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Let Food Be Your Cosmetic: Coconut Oil Outperforms Dangerous Petroleum Body Care Products

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Sayer JiContributing Writer

What you put on your skin goes directly into your body. Indeed, human autopsy studies have shown that mineral oil widely permeates our internal organs; major moisturizer brands have been found to cause tumour formation in treated animals. All the more reason why we need healthy “food cosmetics” as alternatives to petroleum-derived body care products.

It boggles the imagination how most mass market body care products today are almost entirely composed of petroleum-derived chemicals, whose toxicity are thoroughly established. Take parabens as an example. These endocrine-disrupting, estrogen-like petrochemicals have been found at concentrations 1 million times higher than the estrogen (estradiol) levels naturally found in human breast tissue, leading to the highly concerning conclusion that human hormones are now being eclipsed by synthetic chemicals.

When we slather these chemical concoctions onto our skin, they enter directly into the lymphatic and circulatory systems, depositing in internal organs and body fat. And unlike things you ingest orally, there is no “gate keeping” liver there to protect you from these chemicals entering rapidly into your body through your skin. This is why, of course, you should never put on your body anything you cannot, or would not eat.

Unfortunately, major trusted brands have been found to be just as bad as more generic, cheaper ones in this respect, making it exceedingly difficult to avoid harm unless you are already wise to the issue and using completely natural body care products.

For instance, back in 2009, the Journal of Investigative Dermatology published a highly concerning study titled “Tumorigenic effect of some commonly used moisturizing creams when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice,” wherein branded moisturizers, including Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream (Eucerin), or Vanicream, were found to increase the rate of formation and number of tumours when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice.[1]

Chemical industry public relations spokespersons love to point out that we are not mice, implying that preclinical research like this should not throw up a red flag. Should we be made to wait for the very industries guilty of poisoning us to voluntarily fund multi-million dollar, randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials to determine whether their products are not also causing cancer in humans? Short of a legal mandate, self-incriminating research like this will never be performed, and not only because such a study would be highly unethical (i.e. intentionally poisoning trial subjects), but because it will reveal a truth fraught with immense legal and financial liabilities. Needless to say, a logical approach would be to apply the precautionary principle so that when animal toxicological risk assessments show harm, instead of extrapolating an Orwellian “acceptable level of harm” to humans, we take the sane step of avoiding human exposure altogether.

Crude Awakening: Mineral Oil Contaminates Everyone’s Bodies

Sadly, the reality is that we are not only immersed in a sea of petrochemical products, but we bioaccumulate them in our bodies over the decades, carrying them with us to our early graves.

As we disclosed in a previous article titled “Crude Awakening: Mineral Oil Contaminates Everyone’s Bodies,” one of the only studies ever performed on the topic of petrochemical accumulation in the human body found that 48% of the livers and 46% of the spleens of the 465 autopsies analysed showed signs of mineral-oil induced lipogranuloma (a nodule of necrotic, fatty tissue associated with granulomatous inflammation or a foreign-body reaction around a deposit of an oily substance), indicating just how widespread pathological tissue changes associated with petrochemical exposure really are.

And why should be surprised? Petroleum is everywhere. We build and power our cars from it. We implant plastic into our breasts, and we coat our vegetables with USDA/FDA-approved ‘food grade petroleum.’ Our entire global food system is driven by nitrogen urea based fertilizers, pesticides and related agrichemicals which are all petrochemical in origin. Oil derived hydrocarbons form the basis for the molecular building blocks of many synthetic patent medicines, and even some of our vitamins (e.g. dl-alpha tocopherol). Our foreign policy is largely based on invading countries for ostensibly political/ethical reasons who just happen to be sitting on ‘our oil’ (i.e. War = Resource Procurement).  It is hard to imagine how we might escape our dependence on the petrochemical industrial establishment, given how vertically integrated it is into every facet of modern life, including the very fabric of our bodies.

But there are concrete steps we can take to improve the situation, starting with our own bodies. One of those is to bring back ancient ‘food cosmetics’ like coconut oil.

In a previous post, we discussed the 13 Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil, but we did not mention its beneficial effects on hair and skin. While coconut oil has been used for millennium as food, medicine and cosmetic, only in the past few decades has scientific research emerged confirming its ancient uses.

Coconut Oil Is Superior to Mineral Oil for Treating Dry Skin

A 2004 randomized double-blind, controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis (dry skin) found that coconut oil performed equally well, as far as objective measurements, and better than mineral oil, as far as the subjective perceptions of those using it.[2]

Coconut Oil Is Superior to Mineral Oil at Protecting the Hair

A 2001 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that coconut penetrates the hair shaft while mineral oil does not. This difference was attributed to coconut oil’s higher affinity with hair protein. The researchers explained their findings further:

The results show that coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft while mineral oil does not. The difference may be due to the polarity of the coconut oil compared to the nonpolar nature of the mineral oil. The affinity of the penetrant to the protein seems to be the cause for this difference in their behavior. This study also indicates that the swelling of hair is limited by the presence oil. Since the process of swelling and deswelling of hair is one of the causes of hair damage by hygral fatigue, coconut oil, which is a better penetrant than mineral oil, may provide better protection from damage by hygral fatigue.”[3]

Coconut Oil Protects the Scalp from Fungal Infections

Another study published back in 1993 in the journal Mycoses looked at the use of various commonly used hair oil preparations in India. They found that coconut oil was effective at inhibiting the skin fungi known as dermatophytes, lending a possible explanation for why the fungal infection of the scalp, a condition known as tinea capitis, is so rare in India.[4]

Coconut Oil + Anise Beats Pesticide Spray for Lice

A 2010 study published in the European Journal of Pediatrics found that coconut and anise spray can be a significantly more effective than the highly toxic insecticide Permethrin as an alternative treatment for head louse infestation.[5]

Increasingly, science confirms the value of traditional folk medicine in disease prevention and treatment. After many years of vast misrepresentation, coconut oil has gained wider acceptance not simply as a wholesome food, but as a medicinal agent capable of both nourishing and healing the body in ways that xenobiotic chemicals by their very nature cannot.

Resources
Recommended Articles by Sayer Ji
About the Author

Sayer Ji is the founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, and Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

For more, visit GreenMedInfo.com and Facebook.com/GreenMedInfo, osign-up for GreenMedInfo’s free e-Newsletter.

© March 12th, 2018 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for their newsletter here.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Collective Spark or its staff.

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Awareness

What’s The Best Time To Take Vitamins?

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Photo Credit: Pexels

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

You wake up, stretch, and focus on your day before heading into the kitchen to start your morning routine. Along with a tall glass of water, perhaps herbal tea and a nutritious breakfast, you get pumped for the day by beginning your supplement regime. But have you ever wondered when you should take each vitamin or mineral? Does it matter if you take it before, during, or after eating — and which meal?

We’ve got you covered with this comprehensive guide on the best time to take the most common minerals, vitamins, and supplements. Read on to learn more.

What Are Water and Fat-Soluble Vitamins?

Experts classify vitamins by how they behave in your body.

Many are water-soluble, which means they dissolve in water. Rather than getting stored in the body, you excrete any excess. As a general rule, take water-soluble vitamins on an empty stomach. You need to have a regular supply of these vitamins from your diet — or supplements — to keep enough in your system.

Fat-soluble vitamins, naturally, dissolve in fats (lipids). Your liver stores any excess. Sometimes excess gets stored in the body’s fat, as well. Generally, you want to take fat-soluble vitamins with a meal.

When Should I Take A Multivitamin?

Many people take vitamins to address gaps in their nutrition. A multivitamin ensures you have a broad spectrum of nutrients even if your diet is lacking in certain areas. As the name suggests, multivitamins contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals. They usually include vitamins A, C, D, E, plus B-vitamins. Most multivitamins also include essential minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and more.

Some of the vitamins in a multivitamin formulation need to be taken with food. Taking it with your breakfast makes it easy to remember. Just make sure your breakfast contains some fats, or your body will not properly absorb the fat-soluble vitamins.

When Should I Take Water-Soluble Vitamins?

Your body absorbs water-soluble vitamins best on an empty stomach. Ideally, take them 20 to 30 minutes before a meal, whether breakfast or lunch. Alternatively, you can consume water-soluble vitamins two hours after a meal. If you take them with a meal or close to one, you may experience reduced absorption.

B12 and B-Vitamin Complex

You can find water-soluble B vitamins in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. A B-complex supplement usually contains all eight B vitamins:

  • B1 or thiamine
  • B2 or riboflavin
  • B3 or niacin
  • B5 or pantothenic acid
  • B6 or pyridoxine
  • B7 or biotin
  • B9 or folate (folic acid)
  • B12 or cobalamin

B vitamins play many roles in the body, including supporting brain health and are essential for energy production throughout the body.[1] They often act as coenzymes, which means that they work with enzymes to help break down and build up molecules. Vitamin B12 is a particularly important nutrient for metabolism, energy, and mood.

If you can, take B vitamins first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. This helps energize you for the day ahead. Some people find if they take them too late at night, it affects their sleep and produces vivid dreams.[2]

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, sometimes called ascorbic acid, can be found naturally in citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, papaya, and other fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is essential for good health and for maintaining a healthy immune system. It helps improve the body’s absorption of iron, so if you take an iron supplement, consume vitamin C as well.

You’ll lose excess vitamin C through urination since your body will not store it. Take vitamin C on an empty stomach at least 20 to 30 minutes before eating. If you find that it upsets your stomach, you can take it with food.[3]

When Should I Take Fat-Soluble Vitamins?

When you take a fat-soluble vitamin, it gets packaged in the small intestines in a “chylomicron,” a droplet of fat that contains the vitamin. After getting absorbed into the cells lining the intestines, the vitamin package gets sent to the liver or body fat for storage. When needed, the fat-soluble vitamin gets metabolized by the enzyme lipase.[4]

Vitamins A, D, and E are all fat-soluble and should be taken with meals to aid their absorption. Generally, it’s best to take them with your evening meal, especially one that contains healthy fats or oils. These help you better absorb the vitamins.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a hormone that plays a role in cell growth, immune function, and the neuromuscular system. Unlike most vitamins, the body can make its own vitamin D, but when your skin is not exposed to enough sunshine, you may become low or deficient.

Vitamin D also helps the body absorb calcium, keeping your bones strong and healthy. You will only find vitamin D in a few plant-based food sources, so we recommend supplementation.[5]

Since vitamin D is fat-soluble, take it with your largest meal to improve absorption.[6] Also, take vitamin D with calcium as it helps your body absorb the mineral more effectively.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for eye and skin health. Your body cannot produce it, so if you don’t have an adequate supply of vitamin A-rich foods like dark leafy vegetables, carrots, and pumpkins in your diet, you’ll need to supplement.[7]

The best time to take your vitamin A supplement is with an evening meal containing fat to aid absorption.[8]

Because vitamin A is fat-soluble, do not take more than the recommended daily allowance. Some evidence suggests that excess vitamin A can lead to weaker bones in older individuals. Be mindful that omega-3 fatty acid supplements and multivitamins often contain vitamin A, so keep tabs on your consumption.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also essential for skin health, as well as protecting and strengthening the body’s immune system. It’s a powerful antioxidant.[9] Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are the best natural sources of vitamin E.

As a fat-soluble vitamin, consume vitamin E with fat-containing foods.[9] You can take vitamin E with vitamins A and C, as well as selenium. If you are low or deficient in iron, taking vitamin E has been shown to not only improve iron tolerance but also to improve the gut microbiome in the intestinal tract.[10]

Minerals

Although minerals are often lumped together with vitamins, they are distinct. Unlike vitamins, minerals are inorganic and come from rocks, soil, and water. They support a multitude of biological processes that keep us healthy.

The body needs some minerals in trace amounts, like zinc, iron, and copper. You need macrominerals in larger amounts, including potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Calcium and Magnesium

Calcium helps you maintain a strong skeleton. Your body stores calcium in the bones and teeth. This mineral also plays a role in your muscular and nervous systems — including the brain.[11] Kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are excellent plant-based sources of calcium.

Experts recommend that you take calcium and magnesium together because these two macrominerals work together. You should take them in a 2:1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. Global Healing’s IntraCal® provides calcium and magnesium in this ultra-absorbable ideal ratio.

It’s a good idea to split your dose by taking it with your morning, lunch, and evening meals.[11]

You can take calcium orotate or calcium citrate on an empty stomach, but calcium carbonate must be taken with food so stomach acid helps break it down. However, calcium carbonate is little more than chalk and is the least helpful calcium you can take. Calcium orotate is the best, most highly absorbed supplement.

Don’t take a calcium supplement with iron or zinc, as they inhibit its absorption. Do take calcium with vitamin D — the latter helps with the absorption of the former.

Zinc

Zinc plays an important role in cell division, wound healing, and cellular functioning.[12, 13] Zinc is found in many plant sources. However, plant-based zinc often occurs along with phytic acid, which can inhibit its absorption. That means that vegans or vegetarians taking zinc often need to take more.

Take zinc with a meal; some people get an upset stomach if zinc is consumed on an empty stomach. Also, take zinc at least two hours apart from iron as well as calcium, as they inhibit the absorption of each other.[13]

Zinc is helpful to your immune system when you feel a runny nose and sniffles coming on, or anytime you first feel that little tingle in your throat. It gets you feeling better in no time.

Iron

Iron, an essential mineral, helps form the hemoglobin in your blood, a molecule that carries oxygen throughout the body.[14] This mineral supports brain development, muscle metabolism, and cellular functioning.

Take iron with food because it can cause digestive issues when taken on an empty stomach. Some people like to take their iron supplement with orange juice because the antioxidant nature of vitamin C can increase the absorption of iron.[15]

Iodine

Iodine is a trace element that regulates thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) in the body.[16] On top of its role in hormone production and metabolism, iodine helps detoxify the thyroid by displacing harmful “halogens” like chlorine, fluorine, and bromine.

Many people do not get enough iodine, and low iodine can lead to many health issues.

Like zinc, the best time to take both iodine supplements is at mealtimes — or a few minutes before — because some people get upset stomachs when taking it on an empty stomach.

Other Supplements

Many people take supplements other than vitamins and minerals. Two of the most popular ones include probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids, so we will break down the best time to take them.

Probiotics

Probiotics are friendly bacteria that populate the gut. They’re linked to healthy skin, better digestion, a sound mind, and a happy mood, among other things.[17]

Probiotics fall into two main groups; transient probiotics that pass through your system and resident strains that live in your gut. Transient probiotics like Latero-Flora™ are best while cleansing the body, as they target harmful organisms.

Other probiotic strains take up residence in the gut, helping your body in a symbiotic way. A good supplement contains multiple strains with up to 75 billion CFUs, like Floratrex™.

All probiotics should be taken 20 minutes before eating a morning meal. Ideally, eat a morning meal that contains fats, as many probiotic strains survive longer when transported to the stomach with lipids.[18] This enables them to bypass stomach acid, which may otherwise destroy them, and reach the intestines, where they can establish themselves.

You might wonder if you can take a probiotic at the same time as other supplements, and the answer is yes. In fact, taking a probiotic along with your omega-3 fatty acid supplement can improve its effectiveness.

Omega-3s

Essential fatty acids include omega-3 and omega-6, which are not produced by your body and need to be sourced from your diet or with supplements. They help protect your heart and brain.[19]

Omega-3s are found in oils, nuts, and seeds. If you decide to take an omega-3 supplement, look for a plant-based option like flaxseed oil or algae oil.

The best time to take it is later in the day as they should be taken with foods containing fat. Since the breakfast meal often contains lower fat than other meals, try taking omega- 3s with the lunch or evening meal.[20] If you do take the omega-3 with breakfast, include some fat with your meal.

You can take omega-3s with vitamin D. Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids work together to affect serotonin production, a hormone that influences happiness.[21]

Points to Remember

Taking your vitamin and mineral supplements at the right time optimizes their absorption, which better supports your total health and wellness.

Some vitamins, like vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble and need to be taken with food — often with fats — to increase their absorption or to prevent stomach problems.

Other vitamins, like vitamin C, work best when taken on an empty stomach. Calcium is best when split up into two or three different times during the day.

Some vitamins and minerals have adverse reactions when taken together, like zinc and iron, and can prevent proper absorption of either. It’s a good idea to take these two minerals separately.

To prevent any problems that could arise from an over ingestion of a particular vitamin, keep notes on your daily supplement regime, and read the labels carefully.

References
  1. Kennedy DO. B vitamins and the brain: mechanisms, dose and efficacy—a review. Nutrients. 2016;8(2):68.
  2. Ebben M, et al. Effects of pyridoxine on dreaming: a preliminary study. Percept Mot Skills. 2002;94(1):135-140.
  3. Chambial S, et al. Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: an overview. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2013;28(4):314-328.
  4. Reddy P, Jialal I. Biochemistry, Vitamin, Fat Soluble. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. Updated 23 Nov 2018. Accessed 18 Feb 2020.
  5. Nair R, Maseeh A. Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2012;3(2):118-126.
  6. Mulligan GB, Licata A. Taking vitamin D with the largest meal improves absorption and results in higher serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. J Bone Miner Res. 2010;25(4):928-930.
  7. Gilbert C. What is vitamin A and why do we need it? Community Eye Health. 2013;26(84):65.
  8. Chea EP, Milstein H. Vitamin A. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. Updated 21 Oct 2019. Accessed 28 Jan 2020.
  9. Vitamin E: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 10 Jul 2019. Accessed 28 Jan 2020.
  10. Tang M, et al. Effect of vitamin E with therapeutic iron supplementation on iron repletion and gut microbiome in U.S. iron deficient infants and toddlers: a randomized control trial. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2016 Sep; 63(3):379-385.
  11. Calcium: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 6 Dec 2019. Accessed 28 Jan 2020.
  12. Zinc: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 10 Jul 2019. Accessed 28 Jan 2020.
  13. Saper R, Rash R. Zinc: an essential micronutrient. Am Fam Physician. 2009;79(9):768.
  14. Iron: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. Updated 16 Oct 2019. Accessed 19 Feb 2020.
  15. Baird-Gunning J. Correcting iron deficiency. Aust Prescr. 2016;39(6):193-199.
  16. Iodine: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. Updated 9 Jul 2019. Accessed 19 Feb 2020.
  17. Kechagia M, et al. Health benefits of probiotics: a review. ISRN Nutr. 2013;2013:481651.
  18. Tompkins TA, et al. The impact of meals on a probiotic during transit through a model of the human upper gastrointestinal tract. Benef Microbes. 2011;1;2(4):295-303.
  19. Yurko-Mauro K. Cognitive and cardiovascular benefits of docosahexaenoic acid in aging and cognitive decline. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2010;7(3):190-196.
  20. Von Schacky, C. Omega-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular disease–an uphill battle. Prostaglandins, Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2015;92:41-47.
  21. Patrick RP, Ames BN. Vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids control serotonin synthesis and action, part 2: relevance for ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and impulsive behavior. FASEB J. 2015 Jun;29(6):2207-2222.

Originally published at Global Healing Center and reproduced here with permission.

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.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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Awareness

Using A Non-Stick Pan? You May Want To Read This

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Using A Non-Stick Pan? You May Want To Read This
Photo Credit: Pexels

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

Pans with a non-stick coating are convenient but new research suggests that the chemical used for the coating is extremely toxic and exposure can prove dangerous to brain health, the reproductive system, and immune system.

The Dangers of Non-Stick Coating

DuPont, the chemical engineering giant, is responsible for the perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) used to make Teflon coating. Federal regulators linked the chemical to birth defects and cancer, and these regulators also accused DuPont of hiding these hazard reports for decades. This caused uproar and forced DuPont to phase out production of the chemical in 2006. Regardless, PFOA has already infiltrated millions of homes; resulting in detectable amounts of the compound in the blood of nearly every American. It’s even been found in polar bears in the Arctic.

A new Environmental Working Group (EWG) report suggests that there is no safe level of exposure to the chemical in non-stick coatings, categorizing PFOA in the same league as asbestos and lead. This new report is supported by studies from the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) and Harvard University — studies that suggest blood levels of PFOA 400 times lower than the EPA’s current level could still cause adverse effects.

The Solution

There are some natural, safer alternatives to Teflon that you should be aware of. If you currently own a non-stick pan, throw them out immediately. Replace all non-stick bake ware with glass, and choose steel and cast iron for other cooking needs. Rely on healthy fats, like olive oil and coconut oil, to provide a natural non-stick surface for your cookware. Ideally, the majority of your diet should be uncooked and raw, meaning you shouldn’t have to worry too much about whether or not your food is sticking to cookware.

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

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.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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Awareness

Sacred Science: A Jungle Healing Technique You Can Use Anywhere

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Photo Credit: Pexels / Baurzhan Kadylzhanov

Nick PolizziGuest Writer

Discover the healing secrets of the Amazon rainforest …

A common question that I am asked after screenings of my documentary The Sacred Science, is “Do I have to take a trip to the Amazon to get this type of healing?”

My response, believe it or not, is that many of the techniques seen in the film can be applied in just about any town or city on the planet. With a little creativity, you don’t necessarily need to seek out a pricey jungle healing center or track down a traveling shaman in order to heal using these methods.

Below is one of the fundamental strategies that the shamans used in our film. Don’t be deceived by how simple it is!

Full Immersion in Nature

One of the most overlooked tools used in traditional jungle medicine is full immersion in nature. I’m talking about isolation in the middle of the woods, surrounded by nothing but trees, grass, rocks, and the occasional furry passer-by.

What happens when we rid ourselves of all modern day distractions? Our televisions, our computers, the radio, even newspapers and books – things that certainly have value but also take focus away from ourselves.

If you’ve seen The Sacred Science, you have a good idea of what I’m talking about. (If not, you can watch it free here.) The patients we brought into the Amazon packed a ton of extra stuff including iPods, laptops, writing instruments, painting tools, you name it. And to their dismay, each of these items was taken “for safe keeping” by the support staff upon their arrival.

You see, in this type of ancient medicine the key is to rid yourself of any outlet that you can distract yourself with, regardless of how beneficial you might think it is.

This notion may seem odd to many of us who keep journals or take painstaking notes when learning something new. After all, how will we remember what transpired and what needs to be worked on moving forward? A medicine man might answer that the act of hastily recording your thoughts indulges your rational brain which is part of what got you sick in the first place.

The indigenous healing practices differ from modern medicine in that much importance is placed on investigating the underlying thought patterns and emotional disruptions that lurk beneath the surface symptoms of our illnesses. The sacred plant ceremonies can catapult you into this unpredictable realm alarmingly fast which can be very beneficial, but also a bit horrifying. Another way to get here, which requires awareness and peripheral inner vision, is through solitude in nature.

Our bodies are mirrors of Mother Nature.
Mother Nature is the mirror of our inner nature.
In that way each of us are our own best doctors.

~ Roman Hanis, Medicine Man

If this strategy resonates with you, here is an exercise that you can try no matter where you live on this beautiful planet. This can be used to supercharge whichever healing methods you are currently implementing. A word to the wise, don’t be fooled by how simple this practice is.

The 90 Minutes of Solitude Exercise
  1. Schedule 90 minutes this week to gift yourself. You will be embarking on a short voyage.
  2. Before leaving your house, remove all items from your pocket / backpack that could be a distraction – including cell phone, computer, magazines, newspapers, iPod, notebook, etc.
  3. Find a local forest or park and travel to it.
  4. Upon arrival, walk until you find a space away from any manmade stimuli, including other people.  And sit down. There is no need to close your eyes, just be still.
  5. If possible, remove your shoes and socks, letting your feet touch the earth.
  6. Begin to watch the ticker tape of thought and notice how it fluctuates over the course of 90 minutes.
Some things you may want to pay attention to:
  • How long does it take for your mind to become extremely quiet? If at all..
  • What triggers your mind to become hyper active?
  • What thoughts, positive and negative, begin to come up?
  • What can you sense about your immediate environment?
  • If you are working through a particular health challenge, what thoughts are coming up around this?

This type of practice is obviously not an overnight cure. But if you take 90 minutes of undistracted solitude once or twice per week, information about who you are and where you need help will begin to present itself. This hard earned information is what many healers use to help plot out a medicine map.

This inner map can be a crucial aid to one’s recovery.

To your health, Nick

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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Awareness

Group Drumming Synchronizes Heartbeats And Increases Teamwork, Research Shows

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Group Drumming Synchronizes
Photo Credit: Pexels

Nikki Harper, Guest Writer

If you’ve ever sat in a drumming circle or even just been moved to dance by a particular rhythm, you’ll already understand something about the power of drumming. Research is ongoing into the therapeutic and healing benefits of drumming, and into the way in which drumming can help to prolong and maintain cognitive health too. New research this year has also revealed how drumming in a group can lead to the synchronizing of heart rhythms – which in turn can lead to better group performance on other unrelated tasks.

In this latest research, scientists at Bar-Ilan University and its Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center joined forces with the department of music to explore how drumming can contribute towards group cohesion and teamwork. The study, published in May in the journal Scientific Reports involved 51 groups each with three participants, whose heart data – including the time interval between individual heart beats (IBI) was continuously monitored [1].

Each member of each group participated through a drumming pad as part of an electronic drum set shared with the other group members. They were asked to match their drumming to a rhythm which was played on speakers. Half of the groups were given a steady and predictable tempo to match, while the other half was given a constantly changing rhythm to work to. This meant that researchers could analyse the synchronization efforts between group members, while reviewing changes in IBI during the experiment, which were found to synchronize.

Each group was later asked to improvise drumming together, and it was found that the groups who had shown the highest levels of synchronization during the original task also showed greater co-ordination and synchronization during the improvisations – to a statistically significant level, beyond what one might expect randomly [1].

The researchers hypothesize that drumming together, and the behavioural co-ordination this requires, contributes to the bonding of a group, and thereby enhances their ability to perform well together as a cohesive whole. This may have important implications for human co-operation and teamwork on a larger scale [1].

Meanwhile, research elsewhere has found links between drumming, intelligence, good timing and problem-solving abilities. Neuroscientist David Eagleman conducted research with professional drummers, which took place at Brian Eno’s studio [2] – Eno having previously suggested that drummers’ brains worked differently to those of other people. Apparently, he was correct – the research showed a ‘huge statistical difference’ [3] between the brains of the drummers versus control subjects.

Could this new knowledge be used to help counter cognitive decline? Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart thinks so. He has been collaborating with the University of California on a project to create a drumming app which he hopes can be used to help stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s [4].

Meanwhile, we know that previous research has found numerous physiological benefits from drumming, including reducing stress levels, boosting the immune system, helping to alleviate chronic pain and even increasing cancer killing cells.

In many ways, drumming is a universal language, and almost a primal instinct. By appreciating and taking part in drumming, it seems that we can also enhance our understanding of other rhythms in life, such as human co-operation – while also keeping our brains active and healthy, and supporting our emotional instincts [5]. What’s not to love about that?

Sources
  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-65670-1
  2. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/04/25/the-possibilian
  3. http://www.openculture.com/2020/01/neuroscience-of-drumming.html
  4. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2018/mickey-hart-alzheimers-awareness.html
  5. https://project-resiliency.org/resiliency/the-benefits-of-druming/
Recommended Article by Nikki Harper
About the Author

Nikki Harper is a spiritualist writer, astrologer, and Wake Up World’s editor.

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