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3 Ancient Medicines That Already Live In Your Home

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Daniel absi

Nick PolizziGuest Writer

Every week, we receive emails from folks who are eager to get ahold of the jungle medicines that were featured in the Sacred Science film. My first question to these passionate seekers is, “Have you explored the traditional herbal remedies that are available in your neck of the woods?” More often than not, the answer is no.

Yes, there is something intoxicating and mysterious about paddling down a foliage-entwined river to a remote village where there is rumoured to be a powerful shaman. But similar practices exist all over the world, and many are available in or near your home.

Today I’m going to focus on three natural medicines that are so easy to find that they may already live in your kitchen!

Garlic – Allium Sativum

I’d like to start with Allium sativum, or garlic – not only out of respect for my Italian roots, but because it is quite possibly the most potently practical medicinal herb on the planet. We all know this strong-charactered little bulb for its delicious flavour and aroma, but I’m often baffled by how few people use it medicinally for its plethora of healing applications.

This wasn’t always the case. As recently as 60 years ago, garlic was a crucial component in the standard issue medical kits that were carried by medics in the United States military in both World War I and II to treat wounds. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties have been praised for millennia.

In terms of versatility, there are very few herbs that compare to garlic. It is an effective blood thinner, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-oxidant, and immune system stimulant that promotes heart health and is also proven to regulate cholesterol.

My favourite use: Garlic can literally knock out a cold or flu in less than 24 hours if used in conjunction with the right dietary protocol and adequate sleep.

The best way to take it? Raw. Yes, this can be intense, but if it’s a little hard on your palette imagine how uncomfortable it is for the critters in your gut that are making you feel lousy.

If I was only allowed to keep one herb in my medicine bag, garlic would be it.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Malus Sylvestris

Talk about an ancient household remedy, Malus sylvestris, or apple cider vinegar, has been used since the beginning of recorded history. Archaeologists have found Egyptian urns dating back to 3000 B.C. that still contain remnants of the stuff! Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed apple cider vinegar for a variety of different health issues – and guess what? Both clinical and alternative medicine practitioners still recommend it as a great way to
keep the doctor away.

Because of its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties, apple cider vinegar has a number of medicinal applications. It is often gargled to treat sore throat, applied to the skin for wart and mole removal (a dab each night can yield very positive results), applied to the face for acne care, and ingested as a cold and sinus infection treatment.

The above applications alone would make this a valuable item to have in your kitchen, but there are recent studies that indicate that apple cider vinegar may be beneficial for more serious health conditions as well.

A 2004 study published by the American Diabetes Foundation found that type 2 diabetics experienced some very promising results when taking a dose of apple cider vinegar before meals. On average the diabetics who participated experienced a 25% improvement in their blood glucose levels – which is quite a feat.

New cancer studies are also pointing to apple cider vinegar as a promising anti-cancer food, particularly in the slowing of cancerous cell growth and the prevention of the formation of new cancer cells.

A word to the wise: Choose your apple cider vinegar wisely. The murkier the better. If you have a bottle of clear apple cider vinegar in your cabinet, it’s not medicine. The good stuff is brownish orange and has residue at the bottom.

Just about everyone I know uses Bragg’s apple cider vinegar because of the company’s long-standing track record of consciousness and selfless service to those in need. Patricia Bragg, daughter of the founder, Paul Bragg, is an amazing woman.

Dandelion – Taraxacum Officinale

This last herb isn’t one you would necessarily find in your pantry, but just about every lawn in the United States is adorned with this bright cheery flower at some point in the year. We’ve been trained to look at these yellow sun bursts as weedy pests, but you only need to watch a child interact with one to know their true beauty.

Its common name is a corruption of the French “Dent de Lion” or “lions tooth” – a reference to its jagged, toothlike leaves.

My friend and wild food expert, Daniel Vitalis, says that the herbs that our body needs the most tend to grow within a mile of us, just another way that mother earth looks out for her children.

Given that the standard American diet is often heavy handed with processed meats, refined sugars, pesticide laden produce and little to no living food, the greatest gift that Pachamama could bestow upon us would be an incredible detoxifier right? Well, look no further than your front yard because the Taraxacum officinale is exactly that.

To put it simply, dandelions are your liver’s best friend. Yes, your liver, the second largest organ in your body, which among many other duties serves as your body’s filter. If you have been eating “naughtily” and feel as though you have gunkily guk (my own scientific term) built up inside of you, the first course of action is to a) change your diet and b) nurture your liver so that it can process the toxins you’ve ingested and safely remove them from your system.

The best liver cleanser I know of is freshly brewed dandelion root tea. And I’m not alone in this theory. Folk healers and doctors were prescribing this long before our time. Another delicious way to promote liver health is to add dandelion greens to salads or sauté them alongside your protein.

Somehow seeing that latin scientific identifier “Taraxacum officinale” gives this widely disrespected super herb a little more swagger, doesn’t it? It’s about time!

The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World

The new book by Nick Polizzi.

In 2010, Nick Polizzi assembled a group of eight desperately ill patients from around the world and brought them into the heart of the Amazon rainforest to put the mysterious medicines of native shamans to the test. The healing journey that unfolded would change their lives — and his own — forever.

In his new book, “The Sacred Science, Nick explores their primordial traditions further and reveals first-hand what it takes to truly heal ourselves of physical disease and emotional trauma. Part spiritual self-help book and part jungle adventure, “The Sacred Science” is deeply personal and enlightening, and presents us with a bold new way of understanding the health of our mind, body and spirit, and the forgotten ways of a healthier, earth-connected ancestral past.

If you are trying to heal or bring balance to something inside yourself – physical or emotional – this revolutionary new book may be for you. It explains the core pillars of shamanic healing, and more importantly, how we can bring these ancient techniques into our life, right here – right now. You’ll learn practices and principles of native wisdom and gain a new understanding of what it means to heal — all told through a journey of exotic jungle medicines and harrowing rites of passage.

‘The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World’ is available here in digital, paper and audio book formats.

PLUS, for a limited time, it also comes with a bunch of awesome bonuses, including workshops on shamanic dreaming and ancient herbal methods for awakening consciousness.

Recommended Articles by Nick Polizzi
About the Author

Nick Polizzi has spent his career directing and editing feature length documentaries about natural alternatives to conventional medicine. Nick’s current role as director of The Sacred Science documentary and author of “The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World” stems from a calling to honour, preserve, and protect the ancient knowledge and rituals of the indigenous peoples of the world.

For more, visit www.thesacredscience.com.

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Coconut Oil Could Help Fight Tooth Decay

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Coconut Oil
Photo Credit: Pexels

Mary West, Guest Writer

Coconut oil is much in the news these days, being used by the natural health community to enhance many aspects of health. Now, scientists have discovered yet another benefit of this valuable food – it may be a powerful ally in the fight against tooth decay.

Parents will gladly receive word of this discovery, as the pain of tooth decay and the ensuing infections that sometimes occur often involve treatment with antibiotics, drugs that have adverse effects and can lead to antibiotic resistance. A common childhood malady, tooth decay affects 60 to 90% of kids in industrialized countries, as well as most of adults, according to researchers.

Coconut oil, a natural agent devoid of side effects, will be a welcome inclusion to the tools used to fight cavities. The findings were so promising that researchers suggest it could be added to dental care products like toothpaste and mouthwash to promote the health of our teeth.

Scientists Found That Enzyme-Modified Coconut Oil Is a Potent Killer of Mouth Bugs.

Scientists at the Athlone Institute of Technology in Ireland evaluated the effectiveness of three different oils in attacking Streptococcus bacteria, acid-producing organisms that are common inhabitants of the mouth and a major cause of tooth decay. They tested natural coconut oil, olive oil and vegetable oil, in addition to the same oils treated with enzymes, simulating the digestive process. Only the enzyme-altered coconut oil displayed the ability to curtail the growth of most strains of the bacteria. It is believed that the breaking down of coconut oil by the enzymes release its components that fight bacteria.

Advantages of Using Coconut Oil in Dental Products

Lead researcher, Dr. Damien Brady said enzyme-altered coconut oil could be an attractive substitute for cavity-fighting chemicals currently added to dental care products. He points out its advantage of being effective at relatively low concentrations and emphasizes the importance of seeking alternative ways of fighting infections because of increasing antibiotic resistance.

Aside from the above benefits, another advantage is cost, as treating tooth decay can be very expensive in some regions. If the findings of the study hold up in further research, coconut oil could soon become an affordable means of preventing tooth decay.

The results were revealed at a recent meeting of the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Warwick.

Recommended Coconut Oil Based Toothpastes…
Article Sources
Recommended Articles by Mary West
About the Author

Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance overall wellness. Ms. West is the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies, and  the creator of alternativemedicinetruth.com, a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects.

This article was republished with permission from Live in the Now, one of the fastest growing natural health newsletters. Visit LiveInTheNow.com to browse their complete library of articles, or join the nearly 60,000 readers subscribed to their Newsletter

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4 Ways To Know If Your Body Is Overwhelmed By Toxins

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4 Ways To Know If Your Body Is Overwhelmed By Toxins
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Mary West, Guest Writer

We live in a toxic environment, being exposed to an estimated 2.5 billion pounds of chemicals each year. Once these toxins accumulate in the body, they may manifest in an array of symptoms.

It is impossible to escape this continuous bombardment of harmful chemicals; we come into contact with substances that can negatively impact our system several times a day. We breathe toxic chemicals in the air, ingest them in our food and absorb them through our skin.

Synthetic ingredients are found in fragrances and lotions, and sodium laurel sulphates are present in some toothpastes, soaps and shampoos. And the chemical assaults in the home don’t end there.

Our homes are laden with the toxins found in household cleaning products, “air fresheners” and pesticides, and some clothing, furniture upholstery and carpeting are even treated with toxic, hormone disrupting flame-retardants.

And our food? Well, it’s no secret that our food is loaded with chemical additives such as MSG, dyes and sucralose, while food containers can contain BPA. OUCH!

Think you can cleanse with just a healthy dose of H2O? Think again. Water systems are contaminated with lead and have been treated with fluoride, chlorine and many other chemicals.

4 Signs of Toxicity
1. Constipation

Bowel evacuation is the body’s natural way of eliminating waste. If you do not have a good-sized bowel movement every day, toxins are being reabsorbed into the blood stream and affecting your health.

2. Bad breath

This problem can indicate that your colon and liver are not eliminating toxins well.

3. Extra sensitivity to smells

If you have strong reactions to smoke, perfumes and other smells, you may be experiencing toxic overload.

4. Overweight

Difficulty in shedding extra pounds can be due to eating the wrong foods, but toxicity can also play a role. Some toxins like dioxins and pesticides are stored in the fat cells. When the body is storing a large quantity of these harmful chemicals, it poses a greater challenge to weight control.

Symptoms of Toxicity

The maladies that can ensue from chronic toxicity are too numerous to mention, but here are a few. Toxic overload can cause headaches, joint pain and rashes along with difficulty concentrating, food cravings and acne. Diseases related to toxicity include cancer, depression and attention deficit disorder in addition to autoimmune conditions, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis.

11 Easy Ways to Detoxify
  1. Drink green tea, which is a natural purifier.
  2. Drink plenty of filtered water to flush toxins out of your system.
  3. Eat foods high in fibre, which include fruit, vegetables and grains as well as nuts and seeds. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli are especially helpful. Two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds per day is beneficial as well. Incorporate garlic, parsley and cilantro into your diet, as they are natural detoxifiers.
  4. Avoid processed foods and refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta. Get in the habit of reading food labels to avoid those that are high in additives.
  5. Exercise regularly to eliminate toxins through perspiration.
  6. Dry-brush your skin with a natural bristle brush or loofa sponge. Use brushing strokes that more toward the heart rather than away from it. If you need some dry brushing tip, check out this article.
  7. Practice deep-breathing techniques.
  8. Reduce alcohol intake and avoid taking unnecessary drugs.
  9. A 24-hour fruit fast is very beneficial for internal cleansing and eliminating toxins. In this type of fast you only eat only fresh raw fruits, instead of those that are canned or cooked.
  10. Fit for Life authors recommends a daily fruit fast by eating nothing but fruit and fresh fruit juices every morning until noon. It is a means of everyday cleansing.
  11. The use of a castor oil pack is a time-honoured method of detoxification.
Article Sources
Recommended Articles by Mary West
About the Author

Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance overall wellness. Ms. West is the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies, and  the creator of alternativemedicinetruth.com, a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects.

This article was republished with permission from Live in the Now, one of the fastest growing natural health newsletters. Visit LiveInTheNow.com to browse their complete library of articles, or join the nearly 60,000 readers subscribed to their Newsletter

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8 Foods That Boost Your Immune System

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8 Foods That Boost Your Immune System
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Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

If you’re looking for an immune system boost, the right vitamins and minerals can help. Although diet gets little attention in conventional media when it comes to supporting the immune system, it is one of the most powerful methods for keeping colds and other illnesses at bay. Nutrition isn’t the only means of immune system support but it is one of the oldest and most reliable natural approaches.

The 8 Best Foods for Your Immune System

The majority of your immune cells reside in your intestines, so doesn’t it make sense to consume healthy foods for keeping your immune system top notch? Here are 8 foods you can eat right now to boost your immune system.

1. Bell Peppers

Reach for all the bell peppers you want because they can actually have twice as much vitamin C as citrus fruits. In addition, bell peppers are a great source of beta-carotene, which not only helps maintain healthy skin and eyes but studies suggest they could also provide an immune system boost. [1] [2]

2. Citrus

Citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C. Believed to increase the production of white blood cells, C is essential for fighting off infections. Since your body doesn’t produce or store this vitamin, load up on citrus to help keep your immune system up and running. Supplementation with the vitamin may be helpful, but it’s always best to receive the vitamin from its natural source.

3. Ginger

Ginger is thought to work much like vitamin C in that it can even stop a cold before it starts. That said, it’s also a great food to reach for after you’re sick. Ginger can have a little heat due to the gingerol, a cousin of sorts to capsaicin—the stuff that makes chilli peppers hot. It’s the “kick” of the gingerol that can even act as a strong soothing agent. [3]

4. Turmeric

You can find this spice in many curries; it’s bright yellow in color, and a little bitter in taste, but it can definitely be pretty amazing for your health. While it’s already been used for its soothing capabilities for arthritis (among other things), a recent study suggests high concentrations of curcumin—what gives turmeric its color—could also reduce fever. [4] [5]

5. Spinach

With vitamin C, beta-carotene, and plenty of antioxidants, spinach is a perfect vegetable for your immune system. If you want to get the most out of it though, cook it as little as possible or even keep it raw. But don’t stop at spinach; a study suggests that other leafy green vegetables are good choices as well. [6]

6. Broccoli

Like spinach, broccoli is another great vegetable choice packed with antioxidants and vitamins. With vitamins A, C, and E, broccoli could easily be one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table. Just like with spinach, cook it as little as possible to retain its nutrients.

7. Yogurt

If you like yogurt, make sure you’re getting the full health benefit by eating the kind with live cultures. Recent research suggests these cultures may strengthen your immune system. [7] Yogurt can also be a great source of vitamin D, which can also help boost the immune system. [8]

8. Almonds

When your immune system needs a boost, vitamin E sometimes loses the spotlight to vitamin C, but both are crucial for a healthy immune system. Vitamin E is fat-soluble, which means fat is needed in order for it to be absorbed properly. You can get almost all of your daily allowance of this vitamin by reaching for a half-cup of almonds. How easy is that?

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References
  1. Hughes, D. A. Effects of carotenoids on human immune function. The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society. 58 (3).
  2. Chew, B. P. & Park, J. S. Carotenoid Action on the Immune Response. The Journal of Nutrition. 134 (1).
  3. Grzanna, R. et al. Ginger—An Herbal Medicinal Product with Broad Anti-Inflammatory Actions. Journal of Medicinal Food. 8 (2).
  4. Jagetia G. C, & Aggarwal B. B. “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin.Journal of Clinical Immunology. 27 (1).
  5. Sultana, G. N. et al. Analgesic principle from Curcuma amada. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 163.
  6. Li, Y. et al. Exogenous Stimuli Maintain Intraepithelial Lymphocytes via Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation. Cell. 147 (3).
  7. Meydani, S. N. & Ha W. Immunologic effects of yogurt. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 71 (4).
  8. Aranow, C. Vitamin D and the Immune System. Vitamin D and the Immune System.
Recommended Articles by Dr. Edward Group
About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing the highest quality natural health information and products. He is world-renowned for his research on the root cause of disease. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center earned recognition as one of the largest natural and organic health resources in the world. Dr. Group is a veteran of the United States Army and has attended both Harvard and MIT business schools. He is a best-selling author and a frequent guest on radio and television programs, documentary films, and in major publications.

Dr. Group centres his philosophy around the understanding that the root cause of disease stems from the accumulation of toxins in the body and is exacerbated by daily exposure to a toxic living environment. He believes it is his personal mission to teach and promote philosophies that produce good health, a clean environment, and positive thinking. This, he believes, can restore happiness and love to the world.

For more, please visit Global Healing Center.

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Here’s What You Should Know About Pumpkins

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Here’s What You Should Know About Pumpkins
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Dr. MercolaGuest Writer

From the time you were a small child, you may have been conditioned to expect new and exciting things as autumn arrives. Every fall, children go back to school, see their friends and begin to anticipate the holiday season. One of the fruits closely associated with fall is pumpkin.

From pumpkin pie to pumpkin spice lattes or jack-o-lanterns it’s likely you associate fall with some type of pumpkin. Kathryn Lively, professor of sociology at Dartmouth College, spoke with a reporter from The Huffington Post about the expectations children have and how this conditions a response pattern that often travels into adulthood.1

Fall is a structural landmark, in the way significant dates help create structure in the perception of the passage of time.2 For example, just as January 1 is a landmark associated with developing personal growth and development goals, fall may be a time when your anticipation begins to grow, and you’re motivated to learn new skills or change behaviours.

Licensed psychologist and professor at Chapman University Amy Jane Griffiths, Ph.D., says, “We all crave the comfort and security that comes with traditions and predictability.”3 Many of us have traditions and events associated with fall weather, while others may dread the leaves changing or signs that winter is coming.

What Color Are Your Pumpkins?

Many have an interest in the science behind your anticipation of fall weather, fall foods and the hope of curling up with a blanket and a good movie. But it may still be difficult to explain the vast number of people who buy pumpkins each fall. In the U.S., Illinois is the No. 1 producer of this round orange squash, growing twice as many each year than in the other five top producing states.4

While you might think of it as a vegetable, the pumpkin is a fruit that’s known as much for its place in the kitchen as on your front porch. Mary Liz Wright, a University of Illinois Extension specialist, does not advise using your typical jack-o-lantern pumpkin in your fall recipes.5

This is because there are two distinct species of pumpkin. The first has been bred for size, structure and color to enhance your fall decor. The second is bred for consistency, flavour and texture of the meat. Pumpkins that are bred for flavour are tan or buckskin color on the outside with bright orange flesh on the inside.

They’re also more reminiscent of butternut squash in shape, rather than the more rounded outline of decorative pumpkins. Nathan Johanning, also a University of Illinois Extension specialist, spoke about the 2020 fall crop and the agritourism trade pumpkins support, sharing that one farm in Illinois had 5,000 tourists pass through in one weekend.

If you’re planning on saving the flesh from your pumpkins, Wright advises you cook and freeze it, since it is not advisable to can pumpkin or even pressure can it. The center of the dense flesh may not get hot enough to prevent botulism growth, which you can avoid by cooking it first and then freezing it.

Nutritious and Delicious Pumpkins

There are many health benefits to eating pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, as you’ll see in this short video. Although you can buy them year-round at the store, consider adding pumpkins to your garden since nearly every part of the plant can be eaten. You’ll be assured of a toxin-free fruit from which you can harvest the seeds as well as carve and cook your pumpkins in the fall.

Dried pumpkin seeds, also called pepitas, are high in healthy fats and rich in omega-3 fats, zinc, calcium, iron and an array of phytochemicals.6 After being dried and shelled, the seeds have just 180 calories in one-fourth cup and are also packed with manganese, phosphorus, copper and magnesium.7

People have used pumpkin seed extract and oil in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. This is a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland that may respond to the nutrients found in pumpkin seeds. Because most of the studies have involved extracts or oils from pumpkin seeds, it’s not possible to extrapolate the information to eating the pumpkin seeds themselves.8

The meat of the pumpkin contains only 49 calories in 1 cup of cooked mashed flesh. It is rich in riboflavin and vitamins A, C and E.9 The rich orange color indicates the high level of beta-carotenes and antioxidants that your body uses to neutralize free radicals.

The high levels of vitamin A and C have a positive impact on your immune system, and it is a major source of lutein and zeaxanthin linked to healthy eyesight.10 The high levels of potassium, vitamin C and fibre are all associated with cardiovascular benefits.

For instance, one literature analysis found an inverse association between potassium and the risk of stroke.11 Another study demonstrated people with higher levels of potassium intake had lower risk of high blood pressure.12 The levels of beta-carotene, vitamin A and vitamin C all contribute to healthy skin, collagen production13 and protection against the damage of ultraviolet rays.14

Pumpkin Seeds May Reduce Your Risk of Kidney Stones

In addition to the health benefits listed above, pumpkin seeds have a special superpower: They protect your kidneys by reducing the risk of calcium-oxalate crystal formation, better known as kidney stones. There are four types of kidney stones that can form, including calcium, struvite, uric acid and cystine stones.15 Of these, calcium oxalate is the most common.

Nearly 80% of calcium stones that form are calcium oxalate. By manipulating urine chemistry through dietary intake, you can help prevent calcium stone formation. The highest urine chemistry risk factors for calcium oxalate crystals are hypercalciuria and hyperoxaluria.16

Dietary risk factors that increase your potential for calcium oxalate stones include chronic dehydration and a diet that is rich in protein, oxalates, sodium and sugar.17 People with certain digestive disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, can also have a higher risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Oxalate can be found in these foods:18,19

BeansBeetsBeer
ChocolateCoffeeCranberries
PeanutsRhubarbSoda
Sweet potatoesTea (black)Dark green vegetables, such as spinach

One study evaluated the ability of pumpkin seed supplementation to change the chemistry of the participants’ urine and reduce the risk of calcium oxalate crystal formation.20 Researchers engaged 20 boys from the Ubol Province in Thailand where there is a high incidence of kidney stones.21

During the experiment the boy’s urine was measured before any intervention as a control period. During two periods of the intervention they received an oxalate supplement and a pumpkin seed or orthophosphate supplement. The participants’ urine chemistry was tested before and after each intervention.

The results of the study showed that while the boys were receiving the pumpkin seed supplement, the urine chemistry had the lowest potential risk for calcium oxalate crystal formation. The researchers found the high levels of phosphorus in the pumpkin seed may be a “potential agent in lowering the risk of bladder-stone disease.”22

Pumpkin Spice Blend Elicits an Emotional Response

The scents associated with pumpkin pie are not strictly from pumpkin but, rather, a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, which are the traditional spices used in the pie. This combination of scents can trigger a strong emotional response in your brain, which causes you to recall experiences associated with the smell.23

The emotional response that doors generate have an impact on your decision to like or dislike something. Your sense of smell and memory are closely linked since scents travel from the limbic system through the amygdala and hippocampus, which are regions of the brain related to emotion and memory.24

The scent of pumpkin spices is popular during the fall months, especially in homemade products and the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. Catherine Franssen, Ph.D., director of psychology at Longwood University, is a fan of the flavour and understands why this particular combination of spices elicits an emotional response. She commented to CNN:25

“Since these are popular spice combinations, it’s very likely we would have encountered some or all of them combined in a favourite baked good in a comforting situation, like a family gathering, early in life. It’s not just the pumpkin spice combo but that we’ve already wired a subset of those spices as ‘good’ very early in life.”

Starbucks seemed to stumble onto their popular Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003 when it was first released.26 Each fall the Pumpkin Spice Latte drink makes a return to stores, along with other “pumpkin-flavoured” drinks — which may or may not actually have pumpkin in them — and baked goods. This year it’s the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew.27

In a press release, Peter Dukes, product manager who led the development of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, commented, “Nobody knew back then what it would grow to be. It’s taken on a life of its own.”28

However, as enticing as the scent may be, the product is loaded with sugar and packs a whopping 52 grams of carbohydrates into a 16-ounce mug.29 Instead, consider making the healthy and tasty alternative at home demonstrated in the video below.

Neuroscience, Sugar Addiction and Marketing

The emotional response generated by scent is something marketers take advantage of. Pleasant scents affect your mood, which is a way of engaging your hand-to-wallet response.

In experiments comparing odourless placebo sprays against fragrances, researchers found while you will have a response to the placebo when you anticipate the fragrance, the actual scent has a dramatic effect on improving your mood.30

Although your preference is highly personalized, a general assumption is made that most people will find pumpkin spice in the fall and cinnamon during Christmas associated with good memories. As the scent of pumpkin spice triggers a happy memory, it can also trigger a desire to buy a cup. Franssen comments on the neuroscience involved in scent and advertising:31

“When an door or flavour — and 80% of flavour is actually smell — is combined with sucrose or sugar consumption in a hungry person, the person learns at a subconscious, physiological level to associate that flavour with all the wonderful parts of food digestion.

[For that reason] the pumpkin spice latte is actually, scientifically, kind of addictive. Not quite the same neural mechanisms as drugs of abuse, but certainly the more you consume, the more you reinforce the behavior and want to consume more.”

The popular trend of promoting all things pumpkin in the fall even generated a hoax in 2014 when a Facebook meme reported Charmin toilet tissue would soon be released in a new pumpkin spice scent. Not soon after Charmin Company tweeted: “While we love it, we can promise you this. You will not be seeing #PumpkinSpice Charmin anytime soon. #StopTheMadness”32

References
  1. Huffington Post, October 11th, 2016
  2. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2013;104(2)
  3. Bustle, September 14, 2020
  4. USDA: Pumpkins October 26, 2020
  5. The Southern Illinoisan November 8, 2020
  6. Nutrition Data, Seeds, Pumpkin and Squash Seed Kernels
  7. World’s Healthiest Foods, Pumpkin Seeds
  8. World’s Healthiest Foods, Pumpkin Seeds
  9. Nutrition Data, Pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
  10. Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi, 2011;45(1):64
  11. Journal of the American Heart Association, 2016;5(10)
  12. International Journal of Cardiology, 2017;230:127
  13. Nutrients, 2017;9(8)
  14. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012;96(5)
  15. Mayo Clinic, Kidney Stones
  16. CMAJ, 2006;174(10)
  17. National Kidney Foundation, Calcium Oxalate Stones, Who is at risk
  18. Michigan Medicine, Foods High in Oxalate
  19. National Kidney Foundation, Six Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones
  20. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1987;45(1)
  21. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1967;20(12)
  22. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1987;45(1)
  23. Social Issues Research Centre, The Smell Report
  24. The Harvard Gazette, February 27, 2020
  25. CNN, September 14, 2017 Para 6
  26. AdWeek, Give Me My Pumpkin Spice Latte
  27. Starbucks
  28. Starbucks Newsroom, September 5, 2017
  29. Starbucks, Pumpkin Spice Latte
  30. Social Issues Research Centre, The Smell Report
  31.  CNN, September 14, 2017 Section: Actually Scientifically Kind of Addictive
  32. Twitter

Originally published at mercola.com and reproduced here with permission.

Recommended Articles by Dr. Joseph Mercola
About the Author

Born and raised in the inner city of Chicago, IL, Dr. Joseph Mercola is an osteopathic physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Mercola served as the chairman of the family medicine department at St. Alexius Medical Center for five years, and in 2012 was granted fellowship status by the American College of Nutrition (ACN).

While in practice in the late 80s, Dr. Mercola realized the drugs he was prescribing to chronically ill patients were not working. By the early 90s, he began exploring the world of natural medicine, and soon changed the way he practiced medicine.

In 1997 Dr. Mercola founded Mercola.com, which is now routinely among the top 10 health sites on the internet. His passion is to transform the traditional medical paradigm in the United States. “The existing medical establishment is responsible for killing and permanently injuring millions of Americans… You want practical health solutions without the hype, and that’s what I offer.”

Visit Mercola.com for more information, or read Dr. Mercola’s full bio and resumé here.

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