A Colorado man has tested positive for an H5 bird flu virus, the first such case in the U.S., health officials said April 28.
The Colorado health department saidthe man, who is younger than 40, had been working on a commercial farm with poultry that, according to the CDC, was presumably infected with H5N1.
He reported fatigue as his only symptom and is now in isolation and being treated with the flu antiviral drug oseltamivir.
It’s unclear whether the exposure resulted in an infection, according to statements from the health agencies. Officials from the Colorado health department said a positive test result came from a single nasal specimen. The CDC confirmed that result April 27, though it said repeat testing has been negative.
“Because the person was in close contact with infected poultry, the virus may have been present in the person’s nose without causing infection,” the Colorado health department said. The CDC said whether the positive test was the result of “surface contamination of the nasal membrane” cannot be determined now.
“The appropriate public health response at this time is to assume this is an infection and take actions to contain and treat,” the CDC said, adding risk to the general public remains low.
The CDC has been monitoring H5N1 outbreaks among wild birds and poultry since late 2021.
The agency said it has been tracking the health of more than 2,500 people with exposure to infected birds, and this marks the only detected case. The first such human infection caused by the predominant group of H5N1 viruses now circulating was reported in the U.K. in December.
For decades, some health influencers have waged what’s practically amounted to a PR campaign against soy products. Because soy contains phytoestrogens, which are structurally very similar to the estrogen produced by the human body, these influencers argue that soy is a dangerous food that can cause cancer and other diseases by upsetting our natural hormonal balance. Recent research, however, increasingly shows that phytoestrogens may actually be good for you. So what’s the truth about phytoestrogens? What foods, in addition to soy, contain them? And should you include or avoid them in a balanced, healthy diet?
The 1986 film Little Shop of Horrors starred Audrey II, a Venus flytrap that feasted on human flesh and incited a flower shop clerk to murder two people to satisfy its ravenous appetite.
And the roots of the idea (pun semi-intended) go back much further. Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke penned “The Reluctant Orchid” in 1956, a story about a houseplant that tries to murder and consume its owner. H.G. Wells’ 1894 short story “The Flowering of the Strange Orchid” imagines a jungle plant that grows spider-like tentacles and emits an intoxicating fragrance that almost lures an adventuring orchid collector to his death.
In short, literature has sometimes convinced us that plants are out to get us.
Phytoestrogens as Antinutrients
And there has been no shortage of contemporary nutrition writers who have, in their own way, also advanced that narrative. They point to what they consider harmful compounds in the plants we eat, which they ominously term “antinutrients.” Phytates, lectins, and oxalates often get such negative press.
But the reigning plant-derived nutritional villain, going back decades now, is phytoestrogens. While these compounds are in many plants, the main concern has always been about soy. From cancer to male feminization, nutrient deficiencies to female infertility, some would have us believe that the soybean and its phytoestrogens pose a grave threat to any population that embraces soy products as plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy.
But is it true that the phytoestrogens in soy are harmful? Is soy a real-life analog of Audrey II and the human-destroying orchids imagined by Clarke and Wells? Should you avoid phytoestrogens at all costs? Or is the hype overblown, and might phytoestrogens actually benefit your health as part of a balanced, whole-food-based diet?
What are Phytoestrogens?
Phytoestrogens — literally “estrogens from plants” — are a type of polyphenol found in plant-based foods. There are two main types: flavonoid and non-flavonoid. The difference, as I just discovered when I looked it up, is that non-flavonoids have one phenol ring while flavonoids have two. (I’ll see you on Jeopardy! — “I’ll take ‘mesomeric effect of hydroxyl groups’ for 200, Mayim!”)
Some of the more prevalent flavonoids include isoflavones, coumestans, and prenylflavonoids, among others. The non-flavonoids we tend to hear the most about include lignans and resveratrol. These and other phytoestrogens occur in over 300 different plant species.
Here’s the thing about all phytoestrogens — their structure is close to that of estrogens, a class of human hormones with myriad effects on male and female reproduction, and estradiol, in particular. Because of this similarity, the plant compounds can mimic or otherwise affect the action of estrogens in the body. Sometimes phytoestrogens act just like estrogen and at other times they can actually block estrogenic effects.
If that were the whole story, it’s easy to see why you might be wary of consuming foods high in phytoestrogens. But it turns out that plant estrogens are weaker than estrogens from other sources.
In the interest of comprehensiveness, I’ll mention in passing that there’s another form of estrogens, in addition to the ones produced by the human body (by both women and men) and the ones you get from plants: xenoestrogens. They’re what you get when you add the Greek prefix for “foreign” — xeno.
Xenoestrogens are entirely synthetic chemicals that you can ingest from industrial chemicals such as solvents and lubricants, as well as their byproducts, including plastics, plasticizers, and flame retardants. You can also get exposed to xenoestrogens from pesticides and pharmaceutical agents.
The thing about xenoestrogens is, well, avoid them if you can. They don’t do a body good, and there’s a huge body of evidence that they can disrupt healthy functioning on many levels.
And now back to our regularly scheduled article about phytoestrogens.
Foods That Contain Phytoestrogens
Here’s a not-so-fun article with tables showing the amount of phytoestrogens, in micrograms (abbreviated μg which means one-millionth of a gram), in various plant foods. When you study these tables, perhaps in preparation for your Jeopardy! appearance (“I’ll take ‘fascinating things you didn’t know about cabbage’ for 400, Ken”), you’ll quickly discover that while soy may be the poster child for phytoestrogens in food, it’s far from the only source.
Among plant foods, fermented and whole soybeans contain the highest concentrations of phytoestrogens, and those appear to be the healthiest ways to consume soy. Fermented soy products include miso and tempeh (the latter boasts whole soybeans). Edamame and tofu are also generally healthy ways for most people to enjoy soy. To avoid GMOs, choose organic soy products. (For more on why, read our article on GMOs.).
In addition to soy, other legumes also tend to be high in phytoestrogens — especially garbanzos and green beans.
You’ll also find phytoestrogens in many commonly sprouted plants, including alfalfa, clover, soybean (there it is again!), and mung bean sprouts.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are also foods with phytoestrogens. Pound for pound (or kilogram for kilogram, if you want to get all metric about it), flaxseeds are actually higher in phytoestrogens than soybeans. Also scoring high on the list of foods with phytoestrogens are pistachios, chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, and cashews.
You can get phytoestrogens from some popular whole grains, including oats, wheat, barley, and rice.
Representing the allium family, garlic and onion are no phytoestrogen slouches either.
You can also find phytoestrogens in fresh fruit, including blueberries, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, and dried fruit such as dates and apricots.
Why Do People Think Phytoestrogens are Bad?
So what’s going on here? I mean, that list of foods containing significant amounts of phytoestrogens is also a list of some of the healthiest foods on the planet. Are they good for us in spite of their phytoestrogen content? Or is it possible that the phytoestrogens in food may offer benefits? Let’s first explore the widespread idea that phytoestrogens are bad for us and we should avoid them whenever possible.
Estrogen vs Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are structurally similar to estradiol, the main form estrogen takes in the human body. As such, they can bind to estrogen receptors in our cells and thus have the potential to increase or block estrogenic activity.
Because of this, critics tell us that phytoestrogens disrupt endogenous hormones and keep them from working properly in the body. In particular, critics argue that people with hormonal cancers, and specifically estrogen-sensitive ones, should avoid the estrogen-boosting effects of phytoestrogens.
That’s one of the reasons soy has been singled out for demonization. Eating large quantities of soy-based veggie burgers or downing gallons of soy milk, the theory goes, can trigger breast cancer in women, and can cause men to grow breasts.
That would all be pretty alarming if it was true. But there’s almost no evidence to support it.
How can that be? Estrogen vs phytoestrogen studies show that while phytoestrogens do bind to estrogen receptors in the body, their estrogenic activity is much weaker than true estrogen, and they may actually block or even oppose the effects of estrogen in some tissues.
Think of a piece of gum fitting into a keyhole; as you cram it in, it takes on something of the shape of the key, but it doesn’t open the door. And it makes it harder for a real key to open the door, too. Phytoestrogens, which are about 1,000 times less potent than the estrogen your body produces, can bind with estrogen receptors and thereby prevent actual estrogen from exerting its effects.
Are There Any Health Benefits of Phytoestrogens?
In study after study, we find that the foods that are highest in phytoestrogens tend to also be good for heart health and brain health, help to fight obesity and cancer, and promote longevity.
Heart Disease and Phytoestrogens
It’s known that low estrogen levels are a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in women. Phytoestrogen consumption — particularly that of isoflavones — has been associated with lower CVD incidence in both Dutch and Japanese women.
Isoflavones appear to reduce CVD risk by, among other things, helping to dilate blood vessels and thereby lower blood pressure in hypertensive women. And soy and alfalfa extracts, combined with acerola cherry extract, can reduce the harmful effects of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
Phytoestrogens and Cancer
While trials conducted in the 1990s focused on the question of whether phytoestrogens increased breast cancer risk, later studies reversed the hypothesis and began asking whether diets rich in soy could actually prevent the disease. A 2014 meta-analysis found that soy isoflavones lowered the risk of breast cancer in both pre- and postmenopausal women. The twist was that the researchers found this effect only in Asian populations — women in Western countries did not appear to benefit. Whether this is due to the fact that Asian women eat a lot more soy than Western women is still an open question.
Breast cancer surgeon Kristi Funk, MD, is the author of Breasts: The Owner’s Manual. She examined the extensive research about soy consumption in humans and concluded: “Not only is soy safe, it literally drops breast cancer rates by 60% for soy consumers. And if you have breast cancer, it drops recurrence by 60%.”
Soy consumption has also been shown to suppress the development of prostate cancer. Two soy phytoestrogens, in particular, genistein and daidzein, are being studied for their effects on cancer development.
Other studies have found that consuming soy may also reduce your risk of developing lung, thyroid, ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancer.
Alleviating Menopause Symptoms with Phytoestrogens
Some of the most uncomfortable symptoms of menopause occur as a woman’s body decreases the production of estrogen. In addition to hot flashes and sweating, menopause is also linked to an increased risk of obesity and osteoporosis.
Because phytoestrogens can increase estrogenic activity, they have been shown to reduce symptoms of menopause, including decreases in bone density that can lead to osteoporosis. And they have the added benefit, unlike synthetic hormone replacement therapy, of not contributing to blood clots.
Weight Management and Phytoestrogens
There’s a robust body of evidence that phytoestrogens can help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight. This is at least in part because phytoestrogens inhibit the life cycle of fat-storing adipocyte cells and can lower concentrations of adipose (fatty) tissue in the body. They can also help you lose weight by reducing the levels of the “starvation” hormone leptin in your body, so you can lose fat without triggering that “OMG I need a giant donut this very minute or something terrible is going to happen!” feeling. This conclusion was supported by a 2013 study that confirmed soy’s appetite-suppressing ability in estrogen-deficient female mice. (Our view on the use of animals in medical research is here.)
Phytoestrogen Impact on Skin Health
Phytoestrogens also appear to confer anti-aging benefits on the skin. They have been shown to increase the body’s production of collagen production and other compounds that are crucial to skin health. They also block some of the damaging effects of UVB radiation and increase blood flow to skin tissue. Clinical trials have shown that oral phytoestrogen supplementation increased both dermal (skin) thickness and collagen production in postmenopausal women.
Immune System Support
Science is just beginning to explore the role phytoestrogens might play in supporting immune function. Genistein, from soy, appears to keep hypersensitive immune systems from overreacting in unhelpful and potentially dangerous ways.
Phytoestrogen Impact on Cognitive Function and Alzheimer’s
The phytoestrogen resveratrol, found in abundance in red grapes, appears to protect against Alzheimer’s by triggering the destruction of certain proteins in the brain that can form plaques. It has also been shown, in mouse models, to inhibit the development of Parkinson’s Disease. And several observational studies of humans have found that consumption of lignans is associated with higher cognitive functioning.
Who Should Avoid or Limit Phytoestrogens?
As I hope the above section makes clear, the bulk of evidence suggests that phytoestrogens in whole plant foods are beneficial for most people when eaten as part of a balanced diet. But there are still some situations where some people may want to limit their intake.
In the past, it was thought that people with estrogen-positive breast cancer should avoid phytoestrogen, but a growing body of research indicates that the opposite may be true. In fact, many studies show that soy isoflavones are protective against breast cancers because the phytoestrogens attach to the estrogen B cells, blocking the A cells that cause cancer.
Some researchers urge caution, however — especially about the consumption of processed soy protein products, as these have not been studied as extensively as the whole soy foods traditionally eaten in Asian cuisines. Additional unknowns include the cumulative effect of all the phytoestrogens a person has eaten over their lifetime, and how early these foods were introduced.
People with the rare lung disease LAM may also want to limit phytoestrogens, since the LAM cells have estrogen receptors on them, and may proliferate in the presence of high levels of the hormone and potentially of estrogen mimickers, as well.
Another group that may potentially be harmed by excess phytoestrogens is people who have iodine deficiency with hypothyroidism. While the impact of phytoestrogens may vary based on the person’s age, soy isoflavones, in particular, may negatively affect thyroid function in people with hypothyroidism in the absence of sufficient iodine. This is still largely theoretical, however. Small clinical trials haven’t produced a clear association.
Increasing and Decreasing Phytoestrogens in Food
In addition to eating more or fewer of the plant foods that contain phytoestrogens, you can ramp your consumption up or down depending on how those foods are processed.
Fermentation alters the chemical makeup of soy, which can significantly reduce the level of isoflavones. Prolonged cooking, simmering, or soaking can also reduce phytoestrogen content. Steaming causes less phytoestrogen loss than boiling or frying.
And on a different but related note, your gut microbiota play a key role in the bioactivity and bioavailability of phytoestrogens, as they are the entities that decide what to turn phytoestrogens into.
Recipes with Phytoestrogen Foods
Not only will you get plenty of phytonutrients from each of the dishes below, but you’ll also get lots of nutrition overall, like fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Ocean’s Savory Oatmeal is super tasty and brimming with nutrition, including phytonutrients from the flax and pumpkin seeds. Crunchy Kale Slaw makes a fun, fresh, and crispy snack, condiment, or side and contains a huge amount of nutrition, including phytonutrients from the kale, cabbage, and tahini. And Tofu and Broccoli Stir-Fry is an absolutely delicious, phytonutrient-rich meal with its tofu, broccoli, and garlic. It may seem like lots of ingredients and steps, but each of the three sections is pretty simple to create!
A favorite of mine, and perhaps an about-to-be new favorite of yours, this savory oatmeal will leave you feeling satisfied, energized, and nourished. It’s filled with fiber, protein, and phytonutrients, including phytoestrogens in the flax and pumpkin seeds. It’s also a great way to use that Instant Pot! Don’t own an Instant Pot? No problem! Be sure to check out the stovetop directions in the Chef’s Notes.
This crunchy and tasty slaw offers lots of nutrition in exchange for very little time since it requires only a little shredding and zero cooking. Kale, cabbage, and tahini are three plant-based foods that are rich in many nutrients including phytoestrogens. Enjoy this slaw solo as a crunchy snack, as a side dish to your main meal, or as a condiment on top of tacos and wraps.
This phytonutrient-rich recipe may look like lots of steps, but if you break up each component (tofu, sauce, and veggies) into individual sections, it will come together easy-peasy. First, prepare your tofu and place it in the oven. Next, prepare your sauce while the tofu is cooking (it only takes a few minutes!). Finally, make your veggies, also while the tofu is cooking. Once the tofu is ready, your meal will be ready for simple assembling! If you’re wondering, tofu, broccoli, and garlic are the phytonutrient superstars in this dish.
Say Yes to Plant-Based Phytoestrogenic Foods
Phytoestrogens are found in a number of plant foods. Sometimes they mimic estrogen activity in the body, and sometimes they suppress it, which makes for a lot of curious (and confused) scientists. Although there’s long been a question over whether phytoestrogens are bad for you — especially in regards to cancer — the research shows they are, in fact, beneficial in many ways. For most people, whole plant-based foods that may contain phytoestrogens are healthy when consumed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Tell us in the comments:
Do you eat soy-based foods? If so, which ones are your favorites?
Has this article cleared up any confusion in your mind about soy and other phytoestrogen-containing plant foods? What’s your new understanding?
What foods will you add more of to your diet to get the benefit of phytoestrogens?
Essential oils are one of the most potent forms of plant-based medicine in the world. From killing viruses to promoting relaxation to soothing skin scrapes, to supporting the immune system, essential oils offer countless benefits to your life.
To be clear – the use of these oils is no “fad.” Essential oils have thousands of years of history in traditional medicine, in the most ancient of cultures. The Egyptians, the Chinese, the Greeks… they all used essential oils.
From the times of Biblical medicine on through to today, essential oils are used throughout the world. Until fairly recently they’ve been better accepted and popular outside of the United States… but I’m happy to see that so many Americans are catching on to the immense benefits of these healing oils.
One of my favorite examples of the long history and effectiveness of essential oils is about a group of thieves in England who, despite daily contact with corpses who had succumbed to the Black Death (the plague), didn’t get sick.
The story goes that the King heard about these men who would enter the homes of those taken by the plague, rob them of all their valuables, yet did not fall ill from the highly contagious disease. The King had these thieves captured and when they were brought in front of him, he demanded they reveal their secret.
They confessed to being from a family of a long line of apothecaries. They were familiar with the immune protection provided by certain blends of oils, which they would rub all over their bodies, before going thieving. They say the King forced the men to reveal their recipe and then subsequently used the oils to protect himself and his family from the ravages of the Black Death. They also say the recipe is still in the Royal archives to this day.
Now I don’t know if all this is all true or not, but the moral of the story is certainly sound. My own personal appreciation of the wide variety of benefits of essential oils (including their ability to protect the body from harm) began during my initial travels for The Quest for the Cures and A Global Quest documentary series. It was then that I realized how truly overlooked essential oils are as a component of the puzzle that is health and healing from disease.
These days, my family and I use essential oils in a variety of ways on a daily basis. Our uses for these therapeutic powerhouses are wide-ranging. I’ll list out more further down, but a few ways we personally use essential oils include as medicines, for personal care products, as our cleansing agents, and more.
Why do we believe everyone should follow in our footsteps and rely on essential oils, too?
It’s simple. My family has opted to use safe, natural remedies that have thousands of years of history proving their benefits, over a dependence on prescriptions of synthetic drugs that have a long list of side effects which are nothing short of dangerous.
Likewise, we prefer to use personal care products and household cleaners that are superior alternatives to those containing toxic ingredients. We get the same, or even better results, while losing the risk of damaging our bodies.
Charlene and I are frequently asked about what essential oils we favor, and also how we use them. So, I thought I’d share with you some of our favorite anti-cancer oils and some tips for uses. Before I list our favorite essential oils for preventing and healing from cancer, just a reminder that when you are choosing essential oils to always look for the highest quality. You want oils that are certified organic, with 100% purity.
5 Amazing Anti-Cancer Essential Oils (in alphabetical order)
Frankincense may well be my number one favorite essential oil for its anti-cancer properties. It is anti-inflammatory, for one, which is vital in the quest to heal from all cancers. Specifically, frankincense has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase, an enzyme responsible for inflammation in the body.
Frankincense essential oil also helps boost immune function and prevent illness by dangerous pathogens by multiplying white blood cells and modulating immune reactions.
It also helps improve circulation, and reduce stress (it has sedative properties), as well as being a known pain reliever. Oil of frankincense has been shown to contract and tone tissues, which helps to speed regeneration.
Frankincense is also shown to provide neurological support, including the ability to destroy toxins that may lead to neurological damage.
However, this essential oil has several benefits beyond cancer treatment, including easing arthritis pain, balancing hormones, encouraging skin health, and aiding digestion.
As I’ve written elsewhere on The Truth About Cancer site, lavender essential oil contains the phytochemicals perillyl alcohol and linalool, both found to support cancer healing. Not only is lavender a known pain reliever, true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is anti-tumoral, and has demonstrated significant results in resetting the programmed cell death usually lacking in cancer cells. It has been observed to reduce the weight of tumors, and inhibit cell growth.
Lavender essential oil reduces stress and supports the function of the immune system. Quality of sleep is improved. Depression and anxiety are relieved. All of these go towards supporting the immune system in the often immuno-compromised cancer patient. Yet lavender oil has several direct antibacterial properties, as well.
Studies have shown lavender essential oil to be effective against many common germs, as well as the more serious ones such as Staphylococcus aureus (“golden staph”). It does so by supporting the macrophages and phagocytes systems in the body, as well as helping the body fight the infection through its influence on genetic activity.
Myrrh is one of those somewhat obscure essential oils that has a variety of powerful healing properties that should not be overlooked. In terms of cancer, myrrh essential oil exhibits notable effects on cancer cell growth, and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition, myrrh is known to support healthy hormone balance, which can be essential in cancer healing. Like lavender and frankincense, myrrh oil has long been used as a pain reliever. It is also anti-fungal. With all these qualities, myrrh is a potent therapeutic support for your health.
Peppermint is another “wonder-oil,” with a wide range of benefits. This essential oil’s cancer benefits come from its phytochemicals limonene, phytochemicals beta-caryophyllene, and beta-pinene, which have defined cytotoxic and anti-inflammatory effects.
Studies have also shown peppermint essential oil to reveal antioxidant and cancer inhibiting properties, suppressing growth of tumors. In addition, peppermint oil contains antiangiogenic properties, which prevent tumors from developing their own blood supply.
Peppermint essential oil is a well-known antiseptic, with antimicrobial components that benefit respiratory infections (such as bronchitis), open wounds, tonsillitis, and laryngitis. Peppermint is so powerful it’s even useful against stronger bacterias such as Staphylococcus aureus and others that are often antibiotic resistant.
5. Turmeric (Curcumin)
In labs, curcumin has been found to inhibit enzymes such as COX-2 that cause inflammation which can lead to cancer, to activate a gene that suppresses tumors, cut cancer cells off from their fuel and oxygen sources, to kill large B-cell lymphoma cells, prevent cancer stem cells from regrowing, and stop the spread of cancer (metastasis).
This power-house oil has other benefits as well, including: helping to regulate blood sugar, help wounds heal faster, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, prevent help you lose weight, and ease arthritis.
5 Tips for Using Essential Oils for Heath & Healing
Using essential oils is so integral to my family’s life, it’s hard to list every way we use them! However, here are some top tips for using essential oils in your daily life. [Be sure to check my list of precautions below to get the most from your oils.]
Put a drop behind your ears. For example, every day Charlene uses myrrh and frankincense behind her ears and on her lymph nodes as a prophylactic (preventative protection). Lavender or peppermint would be good for respiratory issues, or simply to relax. You can rub on the back of the skull, the breasts, or the bottoms of your feet.
Use a cold diffuser. We love to diffuse essential oils throughout our home. We do it for added mental clarity, and immune support for the entire family. My office is always filled with the therapeutic aromas of a variety of essential oils.
Massage into the skin. Some essential oils, like peppermint and clove, are very strong and you’ll do well to choose a good “carrier oil.” You use a good quality, organic (preferably cold-pressed) oil like coconut, olive, or jojoba to mix in a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. You can then massage this simple “body butter” onto your skin. For a bit fancier body butter, use a mixer to whip solid coconut oil with essential oil. Use this mixture to apply directly to affected areas (such as with pain, arthritis, or digestive issues), and for quick absorption and overall health benefits.
Ingest Internally. One of my favorite, refreshing drinks I like to make is a “Peppermint Lemonade.” I simply take 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil, 3-4 drops of lemon (or orange or tangerine oils, depending on my mood), add water, some organic green stevia, and ice in a large pitcher. It’s a super-fast, healthy beverage that I love. It’s also delicious as a hot beverage (use hot water and omit the ice). If you’re just making one cup at a time, use only 1 drop of peppermint + 1 drop of a citrus oil. Essential oils are powerful and a little goes a long way! You can also use a few drops of essential oils in an empty gel capsule and swallow it.
Toothpaste. You can make a variety of personal products using organic essential oils and other non-toxic ingredients: lotions, face washes, mouthwash, soaps. A toothpaste is easy to make using high quality, certified organic frankincense, myrrh, and coconut oil. Maybe add in some baking soda if you prefer, too.
Precautions for Using Essential Oils:
Quality. This is so important that it bears repeating. Always use a top-quality, medicinal grade oil. It should be certified organic, and 100% pure. Check the reputation of your supplier, and ensure there are no fillers or additives.
Keep oils away from sensitive areas. Essential oils are nature’s powerhouses. Keep in mind they are 40-50 times more potent than the plant itself. Some oils are more “spicy” than others. Some taste better than others. Oregano is one that can burn a bit when you ingest it directly. Peppermint requires caution, and usually does best with a carrier oil when applying to the skin. Never apply essential oils to sensitive areas of the body, including the genitals or near your eyes.You should also test new oils to ensure there are no reactions before applying too liberally. You can start by doing a sniff test of the oil in the bottle. If that seems fine, then apply a dab of carrier oil to the inside of your wrist or arm, add a drop of oil and wait to see if there is any redness, itching, or swelling. Everybody and every body is different so you may need to try different oils to see which ones feel best to you.
Do not heat oils. You’ve probably seen or even have one of those oil burners for using essential oils. What you may not know is that heating these oils destroys their healing properties. It’s always best to use a cold diffuser. These are plentiful and economically priced online.
Children. Always be cautious when using essential oils with children. Diffusion is safest. For direct application, it’s important to dilute the stronger oils, especially with a good carrier oil. When making body butters or massage oils for children, use 1 drop of essential oil to 4 tablespoons of carrier oil. This will dilute the essential oil enough to make it more tolerable and safer for your child. Be very careful not to place near the eyes and always do a sensitivity test first.
“Earthing,” also known as walking barefoot, has transformed from a playful trend to a scientific practice with a plethora of health advantages. It was seen to increase antioxidants in the body, improving sleep and reducing inflammation.
Let us look a little deeper into the benefits, but first let’s examine the theory behind walking barefoot.
Walking Barefoot: An Introduction
Walking Barefoot or earthing, is just walking on grass, sand, or soil barefoot. You need to get off the sidewalk and place your feet on a natural surface.
We have presented some potential benefits in detail:
1: Better Sleep
As per this study, if you are suffering from insomnia then try walking in the park instead of taking pills. You can also present it and improve your sleep cycle, by walking barefoot on grass for approximately 30 minutes, every morning.
2: Can Reduce Inflammation
Earthing can improve the functioning of your organs. This can be multi-fold. One can be due to reflexology, the next can be that you’re getting vitamin D from sunlight (anti-inflammatory property), and lastly, due to the electrons of the magnetic field of the Earth.
3: Can Regulate Your Heart’s Health
Walking barefoot on grass can also help you synchronize your heartbeat. This has several benefits that range from regulating your body’s temperature to hormone secretion.
4: Surface Charge Of RBCs
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine stated that walking barefoot increases the surface charge of red blood cells. These cells then avoid clumping which then decreases blood viscosity. [High viscosity is a significant factor in heart disease.]
Walking should ultimately become just more than an exercise. It should become a form of relieving stress, healing, and replacing the worn-out parts with well-being, on a mental and physical level.
This is actually a win-win situation for everyone. Once you start walking, you will be exercising your heart and muscles, improving your mental health, reducing stress, and eventually improving your overall wellness. You can easily multiply these benefits of walking by taking off your shoes and connecting with the Earth’s natural electric charge.
It is of utmost importance that you need to be aware of your surroundings. Make sure that it is safe for you to walk barefoot.
You can also consult your primary doctor if you are wondering if walking barefoot will be the right move for you.
In a nutshell, it is best for you to just kick off your shoes for a short period of time.
This makes great sense on an evolutionary level too. We have evolved close to this planet and it is recent that we have been keen to remove ourselves from nature. This is perhaps the best time to take a step back and synchronize with the planet.
Hey! I am Mayukh. I help people and websites with content, videos, design, and social media management. I am an avid traveler and I started living as a digital nomad in Europe since 2019. I am currently working on www.noetbook.com – a creative media company. You can reach out to me anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org Love, Mayukh Read More stories by Mayukh Saha
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reportedly opened an investigation into Lucky Charms Cereal after hundreds of people have filed reports claiming to have gotten sick after eating it.
Some of the most common side effects that have been reported by consumers include nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting after eating the extremely popular snack, according to hundreds of incident reports submitted online to the food safety website ‘iwaspoisoned.com.’
Following the large wave of reports, the FDA officially opened an investigation of its own this month after the agency had received over 100 reports in addition to the ones submitted online to ‘iwaspoisoned.com.’
While the investigation is still in its early stages, the agency did release a statement earlier this week, stating that it “takes seriously any reports of possible adulteration of a food that may also cause illnesses or injury” and would provide updates when they become available.
Additionally, the number of people who have been affected by the mild conditions after eating Lucky Charms might be even higher than originally thought. According to The Wall Street Journal, “thousands of people” have already reported symptoms like nausea after eating the cereal.
As of right now, even the producers of Lucky Charms have no answers on what could be causing the reports of illnesses, or even if the reports are linked to their cereal at all. The parent company, General Mills, announced it had conducted its own internal review and has not been able to find anything tying the cereal to those who have reported falling sick after eating it.
For the time being, the cause of Leprechaun tummy will just have to be chalked up to being ‘magically suspicious.’
According to a March 2022 report released by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Finland has shown that there have been zero COVID deaths in young people throughout the entire pandemic. Only 26 percent of children ages 5-11 and 80 percent of children ages 12-17 have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. Children under 12 were never masked and only 9 percent of children ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated.
This data correlates with other data across the globe. Children are at the lowest risk from COVID, at least not anymore at risk from other common viruses like the flu, many of which are actually some type of coronavirus.
Help Support Our FOIA Efforts: Our team is in a back and forth with our government to get access to specific COVID documents that may show government tried to hide treatment options in favor of vaccination campaigns. Help us with clerical and legal fees to obtain these documents by donating today. Click here to Donate.
A study published at the end of 2021 provided the following numbers regarding kids and COVID in Germany:
For healthy kids, the risk of going to the hospital is 51 per 100,000
For healthy kids, the risk of going to the ICU is 8 per 100,000
For healthy kids, the risk of death is 3 per 1,000,000 with no deaths reported in kids older than 5
Kids 5 to 11 have a lower risk than kids <5 and adolescents 12 to 17
Kids 5 to 11 have a risk of going to the ICU of 2 in 100,000; 0 died
Early on in the pandemic Jonas F. Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute, published research showing that out of nearly 2 million school children, zero died from COVID despite no lockdowns, school closings or mask mandates during the first wave of the pandemic. After he published his research he was bombarded with an onslaught of intimidating comments. As a result Ludvigsson quit his research which led the Swedish government to strengthen their laws on academic freedom.
Even during thes Delta wave, the American Academy of Pediatrics confirmed that while the Delta variant is infecting more children, it is not causing increased disease severity. They also found that 0.1-1.9% of their child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalizations, and 0.00-0.03% of all child COVID-19 case resulted in death.
We already know that the majority of people at risk from COVID are those with multiple other underlying health issues. In the United States, approximately 95 percent of people who have died with COVID have had an average of four other underlying causes listed on their death certificates. In England and Wales, only 6,183 in the region can be attributed solely to COVID from the beginning of 2020 up until the end of Sept 2021
From Dec 2020-Jan 2022 only 10% of children 0-18 hospitalized with COVID actually had severe COVID. 56% were incidental infections. This gives more context to “COVID hospitalizations” as does the fact that throughout the pandemic, many “COVID hospitalizations” weren’t actually hospitalizations for COVID.
Why have legacy media and government affiliated scientists ridiculed these sentiments throughout the entire pandemic? Why have they been ignored and not considered when it comes to health policy?
All of these facts beg the question, was COVID used and politically weaponized by those who put profit and their desire for total population control? Or have the interventions and measures that were and have been put in place really from a place of good will? It seems many of these interventions may even be considered for the next pandemic, which is something that’s already being discussed by the likes of Bill Gates and others.
Less than two weeks after scientists discovered microplastics in human blood, a team of researchers in the U.K. said Wednesday that the tiny particles have also been detected in people’s lungs.
Researchers at the University of Hull and Hull York Medical School analyzed lung tissue from 13 people who were undergoing surgery and found microplastics (MPs) in 11 of the samples, including in tissue from the deepest part of the lungs—a discovery that alarmed the authors of the new study.
“The airways are smaller in the lower parts of the lungs and we would have expected particles of these sizes to be filtered out or trapped before getting this deep into the lungs,” Dr. Laura Sadofsky, lead author of the report published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, said in a statement.
The researchers used a spectroscopy to identify the types of plastic they found. Some of the particles they found were as small as 0.003 millimeters.
The most common microplastic particle found was polypropylene, which is frequently used in plastic packaging, textiles, syringes, and kitchen utensils.
There were 12 different types of microplastics found in the tissue, and male patients had higher levels of the material in their lung tissue. Eleven microplastics were found in the upper parts of the patients’ lungs, seven were found in the tissue from the middle section of the lungs, and 21 were found in the lower part.
The findings “support inhalation as a route of MP exposure,” the authors wrote.
“This is the first robust study to show microplastics in lungs from live people,” Sadofsky told the newspaper. “This data provides an important advance in the field of air pollution, microplastics, and human health.”
Previously, researchers have found microplastics in lung tissue taken only from autopsy samples.
As Common Dreamsreported in March, new research showing microplastics present in human blood samples showed that the material could become lodged in organs, but it is not yet clear the exact health impacts of microplastics in human tissue.
A study of lung cancer patients in the U.S. in 1998 found plastic fibers in more than 100 tissue samples, with 97% of cancerous samples containing the fibers and 83% of noncancerous tissue containing them.
A study published in Exposure and Health last month warned that with plastic pollution expected to double in the world’s waterways in the next decade and the production of single-use plastics projected to grow 30% in the next five years, “more detailed research on how micro- and nanoplastics affect the structures and processes of the human body, and whether and how they can transform cells and induce carcinogenesis, is urgently needed.”
The new study “should trigger a clear response from government to end all pointless plastics,” said Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party in the United Kingdom.
The discovery of microplastics was “not a surprise but still horrifying to see confirmed,” said the Cambridge, England chapter of Extinction Rebellion, the global grassroots movement that stages direct actions demanding major policy changes to mitigate the planetary emergency.
“We need to slay this industrial pollution greed machine before it destroys everything,” the group added.
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
EDITORS NOTE: Our friends at Ascent Nutrition have an amazing mushroom blend in capsule form, check them out HERE
Having a home garden is a must for preppers, especially if your goal is to be more self-sufficient. If you want to grow medicinal mushrooms in your garden, read on to learn more. (h/t to TheOrganicPrepper.com)
Before you decide which mushrooms to grow, take note that they require more hard work to grow compared to regular fruits and vegetables. If you can’t grow them in your garden, you have the option to forage for mushrooms.
Garden giant mushrooms
According to a study, garden giant mushrooms contain antioxidants. Rat subjects that consumed the mushrooms also had lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Grow garden giant mushrooms broken shade with well-drained, moist soil. Mix mushroom mycelium with fresh hardwood chips or sawdust. Avoid chips or sawdust from fragrant woods such as cedar, eucalyptus, juniper, pine or redwood. If you don’t have wood chips, use fresh straw instead of hay.
Garden giants can produce from spring through fall. Cut them loose, snap them off or twist them off. Leave a few fruits in the patch for more mycelium production so you can keep harvesting.
Research suggests that giant puffball mushrooms have cholesterol-lowering abilities. The mushrooms are also used to treat traumatic hemorrhage and oral bleeding.
Giant puffballs contain calvacin, a compound that is believed to be an anti-cancer agent.
You can find giant puffballs in timber areas and meadows, fields or even your own yard. Giant puffballs are widespread and fairly common in many areas throughout America.
Pick puffballs during their immature stage, which is when their flesh is perfect for eating. After that, puffballs begin to rot out and become inedible.There are different varieties of true puffballs, but the giant ones are the most popular. Once you take a puffball from the ground, it has an edible span of about two weeks.
Lion’s mane mushrooms
Lion’s mane mushrooms are well-known for what they can do for your nervous system. Studies show that lion’s mane mushrooms can stimulate the production of nerve growth factor (NGF) in those with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s or dementia. In turn, this helps protect neurons and cognitive ability.
Data from a study on mice also revealed that lion’s mane mushrooms can help partially recover locomotor frailty and protect the cerebellum. This implies that any age-related decline in movement ability originating from the brain could potentially be slowed with lion’s mane mushrooms.
The mushrooms also contain erinacine and hericenones that can raise dopamine levels, increase dopamine receptors and help prevent depression.
When foraging for lion’s mane mushrooms, look for the tell-tale icicle-like “teeth” hanging from the central stalk. While they start off relatively short, these teeth can grow longer than one centimeter long or even longer.
If you split open a mature lion’s mane mushroom, you’ll see that there’s little body to speak of and a large cluster of icicle-like mushroom teeth. Lion’s mane mushrooms grow on beech trees and hardwood species like oak and maple.
Oyster mushrooms are often considered the easiest to grow. They are full of lovastatin, which can help lower one’s cholesterol levels. There are a wide variety of oyster mushrooms.
In one study that tested grey, pink and white oyster mushrooms, scientists reported that the grey-colored oyster mushrooms had the highest levels of lovastatin.
Shiitake mushrooms are full of eritadenine, another chemical compound that also helps lower one’s cholesterol levels. The mushrooms are also rich in beta-glucans, which limits the gut’s ability to absorb cholesterol.
The compounds also help reduce inflammation within the body.
Beta-glucans are good for your body’s ability to produce white blood cells. The compounds also offer benefits for the immune system.
Shiitake mushrooms are also a good source of selenium.
However, some people have a sensitivity to eating too many shiitake mushrooms because of the chemical lentinan. The compound may cause a skin rash that can last for one to two weeks if you eat too many shiitake mushrooms.
Mushrooms are an amazing superfood, and you should grow them in your home garden if you can. Alternatively, you can learn how to identify them and forage for mushrooms in the wilderness or even in your backyard.
Pfizer hired 600 employees in the months after its COVID-19 vaccine received emergency use authorization in the United States due to the “large increase” of reports of side effects linked to the vaccine, according to a recently released company document. The FDA is required to release a certain number of vaccine-related Pfizer documents each month as the result of a February court ruling.
Pfizer has “taken multiple actions to help alleviate the large increase of adverse event reports,” according to the unredacted document. “This includes significant technology enhancements, and process and workflow solutions, as well as increasing the number of data entry and case processing colleagues.”
According to the document, Pfizer had recorded 42,086 case reports (25,379 medically confirmed and 16,707 non-medically confirmed) across 158,893 events as of February 28, 2021. When breaking this figure down further, Pfizer recorded 1,403 cardiovascular Adverse Events of Special Interest (AESIs), amounting to 3.3% of the adverse events data set. The full unredacted document contains information on all recorded AESIs that were recorded as of its creation last year.
The analysis of adverse event reports was previously disclosed to the health transparency group, but certain portions were redacted. Among the redacted information was the number of workers Pfizer hired in order to deal with the increase adverse event reports.
“We asked that the redactions on page 6 of this report be lifted and the FDA agreed without providing an explanation,” Aaron Siri, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs, told The Epoch Times in a statement. The redactions had been made under (b) (4) of the Freedom of Information Act, which lets agencies “withhold trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person which is privileged or confidential.”
The Pfizer document further revealed that approximately 126,212,580 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine had been shipped worldwide as of last February, though it is unclear how many of those doses had been administered. Prior to the court order, the FDA wanted to keep the documents sealed for at least 55 years.
The New York Times on Wednesday sent an email to subscribers titled: “Breaking News: Ivermectin failed as a Covid treatment . . .” The Times was referring to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, covered March 18 by The Wall Street Journal. In both cases, the newspapers failed to provide an accurate critical analysis of the study.
The New York Times on Wednesday sent an email blast to subscribers with the subject line: “Breaking News: Ivermectin failed as a Covid treatment, a large clinical trial found.”
The Times was referring to a study I wrote about, that same day, for The Defender.
My article called out the Wall Street Journal for its March 18 reporting on the same study — before the study was even published — for its failure to provide an accurate, critical assessment of the study.
The study in question — “Effect of Early Treatment with Ivermectin among Patients with Covid-19” — was officially published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
In it the authors concluded:
“Treatment with ivermectin did not result in a lower incidence of medical admission to a hospital due to progression of Covid-19 or of prolonged emergency department observation among outpatients with an early diagnosis of Covid-19”
The Times did not critique the study itself, but quoted the opinion of Dr. David Boulware, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Minnesota:
“There’s really no sign of any benefit. Now that people can dive into the details and the data, hopefully that will steer the majority of doctors away from ivermectin towards other therapies.”
Yes. Let us dive into the details and the data and see where it “steers” us, shall we?
A closer look at the details
The NEJM study took place in Brazil between March 23 and Aug. 6, 2021.
The study examined 1,358 people who expressed symptoms of COVID-19 at an outpatient care facility (within seven days of symptom onset), had a positive rapid test for the disease and had at least one of these risk factors for severe disease:
Age over 50
Hypertension requiring medical therapy
Chronic kidney disease (stage IV) or receipt of dialysis
Immunosuppressive therapy (receipt of ≥10 mg of prednisone or equivalent daily)
Diagnosis of cancer within the previous 6 months
Receipt of chemotherapy for cancer.
Young and healthy individuals were not part of this study.
Both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals were included in the study. The percentage of vaccinated participants in each group was not specified. Note that by choosing not to identify vaccination status as a confounding variable the authors are implying that vaccines are playing no role in preventing hospitalization.
The 1,358 subjects were divided into two equally sized groups that were relatively well-matched and randomized to receive either a three-day dose of placebo or a three-day course of ivermectin at 400 mcg/kg.
The primary outcome was hospitalization due to COVID-19 within 28 days after randomization or an emergency department visit due to clinical worsening of COVID-19 (defined as the participant remaining under observation for >6 hours) within 28 days after randomization.
How researchers were able to conclude ‘no benefit’ despite signs to the contrary
The study’s authors wrote:
“100 patients (14.7%) in the ivermectin group had a primary-outcome event (composite of hospitalization due to the progression of COVID-19 or an emergency department visit of >6 hours that was due to clinical worsening of COVID-19), as compared with 111 (16.3%) in the placebo group (relative risk, 0.90; 95% Bayesian credible interval, 0.70 to 1.16).”
In other words, a greater percentage of placebo recipients required hospitalization or observation in an emergency department than those who received Ivermectin.
The authors of the study broke it down by subgroups here:
As is demonstrated in nearly every subgroup, the Ivermectin recipients fared better than those who received the placebo.
However, these data were not statistically significant given the size of the study.
This is how the authors were able to conclude there was no benefit to ivermectin use in preventing hospitalization in high-risk patients in their study.
Patients were under-dosed, some didn’t follow instructions
As it stands, the study The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal declared as proof of the uselessness of ivermectin in treating COVID-19 is actually quite promising — contrary to what their headlines told readers.
Instead, the investigators behind the NEJM study chose a much lower dose, 400mcg per day for only three days. This represents less than half of the total dose that has been shown to be effective in practice.
Furthermore, despite acknowledging that studies have shown some indication that the bioavailability of ivermectin increases when taken with food, especially a fatty meal, participants in the trial were instructed to take the medicine on an empty stomach.
In other words, the patients were significantly under-dosed — and yet a positive effect of the drug was emerging, though not statistically significant given the size of the study.
Also of note, the investigators chose to include emergency room visits with hospitalizations for COVID. Clearly, six hours of observation in an ER is a significantly different outcome than a hospitalization that may last a night or much longer.
When excluding the ER visits from the primary outcome and examining only hospitalizations, the ivermectin cohort had even less risk of an outcome, i.e. the relative risk was 0.84 vs 0.9 when ER visits and hospitalization were grouped together.
Perhaps the most glaring deficiency of the study is the low number of placebo recipients who actually followed the study’s protocol:
Only 288 of 679 participants randomized to receiving the placebo reported 100% adherence to the study protocol. Nearly 400 didn’t.
Why not? We asked Dr. Meryl Nass, an internist and member of the Children’s Health Defense scientific advisory committee.
Nass told The Defender:
“Presumably they knew the difference between ivermectin and placebo, and the placebo subjects went out and bought ivermectin or something else … but whatever they did, they didn’t bother with the pills they were given.
“So, it was not actually a double-blinded trial. Yet the 391 people who didn’t take the placebo but did something else were included in two of the three calculations of ivermectin efficacy anyway.”
So, was this the definitive answer proclaimed by mainstream sources? Nass thinks otherwise:
“I would say that instead, it was a failed trial due to the 391 placebo recipients who admitted they did not follow protocol versus the 55 in the ivermectin arm.”
More questions than answers
Rather than pounding the final nail in the coffin around ivermectin’s utility in treating COVID, the NEJM study raises more questions.
What would the effect have been if a higher dose shown to be effective were administered?
What would be the benefit of this medicine in patients with no risk factors?
How statistically significant would the results have been if more participants were enrolled?
Why weren’t more participants enrolled as the study progressed given the emerging benefit of the drug and the absence of adverse events?
Why did the investigators define a primary outcome with such different real-world implications (ER visits vs hospitalizations)?
With less than 50% of the placebo arm adhering to the study protocol, why were their outcomes included in the analysis?
What effect did vaccination status have on outcome? If this is the primary means endorsed to prevent hospitalization, why wasn’t vaccination status mentioned as a confounder?
Did the investigators choose to limit the study as it became clear that an Ivermectin benefit would be too big to ignore?
Given these obvious issues with the study, it is becoming even more clear where the real story is: Neither The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times are willing to pursue startling details around how corporate interests are corrupting scientific opinion as reported here.
Instead, these iconic journals chose to report on a scientific study on or prior to the day of publication using misleading headlines backed up by flimsy investigations conducted by journalists with no capacity to dissect the analysis or data.
Here’s a bigger question: Are they just incompetent, or complicit, too?
This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.
“As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.” -Hunter Thompson