Colloidal Silver

a solution of water containing nanometre sized particles of suspended silver. The total silver content is expressed as milligrams of silver per litre of water, or mg/L, which is numerically the same as parts per million (ppm). Silver has been used for at least six thousand years to prevent microbial infections. It has proven to be effective against almost all organisms tested and it has played an important role in the development of radiology and in improving wound healing, according to research out of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

Before the invention of the refrigerator, it was common practice to drop a silver coin into a container of milk as a preservative because silver was known to prevent the growth of algae, bacteria and other undesirable organisms.

Dating back to ancient times, silver was also a popular remedy to stop the spread of diseases. Its use as a natural antibiotic continued all the way until the 1940s, when modern antibiotics arrived.

Today, people obviously don’t need to drop silver coins into their water to experience colloidal silver benefits. All you need to do is carefully take a few drops from a bottle that you buy at the store.

According to a report written by Richard Davies and Samuel Etris of The Silver Institute in a 1996, there are three primary ways that colloidal silver can supposedly help heal the body:

  1. Catalytic Oxidation: Silver naturally holds onto oxygen molecules, which readily react with the sulfhydral (H) groups that surround bacterial and viruses. In turn, this helps block the life-preserving cellular process known as cellular respiration, which is the set of metabolic reactions and processes that take place within the cells of organisms in order to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and then release waste products.
  2. Reaction with Bacterial Cell Membranes: Silver ions can attach to bacteria cell membranes directly and produce the same respiration-blocking effect.
  3. Binding with DNA: Shown to literally enter bacteria DNA, up to 12 percent of silver has been detected in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. According to one source, “While it remains unclear exactly how the silver binds to the DNA without destroying the hydrogen bonds holding the lattice together, it nevertheless prevents the DNA from unwinding, an essential step for cellular replication to occur.”

There are basically three types of products that are marketed as “colloidal silver” and these can be categorized as:

1. Ionic silver

Ionic silver solutions are products whose silver content primarily consists of silver ions. Although ionic silver is often marketed as colloidal silver, it’s not true colloidal silver.

Because it’s the least expensive to produce, ionic silver is the most popular product in this category.

The problem? It simply won’t produce the same benefits that true colloidal silver can.

2. Silver Protein

In order to keep large silver particles suspended, silver protein-based products add gelatin. Silver protein is the second-most popular type of colloidal silver product on the market and can easily be made by adding water to silver protein powder.

Again, it’s also often marketed and labeled as colloidal silver, but should not be confused for the real thing. Silver protein is less effective for human use, and you won’t experience the true colloidal silver benefits.

3. True Colloidal Silver

Lastly, true silver colloids don’t contain any protein or other additives, as the vast majority of the silver content consists of nanometre-sized silver particles. This will be the most effective type of colloidal silver.

Is It Safe?

There’s plenty of debate about the potential health risks of colloidal silver. So is it safe to use colloidal silver supplements or products?

According to a review published in Environmental Health Perspectives, this is a controversial topic that has contenders on both sides. The review states “despite its widespread use, nanosilver remains a fairly poorly understood material to both regulators and scientists. Consensus remains elusive on subjects as essential as how it behaves in the human body and environment, and the extent to which its use may contribute to bacterial resistance.”

Of course, there are two opposing arguments in this debate — what are being called “watchdog groups” that seize on the confusion surrounding colloidal silver side effects and safety, and advocate groups, like the Silver Nanotechnology Working Group, that proclaim its usefulness and safety, noting that most applications use extremely small quantities of silver in their formulas.

What the research indicates is that misuse of colloidal silver, or choosing inexpensive, low-quality products that are not true colloidal silver, can cause adverse side effects. For instance, you may have come across warnings about it causing an irreversible condition called argyria, which is when people turn blue.

This is usually caused by cheaper products marketed as colloidal silver, such as ionic silver or silver protein.

Although the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health reports that colloidal silver may cause poor absorption of some drugs, including antibiotics and thyroxine, which is used to treat thyroid deficiency, there is limited research proving that these side effects to colloidal silver exist.

There is evidence that using colloidal silver for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis is not only effective, but safe when used as a sinus rinse for 10 days. Researchers found that colloidal silver rinses demonstrated a good safety profile with no major adverse events.

A lab study published in Particle and Fibre Toxicology found that when the human lung is exposed to silver nanoparticles, it does not cause adverse effects. Lung cells were only sensitive to high silver-ion concentrations.

A 2016 study conducted at the University of Michigan found that when oral doses of silver nanoparticles were administered for 28 days, it did not alter the structure or diversity of the animal gut microbiome. This is in contrast to the detrimental effects of broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Many advocates are pointing to this study when suggesting the beneficial use of colloidal silver for pets.

And in a summary of literature published in Frontiers in Microbiology, researchers concluded that although there are some concerns and controversies related to nano’s safe use in human disease treatment and healthcare, the research that has been done suggests that it can be engineered to “enhance its antimicrobial efficacy, stability, specificity, biosafety and biocompatibility for increased therapeutic benefits and reduced potential side effects.

From the current research, my take is that colloidal silver may work as a potential antimicrobial agent, but it needs to be used appropriately. Only true colloidal silver should be used and studies indicate that short-term use does not cause adverse side effects.

One point to consider is that, because colloidal silver is such a potent antibacterial agent, you should be sure to supplement with probiotics during use to be sure that you maintain a proper balance of microflora.

Uses and Benefits

By having a direct effect on cellular respiration, colloidal silver benefits the body in numerous ways, including providing numerous medical uses. There are eight proven healing properties that I consider to be particularly supported by the medical literature.

1. Antibacterial and Antimicrobial

First, colloidal silver’s ability to control antibiotic-resistant superbugs is impressive. While employed at UCLA Medical School in the 1980s, Doctor Larry C. Ford documented over 650 different disease-causing pathogens that were destroyed in minutes when exposed to small amounts of silver.

Colloidal silver, unlike its modern prescription antibiotic counterpart, simply doesn’t create resistance or immunity in the organisms that are killed by it. This point cannot be emphasized enough, especially in light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reporting that more than 2 million people in the U.S. suffer illness every year as a result of antibiotic-resistant infections and 23,000 die from these infections.

In addition, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine supported ionic colloidal silver as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent against both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, but its activity wasn’t as pronounced against fungi.

2. Wound Care/Skin Health

Robert O. Becker, MD, says that colloidal silver stimulates healing in the skin and other soft tissues. In a research article produced by Pharmacognosy Communications in 2012, it was specifically recommended that certain colloidal silver preparations should be considered for topical use to treat burns, thrush, periodontitis and other conditions.

For instance, you can potentially treat ringworm (Tinea capitis) at home with colloidal silver because it’s a potent anti-fungal. Caused by a fungus that lives on the top layer of the skin, ringworm presents as round, scaly patches.

It’s contagious and spread by skin contact and by contaminated materials, such as clothing.

Colloidal silver benefits many skins conditions as well, including psoriasis and eczema. It’s soothing to scrapes and even repairs tissue damage from burns.

In fact, a colloidal silver-based nanogel was successfully used as a dressing for superficial pellet gun wounds in a Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care study. Such silver nanoparticle-based gel dressings for wounds or even chronic wounds are becoming more common.

Topical silver historically was used on burns, but usage stopped after the advent of antibiotics, until the 1960s when it kicked back into popularity. The combination of silver nitrate and sodium sulfadiazine to create SSD cream helped lead to burn recovery in many patients.

Applying a silver coating to specialized foam, as part of a wound vacuum system, provides antibacterial activity in vitro. According to research, this technology may assist in preparing infected chronic venous stasis wounds for skin grafting, ultimately leading to better healing.

3. Pink Eye/Ear Infections

Although more research is needed to understand its full potential, the antiviral and antibacterial properties of colloidal silver may allow it to fight some common infections.

Pink eye is an inflamed mucous membrane that covers the eyeball and eyelid lining, and it’s primarily caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Colloidal silver can be used for prompt action against this irritating and highly infectious virus and bacteria under the care of your doctor.

When applied on the infected eye, the tiny silver colloids are used to pick up the infected cells by attracting them electromagnetically and sending them into the bloodstream to be eliminated.

Our modern prescription antibiotic drugs are designed to work against specific classes of bacteria, but ear infections may be caused by multiple classes of bacteria or can even be fungal. In this case, the prescription antibiotic will be useless, whereas colloidal silver is effective regardless of what may be causing your infection.

Again, more research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms and safety of colloidal silver for pink eye, ear infections and other bacterial or viral issues, but we do know that it’s a powerful antimicrobial agent that has helped many people treat these conditions.

4. Antiviral

Colloidal silver benefits can be experienced as an anti-viral for HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, herpes, shingles and warts. Colloidal silver suffocates the virus and can even reduce the activity of the HIV virus in AIDS patients.

There are also numerous anecdotal accounts of colloidal silver’s efficacy against the hepatitis C virus.

According to a study published in the International Journal of Nanomedicine, “silver nanoparticles are capable of reducing viral infectivity, probably by blocking interaction of the virus within the cell.” This might depend on the size and zeta potential of the silver nanoparticles, as smaller-sized particles were able to inhibit the infectivity of the viruses that were analyzed.

5. Anti-Inflammatory

Colloidal silver is also a fantastic anti-inflammatory remedy. Case in point: Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) studied the effects of inflammation after being treated by colloidal silver, and they found that the inflamed skin of pigs treated with silver experienced near-normal skin after 72 hours, while other treatment groups not treated with silver remained inflamed.

Research is beginning to reflect what many people have already known anecdotally for years — that colloidal silver can reduce swelling, speed healing, and boosts cell recovery. More studies on humans are needed to understand the true potential of colloidal silver for inflammation, but what we have already seen is promising.

6. Sinusitis

Widely used to control sinus infections, colloidal silver can benefit people when it’s used as a nasal spray, according to a study published in the International Forum for Allergy and Rhinology in 2014.

And a recent 2018 study published in Frontiers in Microbiology found that colloidal silver nasal rinses, when used twice daily for 10 days, are safe and effective for patients with chronic sinusitis.

Twenty-two patients completed the study and were given either oral antibiotics with saline rinses twice a day or colloidal silver nasal rinses twice daily. The results indicate that both forms of treatment showed similar improvements in sinusitis symptoms, and using colloidal silver in this manner for ten days was deemed safe.

You can purchase a good quality, pure colloidal silver nasal spray product or add a few drops of liquid colloidal silver to a “neti pot.” To apply it directly into your nasal cavity, let it drain down your throat while tilting your head back.

Also, it’s important to point out that recent research indicates that hidden infections by pathogens could be a cause of respiratory inflammation associated with common allergies and asthma. Colloidal silver destroys Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections, which may be the reason why airborne allergy sufferers often find such dramatic relief from colloidal silver.

7. Cold/Flu

Some claim that colloidal silver helps prevent all types of flu, including swine flu, as well as the common cold.

Few studies have been done to test this clinically, but in 2011 the NIH took 100 children under the age of 12 suffering from the common cold and nasal congestion and assigned them into two groups; the first group was treated with a solution of colloidal silver and beta glucan, and the second group with saline solution. Even though both groups benefited from the treatment, 90 percent of the people in the colloidal silver group completely recovered.

And a study published in the Journal of Virological Methods demonstrated that silver nanoparticles have anti-H1N1 influenza A virus activities, especially during the early dissemination stage of the virus.

8. Pneumonia

Our modern drugs have become limited in their efficacy when it comes to fighting bronchitis or pneumonia symptoms. Typically, antibiotics are administered as the first line of defense, but when the pneumonia is viral, antibiotics won’t help in the least.

The unique quality of colloidal silver is that it can help regardless of the pathogen, as research indicates it has antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Colloidal silver is a remarkable product to help fight against bronchitis and pneumonia when ingested internally, but an even more effective way to utilize it? Simply breathe it into your lungs.

This way, the silver directly contacts the germs residing in the lungs, which are causing bronchitis or pneumonia. It’s basically the same thing as using respiratory support, and it works speedily, clearing it up within a couple of days.

Now, the most effective method to get the colloidal silver into the lungs is to use a nebulizer. Generally, use one teaspoon approximately three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes.

Source: https://draxe.com/nutrition/colloidal-silver-benefits/

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…

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:

Related History:

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Non-pharmacologic Treatments may be more Effective for Psychiatric Symptoms of Dementia

Summary: A systematic review and meta-analysis suggests outdoor activities were more clinically effective than anti-psychotic medication for treating physical aggression in patients with dementia. For patients with physical agitation, massage and touch therapy were more efficacious than usual care or caregiver support. For patients with dementia who have symptoms of aggression and agitation, interventions such as outdoor activities, massage and touch therapy may be more effective ...
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A study updated the evidence regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for patients who are afflicted with mild to moderate cases of Alzheimer’s disease. It determined that the traditional Chinese medical treatment was indeed safe to use and that it improved cognitive function for patients. The study was held under the auspices of Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The findings were published in the journal ...
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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…

Selenium

A trace mineral found naturally in the soil that also appears in certain high-selenium foods, and there are even small amounts in water. It is an extremely vital mineral for the human body as it increases immunity, takes part in antioxidant activity that defends against free radical damage and inflammation, and plays a key role in maintaining a healthy metabolism. According to studies, consuming plenty of naturally occurring selenium has positive antiviral effects, is essential for successful male and female fertility and reproduction, and also reduces the risk of cancer, autoimmune and thyroid diseases. That’s not all selenium helps either.(1) Named for the Greek goddess of the moon, “Selene,” this non-metallic, group 16 element, is a member of the oxygen family, which includes sulfur and tellurium.

While Wikipedia cautions that “selenium supplementation has not succeeded in reducing the incidence of any disease, nor has a meta-analysis of such selenium supplementation studies detected a decrease in overall mortality,” selenium appears in 32,412 studies in PubMed, many of which would beg to differ. Mechanisms of Aging and Development outlines selenium’s protective effect against the onset of age-associated neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and epilepsy. American Journal of Physiology discusses selenium’s beneficial effects on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Biological Trace Element Research outlines selenium’s role in protecting against malignant gliomas, both independently and alongside traditional chemotherapies.

Selenium also:

  • Plays an important role in initiating and regulating immune responses
  • Modulates inflammation and maintains gut homeostasis
  • Demonstrates positive effect on liver, prostate, colorectal and lung cancers
  • Reduces mortality in patients with septic shock

How Selenium Benefits Your Body

Selenium is able to play such a protective role in the body because it increases antioxidant capabilities and the quality of blood flow, therefore enhancing the body’s resistance against diseases and stress. Selenium is often praised for its role in antioxidant activity, which lowers free radical damage and inflammation. This is thought to be due to different types of selenoprotein found in selenium.

This means that selenium benefits your body by potentially helping prevent common forms of cancer, fight off viruses, defend against heart disease, and slow down symptoms correlated with other serious conditions like asthma.

Natural food sources that are high in selenium include Brazil nuts, eggs, liver, tuna, cod and sunflower seeds, in addition to poultry and certain types of meat.

Whole foods are the best sources of selenium, especially when these foods are handled and prepared in a delicate way, since selenium may be destroyed during processing and very high-heat cooking methods.

Among healthy people in the U.S., a selenium deficiency is believed to be uncommon. However, people with certain health conditions, such as HIV, Crohn’s disease and other disorders that impair nutrient absorption, are associated with having low selenium levels that can lead to a selenium deficiency.

Top 8 Selenium Benefits

Here are just a few ways that selenium benefits your body:

  1. Acts as an Antioxidant and Defends Against Oxidative Stress
  2. May Help Defend Against Cancer
  3. Boosts Immunity
  4. Improves Blood Flow and Lowers Chance of Heart Disease
  5. Regulates Thyroid Function
  6. Increases Longevity
  7. Helps Reduce Asthma Symptoms
  8. Can Help Boost Fertility

1. Acts as an Antioxidant and Defends Against Oxidative Stress 

Selenium benefits include the ability to fight the aging process and help the immune system by reducing free radical damage. Selenium has a synergistic effect with other antioxidants like vitamin E, enabling the body to fight oxidative stress and defend against cancers like prostate and colon cancer.

Selenium is an essential component of glutathione peroxidase, which is an important enzyme for processes that protect lipids (fats) in cell membranes. Selenium is needed to fight oxidative degradation of cells and protect against mutation and DNA damage that can cause disease. (2)

2. May Help Defend Against Cancer 

Selenium is especially helpful if you have a weak immune system or a history of cancer in your family. Interventions using selenium treatments at high doses have shown that selenium benefits anti-cancer abilities within the body.

According to studies, selenium is effective at reducing the risk of cancer incidence, cancer-caused mortality and severity of cancers — specifically in the liver, prostate, colorectal and lungs.

Selenium acts like a little mechanic within the body. It goes into the nucleus of cell where the DNA and genome are stored and finds damage. It attaches to protective antioxidants like glutathione and then works to reduce and repair damage done to DNA, which left uncontrolled could lead to cancerous cell mutation and tumor growth.

It does this because selenium has a special job of activating selenoproteins, acting in an enzymic role that helps antioxidants to do their job best. There is evidence that selenium benefits include not only being able cut cancer risk, but also help to slow down existing cancer progression and tumor growth. (3)

Studies have shown that a high dose of 200 milligrams a day of selenium can be effective in protecting DNA, which can reduce the risk for cell mutation and cancer development.

Other studies show that in areas of the world where the soil is lowest in selenium, cancer risk is increased when compared to areas that have higher levels of selenium naturally available. Thus, in certain cases, selenium prevents cancer growth.

3. Boosts Immunity 

According to studies, selenium is needed for the proper functioning of the immune system and can also be a key nutrient in counteracting the development of viruses, including HIV. In patients who already contracted HIV, selenium has been shown to also be useful in slowing down the progression of the disease into AIDS.

4. Improves Blood Flow and Lowers Chance of Heart Disease 

Low selenium concentrations are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Selenium supplements or an increase of selenium-rich foods may be able to help prevent coronary heart disease.

It’s believed that selenium can benefit heart health once again by its ability to fight inflammation, increase blood flow, reduce free radical oxidative stress and help with antioxidant activity.

To date, selenium concentrations have been inversely associated with coronary heart disease risk in observational studies. However, observational studies can at times lead to misleading evidence and so findings are still inconclusive as to whether selenium will be commonly prescribed for heart disease patients going forward. (4)

5. Regulates Thyroid Function 

Research is now showing, through numerous studies, that there is a link between thyroid metabolism and selenium deficiency. Selenium acts as a catalyst for the production of active thyroid hormones.

If you imagine that your body is a manufacturing facility, then your thyroid would be the main boss in charge of regulating the whole operating system, so when the thyroid isn’t working properly, there are many serious, noticeable consequences.

The thyroid gland controls numerous important everyday body functions, including appetite, sleep, temperature, weight, energy and more.

A problem with proper thyroid function can result in negative symptoms, such as irritability, muscle weakness, fatigue, weight gain or loss, trouble sleeping, and many other reactions — therefore acquiring proper amounts of selenium benefits the thyroid and body in many important ways.

A deficiency in selenium is correlated with problems within the thyroid and how it synthesizes the proper hormones. Thus, more and more we can see the value of using selenium supplements to treat autoimmune and thyroid disorders.

Selenium acts as a powerful protector of the thyroid, and it regulates the production of reactive oxygen within the gland and protects it from antibodies that can create thyroid disease. (5)

For these reasons, selenium benefits are also being investigated to see if they can help patients with Hashimoto’s disease, Grave’s disease and in pregnant women with anti-TPO antibodies. Selenium may be able to increase immunity, lower autoimmune reactions and lower inflammation in these populations.

6. Increases Longevity 

Studies have shown just how important this vital mineral is to our health and longevity. If you want to live a long, vibrant life, selenium is definitely a mineral you want to include in your diet.

Selenium has also been studied for the treatment of dozens of conditions that range from asthma to arthritis, thyroid disorder and heart disease. The risk of these conditions increase as we age, so consuming selenium can help defend the body and contribute to a long life.

Selenium is a trace mineral, which means we only need a small amount of it. However, the body is able to flush selenium out of your system somewhat quickly since it plays an actionable role in many important body functions — therefore it’s important to consume it regularly, especially as you age, in order to take advantage of all of these mentioned selenium benefits.

7. Helps Reduce Asthma Symptoms 

Observational studies have demonstrated that patients with chronic asthma may have lower levels of selenium. (6) According to studies, when people with asthma took selenium supplements, they experienced less asthma-related symptoms than those who took a placebo.

Experts think that selenium supplementation may be a useful add-on treatment to medication for patients with chronic asthma. However, more research is needed before this becomes a regular practice, as researchers have yet to determine selenium’s full effect on lung function.

8. Can Help Boost Fertility 

Selenium is required for proper sperm motility and also increases blood flow, two key components involved in conception and beating infertility. Selenium is incorporated in the sperm mitochondria capsule and may affect the behavior and function of the sperm as they move through the vaginal canal.

It appears that both low and high sperm selenium concentrations are reported to have a negative influence on the number of sperm, therefore aiming to meet the recommendation but not to far exceed it is important for fertility.

Some studies also show that selenium may even reduce the risk of miscarriage, but at this point more research has been dedicated to infertility in men than in women when it comes to selenium supplementation. (7)

Selenium Dosage

It is important to note that if you already consume proper amounts of selenium from a healthy diet, consuming more selenium may not be beneficial, and high doses reaching 400 micrograms can even be harmful.

Experts warn that it’s crucial that the public understands that selenium benefits work best when levels are met through eating selenium-rich foods. No one should exceed recommendations by supplementing with very high doses without consulting a physician.

According to studies, additional selenium intake may benefit people with a low status, but at the same time those with adequate to high statuses of selenium in their bodies might be affected adversely, experience toxicity and should not take selenium supplements purposefully for this reason. (8)

The recommended daily allowance for selenium depends on your age and is as follows, according to the USDA: (9)

  • Children 1–3: 20 micrograms/day
  • Children 4–8: 30 micrograms/day
  • Children 9–13: 40 micrograms/day
  • Adults and children 14 and up: 55 micrograms/day
  • Pregnant women: 60 micrograms/day
  • Breastfeeding women: 70 micrograms/day

Best Sources of Selenium

Here are the top 12 foods naturally high in trace mineral selenium (percentages based on RDA of 55 mcg/day for adults):

  1. Brazil Nuts — 1 cup: 607 micgroams (1,103 percent DV)
  2. Eggs — 1 medium egg: 146 micrograms (265 percent DV)
  3. Sunflower Seeds — 1 cup: 105 micrograms (190 percent DV)
  4. Liver (from lamb for beef) — 3 ounces: 99 micrograms (180 percent DV)
  5. Rockfish — 3 ounces: 64 micrograms (116 percent DV)
  6. Tuna — 3 ounces: 64 micrograms (116  percent DV)
  7. Herring Fish — 3 ounces: 39 micrograms (71 percent DV)
  8. Chicken Breast — 3 ounces: 33.2 micrograms (58 percent DV)
  9. Salmon — 3 ounces: 31 micrograms (56 percent DV)
  10. Turkey — 3 ounces: 25 micrograms (45 percent DV)
  11. Chia Seeds — 1 ounce: 15.6 micrograms (28 percent DV)
  12. Mushrooms  1 cup mixed: 15 micrograms (27 percent DV)

Causes of Selenium Deficiency

Selenium can be found in soil and from food sources. There are actually four naturally occurring types of the trace mineral selenium. The four natural states of selenium are elemental selenium, selenide, selenite and selenate.

Two types, selenate and selenite, are found predominately in water, whereas the other two types are the kinds found in soil and therefore in food sources. For humans, the primary pathway of consuming selenium is through food, followed by water and then by air. (10)

The content of selenium in soil differs a lot depending on the location. For example, certain studies show concern that parts of Europe and Africa have soil low in selenium levels and the populations living in those areas may be suffering from compromised immunity because of this.

There’s more evidence in other studies showing that a decline in blood selenium concentration is taking place in populations in parts of the U.K. and other European Union countries, which worries health experts. Health authorities worry about several potential health implications that can result due to a selenium deficiency.

One of the main concerns is that these populations will begin showing even higher increased rates of chronic disease that are prevalent in the U.S., such as cancer and heart disease.

Even in food sources, the amount of selenium is largely dependent on soil conditions that the food grew in — therefore even within the same food, levels of selenium can vary widely, and selenium benefits may be found in crops grown in certain locations more so than others.

Suffering from a selenium deficiency is correlated with an increased risk of mortality, poor immune function and cognitive decline, and the deficiency occurs when one or more specific selenoprotein is lacking. (11)

While the RDA for selenium for adults is 55 micrograms/daily, the average daily intake of selenium in the U.S. is believed to be 125 micrograms per day, which far meets the daily requirements. According to research, populations in the U.S. of the Eastern Coastal Plain and the Pacific Northwest have the lowest selenium levels due to the soil in those areas.

These populations average consuming 60 to 90 micrograms per day, which is still considered to be adequate intake but less than other populations where the soil is more selenium-rich.

Selenium deficiency and iodine deficiency are also considered common in areas affected by Kashin-Beck disease, a chronic bone disorder. (12)

Testing for Selenium Deficiency

If you have a condition that puts you at risk for selenium deficiency, you may want to have your levels tested to see if you can experience additional selenium benefits by taking a supplement. To find out your current selenium levels, you can have a blood or hair test done by your doctor.

However, a blood test will only show you the amount of selenium you’ve taken recently. Also, the accuracy of hair tests is not very consistent, since the mineral is stored differently throughout different organs and systems.

For example, your thyroid stores more selenium than anywhere else in the body because selenium plays a big part in metabolic processes.

Because experts don’t often find selenium deficiencies in populations that are generally not malnourished or who have compromised immunity, it’s believed that as long as you include natural food sources of selenium in your diet regularly and are otherwise healthy, there is a only a small chance you could suffer a deficiency that could lead to any serious risks.

Getting Enough Selenium Health Benefits in Your Diet

To add more selenium to your diet naturally, try any of the recipes below that feature foods rich in selenium.

You can also supplement with selenium in the form of selenomethionine. When taking selenium supplements, adults should take up to 55 micrograms of selenomethionine daily, while pregnant women can take up to 60 micrograms and lactating women can take up to 70 micrograms.

Precautions Selenium Side Effects

Taken at normal doses, selenium does not usually have negative side effects.

An overdose of selenium may possibly cause reactions like bad breath, fever, nausea and potentially liver complications — or even kidney and heart problems — although these only occur at very high levels of selenium that reach “poisoning” status.

Again, the toxicity of most forms of selenium is rare and usually only experienced in people who supplement with high levels of selenium. Too high of levels can lead to selenium poisoning or toxicity, and this can potentially be fatal or lead to heart attack and respiratory (lung) depression.

The U.S. National Toxicology Program also lists certain types of selenium as an animal carcinogen, but there is no evidence that all types can harm animals and that this poses a serious risk in everyday situations. (13)

Selenium may also interact with other medicines and supplements. These include antacids, chemotherapy drugs, corticosteroids, niacin, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and birth control pills. If you take any of these medications, it’s best to speak with your doctor before supplementing with any vitamins and minerals, including selenium.

Research and Studies into the Health Benefits of Selenium

There have been many studies over the years into Selenium’s anti-cancer properties.

For example, in an epidemiological study, Dr. Raymond Shamberger categorized the states and cities in the USA according to whether there was high, medium, or low Selenium availability in the diet.

He demonstrated an inverse association between Selenium availability and age-adjusted mortality for all types of cancer. To put it simply, the more Selenium available, the lower the levels of diseased cells.

In a worldwide study Dr. Gerhard Schrauzer, M.D., Ph.D. (professor of medical chemistry at the University of California at San Diego) analyzed the blood-bank data from 27 countries around the world. He compiled a list in order of their blood Selenium levels disclosing an inverse proportional relationship to cancer incidence, reporting specifically that areas with low levels of Selenium in the diet had higher levels of leukemia and cancer of the breast, colon, rectum, prostate, ovary, and lung.

In other words, the number one nation in blood Selenium level (Japan) had the lowest cancer level (and consistently has rated highest in longevity) while the number two Selenium level nation had the second lowest cancer rate, etc.4

In another study by Dr. L.C. Clark of the University of Arizona Cancer Center noted that a Selenium treated group developed 66% fewer prostate cancers, 50% fewer ColoRectal cancers and approximately 40% fewer lung cancers in comparison to a placebo group.4

In an interview with Dr. Passwater Ph.D, Dr. Gerhard Schrauzer a member of the American Association for Cancer Research said

At the April 9th annual meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research, in Washington, D.C., an interesting report was given by Milan Geybels, M.Sc., of Maastricht University in Maastricht, the Netherlands. He reported that among a group of almost 60,000 men aged 55-69 at the beginning of the study, those with the highest selenium levels had more than a 60% reduced risk for advanced prostate cancer. That’s impressive.

Dr. Schrauzer recommends a daily intake of 200 mcg of Selenium which is the equivalent to eating just 4 Brazil nuts per day!

In a GreenMed TV interview with Dr. Peter Glidden titled This Supplement Could Cut Breast Cancer Risk in Half, Dr. Glidden stresses the importance of Selenium and how it can dramatically reduce the risk of breast cancer. You can watch the short video below.

Selenium Supplementation

Unfortunately, there are many parts of the world which are Selenium deficient. Countries such as New Zealand, China, Croatia and the Slovak Republic all have low soil Selenium levels.

The good news is that if you are eating a healthy nutritious diet with the right combination of green vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts and meat, you should be getting adequate levels of Selenium.

If you are living in one of the countries listed above, or are suffering from health problems, it is a good idea to use supplementation to make sure you keep yourself topped up.

As a guide, the US Food and Nutrition Board recommend a daily intake of 55 mcg (micrograms) of Selenium with a tolerable upper intake of around 400 mcg per day.3

It’s been well documented that a traditional Japanese diet contains around 600 mcg of Selenium per day. As the Japanese are such a healthy nation, there is strong evidence to suggest that Selenium is at the heart of their success.

You can find selenium in multivitamins or by itself. Whatever supplement you try, be sure to read the label.

When choosing a selenium supplement, pay attention to the form of selenium it contains. Selenium is available in several forms, and not all of them offer the same health benefits. Different forms are absorbed and metabolized differently. The most important distinction between the various selenium forms is whether it’s organic or inorganic.[9] Inorganic forms of selenium are easily absorbed through the intestine but poorly retained. Once they reach the blood, inorganic selenium is quickly filtered out by the kidneys and excreted in urine. Suffice to say, that won’t provide the full nutritional benefits of the nutrient.[9]

Conversely, organic, protein-bound selenium is better retained, utilized, and incorporated by the human body. Organic selenium supplements are often extracted from food sources. Selenium-containing amino acids, such as selenomethionine, are introduced directly into proteins, including the proteins that make up our muscles. About 90% of the selenomethionine we take in is actually absorbed in the intestinal tract, and about half of that stays in the body.[9]

The most common types of selenium found in supplements are:

  1. Selenium sulfide – A topical substance that is generally not considered a supplement. Selenium sulfide is an anti-infective agent that relieves itching and flaking of the scalp. It’s often used in lotions and shampoos.[10]
  2. Sodium Selenite – An inorganic form of selenium usually derived from a synthetic process.[11]
  3. Selenium-enriched yeast – An organic form of selenium produced from yeast fermentation.
  4. Selenomethionine and Selenocysteine – Naturally occurring organic amino acids that contain selenium.

Regional differences in selenium concentration in soil make it difficult to accurately estimate your daily selenium intake. Consuming an unsuitable amount of selenium can contribute to health problems.[12] A multitude of factors can cause some sort of selenium deficiency. Kidney dialysis, HIV infection, smoking, and heavy alcohol consumption can all severely lower selenium levels in the body.[13,14,15,16] Talk to your healthcare practitioner if you’re worried that you suffer from selenium deficiency. They can test selenium levels by analyzing blood, urine, hair, and nails.

I personally recommend whole food, plant-based supplements over those created synthetically. In addition, plant-based supplements, particularly mustard seed-derived selenium, contain the best form of this trace mineral. It also is one of the most difficult forms to get too much of, making it a safer choice to take regularly.[17]

The Global Healing Center formulated a chemically organic (carbon-bound) selenium supplement. It’s extracted from mustard seeds and I’m extremely proud of it. The selenium complex in our supplement is minimally processed to protect the delicate carbon-bound selenium found in mustard.

Final Thoughts on Selenium Benefits

  • Selenium is a trace mineral found naturally in the soil that also appears in certain foods and there are even small amounts in water.
  • Selenium benefits the body in many ways. The top selenium health benefits include defending against oxidative stress, heart disease and cancer; boosting immunity; regulating thyroid function; increasing longevity; reducing asthma symptoms; boosting fertility.
  • Selenium helps the body thanks in large part to its role acting as an antioxidant.
  • The best food sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, eggs, sunflower seeds, liver, rockfish, tuna, herring, chicken breast, salmon, turkey, chia seeds and mushrooms.

Sources:

  1. https://budwigcenter.com/selenium-powerful-mineral-health-wellness/
  2. https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/selenium-benefits-foods-deficiency/
  3. https://draxe.com/selenium-benefits/