Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Young Living/DoTerra Report Correction and Apology

The Young Living/DoTerra Report is a 45+ page report comparing the detailed history of  the two top leading essential oil companies Young Living and DoTerra, including information on their testing and quality standards.  A brief overview of Native American Nutritionals, a third leading essential oils company is also included, as well as reference to some others.

This is not an official document but simply an attempt I have made to gather in one place facts and information regarding the Young Living and DoTerra companies, as well as some information concerning other companies, in response to many requests.  In this extensive report, I have made every effort to be accurate and objective and to comply with fair use, however it still reflects my own opinions and viewpoints and is intended for informational and educational purposes only

Many people have requested copies of this report to share on their sites.  A new updated version 7 of this report is almost ready.  In the meantime, I am removing the link to the current version.    

My deepest apologies to Marge Clark for quoting what seemed to be fair use of her brief but excellent explanation of the rectification process posted on the Learning About EOs site which was posted there as her official statement in response to the third party test results paid for and posted there by the Learning About EOs group.  Per Marge's request, all reference to Nature's Gift will henceforth be removed from the Young Living/DoTerra Report and future editions.

All sites hosting earlier copies of this report are requested to also respect Ms. Clark's wishes and take it down, and await the corrected version 7 which I will post here soon, as Ms. Clark believes this use infringes on her copyright.  Again, my apologies to Ms. Clark, and to others for the misunderstanding and any inconvenience it may cause to remove older copies.  Thank you!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Shingles Nightmare

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one out of every three people in the U.S. will develop shingles at some point in their life. The National Institute of Health for Senior Health suggests 50% of Americans will  develop shingles by the time they are 80 years of age.  Closely related to chickenpox, shingles is caused by the same virus, Herpes zoster, also known as Varicella zoster virus or VZV.  If you have ever had chickenpox, you have a high risk of developing shingles later in life as the virus remains in your body in a dormant state and can reactivate years later for reasons that are not fully understood.  Risk increases as you get older, and is especially likely if your immune system has been weakened or compromised for any reason, as well as during times when you are under stress.  

What exactly is shingles? The WebMD Slideshow illustrates shingles which develops into a painful rash, and is usually preceded by certain symptoms such as sharp, painful burning or itching which may occur from one to a few days prior, in the area where the rash will develop. This usually is notably on one side of the waist - a girdle like pattern from which shingles gets its name  (Latin word cingulum meaning belt or girdle) - or one side of the forehead although the blisters may occur anywhere on the body.  This also can be accompanied by fever, chills, headache, and nausea.  Clusters of painful, itching blisters appear.  The virus can easily be transmitted to others during this stage.  Those who never have had chickenpox can catch it from someone with shingles.  The shingles blisters will then scab over in 7-10 days and disappear within 2-4 weeks.  In those with weakened immune systems (which is likely if you contracted shingles in the first place) the lesions may not heal up well.  The sores are also an entry point for bacterial infections which may cause further complication. Be especially alert if the lesions develop on your forehead or close to the eyes as damage to the eyes can occur. In a few cases, the pain of shingles may persist after the outward signs of rash are gone.  This is called postherpetic neuralgia or PHP and is due to damaged nerves.  It usually does improve over time.

Most sites deny that you can catch shingles itself from another person, however, the virus is easily transmitted.  Shingles can develop if you have the virus in your body.  You have the virus in your body if you have had chickenpox before.  Some common questions:

Can you get chickenpox if you have been vaccinated for chickenpox?  Yes you can, although it is said to be  less common, and if it does occur, less severe.

Can you get shingles if you were vaccinated for chickenpox and never had the disease? Again, yes you can.  There is controversy on this subject, and some experts, including Dr. Mercola, believe having the chickenpox vaccine makes getting shingles even more likely.

Can you catch shingles from another person? Most sites deny that you can catch shingles itself from another person, however, the virus is easily transmitted.  Shingles can develop if you have the virus in your body.  You have the virus in your body if you have had chickenpox before, if you catch it from someone, or if you have been vaccinated either for chickenpox or shingles.

Can you get shingles more than once?  Yes you can.   The CDC states that while primary infection (ie, the first time you catch it) will result in chickenpox, the VZV remains dormant in the body and may reactivate later in life.  This is still true, even if you have shingles, the virus remains and may reactivate a second or third time, although recurrence is supposed to be less likely.

Is there a vaccine for shingles? Yes.  The vaccine is just a larger dose of the VZV  than the chickenpox vaccine.  The purpose of vaccines, remember is to introduce a virus into the body in order to stimulate your immune system to build up immunity against it.  People over 60 are encouraged to be vaccinated, however it is expensive and if you are on Medicare, may take a long time to be reimbursed.  People ages 50-59 may also optionally get this vaccine.  This may be helpful for individuals with a strong immune system but is not without risks.  The bottom line is that once VZV has been introduced into your body it stays there and can reactivate years later, regardless whether you had chickenpox before, both chickenpox and shingles, and/or were vaccinated for either of them. The shingles vaccine is thought to provide immunity for perhaps six years but the truth is there is a lot they do not know about it.

 Do I need an antibiotic to treat shingles?   No.  Since shingles is a virus, antibiotics will not help.  Antibiotics do not treat viral infections.

What is the difference between virus and bacteria? Bacteria, although too small to be seen without a microscope, are tiny single-cell creatures, capable of reproducing on their own and surviving within many different types of environments.  There are both good bacteria and bad bacteria that live within our bodies.  Fewer than 1% of bacteria cause disease, and of those that are harmful many are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics. Bacteria can also change form so that in certain circumstances, benign bacteria may become harmful.  A virus is much tinier than the smallest bacteria, and less complex.  They consist only of a protein coating which surrounds a core of genetic material, which is either DNA or RNA.  They cannot survive without a host and they replicate themselves by targeting specific types cells to which they attach and reprogram.  There are two types of life cycles for a virus.  In the simple lytic cycle, they inject their nucleic acid into the host cell, causing multiple copies of their protein coat and nucleic acid cores to be assembled into new viruses.  As the host cell becomes filled with these, it bursts and dies and the invaders target a new cell.  Shingles and other herpes viruses replicate through a lysogenic cycle, in which they can remain hidden in the host cell for years.  The nucleic acid of the virus does become part of the host cell but can remain there indefinitely without affecting cellular functions until something triggers the virus to become active.  At that point it will separate from the genetic material of the host cell and commandeer it to produce new viruses destroying the host cell in the process.

So how do you treat shingles?   Three most common antiviral drugs prescribed  to relieve shingles are  acyclovir, famciclovir, or valacyclovir.  Some doctors prescribe corticosteroids along with the antiviral drugs although studies show this does not help.  Side effects of these drugs include:

Acylovir:  nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, agitation, joint pain, hair loss and changes in vision.  Severe  reactions (call your doctor if you experience these) may include hives, rash, itching, difficulty breathing, swelling of face or throat, hoarseness, rapid heartbeat, weakness, pale skin, insomnia, fever, chills or other signs of infection, stomach pain or cramps, bloody diarrhea or urine, decreased urine output, confusion, aggressiveness, numbness, uncontrollable shaking or inability to move parts of the body, seizures or loss of consciousness.

Famciclovir: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, stomach pain, fatigue, rash, itching, painful menstrual periods.  Severe  reactions (call your doctor if you experience these) may include  pain, numbness, tingling, or burning in hands or feet.

Valacyclovir: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation.  Severe  reactions (call your doctor if you experience these) may include rash, itching, confusion, fever, bloody urine, yellowness of skin or eyes.

Increasing intake of pure natural Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol, not dl-alpha-tocopheral which is synthetic) has been shown to facilitate healing of shingles and relieve the rash, as well as applying the pure Vitamin E oil directly to the lesions.  Also additional Vitamin C may be helpful.

To  learn more about different therapeutic grade essential oils and  how they may benefit a healthy lifestyle,  please visit Oil Well Essentials

For more information on the leading essential oil companies, their history, testing, and quality standards, check out the 45 page Young Living/DoTerra report

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this information is for educational purposes only and not intended to prevent, diagnose, tmitigate, reat, or cure any disease.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Symptoms You Should Not Ignore

Sometimes it is easy to miss early warning signs, or not recognize them as something potentially serious until major complications develop.  One of these is Urinary Tract Infection  (UTI), the most common cause of bacterial infection in the US, and which, according to the National Kidney Foundation, accounts for nearly than 10 million health care visits each year.  Women are very susceptible to UTI due to a shorter urethra.  20 % of women will have one or more UTIs during their lifetime. For those who have had two, 30% will have another and those who have had three, 80 to 90% will have further recurrences.

UTI in men under 50 is rare except when there are kidney stones.  However, for older men, the risks of UTI are similar to those for women as enlargement of the prostate gland can prevent the bladder from draining completely.  An enlarged prostate gland occurs in half of all men older than 50, and between ages 60 - 70 the number jumps up to 69%, and by age 80, more than 90% of men will have some difficulty.

Both men and women may be more prone to UTI when a catheter has been used to drain the bladder, and those who have diabetes or blood sugar issues also have a higher risk.  Foods high in sugar content and/or chemical additives also promote the risk of UTI.

About 90% of all UTI are caused by the bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli).  E. coli normally live harmlessly in the intestinal tract and in fact perform needed functions such as producing Vitamin K2.  Vitamin K2 is very important because it helps direct the calcium in your body to build strong bones and teeth and prevents it from clogging up your arteries, forming kidney stones, or depositing in your joints.  However, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention there are several pathogenic strains of E. coli which can be very harmful.  These types are generally known as intestinal pathogenic E. coli and can cause a variety of intestinal disturbances such as traveler's diarrhea or food poisoning.  Extraintestinal pathogenic E. Coli (ExPEC) normally comprise about 20% of the intestinal flora of healthy individuals and do not cause intestinal disturbances.  However, they are the most common cause of UTI, and may also cause septicemia, respiratory infections, and other types of infections.   Those which cause UTI are able to colonize in the bladder and are known as uropathic E. coli  (UPEC).

A UTI causes inflammation of the urinary tract which may result in pain, redness, and swelling, a discomfort or burning sensation when urinating, feeling a need to urinate but only producing a small amount, pain or pressure in the abdomen, and blood in the urine or urine that is cloudy and/or smells bad.  However, a UTI may also be present for some time without any noticeable symptoms.  If left untreated, the infection can migrate to the kidneys and even into the blood, either of which is very serious.  Nausea, headaches, lack of appetite, and general tiredness or weakness may often be mistaken for flu symptoms but anytime these symptoms do not improve within three days you should consult your doctor right away, especially if you suspect or know you have had a UTI or have had one before.

Pathogenic E. coli which cause food borne illness are caused by strains which produce Shiga toxins and are known as STEC (Shiga Toxin E. coli).  Usually sudden and severe abdominal cramping occurs followed by watery diarrhea.  A day later there may be blood in the stool from sores in the intestine. Nausea with or without vomiting may occur, and usually fatigue and sometimes fever.  Infection may come through ingesting contaminated food or water, physical contact with an infected person, or sometimes contact with animals if care is not taken.

While most UTIs are successfully treated with antibiotics, a lot of hassle can be avoided by preventing them in the first place, and it is important to be aware of the serious complications which can result when a UTI is allowed to continue untreated.  It is easy sometimes to attribute seemingly common symptoms to something else- if you think you may have been exposed to a flu bug,  or are recovering from heart attack, stroke, major surgery or other illness, these all could be reasons for feeling nauseous, weak, and tired.   If you have recently been hospitalized or treated for heart attack, stroke, major surgery or other illness, any of these could also make you more susceptible to UTI.

It is a good good idea to consult your healthcare professional if

1)nausea is accompanied by extreme weakness, chills, shivering, diarrhea, and/or fever, and /or dizziness and poor balance.

2)any signs of UTI such as frequent urge to urinate but producing only small amounts, burning sensation when urinating, or pain in the lower back. This may be a persistent heavy dull pain in the flank or mid to lower back, and/or sudden very painful bursts.

If  you are elderly and/or have other serious health issues, you may need help sooner. A healthy diet with alkaline foods may help to steer clear of UTI and/or to provide support to your body during recovery.

1)Cranberry juice has long been a respected remedy for UTI.  A study by the American Chemical Society of Boston suggests that beneficial substances in cranberry can reach the urinary tract and prevent adhesion within 8 hours.  For years, patients taking the blood-thinner Coumadin were cautioned against drinking Cranberry juice, however the updated FDA Medication Guide now recommends cranberry products as safe to take with Coumadin.

2) Try to limit or eliminate sugars and alcohol, and genetically modified foods as these cause bacteria to multiply.

3) To check guides for other medications you may be taking, possible side effects or diet precautions and food interactions, you can download a great many of the medical guides for particular drugs on the FDA Drug Safety Page.   This is by no means comprehensive however.  If you don't find your particular medication listed here, go to the MedWatch Safety Page and type in the name of your medication to search for safety warnings

5)Oregano essential oil (Origanum compactum) and Thyme essential oil (Thymus vulgaris, CT thymol) are two essential oils which may be helpful in supporting a healthy immune system.

These are just a few examples.  To  learn more about different therapeutic grade essential oils and how they may help support a healthy lifestyle, please visit Oil Well Essentials

For more information on the leading essential oil companies, their history, testing, and quality standards, check out the 45 page Young Living/DoTerra report

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this information is for educational purposes only and not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate, or cure any disease.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ylang Ylang - A Unique Exotic Essential Oil

Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata), meaning "Flower of Flowers" is among the most delightful of aromatic essential oils.  A member of the Annonaceae or Custard-Apple family, it has origins in southeast Asia and prefers humid lowland tropics, although it also grows at elevations close to 3900' near the equator.  It is a fast growing medium tree that reaches 33 - 66 feet in height, with long drooping branches, and bell shaped flowers that are greenish yellow at first, turning a deep yellow to yellow-brown when mature, with a fragrance frequently described as a mixture of hyacinth, narcissus and clove..

Ylang Ylang was historically used by indigenous peoples in salves for treating snake and insect bites, cuts, scrapes, and other skin conditions.  In Indonesia, the fragrant flower petals were traditionally strewn over the beds of newlyweds.

The English naturalist John Ray (1628-1705) was among the first to describe Ylang Ylang in European literature, but distillation for essential oil was not begun until the 1860s.  The gathering, selection and distillation of the flowers requires considerable technical knowledge and care, with but few distillers able to consistently produce an excellent oil.

The essential oil of Ylang Ylang  was described  as a dental remedy by Louis Ottofy, D.D.S. at the Fourth International Dental Congress held at St. Louis, Mo., U.S.A., August 29 to September 3, 1904.  Dr. Ottofy revealed that he came upon this discovery accidentally. When attempting to schedule a follow-up appointment the next Friday for patient of his, the man explained that would not be necessary because his teeth would not hurt on Fridays.  Inquiring further, Dr. Ottofy learned the man was an expert specialist in distilling Ylang Ylang, and on the days he drew off the oil, inhaled enough of the vapors his teeth did not trouble him.  Dr. Ottofy obtained some of the Ylang Ylang to experiment with.  At the time, it had only been considered as a perfume, and no medicinal benefits were recorded.  Although he had not the facilitities with which to prove its therapeutic qualities, he suspected strong germicidal and antiseptic properties, and found in his own practice it was as effective or more so than creosote or carbolic acid which were commonly used to sterilize the tooth and deaden pain.  Ottofy used Ylang Ylang to replace oils of cassia, cinnamon, gaultheria (Wintergreen), and noted that he had left it sealed in a putrescent pulp canal for a period of six months to find it fully as fragrant as when he originally put it in.

Near this time, two French chemists  Garnier and Rechler were credited with conducting research on the French island of Réunion, located in the Indian ocean east of Madagascar.  Their findings suggested the essential oil of Ylang Ylang may be beneficial for fevers such as malaria and typhoid, intestinal disorders, and supportive for regulating heartbeat.

In 1908 the Boston Medical Journal reported a pharmacologial study by Kettenhofen which found it to be as effective as quinine in fighting inflammation.

Ylang Ylang's aromatic influence is prized for increasing mental focus, relieving stress, restoring positive energy, boosting mood and confidence.

Young Living produces an exceptional quality of  Amazonian Ylang Ylang grown on their Finca Botanica Farm in Guayaquil Ecuador, which now has over 40,000 mature trees.   Harvesters are taught to memorize the smell of the perfect and mature Ylang Ylang flowers, and learn to pick only the best flowers and leave the rest.  Gary Young explains that  when the flowers are just past their prime and are oxidized they still smell nice but there is a very faint sour note. The best flowers yield the most exquisite oil as well as the highest therapeutic benefit when properly distilled.  Young Living insists on this quality standard, which are maintained through its unique Seed to Seal process, state of the art distilleries and testing laboratories, as well as third party testing.

It is found in many favorite Young Living Blend's such as Aroma Life, Dream Catcher, Harmony, Highest Potential, Motivation, Peace & Calming, Release, Sacred Mountain, and White Angelica to mention only a few.

To  learn more about different therapeutic grade essential oils and their properties, please visit Oil Well Essentials

For more information on the leading essential oil companies, their history, testing, and quality standards, check out the 45 page Young Living/DoTerra report.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this information is for educational purposes only and not intended to prevent, diagnose, mitigate, treat, or cure any disease.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Oxygen - A Double Edged Sword

We all know that life, as we know it on this planet, is centered around oxygen.   A study published in the October 2009 Journal of Pharmacology reviewed the effects of oxygen-containing terpenes to enhance absorption of corticosterones across the human epidermal membrane (HEM).

Oxygen is essential not only for breathing, but it is a necessary part of many chemical reactions needed for metabolizing fats, proteins, and carbohydrates so we can gain the energy we need to survive.  Normal blood oxygen levels for healthy people fall somewhere between 90 - 100% saturation which means all the organs are receiving the oxygen they need to function properly.  Oxygen is also critical in plants for the absorprtion of nutrients through the roots and across cell walls.  Oxygen plays a key role in photosynthesis as well, producing fructose and glucose, and releasing the excess oxygen through transpiration which is important to the air we breathe.

At the same time, most of us have also heard terms like 'Antioxidants" and "Oxidative Stress".  While oxygen is vital to our survival, Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are small, highly reactive molecules produced as a normal byproduct  of regular oxygen metabolism.  These include oxygen ions, free radicals and peroxides, all of which play important roles in signaling the cells when maintained at the proper concentrations.  However, ROS levels can increase dramatically during times of stress, resulting in significant damage to cell structures. This is known as "oxidative stress".  Reactive Oxygen Species are often a root cause of inflammatory response diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.  They can increase when we consume too much alcohol, fatty foods, or foods high in sugar.  We can also be exposed to them through pollutants and toxins in the environment.  Antioxidants work to fight against ROS by giving up one of their electrons to the free radicals, thus breaking the chain reaction of oxidation.  After gaining an electron, the free radicals become stable and no longer need to attack.

The antioxidants are stable enough they can handle the change in electrons without becoming reactive and harmful.   Some of the more familiar vitamin antioxidants are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Beta Carotene. We are encouraged to incorporate lots of colorful fruits and vegetables into are diet as these are supposed to be good sources of antioxidants.  The ORAC test developed by Tufts University in 1994 measures the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity of foods, or their degree of inhibition to hydrogen peroxide, one of the most common free radicals.

Dr. David Stewart, in his excellent book The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple  notes that a single drop of essential oil contains 40 quintillion molecules, or 40,000,000,000,000,000,000. Certain essential oils may help maintain healthy lung function and support the lungs and sinuses.

To ensure the maximum therapeutic benefits, it is important to know your supplier of essential oils. Be certain that the company you choose provides information to substantiate high quality standards and conducts a variety of testing with state of the art equipment, both in house and through third-party laboratories.  As there is no standardization for essential oils at this time, labeling means very little  An oil may be labeled as "pure", "organic", "therapeutic-grade", "certified", etc but many do not clearly explain what they mean by these terms.  An oil may carry any or all of these designations on the label, but still have little therapeutic value for many reasons.  Here are some important questions to ask:

1)Does the company hire expert botanists to correctly identify plants and seeds and ensure the correct species is used?

2)Are the plants grown in a region that is native and/or which provides the optimal soil and climate conditions they require?

3)Is the growing process monitored to ensure planting, growing, and harvest occur at the best times to ensure maximum therapeutic properties?  Time of day, weather, and temperature conditions all play a role in both planting and harvest and make a big difference in the therapeutic compounds a particular crop can yield.

4)Are the oils distilled at the same site where the plants are harvested?  Plants that have to be transported a long distance to distill in another location may lose their freshness and many of their therapeutic properties.

5)Who oversees the distillation process and what is their level of experience?  The vast majority of essential oils sold commercially are not distilled for the correct amount of time or at the right pressure as they are much less expensive to produce when shortcuts are used.  Even though many oils can be distilled for a shorter time and still have a pleasing fragrance, this does not mean protocol has been followed to maximize the therapeutic benefits.   Tasteless and odorless compounds may be added to extend the oils which may not be detected by Gas Chromatography (GC)unless a chiral column is used.

6)Does the testing laboratory use equipment with the proper specifications for testing essential oils?  Almost all laboratories in the US use a 30 meter GC column  with a wall thickness of only .20 - .32 which is standard for analyzing synthetic chemicals, vitamins and minerals.  However,  to properly identify the complex variety of natural chemicals in a  pure essential oil, the column needs to be at least 50 or 60 meters and the thickness of the column wall at least .50. Young Living's  labs are the only ones in the world matched and calibrated to the instruments used at the National Center for Scientific Reserch in France by Dr Hervé Casabianca.

To  learn more about different therapeutic grade essential oils and their properties, please visit Oil Well Essentials.

For more information on the leading essential oil companies, their history, testing, and quality standards, check out the 45 page Young Living/DoTerra report.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this information is for educational purposes only and not intended to prevent, diagnose, mitigate, treat, or cure any disease.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Sugar Busters

Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in America, with over 600,000 deaths annually. Additionally, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes and another 79 million have pre-diabetes.  According to Dr. Mercola, our sugar consumption has steadily increased from about 4 lbs per year per person in 1700, 18 lbs per year in 1800, 90 lbs per year by 1900, and more than 180 lbs per person per year by 2009.  And, its not just sugar, it is a bit more complicated than that.  Lactose intolerance was first discovered in the 1960s.  The term Fibromyalgia was coined in 1976.  The term Metabolic Syndrome came into common usage in the late 1970s.  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was first defined in 1988.  During this same time frame, Gluten Intolerance or Gluten Sensitivity became widespread and more widely known.  All this is tied to genetically modified foods which of course is tied to money and profits.  Intentionally or otherwise, America seems to be caught in a vicious cycle.  There is huge money in developing all kinds of processed foods and genetically engineered foods which are effectively  setting people up for all kinds of health problems, and even larger profits in creating all kinds of synthetic drugs to fix them - which unfortunately all come with a long list of unpleasant and sometimes permanently disabling or even fatal side effects, which we are brainwashed into thinking are acceptable risks.  And, once on this bandwagon, it is very hard to get off.

The history of sugar dates back thousands of years.  Sugarcane is a tall grass originating in New Guinea as early as 6000 BC, with its cultivation routes spreading to regions of India and Southeast Asia and east to the Pacific. It was believed to have hybridized with wild canes from India and China.  The process for pressing out the juice and boiling it into crystals.  It was introduced to Europe in the middle ages, and Columbus in turn brought it to the West Indies which proved to be a favorable growing climate.  Sugar Cane, which contains about 12-14% sucrose,  is produced in four US States, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Texas, with about half the production coming from Florida.  The US cane crop was 26.7 million tons in 2011 with a crop value of over $1 billion.  

Sugar was first extracted from beets by a German professor, Andreas Margraf in 1747.  Sugar beets were first brought to the US in the late 1800s, and being less expensive to produce than cane sugar, now account for about 55% of the total US sugar production compared to 45% from cane sugar. Sugar beets contain 16% sucrose and although chemically similar to the sugar from sugar cane, it is not quite the same and has different properties in baking.  Of more concern is that at least 95% of the sugar from sugar beets comes from Genetically Modified strains.  

The most deadly culprit of all however is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) which is far more harmful than either cane or beet sugar.  Sucrose, although processed and refined as white sugar, does occur naturally in many fruits and vegetables.  HFCS is synthetically engineered and does not occur naturally. In 1957, researchers Richard O. Marshall and Earl M. Kooi invented it to tailor the specifically to tailor the level of sweetness. It began to be widely marketed as a sweetener in the 1970s, gaining wide popularity until more consumer awareness in recent years has caused some to back away from it.  Corn syrup is heated and separated to break the gluten bonds, releasing starch and fiber, then the structure is reconfigured into an unbalanced isomer containing 55% fructose, 42% glucose, and 3% of other larger sugar molecules. Sucrose, by contrast is a balanced disaccharide equal amounts of glucose and fructose bonded together. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, Sucrose and HFCS do not behave the same way in the body either.  Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver, similar to the way in which alcohol is metabolized, while glucose can be metabolized by every cell of the body.  HFCS depends much more on the liver due to its unbalanced form.  It is cheaper to produce than sucrose due to the government corn subsidies.  Further, since the glucose and fructose are not bound together as in sucrose, the glucose is absorbed much more rapidly, triggering insulin spikes, while the fructose goes straight to the liver triggering production of triglycerides and cholesterol, and resulting in fatty liver, which affects 70 million people.

Not surprisingly the corn industry argues all of this and tries to proclaim that HFCS is no different or more harmful than sugar, since its use as a sweetener has resulted in huge profits for them.  Some basic problems with HFCS, not only is it synthetically engineered, most of the corn it is made from is genetically modified in the first place.  Studies have shown that foods with HFCS (which may be found in a wide range of packaged or processed foods from cereals, breads, lunch-meats, snacks, soups, condiments, sauces and more) suppress the hormone leptin which signals the body when we have had enough to eat.  And, the way HFCS is processed by the body triggers insulin resistance.  Further, testing of 20 HFCS samples from 3 different manufacturers found that 9 of them contain mercury which is often used as part of the production processed. Dr. Mercola elaborates further on the dangers of HFCS despite the fact that consumption has fallen to a 20 year low.  The corn industry is trying hard to recoup these profits by changing the name or the way it is presented on labels.  It may be listed as simply Corn Syrup, Corn Sugar, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Iso Glucose, Chicory and Fruit Fructose or other such deceptive names, but calling it something else is not going to mitigate any of the harmful effects.    According to Dr. Oz, half of the 150 lbs of sugar per year per person we are consuming comes from HFCS.

A study published by the Journal of the American Heart Association, says that just one molecule of glucose metabolite glucose 6-phosphate (G6P) can lead to improper function of the heart.  Researchers at UC Davis have also identified a biological link between Diabetes and Heart Disease.

Sugar in any form was never meant to be consumed in these massive amounts. So how do we control our insatiable appetite for sugar?  Awareness of what you are eating is key.  Take the time to read labels.  Try to limit foods packaged in cans, bags, boxes, etc as these almost always have added sugar.   Pure natural Stevia is a good sweetener, or occasional moderate amounts of organic raw honey or maple syrup.  Be aware, however, that as explained by Dr. Mercola, artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame, Nutra-Sweet, Sweet N Low, Equal, Splenda, and more have even more harmful effects than Splenda.  Made with sucralose, Splenda is especially deceptive as  it is labeled as having 0 calories per serving, although in fact there are nearly 4 calories of pure sugar per packet which is added as a bulking added since such a tiny amount of the sucralose is needed for sweetener.  Since it is less than 5 calories, the FDA allows it to be labeled as 0 calories.This can be especially dangerous for those with diabetes or borderline high blood sugar who may use several packets per day, and/or use it for baking in the eagerly promoted recipes on Splenda's website.

Supplementation with Magnesium and Chromium may be helpful in controlling sugar cravings. In fact, cravings for chocolate may actually often be an indicator of magnesium deficiency.  High quality dark chocolate in moderate amounts (and without HFCS added) is a good source of magnesium.  Adequate protein intake is also important.  Try to keep a daily journal of what you eat.  If you miss or get behind, don't let that be an excuse for giving it up, just start again recording the next meal or snack and keep up with it as much as you can.  Many people simply do not realize that poor eating habits - irregular meals, skipping meals, or going long periods without eating regardless whether it is because you are busy or trying to diet - actually makes it much more difficult to control cravings for sugar and unhealthy foods.  Eating regular balanced meals with adequate protein, and healthy snacks in between will help to eliminate excess sugar consumption and desire to binge on junk food, which are designed to make you binge.  For instance, who eats 21 Cheetos and stops?  Or 1/2 cup of ice cream?  Next time you eat ice cream, measure it and compare to the portion you usually eat.   Many of these things it is very easy to think we are only getting a certain amount of calories, sugars or carbohydrates when in fact if you pay attention to the portion size you may be eating 2 or 3 times that much.  Or more.

Some essential oils may help support maintaining blood sugar levels that are already in the normal range. Maintaining normal blood sugar is key to minimizing cravings for sugar and unhealthy foods.   A few essential oils which may help support maintaining normal blood sugar range include Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum verum), and Ocotea (Ocotea quixos) and a  special refreshing Young Living blend called Slique Essence. In addition to Ocotea it contains Lemon (Citrus limon); Tangerine (Citrus nobilius); Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi); and Spearmint (Mentha spicata) . In addition, it contains Stevia Leaf Extract as a natural sweetener.  A drop or two of the Slique blend may be added to your water and sipped during the day as a pleasant way to help support health blood sugar and encourage adequate water intake.   They also offer a Slique Tea made from Jade oolong tea, inulin, ocotea leaf (Ocotea quixos), Ecuadorian cacao powder, vanilla essential oil, frankincense powder (Boswellia sacra), and natural stevia extract which is delightful, hot or cold.

Be sure to to find a source which provides high quality, carefully tested oils to ensure purity and maximum therapeutic properties.

For more information on the leading essential oil companies, their history, testing, and quality standards, check out the 45 page Young Living/DoTerra report.

If you like this report and would like to make a small donation to help defray the costs of time and research, you may click the donate button here:

For more information on therapeutic grade essential oils and protecting your health, please visit Oil Well Essentials

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this information is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, prevent, mitigate, treat, or cure any disease. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Magical Mints - Part 2 - Peppermint, Spearmint, Patchouli, Sage and Clary Sage

Among the best known essential oils of the mint family is Peppermint (Mentha piperita).  Used for medicinal purposes by the Romans, Greeks, and ancient Egyptians, dried leaves from Peppermint have been found in Egyptian pyraminds and tombs with carbon dating as far back as 1000 B.C.  Documented by Carl Linnaeus in 1753 as a species, it was later recognized as a naturally occurring hybrid between Watermint (Mentha aquatica) and Spearmint (Mentha spicata).  Watermint, as its name suggests, grows in moist areas such as wet meadows and fens, riparean areas, along streams, canals, riverbanks and other wet areas, and may even grow in the water itself.  Naturally occuring in Northern Europe, Northern Africa, and Southwest Asia, it spreads by long runners, creating daughter plants as is typical of mints, and produces abundant midsummer blooms which are caps of tiny florets ranging from deep blue to shades of purple.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata) was also native to much of Europe and Southwest Asia.  It also grows in generally moist soils and has spike flowers of white or pink.  Spearmint essential oil contains 45 - 55% Carvone and 15 -25% Limonene.   Spearmint is soothing to the intestines and may help support digestive function, and alleviate occasional sour stomach.      

Peppermint, which has  purple flowers arranged in a spike inflorescence, is a natural hybrid of these two species.  It rarely produces seeds, but is readily cultivated from root cuttings and is widely grown all over the world as a  medicinal and culinary herb.  The essential oil is steam distilled from leaves and stems and has long been regarded as supportive of  healthy digestive function.  Historically, peppermint was  one of the oils used in the famous "Four Thieves Vinegar" used by 15th century bandits to protect themselves during the Black Plague. In early times, peppermint was used as a tonic for refreshing the mind and body. The fragrance of peppermint is an excellent deterrent for mice as they cannot stand the pungent aroma.

Peppermint contains 34-44% natural Menthol which is responsible for the powerful minty aroma, flavor, and cooling sensation.  Menthol is also widely manufactured as a synthetic ingredient, and the demand for it greatly exceeds the available supply from natural resources.  For instance Taskasago International in Japan, which ranks 5th worldwide in the fragrance and flavor industry, manufactures about 3000 tons per year.  The total current annual production worldwide is estimated to be over 19,000 metric tons.    In the U.S., a bottle of essential oil may be labeled as "pure" even if it only contains 5% of the actual ingredient, or as 100% pure even if there is a synthetic ingredient in the mix.  The Fragrance and Flavor Industry leader is Givaudin, with an estimated 19.1% of the market share and over $3824 million in sales per year.   Natural pure peppermint oil is more "minty" in fragrance, with greater cooling properties, and the aroma is superior. Its cooling properties tend to be soothing, where a synthetic or extended peppermint oil is sharper and may become unpleasant or uncomfortable when applied to sensitive areas. Natural properly distilled therapeutic grade peppermint oil has a number of trace minty constituents and other components that are lacking in synthetic varieties.

Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) is very popular in perfumes and incenses though less widely known as belonging to the mint family.  The essential oil is distilled from its small pink flowers.  Patchouli was used for centuries in Asian cultures as an antidote for insect and snake bites, as well as to fight infections and bring down fever.  It was traditionally used by the French for allergies, dermatitis, an eczema.  Patchouli diffused provides a pleasing fragrance with a soothing and calming influence.

Sage (Salvia officinalis) is also a member of the mint family, a popular incense and culinary herb.  Derived from the word salvation, it was considered a sacred herb by the Romans. The essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowers, and is high in ketones, approximately 60%.  Sage may help support the respiratory and digestive systems.    Diffusing may help relieve occasional nervous irritability and promote emotional well-being..

 Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) is another mint which has been used to help soothe mild menstrual cramps and and moodiness associated with PMS.  . It is steam distilled from the flowering plant.  It is a soothing and relaxing fragrance which may help with restful sleep

As with all essential oils, care should be taken to find a source which provides high quality, carefully tested oils to ensure purity and maximum therapeutic properties.

For more information on the leading essential oil companies, their history, testing, and quality standards, check out the 45 page Young Living/DoTerra report.

If you like this report and would like to make a small donation to help defray the costs of time and research, you may click the donate button here:

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and this information is for educational purposes only and not intended to diagnose, prevent, mitigate, treat, or cure any disease.