Alternatives & Traditional

Posts tagged ‘asthma’

Top 5 Worst Internet Health Information Sites: Part 2: Ask Moreless

In my opinion the most dangerous sites on Curezone are the Ask Moreless forum, the Liver Flush Support forum, the Cancer Support forum, the Alkaline/Acid Support forum and in my opinion the most dangerous forum the Iodine Supplementation Support Forum by VWT Team.

The basis of the Moreless forum was that all disease was caused by acidity and that a drink composed of calcium hydroxide (lime), lemon juice, organic unsulfured molasses and kelp was a cure-all.

Moreless was also well known for making up his own science and promoting it as fact.  Some of my favorite claims by Moreless were:

Moreless:  The more hydrogen present in a substance the more acidic it is.

Fact:   As I pointed out to Moreless hydrochloric acid contains one hydrogen atom and it is quite acidic.  On the other hand ammonium hydroxide contains 5 hydrogen atoms and yet is highly alkaline.

Moreless:   Sunlight is acidic.

Fact:   Sunlight does not have a pH.  The sun does contain a lot of hydrogen, which was the basis Moreless used for this claim.  But sunlight consists of photons, not hydrogen and therefore does not have a pH.

Moreless:   Acidity turns the tissues in to a puddle of goo.

Fact:  Many parts of the body are naturally acidic and do not turn in to goo.  I asked Moreless about this and why we don’t turn to goo from the acidic protons when we run but he never replied.

Moreless:  High brix foods are healthier than low brix foods.

Fact:  Brix is simply a measurement of sugar content.  As was pointed out to Moreless  Coca Cola has a higher brix reading than produce we consume, but this does not make it healthier.

Moreless:  Nitrogen is a protein.

Fact:  Nitrogen is a gas, not a protein.  Proteins do contain nitrogen though.

Moreless:  Iodine is an acid.

Fact:  Elemental iodine does not have a pH.

Moreless:  Alcohol is a hydrocarbon.

Fact:  Hydrocarbons consist solely of hydrogen and carbon.  Because alcohol also contains oxygen it is not a hydrocarbon.

Moreless:  “Now remember that our body does NOT absorb the foods we eat or the minerals we take, but ONLY the Energy, which becomes Released from our foods or Minerals we ingest!”.

Fact:  If we did not absorb the compounds such as sugars, amino acids and minerals from our foods then there would be nothing to form our tissues, bones, hormones, neurotransmitters, etc.   In other words we would not even exist.

Moreless:  Fats are carbohydrates.

Fact:  Fats are composed of fatty acids.  Carbohydrates are long chain sugar molecules.   They are not the same thing.

Moreless:   “Absolutely No Rock or Mineral in rock form or in food form can enter into our body tissues until this mineral has become Released from the food or Rock as Energy!”

My response:   “Wrong again. I can drink a mineral salt and it will absorb with no problem.  Do the minerals have to react with the stomach acid to be utilized by the body?  That depends on the form it is in.  If the mineral is chelated then it will absorb in that chelated form. If it is in a soluble salt then it will absorb as that salt.  If it is in the form of a hydroxide whatever can react with an acid to form a salt can be absorbed, and the rest will pass unabsorbed.  This is why calcium and magnesium hydroxides are so poorly absorbed, especially as we age.  Then we can also demonstrate that this claim is bogus by the fact that minerals given intravenously are still utilized by the body even though they are being put in to an alkaline environment and they are not being reacted with an acid. “

Moreless frequently talked about the dangers of nitrates and nitrites claiming that they led to methemoglobin production causing animals to suffocate.  I found the link where he got the information but he left out the part where is clearly stated that alkalinity in the stomach promoted nitrite formation.  Therefore, by his own argument his alkalinizing drink would poison people:

Here are links to some of the other weird and wild claims made by Moreless:

Most of what Moreless posted was in a way hilarious because it was just so ridiculous.  On the other hand it was scary to think he was giving health advice and people were actually following him like he was their God.  Here are some examples I addressed:

Moreless is very anti-science and thinks that his supposed success testimonials are the only proof needed to show he knows what he is talking about.  One problem with this though is that Moreless was famous for deleting posts where people reported adverse effects from his protocol, and then banning anyone reporting adverse effects.  Here is one example though of someone being hurt by the Moreless protocol that was posted on my forum so it could not be erased or edited:

Moreless was also famous for re-wording other people’s messages on his forum so that it would appear the person was agreeing with Moreless or praising his protocol.  It was these actions that finally got Moreless banned from Curezone.

Furthermore, testimonials even if true are not proof of anything as I explained in this post:

Moreless relied heavily on recruiting to try his protocol by touting all the testimonials that he had.  A big problem with this though is that there was no way to verify if the testimonials were real or if he had written them himself or edited people’s posts to make them sound positive, which he was known for doing.

I did run across this post from a supporter who had a change of heart:

The biggest concern with the Moreless protocol was his recommendation to use calcium oxide (lime) to make a drink he wanted people to ingest to alkalize the body.   Calcium oxide is the same stuff used to make cement and when you read the bags it clearly warns about not getting it in contact with tissues.  The reason is that calcium oxide when it comes in to contact with water forms calcium hydroxide.  Hydroxides are very caustic and chemically burn the tissues.  Damage from consuming calcium hydroxide can appear immediately or in some cases may not show up for weeks or months.

The danger is not only from the caustic action of calcium hydroxide.  Calcium hydroxide also reacts with stomach acid neutralizing the stomach acid.  Stomach acid is important for a number of reasons, which I addressed in this post I wrote on the subject:

Neutralizing the stomach acid on a regular basis can lead to numerous health problems including nutritional deficiencies, allergic responses, heart disease, increased risk of infections, etc.  These side effects can result from the inability to absorb certain nutrients needed for tissues such as bone.   The vitamins B6, B12 and folate are all involved in the process of methylation, which is required for around 4,000 methylation reactions in the body.  These include controlling allergic responses, digestion, energy formation, immune regulation, reduction of heart disease promoting homocysteine, hormone and neurotransmitter formation, etc.  All three of these vitamins though require sufficient stomach acid for their absorption.  Most pathogens are controlled by acidity and thrive in alkalinity.  Ingesting calcium hydroxide poses a dual danger here.  First of all the hydroxide can burn the tissues damaging them and making them more prone to infection.  In addition, the calcium hydroxide can neutralize the acids that normally help to control pathogens further increasing the risk of infections.

Moreless does recommend adding some lemon juice to his drink, which does contain citric and malic acids.  These mild organic acids will balance out some or all of the calcium hydroxide depending on the amount added.  The problem though is that unless the person has a pH meter to monitor the pH as the lemon juice is added it is impossible to know when enough of the lemon juice is added to neutralize all the caustic calcium hydroxide.  Don’t add enough of the lemon juice and the drink is still caustic.  Add too much and the drink will be acidic, which according to Moreless the acids will turn the body in to a puddle of goo.  Of course I am being sarcastic in the later since the acids produced by the body or that are found in lemon juice will not dissolve the body despite what Moreless claims.  Still there is the risk of hydroxide damage if insufficient lemon juice is added.

I never understood why Moreless did not have people just start with calcium citrate in the first place, which is readily available, is the main salt created by the reaction of calcium hydroxide and lemon juice and does not present the danger of caustic burns.

Various people had complained of being harmed by using the Moreless protocol, but many of the posts were deleted by Moreless.   Some reports can still be found on other boards though that Moreless did not control and I have a message sent to me by a woman asking for advice after being hospitalized for injuries sustained after following the Moreless protocol.

Two other things that really concern me about the Moreless protocol are the high amount of calcium and the iron from the blackstrap molasses.

Calcium is important to the body, but like anything can be a problem if in excess or not balanced.  Calcium is a muscle contractor for the body.  For example, the process of rigor mortis when a person dies involves the influx of calcium in to the muscles causing them to go in to a strongly contracted state until enzymes finally break down the muscle tissue.   Excessively high serum calcium can cause confusion, depression, high blood pressure, increased risk of asthma attacks, constipation, migraines, muscle cramps, etc.  Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are used to treat various conditions such as high blood pressure and migraines because they prevent calcium from entering the muscle tissue of blood vessels keeping them relaxed.  In holistic medicine and even in hospitals for the treatment of preeclampsia associated hypertension (high blood pressure) magnesium is used to lower calcium induced high blood pressure.

My concern here is that the high amount of calcium poses to many potential problems primarily from calcium induced constriction of blood vessels.  The resultant decrease in blood flow could theoretically even increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes as other blood vessel constricting agents are known for.  Because of this calcium should always be balanced out with sufficient magnesium to maintain the muscle regulatory actions of calcium-magnesium.

As with calcium, iron is essential to the body but dangerous in excess.  Excess iron can lead to increased infections, oxidative tissue damage and can promote cancer.

There is also a condition that used to be considered very rare but is now considered common known as hemochromatosis.  In this condition there is a buildup of excess iron in the body leading to various health problems and can be fatal.  People with hemochromatosis are advised to avoid iron sources and often undergo regular phlebotomy to remove excess iron from the system.


Ozone Misinformation

I was recently reading a post on the internet entitled “Ozone Therapy/ Common Mistakesposted by Bret Peirce, founder of American Cancer Advocates.

Even though the concept of the article is good, most of the information is incorrect.

Ozone therapy is fantastic for many things and administered properly is one of the safest therapies available for many diseases and disorders including cancer.  As with any therapy though, ozone therapy can be very dangerous and cause a lot of harm and possibly even death if improperly administered.  Therefore, the goal of this blog article is to address what I see as misinforming claims being made by Mr. Peirce regarding ozone therapy.

Mr. Peirce starts by stating he is listing the primary mistakes made with ozone therapy in regards to cancer.

In the first claim Mr. Peirce states a failure to check lactic acid levels before starting the therapy.  The problem with this claim is that contrary to popular belief cancer cells DO NOT secrete lactic acid.  In fact, no human cells secrete lactic acid.  The only cells in or on the body that secrete lactic acid are beneficial bacterial cells that inhabit the body commonly referred to as “flora”.  These bacteria secrete lactic and other acids to help control pathogens and to aid in nutrient assimilation.

Human cells can generate non-acidic lactate, which is frequently and incorrectly referred to as lactic acid even though lactic acid and lactate are not the same thing.

Regardless, lactate is an important fuel for the body’s cells and is generally regulated by the body preventing excessively high or low levels.

Reading Mr. Peirce’s past posts Mr. Peirce’s reasoning is that oxygen cannot enter cancer cells unless the cells are sufficiently alkalized. Therefore, Mr. Peirce recommends using heavy metal salts to neutralize the lactic acid so oxygen from oxygen therapies can enter the cancer cells.  The problems with these claims are:

  1.  Cancer cells do not secrete lactic acid.
  2. The internal pH of cancer cells is already more alkaline than healthy cells and excess alkalinity of healthy cells have been shown to induce transformation of healthy cells in to cancer cells (1,2,3,4,5,6).  Cancer cells cannot tolerate an acidic pH, which kills them, and therefore cancer cells export acidic hydrogen ions (protons) in to the external matrix to maintain the internal alkalinity cancer cells need to survive and proliferate (5,6,7,8).
  3. Alkalinity actually promotes anaerobic glycolysis of cancer cells (9).  This could be from the fact that alkalinity reduces oxygen utilization by inhibiting oxygen release from hemoglobin and by constricting blood vessels leading to decreased circulation(10,11,12).
  4. Cancer cells have a higher affinity for oxygen than normal cells and utilize that oxygen very well (13,14).  On the other hand cancer cells die in the absence of oxygen.  The process of cancer cells dying due to a lack of oxygen during their early stages of development lead to the production of angiogenesis growth factors that stimulate the formation of blood vessels that brings sufficient oxygen and nutrients to the cancer cells for the cancer cells to survive and thrive (13,15,16).

Therefore, adding heavy metal alkaline salts as is being recommended will make no difference as regards to the effectiveness of ozone therapy, but the salts can pose health problems themselves.

For example, the most common alkaline salt recommended for cancer treatment alone or with ozone is cesium chloride.  The use of cesium chloride is actually based on numerous false premises, but that is another story.  Cesium chloride has not only been shown to be a failure in the treatment of cancer, it has also been shown to induce cancer and promote existing cancers (17,18,19,20,21,22,23).

Cesium chloride can also cause heart related side effects (24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34) and liver damage (35).

In Mr. Peirce’s second claim Mr. Peirce claims it is a mistake to fail using a maximum dose.  Not only is this claim incorrect, but it is EXTREMELY dangerous!

First of all there is no definition of “dose”.  Dose could refer to the concentration or the volume, which both present their problems in excess.

Concentration refers to the milligrams per milliliter (mg/ml) also referred to as gamma.  Since most ozone therapy for cancer is administered internally through injection or insufflation the proper concentration is essential.  Ozone is administered internally only in trace amounts of ozone to oxygen since higher concentrations can damage tissues and hemolyze red blood cells leading to serious health issues.

Volume refers the actual amount of ozone administered at a given concentration.  If ozone is administered at the proper concentration then larger volumes can be administered as long as it is administered slow enough.  Administering a large volume of ozone to quickly by injection or vaginal insufflations risks the possibility of embolus.  Administering ozone too quickly though by rectal insufflation risks overinflating the colon and rupturing the colon wall.

Mr. Peirce’s claims continue with oxidative stress can be countered by adding catalase. And if no oxidative stress is present the person can go higher in their dose.

If the author had done his research he would have found that catalase (CAT) is only one of several antioxidant enzymes produced by the body.  And CAT along with superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidases are increased by properly administered ozone therapy.  This reduces the risk of oxidative damage to healthy cells already, but a high concentration or dose of ozone too quickly can still cause damage or death regardless of the increase of antioxidant enzymes stimulated by ozone therapy.

Pathogens and cancer cells lack these defenses.  This is why cancer cells and pathogens are  selectively destroyed by properly administered ozone therapy without destruction to healthy tissue.

Excessive concentrations of ozone though can overwhelm the body’s antioxidant enzyme systems though leading to tissue destruction.  As mentioned earlier this is why the recommendation of maximizing ozone dosing is not only incorrect, but also dangerous.

It also needs to be kept in mind that the antioxidant enzymes taken as a supplement may be destroyed long before they could be absorbed unless they are enteric coated.

Since many people use ozone therapy personally at home there would not be a way for them to monitor the oxidative stress on red blood cells.  Even in a clinical setting where blood samples can be monitored for oxidative stress by the time the red blood cells are hemolyzed it is too late.  Therefore it is essential to use the proper concentration of ozone used in guidelines for ozone therapy set by over a hundred years of proper research and not just go for a “maximum ozone dosing” as recommended by Mr. Peirce.

Another issue with high dose ozone being overlooked by Mr. Peirce is that rapid destruction of cancer cells can not only lead to tissue damage, but also potentially kill the patient.  There are several reasons for this:

-The destruction of cancer cells leads to the formation of uric acid.  A sudden high uric acid load can lead to kidney damage as these sharp crystals get excreted through the kidneys where they can cut up the kidney tissue.  Other tissues in the local region of the destroyed tumor can also be damaged from the elevated uric acid.  This is especially dangerous in the case of brain tumors as the uric acid can inflame the brain tissue leading to dangerous brain swelling.  Since the brain is inside an inflexible skull there is no room for the expansion and the brain can suffer crushing damage if the brain swells too much within the skull.  To reduce these risks the cancer cells must be killed off little by little to allow time for clearance of the uric acid.  Drinking plenty of water throughout the day when using ozone therapy to help hydrolyze the uric acid in to safer urea can also help.

High dose ozone can further increase uric acid levels by hemolyzing red blood cells.  Hemolysis though does not occur when proper ozone levels are used, which are actually quite dilute when administered internally.

-The destruction of cancer cells leads to an increase of alkaline potassium released from the cancer cells as they are destroyed.  A sudden surge of potassium can create electrolyte imbalances that can impair heart function if cancer cells are destroyed too rapidly by higher than recommended ozone levels.

-In cases of brain tumors there is also danger of swelling if cancer cells are destroyed too quickly not only due to uric acid induced inflammation, but also due to the release of serum from dead cancer cells and the surge in potassium that can draw water in to the tissues by osmosis.  Again, this can be avoided by slowly destroying the cancer cells with the dilute doses of ozone used with internal ozone therapy rather than the dangerous “maximum ozone dosing” recommended by Mr. Peirce.

-The other risk is a dangerous infection condition known as sepsis.  Large tumors can be destroyed very easily with high dose ozone, but this is not a safe thing to do.  Dead cancer cells constitute infectious material to the body just like any other dead tissue in the body.  Of a person had a malignant tumor the size of a basketball it could be easily destroyed with a single ozone treatment using high concentrations of ozone. But the massive amount of dead cellular debris would kill the patient from sepsis.  Again, ozone therapy needs to be used in low concentrations, not “maximum ozone dosing”, to gradually kill the cancer cells.  And it is essential to allow time between treatments for the body to clear the dead cellular debris as well as the uric acid, and to allow time for the electrolytes to rebalance.  Using a shotgun approach of “maximum ozone dosing” could kill the patient.

Mr. Peirce then repeats the myth that alkaline salts are required to allow oxygen to enter the cancer cells.  This claim is based on the myth that cancer cells are totally anaerobic.  Cancer cells though are only partially anaerobic with the majority of energy for cancer cells being produced by an aerobic processes known as oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos).  In other words, oxygen not only readily enters cancer cells, but cancer cells are highly reliant on oxygen for energy production.  A low pH does not interfere with this process as Mr. Peirce claims.

Interestingly, Mr. Pierce later contradicts himself by admitting “hormone dependent cancers, sarcomas, and advanced cancers can also burn glucose oxidatively”.  This would be impossible if oxygen could not get in to cancer cells without alkaline salts as Mr. Pierce claimed previously.

Additionally, it is not only hormone dependent, sarcomas and advanced cancers that burn glucose oxidatively.  All malignant tumors including cancers in their earliest stages primarily burn glucose through OxPhos as studies have shown (13,14).

Next on Mr. Peirce’s list is an application failure.  In this case Mr. Peirce states “it is a mistake to not use ozone in high enough concentrations as well as causing irritation to the tissues or not using a humidifier”.

As previously mentioned though high concentrations of ozone are contradicted in internal ozone therapy due to the fact that high concentrations of ozone will damage the tissues and destroy red blood cells.  In addition, as pointed out in cases of cancer high concentrations of ozone can lead to tissue damage and possibly death.  The correct concentration of ozone used in internal therapies is  highly dilute, not concentrated as Mr. Peirce advises.  The recommended concentration of ozone for internal therapy is only around 0.1% ozone and 99.9% oxygen to prevent tissue damage and hemolysis.

This brings up another of Mr. Peirce’s contradictions.  Mr. Peirce keeps recommending high concentrations of ozone, which will cause tissue irritation and damage while at the same time claiming it is a mistake to cause tissue irritation with ozone.

The use of a humidifier in ozone therapy is controversial.  The humidification will result in a loss of some of the ozone as the ozone reacts with the moisture to form peroxides.  This may be helpful in the sense of reducing the damage that could occur from improperly using high concentrations of ozone.  Although, this also means that the person will not be able to properly gauge the level of ozone being administered for safety and effectiveness.  Imagine if your pharmacist was diluting down your medications with a random amount of water then telling you to take the same dose as would be normally recommended.  That would be ridiculous, yet this is the same principle as using a humidifier with ozone.  This is one of the reasons I don’t use humidifiers with ozone.  The second reason is because the mucus membranes and blood are already moist.  Therefore, if proper low concentrations of ozone are given in the first place the required moisture for oxidation will already be present in sufficient levels.

Another dangerous claim made by Mr. Peirce is at the end of his paragraph discussing inhaling ozone.  Mr. Peirce is correct that inhaling ozone is an irritant.  Mr. Peirce goes on to say though that inhaling ozone must be done at a lower concentration through a humidifier.  He also recommends doing slight exercise during the therapy and running the oxygen through the ozone generator at up to 6 liters per minute.  And finally Mr. Peirce states if the ozone causes a cough or irritation despite the humidifier to slow down the oxygen rate.  So what are the problems with these claims?

Well, first of all it is not recommended to inhale ozone for several reasons.  The lungs are more sensitive to ozone than other tissues and can be easily damaged by high levels of ozone.  In addition, ozone can trigger asthma attacks in those prone to asthma.

The most dangerous part of Mr. Peirce’s claim is that if a cough or irritation develops that you should slow down the oxygen rate.  The problem with doing this  is that this will significantly INCREASE the concentration of ozone increasing the risk of serious damage.  Ozone concentration is regulated by several factors such as voltage and discharge tube length.  The third factor is the flow rate of oxygen. The faster the flow rate the less contact time the oxygen has in the discharge tube and thus the lower the ozone concentration.  When you slow down the flow rate as Mr. Perice dangerously advises there is a greater contact time of the oxygen in the discharge tube, which increases the concentration of ozone. If you are developing a cough or irritation from the ozone concentration as it is showing damage occurring then why would anyone recommend increasing the concentration dangerously higher?!!!

Another issue not even mentioned by Mr. Peirce is that there are different methods of generating ozone and not all ozone units can utilize oxygen as a starter gas.  Using air with ultraviolet or hot corona systems also present a problem of the generation of nitrogen and sulfur based acids that can irritate or burn the tissues in the presence of moisture.

Anyone considering ozone therapy should research the subject thoroughly before initiating the therapy.  Thoroughly researching the subject is also recommended even if receiving ozone from a practitioner to make sure they understand the therapy and are administering the therapy properly for the particular condition.
Select References:

  1. Na+/H+ exchanger-dependent intracellular alkalinization is an early event in malignant transformation and plays an essential role in the development of subsequent transformation-associated phenotypes. FASEBJ 2000 Nov;14(14):2185-97
  2. Tumorigenic 3T3 cells maintain an alkaline intracellular pH under physiological conditions. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1990 October; 87(19): 7414–7418
  3. 31P NMR analysis of intracellular pH of Swiss Mouse 3T3 cells: effects of extracellular Na+ and K+ and mitogenic stimulation. J Membr Biol 1986;94(1):55-64
  4. Extracellular Na+ and initiation of DNA synthesis: role of intracellular pH and K+. J Cell Biol 1984 Mar;98(3):1082-9
  5. Vacuolar H(+)-ATPase in Cancer Cells: Structure and Function. Atlas of Genetics and Cytogenetics in Oncology and Haematology       Sept. 2011
  6. Vacuolar H+-ATPase in human breast cancer cells with distinct metastatic potential: distribution and functional activity. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 286: C1443–C1452, 2004
  7.  Targeting vacuolar H+-ATPases as a new strategy against cancer. Cancer Res 2007 Nov 15;67(22):10627-30
  8.  Vacuolar H(+)-ATPase signaling pathway in cancer. Curr Protein Pept Sci 2012 Mar;13(2):152-63
  9. Role of the Intracellular pH in the Metabolic Switch Between Oxidative Phosphorylaiton and Aerobic Glycolysis-Relavance to Cancer.  Cancer 2011;2(3):WMC001716
  10. Biochemistry, Mary Campbell, Ph.D. and Shawn Farrell, Ph.D. 2005
  11. Regulatory mechanisms of hemoglobin oxygen affinity in acidosis and alkalosis.       J Clin Invest 1971 March; 50(3): 700–706
  12. Hematology in clinical practice: a guide to diagnosis and management Robert S. Hillman, Kenneth A. Ault, Henry M. Rinder 2002
  13. Oxygen Consumption Can Regulate the Growth of Tumors, a New Perspective on the Warburg Effect. PLoS One 2009 Sep 15;4(9):e7033
  14. Choosing between glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation: a tumor’s dilemma? Biochim Biophys Acta 2011 Jun;1807(6):552-61
  15. Anoxia is necessary for tumor cell toxicity caused by a low-oxygen environment. Cancer Res 2005 Apr 15;65(8):3171-8
  16.  Relationship between oxygen and glucose consumption by transplanted tumors in vivo. Cancer Res 1967 Jun;27(6):1041-52
  17. Relative protection given by extract of Phyllanthus emblica fruit and an equivalent amount of vitamin C against a known clastogen–caesium chloride.
  18. Food Chem Toxicol 1992 Oct;30(10):865-9
  19. Inhibition of clastogenic effects of cesium chloride in mice in vivo by chlorophyllin. Toxicol Lett 1991 Jun;57(1):11-7
  20. Comparative efficacy of chlorophyllin in reducing cytotoxicity of some heavy metals. Biol Met 1991;4(3):158-61
  21. Modification of cesium toxicity by calcium in mammalian system. Biol Trace Elem Res 1991 Nov;31(2):139-45
  22. Cytogenetic damage induced in vivo to mice by single exposure to cesium chloride. Environ Mol Mutagen 1991;18(2):87-91
  23. Clastogenic effects of cesium chloride on mouse bone marrow cells in vivo. Mutat Res 1990 Aug;244(4):295-8
  24. Cesium toxicity: a case of self-treatment by alternate therapy gone awry. Ther Drug Monit 2003 Feb;25(1):114-6
  25. Acquired long QT syndrome secondary to cesium chloride supplement. J Altern Complement Med 2006 Dec;12(10):1011-4
  26. Acquired long QT syndrome and monomorphic ventricular tachycardia after alternative treatment with cesium chloride for brain cancer. Mayo Clin Proc 2004 Aug;79(8):1065-9
  27. Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia in a woman taking cesium chloride. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 2001 Apr;24(4 Pt 1):515-7
  28. Life-threatening Torsades de Pointes resulting from “natural” cancer treatment.       Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2009 Jul;47(6):592-4
  29. Torsades de pointes – a report of a case induced by caesium taken as a complementary medicine, and the literature review. J Clin Pharm Ther 2013 Jun;38(3):254-7
  30. Cesium-induced QT-interval prolongation in an adolescent. Pharmacotherapy 2008 Aug;28(8):1059-65
  31. Cesium chloride-induced torsades de pointes. Can J Cardiol 2009 Sep;25(9):e329-31
  32. Cesium chloride induced ventricular arrhythmias in dogs: three-dimensional activation patterns and their relation to the cesium dose applied. Basic Res Cardiol 2000 Apr;95(2):152-62.
  33. Cesium-induced atrial tachycardia degenerating into atrial fibrillation in dogs: atrial torsades de pointes? J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 1998 Sep;9(9):970-5
  34. Spontaneous, electrically, and cesium chloride induced arrhythmia and afterdepolarizations in the rapidly paced dog heart. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol 2001 Apr;24(4 Pt 1):474-85
  35. The high pH therapy for cancer tests on mice and humans. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 1984;21 Suppl 1:1-5

Kava and Hepatitis

As we can see, herbs are often claimed to have dangerous adverse effects that do not really exist.  The FDA commonly does this in an attempt to gain more control over herbs, which helps them to protect their illegal investments in pharmaceutical companies and to protect their cozy relationship.  As with chaparral, kava was also given a false reputation of causing cases of hepatitis.

Kava refers to the INNER ROOT of the kava plant.  Kava has been used for centuries as both medicine, and as a mind altering drug when specially prepared.  For centuries kava has had a reputation of being quite safe except when abused.  By this I mean extremely high doses over a period of time. Overuse by kava addicts can lead to thickening and peeling of the skin.  This has never been seen in normal use of kava capsules.  And no cases of hepatitis were ever reported from traditional preparation and normal use of kava.

A few years back though, there were actually cases of hepatitis appearing out of nowhere in people taking kava supplements.  The medical journals and news media jumped all over the story and reported repeatedly that kava was dangerous and caused hepatitis.  Yet they never reported all the facts or the truth even when the problem was exposed.  In fact, the problem stemmed from the greed of a pharmaceutical company looking to cash in on the herbal movement bandwagon.  The company traveled to Fiji to obtain information on the use of the herb and looking for kava sources.

During traditional preparation, the islanders would strip off the outer root bark and discard it.  Only the inner root was being used for consumption.  The pharmaceutical company decided that they could buy up all of the waste the islanders were discarding for next to nothing, dry it, grind it, capsule it and sell it.  So this is exactly what they did.  Though in the blinding glare of dollar signs and in their rush to get in on the bandwagon they overlooked an important rule of herbs.  Not all parts of a plant have the same chemistry!  Although a few plants will have basically the same alkaloids, glycosides, etc. throughout the plant in varying amounts this is not common.  It is more common to have totally different chemistry throughout the plant.  For example, cocklebur root is a pain killer.  The leaves are used to treat asthma and the seeds used to stop diarrhea.  And when using lapacho (pau d’ arco, taheebo, ipe roxo), the inner bark is used, not the outer bark, which does not have the medicinal properties.  Kava is no different.  The reason the islanders were discarding the outer bark of the kava was because they knew that the outer bark was toxic!

If the pharmaceutical company would have taken the time to ask questions on the preparation and looked into the chemistry then the isolated cases of hepatitis could have been avoided and kava would not have received an undeserved bad reputation.  General use of the inner root of kava remains safe as it always has.

Medicinal Properties of Chaparral Part 1

If I made a list of my top 10 favorite herbs, chaparral (Larrea tridentata) would definitely be on that list.  This hardy plant, comprising over 20 species, cannot only survive the extremes of desert life, but can also live to be well over 10,000 years old.  In fact, I have read that one of the oldest living plants on earth is a massive chaparral plant in California believed to be over 25,000 years old.  Natural habitats for chaparral include the Southwestern US, Mexico, South America, South Africa, Australia and the Mediterranean.

Medicinally, chaparral is hard to beat.  The plant has strong antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-tumor properties.  Chaparral is also a great anti-inflammatory and raises vitamin C levels in the adrenal glands.  By strengthening the adrenals, inflammatory conditions are reduced in the body, stress responses are improved, immune function is strengthened, depression can be alleviated, blood sugar can be stabilized, allergies/asthma reduced, etc.  Chaparral is an extremely strong blood purifier, which is probably in part due to its high sulfur content.  Its sulfur content could also help explain its historical use as a hair growth agent.

In addition, chaparral is the strongest antioxidant I have seen.  Many antioxidant manufacturers claim that their antioxidant is the strongest known, but they are misleading.  For example, manufacturers of Pycnogenol claimed that they had the strongest antioxidant known.  They even went as far to compare the strength of their product to vitamin E.  The problem is that Pycnogenols, or PCOs, are water soluble.  Natural vitamin E on the other hand is lipid (fat) soluble.  This is like comparing a car to a bicycle.  They are both a source of transportation, but with big differences.  And if I were to compare Pycnogenols with vitamin E, I would say the vitamin E is the car, which is more powerful, and the Pycnogenols are the bicycle.  This is because I feel the cell membrane, which is composed of lipids is more prone to free radical damage than the components within the water portion of the cell.  Chaparral is different because it is not limited to the water or lipid portions of the cell.  The antioxidants in chaparral work in both parts of the cell.

The antioxidants in chaparral include flavonoids, and a very powerful antioxidant known as nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA). NDGA is such a strong and effective antioxidant that it was actually used for decades as an antioxidant preservative for oils and foods, with full approval of the USDA.

Tag Cloud