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Alcohol Is Killing More People Than The Opioid Epidemic. So Why Aren’t We Talking About It?

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Alcohol Is Killing More People Than The Opioid Epidemic. So Why Aren’t We Talking About It?
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

In recent years, we have been hearing a lot about the opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation. The Center for Disease Control reported that over 47,000 people died in the United States alone from an opiate overdose in 2017, that is almost 5 times the amount of deaths caused by opiates in 1999.

This is important, and yes it is good this is getting the attention that it deserves. However, in the same year, an estimated 88,000 people died from alcohol related causes — Did anyone hear about that?

Alcohol is the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States, the first is tobacco and the second is poor diet and minimal physical activity. Given this, why aren’t we talking about it? And why don’t we see warning labels on alcoholic beverages? Why are we promoting such a harmful substance? We certainly don’t see huge billboards with people in bikinis popping oxycontin, because we are well aware that these substances are addictive and can cause harm, so again, why are we openly promoting alcohol? Especially to young people?

Is It Because It’s Legal?

Is it possible that alcohol related deaths do not garner as much of a cause for concern because it is legal, easily available and socially acceptable? Most likely. Alcohol sales reached $253.8 billion in the US in 2018 — this might also have something to do with it.

I’m not suggesting that criminalizing alcohol is a solution to this issue or anything, the same way I don’t see how it’s still against the law to use any drugs at all, regardless of how bad they are for you. I believe that we should have the say in how we treat ourselves and what we put into our bodies, not the government or a legal system. But instead of being portrayed as a harmful substance, like opiates, crystel meth, and crack are — alcohol is glamorized by the media; often being portrayed as sophisticated, fun, sexy and generally just the cool thing to do.

Alcohol Is Basically Encouraged In Our Society

There is no doubt about it, the use of alcohol is deeply ingrained in our culture. So much so, that choosing not to drink is often the more odd thing to do. People will always ask, oh, how come you’re not drinking? As opposed to other drugs, people won’t typically ask, oh why aren’t you smoking meth tonight? Or whatever it may be.

Binge drinking is practically expected on the weekends, and for many people it is a way to unwind, let loose and have fun after a long workweek. Many people justify their consumption this way insisting that it’s fine, because, I don’t drink every day. The thing about alcohol abuse is that it doesn’t have to be every day to be considered a problem or for the person to be considered an alcoholic.

There are many ways we tend to justify our use, because the thought of giving it up entirely or admitting that we even have a problem can be extremely overwhelming — especially if our entire livelihoods are cantered on it.

How Much Is Too Much?

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) created a web site called “Rethinking Drinking” to highlight the amount of misconceptions about what is considered “low-risk” and “high-risk” alcohol consumption. It turns out, more than three drinks in a day or more than seven drinks per week for women and four drinks per day or 14 drinks per week for men are considered “high-risk,” and these patterns can be detrimental both in the short and long-term.

Some people might have an attitude of, I don’t drink at all during the week, so I have all of my allotted alcoholic beverages on the weekend — however, for men consuming 5 or more drinks and for women consuming 4 or more drinks in about a 2 hour period is considered binge drinking.

Is It Time To ‘Rethink That Drink’?

Should we have more campaigns aimed to raise awareness about the potential harm caused by alcohol? Because it is legal it seems to have this view of also being safe, because our government officials and lawmakers always have our best interest at heart, right? But if we aren’t educating young people effectively on the potential risks associated with alcohol consumption, then perhaps there should be more of an effort to make the risks known on the packaging and even eliminating ads. In my opinion, it simply does not make sense to be legally allowed to advertise something that is so harmful — especially in such a glamorized way.

I don’t know what it’s like now for teens and if it is still considered “cool” to drink and if there is a ton of peer pressure around the whole thing. My hope is that this view will shift, young people will be made more aware of the risks and more people will find the courage to step away from what is no longer serving them or what’s not in their best interest.

Many health advocates and people that are very cautious with regards to what they are putting into their body are still completely overlooking alcohol as a harmful substance. Now, there is no judgment to anyone who chooses to drink, but I think it’s time to take a good hard look at these things and at least have the awareness behind it. Surely, it can be fun from time to time to relax, to loosen up, to be silly, but when we are relying on it to escape our unhappiness from our current situation, well then maybe it’s time to face these situations head on, rather than escape them and change whatever is encouraging us to reach for that glass of wine, whiskey or beer in the first place.

How Can We Support Others?

The fact of the matter remains, many people who drink can do so sparingly, not in excess and not very often. They have a handle on it and it doesn’t interfere with their lives in a negative way. However, for the ones who have struggled — with drinking too much, too frequently, with black outs, it can be difficult to even know if it’s a problem because of how acceptable it is in our society.

If someone says, no thanks I’m not drinking, don’t ask why, and instead try, right on! And no peer pressure. I’ve had problems with drinking, have quit and relapsed twice, currently I’m sober. Before I stopped drinking this time around I would open up to some people about it, questioning my use and whether or not it was harmful, many people would tell me, ahh don’t be so hard on yourself! We are allowed to enjoy life, or shut down from time to time if we need to. If someone is expressing to you that they are concerned they might have a drinking problem, don’t make them second guess themselves, if they are opening up about it please try to support them. We don’t always know what others are going through — apparently even if they flat out tell us. This may also challenge our own relationship with alcohol, but if you can keep that separate.

Do You Have A Problem?

If you are concerned that you might have a drinking problem, you probably do. Keeping in mind that having a problem with alcohol doesn’t necessarily make you an alcoholic. You may have a problem with alcohol if you can identify with any of the following scenarios:

  1. Spending a lot of time obtaining, using, and recovering from the effects of alcohol.
  2. Cravings, or a strong desire to use alcohol.
  3. Being unable to cut down on alcohol use despite a desire to do so.
  4. Continuing to abuse alcohol despite negative interpersonal or social problems that are likely due to alcohol use.
  5. Using alcohol in physically dangerous situations (such as driving or operating machinery).
  6. Drinking more or for a longer time than originally intended.
  7. Continuing to abuse alcohol despite the presence of a psychological or physical problem that is probably due to alcohol use.
  8. Being unable to fulfil major obligations at home, work, or school because of alcohol use.
  9. Giving up previously enjoyed social, occupational, or recreational activities because of alcohol use.
  10. Having a tolerance (i.e. needing to drink increasingly large or more frequent amounts of alcohol to achieve the desired effect).
  11. Developing symptoms of withdrawal when efforts are made to stop using alcohol.

A great way to get things in check is to commit to a period of time without any alcohol consumption and monitor how you feel, what you accomplish, and if you feel uplifted. You may need to ask your friends to support you during this time and have some sober activities prepared! Board games, cards, movies, sports, hiking — all these things can be great sober fun!

If your problem is more severe than this, or you are needing help in any way, reach out to a trusted friend or family member or you may benefit from your local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for a whole slough of support and resources. If that’s not your jam, check out Hello Sunday Morning for assistance in moderating your use.

My hope is that in the near future it will be more common not to drink and doing so will be more like taking a drug, or having an experience that is typically out of the ordinary.

It is never too late to make a change, first step is to get really honest with yourself…

This article (Alcohol Is Killing More People Than The Opioid Epidemic. So Why Aren’t We Talking About It?) was originally published at Collective Evolution and is re-posted here under Creative Commons.

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The 5 Most Common Thyroid Disorders And What You Need To Know

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Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

When most people think of the thyroid, the first thing that may come to mind is an image of a simple, obscure gland located somewhere in the neck. The thyroid is often seen as serving unknown functions as it is rarely discussed in popular press. Likewise, it’s not at all surprising that few understand its exact function and just how important it is to our overall health, wellness and vitality.

In this article we will briefly cover what the thyroid is and its functions, and discuss the 5 most common thyroid disorders today.

Thyroid Functions

The thyroid is an endocrine gland that produces and directs various hormones in the body. The health of the thyroid is paramount to overall wellbeing, playing a vital role in cell growth, metabolism, and energy levels. The thyroid produces two major primary hormones called triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). T3 is the more bio ­active version of the hormone, while T4 is considered the less active, storage form. Surprisingly, the thyroid outputs roughly 20 times more T4 than T3.

Lesser known, the thyroid’s secondary role is the production of the calcium­-regulating hormone calcitonin, which regulates and balances blood calcium levels and calcium deposition in bones.

Thyroid­-stimulating hormone (TSH) released from the pituitary helps regulate the hormonal output and balance of the thyroid, regulating how much of the primary T3 and T4 hormones are manufactured and released. Before all of that happens, the TSH release is first stimulated by the area of the brain that controls neuroendocrine and central nervous system function. The hypothalamus then sends out its own stimulatory hormone called thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH).

The 5 Most Common Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders affect millions of Americans yearly, and the number of people afflicted continues to grow with each passing year. Growing research data suggests that aside from the genetic origin of the various clinically significant thyroid disorders, much of the causation is likely due to lifestyle factors such as  constant exposure to a toxic environment, the consumption of chemically­-laden food and water, as well as a deficiency of certain nutrients.

Though thyroid disorders affect men and women alike – up to 20 million Americans – the predominance of disorders are found in women, upwards of 80%. 1 in 8 women will experience some type of thyroid disorder in their lives. [1]

1. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism is defined as an overactive thyroid gland which produces an overabundance of T3/T4 hormones. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include goiter, heart palpitations,  anxiety, excess sweating, diarrhoea, weight loss, and muscle weakness. Causes are as diverse as its symptoms, but nevertheless are important to understand. Autoimmunity of the thyroid often leads to Grave’s Disease, a disorder that results in an overactive thyroid. Also, nodule formation and/or goiter formation in the thyroid, leading to inhibition of necessary hormone feedback loops, contributes to excess production of thyroid hormones. Excess dietary iodine intake can also increase risk for hyperthyroidism.

Conventional approaches to hyperthyroidism include beta ­blockers, radioactive iodine­, and surgery. Natural approaches are numerous and often boil down to one thing: diet. Eliminating goitrogenic foods may be helpful, as would removing fluoride, bromine, and chlorine from water via a high-quality filtration system. Reducing dietary gluten and dairy casein may also help protect the thyroid gland in sensitive individuals. Nascent iodine, lithium orotate, probiotics, vitamin D3, omega ­-3 fats, L ­-dopa (mucuna pruriens), and L-tyrosine are possible helpful supplements that can be taken for supporting thyroid health. Make sure to get plenty of sleep to recharge the thyroid, and avoid synthetic chemicals whenever possible. Deep breathing meditation and general relaxation may also be helpful for reducing stress associated with the thyroid. [2] [3]

2. Hypothyroidism

On the opposite end of the spectrum, an underactive thyroid which produces inadequate amounts of T3/T4 thyroid hormones is defined as hypothyroidism. Symptoms include tiredness, excessive weight gain, cold intolerance, baldness, depression, dry skin/hair/nails, and irritability. Common causes include a congenital abnormality (thyroid deficiency from birth), autoimmune inflammation of the thyroid such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, nutritional iodine deficiency, TSH ­ hormone deficiency via pituitary gland abnormality, heavy metal toxicity, and dysbiosis (imbalance of good vs. bad bacteria).

Common treatment is the injection of synthetic thyroid hormone called Levothyroxine to boost hormone levels. With the exception of increasing exercise, the natural action steps ­to reduce risk for hypothyroidism are exactly the same for hyperthyroidism. [4] Exercise may help boost thyroid hormones, providing support for a sluggish, underactive gland.

3. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder whereby the thyroid gland is attacked by the immune system in response to antibodies produced by exposure to an  allergen. This reacts with the cells and tissues of the thyroid, causing inflammation and destruction of the gland, ultimately leading to hyperthyroidism followed by hypothyroidism. Fatigue, cold intolerance, constipation, goiter, weight gain, paleness/puffiness in face, sleepiness, joint/muscular pain, dry/brittle hair, and depression are common symptoms. [5]

Medical experts postulate that viruses, bacteria, and other foreign substances initiate the process of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis autoimmunity. Iodine deficiency in conjunction with fluoride/chlorine/bromine exposure may also be a contributing factor. A gluten allergy may be another hidden culprit behind Hashimoto’s disease. Vitamin D deficiency and dysbiosis are also common concerning factors. Conventional and natural approaches are similar to that of hypothyroidism.

4. Grave’s Disease

Similar to Hashimoto’s disease, Grave’s disease is an autoimmune disorder whereby the thyroid gland is attacked by the  immune system  from antibodies produced in response to an allergen. This confuses the cells of the thyroid, causing inflammation and the overproduction of T3/T4 thyroid hormones, eventually leading to an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroid). [6]

Symptoms include anxiety, heart palpitations, goiter, hand tremors, weight loss, insomnia, irritability, muscle weakness, diarrhoea, heat intolerance, and eye problems. The causes are very similar to that of Hashimoto’s disease. Approaches are generally the same as with general hyperthyroidism and include beta ­ blockers, anti ­-thyroid medications such as methimazole and propylthiouracil, radioactive iodine ­, surgery, and avoiding goitrogenic foods.

5. Thyroiditis

Thyroiditis is defined as the swelling or inflammation of the thyroid gland.

There are a few main types:

  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
  • Postpartum thyroiditis potentially caused by autoimmune response, often in two phases:
    • The first phase occurs months 1 through 4 postpartum, resulting in hyperthyroidism.
    • The second phase generally lasts from months 4 through 8 postpartum and often results in a hypothyroid condition due to the exhaustion of thyroid hormones in the earlier phase. Recovery usually happens naturally 12- ­18 months postpartum.
  • Silent/painless thyroiditis, similar to postpartum but not related to birth.
  • Subacute thyroiditis, similar to the others but causes pain in jaw/neck/ear, possibly from autoimmunity or infection.

Iodine deficiency in conjunction with fluoride/chlorine/bromine displacement may be an important contributing factor in thyroiditis. Gluten allergy, vitamin D deficiency, and dysbiosis may also be factors associated with the condition. Depending on the type of thyroiditis, medications usually vary depending on whether it presents initially with hyper ­- or hypothyroidism. [7]

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

References
  1. American Thyroid Association.  Thyroid Disease.  Fact Sheet.
  2. Delitala G, Masala A, et al.  Plasma prolactin response to L ­dopa TRH and metaclopramide in thyrotoxicosis.  Biomedicine. 1976 Jul;25(5):173 ­6.
  3. NIH/NEMDS.  Hyperthyroidism.  National Institute of Health. Fact Sheet.
  4. JNIG/NEMDS.  Hypothyroidism.  Fact Sheet.
  5. NIH/NEMDS.  Hashimoto’s Disease.  Fact Sheet.
  6. NIH/NEMDS.  Grave’s Disease.  Fact Sheet.
  7. Office of Women’s Health/U.S. HHS.  Thyroid disease.  Fact Sheet.
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 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.

For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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Activated Charcoal: 15 Benefits And Uses For Health And Wellness

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Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

Activated charcoal is a hot topic in health and wellness these days, gaining recognition as a powerhouse agent for detoxification with a wide range of potential uses. We see activated charcoal in everything from facial masks and teeth whiteners to digestive remedies and even an exotic new food trend that uses its charcoal hue for an element of surprise (think jet-black ice cream).

Activated charcoal benefits are no secret. A staple in traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, activated charcoal remains to this day a common emergency room antidote for cases of toxicity and poisoning in developed nations around the world.[1] As for activated charcoal uses in daily life, this natural healing product is extremely versatile and generally considered safe. Yet activated charcoal should be handled with care (scroll down for an overview of activated charcoal side effects).

What Is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is a by-product of burning coconut shells, bamboo, olive pits, wood, or various other substances. For your natural medicine cabinet, we recommend purchasing activated charcoal that is organic and made from coconut shells.

Processed at very high temperatures, this unique charcoal is “activated” in a way that changes its structure to increase the surface area and make it more porous. It is the porousness of activated charcoal that makes it effective at attaching to (“adsorbing”) toxins and flushing them out of the body. This is the principle behind activated charcoal detox.

Unlike the charcoal briquettes you use to light your barbecue, activated charcoal is free of toxins and carcinogens and is generally safe to consume and apply topically. Never substitute regular charcoal for the activated charcoal used for health and wellness!

What Are the Benefits of Activated Charcoal?

With its purifying qualities, activated charcoal offers potential benefits including detoxification, alleviating gas and bloating, digestive health, lowering cholesterol, reducing the effects of radiation, and anti-aging.

Detoxification

The most scientifically proven of all of activated charcoal’s benefits, detoxification happens naturally with this powerful agent. Because activated charcoal’s porous surface has a negative electrical charge, it attracts positively charged molecules such as toxins and gases for safe removal from the GI tract. In hospital emergency rooms throughout the developed world, a high single-use dosage of activated charcoal is the most frequently used method of gastrointestinal decontamination after certain kinds of poisoning, toxic exposure and drug overdose.[2]

Activated charcoal is considered to be effective for acute poisoning from a wide variety of drugs and poisons including acetaminophen, aspirin and tricyclic antidepressants. However, it is not useful for poisoning from lithiumiron, cyanide, potassium, and ethanol.[3]

While some use activated charcoal as a hangover cure, there is currently no evidence to support this. More than one study has shown that activated charcoal is not effective at adsorbing alcohol.[4]

Alleviating Gas and Bloating

Activated charcoal’s ability to reduce gas and bloating in the digestive system is scientifically proven. A double-blind clinical trial found reduced gas and bloating in subjects that used activated charcoal compared to the placebo group.[5] And in 2011, the European Food Safety Authority presented its scientific opinion in favour of using activated charcoal to reduce excess gas in the digestive system.[6] For more tips, see 10 Natural Remedies for Gas.

Digestive Health

When used for digestive cleansing, activated charcoal can promote overall digestive health. Considered a natural gut cleanser, activated charcoal can help lighten the body’s toxic load — potentially reducing allergic reactions and oxidative damage, as well as strengthening the immune system.

Lowering Cholesterol

Some researchers have found that activated charcoal can help people regulate their cholesterol. Just as it does with toxins, activated charcoal can attach to (adsorb) and flush out cholesterol in the intestine, preventing its absorption in the bloodstream. In a controlled study of people with high cholesterol, activated charcoal was effective at lowering total and LDL cholesterol levels.[7]

Reducing the Effects of Radiation

Piggybacking on its powers of detoxification, activated charcoal can also reduce the effects of radiation. Through the process of adsorption, activated charcoal attaches to radionuclides in the same way that it attaches to other toxins. See “13 Natural Remedies for Radiation Exposure” for more about activated charcoal’s ability to neutralize radiation, as well as the science behind it.

Anti-Aging

Through its ability to rid the body of toxins, activated charcoal has the potential to be a natural approach to healthy aging. With a reduced toxic load, the body experiences less of the oxidative damage that drives the aging process. In the same way, it may help to prevent cellular damage to our natural detox organs (the kidneys and liver) and also support adrenal gland health.

Activated Charcoal Uses

Activated charcoal use runs the gamut from gut-cleansing detox to purifying facials, teeth whitening, bug-bite care and more. Keep activated charcoal on hand for natural healing remedies like these.

Digestive Cleansing

The digestive tract is where a myriad of toxins can enter our bodies, from pesticides and heavy metals in food, to chemicals in water and exposure to mold. When you eliminate toxins with a digestive cleanse, you can feel lighter, stronger, and more energetic. While there are many different kinds of digestive cleanses, a simple approach is to eat whole, organic foods and avoid sugar, caffeine, and alcohol.

Activated charcoal can supercharge your cleanse by assisting with the removal of toxins through the process of adsorption — that is, the toxins attach to the activated charcoal like metal to a magnet, and then pass safely out of the body with a bowel movement.

Recipe: To add activated charcoal to your cleanse, take 10 grams (either as a powder added to water or in pill form) 90 minutes before each meal for two days. Be sure to drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.

First Aid for Poisons or Toxins

An antidote to certain types of poisoning or exposure to toxic substances, drugs, or household chemicals, activated charcoal is handy to keep in your first aid kit or medicine cabinet. It is essential, however, to first contact 911 or a poison control center immediately. Depending on the type of poison, they may instruct you to administer activated charcoal at home before going to an emergency room.

Note: Having activated charcoal in your first-aid kit or medicine cabinet can help jump-start the recovery process but should never replace a healthcare professional.

Facial Mask

In the same way that activated charcoal draws toxins out of the digestive system, when applied topically, it can draw oils, dirt, bacteria and other impurities from the pores, leaving skin clean, clear and less prone to breakouts.

Recipe: Mix a teaspoon of activated charcoal powder with a tablespoon of honey to make a paste. Apply to face and neck with a cosmetic brush. Keep on for 5 to 10 minutes, then wash off with your favourite natural cleanser.

Note that activated-charcoal powder is very messy when spilled! Avoid using it over hard-to-clean areas such as tile grout.

Acne Spot Treatment

Mixed with a bit of aloe vera gel, activated charcoal makes an effective acne spot treatment.

Recipe: Break open one capsule of activated charcoal in a small bowl. Using a cotton swab, mix with a half-teaspoon of aloe vera gel to create a thick paste. Apply paste to acne. Let dry about 30 minutes. Wash off with warm water.

Teeth Whitening

It may seem counterintuitive to turn your teeth black in order to whiten them (don’t worry — the black washes off!), but many people have success using activated charcoal as a natural teeth whitener. Because activated charcoal is abrasive to the teeth, dab it on gently rather than using a toothbrush.

Recipe: In a small bowl, break open two capsules of activated charcoal. Using a cotton swab, mix in just enough water to make a thick paste (less than 1 teaspoon). Dab paste onto teeth, let sit three minutes and rinse.

Flatulence Relief

Activated charcoal’s ability to alleviate gas and bloating is clinically proven. If certain foods trigger gas, activated charcoal is one way to keep flatulence at bay.

Tip: Take 1 gram of activated charcoal at least 30 minutes before you eat and 1 gram an hour after you eat.

Bug Bites

Activated charcoal can be a great remedy for mosquito bites and bee stings, as it can alleviate the itching and discomfort that they cause.

Recipe: In a small bowl, break open one capsule of activated charcoal. Using a cotton swab, mix with ½ tablespoon of coconut oil and apply to the bug bite or bee sting.

Water Filtration

Just as it can remove impurities from the body, activated charcoal can also remove contaminants from water. Activated charcoal is a key component in many commercially available water filtration systems, and works in a similar way to the carbon filtration in the popular Brita water pitchers.

Activated charcoal in water filters may be effective at removing pesticides, solvents, and other chemicals. However, it is less effective at removing fluoride, viruses, bacteria, and hard-water minerals.

Air Purification

In the same spirit, activated carbon is also effective as a filter for air purification. Much like baking soda, commercially available charcoal bags can be placed in the refrigerator, car, pet areas, gym bags, and other places to freshen air, neutralize odours, and combat mold.

Activated Charcoal Forms

Activated charcoal is available in pills, tablets, capsules, and loose powder for multipurpose use. In all forms, activated charcoal is odourless and neutral-tasting.

Pills and Tablets

Activated charcoal to reduce gas and bloating is often taken in pill or tablet form. Generally, two pills or tablets are recommended to be taken at least 30 minutes before eating gas-producing foods, and one hour after.

Capsules

Purchasing activated charcoal in capsule form is a handy way to use small amounts for recipes. Simply break open a capsule into a small bowl to release the powder, and mix it with water, coconut oil or another ingredient to make a paste for DIY healing.

Powder

A jar of fine, jet-black activated charcoal powder is handy for a variety of uses. In cases of poisoning or the ingestion of toxins, activated charcoal powder is mixed with a liquid and given as a drink (or, in emergency rooms, administered through a tube from the mouth to the stomach).

For more common household use, activated charcoal powder can be used in small amounts for teeth whitening and other remedies.

Are There Side Effects to Using Activated Charcoal?

It is important to remember that activated charcoal not only adsorbs to toxins and unwanted chemicals in the body but it can get rid of good things, too, such as nutrients from food, supplements, and prescription medicines, making them less effective.

It is best to take activated charcoal on an empty stomach between meals so that it does not affect the absorption of nutrients. Activated charcoal should be taken 90 minutes to two hours prior to supplements and prescription medications.

Keep in mind that activated charcoal can make your stool turn black, but this is a temporary and harmless side effect. In addition, be sure to drink plenty of water to prevent constipation when taking activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal is generally considered safe for use during pregnancy. At least one study supports its use for cholestasis, which is a condition marked by the reduction or stoppage of bile flow, during pregnancy.[8] Some pregnant women use it to alleviate symptoms of nausea and vomiting (morning sickness) as well as diarrhoea, though its effectiveness in such cases is not well documented. In some people, activated charcoal can cause side effects of vomiting and diarrhoea — the very symptoms it may be used to relieve.

Your Story

What about you? Have you ever used activated charcoal? What’s your favourite recipe?

References
  1. LoVecchio F, et al. “The feasibility of administration of activated charcoal with respect to current practice guidelines in emergency department patients.” Journal of Medical Toxicology. Sept. 2007.
  2. Juurlink DN. “Activated charcoal for acute overdose: a reappraisal.” British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Mar. 2016.
  3. Olson KR. “Activated Charcoal for Acute Poisoning: One Toxicologist’s Journey.” Journal of Medical Toxicology. 2010.
  4. Hultén BA, et al. “Does alcohol adsorb to activated charcoal?” Human Toxicology. May 1986.
  5. Jain NK, et al. “Efficacy of activated charcoal in reducing intestinal gas: a double-blind clinical trial.” The American Journal of Gastroenterology. Jul. 1986.
  6. Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to activated charcoal and reduction of excessive intestinal gas accumulation (ID 1938) and reduction of bloating (ID 1938) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006.” European Food Safety Authority Journal. 2011.
  7. Neuvonen PJ, et al. “Activated charcoal in the treatment of hypercholesterolaemia: dose-response relationships and comparison with cholestyramine.” European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 1989.
  8. Kaaja RJ, et al. “Treatment of cholestasis of pregnancy with peroral activated charcoal. A preliminary study.” Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. Feb. 1994.
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 and is currently the Chief Executive Officer. Heading up the research and development team, Dr. Group assumes a hands-on approach in producing new and advanced degenerative disease products and information.

Dr. Group has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the internet.

For more information, please visit Global Healing Center.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie

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Chlorella/Spirulina
Photo Credit: Pexels

Alex ‘Earthie Mama’ Du ToitGuest Writer

Toxic Metals are almost everywhere. They are in the foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water coming out of our faucets, metal cookware, old paint, aluminum cans and more. Most of us are carrying around heavy metals that have been burrowed in our tissues for many years.

The longer those metals stay in our bodies the more they damage every system in our bodies while causing inflammation and impact the body to be more susceptible to illness of all kinds.

It is important for us all to work to remove heavy metals such as, mercury, lead, aluminum, nickel, copper and cadium, out of the organs where they build up. A build up of heavy metals in the body can contribute to many illnesses mental and physical. However, there are certain foods and herbs that we can include in our diets regularly that work to help the body eliminate heavy metals.

Ingredients to Help Remove Heavy Metals

Chlorella/Spirulina helps to draw out heavy metals from the liver, nervous system, and brain. Combined with Cilantro, they are amazing at removing heavy metals. Cilantro is great at chelating the heavy metals that are deep inside your tissues. Wild Blueberries are full of antioxidants that reverse any damage that heavy metals might have caused. Wild blueberries are especially important for brain tissues. Consuming Vitamin C is important for its detoxing capabilities, especially when it comes to heavy metals such as mercury and lead. You can find Vitamin C is fruits such as wild blueberries, pineapples, lemons, oranges and many others. Vitamin C helps to remove the damage caused by heavy metals. Green Veggies like spinach, kale, cucumbers, celery, etc. are high in Chlorophyll which helps to detoxify the liver. Green is powerful in helping with the removal of heavy metals, pesticides, and environmental toxins.

I have combined some of nature’s most powerful ingredients together to make this heavy metal detox smoothie. This smoothie can be had daily to help with the chelation and excretion of heavy metals, even ones deep inside your tissues.

This is currently the smoothie I make every day. I sometimes add other healthy ingredients like goji berries, coconut water, hemp or chia seeds, and mushroom powders. Regardless, I make it an active practice to detox heavy metals out of my body.

Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie
Ingredients
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup of pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup of wild blueberries
  • 1 cup of cilantro
  • 1/2 cup of mint
  • 1 teaspoon of blue green algae like chlorella or spirulina
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1 lemon or lime peeled
  • Water
Directions
  • Throw all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Enjoy feeling the benefits of ridding the body of toxic heavy metals!!

Originally published at Earthiemama and reproduced here with permission.

Recommended Articles by Alex ‘Earthie Mama’ Du Toit
About the Author

Alexandra is a true Earthie Mama, helping others tune into their most natural, thriving state while bringing harmony and balance into all areas of their lives. She hosts a well-known blog, EarthieMama.com, where she writes about health and wellness, conscious parenting, green living, self-sustainability and getting off the grid. Alex also has an MA in Psychology, and is a registered Yoga Instructor, environmentalist, conscious mother, green living advocate and natural birthing expert. She also sells all natural products and her eBooks through her website.

Please check out her website at EarthieMama.com, connect with Earthie Mama on Facebook, or sign up to the free EarthieMama e-newsletter here!

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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Health

20 Ways To Help Detox Your Body

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woman in forest
Photo Credit: www.themojolab.com

Alex ‘Earthie Mama’ Du ToitGuest Writer

Are you feeling sluggish? Do you have blemishes on your skin? Do you feel bloated, or is your digestive system wreaking havoc on you? If so, it is time to rid your body of environmental pollutants, heavy metals, pesticides, radiation, plastics and GMO toxins, while bringing your body back to a place of balance.

When toxins accumulate in the body this can leave you feeling tired, irritable, depressed, bloated and carrying excess weight. The onslaught of toxins being poured into our air, water and soil has undoubtedly effected our health. But, by understanding the ways toxicity affects us, and what we can do to support our body’s natural elimination process, we can purify the body of toxins and positively impact our health and wellbeing.

Here are 20 ways that you can help your body detox:

1. Drink More Purified Water: Water is one of the most vital ways of self-purification. It helps every single cell get rid of waste, and allows us to excrete toxins though our urine and bowels, as well as through our skin by sweating. Drinking water with lemon enhances the purification process, and adds vitamin C to the body.

2. Support Your Liver and Gallbladder With Beetroot: Beets are a valuable source of iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium, which all support detoxification and better elimination.

3. Bathe in Bentonite Clay: It is considered to be an excellent way to remove pesticides and heavy metals from the body.

4. Use Activated Charcoal: It binds to pesticides and other environmental toxins, and then ushers them through the intestines to be purged from the body. You can also supplement with molasses after using activated charcoal, to replace important minerals that the charcoal might take from the body in the process of ridding toxins.

5. Eat More Fibre: Fibre helps us to flush toxins through the digestive system. Fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, potatoes, psyllium husk, etc.

6. Eating Garlic: Garlic helps to boost detoxification.

7. Milk Thistle: This is a great support for the liver. It helps the body to detox, and has been linked to reduction in cancers, diabetes and digestive disorders.

8. Chlorella: Chlorella helps to absorb toxins from the digestive tract and contains vital trace minerals. Chlorella is particularly good at helping the body rid itself of heavy metals.

9. Dandelion: Helps the body to detox, due to its high levels of antioxidants, and helps support liver digestion.

10. Turmeric: This root is full of curcumin, which is used to treat liver disorders, digestive disorders and is great as a detoxing agent. Turmeric is also known for helping with depression.

11. Cilantro: Cilantro has been found to remove heavy metals from the body. It is inexpensive and does the job.

12. Apple Cider Vinegar: This is the ultimate detox, and is helpful for many ailments. Bathe in it or drink it.

13. Flax Seeds: These seeds provide an excellent source of fibre that helps to bind and flush toxins from the intestinal tract. They also have a high level of Omega 3s for a healthy brain.

14. Pumpkin Seeds: These seeds are not only good for you, but also kill parasites.

15. Exercise: Exercise is vital for keeping impurities out of the body.

16. Steam Room or Sauna: Sweat out toxins through the skin.

17. Deep Breathing: Breathe deeply to allow oxygen to circulate more completely through your system.

18. Walking Barefoot in Nature: Your body can obtain an adequate supply of electrons from walking barefoot on the Earth. Earthing helps the immune system function properly, and helps create balance within.

19. Skin Brushing: The skin is the largest organ in the body, and is responsible for 10–15% of the body’s elimination. Skin brushing eliminates dead cells, and lets the body regenerate new cells. It helps stimulate blood circulation and the lymphatic system.

20. Sleep: Getting plenty of sleep sleeping encourages the body to go into a state of cleansing and regeneration.

In service,

Alex (Earthie Mama)

Do you think you may be suffering from toxic overload? Take the free Detox Quiz to learn more!

Recommended Articles by Alex ‘Earthie Mama’ Du Toit
About the Author

Alexandra is a true Earthie Mama, helping others tune into their most natural, thriving state while bringing harmony and balance into all areas of their lives. She hosts a well-known blog, EarthieMama.com, where she writes about health and wellness, conscious parenting, green living, self-sustainability and getting off the grid. Alex also has an MA in Psychology, and is a registered Yoga Instructor, environmentalist, conscious mother, green living advocate and natural birthing expert. She also sells all natural products and her eBooks through her website.

Please check out her website at EarthieMama.com, connect with Earthie Mama on Facebook, or sign up to the free EarthieMama e-newsletter here!

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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