Black Cohosh Benefits some new added information-
Black Cohosh has been used by Native Americans for more than two hundred years, after they discovered the root of the plant helped relieve menstrual cramps and symptoms of menopause. These days it is still used for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes/flushes, irritability, mood swings and sleep disturbances. It is also used for PMS, menstrual irregularities, uterine spasms and has been indicated for reducing inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and neuralgia.
Herbal researcher Dr. James Duke has this to say about Black Cohosh; “Black cohosh really should be better known in this country, especially with our aging population and the millions of women who are now facing menopause. Recognized for its mild sedative and anti-inflammatory activity, black cohosh can help with hot flashes and other symptoms associated with that dramatic change of life called menopause. It’s also reported to have some estrogenic activity. Herbalist Steven Foster refers to a study that compared the effects of conventional estrogen replacement therapy with black cohosh. That study looked at 60 women, younger than 40 years old, who had had complete hysterectomies and were experiencing abrupt menopause. In all groups, treatment with black cohosh compared favorably with conventional treatment.”
“Native Americans used the roots and rhizomes of this member of the buttercup family to treat kidney ailments, malaria, rheumatism, and sore throats. Early American settlers turned to it for bronchitis, dropsy, fever, hysteria and nervous disorders, lumbago, rattlesnake bites, and yellow fever. It’s also reportedly well known for easing PMS and menstrual irregularities.”
This estrogenic activity, notes Dr. Duke, can contribute to a ‘mastogenic’ effect; the natural enlargement of the breasts. Black Cohosh has also been used to induce labour and should not be used during pregnancy.
A dozen studies or more conducted throughout the 1980s and 1990s confirm that the long-standing use of black cohosh for menopausal symptoms has scientific validity. For example, in a German study involving 629 women, black cohosh improved physical and psychological menopausal symptoms in more than 80% of the participants within four weeks. In a second study, 60 menopausal women were given black cohosh extract, conjugated estrogens, or diazepam (a leading anti-anxiety medication) for three months. Those who received black cohosh reported feeling significantly less depressed and anxious than those who received either estrogens or diazepam. In another study, 80 menopausal women were treated for 12 weeks with black cohosh extract, conjugated estrogens, or placebo. Black cohosh improved anxiety, menopause and vaginal symptoms. In addition, the number of hot flashes dropped from 5 to less than 1 average daily occurences in the black cohosh group compared to those taking estrogen in whom hot flashes dropped from 5 to 3.5 daily occurences.
Given these examples, and results of other studies, some experts have concluded that black cohosh may be a safe and effective alternative to estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) for women who cannot or will not take ERT for menopause.
Preliminary studies also suggest that black cohosh may help reduce inflammation associated osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. In a review of scientific studies, researchers concluded that a combination of black cohosh, willow bark (Salix spp.), sarsaparilla (Smilax spp.), guaiacum (Guaiacum officinale) resin, and poplar bark (Populus tremuloides) may help relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis.
1.Kidney Health-Black cohosh was used by the Native Americans extensively for this purpose.
2.Rheumatism-This is another traditional use for this amazing medicinal herb.
3.To Aid in Labor-Black cohosh was used during the 1850′s by the Eclectics to help with labor and delivery.
4.Muscle Pain-There are currently several patent remedies for this containing black cohosh in Europe and Australia.
5.Sedative-Black cohosh is considered by many modern herbalists to be a sedative.
6.Coughs and Colds-Black cohosh was a common remedy of the Cherokee and the Iroquois for the treatment of these conditions.
7.Diuretic-Black cohosh extract is said by many modern practitioners to help rid the body of excess water weight.
8.Antioxidant-Black cohosh is an extremely potent antioxidant. Antioxidants work by neutralizing free radical that cause damage to cells and DNA.
9.Headaches-Black cohosh extract was used during the 1850′s by the Eclectics for the treatment of this painful condition.
10.PMS, Menstrual Pain, and Cramps-This amazing herb was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1920 for the treatment of these conditions.
11.Inflammation-Black cohosh is a general anti inflammatory. Total body inflammation is now being recognized as a factor in many diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
12.Menopausal Symptoms-Black cohosh has shown significant benefits for almost every symptom related to menopause. A study conducted showed that after only 4 weeks of treatment with black cohosh, study participants showed improvements in almost all parameters of menopausal symptoms. No black cohosh side effects were reported. After 8 weeks, all symptoms were gone in approximately 50% of the patients, and were very much improved in 40% of the patients. Overall improvement rates ranged from 76% to 93% of patients. More details are in the following paragraphs.
13.Hot Flashes-A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study was done on 80 women suffering from symptoms of menopause including hot flashes. After 12 weeks of treatment, the average number of hot flashes per day dropped from 4.9 to .7 per day in the black cohosh group, as compared to 5.1 to 3.1 per day in the placebo group, and 5.2 to 3.2 per day in the estrogen group.
14.Post Menopausal Anxiety-80 female volunteers were suffering from symptoms of menopause, including anxiety. For 12 weeks, all the women were given either estrogen, black cohosh or a placebo. To properly measure, the study used the 14 point Hamilton Anxiety Scale to measure anxiety levels, and the Kupperman Menopausal Index to address mostly neurovegatative complaints.
Before the above mentioned trial (#14), the women were diagnosed to have moderate to severe menopausal symptoms, including anxiety. After 12 weeks of treatment, the black cohosh extract group showed a large decrease in median Hamilton Anxiety Scale Scores as compared to the placebo and estrogen groups. These results were apparent after only 4 weeks of treatment. The black cohosh dosage for the above mentioned studies were mostly different, but still effective.
So are you amazed yet? I am. And I thought I was aware of all of the health benefits of black cohosh. But black cohosh benefits the body in many ways. This is a testament to the power of these tremendous healing herbs nature has put here for us. And black cohosh may be the best yet.
Researchers have found that some essential oils – oregano, thyme and rosewood oils, in particular – create an autolytic (destruction of cells and tissues by enzymes produced by the cells, themselves) reaction in organisms, including streptococcus pneumonia. Dr. Diane Horne of Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, told the 98th general assembly of the American Society of Microbiology about the serendipitous discovery of the impact of essential oils on cells such as streptococcus pneumonia (bacteria that causes a very serious type of pneumonia in children with sickle cell disease).
When Dr. Horne’s co-researcher was spraying aromatic oils in the laboratory, Dr. Horne looked at the streptococcus pneumonia bacteria that she was preparing for another experiment and noticed that its cells were literally falling apart. Dr. Horne and co-worker Sue Chao, of the Young Living Essential Oils Company of Payton, Utah, tested the autolyzing properties of 74 essential oils and discovered that the best results occurred with oregano, thyme and rosewood and that intermediate inhibition of the pathogens was achieved with cinnamon oil and clove oil. Dr. Horne pointed out that the oils also proved to be a powerful remedy against E. coli (a bacterium and virus in one) and several species of fungi.
What these tests revealed is that essential oils, such as oregano, clove, cinnamon, rosewood and rosemary, are so powerful that viruses and bacteria cannot survive in their presence. That is, the viruses and bacteria are destroyed when they come into contact with these therapeutic essential oils.
Dr. Horne and the Young Living Essential Oils company are not the only ones who now use therapeutic essential oils for destroying viruses and bacteria. Up until a decade ago, France was the forerunner of medical aromatherapy, where essential oils are encapsulated and prescribed to be taken orally or as suppositories by the patient.
French aromatherapy doctors employ the aromatogram, where a sample is taken from the infected area of the patient, cultivated in a laboratory, and then subjected to various essential oils to find the most effective oil to treat the infection for the specific patient.
They have found that different oil combinations work better when the oil combination is specifically blended for a patient. Even if various patients suffer from the same strain of bacteria, some oils seem to work better on certain people than on others.
While this is an over-simplification of the serious medicinal aspects of aromatherapy, it is helpful, nevertheless, in demonstrating the effectiveness of therapeutic essential oils in the medical arena.
In this particular field of essential oil therapy, there are some prominent medical doctors, such as Dr. Lapraz and Dr. Duraffourd of Paris, who have undertaken thousands of clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of essential oils in medical applications.
How Do Essential Oils Exert Such Powerful Effects In Our Bodies?
Chemically, essential oils’ cell structure is very similar to the human cell structure. The essential oil of a plant and the human blood share several common properties.
The 4 primary elements in both human beings and essential oils:
* Plant Cells – carbon hydrogen nitrogen oxygen
* Human Cells – carbon hydrogen nitrogen oxygen
This shared chemistry makes essential oils one of the most compatible of all plant substances with human biochemistry. In addition, essential oils have a protein-like structure that is similar to that found in human cells and tissues, which allows the human protein cell structure to readily identify and accept the chemical constituents (powerful healing properties) of essential oils.
Essential oils have been proven to fight infection, improve the immune system and, because they contain hormone-like compounds, are very effective in initiating cellular/tissue regeneration. Why do they do this? Simply, because it is their job; because Mother Nature intended them to do so in order to protect the plants, themselves. Let’s examine how…
Working as the chemical defence mechanism of the plant, essential oils possess potent antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties. Essential oils are the plant liquid containing the Life Force of a plant. Analogous with the human body, essential oils are the blood plasma of a plant. They are volatile liquids distilled from various parts of plants, including seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers and fruit (essential oils are sensitive to heat and should not be burned, as that destroys their therapeutic properties).
If a leaf or any part of a plant has been cut or damaged for some reason, the plant releases a liquid substance that protects it from further damage from microbes, bacteria, and viruses, and helps the plant to regenerate itself. This liquid is the essential oil that helps the plant to survive, which is why essential oils are called essential. Put simply, without it, the plant can’t survive. This same principle works in a very similar way in the human body, due to the fact that essential oils can permeate our tissues by being so highly compatible with our cell structure. How can this be possible?
It is possible because essential oils are complex substances, each containing 80 – 300 compounds of different chemical constituents, and all these compounds work synergistically. Hence, nature’s wisdom is encoded in the life force of a plant. Because essential oils are the life force of a plant, they need to be treated with the utmost professional respect and understating in order to retain their powerful healing properties.
So, how therapeutic are they?
Just follow your nose! The smell of the oil reveals how pure and potent it is. For example, when inhaling any oil – particularly peppermint, lavender or rosemary – the smell should linger on in the brain and have a very fresh smell. If it has a very sharp tinge to it or causes a sudden sharp sensation in the any part of the head, it contains chemicals which are ‘playing’ with the neurotransmitters and receptor sites in your brain. It also helps if you ask the company where and how they distill the oils and what chemicals are used. Many essential oil companies still use solvents in the process of distillation. You can tell by the smell. Why do they do it? Because distillation is a very expensive process, which requires time, care and integrity.
A brief look at some essential oils and the results of research so far:
Oregano is very aggressive against all microbes and it helps with digestive problems and is anti-inflammatory. Oregano and cinnamon tested at 95% efficiency against candida, E. coli and streptococcus strains.
Thyme oil is very powerful oil on viruses and has demonstrated protective properties for liver, kidneys and the heart due to its very high antioxidant properties.
Fennel oil, strengthens digestion, expels parasites and supports and raises overall metabolism.
Fennel and Juniper together exert a warming effect on the kidneys; very helpful during winter.
Cinnamon is 99.9% effective against all viruses. Ebola virus cannot survive in the presence of pure unadulterated cinnamon.
Rosemary is effective for parasites, fungi and, therefore, candida.
Clove is highly protective, and is the most powerful antioxidant in nature.
In summary, orthodox medicine has no cure for the common cold and the latest mainstream advice for preventing colds comes from studies on stress, stating to just avoid stress. This is neither possible nor realistic for the majority of the population as stress is always there in some way, emotional or just the demands of the 21st century. Extensive scientific research has proven that essential oils are quite capable of fighting the common cold because they are anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory.
Using Grade-A organic therapeutic essential oils may help your immune system to ward off the attacks of the common cold as well as destroy other microbial invasions, such as candida infections, viruses and parasites. As essential oils are very high frequency molecules, ranging from 52MHz – 320MHz, they are able to raise our overall body frequency (which is 62-78 Hz when in its healthy range) every time we use them. This way, essential oils are the best ammunition against the common cold as well as destroying unwelcome microbial invasions, along with the daily dose of genuine positive thinking.
(http://sfpa.club.fr/statutsus.html) Zheng GQ, et al. Sesquiterpenese from clove as potential anticarcinogenic agents. J.Nat Prod. 1992 July;55(7):999-1003.
Chao, et al. Screening for Inhibitory Activity of Essential Oils on Selected Bacteria, Fungi, and Viruses. Journal of essential Oil Research, 1997.
Chao, et al., Antimicrobial Effects of Essential Oils on Streptococcus pneumonia. Journal of essential Oil Research 2001.
Essential Oil Desk Reference, Essential Science Publishing, USA. 3rd ed. 2004
Robert O. Becker. The Body Electric New York, Marrow 1985.
Teya Skae M.A. B.A.
FDA Lists 92 Symptoms from Nutrasweet (Aspartame)
Please Note: Nutrasweet is in Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi
Update: Aspartame – NutraSweet – Is now called AminoSweet
Article courtesy of: Mark Gold firstname.lastname@example.org
(researcher for twenty years on such subjects)
This article originally appeared on http://www.dorway.com
Note: This information required a Freedom Of Information Act request to pry it from the reluctant hands of the FDA.
Nutrasweet (brand name for Aspartame) was not approved until 1981, in dry foods. For over eight years the FDA refused to approve it because of the seizures and brain tumors this drug produced in lab animals. The FDA continued to refuse to approve it until President Reagan took office (a friend of Searle) and fired the FDA Commissioner who wouldn’t approve it. Dr. Arthur Hull Hayes was appointed as commissioner. Even then there was so much opposition to approval that a Board of Inquiry was set up. The Board said: “Do not approve aspartame”. Dr. Hayes OVERRULED his own Board of Inquiry.
Shortly after Commissioner Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., approved the use of aspartame in carbonated beverages, he left for a position with G.D. Searle’s Public Relations firm.
Long-Term Damage. It appears to cause slow, silent damage in those unfortunate enough to not have immediate reactions and a reason to avoid it. It may take one year, five years, 10 years, or 40 years, but it seems to cause some reversible and some irreversible changes in health over long-term use.
METHANOL (AKA WOOD ALCOHOL/POISON) (10% OF ASPARTAME) Methanol/wood alcohol is a deadly poison. People may recall that methanol was the poison that has caused some “skid row” alcoholics to end up blind or dead. Methanol is gradually released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounter the enzyme chymotrypsin.
The absorption of methanol into the body is sped up considerably when free methanol is ingested. Free methanol is created from aspartame when it is heated to above 86 Fahrenheit (30 Centigrade). This would occur when aspartame-containing product is improperly stored or when it is heated (e.g., as part of a “food” product such as Jello).
Methanol breaks down into formic acid and formaldehyde in the body. Formaldehyde is a deadly neurotoxin. An EPA assessment of methanol states that methanol “is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed. In the body, methanol is oxidized to formaldehyde and formic acid; both of these metabolites are toxic.” The recommend a limit of consumption of 7.8 mg/day. A one-liter (approx. 1 quart) aspartame-sweetened beverage contains about 56 mg of methanol. Heavy users of aspartame-containing products consume as much as 250 mg of methanol daily or 32 times the EPA limit.
The most well known problems from methanol poisoning are vision problems. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, causes retinal damage, interferes with DNA replication, and causes birth defects. Due to the lack of a couple of key enzymes, humans are many times more sensitive to the toxic effects of methanol than animals. Therefore, tests of aspartame or methanol on animals do not accurately reflect the danger for humans. As pointed out by Dr Woodrow C. Monte, Director of the Food Science and Nutrition Laboratory at Arizona State University, “There are no human or mammalian studies to evaluate the possible mutagenic, teratogenic, or carcinogenic effects of chronic administration of methyl alcohol.”
It has been pointed out that fruit juices and alcoholic beverages contain small amounts of methanol. It is important to remember, that the methanol in natural products never appears alone. In every case, ethanol is present, usually in much higher amounts. Ethanol is an antidote for methanol toxicity in humans.
The troops of Desert Storm were “treated” to large amounts of aspartame-sweetened beverages which had been heated to over 86 degrees F. in the Saudi Arabian sun. Many of them returned home with numerous disorders similar to what has been seen in persons who have been chemically poisoned by formaldehyde. The free methanol in the beverages may have been a contributing factor in these illnesses. Other breakdown products ofaspartame such as DKP, may also have been a factor.
In a 1993 act that can only be described as “unconscionable”, the FDA approved aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items that would always be heated to above 86°degrees F (30°Degrees C).
Much worse, on 27 June 1996, without public notice, the FDA removed all restrictions from aspartame allowing it to be used in everything, including all heated and baked goods.
The truth about aspartame’s toxicity is far different than what the NutraSweet Company would have you readers believe. In February of 1994, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the listing of adverse reactions reported to the FDA (DHHS 1994). Aspartame accounted for more than 75% of all adverse reactions reported to the FDA’s Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS). By the FDA’s own admission fewer then ONE PERCENT of those who have problems with something they consume ever report it to the FDA. This balloons the almost 10,000 complaints they once had to around a million.
However, the FDA has a record keeping problem (they never did respond to the certified letter from the WEBMASTER of this site a major victim!) and they tend to discourage or even misdirect complaints, at least on aspartame. The fact remains, though, that MOST victims don’t have a clue that aspartame may be the cause of their many problems! Many reactions to aspartame were very serious including seizures and death.
Those reactions included:
Bloating, Edema (Fluid Retention)
Blood Sugar Control Problems (Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia)
Brain Cancer (Pre-approval studies in animals)
burning eyes or throat
can’t think straight
Excessive Thirst or Hunger
flushing of face
Hair Loss (Baldness) or Thinning of Hair
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Impotency and Sexual Problems
inability to concentrate
“like thinking in a fog”
Marked Personality Changes
Menstrual Problems or Changes
Migraines and Severe Headaches (Trigger or Cause From Chronic Intake)
Nausea or Vomiting
Numbness or Tingling of Extremities
Other Allergic-Like Reactions
Rapid Heart Beat
Seizures and Convulsions
Slurring of Speech
Aspartame Disease Mimics Symptoms or Worsens the Following Diseases
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Diabetes and Diabetic Complications
Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS)
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
How it happens:
Methanol, from aspartame, is released in the small intestine when the methyl group of aspartame encounters the enzyme chymotrypsin (Stegink 1984, page 143). Free methanol begins to form in liquid aspartame-containing products at temperatures above 86 degrees F. also within the human body.
The methanol is then converted to formaldehyde. The formaldehyde converts to formic acid – ant sting poison. Toxic formic acid is used as an activator to strip epoxy and urethane coatings. Imagine what it does to your tissues! (Note from Stephanie Relfe – Even the Australian Cancer Council says that there are NO safe levels of formaldehyde).
Phenylalanine and aspartic acid, 90% of aspartame, are amino acids normally used in synthesis of protoplasm when supplied by the foods we eat. But when unaccompanied by other amino acids we use [there are 20], they are neurotoxic.
That is why a warning for Phenylketonurics is found on EQUAL and other aspartame products. Phenylketenurics are 2% of the population with extreme sensitivity to this chemical unless it’s present in food. It gets you too, causing brain disorders and birth defects! Finally, the phenyalanine breaks down into DKP, a brain tumor agent.
In other words: Aspartame converts to dangerous by-products that have no natural countermeasures. A dieter’s empty stomach accelerates these conversions and amplifies the damage. Components of aspartame go straight to the brain, damage that causes headaches, mental confusion, seizures and faulty balance. Lab rats and other test animals died of brain tumors.
Despite the claims of Monsanto and bedfellows:
1. Methanol from alcohol and juices does not get converted to formaldehyde to any significant extent. There is very strong evidence to confirm this fact for alcoholic beverages and fairly strong evidence for juices.
2. Formaldehyde obtained from methanol is very toxic in *very small* doses as seen by recent research.
3. Aspartame causes chronic toxicity reactions/damage due to the methanol to formaldehyde and other break down products despite what is claimed otherwise by the very short, industry-funded experiments using a test substance that is chemically different and absorbed differently than what is available to the general public. “Strangely enough”, almost all independent studies show that aspartame can cause health problems.
4. A common ploy from Monsanto is to claim that aspartame is “safe” yet a few select people may have “allergic” reactions to it. This is typical Monsanto nonsense, of course. Their own research shows that it does not cause “allergic” reactions. It is there way of trying to minimize and hide the huge numbers of toxicity reactions and damage that people are experiencing from the long-term use of aspartame.
Given the following points, it is definitely premature for researchers to discount the role of methanol in aspartame side effects:
1. The amount of methanol ingested from aspartame is unprecedented in human history. Methanol from fruit juice ingestion does not even approach the quantity of methanol ingested from aspartame, especially in persons who ingest one to three liters (or more) of diet beverages every day. Unlike methanol from aspartame, methanol from natural products is probably not absorbed or converted to its toxic metabolites in significant amounts as discussed earlier.
2. Lack of laboratory-detectable changes in plasma formic acid and formaldehyde levels do not preclude damage being caused by these toxic metabolites. Laboratory-detectable changes in formate levels are often not found in short exposures to methanol.
3. Aspartame-containing products often provide little or no nutrients which may protect against chronic methanol poisoning and are often consumed in between meals. Persons who ingest aspartame-containing products are often dieting and more likely to have nutritional deficiencies than persons who take the time to make fresh juices.
4. Persons with certain health conditions or on certain drugs may be much more susceptible to chronic methanol poisoning.
5. Chronic diseases and side effects from slow poisons often build silently over a long period of time. Many chronic diseases which seem to appear suddenly have actually been building in the body over many years.
6. An increasing body of research is showing that many people are highly sensitive to low doses of formaldehyde in the environment. Environmental exposure to formaldehyde and ingestion of methanol (which converts to formaldehyde) from aspartame likely has a cumulative deleterious effect.
7. Formic acid has been shown to slowly accumulate in various parts of the body. Formic acid has been shown to inhibit oxygen metabolism.
8. The are a very large and growing number of persons are experiencing chronic health problems similar to the side effects of chronic methanol poisoning when ingesting aspartame-containing products for a significant length of time. This includes many cases of eye damage similar to the type of eye damage seen in methanol poisoning cases.
Note: It often takes at least sixty days without any aspartame NutraSweet to see a significant improvement. (Note from Stephanie Relfe: Drink plenty of good water. Preferably water filtered by reverse osmosis. If not that, spring water. Not tap, distilled or mineral water).
Check all labels very carefully (including vitamins and pharmaceuticals). Look for the word “aspartame” on the label and avoid it. (Also, it is a good idea to avoid “acesulfame-k” or “sunette.”) Finally, avoid getting nutrition information from junk food industry PR organizations such as IFIC or organizations that accept large sums of money from the junk and chemical food industry such as the American Dietetic Association.
If you are a user of any products with aspartame, and you have physical, visual, mental problems take the 60-day no aspartame test. If, after two months with no aspartame your symptoms are either gone, or are much less severe, please get involved to get this neurotoxin off the market. Write a letter to the FDA, with a copy to Betty Martini (for proof of how the FDA doesn’t keep proper records). Write your congressmen. Return products containing aspartame to the point of purchase… for a FULL refund. Make a big stink if they WON’T give you a full refund! Tell all your friends and family… and if they stop using aspartame and also “wake up well”… get them involved in the same way.
Aspartame is an “approved sweetener” because of a few greedy and dishonest people who place profits above human life and well-being. With the FDA and our Congress culpable, only an INFORMED and ACTIVE public will affects its reclassification from “food additive” to TOXIC DRUG, and removed from the human food chain.
From Stephane Relfe: Note that Michael J. Fox, who was spokesperson for Pepsi, has an old man’s disease (Parkinson’s Disease) at only 30 years old!
Also Note: Aspartame has one use that I know of – it makes an EXCELLENT ant poison. Put a few tablespoons on a nest of fire ants and see how long before they disappear.
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NOW… that you are aware of the 92 FDA recognized symptoms (that required a Freedom Of Information Act request to pry from their reluctant hands) and HOW aspartame does its dirty work, change to Dorway’s Official Dogma page.
On this page Mark Gold has taken the IFIC “Official” aspartame safety myth and
A recent study in the January 2010 issue of JAMA concludes that there is little evidence that SSRIs (a popular group of antidepressants that includes Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and others) have any benefit to people with mild to moderate depression, and they work no better than a placebo.
That means that SSRIs are 33 percent effectiveas a placebo. And a study presented at the Neuroscience conference in 2009 tells a similar story. Researchers from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine shared two major findings:
1.Antidepressant drugs were not invented for depression. Researchers used certain drugs to manipulate the behavior of stressed animals, and then concluded (erroneously) that the drugs would be “good antidepressants.” But chronic stress does not cause the same molecular changes that depression does, making the hypothesis incorrect.
So, antidepressants were actually designed to treat stress, rather than depression—which is one reason they are so ineffective.
2.An imbalance of neurotransmitters in your brain may not trigger depressive symptoms in the way that has long been believed. Instead, the biochemical events that lead to depression appear to start in the development and functioning of neurons. This means antidepressants focus on the effect of depression and completely miss the cause… yet another reason why they are so ineffective for most people.
Unfortunately, the lead researcher is hoping the research will “open up new routes to develop new antidepressants,” when in reality a drug solution is not the answer.
Similarly, in 2008, a meta-analysis published in PLoS Medicine concluded that the difference between antidepressants and placebo pills is very small—and that both are ineffective for most depressed patients. Only the most severely depressed showed any response to antidepressants at all, and that response was quite minimal.
In an interview, Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker explained that research suggests the use of antidepressant drugs may actually result in more relapses back into depression in the long run. In other words, these drugs may be turning depression into a more chronic condition.
The other worrisome effect is that antidepressant drugs appear to be converting people from unipolar depression into bipolar—meaning, fluctuating between mania and depression—and this disorder has much poorer long-term outcomes.
These are not new revelations.
Back in 2002, a meta-analysis of published clinical trials indicated that 75 percent of the response to antidepressants could be duplicated by placebo. Many antidepressants may actually make your “mental illness” worse. When your body doesn’t feel good, your mood crashes along with it.
The List of Terrifying Antidepressant Drug Side Effects Grows
Depression—or described another way, “unrepaired emotional short-circuiting”— can cause far more profound negative health consequences than all the damaged food and toxins you expose yourself to daily.
Psychiatric drugs kill 42,000 people every year—that’s 12,000 MORE people than successfully commit suicide due to depression! And the death count continues to rise.
Antidepressants are the largest category of psychiatric drugs. It wouldn’t be so bad if antidepressants were harmless sugar pills, occasionally showing benefit simply because you believe they will work.
But in addition to being ineffective, they are far from harmless and are now associated with many serious health problems:
•Diabetes: Your risk for type 2 diabetes is two to three times higher if you take antidepressants, according to one study.
•Problems with your immune system: SSRIs cause serotonin to remain in your nerve junctions longer, interfering with immune cell signaling and T cell growth.
•Suicidal thoughts and feelings and violent behavior : Your risk for suicide may be twice as high if you take SSRIs; seven out of twelve school shootings were by children who were either on antidepressants or withdrawing from them.
•Stillbirths: A Canadian study of almost 5,000 mothers found that women on SSRIs were twice as likely to have a stillbirth, and almost twice as likely to have a premature or low birth weight baby; another study showed a 40 percent increased risk for birth defects, such as cleft palate.
•Brittle bones: One study showed women on antidepressants have a 30 percent higher risk of spinal fracture and a 20 percent high risk for all other fractures.
•Stroke: Your risk for stroke may be 45 percent higher if you are on antidepressants, possibly related to how the drugs affect blood clotting
•Death: Overall death rates have been found to be 32 percent higher in women on antidepressants.
Diabetes or stroke will kill you, but suicide is much quicker. The link between suicide and antidepressants is so strong that these drugs have been mandated to have suicide warnings. Let’s consider one of the newer psychotropic medications that is now being given to people for depression: Abilify (also called aripiprazole).
Abilify is licensed for the treatment of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, and major depression (when taken with antidepressants). It is used to augment the effects of the antidepressants—because, of course, they work so poorly!
But did you know that Abilify has 75 different side effects associated with it?
How absurd is it to take a drug that works about as well as a sugar pill but exposes you to this minefield of ills?
Andy Behrman, a former spokesman for Abilify and Bristol Myers Squibb, which manufactures Abilify, stopped taking the drug in order to avoid the final side effects—coma and death. He made a short video warning you about the drug.
If a former spokesman for the company is sticking his neck out to warn you, how warm and fuzzy does that make you feel about what the pharmaceutical companies are telling you?
Even More Reasons to Avoid Antidepressants, as if You Need Any More
Professor of Medicine Lennard J. Davis wrote an excellent article about SSRIs for the January 2010 issue of Psychology Today. He points out that physicians routinely prescribe not one, but two or three SSRIs and other psychopharmacological drugs in combination—with really no studies to back them up.
Physicians who engage in what is known as “polypharmacy” are hoping that if one didn’t work, maybe two or three will.
“Doctors are in essence performing uncontrolled experiments on their patients, hoping that in some scattershot way they might hit on a solution. But of course drugs have dangerous interactions and most physicians are shooting in the dark with all the dangers that attend such bad marksmanship.”
In fact, the entire serotonin hypothesis for depression should be given a serious review.
You have heard for years that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance of your neurotransmitters, mainly serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, but there’s a serious lack of research to prove it.
This theory has become so indoctrinated into our culture and media that most people just accept it as fact, simply because they’ve heard it so often. Even mental health practitioners!
But there is no way to measure your serotonin or your dopamine without cutting open your head. Scientists can’t even decide on what a “normal” serotonin level is, much less an abnormal one.
Why do some depressed folks have high serotonin levels, while many happy folks have low ones?
Your brain is far too complex for this overly simplistic explanation to work. More and more “psychiatric diseases” are appearing in the literature all the time, and many could be considered “lifestyle disorders”:
•Do you shop too much? You might have Compulsive Shipping Disorder.
•Do you have a difficult time with multiplication? You could be suffering from Dyscalculia.
•Spending too much time surfing the Web? It might be Internet Addiction Disorder.
•Spending too much time at the gym? You’d better see someone for your Bigorexia or Muscle Dysmorphia.
•And my favorite—are your terrified by the number 13? You could have Triskaidekaphobia!
You get the idea.
The point is, each of these new “diseases” gets added to the next edition of the official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) if enough people show up with those traits. And increasingly, the criteria for inclusion involves whether or not the disorder responds to a category of drugs.
If it does, the phenomenon is dubbed a disease.
Of the 297 mental disorders described in the DSM, none can be objectively measured by empirical tests. In other words, they’re completely subjective. Mental illness symptoms within this manual are arbitrarily assigned by a subjective voting system by a psychiatric panel.
So, they’re making up diseases to fit the drugs—not the other way around.
It’s almost impossible to see a psychiatrist today without being diagnosed with a mental disorder because so many behavior variations are described as pathology. And you have a 99 percent chance of emerging from your psychiatrist’s office with a prescription in hand.
Why so much reliance on popping a pill for every emotional ill?
Because writing a prescription is much faster and lucrative approach for the conventional model. Additionally most practitioners have yet to accept the far more effective energetic psychological approaches.
If Antidepressants Don’t Work, Then What Does?
There are five important strategies to consider if you are facing depression. These strategies have nothing but positive effects and are generally very inexpensive to implement.
1. Do a Bit of Emotional Housekeeping
It is helpful to view depression as a sign that your body and life are out of balance, rather than as a disease. What you need to do is regain your balance.
One of the key ways to do this involves addressing negative emotions that may be trapped beneath your level of awareness. My favorite method of emotional cleansing is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a form of psychological acupressure.
If you have severe depression, it would be best to consult with a mental health professional who is also an EFT practitioner. But for most of you with depression symptoms, this is a technique you can learn to do effectively on your own. In fact, it’s so easy that children are learning it.
There are other effective stress-management methods you could try as well, such as meditation, journaling, breathing exercises, yoga, or simply sharing your feelings with a close friend.
Experiment with a number of approaches, and then pick the methods you find most helpful but please remember that although it is very easy to learn EFT and far less expensive to use it yourself, it is nearly always better to seek a professional to perform EFT with you as it truly is an art that takes many years of refined practice to maximize its effectiveness.
2. Get Regular Exercise
Regular exercise is one of the “secret weapons” to overcoming depression. It works by helping to normalize your insulin levels while boosting the “feel good” hormones in your brain.
As Dr. James S. Gordon, MD, a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression, said:
“What we’re finding in the research on physical exercise is that exercise is at least as good as antidepressants for helping people who are depressed… physical exercise changes the level of serotonin in your brain. And it increases your endorphin levels, your “feel good hormones.”
And also—and these are amazing studies—exercise can increase the number of cells in your brain, in the region of the brain called the hippocampus. These studies were first done on animals, and they’re very important because sometimes in depression, there are fewer of those cells in the hippocampus.
But you can actually change your brain with exercise. So it’s got to be part of everybody’s treatment, everybody’s plan.”
For more information, please review my article about the many ways exercise can benefit your brain.
3. Improve Your General Nutrition
Another factor that cannot be overlooked is your diet. Foods have an immense impact on your body and your brain, and eating whole foods as described in my nutrition plan will best support your mental and physical health.
Avoiding sugar (particularly fructose) and grains will help normalize your insulin and leptin levels, which is another important aspect of depression. Sugar causes chronic inflammation, which disrupts your body’s normal immune function and can wreak havoc on your brain.
Sugar also suppresses a key growth hormone called BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), which promotes healthy brain neurons and plays a vital role in memory. BDNF levels are critically low in people with depression, which animal models suggest may actually be causative.
4. Supplement Your Diet with Omega-3 Fatty Acids
I strongly recommend taking a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat, like krill oil. This may be the single most important nutrient for optimal brain function, thereby preventing depression.
DHA is one of the Omega-3 fatty acids in fish and krill oil, and your brain is highly dependent on it. Low DHA levels have been linked to depression, memory loss, Schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Let the Sun Shine Down on You
Have you ever noticed how great it can feel to spend time outdoors on a sunny day? Well, it turns out that getting safe sun exposure, which allows your body to produce vitamin D, is great for your mood.
One study even found that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to depression than those who received adequate vitamin D. You can optimize your vitamin D either by sunlight exposure or by using a safe tanning bed, or by taking a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement.
6. Think Twice Before Filling that Prescription
As Davis suggests in his article, “Think twice, be skeptical, and question a simplistic diagnosis you might receive after discussing your condition for a short time with a rushed practitioner.”
This is sound advice indeed.
It is easy to become seduced into thinking a pill might relieve your pain, especially when it comes with the endorsement of your physician. Feeling depressed is never pleasant, and you naturally want to escape it as quickly as possible.
But drugs should always be your last choice, and antidepressants are no exception.
There is a better way! You wouldn’t want to expose yourself to the enormous risks these drugs present, especially for so little gain. Hang in there, and if you implement the healthy strategies above, I bet you’ll soon find yourself feeling better.
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