Alternatives & Traditional

Posts tagged ‘herbs’

Medicinal Properties of Chaparral Part 2

Chaparral is best known for its ability to treat cancer effectively.  The antitumor effects of chaparral have been verified in studies conducted by the universities of both Nevada and Utah.  One of the things that makes chaparral unique in its ability to treat cancer is the fact that it “attacks” the cancer through multiple mechanisms.  Since the majority of cancers have a microbial origin the first mechanism is through the destruction of viruses, bacteria and fungi.  Chronic inflammation has also been linked to the formation of cancers meaning that chaparral’s anti-inflammatory properties can inhibit some cancers.  Chaparral can inhibit cancers triggered, or aggravated, by free radicals and toxins due to its antioxidant and cleansing properties.  Chaparral’s liver cleansing properties makes it helpful for hormonal induced cancers since the liver is responsible for the breakdown of excess hormones.  And finally, chaparral inhibits mitochondrial enzymes, which in turn inhibits the cellular division of cancer cells.  In short, this means chaparral can inhibit cancer growth.

Chaparral’s ability to kill microbes makes it useful for a number of diseases linked to microbial infections.  These include cancers (viral, bacterial, and fungal forms), heart disease (chlamydia bacteria), hepatitis (viral, bacterial, and fungal forms), rheumatoid (chlamydia bacteria) and other forms of infectious arthritis, multiple sclerosis (human herpes virus type 6), ulcerative colitis (mycoavium complex bacterium), Crohn’s disease (mycoavium complex bacterium), type 1 diabetes (viral), pneumonia (viral, bacterial, and fungal forms), bronchitis (viral, bacterial, and fungal forms), etc.  One of the most interesting areas of study for the use of chaparral is in the treatment of herpes infections where studies are looking very promising.

Chaparral is very resinous and so is not easy to prepare as a tea.  Resins and water do not mix and the resin will separate out and stick to the pan wall when trying to make the tea.  Therefore, I recommend not using this herb as a tea.  I personally prefer the powder mixed with other herbs.  By combining the powder with other powdered herbs the other powdered herbs will help prevent the resins in the chaparral from clumping the powder in to a big “gumball” when it comes in to contact with water.  This helps maintain a larger surface area thereby increasing the absorption and effectiveness of the herb.  In addition, the addition of other herbs can increase the effectiveness of each herb . For instance, chaparral combined with red clover blossom increases the antitumor activity of both herbs.  Combining chaparral with pau d’ arco (lapacho, taheebo, ipe roxo) increases the antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal activities of both herbs.

Again, the FDA tried to claim that chaparral was linked to 13 cases of hepatitis though medical reviews subsequently found no evidence that the chaparral was linked to the cases.  In fact, it was shown that many of the patients were found to have pre-existing liver failure or were taking pharmaceutical drugs well known for causing liver damage.  On the other hand, fresh chaparral does contain unstable alkaloids that may damage the liver if ingested for a length of time.  Therefore, chaparral should be dried and aged several months before use to destroy these alkaloids.

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Chaparral Safety

Medical journals have reported that the use of the herb chaparral has been linked to cases of hepatitis.  The chaparral issue started a while back when out of the clear blue there were 13 cases of hepatitis reported in a two year period in people taking chaparral supplements. There are several unanswered questions though as to the validity of this claim.

For instance, chaparral has been in use for thousands of years and is still widely used from Mexico to South America to cure various diseases such as cancer.  Yet there have only been 13 isolated cases of hepatitis reported in a two year period.

Furthermore, up to recently the chaparral extract nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) was widely used in the food industry for its powerful antioxidant properties.  It was added to foods to prevent oils in the foods from becoming rancid.

NDGA is also the active component that inhibits the cellular division of cancer cells and destroys pathogens such as many viruses.

Despite decades of use as a food ingredient there were never any cases of hepatitis reported.  And the FDA never explained why there were only 13 isolated cases supposedly from chaparral in this two year period with no cases reported before, nor since.

By the way, contrary to popular belief, chaparral was never banned from the market.  The FDA called for a voluntary moratorium since they could not legally ban the herb.  The FDA can only ban an herb if they can prove that the herb shows an unreasonable risk to safety, which the FDA could never do with chaparral.  When stores did not comply with their “voluntary moratorium” though, the FDA would harass stores that they found openly selling chaparral despite their actions being a violation of the law.  The reason that the FDA was never able to prove an unreasonable danger was because the FDA left out some very important facts about these 13 patients.  These included the facts that many of these patients were taking pharmaceutical drugs well known for causing liver damage.  Other patients were reported to have preexisting liver failure, BEFORE they started taking the chaparral.
Another fact they left out is the stability of the alkaloids in the plant.  Chaparral does contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) when fresh.  Some PAs are harmful to the liver, though they are also relatively unstable.  As an example, both fresh comfrey and dried comfrey have been tested on rats to test for liver toxicity.  What was determined was that only the fresh comfrey caused hepatitis in the rats but not the dried comfrey since the PAs are readily destroyed by oxidation when dried.  The same was found in cattle feeds that contained plants with PAs.   Studies showed the PAs were destroyed in about 20 to 30 days of curing the hay rendering the hay safe.

This brings up another point.  Some herbs have to be processed in a certain way to make them safe and useful.  For instance rehmannia is Chinese foxglove root that is boiled in 9 changes of water to render it safe.  Jack in the Pulpit root has to be aged for two years to prevent caustic burns.  Some anthraquinone laxative herbs must be aged for several years before they can be used.  The point here is that an herb should not be considered dangerous just because it is not prepared right since the herb can be safe if properly prepared.  Chaparral should not be used fresh.  Instead, it should be dried and aged a few months to make sure all the PAs are destroyed before use.

Saline Implants

Safety of breast implants has been debated for decades.  This debate has brought to public attention to dangers of silicone breast implants.  Unfortunately, not as much attention has been focused on the safety of saline implants.

The FDA has left the public with the impression that saline implants are safe since the FDA has not targeted them as well.  Although, saline implants are safer than silicone implants they still pose dangers to the body.

One problem with saline implants is that the bag that holds the saline is made of silicone.  As explained in my blog on silicone implants, the immune system reacts to solid silicone in the same manner it reacts to liquid silicone.  If the antibodies to the silicone are of the low affinity type, these antibodies could tag healthy connective tissue for destruction by the immune system.

Another problem is the often erroneous belief that the saline inside the implants is sterile.  This is not necessarily true.  If the implant bags are filled and sterilized prior to implantation then the saline would be sterile.  The majority of saline implants though are inserted empty and then filled once they are inserted.  It is true that the bag is sterile before implantation and the saline is sterile before being injected into the bag.  The problem arises when the saline is injected into the bag.  This is done by drawing the saline into a syringe and injecting the saline into the bag.  Once the tip of the syringe is uncapped and exposed to air it becomes contaminated.  This is true of any injection.  Although, during general injections the amount of contamination is minimal and the immune system can deal with it.  A different scenario occurs when saline implants are filled.  Instead of the contamination being injected into the bloodstream where the immune system can deal with it, the contamination becomes safely contained within the silicone bag filled with saline.  Since the immune system cannot detect or destroy the pathogens within the saline the pathogens are free to grow in safety.  Over time the level of pathogens reaches a dangerous level.  If the implants begin to leak, or worse ruptures, a highly pathogenic saline can overwhelm the immune system causing dangerous or deadly diseases.

I mentioned an example in my blog about silicone implants.  My friend developed breast cancer in her right breast after her right silicone implant ruptured.  She successfully fought her cancer with herbs and ozone therapy.  When her saline implants that she replaced the silicone implants with started to leak she developed malignant tumors from head to toe.  She sold for ozone unit to help pay medical bills and she died from cancer, which I truly believe developed from her saline implants.

Another friend had her implants removed, and gave them to me.  I like to show them to people as an example of what I am referring to.  Her implants were double lumen, silicone in a bag surrounded by a bag of saline.  The saline is brown and black instead of clear.  The color comes from the pathogens growing in the saline.

Human blood actually has a very similar chemistry to seawater.  This makes saline an excellent medium for the growth pathogens.  Add the warmth of the body and you have a perfect breeding environment for pathogens.

This problem is well-known, though not often discussed.  One possible solution being considered is the use of peanut oil as a substitute for saline.  The advantage is that without the moisture microbial growth is limited or eliminated.  Researchers say that if the implants rupture the oil will be safely eliminated from the body.  Peanut oil may not be the best choice though considering the number of people with severe peanut allergies.

As a final note about saline implants it has been reported that women with saline implants often experience a sloshing sound when flying.  The problem occurs from the small air pocket formed when the implants are filled.  The lower atmospheric pressure when flying causes the air bubble to expand.  With the larger airspace the saline can easily slosh around inside the implant.  The problem disappears as the plane lands and air bubble is compressed back down to normal size.

Herbs as Foods

I wonder what herbs and foods will be become prescription if the FDA gets its way to make all herbs and supplements prescription.  The FDA claims that anything in which a medical claim is made for, or that treats or mitigates a disease, or alters a function of the body is a drug and therefore under FDA regulation.  So what foods can be considered drugs and may be subject to prescription?:

Cinnamon- Shown to lower blood sugar.  Antiseptic.  Aids in digestion.

Oats- Lowers cholesterol.  As a fiber it helps regulate bowel movements and supplies silica to help in the formation of connective tissues.

Rice- Treats diarrhea.

Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts- Contain antitumor agents.  Raw broccoli can slow down an overactive thyroid.

Peanuts- Raw peanuts will slow an overactive thyroid.

Soy- Regulates hormones.  Raw, unfermented soy treats overactive thyroid.

Watermelon- All parts of the watermelon are diuretic and helps treat constipation.

Garlic- Lowers blood pressure.

Onions- Lower blood sugar.  The skins of yellow onions contain quercetin, a natural antihistamine.

Rosemary- Antioxidant and antiseptic.

Oregano- Antiseptic.

Nopales- Lowers blood sugar.  Treats enlarged prostate and lowers cholesterol.

Grapes and raisins- Contain antiviral and antitumor polyphenols.

Green, oolong, and black teas- Contain antiviral and antitumor polyphenols.

Thyme- Antibacterial and antifungal.  Thyme oil can be used to treat thrush and toenail infections.

Basil- Strongly antiviral.  Basil oil kills the herpes virus and can be applied to cold sores to treat the outbreak.

Ginger- Shown in studies to be more effective than the pharmaceutical drug Dramamine in controlling motion sickness.  Ginger also treats inflammations and pain, improves digestion and is antiseptic.

Turmeric- Shown in studies to be highly antitumor, and antiseptic.

Apples- Help to control blood sugar and suppress the appetite.

Kiwi- Treats scurvy.

Citrus- Treats scurvy.  Contains the natural antihistamine quercetin.

Strawberries- Treats scurvy.  Contains antiviral polyphenols.  Mashed strawberries can be applied to cold sores to help kill the localized virus.

Blueberries- Treats scurvy.  Contains antiviral polyphenols.  Mashed blueberries can be applied to cold sores to help kill the localized virus.  Blueberries improve vision in cases of night blindness and can help prevent macular degeneration.

Brans- Treat constipation.

Olive oil- Lowers cholesterol.

Wheat germ oil- Can help prevent cataracts and improves energy.

Cocoa- Muscle relaxant due to high magnesium content.  Magnesium in cocoa can help lower blood pressure and reduces menstrual cramps.  Phenylethylamine (PEA) in cocoa is a psychoactive compound and antidepressant.  Cocoa butter added to make chocolate treats constipation.

Carrots- Helps improve vision and fight cancer.  Supports liver function and treats constipation.

Beets- The root improves liver function and treats iron deficiency anemia.  The leaves are a methyl donor that treats inflammations, heart disease and depression.

Yogurt- Treats irritable bowel syndrome and yeast infections.

It appears that if the FDA gets its way that we will have to carry a prescription pad with us just to eat.

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