Health and Disease, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

13 Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

images (15)13 Foods That Lower Blood Pressure

Regardless of location or income level, the leading cause of death worldwide is heart disease. (1) One of the most common conditions leading to heart disease and stroke (the No. 2 killer) is the all-too familiar issue of high blood pressure. A shocking one in three individuals in the United States has high blood pressure. (2)

Foods that lower blood pressure - Dr. Axe

The good news is that high blood pressure can usually be reversed naturally, specifically through lifestyle changes and consuming foods that lower blood pressure.

Even though it’s closely related to dietary and lifestyle habits, many people try to rely on medication alone to solve their blood pressure problems.

One of the most popular prescription drugs for hypertension, Lisinopril, names side effects including “blurred vision, confusion, dizziness and unusual tiredness or weakness.”

To me, that sounds pretty undesirable for something you can easily correct with a high blood pressure diet and lifestyle changes. In fact, I’m going to tell you about 13 foods, including everything from snacks to juice to herbs, that have been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure.

Foods that Lower Blood Pressure

1. Pomegranate Juice

While most traditional fruit juices are laden with processed sugar and practically devoid of useful nutrients, 100 percent pomegranate juice is actually one of the healthiest juices on the planet.

One of the most desirable benefits of pomegranate juice includes the ability it has to lower blood pressure naturally. The science is in: Pomegranate juice has major blood pressure-lowering ability, both in short- and long-term studies. (891011)

It has also been tested for its ability to reduce blood pressure in patients with diabetes, patients undergoing kidney dialysis and those with carotid artery disease, all with the same successful results. (121314)

2. Spinach

We’ve all known for a long time that spinach is a crazy healthy food and helps seriously reduce disease-causing inflammation. The awesome antioxidants it contains land it on this list of foods that lower blood pressure. (1516)

3. Coriander

A subject of relatively new research, coriander has been used traditionally for years to treat a number of conditions.

In 2009, a revolutionary study began attempting to define what exactly coriander can do. Researchers found that it exhibited several positive benefits, including a hypotensive (blood-pressure lowering) effect. (17)

4. Pistachios

They’re not just a snack anymore; pistachio nutrition is no small thing when it comes to heart health.

Nuts tend to have a positive effect on lowering blood pressure as a group, but when compared to other types of nuts, pistachio came out on top. (18) Pistachios are on the list of foods that lower blood pressure even for those suffering from high cholesterol. (19)

5. Beetroot Juice

Beet benefits span a variety of items, from maintaining a healthy sex drive to blood detoxification. Its juice, referred to as beetroot juice, has been used since the Middle Ages to treat a number of conditions.

However, just a folk remedy this is not — beetroot juice has been the subject of extensive scientific research for its health benefits, not least of which its ability to lower blood pressure.

Beetroot juice significantly reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. (202122) Interestingly, beetroot juice had a more immediate hypotensive effect than cooked beet. (23)

In overweight and obese subjects past middle age, the effects are not as noticeable, at least in the short term. (2425)

6. Olive Oil

Since Bible times, olive oil has been regarded as one of the healthiest staple foods, especially in areas such as the blue zones. It’s a common part of the Mediterranean Diet, a well-known diet associated with longer life spans and less instances of common diseases (like heart disease). (26)

This antioxidant-rich, delicious cooking oil can be used in so many recipes, and that’s a good thing because it’s a food that lowers blood pressure. (27, (28) A 2015 scientific review conducted in Spain even found that “virgin olive oil significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease clinical events,” suggesting that it’s good for the heart on a much broader level than just high blood pressure. (29)

Olive oil is one of the healthy fats you definitely want to include in your regular diet.

7. Dark Chocolate

Perhaps the most controversial item on my list of foods that lower blood pressure is dark chocolate. One reason for the controversy is related to how commonly dark chocolate is available combined with a huge amount of sugar.

When you’re able to find dark chocolate that isn’t totally soaked in unnecessary sugar, enjoy it. It’s great for your heart.

There are some small studies that disagree, but when tested on a large scale, dark chocolate is consistently correlated with a lowered risk of high blood pressure. (30) This is most significant in larger populations with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions associated with dangerous health issues, including stroke, diabetes and heart disease. (31)

The best results when working to lower blood pressure by eating dark chocolate will always come from chocolate high in flavonols (sometimes called “flavonoids”), specific phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. (3233) Even though this isn’t something you’ll find on a label, you can get close by looking for organic chocolate that lists a high amount of “cocoa solids” (somewhere close to 80 percent is best).

8. Flax Seed

Possibly due to the beneficial omega-3s found in flax seed, it ranks on this list of best foods that lower blood pressure. (34) It can even lower blood pressure in patients who have already developed peripheral artery disease, a common condition hallmarked by fatty deposits and calcium buildup within artery walls. (35)

The best results have been found when flax seed is consumed regularly for over 12 weeks. (36) Scientists have been so impressed by these transformations that a 2013 study in Canada said that “flaxseed induced one of the most potent antihypertensive effects achieved by a dietary intervention.” (37)

9. Celery

You probably know by now that you burn more calories eating celery than you consume, but did you know that it’s good for high blood pressure? Every time you eat celery, its nutrients help to keep high blood pressure in check. (38)

It’s interesting to note that at least one study found that cooked celery had more blood pressure-lowering potential than raw. (39)

10. Tomatoes

This most popular berry/veggie, laden with the heart-healthy nutrient lycopene, has been shown to lower high blood pressure significantly, sometimes rendering drug treatments completely unnecessary. (404142)

The best hypotensive effects of the tomato will be found when eaten raw.

11. Purple Potatoes

Trying to make sure you get a wide variety of colors in your diet? You’ll probably enjoy trying out the vibrant purple potato. Loaded with antioxidants (including anthocyanin pigments that give this sweet potato its color), purple potatoes help significantly lower blood pressure. (4344)

12. Sesame Oil

With the exceptions of olive, coconut and sesame oil, I generally try to stay away from vegetable oils. However, the oil of sesame seeds has been popular in ancient medicines for millennia and has some serious heart-healthy properties.

Sesame seed oil lowers blood pressure and helps protect against cardiac hypertrophy, a thickening of the heart muscle usually caused by high blood pressure. (45) A lot of research focuses on sesame oil’s ability to increase potassium levels while decreasing sodium in the blood. (4647)

These effects seem to apply in both the short and long term, so cooking with sesame oil on a regular basis may help protect against high blood pressure in the first place. (48)

13. Hibiscus Tea

Another slightly controversial item on my list is hibiscus tea. This tart herbal tea contains a large number of antioxidants and has been found to effectively decrease blood pressure, including in patients with diabetes. (495051)

Unlike most of the foods mentioned above, there are a few minor risks to consider when consuming hibiscus tea, although it’s generally recognized as safe. There is some evidence that at extremely high doses, hibiscus tea could potentially interfere with some liver functions. (52)

Because of its extremely effective results in lowering blood pressure, it’s also not recommended for pregnant/nursing women or patients taking certain medications, including diabetes medications, high blood pressure medications and chloroquine (used to treat malaria). (53)

LowerBloodPressureFoods_Graphic2-copy (2)222

Other Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

There are a variety of natural ways to lower blood pressure in addition to diet and exercise. For instance, there are several essential oils associated with a reduction in blood pressure, including: (72)

  • Black pepper essential oil (73)
  • Alpinia zerumbet oil (74)
  • Bougriba oil (75)
  • Valerian oil

If you’re interested in supplements that can help you reduce blood pressure, I would try cod liver oil. This anti-inflammatory powerhouse has incredible health benefits and can help to effectively lower blood pressure. (7677)

Final Thoughts

  • High blood pressure affects an astoundingly high one in three people in the United States alone, and only about half of those people have their condition under control.
  • It is relatively easy to lower blood pressure naturally by adjusting your diet and lifestyle, such as following a high blood pressure diet and exercising regularly.
  • By implementing the 13 foods that reduce blood pressure found in this piece, as well as other foods found on the DASH diet and other high blood pressure diet recommendations, you may be able to lower your blood pressure to safe levels.
  • Many foods that lower blood pressure do so because of the high presence of antioxidants they contain, as well as by activating nutrients such as nitrates, lycopene and adiponectin.
  • We are in this Together!

    -People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

    Health and Wellness Associates

    EHS Telehealth

  • Lisa Ruggers
  • hwalogo
Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness

Best Vitamins for Hair Growth (Plus Herbs and Foods)

7e6dede10ef2570ef2b6877d2866f8c6Best Vitamins for Hair Growth (Plus Herbs and Foods)

The appearance of hair plays an important role in people’s physical appearance and self-perception, so it can be devastating to experience hair loss, especially when there doesn’t seem to be anything you can do about it.

But did you know that there are vitamins for hair growth? In fact, poor nutrition, including vitamin deficiencies, is a major factor of hair loss. These natural hair loss remedies work to fix the root of the problem, like regulating your hormone levels or fighting oxidative stress that increases with age.

Fewer than 45 percent of women go through life with a full head of hair while a majority of men go through some type of hair loss in their lifetimes. The hair care industry knows that consumers have a great desire to look youthful now more than ever so it constantly delivers new products that promise to promote hair growth. Before you spend your money on yet another product that may leave you disappointed, try using these supplements and vitamins for hair growth first.

Vitamins for Hair Growth

The truth is that hair loss is a complex process that involves various genetic, hormonal and environmental mechanisms. Just like our skin, the hair follicle is subject to intrinsic and extrinsic aging. Intrinsic factors include our genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, and extrinsic factors include smoking and UV radiation.

Sometimes hair loss is due to a vitamin deficiency too. Luckily, a deficiency can be corrected by adding vitamin-rich foods to your diet or using supplementation. Some vitamins have antioxidant properties that help to fight the extrinsic factors of hair loss, and some vitamins help the body balance hormone levels, another factor that stops hair growth.

Try these healthy hair vitamins if you’re wonder how to thicken hair naturally.

1. Fish Oil

Oils rich in different fatty acid species have been used extensively in both animal and human studies to evaluate the effects on skin and hair health. Omega-3 fats nourish the hair, support hair thickening and reduce inflammation that can lead to hair loss, which is why fish oil benefits hair and is one of the top six vitamins for hair growth.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology evaluated the effects of a six-month supplementation with omega-3, omega-6 and antioxidants on hair loss. In the randomized, comparative study, 120 healthy female subjects with female pattern hair loss participated. The primary endpoint was the change in hair density evaluated on standardized photographs, and the secondary endpoint included changes in active hair follicle percentage and diameter distribution of hair growth.

After six months of treatment, photograph assessment demonstrated a superior improvement in the supplemented group. Hair growth increased compared to the control group, and 89.9 percent of the participants reported a reduction in hair loss, as well as an improvement in hair diameter (86 percent) and hair density (87 percent). (1)

Eat omega-3 foods like salmon, mackerel, tuna, white fish, sardines, egg yolks, walnuts, hemp seeds and natto to reduce inflammation and balance hormones. If you don’t eat enough omega-3 foods, take one to two capsules or one tablespoon of a top-notch fish oil supplement to help reduce inflammation that causes hair disorders.

If you already take blood-thinning medications, including aspirin, speak to your health care provider before using fish oil because it may increase bleeding.

2. Zinc

Oral zinc compounds have been used for decades for treating disorders such as telogen effluvium and alopecia areata, forms of hair loss, because zinc benefits hair follicle health. Zinc is an essential co-factor for multiple enzymes and is involved with important functional activities in the hair follicle.

Zinc is also a potent inhibitor of hair follicle regression, and it accelerates hair follicle recovery. Studies suggest that some alopecia areata patients have zinc deficiency, and oral zinc sulfate therapy serves as an effective treatment.

In a 2013 study, researchers evaluated the role of zinc status in each of the four types of hair loss, including alopecia areata, male pattern hair loss, female pattern hair loss and telogen effluvium. In all of the hair loss patients, the mean serum zinc was significantly lower than the control group. The analysis of each group showed that all groups of hair loss had statistically lower zinc concentration, especially the alopecia areata group. The data led to the hypothesis of zinc metabolism disturbances playing a key role in hair loss. (2)

A 2009 study published in Annals of Dermatology evaluated the therapeutic effects of oral zinc supplementation for 12 weeks in 15 alopecia areata patients who had low serum zinc levels. Oral zinc gluconate (50 milligrams) supplementation was given to alopecia areata patients without any other treatment. The serum zinc levels were measured before and after zinc supplementation, and then a four-point scale of hair regrowth was used to evaluate the therapeutic effect.

After the therapy, the serum zinc levels increased significantly, and positive therapeutic effects were observed for nine out of 15 patients (66.7 percent). The researchers concluded that zinc supplementation needs to be given to the alopecia areata patients who have a low serum zinc level, and it could even become an adjuvant therapy for patients who didn’t experience results when using traditional therapeutic methods, which is why zinc is one of the most important vitamins for hair growth. (3)

3. B-Complex Vitamin (Biotin & B5)

Biotin and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) have been used as alternative treatments for hair loss. Biotin benefits your hair by rebuilding hair shingles that have been damaged from over-shampooing, exposure to the sun, blow-drying and ironing. Vitamin B5 supports the adrenal glands, which helps stimulate hair growth.

A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology examined the ability of a leave-on combination including panthenol, the alcohol analog of pantothenic acid, to affect the diameter and behavior of individual terminal scalp hair fibers. The treatment significantly increased the diameter of individual, existing terminal scalp fibers. It also thickened hair fibers and increased the pliability, giving the hairs better ability to withstand force without breaking. (4)

A major sign of a biotin deficiency is hair loss. A deficiency can be caused by smoking, impaired liver function or even pregnancy. Research suggests that a substantial number of women develop a biotin deficiency during normal pregnancy because the rapidly dividing cells of the developing fetus require biotin for synthesis of essential carboxylases and histone biotinylation. Researchers conclude that signifiant alternations in markers of biotin metabolism during pregnancy and breast-feeding suggest that biotin intakes exceed current recommendations in order to meet the demands of these reproductive states. (5)

To reverse hair loss and increase hair strength, take one B-complex vitamin tablet daily or take biotin and vitamin B5 separately. Eating biotin and vitamin B5 foods, such as eggs, beef, chicken, avocado, legumes, nuts and potatoes, also helps you to avoid a deficiency and aid hair growth.

Top six vitamins for hair growth - Dr. Axe

4. Vitamin C

Experimental evidence suggests that oxidative stress plays a major role in the aging process. Reactive oxygen species or free radicals are highly reactive molecules that can directly damage cellular structural membranes, lipids, proteins and DNA.

With age, the production of free radicals increases and the amount of antioxidative enzymes that defend the body decrease, leading to the damage of cellular structures and the aging of hair. By working as an antioxidant, vitamin C fights oxidative stress that contributes to hair graying and hair loss. (6)

To fight free radical damage and protect the hair from aging, fill up on vitamin C foods like oranges, red peppers, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit and kiwi. If you need supplementation, take 500–1,000 milligrams of vitamin C twice daily as an antioxidant.

5. Iron

Several studies have examined the relationship between iron deficiency and hair loss, and some suggest that iron deficiency may be related to alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium and diffuse hair loss. (7)

Researchers at Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran studied the relationship between iron body status and different types of hair loss. They conducted an analytical case-control study to assess whether diffuse telogen hair loss in women between the ages of 15 and 45 is associated with iron deficiency — 30 women with documented telogen hair loss were compared with 30 women without hair loss.

The researchers found that of the nine patients with iron deficiency anemia, eight had telogen hair loss. The mean ferritin (a protein in the body that binds to iron) level was statistically significantly lower in patients with diffuse telogen hair loss than in subjects without hair loss. The study suggests that women with an iron deficiency are at a higher risk of hair loss, and serum ferritin levels below or equal to 30 milligrams/milliliter are strongly associated with telogen hair loss. (8)

To boost hair growth, add iron-rich foods into your diet every day. Eat plenty of spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, egg yolks, beef steak, navy beans and black beans. Because an iron deficiency may lead to hair loss, ensure that you get your daily recommended amount by eating plenty of iron-rich foods and taking a daily multivitamin.

However, be wary of excessive iron supplementation. It can cause iron overload and should be avoided. Patients who don’t respond to iron replacement therapy should undergo additional testing to identify other underlying causes of iron deficiency and hair loss.

6. Vitamin D

Hair follicles are highly sensitive to hormones, and vitamin D is a hormone that plays an important role in calcium homeostasis, immune regulation and cell growth differentiation. In the scientific world, it’s well-known that alopecia areata is commonly found in patients with vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D-resistant rickets or vitamin D receptor mutation. (9)

Research suggests that insufficient levels of vitamin D have been implicated in a variety of autoimmune diseases, including alopecia areata. A cross-sectional study involving 86 patients with alopecia areata, 44 patients with vitiligo and 58 healthy controls was conducted. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin vitamin D levels in patients with alopecia areata were significantly lower than those of the patients with vitiligo and the healthy controls. Furthermore, a significant inverse correlation was found between disease severity and serum 25(OH)D levels in patients with alopecia.

Researchers concluded that screening patients with alopecia areata for vitamin D deficiencies seem to be of value for the possibility of supplementing these patients with vitamin D. (10)

Direct sun exposure is the best way to absorb vitamin D, plus you can detox your body with the sun. Sit in the sun for roughly 10–15 minutes to absorb about 10,000 units of natural vitamin D. Topical application of vitamin D might also play a role in the restoration of hair cycle dysfunction in patients with alopecia areata. To increase your vitamin D levels with food sources, eat vitamin D-rich foods like halibut, mackerel, eel, salmon, whitefish, swordfish, maitake mushrooms and portabella mushrooms.

Herbs and Foods for Hair Growth

Though not vitamins, two other products can help improve hair growth. Rosemary essential oil used topically can naturally thicken hair, as can aloe vera juice and gel. Using these along with the above vitamins for hair growth, and you’re sure to see fuller, thicker hair.

Rosemary Essential Oil

When applied over the scalp, rosemary oil is believed to increase cellular metabolism that stimulates hair growth. A 2013 study conducted at Kinki University in Japan found that rosemary leaf extract improved hair regrowth in mice that experienced hair regrowth interruption induced by testosterone treatment. (11)

A human study conducted in 2015 investigated the clinical efficacy of rosemary oil in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia. Patients with androgenetic alopecia were treated for six months with either rosemary oil or minoxidil (2 percent), which served as a the control group. Minoxidil is a medication used to stimulate hair growth and slow balding.

After six months of treatment, both groups experienced a significant increase in hair count. Scalp itching, however, was more frequent in the minoxidil group. The study proves that rosemary oil is just as effective as hair growth medications, with less side effects, such as scalp itching. (12)

Try this Rosemary, Cedarwood & Safe Hair Thickener to reverse the signs of hair loss.

Aloe Vera Juice and Gel

Aloe vera has nourishing properties and tons of vitamins and minerals that help to keep your hair strong and healthy. Aloe vera benefits have been known for centuries because of aloe vera contains health, beauty, medicinal and skin care properties. It soothes and conditions the scalp, providing the ideal environment for hair growth.

You can apply aloe vera gel directly to the scalp or add it to a gentle and natural shampoo. To take aloe vera internally, drink about a half a cup of aloe vera juice twice daily. The healing properties boost your dermatological health.

A 2012 study published in Anatomy & Cell Biology found that aloe vera gel reduced inflammation and had notable wound-healing effects when used on rats after a surgical incision. Not only did aloe vera promote rapid wound closure, but it also enhanced hair growth at the sight on incision. (13)

Aloe vera has also been reported to have a protective effect against radiation damage to the skin, which can lead to hair loss. Following the administration of aloe vera gel, an antioxidant protein called metallothionein is generated in the skin, which scavenges free radicals and prevents UV-induced suppression. (14)

Because of aloe vera’s antibacterial and antifungal properties, it also helps eliminate dandruff — perfect for people who want fuller hair and want to know how to get rid of dandruff — and the gel’s enzymes can rid the scalp of dead cells and promote the regeneration of skin tissue around the hair follicles.

What Stops Hair Growth?

Hair is considered to be a major component of an individual’s general appearance, and the psychological impact of hair loss results in detrimental changes in self-esteem and self-worth. It also affects a large number of people, as 50 percent of men are affected by genetic hair loss by the age of 50.

In women, the major cause of hair loss before the age of 50 is nutritional, with 30 percent affected. The main cause of hair loss for women appears to be depleted iron stores, but corrections of these imbalances can stop the excessive hair loss within a few months. (15)

Factors that inhibit hair growth include:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Hormonal changes
  • Family history
  • Medications
  • Radiation therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Anemia
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Skin conditions (such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis)
  • Stress
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Physical trauma

Final Thoughts

  • A major contributor to hair loss is poor nutrition, resulting in vitamin deficiencies.
  • Studies show that women with an iron deficiency are at a higher risk of hair loss, and serum ferritin levels below or equal to 30 milligrams/milliliter are strongly associated with telogen hair loss. Low serum zinc levels have also been linked to alopecia areata cases.
  • Oils rich in different fatty acid species have been used extensively in both animal and human studies to evaluate the effects on skin and hair health, while there is strong evidence that supports certain vitamins for hair growth.
  • Free radical damage can cause hair aging, and vitamin C can help protect the scalp and fair follicles from this major hair growth inhibitor.
  • Biotin and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) have been used as alternative treatments for hair loss. Biotin rebuilds hair shingles, and vitamin B5 supports the adrenal glands.
  • Research suggests that insufficient levels of vitamin D have been implicated in a variety of autoimmune diseases, including alopecia areata.
  • We are in this Together!

    -People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

    Health and Wellness Associates

    EHS Telehealth

  • Lisa Ruggers
  • hwalogo
Health and Disease, Lifestyle

The Best Natural Hair Loss Remedies

images (9)The Best Natural Hair Loss Remedies

There’s no doubt about it, we all want a luxurious, full head of hair. Although hair loss is most commonly associated with men, women also suffer from this problem — and sadly hair loss in women is a lot less acceptable in society today. According to the American Hair Loss Association, women actually make up 40 percent of American hair loss sufferers. (1) Such a common problem among both and women, it’s unsurprising that so many people look for hair loss remedies far and wide.

Have you noticed more hair in your brush lately than you used to see, or is you hair falling out in clumps? Do you look in the mirror and see scalp where you used to see only hair?

Losing anywhere from 50 to 150 hairs per day is considered normal, but when you start losing more than that it becomes problematic, not to mention visibly noticeable. What’s really behind your hair loss, and how can you treat the cause, not just the symptoms, with effective hair loss remedies?

It’s common for hair loss sufferers to turn to hair replacement surgery and topical hair loss products in hopes of regaining their full heads of hair — or at least some of what once was. But is that the best course of action to take with hair loss? When it comes to any problem, the first step is to find the root cause.

Let’s talk about the real causes of hair loss and what you can start doing today to naturally stop and hopefully reverse your hair loss. For starters there are many foods and vitamins for hair growth that won’t break the bank but can really make a difference. There also many other natural hair loss remedies like rosemary essential oil that have been shown to work as well as conventional topical products. (2)


Natural Hair Loss Remedies

The good news is that with lifestyle changes to reduce stress, dietary improvements and the use of other natural hair loss remedies you can improve hair growth fast.

Top Hair Loss Remedies: Foods to Eat

A whole foods, nutrient-rich diet is crucial to supporting healthy hair growth. There are many food choices that can help to fend off hair loss, but these are some of my personal favorites:

  • Organic foods — Choose these foods because they’re free of chemicals. Chemicals can act as endocrine disrupters interfering with hair growth.
  • Pumpkin seeds — Pumpkin seeds are one of the top foods high in zinc, which is necessary for healthy hair health. Research has also shown that a zinc deficiency is linked with hypothyroidism and hair loss. (3)
  • Wild-caught fish — Wild-caught fish like salmon are high in omega-3 fats, which decrease inflammation while supporting hair growth and hair thickening.
  • Green tea — Green tea helps promote detoxification and contains antioxidants that promote hair growth. It also may stop the conversion of testosterone into DHT.
  • Super seeds — Chia, flax and hemp seeds are high in fiber and healthy fats that can help aid hair growth.
  • Bone Broth — High in protein, collagen and amino acids, bone broth the perfect food for encouraging healthy hair growth.
  • Caffeine — Yes, not technically, a food, but caffeine has been show to spur hair growth. According to research, caffeine stimulates hair shafts and helps them grow faster, by damping down the effects of DHT, a substance that infamously slows hair growth. (4)

Top Hair Loss Remedies: Foods to Avoid

There are also foods that I recommend eliminating or avoiding as much as possible like:

  • Trans fatty acids — Unhealthy fats like trans fatty acids have been shown to increase inflammation and production of DHT, which can cause hair loss. Stay away from hydrogenated oils like corn oil and soybean oil, which are loaded with trans fats.
  • Sugar — Sugar plays a role in hormones imbalances, contributes to insulin resistance, increases DHT and causes inflammation, all of which can lead to hair loss.
  • Processed foods — Foods that are highly processed are often loaded with unhealthy fats, sugar and sodium so they’re very counterproductive to healthy hair growth.
  • Alcohol — Alcohol can increase inflammation and cause liver toxicity, leading to hair loss. Heavy drinking as well as smoking have both been linked to increased risk of hair loss. (4b)
  • Caffeine — Wait, didn’t I say the opposite above? Yes, in small amounts, organic coffee and tea can be beneficial to hair health, but you don’t want to overdo it because too much caffeine can cause dehydration, hormone imbalances and even production of DHT.

Top Hair Loss Remedies: Supplements

  1. Protein Powder from Bone Broth (1–4 servings daily depending on body weight and individual needs): You can also get your daily dose of bone broth from a protein powder. Bone broth powder is rich in protein, collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, chondroitin and key minerals often missing in the average diet. These vital nutrients support and promote healthy hair growth as well as a wide range of additional health benefits.
  2. Saw palmetto (320 milligram daily): A natural DHT blocker that can greatly improve hair growth. 
  3. Pygeum (100 milligrams 2x daily): Addresses the cause of hair loss by blocking DHT binding sites and improving prostate health.
  4. Pumpkin seed oil (8 grams or 1 tablespoon daily): Inhibits DHT formation throughout the body and contains fatty acids that support thick hair. 
  5. Fish oil (1,000 milligrams daily): Fish oil helps reduce inflammation and thicken hair. 
  6. Aloe vera juice (1/2 cup 2x daily and shampoo): Aloe vera juice can help naturally thicken hair.
  7. Ashwagandha (500 milligrams daily): Adaptogen herbs like ashwagandha help your body adapt and deal with stress, balance hormones and reduce cortisol levels (also known as the aging hormone), which all help encourage healthy hair growth.
  8. Rhodiola (500 milligrams daily): Another awesome adaptogen herb to fend off stress and foster hair growth.
  9. B-Complex vitamins (1 tablet daily): B vitamins aid in healthy stress management. Biotin or B7 helps thicken your hair naturally and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) supports your adrenal glands.
  10. Zinc (8 milligrams daily for women/11 milligrams daily for men): One of the signs of a zinc deficiency is hair loss. Zinc also boosts your immune system and helps repair your gut.

Top Hair Loss Remedies: Essential Oils and Other Oils for Stimulating Hair Growth

Wondering how to regrow hair naturally? You can use essential oils to make some of best topical home hair loss remedies.

  • Rosemary is one of the top essential oils when it comes to enhancing hair thickness and growth. Rosemary oil is believed to increase cellular metabolism that stimulate hair growth. Research published in 2015 even shows that rosemary oil appears to work as well as minoxidil, a conventional topical hair loss treatment.
  • Spikenard oil is known for promoting the growth of hair and slowing down the graying process of graying. A 2011 animal study found that spikenard oil showed positive effects on hair growth activity. When using spikenard extract, there was a 30 percent reduction in the time it look for the hair to grow back on the tested rats, which makes it promising for human use. (5)
  • Lavender, thyme, cedarwood, sage and peppermint are other great options that may help increase scalp circulation. One recommendation to stimulate new hair growth is to combine three to four drops each of peppermint, rosemary and sage in one tablespoon of olive oil (I also recommend coconut oil or jojoba oil). Then you simply massage the mixture gently into the area(s) of concern one to two times each day.(67)

You may also want to my Rosemary, Cedarwood & Sage Hair Thickener, which is an essential oil triple threat against hair loss.

Reduce Emotional Stress

Emotional stress can also be a major causative factor in hair loss. Get plenty of sleep, and schedule times of rest and fun into your week. It’s also a great idea to incorporate therapeutic massage into your life as much as you can, along with other natural stress relievers. Massages not only helps reduce overall stress levels, but they also help increase your overall circulation, including blood flow to your scalp. Better blood flow to the scalp helps encourage hair growth.

Bonus tip: Getting rid of a dandruff issue can help with natural hair growth. Dandruff has been linked with an increased risk of hair loss so addressing any dandruff issues can have a direct positive effect on hair growth. (8) Thankfully, there are a lot of effective natural dandruff remedies.


Causes of Hair Loss

There are typically four main causes of hair loss: (9)

  • Heredity (family history)
  • Hormonal changes
  • Medical conditions
  • Medications

The medical term for a loss of hair is alopecia, and there are two main types. First, alopecia areata is the diagnosis when the your body’s own immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing your hair to fall out. Androgenetic alopecia is an inherited hair condition in which there is hair thinning and then it eventually falls out. This is the genetic hair loss known as male or female pattern baldness.

Hormones in both men and women are responsible for many body processes. When it comes to hair, hormones play a significant role. Hormones can play a part in the hair pattern found on your head as well as the rest of your body. Hormonal changes and imbalances that affect hair growth can be due to pregnancy, childbirth, menopause as well as thyroid problems. The good news is that hormone-related hair loss is typically temporary, and normal hair growth will return once hormonal balance returns.

If you’re a mother, you probably recall during pregnancy how full your hair was. Many women say that the times when they’re pregnant are the times when their hair looks its best. And then you undoubtedly remember the aftermath of those months of gorgeous hair. All the hair that should’ve fallen out little by little now comes out in huge amounts of hair loss in just a short period of time. This is called telogen effluvium. This occurs in 40 percent to 50 percent of women, and it’s due to the change in hormones during pregnancy. Thankfully, it’s only a temporary hair loss. (10)

The hormones that we speak about when it comes to hair loss are the group of hormones called androgens. The three types of androgen hormones are testosterone, androstenedione and dihydrotestosterone, more commonly known as DHT. All of us have heard of testosterone and probably associate it with the male “macho” hormone. In fact, both men’s and women’s bodies contain all three of these hormones in some amount, and their imbalance can contribute to hair loss in both sexes.


Male vs. Female Hair Loss

By the age of 35, 66 percent of American men have some amount of detectable hair loss. A high percentage, right? By the age of 50, about 85 percent of men have significantly thinning hair, according to the American Hair Loss Association. (11)

The cause of hair loss in men is due to the hair follicles’ sensitivity to DHT (5α-Dihydrotestosterone). DHT is a male androgen hormone that causes follicles to shrink, resulting in a shorter life span and decrease hair production. Normally after hairs fall out another hair starts to grow from this same follicle, but if DHT is high hair growth decreases. Male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia in men) follows a pattern of a receding hairline that progresses to an “M” shape and then continues to the familiar “U” shape.

Female pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia in women) is characterized by thinning on the top or the center of the head. Female hair loss is generally due to high levels of stress, hormone imbalance, thyroid conditions or toxic exposure. Women are actually most likely to suffer from hair loss due to hormones. Think pregnancy, menopause, birth control pills and other hormonal changes that women so commonly go through. Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is another hormonally related health problem that can contribute to hair loss from the scalp but unwanted hair growth in undesirable places.

Research also shows that there might be a male equivalent of PCOS related to male hair loss. One study found that men with premature male pattern baldness had hormonal profiles similar to women with PCOS and they also had significantly higher insulin resistance. (12) This shows how proper hormone balance in men is also important to health, specifically hair health.

Female vs. male hair loss - Dr. Axe

Conventional Hair Loss Treatment

There are several options when it comes to conventional treatment of hair loss, all of which come with significant side effects unless you opt for a wig or hair piece. The most common conventional hair loss remedies include topical minoxidil, oral finasteride, topical or oral hormones and steroids, hair transplants, and hair restoration surgery.

An example of very commonly used and conventional topical treatment is minoxidil. One of the most well-known versions is Rogaine. Conventional hair growth products like Rogaine are available without a prescription and can be used by both men and women. Finasteride is an oral medication for hair loss in men only and requires a prescription. Both minoxidil and finasteride do not get to the root of hair loss and only work to regrow hair as long as you use these medications. Once you stop using them, the hair growth, if any, will stop.

Surgery is another conventional option that’s more costly and invasive. First there is hair transplantation surgery, which takes hair from another area of the scalp where hair is growing well and moves it to a balding or thinning area. This surgery is most commonly performed for male pattern baldness. Only around 5 percent of female hair loss sufferers are said to be good candidates for hair transplant surgery. This is due to the fact that unlike men who tend to lose hair in concentrated areas, women typically experience hair loss all over their scalps. (14)

Hair restoration surgery is another conventional treatment option and can be done in a few manners. One way is to remove bald scalp and bring the hair-producing scalp closer together to reduce the area of balding. Another form of surgery involves putting devices temporarily underneath the scalp to stretch the areas currently producing hair so that decreases the area of balding. There is also scalp flap surgery, which takes a piece of scalp producing hair and surgically puts it where there is balding.

A more recent conventional treatment option for hair loss is low level laser therapy that uses light and heat treatment for genetic hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) in both men and women. To date, doctor opinions of this treatment are mixed with many rejecting it completely. (15)


Precautions Regarding Hair Loss Remedies

When it comes to conventional treatments for hair loss, there are a lot of possible side effects you should be aware of before using any of these options. Make sure to read warnings carefully and take them into serious consideration because a lot of the side effects are quite serious. For example, serious side effects of minoxidil products like Rogaine can include unwanted facial/body hair, dizziness, fast/irregular heartbeat, fainting, chest pain, swelling of hands/feet, unusual weight gain, tiredness and difficulty breathing. (16)

Side effects of finasteride may include impotence, loss of interest in sex, trouble having an orgasm, abnormal ejaculation, swelling in your hands or feet, feeling faint, headache, runny nose, and skin rash.

With hair transplant surgery, it’s important to know that it does not give you an instantaneous perfect head of hair. It’s common for the hairs to fall out of the grafts right after the transplant, and then they don’t regrow for about three months. Possible side effects and complications from hair replacement or transplant surgery include pain, temporary numbness or tightness, bleeding, infection, swelling of the face, scarring, poor growth of grafts, and an unnatural appearance of the transplanted hair. (17)

If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have any ongoing health concerns, make sure to speak with your doctor before using any conventional or natural hair loss remedies. You should also make sure that your treatment option does not interact with any current medications or supplements. In addition, combining natural and conventional treatments (like minoxidil with essential oils) may cause unwanted side effects.


Final Thoughts 

Hair loss is typically more than just an annoying physical problem. For many people experiencing hair loss, the daily suffering is very real and takes a huge toll on them in many ways. Research has shown that hair loss can cause “dramatic and devastating emotions in patients, which can negatively impact their self-esteem, body image, and/or self-confidence.” (18)

Your hair loss might not make you look like your ideal self, but it’s important to keep things in perspective because going downhill mentally and emotionally over your hair loss will only contribute to, rather than help, your problem. There is no doubt that lowering your stress will help the state of your hair (and your life) so try to reduce the negative self-talk for the sake of your hair health as well as your total body health.

If you’re a woman experiencing hair loss, it’s an especially good idea to have your thyroid health evaluated to see if hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism could be at the root of your hair troubles. Experts concur that the hair on your head is an indicator of your overall health so what you do to improve your overall health can have a direct positive impact on your hair.

I know it can be frustrating to lose your hair, but don’t lose hope. With a healthy diet and lifestyle along with consistent use of natural hair loss remedies and a dose of patience, it’s truly possible for your hair to grow faster and thicker in the near future.

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How Scientists Muzzled the COVID Lab Origin Data

download (1)How Scientists Muzzled the COVID Lab Origin Data

In the July 22, 2021, article,1 “Did Scientists Stifle the Lab-Leak Theory,” foreign reporter and columnist for Unherd, Ian Birrell, analyzes the circumstances that led to a near-complete blackout of questions about SARS-CoV-2’s origin.

In September 2019, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board issued a warning that a new infectious disease was poised to spread around the world, and that nations were ill prepared for such an event.

The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board is a joint arm of the World Health Organization and the World Bank — two technocratic entities that aren’t always working in the best interest of humanity as a whole.

On the 15-person Board are Sir Jeremy Farrar (director of the Welcome Trust), Dr. Anthony Fauci (director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIAID) and George Fu Gao, director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Technocrat-Led Board Predicted Manmade Pandemic

As noted by Birrell, the board’s warning was “astonishingly prescient,” as SARS-CoV-2 emerged in December 2020. Importantly, the board did not necessarily focus its prediction on the emergence of natural zoonotic diseases but, rather, warned of technological and scientific advances that “allow for disease-creating micro-organisms to be engineered or recreated in laboratories.”

According to the board, accidental release of such manmade organisms could actually be far more devastating than a natural outbreak. “Accidental or deliberate events caused by high-impact respiratory pathogens pose global catastrophic biological risks,” the board stated in its September 2019 report, titled “A World At Risk.”2 In passing, the report also mentioned the need to control the flow of information:

“A deliberate release would complicate outbreak response; in addition to the need to decide how to counter the pathogen, security measures would come into play limiting information-sharing and fomenting social divisions.”

Same Board Members Denied Possibility of Manmade Pandemic

Despite the Board’s recognition that manmade pathogens pose a significant threat, some of its board members — Fauci and Farrar in particular — have played central roles in roundly dismissing the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 leaked from a lab. As reported by Birrell:3

“Farrar was a central figure behind two landmark documents published by influential science journals that played a key role in shutting down discussion of the lab leak hypothesis by branding it conspiracy theory.

These statements, signed and promoted by leading figures in the scientific establishment, pushed an idea that the pandemic was a natural occurrence by arguing against the plausibility of ‘any type of laboratory-based scenario.’ Critics say this ‘false narrative’ set back understanding of the disease for more than a year.”

In his book, “Spike: The Virus vs. The People — the Inside Story,” Farrar praises China for its pandemic response at the outset of the pandemic. This despite the fact that the Communist dictatorship is known to have silenced doctors who wanted to warn the public, and allowed the annual Chinese New Year’s celebration to proceed, thereby ensuring massive spread as people from all parts of China and across the world gathered.

Did Fauci and Farrar Collude to Suppress Lab-Leak Theory?

Birrell goes on to detail how Farrar and Fauci reacted to early reports suggesting the virus had telltale signs of gain-of-function. Emails4 obtained via freedom of information act (FOIA) requests reveal Fauci received a Science magazine article detailing the work of Peter Daszak (EcoHealth Alliance) and Shi Zhengli at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

“The article discussed controversies over risky ‘gain of function’ experiments, including mention of a 2015 paper by Shi and a U.S. expert on modification of a Sars-like bat virus to boost infectivity to humans,” Birrell writes.5

“Emails released through freedom of information requests show Fauci instantly circulated the article to U.S. officials and contacted Farrar saying it was ‘of interest to the current discussion’ …

[Scripps virologist Kristian] Andersen, when sent the Science article at the end of January, admitted a close look at the genetic sequences of Sars-CoV-2 showed that ‘some of the features (potentially) look engineered’ and that other experts agreed the genome was ‘inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory’ …

The Wellcome boss then set up a conference call for the pair of them with 11 other experts from around the world, warning their discussions were ‘in total confidence’ and information ‘not to be shared’ without prior agreement.

Farrar also sent Fauci a link to an article on ZeroHedge … that tied a Wuhan researcher to the virus outbreak. The site was banned the next day from Twitter …”

While we don’t know the full details of what was discussed during that February 1, 2020, phone call, Birrell points out what we do know. For example, we know they discussed contacting the WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and that two days later, Ghebreyesus made a public call for censorship of misinformation.

Five days after that call, Daszak also circulated the first draft of a scientific consensus statement6 that eventually got published in The Lancet, and thereafter was used by mainstream media and fact checkers everywhere to “debunk” any and all evidence of a lab leak.

The statement, signed by 27 experts, including Farrar, condemned “conspiracy theories suggesting that Covid-19 does not have a natural origin.” A FOIA request revealed Daszak was the mastermind behind that Lancet statement7 — which, by the way, presented no actual evidence of natural origin — and that he wanted to make sure it could not be identified as being from a single individual or organization.

Six weeks after Farrar’s group call, four of the participants on the call — including Andersen — also published a commentary in Nature Medicine, titled “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2,”8 in which they stated they “do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible.”

“This statement in a world-renowned journal, which has been accessed 5.5 million times, further depressed debate of alternative theories on the origins, despite being challenged by a few brave voices in the scientific community,” Birrell writes.9

Unanswered Questions

In his book, “Spike,” which was published July 22, 2021, Farrar admits he had deep concerns about the “huge coincidence” of SARS-CoV-2 emerging in a city with a biosafety level 4 (BSL4) laboratory that just so happens to specialize in collection, storage and research of bat coronaviruses. Birrell writes:

“The new coronavirus ‘might not even be that novel at all,’ he thought. ‘It might have been engineered years ago, put in a freezer, and then taken out more recently by someone who decided to work on it again. And then, maybe, there was … an accident?’

He was so concerned that he confided in Eliza Manningham-Buller, then the Wellcome Trust chair and a former head of the MI5 intelligence service, who told him to start taking precautions such as avoiding putting things in emails and using a burner phone for key conversations.

So what changed his mind so firmly he started signing letters and tweeting about alleged conspiracy theories? When I asked Farrar to share the evidence that set his mind at rest, he pointed to the Nature Medicine article. Yet his office told me later he helped ‘convene’ these five authors.

They also insist that ‘the weight of available data and scientific evidence continues to point towards zoonotic origins.’

But scientists have found no hard evidence on the pandemic origins, despite testing 80,000 samples on animals to find a natural link, while China has made increasingly ludicrous claims over the origins as well as covering up the outbreak, lying over the date of first cases and taking offline Wuhan’s key database of samples and viral sequences.”

In his book, Farrar also discusses specific concerns brought forth by Andersen in January 2020. Recall, in April 2020, Andersen published “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2” with four other co-authors. But in January, three things alarmed him about the virus:

  1. The receptor binding domain, which is like a perfect key for entering human cells
  2. The furin cleavage site, which is not found in other bat coronaviruses and would be expected “if someone had set out to adapt an animal coronavirus to humans by taking a specific suit of genetic material from elsewhere and inserting it”
  3. A scientific paper describing the use of that very technique to modify the original SARS virus. Andersen allegedly thought it “looked like a how-to manual for building the Wuhan coronavirus in a laboratory”

Evidence of Collusion

Before Farrar’s February 1, 2020, call, Andersen was “60 to 70%” convinced SARS-CoV-2 was a lab creation, according to Farrar’s account. Yet Andersen also told Farrar he did not want to be a front man for the lab leak theory. Birrell writes:10

“Anderson told [Farrar] that he suddenly realized he might be the person who proved the new virus came from a lab. ’I didn’t necessarily want to be that person,’ he said.

‘When you make big claims like that you had better be sure that you can conclude something is based on evidence and not on speculation.’ So according to Farrar, then five experts wrestled with the evidence and, the following month, they declared in Nature Medicine that Sars-CoV-2 was ‘not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus’ …

They offered the circumstantial evidence that RaTG13, the closest known coronavirus to Sars-CoV-2, had different binding mechanisms — yet similar ones were found on pangolins, so ‘the ingredients … were out in the wild. They did not need to have escaped, or been unleashed, from a containment lab.’”

The problem with this argument is that they have no firm evidence of natural emergence. What’s more, while Andersen and co-authors claim they spent many sleepless nights carefully analyzing and evaluating the lab leak theory before finally dismissing it, in a May 2021 interview,11 co-author Robert Garry admitted the first draft of the Nature Medicine paper was finished February 1, 2020 — the day of Farrar’s conference call, which included four of the five co-authors.

Fauci’s email trove also reveals Farrar sent Fauci a rough draft of the Nature Medicine paper three days after that conference call, urging him to keep it confidential. That same day, Andersen also told another group of experts that the data “conclusively show” there was no engineering involved. “So far from having ‘many sleepless nights,’ these scientists seem to have changed their minds amazingly fast and reached fresh conclusions,” Birrell writes.

Elite Institutions Have Subverted the Truth

Another article addressing the subversion of truth by some of our most trusted scientific institutions is James Meigs’ Commentary piece, “The Lab-Leak-Theory Cover-Up.”12

“The dam is breaking,” Meigs writes. “And with the surging floodwaters, comes a stunning realization: Almost across the board, our elite institutions got the most important question about COVID wrong.

Worse, they worked furiously to discourage anyone else from getting it right. The leading scientific experts turned out to be spinning the truth. Our public-health officials put their political agenda ahead of any scientific mandate.

And the press and social-media giants eagerly played along, enforcing strict rules about which COVID topics were acceptable and which had to be banished from the national conversation.

During the Trump years, we heard a lot of hand-wringing about the public’s unwarranted ‘distrust’ of our society’s designated experts and leaders. But to be trusted, people and institutions have to be trustworthy.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed a profound corruption at the heart of our expert class. The impact of that revelation will reverberate for years to come.”

As noted by Meigs, leading institutions not only declared the lab-leak theory incorrect, but also “dangerous and malicious,” and went to extraordinary lengths to “protect” the population from hearing anything that might infect their minds with such wrongthink.

In the end, all such efforts failed. Despite the ridicule, personal attacks and censorship, common sense and logic have managed to break through and, today, the failures of our most prestigious science institutions are laid bare.

Government Only Pays Lip Service to the Truth

The lab-leak question has also revealed corruption within other cherished institutions, such as the U.S. intelligence community. Two separate teams, one in the State Department and another under direction of the National Security Council, have been tasked with investigating the origin of SARS-CoV-2.

In Commentary, Meigs points out that both teams report facing intense internal pushback, according to Vanity Fair reporter Katherine Eban. Their own institutions urged them “not to open a ‘Pandora’s Box,’” which suggests the State Department and the NSC aren’t particularly interested in the truth. Of particular concern was the role the U.S. government may have played by funding gain-of-funding research on bat coronaviruses at the WIV.

While the ramifications of the truth might be extremely uncomfortable for some, if we allow individuals to shirk responsibility, the ramifications of that course of action could ultimately turn out to be lethal for mankind.

If U.S. institutions such as the NIAID funded gain-of-function research that resulted in a pandemic, we need to know, so we can close loopholes and implement better safeguards. I’ve argued that gain-of-function research that makes pathogens more dangerous to humans ought to be banned altogether, to prevent the creation of a truly lethal pandemic.

But even if we don’t ban it, we need to know what government agencies have been doing with our tax dollars, and decide whether they’ve been put to good use or not. In my opinion, creating pathogens capable of killing us is hardly a good use of our taxes, and should be stopped.

Origin Story Shows Importance of Independence

Most people want to trust government, academic and scientific institutions, and the media. Unfortunately, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that these institutions aren’t worthy of unequivocal trust.

They say they’re trustworthy, and they insist we must trust them, but their actions tell a different story. The pandemic has also shown us just how important it is for investigators, researchers and reporters to be truly independent. As noted by Meigs:13

“The story of why the line of inquiry survived is not an account of leading scientists and health organizations dutifully parsing the evidence.

Instead, it is largely the story of little-known researchers — many working outside the bounds of elite institutions — who didn’t let the political implications of their findings derail their efforts.

Much of what we know today about the Wuhan Institute’s risky research is thanks to these independent skeptics who challenged the institutional consensus. Some risked their careers to do so.”

One key group of self-organized researchers is the Decentralized Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating COVID-19 (DRASTIC). They’ve made a number of important discoveries that have kept the lab-leak theory alive.

Massive Collusion to Suppress Inquisitiveness

“Throughout the pandemic we’ve often heard admonitions to ‘follow the science.’ Looking back we can see that few scientists — and even fewer journalists — really did,” Meigs notes. Among the few journalists who did tackle the elephant in the room were former New York Times reporters Nicholas Wade and Donald McNeil Jr.

“Notice the irony here: While two refugees from the New York Times were publishing deep, well-reported articles on an alternative outlet, the Times itself was still mostly ignoring the Wuhan-lab story,” Meigs writes.14

“One of its current pandemic specialists, Apoorva Mandavilli, was on Twitter urging everyone to ‘stop talking about the lab leak’ … When the pandemic hit last year, we were all urged to fall in line and listen to the authorities. Scientists and bureaucrats were elevated to near-divine status.

‘Let us pray, now, for science,’ Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo wrote last February. ‘Pray for reason, rigor and expertise … Pray for the N.I.H. and the C.D.C. Pray for the W.H.O.’ Now the public is waking up to the fact that, prayers notwithstanding, those institutions largely failed us.

The WHO kowtowed to China’s deceptions. Anthony Fauci trimmed his public statements to fit the prevailing political winds. Some of the nation’s top virologists didn’t just dismiss the lab-leak possibility, they appeared to be covering up their own involvement with Wuhan gain-of-function research.

Journalists and social-media companies conspired to suppress legitimate questions about a disease that was killing thousands of Americans each day.”

Establishment Needs a Deep Clean

While we certainly need expertise, as Meigs points out, we must also be able to trust our experts, and the only way for trust to rebuild, experts must act from a strong ethical foundation, and be held responsible for dangerous failures.

“If the public concludes that COVID-19 was, in effect, an inside job, the political fallout could last a generation,” Meigs writes.15 “I don’t mean people will believe the virus was deliberately released … but that they will see the disease as a product of an elite power structure that behaves recklessly and evades responsibility.”

What makes the situation so problematic is that it’s not just one type of institution that is behaving recklessly and shirking responsibility. It’s not just the legacy media, or academia, or government, or public health, the intelligence apparatus, Big Tech, Big Pharma or the medical journal system. It’s all of them.

The Medical Journal System Has Failed Us Too

Continuing along that same line of reasoning, a July 27, 2021, Spectator article16 by Stuart Ritchie reviews the unhealthy relationship between The Lancet and China, and its role in thwarting scientific investigation into the origins of SARS-CoV-2. Ritchie points out how The Lancet’s editor-in-chief, Richard Horton, has routinely defended China’s actions:

“It’s not just the scientists and health workers of China that the Lancet has praised. In May last year, Horton appeared on the state-owned broadcaster China Central Television to praise how ‘tremendously decisively’ the Chinese Communist party had handled the pandemic. He also penned multiple editorials about China, including one entitled ‘Covid-19 and the Dangers of Sinophobia.’”

Ritchie also stresses that “some of the most famous stories of scientific fraud have originated at The Lancet during Horton’s tenure as editor,” including, most recently, fraudulent papers proclaiming to show that hydroxychloroquine is dangerous when used in COVID-19 patients, and Daszak’s “scientific statement” condemning the lab leak theory as wild conspiracy theory.

“The purpose of the Lancet, back in 1823, was to slice away the immorality and complacency of the medical establishment … [Lancet founder Thomas] Wakley would have been stunned to see that his journal now exemplifies that establishment,” Ritchie writes.17 “It embodies an unaccountable or only partially accountable elite that does often make progress, but fails abjectly to face up to its many faults.

In 2021, we might find that the best rejoinder to our establishment isn’t a new Wakley-style journal, but an entirely new way to think about science and how it’s published: a way that doesn’t hand over all our trust to editors and reviewers, but that emphasizes openness and transparency right from the start.

There are several proposals for how it could happen. The next rotten thing that needs to be cut away could be the journal system — and the Lancet itself.”

The censorship rolled out during the COVID pandemic has revealed a disconcerting truth, namely that corruption and collusion are rampant everywhere. By the looks of it, we need to do a clean sweep across the board, and that will require time, effort, and most of all, open public discussion.

Laws Have Been Broken. Who Will Hold Them Accountable?

In closing, I strongly recommend listening to Dr. David Martin’s explanation of antitrust law in the video below, and how, in the case of a criminal conspiracy, liability shielding evaporates.

In his view, having reviewed the evidence, there’s no doubt that the NIH/NIAID, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ATI, Moderna and Pfizer are guilty of criminal conspiracy (the legal definition thereof) and premeditative antitrust violations.

Without that criminal conspiracy and their premeditative acts, we would not be in the situation we’re in now, where censorship and pandemic measures and rules are putting the public health, well-being and sanity at risk. Unfortunately, while there is, theoretically, a legal way out of this pandemic, deep cracks in our justice system has also been exposed over the past year and a half.

Martin is currently struggling to find a state attorney general willing to pursue these violations so that we can bring this faux pandemic to a close. Hopefully, once enough people understand the illegality of the situation, someone will have the courage to step up to the plate.

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HWA – VACCINATED PEOPLE MAY BE MORE VULNERABLE TO VARIANTS

VACCINATED PEOPLE MAY BE MORE VULNERABLE TO VARIANTS

 

vaccine

As soon as vaccine companies announced they were developing a COVID-19 vaccine, doctors, scientists, researchers and other experts raised warnings1,2 about the problematic history of coronavirus vaccines and their propensity to produce antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), which could make vaccinated individuals more susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2 or its variants.

It is also called paradoxical immune enhancement (PIE), which I believe is a more accurate description of what is happening.

Among those issuing early warnings were Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who in my interview with him — featured in “Well-Known Hazards of Coronavirus Vaccines” — recounted previous failed coronavirus vaccine trials in which he said the vaccinated animals died when exposed to the wild virus.

Considering all previous coronavirus vaccine efforts have failed for this reason, it seemed reasonable to suspect that a COVID-19 vaccine might have similar problems, and that such effects might remain hidden for some time since animal testing was bypassed. Recent research suggests such fears might still be warranted, although conclusive evidence that ADE is in fact occurring has not been produced.

Trial Subjects Have Not Been Informed of ADE Risk

The October 28, 2020, paper,3 “Informed Consent Disclosure to Vaccine Trial Subjects of Risk of COVID-19 Vaccine Worsening Clinical Disease,” stressed that “COVID-19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralizing antibodies may sensitize vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated,” and criticized vaccine makers for not clearly informing participants in current vaccine trials of this risk. 

 

“Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern:

That vaccines designed empirically using the traditional approach (consisting of the unmodified or minimally modified coronavirus viral spike to elicit neutralizing antibodies), be they composed of protein, viral vector, DNA or RNA and irrespective of delivery method, may worsen COVID-19 disease via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE),” the paper stated.4

“This risk is sufficiently obscured in clinical trial protocols and consent forms for ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials that adequate patient comprehension of this risk is unlikely to occur, obviating truly informed consent by subjects in these trials.

The specific and significant COVID-19 risk of ADE should have been and should be prominently and independently disclosed to research subjects currently in vaccine trials, as well as those being recruited for the trials and future patients after vaccine approval, in order to meet the medical ethics standard of patient comprehension for informed consent.”

What Is ADE?

What exactly is ADE, and what does it mean? In a nutshell, it means that rather than enhance your immunity against the infection, the vaccine actually enhances the virus’ ability to enter and infect your cells, resulting in more severe disease than had you not been vaccinated.5

Needless to say, this is the exact opposite of what a vaccine is supposed to do. The 2003 review paper “Antibody-Dependent Enhancement of Virus Infection and Disease” explains it this way:6

“In general, virus-specific antibodies are considered antiviral and play an important role in the control of virus infections in a number of ways. However, in some instances, the presence of specific antibodies can be beneficial to the virus. This activity is known as antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of virus infection.

The ADE of virus infection is a phenomenon in which virus-specific antibodies enhance the entry of virus, and in some cases the replication of virus, into monocytes/macrophages and granulocytic cells through interaction with Fc and/or complement receptors.

This phenomenon has been reported in vitro and in vivo for viruses representing numerous families and genera of public health and veterinary importance … For some viruses, ADE of infection has become a great concern to disease control by vaccination.”

 

Vaccinated People More Susceptible to South African Variant

As feared from the beginning, vaccinated individuals do appear to be more susceptible to infection by certain variants of SARS-CoV-2, although it remains to be seen whether they are more prone to serious illness.

A study by researchers at Tel Aviv University and Clalit Health Services in Israel found the South African variant of SARS-CoV-2, dubbed B.1. 351 — which presently accounts for about 1% of COVID-19 cases in Israel — affects people vaccinated with Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine to a greater extent than unvaccinated people.7,8,9,10

The researchers compared 400 individuals who had tested positive for the B.1.351 variant two weeks or more after receiving at least one dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine against 400 unvaccinated individuals who had been infected.

Among the 150 people who were fully vaccinated, having received both shots of the vaccine, the variant was eight times more prevalent than in unvaccinated individuals (5.4% compared to 0.7%).

An estimated 53% of Israel’s 9.3 million inhabitants have received the Pfizer vaccine.11 While Moderna’s vaccine is also available in Israel, it was not included in this investigation. According to professor Adi Stern, Ph.D.,12 at Tel Aviv University, who said the findings took her by surprise:13

“We found a disproportionately higher rate of the South African variant among people vaccinated with a second dose, compared to the unvaccinated group. This means that the South African variant is able, to some extent, to break through the vaccine’s protection.”

For clarity, while the risk of infection appears significantly greater, it is still unknown whether the variant might generate more serious illness in vaccinated individuals. The study did not report disease outcomes, stating it would be “statistically meaningless” to do so since the number of vaccinees infected was too low.

That said, professor Ran Balicer, director of research at Clalit Health Services, which provided assistance for the study, noted this is the first study “to be based on real-world data, showing that the vaccine is less effective against the South Africa variant, compared to both the original virus and the British variant.”14

 

Other Research Suggests B.1.351 May Evade First-Gen Vaccines

Another recent study,15 reported by Times of Israel,16 was done by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Here, they analyzed blood samples to assess vaccine response to the South African variant. As reported by Times of Israel:17

“The researchers collected blood samples from 10 people who recovered from COVID-19, five people who received the first dose of the vaccine, and 10 people who also received the second. Samples were drawn from participants 21 days after the first dose, or 10 days after the second. They then measured the antibodies’ ability to protect against infection.”

The study18 found that while the Pfizer vaccine produced high levels of neutralizing antibodies against the generic strain of SARS-CoV-2 and the British variant, it fared worse against the South African variant.

Overall, the neutralization potency of the Pfizer vaccine was 6.8 times lower for the B.1.351 variant compared to the generic strains. It was also less effective against strains that have attributes of both the British and the South African variants. According to the authors:19

“Our study validates the importance of the Pfizer vaccine, but raises concerns regarding its efficacy against specific SARS-CoV-2 circulating variants … Our data also indicate that the Pfizer vaccine is moderately compromised against SA-N501Y/K417N/E484K pseudo-variants.

Average decrease in mean neutralization potential of the vaccinated sera against this pseudovirus was 6.8-fold, relative to wild-type SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus. This result is only partly aligned with recent conclusions from Pfizer,20 reporting that its vaccine is almost similarly efficient against the SA [South African] variant as wild-type SARS-CoV-2.

A Moderna report21 also documented that its vaccine is 6.4-fold less efficient in neutralizing SA-B.1.351 variant, relative to neutralization of the wild-type SARS-CoV-2. However, their conclusion indicated that such a reduction is not clinically significant.

In our mind, the clinical significance of a 6.8-fold-reduced neutralization potency of convalescent or post-vaccination sera against the SA strain remains to be determined and raises concerns about vaccine efficiency against current or future SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Overall, these results call for close attention to variant spread. Moreover, development of new vaccines with improved neutralizing potency against specific SARS-CoV-2 variants may be required.”

As you’d expect, vaccine makers are already hard at work tweaking their formulas to target various mutations of the virus, so don’t be surprised if all of a sudden vaccinated individuals start getting called back for additional shots. As reported by STAT News:22

“Vaccine makers are working on booster shots specifically targeting B.1.351 or that could defend against multiple strains of the coronavirus, and regulators are considering how the updated shots could be authorized without needing to go through the full gamut of clinical trials.”

Pfizer Study Reports Drop in Effectiveness Against B.1.351

Last but not least, Pfizer’s own investigation, published in The New England Journal of Medicine23 March 8, 2021, found its vaccine was about two-thirds less effective, in terms of neutralizing potency, against the South African variant, B.1.351, compared to other forms of the virus.

“It can be difficult to extrapolate what such lab experiments mean for what happens if someone who received the vaccine is exposed to the variant. For one, these experiments only look at how one arm of the immune system, called neutralizing antibodies, responds to the modified virus,” STAT News reports.24

“The vaccines generate a range of immune fighters, including other types of antibodies and T cells, so it’s possible that overall people retain more of their defenses in fending off the virus. It’s also possible that even though neutralizing antibodies don’t work as well against the variant, they can still mount enough activity to have an impact.”

What STAT News does not mention is that the vaccines may also generate nonneutralizing (aka binding) antibodies25 which, instead of preventing infection, can trigger ADE, a paradoxical immune enhancement that increases your susceptibility to infection and more severe illness.

Aside from the studies already mentioned at the beginning of this article, many others have raised concerns about coronavirus vaccines and ADE in particular. Among them is the May 2020 mini review26 “Impact of Immune Enhancement on COVID-19 Polyclonal Hyperimmune Globulin Therapy and Vaccine Development.” As in many other papers, the authors point out that:27

“While development of both hyperimmune globulin therapy and vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 are promising, they both pose a common theoretical safety concern. Experimental studies have suggested the possibility of immune-enhanced disease of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV infections, which may thus similarly occur with SARS-CoV-2 infection …

Immune enhancement of disease can theoretically occur in two ways. Firstly, non-neutralizing or sub-neutralizing levels of antibodies can enhance SARS-CoV-2 infection into target cells. Secondly, antibodies could enhance inflammation and hence severity of pulmonary disease …

Animal studies … have shown that the spike (S) protein-based vaccines (specifically the receptor binding domain, RBD) are highly immunogenic and protective against wild-type CoV challenge … However, immunization with some S protein based CoV vaccines have also displayed signs of enhanced lung pathology following challenge.

Hence, besides the choice of antigen target, vaccine efficacy and risk of immunopathology may be dependent on other ancillary factors, including adjuvant formulation, age at vaccination … and route of immunization.”

Th2 Immunopathology Is Another Potential Risk

Another potential risk is that of Th2 immunopathology, especially among the elderly. As reported in a PNAS news feature:28

“Since the 1960s, tests of vaccine candidates for diseases such as dengue, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) have shown a paradoxical phenomenon: Some animals or people who received the vaccine and were later exposed to the virus developed more severe disease than those who had not been vaccinated.

The vaccine-primed immune system, in certain cases, seemed to launch a shoddy response to the natural infection …

This immune backfiring, or so-called immune enhancement, may manifest in different ways such as antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), a process in which a virus leverages antibodies to aid infection; or cell-based enhancement, a category that includes allergic inflammation caused by Th2 immunopathology. In some cases, the enhancement processes might overlap …

Some researchers argue that although ADE has received the most attention to date, it is less likely than the other immune enhancement pathways to cause a dysregulated response to COVID-19, given what is known about the epidemiology of the virus and its behavior in the human body.

‘There is the potential for ADE, but the bigger problem is probably Th2 immunopathology,’ says Ralph Baric, an epidemiologist and expert in coronaviruses … at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In previous studies of SARS, aged mice were found to have particularly high risks of life-threatening Th2 immunopathology … in which a faulty T cell response triggers allergic inflammation, and poorly functional antibodies that form immune complexes, activating the complement system and potentially damaging the airways.”

Full Extent of Risks Remain To Be Seen

Whether or not COVID-19 vaccines can trigger ADE or Th2 immunopathology remains to be seen. As or right now, studies suggest vaccinated individuals are at increased risk of contracting lab-confirmed infection with variants such as the South African B.1.351 strain, but there’s no telling whether they actually get sicker than unvaccinated individuals.

Similarly, while there are now hundreds of cases of fully vaccinated individuals having being diagnosed with COVID-19, some of whom have died as a result,29 it’s too early to tell whether ADE is at play. We’re currently moving into summer in the Western hemisphere, a time when respiratory viruses tend to be less prevalent in general, so I suspect the real test will come this fall and winter.

So, while some argue that ADE is a “non-issue” with COVID-19 vaccines simply because we haven’t seen any signs of it yet,30 even with new variants, I have my doubts. I suspect we might still see it once flu season sets in. Besides, ADE is far from the only potential problem. There are many other potential side effects, some of which may take months or years to develop, while others may be lethal within days or even hours.

The vaccines may also be problematic for already immunosuppressed patients. The reason for this is because they don’t develop a robust neutralizing antibody response from the vaccines, and there’s research31 warning that developing a poor neutralizing antibody response after an initial exposure to certain coronaviruses might result in more severe illness upon re-exposure. Might the same apply if you fail to develop robust neutralizing antibodies in response to mRNA gene therapy?

A recent JAMA study32,33 found only 17% of organ transplant recipients mounted detectable antibodies after their first dose of Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine. Among patients taking antimetabolites, only 8.75% had detectable antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 following vaccination. As noted by the authors:

“Given this observation, the CDC should update their new guidelines for vaccinated individuals to warn immunosuppressed people that they still may be susceptible to COVID-19 after vaccination. As the CDC guidelines are currently written, they assume that vaccination means immunity.

Our study shows that this is unlikely for most transplant recipients, and one could guess that our findings (especially those concerning anti-metabolites) could also apply to other immunosuppressed patients, such as those with autoimmune conditions.”

In my view, there are still so many potential avenues of harm and so many uncertainties, I would encourage everyone to do your homework, keep reading and learning, weigh the potential pros and cons, and take your time when deciding whether to get any of these COVID-19 gene therapies

 

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Sources and References
Lifestyle

HWA-14 Reasons Why Witch Hazel Should Be In Every Home

14 Reasons Why Witch Hazel Should Be In Every Home

 

Witch Hazel is a substance known as an astringent, which means that it has the ability to shrink the pores of your skin. It comes from the Witch Hazel bush, (whose scientific name is Hamamelis Virginiana), which is a plant native to North America.

Witch Hazel, which is produced by boiling parts of the plant, can be applied topically, and has long been known for its medical properties. It is recognized the world over as a natural skin cleanser and toner, but in actual fact it has many more uses.  Once you find out all the amazing uses for witch hazel  you will probably want to rush out (or make your own – see the end of the article for more details) and make sure you have some in your medicine cabinet.

Use of Witch Hazel # 1 – As a natural astringent

Witch Hazel is a rich source of tannin, and it is this tannin that gives it its astringent qualities, meaning that it is able to bring down the size of your pores and remove any excess oil from your skin. People who work outdoors and who are exposed to environmental pollution can use Witch Hazel to minimize the amount of contaminants that can otherwise infiltrate their pores. This not only helps to keep their skin cleaner, but also reduces the severity of any blemishes. Using Witch Hazel on a regular basis will banish excess oil and help to eliminate and prevent blackheads from forming.

 

Use of Witch Hazel # 2 – A treatment for inflammatory skin conditions and bruises

As well, as helping to minimize and eliminate blemishes on your skin, Witch Hazel can also be used to combat inflammatory skin conditions such as acne. The best way to apply it is with a small ball of cotton wool, or a bespoke cosmetic pad. In addition to eliminating blemishes and dealing with inflammatory skin conditions Witch Hazel can also accelerate the healing and fading of bruising.

Use of Witch Hazel # 3 – Helps to banish blackness around the eyes

The ability of Witch Hazel as an astringent to tighten the skin and minimize inflammation, means that it is the perfect natural treatment for dealing with darkness and puffiness around your eyes. You do however need to be very careful when applying it, because if it gets into your eyes, it will cause considerable pain and discomfort.

Use of Witch Hazel # 4 – Minimize swollen veins

Witch Hazel can also be used to minimize the appearance of Varicose Veins by reducing both the swelling and the pain. Pour the Witch Hazel onto a soft terry cloth, and gently lay over the affected area. It’s also a good idea to elevate the area you are treating as high as you can, as this will help to decrease the blood pressure in the veins.

 

Use of Witch Hazel # 5 – Arrests bleeding

The ability of Witch Hazel to tighten skin through its astringent characteristics helps to promote more rapid healing. You can apply organic Witch Hazel to small grazes and cuts to arrest any bleeding. Some Witch Hazel products that can be bought over-the-counter may contain isopropyl alcohol, which is a disinfecting agent. Although it may sting a little when applied, this will soon disappear, which is why it is such a popular wound cleanser for many people.

Use of Witch Hazel # 6 – Deals with shaving and waxing bleeds

Witch Hazel can be used by anyone who nicks themselves when shaving. Its anti-inflammatory characteristics can be used to minimize razor burn too, rather like an aftershave. It’s also used by many men and women after a hot wax treatments.  This sometimes results in pin-prick size bleeds that Witch Hazel deals with very effectively.

Use of Witch Hazel # 7 – A hemorrhoid treatment

Because of Witch Hazel’s excellent anti-inflammatory characteristics, it is also a great treatment for hemorrhoids and helps to reduce the swelling, as well as any itching, pain, or bleeding. It is actually used in the manufacture of many over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments. To make your own, simply mix a little Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera gel and apply to any hemorrhoid for instant relief.

Use of Witch Hazel # 8 – Sore throat treatment

An herbal tea made with Witch Hazel can help to ease a sore throat. If you are buying an over-the-counter Witch Hazel product, make sure that it is one that does not include isopropyl alcohol. Gargling with non-isopropyl alcohol Witch Hazel solution will reduce any swelling and help to mop up any excess mucus. It can also be used to treat other throat conditions, including laryngitis, sinusitis, and tonsillitis.

Use of Witch Hazel # 9 – Dental treatment

You can use a mouth rinse made from Witch Hazel (one that doesn’t include isopropyl alcohol), to help to minimize the pain and swelling of inflamed gums. It is also very useful at helping to stop any bleeding in the mouth too. For small children with teething problems, or for anyone with emerging wisdom teeth that are causing pain, or if anyone is suffering from discomfort following a dental procedure, a Witch Hazel mouth rinse, to which is added one drop of clove oil, and one drop of myrrh oil, can be administered.

Use of Witch Hazel # 10 – Treatment for Swimmer’s Ear

 

“Swimmer’s Ear” is a microbial infection of the ear canal. Witch Hazel can be used to treat this infection by putting several drops into the affected ear. This will dry up any pus, mop up any excess oil, and help to dislodge any earwax or debris that may be lodged in the ear canal. Once the Witch Hazel has been applied, allow the ear(s) to drain naturally, and clean using a cotton ball. It’s always a good idea to follow up any infection like this with a natural oil with antimicrobial properties, such as apple cider vinegar, basil oil, or tea tree oil.

Use of Witch Hazel # 11 – Anti-irritant for diaper rash

Witch Hazel can be used as a safe and effective treatment for diaper rash. By applying regularly, it can also help to repair damaged skin, thus reducing discomfort.

Use of Witch Hazel # 12 – Anti-sunburn treatment

We’ve already mentioned that you can mix Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera gel to create an effective treatment for hemorrhoids. The same mixture can be used to treat sunburn. The anti-inflammatory characteristics of the Witch Hazel, together with the soothing effect of the Aloe Vera are a match made in heaven for those with painful sunburn.

Use of Witch Hazel # 13 – Remedy for dermatitis

Thanks to its drying and anti-irritant capabilities, Witch Hazel is an effective remedy for dealing with inflammatory conditions caused by plants; such as poison ivy, and poison oak. It is also an effective treatment for dermatitis.

Use of Witch Hazel # 14 – Treatment for bug-bites and insect stings

In the same way that Witch Hazel can be used to act as an anti-inflammatory against poison ivy and poison oak, etc, it can also help to take away the pain and irritation from bug bites and insect stings.

 

 

 

 

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    -People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

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Foods, Health and Disease

HWA-Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust and Cauliflower Chia Pizza Crust

Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Pizza can be healthy too! Instead of a heavy and greasy pie crust, try cauliflower and chia seeds instead.

It is healthy, delicious, and yields many benefits. Cauliflower is full of the vitamins that our bodies need and crave like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, omega-3’s, and vitamin K. It also serves as a good source of vegetable protein, phosphorous, and potassium.

Cauliflower is very good for cancers such as breast, colon, prostate, and ovarian. The cauliflower provides special nutrient support for several body systems that are closely connected with cancer prevention. It has certain compounds that help resist cancer, and can eliminate cancer enzymes. Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a Sulphur compound that has been shown to kill cancer stem cells.

Cauliflower is also good for your heart, digestive system, and it’s anti-inflammatory. Sulforaphane in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables has been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function.

The delicious flowery vegetable is also full of choline, a B vitamin which is known for its role in brain development. Choline is very important during pregnancies, and it may be able to diminish age-related memory decline.

Chia seeds also play a starring role in this deliciously healthy vegan crust. Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that are full of fiber, protein, calcium, iron, and omega-3. They are loaded full of antioxidants that can fight the production of free radicals, which damage molecules in cells that contribute to ageing and horrible disease like cancer.

Make this crust, and you will not be disappointed in the flavor or the benefits!

Cauliflower Chia Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large head of Organic Cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup of ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds  ( I have also used flax seeds )
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400F.

2. Mix your chia seeds in with the 3/4 cup of water and place in your fridge 20 minutes before intended use.

2. Chop the cauliflower, and place in a blender or food processor and blend until it is a fine rice-like texture.

3. Measure out around 3 cups and place into a large bowl, add in the ground almonds, oregano, salt, and pepper. Make a hole in the center and add in the Chia goop.

4. Combine the ingredients by hand and, and shape everything together into a ball. It should be loose and sticky not like a traditional dough.

5. Put the ball onto a baking tray and form into a flat crust with your hands. Make a ridge around the outside, and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Add your favorite tomato base, and toppings bake an additional 5-10 minutes and enjoy your healthy meal!

  • We are in this Together!

    -People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

    Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr Mercola

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Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/truth-about-chia

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/top-10-health-benefits-chia-seeds-6962.html

7 Health Benefits of Cauliflower

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=13

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/22/cauliflower-health-benefits.aspx

Health and Disease

HWA-Plastic Compounds in Tea Bags: Source of Potential Toxins

 

Plastic Compounds in Tea Bags: Source of Potential Toxins

 

I’ve long advocated drinking tea in lieu of coffee, but the downside of modern food technology is again rearing its ugly head and causing brand new health concerns over this otherwise healthful brew.

A recent article in The Atlantic raises questions about the safety of plastic tea bags, some of which have fancy pyramid shapes, designed to allow the tea leaves to unfurl during infusion.

Chances are you’ve never even given the tea bag a second thought. But indeed, some of the newer tea bags are made with a variety of plastics; some are nylon, some are made of viscose rayon, and others are made of thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene.

Anyone aware of the dangers of plastic chemicals leaching out of plastic containers and bottles is likely to be concerned about drinking tea steeped through heated plastic.

The other bad news is that paper tea bags may be just as bad, or worse, than the plastic ones because many of them are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins.

Considered a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health2 (NIOSH), epichlorohydrin is also used as a pesticide. Besides making its way into tea bags, it can also be found in coffee filters, water filters, and sausage casings.

When epichlorohydrin comes in contact with water, it hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD, which has been shown to cause cancer in animals. It’s also been implicated in infertility (it has a spermatoxic effect in male rats3) and suppressed immune function.

This chemical is already a well-known “process contaminant” associated with modern food production. According to the American Oil Chemicals Society5 (AOCS), 3-MCPD can also be found in variable levels in refined vegetable oils, which is yet another reason to avoid such cooking oils and replace them with organic coconut oil.

Do Plastic Tea Bags Pose a Health Concern?
As you probably know, chemicals in plastic containers and bottles have been found to leach into food and drink, thereby posing a number of health hazards. Examples include bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS), and phthalates, all of which mimic hormones and act as potent endocrine disruptors.

Unfortunately, according to the featured article, neither the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have any information on the toxicity of plastic tea bags or the levels of plastic chemicals that might migrate into the tea when steeped in hot water. Hard to believe, but true, the US federal agencies are not supervising this potential toxic exposure.

According to the featured article:

“Could plastic tea bags also be bad for our health? They are most commonly made from food grade nylon or polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which are two of the safest plastics on the scale of harmful leaching potential.

Both have very high melting points, which offer some assurance to consumers, as one would think the melting point of plastic is the temperature at which one would need to worry about accidentally eating it.

There is another temperature point for plastics, though, that we may need to worry about, called the ‘glass transition’ temperature (Tg). That is the temperature at which the molecule in certain materials such as polymers begin to break down. As a rule, the Tg of a material is always lower than the melting point.”

Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). In the case of PET the glass transition point (Tg) is about 169 degrees, and the breakdown point of nylon is even lower than PET.

“If the question is, ‘As the polymer goes through that transition state, is it easier for something to leach out?’ ‘the answer is yes,’ said Dr. Ray Fernando, professor and director of polymers and coatings at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo,” The Atlantic states.

So while these plastics are generally considered among the safest in terms of leaching potential, the molecules in these plastic tea bags may still in fact break down and leach out when steeped in boiling water—which is the recommended way to brew a good cup of tea, especially when you’re using higher quality whole tea leaves, which these newer tea bags are designed for…

Paper Tea Bags May Be Just as Bad, or Worse…
The now defunct Dexter Corporation was the initial owner on the patent6 of a method for treating both tea bags and coffee filters with latex (plastic), to aid in preventing tears that allow the tea leaves/coffee grounds to leak. This invention “saturates and completely impregnates” the entire web material. Therein lies one of the problems with paper tea bags as they are frequently treated with epichlorohydrin, which hydrolyzes to the carcinogen 3-MCPD when contact with water occurs.

Dow Chemical Co is one of the largest producers of epichlorohydrin. According to safety literature7 from Dow, it’s a very dangerous chemical that requires using extra precautions when handling. Granted, that doesn’t automatically render it dangerous in the final product, but it can still be a cause for concern, particularly as it can turn into a carcinogen when water is added. There are many unanswered questions with respect to the potential hazards of using this chemical in products specifically designed to be used with boiling water…

A good way to protect yourself and your family in this area is to purchase your tea from manufacturers who can certify that their tea bags do not contain this compound. Organic India, for example, has sent me a confirmation that the paper used for their tea bags does not contain epichlorohydrin. In a 2009 article, Kristie Leong, MD also claims to have done her own inquiries and that Bigelow Tea Company does not use the chemical in their bags8. Many plastic tea bags are advertised as “silky” or “mesh bags,” or they’ll have fancy shapes or oversized bags. I’d suggest avoiding those as well if you want to be on the safe side.

Your best option would be to opt for loose tea. This does take longer, but it can be well worth the wait. One of my favorite teas is Royal Matcha Green Tea, which has one of the highest levels of the potent antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Unlike other teas which you steep and strain, matcha tea is a powder made from ground green tea leaves. You add the powder right into the water. You are consuming the whole leaf, which makes matcha one of the healthiest green teas available. Another excellent option is loose Tulsi tea leaves. This well-known Ayurvedic herb is also full of antioxidants that fight free radicals in your body and prevent oxidation damage.

 

How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea
There is an art to brewing tea using loose tea leaves, but once you find your “sweet spot” you may never go back to bagged tea again. Here are a few simple guidelines for making the “perfect” cup of tea:

It is known by all that tea has to have that amount of properties highly for our health.  Today we will talk about the benefits of a particular type of tea: White tea.  In addition to its mild and sweet taste, white tea has a lot of beneficial properties for the body and mind.Bring water to a boil in a tea kettle (avoid using a non-stick pot, as they too can release harmful chemicals when heated)
Preheat your tea pot or cup to prevent the water from cooling too quickly when transferred. Simply add a small amount of boiling water to the pot or tea cup that you’re going to steep the tea in. Ceramic and porcelain retain heat well. Then cover the pot or cup with a lid. Add a tea cozy if you have one, or drape with a towel. Let stand until warm, then pour out the water
Put the tea into an infuser, strainer, or add loose into the tea pot. Steeping without an infuser or strainer will produce a more flavorful tea. Start with one heaped teaspoon per cup of tea, or follow the instructions on the tea package. The robustness of the flavor can be tweaked by using more or less tea
Add boiling water. Use the correct amount for the amount of tea you added (i.e. for four teaspoons of tea, add four cups of water). The ideal water temperature varies based on the type of tea being steeped:
White or green teas (full leaf): Well below boiling (170-185 F or 76-85 C). Once the water has been brought to a boil, remove from heat and let the water cool for about 30 seconds for white tea and 60 seconds for green tea before pouring it over the leaves
Oolongs (full leaf): 185-210 F or 85-98 C
Black teas (full leaf) and Pu-erhs: Full rolling boil (212 F or 100 C)
Cover the pot with a cozy and let steep. Follow steeping instructions on the package. If there are none, here are some general steeping guidelines. Taste frequently as you want it to be flavorful but not bitter:
Oolong teas: 4-7 minutes
Black teas: 3-5 minutes
Green teas: 2-3 minutes
Once desired flavor has been achieved you need to remove the strainer or infuser. If using loose leaves, pour the tea through a strainer into your cup and any leftover into another vessel (cover with a cozy to retain heat)
After Water, Tea is One of Your Healthiest Beverage Choices
While some tea bags—whether plastic or paper processed with epichlorohydrin—may pose a potential hazard, please don’t let that deter you from drinking tea altogether. Although I still believe pure water should make up the majority of your daily fluid intake, high-quality tea has numerous health benefits to offer. Among them is growing evidence that the polyphenols in tea, which include EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) and many others, can be protective against cancer. For example, the polyphenols in green tea appear to be even more effective at fighting the progression of cancer than the antioxidants found in red wine and grapes. Beyond this, the beneficial properties in tea have been known to:

Neutralize the effects to your body of harmful fats and oils
Inhibit bacteria and viruses
Improve digestion
Protect against oxidation in your brain and liver
Help promote healthy gums
Drinking tea has also been linked to:

Improved mental alertness and slowing of brain-cell degeneration Reduced blood pressure Protection again type 2 diabetes
Lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels Lower risk of breast, colon, lung, ovarian and prostate cancers Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke

Of course, there are some general ground rules to follow when selecting tea of any kind, and those are that it should preferably be:

Organic (otherwise tea may be heavily sprayed with pesticides)
Grown in a pristine environment (tea is known to accumulate fluoride, heavy metals and other toxins from soil and water, so a clean growing environment is essential to producing a pure, high-quality tea)
So keep these tips in mind, and go ahead and enjoy a cup or two of your favorite variety. I personally prefer Matcha tea, a vibrant bright green tea made of tea leaves ground into a powder, and Tulsi tea, which is a powerful adaptogenic herb that provides important therapeutic benefits.

 

  • We are in this Together!

    -People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

    Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr Patricia Carrothers – Reviewed

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease

HWA-Sugar, Not Fat, is Responsible for Heart Attacks

Sugar, Not Fat, is Responsible for Heart Attacks

Dr. Ken Walker, also known as W. Gifford-Jones, MD, launched a weekly medical column in 1975 and has been going strong ever since. His common-sense approach to healthy living is simple: “Don’t smoke, drink moderately, exercise, and eat a balanced diet.” Yet, he’d probably be the first to tell you that most people just can’t bring themselves to follow this common-sense approach.  In an article published on The Wallaceburg Curious Press’ website, he goes over how sugar, not fat, is responsible for heart attacks. We’ll review some of his conclusions here, as well as provide additional research backing up his claim.

( types of sugars, then there are goods that turn into sugar)

In the 1970s, scientists suggested that sugar and low intake of fiber were major factors in heart disease. But around the same time, the belief that excess intake of saturated fatty acids was the key factor took over this idea. It was a view that stuck around from 1974 to 2014. Research indicates that the claims around saturated fat were exaggerated.

Sugar And Heart Disease

Dr. John Yudkin published a book in 1972 that concluded sugar was connected to many diseases, but most importantly to heart disease. But the evidence was not strong, and the studies didn’t find a clear link between sugar and heart disease. Because of this, Dr. Yudkin’s hypothesis didn’t gain traction or acceptance. Around the same time, the sugar industry paid researchers to publish papers that pointed to saturated fat as the cause of heart disease. The scandal came out in 2016.

But in 2014, Dr. Frank Hu and his peers found an association between a high-sugar diet and a greater risk of dying from heart disease. The 15-year study found that people with 17% to 21% of calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from compared to those with lower amounts.

“Basically, the higher the intake of added sugar, the higher the risk for heart disease,” Dr. Hu told Harvard Health, “How sugar actually affects heart health is not completely understood, but it appears to have several indirect connections. For instance, high amounts of sugar overload the liver. Your liver metabolizes sugar the same way as alcohol, and converts dietary carbohydrates to fat.”

Eventually, this leads to excess and accumulated fat, which leads to fatty liver disease and diabetes, and raises the risk of heart disease. Too much sugar increases blood pressure and inflammation and leads to weight gain.

Research Scandal

The scandal came out in 2016 with a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine about the influence of food industry-funded research. The analysis shows that a sugar group paid Harvard scientists, who are no longer alive, to publish a review on sugar, fat, and heart disease. The studies chosen minimized the link between sugar and heart disease and focused instead on saturated fat. The analysis called for policymakers to give less weight to these industry-funded studies.

“They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” Stanton Glantz, one of the paper’s authors, told New York Times.

The Sugar Association responded to the claims with a statement saying they should have exercised greater transparency. They said the review was published when medical journals didn’t typically require funding disclosures.

In 2018, other papers came out that challenged these claims about the industry. The writers suggested that there was “no smoking gun” or conspiracy that implicated the industry in the funding or suppressing of its effects on heart disease. They’re careful to stress that they’re not defending the sugar industry, but suggest the claims do not factor in regards to the research standards of the time.

Whatever the involvement of the industry, it is now clear through science that sugar, not saturated fat, causes heart disease.

  • We are in this Together!

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle

WHAT IS DEPRESSION? REALLY!

What Is Depression, Really?

images (9)It’s normal to experience sadness. (Who didn’t cry when Simba couldn’t wake up Mufasa?) But unlike typical sadness or grief, time can’t and won’t heal Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), the term for clinical depression, which most people just call “depression.” It’s a common mental health condition that shows up like an unwanted houseguest and refuses to leave. This extended period of sadness or emptiness comes with a constellation of other symptoms, like exhaustion, sleep trouble, a shrinking appetite, overeating, sudden crying spells, and sometimes thoughts of suicide. Symptoms range in severity and must last for two weeks or more to receive an MDD diagnosis, though it’s rare than an episode would only last for that short time. Most people have symptoms for six months to a year, and sometimes, they can last for years.

Depression statistics including age of diagnosis, percentage who do not receive depression treatment, number of americans who experience depression, chance of having a second depression episode, and depression as the leading cause of disability

Without treatment, depression won’t fade away on its own. Even if you do white-knuckle it through your first episode of depression, your chance of another recurrence is more than 50 percent. If you’ve had two episodes, that chance shoots up to 80 percent. Meaning, you’re going to want to deal with this sooner rather than later.

One hallmark of depression is an inability to experience pleasure, which is literally no fun. Losing interest in things you once enjoyed often means that your capacity to function at work and home takes a dive. In fact, depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S., as 7.2% of Americans—17.7 million people—experience Major Depressive Disorder, each year.

Other Types of Depression

We talked about MDD (a.k.a. depression) but there are other types of depression. They include:

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder. This is a chronic form of depression, formerly known as dysthymia. Sometimes people call it “high functioning” or “smiling” depression. While symptoms aren’t as severe as MDD, they last for two years or longer. People with PDD might feel like they’ve always been depressed. (In cases of “double depression,” people experience severe episodes of MDD within their usual state of chronic depression.)
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Depression symptoms start and end seasonally, around the same times every year. Most people get depressed in cold, dark winter, but some people’s mood plummets in summer.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Here, depression symptoms are tied to the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, starting about one week before your period and ending just after your period. Though many of the symptoms mirror PMS—irritability, high anxiety, frequent crying—they’re much more severe. They interrupt your ability to work, destroy personal relationships, and can lead to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. This condition was added in 2013 as a form of depression to the DSM-5, the official guide of mental disorders.
  • Peripartum Depression. New mothers with this disorder typically develop symptoms of depression and even psychosis within a few weeks of giving birth. It used to be called postpartum depression and many people still use the term interchangeably. (In some cases, symptoms start during pregnancy; other times, when the baby is several months old—hence the name change.)
  • Perimenopausal Depression. In midlife (specifically, the years leading up to menopause), people experiencing this disorder have typical depressive symptoms plus perimenopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.
  • Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder. Substance abuse (alcohol, opiates, sedatives, amphetamines, cocaine, hallucinogens, etc.) or taking some medications, like corticosteroids or statins, can trigger the symptoms of depression. If substance use (or withdrawal from using) is causing your symptoms, you may have this version of depression.
  • Disruptive Mood Regulation Disorder. A child with this juvenile disorder is grumpy and bad-tempered most of the time. They have severe, explosive outbursts with parents, teachers, and peers several times a week. Their overreactions are extreme and inconsistent with their developmental level.

Depression strikes people at a median age of 32, but it’s important to remember that depression can happen to anyone, at any age, of any race, gender, or political affiliation. One out of every six adults will experience depression at some time in their life. Fortunately, depression is treatable. That’s why, at the first hint of symptoms, it’s important to make an appointment with a mental health professional who can help determine whether you have depression, and if so, which type—and most importantly, which treatment is appropriate for you.

What Causes Depression?

You’re not going to like this answer, but no one knows for sure. That said, for the past few decades, the prevailing theory is that depressed people have an imbalance in their brain chemistry—more specifically, low levels of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine, which help regulate mood, sleep, and metabolism. We now know it’s a little more complicated than that.

Certain circumstances put people at a higher risk of depression, including childhood trauma, other types of mental illness and chronic pain conditions, or a family history of depression, but anyone can get depressed.

Scientists informed by decades of research believe that the following factors also up your risk of becoming depressed, but they can’t prove causality. Still, they can play heavily in the development of depression, so it’s important to be aware of them:

  • Genetics. Research shows that having a first-degree relative with depression (a parent, sibling, or child) makes you two-to-three times more likely to have depression tendencies.
  • Traumatic life events from childhood, such as abuse or neglect.
  • Environmental stressors, like a loved one’s death, a messy divorce, or financial problems.
  • Some medical conditions (e.g., underactive thyroid, chronic pain). Per science, the relationship between these physical conditions and depression is bidirectional, so there’s a chicken-or-egg thing going on because they feed each other.
  • Certain medications, including some sedatives and blood pressure pills.
  • Hormonal changes, like those that come with childbirth and menopause.
  • Gut bacteria. There has been a link established between the microbiome and the gut-brain axis, but it’s only just starting to be studied.

Do I Have the Symptoms of Depression?

Wondering whether your feelings qualify for clinical depression? Those with MDD experience five or more of the below symptoms during the same two-week period, and at least one must be depressed mood or loss of pleasure. The symptoms would be distressing or affect daily functioning.

  1. You feel down most of the time.
  2. The things you liked doing no longer give you joy.
  3. Significant weight loss (without dieting) or weight gain or feeling consistently much less hungry or hungrier than usual.
  4. Having a hard time getting to sleep and staying asleep or oversleeping.
  5. A molasses-like slowdown of thought, becoming a couch potato, or spending days in bed. (This should be noticeable to others, not just subjective feelings of restlessness or slothiness.)
  6. So. So. Tired. You’re so exhausted you can’t even.
  7. Feeling worthless a lot of the time, even if you haven’t done anything wrong.
  8. Being super distracted, indecisive, and unable to concentrate.
  9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide(with or without a specific plan to actually do it). If you need help for yourself or someone else, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
6 Symptoms of Depression graphic

How Do Doctors Diagnose Depression?

When you’re having a depressive episode, it might feel like you’re destined to feel terrible forever. That’s not true. It’s just what your depressed brain wants you to think. The hardest step is ignoring that feeling and making an appointment with a doctor and/or mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. A mental health professional is the only expert that can help you figure out if you are depressed.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy blood test that can determine if you have depression, though that would make diagnosis a lot easier. (Get on it, science!) The DSM-5 helps clinicians make that call with a targeted list of common symptoms. To be diagnosed with MDD, patients must experience five or more of the above symptoms (see “Do I Have the Symptoms of Depression?”)—one must be depressed mood or loss of pleasure—during a two-week period.

Even if your symptoms match up to MDD, though, your doctor should rule out any underlying medical causes first. Some conditions, such as thyroid disease and vitamin deficiency, can mimic symptoms of depression. Next, consider any medications you’re currently taking.
If this sounds like you or someone you know, make an appointment with a mental health professional. Now. Don’t wait! What’s the worst thing that can happen? If you feel better by the time the appointment rolls around, you can always cancel it. If you don’t, you’ve saved yourself precious time (and unnecessary pain) by taking steps to managing your mental health.

What Are the Best Treatments for Depression?

Regardless of why you’re depressed, it’s important to get treatment before the condition starts to erode your quality of life. Studies and surveys show that most adults in the U.S. who screen positive for depression remain untreated. Don’t be one of them.

As scientists continue to hash out theories about the root causes of depression, research shows that the most effective treatment is a mix of psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. It might take a (frustratingly long) while to find the right recipe —antidepressants work differently in different people so finding the right fit often takes some trial and error. Plus, the mental health professional you’re working with will be by your side. They won’t give up and neither should you. Some of the treatment options available are:

Psychotherapy

This doesn’t mean you’ll find yourself reclined on a couch, complaining about your relationship with your mother (though it might). A psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, or licensed clinical social worker might use a variety of techniques to help change the negative thinking, beliefs, or behaviors that exacerbate your depression and make your world seem hopeless. Types of therapy include psychodynamic therapyCognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and interpersonal therapy.

Medication

*WARNING – TRY EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU TRY MEDICATION.  YOU COULD LOOSE YOUR JOB, AND MAKE IT MORE DIFFICULT TO GET ANOTHER ONE.  ALSO, YOU WILL HAVE TO TURN IN ALL YOUR GUNS, YOU CAN NOT WORK WITH CHILDREN AND MANY OTHER RESTRICTIONS NOW APPLE.

Your depression might require more than coaching. Doctors may prescribe medication including antidepressantsmood stabilizers, and/or antipsychotic pills in order to decrease the symptoms of depression. These include:

  • SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), and Zoloft (sertraline) and SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) like Cymbalta (duloxetine) and Effexor XR (venlafaxine) make neuro-transmitters serotonin and norepinephrine already existing in the brain more available.
  • TCAs (tricyclic antidepressants) like Tofranil (imipramine) and Norpramin (desipramine) and MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) like Emsam (selegiline) and Marplan (isocarboxazid) are first-generation antidepressants that work similarly on neuro-transmitters, but they’re used less often because of unpleasant side effects.
  • Doctors may also use atypical antidepressants like Zyban or Wellbutrin (bupropion) or Remeron (mirtazapine) that affect serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine levels in ways unique from other anti-depression drugs. Or they may add atypical antipsychotics, a.k.a. second-generation antipsychotics like Seroquel (quetiapine) or Abilify (aripiprazole). They’re “atypical” in that they affect dopamine and other neurotransmitters without the physical side effects, such as tics and tremors, that first-generation antipsychotics can cause.
Common Depression Treatments graphic

Brain Stimulation

For treatment-resistant depression that doesn’t get better after exhausting psychotherapy and more than two classes of antidepressants (such SSRIs and TCAs), there are more hardcore options. Severe depression may warrant electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which you might remember from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Fear not—modern ECT is safe, performed under anesthesia, and much less aggressive than you see in the movies.

There is also repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) which some docs refer to as “ECT Lite”. For severe depression, some people receive vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), a surgical implant that works kind of like a pacemaker, sending electric pulses to the brain.

Other Treatment Approaches

These may include:

  • For severe, treatment-resistant depression, the FDA recently approved esketamine, a nasal spray based on the party drug/anesthetic ketamine. Experts say it works by kicking up production of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that helps prompt the brain to form new neural connections.
  • Sadness during seasonal depression (SAD) can be alleviated with melatonin-regulating light therapy.
  • Postpartum depression may be treated with Brexanolone (Zulresso), an IV version of the body’s own neurosteroid allopregnanolone.
  • Research shows that lifestyle changes like incorporating exercise and mindfulness can amplify results of medication and therapy. Even if they aren’t foolproof mood-lifters, it never hurts to build a health-supportive routine.

Where Can I Find Depression-Related Communities?

The thing about depression is that it makes you want to roll yourself into a blanket burrito and never come out. But shutting out the world can make an already-bad situation worse by giving you free reign to neglect your needs, ruminate over your perceived flaws, and destroy any chance of forward momentum. Along with therapy and medication, finding supportive people—and connecting with them online and in real life—is a key part of taking care of yourself. Here’s where to start.

Top Depression Instagrammers and Bloggers

  • Tonya Ingram, @tonyainstagramtonyaingram.com

Follow because: She has one hell of a way with words—after all, she is a poet and author. She also battles some pretty heavy stuff like depression, lives as a “lupus legend” (her words—we love) and is currently waiting on the sidelines for a kidney transplant. She takes it all day by day and shares how she gets out of bed, looks herself in the mirror, and figures out how to simply… survive.

  • Scott Ste Marie, @depressiontoexpressiondepressiontoexpression.com

Follow because: Immediately, he sounds like someone you want to be friends with, someone whose vibe you want to channel. A former Twitter employee and now public speaker, Scott isn’t going to guide you on some path to a complete cure—nor is he going to sugarcoat the realities of living with depression. In order to overcome your demons, Scott believes you have to come to terms with the fact that sometimes life sucks, and that’s okay.

  • Kevin Hines, @kevinhinesstorykevinhinesstory.com

Follow because: You know the saying “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”? Kevin Hines is living proof. He is the only person ever to survive a suicide attempt from the Golden Gate Bridge. After a sea lion kept him afloat, he was reborn as someone who now devotes his life to making sure you’re here tomorrow—which is why he regularly uses the hashtag #beheretomorrow.

  • Lola, Gina, and Nora Tash, and Nicole Argiris, @mytherapistsaysmytherapistsays.ca

Follow because: Sometimes the only way to come out of a deep dark hole is with the universal language of laughter. These girls (mostly family or like family) create endless hilarious memes that represent the real trials and tribulations of living in today’s social media-infested world. The point of it all? So you know that, as they put it, “you’re never alone and never as batshit as you think.”

  • Sad Girls Club, @sadgirlsclub

Follow because: It’s not your typical reel of inspirational quotes and nod-worthy memes — though, those are sprinkled in, too. Mostly, this feed—run by women of color (including founder @elyse.fox)—gives you actual advice on how to cope with depression, especially in modern-day situations, like discussing mental health at work (hashtag awkward). This feed gives you the ammo you need to shut down stigma.

  • Kate Allan, @thelatestkate

Follow because: Animals make everything better — especially when they’re paired with a quirky drawing and an all-too-familiar feeling. A wolf that speaks to your soul; a fox that gives you all the feels; and a bird who tells it like it is. Run by artist, author, and anxious human Kate, this page (and the cute animals that live there) is a feel-good must-follow.

  • The Sad Ghost Club, @theofficialsadghostclubthesadghostclub.com

Follow because: Nathan, Lize, and Helen are besties—or, ghosties, as they refer to themselves—who came together to share life with mental illness from behind the computer screen. These ghosts don’t sugarcoat things, but they’re also not gloom and doom. You’ll be hooked on their graphics and positive (but not overly earnest) messages.

Top Depression-Related Podcasts

  • The Hilarious World of Depression. Stand-up comedy meets a psych appointment when actors and comedians struggling with depression tell their (surprisingly funny) mental health stories to “professionally depressed” host John Moe.
  • Terrible, Thanks for Asking. Author Nora McInerny, who has dealt with depression, isn’t afraid to ask the awkward questions, as real listeners share their own tales of coping with grief, despair, and anxiety.
  • Jen Gotch is OK…Sometimes. Ladyboss CEO and ban.do founder Jen Gotch gets vulnerable and real every week, sharing her struggles with mental health.
  • Happier with Gretchen Rubin. It’s no surprise that the author of The New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project has tons of suggestions to help you emerge from your sad cave, build positive habits, and create a happier outlook. Her slightly skeptical sister Elizabeth Craft keeps all that sunshine in check.
  • Anthologies of Hope. You’re here, and you’re reading this, so that in itself proves that you haven’t given up hope. But it’s not just that you are here—it’s why you’re here. This podcast dives even deeper into that “why” and tries to bring that to the forefront of your mind instead of the other garbage trying to pull you down. Host Rick Osowski, who has battled depression, brings a variety of guests into the fold to talk about their why.

Top Depression Support Groups and Non-Profits

  • Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). This nonprofit is dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders. Come here for new research, monthly webinars from mental health experts, educational infographics and stats, and a Find-a-Therapist database you can search by disorder. You can always find (free) support on the ADAA Online Peer-to-Peer Support Group or support group iOS app for iPhone.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). This nonprofit mental health advocacy group offering free education and support programs such as NAMI Peer-to-Peer (eight free sessions for adults with specific mental health conditions). You can also connect with other folks who have depression on this org’s online message boards and via NAMI Connection (use the site to find a weekly or monthly recovery group near you).
  • Reddit, r/depression. Reddit is the hideously under-designed social website for anonymous users with a bad rep for attracting “incels” and “neckbeards.” The self-proclaimed “Front Page of the Internet” has memes, conspiracy theories, and thousands of communities called subreddits—and some of them are quite lovely. For example, the r/depression subreddit is over a decade old with more than half a million subscribers. In here, the vibe is all about empathy, support, and helpful feedback. (A recent study even found that visiting the subreddit caused a “positive emotion change” in users.)
  • Talkspace. More like “safe space.” It’s online, it’s private, and it’s “open” 24/7. Over 1 million people use Talkspace to get matched up with one of their 5,000+ licensed therapists and then message them…as much and as often as they’d like. There are different packages depending on your needs, but the instant feedback and comfort is pretty much priceless.
  • Sad Girls Club. This is a nonprofit, an online community, and an Instagram handle (see above) focused on the millennial and Gen Z experience of mental illness (depression, anxiety, or something undiagnosed all count). They host meetups IRL where you can connect with similar people and try a cool twist on art therapy like a poetry slam or embroidery class.
  • To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA). It’s not just a nonprofit — it’s a movement. Online, at in-person events, through social media and blogs, TWLOHA creates a place for hope and healing through depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. People who attend their events and join this community have said they’ve felt transformed. Worth a try, yea?
  • We are in this Together!

    -People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

    Health and Wellness Associates

    EHS Telehealth

    DR MARK WILLIAMS MD  BC-PSYCH

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