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Reishi Mushrooms: Traditional Medicine for Cancer, Diabetes and More

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Reishi mushrooms, also called lingzhi mushrooms, are a species of medicinal mushroom characterized by their kidney-shaped cap and tough texture. Though widely appreciated throughout the countries of their native Asia, reishi are especially venerated in China. In fact, practitioners of ancient Chinese medicine have been prescribing reishi for a host of medical conditions such as high blood pressure and fatigue for at least 2,000 years. Even today, reishi are held in high regard by the Chinese, and have retained their traditional nickname, the “Mushrooms of Immortality.” Below are some of the health benefits attributed to reishi.

Boost immunity and prevent cancer

Reishi muhsrooms are rich in beta-glucans and hetero-beta-glucans, which are biologically-active polysaccharides found in the cell walls of certain plants and fungi. Many studies, such as the Lithuanian study published in the Medicina journal in 2007, have proven that these substances increase our immunity by enhancing macrophages and activating natural killer cell function (“killer cells” being the white blood cells that destroy infected or cancerous cells). This led the researchers to conclude that reishi could inhibit tumor growth.

Reishi mushrooms’ anti-cancer abilities were confirmed by a later study conducted by two scientists at Bellarmine University in Kentucky, who found that the polysaccharides and saponins present in the fungi could decrease cell proliferation in cancerous lungs by instigating apoptosis (cell death). The scientists claimed that “detailed biochemical characterization of this ancient herbal remedy could hold tremendous promise for the treatment of lung cancer.”

Slow the aging process

Reishi mushrooms contain an important antioxidant, ganoderic acid, which can inhibit oxidation by neutralizing free radicals. Though unchecked free radical activity is usually associated with degenerative diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, it also accelerates the aging process. In fact, this phenomenon has its own term: the free radical theory of aging (FRTA). Therefore, eating more antioxidant-rich foods like reishi can contribute towards healthier hair, clearer skin, brighter eyes and fewer wrinkles.

Treat cardiovascular conditions

According to Phyllis Bach, author of the book, Prescription for Nutritional Healing, reishi mushrooms have been used to treat numerous cardiovascular conditions (including serious conditions like heart disease) for centuries in their native China. One condition that reishi particularly excels at treating, however, is diabetes.

A Chinese study published in the December 2006 issue of the Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, for example, found that diabetic subjects who were fed reishi extracts over an eight-week period exhibited lowered triglyceride and blood sugar levels, as well as reduced markers of kidney stress, compared to the control group. This research was reinforced by another Chinese study published in 2009 for the journal Phytomedicine, which found that reishi extracts lowered the blood glucose levels of mice within a single week, leading the researchers to believe that the mushrooms inhibit an enzyme used by the liver to manufacture glucose.

Rich in nutrients

Reishi mushrooms have become so well-known for their disease-preventing abilities that people often forget that they make good nutrient supplements in their own right. One grounded reishi mushroom, for instance, supplies our bodies with a large number of important nutrients including fiber, amino acids, protein, steroids, triterpenes, lipids, alkaloids, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and ascorbic acid. Like their fellow medicinal mushrooms, shiitake and maitake, reishi are also a good source of copper, a trace mineral with antioxidant and enzyme-supporting properties.

Note: Unlike other medicinal mushrooms, reishi are difficult for our stomachs to digest even after they’ve been cooked, and are best consumed in extract form. Reishi powders and tinctures are a good choice, though a lot of people also swear by reishi tea. Additionally, stick to organic reishi products cultivated in the United States and Europe, since Chinese reishi are likely to be polluted.

 

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Is Ugli Fruit Good for You, or is it a Hybridized Disaster that Wreaks Havoc on our Health?

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There’s a fruit out there that basically looks like you could develop a rash upon touching it, let alone eating it. Even its name is odd: ugli fruit. In some ways, it resembles an avocado gone rogue, but it’s significantly larger, lumpier, speckled with knobby yellow and green hues and tastes nothing like an avocado.

But, as the saying goes, it’s what’s on the inside that counts

This is definitely true for ugli fruit, a tangelo hybrid from Jamaica that is grapefruit, oranges and tangerines all in one. Despite its grotesque outward appearance, it’s rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and folate and is also low in calories. Additionally, it’s tasty, with a unique combination of sweetness that carries a subtle zing. While these blood pressure-lowering and digestive benefits are wonderful for our health, there are those who consider it shun-worthy because it’s a hybrid.

The hybrid food debate: the experts weigh in

Mark Sisson, a popular nutrition author and Ironman competitor, says “. . . hybridization isn’t some monolith to be universally condemned,” adding that “Hybrids aren’t a big deal either way. Eat them, or don’t, but don’t fret. You’ve got bigger things to be concerned with.” Those “bigger things,” he says, include the vegetable oils foods are cooked in as well as meat quality and the amount of stress in society. Those, he feels, will wreak havoc on our health, not the likes of ugli fruit.

For those likening hybrids to GMOs, he’s adamant it is not the same. He says that the GMO process, with its dangerous herbicides and pesticides, takes away from healthy benefits while the manual hybrid process is one that occurs in nature all the time anyway and is designed to add healthy benefits. Ever hear about pollen, wind and bees?

Then there’s the well-known nutrition expert David Wolfe, who essentially says applauding hybrid fruits or vegetables is nonsense. His main point is that hybrid fruits are missing out on certain nutrients, or as he says, “vital electrics.” In turn, he argues, we are too. He says that such foods are “biologically weak,” and the imbalance creates a fruit that “is confused.”

Ugli fruit and medications: a good mix?

For those concerned that ugli fruit may interfere with their medications since it is partially a grapefruit, not to worry. David Wolfe would be quick to point out that ugli fruit is indeed missing a compound that grapefruits do have. That compound is furanocoumarin, and it’s been shown to be problematic when it comes to interaction with certain medications. As always, it’s best to consult with your doctor when introducing something new in your diet that you may be unsure of.

 

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Studies Show Many Health Benefits from Eating Fermented Foods

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Although the human body is made up of 10 times as many bacteria as human cells, mainstream medicine and an unsuspecting public continue to kill off the bacteria that make up their body indiscriminately through the use of antibiotics and antibacterial products. Meanwhile, studies show that many of the health issues being faced by our modern society are being created by damage caused to our internal flora. At the same time other studies along with human experience are showing the health benefits that come from undoing that damage through the consumption of fermented foods.

The human body is made up of an estimated 10 trillion human cells and 100 trillion bacteria which means we are actually more a collection of bacteria than we are human. However many products commonly used today for cleaning and personal hygiene (antibacterial hand sanitizers for example), as well as antibiotics and chemical laden junk foods are damaging the bacteria that keep us healthy and make us what we are.

Prior to the paranoia over bacteria and the implementation of pasteurization, all traditional cultures not only survived despite bacteria, they actually thrived by making use of bacteria (albeit unknowingly) to create healthy, fermented foods. These fermented foods not only allowed traditional cultures without refrigeration to store foods for the times when food was not plentiful, but they helped keep them strong and healthy by keeping their internal flora balanced and therefore their immune systems strong.

Fermented foods are key to good gut flora

Today there is a resurgence of interest in fermented foods. It is a craze that is growing among those looking for healthier diet options and recent studies back up what those fermented food fans know through experience: fermented food is healthy food! Studies have shown that regular consumption of fermented foods can not only correct digestive problems, but also have positive effects on heart disease, arthritis, obesity, gum disease, mood and more.

Although many associate fermented foods simply with dairy products such as yogurt, kefir and cheese, there is much to learn because the variety of foods that can be fermented is endless. From the more traditional German sauerkraut, Vietnamese kimchi and sourdough breads, to more unusual mixtures such as fermented beetroot with garlic and cheeses made from nuts, there are unlimited ways to add these simple, healthy foods to our diets.

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Got funky Breath? Here are Some Causes – and Fixes

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Got chronic halitosis? If you do, chances are that your friends haven’t told you, because, well, they’re your friends and they don’t want to hurt your feelings. But halitosis — bad breath, as it is more commonly known — is a common problem, so you might have a problem and just not know it.

How common is halitosis? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, about 80 million people suffer from chronic bad breath. But there is good news: Finding a cure for this embarrassing condition is very much possible, if you first know what causes it.

For many people, the solution lies in what they eat; that’s because certain foods, like garlic and onions, are huge contributors to bad breath. What’s more, after they have been digested, odor-causing agents then travel through the bloodstream and are emitted through the lungs. Avoiding these foods — or, at least, cutting back on them — reduces halitosis.

Also, as reported by Guardian Liberty Voice:

Yet other cases of bad breath are due to poor oral hygiene. When food particles are trapped between the teeth, bacteria start to break them down releasing noxious odors. While regular brushing is a good start on preventing this type of bad breath, it is also important to floss, use mouthwash (those containing chlorine dioxide are a good choice) and even brush the tongue. The tongue is often a surprising source of bacteria-induced odor and regular usage of a tongue scraper can make a big difference in how fresh a person’s breath is. Regular visits to the dentist to detect and prevent gum disease are also important.

Some causes have nothing to do with the mouth

If a person has had poor dental hygiene for a long period of time, seeing a dentist is the first step in reversing a history of halitosis. Dentists can spot whether bad breath is being caused by gum disease — a condition that can develop due to poor hygiene. When a person neglects to see his or her dentist for years at a time, coupled with poor brushing/cleaning habits, plaque can build up on teeth, which can then cause a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Toxins from the bacteria then irritate gums, and the entire process leads to funky breath.

Tobacco use can also cause bad breath, especially chewing tobacco, and the only way to fix this cause is to not chew or smoke tobacco. Besides causing a number of other physical health problems, tobacco use can also cause stained teeth, gum irritation and inability to taste foods.

Certain medicines and medical conditions can also cause halitosis. For instance, medications that cause dry mouth can leave a person with unpleasant breath.

Bad breath can also be caused by conditions that have nothing to do with the mouth or teeth. For instance, chronic lung, sinus and throat infections can certainly cause sufferers to have chronically bad breath. In addition, stomach ulcers, acid reflux and hiatal hernia, the latter of which causes regurgitation of food, can also cause bad odors.

So, what to do about the problem? Here are some possible fixes:

–Always practice good dental hygiene. Spend time every morning and evening, before you go to bed, brushing your teeth and flossing with a good floss. The time you put into this will pay off in terms of fresher breath.

–Invest in a good mouthwash. [Editor’s note: This item has been removed by me because the writer’s suggestion was not accurate. Antibacterial mouthwash is useless and full of toxic chemicals.]

–Reconsider your diet. You like spicy foods — got it. But maybe cutting down on them or giving up certain foods altogether is something that you should think about.

–Don’t be afraid to bring it up with your doctor. He or she may be able to help you pinpoint the problem and direct you to a cure.

For his part, our editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, recommends chlorophyll. It’s Mother Nature’s amazing green cleaning machine, and the more you take, the cleaner you get, he says.

 

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Spirulina – the Ultimate Ocean Protein

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Is spirulina the best protein on Earth? Honestly, if a health ‘expert’ tells you that one protein source is better for you than another – be careful. In reality, we all absorb nutrients in a variety of ways due to personal health history, age, food combining, heavy metal toxicity, genetics – the list goes on and on.

Are you protein deficient? On the next NaturalNews Talk Hour, Jonathan Landsman and Dr. Gerald Cyweski, a top expert on large-scale microalgae production talk about one of the most popular superfoods on the planet – spirulina. We’ll discuss the safety concerns surrounding spriulina – especially since the Fukushima nuclear accident; why all brands are not created equal plus much more.

Should everyone be consuming spirulina?

First of all, as a long-time vegetarian, I must admit it’s easy to become protein (or nutrient) deficient on any diet, including the widely-celebrated vegan way of life. Too many vegetarians opt for ‘fake meat’ products – loaded with genetically engineered or heavily processed soy ingredients. These synthetic proteins create hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders plus a host of immune system problems.

Generally speaking, chronic fatigue, emotional stress or any other chronic health condition can be linked to a poor diet. When considering which protein is best for you – always consider the quality first. If you prefer an animal-based protein diet – be sure to eat 100% grass-fed beef or raw (grass-fed) dairy products to avoid the genetically engineered toxins fed to conventionally-raised animals.

Keep in mind, conventionally-raised animal food producers don’t want you to know how their animals are fed. In truth, most of these animals are eating GMOs, getting pumped with antibiotics and fed the lowest-cost (unnatural) animal feed.

Conversely, many vegetarians eat too many processed carbohydrates, synthetic vitamins and minerals and foreign proteins – which leave the body nutrient deprived. Low-quality protein intake can lead to cellular stress; low sex drive; poor brain function, eye health and cardiovascular disease.

If you’re looking for a good source of protein – just 3 grams of high-quality spirulina provides 60% protein, lots of vitamins and minerals plus many phytonutrients for optimal health.

How does spirulina reverse disease conditions?

Spirulina, known as a cyanobacteria or blue-green algae, are found in pristine freshwater lakes, ponds, and rivers. This truly ‘super’ food offers health benefits to almost every organ and bodily function. If you’re looking for cellular regeneration, accelerated wound repair or faster healing time – spirulina can help. By enriching the immune system, you’re less likely to experience colds, flus or other infectious diseases.

In this computer age, many people are looking to improve their eye health. Rich in antioxidants, spirulina is 10 times richer than carrots (per gram) in vitamin A – especially good for nourishing the eyes. Today, we view inflammation as an underlying stress in every disease – spirulina happens to be one of the most potent anti-inflammatory agents found in nature. And, finally, a strong digestive system will help to detoxify the body. Find out how spirulina helps to heal leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases.

This week’s guest: Dr. Gerald Cyweski, the world’s leading authority on microalgae production

Dr. Gerald Cysewski received his doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. As co-founder of Nutrex-Hawaii, Dr. Cysewski has served as a director of the company since 1983 and, until 1996, also served as the Scientific Director. From early 1990 to May 2008, Dr. Cysewski served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and – in October 1990 – was appointed to the position of Chairman of the Board.

In the early 1980s, Dr. Cysewski was a group leader of Microalgae Research and Development at Battelle Northwest, a major contract research and development firm and, before that, was an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara – where he received a two-year grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a culture system for blue-green algae.

Don’t waste your health on cheap protein. The established medical and media outlets want to brainwash people into believing that health insurance will prevent disease. In reality, high-quality (organic) food is the best way to prevent disease and protect the environment.

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Dietary Supplement Users are More Likely to Receive Necessary Nutrients, Make Better Health Decisions

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Often enough, especially recently, Natural News has been fending off mainstream medical attacks on supplements. The mainstream media supports whatever biased and bogus reports mainstream researchers release, probably because a lot of advertising money comes from Big Pharma and the rest of the Medical Mafia.

And also because of what Mike Adams said in a December 17, 2013, Natural News article: “Mainstream media reporters are, by and large, outrageously ignorant about nutrition, isolated nutrients, whole foods, the games Big Pharma plays, the corruption of the science journals and so on.”

The most recent supplement and multivitamin attacks got a lot of favorable press. And they gave the ghoulish Dr. Paul Offit of “babies can tolerate 1,000 vaccinations at the same time” fame another platform for promoting his new book that rails against vitamin and mineral supplements, herbs and Linus Pauling.

Although not with same impact as the attacks on supplements that were featured in several major mainstream outlets, a counterattack has been launched and recently published as a study in the peer-reviewed Nutrition Journal.

Naturally, the lamestream media hasn’t run with the story and probably won’t even walk with it.

Here’s what the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) published

The study was titled “Health Habits and Other Characteristics of Supplement Users.”

CRN conducted a mega-study of 20 different peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and found that, “overall, the evidence suggests that users of dietary supplements are seeking wellness and are consciously adopting a variety of lifestyle habits that they consider to contribute to healthy living.”

CRN noted that over half of US supplement users were covered in the 20 studies they reviewed. Contrary to the notions spread by supplement naysayers, most of those surveyed used supplement-based strategies to bolster better food choices instead of using supplements to replace the nutritional void from poor food choices and sedentary lifestyles.

In other words, supplement users were not ignoring food for nutrition. The mega-study determined that those who took supplements also made better nutritional choices with foods than their non-supplement consumer counterparts, who usually made poorer food choices.

The study revealed that enriching or fortifying foods helped increase nutritional values, but combining supplements with whole foods had more impact toward increasing nutritional intake. There was no mention of organic food comparisons in the CRN press release.

But the study’s bottom line that supplement users were more concerned about taking responsibility for their health and were doing so successfully could be what the medical mafia doesn’t want others to know. Ya think?

The most ignored supplements are the most important – minerals

In 1936, journalist Rex Beach covered a maverick MD’s agricultural research in a lengthy article published in Cosmopolitan magazine. The MD, Dr. Charles Northen, had turned to soil science, because he realized that nutrition is the basis of health, and our crops, even in 1936, were lacking minerals due to poor top soil mineral balances.

He advocated doing what small organic farmers are discovering now, ways to balance the soil’s mineral composition so that synthetic fertilizers and pesticides wouldn’t be necessary, and the crop foods would be more nutritious.

“Bear in mind that minerals are vital to human metabolism and health [emphasis added] – and that no plant or animal can appropriate to itself any mineral which is not present in the soil upon which it feeds,” asserted Dr. Northen. “Lacking vitamins, the system can make some use of minerals, but lacking minerals, vitamins are useless.”

The article was entered into the U.S. Senate archives as Senate Document 264, 74th Congress, 1936. Of course, it went nowhere. Big Ag flourished with the “Green Revolution” in the mid-1940s, and things only got worse until the organic food movement accelerated after the 1960s.

Minerals are even more important than vitamins. For example, most Americans are magnesium deficient, yet magnesium is involved in over 300 cellular metabolic processes. And vitamins don’t perform as well without minerals.

There are macrominerals, measured in milligrams, and trace minerals, measured in micrograms. Both types are essential, because the body doesn’t manufacture them. They should be taken from food, but most food coming from depleted top soils are lacking. So mineral supplements are necessary.

Just what types of mineral supplements are most effective is covered very well by the iconoclastic chiropractor Dr. Tim Shea of the Doctor Within.

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Six Undeniable, Research-Proven Reasons to Drink Green Tea Daily

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There have been many studies on green tea consumption’s health benefits as well as the benefits of green tea extracts. Obviously, drinking green tea has more traditional roots in Asian countries than in western nations.

Drinking green tea has become more popular in western countries, since its health benefits have been increasingly publicized over the past few decades. But along with those benefits, there have been concerns over tea’s fluoride content.

The youngest leaves cultivated properly with buds have the least significant amount of fluoride. Japanese jasmine green tea is made from young leaves grown seasonally at moderately high altitudes, making its fluoride content very low.

Tea bags with older tea leaves, black teas, decaffeinated and instant teas, as well as cheap brick package teas have the highest fluoride concentrations.

So a simple rule is to use high quality, young, loose-leaf green teas, such as jasmine and others grown in areas that don’t irrigate with fluoridated water, which is almost anywhere outside the USA. Besides, the compounds responsible for all the health benefits are fewer in older plant leaves than younger ones.

If you’re still not too keen on drinking substantial amounts of green tea, fluoride and caffeine free green tea extracts are available. Green tea extracts are often used in anticancer studies that prove green tea compounds’ efficacy on fighting cancer.

Research samples supporting green tea health benefits

(1) The 2009 journal, Phytochemistry, published a study that looked into the potential for green tea’s antioxidant catechin compound epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) to inhibit metabolic syndrome, the precursor of type 2 diabetes. The research team discovered promising potential for EGCG to create that effect.

(2) Also in 2009, a Japanese study recorded in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded: “A more frequent consumption of green tea was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in the community-dwelling older population.”

(3) Another Japanese study, recorded in the 2008 Journal of Nutrition, determined from an epidemiological study (large population statistical analysis) and a review of several animal randomized control tests (RCT) that higher green tea consumption has a positive effect on reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.

(4) A New York in vitro (petri dish) study determined that immunoglobulin E (IgE), a principle allergen antibody, was reduced with green tea extracts, further supporting evidence of green tea’s anti-allergy capacity and immune system support. Recorded in the Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science 2010.

(5) This study discusses the cancer preventative properties of green tea that are mediated by EGCG, which induces cancer cell apoptosis (cell suicide) and cell growth arrest. The research team delineate the biochemical activities of green tea’s preventative actions against colon, skin, lung, prostate, and breast cancer.

(6) A Hong Kong, China, study using both in vitro and in vivo human testing determined that green tea provides significant protection against DNA damage, or genoprotective effects. They used a “comet assay” to determine DNA damage from H2O2. Published in the 2011 British Journal of Nutrition.

Conclusion

Even more green tea studies are available if you can handle wading neck deep through intense medical and biological babble. They can be very educational if you take the time to look up some of those esoteric terms.

Consumer discretion is advised for researching, shopping, and sampling green teas for the optimum health benefits with minimal fluoride concerns as discussed earlier.

Green tea extract supplements may pack even more powerful antioxidant, anti-cancer, and immune system support than a few cups of green tea. But if you’re a tea lover, hold the sugar and drink up with the knowledge that you’re supporting your resistance to disease.

 

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