Medicinal Plants You Need To Make Natural Home Remedies

2 months, 22 days ago

Learn more about these medicinal plants and make effective home remedies for survival and off-grid living!

Know These Medicinal Plants for Your Own Good!
1. Marshmallow

Marsh Mallow | Medicinal Plants You Can Grow In Your Backyard | Survival Life

You know you can’t make s’mores without marshmallows, of course. But did you know the sweet treat you know today was once made with the marshmallow plant?

When included in home remedies, it treats sore throat, cold, cough, and flu since it fights bacteria. It relieves skin problems and digestive complaints as well.

2. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera | Medicinal Plants You Need To Make Natural Home Remedies | Survival Life | medicinal herb plants

You may not have seen an actual aloe vera plant but it’s so popular—there’s no way you haven’t heard of it. It’s found in many products like shampoo, moisturizers, and healing ointments.

Aloe vera contains phytochemicals, effective in fighting fever associated with cuts and burns. It stimulates skin renewal too, so it helps fight skin aging.

What are Phytochemicals? These are organic compounds found in plants which fight pathogens and body invaders. Some are poisonous but many are used in traditional medicine, including aloe vera.

3. Pot Marigold

Pot Marigold | Medicinal Plants You Need To Make Natural Home Remedies | Survival Life | medicinal herb plants

Like aloe vera, pot marigold is a popular topical treatment for various skin issues. Minor burns, infected cuts, blisters, and scars heal faster with pot marigold.

It also provides treatment for more severe skin problems such as acne, dandruff, and warts. Its properties also help reduce pain, muscle cramps, and stomach ulcers.

4. Chamomile

Chamomile | Medicinal Plants You Need To Make Natural Home Remedies | Survival Life | medicinal herb plants

There’s a reason why chamomile tea is popular. It has qualities which combat anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia.

As an antioxidant, chamomile improves immune function, making your body healthier in general. It also reduces swelling, reduces pain, relieves constipation, and relaxes muscles.

A cupful of chamomile tea out in the mountains will totally do you some good.

5. Chinese Yam

Oriental Chinese medicine and diet almost always include medicinal plants. The Chinese yam for one is often included in their cooking.

That’s because the Chinese yam fights whooping cough and digestive inflammation. It is even included in treatments to prevent cancer.

So just imagine what it can do against a simple cough and stomach upset. It also helps improve your diet, address menstrual issues, and fights fatigue.

6. Echinacea

Echinacea | Medicinal Plants You Need To Make Natural Home Remedies | Survival Life | medicinal herb plants

Native American medicinal herbs list always include echinacea or the coneflower. This amazing plant boosts the immune system and resists bacterial and viral infection.

With echinacea’s antibacterial properties, colds, flu, as well as burns, wounds, and sores are no problem at all. It also provides relief to stings, insect bites, and snake bites.

7. Great Yellow Gentian

Yellow Gentian | Medicinal Plants You Need To Make Natural Home Remedies | Survival Life | medicinal herb plants

This medicinal properties of this plant provide relief to stomach complaints. It helps soothe stomach ache and diarrhea.

It also helps improve digestion as well as improve appetite. Aside from treating stomach issues, the yellow gentian is also used to reduce sore throat and jaundice.

RELATED: Triple A’s Of Nature’s Medicine: Antiviral ~ Antibacterial ~ Antibiotic

8. Siberian Ginseng

While look-alikes, Siberian, Korean, and American ginseng are not one and the same, all three have adaptogenic uses, though.

The Siberian ginseng, in particular, helps promote good health. It relieves stress and fights common ailments.

It is common in Asian medicine, but its gaining grounds in the U.S.

Adaptogenic Definition: This natural substance helps the body adapt to stress. It also helps normalizes the body’s physiological function.

9. Garlic

Garlic | Medicinal Plants You Need To Make Natural Home Remedies | Survival Life | medicinal herb plants

A very popular culinary ingredient, garlic boasts a lot of health benefits. That includes helping to control high blood pressure, improve cholesterol level, and lower risks of heart disease.

Aside from all these, garlic also provides relief to colds as well as other viral infections. It is also an ingredient for homemade remedies to treat toothache pains.

10. Great Burdock

Great Burdock | Medicinal Plants You Need To Make Natural Home Remedies | Survival Life | medicinal herb plants

The Great Burdock is used as a remedy for various health issues. It may address indigestion, liver, and gallbladder problems.

Rheumatism and gout may also be treated with this plant. Its ‘purifying’ properties aid in expelling toxins from the blood and the urine.

This underground tuber stimulates the appetite and helps in dealing with anorexia. It also treats skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

11. Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola | Medicinal Plants You Need To Make Natural Home Remedies | Survival Life | medicinal herb plants

Gotu kola aids in decreasing swelling and improving blood flow. For this reason, Gotu kola prevents or decreases the appearance of varicose veins and blood clots.

It also helps in preventing scars, stretch marks, and other skin issues. It has the potential to relieve anxiety, fatigue, and insomnia as well.

Essential Oils from Medicinal Herb Plants
1. Peppermint

Mint | Medicinal Plants You Need To Make Natural Home Remedies | Survival Life | medicinal herb plants

You know this soothing herb very well because it’s found in gum, toothpaste, even in beauty products. Yet, the health benefits of mint shine most when consumed fresh as tea or flavoring to food and drinks.

Peppermint improves digestion, relieves gas, and soothes common symptoms of colds. It also alleviates nausea and headache or even fatigue.

2. Sage

Sage | Medicinal Plants You Need To Make Natural Home Remedies | Survival Life | medicinal herb plants

Sage has properties which address both internal and external health issues. It boosts memory retention, lowers cholesterol and sugar, eases stomach pain and diarrhea. When used externally, sage provides relief to cold sores and mouth sores.

3. Tea Tree

From bacterial infections down to sunburns, tea tree oil proves to be an effective natural treatment of a long list of health issues.

Tea tree oil is often referred to as the “medicine cabinet in a bottle,” and for those reasons. In fact, it is common to find tea tree oil in most Australian household, where the tea tree is native to.

Cold and Sore Throat Home Remedy

Use tea tree oil as a rub for colds
Gargle with hot salt water for a sore throat
Gargle with apple cider solution for a sore throat
Mix water, lemon extract, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and turmeric root to make tea for a cold and sore throat
Use eucalyptus oil as a rub for colds

Home Remedy for Flu

Mix a cup of water and a cup of dried catnip, then add lemon extract and raw honey
Take omega 3 oil supplement or eat foods rich in omega 3
Heat water with elderberry extract, then add turmeric and cinnamon
Heat water with a mixture of thyme and peppermint
Fill a glass with licorice root and cover with water, then add honey

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Medicinal Plants You Need To Make Natural Home Remedies |

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Expand your emergency preparedness skills by knowing medicinal plants for home remedies. Knowledge in traditional medicine is just as important as your survival gear.

When you’re on survival mode, you will have to forage for medicinal plants to make your own homemade treatment. Whether you’re an outdoorsman or not, you should know more about medicinal plants and their uses.

Have you tried other medicinal herbs and plants before? Share your experience with us by posting a comment below!


Home Remedies For Cold And Flu | 25 Surprisingly Simple Natural Relief
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7 Survival Benefits Of Cinnamon

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 23, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Measles In The US Are At A Record High Because Of Anti-Vaxxers

2 months, 23 days ago

measels-fbRecord breaking number of measles reported in USDave Heygarth/Flickr/US Air Force

Many anti-vaxxers believe injections could cause their children harm; but as a result of their actions, measles are at an all-time high in the US. 

Although there is a severe lack of evidence to suggest vaccinations could cause autism or other issues, compared with a whole host of evidence proving that not being vaccinated can result in getting measles, anti-vaxxers are still standing their ground.

This week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed that 695 cases of measles have been reported in 22 states since 2019 began – that’s more cases than in any year since the disease was considered eradicated in 2000.

man having an injectionPexels

Previously, the highest number of reported cases since elimination was 667, in 2014. Just four months in to the year, the record has already been broken.

The CDC’s press release explains the high number of cases is primarily down to a few large outbreaks; one in Washington State and two large outbreaks in New York, which started towards the end of last year.

The outbreaks in New York are reportedly among the largest and longest lasting since 2000, and the longer the outbreaks go on for, the greater chance there is that measles will get a real foothold in the US.

According to Buzzfeed News, local officials in New York have said most of the cases are young children who have not been vaccinated.

Two recent cases in the state are pregnant women, who are now at risk of miscarriage.

The CDC believes a significant factor contributing to the outbreaks in New York is the delivery of incorrect information regarding the safety of the vaccine. They are encouraging parents to speak to their healthcare provider about the importance of the vaccine, and pushing local leaders to provide accurate, scientific-based information.


Last week, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that there has been a 300 per cent increase in the number of measles cases reported worldwide, compared with the first three months of 2018.

The WHO explains that spikes in case numbers have occurred in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, such as the US, as the disease spreads quickly among clusters of unvaccinated people.

According to CNN, the US Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, released a statement in response to the record-breaking numbers recorded on Wednesday.

He reportedly acknowledged the significance of the number of cases, adding:

The United States is seeing a resurgence of measles, a disease that had once been effectively eliminated from our country.

The staggering amount of people suffering with measles should be enough to encourage parents to vaccinate their children.

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10 Signs That Your Child May Have Autism

2 months, 27 days ago

“I hadn’t picked it up at first – not because the signs weren’t there, because they were, but because I didn’t see anything problematic in those signs…

“She was a lot like the way I was as a child and also in some ways similar to me even in adulthood. For the most part, I understood her, and even the areas that I didn’t understand didn’t alarm me.”

These are the words of a mother whose daughter has just been diagnosed with autism. Like so many before her, she was unaware of the signs, didn’t understand the symptoms and only now sees the differences in her daughter. But she is not alone.

Autism (ASD) is a developmental disorder affecting the areas of the brain that affect communication and social skills. Usually appearing in the first three years of life, most parents may notice something by the time their child is 18-months and seek help by the time the child turns two. Other children may progress normally through age two, then suddenly begin losing language and social skills they had previously developed.

What causes autism?

While the cause of ASD is unknown, current research suggests biological or neurological differences in the brain that may begin during pregnancy or shortly after birth. Research also suggests that that there may be a genetic basis in many instances although not all.

How common is autism?

A prevalence study by the Australian Advisory Board on Autism Spectrum Disorders in 2007 concluded that one in 160 Australian children aged between six and 12 years have an ASD – that is more than 10,000 Australian children in that age group. However some recent studies suggest this figure could be around 1 in 100 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012).

That means the condition is now more common than cerebral palsy, diabetes, deafness, blindness and leukaemia put together.

What are the signs to be aware of?
1. Struggling

A child with autism may struggle in particular areas that seem to come “easy” or “naturally” for other children. The most affected areas are communication skills and social skills.

2. Hypersensitivity

Because sensory input is processed differently in autistic children, you may notice hypersensitivity in your child to light, sounds, textures, tastes, or smells. Your child might not like certain textures in blankets or clothes, or only like carrots if they are soft, or prefer wearing sunglasses when outside.

3. Hyposensitivity

Sometimes, the opposite of hypersensitivity happens, and the child with autism has such a low threshold of sensory input that they sometimes put themselves in danger.

4. Repetition

This may be internal, such as repeated hand movements, facial expressions or body movements, or it may be external such as, needing a very strict routine.

5. Object attachment

Many kids have favourite baby dolls or toy cars, but children with autism may require those things with them to function and interact with them instead of people.

6. Communication

Kids with autism may not initiate conversations or maintain eye contact while interacting. In fact, for some kids, forcing eye contact actually makes it harder for them to understand or process what you are saying.

7. Interaction

Children with autism will not interact with others in the same way as their peers and may even appear withdrawn or physically isolate themselves from other kids around them (or from the stimulation caused by other kids around them). They may interact with people the same way they interact with objects, and not understand concepts such as empathy. They usually prefer to be alone rather than participate in group activities.

8. Fascinations

Kids with autism may have unusual hobbies or interests, and know all the facts or every detail about that specialised interest.

9. Perseveration

Children with autism may often get stuck on a single topic or task. They repeat a single word or phrase over and over (and over), or they may ask the same questions repeatedly.

10. Developmental delays

There are several rules of thumb for developmental milestones. Babies should be babbling and gesturing by 12 months, and be able to say single words by 16 months. By 24 months, a toddler should be able to initiate two word phrases without prompting. It’s always a red flag when a child suddenly loses skills – whether language, communication, social, or motor skills.

Is there a cure?

The cause of ASD is not fully understood. Although there is no cure, appropriate early interventions, therapy and education delivered by professionals with expertise in ASD can make a significant difference.

These options for the person with ASD and their family can:

Reduce some of the associated challenges,
Enhance the development of skills and
Improve quality of life.

For more information, visit

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Most of us support mandatory vaccinations—but is there a downside?

3 months, 4 days ago

Most Canadians support the idea of mandatory vaccination. But unintended consequences could worsen the under-vaccination problem

Recently, outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, including a measles outbreak in British Columbia, have ignited a firestorm of public debate about childhood vaccination and what should be done about current under-vaccination.

The overwhelming scientific evidence proves the safety and efficacy of vaccination to control, and even eradicate, certain diseases. Yet Canada is not meeting its childhood-vaccination targets, with almost the lowest coverage of all OECD countries.

High vaccination coverage is necessary to protect public health via what’s known as herd immunity. And vaccines are regarded as among our most cost-effective public health measures. Some argue that children themselves have a right to be vaccinated to protect against sometimes fatal diseases.

Mandatory vaccination of schoolchildren, for which only medical exemptions would be permitted, is gaining traction in Canada as it is elsewhere, with a strong majority of Canadians indicating their approval.

Currently, Canada has no such mandates, although the Alberta Party has pledged one if elected on April 16. Ontario and New Brunswick have vaccination reporting laws. Neither makes vaccinations mandatory. British Columbia promises something similar by September.

For those rightly concerned about under-vaccination, mandatory vaccination of schoolchildren is appealing. However, it remains controversial, even for some who know the benefit of vaccination. For instance, the Canadian Medical Association passed a resolution calling for removal of non-medical exemptions from vaccination-reporting policies. But it passed with only 58 per cent approval, and after a “heated debate.”

Parental right to not vaccinate?

Some claim that parents have a moral and legal right to choose whether to vaccinate. This right is often said to be safeguarded by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But that is far from certain.

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Teenage girl in a blue tank top is smiling at the camera as she has a blue bandaid stuck on her arm.
The new teenage dilemma: how to get vaccinated if your anti-vax parents opted out
Most people agree that parents require discretion to make decisions on their children’s behalf. Most also recognize, however, that state intervention is sometimes necessary to protect children’s interests. It is for this reason that blood transfusions can be required for minor children, even against the Charter rights of parents.

The scientific community views vaccination as among our most important health innovations. Schools are principal sites of disease transmission, and under-vaccination is currently listed among the World Health Organization’s top 10 global health threats. Indeed, some argue that it is children’s rights that are violated by parental refusal to vaccinate. Given those facts, it’s uncertain that parents possess either the moral or legal rights claimed.

Despite this, there are reasons to question whether mandatory vaccination makes good policy sense. The unintended consequences of such policies suggest we should move cautiously.

What consequences?

One possible consequence is that some parents might remove children from schools rather than vaccinate, although in what kind of numbers is unknown. Indeed, some argue that mandatory vaccination violates children’s rights to an education for this reason. This argument is unconvincing. Whatever rights children have to access available education are outweighed by others’ rights not to be exposed to potentially fatal health risks.

Nonetheless, the removal of children is a double-edged sword. While remaining children would clearly benefit, those removed would remain unvaccinated — which does not serve their interests. These unvaccinated children would also still go to the park, to the shopping centre, to swimming lessons etc.

That could result in ever more coercive measures, such as the ban on unvaccinated minors entering public spaces — including synagogues, churches, schools, restaurants, stores and public transit — that was implemented in New York’s Rockland County in March 2019. It could include criminal sanctions for failing to follow a recommended vaccination schedule.

Another possible consequence is the emboldening of the small but vocal anti-vaccination movement, and greater entrenchment of anti-vaccine views. Entrenchment of anti-vaccine sentiment would make coercive measures both increasingly necessary and more difficult to implement; it is unclear whether the public has the appetite for that.

Are there ways to increase vaccination rates that avoid these consequences? Maybe.

Non-coercive measures

Notably, not all under-vaccination results from so-called anti-vaxxers rigidly opposing vaccination and impervious to scientific evidence —usually estimated to be between two and three per cent of the population, (although one recent poll puts it as high as five per cent). For example, one third of Canadians express concerns over vaccination, yet many of these vaccinate anyway, if incompletely. Such concerns, combined with complacency and barriers to access, affect vaccination coverage.

Some non-coercive measures can address these other causes. For example, targeted information campaigns, early intervention, diversification of vaccine delivery, automatic reminders and targeted follow-up are all positively associated with vaccine uptake.

Crucially, to gain the most from these measures, jurisdictions would require better reporting and tracking than currently exists.

We should not be naïve about the health risks posed by undervaccination, or the impossibility of converting hard-core anti-vaxxers with appeals to evidence.

In particular, non-coercive measures might prove insufficient to reduce clustering. Some schools, for example, exhibit exceptionally low vaccination coverage. And there is reason to believe that hard-core opponents of vaccination are attracted to such schools. In which case, more coercive measures may become necessary.

But when it comes to such measures, we should proceed carefully. Not because of the fiction that such measures violate parents’ rights or children’s rights to an education. Vaccination is in the public interest, including that of individual children, which the state has a duty to protect.

Rather, it’s because of the potential drawbacks of attempting to force people to vaccinate their children. Mandatory vaccination should not be viewed as off the table, but we might first turn to the aforementioned non-coercive measures that are presently under-utilized.The Conversation

Alison Braley-Rattai, Assistant Professor Dept. of Labour Studies, Brock University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Read More:
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The post Most of us support mandatory vaccinations—but is there a downside? appeared first on Today's Parent.

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6 Surprising Ways Improving Your Thoracic Spine & Shoulder Mobility Can Help You Reach Your Goals

4 months, 21 days ago

As a yoga teacher and personal trainer, I love when I’m able to find ways to connect the dots between what I teach at the yoga studio and what happens at the gym. I get a little giddy when I hear a strength coach suggesting a mobility warm-up that’s essentially a yoga pose with a different name. It makes me feel like I have some sort of secret superpower when it comes to strength training. Except I don’t want to keep it a secret.

I want everyone to know about the joys of training mobility. As much as I’d love for everyone to make regular yoga classes a part of their routine, I know that it’s not always realistic.

The good news: I believe in mixing it up. In the same way I like to add the occasional non-traditional mobility drill to my yoga class, I also have no problem whipping out a variation of a yoga pose in the middle of the gym.

Adding a few short but strategic exercises or stretches to your warm-up or cool-down can contribute to achieving bigger goals in the gym and in life. One way to get a lot of bang for your mobility buck? Start with the thoracic spine and shoulders.

Why Improving Thoracic Spine and Shoulder Mobility Matters

Granted, this goal might not be top of mind for many people. However, if you’ve ever been interested in any of the following, you should keep reading:

Finding relief from low back pain, neck pain, or headaches.
Learning to do your first pull-up (or getting better at pull-ups in general).
Learning how to do kettlebell movements like the Turkish get-up or snatch.
Improving barbell movements like squats and overhead presses.
Getting better at backbends so you can take a sweet photo on your next vacation (or is that just me?)

First things first: I’m sure you know where your shoulders are, but where exactly is the thoracic spine (or as it’s sometime nicknamed, the T-spine)?

Your thoracic spine includes the 12 middle vertebrae located between your lower back and neck, and connects to your ribcage. When it’s moving well, your back is happy and things are likely to go well at the gym and in life. When it’s not, it might be contributing to some aches, pains, and struggles at the gym in some very unexpected ways.

Let’s dive into the ways that improving your thoracic spine and shoulder mobility can help you accomplish some of your bigger goals. Then I’ll give you some corresponding exercises to add to your routine to help get you there!

1. Relief From Headaches & Neck Pain

Posture plays into our comfort more than we realize. When your thoracic spine is stiff, it’s harder to sit up straight and rotate your upper body. This can result in the head and neck sitting forward which might contribute to pain in the neck and even to headaches. But the good news: in many cases, working on the mobility of your mid-back can give you a surprising bit of relief.

(To be clear, there could be other reasons why you’re experiencing aches and pains, so definitely see a qualified medical professional to rule out any other potential causes.)

2. Less Low Back Pain

On the other end of the spectrum, when your T-spine isn’t very mobile, your lumbar spine can sometimes overcompensate. This puts your pelvis in an anterior (forward) tilt and can contribute to low back pain.

Sometimes we mistakenly blame low back pain on other things (like deadlifts, back squats, or backbends in yoga class) and become fearful of them. When you free up your thoracic spine, your pelvis and lumbar spine can naturally fall into good alignment and keep you doing more of what you love.

3. Stronger Pull-Ups

The optimal position for a pull-up is either a straight line from your head to your heels or a hollow body position. In either case, you’ll need your arms to be overhead, and tight shoulders and lats can make this position difficult to get into.

You may have heard that it’s important to use your lats to initiate a pull-up, or to try scapular pull-ups as a regression, but it can be hard to activate these muscles if they aren’t moving freely. By adding some strategic mobilizers to your warm-up, you’ll be a step closer to getting your first pull-up or getting even better at the ones you’re already doing.

4. Better Overhead Movements

Opening up your shoulders and thoracic spine can open up the door to working on all kinds of overhead movements. Things like Turkish get-ups, overhead presses, and snatches are some of my favorite skills to teach.

However, without good thoracic spine and shoulder mobility, you might find that your arm doesn’t want to go up or straighten all the way. Taking some time to work focus on mobility first can lead to optimal alignment, which means safety and strength!

5. More Efficient Squats

If you’re into Olympic lifting, the overhead squat might seem pretty obvious, especially after reading my last point. But did you know that a lack of thoracic spine mobility can also make it harder to get under a barbell for a back squat?

As a result, you might unknowingly place your hands too wide, making it harder to generate as much power from your legs. You might find it harder to open through your chest, which will push the weight forward and make the lift harder.

6. Smoother Breathing

Breathing — it’s something we all do every day whether we realize it or not. But whether you’re lifting weights, practicing yoga, or running a marathon, mastering your breath can be a game-changer.

When your thoracic spine is mobile, your ribcage can move well too, allowing you to use the your lungs and diaphragm to their fullest capacity. This can translate to better performance in whichever activity you choose!

Hopefully you’re now convinced to give your shoulders and thoracic spine a little more love.

Each of the suggested exercises can be used as they feel good for you, regardless of your reason for wanting to get more mobile. You might find that some of them work better in your body than others, so feel free to create your own variations too!

Try them on as a warm-up, cool-down, or as self-care after a long day of work or travel. You might be surprised at how much improving your thoracic spine and shoulder mobility makes you feel better — at the gym and in your day to day life.


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WHO, Pharma, Gates and Government: Who’s Calling the Shots?

5 months, 14 days ago

By Barbara Loe Fisher

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a report on January 16, 2019 ranking “vaccine hesitancy” as one of the top “10 Threats to Global Health in 2019,” alongside air pollution and climate change, noncommunicable diseases, global influenza pandemic, antimicrobial resistance and infectious diseases such as ebola, dengue fever and HIV.1

Throughout history, the greatest contributors to disease and early death in human populations have been poverty, poor sanitation and poor nutrition,2,3,4 but infectious diseases with pharmaceutical solutions dominated this list.

And, there was no mention of the major opioid addiction crisis crippling and killing tens of thousands of people in the U.S. and Europe,5,6 or the iatrogenic medical error epidemic that every year claims more than 750,000 lives in Europe7 and 250,000 lives in the U.S., where it is the third leading cause of death.8

The immediate mainstream media response to the WHO’s announcement was to focus on “vaccine hesitancy,” with The Editorial Board of The New York Times declaring January 19 that “anti-vaxxers” are “the enemy” and calling on the U.S. government to “get tough” by waging a “bold and aggressive” pro-vaccine campaign that includes “tightening restrictions around how much leeway states can grant families that want to skip essential vaccines.”9

By January 23, The Hill announced Washington state had declared a state of emergency because of 23 cases of measles reported in an “anti-vaccination community” near Portland, Oregon,10 and there was a public call in the U.K. for social media platforms to “clamp down on fake news” and censor “misleading information and negative messaging around vaccination.”11,12

The New York Times’ editorial headline, “How to Inoculate Against Anti-Vaxxers,” was a theme repeated in articles reacting to the WHO’s suggestion that people wanting to make informed, voluntary decisions about vaccination are a global menace. One doctor suggested that parents who don’t vaccinate their children are selfish: “[I]t’s a matter of ‘I don’t care about other people in the community, I only care about the health and welfare of my own child.'”13

There was no discussion about institutionally acknowledged gaps in vaccine safety science14,15 or the fact that most parents dutifully follow the advice of pediatricians and public health officials and only became vaccine safety critics after the risks of vaccination for their children turned out to be 100 percent.16,17

There was no discussion about the fact that since 2011, pharmaceutical companies have no liability for injuries and deaths caused by the vaccines they sell in the U.S. that are government recommended and mandated.18

Instead, parents of vaccine injured children and others concerned about vaccine safety, who for decades have been asking government and industry to produce better quality vaccine science and more humane vaccine policies that respect genetic and biological diversity, were stereotyped as “anti-vaxxers” and demonized as a “threat” to public health.

The Editorial Board of The New York Times explained, “It’s no mystery how we got here. On the internet, anti-vaccine propaganda has outpaced pro-vaccine public health information.”

Authoritatively, “the Board, its editor and the publisher” of The New York Times stated that, “Scientists, especially, are uncomfortable with black and white statements, because science is all about nuance. But, in the case of vaccines, there are some hard truths that deserve to be trumpeted. Vaccines are not toxic, and they do not cause autism. Full stop.”

There was no discussion about why people are legitimately concerned about vaccine ingredients19 and Pharma paying the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to fast track new vaccines to licensure without adequate testing.20

There was no discussion about the fact that doctors giving children 69 doses of 16 vaccines starting on the day of birth21 — three times as many vaccinations as they got in 198322 — cannot explain why so many highly vaccinated children in the U.S. today are sicker, not healthier today: 1 child in 6 is learning disabled23 and 1 in 40 has autism.24

Millions more suffer with asthma, diabetes, severe allergies, epilepsy, cancer, schizophrenia, depression and other chronic disease marked by chronic inflammation in the body.

The CDC states that “90 percent of the $3.3 trillion in annual health care expenditures are for people with chronic and mental health conditions.”25 The largely unexplained chronic disease and disability epidemic in the U.S. is bankrupting the U.S. health care system and there is no research being funded to investigate the role that ever-increasing numbers of vaccines given to infants, children and adults may be playing.

Multinational pharmaceutical corporations26,27 in command of a global $34 billion vaccine market28,29 are holding billion-dollar contracts with mass communication companies30 and public-private partnerships with governments to purchase vaccines and create vaccine marketing campaigns31,32,33,34 that dwarf the relatively small number of websites and blogs labeled “anti-vax” simply for criticizing vaccine science and government policy.35

Yet, there is no recognition by mainstream media articles of the fact that wealthy corporations and philanthropic foundations with political agendas,36,37 well-paid medical doctors38,39,40 and government health officials in charge of operating the vaccine system41 are in privileged positions of power with a distinct advantage over ordinary people subjected to vaccine laws that place an unequal risk burden on individuals with genetic and biological susceptibility to suffering harm from vaccination.42,43

‘Bio-Populism’ Blamed for Vaccine Hesitancy in Europe

In the U.K., The Economist published an article entitled, “The Campaign Against Vaccination,” in which an anonymous author declared, “Across Europe, the rise of populism is damaging public health. A common feature is skepticism of vaccines.”44

Pointing to Italy, Austria and France as hotbeds of political support for “parental choice” about vaccination, the author attempted to politically tie growing public support for vaccine choice to a fear of migrants and coined a new term: “bio-populism,” saying:

“It is increasingly clear that Europe’s populists want for the body what they want for the nation: purity, unity and self-governance. Populist health policies mean citizens being free from outside influences — whether vaccines devised by doctors, regulations invented by politicians or diseases supposedly carried by migrants — and in control of their own epidemiology.”

He (or she?) went on to explain that bio-populism is a “combination of me-first libertarianism and anti-expertise herd mentality.” Quoting Italian medical professor Dr. Roberto Burioni, who has stated authoritatively that “Vaccines are not an opinion” and offered an explanation for “Why science can’t be democratic,” The Economist article ended with a warning that, “At least one pandemic will probably sweep the interconnected world in the next decade. Viruses, after all, know no borders.”

There was no discussion of the fact that most parents and physicians calling for better quality vaccine science and informed consent protections in vaccine laws are ideologically diverse and do not all identify with one particular political party. In fact, a 2015 Pew Research Center survey revealed that age and parenthood had more to do with vaccine hesitancy, with young adults and parents with children under age 18 being less supportive of mandatory vaccination.45

Vaccines, Autism, Erosion of Trust in Drug Companies and Doctors

In the U.S., Live Science trumpeted: “Anti-Vaccine Movement Joins Ebola, Drug Resistance on List of Top Global Threats.”46 A doctor at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security was quoted as saying the reason that noncommunicable diseases and not infectious diseases made the WHO’s top 10 global threat list is “a testament to how powerful vaccines are.”

Pointing to the jubilant public response to the release of polio vaccine in the 1950s, he commented, “We need to get back to that era when vaccines were celebrated the way a new iPhone [is].”

The headline People Magazine chose was “World Health Organization Names Anti-Vaxxers As a Top Threat to Global Health in 2019.”47 At the beginning of the article, the following statement appeared: “There is no scientific link between vaccines and autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control.”

It ended with the statement, “To tackle the rising levels of vaccine hesitancy, WHO plans to push forward with the goal of eliminating cervical cancer with greater application of HPV vaccine …”

U.S. News & World Report ran this headline: “WHO: Anti-Vaccine Movement a Top Threat in 2019.”48 That author stated, “So-called anti-vaxxers refuse the required shots for their children on religious or philosophical grounds. An increase in unvaccinated children has, in part, been tied to the medically discredited belief that vaccines cause autism spectrum disorder.”

Pointing out that a recent U.S. survey found that public trust in vaccination is on the decline, she added, “The heightened mistrust, researchers said, was especially prevalent in small pockets of people in insular communities or like-minded communities online.”

Pacific Standard asked, “Are Anti-Vaxxers a Major Health Threat? The World Health Organization Says Yes.”49 This article included a quote from a pediatrician:

“The ongoing erosion of trust in the medical establishment as a whole is also to blame, as frequent reports of dubious financial relationships between physicians, professional medical societies, and the pharmaceutical industry leave many questioning whether or not physicians can be trusted. Unsure of what to do and whom to listen to, many seek answers to their questions elsewhere, or simply rely on their gut feeling …”

Salon created the most sensational headline that asked the foreboding question, “The Anti-vaxxocalypse: What Happens to Humanity if Vaccine Hesitancy Continues?”50 The author explained to readers, “In other words, the anti-vaccination movement, which has inspired many in first-world countries to refuse or hesitate vaccination for easily-preventable diseases, is now a threat to global health and, ergo, stability.”

The exaggerated response to the WHO announcement by corporations owning mainstream media outlets has been curiously uniform. Often using identical talking points, perspective from parents and physicians in the U.S. and Europe rationally calling for reform of the vaccine policies and laws is left out.51

The politics of vaccination are in full swing, but where is the money coming from to fund these vaccine marketing campaigns using name calling, threats, shaming and misinformation to demonize and call for discrimination against those who criticize vaccine science and government policy?

The WHO Markets Vaccines

Immediately after World War II in 1945, the United Nations (U.N.) voted to establish a new international health organization. In 1948, WHO was founded by the U.N. after ratification by 26 member states and given a budget of $5 million.

WHO is a specialized agency of the U.N. headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and is composed of six regional offices operating in different parts of the world, including the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington, D.C.

Today, 194 member states of the U.N. are impacted by the activities of the WHO, which has a broad mandate to “act as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work.”52

The WHO Constitution, revised in 2006, states that its objective “is the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health,” and health is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”53

The WHO Constitution also states that “Informed opinion and active co-operation on the part of the public are of the utmost importance in the improvement of the health of the people.” The top priorities of the WHO when it was founded 70 years ago were malaria, tuberculosis, venereal diseases, maternal and child health, sanitary engineering and nutrition.

During the first 30 years of WHO’s operation, the U.N. agency spearheaded a global smallpox eradication campaign (1958 to 1980); prevention and control of yaws, endemic syphilis, leprosy, trachoma, cholera and yellow fever (1960s); fertility regulation and birth control (1970s); childhood vaccination programs (initiated 1974); and the institution of primary health care of all national health systems (initiated 1978).54

Today, the WHO is the world’s largest and most influential public health agency with an annual budget for 2018 to 2019 of $4.4 billion.55 Slightly more than 21.6 percent ($956.9 million) of the WHO budget is funded by assessments on member states and the remaining is funded by “voluntary contributions.”

The biggest individual programs funded by WHO are for polio eradication vaccine campaigns ($903 million); vaccine campaigns for other communicable diseases ($805 million); and corporate services/enabling functions ($715.5 million).

Currently, the top 10 U.N. member state annual funders of WHO are the governments of the U.S. ($125 million); Japan ($49 million); China ($40 million); Germany ($33 million); France ($27 million); United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ($23 million); Brazil ($19.5 million); Italy ($19 million); Canada ($15 million) and Australia ($12 million).56

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest non-state funder of the WHO, having donated more than $2 billion in earmarked grants to the international health agency since 1998, and is the second largest WHO funder overall (after the U.S. government). Because Gates Foundation grant money is earmarked for specific programs, such as vaccine purchase, delivery and promotion, the Gates Foundation significantly influences the setting of WHO’s program priorities.57

In 2010, after a joint investigation by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in collaboration with the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an article was published in the BMJ revealing that three key scientists — who influenced the WHO’s decision to declare a swine flu (H1N1) influenza pandemic in 2009 and recommend that all countries use and stockpile vaccines and pandemic flu drugs — had financial ties to pharmaceutical companies profiting from the WHO recommendations (GlaxoSmithKline and Roche).

WHO was also criticized for lack of transparency for refusing to release the identities of the 16 members of an emergency committee formed in 2009 to guide pandemic policy.58

The 2009 pandemic H1N1 vaccine, which was rushed to market to address a WHO declared pandemic that did not happen, triggered an autoimmune reaction in more than 1,300 people in Europe who got GSK’s Pandemrix vaccine and left them with narcolepsy, an incurable immune mediated neurological disorder.59

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Marketing Vaccines

The WHO and the U.S. government are founding partners of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. In 2000, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided $750 million in seed money to spearhead the creation of Gavi, a public-private partnership and multilateral funding mechanism involving the WHO, governments, the vaccine industry, the World Bank, philanthropic foundations and civil society groups to “improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.”60

Of the more than $15 billion raised by Gavi since 2000 to vaccinate the world’s children, U.S. government contributions have totaled $1.9 billion or 12 percent of all contributions received by Gavi. The United Kingdom has contributed $2.2 billion or 14 percent of Gavi’s total contributions.

The single biggest funding source for Gavi is the Gates Foundation, which has donated more than $3 billion or 20 percent of Gavi’s total income.61 Between 2000 and 2013, only about 10 percent of total funding provided by Gavi ($862 million) was used to strengthen health systems in developing countries, such as improving sanitation and nutrition, while nearly 80 percent was used to purchase, deliver and promote vaccines.62

Gavi is headquartered in Geneva with an office in Washington, D.C. that carries out day-to-day operations, and one of Gavi’s core goals is to “shape markets for vaccines and other immunization products.”

In 2008, Gavi announced that five countries — Italy, Norway, Canada, the U.K. and Russia — had joined the Gates Foundation to pledge $1.5 billion in Advance Market Commitments (AMC) to accelerate access to pneumococcal vaccines with donors providing up-front funding commitments to support vaccine purchase and speed the introduction and use of vaccines in countries partnering with Gavi.

Currently, the AMC incentivizes vaccine manufacturers to sign contracts to provide pneumococcal vaccine to developing countries at lower per dose prices and be reimbursed by Gavi funds. By March 2015, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline had received more than $1 billion from Gavi’s AMC funds.63

CDC officials provide Gavi with technical support and guidance. In 2015, the U.S. Congress pledged to appropriate $1 billion to Gavi that was spread over four years (2015 to 2018).64

At the World Health Summit in Berlin on October 16, 2018, Gavi CEO Dr. Seth Berkley announced that 11 heads of the world’s leading health and development organizations had signed a “landmark commitment” to find new ways to accelerate achieving goals of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals created in 2015.

The new Global Action Plan vaccine marketing initiative is being coordinated by the WHO.65 Relating Sustainable Development Goals to vaccination of all the people in the world, Gavi states that:66

Immunization protects people from being forced into poverty by high out-of-pocket expenses
Vaccines protect child health and support cognitive development, allowing children to perform better at school and have more opportunities
Vaccinated healthy children grow into a productive workforce and become strong contributors to the economy, and healthy children free up parents’ time so they are able to work
Vaccines are critical to building people’s resilience to and mitigating the risk of disease outbreaks tied to climate change
Good health is a critical determinant of peace and well-being in a society. People-centered health systems are core social institutions in every country, and immunization is often the first point of contact between these systems and the population

In 2016, Berkley and other Gavi executives came under criticism in the U.K. for taking excessively high salary packages. According to an investigative news report:67

“Seth Berkley has taken home more than £2 million over the past four years as chief executive officer of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (Gavi), which has been given £1.5 billion by Britain. Another official at the Geneva-based group collects a pay package of more than £500,000 a year. Incredibly, Dr. Berkley was given a housing allowance on top of his £623,370 pay package.”

In December 2018, Berkley told CNN that “while measles is one of the few diseases we could potentially eradicate, that will never happen if wealthy countries like the United States can’t maintain herd immunity. Because a measles case anywhere is a threat everywhere.”

He said parents in the U.S. are delaying their children’s vaccinations “perhaps because they believe in immunization but are worried by some of the anti-vaccine scaremongering. This needs to stop.”

Echoing the idea that parents who don’t go along with the vaccine program are selfish, he added, “In countries like the United States we need to stop thinking about vaccination as something you only do to protect the ones you love, and instead view it also as a goodwill act for the benefit of others.”68

According to the CDC, in 2017 to 2018 “vaccination coverage among kindergarteners remained high,” with 94 percent of children having received two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine; four or five doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTaP) vaccine; and two doses of varicella zoster (chickenpox) vaccine (among many other vaccines required by states for school attendance). Only 2 percent of kindergarteners had an exemption from one or more state required vaccines.69

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Marketing of Vaccines

The Gates Foundation was established in 2000 by Microsoft Corporation founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda.70

Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, the Gates Foundation is the largest philanthropic foundation in the world with a $43.5 billion trust that makes grant payments of more than $3 billion annually to advance the foundation’s goals for reforming education systems, such as the institution of Common Core curriculum in all U.S. schools,71 and funding public health initiatives, primarily global vaccination programs.72

A major goal of the Gates Foundation is to make sure every child in the world is vaccinated.73 Investor businessman Warren Buffet, who took control of textile manufacturer Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. in 1965 and went on to amass a personal fortune of more than $60 billion, pledged $31 billion and became a co-director of Gates Foundation in 2006.74

In 1998, the same year that the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft Corporation,75 Bill and Melinda Gates committed $100 million to create the Bill & Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program. One purpose of that program was to establish an international consensus on vaccine use recommendations:

“Efforts will be made to support international conferences and the development and dissemination of strong international consensus statements and recommendations for the use of the new vaccines.”76

The homepage of the Gates Foundation proclaims ALL LIVES HAVE EQUAL VALUE and states77

“We believe we can save lives by delivering the latest in science and technology to those with the greatest needs. We work with partners to provide effective vaccines, drugs and diagnostics and to develop innovative approaches to deliver health services to those who need it most. And we invest heavily in developing new vaccines to prevent infectious diseases that impose the greatest burden.”

In 2016, Global Justice Now published an investigative report, “Gated Development: Is the Gates Foundation always a force for good?” Authors were critical of the unchecked political power and influence on global health programs and agricultural policies of Bill Gates and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF):78

“To say that the BMGF has become an important actor in international development would be an understatement. When it comes to global health and agriculture policies, two of its key grant areas, the BMGF has become probably the most influential actor in the world.

It is also likely that Bill Gates, who has regular access to world leaders and is in effect personally bankrolling hundreds of universities, international organizations, NGOs and media outlets, has become the single most influential voice in international development.

But the BMGF’s increasing global influence is not being subjected to democratic scrutiny. Unlike governments, which are formally accountable to their electorates, the BMGF is a private U.S. foundation, and remains unaccountable to public bodies (except for tax reporting purposes).

Even worse, the BMGF appears to have bought the silence of academics, NGOs and the media who might otherwise be expected to criticize aspects of the foundation’s work.”

Money Makes the World Go Around

Congress appropriated nearly $90 billion to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2018, and the biggest line item in the CDC’s $11 billion budget was the Vaccines for Children program (VFC) ($4.5 billion), which was created by Congress in 1993.79

Under the VFC program, the federal government purchases CDC recommended vaccines from vaccine manufacturers to administer to children who are on Medicaid, are uninsured or whose health insurance plans do not fully cover CDC recommended vaccines.80,81 Hundreds of millions of dollars are additionally allocated in the HHS budget for vaccination programs, including $700 million for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

One of the most politically powerful public-private partnerships in the world today is the lucrative one that has been forged by the pharmaceutical industry with government,82,83,84,85,86 mainstream media87 and wealthy philanthropic foundations with political agendas.88,89

In the past decade, these public-private partnerships have come under scrutiny by public policy analysts. In 2015, authors of a special report published by the Global Policy Forum observed:90

“However, it is not only ‘big business’ but also ‘big philanthropy’ that has an increasing influence in global development policy, particularly large philanthropic foundations. The scope of their influence in both past and present discourse and decision-making processes is fully equal, and in some cases goes beyond that of other private actors.

Through the sheer size of their grant-making, personal networking and active advocacy, large global foundations, most notably the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have played an increasingly active role in shaping the agenda-setting and funding priorities of international organizations and governments.”

For example, the Gates Foundation has given Johns Hopkins more than $100 million in research grants since 2015, including for vaccine development and promotion.91 At the same time, Johns Hopkins University receives more than $2 billion per year in funding from U.S. government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), to conduct research, including for vaccine development and vaccine use promotion.92

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other federal health agencies give millions of dollars in taxpayer dollars to academic institutions and vaccine manufacturers to improve vaccine technology, find new lucrative vaccine markets and boost vaccine marketability.93 The U.S. government also partners with the Gates Foundation to develop and promote vaccine use.

For example, in 2013, the CDC Foundation received three grants totaling $13.5 million from the Gates Foundation to globally “advance the implementation” of meningitis and rotavirus vaccine programs.94

The Centers for Disease Control and the CDC Foundation have received more than $167 million from the Gates Foundation.95 Vaccine manufacturers have also received millions of dollars in grants from the Gates Foundation, including GlaxoSmithKline (over $50 million);96 Merck ($1.4 million);97 Pfizer ($16.5 million);98 and Sanofi Pasteur ($3.6 million).99

Big Media: Under the Influence 

Mass media corporations also are under the influence of Big Pharma and Big Philanthropy money. For example, National Public Radio has received $20 million in grants100 and Solutions Journalism Network has received $4 million101 in grants from the Gates Foundation. Recently, Gates’ Microsoft Corporation partnered with NewsGuard Technologies Inc.,102,103 a new corporation that is rating websites and online publications to “fight false news, misinformation and disinformation.”104,105,106

The NewsGuard corporation is also collaborating with other corporations, such as Google,107,108 which owns over 90 percent of the internet search market.109 One of the biggest investors in NewsGuard is Publicis, the oldest advertising company in the world and the third largest mass communications company today.110

Publicis is paid billions of dollars by pharmaceutical companies to market vaccines,111 including a $1.5 billion media contract with GlaxoSmithKline.112 PDI, a Publicis health company, states:113

“Vaccination coverage in the United State is high, but in the face of the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases such as pertussis and measles, the existing gaps in the vaccination coverage of the U.S. population have become worrisome.

Gaps exist because not every patient who needs a vaccination gets it at the recommended age. Moreover, the recommendations for new vaccines, including vaccines for influenza and human papillomavirus (HPV), have been expanded …

PDI’s field-based medical sales representatives and inside medical sales representatives from our health care contact center can increase adoption of vaccines by responding to questions and concerns … To increase immunization rates, we must build sustainable systems for vaccination within the context of a changing health care system.

Here [are] some recommended steps toward achieving this goal: assessment of the actual vaccination rate in a provider’s practice; consistently making recommendations for timely vaccinations to both the parents of pediatric patients and adult patients; standing orders for non-physician personnel to carry out vaccinations at the scheduled time without physician involvement; educating physicians on emerging research of vaccine risks and on how to interact with parents who are concerned about the detrimental effects of the MMR and HPV vaccines; and educating physicians about state-sponsored and other programs that can help patients overcome financial barriers to vaccination.”

It is clear that mass media communication today is being controlled by corporations financially tied to pharmaceutical companies and influenced by powerful political institutions in society. It goes a long way to explaining why mainstream media outlets have been nearly united in attacking parents and physicians who defend the ethical principle of informed consent, including informed consent to vaccination, and are calling for vaccine exemptions to be severely restricted or eliminated.114

The five largest companies in the world today are Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.115 These and other technology corporations dominate online communications and sales and are positioned to join together to aggressively market vaccines and promote “no exceptions” vaccine use policies endorsed by the WHO and governments.

The threat to autonomy and freedom of thought and speech posed by these companies, especially in censoring online public conversations about vaccination and health, is considerable.116,117

The People Are Not Represented

Today, everybody knows somebody who was healthy, got vaccinated and was never healthy again. The people whose lives are being impacted by business deals between governments, Big Pharma and Big Philanthropy increasingly are being marginalized in the top-down public policymaking process by wealthy and powerful institutions in society financing the global multibillion-dollar vaccine industry.118

This is evident when the people raise their voices to ask for better vaccine science and more humane public health policies and are demonized, discriminated against and punished by those in control of those wealthy and powerful institutions.

A system that will not bend will break. The responsibility for the crisis of trust in the global vaccination system lies squarely at the feet of those who operate the system and refuse to acknowledge the suffering of the people harmed by vaccines.119,120

Read more:

Top 9 Nutrients for Better Brain Health

5 months, 25 days ago

30 Tips in 30 Days Designed to Help You Take Control of Your

This article is included in Dr. Mercola’s All-Time Top 30 Health Tips series. Every day during the month of January, a new tip will be added that will help you take control of your health. Want to see the full list? Click here.

Like autism among children, Alzheimer’s among seniors has reached epidemic proportions, with no slowdown in sight. On the contrary, evidence suggests the trend is worsening. At present, Alzheimer’s affects about 5.4 million Americans and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.1 The World Health Organization predicts that by 2050, 1 in 6 adults will be living with dementia.

It’s important to realize that dementia is a lifestyle-predicated disease, and there are many strategies that will help prevent this kind of neurodegeneration. In essence, anything that will help optimize your mitochondria will also help prevent Alzheimer’s. You can learn more about these Alzheimer’s prevention strategies in this previous article.

Here, the focus is on specific nutrients shown to play an important role in brain health and cognition, starting with marine-based omega-3, which contains two long-chained fatty acids that are vital for brain health: docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

1. Marine-Based Omega-3 Fat: DHA

The influence of marine-based omega-3 fats on physical and mental health has been the subject of intense research for decades, and there’s compelling evidence they can help ameliorate a variety of psychiatric illnesses and degenerative brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s.

In my new book, “Superfuel,” cowritten with James DiNicolantonio, Pharm. D., we expain how DHA is an essential structural component of your brain, and is found in high levels in your neurons, the cells of your central nervous system. When your omega-3 intake is inadequate, your nerve cells become stiff and more prone to inflammation as the missing omega-3 fats are substituted with omega-6 instead.


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Once your nerve cells become rigid and inflamed, proper neurotransmission from cell to cell and within cells become compromised. Low DHA levels have been linked to memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, and some studies suggest degenerative brain diseases may potentially be reversible with sufficient DHA.

For example, in one study,2 elderly volunteers suffering from memory deficits saw significant improvement after taking 900 milligrams (mg) of DHA per day for 24 weeks, compared to controls. Another study3 found significant improvement in verbal fluency scores after taking 800 mg of DHA per day for four months, compared with placebo. Furthermore, memory and rate of learning were significantly improved when DHA was combined with 12 mg of lutein per day.

I never previously realized this but DHA also stimulates one of the most important transcription factors that regulates cellular oxidation and reduction, and aids in detoxification, the Nrf2 pathway.4 Additionally, it also increases heme oxygenase 15 (a protein produced in response to oxidative stress) and upregulates antioxidant enzymes — all of which are important for brain health.

In addition, DHA is a precursor for the signaling molecule protectin, which is synthesized in response to oxidative stress. (When found in your central nervous system it’s referred to as neuroprotectin, or NPD1.) As explained in a 2011 paper in the journal Nutrients:6

“NPD1 induces nerve regeneration, reduce leukocyte infiltration and maintains homeostasis through ageing by reducing pro-apoptotic and pro-inflammatory signaling. NPDI is induced by oxidative stress and protects retinal and neuronal cells from oxidative stress-induced apoptosis.

Many mechanisms have been implicated, including suppression of the IL-1β induced stimulation of COX. The discovery of NPD1 offers new therapeutic opportunities for a range of neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It also provides an exciting potential for DHA in helping to delay or minimize the ‘normal’ cognitive decline during ageing.”

2. Marine-Based Omega-3 Fat: EPA

EPA, meanwhile, appears to be particularly beneficial in the treatment of depression,7 as it helps lower levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 1 beta and prostaglandin E2 — three immune chemicals that tend to be elevated in those with depression.

A stumbling block has been to get sufficiently large amounts into your brain. To raise your brain level of EPA, you’d need to consume impractically large amounts of fish oil, for example. One theory is that degradation by pancreatic enzymes renders the EPA incapable of passing the blood-brain-barrier.8

However, recent research9 has discovered something really interesting. By using a lysophospholipid form of EPA (LPC-EPA), they were able to increase the EPA level in the brain of mice 100fold. Even more remarkable, LPC-EPA also doubled the DHA level in the brain, whereas free EPA had no effect on DHA levels. The authors further noted that:

“Only LPC-EPA increased EPA and DHA in retina, and expression of BDNF, CREB and 5-HT1A receptor in the brain. These novel results show that brain EPA can be increased through diet. Because LPC-EPA increased both EPA and DHA in the brain, it may help treat depression as well as neuroinflammatory diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.”

Papasani Subbaiah, professor of medicine and biochemistry and molecular genetics in the UIC College of Medicine and corresponding author, told MedicalXpress:10

“It seems that there is a transporter at the blood-brain barrier that EPA must pass through in order to get into the brain, but EPA in fish oil can’t get through, whereas LPC-EPA can. You don’t have to consume all that much LPC- EPA to have significant increases of EPA show up in the brain, so this could be a way to do rigorous studies on the effects of EPA in humans.”

The Importance of Phospholipid-Bound Omega-3

There are a number of drawbacks to fish oil, and the lack of phospholipids is one of them. DHA and EPA are water insoluble and therefore cannot be transported in their free form in your blood. They must be packaged into lipoprotein vehicles such as phospholipids. This is primarily why the bioavailability of krill oil is so much higher than fish oil, because in fish oil, the DHA and EPA are bound to triglycerides.

When you consume fish oil, your liver has to attach it to phosphatidylcholine in order for it to be efficiently utilized by your body and brain. Phospholipids are also one of the principal compounds in high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which you want more of, and by allowing your cells to maintain structural integrity, phospholipids help your cells function optimally.

Importantly, your brain cannot readily absorb DHA unless it’s bound to phosphatidylcholine, and while krill oil contains phosphatidylcholine naturally, fish oil does not. As the name implies, phosphatidylcholine is composed partly of choline, the precursor for the vital neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which sends nerve signals to your brain, and choline itself is crucial for brain development, learning and memory, as you’ll see in the next section.

Recent research11 by Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., also highlights the value of DHA bound to phospholipids, showing this form may actually reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in those with the apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) gene, which lowers the typical age of onset of this degenerative brain disorder.

Two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s are amyloid beta plaques and tau tangles, both of which impair normal brain functioning. Alzheimer’s patients also have reduced glucose transport into their brains, and this is one of the reasons why plaque and tangles form and accumulate in the first place. According to Patrick,12 DHA encourages your brain’s uptake of glucose by regulating the structure and function of glucose transporters, proteins located at your blood-brain barrier.

While eating DHA-rich fish has been shown to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in APOE4 carriers, taking fish oil has not demonstrated the same efficacy. According to Patrick, this variation in response appears to be related to the different ways in which the two forms of DHA are metabolized and ultimately transported into your brain.

When the triglyceride form of DHA is metabolized, most of it turns into nonesterified DHA, while the phospholipid form is metabolized primarily into DHA-lysophosphatidylcholine (DHA-lysoPC). While both of these forms can cross the blood-brain barrier to reach your brain, the phospholipid form does so far more efficiently.

According to Patrick, people with APOE4 have a faulty nonesterified DHA transport system, and this may be why they’re at increased risk for Alzheimer’s. The good news is that DHA-lysoPC can bypass the tight junctions, thereby improving DHA transport, and for those with one or two APOE4 variants, taking the phospholipid form of DHA may therefore lower their risk of Alzheimer’s more effectively.

3. Choline Helps Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

Other recent research13 demonstrates the importance of choline for brain health and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Choline is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter required for the proper function of your brain and nervous system, playing a role in fetal brain development, memory, muscle control, mood and gene expression. As reported by Science Daily:14

“The study focuses on mice bred to display AD-like symptoms. Results showed that when these mice are given high choline in their diet, their offspring show improvements in spatial memory, compared with those receiving a normal choline regimen in the womb.

Remarkably, the beneficial effects of choline supplementation appear to be transgenerational, not only protecting mice receiving choline supplementation during gestation and lactation, but also the subsequent offspring of these mice. While this second generation received no direct choline supplementation, they nevertheless reaped the benefits of treatment, likely due to inherited modifications in their genes.”

Choline helps protect against Alzheimer’s by:

Reducing your homocysteine level, an amino acid that has been shown to cause neurodegeneration and is involved in the formation of amyloid plaques, two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. Choline converts homocysteine into methionine, which has a number of beneficial effects.
Inhibiting microglia activation. Microglia cells clear debris from your brain, and while this is a crucial function, in Alzheimer’s the microglia have a tendency to become overactivated, causing inflammation in the brain that can result in the death of neurons. By reducing activation of microglia, choline can help protect Alzheimer’s patients from further brain damage.

4. Phosphatidylserine Boosts Cognitive Function

Phosphatidylserine is another supplement that can help improve cognitive function15 and protect against Alzheimer’s disease.16 Phosphatidylserine is an amino acid derivative that is highly prevalent in neural tissue and plays an important role in the cellular function in your brain.

While your body can synthesize it on its own, you can also get it through food (such as mackerel, cod, egg yolks and organ meats) and/or a phosphatidylserine complex supplement.17 Phosphatidylserine has a unique structure that makes it both hydrophilic, meaning it’s attracted to water and hydrophobic, or repelled by water.

With this structure, phospholipids are able to arrange themselves into a phospholipid bilayer — two parallel layers that form a major component of the human cell membranes. In brain cell membranes, the phospholipid bilayer acts as a “gatekeeper,” regulating the entry beneficial substances, basically nutrients, water and oxygen, while eliminating metabolic waste.18

In one study,19 supplementing with 400 mg of phosphatidylserine increased the speed of calculations done in short-term memory by 20 percent in a group of healthy adults. In another, it improved cognitive function of geriatric patients at a dosage of 300 mg per day for six months.20

Taken with DHA, it’s also been shown to improve behavior and short-term auditory memory in children with ADHD.21 In patients with Alzheimer’s, phosphatidylserine helps inhibit amyloid beta and interferon-gamma-induced microglial activation.22

5. Acetyl-L-Carnitine Protects Against Neurotoxic Insults

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) has many beneficial effects on brain metabolism, protects against neurotoxic insults, and has been shown to benefit certain forms of depression. In one study,23 healthy mice given ALCAR for 25 days at a dose of about half a gram per kilo, were found to have increased levels of the neurotransmitters noradrenaline and serotonin. According to the authors, this is “consistent with ALCAR’s potential efficacy for depressive symptoms.”

In another study,24 ALCAR was found to improve the clinical condition of patients with degenerative cerebellar ataxia (a condition resulting in the loss of control of bodily movements). According to the authors, “statistically significant improvement of some symptoms and a slow progression of the disease in both groups of patients” were observed.

6. Vitamin D Protects Against Memory Loss

Activated vitamin D receptors increase nerve growth in your brain, and researchers have also located metabolic pathways for vitamin D in the hippocampus and cerebellum, areas involved in planning, information processing and memory formation.

According to research25 published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, low vitamin D is associated with poorer brain function, and increasing levels may help keep older adults mentally fit. Vitamin D has also been shown to improve a number of brain disorders, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.26

In one six-year study,27 those with severe vitamin D deficiency were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s than those with higher levels. Even those with moderate deficiency had a 53 percent increased risk for all forms of dementia, and 69 percent increased risk for Alzheimer’s specifically. According to the authors, “Our results confirm that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease.”

The findings also suggest there’s a threshold level of circulating vitamin D, below which your risk for dementia increases. This threshold was found to be right around 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L). Higher levels were associated with good brain health.

I recommend getting your vitamin D level tested twice a year, and taking whatever dosage required to achieve and maintain a vitamin D level between 60 and 80 ng/mL (150 and 200 nmol/L). Ideally, you’d want to raise your level by getting sensible sun exposure, but if you cannot, consider an oral vitamin D3 supplement balanced with magnesium and vitamin K2.

7. Vitamin B12 Deficiency Wreaks Havoc on Cognitive Function

Vitamin B12 is another important player. Research28 shows people with high levels of markers for vitamin B12 deficiency are more likely to score lower on cognitive tests and have a smaller total brain volume, which suggests a lack of B12 may contribute to brain shrinkage.

Mental fogginess and problems with memory are two of the top warning signs that you have vitamin B12 deficiency, and this is indicative of its importance for your brain health.

Finnish researchers have also found that people who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s in their later years.29 For each unit increase in the marker for vitamin B12 (holotranscobalamin) the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was reduced by 2 percent. Another study30 found that supplementing with B vitamins, including B12, helps to slow brain atrophy in elderly people with mild cognitive impairment.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is widespread and many have trouble absorbing this nutrient properly from food sources. Blood tests for vitamin B12 are not always a reliable indicator of B12 status, so watching for symptoms of deficiency and increasing your dietary and supplemental intake is a practical alternative to blood testing.

B12 is available in its natural form only in animal food sources such as seafood, beef, chicken, pork, milk and eggs. If you rarely or never consume these animal products, you’re at particularly high risk of B12 deficiency.

The good news is vitamin B12 supplementation is completely nontoxic and inexpensive, especially when compared to the cost of laboratory testing. I recommend an under-the-tongue fine mist spray, as this technology helps you absorb the vitamin into the fine capillaries under your tongue.

8. MCT Oil Boosts Brain Performance

One of the primary fuels your brain needs is glucose, which is converted into energy. Your brain actually manufactures its own insulin to convert glucose in your bloodstream into the food it needs to survive.

If your brain’s production of insulin decreases, your brain literally begins to starve, as it’s deprived of the glucose-converted energy it needs to function normally. This is what happens to Alzheimer’s patients — portions of their brain start to atrophy, or starve, leading to impaired functioning and eventual loss of memory, speech, movement and personality.

In effect, your brain can begin to atrophy from starvation if it becomes insulin resistant and loses its ability to convert glucose into energy. Fortunately, your brain is able to run on more than one type of energy supply. It can run on both glucose and ketones, and ketones are actually better.

Ketones are what your body produces when it converts fat as opposed to glucose) into energy, and a primary source of ketone bodies are medium chain triglycerides (MCT). While coconut oil is one healthy option, MCT oil is a more concentrated source of ketones, so it tends to be more appropriate for clinical uses.

Most commercial brands of MCT oil contain a 50/50 combination of C8 and C10 fats (the “C number” stands for the carbon length of the MCT). My personal preference is straight C8 (caprylic acid), as it converts to ketones far more rapidly than do C10 fats, and will give you higher levels of ketones.

You can learn more about MCTs and the differences between them in my previous article, “The Many Health Benefits of MCT Oil.” Ketones appear to be the preferred source of energy for the brain in people affected by diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and maybe even ALS, because in these diseases, certain neurons have become insulin resistant or have lost the ability to efficiently utilize glucose. As a result, neurons slowly die off.

The introduction of ketones may rescue these neurons and they may still be able to survive and thrive. In multiple studies, ketones have been shown to be both neurotherapeutic and neuroprotective. They also appear to lower markers of systemic inflammation. As noted by Mental Health Daily:31

“In small scale human trials,32 MCT supplementation boosted cognition in individuals with cognitive impairment and mild forms of Alzheimer’s disease after just a single dose. While not everyone improved from the MCT treatment, those with certain genetics experienced notable improvement.”

9. Probiotics Feed Your Second Brain

As your “second brain,” the state of your gut also plays an important role in your neurological and psychological health. Probiotics have been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and decrease pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s, including amyloid plaques and tangles. In one study,33 the probiotic strain L. plantarumMTCC1325 was identified as having these “anti-Alzheimer’s properties.”

In another study,34 published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 60 elderly patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s received either a placebo or a probiotic milk products containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Lactobacillus fermentum for 12 weeks.

At the beginning and end of the study, participants underwent a standardized cognitive assessment and a highly sensitive c-reactive protein test, which is a powerful marker of inflammation. As reported by neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter:35

“The results of the study were stunning. The placebo group showed an increase in hs-CRP, the inflammation marker, by an impressive 45 percent. In the group taking the probiotic, on the other hand, hs-CRP didn’t just stay the same, but actually declined by 18 percent, indicating a dramatic reduction in inflammation.

But here’s the truly exciting news. Over the 12 weeks, the patients in the placebo continued to decline mentally, as you might expect. Their MMSE score dropped from 8.47 to 8.00, a substantial reduction.

But the group on the inflammation reducing probiotics actually demonstrated, not a decline in brain function, but an actual improvement, with their MMSE scores going from 8.67 up to 10.57, and that’s a huge improvement. Again, not only was their mental decline stopped in its tracks, these individuals regained brain function!

The message here is that inflammation is directly determined by the health and diversity of our gut bacteria, and this has major implications in terms of brain health, function and disease resistance.”

Tip #23Avoid Constipation

Read more:

Dandelion Tea Helps Improve Your Liver Function, Digestion and More

5 months, 28 days ago

Table of Contents

What Is Dandelion Tea?
9 Health Benefits of Dandelion Tea
Caffeine Content of Roasted Dandelion Root Tea
How to Make a Cup of Fresh Dandelion Tea
Dandelion Tea Recipes
How You Can Store Dandelion Tea
Side Effects of Dandelion Tea
Make Sure That Your Dandelion Tea Comes From Safe and Organic Sources
Dandelion Tea FAQs

Some people think that dandelion is nothing but a pesky weed that can ruin a perfectly groomed garden, while others consider it one of the most useful gifts from nature. While it’s true that dandelion may not always grow in the desired location, this resilient plant actually has plenty of health benefits to offer.

In fact, the earliest mention of dandelion as a medicinal herb dates back to the 10th and 11th centuries in the Middle East.1 It was also used in traditional Chinese medicine to ease liver problems and other health issues.2 From its roots to the flowers, almost all parts of the humble dandelion can be used to make tea, soups, coffee and other concoctions that can give your health a boost.

What Is Dandelion Tea?

Dandelion tea is an herbal tea that’s made from the roots and leaves of dandelion.3 Some people also use its blossoms to make a tea that’s more delicate in flavor.4 Aside from the difference in flavor profile, the nutritional and medicinal value of dandelion tea may also differ depending on the parts that were used to make it.

Dandelion leaf tea is often consumed for its diuretic properties, while tea made from dandelion roots is known for its ability to help stimulate the appetite and relieve liver and gallbladder problems. The flowers and stems of dandelion may also be added into the tea mixture for additional nutrients.5

The flavors and nutritional profile of dandelion tea also depend on the season when the roots or leaves are harvested. Dandelion leaves are usually picked during the spring,6 while the roots are often harvested in autumn or winter, since they’re believed to be sweeter during these seasons.7

Since dandelions are widely available and are extremely simple to grow, you can easily harvest them to make a tea of your own from fresh ingredients. You may also opt to buy tea bags made from dried organic dandelion roots or leaves. Whichever part of dandelion you choose to brew, rest assured that you’ll get plenty of nutrients from a cup of this herbal drink.

9 Remarkable Health Benefits of Dandelion Tea

With all the publicity that dandelion tea has been getting lately, one of the questions that has probably crossed your mind is, “What exactly is dandelion tea good for?” To answer that question, check out the long list of benefits that you can get from dandelion root or leaf tea:

1. Helps soothe digestive problems — Dandelion tea has been used for centuries to help relieve minor digestive problems, such as heartburn and indigestion. It may also help relieve constipation, since it stimulates bowel movement with its diuretic properties.8

2. Helps maintain proper liver function — Dandelion tea is considered a “liver tonic,” since it helps detoxify the liver and improve the flow of bile.9 A recent study also shows that the water-soluble polysaccharides from dandelion root may help protect the liver from hepatic injury.10

3. Helps reduce water retention — Drinking dandelion tea may help reduce bloating, as it can flush out excessive water weight from your body by increasing your urine output. A study conducted in 2009 showed that the first two cups of dandelion tea can cause a significant increase in the frequency of urination within a period of five hours.11

4. Helps improve kidney and gallbladder function — Dandelion tea may help improve the health of your kidneys and reduce your risk of developing gallstones by flushing out toxins, salt and excess water through increased urine production.12

5. Aids in the management of diabetes — Researchers suggest that dandelion root may help normalize blood sugar levels and reduce bad cholesterol, so drinking tea made from its extracts may be beneficial for diabetics.13

6. Helps improve heart health — Dandelion leaves are a great source of potassium, so drinking its extract may provide your body with traces of this essential mineral, which is important for your heart health, as it helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure levels.

7. Helps reduce the risk of cancer — At least one study shows that dandelion root extract may help induce apoptosis in cancer cells without affecting the noncancerous cells in your body.14

8. Helps relieve inflammation — Dandelion tea provides anti-inflammatory properties, which may help alleviate swelling and other health issues related to inflammation.15

9. Helps reduce your risk for obesity — A study published in the Journal of Nutrition Research and Practice found that dandelion may aid weight loss by inhibiting the activity of pancreatic lipase.16

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, drinking roasted dandelion root tea may be beneficial for coffee lovers who are trying to cut down their caffeine intake, as it tastes relatively similar to coffee.17

Caffeine Content of Roasted Dandelion Root Tea

As mentioned above, roasted dandelion root tea is an excellent natural coffee substitute, hence why it’s often called “dandelion coffee.” But the question is, does it have any caffeine content?

While it tastes and looks relatively similar to real coffee, roasted dandelion root tea does not contain caffeine, which is why it’s great for those who are sensitive to this compound.18,19 However, like coffee, it can also provide plenty of antioxidants, plus other valuable vitamins and minerals.

How to Make a Cup of Fresh Dandelion Tea

Looking for an inexpensive substitute to store-bought dandelion root tea bags? Look no further than the dandelions in your organic garden. You can put these plants to good use by making your own cup of tea. Here’s how you can make dandelion tea using its fresh leaves, according to a recipe from Mama’s Homestead:20


Six dandelion leaves


Slice of lemon or orange
Raw honey, to sweeten


Collect around six pieces of young and tender dandelion leaves. Wash them thoroughly under running water, then pat them dry with a paper towel.
Cut the leaves into small pieces then put them in a cup.
Pour boiling water and steep for five to 10 minutes.

You may opt to drink your dandelion tea as is or serve it with a slice of lemon or orange. You may also sweeten it with honey, but make sure that you only add in a small amount to avoid overloading your body with fructose.

Hearty and Comforting Dandelion Tea Recipe That You Should Try

Aside from making a simple cup of dandelion tea, there are other ways to enjoy this herbal drink. Here’s a delicious and comforting chai recipe from The Kitchn that you will surely enjoy sipping on:21

Dandelion and Chicory Chai


1/2 cup filtered water
1 teaspoon coarsely ground roasted dandelion root tea
1 teaspoon coarsely ground chicory root
2 black peppercorns, cracked
2 green cardamom pods, cracked
1 whole clove
1 inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1/2 cup raw, unpasteurized milk
1 tablespoon honey


Combine the water, dandelion root, chicory root, peppercorns, cardamom, ginger, clove and cinnamon in a saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and then simmer for five minutes.
Add the milk and honey, then increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Keep the saucepan uncovered.
Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it into a cup. Discard the solid particles, and serve the drink immediately.

The recipe above is not only rich in flavors, but filled with nutrients too. It takes only a few minutes to make, and is great for a single serving. You can easily double the ingredients if you want to make more for your family or friends.

Here’s How You Can Store Dandelion Tea for Later Use

You don’t need to brew your dandelion root or leaf tea all at once after harvest, because you can actually preserve and store these ingredients for a long time, as long as you dry them first.

When drying dandelion roots, make sure that you wash each root thoroughly before chopping them into small pieces. You may use a dehydrator to dry the chopped roots, or you may simply place them outside under the hot sun until they’re all dried out. Once dry, put the roots in an airtight glass jar and store in a dry place, out of direct sunlight.22,23

Preserving dandelion leaves is easier. You just need to wash the leaves thoroughly and pat them dry with a paper towel. Spread the clean leaves on a tray, and then leave them in a warm room or air cupboard to dry. Be sure to turn the leaves occasionally. After they’re all dried up, store them in an airtight glass jar out of direct sunlight.24

Common Side Effects of Dandelion Tea

Dandelion leaf or root tea is considered generally safe to consume. However, it may cause allergic reactions like itching, rashes and runny nose in people who are allergic to ragweed and other related plants, including chamomile, chrysanthemums and marigold.

If you’re taking medications or supplements, make sure that you consult your doctor before drinking dandelion tea, as it may interact with several drugs. This herbal drink is also not recommended for people with kidney problems and gallbladder disorders.25

Make Sure That Your Dandelion Tea Comes From Safe and Organic Sources

Making homemade dandelion tea may be fun and inexpensive, but you have to keep in mind that not all dandelions you see on the ground are beneficial for your health. This hardy weed pops up almost anywhere — from your well-kept backyard to the dirty street gutter.

If you’re planning to harvest it for consumption, make sure that you use plants grown in a clean area that’s free of pesticides, herbicides and other harmful pollutants. As much as possible, avoid those that grow near the roadway, and refrain from brewing the neighborhood dandelions unless you’re absolutely sure that chemicals weren’t sprayed on them.26

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Dandelion Tea

Q: Is dandelion tea safe?

A: Yes, dandelion tea is generally considered safe for most people, as long as it’s consumed in moderate amounts. It’s important to note that dandelion tea may trigger an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to dandelion and other related plants. To ensure your safety, consult your physician before drinking this herbal tea.27

Q: How do you drink dandelion tea?

A: Dandelion tea is best enjoyed when it’s freshly brewed. You can serve it hot or cold. You may also mix it with other healthy ingredients, such as lemon, cinnamon and honey, for additional flavors and nutrients.28

Q: What does dandelion tea do for the body?

A: Dandelion tea has long been used to help soothe digestive ailments, such as poor appetite, constipation, upset stomach and indigestion. Its diuretic properties also make it useful for reducing water weight and flushing out toxins, salt and excess water from the kidney. Plus, it helps detoxify the liver by increasing the flow of bile.29,30,31

Studies have also shown that dandelion tea may help fight certain types of cancer by killing the cancer cells without affecting the noncancerous ones.32 It may also help regulate blood sugar levels,33 relieve inflammation,34 improve heart health and maintain normal blood pressure levels.35

Q: How do you use dandelion root tea?

A: You can drink dandelion root tea as is or mix it with other herbal preparations to enhance its nutritional value. Roasted dandelion root tea may also be used as a natural substitute for coffee, since they both have the same color and antioxidant properties. The only difference is that dandelion root tea does not contain caffeine.36,37

Q: How often can you drink dandelion tea?

A: You can drink up to three cups of dandelion tea per day.38

Q: Where can you buy dandelion tea?

A: Dandelion tea bags are widely available in groceries and health stores. Store-bought dandelion tea may be a little pricey, though. If you’re looking for an inexpensive alternative, you can make your own homemade dandelion tea using dandelion greens and roots that come from safe and organic sources.

Read more:

Top Tips to Avoid Pharmaceutical Injury

5 months, 28 days ago

30 Tips in 30 Days Designed to Help You Take Control of Your

This article is included in Dr. Mercola’s All-Time Top 30 Health Tips series. Every day during the month of January, a new tip will be added that will help you take control of your health. Want to see the full list? Click here.

Vaccines have quickly become Big Pharma’s most lucrative profit center. Currently valued at more than $34 billion a year, the vaccine industry is projected to exceed $49 billion by 2022.1 There are several reasons for this rapid growth. Not only are vaccines priced much higher than pills, but governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are also engaged in the marketing of vaccines.

These unethical partnerships, which use both taxpayer and NGO money, advance misleading research intended to frighten the public. Worse, they discredit vaccine critics who raise legitimate safety and efficacy questions and even discredit the families and victims of vaccine injuries themselves.

To cash in on vaccine profits, Big Pharma, governments and NGOs have cast all vaccines as “life-saving.” One of the clearest examples is the attempt to present the HPV vaccine as an “anticancer” vaccine, even though there’s not a single shred of evidence that it actually has an impact on cervical cancer rates. Meanwhile, mounting evidence of serious harm and death caused by the HPV vaccine is being ignored or cast aside as “coincidental.”

To Avoid Vaccine Injury, Educate Yourself About the Risks

The official stance repeated by most mainstream media is that vaccines have been thoroughly researched, that “hundreds” of studies have proven their safety, and that no link between vaccines and health problems, such as autism, have ever been found.

It sounds definitive enough, and is often repeated as established fact. Yet it’s far from the whole truth. Importantly, the vaccine industry has long shied away from evaluating vaccinated versus unvaccinated populations to determine potential differences in general health outcomes.

The few independent scientists who have attempted such an investigation have little comfort to give to those who believe vaccines are essential for health, and mandatory use of vaccines by all children is the only way to protect society from disease.

Vaccine May Actually Be Doing More Harm Than Good

One such study,2 published in 2017, examined health outcomes among infants 3 to 5 months old following the introduction of diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) and oral polio vaccine in Guinea-Bissau, which took place in the early 1980s. This population offered the rare opportunity to compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children due to the way the vaccines were rolled out in the West African country.

Shockingly, researchers discovered “DTP was associated with fivefold higher mortality than being unvaccinated.” According to the authors, “All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis.”

In short, the researchers concluded that DTP vaccine weakened the children’s immune systems, rendering them vulnerable to a whole host of other often deadly diseases and serious health problems.

In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that children receive 69 doses of 16 vaccines by the time they’re 18 years old, with 50 doses of 14 vaccines given before the age of 6.3

This, despite the fact that no thorough investigation has ever been conducted to determine how all of these vaccines actually affect a child’s health. What’s worse, no one is tracking the health outcomes of children who adhere to the federally recommended childhood vaccine schedule and state mandatory vaccination programs.

Lawyers with the U.S. Justice Department also defend vaccines in the federal vaccine injury compensation program (VICP), commonly referred to as “vaccine court,” which means the U.S. government has a stake in maintaining the illusion that vaccines are a necessary lifesaving measure that causes minimal harm.

High Vaccination Rate Does Not Translate Into Better Infant Health

What we do know is that:

• The U.S. has the highest vaccination rate in the world, with 94 to 96 percent of children entering kindergarten having received multiple doses of vaccines4

• The U.S. also has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates of any developed nation5,6

• 1 in 6 American children has a developmental disability, which includes ADD, ADHD, autism, hearing loss, learning disabilities, mental disabilities, seizures and stammering — many of which are also listed or known side effects of vaccines

• 54 percent of children have a diagnosed chronic illness, including anxiety, asthma, behavioral problems, bone and muscle disorders, chronic ear infections, depression, diabetes, food and/or environmental allergies and epilepsy.

This list again mirrors many of the acknowledged side effects of vaccines, and the rise in prevalence of these diseases parallel the rise in required vaccines, yet vaccine promoters insist that these illnesses are in no way associated with vaccinations

Common Vaccine Side Effects

Both the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court have also admitted that government licensed and recommended childhood vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe,”7 and possible side effects that are actually listed on vaccine inserts include:

Autoimmune diseases

Food allergies



Type 1 diabetes

Rheumatoid arthritis


Tourette syndrome



Speech delay

Neurodevelopment disorders

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Seizure disorder


Vaccines also have the highest number of recalls of any drug, which speaks to their “unavoidably unsafe” nature. Victims have also received compensation from the federal vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) for the following (and other) injuries:

Guillain-Barre syndrome

Transverse myelitis


Seizure disorder hypoxic seizure


Brachial neuritis

Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP)

Premature ovarian failure

Bell’s palsy

Type 1 diabetes

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura

Rheumatic arthritis

Multiple sclerosis



Ocular myasthenia gravis

Infantile spasms

The Vaccines-Autism Link Revived

According to the latest survey,8,9 1 in 40 American children between the ages of 3 and 17 is now on the autism spectrum. This shocking update was published in the journal Pediatrics in December 2018. In 2014, the rate was 1 in 59; in 2010, it was 1 in 68; in 2000, it was 1 in 150.10 To say we’re looking at exponential growth would be an understatement. But do vaccines have anything to do with this trend?

According to a Full Measure report11 by award-winning investigative reporter and former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, a pediatric neurologist, was the pro-vaccine expert witness the government used to debunk and turn down autism claims in vaccine court.

“Zimmerman was the government’s top expert witness and had testified that vaccines didn’t cause autism. The debate was declared over,” Attkisson reports. “But now Dr. Zimmerman has provided remarkable new information.

He claims that during the vaccine hearings all those years ago, he privately told government lawyers that vaccines can, and did cause autism in some children. That turnabout from the government’s own chief medical expert stood to change everything about the vaccine-autism debate. If the public were to find out …

And he has come forward and explained how he told the United States government vaccines can cause autism in a certain subset of children and [the] United States government, the Department of Justice [DOJ], suppressed his true opinions.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., chairman of The World Mercury Project, was the one who convinced Zimmerman to speak out about the cover-up. In a sworn affidavit, dated September 7, 2018, Zimmerman states that, in 2007, he told DOJ lawyers he had “discovered exceptions in which vaccinations could cause autism.”

“I explained that in a subset of children … vaccine-induced fever and immune stimulation … did cause regressive [brain disease] with features of autism spectrum disorder,” Zimmerman writes.

A week after this 2007 meeting, the DOJ fired him, saying his services would no longer be needed. According to Zimmerman, the DOJ then went on to misrepresent his opinion in future cases, making no mention of the exceptions he’d informed them of. Kennedy has now filed a fraud complaint with the DOJ Inspector General.

William Thompson, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases, has also confessed to covering up links found between vaccines and autism, in this case the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

According to Thompson, this scientific fraud was committed for the express purpose of covering up potential safety problems so the agency would be able to maintain that the MMR vaccine had been proven safe to give to all children. By eliminating the incriminating data, the link vanished, and this research has been cited as proof ever since that vaccines don’t cause autism.

Attkisson’s report also reveals how Congressmen who wanted to investigate the autism-vaccine link were bullied, harassed and threatened. Dan Burton (R-IN), Dr. Dave Weldon (R-FL) and Bill Posey (R-FL) are among 11 current and former members of Congress and staff who told Attkisson they were warned to drop the vaccine safety issue by PhRMA lobbyists.

Vaccines Can Have Serious Consequences for Adults Too

While children are more susceptible to vaccine damage than adults, grownups can and have been seriously injured and killed by routine vaccinations as well. It’s important to realize that no vaccine is 100 percent safe for everyone. As reported by CNN, an oncologist with London’s Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust recently died following a routine yellow fever vaccination:12

“Martin Gore, 67, died Thursday morning after receiving the vaccine, which is recommended to travelers visiting sub-Saharan Africa, most of South America, and parts of Central American and the Caribbean …

Gore’s death casts light on the heightened risk associated with the yellow fever vaccine and the over-60 demographic. Typical side effects of the vaccine include headaches, muscle pain, mild fever and soreness at the injection site …

However, the vaccinations can, in rare circumstances, cause more severe side effects, including allergic reactions and problems affecting the brain or organs …

The WHO reported that all cases of viscerotropic disease — a rare but dangerous side effect of yellow fever vaccinations where an illness similar to wild-type yellow fever proliferates in multiple organs — have occurred in primary vaccines, starting two to five days after vaccination.”

Might Vaccine Reaction Rate Be as High as 1 in 10?

In the video above, Del Bigtree,13 an Emmy Award-winning producer of “The Doctors” talk show for six years, and one of the producers of the documentary, “Vaxxed,” discusses vaccine safety, or rather the lack thereof.

In it, he recounts how, in 2010, the CDC hired a company to automate the federal vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS) in such a way that any potential vaccine reactions reported to doctors participating in the Harvard Pilgrim HMO would automatically be uploaded into the VAERS database.

Remarkably, preliminary data showed that out of 376,452 individuals given 45 different vaccines, 35,570 possible vaccine reactions were identified. This means nearly 1 in 10 people suffered a reaction after vaccination concerning enough to be reported, yet the official CDC mantra is that the risk for serious vaccine injury or death is 1 in 1 million.

Unfortunately, while the creation of VAERS in 1986 was an opportunity to get a firmer grasp of the number of potential vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths occurring after vaccinations given in the U.S., the CDC didn’t follow through, and the project fell by the wayside.

Medical Errors Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US

While I’ve focused a lot of attention on vaccines and the necessity for educating yourself about their risks in this article, vaccines are by far not the only hazard presented by the medical industry. In fact, medical errors in general are the third leading cause of death, killing an estimated 250,000 Americans each year,14,15 an increase of about 25,000 people annually from data published in 2000.16

Side effects from drugs, taken as prescribed, account for the vast majority of iatrogenic deaths, but unnecessary surgeries, medication errors in hospitals, hospital-acquired infections and other medical errors occurring in hospitals also claim their fair share of lives.

Research17 published in 2013 estimated that preventable hospital errors kill 210,000 Americans each year — a figure that comes very close to the latest statistics. However, when deaths related to diagnostic errors, errors of omission, and failure to follow guidelines were included, the number skyrocketed to 440,000 preventable hospital deaths each year.

10 Tips to Avoid Medical Harm

How can you avoid becoming one of these statistics? Aside from educating yourself on the risks and benefits of vaccines, here are several additional suggestions:

Ask your doctor whether a recommended test and/or treatment is really necessary, and do your own homework — According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, an estimated 30 percent of all medical procedures, tests and medications may be unnecessary,18 any one of which can put you at risk for a potentially serious or lethal side effect.

An investigation19 by the Mayo Clinic published in 2013 also revealed between 40 and 78 percent of the medical testing, treatments and procedures you receive are of no benefit to you — or are actually harmful — as determined by clinical studies. To learn which tests and interventions may do more harm than good, browse through the Choosing Wisely website.20

Avoid hospitals unless absolutely necessary — According to 2011 statistics, 1 in 25 patients in the U.S. end up contracting some form of infection while in the hospital,21 and 205 Americans die from hospital-acquired infections each and every day.22

Do your due diligence before undergoing endoscopy — If you’re having a colonoscopy or any other procedure using a flexible endoscope done, you can significantly reduce your risk of contracting an infection by asking the hospital or facility how the scope is cleaned, and which cleaning agent is used.

Some esophagoscopes and bronchoscopes have sterile sheaths with disposable air-water and biopsy channels, but many others do not, and must be cleaned between each use. If the hospital or clinic uses glutaraldehyde, or the brand name Cidex, cancel your appointment and go elsewhere.

About 80 percent of clinics use glutaraldehyde because it’s a less expensive alternative; however, it does not do a good job of sterilizing the equipment. If they use peracetic acid, your likelihood of contracting an infection from a previous patient is slim.

To learn more about this, see my interview with David Lewis, Ph.D., in “How Improper Sterilization of Endoscopes Could Put Your Health at Risk.”

Enlist a health care advocate — Once hospitalized, you’re at risk for medical errors, so one of the best safeguards is to have someone there have someone there with you. It’s important to have a personal advocate present to ask questions and take notes.

For every medication given in the hospital, ask questions such as: “What is this medication? What is it for? What’s the dose?” Most people, doctors and nurses included, are more apt to go through that extra step of due diligence to make sure they’re getting it right if they know they’ll be questioned about it.

To learn more, listen to my interview with Dr. Andrew Saul in “What Hospitals Won’t Tell You — Vital Strategies That Could Save Your Life,” or pick up a copy of his book, “Hospitals and Health: Your Orthomolecular Guide to a Shorter Hospital Stay.”

In it, he discusses the dangers of hospital stays, the type of patient that tends to get killed most frequently, and how you can protect your health and life in the event you have to be hospitalized. For example, reminding nurses and doctors to wash their hands and change gloves before touching you can go a long way toward avoiding contamination with potentially lethal microbes.

Do your own prep for surgery — If you or someone you know is scheduled for surgery, print out the WHO surgical safety checklist and implementation manual,23 which is part of the campaign “Safe Surgery Saves Lives.” The checklist can be downloaded free of charge here. Print it out and bring it with you, as this can help you protect yourself, your family member or friend from preventable errors in care.

Know the most effective protocol for sepsis — Sepsis is a progressive disease process initiated by an aggressive, dysfunctional immune response to an infection in the bloodstream, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as blood poisoning. Each year, an estimated 1 million Americans get sepsis24,25 and up to half of them die as a result.26,27,28

Symptoms of sepsis are often overlooked, even by health professionals, and without prompt treatment, the condition can be deadly.

Unfortunately, conventional treatments often fail, and most hospitals have yet to embrace the use of intravenous (IV) vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine,29 a treatment developed by Dr. Paul Marik, which has been shown to reduce sepsis mortality from 40 to a mere 8.5 percent.30,31 Common signs and symptoms of sepsis to watch out for include:32

A high fever
Inability to keep fluids down
Rapid heartbeat; rapid, shallow breathing and/or shortness of breath
Lethargy and/or confusion
Slurred speech, often resembling intoxication

Should a few or all of these be present, seek immediate medical attention to rule out sepsis. Also inform the medical staff that you suspect sepsis, as time is of the essence when it comes to treatment, and urge them to use Marik’s protocol (currently the standard of care for sepsis at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where Marik works). You can learn more about this protocol by following the hyperlink provided above.

Optimize your vitamin D instead of getting the flu vaccine — Research33,34 shows vitamin D optimization is a more effective flu prevention strategy than flu vaccination, reducing respiratory infections such as influenza by 50 percent in those with vitamin D blood levels below 10 ng/mL. People with higher vitamin D levels at baseline may reduce their risk by about 10 percent, which the researchers stated was about equal to the effect of flu vaccines.

Aside from vitamin D, loading up on vitamins B1 and C may go a long way toward keeping you healthy through the flu season and beyond. Influenza has also been successfully treated with high-dose vitamin C.35 Taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold or flu can also be helpful.

Avoid antibiotics — Drugs are vastly overprescribed and misused, and this is particularly true for antibiotics. Avoid using them unless absolutely necessary, and remember they don’t work for viral infections. Unnecessary use of antibiotics is one of the driving causes of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Turn a deaf ear to drug ads — While drug makers are required to inform consumers about potential side effects in their ads, they’ve perfected drug ad narration to make them less frightful.36

Avoid drugs, unless absolutely necessary — As mentioned, drugs — taken as prescribed — account for a majority of the 250,000 people who die from medical mistakes in the U.S. each year. A great many, if not most, diseases can be effectively addressed using simple lifestyle changes.

Key factors include diet, exercise and nonexercise movement, sleep and stress reduction. To investigate your options, you can search my database of tens of thousands of articles simply by entering your condition in the search engine.

Among the most lethal drugs right now are the opioids, which need to be used with extreme care and only in the short term. For treatment options, see “Treating Pain Without Drugs,” and “Study Reveals Previously Unknown Mechanism Behind Acupuncture’s Ability to Reduce Pain,” which also provides a long list of other drug-free pain relief strategies.

Tip #21Make Magnesium a Priority

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Measles Outbreak in Anti-Vaccine Hotspot in Washington State Confirmed by Health Officials

5 months, 28 days ago

There is no scientific link between vaccines and autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Health officials in Clark County, Wash., have declared a public health emergency over a measles outbreak.

There are now 23 confirmed cases and two suspected cases of the highly contagious virus in the town near Portland, Ore., according to Clark County Public Health. The majority of cases are in children under 18, and at least 20 cases are known to be people who are unimmunized.

Measles is a contagious disease caused by a virus that presents as fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by full body rash of tiny red spots, according to the CDC. It is highly contagious and spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

In the Clark County outbreak, people who have contracted the virus have visited community hubs like schools, churches, and doctor’s offices, along with a Costco, an Ikea, a Dollar Store and other locations, according to Clark County Public Health. On Jan. 7 someone with measles was at Portland International airport, while another infected person went to the Portland Trail Blazers game on Jan. 11.

Related Video: Mom Warns Parents About Rare Flu Symptom After Sick Son Develops Hives: It’s ‘Very Dangerous’

Because measles is among the most highly contagious of all infectious diseases, it flares up in areas with low vaccination rates, Peter J. Hotez, a professor of pediatrics and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told the the Washington Post. The outlet reported that 7.9 percent of children in Clark County were exempt in the 2017-2018 school year from vaccines required for kindergarten entry, making it a hotspot for outbreaks.

Measles, which was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000 thanks to vaccination, is now seeing a resurgence due to people choosing not to vaccinate. Cases are up 30 percent worldwide, according to the World Health Oganization, which just last week named vaccine hesitancy — the “reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability” — as one of the top threats to global health in 2019.

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