Sunday, July 31, 2016

Biofilm,in Lyme, Autism, Alzheimer's, and Dementia

Biofilm in Lyme, Autism, Alzheimer's and Dementia
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 Dr. Thomas Janossy
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When I listened to our professors, some 30 years ago, talking about infectious diseases or microbes, biofilms were never mentioned. The old school was fixated with the images and concept of free-floating (planktonic) bacteria infecting organs. Stealth infections, hiding in biofilm communities, were never mentioned. While homogeneous planktonic populations were studied in sterile labs, the heterogeneous (mixed bacteria, virus, fungus) biofilms represent reality in our body.
It is interesting that the publications which discuss biofilm rarely if ever mention EDTA or flavonoids, while the publications which discuss EDTA chelation rarely if ever mention biofilm. I assume that this reflects the fact that different communities of researchers are involved in a narrow field and researchers don't communicate with each other very well. My interest in seeing the big picture served me well in combining knowledge from various areas of research together with clinical feed-back, to form the basics of innovative approaches.
Although Anthony van Leeuwenhoek, who discovered microbial attachment to his own tooth surface, is credited with the discovery of biofilm nearly 40 years ago, one of the major breakthroughs happened when Dr. G.D. Ehrlich confirmed the hypothesis in 2006, that indeed chronic middle-ear disorders are 'chronic' biofilm related and don't recur due to new infections. [1,2]
Today we know that biofilms are involved in most (probably all) microbial, and even some viral or mixed multispecies (bacterial, viral, fungal) infections in the body. It is estimated that 80% of all (and likely 100% of chronic) infections are biofilm related as biofilm formation is the preferred bacterial life style.[3] Biofilms consist of microorganisms encased within a self-produced matrix of exoproteins and exopolysaccharides, which strongly attach themselves to interfaces and highly resist dislodgement.
The extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), also called 'slime', covering and cementing of biofilm colonies protects the bacteria from antibiotics, bacteriocins (produced by probiotics), antibodies, and other medicines/herbs which might kill it. EPS acts as diffusion barrier to these molecules, protecting the microbes hiding behind the EPS matrix.
Biofilms can vary in thickness from a mono cell layer to 3 inch/7 cm thick layer but mostly on average are 100?m thick. Chemical analysis shows that the EPS matrix is mostly comprised of neutral and acidic sugars, e.g. glucose, mannose, galactose, rhamnose, ribose, fucose, uronic and gluconic acids, etc.
The anionic properties of EPS sugars in the wall of biofilms attract the divalent cations such as Ca+2, Mg+2, and more importantly the toxic metal cations, which have been shown to cross-link with the polymer strands and provide greater binding force and structural strength in a developed biofilm. Again, it's critical information that the binding force of toxic metals is greater than with Ca+2, Mg+2. It was also found that an increase in concentration of several cations such as Na+, Ca++, Fe+++, and other metal cations enhance the attachment of the cells to the surface the microbes try to be attached to.
Biofilm is often beneficial in nature. Biofilm, also called slime, in the flow boundary skin layer of rapid swimmers (e.g. barracuda) can effectively subdue turbulence and thus prevent energy loss. Huge surfaces of slime are also used in certain sewage treatment plants to clean up water.
Similarities in Lyme, Autism, Alzheimer's, Dementia, Chronic Fatigue, Gulf War Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Autoimmune Diseases
Chronically ill patients with neurodegenerative, neurobehavioural and psychiatric diseases e.g. Lyme disease, Autism, Alzheimer's, dementia, Chronic Fatigue, Gulf War Syndrome, Fibromyalgia (mainly caused by chronic mercury poisoning), and autoimmune diseases, commonly have systemic and central nervous system bacterial and viral infections that could play a major role in disease inception, increasing the types/severities of signs and symptoms, and overall progression of the disease.
Evidence of Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease), Mycoplasma species, Chlamydia pneumoniae, human herpesvirus-1, -6 and -7 and other bacterial (Ehrlichia/Anaplasma, Babesia, Coxiella, Bartonella) and viral (Herpes Simplex, TBA-virus) infections revealed high infection rates in the patients affected by the above listed illnesses that were less likely or not found at all in controls.
Currently, the more research is done on pathogens, the more we understand their role in various chronic, inflammatory disorders, such as
  • stomach ulcer (H. Pylori) – the causative role of H. Pylori was denied for such a long time (!)
  • atherosclerosis (the arterial plaque is a biofilm community)
  • cardio- and cerebrovascular disorders
  • autoimmune diseases (an explanation: pathogens enter the cells and the immune system attacks the cells hiding the pathogens)
  • type 2 diabetes (often actual insulin production can be measured, however, the insulin is not reaching the blood stream, maybe due to the blockage of biofilms)
  • arthritis ('officially' an inflammatory autoimmune disease. Yet, microbes can be found in the synovial fluid and eventually the immune system turns on itself and begins to attack the tissues that line the joints. Goals: the microbes and toxins have to be removed. Have you noticed that biofilm dispersing compounds have the best anti-arthritic effects?)
  • neurodegenerative disorders, including dementia and Alzheimer's
  • sinusitis
  • prostatitis
  • Candida
  • periodontitis (the classic biofilm infection)
  • recurrent otitis media
  • Irritable Bowel Disorders (IBS)
  • Crohn's disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • some forms of cancer, and
  • all (!) implant related infections.
All of these diseases are caused or partially caused by pathogenic biofilms. Indeed, a thoughtful review of these conditions confirms that accelerated aging is likely linked to the ability of the body to fight pathogenic biofilms. After all we shouldn't be surprised that extra oxygen, EDTA, fasting, and resveratrol are suggested for antiaging – and all of them disrupt biofilms.
In a breakthrough study, published in Nature Medicine in 2009, it was documented that even viruses alone are able to form biofilms.[4] Consequently, the targeting of the biofilm communities, with the concurrent elimination of diseases causing microbes, emerges as one of the most important step in providing the highest level of care for patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, and in fact most chronic diseases.
My hypothesis is that whenever the causes of chronic diseases are 'controversial' or 'unknown' or 'potentially have environmental factors' that produce the symptoms of the disease, one should strongly suspect the bioaccumulation of (1) toxins, (2) chronic biofilm infections, and (3) nutritional imbalances.
The following disease etiology often leads to clinical manifestations:
A) The bioaccumulation of toxins, especially toxic heavy metals. The type of toxin and its variations could establish the conditions for the multiplication of microbes in the first place and later the clinical manifestation of a particular disease – Autism, Lyme, Alzheimer's, Parkinson, etc.;
B) An often well identified microbe starts the disease process, with multispecies co-infections emerging to cloud the symptoms;
C) The healthy bacterial flora in the gut changes towards a pathogenic culture with far reaching consequences. Malabsorption of nutrients trigger the need for mineral and trace mineral supplementation, leaky gut could lead to allergies, and Candida and parasites can get the upper hand (it's nearly impossible to control Candida without the reduction of toxic metal levels), it is clear that neurobehavioral diseases are often linked to bowel dysbiosis);
D) Fast formation of biofilm communities, also triggered by antibiotics(!), - blocks the effective outcome of antimicrobial (e.g. antibiotic, antifungal and host antibodies) interventions since the microbes hide behind the protective outer layers of the biofilm, and - creates invisibility: robs the immune system to be exposed to the (by now hidden) microbes for building a successful immune response (or results in an autoimmune response when the microbes hide even inside the cells);
E) As the pathogens suppress, subvert, or evade host defenses, and establish chronic or latent infection and inflammation, the immune system is increasingly compromised due to the combined effects of: - accelerated accumulation of environmental toxins, including toxic metals; - increasing amount and variety of microbial toxins, notably neurotoxins (the production of these toxins are greatly elevated if the patient is exposed to EMF-Electromagnetic Field radiation emitted by cell phones, WiFi spots, etc. since microbes, living in our body, have mainly one way to respond to extra stress reaching them, such as EMF, - by the production of much larger amount of microbial toxins); - depleted levels of Glutathione, the body's most important natural tool to counteract free-radicals, inflammation, and toxic buildup. Glutathione is a key immune booster. In every chronic disease the Glutathione levels are low. (In a 'cytokine storm' that actually kills the patients in sepsis, Ebola and highly pathogen viral diseases, Glutathione has a key role in reducing or blocking the development of the cytokine storm.)
F) Persistent infection and inflammation is maintained by the biofilm communities that are extremely difficult to eradicate by host defense mechanisms even in individuals with healthy innate and adaptive immune reactions and the body needs outside help.
Lyme and Biofilm
In most cases, acute Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) infections, characterized by planktonic (free-floating) cells, can be treated with antibiotics, although the spirochetes are triggered by the same antibiotics to form quickly the biofilm communities and/or pushing the bacteria into a dormant state.
Spirochetes have a particular affinity for the nervous system.
Many Lyme patients find lingering symptoms after antibiotic therapy due to the presence of biofilm communities. For others, Lyme remains dormant in their protected biofilm communities for months or even years and could come back forcefully due to weakened immune system, the bio-accumulation of toxins when it reaches a 'tipping point', elevated levels of EMF (Electromagnetic Field radiation, coming from cell phones or base stations) or superinfections. Some Lyme-specialist doctors claim that the majority of people are infected by Lyme and they are 'carriers', without clinical manifestations.
When Lyme bacteria changes from a dormant to an active state they can resume reproduction and effectively re-seed the body from the Lyme-biofilms. Late-stage Lyme infection can result in a wide variety of physical, emotional, and mental or cognitive symptoms.
The morphologic diversity of Borrelia within biofilms (cyst, granular, L form, spiral forms, etc.), together with a variety of concurrent co-infections, makes it almost impossible for the body to eliminate the microbes on its own, lengthening the suffering and anguish of Lyme patients. The different forms of Borellia allow it to evade antibiotics, escape the immune system, and hide from detection by blood tests. I have great news to these patients, - but more about it later.
Since the extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) attracts toxic metals, chronic Lyme patients benefit from EDTA chelation both due to its biofilm dispersing and toxic metal grabbing characteristics.
A downward spiral often develops when the toxins, especially toxic metals, weaken the immune system and strengthen the outer layers of biofilm communities at the same time, maintaining the activity of Lyme, together with its co-infections.
Lyme and Autism
'There is definitely a connection between Lyme, heavy metals in a mother's body due to Lyme and Autism/ADD.'

Stephanie Baziuk
Lyme disease complexes with its biofilm co-infections (bacteria, virus, fungus, and parasites) are rarely resolved by the host's immune system.
Consequently, pregnant women can pass the Lyme bacteria through the placenta to the fetus in the womb (congenital transmission). This bacterial transmission, combined with the dumping of the toxic metals, can lead to Autism, often when further mercury floods the body with childhood inoculation or when the same series of inoculation severely compromise the immune system of the child that allows the Lyme bacteria to come forwards from the hidden biofilms and flourish, leading to the diagnose of 'Autism' or in milder cases ADD or ADHD.
A thought provoking book makes the connection between Lyme disease and Autism and lifts the veil from the chronic nature of Lyme disease and infectious cause of Autism.[5]
'I have been on a lyme journey since hearing the words from our naturopath: "your son has Lyme induced Autism". I thought he had Autism at the age of 2 and that the vaccines harmed his immune system. Immediately after treating for lyme he spoke. Well, as he recovers Lyme, the Autism lifts! He is now VERY verbal, SOCIAL and LOVING and not described as autistic. This is an important message that you may get a negative Lyme test but necessary treatment is based on symptoms!'

K. Rachko
Lyme and Alzheimer's (and Dementia)
I have a particular interest in Alzheimer's as my father died in Alzheimer's. The number of Alzheimer's (AD) patients continually skyrocket since the turn of the century. Cognitive dementia currently affects about 10% of those over 65, and as many as 50% of those over 85 years of age. Autopsies reveal in the US that the vast majority over 65 already have brain plaques linked to progressive dementia, even if their brain function is totally normal since the process starts years or decades before full-fledged memory loss and dementia is noticed. It also means that protective measures should be implemented decades earlier.
While many factors contribute to Alzheimer's, chronic infections and environmental pollution emerge as the key decisive factors. Dr. Thomas Nissen, an expert in Environmental Medicine, claimed that detoxifying the body of toxic metals has the highest priority over any other intervention for helping people with progressive cognitive impairment.
There is evidence for four factors in the development of Alzheimer's, viral, bacterial, toxic, and to a lesser degree fungal.
  1. Evidence for a major causative role of a common virus, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1 or oral herpes) was first published in 2008 in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.[6] Other neurovirulent viruses are also implicated as co-infection such as herpes virus type 6, Epstein-Barr and cytomegalovirus. Chronic fatigue is often a clinical sign for the presence of viruses.
  2. Syphilis (Treponema pallidum) causes slowly progressive dementia, cortical atrophy and amyloid deposition, similarly to the beta-amyloid deposits in Alzheimer's disease. Recently it was shown that bacteria play an important role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease which opens new opportunities for ground breaking health-care solutions. In a fascinating presentation, titled 'Dementia Caused by Borellia infection of the Central Nervous System', Alan B. McDonald, M.D., reviews the scientific arguments for the key causative role of Borellia infection in the development of both dementia and Alzheimer's .[7] A convincing role for neurospirochetosis was made by Judith Miklossy, M.D., in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, under the title 'Alzheimer's disease – a neurosporochetosis. Analysis of the evidence following Koch's and Hill's criteria'.[8] To date, six periodontal pathogen Treponemas and Borrelia burgdorferi were detected in the brains of Alzheimer patients, underlining the special link between dental health and dementia/Alzheimer's. (Have you noticed that in old age often there is a link between poor oral health and lack of mental sharpness?)
  3. A considerable body of evidence suggests that heavy metal, especially mercury and led, furthermore aluminum and other metals, contribute to the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's. Toxic metals have a documented neurotoxicological effect as they interfere with a multitude of intracellular targets resulting in oxidative stress (leads to depleted Glutathione levels), mitochondrial dysfunction, deregulation of protein turnover, and brain inflammation. Fetal exposure to heavy metals early in development can lead to neurodegenerative disease later in life (ADD, ADHD, Autism, Alzheimer's). Non-cytotoxic levels of mercury and lead accumulate in the brain cells with delayed toxic effects. The expression of amyloid precursor protein was increased by both lead and mercury while mercury alone stimulated the formation of insoluble ?-amyloid, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.
  4. Fungal cells live inside the neurons, explaining the hitherto elusive detection of fungal infections in the brain of Alzheimer's patients, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease (August, 2014).[9] The very first evidence was reported recently that high levels of fungal polysaccharides were detected in peripheral blood, reflecting fungal infection in AD patients (July, 2014).[10] Anti-fungals (EDTA, oil of oregano) should be incorporated into smart strategies against Alzheimer's.
Dispersing Biofilms
I list here some of the most promising biofilm-busting approaches that could open up the biofilms and lead to the elimination of the hidden microbes.
Enzymes play a very important role in the healthy maintenance of the body. Fifty percent of all enzymes in the body are metallo-enzymes where a beneficial metal, e.g. zinc or selenium, is needed for the correct and effective functioning of the particular enzyme. Due to elevated toxic levels in the body, including toxic heavy metals, the metal component of these metallo-enzymes are replaced over time by toxic metals (mercury, lead, cadmium, etc.), rendering them ineffective or non-functioning.
The electromagnetic (EMF) radiation keeps the bond between the toxic metal and protein enzyme complex much stronger, hindering any detoxification efforts. Enzymes, especially proteolytic enzymes (found also in StemDetox and Prevent.Pro), are able to disrupt the outer layers of biofilms and uncover hidden microbes.
The well-studied dental plaque is a natural biofilm that is generally considered to be anaerobic, yet, allows for microbial population diversity of aerobes, anaerobes and microaerophiles. Overall, studies confirm that oxidative agents offer possibilities for reducing the pathogenic activities of biofilms.
The delivery of extra oxygen to the body has many benefits and could be accomplished in many ways, from oxygen drops to hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) or from oxygen face masks to Kaqun water. In a study, supervised by Dr. William Fife, at Texas AM University, showed improvement in 85 percent of the 66 patients who were monitored during his Lyme disease treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, together with antibiotics. Interestingly, it was also documented in an unrelated study that HBO therapy alone was responsible for the bacteria die-off when the patients didn't receive antibiotics. Overall, the following benefits highlight the importance of elevated tissue oxygen levels. Oxygen: - facilitates angiogenesis; - enhance the effects of antibiotics: - potentially could directly kill the Lyme spirochete due to the high level of oxygen free radicals.
If we recognize the need for over a 100 HBO treatments needed for a Lyme patient, time, financial and practical aspects favor the drinking of the one-of-a-kind, oxygen supercharged Kaqun water instead, the currently available water with the highest (stable) oxygen clusters. There were ten clinical studies done with Kaqun water to confirm its unique anticancer properties. As we know, the Nobel Laureate Dr. Otto Wartburg claimed that all cancer cells are anaerobic, they lack oxygen. And Kaqun water, with its highly stable oxygen clusters (one could pour water into a glass and the oxygen would still stay inside), can deliver oxygen to cancer cells and normal cells like no other water.
Biofilm is also anaerobic and the extra oxygen disrupts the microbial colony within the biofilm. I wonder what the links are between pathogenic biofilm communities and cancer cells, especially, since our understanding is growing that many type of cancers are triggered or maintained by infective agents. Furthermore, cancer can spread (metastasis) and the parallel is striking again with biofilms (primary and secondary-metastatic biofilm infections). If you are concerned about cancer, think about what Kaqun water, Flavin 7 Gold, ToxDetox, daily four teaspoons of Baking Soda (more about it further down), and daily 10,000 IU vitamin D3 could do in synergy. I can't give you a protocol, but there is a reason why I mention these stellar five together! While individually they shine brightly on their own, it's all about the tremendous power of synergy that can give more than just hope.
It's important to share here the clinical study where those who drunk Kaqun water daily (one liter or 1.5 liter) over three weeks achieved a market improvement in brain functions, compared to the control group. Likely, Kaqun water could benefit those who are looking for a new way to manage dementia and Alzheimer's, beyond those who drink it for enhanced sport performance, stamina, enhanced executive decision making (CEOs or students before exams), long distance drivers, anti-aging or cancer.
EDTA Chelation
The food we eat has toxic metals in it and the vaccines have mercury and aluminum that make the blood-brain barrier more penetrable. Today in the USA 69 doses of 16 vaccines by age 18, with 49 doses of 14 vaccines are given between the day of birth and age six.[11] The combination of weakened immune system and the extra toxins entering the body create an environment in the body when the microbes feel more at home. EDTA's dual metal removing and antibiofilm effects elevates it a prominent role in our quest to successfully turning around conditions where many approaches often fail. EDTA chelation has great biofilm dispersing qualities as it attracts the cations including toxic metal cations, based on EDTA's affinity list, and weakens the structure of the biofilm EPS to the point when the immune system (antibodies) or antibiotics have again access to the microbes hiding within the biofilm communities.
It is mainly iron, and also toxic heavy metals that fortifies the biofilm's outer layer. CaEDTA chelation, (Ca-disodium-EDTA or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid), the key chelating ingredient is a ring-like compound with 4 negative charges that hold polyvalent metal ions in a highly stable, water-soluble form. The strength with which each metal is held varies, in order of decreasing strength as follows: iron+++, mercury++, copper++, aluminum++, nickel++, lead++, cobalt++, iron++, etc.
The strong pulling and removing effect of CaEDTA on iron might explain its strong biofilm disrupting effect. Iron, Calcium and Magnesium can feed the biofilm by supplying it with some of the raw ingredients it needs to build-up its protective polysaccharide matrix barrier or increase biofilm density. Consequently, try to avoid taking especially extra Iron, but also to a lesser extent Magnesium and Calcium, when targeting pathogenic biofilms. Note that EDTA stays only in the blood and is not being picked up by the tissues and cells. This explains its short half-life.
The one-of-a-kind ToxDetox emerged as the best EDTA product anywhere. The synergy between EDTA and Glutathione (Glutathione enters the cells) creates a dynamic and safer environment both for the elimination of all toxins (beyond toxic heavy metals) and not surprisingly, yields a three times higher toxic elimination, compared to EDTA alone.
Another exciting, yet practically unknown aspect of EDTA is that it is able to supercharge antibiotics by 1000 times.[12] Plus, EDTA can sensitize the outer layer of antibiotic resistant microbes when antibiotics become effective again. Sometimes I wonder why hospitals let their patients die in the intensive care unit from antibiotic resistant superbugs while the EDTA is sitting at the Emergency Entrance waiting for the next patient who has acute lead poisoning. Hospitals let their patients die even though the solution could be found within the walls of every hospital.
Be honest. How much did you hear about the flavonoids' effect on Quorum sensing? Years ago when I helped a major European 'liquid flavonoid producing company' to enter the North American market, I learned more about flavonoids. The benefits of flavonoids in anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular diseases and other health benefits are well established. However, their role in disrupting pathogenic biofilms is practically unknown. But I'm convinced that this is one of the reasons why flavonoids are so powerful.
Autoinducers, small signaling molecules, are secreted by bacterial cells that initiate a signaling cascade within the bacteria community in the biofilm in a concentration-dependent fashion. Activation of signaling cascade results in simultaneous regulation of several genes across the microbial population within the biofilm community. This phenomenon is called quorum sensing and plays a very important role in the expressed virulence and biofilm formation of microbial cells. Flavonoids have the capabilities to suppress the formation of biofilms and can express a non-specific quorum sensing inhibition.[13] Resveratrol is produced naturally by several plants when under attack by bacterial or fungal pathogens. In a study resveratrol demonstrated significant antimicrobial properties on periodontal pathogens (killed all studied microbes within 24 hrs).[14] The flavonoid phloretin inhibited the biofilm formation of highly pathogen enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 as well as expressed an anti-inflammatory effect in inflammatory bowel diseases without harming beneficial commensal E. coli biofilms – an amazingly selective effect.[15]
A new study suggests (, October 26, 2014), as other studies have done with various flavonoids, that naturally occurring flavanols in cocoa may reverse memory decline as much as 20 or 30 years. [16] This study, as most studies, lacks explanation about the reasons why and how flavonoids exert their beneficial effects. Yet, their quorum sensing inhibition might give us a clue for their action.
The flavonoids in both StemDetox and Prevent.Pro play an important role in their unique and very broad actions. But I suggest a bio-organic liquid flavonoid product that is likely the best flavonoid to be used against biofilms: Flavin 7 Gold.
I'm convinced that flavonoids represent a so far totally neglected, yet exciting new tool at hand to combat pathogenic biofilms as our understanding grows of these colorful gifts of nature.
Charcoal is mild, compared to other anti-biofilm ingredients, however, can play a crucial role in the gut. Charcoal is not being absorbed from the gut. Charcoal weakens the biofilm communities in the gut, attracts and keeps toxins for elimination and speeds up the healing of leaky gut. A healthy gut maintains healthy gut biofilm communities that support the absorption of nutrients. This thin, healthy mucus layer, covering the lining of the gut, is not affected adversely by the charcoal. Regular charcoal usage has amazing effects that is totally hidden even from the alternative medical communities. A study reported the life-extending effects (by 40%) of charcoal in laboratory rats.[17]
There is no other ingredient that could extend healthy lifespan by an extra 40%. It also means that charcoal is not interfering with nutrient uptake in the gut (an unfounded negative message, raised occasionally). Practically nobody knows about the amazing charcoal since there is no marketing dollars behind it as charcoal is cheap. Pure, activated charcoal is one of the most amazing compound that could be used from bee stings to melanoma, from colorectal cancer to leaky gut, or headache to tooth-ache (actually, it's excellent to stop tooth ache.)
For skin cancer, mix 1/3 charcoal powder with 2/3 curcumin with a bit of water to create a paste and cover the area. The paste should be moist but not dippy. Place the paste to the affected area and cover it first with a paper towel and then with a plastic to keep it from drying out. Plastic food wrap is fine. Once the charcoal dries out it loses its effectiveness as it has to be able to absorb. Change this charcoal bandage every 4 to 6 hours. For overnight use for keeping the charcoal moisture longer, add (1 tablespoon) ground flaxseed powder or starch to (1 tablespoon) charcoal powder (or open 10 capsules from our StopReabsorb/Charcoal) and mix these with a half cup of water. You could add to this mix a ¼ tablespoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). You could use these charcoal or charcoal/curcumin/baking soda bandages for most skin conditions such as sunburn, insect bites, any skin infection or inflammation including poison ivy, or even above inflamed lymph nodes (e.g. in breast cancer). Always look for charcoal in capsules that you could open to prepare a poultice or paste if needed, never buy tablets where 30% of it is glue that keeps the tablets together.
Intermittent Fasting
We can observe that animals, including our pets, fight an infection by not eating or moving for a period of time and staying in a quiet corner. They fast to be healed. All major religions promote fasting. And while the spiritual aspects are emphasized, medical research is catching up about the tremendous and very wide ranging effects of intermittent fasting from normalized hormone levels to anti-aging and from fighting infections to gaining mental clarity.
In fasting the nutrient levels drop in the blood that disrupts biofilms as the hidden microbes starve and open up the outer layer of the biofilm from within to have greater access to nutrients in the blood. This happens when the immune system is stronger due to less microbes reaching the blood, picked up from the gut together with the nutrient uptake. Intermittent fasting is ideal in combatting biofilms as it creates an on-off effect for the microbes to receive nutrients intermittently and challenges the microbes to their limits.
Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
Most homes have baking soda in the kitchen or kept for cleaning. But not many people know that baking soda is one of the least expensive and very safe health tools around. While baking soda's pH optimizing effects are touted as the likely mechanism of action, I'm increasingly convinced that its antibiofilm activity is one of the important, or the most important, reason for its wide ranging benefits.[18] Use one to two teaspoons of baking soda (or pure bicarbonate powder) in an eight ounce glass of pure water, with some lemon or lime juice to add flavor, twice daily between meals.
Antibiotics, Herbs, and Infrared Light
While acute Lyme infection might be cured if treated very early, the effectiveness of antibiotics and specialty herbs are questionable for chronic Lyme or Alzheimer's patients. Once this failure is acknowledged, new approaches are explored that could lead to the type of breakthrough we share here. BioInfraLight, a new bioresonance device, promises to represent a novel approach in the 'management' of chronic Lyme, its co-infections and other related conditions such as Alzheimer's, and many other microbe related chronic conditions. It has been shown that everything in the universe has its own unique frequency. A bioresonance device transmits electromagnetically the type of frequencies that has specific biological effects.
Anti-Biofilm Protocol Whenever chronic, neurodegenerative, stealth infections adversely affect the body and eventually the brain, they manifest differently in the different points in the person's life. It they effect fetal development, the individual might develop Autism, later in mid-life we may see depression, Chronic Fatigue, Lyme Disease or cognitive impairments, while even later in life we might diagnose dementia or Alzheimer's.
Stealth infection means that the microbes (bacteria or even viruses) are not seen by the immune system as they hide behind biofilms. These infective agents include Borrellia, Mycoplasma, Bartonella, Babesia, Rickettsia, Anaplasma, etc.
In all of these cases what they have in common is the switching on the inflammatory cascade as they provoke the immune system. The process is fueled by stealth microbes, typically hiding behind biofilms, and the elevated toxins, both environmental and microbial, exacerbating the whole process.
It is acknowledged that all of these conditions are complex, changing over time and there is an individual variation that requires the guidance of a health care professional who is familiar with the medical history of the individual.
Even though there has been a great interest in biofilms, effective treatments are still limited. Until research catches up, the treatment of these conditions cannot be anything but subjective, open to questions, individualized, often complex and long-lasting with ups and downs.
The basics of our 10 point Anti-Biofilm protocol
is similar for all of the pathogenic biofilm conditions since all of them are effected by elevated toxins, microbes hiding in biofilm communities - even in the central nervous system, and poor digestive health:
  1. detoxing and healing the gut with prebiotics, probiotics, antifungals, antiparasitics (and supporting the healing of leaky gut) Suggestions: StopReabsorb/Charcoal, StemDetox, and Prevent.Pro;
  2. toxic (especially toxic metal) elimination for dynamic cellular response to treatment protocols and for enhanced immune capabilities. Suggestion: ToxDetox and StemDetox;
  3. the reduction of bacterial toxins, including neuro-toxins. Suggestion: StopReabsorb/Charcoal, ToxDetox or Glutathione1.5, and take extra melatonin (and sleep in a totally dark room to elevate your melatonin levels - very important to detox the brain);
  4. biofilm EPS disruption. Suggestion: EDTA, enzymes e.g. Serrapeptase in Prevent.Pro or StemDetox, lauric acid in coconut oil, oxygen in Kaqun water;
  5. disrupting quorum sensing, cell-cell signaling within biofilms. Suggested flavonoid: Flavin 7 Gold;
  6. the killing of microbes, also Lyme and co-infections with (synthetic or herbal) antibiotics or with 'experimental' methods. Suggestions: StemDetox or Prevent.Pro;
  7. the boosting of the immune system. Suggestion: ToxDetox first and later Glutathione1.5;
  8. the supplying of extra oxygen. Suggestion: Kaqun water;
  9. reducing inflammation. Suggestion: StemDetox first and later Prevent.Pro;
  10. Mediterranean diet is preferred with organic food, intermittent exercise and intermittent fasting. Take your multi, omega 3, B vitamins, and vitamin D.
Anti-Biofilm Protocol – (three months long)
Consider taking StemDetox for two months and at that time switch over to Prevent.Pro. When you finish with the first month of StemDetox, introduce ToxDetox (Glutathione and EDTA synergy) chelation suppositories as you still take StemDetox, - you would take them at the same time now.
Take ToxDetox every second night for minimum two months, depending on age, medical history, toxic exposure and your chronic challenges. Once finished, you might want to switch to Glutathione 1.5 if you continue with the program (or if you are challenged by viruses. Google: "Glutathione and Ebola" to learn more).
Keep taking Prevent.Pro every day, after you run out oemDetox.
Take 1gram (4 capsules) StopReabsorb/Charcoal daily from day one. Daily charcoal increased laboratory rats' healthy life-span by an extra 40%. Daily charcoal is the best kept secret for good health and longevity and it's not interfering with nutrient uptake (otherwise, the rats couldn't have a 40% longer healthy life). There is no evidence or study showing that charcoal robs the body from nutrients.
Drink your two teaspoons of baking soda (or pure bicarbonate powder) in a glass of water, with some lemon or lime juice to add flavor, twice daily between meals.
Drink a bottle (1.5 liter) of Kaqun water every day.
Drink also 15ml (3X5ml) Flavin 7 Gold daily. These bio-organic liquid flavonoids come in 200ml bottles.
Try your "intermittent fasting" on Saturdays. Don't forget that you fast every night – just extend this nightly fast. Consciously make the decision that as you fast, you will express extra care towards your surroundings, also to fight any grumpiness you might feel. Use your gained mental clarity and openness to deeper spirituality for loving more and praying more. Enjoy your fast! (You will also loose some weight as an extra bonus.) Have your morning 5ml Flavin 7 Gold with a few cups of (organic) green tea instead of breakfast. Eat for lunch sauerkraut (full with prebiotic, probiotic and healthy bulk) and maybe an apple and more green tea.
Take your multi with your Omega 3 and Vitamin D3, as usual..
The 'success' of this powerful protocol is mainly dependent on your ability and willingness to go through the steps and persevere. There is nothing more liberating than changing around your life for the better.
Anti-Biofilm Protocol – Products (for three months)
StemDetox – 4 bottles 
Prevent.Pro – 2 bottles 
ToxDetox – 2 boxes (comes with 2 free StopReabsorb/Charcoal) 
StopReabsorb/Charcoal – 1 bottle
Flavin 7 Gold - 6 bottles
Use Coupon Code 'biofilm' at checkout at to receive a 15% discount.

Specific dietary restrictions and additions, furthermore, rebuilding and regeneration are as important as eliminating the biofilm. These should be determined on a case by case basis, in consultation with your health care provider who knows your medical history, special needs and circumstances.
Disclaimer for US customers (due to FDA regulations): This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always change your drugs, supplements, nutritional habit and lifestyle choices under the care of your doctor. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of or its staff.

  2. Hall-Stoodley L et all, Direct detection of bacterial biofilms on the middle-ear mucosa of children with chronic otitis media, JAMA. 2006 Jul 12;296(2):202-11.
  3. "Research on microbial biofilms (PA-03-047)". NIH, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 2002-12-20.
  4. Ana-Monica Pais-Correia et al., Biofilm-like extracellular viral assemblies mediate HTLV-1 cell-to-cell transmission at virological synapses, Nature Medicine, 16, 83-89, 2010,
  5. The Lyme-Autism Connection: Unveiling the Shocking Link Between Lyme Disease and Childhood Developmental Disorders Paperback, Tami Duncan, Bryan Rosner
  6. R.F.Itzhaki, Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 in Alzheimer's Disease: The Enemy Within, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, Vol 13, N.4/2008
  7. Dementia Caused by Borellia infection of the Central Nervous System', Alan B. McDonald, M.D.
  8. Alzheimer's disease – a neurosporochetosis. Analysis of the evidence following Koch's and Hill's criteria. Judith Miklossy,MD, Journal of Neuroinflammation 2011, 8:90
  9. Direct Visualization of Fungal Infection in Brains from Patients with Alzheimer's Disease. Pisa D. et al.; J.Alzheimers Dis. Aug.13,2014.
  10. Alzheimer's disease and disseminated mycoses. R. Alonso; European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, July 2014, Volume 33, Issue 7, pp 1125-1132
  13. Suppression of bacterial cell–cell signalling, biofilm formation and type III secretion system by citrus flavonoids, A.Vikram; Journal of Microbiology, Vol.109,Iss.2, August, 2010.
  14. Resveratrol Inhibits Periodontal Pathogens In Vitro, D.J.O'Connor et. al., Phytotherapy Research, Vol 25.11.November 2011.
  15. Apple Flavonoid Phloretin Inhibits Escherichia coli O157:H7 Biofilm Formation and Ameliorates Colon Inflammation in Rats. Jin Hyung-Lee; Infection and Immunity, Vol.79,no.12,December 2011.
  16. Adam M. Brickman; Enhancing dentate gyrus function with dietary flavanols improves cognition in older adults. Nature Neuroscience, October 2014.
  17. Effect of enterosorption on animal lifespan. Frolkis VV, et al. Biomater Artif Cells Artif Organs, 1989; 17(3):341-51. Institute of Gerontology, AMS USSR.
  18. Antibiofilm activity of sodium bicarbonate, sodium metaperiodate and SDS combination against dental unit waterline-associated bacteria and yeast. Gawande PV. Et al., J.Appl. Microbiol. 2008 Oct.,

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bupleurum the detoxifying Ancient Herb that Boosts Liver Health Josh Axe

Bupleurum: The Detoxifying Ancient Herb that Boosts Liver Health

If you’re looking to cleanse your liver and improve your overall health, there’s one herb that stands out above the rest. I’m talking about bupleurum, a revered natural remedy of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) highly valued for its detoxification abilities for more than 2,000 years.
In the TCM model of health and disease, the free flow of qi and blood is the requirement for health, and the obstructed flow of qi and blood — or a qi deficiency — is a cause of disease. This ancient herb is said to disperse qi and clear heat from the liver system.
In addition, his herb holds within its roots potent anti-inflammatory properties and has been used historically to treat liver disorders of all kinds, such as cirrhosis. Herbal formulas like Xiao Chai Hu Tang (Sho-saiko-to), which contain bupleurum as a key ingredient (16 percent to be exact), have been found to be effective in treating hepatitis and liver cancers. If that’s not impressive enough, in vitro studies have also shown that this herb has antiviral, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative (can stop the spread of cancerous cells) and chemopreventive (stops or keep cancer from developing) properties. (1)
It might not be as well-known as many other herbs, but bupleurem certainly has some impressive history and studies to back up its usage. Read on to learn all about this dynamic herbal remedy.

6 Bupleurum Health Benefits
1. Improves General Liver Function and Detoxification
The liver is the largest internal organ in our bodies and is responsible for many vital tasks, including getting rid of and neutralizing all kinds of toxins. The liver also makes bile, which helps the body absorb and properly utilize fats and fat-soluble vitamins.
Keeping the liver working as it should is key to anyone and everyone’s good health. There are many habits and environmental factors that take a toll on the liver, including drinking alcohol, eating processed foods, taking certain medications and pollution. This herb is best known for its ability to detoxify the liver and improve overall liver health. It’s definitely one of the top powerful herbal remedies for liver function, which includes properly converting nutrients and removing hazardous toxins.
2. Prevents and Treats Cirrhosis and Liver Cancer
Cirrhosis is a slowly progressing disease of the liver in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue that blocks blood and bile flow through the liver and keeps it from working properly. The most common causes of cirrhosis are excessive alcohol consumption as well as chronic infection with the hepatitis C virus. If the disease is severe enough, it can be fatal.
Sho-saiko-to, or Xiao Chai Hu Tang, is a Japanese medicine that includes bupleurum. Laboratory and animal studies conducted at Osaka City University Medical School in Japan suggest that Sho-saiko-to has a protective effect on the liver. One study showed that this herbal formula helped prevent the development of hepatocellular carcinomas (liver cancer) in patients who already have cirrhosis. (2) This is huge when you consider that the incidence of liver cancer is extremely high in cirrhosis patients.
3. Boosts Adrenal Gland Function
Bupleurum has been used in combination with licorice and panax ginseng to aid and stimulate adrenal gland function. This has been especially helpful for patients with a history of long-term use of corticosteroid drugs, which take a major toll on adrenal health. (3) By aiding the adrenal glands, bupleurum can help harmonize the body and improve energy levels by combatting adrenal insufficiency.

4. Relieves Epilepsy Episodes
Another surprising yet awesome finding is bupleurum’s potential to help epilepsy sufferers. Epilepsy is disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures. Bupleurum is included in two similar Chinese herbal formulas, Sho-saiko-to and Saiko-keishi-to, which contain the same herbs but in different ratios. Other ingredients in these two formulas include cassia bark, ginger root, peony root, pinellia root, jujube fruit, Asian ginseng root, Asian skullcap root and licorice root.
Preliminary trials have demonstrated that both herbal formulas could offer relief to epilepsy patients. The trials also showed that there were zero negative interactions with a variety of anticonvulsant drugs already being taken by the subjects at the time of the study. (4)
5. Fights Ovarian Cancer
The goal of one 2015 study conducted by the Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine at the Military General Hospital of Beijing PLA in China was to  evaluate the anticancer, apoptotic and antioxidant properties of Bupleurum chinense root extract against human epithelial ovarian cancer cells in vitro. The results showed that the extract was able to induce impressively strong and dose-dependent cancer-killing effects on ovarian cancer cells. The extract also showed its ability to encouraged cancer cell shrinkage.
Overall, the anticancer effects of the extract were attributed to its ability to foster the programmed cell death of cancer cells, DNA fragmentation (a characteristic of apoptosis or programmed cell death) and a disruption of energy metabolism of cancer cells. (5) Given its results in fighting ovarian and liver cancers, this herb holds the potential to be a tremendous natural cancer treatment.
6. Treats Depression Due to PMS or Menopause
Many people today take mood-stabilizing drugs for their anxiety or depression. Most of these are selective serotonin re-uptake inhibiter). These drugs don’t come without their own very concerning side effects so it’s always worthwhile to look into the possibility of natural remedies.
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that liver qi stagnation is the central cause of depression. Practitioners of TCM often recommend Chai hu shu gan san, an herbal formula that includes bupleurum, for stagnation of liver qi (energy that flows in the body). Chai hu shu gan san has been found to be especially effective when it’s used to treat the depression that can often occur during premenstrual syndrome (PMS) as well as menopause. (6)

Bupleurum History and Interesting Facts
Bupleurum (Bupleurum chinense, Bupleurum americanum or Bupleurum falcatum) is a member of the Apiaceae family. It’s an ornamental plant with delicate greenish-yellow flowers and sickle-shaped leaves that resemble dill or fennel. Small clusters of greenish-yellow flowers that grace the plant during blooming season are then followed by small, cylindrical fruit.
The roots of this perennial plant are bright yellow and bitter, and the roots are what are commonly used as medicine.
The American species (Bupleurum americanum) can be found in Southwestern Montana and North Western Idaho while Bupleurum chinense is an herb native to East Asia and central Europe.
Some common names of of this herb include chai hu, hare’s ear root, thorowax root and saiko. The active ingredients in bupleurum root include saponins and plant sterols.
Here are some notables on this beneficial plant:
  • Bupleurum has been a staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for over 2,000 years.
  • In Traditional Chinese Medicine texts, it is referred to as “chai hu.”
  • The Chinese name for it, chai hu, means “kindling of the barbarians.” The origin of this name is unclear.
  • Its used for assisting with the proper flow of qi throughout the body most likely predates written records.
  • The plants resemble dill and fennel.
  • The roots of the plant are used in herbal medicine.
  • Bupleurum is a primary component in a Chinese patent medicine called “Xia Yao San” or “Xia Yao Wan.” Another name for the formula is “Free and Easy Wanderer,” a reference to the Taoist concept of being able to “go with the flow.”
  • Bupleurum is also a staple remedy in Japanese Kampo medicine, specifically in the formula Sho-saiko-to, which is mainly used to address liver concerns. Japanese Kampo medicine is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine but adapted to Japanese culture.
  • Bupleurum makes up 16 percent of the formula for Sho-saiko-to.
  • Chai hu shu gan wan is another TCM herbal formula that includes bupleurum and is used to treat issues like PMS, emotional stress and depression, which are associated with liver qi stagnation in TCM.
  • Florists commonly use the flowers for wedding bouquets.

How to Find and Use Bupleurum
You can find supplemental forms of bupleurum by itself in pill or liquid form at your local health store or online. Less common and a bit pricey — yet still an option — you can buy bupleurum as a tea. The tea is naturally caffeine-free. Some Asian markets also sell dried bupleurum root, which you can use to make tea. Simply combine one teaspoon of bupleurum with one cup boiling water and let it brew for 10 minutes before drinking.
Bupleurum is also a part of many liver formulas like Bupleurum Liver Cleanse, which includes bupleurum as well as milk thistle seed and dandelion root, among other herbs.
Bupleurum is a primary component in a TCM remedy called “Xia Yao San” or “Xia Yao Wan.” Bupleurum is also a staple remedy in Japanese Kampo medicine, specifically in the formula Sho-saiko-to, which is used to treat several chronic liver disease, including hepatitis. Japanese Kampo medicine is based on TCM but adapted to Japanese culture. It’s also used in Chai hu shu gan wan, another well-respected and commonly used TCM herbal formula that’s often used to treat depression due to PMS or menopause.
There is not a standard dose of bupleurum. The appropriate dose depends on the bupleurum you choose and your overall health. Speak to a health care provider if you are unsure about dosage.

Bupleurum Potential Side Effects & Interactions
There is no conclusive report yet on the possible side effects and contraindications associated with the use of bupleurum. Some reported side effects include increased bowel movements, intestinal gas and drowsiness. When taken in combination with other herbs, it has caused serious lung and breathing problems for some users.
Avoid this herb if you’re pregnant or nursing. It’s also not recommended if you have a bleeding disorder, diabetes or an autoimmune disease.
Stop taking this herb at least two weeks before undergoing surgery because it can increase your risk of bleeding.
Since bupleurum can increase immune system activity, it might decrease the effectiveness of immunosuppressant drugs. Speak with your doctor before taking this herb or any others if you currently take an immunosuppressant or any other medications, or if you have any ongoing health concerns.

Final Thoughts on Bupleurum
  • Bupleurum is a revered natural remedy in Traditional Chinese Medicine that promotes the free flow of qi and blood.
  • This herb has been shown to improve general liver function and detoxification, prevent and treat cirrhosis and liver cancer, boost adrenal gland function, relieve epilepsy episodes, fight ovarian cancer, and treat depression due to PMS or menopause.
  • You can buy bupleurum in pill or liquid form, and you can buy or make bupleurum tea.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

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Saffron 20 mg a day and Macular Degeneration

Prevent macular degeneration with the right nutrients

(NaturalHealth365) The leading cause of blindness in adults over 50 is macular degeneration.  Up to 11 million older Americans have some degree of macular degeneration related to the aging process.  By age 75, 30 percent of people have this eye condition.
However, certain plant carotenoids are known to help reduce macular degeneration risk and delay its progression. In fact, recent studies are specifically showing that you can improve vision by consuming just 20 mg a day of saffron extract.
Preventing age-related macular degeneration is possible
Saffron is a fragrant spice used in cooking.  It is derived from the crocus flower, which grows mainly in Spain and France. Scientists have found that a daily supplement of this flavorful spice can help to improve visual acuity and light sensitivity.  Patients with macular degeneration who consume saffron daily improve vision significantly.  Over time, as many as two additional eye chart lines can be viewed on the standard optometrists’ eye chart.
The main cause of macular degeneration is exposure to ultraviolet light and visible light.  Chemical stresses from too much glucose or oxygen in the blood stream can also contribute.  These factors cause retinal light-sensing cells to break down.  If this continues, vision loss and blindness can result.
Benefits of saffron include healthier retinal cells and stronger visual acuity
Preserving the structural integrity of the macula is crucial to preventing its degeneration.  Saffron has been found to protect the macula and help prevent the breakdown of the light-sensitive cells at its center. These saffron benefits help to addresses age-related macular degeneration at its root cause.
In an initial saffron study, patients in the early stages of age-related macular degeneration were either given a placebo or 20 mg per day of saffron. The improvements in eye responses to light were measurably stronger in the saffron group, indicating healthier retinal cells.
A second saffron study found that those taking saffron were also stronger in visual acuity, or sharpness in distance vision. Saffron supplementation definitely helps the light-sensing abilities of the eyes, slowing the progression of macular degeneration. After three months, patients could see another full line on the eye chart.
Improve vision and preserve eye health with natural nutrients
Taking 20 mg of saffron per day also had longer-term health effects. After 14 months, participants had gained the ability to see two lines on the eye chart. Clearly, longer term supplementation yielded even more profound vision benefits.
Another known vision enhancer is the nutrient alpha-carotene. Persons with high levels of alpha-carotene in their systems have a 32 percent lower risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration. Taking alpha-carotene along with saffron extracts and other key retina-strengthening nutrients can be a powerful, natural way to protect eyesight from loss of vision.
The benefits of saffron and alpha-carotene are further enhanced when nutrients like lutein, astaxanthin, cyanidin-3-glucoside and zeaxanthin are taken. Carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, citrus fruits and dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are all foods that contain nutrients for eye health. However, the research confirms you can improve vision by taking a 20 mg saffron supplement daily.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Studies Reveal: Smudging Eliminates Dangerous Bacteria in the Air

Studies Reveal “Smudging” Eliminates Dangerous Bacteria in the Air

Written By: Sayer Ji, Founder

The ritualistic use of plant smoke stretches back to the prehistorical era and is still used, the world over, as a way of ‘cleansing’ the spirit. Now modern scientific research reveals that the practice may actually have life-saving implications by purifying the air of harmful bacteria. 

The burning of herbs and plant resins for medicinal and spiritual purposes – so-called ‘smudging’ – is an ancient practice among indigenous people around the world; one increasingly adopted by Westerners. Smudging is a technology believed to unlock the ‘spirits’ of various plant allies to restore balance and ease to the individual or group.  Some liken it to taking a ‘spiritual shower,’ enabling you to wash away emotional and spiritual negativity that accumulates in your body and the spaces you live.

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That said, skeptics believe attributing health benefits to the burning of sage and incense reflects ‘magical thinking.’ The practice has even been accused of being a New Age form of cultural imperialism where ‘plastic’ or ‘white’ shamans mimic and co-opt the traditions of indigenous people their predecessors essentially conquered.

Given the polarized view on this increasingly common practice, as well as the well known role that the burning of incense plays in even Western religious traditions, such as Catholicism, we decided to explore the , to see what we could find.
First, we uncovered a 2006 review published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology titled “,” that looked at single and multi-ingredient herbal and non-herbal remedies administered as smoke from 50 countries across 5 continents. The researchers found, with surprising overlap worldwide, medicinal smoke is mostly used to address the following specific organ systems: “pulmonary (23.5%), neurological (21.8%) and dermatological (8.1%).” They also found that “ambient smoke,” which is the type of passively inhaled smoke generated by smudging/incense, is traditionally believed to be an effective “air purifier.” The review argued that modern medicine should investigate medicinal smoke as a drug delivery system, owing to the following advantages: “The advantages of smoke-based remedies are rapid delivery to the brain, more efficient absorption by the body and lower costs of production.”

Smudging, of course, as a ‘spiritual’ ritual, is not aimed at ‘killing germs,’ or becoming a ‘new drug delivery system.’ But because modern biomedicine only acknowledges what is empirically verifiable – which does not include ‘the soul’ or ‘negative vibes’ – the practice will only attain a modicum of credibility from the perspective of the dominant, scientism-contaminated worldview, if it can be demonstrated that it actually performs a useful function, such as destroying disease-causing germs.
Thanks to a remarkable 2007 study titled, “,” published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, we now know that smudging may be one of the most powerful antiseptic technologies ever discovered.

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We have observed that 1 hour treatment of medicinal smoke emanated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs (havan sámagri=material used in oblation to fire all over India), on aerial bacterial population caused over 94% reduction of bacterial counts by 60 min and the ability of the smoke to purify or disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner was maintained up to 24 hour in the closed room. Absence of pathogenic bacteria Corynebacterium urealyticum, Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens, Enterobacter aerogenes (Klebsiella mobilis), Kocuria rosea, Pseudomonas syringae pv. persicae, Staphylococcus lentus, and Xanthomonas campestris pv. tardicrescens in the open room even after 30 days is indicative of the bactericidal potential of the medicinal smoke treatment. We have demonstrated that using medicinal smoke it is possible to completely eliminate diverse plant and human pathogenic bacteria of the air within confined space.” [email to request the full PDF of this study]
Did you catch that?
Not only did the burning of medicinal herbs clear aerial bacterial populations by 94% within one hour, but a full day later, the closed room was still effectively decontaminated. Even more amazing, a full month later, seven other pathogenic bacteria in the open room were still non-detectable.
When one considers that modern urban air has been found to contain at least 1800 diverse bacterial types[1] – including families with pathogenic members – this finding could have profound implications for combating a increasingly deadly array of antibiotic-resistant bacteria against which even the CDC itself has acknowledged its impotence.  Consider also that a recent microbiome of NYC’s subway system found close to 1700 different microbes, including those responsible for Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)  and Bubonic Plague (yersinia pestis).[2]  
Also, considering that conventional methods of air and surface sterilization and odor neutralization use chemical cocktails (e.g. Lysol) that are much less effective than advertised (one study found them up to 10 times less effective than believed), smudging or the use of natural incense products might constitute a far safer and more effective approach. 

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Given this discovery of medicinal smoke’s potent cleansing properties on aerosol microbes, we might look at Smudging’s traditional use as a cleanser of ‘evil spirits’ or ‘negative energy’ as less like a primitive projection and more like a metaphor for its very real antiseptic properties. This does not, of course, take away from its ‘cleansing’ effects upon the body’s subtler energy systems; nor does it take away from the the effects the medicinal smokes and its various small-molecule aromatic compounds have upon the olfactory system, which are largely responsible for the clinically proven health benefits of aromatherapy-based interventions.
[1] Brodie, E.L., DeSantis, T.Z., Moberg Parker, J.P., Zubietta, I.X., Piceno, Y.M., Andersen, G.L., 2006. Urban aerosols harbor diverse and dynamic bacterial. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104, 299–304.
[2] Ebrahim Afshinnekoo et al,  Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics, published online Cell Systems, Feb. 2015
Article originally published by republished with permission
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Q&A with Dr. Cowden

Consequences of desexing Spay Neuter Dogs especially early in life

They Studied Dogs That Had Extreme Longevity and Guess What They Found?
July 27, 2016 | 29,808 views

By Dr. Becker
There is a growing body of evidence — including new research on German Shepherd Dogs (which I’ll discuss shortly) — that indicates spaying or neutering, in particular as it relates to large breed dogs desexed early in life, significantly increases the risk of serious health problems.
For Female Rottweilers, Ovary Removal Significantly Increases the Risk for a Major Fatal Disease
In 2009, a Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation study found a correlation between the age at which female Rottweilers are spayed and their lifespan.1 The study compared female Rotties who lived to be 13 or older with a group who lived the expected lifespan of about 9 years.
According to lead researcher Dr. David J. Waters, a professor in the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (VCS) at Purdue University:
"Like women, female dogs in our study had a distinct survival advantage over males. But taking away ovaries during the first [four] years of life completely erased the female survival advantage.
“We found that female Rottweilers that kept their ovaries for at least [six] years were [four] times more likely to reach exceptional longevity compared to females who had the shortest lifetime ovary exposure."2
Because death from cancer is so prevalent in Rotties, researchers conducted a subgroup analysis of only dogs that did not die of cancer. This focused research further proved the strong association between intact ovaries and longevity.
Even in dogs that did not die of cancer, the females who kept their ovaries the longest were nine times more likely to achieve exceptional longevity (13+ years). Simply put, study results indicate removal of a Rottweiler’s ovaries significantly increases the risk for a major lethal disease.
Did You Know That in Europe, Intact Dogs Are the Norm?
A more recent study conducted at the University of California (UC), Davis provides additional evidence that spaying or neutering, and the age at which it is done, may increase a dog's risk of certain cancers and joint diseases.
The U.S. takes a very different approach to spay/neuter compared to many European countries. In this country, not only are most dogs spayed or neutered, increasingly the preferred timing of the procedure is before the animal is a year old.
The motivation is for desexing is pet population control, and owners are considered responsible only if their pet has been sterilized. However, in many European countries, dogs remain intact and animal health experts do not promote spaying or neutering. The UC Davis study was undertaken, according to the researchers because:
"Given the importance of gonadal hormones in growth and development, this cultural contrast invites an analysis of the multiple organ systems that may be adversely affected by neutering."3
In Desexed US Golden Retrievers, the Rates of Joint Disease and Cancer Are Much Higher Than in Intact Goldens
The researchers looked at the health records of 759 Golden Retrievers. Goldens were chosen because they are one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. and Europe, are often used as service dogs, and are also susceptible to various cancers and joint disorders.
The intent of the study was to investigate the effects of neutering on the risks of several diseases in a single breed of dog, distinguishing between males and females, and between dogs that had been neutered or spayed early (before one year), late (after one year), or not at all.
The dogs ranged in age from 1 to 8 years and had been seen at the UC Davis William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for one or more of the following problems:
The researchers focused on joint disorders and cancers because desexing removes the testes or ovaries and disrupts production of hormones that play an important role in body processes like bone growth plate closure.
Study results indicated that for all five diseases, the rates were significantly higher in both males and females that were neutered or spayed (before or after one year of age) compared with intact dogs.
Of special concern was that results showed a 100 percent increase in the rate of hip dysplasia in male Goldens neutered before 12 months of age.
Ten percent were diagnosed with the condition, which was double the rate of occurrence in intact males. Past studies have reported a 17 percent increase among all neutered dogs compared to all intact dogs.
The UC Davis researchers suggest that neutering male Golden Retrievers well beyond puberty will help prevent an increased risk of hip dysplasia, cranial cruciate ligament injury, and lymphosarcoma. For female Goldens, the research team concluded that:
“ … [T]he timing of neutering is more problematical because early neutering significantly increases the incidence rate of CCL from near [zero] to almost 8 percent, and late neutering increases the rates of HSA to 4 times that of the 1.6 percent rate for intact females and to 5.7 percent for, which was not diagnosed in intact females.” 4
Vizsla Study Suggests a Significantly Increased Risk for Cancer and Behavioral Disorders in Spayed or Neutered Dogs
A 2014 study of Vizslas included over 2,500 dogs and revealed that dogs neutered or spayed at any age were at significantly increased risk for developing mast cell cancer, lymphoma, all other cancers, all cancers combined, and fear of storms, compared with intact Vizslas.5
Dogs of both genders neutered or spayed at 6 months or younger had significantly increased odds of developing a behavioral disorder, including separation anxiety, noise phobia, timidity, excitability, submissive urination, aggression, hyperactivity, and/or fear biting.
When it came to thunderstorm phobia, all neutered or spayed Vizslas were at greater risk than intact Vizslas, regardless of age at neutering. The younger the age at neutering, the earlier the age at diagnosis with mast cell cancer, cancers other than mast cell, hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, all cancers combined, a behavioral disorder, or fear of storms.
Spayed female Vizslas had a nine times higher incidence of hemangiosarcoma compared to intact females, regardless of when spaying was performed, however, no difference in incidence of this type of cancer was found for neutered vs. intact males. Neutered and spayed dogs had 4.3 times higher incidence of lymphoma, regardless of age at time of neutering, and a five times higher incidence of other types of cancer.
Spayed females had 6.5 times higher incidence of all cancers combined compared to intact females, and neutered males had 3.6 times higher incidence than intact males. The Vizsla researchers concluded:
"Additional studies are needed on the biological effects of removing gonadal hormones and on methods to render dogs infertile that do not involve gonadectomy.”6
German Shepherds Desexed Before 1 Year of Age Triple Their Risk of Joint Disorders
As I mentioned earlier, another very recent study was conducted at UC Davis, this time involving German Shepherds Dogs (GSDs). The study results suggest that spaying or neutering before 1 year of age triples the risk of joint disorders, in particular cranial cruciate ligament tears, in these dogs.7
The researchers analyzed the veterinary records of 1,170 GSDs, both neutered or spayed and intact, for a 14.5-year period. They looked for joint disorders and cancers already linked to desexing, and separated the dogs into categories that included intact, desexed before 6 months, between 6 and 11 months, and between 12 and 23 months.
The study found that 7 percent of intact males were diagnosed with one or more joint disorders compared with 21 percent of males neutered prior to 1 year of age. Five percent of intact females developed joint disorders, compared with 16 percent of females spayed before 1 year.
Intact female GSDs were found to develop mammary cancer at a rate of 4 percent, compared with less than 1 percent of females spayed before 1 year. Intact females had no diagnosed incidence of urinary incontinence, compared with 7 percent of females spayed before 1 year. According to lead researcher Dr. Benjamin Hart of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine:
"Debilitating joint disorders of hip dysplasia, CCL and elbow dysplasia can shorten a dog's useful working life and impact its role as a family member. Simply delaying the spay/neuter until the dog is a year old can markedly reduce the chance of a joint disorder."8
My Preference Is to Sterilize, Not Desex
Since simply delaying a spay or neuter until a dog is older doesn’t address all the health challenges we see in desexed versus intact pets, I like the Vizsla researchers' conclusion above that we need to investigate alternative methods of sterilizing dogs that do not involve removing the ovaries or testes.
As I explain in this video, over the years I've changed my view on spaying and neutering dogs, based not just on research studies, but also on the health challenges faced by so many of my canine patients after I spayed or neutered them. These were primarily irreversible metabolic diseases that appeared within a few years of a dog's surgery.
These days I work with each individual pet owner to make decisions that will provide the most health benefits for the dog. Whenever possible, I prefer to leave dogs intact. However, this approach requires a highly responsible pet guardian who is fully committed to and capable of preventing the dog from mating (unless the owner is a responsible breeder and that's the goal).
My clients are incredibly responsible and educated. I’ve never had a single unplanned pregnancy in my veterinary career. But I realize I’m not providing medical care to the entire world, and the world is full of irresponsible people.
My second choice is to sterilize without desexing. This means performing a procedure that will prevent pregnancy while sparing the testes or ovaries so they continue to produce hormones essential for the dog's health. This can be done at any age, and could easily replace the current standard of desexing by high volume spay/neuter clinics and shelters around the country.
This typically involves a vasectomy for male dogs, and a modified spay for females. The modified spay removes the uterus while preserving the hormone-producing ovaries. This procedure is less invasive, requires shorter time under anesthesia, and yields the same results with no negative side effects. 
The Problem of Homeless Pets
I want to emphasize that I'm not advocating the adoption of intact shelter animals to people who may or may not be responsible pet parents. Shelter veterinarians don't have the time or resources to build a relationship with every adoptive family, so the animals they care for must be sterilized prior to adoption to prevent more litters of unwanted pets.
I would certainly prefer that shelter vets sterilize rather than spay or neuter homeless pets to preserve their sex hormones. However, currently the U.S. shelter system can’t accommodate alternative sterilization procedures, nor are veterinarians in this country routinely trained in how to perform anything other than full spays and neuters. So while I totally agree with the need to sterilize shelter pets, I don't necessarily agree with the method of sterilization being used.