Cancer.”

Sanchez and other researchers have confirmed that the most potent effects against tumor growth occur when THC and CBD are combined.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, which does not have a psychoactive effect, has long been known as a potent anti-cancer agent. This is because of its ability to interfere with cellular communication in tumors as well as in its ability to instigate apoptosis, or programmed cancer cell death. Some research studies, including in vitro and animal-based trials conducted by San Francisco-based researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center, have also shown that CBD may affect genes involved in aggressive metastasis. It does this by helping to shut down cellular growth receptors.

Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (i.e. THC), the psychoactive counterpart to CBD, has been shown to reduce tumor growth as well. (As some researchers have shown, the psychoactive component only becomes psychoactive after heating or aging, thus if taken in its rawest form via juicing, drops, etc. should not have psychoactive effects) It has also shown to have an effect on the rate of metastasis, including for non-small cell lung cancer − the leading cause of cancer deaths globally. A 2007 study on THC and highly-aggressive epidermal growth factor receptor-overexpressing (EGF-expressing) lung cancer conducted by Harvard Medical School found that certain EGF lung cancer cells express CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors. They found that the presence of THC effected metastasis of these cells by reducing the “focal adhesion complex,” which plays a vital role in cancer migration.

Studies have also been conducted on the combined effect of CBD and THC on lung, prostate, colon, pancreatic, liver, bladder, cervical, blood-based, brain, and other forms of cancer. These studies lend increasing evidence to the fact that cannabinoids are not only antioxidant phytonutrients but powerful “herbal chemo” agents.

Says Dr. Sanchez: “One of the advantages of cannabinoid-based medicines would be that they target specifically tumor cells. They don’t have any toxic effect on normal non-tumoral cells. This is an advantage with respect to standard chemotherapy that targets basically everything.”

Because cannabinoid therapy is relatively new in the mainstream, a current challenge for patients regarding its use is lack of regulation. This may change, however, with the possible passing of the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States (CARERS) Act, which has the support of 37 members of Congress.

CARERS would remove “marijuana” from the Controlled Substances Act Schedule I drug category, where it has been since 1970 − on par with heroin and cocaine. This classification is ridiculous since, by definition, Schedule I drugs have “no currently accepted medical uses” and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) holds a patent (U.S. Patent 6630507) on cannabis oil for medical use!

Think about it. How can HHS hold a medical use patent for cannabis oil if there are no medical uses for cannabis? OK, enough of the logic lesson. Let’s just say that there are some serious logic deficiencies in these laws.

If “marijuana” is rightfully removed from a Schedule I drug, this would open the door for more targeted, federally-funded research as well as increased patient access to this amazing healing plant.

Continued on next page…

Laetrile

Laetrile is the patented drug made from the natural compound amygdalin, found in the seeds of many fruits, such as apricot, plum and peach pits, apple seeds, and quince, as well as in almonds. Laetrile is also known as Amigdalina B-17 or vitamin B17, although there is very little evidence it warrants classification as a vitamin. In 1924, Laetrile was synthesized from amygdalin and promoted as a cancer treatment. By 1978, it was estimated that more than 70,000 Americans had tried it—despite its being banned in the US since 1963. Most people obtain Laetrile from Tijuana clinics, as the agent is still legal in Mexico. (source)

Amygdalin. Vitamin B-17. Laetrile. For many people, the names are interchangeable. But there are distinct differences.

  • Amygdalin is a natural substance that’s found in raw nuts like almonds and the seeds and kernels of many fruits, particularly apricots. It’s also present in lima beans, clover, sorghum and many other things. (You’ll find an extensive list of foods that contain amygdalin below.)
  • Vitamin B-17 is the name given this substance by Dr. Eugene Krebs Jr., the man who first identified amygdalin. He called it a food component, and food components that are natural, non-toxic, water-soluble and compatible with human metabolisms — like amygdalin — are called vitamins.
  • Laetrile is the concentrated, purified form of amygdalin developed for use in the laboratory and in cancer treatments.

Laetrile Therapy combines amygdalin with other factors to create a potent treatment that fights cancer cells while helping to strengthen the body’s immune system.

Amygdalin contains glucose, benzaldehyde, and cyanide. Cyanide is believed to be the active cancer-toxic ingredient in Laetrile. However, cyanide is toxic to all cells, so Laetrile’s overall toxicity is a concern. Some Laetrile proponents claim that it’s more toxic to cancer cells than to normal cells. Getting cyanide poisoning from apple seeds or almonds is extremely unlikely.

Dr. Sugiura’s Research

Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura spent most of his career at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, authoring more than 250 papers and receiving numerous awards, including the highest honors from the Japan Medical Association for outstanding contributions in cancer research.

While studying Laetrile, which was previously written off as “quack medicine,” Dr. Sugiura discovered Laetrile to have very positive effects in preventing the spread of malignant lung tumors in laboratory mice.

In control groups, which received only plain saline, the lung tumors spread in 80 to 90 percent of the animals. But in those given Laetrile, the tumors spread in only 10 to 20 percent. (source)

Then, the Cover-Up

By 1974, the findings were so positive that Sloan Kettering had signed off on clinical trials—but suddenly everything changed. The center began shifting their Laetrile experiments away from Dr. Sugiura to other scientists. But every time new experiments even hinted at a positive outcome, the research was scrapped, for ridiculous reasons.

Even the scientists at Sloan Kettering who had previously been supportive of Sugiura’s studies began to characterize Laetrile as a fraud—yet nothing had changed scientifically to negate Sugiura’s findings. Despite the opposition, Dr. Sugiura stood firmly by his work.

Ralph Moss had befriended Dr. Sugiura from the beginning of his employment at Sloan Kettering, and Sugiura had excitedly shared his findings about Laetrile with Moss. When things went south, Moss was suddenly caught in a dilemma.

His only choices were to lie, in order to support his employer, or tell the truth and sacrifice his job and potentially his career. He tried leaking the documents of Sugiura’s work to the editor of the New York Times, but they never saw the light of day.

Ultimately, Moss chose to come clean at a press conference in July 1977, which ended up being the final day of his employment at Sloan Kettering. He was admonished to never set foot in the facility again. What happened to cause this sudden, drastic shift about Laetrile?

Embarrassment Over Patchwork Mice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MCx0P-KPX8

Just prior to the Laetrile controversy, Sloan Kettering was already reeling in embarrassment from research fraud, courtesy of dermatologist William T. Summerlin. In 1974, Summerlin was supposedly studying transplantation immunology and claimed to have successfully performed the first skin transplant from a black mouse onto a white mouse—quite a scientific feat, as they were genetically unrelated animals.

Shortly thereafter, technicians noticed that the black “pigmentation” on the white mice wiped off with a cotton swab, tipping them off that Summerlin had merely colored the skin patch with a black permanent marker. Further investigation revealed that many of Summerlin’s prior studies were equally bogus.

Sloan Kettering did not want to be in the spotlight for anything else even remotely resembling quackery, and Laetrile was considered too controversial. The problem was compounded by the fact that the pro-Laetrile movement had been commandeered by the extreme right wing John Birch Society, with whom the center did not want to be associated. And then, you must consider the individuals comprising Sloan Kettering’s Board of Directors.

Sloan Kettering’s Board Included Drug and Petrochemical Industry Big-Wigs

According to Ralph Moss, the Laetrile cover-up really only makes sense when viewed through the lens of “the politics of cancer.” According to Moss: “The individuals on Sloan Kettering’s Board of Directors were a ‘Who’s Who’ of investors in petrochemical and other polluting industries. In other words, the hospital was being run by people who made their wealth by investing in the worst cancer-causing things on the planet.”

The Board was dominated by CEOs from top pharmaceutical companies that produce cancer drugs, whose interest was in promoting chemotherapy and undermining natural therapies. For example, both the Chairman and Vice President of Bristol-Myers Squibb (the world’s leading manufacturer of chemotherapy drugs) occupied high positions on the Board. Of the nine members of the hospital’s powerful Institutional Policy Committee, seven had ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Even the hospital itself invested in stock of these drug companies. The Board also included directors of the biggest tobacco companies in the US—Phillip Morris and RJR Nabisco. Moss writes:

“With this background in mind, it should come as no surprise to learn that Sugiura’s findings did not please his employer. What goes on inside the laboratories is generally of little interest to board members. It is assumed that, whatever it is, it will result in a new patented drug that will keep the cash flow moving in their direction. They were slow to pick up on the implications of Sugiura’s work, but when they did, all hell broke loose in the board room. If a cure for cancer were to be found in an extract from the lowly apricot seed, it would be a terrible economic blow to the cancer-drug industry.”

Related to this is one very telling quote that comes near the end of the film, attributed to William W. Vodra, the former Associate Chief Counsel for Drugs at the USFDA: “Nobody is going to pay $70,000 for a new cancer drug if they can buy Laetrile for 75 cents.” The Sloan Kettering Board likely realized that Laetrile offered no hope as a profitable cancer treatment—so it had to be squelched.

Corporate Greed Knows No Bounds

The Laetrile story is not unlike the Stanislaw Burzynski and Nicholas Gonzalez stories, where potentially powerful cancer treatments are silenced by those whose real agenda is to protect corporate bank accounts. The cancer paradigm is based on toxic drugs, dangerous surgeries, and expensive machines. There’s an enormous amount of money to be made in this system, and those who threaten to overturn it will pay a steep price.

Conventional medicine purports to be beholden to science-based medicine, yet it resists and denies solid science-based evidence again and again. Things have not changed much since the 1974 Laetrile cover-up—in fact, they may getting worse. “Science” may not be as trustworthy as we would all like to believe. We continue to see one case after another of shocking medical science fraud, particularly in the extremely profitable cancer industry.

Our current medical system has been masterfully orchestrated by the drug companies to create a system that gives the perception of science based medicine when it is really a heavily manipulated process designed to boost their profits, and more accurately labeled science biased medicine. One review of retracted biomedical and life-science research found that only 21 percent of retractions were due to errors—the rest were due to misconduct, fraud, or plagiarism.

The more respected or influential the journal was, the more likely its retractions were attributed to fraud or suspected fraud! Even the prestigious Mayo Clinic is not immune to this type of scandal, retracting 19 papers from nine research journals due to shady research a few years back. Ralph Moss was very clear in saying he’s not an advocate for Laetrile, but rather an advocate for truth in medical science. An interesting aside is that another laetrile researcher, Dr. Harold Manner, was head of the biology department at Loyola University in the late 70s. Two of his graduate students, Dr. Tom Michalson and Dr. Steve Disanti, were in my medical school class and their Laetrile stories confirmed the details in this story.

Contemporary Laetrile Studies Confirm Sugiura’s Work—But an Apology from Sloan Kettering Is Nowhere to Be Found

The research into Laetrile did not stop just because Sloan Kettering buried it 40 years ago. Many recent studies confirm Dr. Sugiura’s work, supporting his conclusion that Laetrile shows potential in reducing the spread of cancer, although it’s not a cure. Laetrile and amygdalin may also have benefits for other medical issues, such as kidney disease. Here are just a few of the more recent studies that substantiate Dr. Sugiura’s work:

  • August 2014: In a German study, amygdalin dose-dependently reduced growth and proliferation of bladder cancer
  • May 2013: Amygdalin inhibits renal fibrosis in chronic kidney disease; researchers conclude it is a “potent antifibrotic agent that may have therapeutic potential for patients with fibrotic kidney diseases”
  • February 2013: Amygdalin induces apoptosis in human cervical cancer cells; authors conclude it may offer a new therapeutic option for cervical cancer patients
  • August 2006: Amygdalin also induces apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells
  • February 2003: Amygdalin from Prunus persica seeds (peach pits) shows anti-tumor effects comparable to epigallocatechin gallate in green tea

Despite contemporary research findings, you will find no retraction (or apology) by Sloan Kettering, and sadly, the vast majority of cancer information sites claim that Laetrile is useless as a cancer treatment. Laetrile was a lost opportunity. This type of misinformation is rampant in the industry, and the people who really suffer are those battling cancer and denied access to treatments that could potentially save them or extend their lives. The facts show that Dr. Sugiura was both competent and honest, but instead of accolades, he received nothing but grief because he just happened to step into the middle of a political hornets’ nest.

Five Facts to Know About Laetrile …

  1. Healthy cells contain the enzyme rhodanese; cancer cells do not have rhodanese. Cancer cells have an enzyme called beta-glucosidase, which unlocks the benzaldehyde and cyanide from the glucose to create a targeted poison that kills the cancer cell.
  2. Dr. Antonio Jimenez says laetrile has several positive effects, including direct anticancer activity, analgesic properties, and well-being enhancement. He describes Laetrile Therapy as a safe, productive part of an integrative cancer treatment program.
  3. For many therapeutic uses, the primary source of amygdalin is apricot seeds. For cancer patients, Dr. Jimenez recommends between 20 and 40 kernels daily, depending on the patient’s history, where the cancer is located, how advanced it is, and other factors.
  4. In 1974, Ralph Moss, a novice science writer, was hired by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The center had been tasked with testing laetrile. Want to know more about what was discovered? Watch Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering at FMTV or Amazon Prime.
  5. Laetrile is banned in the U.S., but it is administered legally in several clinics in Mexico, Germany, and parts of Asia, usually intravenously in high doses. Apricot seeds and apricot-based pills can be purchased in the U.S. and taken as a nutritional supplement.

How laetrile fights cancer

Laetrile is believed to fight cancer by targeting and killing cancer cells while building the immune system to fend off future outbreaks. It actually uses two different methods to accomplish these goals.

The first revolves around enzymes. Amygdalin is made up of glucose plus two potentially toxic substances — benzaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide. (Note: In the early days of laetrile research it was assumed that the cyanide was the major cancer cell-killing molecule, but now many researchers believe that it is the benzaldehyde that is the primary reason the cancer cell is killed.)

Healthy cells contain the enzyme rhodanese (in his book World Without Cancer, G. Edward Griffin calls this the protecting enzyme). Rhodanese protects the cells by neutralizing the benzaldehyde and cyanide in amygdalin, converting them to useful nutrient compounds, including thiocyanate, which is known as a natural regulator of blood pressure and also is involved in the production of Vitamin B-12.

However, cancer cells do not have rhodanese. Instead, they have an enzyme called beta-glucosidase (Griffin calls this the unlocking enzyme). Beta-glucosidase unlocks the benzaldehyde and cyanide from the glucose to create a targeted poison that kills the cancer cell.

Griffin explains this process in more detail in World Without Cancer.

There’s another way your body fights cancer that is related to laetrile through the power of a healthy immune system.

You are filled with billions of white blood cells — people normally produce about 100 billion new white blood cells a day. These cells attack and destroy anything that is harmful to your body. But cancer cells are covered by a thin protein coating that carries a negative electrostatic charge. This charge repels the negatively charged white blood cells.

Luckily, the pancreas emits enzymes that, in sufficient quantities, can eat away this protective coating, allowing the white blood cells to attack cancer. However, if the pancreas is weak or unhealthy, or if the cancer is growing too fast, the enzymes can’t keep up. That’s where laetrile comes in, working with pancreatic enzymes to fight cancer, while also strengthening the immune system.

Because the laetrile might chemically react with the enzyme of a non-cancerous cell (i.e. rhodanese), before it reacts with the enzyme of a cancerous cell (beta-glucosidase) – thus making it ineffective against the cancer cell – you have to take enough laetrile, over a long enough time, to ensure that laetrile molecules hit all of the cancer cells first.

One of the positive side effects of laetrile therapy is that more Vitamin B-12 is made in the body. In addition, it’s smart to supplement laetrile therapy with Vitamin C. Vitamin C and Vitamin B-12 can be, by themselves, a treatment for cancer.

During an interview with Dr. Antonio Jimenez, chief medical officer and founder of Hope4Cancer Institute in Baja California, and Cancun, Mexico, he stated that laetrile has several positive effects, including direct anticancer activity (from the cyanide and benzaldehyde described above), analgesic properties, and well-being enhancement. He describes Laetrile Therapy as a safe, productive part of an integrative cancer treatment program.

Which foods contain amygdalin?

Amygdalin is a common substance. It’s found in more than 1,200 foods, but primarily in the following:

  • apricot seeds
  • peach kernels
  • bitter almonds
  • grape seeds
  • apple seeds
  • raspberries
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • cranberries
  • plums
  • spinach
  • lima beans
  • barley
  • bamboo shoots
  • macadamia nuts

Other things rich in amygdalin are millet grain and buckwheat grain. Bread made with these grains, however, generally do not contain a high percentage of millet or buckwheat, or else the bread would be too dense and hard.

Of course, apricot seeds are the best source of amygdalin. In the middle of an apricot (or a peach) is a hard shell. If you break open that shell with a nutcracker, pliers or hammer, you will find a small seed or kernel in the middle that looks like an almond. However, it is much softer than an almond and certainly does not taste like an almond. It is this seed that is rich in natural amygdalin.

Those who do not yet have cancer might want to plant a few apricot or peach trees in their backyard for a long-term source of amygdalin. The kernels can be frozen while still in the shell.

The seeds of berry plants, such as red raspberries, black raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries are rich in amygdalin. Even better, red raspberries have a second cancer killer in their seeds: ellagic acid. About four dozen foods have ellagic acid, but red raspberries have the highest concentration.

When you buy berry jelly, make sure you buy preserves that have the seeds. Basically, the seeds of any fruit, except citrus fruits, have amygdalin. For example, when you eat an apple, it’s a good habit to eat the seeds as well.

How to obtain laetrile or amygdalin / Vitamin B-17

While there are sources for laetrile pills, they are essentially illegal to sell across state lines. The FDA has made obtaining laetrile supplements almost impossible. However, it is legal to purchase apricot seeds, which contain amygdalin.

The source that Dr. Tony Jimenez recommends is Apricot Power. Be advised, however, that apricot seed sites cannot legally make any medical claims about laetrile being used to treat cancer.

While laetrile is illegal in the U.S., there are several clinics in Mexico that provide high levels of laetrile in a liquid I.V. form. (In these clinics, the doctors also deal with the issues of damage to non-cancerous cells and rebuilding the immune system.)

Sources: Dr. Mercola; CancerTutor

Also Read: The Incredible Story of Laetrile (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)