Health Issues Archives

Last year I raised the question (Arming ourselves against the Superbugs) of just how much money in medical research was allocated or used towards non-pharmaceutical alternatives such as essential oils and other complementary therapies. While I don’t yet have an exact figure, but my suspicion is that the answer is very little. An article posted in Natural News, some 5 years ago focused just on the area of cancer research. [1] It found that out of some 7080 clinical cancer trials, only 3 focused on natural alternative methods of treating the disease. That works out to about 0.04%  If we extrapolate this figure to the rest of medical research then my suspicion is not entirely unfounded.

I decided to do some research of my own and try and find organisations that were conducting research into alternative and complementary medicine; organisations that might need support and would likely accept donations. There’s a lot of good will out in the community. People are prepared to part with their hard-earned cash in order to fund research that will benefit all of humanity. However if our efforts are being directed into solely producing more drugs (and more profits for the pharmaceuticals) what is our good will achieving? So I think it’s important that people have alternatives to direct their donations to. This post is a small contribution towards providing and alerting people to the choices out there. It’s not a definitive list; I’m sure there’s more out there and these are mainly focused on the U.S., Australia and the UK. Over time I hope to uncover more.

Till next time

Cheers

Anthony

AIRASE (Association for the International Research of Aromatic Science and Education) (U.S.)

The first one on the list is an organization dedicated to research in essential oils. AIRASE is categorised as a non-profit 501(c)(3) in the U.S. Their aim is to promote the scientific validity of essential oils as an alternative form of treatment and to disseminate information worldwide on the scientifically proven therapeutic uses of essential oils.

AlterMed Research Foundation – Complementary and Alternative Medicine CAM  (or Integrative Medicine) Research and Education (U.S.)

AlterMed Research Foundation is listed as a 501(c)(3) organization in the U.S..  They are looking for support to help promote integrative medicine research and education Donations will be used to support AlterMed’s mission to achieve full integration of evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine into conventional health care.  Donations can be made via PayPal.

Australasian Integrative Medicine Foundation (AUST & NZ)

Donations are used to promote the integration of evidence based complementary therapies into mainstream medical practice and greatly supports their ongoing cause in lobbying with medical and government organisations to promote the practice of safe IM in Australia and New Zealand.

Foundation for Integrated Medicine in Africa (CAN)

Foundation for Integrated Medicine in Africa (FIMAFRICA), is a registered Canadian charity delivering integrated medical services to remote and impoverished communities living in Northern Kenya. We provide mobile clinical services to deliver integrated medicine, using homeopathic medicine, naturopathic medicine, diet, clinical nutrition, acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine, herbal medicine and other integrative holistic methods to improve integrated health care in these remote areas for communities that receive minimal medical care.

Massage Therapy Foundation (U.S.)

The Massage Therapy Foundation was set up to advance the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education and community service. Since the inception of the Foundation’s granting programs in 1993, over $302,000 has been awarded to fund research, and almost $172,000 has been awarded to fund Community Service projects. By underwriting scientific research, partnering with community organizations, and through education and information sharing, the Foundation encourages excellence and innovation in the field of therapeutic massage.

Maulfair Medical Center’s Foundation for the Research and Development of Complementary and Alternative Medicine  (U.S.)

The Maulfair Center focuses on research and education in the benefits of Chelation therapy

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) (U.S.)

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), a Federal agency of the United States Government. Although NCCAM is federally funded organization and not a fund-raising organization, it has been authorized by the U.S. Congress to accept donations and bequests to support the mission of the Center. All contributions to NCCAM are tax-deductible to U.S. citizens pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 170.

National Institute of Complementary Medicine (AUST)

NICM comes under the University of Western Sydney. It was established to provide leadership and support for research into complementary medicine and translation of evidence into clinical practice and relevant policy to benefit the health of all Australians. Its establishment follows the 2003 recommendation by the Expert Committee on Complementary Medicines in the Australian Health System that the government has a social responsibility to fund complementary medicine research given the high community use of complementary medicines and therapies

The Research Council for Complementary Medicine (UK)

The RCCM is a UK Registered Charity founded in 1983 to develop and promote research into complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and enhance evidence based medicine in this area. The RCCM is unique in its focus on developing research into CAM. It’s aim is to widen the availability of and access to safe and effective complementary therapies for patients within the National Health Service in the UK. Their members are researchers, practitioners and non-commercial organisations involved with the complementary medicine sector. They are grateful for any donations to support their work. Their Making a Donation page gives further details.

University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Research Center  (U.S.)

Research has been conducted here to investigate the effectiveness of several complementary and alternative therapies in the treatment of heart conditions, cancers, pain and depression. Much of their research is supported by grants, but they do also accept gratefully donations from the public.
For information on how you can support our program, please contact Amy St. Amour, Development Officer, at 734-998-7120 (ext. 330) or 734-645-0423, or by email at astamour@umich.edu. Donations in any amount are gratefully received and all contributions will be acknowledged, with your permission, in our UMIM publications. Donations can be mailed to the following address:

Amy St. Amour
University of Michigan Integrative Medicine
Office of Medical Development and Alumni Relations
301 East Liberty Street, Suite 400
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

University of Nth Carolina, Dept of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Program on Integrative Care (U.S.)

The University of North Carolina’s program on integrative care aims to bring together complementary, alternative and mainstream medical research and their aim is to develop facilities and personnel for research in conditions such as cancer, chronic pain, musculo-skeletal disorders such as arthritis, infectious diseases, heart disease, asthma and diabetes. They also wish to develop their teaching capacity in this area as well as expand clinical services including:

  • Providing services to low-income populations
  • Developing the IM Clinic as a teaching site
  • Funding the cancer consult service
  • Enhancing communication & facilitating partnerships between CAM practitioners and conventional health professionals

Their contact is listed as Program Director Susan Gaylord for any questions regarding donations and funding opportunities: 919-966-8586; gaylords@med.unc.edu.

[1] Analysis: virtually zero alternative cancer research occurring, by Adam Miller, Natural News, 28th April 2008

 

Normal_and_cancer_cells_(labeled)_illustration

I’m often amazed when members of the medical establishment come out asking where the evidence for alternative medicine’s efficacy or value is.
Richard Dawkins, the evolutionary biologist, has defined alternative medicine as a “set of practices that cannot be tested, refuse to be tested, or consistently fail tests.” [1] He has also stated that “there is no alternative medicine. There is only medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t work.” [2]  He has argued that if a technique is demonstrated effective in properly performed trials, it ceases to be alternative and simply becomes medicine. [3]
Ok perhaps Richard, would like to explain why on the basis of the following studies, the compound Limonene, found in many citrus essential oils, has not been incorporated into the fight against cancer (either as a preventative or treatment). Hmm? No great return on investment for something that grows on a tree perhaps?
The following are studies I came across when doing research for my article on citrus oils. They are from the site Young Living Link, which has a store of fabulous information on essential oils. You will note that they have only updated the studies carried out up to 2002. That doesn’t mean that research on Limonene stopped then. I’ve added below the links to abstracts on 7 other studies carried out since then. So check them out too.

Till next time

Cheers

Anthony

Limonene Studies (1971 – 2002)

Research on Limonene since 2002

Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

[1]  Dawkins, Richard (2003). A Devil’s Chaplain. Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
[2]  Dawkins, Richard (2003). A Devil’s Chaplain. United States: Houghton Mifflin. p. 58
[3]  “Review: A Devil’s Chaplain by Richard Dawkins”The Guardian (London). 2003-02-15

Sugar: the poison we ignore

Sugar crystals on a ruler.Photo by Lauri Andler, Wikimedia Commons

Sugar crystals on a ruler.
Photo by Lauri Andler, Wikimedia Commons

The other day, I heard on the news of a study from researchers at the University of Adelaide, into the effects of soft drink consumption on the dental health of children. The study (carried out on 16,800 Australian children) found that children who consumed 3 or more sweet drinks a day had 46% more decayed or missing teeth. The study calls for more warnings to be put on beverages and foods of the risk of excess sugar consumption. But I wonder if this really goes far enough. The study also found that the greatest consumption of these sugary drinks was from lowest income families.

The hidden sugar
The other and perhaps greater risk to our health is the sugar in our diets we aren’t aware of. Forget the cakes, biscuits and confectionary, I’m talking about the rest of the foods that we buy from our supermarket and the sugar that’s added to a lot of our junk food and take-away/drive-through conveniences. Now, I don’t know about you but if some barista or coffee shop was to stick one, two or more spoonfuls of sugar into my tea or coffee without asking me, I’d be a VERY upset customer. So why is this stuff being put into our food and beverages without asking us? Simple. It creates a craving in our brains; brings us back for more. So much of food science is now dedicated into how to draw a consumer into buying a food or coming back again and again.

Are taxes the answer?
Predictably there are calls for taxes to be put on these types of food and beverages. In Britain, a paper published by the group Sustain, calls for a levy to be placed on sugary beverages. This is backed by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. In Australia there have been calls for a ‘fat’ tax on high fat foods. I remain skeptical of such taxes. Just looking at the impact of taxes on alcoholic beverages and tobacco, one sees that it doesn’t have much impact on the demand for these items. All they do is increase the government coffers and keeps people complacent, that something has been done about the problem, when in fact little has. You see taxes on things like sugary beverages, fatty foods or tobacco don’t address the addictive nature of these substances.

Ultimately I believe that something like sugar needs to be taken right out of our food supply. But until the thick skulls in our regulatory bodies and governments act, it’s up to us as individuals to learn as much as we can about the dangers and act – for ourselves – and our children; who let’s face it don’t understand that sugar is hurting them.

Read the rest of this entry

The superbugs are here!!!

Clostridium difficile bacteria. From the Center for Disease Control

Lately I’ve been spotting numerous stories on the mainstream media covering the so-called ‘superbugs’. These are bacterium which are highly or completely resistant to antibiotics.  For example from 3 weeks ago was this story in the Melbourne Age: Deadly superbug hits Australia  And in my article Arming ourselves against the superbugs on Wellbeing.com I talked about a Four Corners TV programme that aired a week ago, entitled Rise of the Superbugs which also raised the same topic.

 

The short and narrow of it all is that western medicine is losing the battle against bacteria. Notice I said “western medicine”. As I’ve highlighted a number of times on this website, essential oils are more than adequate to meet the threat of viruses and bacterium. For example, the article in the Age mentioned Clostridium difficile or C diff. A British study carried out in 2009 found that Geranium and Lemongrass essential oils were effective against C.diff among other antibiotic resistant bacteria.[1]

And yet many medical researchers scratch their heads and talk about going back to a pre-antibiotic age (for what that entails, check out my post Arming ourselves against the superbugs ). Others continue the search for new antibiotics, many of which are toxic in their own right. Not only that, the antibiotics you take for one bug can make you susceptible to other bugs as the article from The Age pointed out:
“…Illness is most likely to occur in people who are taking or have recently taken antibiotics, as they kill naturally protective gut flora…” This is not unlike the effect we get from flu vaccinations. Remember the H1N1 pandemic virus that the world was in a panic about in 2009? Well it was found that people taking their regular seasonal flu vaccinations increased their risk of contracting the more virulent H1N1. So much for providing us with more protection[2]

Essential oils like Lemongrass show great promise as a way of beating back the bugs. Yet you don’t hear this mentioned in the mainstream media do you?

Till next time
Cheers
Anthony

Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

[1] Doran ML, Morden WE, Dunn K, Edwards-Jones V. Vapour-phase activities of essential oil against antibiotic sensitive and resistant bacteria including MRSA. Lett Appl Microbiolog. 2009 Apr;48(4):387-392.
[2] See my post Getting ready for the next flu season, Part 3

Beware of energy drinks

A friend of mine recently brought this story (Anais’s tragedy: calls for restrictions on energy drinks after teenager’s death), from the Sydney Morning Herald, to my attention (thanks Rose), which I felt prompted to share with as many people as possible.

The cause of 14 year old Anais’s death was heart arrhythmia and while she had been previously diagnosed with a heart disorder, this was aggravated from caffeine toxicity. And the source of her caffeine toxicity has been linked to a Monster energy drink.

“Anais Fournier was hanging out with friends at a shopping centre one Friday, sipping on a large Monster energy drink. She followed it with another the next day.” 
Note, Anais did not binge on these drinks. A week later, she was dead. The family are now suing the producer of Monster Energy. And this is not an isolated incident, as the Herald article points out:
“… the US Food and Drug Administration revealed it had received five death reports in the past year that said the victims had consumed Monster drinks, which are billed as a “killer energy brew” on the company’s website…”

“Killer energy brew” indeed. And in the U.S., the number of emergency room incidents that involve energy drinks has risen from 1128 to 13,114 between 2005 and 2009.

In the United States, producers of energy drinks are apparently not required to disclose caffeine quantities in their beverages, as they are categorized as wait for it…Dietary supplements. So in some of these energy drinks, the caffeine content can be seven times the amount found in soft drinks like Coca-Cola. Predictably there are calls to regulate these energy drinks and have better labelling.

What about in Australia? While the Australian beverage industry has been quick to point out that energy drinks are strictly regulated with proper labelling and limits on the amount of caffeine, not all are convinced of their complete safety.

There have been calls from the Australian Medical Association for better regulations on these drinks. A study co-authored by cardiologist, Prof Chris Semsarian of the University of Sydney, has found that caffeine added from substances such as Guarana meant the quantity of caffeine in these energy drinks can be as high as 500 mg. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly 5 times the amount of caffeine found in a standard cup of coffee. Another study from the Australian Medical Journal found that between 2004 and 2010 there were as many as 297 calls to the Poisons hotline, relating to energy drinks.

To make matters worse, we also have the case where these energy drinks are being mixed with alcohol. Stimulants plus Depressants? Not a good combination.

My personal feeling is that we don’t really need these drinks. The best thing to drink after a night on the town is wait for it….Water!!!!!

I have included some follow up reading on this issue. My advice to you if you have kids who consume these types of drinks (or perhaps you use them yourself) is GET EDUCATED. Read up on it ASAP. Don’t put your faith in the makers of these beverages. Find out what exactly is in their drinks and beverages and how this might affect their health.

Till next time
Cheers
Anthony
Further Reading:
Beware of energy drinks, Prof. Chris Semsarian, Australian Genetic Heart Disease Registry

On bottled water

Some of you may have already come across this short video.  My apologies for that. Perhaps you can forward this on to all your friends and family if you haven’t already. For those who haven’t seen it, then it’s important you watch it. It’s a prime example of the sort of cons and imbroglios of the modern world.  Hopefully this video is behaviour changing. If you’re worried about the water that comes out of your tap, get yourself a filter and buy yourself a stainless steel water bottle or glass bottle. I myself use a glass bottle at work – an old NingXia Red bottle I’ve recycled.

Anyway watch this video. It’s well done.

Till Next Time

Cheers

Anthony

Big Lies of Science

Just recently came across a brilliant article, posted on the Activist Teacher blog site of Denis G Rancourt, Ph.D.. I think it sums up pretty well, what’s wrong with science and medicine today. The article is simply entitled Some Big Lies of Science.  Denis Rancourt was a tenured professor at the University of Ottawa in Canada. Trained as a physicist and practising environmental science, he has published over 100 articles, ran an internationally recognised laboratory and developed popular activism courses.  He was defender of student and Palestinian rights and a critic of the University administration. In 2009 he was fired for his dissidence.

The following are a number of quotes from his article and will give you a taste of what he’s about:

On the teaching and practice of economics –

…the enterprise of economics became devoted to masking the lie about money. Bad lending practice, price fixing and monopolistic controls were the main threats to the natural justice of a free market, and occurred only as errors in a mostly self-regulating system that could be moderated via adjustments of interest rates and other “safeguards.” Meanwhile no mainstream economic theory makes any mention of the fact that money itself is created wholesale in a fractional reserve banking system owned by secret private interests given a licence to fabricate and deliver debt that must be paid back (with interest) from the real economy, thereby continuously concentrating ownership and power over all local and regional economies.”

On modern medicine –

We’ve all heard some MD (medical doctor) interviewed on the radio gratuitously make the bold proposal that life expectancy has increased thanks to modern medicine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Life expectancy has increased in First World countries thanks to a historical absence of civil and territorial wars, better and more accessible food, less work and non-work accidents, and better overall living and working conditions. The single strongest indicator of personal health within and between countries is economy status, irrespective of access to medical technology and pharmaceuticals.”

These bone heads routinely apply unproven “recommended treatments” and prescribe dangerous drugs for everything from high blood pressure from a sedentary lifestyle and bad nutrition, to apathy at school, to anxiety in public places, to post-adolescence erectile function, to non-conventional sleep patterns, and to all the side effects from the latter drugs. In professional yet nonetheless remarkable reversals of logic, doctors prescribe drugs to remove symptoms that are risk indicators rather than address the causes of the risks, thereby only adding to the assault on the body.

On the banning of CFCs and the Ozone layer –

“A Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded in 1995 for a laboratory demonstration that CFCs could deplete ozone in simulated atmospheric conditions. In 2007 it was shown that the latter work may have been seriously flawed by overestimating the depletion rate by an order of magnitude, thereby invalidating the proposed mechanism for CFC-driven ozone depletion. Not to mention that any laboratory experiment is somewhat different from the actual upper atmosphere… Is the Nobel tainted by media and special interest lobbying? It gets better. It turns out that the Dupont replacement refrigerant is, not surprisingly, not as inert as was Freon. As a result it corrodes refrigerator cycle components at a much faster rate. Where home refrigerators and freezers lasted forever, they now burn out in eight years or so. This has caused catastrophic increases in major appliance contributions to land fill sites across North America”

And finally…

It’s not about limited resources. [“The amount of money spent on pet food in the US and Europe each year equals the additional amount needed to provide basic food and health care for all the people in poor countries, with a sizeable amount left over.” (UN Human Development Report, 1999)] It’s about exploitation, oppression, racism, power, and greed. Economic, human, and animal justice brings economic sustainability which in turn is always based on renewable practices. Recognizing the basic rights of native people automatically moderates resource extraction and preserves natural habitats. Not permitting imperialist wars and interventions automatically quenches nation-scale exploitation. True democratic control over monetary policy goes a long way in removing debt-based extortion.”

Check out Denis Rancourt’s blog at: http://activistteacher.blogspot.com

Till next time

Cheers

Anthony

The BP Oil Spill and the root of our problems

I think this is an interesting 10 minute video, that should get you thinking. Some will call it conspiracy theory. A conspiracy is hidden. There is nothing hidden about this disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, nor about the root causes of the problem. The REAL problem is that people don’t want to know about it.

The video talks about our banking system. Personally I think it goes deeper. As long as our ‘culture’, our philosophy is totally dominated by the dollar, we will never have good health, good food, peace and security or a clean and environmentally sustainable world.

Sure, people need to make money to make a living, but do we have to do it at the expense of someone else? Can’t we feed people good nourishing food that sustains the grower and distributor at the same time? I believe we can. The same goes with health. We can cure people of illnesses such as cancer and still sustain our doctors, alternative therapists, healers, shamans or whatever. Our current profit-driven medical paradigm is generally a win-lose scenario. Shareholders and corporations get rich, while the average person continues to suffer or die from diseases when there’s no need. Let’s turn it around folks. Please pass this video file around, which by the way I found on Iggy Makaravich’s blog – What’s all this, then?

Till next time

Cheers

Anthony

 

 

 

I think it’s a very good habit these days to really look closely at the small print, and think about what’s in that bottle of shampoo, soap or hair care product you’re buying. And if there is no fine print, ask “Why not?”. In the hustle and bustle of day to day life it’s very easy for us all to grab the first thing we see off the shelf. Sure, we might aim for something that says “contains herbal essences” or “contains natural ingredients”. But how ‘natural’ are these products anyway AND what’s been included with the ‘natural’ ingredients; the ‘gift with purchase’ we don’t really want?

And what are we putting down our sinks? The stuff we put on our skin, in our hair and in our bodies eventually finds itself going back into our drains and sewerage and back into the natural environment. A recent story I read reminded me of this. Proctor and Gamble (yes, the company whose stock was recently involved in the recent share market meltdown) recently put out a statement indicating they were intending to reduce the level of 1,4-Dioxane in their herbal essences products.

Now the problem with 1,4-Dioxane is that not only can it damage your liver and kidneys, it also doesn’t biodegrade and ends up back into our water supplies. Hence what is a health problem is also an environmental problem, and vice-versa. Read the rest of this entry

WHO Appoints H1N1 Cover-up committee

Take a look at this article folks. It should give everyone food for thought; especially when someone suggests (or demands) you should(or must) take a flu shot to save you from this or that epidemic.

WHO Appoints H1N1 Cover-Up Committee

By James Corbett, April 13 2010,  Global Research.ca

And to make sure we all take our medication… Have a look at this article from Mike Adams in Natural News, April 27th

Big Brother to track your medication compliance with electronic transmitters in pills