Monday, 15 September 2014

Home Remedies for Gas and Bloating

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas, Medically reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD 

Ginger, peppermint, and cinnamon may do more than add flavor to your food. These are just some of the natural remedies for gas relief, and chances are they're already in your kitchen. 

Although everyone experiences gas, some people are troubled by it more than others. At times, excessive gas can become uncomfortable or even painful. However, some simple changes to your diet can help provide gas relief and also aid digestion. In addition to over-the-counter gas relief remedies, some items commonly found in the kitchen may double as natural gas relievers. 

Herbs for Gas Relief 

A number of herbs in the carminative family may help ease gas and prevent bloating, according to Angela Lemond, RDN, CSP, LD, a Texas-based dietitian and nutritionist and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "The very definition of carminative," she says, "is a substance that aids in the expulsion of gas." 

One of the herbs shown to have carminative effects to help break up and expel gas is ginger, the subject of a study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology in 2008. It found that ginger helps speed digestion, which is important because if your stomach empties faster, gases can move more quickly into your small intestine to relieve discomfort and bloating. 

Other examples of herbs in the carminative family that could help provide gas relief include: 

  • Chamomile
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Basil
  • Caraway
  • Cinnamon
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Wintergreen 

Lemond suggests trying to gain the benefit of carminatives from the food you eat rather than by taking herbal supplements, which she says should be taken with caution. "Some people think of herbal supplements as natural or straight from the earth, so they may be taken at will, but a lot of them have pharmaceutical effects and could interact with medications," she says. "Always get approval from your doctor before taking a supplement." 

Probiotics for Gas and Bloating 

Probiotics may also help aid in digestion and reduce excessive gas. Probiotics are live microorganisms, mostly "good" bacteria, similar to the bacteria found in the human gut. They're available as dietary supplements, but Lemond says that a number of foods also have natural probiotics, including: 

  • Yogurt 
  • Kefir
  • Pickles
  • Tempeh
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Buttermilk
  • Miso

Research published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology in 2011 found that the probiotics Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium Lactis eased bloating among the 60 participants with certain functional bowel disorders over the course of eight weeks. 

A separate study, published in the journal BMC Gastroenterology in 2009, found that an over-the-counter probiotic was much more effective than a placebo in providing otherwise healthy adults with relief from intestinal gas. 

The Link between Gas, Stress, and Probiotics 

Gas can be worsened by stress. "There are nerves up and down the GI tract," Lemond says. "People who have a tendency to be nervous can develop gas, diarrhea, or constipation." When dietary changes aren't effective, other treatments, such as relaxation therapy, may help. 

More specifically, UCLA researchers recently have drawn even more direct connections between the stomach, brain, and probiotics. The scientists found that bacteria in food can affect brain function in humans, according to a 2013 study published in the journal “Gastroenterology.” 

Life stress can cause spasms in the colon and abdominal discomfort, according to the results of a 2008 review of research published in journal Evidenced-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The researchers also noted that progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga, counseling, or changes to daily stressful situations can help reduce stress and have a positive effect on digestive health. 

"Occasional excessive gas is normal," Lemond says. But when gas continues to be a problem despite having made dietary adjustments and trying home or over-the-counter gas remedies, it’s a good idea to see your doctor. 

Last Updated: 03/19/2014 

This section was created and produced exclusively by the editorial staff of © 2014; all rights reserved.

Monday, 25 August 2014

13 Healing Powers of Lemons

By Michelle Schoffro Cook 

If you’re not getting fresh lemons into your diet, you may want to reconsider after reading the many health benefits of lemons, lemon juice, pith (the white part), or zest (skin). 

Here are 13 amazing healing powers of lemons: 

Bowel-Cleansing: The bitter taste of lemon gives these fruit the ability to increase peristalsis–a pumping-motion in the bowels–which helps to eliminate waste from the bowels and improve regularity. Add the juice of one lemon to warm water and drink first thing in the morning. 

Cancer: Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds, including limonene—a naturally-occurring oil that slows or halts the growth of cancer tumors in animals. Lemons also contain a substance called flavonol glycosides which stop cell division in cancer cells. 

Colds and Flu: Lemons are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids that work in conjunction for a serious punch against infection. 

Liver: Fresh lemon juice added to a large glass of water in the morning is a great liver detoxifier. 

Nutrition: Lemons contain vitamin C, citric acid, flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber. 

Allergies: Lemons contain the phytonutrient hesperetin, which has been shown in studies to alleviate allergic symptoms. 

Brain and Nervous System Disorders: Containing the potent phytonutrient tangeretin in the peel, lemons have been proven to be effective for brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease. 

Eye Disorders: Rutin, found in lemons, has been shown in research to improve the symptoms of eye disorders, including diabetic retinopathy. 

Anti-Viral: In addition to being effective against cold and flu viruses, terpene limonoids found in lemons have proven anti-viral effects on other types of viruses. 

Diabetes: In addition to improving eye problems linked with diabetes, lemons contain hesperetin which lowers blood sugar levels (when they are high). 

Gall and Kidney Stones: The citric acid found in lemon juice helps to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones. 

Anti-Aging: The vitamin C found in lemons helps to neutralize free radicals linked to aging and most types of disease. 

Balances Body Chemistry: While lemons are acidic they interact with the body’s metabolism to have an alkalizing effect on the bodily fluids helping to restore balance to the body’s pH. 

Cook with Lemon! 

Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet and The Phytozyme Cure by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD. 

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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Stage 4 Cancer Gone With Baking Soda Treatment

When Vernon Johnston was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer, his options were few. The standard treatment required him to submit to bouts of chemotherapy and hope that the poisonous drugs that will be fed into his body can kill off cancer cells faster that they can kill off healthy, normal cells. 

Chemotherapy represents a drastic measure that oncologists are all too eager to recommend and an option patients dread with good reasons. Often times, chemotherapy leaves the body drained and the immune system damaged. 

When it fails, and it does fail often, chemotherapy severely reduces the chances of success of any subsequent treatment options. Yet 9 out 10 cancer patients turn to chemotherapy first. 

In Vernon’s case, the prostate cancer was already advanced and had metastasized to his bones. Chemotherapy would have been long and expensive and there was no guarantee that those drugs would work. 

So, Vernon took matters into his own hands. On his brother’s advice, Vernon decided to raise his body’s pH to combat the cancer spreading in his body. To do this, he sought to obtain cesium chloride. 

Cesium therapy is a well-known treatment protocol in cancer therapy. And it is an option doctors rarely give their cancer patients. 

Treating cancer with cesium has been shown to have a 50% cure rate. Compared to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, cesium therapy produces better results. This cure rate is even more impressive considering the fact that most cancer patients receiving cesium have already undergone and failed to respond to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or surgery. 

Instead of trying his luck with these orthodox cancer protocols, Vernon simply ordered cesium chloride. 

Unfortunately, the cesium never arrived. However, Vernon did not give up on raising his pH levels and making his body too alkaline for cancer cells to spread. While searching for alternatives, he happened on a cheap and commonly available alkalizing source: baking soda. 

This common household cooking item is commonly added to bubbly drinks and also used as an antacid to neutralize stomach acid in the treatment of ulcer and acid reflux. 

The remedy Vernon found called for mixing baking soda with maple syrup. With no maple syrup on hand, he mixed the baking soda with molasses. 

Vernon Johnston fought his cancer with ingredients taken from his kitchen. His efforts and success are documented on his blog aptly described as “dance with cancer”. 

What is Baking Soda? 

Baking soda is a white crystalline solid that appears as fine powder. It is also called cooking soda, bread soda and bicarbonate of soda. Its chemical name is sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate. 

Baking soda is different from washing soda (sodium carbonate) although they share the same slightly salty and alkaline taste. 

This widely used soda is commonly dissolved in mineral water and used as a leavening agent in baking. It works as a leavening agent by neutralizing the acidic components of batter. The neutralization releases carbon dioxide and leads to the “raising” or expansion of baked foods. 

Baking soda has also been used to soften vegetable and to tenderize meat. 

As a household chemical, baking soda is used as a cleaning agent. It is included in toothpastes for similar reasons where it serves as an antiseptic, acid-neutralizer, whitening agent and plaque-removing agent as well as a cleaning agent. 

Other common personal hygiene products in which baking soda can be found include deodorants and shampoos. 

The Health Benefits of Baking Soda 

The medical uses of baking soda all involves raising the pH of the body by neutralizing acid. Therefore, sodium bicarbonate is used as an antacid (to neutralize stomach acid and treat ulcer, heartburn and acid indigestion) and to treat acidosis (raise the pH level of the blood when it is close to 7.0). 

Sodium bicarbonate can also be used as a topical antiseptic agent to prevent blistering and scarring. Lastly, it is also used to reduce itching caused by allergic skin reactions caused by plants such as poison ivy. 

Because sodium bicarbonate neutralizes stomach acid, it can be used to treat the overdose of acidic drugs such as aspirin and tricyclic antidepressants. Because it supplies more sodium to the body, it is also used to treat hyperkalemia (high blood levels of potassium). 

However, excessive intake of baking soda can just as easily cause high sodium levels in the body (hypernatremia) and hypertension. Other conditions that can be caused by baking soda overload include metabolic alkalosis, congestive heart failure and edema triggered by high blood levels of sodium. 

How Baking Soda Can Help “Cure” Cancer 

Basically, malignant tumors represent masses of rapidly growing cells. The rapid rate of growth experienced by these cells means that cellular metabolism also proceeds at very high rates. 

Therefore, cancer cells are using a lot more carbohydrates and sugars to generate energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). 

However, some of the compounds formed from the energy production include lactic acid and pyruvic acid. Under normal circumstances, these compounds are cleared and utilized as soon as they are produced. But cancer cells are experiencing metabolism at a much faster rate.  Therefore, these organic acids accumulate in the immediate environment of the tumor. 

The high level of extracellular acidity around the tumor is one of the chief driving forces behind the metastasis of cancer tumors. 

Basically, cancer cells need an acidic environment to grow and spread rapidly. 

Some cancer experts, therefore, believe that by buffering the tumor microenvironment with an alkalizing compound, the pH of tumors can be raised enough to starve them and stop their growth and spread. 

Curiously, this rather simple solution to cancer has been proven right. 

What is even more remarkable is that there is no need to cook up some fancy synthetic drug to lower the acidity in the immediate environment of the tumor. A simple, commonly obtained compound like sodium bicarbonate will do. 

Obviously, it is desirable to deliver the sodium bicarbonate as close to the tumor as possible since its pH-raising effect is needed in the microenvironment of the tumor. Therefore, directly injecting sodium bicarbonate in the tumor site is considered a better solution than oral administration. However, oral sodium bicarbonate is just safer and can be readily used at home. 

Clinical Evidence for the Efficacy of Baking Soda in Cancer Therapy 

Two Studies 

A 2009 study published in the journal, Cancer Research, is among the first to confirm that the alkalinizing effect of sodium bicarbonate can indeed stop cancer. 

By injecting sodium bicarbonate into a group of mice, the authors of the study were able to determine how the growth and spread of cancer tumors were affected by raising the pH of the organ affected by the cancer. 

The study results showed that baking soda indeed raised the pH and reduced spontaneous metastases in mice induced with breast cancer. 

The researchers also determined that sodium bicarbonate works by raising the pH outside cells and not within cells. This is an important finding, because it suggests that sodium bicarbonate does not interfere with cellular metabolism even as it makes the microenvironment unconducive for tumor growth. 

Other findings from this study show that baking soda: 

  • Reduced the involvement of the lymph node on the transport of cancer cells 
  • Does not lower the levels of circulating tumor cells 
  • Reduced the involvement of the liver and, therefore, the spread of tumor cells to other organs 
  • Inhibit the colonization of other organs by circulating tumor cells 

The researchers noted that the injection of sodium bicarbonate in other animal models for cancer showed that the compound can also inhibit the spread of prostate cancer but not melanoma. 

Building on these results, researchers are trying to determine whether better results can be obtained by combining sodium carbonate with cancer drugs. 

In a 2011 study published in the journal, BMC Cancer, a group of researchers investigated the effects of dichloroacetate and the combination of dichloroacetate and a bicarbonate salt on a mouse model for metastatic breast cancer. 

Dichloroacetate is a selective cancer drug that works similarly to sodium bicarbonate. It raises pH levels around cancer cells by inhibiting the breakdown of sugars and the production of acidic intermediates in these cells. 

The study results showed that the combination of the synthetic cancer drug, dichloroacetate, and the simple, proven household remedy, oral bicarbonate, did not reduce metastasis or tumor size. 

This study showed that sodium bicarbonate is not only a safer, cheaper cancer remedy; it is more effective than dichloroacetate. 

The Use of Baking Soda in Oncology 

Even though most oncologists do not recommend sodium bicarbonate for their patients, they actually use it for the same purposes in chemotherapy. By combining this alkalinizing agent with chemotherapy drugs, it protects the organs of the body from being destroyed by the poisonous effects of those drugs. 

Essentially, sodium bicarbonate raises the pH around these vital organs and prevents the cancer from spreading there and chemotherapy drugs from causing even greater destruction. 

Dr. Mark Sircus, the Director of the International Medical Veritas Association, detailed the link between cancer and pH as well as the use of baking soda as an anticancer agent in his book, Sodium Bicarbonate – Rich Man’s Poor Man’s Cancer Treatment. 

Dr. Tullio Simoncini, an Italian oncologist, regularly treats his cancer patients with baking soda. In his experience, oral, intravenous and aerosol delivery of sodium bicarbonate are effective in treatment of breast and prostate cancers as well as other types of cancer except for brain cancer. 

Although Dr. Simoncini believes oral sodium bicarbonate is most appropriate for cancers affecting the digestive tract, other oncologists and cancer patients such as Vernon have proven that oral sodium bicarbonate can indeed effectively treat cancer affecting deep-seated organs. 

Dr. Sircus also recommends oral administration of baking soda. Many of his patients debate whether to mix it with maple syrup, molasses, honey, water or any other beverage. Since normal cells are starved in cancer patients, the oncologist recommends healthy energy sources such as honey, black strap molasses and maple syrup. 

Dr. Simoncini, on the other hand, gives glucose intravenously along with sodium bicarbonate for the same purpose. 

The Baking Soda Formula for Cancer 

To make the baking soda natural cancer remedy at home, you need maple syrup, molasses or honey to go along with the baking soda. 

In Dr. Sircus’ book, he documented how one patient used baking soda and blackstrap molasses to fight the prostate cancer that had metastasized to his bones. On the first day, the patient mixed 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of molasses in a cup of water. 

He took this for another 3 days after which his saliva pH read 7.0 and his urine pH read 7.5. 

Encouraged by these results, the patient took the solution 2 times on day 5 instead of once daily. And from day 6 – 10, he took 2 teaspoons each of baking soda and molasses twice daily. 

By the 10th day, the patient’s pH had risen to 8.5 and the only side effects experienced were headaches and night sweat (similar to cesium therapy). 

The next day, the patient had a bone scan and also other medical tests. His results showed that his PSA (prostate-specific antigen, the protein used to determine the severity of prostate enlargement and prostate cancer) level was down from 22.3 at the point of diagnosis to 0.1. 

Another baking soda formula recommends mixing 90 teaspoons of maple syrup with 30 teaspoons of baking soda. 

To do this, the maple syrup must be heated to become less viscous. Then the baking soda is added and stirred for 5 minutes until it is fully dissolved. 

This preparation should provide about 10-day worth of the baking soda remedy. 5 – 7 teaspoons per day is the recommended dose for cancer patients. 

Care should be taken when using the baking soda remedy to treat cancer. This is because sustaining a high pH level can itself cause metabolic alkalosis and electrolyte imbalance. These can result in edema and also affect the heart and blood pressure. 

Ideally, you should consult a doctor before adopting the baking soda solution. An oncologist with a knowledge of this cure would be most helpful. 

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