Raw Honey

Honeycomb on wooden board with honey spoon and flowers

Raw honey is best described as honey “as it exists in the beehive.” It is extracted from the beehive, strained and poured straight into the bottle, bypassing commercial processing methods. Raw and regular honey differ mainly in how they are processed. Raw honey contains pollen, may be more nutritious and does not have any added sugars or sweeteners, both of which may be present in commercial honeys. Most of the health benefits of honey can be attributed to its antioxidants and enzymes. Because commercial honeys are processed, they may have lower levels of antioxidants. Raw and organic honey are subject to different regulations in different countries. In the US, there is no rule that organic honey can’t be heated or processed, which means it may not be raw. While raw honey is safe for healthy adults, it can be dangerous for infants and pregnant women. It may contain spores of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, which can grow in the gut of developing infants.

Raw Honey Is More Nutritious

Raw honey contains a wide variety of nutrients. It has approximately 22 amino acids, 31 different minerals and a wide range of vitamins and enzymes. However, the nutrients are only present in trace amounts. What’s most impressive about raw honey is that it contains nearly 30 types of bioactive plant compounds. These are called polyphenols, and they act as antioxidants. Many studies have linked these antioxidants with impressive health benefits, including reduced inflammation and a lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Conversely, commercial honeys may contain fewer antioxidants due to processing methods. For example, one study compared the antioxidants in raw and processed honey from a local market. They found that the raw honey contained up to 4.3 times more antioxidants than the processed variety.

Most Regular Honey Doesn’t Contain Any Pollen

Bees travel from flower to flower collecting nectar and pollen. The nectar and pollen are taken back to the beehive, where they are packed into the honeycomb and eventually become a food source for the bees. Bee pollen is surprisingly nutritious and contains over 250 substances, including vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, micronutrients and antioxidants. In fact, the German Federal Ministry of Health recognizes bee pollen as a medicine.

Bee pollen has been linked to many impressive health benefits. Studies have found that it may help fight inflammation and improve liver function. It also has properties that may help fight against heart disease and stroke. Unfortunately, processing methods like heat treatment and ultrafiltration can remove bee pollen. For example, one unofficial study analyzed 60 samples of commercial honey brands in the US and discovered that over 75% of all samples contained no pollen.

Regular Honey May Have Hidden Sugars or Sweeteners

Approximately 400 million pounds of honey are consumed in the US each year. Because honey is so popular, it’s hard to meet this high demand from local suppliers alone. This is why approximately 70% of the honey consumed in the US is imported. However, there is serious concern worldwide about regular honey being contaminated with sugar or other sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup.

Risks of Eating Raw Honey

Raw honey can contain spores of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria is especially harmful to babies, children under the age of one and pregnant women. It may cause botulism poisoning, which results in life-threatening paralysis. However, botulism is very rare among healthy adults and older children. As the body ages, the gut develops enough to stop the botulinum spores from growing. That said, if you experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea soon after eating raw honey, you should see your doctor immediately.

 

References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/raw-honey-vs-regular
  2. https://draxe.com/the-many-health-benefits-of-raw-honey/
  3. https://www.benefits-of-honey.com/raw-honey.html
  4. https://blog.paleohacks.com/raw-honey/
  5. http://www.naturallivingideas.com/raw-honey-benefits/
  6. https://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/guest-authors-on-natural-health/raw-honey-the-complete-story
  7. https://www.thehoneyjarhome.com/what-is-raw-honey
  8. https://www.reallyrawhoney.com/
  9. https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-organic-locally-grown-raw-honey/
  10. https://www.organics.org/differences-between-honey-and-raw-organic-honey/

Hemp Wick

These braided wicks are made with natural fibers of hemp (Cannabis sativa) instead of cotton. Hemp wicks provide for a hotter burning wick and increased rigidity. Used with all types of waxes.

BENEFITS OF USING HEMP WICK FOR CANDLE-MAKING

So let’s say you have found the perfect wax for your candles and you think you’re ready to start, but wait, you forgot the wick – the part you actually light and burn! Here’s the thing, most people don’t give much thought about the wick, but that’s a mistake. Most wicks are made cheaply and with unknown materials… so you shouldn’t just choose any wick!

Luckily, you don’t need to settle for these generic wicks anymore. We have hand-crafted a different kind of wick from natural and organic materials to provide you with an option that you can rely on to keep the fire burning. So before choosing your next wick, consider this:

Stay organic: hemp wick is non-GMO, contains no toxic chemicals, no acids, no pesticides, no PVC, no BPA, no formaldehyde, no dioxin, and no heavy metals. You’ll be using 100% organic hemp twine, worry-free.

No flair ups: The even layer of beeswax insures that the flame will burn uniformly and melt your candle wax in smooth, even layers.

Free your imagination with different candles: One strand of hemp wick works great for making small candles or tea lights, but braid or twist multiple strands together for a larger flame that burns slower – sure to work with a variety of candle sizes and proven to make your candles last longer.

No fuss wick placement: The rigidity of hemp wick insures that it will stay straight and make it easy to attach to whatever candle tab/holder you use to anchor your wick.

Breathe naturally: Burning beeswax actually cleans your surroundings by producing negative ions which help remove pollution from the air. This is a helpful bonus for those who struggle with asthma or respiratory issues.

The Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana

It’s easy to get confused when discussing the differences between hemp and marijuana, two types of the cannabis plant. With so many unaware that hemp and marijuana are actually different varietals of cannabis, the two terms are often mistakenly applied interchangeably, despite the very distinct differences that exist between the two related plants.

It’s important to first understand that hemp and marijuana are both members of the same species of plant, Cannabis sativa L. However, the two plants are unique in their chemical makeup, resulting in their being used for very different purposes.

Appearance: Marijuana looks contrastingly different from hemp. When you observe their leaves, marijuana’s shape tends to either be broad leafed, a tight bud, or look like a nugget with orange hairs.  Hemp, on the other hand, has skinnier leaves that’s concentrated at the top. Few branches or leaves exist below the top part of the plant. When you observe the plants from afar, marijuana looks like a short fat bush. Hemp is typically skinnier and taller (up to 20 ft). At times, it almost looks like long ditchweed – hemp was actually found to grow among weeds in Nebraska. In general, when you compare a marijuana farm with those of industrial hemp, you’ll notice that they are clearly very different from one another.

Chemical Makeup: The main difference between the two is in its chemical composition, specifically in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the chemical responsible marijuana’s psychological effects. An average batch of marijuana contains anywhere from 5-20% THC content. Some premium marijuana can have up to 25-30% THC. Hemp, on the other hand, has a max THC level of 0.3%, essentially making it impossible to feel any psychoactive effect or get a “high”. This threshold is heavily regulated in other countries that have legalized hemp. Hemp also has high cannabidiol (CBD) content that acts as THC’s antagonist, essentially making the minimal amount of THC useless.

Cultivation environment: The environment in which hemp and marijuana are grown is strikingly different. Hemp is grown closely together (as close as 4 inches apart) and are typically grown in large multi-acre plots. It can also grow in variety of climates and its growth cycle is 108-120 days. Unlike hemp, marijuana requires a carefully controlled, warm, and humid atmosphere for proper growth. Its growth cycle only 60-90 days. Medical cannabis also cannot be grown too close to each other. They are typically grown 6 feet apart. If, somehow, marijuana grows among (or close to) a hemp field, the hemp’s pollen would immediately ruin the marijuana crop, diluting marijuana’s psychoactivity.

How Hemp got grouped with Marijuana

In the 1970s, President Nixon declared a “War on Drugs” and signed into law the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This law established a set of banned drugs and created the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It also unintentionally outlawed one of the world’s oldest domesticated crop, hemp. This not only led to the demise of hemp, but also an increased misconception of the plant.

In the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana was grouped with all types of cannabis and was made illegal to grow in the US. This, unfortunately, classified hemp as a drug even though it doesn’t include any of the chemicals that make marijuana a drug. Learn more about the legality of hemp in the United States.

The Health Dangers of Candle Wicks

One of the main concerns over candles, besides the scents, is the wick. Different wicks are used for different purposes and they can be divided into two main categories: cored and non-cored wicks. Non-cored wicks are usually made of a braided or twisted cotton and considered the safest to burn.

Cored wicks are usually made of cotton around a paper or metal core. Zinc, tin, and lead are standard compounds used in its composition. Burning candles with lead-cored wicks is now known to cause lead poisoning, and there are similar concerns about zinc-cored wicks. In 1974, the National Candle Association of the U.S. voluntarily stopped using lead-cored wicks because of risks with airborne lead. Unfortunately, many countries outside of North America still produce candles using dangerous wicks.

In 2000, the Public Citizen’s Health Research Group published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association that indicated candles with wicks containing lead were available at 12 different stores in the Washington-Baltimore area. Testing showed that the candle containing the least lead would, during three hours of burning time, produce enough air lead concentration so that a normally active six-year old would exceed the recommended daily lead limit for children in 45 minutes. The authors concluded that there is no reliable method to distinguish lead-containing wicks from other metal-cored wicks.

The Health Dangers of Candle Wax

The type of wax the candle is made of and how the candle is burned significantly affects air quality. A candle burned in a draft with a smoky, guttering flame will be emitting particulate matter in every direction. If you prefer a candle that has a metal-cored wick, ask the manufacturer what metal is in the wick. If they can’t or won’t tell you, for safety’s sake, choose another candle.

The Health Dangers of Artificial Fragrances

Beeswax and bayberry wax both contain natural scents, beeswax offering the sweet smell of honey and bayberry a spicy, fresh aroma. Scents added to wax vary in their source and composition. Originally, perfumes came from animal and vegetable sources. In the late 1800s, the first synthetic fragrances were produced and were quickly adopted as a cheaper source of aromas. Many people today are sensitive to artificial scents from perfume, candles, and even air fresheners.

Fragrance oils are specially made for particular uses, such as scenting candles, soaps, cosmetics, and potpourris. They are usually synthetic. Exact formulas for fragrances fall under the trade secrets act in the U.S., but manufacturers of the oils will normally be able to produce a Materials Safety Data Sheet which will cover the physical characteristics of the oil, physical or health hazards, and first aid treatment in case of an accident. Candle scents contain stabilizers and fixatives which allow the oils to mix with wax and give off an aroma when heated.

Essential oils are naturally-occurring oils that are extracted mainly from botanical sources. They are usually more expensive than synthetic fragrances and may not blend well with candle wax. Natural essential oils are more volatile than synthetics and most of them are difficult to use in candles unless they have added stabilizers or fixatives.

The Health Dangers of Other Additives in Candles

Stearic acid was once the only additive available for paraffin candles and is derived from either animal fat or palm oil. It is now often replaced with Vybar, a polymer which raises the melting point of paraffin, allows scents and colors to blend evenly in the wax, and gives the paraffin some of the qualities of more expensive waxes, allowing candle makers to charge more for a cheap candle.

Microcrystallines are a group of substances derived from petroleum that are added to candles to change the texture of the wax, add gloss, increase opacity, etc. Polyethylenes are produced from natural gas. They add gloss, luster, or clear crystals to wax.

Are Candles Safe? The Bottom Line

When candles are lit, they emit these chemicals into the air, the air we breathe. Our bodies take the burden of this indoor air pollution with unknown toxic effects. The American Lung Association even warns people from burning scented or slow-burning candles that contain artificial ingredients. In addition, they suggest burning beeswax candles instead with metal in the wick, or candles that are greasy to the touch.

Choosing Safe Candles

Buy candles from trusted countries. Imported candles often come from countries where they employ chemicals no longer used in North America because of health concerns. Find out what the wick is made of. If your vendor can’t tell you, don’t buy it. Cotton or hemp wicks are considered to be the safest. Choose candles made from beeswax or soy wax. Avoid paraffin.

Be aware that many candle manufacturers make claims for their candles or waxes that can’t be substantiated or are untrue. No candle is “soot-free” because combustion causes soot; however, beeswax and soy wax don’t produce sticky, black, petroleum-based soot.

This is why Mother Gaia’s makes candles with only hemp wick, soy wax, and essential oils. Unfortunately beeswax does not mix well with essential oils so we stick with organic soy wax.

References:

  1. https://twistedbee.com/blogs/news/how-to-make-candles-with-hemp-wick
  2. http://www.naturesgardencandles.com/blog/science-of-candle-wicks/
  3. http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/07/17/hemp-vs-cotton-the-ultimate-showdown/
  4. https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/are-your-candles-emitting-toxins/
  5. http://candles.org/faqs/
  6. http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/pressroomredirect.cfm?ID=434
  7. https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/indoor-air-quality/

Goat’s Rue

Goat’s Rue root (Galega officinalis)

Galega officinalis, commonly known as galega, goat’s-rue, French lilac, Italian fitch, or professor-weed, is an herbaceous plant in the Faboideae subfamily. It is native to the Middle East but has been naturalized in Europe and western Asia. The plant has been extensively cultivated as a forage crop, an ornamental, a bee plant, and as green manure.

OTHER NAMES: Faux-Indigo, French Honeysuckle, French Lilac, Galega, Galéga, Galéga Officinal, Galega bicolor, Galega officinalis, Galega patula, Galegae Officinalis Herba, Geissrautenkraut, Goat’s Rue Herb, Italian Fitch, Lavanegravese, Lilas d’Espagne, Lilas Français, Rue-de-Chegravevre, Rue des Chegravevres, Sainfoin d’Espagne.

Chemical Composition

Although not thoroughly studied with 21st century methods, G. officinalis has been analyzed for its constituents, which include galegine, hydroxygalegine, several guanidine derivatives, such as 4-hydroxygalegine flavones, flavone glycosides, kaempferol, and quercetin. In addition to its purported effect to lower blood glucose levels and induce diuresis, goat’s rue was used as an herbal tonic in folk medicine practices of medieval Europe to treat bubonic plague, worms, and snake bites.

History

Goat’s rue is originally from the Middle East, but nowadays it grows all over Europe and Asia. This useful and diverse herb has been eagerly spread by humans, who have cultivated it as a fodder, green manure, honey plant, medicinal and ornamental. It was believed to increase the milk yield of domesticated animals, which is the origin of its scientific name: gale, ‘milk’ and ega ‘to bring, cause’ – so it is the milk-bringer. Since the Middle Ages goat’s rue has been used to treat diabetes as the guanidine it contains lowers blood sugar levels. Species have also been used in fishing: crushed stems are simply thrown into the water and the fish rendered unconscious by the poison are collected from the surface. In North America there has been a fear that goat’s rue will cross-breed and become a problematic alien, in much the same way that we in Finland have the same fears about garden lupine (Lupinus polyphyllos). Goat’s rue can mainly be found in Finland as a garden ornamental and only occasionally does it spread to the wild.

Benefits of Galega

Goat’s rue has been employed as a vermifuge, to treat snakebites, and to aid in treating the plague. It was believed to have been used as a diuretic and tonic in typhoid conditions and also as a nervous system stimulant.

Culpepper suggested goat’s rue as a soak for tired feet and for cheese making. Hill’s Universal Herbal (1832) mentions the dried flowers of goat’s rue being added to boiling water as an infusion and then taken to induce sweating and aid in fevers. The plant is widely cultivated as cattle feed.

Goat’s rue is used along with conventional treatment for diabetes and as a diuretic.

In combination with other herbs, goat’s rue is used to stimulate the adrenal gland and pancreas; to protect the liver; for digestion problems; and to start the flow of breast milk. Some people use herbal combinations that include goat’s rue as a tonic and for “blood purification.”

Galactagogue: increases milk supply in mammals. Developing mammary tissue. Goat’s Rue stimulates the development of mammary tissue. It has even been used to increase breast size in non-lactating woman. It can even induce the growth of breast tissue in women who have had breast surgery, or plan on nursing an adopted child. Promote tissue growth in women whose breasts didn’t increase during pregnancy. Promotes rapid natural breast milk production as Goat’s Rue has galactagogue properties (promote milk flow). Facilitates breast let down, so that your body can release the milk. Helps to maintain breast health during nursing and lactation.

Antidiabetic: Lowers insulin and blood sugar levels, insulin-sensitizing. It has been used in diabetic patients to lower their blood sugar levels since the early 1900’s.

Diuretic: it promotes the production of urine.

Anti-bacterial: bactericidal properties.

Diaphoretic: inducing perspiration.

Anti-obesity. Protects the liver. Blood purification. Digestive problems. Assists in fat metabolism.

Vermifuge: destroy or expel intestinal worms.

Dosing

The appropriate dose of goat’s rue depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for goat’s rue. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Goats Rue can be taken in a tablet form or as a tea. It is said that the fresh plant may be toxic, thus use only the dried form of the plant.

Goats Rue Tea. To make Goat’s Rue tea, use 1 teaspoon dried leaves in 1 cup of water. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Dosage: You can drink one cup of Goat Rue tea up to three times a day. Add other herbs such as alfalfa, fennel or fenugreek to your tea to further support milk production.

Goats Rue Capsules. The normal dose for Goat’s Rue capsules is 1 capsule 3 or 4 times per day. Goats Rue Capsules are available online (Amazon.com). Make sure to purchase your capsules from a trustworthy company. Most capsules come with directions and dosing on them, so follow instructions or consult your healthcare professional in case of doubt. Goats Rue is also found in some readymade teas and capsules made specifically for breastfeeding mothers.

Goats Rue Tincture. A tincture is a very strong herbal extract. It’s mostly made with alcohol, food grade glycerin, apple cider vinegar or honey. It’s said that making it with alcohol is the best option, as the ethanol in the alcohol helps to release the properties of the herb. Not to worry though, the amount of alcohol you will be getting in is not harmful to you or your baby. Dosage: Take half a teaspoon (20 to 40 drops) of Goat’s Rue tincture 2 to 3 times a day. It can be taken in water, juice or directly under your tongue.

Relation to Metformin

officinalis is rich in guanidine, a substance with blood glucose-lowering activity at the foundation for discovering metformin, a treatment for managing symptoms of diabetes mellitus. In ancient herbalism, goat’s-rue was used as a diuretic. It can be poisonous to mammals but is a food for various insects.

Once used in traditional medicine over centuries, G. officinalis is at the foundation of the biguanide class of antidiabetic drugs, which also included phenformin and buformin (both discontinued).

officinalis contains the phytochemicals, galegine and guanidine, both of which decrease blood sugar, but were discovered to cause adverse effects in human studies. The study of galegine and related molecules in the first half of the 20th century led to development of oral antidiabetic drugs. Research on other compounds related to guanidine, including biguanide, led ultimately to the discovery of metformin (trade name, Glucophage), used in the 21st century for management of diabetes by decreasing liver glucose production and increasing insulin sensitivity of body tissues.

Side Effects & Precautions

Do not use the fresh Goat’s Rue plant as it is considered toxic. Always use dried materials when preparing tinctures or teas.

There isn’t enough information to know whether goat’s rue is safe. No harmful effects have been reported in humans, but fatal poisoning has occurred in grazing animals that ate large quantities of goat’s rue.

Goat’s-rue may interfere with prescribed diabetes drugs, iron absorption, and anticoagulants. It may cause headache or muscular weakness, and its safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding is unknown.

Allergies: If you are allergic to peanuts, soybean, alfalfa or fenugreek allergic reactions may occur as Goat’s Rue is a member of the same family of plants.

Bleeding conditions: Goat’s rue might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. In theory, goat’s rue might make bleeding disorders worse.

Diabetes: Goat’s rue might lower blood sugar levels in some people. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use goat’s rue.

Surgery: Goat’s rue might affect blood sugar levels. There is concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using goat’s rue at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with GOAT’S RUE

Goat’s rue might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking goat’s rue along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.<br /> Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Recipes

Goats Rue Tincture. Goats Rue tincture can be used to increase milk supply and make your milk richer and creamier as well as more nutritious.

Ingredients: Goat’s Rue, Red Raspberry leaf, Blessed Thistle, Fenugreek, Marshmallow Root, Fennel, Vodka.

Method: Put half a cup of each of the herbs in a glass jar. Add only ¼ cup fennel and a small amount of water (enough to wet the herbs). Add vodka. 50% herb 50% alcohol ratio. Shake well and store in a cool, dry place for 2 to 6 weeks. Make sure to shake the mixture every few days.

The Goat’s Rue Tincture can be used from week 2, but the longer it sits, the more concentrated the tincture will get, as the vodka needs to let the herb release all its valuable properties.

When you want to use the tincture, separate or strain the herbs from the liquid and pour into dropper bottles.

Dosage: Take half a teaspoon (20 to 40 drops) of Goat’s Rue tincture 2 to 3 times a day. It can be taken in water, juice or directly under your tongue.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galega_officinalis
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-160/goats-rue
  3. https://www.drugs.com/npp/goat-s-rue.html
  4. https://www.breastfeeding-problems.com/goats-rue-and-breastfeeding.html
  5. https://doi.org/10.1172%2FJCI14178
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2606813
  7. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pdi.606/full
  8. http://www.invasive.org/eastern/other/Galega.html
  9. https://www.nps.org.au/australian-prescriber/articles/metformin-myths-misunderstandings-and-lessons-from-history
  10. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=70971
  11. https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/ruegoa21.html
  12. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/galega-officinalis
  13. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-74448-8_16
  14. http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/goat-s-rue
  15. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/222239853_Anti-bacterial_activity_of_Galega_officinalis_L_Goat’s_Rue
  16. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00288233.2004.9513591
  17. https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/13909257/[Isolation_of_peganine_from_goat’s_rue_Galega_officinalis_L]_
  18. https://www.reddit.com/r/Herblore/comments/36629j/goats_rue_galega_officinalis_medicinal/
  19. http://jb.asm.org/content/171/10/5561.full.pdf
  20. https://www.jstor.org/stable/42952629?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
  21. https://nzpps.org/nzpp_abstract.php?paper=651920
  22. https://www.womenfitness.net/herbal-management-diabetes/
  23. https://graz.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/alleviation-of-salt-stress-of-symbiotic-galega-officinalis-l-goat
  24. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Alleviation-of-salt-stress-of-symbiotic-Galega-L.-Egamberdieva-Berg/9d15a5320da81b4d919d303c7f1d4c82f25d53a4

Ginger Root

Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice or a folk medicine. Ginger is in the family Zingiberaceae, to which also belong turmeric (Curcuma longa), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), and galangal. Ginger originated in the tropical rainforests from the Indian subcontinent to Southern Asia where ginger plants show considerable genetic variation. As one of the first spices exported from the Orient, ginger arrived in Europe during the spice trade, and was used by ancient Greeks and Romans. The distantly related dicots in the genus Asarum are commonly called wild ginger because of their similar taste.

Other Common Names: Jamaican ginger, Indian Ginger, gan-jiang, sheng-jiang, African ginger, black ginger, zingiber officinale.

The English origin of the word, “ginger”, is from the mid-14th century, from Old English gingifer, from Medieval Latin gingiber, from Greek zingiberis, from Prakrit (Middle Indic) singabera, from Sanskrit srngaveram, from srngam “horn” and vera- “body”, from the shape of its root. The word probably was readopted in Middle English from Old French gingibre (modern French gingembre).

Ginger Nutrition

Raw ginger is composed of 79% water, 18% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and 1% fat (table). In 100 grams (a standard amount used to compare with other foods), raw ginger supplies 80 Calories and contains moderate amounts of vitamin B6 (12% of the Daily Value, DV) and the dietary minerals, magnesium (12% DV) and manganese (11% DV), but otherwise is low in nutrient content. When used as a spice powder in a common serving amount of one US tablespoon (5 grams), ground dried ginger (9% water) provides negligible content of essential nutrients, with the exception of manganese (70% DV).

100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of raw ginger contains approximately:

  • 80 calories
  • 8 grams carbohydrates
  • 8 grams protein
  • 7 grams fat
  • 2 grams dietary fiber
  • 415 milligrams potassium (12 percent DV)
  • 2 milligrams copper (11 percent DV)
  • 2 milligrams manganese (11 percent DV)
  • 43 milligrams magnesium (11 percent DV)
  • 5 milligrams vitamin C (8 percent DV)
  • 2 milligrams vitamin B6 (8 percent DV)
  • 7 milligrams niacin (4 percent DV)
  • 34 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
  • 6 milligrams iron (3 percent DV)

In addition to the nutrients listed above, ginger also contains a small amount of calcium, zinc, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and thiamin. However, keep in mind that most people consume a very small portion of ginger, so it should be combined with a variety of other nutrient-dense foods to meet your micronutrient needs.

Ginger Composition

The characteristic fragrance and flavor of ginger result from volatile oils that compose 1-3% of the weight of fresh ginger, primarily consisting of zingerone, shogaols and gingerols with [6]-gingerol (1-[4′-hydroxy-3′-methoxyphenyl]-5-hydroxy-3-decanone) as the major pungent compound. Zingerone is produced from gingerols during drying, having lower pungency and a spicy-sweet aroma.

Benefits of Using Ginger Root

Ginger has been used for in cooking and traditional medicine for thousands of years. It is currently one of the most widely used herbs worldwide.

  • It has been used traditionally for a long time to treat nausea. Scientific evidence confirms its uses as an herbal remedy for nausea and related ailments such as morning sickness and motion sickness.
  • Several studies have found that ginger could help prevent the formation of stomach ulcers. In fact, one 2011 animal study showed that ginger powder protected against aspirin-induced stomach ulcers by decreasing levels of inflammatory proteins and blocking the activity of enzymes related to ulcer development.
  • Ginger contains many anti-fungal compounds which make it a popular herb for treating athlete’s foot. Fungal infections cause a wide variety of conditions, from yeast infections to jock itch and athlete’s foot. Fortunately, ginger has powerful anti-fungal properties that can safely and successfully help kill off disease-causing fungi.
  • The health benefits of ginger are largely due to its antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and content of therapeutic compounds like gingerol, shogaol, paradol and zingerone. Studies have shown that ginger root inhibits the production of cytokines, which promote inflammation. Therefore, the traditional Indian use for treating inflammation is gaining new-found popularity.
  • Some of the other traditional Asian uses for this herb include stimulating the appetite, promoting perspiration, and fighting body odor.
  • It has been used to treat pain and traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicinal uses include ginger root in herbal arthritis treatment. Treatment of joint pain, especially those conditions caused by poor circulation, is another popular use of this herb.
  • Heart health is another benefit of ginger use. It has been shown to slow the production of LDL and triglycerides in the liver and prevent the clotting and aggregation of platelets in the blood vessels, associated with atherosclerosis and blood clots.
  • One of the most impressive benefits of ginger is its anti-cancer properties, thanks to the presence of a powerful compound called 6-gingerol. Test-tube studies show that ginger and its components may be effective in blocking cancer cell growth and development for ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancer. However, more research is needed to determine how the anti-cancer properties of ginger may translate to humans.
  • Unfortunately, adverse side effects like pain, period cramps and headaches are commonly associated with menstruation for many women. While some turn to over-the-counter medications to provide symptom relief, natural remedies like ginger can be just as useful at easing menstrual pain.
  • The root has also been used to treat some of the symptoms of common cold and flu such as loosening phlegm and treating chills. During cold weather, drinking ginger tea is good way to keep warm. It is diaphoretic, which means that it promotes sweating, working to warm the body from within. To make ginger tea at home, slice 20 to 40 grams (g) of fresh ginger and steep it in a cup of hot water. Adding a slice of lemon or a drop of honey adds flavor and additional benefits, including vitamin C and antibacterial properties.

Ginger for Your Skin and Hair (GingerParrot.co.uk)

Here are our favorite Ten Beauty Benefits of Ginger for Skin and Hair – they’re all reasons to eat ginger every day!

  1. Anti-ageing: Redheads are well-versed in the importance of wearing SPF to protect the skin from the sun, the biggest influence of the appearance of ageing. But eating ginger can also help fight wrinkles! The food is packed with the super-foodiness of anti-oxidants, which reduce toxins in skin cells while increasing blood circulation, helping to reduce the appearance of ageing.
  2. Blemishes and Acne: Not only is ginger great for anti-ageing, it can also help with spots and imperfections. Ginger contains powerful antiseptic and cleansing qualities, minimizing the rate of spot and acne formation by actively killing bacteria on the skin’s surface and deep inside the pores. And sensitive-skinned redheads will be pleased to know that ginger is the best natural acne-fighting solution, so it’s great for those with delicate skin.
  3. Soothes burns and blisters: Probably not wise to apply immediately after a new burn, but your skin has cooled, fresh ginger juice is said to soothe and heal blisters, burnt skin or sunburn.
  4. Radiant skin: As odd as it sounds, slices of ginger root applied to your face can help to give you a refreshing glow. We agree that it doesn’t sound too glamourous, so perhaps try it when you’re home alone.
  5. Skin toning: While cleaning, fighting blemishes and making your skin more radiant, ginger also gets to work on toning your skin. A face mask is an ideal method for this. Try mixing grated ginger with a natural mask mix (or store-bought); it’ll help to moisturize and soften the skin, leaving it supple and glowing.
  6. Hypopigmental (white) scars: If you have scarred areas that are slightly lighter in pigmentation than the rest of your skin, a piece of fresh ginger can help. For noticeable results, hold a sliver of fresh ginger on the white scar for 30-40 minutes. This should be done every day for at least a week, at which point you should start seeing the color come back to your skin.
  7. Reduces hair loss: Ginger root makes your ginger roots stronger! Thus reducing hair loss, something we obviously want to prevent – keep living the ginger dream!
  8. Stimulates hair growth: Not only does ginger reduce hair loss, but it increases blood circulation to the scalp, also making hair silky and shiny at the same time.
  9. Fights dandruff: Ginger contains natural antiseptic properties which help to fight dandruff issues.
  10. Split ends: With its anti-oxidants, ginger can seriously help to repair any split ends and dry hair problems. Mix some ginger oil with your shampoo and watch how its natural moisturizing powers help to fix any dryness.

Therapeutic Dosages

Ginger is available in fresh or dried root, tablets, capsules, powder, tincture, and tea forms. Customary daily dosages are:

Fresh Ginger Root: 1/3 of an ounce of fresh ginger root daily. This can be taken in tea form or used in baking or other herbal uses. Take five to six thin slices of fresh ginger and steep it in hot water for thirty minutes to make a fresh ginger tea.

Dried Ginger Root: 150 to 300 milligrams of the dried root can be taken three times daily in capsule or powder form.

It may also be used to make tea. A teaspoonful of the dried powder may be added to a pint of hot water and steeped for 30 minutes to make the tea.

Tablets and capsules generally come in 150 mg to 500 mg doses.

Potential Side Effects of Using Ginger

Allergic reactions to ginger generally result in a rash. Although generally recognized as safe, ginger can cause heartburn and other side effects, particularly if taken in powdered form. Unchewed fresh ginger may result in intestinal blockage, and individuals who have had ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, or blocked intestines may react badly to large quantities of fresh ginger. It can also adversely affect individuals with gallstones and may interfere with the effects of anticoagulants, such as warfarin or aspirin.

  • Pregnant women should be careful with ginger due to its potential to cause uterine contractions.
  • It has also been shown to interfere with the absorption of dietary iron and fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Stomach upset is a common side effect with larger doses. It may potentiate the effects of blood thinners, barbiturates, beta-blockers, insulin, and other diabetes medications.
  • Due to the blood thinning effect, it should not be used before surgery.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger
  2. https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/ginger-root.html
  3. http://nccih.nih.gov/health/ginger/
  4. http://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:798372-1
  5. http://bja.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/84/3/367
  6. https://draxe.com/10-medicinal-ginger-health-benefits/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21753209
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16117605
  9. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/star.19820340203
  10. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09712119.2011.558612
  11. https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/abs/10.1123/ijatt.2014-0142
  12. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228476601_Chemical_composition_and_antioxidant_properties_of_ginger_root_Zingiber_officinale
  13. http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1380710823_Shirin%20and%20Jamuna.pdf
  14. http://www.jafs.com.pl/Effects-of-dose-and-adaptation-time-of-ginger-root-Zingiber-officinale-on-rumen-fermentation,66200,0,2.html
  15. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/ginger.html
  16. https://www.sigmaaldrich.com/life-science/nutrition-research/learning-center/plant-profiler/zingiber-officinale.html
  17. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265990.php
  18. https://wellnessmama.com/7958/ginger-root/
  19. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-961/ginger
  20. https://gingerparrot.co.uk/ten-beauty-benefits-of-ginger-for-your-hair-and-skin/
  21. https://www.livestrong.com/article/73965-cleanse-face-skin-ginger/

Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal

Due to our recent discovery of the lead content of bentonite clay MotherGaias.com has opted for an ingredient with no known contamination, activated charcoal. Here is the latest research and information backing the use and benefits of using activated charcoal for mouth care.

Activated charcoal, also called activated carbon, activated coal or carbo activatus, has been processed to make it very porous with an exceptionally large surface area, which makes it particularly absorptive. According to the book “Medical Biochemistry: Human Metabolism in Health and Disease,” activated charcoal absorbs a variety of poisons and toxins, but does not bind well to alcohols, strong acids and bases, carbon monoxide, iron, lead, arsenic, fluorine, boric acid or many petroleum products such as industrial cleaners and lubricants.

Activated charcoal is used to treat poisonings, reduce intestinal gas (flatulence), lower cholesterol levels, prevent hangover, and treat bile flow problems (cholestasis) during pregnancy.

How Activated Charcoal Works (AmazingHealth.com)

Activated charcoal works by adsorption, which is an electrical action, rather than absorption, which is a mechanical action. Activated charcoal adsorbs most organic and inorganic chemicals that do not belong in the body, but no studies have been able to prove that it adsorbs nutrients, as some people are afraid of. It will adsorb any medications however, and, other than in the case of an overdose, activated charcoal needs to be taken two hours before or after any medications.

Charcoal added to the diet of sheep for six months did not cause a loss of nutrients, as compared with sheep not receiving charcoal. Blood tests showed no significant difference between the two groups of animals, and there were no visible signs of any nutritional deficiency. A level of 5% of the total diet was given as charcoal. It did not affect the blood or urinary levels of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, inorganic phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, creatinine, uric acid, urea nitrogen, alkaline phosphatase, total protein, or urine pH.

The form of charcoal used in modern medical science is activated charcoal USP, a pure wood charcoal carbon that has no carcinogenic properties. Activated charcoal is an odorless, tasteless powder. One teaspoonful of it has a surface area of more than 10,000 square feet. This unique feature allows it to adsorbs large amounts of chemicals or poisons. The powder must be stored in a tightly sealed container, as it readily adsorbs impurities from the atmosphere.

Activated charcoal can be used internally and externally for humans and pets for the following:

  • Antidote for food poisoning or accidental ingestion of poisons, poisonous spider, snake, or bug bites, or poison ivy
  • Eliminate toxins that can contribute to anemia in cancer patients
  • Filter toxins from blood, in cases of liver or kidney disease
  • Deodorize colostomies and disinfect wounds (shouldn’t be used on open wounds or you may end up with a tattoo)
  • Remove tartar and plaque buildup when used as toothpaste
  • Alleviate allergy headaches, minor arthritic symptoms, menstrual pains, diarrhea, painful urination, flatulence, sore throat irritation, flu-like symptoms, drug overdose, cold sores, tooth abscesses, and toxin from foods.

Activated charcoal powder will not cause someone to have constipation, but if a person has a problem with constipation and then drinks charcoal slurry, the activated charcoal will back up the colon due to blockages already present in the colon. Research has shown that if a person has a problem with constipation and does a colon cleanse and addressed the cause of constipation, then that person can drink charcoal slurry without having the activated charcoal build up in the colon.

Health Benefits & Risks of Activated Charcoal BY  JOSEPH PRITCHARD

Charcoal has been used in medicine since the ancient Egyptians used it to absorb the odor of rotting wounds, Drugs.com states. Useful for its ability to absorb impurities, charcoal plays an important role in filtering drinking water and fish tanks and treating acute poisoning. Activated charcoal, also known as medicinal charcoal, is a fluffy, fine, black, odorless, tasteless powder without gritty material.

Benefits of Internal Consumption

In an emergency, activated charcoal can be used to treat certain kinds of poisoning, according to MayoClinic.com. Being extremely absorbent, activated charcoal helps prevent the poison from being absorbed from the stomach and passed into the body. In the case of severe poisoning, several doses of activated charcoal may be needed to treat the victim. Activated charcoal is not effective against poisons that are corrosive agents like lye, strong acids, iron, boric acid, lithium and alcohols. Furthermore, charcoal should not be used to counteract petroleum products such as leaning fluid, coal oil, fuel oil, gasoline, kerosene and paint thinner because charcoal will not prevent these substances from being absorbed into the body.

Side Effects of Internal Consumption

Common side effects of activated charcoal include nausea, vomiting and constipation, Drugs.com states. Other side effects include bowel obstruction, black-colored stool and a chalk-like taste have also been reported. About 20 percent of patients’ experience vomiting about 10 minutes after ingesting activated charcoal. One case reports that a patient developed a bezoar or mass in his small bowel that caused an obstruction following the administration of 30 to 60 g of activated charcoal via nasogastric tube every four to six hours for five days.

Proper Internal Use in Cases of Poisoning

Activated charcoal is used only for treating some cases of poisoning. Proper doses vary from patient to patient and you must not change your dosage unless your doctor tells you to do so. The powder form of activated charcoal is taken as a mixture of the powder and water with the amount of powder dependent on the age of the patient. For adults and teenagers, a single dose treatment is usually 25 to 100 g, MayoClinic,com states. For children from 1 to 12 years old, the dose is usually 25 to 50 g or the dose may be based on body weight, typically 0.5 to 1 g per kg. For children up to one year old, the dose is usually 10 to 26 g.

In addition, activated charcoal can be used in cases of food poisoning when nausea and diarrhea are present. Adults take 25 grams at onset of symptoms or when food poisoning is suspected, and children should be given 10 grams. Increase dosage as necessary. Remember, it’s essential that adequate water is consumed when activated charcoal is taken.

Risks Associated with Internal Consumption

Do not combine activated charcoal with drugs used for constipation (cathartics such as sorbitol or magnesium citrate). This can cause electrolyte imbalances and other problems.

Interactions when Consumed Internally

Additionally, activated charcoal can interfere with the absorption of nutrients, supplements and interfere with prescription medications. Take activated charcoal 90 minutes to two hours prior to meals, supplements and prescription medications. Potential adverse interactions with the following drugs can occur:

  • Naltrexone (used for alcohol and opioid dependence)
  • Acrivastine
  • Bupropion
  • Carbinoxamine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Meclizine
  • Methadone
  • Morphine
  • Morphine Sulfate Liposome
  • Mycophenolate Mofetil
  • Mycophenolic Acid
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Suvorexant
  • Tapentadol
  • Umeclidinium
  • Acetaminophin
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Theophylline

Do not use activated charcoal as a supplement if you take these medications. Activated charcoal may also reduce absorption of certain nutrients.

Activated Charcoal External Uses & Benefits (DrAxe.com)

Whitens Teeth – Activated charcoal helps whiten teeth while promoting good oral health by changing the pH balance in the mouth, helping prevent cavities, bad breath and gum disease. It works to whiten teeth by adsorbing plaque and microscopic tidbits that stain teeth. This activated charcoal use is cost-effective and an all-natural solution for a bright smile.

To whiten your teeth naturally, wet a toothbrush and dip into powdered activated charcoal. Brush teeth as normal, paying special attention to areas showing the most staining. Sip a bit of water, swish through mouth thoroughly and spit. Rinse well, until spit is clear.

Note: Be careful, for it can (and will) stain grout and fabrics. Protect counters, floors and clothing before using. If you have crowns, caps or porcelain veneers, it’s possible that activated charcoal will stain them. In addition, if your teeth become sensitive, quit using it.

Mold Cleansing – Most people don’t think about mold living in their bodies, but it can. Toxic mold causes depression, kidney and liver failure, decreased brain function, heart disease, eye irritation, headaches, vomiting, impaired immune system function and severe respiratory distress.

Homes that have flooded, or even those with small leaks under a sub-floor or in the walls, can create an environment where mold can thrive. Poor ventilation contributes to the problem, and bathrooms, basements and laundry rooms are particularly prone to mold growth.

If there is visible mold in your home, it must be mitigated properly. It’s important to wear gloves and a protective mask to keep from inhaling toxic mold during cleanup. Activated charcoal, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil and borax can be used to clean mold off hard surfaces and keep mold from growing in the future.

If you or your family experience symptoms including wheezing, rashes, watery eyes, coughing or headaches that aren’t explained in other ways, your home should be evaluated for mold spore levels, even if no visible mold is detected. It can thrive behind drywall, under floors and in ventilation ducts.

Water Filtration – Activated charcoal traps impurities in water including solvents, pesticides, industrial waste and other chemicals. This is why it’s used in water filtration systems throughout the world. However, it doesn’t trap viruses, bacteria and hard-water minerals. According to a study published in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association, activated carbon filters (activated charcoal), removes some fluoride. Avoiding fluoride and detoxing from it is important for oral health, proper immune system functioning, and healthy kidneys and liver.

Drinking water is essential to good health; however, typical tap water is toxic and laden with chemicals, toxins and fluoride. Ingestion should be limited whenever possible. Activated charcoal water filters are available for whole-home systems, as well as countertop models. Drink 8–10 glasses of pure water per day to help soothe the digestive tract, fight fatigue, keep organs operating, and provide lubrication for joints and tissues.

Skin and Body Health – Activated charcoal uses extend beyond internal applications. For external treatments, it’s effective at treating body odor and acne and relieving discomfort from insect bites, rashes from poison ivy or poison oak, and snake bites.

After a mosquito bite or bee sting, mix one capsule of activated charcoal with ½ tablespoon of coconut oil, and dab on affected area. Reapply every 30 minutes until itching and discomfort are gone. As activated charcoal stains nearly everything it touches, wrap with a bandage.

To treat bites from snakes and spiders, including the Brown Recluse or Black Widow, you want to cover a larger area than just a small bandage, as the bacteria and viruses that lead to tissue damage need to be mitigated quickly.

Create a wrap out of fabric that’s big enough to go around the affected area twice. Dab the mixture of coconut oil and activated charcoal on the fabric, and wrap. Secure with bandages. Reapply every two to three hours, rinsing well between applications.

To treat acne, mix one capsule of activated charcoal with two teaspoons of aloe vera gel, and smooth over face. Let dry and rinse off completely. The activated charcoal binds with environmental toxins and dirt that contribute to acne. It’s also good for spot treatments.

Anti-Aging – Activated charcoal uses include helping prevent cellular damage to kidneys and liver, as well as supporting healthy adrenal glands. It’s imperative to cleanse toxins and chemicals routinely from the body. Activated charcoal benefits major organs by helping the body flush out the toxins and chemicals that cause the damage.

Aging is a natural part of life, but due to the toxic load we are exposed to through food, our homes and workplaces, and our environment, to prevent pre-mature aging we must get rid of them.

For this activated charcoal use, take two capsules per day after exposure to nonorganic foods, heavy meals or after contact to other toxins. This supports better cognitive function, a reduction in brain fog, healthier kidney and liver function, and a healthier gastrointestinal tract.

Activated Charcoal for First Aid – It’s recommend to have activated charcoal as a part of first aid kits, both at home and at work. In the event of an emergency where toxins, drugs or chemicals are ingested, it’s imperative to call 911 immediately. If you have activated charcoal on hand, be sure to tell the operator; the operator may advise to administer it prior to the first responder’s arrival. Depending on the amount of toxins or chemicals ingested and types of toxins, multiple doses may be required. At the hospital, physicians are able to administer more as needed.

Activated Charcoal & Good Bacteria

If activated charcoal is so great at getting rid of toxins and bad bacteria then you may be wondering does activated charcoal absorb beneficial bacteria as well? Well first off, remember that charcoal is adsorbent rather than absorbent. At least one study published in The Journal of Veterinary Medical Science demonstrates that activated charcoal may be able to somewhat differentiate between what it should and should not adsorb.

The researchers conducting this study found that “activated charcoal showed lower binding capacity to the normal bacterial flora tested than that to E. coli O157:H7 strains.” So it appears as though toxin-producing strains of E. coli were more likely to be adsorbed by the activated charcoal while normal bacterial flora in the intestine including Enterococcus faecium, Bifidobacterium thermophilum, and Lactobacillus acidophilus were more likely to be left alone.

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/activated-charcoal-uses-risks#1
  2. https://www.livestrong.com/article/448065-health-benefits-risks-of-activated-charcoal/
  3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-269/activated-charcoal
  4. https://draxe.com/activated-charcoal-uses/
  5. https://www.livestrong.com/article/535577-is-it-safe-to-take-activated-charcoal-supplements-every-day/
  6. http://amazinghealth.com/AH-health-activated-charcoal-drink-poison
  7. https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/05/29/activated-charcoal-health-benefits_n_7468724.html
  8. https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/detox-with-activated-charcoal/
  9. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/charcoal-activated-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20070087
  10. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/activated-charcoal
  11. https://articles.mercola.com/vitamins-supplements.aspx
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1306980/
  13. https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2013-08/activated-charcoal-bottom-line-monograph
  14. https://www.thelantern.com/2017/10/ohio-state-research-supports-benefits-of-activated-charcoal/
  15. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/106002809302700320
  16. https://journals.lww.com/co-pediatrics/Abstract/2007/04000/Activated_charcoal_for_pediatric_poisonings__the.18.aspx
  17. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1081/CLT-100102452?src=recsys&journalCode=ictx19
  18. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/088532829801300204
  19. https://academic.oup.com/qjmed/article/98/9/655/1547922
  20. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13181-010-0046-1
  21. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF00280944
  22. https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(17)30412-9/references
  23. https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/opinion/correspondence/charcoal-toothpastes-what-we-know-so-far/20203167.article
  24. https://www.dentistryiq.com/articles/2017/03/black-toothpaste-and-white-teeth-when-opposites-collide.html
  25. https://jada.ada.org/article/S0002-8177(17)30412-9/fulltext?code=adaj-site
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29080603
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28599961
  28. https://www.omicsonline.org/proceedings/activated-charcoal-as-a-whitening-dentifrice-37325.html
  29. https://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/bushra/what-is-activated-charcoal
  30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25664991
  31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5554596/
  32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/28748036

 

 

Stop Using Bentonite Clay

Stop Using Bentonite Clay

MotherGaias.com is always concerned with providing natural products made from raw ingredients collected from the Earth. What we did not consider was the amount of pollution people have accumulated in the environment where these raw ingredients are collected from. So we now know that even ‘food grade’ bentonite clay or montmorillonite is full of heavy metals and pesticides absorbed from the environment. These harmful chemicals are then easily absorbed by the body when the clay is used. Originally the clay was useful and healing but because of what humans have done to Earth that is no longer the case.

The testing done on products made by Mother Gaia with ‘food grade’ Bentonite Clay showed 79 parts per million of lead. More than 100 times the allowable amount in foods. Other samples of ‘food grade’ Bentonite clay have tested at 39 parts per million which is still sixty times the amount the body can process in a day.

MotherGaias.com purchased ‘food grade’ bentonite clay from Starwest-Botanicals.com.

MotherGaias.com wants to protect their customers and has chosen to remove bentonite clay from all products. The evidence is just too strong to ignore.

Here is some evidence from the FDA –

The FDA focused on “Bentonite Me Baby,” a brand of powdered clay sold at stores including Target and Sally Beauty Supply. The label says it can be used as a facial or hair mask, or for ingestion. However, laboratory testing found that the product has a lead concentration of 37.5 parts per million (ppm). By comparison, the FDA says that lead levels above .05 ppm in fruit juice “may constitute a health hazard.”

What are the dangers and side effects of Bentonite clay?

#1. Toxic When Consumed

Despite the clay being one of the finest way to get a clear skin through cleaning the body system. It also internally detoxify the body to eliminate internal toxins believed to cause blemishes on the skin and quick aging. So, is it true that a Bentonite clay detox contribute to certain harmful impact? One of the main motives for applying this clay as an agent of detoxification is its capability to eliminate heavy metals from the body system. But, in the process of doing so, the mud can cause you intestinal distress. The remedy of this adverse effect of clay ingestion is drinking a lot of water since it may help pass out of your body system the dangerous compounds.

#2. Damages the Digestive System

Taking this mud is reported to clog up users’ lower intestine. If the situation gets out of hand, a surgical intervention may be required to save the victim’s life. The prospective of nutrient deficiencies is also claimed to the adverse effect of ingesting this clay. Your digestive system, teeth, and gums also can take a hit.

#3. Renders the Body More Exposed to Metal Impurities

Many bentonite products retailed in the market today are not naturally produced hence may contain certain toxic elements. Most of them have high levels of lead and arsenic. The presence of arsenic increases the danger of having lung, bladder, and skin cancers. The lead, on the other hand, can negatively affect your cardiovascular system and kidneys. It can also harm a young child’s central nervous system. Thus, a baby is put at risk if a pregnant mother consumes this clay. Summarily, the side effects of the Bentonite clay detox that you are likely to experience while taking it to rid your body of unwanted toxins and cleanse it include:

  • Joint stiffness and pain, which when combined with muscle pain, are symptoms of negative impact of the toxins deposited in the muscle and joint fluids being eradicated from your body.
  • Muscle tiredness and pain
  • A minor side effect of this clay is headaches

The above mentioned side effects are shared among people attempting to detoxify their body externally.

Surprising Danger About Bentonite Clay (https://drchristianson.com)

Many have shared how bentonite clay has helped their digestion or skin symptoms. The reasons why it may have helped seemed plausible to me, and I don’t doubt that many have had positive experiences. Since I’ve never seen much research either way, I never thought too much about it.

Recently, I heard a story about Megan Curran de Nieto, a fellow Minnesotan who was struggling to lower the blood lead levels of a local family. The levels did not come down despite avoiding typical lead sources.

Ms. Curran de Nieto was shopping in a nearby Target store when she noticed a product, called “Bentonite Me Baby”. She remembered that the family she was working with had been taking bentonite clay in hopes of detoxifying from lead. Ms. Curran de Nieto became suspicious, bought the clay and sent it to a lab for analysis.

Sure enough, the product was found to have unsafe levels of lead.

The FDA verified the results and went on to find similar problems with other bentonite products they tested.

The manufacturer of one of these products rejected these warnings, arguing that “lead that is naturally present in many foods and clays just are not available to the body.”

How much lead are we talking about?

The FDA report found that bentonite clay contained up to 37.5 micrograms of lead per gram. Mcg/g is same as parts per million (ppm). With an average oral dose of bentonite clay being 2 Tbsp. (0.72 ounce or 20.4 grams), this means your oral lead dose could be as high as 765 mcg.

Other companies, worried about the public being aware of lead in their products, have argued that we already consume high amounts of lead in common foods:

  • Fresh collard greens: 30 micrograms of lead (50x higher than prop 65 stipulates)
  • Dry roasted mix nuts: 20 mcg of lead
  • Brussels sprouts: 15 mcg of lead
  • Sweet potatoes: 16 mcg of lead
  • Spinach: 15 mcg of lead

The amount of lead present in the commonly used amount of bentonite clay is less than half of the lead found in spinach. To make the most direct comparison, if you assume an average serving size of 100 grams, spinach would likely have no more than 0.3 mcg total lead per serving as opposed to 765 mcg from clay.

How much lead is safe?

“There is no safe threshold for lead exposure,” according to a literature review on lead in psychiatry.

The World Health Organization states, “There is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe.”

The Centers for Disease Control concludes the same: “No safe blood lead level in children has been identified. Lead exposure can affect nearly every system in the body. Because lead exposure often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized.”

OK, so none is safe, strictly speaking. In foods, since lead absorption varies tremendously from food to food, the FDA sets limits on different food categories. Most are below 0.1 ppm.

Why is lead a big deal?

Lead is one of the most thoroughly studied toxins and has been a bane to humans for millennia. Credible scientists have even blamed lead in the water as one of the principal causes behind the fall of Rome.

In kids, it creates behavioral problems, lower IQ, hyperactivity, hearing loss, seizures and growth delays. Kids and babies are less able to naturally detoxify lead from their bodies than adults.

In adults, lead can also slow our brains and affect mood symptoms, including depression and anxiety. Lead can cause vague symptoms like fatigue, numbness and tingling, digestive issues and joint pain. Growing evidence suggests that it can also be the culprit behind high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney damage, infertility in males and females and some cancers.

References:

  1. https://www.statnews.com/2016/02/02/detox-clay-fda-lead/
  2. http://www.lorebay.com/bentonite/bentonite-clay-dangers-side-effects-red-face/
  3. https://drchristianson.com/surprising-danger-about-bentonite-clay/
  4. Susan Perry, “A Minnesotan’s Shopping Trip to Target sparks FDA warning about Bentonite Clay ‘Detox’ Product,” The MinnPost, February 3, 2016: https://www.minnpost.com/second-opinion/2016/02/minnesotans-shopping-trip-target-sparks-fda-warning-about-bentonite-clay-deto.
  5. “Best Bentonite Clay by Best Bentonite: FDA Alert – Risk of Lead Poisoning,” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, March 23, 2016: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm492157.html
  6. “Does Best Bentonite contain lead?” Best Bentonite: http://www.bestbentonite.com/lead.html.
  7. Mishra PC, Patel RK, “Removal of lead and zinc ions from water by low cost adsorbents,” Journal of Hazardous Materials, 2009 Aug 30;168(1):319-25, doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2009.02.026.
  8. http://redmond.life/prop65/compare-lead-earthpaste-fruits/ 2017 Redmond Life.
  9. Vorvolakos T, Arseniou S, Samakouri M, “There is no safe threshold for lead exposure: A literature review,” Psychiatriki., 2016 Jul-Sep;27(3):204-214.
  10. “Lead poisoning and health,” World Health Organization fact sheet, reviewed September 2016: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs379/en/.
  11. Sun CC, et al., “Percutaneous absorption of inorganic lead compounds,” AIHA Journal (Fairfax, VA), 2002 Sep-Oct;63(5):641-6: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12529920.
  12. gov listed studies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=aluminum+silicate+toxicity.
  13. “Learn About Lead,” United States Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead.
  14. “Lead Exposure in Adults – A Guide for Health Care Providers,” New York State Department of Health: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2584/.
  15. Scelfo GM, Flegal AR, “Lead in Calcium Supplements,” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2000 Apr; 108(4): 309–319: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1638001/
  16. Ellender G, Graham K, “Connective tissue responses to some heavy metals. II: Lead: histology and ultrastructure,” Department of Preventative and Community Dentistry and Department of Pathology, University of Melbourne, Australia, Br. J. exp. Path. (I987) 68, 29I-307: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2013257/pdf/brjexppathol00009-0023.pdf.
  17. Blakely BR, “Overview of Lead Poisoning,” Merck Veterinary Manual: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/toxicology/lead-poisoning/overview-of-lead-poisoning.

 

Healing with Color

Healing With Color

In my last article, How Color is Used in Marketing, we learned about how corporations use color to affect our emotions and our choices. We gained an understanding that it is much more than a whim when you purchase something without thinking. Your reactions are guided by the colors chosen. So now we’ll look at how you can use color to your advantage and protect and heal yourself.

How Colors Affect Us

  • Color is one of the languages of the soul, just look at inspired or meditative paintings.
  • They influence our mood and emotions.
  • They have their impact on our sense of well-being or un-easiness.
  • Using and avoiding certain colors is a way of self-expression; it sheds light on our personality.
  • Colors affect our way of perception (light colors make a space look big, a high ceiling looks less high when painted in a dark color, etc.)
  • Colors have a symbolic meaning which is immediately recognized by our subconsciousness. It must be said that not all colors mean the same to all persons and all cultures.
  • They influence the flow and amount of energy in our bodies.
  • Colors tell something about biological attraction and sexual availability.

Chromotherapy

Color Therapy is the method of treating ailments through the use of color. Chromotherapy can be done by shining an appropriate color on an area of the body. It can also be done through the eyes by looking at a particular color, though this should be done with the utmost care to avoid any strain on the eyes. It is a complementary therapy and should not be used as an alternative to professional medical care. Its results vary and cannot be guaranteed – its efficacy will in large part be dependent on the individual.

How Color Healing Therapy Works

Healing with color is simple, it comprises of applying single or multiple colors using their vibrational energy to heal. When embarking on self-healing with color, a good rule of thumb to remember is: “Energy follows thought”, in other words where you concentrate your thoughts is where the energy will go. Therefore, by concentrating on a particular healing color through visualization for instance, the energy of that color will be projected by your thoughts. The “unbalanced” vibration in your body will begin to change and start to resonate with your particular chosen healing color.

Healing Colors

  1. Red: is a passionate and warm color which induces vitality and stimulates energy. It increases adrenaline and elevates blood pressure-so avoid using it when the patient is suffering from hypertension. Bright crimson red is even a more potent stimulator than orange. This should not be given to anyone on the head. But if really concentrated on to rheumatic joints it will be beneficial. This could be the reason why red is used only moderately in hospitals. At home though, you can use this color for stimulating appetite in weak patients. Red can also alleviate depression. It is one of the top healing colors for enhancing sexual appetite and overall vitality. As the light frequencies of red are slow and very long, they have high penetrating properties, therefore can be used to stimulate the aura (and physical body) to such an extent that circulatory blockages can be cleared.
  2. Orange: According to color healing therapy, orange is one of the best colors for hospitals and particularly for children’s rooms. Orange radiates warmth and is associated with joy and happiness. This is a stimulating color which can be given to the spleen, liver, kidneys, heart and indeed to any organ which helps to promote good circulation. In fact: even oranges which are packed with Vitamin C-the powerful antioxidant- are known to heal and fight free radicals to boost immunity. Therefore, as far as cancer healing colors go, orange is an important color in the color healing chart.
  3. Yellow: Search for healing colors for hospitals and yellow would be high up in the list. This bright and cheerful color can help stimulate intelligence and also detoxify the body and mind to heal patients quickly. Yellow is particularly recommended for patients with skin problems. It can inspire creativity in people who feel sluggish or lethargic. Yellow is the color which signifies wisdom. Any mental deficiency, no matter how it shows itself, will be relieved by the use of yellow if concentrated on to small areas of the body. Avoid overuse of yellow as it can hamper the digestive health and lead to stomach problems and insomnia.
  4. Green: known for its balanced healing properties. It is a restful color that symbolizes growth and renewal. It also encourages comfort and equilibrium and is particularly beneficial for the heart, lungs and circulatory system. This green is the great color of balance, which harmonizes the flow of prana or universal life force, throughout the psychic centers. It operates, as do all other colors, firstly on the aura, the reflection of which reacts upon the physical body. As green is the great balancer and harmonizer it causes many people to become very relaxed. It tends to counteract subtle energies which have built up in one nerve ganglia and causing starvation of another nerve ganglia. Start your treatment with an application of green and always finish with an application of green.
  5. Blue: This spiritual color is also the color of the sky and sea. Blue is an important healing color as it is linked with calm and serenity. It helps lower blood pressure and can reduce rapid heart rate. Blue is relaxing for the mind and body. It is associated with organs like eyes, ears and nose and involved with the senses of smell, sight and sound. If you are sensitive that you are liable to get physically cold under the application of a blue light. This is caused because the high vibrations are short and quick, and they manifest as cold rather than heat. From this you can see that orange and red produce heat and are therefore necessary in cases of low temperature; blue produces coldness and is therefore necessary in cases of high temperature. Blue causes most people to relax. An application of blue color vibrations will also help people to sleep who suffer with mild insomnia.
  6. Pink: feminine yet a soothing color that shows caring and affection. It is a protective and compassionate color that heals and soothes. This lighthearted color can stimulate happiness. Too much of bright pink might stimulate energy and incite passionate behavior just like its distant cousin Red. Pink can be however be safely useful in hospitals and prisons to reduce erratic behavior.
  7. Purple/Violet: Both, purple and violet, as well as its related shades like lilac and lavender are connected with spirituality. These healing colors are also linked with perception, higher consciousness and insight. Health wise, these colors are linked with the cerebral and nervous systems. Violet tends to bring great relaxation and also like blue, can often be felt as waves of coldness. It does not stimulate basic circulation, but it does stimulate the flow of the subtler energies throughout the psychic centers and the nervous system. Because of this it is especially beneficial when used on the forehead and neck.
  8. Indigo: a great purifier of the bloodstream and also benefits mental problems. It is a freeing and purifying agent. Indigo combines the deep blue of devotion with a trace of stabilizing and objective red. Indigo is cool, electric, and astringent. It is, also, the color ray used by Spirit to help entrance a medium. Indigo links with and stimulates the brow chakra (third eye) and controls the pineal gland. It governs both physical and spiritual (not psychic) perception; that is, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience. Thus, it can be of great assistance in dealing with ailments of the eyes and ears, as well as assisting in problems or conditions related to mediumship. Finally, indigo is considered the ray of the Holy Spirit.
  9. White: the perfect color; for it is all color, in perfect balance and harmony. It is the color of the awakened Spirit; the light of perfection; the light of the Christ and Buddhic consciousness. It is also the Divine Light. Just about everyone has heard of surrounding people with the “White Light of Healing and Protection.” Directing white into the aura helps stimulate the person’s own divine nature into healing the self.
  10. Brown: absorbs pain and sorrow, increases physical energy and primal strength, relieves disorders connected with feet, he legs, the hands, the skeleton, all back pain and also the large intestine.

Table of Color Healing Properties – Physical

Color Physical Ailment
Violet Lapse of cellular memory, negative emotions accumulated since birth.
Indigo Eyes, headaches, nightmares, memory lapse, bleeding.
Blue Throat, ears, arms, hands, mouth, thyroid, neck, bleeding, burns and swellings.
Green Heart, lungs, arms, hands, skin, asthma, high blood pressure.
Yellow Muscles, digestion, ulcers, diabetes, Hypoglycemic.
Orange Prostate gland, testes, womb, kidneys, bladder, impotence, frigidity.
Red Legs, bones, large intestine, constipation, genitals, hemorrhoids, coldness, acne.
Turquoise Immune system, bronchitis, influenza, rash, epilepsy.
White Endocrine system, eye balls, other undetected ailments.

 

Color breathing and meditation for healing: simple yet powerful color healing and color breathing meditation to gain benefits of color healing therapy.

  • Sit outside in a chair or on the ground in sunshine.
  • Close your eyes and count slowly as you breathe in.
  • Hold the breath as you count slowly to 8 counts.
  • Repeat this until your mind automatically quiets down and ponders over the healing harmony of colors that you receive from the sun’s rays.
  • You can easily and gently try to focus your mind on the place between the eyebrows. This is the third eye center where the pituitary body is located. This little gland can increase your perception and sixth sense. Now let colors flood the entire body and mind.
  • Repeat the exercise several times a day until you start to see Auras.

There are many colors that help healing but the colors described above are proven to work through every cell of the body even exert influence on the soul, consciousness and spirit. Use these healing colors wisely and bring peace, joy and vitality in you and your loved ones.

Ways to Apply Color for Healing

  1. On the subtler planes by the power of thought, by visualizing a color in your mind.
  2. With colored lights applied to the physical body.
  3. With colored stones applied directly to the body or held in the hand.
  4. With colored paper set directly in your line of sight, gazing at gently to avoid eyestrain. Or place a colored cloth over a lamp shade to make the whole room that color, just don’t start a fire.
  5. Set the color you choose on your desktop or phone. Focus on the color to absorb its healing energy.

Colors are a major healing force. They stimulate energies that support the entire energy system and a clear mind. They bring in a subtle substance to the cells and tissues of the body. The color of the mind amplifies mental understanding and clarity, making possible the integration of thoughts with the vast knowledge of the soul. The color of the physical body and brain also bring healing to the physical body. All seven colors emanate from the one primary color of this Solar system, indigo/sapphire blue. The soul of each individual functions on one of the seven rays, and each ray has its own color.

Contact Healing with Crystals

For healing choose smooth polished stones about the size of a large coin. Use an counter-clockwise movement to remove pain and clockwise to infuse the body with healing energies.

Crystal quartz: will unblock stagnant energies; infuse the body with energy and positive feelings into a person who is ill or sad. Clear quartz will also trigger the body’s immune system and innate regenerative powers. This crystal is for fast results and can substitute for any other crystal

Citrine: This is a sparking yellow sun crystal that is naturally warming and energizing but is gentler than clear quartz. Melting pain and tension, citrine fills you or the patient with a slow even flow of warming energies that will create a sense of well-being and rebalance the body. It is ideal for chronic conditions or where a patient is weakened or distressed

Rose Quartz or Amethyst: These pink or purple transparent crystals have similar properties and are both excellent for use with children, older people and animals. They are also helpful where calm, quiet-acting energies are necessary to soothe and harmonize a body that is over–stressed and a mind that is over-active. They will remove pain and problems caused by tension, hormonal swings or emotional crises that give rise to physical symptoms.

W. Leadbeater in “Inner Life,” Vol. 1, page 447-460 describes the colors and petals of each energy center in the human as follows:

  1. The base of the spine, four petals. These petals are in the shape of a cross, and radiate with orange fire.
  2. The solar plexus, ten petals, rosy color with admixture of green.
  3. The heart center, twelve petals glowing golden.
  4. The throat center, sixteen petals of a silvery blue, with blue predominating.
  5. The head center in its twofold divisions:
  • Between the eyebrows, consisting of ninety-six petals, one-half of the lotus being rose and yellow, and the other half blue and purple.
  • The very top of the head. A center consisting of twelve major petals of white and gold, and nine hundred and sixty secondary petals arranged around the central twelve.

When your body is purified, and its energies rightly directed, and when the rhythm of the soul is achieved, a radiant life is created. This works out literally as the life currents are directed by the soul through your nervous system and circulatory system.

 

References:

  1. http://www.fengshuidana.com/2015/07/08/healing-colors-your-bright-life/
  2. http://www.chakraboosters.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Chakra-Chart-Master-1224-wide.jpg
  3. https://hubpages.com/health/A-Simple-Guide-To-Colour-Therapy-And-Healing-With-Color
  4. https://hubpages.com/health/How-to-Use-Color-Therapy-to-Relieve-Stress
  5. https://www.color-meanings.com/7-best-colors-healing/
  6. http://www.healing-journeys-energy.com/healing-with-color.html
  7. http://www.deeptrancenow.com/colortherapy.htm
  8. https://www.aetherius.org/healing-yourself-and-others/color-therapy/
  9. http://www.crystalinks.com/colors.html
  10. https://pathoflight.com/color-test-healing
  11. https://pathoflight.com/products/books.html
  12. http://www.cassandraeason.com/healing/healing_colours.htm

How Color is Used in Marketing

 

Color psychology is one of the more fascinating sides of marketing. Reds to motivate. Blues to build trust. Oranges for confidence. The visual light spectrum has the power to play our emotional responses like a violin. Color has profound psychological effect on human emotion and thought, behavior and decisions. Colors exercise powerful effects and induce reactions based on both instincts and associations.

Colors alter the meanings of the objects or situations with which they are associated, and color preferences can predict consumers’ behavior. This is why corporations began researching how to use color to get you to spend more. Sometimes color is the sole reason you bought something, and you didn’t even know it. Color directs what you see and how you react.

  • Contrasting colors are used help to reduce eye strain and assist you in focusing on specific items.
  • The vibrancy of a color can dictate your emotional response.
  • Brighter colors cause you to feel more energetic. They promote physical activity and make it seem that time passes slower.
  • Darker colors make it easier for you to process data.
  • Cooler and softer colors are better for mental activity and make time seem to fly by.
  • Monochromatic (single color) color schemes are easy on the eye and provide a sleek and minimalistic look.
  • Complementary color schemes use two colors from opposite ends of color wheel to provide a pleasing view.
  • Triple color scheme uses three colors equally spaced on the color wheel to provide a harmonious effect on the web page.
  • Pure colors are those without the addition of white, black, or a third color. These are intense, bright, and cheery.
  • Tints are made when you add white to a color, also known as pastel colors, and they are lighter and paler than pure color.
  • Shades are made when black is added to a color. It darkens and dulls the brightness of pure colors.
  • Tones are made when grey is added to a pure color. This ‘tones down’ the intensity of color.
  • Analogous colors are found next to each other on the color wheel.
  • Triad (triangle) – color combination made of three colors evenly spaced on the color wheel.
  • Tetradic (rectangle) – color combination of four colors made up of two complementary pairs.
  • Square – four colors evenly spaced on color wheel.

How do Colors Influence People? (SmallBizTrends.com)

Primary Colors: Red, Blue, Yellow

Secondary Colors: Purple, Green, Orange

Tertiary Colors: red-purple, red-orange, yellow-green

Red – Creates a sense of urgency, which is good for clearance sales. Encourages appetite, thus is frequently used by fast-food chains. Physically stimulates the body, raising blood pressure and heart rate, associated with movement, excitement, and passion. Shows friendliness and strength along with aggressiveness and negative emotions.

Pink – Softer and less intense than red. Provides compassion an unconditional love. Soothing, caring, romantic, hopeful, understanding, and nurturing. Too much pink is draining and can show a lack of power or immaturity.

Blue – The preferred color of men. It’s associated with peace, water, tranquility, and reliability. Blue provides a sense of security, curbs appetite, and stimulates productivity. The most common color used by conservative brands looking to promote trust in their products. It is one of the last colors to be seen so can be perceived as distant, cold, or unfriendly.

Green – Associated with health, tranquility, power, and nature. Used in stores to relax customers and for promoting environmental issues. Green stimulates harmony in your brain and encourages a balance leading to decisiveness. Lends a clear sense of right and wrong but can be over-possessive and materialistic.

Purple – Commonly associated with royalty, wisdom, and respect. Stimulates problem solving as well as creativity. Frequently used to promote beauty and anti-aging products. Presents the opportunity for introspection and distraction as it causes thoughts to wander.

Orange & Yellow – Cheerful colors that promote optimism. Yellow can make babies cry, while orange can trigger a sense of caution. Used to create a sense of anxiety that can draw in impulsive buyers and window shoppers. Orange is the color of comfort and warmth, motivation, positive attitude, and general enthusiasm. Yellow is joyful, happy, cheerful, inspiring, and optimistic. Yet too much yellow makes us feel critical of ourselves and lowers our self-esteem.

Gold – represents charm, friendliness, abundance, prosperity, confidence, luxury, and treasure. Too much can be egotistical, proud, and self-righteous.

Brown – not visually stimulating but provides structure, stability, support, security, and protection. May seem too reserved, scheduled, or boring. Can be used in place of black when it might be too intense.

Black – Associated with sophistication, seriousness, control, independence, authority, power, stability, and strength. Can also show mystery, evil, and death. Often a symbol of intelligence but can become overwhelming or cause sadness if used too frequently.

Grey – Symbolizes feelings of practicality, old age, and solidarity. But too much grey can lead to feelings of nothingness and depression.

White – Associated with feelings of purity, cleanliness, peace, innocence, and safety. Represents new beginnings and provides a blank slate. Can be used to project an absence of color or neutrality. White space helps spark creativity since it can be perceived as an unaltered, clean state. Too much white can lead to isolation, loneliness, and emptiness.

Color & Word Association (CoSchedule.com)

  • Trust: Most chose the color blue (34%), followed by white (21%) and green (11%)
  • Security: Blue came out on top (28%), followed by black (16%) and green (12%)
  • Speed: Red was overwhelmingly the favorite (76%)
  • Cheapness: Orange came first (26%), followed by yellow (22%) and brown (13%)
  • High Quality: Black was the clear winner (43%), then blue (20%)
  • High Tech: This was almost evenly split, with black the top choice (26%) and blue and gray second (both 23%)
  • Reliability: Blue was the top choice (43%), followed by black (24%)
  • Courage: Most chose purple (29%), then red (28%), and finally blue (22%)
  • Fear/Terror: Red came in first (41%) followed by black (38%)
  • Fun: Orange was the top choice (28%), followed closely by yellow (26%) and then purple (17%)

Color Association by Gender (CoSchedule.com)

  • Blue is the favored color by both men (57%) and women (35%), though it is more heavily favored by men.
  • Men dislike brown the most while women dislike orange the most.
  • Colors that were disliked were also seen as “cheap.”
  • Men tolerate achromatic colors (i.e. shades of gray) better.
  • Women preferred tints while men preferred pure or shaded colors.
  • A majority of men (56%) and women (76%) preferred cool colors in general.
  • Orange and yellow grow increasingly disliked as both genders get older.

Color Blindness (https://nei.nih.gov)

Most of us share a common color vision sensory experience. Some people, however, have a color vision deficiency, which means their perception of colors is different from what most of us see. The most severe forms of these deficiencies are referred to as color blindness. People with color blindness aren’t aware of differences among colors that are obvious to the rest of us. People who don’t have the more severe types of color blindness may not even be aware of their condition unless they’re tested in a clinic or laboratory.

Inherited color blindness is caused by abnormal photopigments. These color-detecting molecules are located in cone-shaped cells within the retina, called cone cells. In humans, several genes are needed for the body to make photopigments, and defects in these genes can lead to color blindness.

There are three main kinds of color blindness, based on photopigment defects in the three different kinds of cones that respond to blue, green, and red light. Red-green color blindness is the most common, followed by blue-yellow color blindness. A complete absence of color vision —total color blindness – is rare.

Sometimes color blindness can be caused by physical or chemical damage to the eye, the optic nerve, or parts of the brain that process color information. Color vision can also decline with age, most often because of cataract – a clouding and yellowing of the eye’s lens.

References:

  1. https://smallbiztrends.com/2014/06/psychology-of-colors.html
  2. https://coschedule.com/blog/color-psychology-marketing/
  3. http://www.empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com/color-and-marketing.html
  4. https://marketinginsidergroup.com/content-marketing/8-creative-examples-use-color-psychology-marketing/
  5. https://www.designbold.com/blog/2631-2/
  6. https://www.fastcodesign.com/90149703/the-big-money-behind-naming-a-color-of-the-year
  7. https://www.fastcompany.com/3009317/why-is-facebook-blue-the-science-behind-colors-in-marketing
  8. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0258042X1103600206
  9. http://ijbssnet.com/journals/Vol_6_No_3_March_2015/4.pdf
  10. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/pts.2061
  11. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13527260500247827?src=recsys&journalCode=rjmc20
  12. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Impact-of-color-on-marketing-Singh/3c33ea02ea7ad48475eab0c8376195768f317972
  13. https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/pjap.2014.12.issue-2/pjap-2015-0006/pjap-2015-0006.xml
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3743993/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4383146/
  16. https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1332&context=honorstheses
  17. http://www.pnas.org/content/107/19/8877

Ginger Root Oil

Ginger Root (Zingiber officinale)

By Photograph: Frank C. Müller, Baden-Baden – Self-photographed, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4129876

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or simply ginger, is widely used as a spice or a folk medicine. It is a herbaceous perennial which grows annual pseudostems (false stems made of the rolled bases of leaves) about a meter tall bearing narrow leaf blades. The inflorescences bear pale yellow with purple flowers and arise directly from the rhizome on separate shoots. Ginger is in the family Zingiberaceae, to which also belong turmeric (Curcuma longa), cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum), and galangal.

Ginger produces clusters of white and pink flower buds that bloom into yellow flowers. Because of its aesthetic appeal and the adaptation of the plant to warm climates, it is often used as landscaping around subtropical homes. It is a perennial reed-like plant with annual leafy stems, about a meter (3 to 4 feet) tall. Traditionally, the rhizome is gathered when the stalk withers; it is immediately scalded, or washed and scraped, to kill it and prevent sprouting. The fragrant perisperm of the Zingiberaceae is used as sweetmeats by Bantu, and also as a condiment and sialagogue.

Ginger originated in the tropical rainforests from the Indian subcontinent to Southern Asia where ginger plants show considerable genetic variation. As one of the first spices exported from the Orient, ginger arrived in Europe during the spice trade, and was used by ancient Greeks and Romans. The distantly related dicots in the genus Asarum are commonly called wild ginger because of their similar taste.

The characteristic fragrance and flavor of ginger result from volatile oils that compose 1-3% of the weight of fresh ginger, primarily consisting of zingerone, shogaols and gingerols with [6]-gingerol (1-[4′-hydroxy-3′-methoxyphenyl]-5-hydroxy-3-decanone) as the major pungent compound. Zingerone is produced from gingerols during drying, having lower pungency and a spicy-sweet aroma.

Raw ginger is composed of 79% water, 18% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and 1% fat. In 100 grams (a standard amount used to compare with other foods), raw ginger supplies 80 Calories and contains moderate amounts of vitamin B6 (12% of the Daily Value, DV) and the dietary minerals, magnesium (12% DV) and manganese (11% DV), but otherwise is low in nutrient content.

The chemical composition of the essential oil obtained from the rhizomes of Zingiber officinale Roscoe from Cuba was examined by combined GC and GC/MS. The oil was characterized by the presence of ar-curcumene (22.1%), zingiberene (11.7%), β-bisabolene (11.2%) and cadina-1,4-diene (12.5%).

Blending: Ginger oil blends well with many other essential oils including lemon, cedarwood, lime, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, rosemary, sandalwood, patchouli, myrtle, bergamot, rosewood, neroli, orange, and ylang-ylang.

Health Benefits Of Ginger Root Essential Oil (OrganicFacts.net)

Relieves Stomach Issues – Ginger root oil is one of the best remedies for indigestion, stomach ache, dyspepsia, colic, spasms, diarrhea, flatulence, and other stomach and bowel related problems. Ginger or ginger oil is often added to recipes, especially in India, as it helps in improving digestion. Ginger tea is also used for relieving stomach problems. Furthermore, it can increase your appetite, which is great for people who are trying to put on weight.

Treats Food Poisoning – Ginger oil is an antiseptic and carminative substance. As a result, it can be used to treat food poisoning. It is also used for treating intestinal infections and bacterial dysentery.

Effective Against Nausea – Research has shown that ginger root and its oil are also effective against nausea, motion sickness, and vomiting. Use of ginger may also result in a reduction of pregnancy-related vomiting in women.

Protects Against Malaria – Ginger root and ginger oil are effective against yellow fever and malaria as they have mosquito repelling qualities.

Treats Respiratory disorders – Ginger root and ginger oil are both good expectorants, so they are effective in treating respiratory problems such as cold, cough, flu, asthma, bronchitis, and breathlessness. Ginger is very effective in removing mucus from the throat and lungs, so it is often added to tea. The health benefits of honey and ginger in treating respiratory problems are also well-known.

Reduces Inflammation – Ginger oil or ginger paste is often topically massaged on aching muscles to remove muscle strain. It is further believed that regular use of ginger leads to the reduction of prostaglandins, which are the compounds associated with pain. Therefore, ginger helps in pain relief. Recently, a few Chinese researchers have reported that ginger can be very effective in treating inflammation of the testicles.

The extract of ginger is often used in traditional medicine to reduce inflammation. Research has now proven that its anti-inflammatory properties can be attributed to the presence of a substance named zingibain. It is analgesic in nature and reduces the pain caused by muscle aches, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, headaches, and migraines.

Treats Menstrual Issues – Irregular and painful menstrual discharges can be treated with ginger root oil. Its anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing the production of prostaglandins, which often cause painful uterine contractions during menstruation.

Protects Heart Health – In China, it is strongly believed that ginger boosts your heart health. Many people use ginger oil as a measure to prevent as well as cure various heart conditions. Preliminary research has indicated that ginger may be helpful in reducing cholesterol levels and preventing blood clots. With reduced cholesterol levels and blood clotting, the chance of blood vessel blockage decreases, thereby reducing the incidences of heart attacks and strokes.

Lowers Stress – Ginger oil, being an essential oil, is stimulating and therefore, relieves depression, mental stress, exhaustion, dizziness, restlessness, and anxiety.

Eliminates Impotency – Ginger is helpful for male health as well. Since ginger root and its oil are an aphrodisiac in nature, they are effective in eliminating impotency and preventing premature ejaculation.

Dissolves Kidney Stones – It is also believed that ginger root juice is able to dissolve kidney stones. Ginger root oil aids in keeping you hydrated thereby helping in expelling the stones, if there are any.

Hair Care – Ginger oil is rich in minerals, which aid in hair care. Also, it helps get rid of the dry, itchy scalp, which is often a major cause of dandruff. The oil’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties also assist you in keeping the scalp clean and healthy.

Word of Caution: It should be noted that ginger oil is very strong and should, therefore, be used carefully and sparingly.

Benefits Of Lemon Ginger Tea: health benefits of this unusual infusion!

Treats Nausea & Indigestion – Ginger has a very powerful active ingredient, named zingiber, which is able to eliminate bacterial pathogens that often attack the stomach and compromise digestive function. Ginger is also known to soothe nausea and eliminate vomiting while promoting more effective digestion and nutrient absorption. Lemon, on the other hand, is closely linked to reducing indigestion and heartburn!

Improves Cognitive Function – Lemon and ginger help in improving concentration and cognition. Fortunately, both of these ingredients are also excellent at soothing nerves and improving mood, which means clear thinking, while the antioxidant effects mean less oxidative stress and a lower chance of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Skin Care – The high vitamin content of lemon and ginger, combined with their numerous antioxidants, make this infusion an excellent option for improving the skin health. You can drink this tea or even apply it topically to irritated patches of skin. Antioxidants help to reduce oxidative stress in the skin and promote the growth of new cells, while the antibacterial and antiviral nature of this beverage protects the skin from infections.

Weight Loss – Ginger is well known to stimulate the metabolism and can also help to satiate feelings of hunger. Therefore, a glass of lemon ginger tea in the morning can help those who are trying to lose weight, primarily by adding extra calorie-burning to their day and suppressing the desire to snack between meals.

Hair Care – Lemon and ginger have both been used independently for hair health for centuries, but this tea is high in vitamin A and C, both of which are linked to improve hair growth, and a reduce dry skin and dandruff. This can strengthen your hair and give it a luscious appearance.

Boosts Immunity – Both lemon and ginger are known around the world as immune system aids, so it makes sense that lemon ginger tea can comprehensively protect you from pathogens and illness. When you are suffering from a cold or flu, simply drink 1-2 cups of this tea each day and quickly see an improvement in your symptoms and a reduction in irritation of your respiratory tracts.

Controls Diabetes – When it comes to blood sugar regulation, few things are as effective as ginger. By optimizing the release of insulin and blood sugar in your body, you can prevent the dangerous spikes and drops in blood sugar that can lead to diabetes or can affect someone already diagnosed with this condition.

Relieves Pain – The natural anti-inflammatory nature of ginger not only reduces irritation, swelling, and inflammation in the body but can also function as an analgesic. This tea can help you recover from body pain, menstrual cramps, illness, and surgeries.

Improves Mood – Aside from this infusion’s effect on concentration and cognitive function, lemon and ginger are also known as mood boosters. There is a good reason why lemon is so commonly used in aromatherapy approaches, while ginger is known to relieve tension and lower stress hormone levels in the body, which can definitely make you feel happier and more in control of your emotions.

Side Effects Of Lemon Ginger Tea – Some people suffer from heartburn or stomach upset when they drink this beverage, which could be the response of a sensitive stomach to ginger’s powerful active ingredients or even a ginger allergy. Speak to your doctor or allergist before making any major changes to your diet or health regimen.

Research on Ginger

Ginger has been used for stomach upset, motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting. Some herbal/diet supplement products have been found to contain possibly harmful impurities/additives. Check with your pharmacist for more details about the particular brand you use. The FDA has not reviewed this product for safety or effectiveness. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

Rheumatoid Arthritis – various phytochemical constituents of ginger have potential therapeutic roles in amelioration of RA symptoms and even possibly RA itself. It is expected that further elucidation of the molecular mechanisms behind the action of these phytochemicals not only can lead to discovery of new drugs for symptomatic relief of RA conditions like inflammation and pain, but also may make it possible to stop further progress or even reverse the damage caused by RA.

Motion Sickness – Ginger works by blocking the effects of serotonin, a chemical produced by the brain and stomach when a patient is nauseated. In a recent study, ginger was equally as effective in relieving motion sickness as Dramamine.

Morning Sickness – During pregnancy, approximately 70-80% of women experience nausea and vomiting. Many new studies have taken a therapeutic approach to treat pregnancy induced sickness. Ginger has a long history of pharmaceutical application, especially in China, Japan, and India. According to the results, ginger is a simple, accessible and convenient approach to gestational nausea.

Although Zingiber officinale (ginger) has been used for centuries among Asian cultures as an antiemetic, research directly assessing the effects of this herb in a variety of clinical as well as animal models remains sparse.  In those few studies reported, however, ginger has been shown to attenuate symptoms of nausea and vomiting in both clinical and laboratory settings.

Chemotherapy – In a double-blind study of women being treated for breast cancer, 500 mg of powered ginger was administered twice a day for three days. This benefited those patients experiencing nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy.

Dental Health – Orally, studies have demonstrated that gingerol, a compound in ginger, poses both antiviral and antifungal agents that promote salivary flow and reduce oral candidiasis.

Liver Health – Zingiber officinale acts as a nutraceutical agent against liver fibrosis.

Pain Relief – the available data provide tentative support for the anti-inflammatory role of Z. officinale constituents, which may reduce the subjective experience of pain in some conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Antimicrobial Activity – Zingiber officinale possesses remarkable antimicrobial activity, which is mainly due to naphthalenamine, decanal, and alfa.-copaene. According to these findings, it could be said that the methanolic extract act as antibacterial agents.

Anticancer Activity – Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is widely used all over the world as a spice and condiment in daily cooking. It is a natural food component with many active phenolic compounds such as shagaol and gingerol, and it has been shown to have anti-cancer and antioxidant effects. Ginger extract was able to reduce the incidence of liver neoplasms in rats, this is the first study reporting that the anti-cancer effect exhibited by ginger on liver cancer cells is mediated by inflammatory markers NFκB and TNF-α. Thus, the ginger extract may have a chemotherapeutic effect in the treatment of liver cancer.

Ginger’s pungent components offer powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, making it useful in arthritis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The active compound responsible for this effect is zingibain, an enzyme that counteracts inflammation. The active compounds contained in ginger are divided into two groups: volatile essential oils and fragrant or harsh phenol compounds. Among these volatile essential components, which constitute gingerol and shagelol have been accounted for antimicrobial activity of ginger.

Lowering Cholesterol – The ginger extract has reduced in serum LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, triglycerides and phospholipids levels, as well as cellular cholesterol accumulation, reduce DPPH absorption, scavenge free radicals and it has potential to improve the histopathological lesion occurring in different layers of the arterial tissue. In the other word it is effective in attenuating of atherosclerosis development.

Hypertension – Adults who consume ginger daily have an 8 percent lower risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure). A 2005 study found ginger may lower blood pressure through blockade of voltage-dependent calcium channels.

Side Effects of Ginger

Burning feeling in mouth/throat, abdominal pain, diarrhea, or heartburn may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. Tell your doctor immediately if any of these very unlikely but serious side effects occur: unusual bleeding/bruising, unusual drowsiness, irregular heartbeat. A very serious allergic reaction to ginger is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Before taking ginger, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: bleeding problems, diabetes, gallstones, heart problems. This product might contain aristolochic acid, which can cause serious problems in the kidneys or urinary system (e.g., renal fibrosis, urinary tract cancer). Symptoms include an unusual change in the amount of urine or blood in the urine. Consult your pharmacist for more details about the contents of this ginger product. Liquid forms of this product may contain sugar and/or alcohol. Caution is advised if you have diabetes, alcohol dependence, or liver disease. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely. During pregnancy, this product should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Before using ginger, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: medications/herbal products that may increase your risk of bleeding (e.g., “blood thinners” such as warfarin and heparin, anti-platelet drugs such as clopidogrel and ticlopidine, herbs such as danshen/garlic). Aspirin may also increase the risk of bleeding when used with this product. If your doctor has prescribed low doses of aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams a day), you should continue to take the aspirin. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.

Recipes

How to Make Ginger Oil Infusion

Materials:

  • Fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • Oven-safe bowl
  • Cheese grater

Procedure:

  1. Rinse a cup of fresh ginger, including the skin, thoroughly, and let dry for a few hours.
  2. Pour the olive oil in an oven-safe bowl.
  3. Chop the ginger and then shred using a clean cheese grater. Add to the olive oil and mix well.
  4. Put the mixture in the oven and leave it to simmer under low heat (150 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least two hours.
  5. Pour the mixture through an unbleached cheese cloth to filter it and take out the bits of ginger. Once all the oil has been filtered, squeeze out the remaining oil from the cheese cloth.
  6. Transfer the ginger oil into clean vials or bottles and store in a cool dry place.

This ginger oil infusion can stay fresh for up to six months.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger
  2. https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/ginger-root.html
  3. https://www.organicfacts.net/ginger-root-oil.html
  4. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/beverage/lemon-ginger-tea.html
  5. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/ginger-oil.aspx
  6. https://drericz.com/benefits-of-ginger-essential-oil/
  7. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/ginger-oil.asp
  8. https://www.livestrong.com/article/128211-benefits-ginger-oil/
  9. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-92766/ginger-oil-oral/details
  10. https://draxe.com/ginger-essential-oil/
  11. https://draxe.com/10-medicinal-ginger-health-benefits/
  12. https://draxe.com/ginger-root-benefits/
  13. https://draxe.com/ginger-tea-benefits/
  14. https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/12/12/1808/1846834
  15. https://www.dentalcare.com/en-us/professional-education/ce-courses/ce549/ginger
  16. http://www.scopemed.org/?mno=2048
  17. http://www.orientjchem.org/vol32no2/antibacterial-effect-of-ginger-zingiber-officinale-roscoe-and-bioactive-chemical-analysis-using-gas-chromatography-mass-spectrum-2/
  18. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0141119
  19. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10412905.2004.9698692
  20. https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/departments/biology/facilities/confocal_microscope/baird/node/118798
  21. https://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-7075-8-40
  22. http://www.ijddr.in/drug-development/anti-bacterial-and-anti-inflammatory-efficacy-of-zingiber-officinale-and-decalepis-hamiltonii–in-vitro-study.php?aid=6861
  23. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/707084/ZINGIBER_OFFICINALE_%28GINGER%29_ROOT_OIL/#.WsnsBojwaUk
  24. http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1807-59322008000600017
  25. https://www.medicinenet.com/ginger_zingiber_officinale-oral/article.htm
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25719344
  27. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/arthritis/2014/159089/
  28. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1110116413000902
  29. https://academic.oup.com/rheumatology/article/42/5/652/1784589
  30. https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zingiber+officinale
  31. http://eol.org/pages/987032/overview
  32. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213434416300676
  33. http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=182.20
  34. https://books.google.ca/books?id=KeGzp-YXrPYC&pg=PA3591
  35. https://books.google.com/?id=0HzoNfy-__EC&dq=ginger+philippines+sore+throat

 

Why We Can’t Avoid GMOs

Why We Can’t Avoid Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/08/12/gmos-from-ancient-history-to-the-future/

Whether we like it or not, we cannot avoid genetically modified foods. We have been eating them for centuries. From the first selectively bred herbs and grasses for medicines and foods thousands of years ago or the corn crops we have enhanced since Egyptian times, genetically modified foods are unavoidable. Look at ‘organic’ food crops. Where did those big and juicy apples or oranges come from? Apples were the size of cherries when nature evolved them. We turned them into the Washington giants we see today. Oranges were the size of grapes and grapes were the size of peas. Now look at the juice filled monsters we eat everyday.

What about animal foods? Well consider what cows used to look like, about 10,000 years ago. We know that the ancient aurochs common in Asia and Europe are the original ancestors of all cattle today. We captured them like we did wolves (15,000 years ago) and started artificial selective breeding. Don’t forget oxen, asses, water buffalo, horses, goats, llamas, sheep, pigs, chicken, camels, cats, silk moths, rabbits, pigeons, pheasant, elephants, turkey, honey bees, trout and salmon. All have been selectively bred for better food quality, faster growth rates, more production, specific colorations, desirable physical attributes (ex – long tail/short ears) and/or more docility or controllability in the last 10,000 years.

Comparing Classical Breeding and Crop Breeding Through Genetic Engineering

Crops produced through genetic engineering are sometimes referred to as genetically modified organisms. The term genetic modification, and so-called genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is frequently misused. All types (organic, conventional) of agriculture modify the genes of plants so that they will have desirable traits. The difference is that traditional forms of breeding change the plant’s genetics indirectly by selecting plants with specific traits, while genetic engineering changes the traits by making changes directly to the DNA. In traditional breeding, crosses are made in a relatively uncontrolled manner. The breeder chooses the parents to cross, but at the genetic level, the results are unpredictable. DNA from the parents recombines randomly. In contrast, genetic engineering permits highly targeted transfer of genes, quick and efficient tracking of genes in new varieties, and ultimately increased efficiency in developing new crop varieties with new and desirable traits.

GMOs Are Not New

To date, scientists have engineered bacteria that produce medication-grade drugs, crops with built-in pesticides, and beagles that glow in the dark. While these are all relatively recent advances in scientific technology, humans have been altering the genetics of organisms for over 30,000 years. How did the original practice of selective breeding evolve into the concept of genetically modified organisms, as we know it today? Innovators, motivated by some of the world’s most critical problems, have paved the way for GMOs — a path that leads to an unimaginable array of benefits, but also raises extremely important questions.

While our ancestors had no concept of genetics, they were still able to influence the DNA of other organisms by a process called “selective breeding” or “artificial selection.” These terms, coined by Charles Darwin, describe the process of choosing the organisms with the most desired traits and mating them with the intention of combining and propagating these traits through their offspring. Repeated use of this practice over many generations can result in dramatic genetic changes to a species. While artificial selection is not what we typically consider GMO technology today, it is still the precursor to the modern processes and the earliest example of our species influencing genetics.

Artificial selection has also been utilized with a variety of plants. The earliest evidence of artificial selection of plants dates back to 7800 BCE in archaeological sites found in southwest Asia, where scientists have found domestic varieties of wheat. However, one of the most dramatic and prevalent alterations in plant genetics has occurred through artificial selection of corn. Corn, or maize, began as a wild grass called teosinte that had tiny ears with very few kernels. Over the hundreds of years, teosinte was selectively bred to have larger and larger ears with more and more kernels, resulting in what we now know as corn.  A similar process has given us large heads of broccoli, bananas with nearly unnoticeable seeds, and apples that are sweet and juicy.

Why are GM foods produced?

GM foods are developed – and marketed – because there is some perceived advantage either to the producer or consumer of these foods. This is meant to translate into a product with a lower price, greater benefit (in terms of durability or nutritional value) or both. Initially GM seed developers wanted their products to be accepted by producers and have concentrated on innovations that bring direct benefit to farmers (and the food industry generally).

One of the objectives for developing plants based on GM organisms is to improve crop protection. The GM crops currently on the market are mainly aimed at an increased level of crop protection through the introduction of resistance against plant diseases caused by insects or viruses or through increased tolerance towards herbicides.

Resistance against insects is achieved by incorporating into the food plant the gene for toxin production from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). This toxin is currently used as a conventional insecticide in agriculture and is safe for human consumption. GM crops that inherently produce this toxin have been shown to require lower quantities of insecticides in specific situations, e.g. where pest pressure is high. Virus resistance is achieved through the introduction of a gene from certain viruses which cause disease in plants. Virus resistance makes plants less susceptible to diseases caused by such viruses, resulting in higher crop yields.

Herbicide tolerance is achieved through the introduction of a gene from a bacterium conveying resistance to some herbicides. In situations where weed pressure is high, the use of such crops has resulted in a reduction in the quantity of the herbicides used.

What Are Genetically Modified Foods?

Genetically modified foods, GM foods or genetically engineered foods, are foods produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering as opposed to traditional cross breeding. In the U.S., the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) favor the use of “genetic engineering” over “genetic modification” as the more precise term; the USDA defines genetic modification to include “genetic engineering or other more traditional methods.”

According to the World Health Organization, “Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms (i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. The technology is often called ‘modern biotechnology’ or ‘gene technology’, sometimes also ‘recombinant DNA technology’ or ‘genetic engineering’. … Foods produced from or using GM organisms are often referred to as GM foods.”

The first genetically modified plant was produced in 1983, using an antibiotic-resistant tobacco plant. Genetically modified microbial enzymes were the first application of genetically modified organisms in food production and were approved in 1988 by the US Food and Drug Administration. In the early 1990s, recombinant chymosin was approved for use in several countries. Cheese had typically been made using the enzyme complex rennet that had been extracted from cows’ stomach lining. Scientists modified bacteria to produce chymosin, which was also able to clot milk, resulting in cheese curds.

Corn used for food and ethanol has been genetically modified to tolerate various herbicides and to express a protein from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that kills certain insects. About 90% of the corn grown in the US was genetically modified in 2010. In the US in 2015, 81% of corn acreage contained the Bt trait and 89% of corn acreage contained the glyphosate-tolerant trait. Corn can be processed into grits, meal and flour as an ingredient in pancakes, muffins, doughnuts, breadings and batters, as well as baby foods, meat products, cereals and some fermented products. Corn-based masa flour and masa dough are used in the production of taco shells, corn chips and tortillas.

Genetically modified soybean has been modified to tolerate herbicides and produce healthier oils. In 2015, 94% of soybean acreage in the U.S. was genetically modified to be glyphosate-tolerant.

As of December 2017, genetically modified wheat has been evaluated in field trials, but has not been released commercially.

The US imports 10% of its sugar, while the remaining 90% is extracted from sugar beet and sugarcane. After deregulation in 2005, glyphosate-resistant sugar beet was extensively adopted in the United States. 95% of beet acres in the US were planted with glyphosate-resistant seed in 2011. GM sugar beets are approved for cultivation in the US, Canada and Japan; the vast majority are grown in the US. GM beets are approved for import and consumption in Australia, Canada, Colombia, EU, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, the Russian Federation and Singapore. Pulp from the refining process is used as animal feed. The sugar produced from GM sugar beets contains no DNA or protein – it is just sucrose that is chemically indistinguishable from sugar produced from non-GM sugar beets. Independent analyses conducted by internationally recognized laboratories found that sugar from Roundup Ready sugar beets is identical to the sugar from comparably grown conventional (non-Roundup Ready) sugar beets.

Most vegetable oil used in the US is produced from GM crops canola, corn, cotton and soybeans. Vegetable oil is sold directly to consumers as cooking oil, shortening and margarine and is used in prepared foods. There is a vanishingly small amount of protein or DNA from the original crop in vegetable oil. Vegetable oil is made of triglycerides extracted from plants or seeds and then refined and may be further processed via hydrogenation to turn liquid oils into solids. The refining process removes all, or nearly all non-triglyceride ingredients. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) offer an alternative to conventional fats and oils. The length of a fatty acid influences its fat absorption during the digestive process. Fatty acids in the middle position on the glycerol molecules appear to be absorbed more easily and influence metabolism more than fatty acids on the end positions. Unlike ordinary fats, MCTs are metabolized like carbohydrates. They have exceptional oxidative stability, and prevent foods from turning rancid readily.

Livestock and poultry are raised on animal feed, much of which is composed of the leftovers from processing crops, including GM crops. For example, approximately 43% of a canola seed is oil. What remains after oil extraction is a meal that becomes an ingredient in animal feed and contains canola protein. Likewise, the bulk of the soybean crop is grown for oil and meal. The high-protein defatted and toasted soy meal becomes livestock feed and dog food. 98% of the US soybean crop goes for livestock feed. In 2011, 49% of the US maize harvest was used for livestock feed (including the percentage of waste from distillers grains). “Despite methods that are becoming more and more sensitive, tests have not yet been able to establish a difference in the meat, milk, or eggs of animals depending on the type of feed they are fed. It is impossible to tell if an animal was fed GM soy just by looking at the resulting meat, dairy, or egg products. The only way to verify the presence of GMOs in animal feed is to analyze the origin of the feed itself.”

Genetically modified livestock are organisms from the group of cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, birds, horses and fish kept for human consumption, whose genetic material (DNA) has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. In some cases, the aim is to introduce a new trait to the animals which does not occur naturally in the species, i.e. transgenesis.

A 2003 review published on behalf of Food Standards Australia New Zealand examined transgenic experimentation on terrestrial livestock species as well as aquatic species such as fish and shellfish. The review examined the molecular techniques used for experimentation as well as techniques for tracing the transgenes in animals and products as well as issues regarding transgene stability.

What are the main issues of concern for human health?

While theoretical discussions have covered a broad range of aspects, the three main issues debated are the potentials to provoke allergic reaction (allergenicity), gene transfer and outcrossing.

Allergenicity: As a matter of principle, the transfer of genes from commonly allergenic organisms to non-allergic organisms is discouraged unless it can be demonstrated that the protein product of the transferred gene is not allergenic. While foods developed using traditional breeding methods are not generally tested for allergenicity, protocols for the testing of GM foods have been evaluated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and WHO. No allergic effects have been found relative to GM foods currently on the market.

Gene transfer: Gene transfer from GM foods to cells of the body or to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract would cause concern if the transferred genetic material adversely affects human health. This would be particularly relevant if antibiotic resistance genes, used as markers when creating GMOs, were to be transferred. Although the probability of transfer is low, the use of gene transfer technology that does not involve antibiotic resistance genes is encouraged.

Outcrossing: The migration of genes from GM plants into conventional crops or related species in the wild (referred to as “outcrossing”), as well as the mixing of crops derived from conventional seeds with GM crops, may have an indirect effect on food safety and food security. Cases have been reported where GM crops approved for animal feed or industrial use were detected at low levels in the products intended for human consumption. Several countries have adopted strategies to reduce mixing, including a clear separation of the fields within which GM crops and conventional crops are grown.

Are They Safe for Consumption?

The genetically modified foods controversy consists of a set of disputes over the use of food made from genetically modified crops. The disputes involve consumers, farmers, biotechnology companies, governmental regulators, non-governmental organizations, environmental and political activists and scientists. The major disagreements include whether GM foods can be safely consumed, harm the environment and/or are adequately tested and regulated. The objectivity of scientific research and publications has been challenged. Farming-related disputes include the use and impact of pesticides, seed production and use, side effects on non-GMO crops/farms, and potential control of the GM food supply by seed companies.

There is a scientific consensus that currently available food derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food, but that each GM food needs to be tested on a case-by-case basis before introduction. Nonetheless, members of the public are much less likely than scientists to perceive GM foods as safe. The legal and regulatory status of GM foods varies by country, with some nations banning or restricting them, and others permitting them with widely differing degrees of regulation.

GM foods currently available on the international market have passed safety assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved. Continuous application of safety assessments based on the Codex Alimentarius principles and, where appropriate, adequate post market monitoring, should form the basis for ensuring the safety of GM foods.

A 2011 analysis by Diels et al., reviewed 94 peer-reviewed studies pertaining to GMO safety to assess whether conflicts of interest correlated with outcomes that cast GMOs in a favorable light. They found that financial conflict of interest was not associated with study outcome (p = 0.631) while author affiliation to industry (i.e., a professional conflict of interest) was strongly associated with study outcome (p < 0.001). Of the 94 studies that were analyzed, 52% did not declare funding. 10% of the studies were categorized as “undetermined” with regard to professional conflict of interest. Of the 43 studies with financial or professional conflicts of interest, 28 studies were compositional studies. According to Marc Brazeau, an association between professional conflict of interest and positive study outcomes can be skewed because companies typically contract with independent researchers to perform follow-up studies only after in-house research uncovers favorable results. In-house research that uncovers negative or unfavorable results for a novel GMO is generally not further pursued.

A 2013 review, of 1,783 papers on genetically modified crops and food published between 2002 and 2012 found no plausible evidence of dangers from the use of then marketed GM crops. Biofortified, an independent nonprofit organization devoted to providing factual information and fostering discussion about agriculture, especially plant genetics and genetic engineering, planned to add the studies found by the Italian group to its database of studies about GM crops, GENERA.

In a 2014 review, Zdziarski et al. examined 21 published studies of the histopathology of GI tracts of rats that were fed diets derived from GM crops and identified some systemic flaws in this area of the scientific literature. Most studies were performed years after the approval of the crop for human consumption. Papers were often imprecise in their descriptions of the histological results and the selection of study endpoints and lacked necessary details about methods and results. The authors called for the development of better study guidelines for determining the long-term safety of eating GM foods.

A 2016 study by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded that GM foods are safe for human consumption and they could find no conclusive evidence that they harm the environment nor wildlife. They analyzed over 1.000 studies over the previous 30 years that GM crops have been available, reviewed 700 written presentations submitted by interested bodies and heard 80 witnesses. They concluded that GM crops had given farmers economic advantages but found no evidence that GM crops had increased yields. They also noted that weed resistance to GM crops could cause major agricultural problems but this could be addressed by better farming procedures.

Substantially Equivalent?

Regulators check that GM foods are “substantially equivalent” to their conventional counterparts, to detect any negative unintended consequences. New protein(s) that differ from conventional food proteins or anomalies that arise in the substantial equivalence comparison require further toxicological analysis.

In 1999, Andrew Chesson of the Rowett Research Institute warned that substantial equivalence testing “could be flawed in some cases” and that current safety tests could allow harmful substances to enter the human food supply. The same year Millstone, Brunner and Mayer argued that the standard was a pseudo-scientific product of politics and lobbying that was created to reassure consumers and aid biotechnology companies to reduce the time and cost of safety testing. They suggested that GM foods have extensive biological, toxicological and immunological tests and that substantial equivalence should be abandoned.

Kuiper examined this process further in 2002, finding that substantial equivalence does not measure absolute risks, but instead identifies differences between new and existing products. He claimed that characterizing differences is properly a starting point for a safety assessment and “the concept of substantial equivalence is an adequate tool in order to identify safety issues related to genetically modified products that have a traditional counterpart”. Kuiper noted practical difficulties in applying this standard, including the fact that traditional foods contain many toxic or carcinogenic chemicals and that existing diets were never proven to be safe. This lack of knowledge on conventional food means that modified foods may differ in anti-nutrients and natural toxins that have never been identified in the original plant, possibly allowing harmful changes to be missed. In turn, positive modifications may also be missed. For example, corn damaged by insects often contains high levels of fumonisins, carcinogenic toxins made by fungi that travel on insects’ backs and that grow in the wounds of damaged corn. Studies show that most Bt corn has lower levels of fumonisins than conventional insect-damaged corn.

Human Studies

While some groups and individuals have called for more human testing of GM food, multiple obstacles complicate such studies. The General Accounting Office (in a review of FDA procedures requested by Congress) and a working group of the Food and Agricultural and World Health organizations both said that long-term human studies of the effect of GM food are not feasible. The reasons included lack of a plausible hypothesis to test, lack of knowledge about the potential long-term effects of conventional foods, variability in the ways humans react to foods and that epidemiological studies were unlikely to differentiate modified from conventional foods, which come with their own suite of unhealthy characteristics.

Additionally, ethical concerns guide human subject research. These mandate that each tested intervention must have a potential benefit for the human subjects, such as treatment for a disease or nutritional benefit (ruling out, e.g., human toxicity testing). Kimber claimed that the “ethical and technical constraints of conducting human trials, and the necessity of doing so, is a subject that requires considerable attention.” Food with nutritional benefits may escape this objection. E.g., GM rice has been tested for nutritional benefits, namely, increased levels of Vitamin A.

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