Tuesday, April 18, 2017

How To Use Castor Oil To Dissolve Cataracts And Get 20/20 Vision!

The term cataract refers to the clouding that appears of the normally clear lens of the eye. For those with cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses seems like looking through a frosty window.  Consequently, this makes it difficult for the individual to drive a car at night or read.
The majority of cataracts develops gradually and do not disturb your vision in the very beginning. However, they might interfere with your vision as time passes by. Initially, eyeglasses and stronger light help deal with cataracts, but a cataract surgery is required in case impaired vision affects with your day-to-day activities.

Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts

  • Blurred, clouded, or dim vision
  • Sensitivity to glare and light
  • Difficulty with vision at night
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Need for brighter lightening for reading
  • Frequent changes in contact lens or eyeglass prescription
  • Seeing halos around lights
As for the causes, it is believed that most cataracts develop when injury or aging changes the tissue making up the eye`s lens. Some health problems and genetic disorders are also likely to increase the risk for developing cataracts.  Past eye surgery, eye-related conditions, and conditions like diabetes are also common cause of cataracts. Ultimately, this problem may also arise from long-term use of steroid drugs.
It has been scientifically shown that those with low levels of antioxidants in their bodies are at higher risk of developing cataracts.  Therefore, keeping the glutathione level relatively high helps delay the formation of cataracts and diminish the need for cataract surgery.  Not only glutathione, but other foods high in antioxidants are also solid remedy against cataracts and similar eye problems
Can You Eliminate Cataracts Without Surgery?
While we are being told that surgery is the only option for removing cataracts, and indeed is the best for advanced cases, there are natural ways to eliminate cataracts if you diagnose them in the very beginning.
This one simple ingredient can be successfully used to dissolve cataracts. It has been found that it works for other eye problems as well, including age-related macular degeneration, dry eyes, near and far-sightedness, and conjunctivitis.
Since eye problems are caused by glycation, applying antioxidants or ingesting them heals from the inside out! Natural healers have been aware of this for a very long time now though. Castor oil is packed with antioxidants and this is the reason why it has such a beneficial effect on the eyes.

When And How To Use Castor Oil As An Eyedrop

Apply a drop of pure castor oil into each eye using an eyedropper. It is recommended to do this at bedtime, as your eyesight is likely to be blurred with this application. Hence, closing the eyes overnight allows the oil to do its work as you sleep.
The next morning, there might be crusts at the edge of the eyes. Don’t worry about it as this is the calcification being dissolved for elimination. All you have to do is to rinse it off.
Many people who have tried this remedy claim that their vision has notably improved the next morning, and it keeps getting even better. However, in case you don’t notice any improvement in your vision after using it a few nights in a row, stop using it.  Although it doesn’t do any harm to your eyes, it may not be appropriate for your problem.

Home Remedies for Eye Infection That Actually Work

Eye infections can affect any part of the eye including the inner or outer eyelid or the eyeball. Eye infections can be caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, and any foreign body getting into the eye can cause severe irritation. Very often, people who wear contact lenses are more prone to eye infections. Common symptoms of an eye infection are redness around your eyelids, discharge, itchy or scratchy eyes, watery eyes, and swelling around your eyes.
The eye is a very complex and sensitive organ, therefore, if you get any signs of a serious infection in your eye, you should see an eye doctor. Not getting prompt treatment for an eye infection can lead to permanent eye damage and possible vision loss.
There are many home remedies for eye infections that can be used for mild infections or to complement conventional treatment for severe eye infections. For example, a warm compress with chamomile can help to reduce eye swelling and is effective against pink eye. Even a simple saline eye wash can help to reduce eye infections, soothe irritation, and speed up healing time.
Before we look at the best home remedies for treating an infected eye, it’s important to know a little more about the different kinds of eye infections.

Different Types of Eye Infections

Eye infections can affect one or both eyes at the same time. Depending on the cause of the eye infection, you may have one of these eye infections:
Conjunctivitis or pink eye. This is a common viral or bacterial eye infection that affects the inside of the eyelid or outer layer of the eye. According to Medlineplus, pink eye causes itching, inflammation, discharge, and redness and can be very contagious.1
Eye stye (sty). An eye stye is another common type of eye infection. An eye stye causes a red bump to appear on your eyelid. The stye appears because of bacteria blocking an oil gland in your eyelid. The bump can fill with pus and become red and swollen. The Mayo Clinic says that a stye should go away on its own within a few days.2
Keratitis. A bacterial infection in your eye which can cause pain, vision problems, and watery eyes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, keratitis can also cause discharge and requires prompt medical treatment.3
ShinglesShingles can affect your eye as well as making your skin and nerves sensitive to touch. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) says that the herpes zoster virus can infect the skin around the eye and even the eye itself. This will cause your eye to become very painful, inflamed, and cause redness on your eyelid. If you have shingles around your eye, you should see a doctor immediately.4
Blepharitis. Blepharitis causes your eyelids to become inflamed and it also causes the skin around the eye to become dry. Dr. Brian S. Boxer Wachler from WebMD says that your eyes will probably feel itchy and look swollen. Some home remedies are effective in treating blepharitis infections.5
Orbital cellulitis. A bacterial infection in the tissue around your eyes can cause orbital cellulitis. Ophthalmologist, Dr. Franklin W. Lusby says that the upper and lower eyelid become swollen and inflamed and are often accompanied with a fever, pain when moving the eye, and decreased vision.6 If left untreated, it can lead to blindness, therefore, prompt medical attention for this type of eye infection is essential.
Dacryocystitis. Dacryocystitis is an infection of the tear sac when it becomes blocked. According to Dr. James Garrity from the Mayo Clinic, the eye infection can inflame the area at the corner of your eye near to your nose. This will probably be painful and you may have discharge from the corner of your eye.7
Herpes virus. The same herpes virus that causes cold sores can also cause eye infections. Very often the infection is spread to the eye after touching a cold sore on your face. Dr. Daniel Porter from the American Academy of Ophthalmology says that the herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in the eye can cause pain, redness, problems with your vision, discharge, and sensitivity to light.8

Common Symptoms of Eye Infections

A viral, bacterial, or fungal infection in or around your eye will cause a number of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Mild eye infections can be treated effectively using home remedies to reduce inflammation and help the eye heal properly.
According to Dr. Kathleen Romito from WebMD, some symptoms of eye infections that can be treated at home are:9
  • A feeling of something in your eye.
  • Redness around your eye or eyelids.
  • A small amount of discharge.
  • Watery eyes.
However, if you have other symptoms like pain in your eyes, increased sensitivity to light, fever, impaired vision, and discharge, you should always have your eye evaluated by a doctor.

Common Causes of Eye Infections

There are a number of reasons why eyes become infected and cause redness, swelling, and discharge. For example, irritation from a minor injury (like a scratch) or a chemical getting into your eye can result in germs causing an eye infection.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that people who wear contact lenses are more prone to having eye infections.10
Also, touching your eyes with unclean hands can spread germs and viruses to your eyes that can cause infections on your eyelids, eyeball, and tear sacs.

Home Remedies for Eye Infections

Effective treatment for infections in and around the eye require getting rid of the infection-causing germs and soothing any inflammation. It’s also important to always wash your hands before applying any remedy to your eye. This will help to prevent spreading any more infection to your eye.

Warm compress

A warm compress can treat an eye infection like an eye stye or conjunctivitis and help clear the infection quicker. The warmth from the compress helps to increase blood flow to the infected eye which may speed up the healing process.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend using a warm compress to treat pink eye infections. This can also be useful to soothe the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.11
How to use:
To help get rid of an eye infection using a warm compress, this is what you should do:
  • Soak a clean, lint-free cloth in warm water and wring out the excess.
  • Keep your eyes closed and apply the warm compress to the infected eye several times a day.
  • Repeat until signs of your eye infection have gone completely.
If you have conjunctivitis in both eyes, you should use different clean cloths for each eye. This is to prevent spreading infection from one eye to the other.
If your eye is inflamed, you can also try a soothing cool compress for instant relief from itchy, scratchy eyes.

Tea bags

Tea bags are a great way to help treat an eye infection at home. Old tea bags for eye infections make great compresses and tea contain soothing properties to help reduce inflammation and irritation caused by eye infections. Tea bags can also help to drain pus from eye styes and prevent the infection getting worse.
For example, the journal Archives of Dermatology published a study into the therapeutic effects of green tea. The researchers found that green tea contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties than can help treat various skin disorders.12
How to use:
It is very easy to use black or green tea bags as a home remedy to help treat mild eye infections. This is what you should do:
  • Dip a tea bag in hot water and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Press out excess moisture and make sure that the tea bag isn’t hot.
  • Place onto your infected eye and hold for a few minutes at a time.
  • Repeat the tea bag remedy every day until the irritation, discharge, and any other signs of the eye infection have gone for good.


Chamomile is another natural remedy for treating eye infections, especially pink eye and eye styes. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile help to clear infections and soothe inflamed eyes.
A study from 2010 into the anti-inflammatory effect of chamomile found that it is an effective treatment for eye infections and inflammation. Chamomile is used to clear infections in tear sacs, get rid of the symptoms of conjunctivitis, and treat other eye disorders.13
The University of Maryland reports that a chamomile compress can help to fight pink eye infections.14
How to use:
You can also make a therapeutic eye compress from chamomile tea bags to help get rid of the eye infection quicker. All you have to do is follow the instructions on using regular tea bags for eye infections.
A word of warning: some people have an allergy to chamomile. Therefore, if you have allergic conjunctivitis, you should use an alternative natural remedy for your eye infection.


You can treat conjunctivitis naturally by using a natural remedy called eyebright (Euphrasia). Eyebright is a natural herb which has traditionally been used for treating eye infections naturally. Eyebright can also help to protect your eyesight and prevent vision problems.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that a single drop of eyebright 3 times a day can produce “very good” results when treating conjunctivitis.15 Another study found that eyebright is effective for eye infections because of its antimicrobial properties. Eyebright killed off various bacterial strains that cause eye infections.16
How to use:
The easiest way to use eyebright as a natural remedy for eye infections is to purchase homeopathy euphrasia eye drops. You should put one drop in your infected eye 3 times a day until the infection is completely gone.


Many people don’t know that you can use raw natural honey to treat various eye disorders. Honey contains powerful antibacterial properties that have a wide range of health benefits. The best type of honey for treating eye infections is Manuka honey. However, if you can’t get Manuka honey, then you can also use organic honey as an effective natural eye salve.
A study from 2016 which was conducted in Germany found that honey is a natural eye remedy for eye diseases. Honey was found to help prevent dry eye disorders and help kill off infection-causing bacteria in the eye.17
How to use:
To help quickly reduce irritation and inflammation caused by an eye infection, use some honey to speed up the healing process. This is all you have to do:
  • Mix equal parts of honey with distilled water.
  • Using a cotton ball, apply the natural honey remedy to the infected eye.
  • Use 2-3 times a day until the eye infection clears and you no longer have any irritation.

Saline eye wash

You can relieve discomfort in your eye from an eye infection by rinsing your eye with a saline solution to get quick relief. Salt helps to balance the pH levels in your eye, thus reducing itching and irritation. Saline solutions are also naturally antibacterial and that helps to remove infections and also prevent them spreading.
The journal Annals of Emergency Medicine reported that a warm saline solution is the best kind of solution to rinse your eyes. A warm saline solution helps to soothe the eye better than a solution at room temperature.18
How to use:
To rinse your eye with a salt water solution to help get rid of an eye infection quicker and soothe irritation, this is what you should do:
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of water.
  • Boil the salt solution and leave it to cool until it is warm.
  • Use an eye bath to rinse the infected eye.
  • Repeat rinsing your eye with the salt water remedy 2-3 times a day until all symptoms of the eye infection are gone.

Colloidal silver

Some people have found colloidal silver to be a natural treatment for conjunctivitis or eye styes. Colloidal silver contains tiny particles of silver which have an antibacterial effect when used on the skin. Eye drops containing colloidal silver can help to remove infections from your eye.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reported that colloidal silver is used to prevent conjunctivitis.19  
How to use:
You should buy colloidal silver from a health store or online. The instructions for using colloidal silver for treating conjunctivitis are as follows:
  • Put 1-2 drops of colloidal silver in your infected eye and blink to distribute the solution.
  • Repeat 2 times a day.
  • Continue using until the pink eye infection clears up.
If you have itching and swelling around your eye due to a mild eye infection, you can also use colloidal silver cream to relieve the discomfort.

How to Prevent Eye Infections

One of the best ways to prevent eye infections is to use proper eye hygiene. One of the basic principles to stop germs spreading to your eyes is to wash your hands before touching them. This is also very important if you wear contact lenses.
Here are some practical ways to prevent infections on your eyelid, eye, or the area surrounding your eye:
  • Avoid touching your eyes and face. If you have to, wash your hands thoroughly beforehand.
  • When treating eye infections, always wash your hands before and after applying remedies.
  • Don’t share towels, face cloths, or pillows.
  • Protect your eyes with glasses or goggles from dust, chemicals, and other irritants.
  • If you wear contact lenses, always remove them before going to sleep and follow the directions on the cleaning solution carefully.

Eye Infections – When to See a Doctor

Your eye is a very delicate organ in your body and can become infected easily. Prompt attention for any symptom of an eye infection will help to stop the infection spreading and becoming worse. However, some eye infections can become very serious and can even cause permanent vision impairment or loss.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend seeing your health care provider promptly if your eye infection causes any of the following:20
  • Moderate to severe pain in one or both of your eyes.
  • The redness in or around your eye becomes very intense.
  • Symptoms of an eye infection don’t improve within 24 hours after treating it at home.
  • You develop sensitivity to light.
  • Your vision is blurred or impaired.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Lifestyle and home remedies for Mental Disorder Patients

In most cases, a mental illness won't get better if you try to treat it on your own without professional care. But you can do some things for yourself that will build on your treatment plan:
  • Stick to your treatment plan. Don't skip therapy sessions. Even if you're feeling better, don't skip your medications. If you stop, symptoms may come back. And you could have withdrawal-like symptoms if you stop a medication too suddenly. If you have bothersome drug side effects or other problems with treatment, talk to your doctor before making changes.
  • Avoid alcohol and drug use. Using alcohol or recreational drugs can make it difficult to treat a mental illness. If you're addicted, quitting can be a real challenge. If you can't quit on your own, see your doctor or find a support group to help you.
  • Stay active. Exercise can help you manage symptoms of depression, stress and anxiety. Physical activity can also counteract the effects of some psychiatric medications that may cause weight gain. Consider walking, swimming, gardening or any form of physical activity that you enjoy. Even light physical activity can make a difference.
  • Don't make important decisions when your symptoms are severe. Avoid decision-making when you're in the depth of mental illness symptoms, since you may not be thinking clearly.
  • Determine priorities. You may reduce the impact of your mental illness by managing time and energy. Cut back on obligations when necessary and set reasonable goals. Give yourself permission to do less when symptoms are worse. You may find it helpful to make a list of daily tasks or use a planner to structure your time and stay organized.
  • Learn to adopt a positive attitude. Focusing on the positive things in your life can make your life better and may even improve your health. Try to accept changes when they occur, and keep problems in perspective. Stress management techniques, including relaxation methods, may help.

Natural and Herbal Supplements for Common Mental Disorders By Jane Collingwood

Many medications for common mental disorders, although helpful, can cause unpleasant side effects that discourage patients from taking their prescribed dose. In recent years, there has been a great deal of interest in natural substances to treat the symptoms of depressionanxiety and PMS, either to enhance the effects of prescription drugs or to use alone.
Studies show that a lack of certain nutrients may contribute to the development of mental disorders. Notably, essential vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids are often deficient in the general population in America and other developed countries, and are exceptionally deficient in patients suffering from mental disorders.
Many experts believe that nutrition has the potential to affect the symptoms and severity of depression. Supplements including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and E, and folate have been investigated.
Omega-3 fatty acids such as eicosapentaeoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) might have an impact on depression because these compounds are widespread in the brain. The evidence is not fully conclusive, but omega-3 supplements are an option. One to two grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily is the generally accepted dose for healthy individuals, but for patients with mental disorders, up to three grams has been shown to be safe and effective.
Supplements that contain amino acids have been found to reduce symptoms, possibly because they are converted to neurotransmitters in the brain that help alleviate depression. For example, serotonin is made using the amino acid tryptophan. Dietary supplements that contain tyrosine or phenylalanine, later converted into dopamine and norepinephrine, are also available.
Deficiencies of magnesium and the B vitamin folate have been linked to depression. Trials suggest that patients treated with 0.8mg of folic acid per day or 0.4mg of vitamin B12 per day will have reduced depression symptoms. Patients treated with 125 to 300mg of magnesium with each meal and at bedtime have shown rapid recovery from major depression.
Experts have looked at a range of herbal remedies and supplements for individuals with anxiety. The evidence supports the effectiveness of kava for mild to moderate anxiety disorders. Kava does, however, impact on other medicines metabolized by the liver.
St John’s wort, valerian, Sympathyl (a mixture of California poppy, hawthorn and elemental magnesium) and passionflower have been investigated for anxiety but the studies have generally been small or inconsistent. Lower than average omega-3 levels have been reported in patients with anxiety, and supplementation with omega-3s appears to improve some symptoms. Zinc and chromium supplements may be helpful, as well as calcium and vitamin B6.
Trials of women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) suggest that vitamin B6 “relieves overall premenstrual and depressive premenstrual symptoms.” Dietary studies also indicate that calcium taken at 1,200mg per day may be useful.
Four hundred IU per day of vitamin E has shown some effectiveness, and several other supplements are under investigation. These include magnesium, manganese and tryptophan.
Calcium supplementation is another promising option. Fluctuations in calcium levels may help explain some features of PMS. Tiredness, appetite changes, and depressive symptoms were significantly improved in one study of women receiving calcium, compared with placebo.
People with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) often benefit from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), so the nutrients that increase serotonin levels are likely to reduce symptoms. Again, the amino acid tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin, and tryptophan supplements can increase serotonin levels and treat OCD.
St. John’s Wort has also been shown to benefit OCD symptoms. A dose of 900mg per day of St. John’s Wort has been found to improve OCD symptoms and is less likely to cause side effects, but it can interfere with some prescription medicines.
Dr. Shaheen E. Lakhan of the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation in Los Angeles says, “There is tremendous resistance from clinicians to using supplements as treatments, mostly due to their lack of knowledge on the subject. Others rather use prescription drugs that the drug companies and the FDA researches, monitors and recalls if necessary.
“However, for some patients, prescription drugs do not have the efficacy of nutritional supplements and they sometimes have far more dangerous side effects. So for clinicians to avoid these supplement therapies because of a lack of knowledge and unwillingness to use treatments not backed by drug companies and the FDA, they are compromising their patients’ recovery.”
Dr. Lakhan believes that psychiatrists should be aware of nutritional therapies, appropriate doses, and possible side effects in order to provide alternative and complementary treatments for their patients. “This may reduce the number of noncompliant patients suffering from mental disorders that choose not to take their prescribed medications,” he adds.
Lakhan, S. E. and Vieira, K. F. Nutritional therapies for mental disorders. Nutrition Journal, published online January 21, 2008.
Saeed, S. A., Bloch, R. M. and Antonacci, D. J. Herbal and dietary supplements for treatment of anxiety disorders. American Family Physician, Vol. 76, August 2007, pp. 549-56.
Wyatt, K., Dimmock, P. and Jones, P. Poor-quality studies suggest that vitamin B(6) use is beneficial in premenstrual syndrome. The Western Journal of Medicine, Vol. 172, April 2000, p. 245.

Top 9 Herbs for Mental Health

Ever find yourself unable to remember what you did just two minutes ago? Or maybe you experience brain fog more often than you’d like. These days it seems to happen more frequently to all of us. Information overload, stress, and even the assortment of environmental toxins which assault us on a daily basis can impact brain function. While I recommend diet, exercise, and reducing electronic activity as the best ways to get the brain back to working order, sometimes we need a little help to restore mental balance. The following nine herbs have a traditional history of promoting mental health.

1. Mulungu Bark

The indigenous people of South and Central America have used mulungu for centuries to calm nerves, improve mood, and aid sleep. Erythravine, one of mulungu’s active alkaloids, may also help reduce anxiety and protect brain function. [1] [2] Flavonoids present in this herb are known antioxidants and have been shown to support cardiovascular health and a healthier brain.

2. Bacopa

Commonly known as Brahmi, Ayurvedic medicine uses bacopa to improve memory, reduce stress, and support cognitive function. Researchers observed cortisol — the body’s stress hormone– decreased in study participants who took bacopa compared with those taking a placebo. [3] Additional research indicates it may support the physical health of brain cells and offer some protection against brain aging and age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. [4]

3. Mucuna pruriens

Mucuna contains L. dopa, a biochemical precursor to several neurotransmitters. One of those neurotransmitters is dopamine, and increasing dopamine levels may improve brain function and support memory. This effect probably contributes to Mucuna’s popularity as an anti-aging herb. Antioxidant properties linked to Mucuna also discourage inflammation and suggest protective effects for neurons. [5]

4. Rhodiola Rosea

This traditional medicinal herb contains two powerful natural compounds that have been proven to play a role in brain health. Salidroside is one of these compounds and is known as a potent antioxidant. Rosin is the other, and this compound appears to reduce inflammation of neural cells, possibly protecting against neurotoxicity. [6] The results of one Swedish study showed that both of these compounds reduced fatigue, improved mood, and lowered stress hormones. [7] This may lead to better mental performance and a more positive response to stress and anxiety.

5. Zizyphus jujuba

Also known as “sour date,” Zizyphus jujuba is one of the many herbs that may support mental health while encouraging a good night’s rest. Day-to-day activities can be draining on energy levels, not to mention mental strength. The plant’s saponins have demonstrated sedative effects on animal models, possibly supporting relaxation. [8]

6. Passiflora incarnata (passionflower)

This traditional herbal sedative has been used as a sleep aid for years. Passionflower also appears to help relieve anxiety, a major cause of sleep disturbance for many individuals. Without a good night’s sleep, mental acuity becomes compromised and memory also degrades. Initial studies indicate consuming low doses of passionflower in a tea helps healthy adults achieve better sleep. [9]

7. Scutellaria lateriflora (skullcap)

Native to North America, this plant has a history of use for calming nerves, easing stress, lifting the mood, and aiding sleep. Research suggests it possesses mood enhancing effects and its antioxidant properties may provide significant protection for the brain against the damaging effects of inflammation. [10] [11]

8. Kava

The clear oceans and sandy beaches of the South Pacific may be ideal for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. For those of us unable to get there at the moment, kava may offer a positive alternative. Used traditionally to relieve stress, anxiety, and insomnia, kava contains compounds known as kavalactones. These compounds offer non-opiate and non-narcotic alternatives against anxiety. Some studies indicate kavalactones perform as well as certain pharmaceutical drugs. [12]

9. Saffron

Saffron, also known as Crocus sativus, does more than add color and flavor to food. It has a long history of use for mood disorders, stress, and anxiety. Studies have also found it as effective as antidepressants for lifting mood and relieving anxiety, significantly outperforming placebo in clinical trials. [13]

Further Approaches to Brain Health

Herbs aren’t the only way to keep the brain sharp and running smoothly. Two naturally-occurring minerals do wonders for memory, focus, and overall health. These minerals are:

Lithium Orotate

This mineral protects the brain from the damaging effects of environmental toxins. In doing so, lithium may offer anti-aging benefits, and studies have shown it to increase grey matter in the brain. [14] It also supports a positive mood and positive responses to stress and anxiety. Unlike other lithium drug forms, lithium orotate easily passes through cell walls for greater bioavailablity to mitochondria, glia, and lysosomes. This means smaller doses work better, making it safe and thereby reducing the chance of side effects.

Zinc Orotate

Dr. Hans Nieper discovered zinc orotate was more easily assimilated by the human body. This neutrally-charged form of zinc crosses cell membranes, getting where it’s needed most to support hormone production and balance, metabolism, tissue growth, and nerve function.

A Final Thought

You can easily find many of these herbs and minerals in individual preparations, although formulations which combine extracts of these plant materials increase the overall effect on mood and mental health. The reason is simple: the human body isn’t a simple machine with an easy solution for problems, especially those involving mood and mental health. Rest, sleep, and exercise remain the best place to start for reducing feelings of fatigue and mental cloudiness. Sometimes the body needs help to restore balance and find shelter from environmental toxins.
Have you tried any of these herbs? How well did they work for you? Please share your experience with us in the comments!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

4 Factors and Prevention Strategies for Cancer Metastasis

Increasing mortality rates associated with cancer metastasis has significantly impacted the cancer research community over the last decade. The spread of cancer is complex and involves a domino effect of influences which promote an environment for cancer cells to thrive.
Cyclic series of events innately drive cancer. Stress leads to cellular damage. Untreated damage creates more inflammation and genetic abnormalities that intensify the ability for cancer to develop. Inflammation breaks down healthy cell signaling allowing cancer cells to form tumors and spread throughout the body (metastasize).
This article will cover the 4 key factors that cause cancer metastasis in the body. You will also learn natural ways to combat these influences from wreaking havoc within your cells and how to detect cancer early.

Factor #1: Chronic Inflammation

One of the key driving forces behind cancer metastasis is systemic inflammation. It is suspected that chronic inflammation is the primary cause of 25% of all human cancers. Inflammatory conditions contribute to the ability of cancer cells to rapidly grow, form tumors, and even resist cancer treatment drugs.
Inflammation increases tissue damage and is a major cause of epigenetic changes. While scientist once thought that the genes we were given at birth were unchangeable, the field of epigenetics provides evidence that environmental factors we are exposed to (ie. nutrition, toxins, stress) can turn genes off and on causing genetic abnormalities.
Genetic alterations result in the following consequences:
  • Activation of EMT Activity: EMT (epithelial-mesenchymal transition) activity is turned on, triggering a series of pathways that maintain chronic inflammation. EMT pathways boost tumor cell migration by breaking down adhesive anchors to cancers cells, thus increasing their ability to move and invade new tissue.
  • Transcriptional Changes: Many transcription factors that act as on/off switches for the expression of genes are altered under conditions of inflammation. These controlling factors have the ability to repress E-cadherin activity normally responsible for maintaining the adhesive properties that binds a cell to a location.
  • Immune Cell Secretion: Inflammatory cells like lymphocytes and neutrophils infiltrate tumors causing the release of other cellular agents that promote metastasis including cytokines and growth factors.
  • Overexpression of LOX: LOX or lysyl oxidase changes enzymatic activity associated with cellular adhesion. As a result, increased LOX expression induces several of the influences mentioned above including EMT activation and the suppression of E-cadherin activity.

Factor #2: Modified Nrf2 Signaling

Nrf2 (nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2) signaling is involved in numerous functions in the body associated with healing. Nrf2 aids in DNA repair and has anti-inflammatory properties that regulate cellular adhesion. It also regulates enzyme activity and apoptosis and otherwise acts as a super antioxidant defense system.
This transcription factor is intrinsically involved in maintaining homeostasis throughout the body via stress management. Three major stress molecules including reactive oxygen species (ROS), hydrogen peroxide (H202), and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) are toxic to biological systems and are regulated by Nrf2.
Oxidative stressors ultimately degrade Nrf2 preventing its ability to block genetic mutations from occurring while aiding cells to appropriately manage stress.

Factor #3: Secretion of Connective Tissue-Dissolving Enzymes

The overexpression of metalloproteinases or MMPs is indicative of cancer metastasis. MMPs are a family of enzymes that break down the extracellular matrix within a cell. Typically, a healthy cell utilizes this connective network of tissue to communicate with other cells and its environment while also providing structure and various physiological functions.
When this matrix is degraded, there is an increased risk of malignant tumor growth. This is due to increased cellular permeability, response changes to surrounding stimuli including angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth), and increased systemic inflammation. Of the 21 MMPs recognized in the development of chronic conditions and disease, a select few are used as biomarkers in identifying aggressive cancer types.
MMP-13 activity is prevalent in metastatic breast cancers, urinary cancer, as well as skin, head, and neck cancers. MMP-11 is evident in invasive breast and skin cancer. MMP-2 and MMP-9 play a key role in cancer malignancy because they are associated with increasing tumor growth.
Specifically, these MMPs support metastatic growth factors like angiogenesis. They act as traffic controllers sending signals to inflammatory compounds and light the path to receptors. Once MMPs bind to these receptors they activate numerous other metastatic influences.

Factor #4: Angiogenesis

The development of new blood vessels to an abnormal cell naturally promotes aggressive tumor development. Angiogenesis provides a cancer cell with adequate blood flow and nutrients required to invade new tissue.
This energy fuels a tumor to create biological changes once it invades and interacts with endothelial cells. Thin layers of endothelial cells lines blood and lymphatic vessels. Once interaction with these cells is initiated, cancer has the ability to circulate throughout the body and invade distant tissue.
As infection increases and the cancer grows, conditions of hypoxia increases, further inducing LOX and giving rise to a cascade of adverse but favorable conditions to the tumor. Chronic inflammation leads to inflamed cells, prolonged oxidative stress, and the inability of the body to identify and eliminate the infectious cancer growth.

Cancer Tumor Prevention Strategies

The following strategies will increase the chemoprotective properties of your cells and limit cellular toxicity that stimulates cancer metastasis.

#1. Limit MMP Activity

Improving the regulation of MMP activity in cells is essential to reducing the breakdown of connective tissue within a cell and combating cancer metastasis. Some of the best dietary compounds that inhibit MMP activity and promote detoxification in the body are:
  • Polyphenols: EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) found in green tea, resveratrol in dark grapes and berries, and curcumin-active turmeric
  • Flavonoids: Quercetin, predominantly found in citrus fruits as well as apples
  • Isothiocyanates: Sulfur-containing compounds including sulforaphane concentrated in broccoli and a variety of cruciferous veggies
Incorporating more of these antioxidants into your diet has been shown to effectively treat colon, prostate, kidney, and liver cancer − to name only a few. Simultaneous dietary phytochemicals provide significant cancer protective benefits to healthy cells and create cytotoxic effects to tumor cells. You can also support cellular integrity by consuming foods rich in zinc, magnesium, and vitamin C.

#2. Consume an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Consuming an anti-inflammatory chemopreventive diet is the best way to prevent the aggressive behavior of cancer metastasis. These nutrients inhibit inflammatory enzymes and suppress carcinogenic activity:
  • Berberine: Natural antibiotic with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Found in goldenseal root and Oregon grape root
  • Luteolin: Suppresses cancer by stimulating enzymes and supports elimination of toxins. Found in chamomile tea, celery, and green peppers
  • Curcumin: Blocks TNF (tumor necrosis factor) therefore decreasing tumor growth activity. Active component in turmeric
  • Kaempferol and Quercetin: Inhibits uric acid synthesis. Abundant in blackberries, spinach, onions, and cucumbers
  • Apigenin: Scavenges free radicals and supports detoxification pathways. Concentrated in onions, oranges, and grapefruit
The key to preventing chronic inflammation and suppressing cancer growth is to limit foods high in sugar and starch. Genetically modified grains have flooded the marketplace and fuel cancer growth by supplying a steady feed of glucose.
Rather than feeding cancer, starve it by consuming foods that help maintain low blood sugar levels. These foods include 100% grass-fed beef and raw cheeses, and organic pasture-raised poultry. Adding low-carb fermented foods and beverages to your diet will help to provide an alkalizing environment in your tissue and organs inhibiting the development and spread of cancer.

#3. Support the NRF2 Pathway

It is critical to strengthen the anti-inflammatory mechanisms regulated by Nrf2 signaling in order to protect your cells against oxidative damage and free radical activity. This is why the nutrients abundant in a plant-based diet have such powerful chemopreventive properties. Phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables prevent cancer development by upregulating antioxidant enzymes and detoxification processes.
Dietary phytochemicals support the Nrf2 defenses in the following ways:
  • Inhibit the release of inflammatory promoting agents that induce metastasis
  • Protect against genetic mutations and epigenetic alterations
  • Turn off factors that keep cancer cells in a constant state of proliferation thus shutting down their ability to grow and divide
  • Shut down transcription factors responsible for turning off the body’s defense mechanisms to fight against infection
Key dietary compounds that support the Nrf2 Pathway include curcumin, resveratrol, green tea extract, and sulforaphane, among others.

Alternative Cancer Testing: Thermography

The efficacy and risks involving cancer screening is a topic globally debated. Conventional screening methods are often invasive, are a significant financial burden, increase emotional stress, expose patients to unnecessary radiation, and can even promote cancer metastasis.
An affordable and more accurate form of identifying cancer growth in the body is thermography testing. Thermography screening offers a painless and safe route for analyzing physiological changes in the body that characterize cancer growth. This diagnostic tool creates a digital map of heat patterns identifying areas where increased blood flow may indicate the presence of infection.
Unlike other diagnostic cancer screening which may only identify anatomical changes and the presence of a tumor, thermography screening provides early detection from the start of cancer growth. Any asymmetrical thermal patterns of the body provide information about abnormal vascular function helping to identify cancer before it develops the ability to metastasize.