‘Gain-of-Function’ Experiments Lie at Root of the Pandemic

“Gain-of-function” studies are, according to the U.S. Department Health and Human Services,1 research that involves increasing the capacity of a pathogen to cause illness. The method is controversial because it can also risk new viruses leaking out of laboratories and into the population.

In the period 2014 to 2018, this type of research was prohibited in the U.S., but in December 2017, American authorities announced that these kinds of studies would again be allowed.2,3

Despite an ongoing cover-up by government authorities, the biotech industry, the military industrial complex and the mass media, there is growing scientific consensus4 that the COVID-19 virus was created and (most likely accidentally) leaked from a dual-use military/civilian lab5 in Wuhan, China.

The ensuing pandemic (currently with 14 million infected and 585,000 dead,6 which has precipitated a global economic meltdown) is the predictable, yet preventable, collateral damage of a reckless, decades-long and accident-prone biodefense/biowarfare program carried out by the U.S., China, Russia and other highly industrialized and militarized nations.

Scientists Are Weaponizing Viruses

Unbeknownst to the public, a shadowy international network of thousands of virologists, gene engineers, military scientists and biotech entrepreneurs are weaponizing viruses and microorganisms in civilian and military labs under the euphemism of gain-of-function research. They hide behind the guise of “biodefense” and “biomedicine.”

But as investigative reporter and bioweapons expert Sam Husseini writes,7 gain-of-function/biowarfare scientists in labs such as Wuhan, China or Fort Detrick, Maryland, are deliberately and recklessly evading international law:

“Governments that participate in such biological weapon research generally distinguish between ‘biowarfare’ and ‘biodefense,’ as if to paint such ‘defense’ programs as necessary. But this is rhetorical sleight-of-hand; the two concepts are largely indistinguishable.

‘Biodefense’ implies tacit biowarfare, breeding more dangerous pathogens for the alleged purpose of finding a way to fight them. While this work appears to have succeeded in creating deadly and infectious agents, including deadlier flu strains, such ‘defense’ research is impotent in its ability to defend us from this pandemic.”

A growing arsenal of Frankenstein viruses and microorganisms have been created, despite U.S. and international laws supposedly banning biowarfare weapons and experimentation.8 A disturbing number of these so-called “dual-use” biowarfare/biodefense labs have experienced leaks,9 accidents, thefts and even deliberate releases like the 2001 anthrax attacks over the past three decades.

The creation of COVID-19, engineered by repeatedly “passaging” a bat virus through animal and human cells and/or genetic engineering or splicing specific genetic sequences into the virus, violated a ban on gain-of-function experiments10 called for by many of the world’s top scientists.11

These experiments also violated the precautionary principle of a Global Biowarfare Convention,12 designed to prevent the accidental or deliberate release of biological weapons of mass destruction.

Was COVID-19 Caused by a Lab Leak?

Despite the 24/7 story — that the virus jumped accidentally from bats into humans — relentlessly peddled by the Chinese government, the World Health Organization (which was supposedly monitoring the Wuhan Lab), the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), which provided funding for the Wuhan gain-of-function experiments, global military and intelligence agencies, government- and corporate-funded entities such as the EcoHealth Alliance and the mass media, there is mounting evidence that COVID-19 was caused not by an accident in nature but by a lab escape or leak.

Fortunately, some media outlets aren’t afraid to question this carefully orchestrated narrative. Here are a few examples:

GM Watch, “Lab Escape Theory of SARS-CoV-2 Origin Gaining Scientific Support,” May 28, 202013

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, “Did the SARS-CoV-2 Virus Arise from a Bat Coronavirus Research Program in a Chinese Laboratory? Very Possibly,” June 4, 202014

The Times (UK), “Revealed: Seven-Year Coronavirus Trail from Mine Deaths to a Wuhan Lab,” July 4, 202015

Newsweek, “Scientists Shouldn’t Rule Out Lab As Source of Coronavirus, New Study Says,” May 17, 202016

Independent Science News, “The Case Is Building That COVID-19 Had a Lab Origin,” June 2, 202017

Taiwan News, “Norwegian virologist claims coronavirus is ‘chimera’ Made in Chinese Lab,” June 10, 202018

Scientists Manipulate Bat Coronavirus to Infect Human Cells

Gain-of-function experiments on bat viruses aren’t new. Going back decades, these types of experiments have been publicly documented in a series of peer-reviewed scientific papers co-authored by the director of the Wuhan lab, Dr. Zhengli Shi, popularly known as the “Bat Woman.”

Published papers reveal that researchers have been collecting samples and carrying out experiments to manipulate the bat coronavirus so that it can readily infect human cells.

For example, in a 2008 article in the Journal of Virology,19 Zi Sheng Li and other scientists report on how Chinese and U.S. scientists have genetically engineered SARS-like viruses from horseshoe bats, to enable the viruses to gain entry into human cells.

These highly controversial gain-of-function experiments at the Wuhan lab were funded in large part by the NIH, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID, under the direction20 of Dr. Anthony Fauci) and the U.S.-based EcoHealth Alliance, led by Peter Daszak, who’s become a ubiquitous spokesperson for the “it evolved in nature and jumped to humans” story.21

Fauci, who since 1984 has held government positions under six presidents, both Republican and Democrat, has been a strong advocate for U.S. government funding of gain-of-function experimentation.

Fauci claims, with little or no justification, that risky gain-of-function research can help develop new vaccines for pandemics, despite the fact that 30 years of these dangerous experiments have not delivered any tangible benefits, such as cures or safe vaccines.

In 2014, following a series of lab accidents, and responding to a petition22 signed by more than 300 global scientists, a temporary, albeit partial “pause” on funding gain-of-function experiments was declared in the U.S.23 Exemptions to this “pause,” eventually reviewed by a secret government panel, were nonetheless allowed to go forward.

The ban was lifted in 2017. Yet between 2014 and 2016, the NIH and Fauci-led NIAID continued funding gain-of-function research overseas at the Wuhan lab, via Daszak’s EcoHealth Alliance.

Not surprisingly both Fauchi and Daszak have been staunch defenders of the official Chinese government story that the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) “naturally” evolved from bats and/or other host species to infect humans.

Gain-of-Function Research Could Seed a Pandemic

In 2017, the “funding pause” on risky gain-of-function projects was officially reversed.24 A government panel was instituted to review each research project. Only those lab experiments that were supposedly 1) scientifically sound; 2) conducted in a high-security lab; 3) intended to produce knowledge that benefits humans; and 4) without a safer alternative, would be funded.

As the New York Times reported,25 many scientists protested the decision, correctly pointing out that gain-of-function researchers risk creating a monster germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic.

Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist and bioweapons expert at Rutgers University, told the Times that he applauded the requirement for review panels.26 However, he said the NIH should have created clearer minimum safety standards and a mandate that the benefits “outweigh” the risks instead of merely “justifying” them.

Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist who directs the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard School of Public Health, told the Times that recent disease-enhancing experiments “have given us some modest scientific knowledge and done almost nothing to improve our preparedness for pandemics, and yet risked creating an accidental pandemic.”27 Lipsitch said hoped the panels would turn down such work.

Though the ban was overturned in December 2017, it wasn’t until February 2019 — when news of the first approved studies was leaked to Science Magazine28 — that the public learned that the reviews of grant proposals involving gain-of-function research — funded with U.S. taxpayer dollars — were to be conducted in secret.

Names of the expert-panel members have been kept secret, along with the panel’s reviews of gain-of-function and other virus and pathogen experiment proposals.

US Government Funds Risky, Secret Experiments

The idea of the U.S. government, under any administration, funding dangerous experiments29 it doesn’t want you to know about became a literal public relations time bomb in January 2020, when the emergence of a new, highly contagious virus in China hit the news.

For damage control, the White House and the NIH convened a meeting of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB),30 the panel that had previously written the rules for reviewing gain-of-function research, with the intent of getting the NSABB on board with keeping everything secret.

At that meeting, the man who chairs the committee that decides which gain-of-function research can be funded by the government revealed himself.

Christian Hassell, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense, Senior Science Adviser to the Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response — and chair of the secret NSABB gain-of-function risk review committee — acted as a government spokesperson.

Hassell cautioned that disclosing the names of the government (likely including military) scientists who sat on his committee could “chill” people from serving. He claimed that the administration was “committed to enhancing transparency,” but warned that this would probably require new action by Congress.

Time for a Permanent Ban on Lab Creation of Deadly Viruses

It’s time for a permanent ban on the lab creation of deadly viruses. Newsweek recently reported some of the details31 relating to the funding for scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and other institutions for work on gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses:

“In 2019, with the backing of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.”

In April 2020, NIH aid to Wuhan for gain-of-function research was cut off32 as COVID-19 ravaged the globe. EcoHealth Alliance President Daszak said that he and his team were merely studying how coronaviruses spread from bats to humans and claimed not to understand the rationale behind the decision to yank his grant.

But Daszak and his collaborators at the Wuhan Institute of Virology33 weren’t just studying how coronavirus spread from bats to humans, they were actually making coronavirus capable of spreading from bats to humans. They were the first to create34 a bat coronavirus capable of directly infecting humans (rather than first needing to evolve in an intermediate animal host).

EcoHealth Alliance has since funded additional gain-of-function research that Daszak has championed — without acknowledging his connection. Gain-of-function research funded by EcoHealth Alliance included the 2015 coronavirus-SARS chimaera, created by a team that included the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This research has been widely criticized35 by fellow scientists.

In 2015, a team of researchers, including scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, created a hybrid version of a bat coronavirus36 from a virus called SHC014, which is found in horseshoe bats in China, and a virus that causes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).

Their chimaera infected human airway cells, proving that the surface protein of SHC014 had the necessary structure to bind to a key receptor on the cells and to infect them.

Concerned Scientists Sounded the Alarms

In 2015, Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, told Nature magazine37 that researchers had created a novel virus that “grows remarkably well” in human cells. “If the virus escaped, nobody could predict the trajectory.” Wain-Hobson disapproved of the study because it provided little benefit and revealed little about the risk that the wild SHC014 virus in bats posed to humans.

Richard Ebright, a biodefense expert from Rutgers University, spoke out about the same research, saying, “The only impact of this work is the creation, in a lab, of a new, non-natural risk.” But Daszak spoke out in favor of the research, saying the study’s findings “move this virus from a candidate emerging pathogen to a clear and present danger.”

Daszak’s statement is odd, as it seems obvious that it was the research itself that made the virus a clear and present danger, and that couldn’t be what he meant. Nature failed to mention that EcoHealth Alliance had funded the research with a U.S. grant.38

Even the creators of the coronavirus-SARS chimaera questioned the wisdom of tinkering with viruses to make them more dangerous to humans. As Nature reported, in their paper the study authors conceded that funders may think twice about allowing such experiments in the future.

“Scientific review panels may deem similar studies building chimeric viruses based on circulating strains too risky to pursue,” they write, adding that discussion is needed as to “whether these types of chimeric virus studies warrant further investigation versus the inherent risks involved.”

It’s time for the U.S. government, and all the governments of the world, to demonstrate their compliance with a global ban on chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, dropping the dangerous pretense that lab-created viruses and microorganisms constitute valid biomedical and biodefense research.

We need a total U.S. and global ban on dangerous gain-of-function experimentation, and we need it now, before the next pandemic escapes or is deliberately released. Please join thousands of other concerned citizens and sign our petition here.

Ronnie Cummins is co-founder of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and Regeneration International, and the author of “Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Food, Farming, Climate and a Green New Deal.” Alexis Baden-Mayer is OCA’s political director. To keep up with OCA’s news and alerts, sign up here.

The End of Fluoridation Is in Sight

Water fluoridation is one of the biggest public health failures of the 20th century. Despite solid scientific evidence of harm, politics and public relations have kept the practice alive.

Proponents, including the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Oral Health Division of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), have spent millions of dollars on promotion and public relations to sell fluoridation using half-truths, convincing talking points, and diversions. 

But fluoridation is also one of the most widely rejected health interventions on Earth, with 95% of the world’s population consuming water from systems that are not fluoridated. 

For the past decade, the trend has moved in the direction of communities ending the practice, not starting it. And now, due to an abundance of new research, a landmark lawsuit and the sustained advocacy and education efforts of the Fluoride Action Network and its supporters like you, the practice could be on the brink of extinction.

The Evidence of Harm Is Too Great To Be Ignored

All tissues are important, but the most important organ to protect during fetal and infant development is the brain. Damage occurring to this organ during these early stages of life is permanent and cannot be undone later in life. 

The evidence of neurotoxic harm from water fluoridation has been mounting at an unprecedented rate in recent years, and has quickly become the most urgent reason to end the practice as soon as possible. A cavity can easily be filled, but damage to a child’s brain is permanent.

A large body of government-funded research now indicates that fluoride is neurotoxic and is associated with lowered IQ in children and a significant increase in ADHD diagnosis and related behaviors in children at doses experienced in fluoridated communities. Experts in the field have likened the size of the effect to that from lead.

This includes over 200 animal studies showing that prolonged exposure to varying levels of fluoride can damage the brain, 65 human studies linking moderately high fluoride exposures with reduced intelligence, three human studies linking fluoride exposure with impaired fetal brain development, and seven Mother-Offspring studies linking fluoride exposure during pregnancy to reduced IQ in offspring. 

Over the past year, we’ve also seen unprecedented new science from Canada and the USA showing fluoride harms the developing brain from exposures due primarily to artificial water fluoridation at the “optimal level.” Several of these high-quality studies were funded by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (formerly the National Institutes of Health).

Strongest Studies Published Over the Past Year

Seven studies published in 2019 and 2020 are among the strongest yet, and are obviously relevant to water fluoridation as they were conducted in communities with what the ADA considers the “optimal level” of fluoride in drinking water. These include:

  1. Green 2019 published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s journal on Pediatrics. It reported substantial IQ loss in Canadian children from prenatal exposure to fluoride from water fluoridation.
  2. Riddell 2019 published in Environment International. It found a shocking 284% increase in the prevalence of ADHD among children in fluoridated communities in Canada compared to nonfluoridated ones.
  3. Till 2020 published in Environment International. It reported that children who were bottle-fed in Canadian fluoridated communities lost up to 9 IQ points compared to those in nonfluoridated communities.
  4. Uyghurturk 2020 published in Environmental Health. It found that pregnant women in fluoridated communities in California had significantly higher levels of fluoride in their urine than those in nonfluoridated communities. The levels found in their urine were the same as those found to lower the IQ of the fetus in Green et al, 2019 and Bashash et al, 2017.
  5. Malin 2019 published in Environmental Health. It linked a doubling of symptoms indicative of sleep apnea in adolescents in the U.S. to levels of fluoride in the drinking water. The link between fluoride and sleep disturbances may be through fluoride’s effect on the pineal gland.
  6. Malin 2019 published in Environment International. It reported that exposure to fluoridated water led to a reduction in kidney and liver function among adolescents in the U.S., and suggested those with poorer kidney or liver function may absorb more fluoride bodies. The CDC funded this study.

The claims made by proponents of fluoridation that there is only “one or two studies” finding harm, or that they are only from areas with naturally high fluoride levels, are no longer relevant. The scientific evidence can now be considered overwhelming and undeniable. In fact, the level of evidence that fluoride is neurotoxic now far exceeds the evidence that was in place when lead was banned from gasoline.

A recent review by Danish scientist, Harvard professor and neurotoxicity expert Philippe Grandjean, MD, DMSc, also concluded that:

“… there is little doubt that developmental neurotoxicity is a serious risk associated with elevated fluoride exposure, whether due to community water fluoridation, natural fluoride release from soil minerals, or tea consumption, especially when the exposure occurs during early development.”

It should come as no surprise then, that a draft systematic review published in 2020 by the National Toxicology Program of human studies of fluoride’s neurotoxicity concluded that fluoride was a “presumed” neurotoxin based on the large number, quality and consistency of brain studies. 

The review identified 149 human studies and 339 animal studies, but did not include the three most recent neurotoxicity-related studies from the York University group (Till 2019; Riddell 2019), or the study showing that women in the U.S. had levels of fluoride in urine high enough to cause damage to the brain of the fetus (Uyghurturk 2020).

While the draft NTP review is equivocal about effects at low exposures, these newest high-quality mother-child studies support a conclusion that artificially fluoridated water causes substantial IQ reductions. This fact was recently echoed in a letter published in Pediatric Research by the co-authors of the JAMA Pediatrics fluoride/IQ study, which said:

“Over the past 75 years, health authorities have declared that community water fluoridation-a practice that reaches over 400 million worldwide-is safe. Yet, studies conducted in North America examining the safety of fluoride exposure in pregnancy were nonexistent.

When a Canadian study reported that higher fluoride exposure in pregnant women was associated with lower IQ scores in young children, critics attacked the methodology of the study and discounted the significance of the results.

Health authorities continued to conclude that fluoride is unequivocally safe, despite four well-conducted studies over the last 3 years consistently linking fluoride exposure in pregnancy with adverse neurodevelopmental effects in offspring …

The tendency to ignore new evidence that does not conform to widespread beliefs impedes the response to early warnings about fluoride as a potential developmental neurotoxin. Evolving evidence should inspire scientists and health authorities to re-evaluate claims about the safety of fluoride, especially for the fetus and infant for whom there is no benefit.”

FAN Leads the Fight Against Neurotoxins

Since 2000, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has been committed to reducing exposure to fluoride, and even with all of the science firmly on our side, we couldn’t wait for legislators and public health officials to cast aside their entrenched dogma in favor of fluoridation and catch up on the science. Instead, we initiated the legal process to end the practice that today affects more than 200 million Americans.

A little-known provision of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) gave us our opportunity. It offers citizens a way to circumvent the corruption and force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prohibit or limit the use of toxic substances. 

Watchdog groups no longer have to convince the EPA of unreasonable risk; they can now have an objective judge decide based on an independent review of the evidence.

We are also laying the foundation for future TSCA challenges by citizens and environmental groups. For example, because of Judge Edward Chen’s ruling to deny the EPA’s motion to dismiss our case, TSCA law will now be interpreted to allow the EPA to be petitioned to regulate single uses of substances, rather all uses, which was the EPA’s position. This change will make it easier for activists to force the EPA to review the risks of specific chemicals used commercially.

While it has been four years since this effort began in November of 2016 — when the Fluoride Action Network, together with a coalition of nonprofits and individual citizens, presented a petition to the EPA to end the deliberate addition of fluoridation chemicals to the public’s drinking water — it has actually taken 20 years of effort by FAN to bring us to this point.

It took the development of our extensive website in the early days. It took the creation of our comprehensive health database (larger than any government had put together on fluoride’s toxicity).

It took countless submissions to government agencies and the translation of many Chinese neurotoxicity studies and much more. And, after much delay due to government shut downs and Covid-19, our day in court finally arrived.

Trial of the Century

The trial began with an opening statement from the attorney for the plaintiffs, Michael Connett. He made the succinct but powerful case that fluoride presents a hazard (threat to the brain); that this hazard is a risk at the doses experienced in fluoridated communities; and that it is an unreasonable risk.

The EPA, represented by lawyers from the Department of Defense, argued that establishing fluoride as a neurotoxic hazard requires a systematic review, which they claimed FAN’s experts didn’t perform.

They also argued that the evidence showing harm from fluoride at the levels found in communities that practice fluoridation wasn’t strong enough to yield action from the EPA. Both of these claims would be disproven by FAN’s experts and attorney during the trial.

This was followed by three days of testimony from FAN’s expert witnesses, all independent and leading scientists whose world-class expertise includes fluoride, neurotoxicity and risk assessments, and whose expertise the EPA has relied on in the past on other toxicants like lead and mercury. The witnesses included (click on links to see their declarations and resumes):

Their testimony was followed by the EPA’s witnesses, two of which were experts-for-hire from the corporate consulting firm Exponent, and one was a risk assessment expert from the EPA.

It was revealed that the EPA paid Exponent approximately $350,000 for their testimony, which was focused primarily on claiming that there was insufficient evidence of harm — something they’re known for doing in every trial, no matter who they’re representing or how strong the science is.

One of their witnesses, Dr. Ellen Chang, has a long history of defending and producing systematic reviews for corporate polluters, including for DOW Chemical’s Agent Orange, Monsanto’s glyphosate, 3M’s PFOAs, and pesticides from Syngenta and Croplife. She also worked for the American Chemistry Council, American Petroleum Institute, and the Manganese Interest Group.

Several paragraphs here couldn’t possibly do the in-depth proceedings of the trial justice, or highlight all of the shocking and incredible statements that were made. I would urge you to read our detailed summaries for each of the trial days. 

I would also urge you to visit our TSCA trial overview page, where you can find the basic facts, a timeline of all actions and rulings, links to all of the submissions made by FAN, links to all of the media coverage, and links to the studies we relied upon to make our case. You can also visit our Twitter page, where we provided live tweet coverage of days 3 through 7.

The Judge’s Reaction

After seven days of trial and closing statements from both parties, the judge held off on making a final ruling, but he did make it fairly obvious that he was convinced that FAN fluoride was a neurotoxin and likely posed an unreasonable risk. He said that the EPA had failed to properly assess that risk, and illegitimately turned down FAN’s 2016 petition for TSCA action.

The judge urged the parties to spend the next few weeks discussing the possibility of an amended TSCA petition and assessment by the EPA, or start a new petition and have the EPA conduct a proper review, and leave his final ruling until that is complete. Both parties expressed doubt that such an arrangement would be fruitful, but ultimately agreed to move forward with it and update the court on their progress in the beginning of August. 

We Expect the EPA Could Continue to Delay

We don’t expect the overzealous proponents of the fluoridation, including the EPA, CDC and ADA, to roll over without using every avenue possible to save their credibility by protecting fluoridation. They’ve already proven time and again, they have deep pockets and no shame.

Proponents don’t seem to realize that continued promotion will cause an ever-increasing loss of the public’s trust in the agencies that are meant to protect them. Continuing this practice in the absence of sound science — and investing millions of dollars in PR to cover up that fact — will further erode the public’s trust in public health programs.

Right now, the only thing being protected is a failed policy and the reputation of those who refuse to accept that this program has been a massive failure both ethically and scientifically.

Before the trial the EPA had already intimated that they could appeal a ruling in our favor, and that even if we win the appeal the rulemaking process to end fluoridation’s neurotoxic harm could take up to three years. This would mean tens of thousands more children permanently harmed by fluoridation.

This is why, regardless of the ultimate verdict, FAN will continue to need your support. We have forged this precedent-setting path together. Your support, contributions and sharing of our cause and legal case have played a critical role in making this happen, and we thank you. Whether we win or lose this trial, our important education efforts will have to continue.

Please consider investing in an end to fluoridation by making a tax-deductible donation to our work.

Also, please consider signing-up to receive FAN’s email bulletins and following us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. We will keep you informed about the latest fluoride research and news, plus give you opportunities help influence fluoride policy in your area and throughout the world.

New Tools and Resources to Educate Leaders About Neurotoxicity

While FAN is taking the lead in court at the federal and state level, and helping campaigners at the local level to educate decision-makers and public health officials, we need your help to spread this educational campaign to every community, including yours. To make the task easier, we have created a number of new educational materials.

First, is our handout on neurotoxicity. We have both a color version along with a black and white version for cheaper bulk printing, as well as a list of the references for this handout that you can combine to make a nice double-sided handout if you so choose. You can also check out our other handouts here.

Second, FAN’s Research Director, Chris Neurath, filmed a Zoom webinar in which he presented detailed evidence that fluoride is a developmental neurotoxin.

He described the rapidly accumulating peer-reviewed science showing that fluoride lowers the IQ of children and increases their risk of neurobehavioral problems like ADHD. He put those studies into perspective in ways we can all understand.

This video a powerful tool for campaigners and parents looking to learn the science and to share it with decision-makers. Neurath’s presentation is about 50 minutes and includes a 30-minute question and answer session that took place at the end. Click here to access the PowerPoint slides used in this presentation.

Help educate your state-level decision makers about the neurotoxic harm caused by water fluoridation. Use our simple automated email system to send Neurath’s presentation to your state legislators and urge them to introduce a bill next session to end the practice throughout your state: Educate Your Legislators NOW.

FAN has also produced a new video series entitled, “Four Game-Changing Studies,” explaining the science behind fluoridation’s neurotoxicity in four short videos featuring Paul Connett, Ph.D. The shorter format makes the content easier to share on social media and easier for local authorities to digest incrementally.

Reduce Light Pollution to Sleep Soundly and Feel Energized

Our hunter–gatherer ancestors didn’t have LED lights, iPads or street lights ablaze all night. Instead, they were dependent on the sun, the moon and fire for light. Consistent light cycles ensured that circadian rhythms, moods and hormones were in check.

But today, it’s a different story. We’re exposed to bright lights well past sunset, and during the day, we often don’t get enough real sunlight. Light can increase our productivity, but too much light has consequences. Artificial light at the wrong times creates a mismatch between your genes and the environment, with potentially dire health outcomes.

Reducing your exposure to light pollution can protect you from those negative health outcomes and help you sleep more soundly and feel more energized. Find out how to reduce light pollution and why it’s an important part of an ancestral health-based lifestyle.

Light Pollution: Too Much of a Good Thing

Humans have evolved alongside 24-hour day/night cycles, and our bodily functions have synced up with these cycles in what we call circadian rhythms. Most endocrine hormones exhibit a recognizable daily rhythm, including:1,2,3,4

Cortisol

Luteinizing hormone

Thyroid hormones

Growth hormone

Insulin

Leptin

Ghrelin

Follicle-stimulating hormone

Melatonin

These hormones regulate daily patterns of bodily processes like digestion, metabolism, and sleep.5,6,7 For example, cortisol should be highest in the morning to keep us alert and gradually decrease throughout the day, while melatonin should be highest at night to encourage sleep and low during the day. In fact, exposure to bright 480-nm light in the morning helps determine when the pineal glands will start releasing melatonin at night.8

Light, at the appropriate times and intensities, is the most potent regulator of our circadian rhythms. When bright light hits our eyes, photosensitive cells communicate with a region in the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which is thought of as the body’s “central clock.”9

The SCN regulates clock genes found in cells throughout our bodies. However, growing evidence shows that light can also regulate mood, learning and other functions without affecting circadian rhythm.10,11

12 Health Consequences of Light Pollution

Light pollution is a major problem in the developed world. At 10 p.m., our hunter–gatherer ancestors may have been settling down for the night under the moon, which emits a mere 0.1 to 0.4 lux of light.12,13

Compare that to home indoor lights at about 100 to 300 lux, or the bright lights in a store that can reach 1,000 lux.14 All night long, street lights and store lights create light pollution that prevents more than 99% of people in the U.S. and Europe from experiencing natural light.15

Light pollution messes with the body’s circadian rhythms, which can disrupt hormones and sleep. Light pollution can also affect mood and cognition without noticeable changes to the circadian rhythm. Whether indirectly or directly, these changes can cause myriad health problems.

1. Inflammation — Exposure to light at night, whether from shift work or binge-watching Netflix, increases inflammatory cytokines and decreases proper melatonin levels at night.16,17 Chronic inflammation contributes to the development of almost every chronic disease that plagues modern societies today.

2. Immune Suppression — Adequate sleep is vital for robust immune function, and facets of the immune system are under circadian control.18 Light exposure at night and disruptions in circadian rhythm both alter the body’s immune responses, making it more susceptible to infection.19,20,21

3. Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Disruption — The HPA axis controls the stress response. When cortisol and other hormones are out of whack from too much light, circadian disruption and not enough sleep, overall cortisol levels rise and the HPA axis is impaired.22,23,24

4. Gut Problems — Because digestion is under circadian control, any disruption to this rhythm can promote the growth of inflammatory gut bacteria, decrease beneficial microbes, and upregulate intestinal permeability and lipopolysaccharide transport into the systemic circulation.25,26 This also helps explain why people who are jet-lagged experience diarrhea or constipation.

5. Thyroid Issues — Thyroid hormones have circadian rhythms, too. Sleep deprivation from ill-timed light is associated with abnormal thyroid function.27,28,29

6. Obesity — Night owls and people with sleep deprivation tend to eat more and gain more weight.30,31 Exposure to light at night, jet lag and shift work are all associated with an increased risk of obesity.32,33

7. Diabetes — Obesity itself is a risk factor for developing diabetes. Circadian misalignment and sleep deprivation have both been linked to increased insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance.34,35,36,37

8. Fertility and Menstrual Problems — From premenstrual syndrome to fertility, circadian disruptions can influence a woman’s reproductive health. Shift work and lack of sleep correlate with increased cortisol levels, decreased melatonin levels at night, and disrupted HPA axis, which can all wreak havoc on female fertility.38,39 Sleep disturbances may negatively influence male fertility, as well.40

9. Cardiovascular Disease — Evidence shows that disrupted circadian rhythms and sleep disorders are linked to cardiovascular disease risk.41,42 In one interesting study, “light-at-night” exposure in 700 subjects correlated with the level of progression of carotid atherosclerotic vascular disease.43

10. Depression and Mood Disorders — A clear connection between dark winter months and seasonal depression has already been demonstrated.44 Light exposure at the wrong times, in any month, can influence mood and depression risk. Poor quality sleep, which can result from abnormal light cycles and circadian disruption, is a risk factor for depression.45,46

In mice, light exposure at night altered gene expression in brain regions involved in emotional regulation, including the hippocampus.47 In a human trial, those exposed to just 5 lux of light at night had an increased risk of developing depression over 24 months of follow-up, compared to those who had less than 5 lux of light at night.48

11. Cognition and Memory Deficits — Were you ever told to get a good night’s sleep before a test? Sleep loss and jet lag are clearly associated with poor learning capacity and neurocognitive performance.49,50 Aberrant light exposure, which can lead to circadian misalignment and sleep disruption, resulted in memory and learning deficits, including reduced hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents.51,52,53

12. Cancer — Bright light at night suppresses melatonin and may increase the risk of certain cancers including breast and prostate cancer.54,55,56,57,58 Sleep deprivation, which can be caused by aberrant light exposure, is also linked to cancers.59 In fact, shift work, where workers’ sleep schedules don’t coincide with natural light cycles, is considered a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.60

Ecological Consequences of Light Pollution

The effects of light pollution extend beyond human behavior and disease. Animals and plants also have evolved along with predictable light patterns, and messing with light timing has ecological impacts. Melatonin, which is suppressed by bright light at night, directly influences the seasonal breeding of animals.61

Light pollution disrupts animal reproduction, species biodiversity, plant flowering and much, much more.62 Light pollution affects many plants and animals, including:63

Birds

Bats

Sea turtles

Marsupials

Rodents

Fish

Moths

Beetles

Spiders

Ants

Worms

Corals

Terrestrial plants

How to Reduce Light Pollution at Home

You don’t have to abandon all electronic activity to mitigate the harmful effects of light pollution at home. Focus on increasing exposure to bright, natural light in the morning and reducing exposure to it in the evening. You will sleep more soundly and feel more energized when your body’s rhythms are synced up with the sun. Here are some helpful tips to get started.

Go Outside, Early

On average, people spend 93% of their time indoors or in a car — it’s no wonder our circadian rhythms are out of whack!64 Once you get out of bed in the morning, open all window shades to let in the morning light. Ideally, spend 20 to 30 minutes outside in the early morning. If that’s impossible, a 10,000 lux full-spectrum light box may suffice if you spend a good 30 minutes nearby. If you commute to work, try to drive without sunglasses to increase your light exposure.

Avoid Bright Lights Later in the Day

There are many ways to facilitate this:

  1. Replace LED light bulbs with incandescent bulbs. Yes, LEDs win in efficiency, but their environmental friendliness only goes so far. LEDs emit light wavelengths that are really, really good at suppressing melatonin, which you don’t want happening later in the day.
  2. Wear amber-colored blue light-blocking glasses in the afternoon and evening, especially if you’re using electronics. These glasses are highly effective at improving sleep and mood.65,66,67
  3. Install a program like f.lux that modifies a device’s display screen to be warmer in the evening and lighter during the day.

Sleep in the Dark

Darken your bedroom at night — the darker, the better. Even dim light at night can disrupt circadian rhythm.68,69 Nix the night light, install blackout curtains and remove that bright blue digital clock. Your mood, sleep and health will thank you!

How to Reduce Light Pollution at the Community Level

Light pollution negatively affects mood, sleep, ecosystems, and public health. Most of the developed world isn’t able to view the Milky Way at night. Some businesses, like hospitals, might not be able to shut down completely at night, but communities and cities can take steps to reduce light pollution.

In fact, at least 17 of the 50 United States already have laws limiting light pollution.70 Some laws require street lights to point downward, while others require low-wattage lighting at night, and even others limit the lights allowed at night. In England, almost a quarter of communities turn off street lights between midnight and 4 a.m. or 5 a.m.71 And, although it may seem counterintuitive, less light at night doesn’t seem to increase crime.72,73

For information on how to take action in your community, check out the International Dark Sky Places. This great resource provides educational materials about light pollution, and also gives tips and examples for how to talk to neighbors, communities and even legislators.

Chris Kresser

>>>>> Click Here <<<<<

Magnesium L-Threonate for Depression and Anxiety

The recent coronavirus pandemic has infected over 5 million people and has caused over 300,000 deaths. This pandemic has also caused school and business closings, social distancing, and has forced millions of people to be confined to their homes. 

Social confinement can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress and depressed mood, and this can lead to other negative health consequences. Although people can exercise and seek counseling, nutrients can make a difference with the most important one being magnesium.

Approximately 50% of American adults are not getting the estimated average requirement for magnesium (around 400 mg of magnesium/day).1 Indeed, most Americans are only consuming around 250 mg of magnesium per day.2

Thus, a substantial percent of the population is likely magnesium deficient and may benefit by taking an additional 150 to 200 mg of magnesium through supplementation. 

In fact, up to 30% of the population is magnesium deficient based on low serum magnesium levels, and up to 84% of certain patient populations are magnesium deficient when using the gold standard IV magnesium load test.3

Thus, subclinical magnesium deficiency is common and leads to numerous mental health issues. This brief review will cover the potential benefits of magnesium, particularly magnesium L-threonate, for mood and anxiety.

Magnesium L-Threonate to the Rescue

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include many mental issues such as depression, confusion and agitation.4 Individuals with depression are known to have

  • Lower magnesium levels in the blood5 and the brain.6
  • Low cerebral spinal fluid magnesium.7

Unfortunately, cerebral spinal fluid magnesium levels are tightly controlled, whereby boosting blood levels of magnesium by 300% only increases cerebrospinal fluid levels by approximately 10 to 19%.8 However:

  • Magnesium L-threonate has improved effectiveness for increasing cerebrospinal fluid magnesium levels.9
  • Only magnesium L-threonate, as opposed to magnesium chloride or magnesium gluconate, increases cerebrospinal fluid magnesium levels and improves cognition in animal models.10

The first report of magnesium for improving mood was published in 1921, showing success in 220 out of 250 cases.11 Since then, numerous case reports have found rapid improvements in mood with the use of magnesium supplementation without side effects.12 Additionally:

  • A randomized equivalent trial found that oral magnesium supplementation was just as effective as an antidepressant for improving mood.13

Thus, clinical studies in humans suggests that magnesium supplementation is beneficial for improving mood. Approximately 60% of individuals who have a depressed mood are considered treatment-resistant and this may be due to magnesium deficiency.14 Moreover:

  • Low magnesium levels correlate with poor outcomes in in individuals with a depressed mood who do not respond to medications.15
  • Higher magnesium intakes are associated with better mood scores.16
  • All of this suggests a potential role for magnesium, especially magnesium L-threonate, for mental health.

In summary, depressed mood may simply be a sign of magnesium deficiency in the brain. Boosting brain magnesium levels, particularly with the use of magnesium L-threonate, may have profound benefits on mood.

Importantly, magnesium is needed to make the three primary neurotransmitters in the brain, i.e., serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline and melatonin which is important for sleep.

magnesium for serotonin and melatonin
magnesium for dopamine and norepinephrine

Magnesium L-Threonate for Anxiety Support

High levels of stress can lead to magnesium deficiency by increasing the amount of magnesium that is lost in the urine.17,18

Moreover, magnesium deficiency enhances the stress response.19

Magnesium deficiency increases stress-induced mortality in animals,20 whereas compensation for magnesium deficiency improves the ability of the nervous system to resist stress.21

In other words, stress leads to magnesium deficiency and magnesium deficiency leads to stress.

Animals receiving diets low in magnesium display increased anxiety-related behavior,22 and this may be due to hyper-excitability in the brain and increased cortisol production.23

Importantly, two studies have shown that supplementing animals with magnesium L-threonate reduces anxiety.24,25

Thus, magnesium L-threonate may have a central role in anxiety support. In summary, anxiety can cause magnesium deficiency and vice versa. Considering that most people in the United States are not consuming an adequate amount of magnesium from the diet, supplementation with magnesium L-threonate may have an important role for anxiety support.

COVID-19: A Leaked Virus Jointly Created by US and China?

We are repeatedly told that COVID-19 originated from a wild animal at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China, and that it is a natural mutation of a bat virus. But the hard evidence contradicts this theory.

Did COVID-19 Start in the Huanan Seafood Market?

There is evidence that the first confirmed COVID-19 hospital patient had no contact with the Huanan Seafood Market, and only a few of the next few patients had contact with the market, which would rule out the possibility that the market was the original source of the virus.

The graph below comes from a peer-reviewed scientific paper published in The Lancet. The first recorded incidence of a COVID-19 symptomatic patient being admitted to a hospital occurred December 1, 2019.1 This patient had no contact with the seafood market.

Nine days later, on December 10, 2019, three more patients were admitted to the hospital, two of whom had had no contact with the seafood market. One patient had contact with the market. Five days later, two more people were reported sick after being at the market; however, others who had had no contact with the market continued to be admitted to hospitals. This data clearly shows that the Huanan Seafood Market was not the original source of COVID-19.

huanan seafood supermarket exposure

The virus (called 2019-nCoV then and now called SARS-CoV-2) was circulating in the Wuhan community for at least nine days before the first reported case of a patient who had had contact with the market. The market cluster most likely came from an infected person visiting the market, and infecting stall holders and customers because of its crowded conditions.

The market was closed down January 1, 2020, and cleaned out with bleach to contain this disease. This effectively destroyed any chance of determining if there were infected animals as claimed by the Chinese government, the World Health Organization and others. However, as the virus was circulating in Wuhan before the first cases occurred in the market, closing down the market did not stop this pandemic.

While the virus was spreading throughout Wuhan, and people seriously ill with a new form of pneumonia were going to hospitals, the Chinese government was jailing the doctors who were warning others about this disease.

The government was also telling the world that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission, instead insisting that this was a rare disease that came directly from animals and that could not be passed from person to person — which we now know to be a lie.

A paper published February 6, 2020, by two Chinese researchers showed that there were no bats in the seafood market and that the only bats and bat viruses in Wuhan were at the Wuhan Center for Disease Control & Prevention and Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

This paper stated that the most likely source of COVID-19 was an accident at one of these labs, and that more research should be undertaken to determine if an accident at the lab was to blame for the pandemic. The Chinese government used pressure to have this paper withdrawn, deleted and suppressed, and the researchers silenced.

However in the interest of transparency and freedom of speech, we are providing a link to the original paper as we managed to save a copy before the Chinese government tried to delete it.2

SARS-CoV-2, the name of the virus that causes COVID-19, has not been found in the wild. Its nearest relative, RaTG13, was collected from bats by WIV researchers in 2013, in Yunnan Province, about 1,000 miles away from Wuhan.

RaTG13 was stored in Wuhan at WIV. However, there was no record of it in the scientific literature or in gene banks until January 23, 2020, when Shi Zhengli, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, and others at WIV published that RaTG13 was 96.2 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2.3

The prevailing theory is that an intermediate animal, such as a pangolin, was infected by the bat coronavirus, and the virus mutated in the pangolin before infecting humans. However, at this stage, there is no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 being found in any wild animal.

Several close relatives of SARS-CoV-2 have been found in bats; however, these viruses do not contain the same spike protein found in SARS-CoV-2 that gives the virus the ability to infect humans. The spike protein in SARS-CoV-2 is unique and is different from the spike proteins in other coronaviruses. It has not been found in any other coronaviruses, including RaTG13.

The virus closest to containing a section of spike protein nearly identical to a section of SARS-CoV-2 was found by researchers in one Malayan Pangolin out of a group of 25 pangolins that were confiscated from smugglers at the Chinese boarder.4 However, the rest of this pangolin virus is quite different from SARS-CoV-2.

Several researchers have stated that SARS-CoV-2 is a result of the genetic recombination of part of the spike protein of the Malayan Pangolin coronavirus into RaTG13.5

spike protein coronavirus
The Spike Protein is found on the end of the spike of the Coronavirus. The spike attaches to a cell and the protein allows the virus to infect the cell

It is unlikely that this recombination of two viruses happened naturally in the wild. The infected Malayan Pangolin was captured outside of China, probably thousands of miles away from Yunnan, where the only record of the bat virus RaTG13 has been found.

Given that only one out of 25 of the Malayan Pangolins had this virus, it shows that it is not a common virus and does not cause widespread infections in pangolins. RaTG13 has been found only in a few bats in one location in Yunnan, and nowhere else in the world. It is highly improbable that an extremely rare virus from an isolated area in Yunnan infected and mutated inside pangolins that were caught outside of China.

How did SARS-CoV-2 get this unique spike protein? The theory that these two viruses combined naturally, given that they are most likely separated by thousands of miles, lacks credibility. This may be a popular theory, but it has zero evidence.

Evidence SARS-CoV-2 May Have Come From a Laboratory in Wuhan

The Wuhan Institute of Virology has the largest collection of bat coronaviruses in the world, including RaTG13. WIV specializes in Gain-of-Function research. Gain-of-Function (GOF) research involves mutating viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms to enhance their ability to infect and cause diseases.

This can involve taking a harmless virus and manipulating it to infect and cause severe illnesses in other species, or making already-deadly diseases, such as the Spanish Flu or the plague, even deadlier.

This type of research has divided the scientific community with many scientists warning that if one of these enhanced diseases escaped it could cause a global pandemic. The GOF researchers deny that these deadly organisms will escape. They state that this research is needed to protect us from pandemics by using it to make medications and vaccines.

After 30 years of research there is very little evidence of any benefit from GOF research — and many examples of these deadly disease organisms escaping from laboratories around the world, including China. GOF research certainly hasn’t helped with cures to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.

GOF research has been conducted on bat coronaviruses at the WIV since 2007. Researchers there have published several scientific papers showing how they have genetically modified harmless coronaviruses so they now can infect humans. They have been combining parts of two different viruses to make new viruses. Two papers of note were published about this in 2015 and 2017.

In 2015, Shi Zhengli from the WIV, and researchers at various universities and research institutions in the U.S. and Switzerland, published a paper explaining how they genetically modified the SARS coronavirus to create a dangerous synthetic virus.

The researchers took the genetic codes for part of the spike protein from a virus that Shi Zhengli isolated from bats found in Yunnan in 2011, and inserted them into the SARS coronavirus (the virus that caused the original SARS epidemic in 2002-2003).6

The spike protein is found on the top of the spike on coronaviruses. The viruses use this protein to attach to specific receptors in cells to infect them. Each species of animal tends to have unique receptors. This means that the virus has to have a unique spike protein that will bind to the specific receptor. It is a “lock-and-key” system. The spike protein is the same as the key and the receptor is the same as the lock. The wrong key will not open a lock.

Most of the spike proteins in coronaviruses found in animals will not infect people because their spike proteins are the wrong key to unlock the receptors on the cells. The only way coronaviruses from animals can infect people is if the viruses’ “keys” (spike proteins) are somehow modified to fit the humans’ “lock” (cell receptors).

This type of modification can happen through natural mutations, but usually only very slowly, and over many decades. However, spike proteins are being genetically modified in many laboratories around the world, as GOF research, to enable spike proteins to mutate at rates far faster and more frequently than can occur naturally.

This is part of the justification for GOF research: In order to study disease organisms, researchers modify them faster and more often than the organisms would modify on their own, in nature.

The synthetic coronavirus created in 2015 by WIV’s Shi Zhengli and other researchers was genetically modified to make it able to infect the human ACE2 receptor, the same receptor that SARS-CoV-2 infects to cause COVID-19.

This dangerous new genetically modified virus was created by researchers from the University of North Carolina, the Harvard Medical School, the National Center for Toxicological Research, Food and Drug Administration in Arkansas, the Bellinzona Institute of Microbiology in Switzerland and the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, who were working together and subsequently published their paper.

This shows that these types of dangerous genetically modified viruses are being created in many laboratories around the world, including WIV.

In 2017, Shi Zhengli and other researchers at WIV, along with researchers from the New York based EcoHealth Alliance, published a paper on how they genetically modified the spike proteins of eight bat coronaviruses, essentially by cutting and pasting genetic material from other coronaviruses, so that the viruses infected the human ACE2 receptor. This is the same receptor that SARS-CoV-2 infects to cause COVID-19.7

According to an article in Newsweek, the EcoHealth alliance was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health to do this research.8

The 2015 and 2017 papers are clear evidence that researchers at the WIV, in conjunction with U.S. and other researchers, have been genetically modifying the spike proteins of multiple types of coronaviruses, by cutting and pasting genetic material from other coronaviruses, so that harmless viruses can now infect humans.

Could SARS-CoV-2 Have Escaped From Wuhan Lab?

There are numerous examples of deadly diseases escaping from laboratories. A paper in Science magazine documents many of them and shows how it has only been luck that they haven’t caused a major global pandemic.9

A U.S. State Department visit to the WIV in 2018 found that the lab had very poor security standards. In a cable to Washington, department officials reported their concerns that a dangerous coronavirus could escape.

Columnist Josh Rogin said in The Washington Post on April 14, 2020: “The first cable, which I obtained, also warns that the lab’s work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic.”

According to Rogin, the officials “… noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory.”10

Despite these concerns, the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, which funds biomedical research around the world, in 2019 recommended that the U.S. should continue to fund the Wuhan Institute of Virology research as part of a combination grant designated to a number of entities studying the bat coronavirus. However, the grant was discontinued and the WIV lab never received those funds.11

In Summary

As stated before there is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, originated from wild animals or the Huanan Seafood Market. The evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 was circulating in Wuhan for more than nine days before the first case was reported by someone who had been at the market. SARS-CoV-2 has not been found in wild animals or domesticated livestock.

There is strong evidence this virus is a result of the recombination of two viruses. The evidence shows that it was highly unlikely that this recombination could have occurred naturally, as the two confirmed animal host species were geographically separated, possibly by thousands of miles.

There is clear evidence that the closest relative of the SARS-CoV-2 is RaTG13, and this virus was in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The evidence shows that SARS-CoV-2 is mostly composed of RaTG13, but that part of the RaTG13 spike protein has been modified with a section of a virus found in a Malayan Pangolin. This modified spike protein is what gives SARS-CoV-2 the ability to bind with the ACE2 receptor and infect people.

There is clear evidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) has been doing Gain-of-Function research to recombine multiple bat and other coronaviruses by genetically modifying the spike protein so that the viruses can infect humans.

There is clear evidence that the biosecurity at the WIV was inadequate due to the lack of properly trained staff and that this could result in one of the many dangerous genetically engineered bat coronaviruses escaping and causing a global pandemic.

The evidence shows that the Chinese government has constantly lied about the facts that caused this pandemic and allowed it to spread, has prevented independent researchers from entering the WIV to investigate what happened there, continues to suppress all independent research, made researchers and papers disappear and silenced others. This is clear evidence of a grand-scale cover up. What are they trying to cover up?

A reasonable conclusion, based on the evidence, is that SARS-CoV-2 was created in the WIV through Gain-of-Function research, and that it accidentally escaped due to inadequate biosecurity.

The Gain-of-Function researchers and organizations are circling the wagons to prevent this information from becoming public. This includes people like Anthony Fauci who, through the NIH, invested millions of dollars into Gain-of-Function research, and many other organizations in the U.S. and around the world that are still funding the WIV and other laboratories doing this dangerous research.

These groups are saying that SARS-CoV-2 has come from natural mutations, because they know that if the facts are revealed, their research and labs will be closed down to prevent future accidents. Fortunately, there are enough scientists concerned about Gain-of-Function research to uncover good evidence about the origins of this pandemic so that we, as a society, can prevent this from ever happening again.

It is time that all Gain-of-Function research is banned. These scientists are creating deadly Frankenstein monsters that can have terrible consequences when they escape. They are Franken-viruses because they are murderous monsters that can kill millions, severely damage economies and destroy livelihoods.

There is very little evidence of any benefits coming from GOF, and the current COVID-19 pandemic clearly shows that this research is too dangerous. Given that there are even deadlier organisms in these laboratories, the next escape could have even greater consequences for all of us. We must stop it now.

André Leu is International Director of Regeneration International and the author of “Poisoning our Children.”

What Are the Benefits of Parsley Tea?

Often used for garnishing meals and improving flavor, parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a fragrant green herb with a refreshing taste. Don’t let its simple appearance fool you, though, as it’s a powerhouse of various vitamins and minerals.1,2

There are many ways to consume parsley, as it can be a colorful addition to salads, soups, sauces and sandwiches. But did you know that you can brew parsley into a soothing and therapeutic cup of tea as well? Read on to learn more about parsley tea, its benefits to your well-being and how you can brew a fresh cup on your own.

What Is Parsley Tea?

Parsley tea is an herbal infusion made from the fresh or dried leaves of the parsley plant.3 The leaves have a naturally bright, bitter taste,4 which is why sometimes a sweetener is added. Making the tea is quite easy, as there are parsley teabags available at your local supermarket. However, given the affordable price of fresh parsley, it may be a better idea to make your own tea at home.5

Steeping parsley in hot water infuses its compounds into the beverage. This allows you to obtain traces of its plant polyphenols and the following nutrients with every sip of parsley tea:6

8 Parsley Tea Benefits

The polyphenols, vitamins and minerals in parsley tea may provide various pharmacological activities, including diuretic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and nephroprotective properties, among others.7 All of these nutrients work together to help:

1. Detoxify the body — Because of its natural diuretic property, parsley leaves may help flush out toxins from your body through your urine.8

2. Lower the risk for cancer — Apigenin, one of the flavonoids obtained from parsley tea, has been shown to provide chemoprotective properties.

According to a study published in the Journal of Cancer Prevention, the mechanisms by which apigenin help lower the risk for cancer involve stimulating cancer cell autophagy and apoptosis, regulating cellular response to oxidative stress and DNA damage, suppressing inflammation and angiogenesis, and retarding cancer cell proliferation.9

3. Promote immune health — Parsley tea provides you with vitamin C, which may help improve your immune defenses by supporting cellular immune function, stimulating oxidant-scavenging activity and promoting epithelial barrier function against pathogens.10 Parsley tea also increases your levels of vitamin A, which was dubbed as “the anti-inflammation vitamin” in a 1928 study due to its critical role in enhancing immune function.11

4. Relieve bloating — Parsley is traditionally used to help ease symptoms of bloating. Adjusting eating habits, such as slowing down swallowing, may help bloating as well.12

5. Fight against the effects of free radicals Parsley tea may be a good source of flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamins and minerals that have antioxidant properties to help defend your cells against harmful free radicals.13

6. Lower the risk for kidney stones A study published in the American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Urology showed that parsley may help increase urine volume, decrease urinary calcium excretion and raise urine acidity, making it a natural antiurolithiasis remedy.14

7. Promote healthy liver function A study published in the Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology found that the extract of parsley may have hepatoprotective effects due to its antioxidant properties.15

8. Manage blood pressure levels Parsley may help lower blood pressure levels by releasing more sodium into your urine and stimulating urination. This decreases the amount of fluid flowing through your blood vessels, which in turn reduces the pressure on your vessel walls.16,17

How to Make Parsley Tea

It’s easy to make a steaming cup of parsley tea. Simply follow this recipe adapted from Verywell Fit:18

Parsley Tea Recipe

Ingredients

Procedure

  1. Place the leaves into your cup or a tea infuser. A French press is also viable if you have one at home.
  2. Boil enough water for your chosen container.
  3. Fill the container with boiling water. Steep the leaves for about four minutes, or longer for a stronger flavor.
  4. Remove the leaves if the tea was prepared in the cup. Add a dash of raw honey or stevia.

Take a Sip of This Mint-Infused Parsley Tea

You can take your parsley tea up a notch by adding other herbs to it. Here’s a refreshing recipe you can try that incorporates mint leaves:

Mint-Infused Parsley Tea Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 cups of water
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • Lemon slices

Procedure

  1. Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Put the parsley and mint leaves in a teapot and pour hot water over them.
  3. Let the leaves steep for five minutes. You can either strain them or leave them in.
  4. Pour the tea into the cups, add lemon slices and serve.

(Recipe adapted from A Dash of Lemon19)

Parsley Tea Side Effects

Although parsley tea is generally a healthy beverage, you still should consume it in moderation. Drinking large amounts of parsley tea may cause a severe allergic reaction. In a case study published in 2014, a woman developed near-fatal anaphylaxis because she was consuming a cup of parsley every day.20

To stay on the safe side, if you don’t know whether you’re allergic to parsley, consult with a doctor before adding it to your regular diet.

How to Pick Fresh Parsley for Your Tea

If you prefer making parsley tea from scratch instead of buying ready-to-steep teabags from the supermarket, choose plants that look fresh and crisp, with vibrant green leaves. Avoid parsley that has yellowed leaves or other signs of decay.21

Make sure the plant you choose is grown organically to lower your risk of exposure to harmful gardening chemicals. Buy parsley from the local farmers market to guarantee it’s organic, or better yet, grow parsley at home.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Parsley Tea

Q: What is parsley tea good for?

A: Parsley tea contains health-promoting polyphenols and nutrients such as apigenin, carotenoids, vitamins A, C and K, folate, magnesium and iron, to name a few.22 It also has numerous pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and nephroprotective properties.23

Some of its possible benefits include helping reduce the risk for cancer,24 promoting immune health,25 relieving bloating26 and inhibiting the formation of kidney stones.27

Q: How much parsley tea is safe to drink daily?

A: You can safely drink a cup of parsley tea per day, though you should consult with your doctor to learn if you have any allergies before trying it. Consuming too much parsley may lead to anemia or liver or kidney problems.28

Q: Where can you buy parsley tea?

A: Parsley tea is available in health food stores. You also can make your own using fresh parsley leaves.

Q: Is parsley tea good for your skin?

A: Yes. Parsley may help promote healthy skin, thanks to its vitamin A content, which is essential for skin health.29

Q: Is parsley tea good for your liver?

A: Yes. The extract of parsley present in this beverage has been shown to provide hepatoprotective properties.30

Q: Is parsley tea good for lowering blood pressure?

A: A study showed that parsley has diuretic properties, which may aid in the reduction of blood pressure levels.31


The Perps Behind COVID-19

“I am not saying that China deliberately released this, shooting itself in the foot. But it was clear they were developing an extremely dangerous unknown biological weapon that had never been seen before, and it leaked out of the lab…

I personally believe that until our political leaders come clean with the American people, both at the White House and in Congress and our state government, and publicly admit that this is an extremely dangerous offensive biological warfare weapon that we are dealing with, I do not see that we will be able to confront it and to stop it, let alone defeat it.” ~ Dr. Francis Boyle, International Bioweapons Expert, April 15, 2020

According to Johns Hopkins University, as of April 29, 2020, COVID-19 has infected more than 3 million people and killed at least 210,000 worldwide. Those are big numbers, considering the fact that six short months ago, few members of the general public had ever heard of the coronavirus. Almost no one was harboring fears of a looming and deadly global pandemic.

But here we are. As our new reality sinks in, as we adjust to lockdowns and home schooling and long lines at grocery stores, as we look for ways to protect ourselves and our families — and as some grieve for lost loved ones — most of us are also seeking answers.

Why does this virus cause so many mysterious symptoms? Why are some cases mild, others deadly? How can we protect ourselves? Whose advice should we follow? But the biggest questions of all are these: Where did COVID-19 come from? And how can we prevent this from ever happening again?

The answers to these questions may be too disturbing to ponder, especially while we’re still grappling with the impact of the virus on nearly every aspect of our lives. But our failure to investigate, and directly address, the origins of SARS-CoV-2 almost certainly guarantees our failure to protect ourselves from future, possibly even more deadly, pandemics.

Science Most Foul

Thousands of dangerous viruses and other pathogens, such as the bat coronavirus and the avian flu, are being collected in the wild by Chinese, U.S. and international researchers. These viruses are then analyzed and weaponized (i.e. genetically engineered, manipulated, recombined) in secretive, accident-prone, labs like the Wuhan Virology Lab in China or the U.S. Army Lab in Fort Detrick, Maryland.

Coronaviruses typically have a narrow host range, infecting one or just a few species, such as bats. However, using targeted RNA recombination, gene engineers can manipulate viruses such as COVID-19 for “gain of function” to enable them to infect other species (i.e. human cells), interfere with immune system response and readily spread through the air.

A growing arsenal of synthetic viruses have been lab-engineered, despite U.S. and international laws banning biowarfare weapons and experimentation. A disturbing number of these so-called “dual use” Biowarfare/Biodefense labs have experienced leaks, accidents and thefts over the past three decades. As the well-respected Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently warned:

“A safety breach at a Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention lab is believed to have caused four suspected SARS cases, including one death, in Beijing in 2004.

A similar accident caused 65 lab workers of Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute to be infected with brucellosis in December 2019 … In January 2020, a renowned Chinese scientist, Li Ning, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for selling experimental animals to local markets.”

Safety Failures Are Commonplace

China is hardly the only place to experience such accidents. A USA Today investigation in 2016, for instance, revealed an incident involving cascading equipment failures in a decontamination chamber as U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers tried to leave a biosafety level 4 lab. The lab likely stored samples of the viruses causing Ebola and smallpox, according to the report.

In 2014, the CDC revealed that staff had accidently sent live anthrax between laboratories, exposing 84 workers. In an investigation, officials found other mishaps that had occurred in the preceding decade. In 2019, the U.S. Army Fort Detrick, Maryland Biological Weapons Lab was temporarily shut down for improper disposal of dangerous pathogens, according to a New York Times report.

Officials refused to provide details about the pathogens or the leak, citing “national security” concerns. As Sam Husseini recently reported in Salon magazine, biowarfare engineers in labs such as Wuhan or Fort Detrick are deliberately and recklessly evading international law:

“Governments that participate in such biological weapon research generally distinguish between ‘biowarfare’ and ‘biodefense,’ as if to paint such ‘defense’ programs as necessary. But this is rhetorical sleight-of-hand; the two concepts are largely indistinguishable.

‘Biodefense’ implies tacit biowarfare, breeding more dangerous pathogens for the alleged purpose of finding a way to fight them. While this work appears to have succeeded in creating deadly and infectious agents, including deadlier flu strains, such ‘defense’ research is impotent in its ability to defend us from this pandemic.”

The Cover-Up of SARS-CoV-2 Origin

Activist critics of genetic engineering and biological warfare experiments, including myself, Dr. Mercola and GM Watch, joined now by independent voices in the mass media, are reporting, albeit in some cases reluctantly, that mounting evidence indicates that the deadly COVID-19 virus may have accidentally leaked out of one of the supposedly high-security biowarfare labs (the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Chinese Center for Disease Control) that were analyzing and manipulating bat coronaviruses in Wuhan, China.

In order to conceal their scientific malpractice and criminal negligence, to protect their “right” to carry out dangerous, unregulated research, and to safeguard billions of dollars in annual Biopharm and GMO industry profits (Monsanto/Bayer, among others, is now conducting its own biowarfare research), Chinese and U.S. officials, Big Pharma, Facebook, Google and an arrogant and unscrupulous network of global scientists are frantically trying to cover up the lab origins and diabolical machinations of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A widely-cited paper,1 published in the journal Nature on February 3, 2020, claims to establish that SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus of bat origin that naturally jumped the species barrier between bats and humans and was not synthetically constructed in a lab.

However, as Mercola.com reports one of the Chinese authors of this article, Dr. Shi Zhengli from the Wuhan Virology Lab, actually worked previously on weaponizing the SARS virus (the progenitor of COVID-19) and has published peer-reviewed articles on the procedures involved in this genetic manipulation.

There Are Many Ways to Enhance Viral Infectivity

Another oft-cited but problematic article in Nature Medicine (March 17, 2020), co-authored by a bio-entrepreneur industry scientist, has been repeatedly cited by the mass media as offering “proof” that the COVID-19 virus arose “naturally” as opposed to being lab-derived.

But recent critiques offered by independent scientists, including the London-based molecular geneticist Dr. Michael Antoniou, a long-time critic of genetic engineering, argue convincingly that the computer-modeling “proof” cited by Nature Medicine offers no proof at all. As GM Watch reports:

“Dr. Antoniou told us that while the authors [of the March 17 Nature Medicine article] did indeed show that SARS-CoV-2 was unlikely to have been built by deliberate genetic engineering from a previously used virus backbone, that’s not the only way of constructing a virus. There is another method by which an enhanced-infectivity virus can be engineered in the lab …”

Antoniou told GM Watch that this method, called “directed iterative evolutionary selection process,” involves using genetic engineering to generate “a large number of randomly mutated versions of the SARS-CoV spike protein receptor,” and then to select those protein receptors most effective at infecting human cells.

As Antoniou points out, the inventors of this technique received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2018, a fact the authors of the Nature Medicine article surely knew. Did the authors of the Nature Medicine article deliberately leave this more plausible hypothesis out, in order to bolster their questionable thesis that COVID-19 arose naturally — even though biowarfare labs in Wuhan were engineering bat viruses years before the fatal outbreak?

If lab technicians in the Wuhan lab did use the directed iterative evolutionary selection process to engineer a “gain of function” (weaponized) bat coronavirus, and the virus subsequently leaked, infected one or more lab technicians, then spread to people outside the lab, including people from the Wuhan Seafood Market, there would be no trace of the virus having been genetically engineered or manipulated.

Bat Coronaviruses Have Been Weaponized for Over a Decade

Peer-reviewed, published articles, going back more than a decade, indicate that researchers at the Wuhan Labs (Dr. Shi Zhengli and others) have been carrying out experiments to manipulate and weaponize deadly bat coronavirus so that they can readily infect human cells.

In a 2008 article in the Journal of Virology, Zengli and other scientists report on how they have genetically engineered SARS-like viruses from horseshoe bats to enable the viruses to gain entry into human cells.

The powers that be, in Beijing and Washington, like to reassure us that researchers in places like the Wuhan Virology Lab, the Wuhan Center for Disease Control, or the U.S. Army Biological Weapons Lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland are only “studying” (not manipulating or weaponizing) dangerous pathogens like bat coronaviruses, and that security in these government/WHO/NIH-monitored labs is so strict that accidents could never happen.

But a number of well-respected scientific critics of genetic engineering and biological warfare have been sounding the alarm for decades.

Critics including Francis Boyle (author of the 1989 U.S. Bioterrorism law banning bioweapons research) and Dr. Richard Ebright of Rutgers University’s Waksman Institute of Microbiology, have warned that experiments and manipulations of viruses and pathogens are inherently extremely dangerous, (not to mention that they violate international law), given human error and the fact that security has been dangerously lax in the world’s biowarfare/biodefense laboratories.

Almost too incredible to believe, funding for the reckless germ war experiments in Wuhan have included more than $3 million from Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a division of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), with apparent collaboration, according to Boyle, from scientists at the universities of North Carolina, Wisconsin, Harvard and other institutions.

Wakeup Call for Biosafety

In 2014, the Obama White House Office of Science and Technology Policy put a hold or “funding pause” on “gain of function” experimentation on dangerous viruses in U.S. labs due to “biosafety and biosecurity risks.” Yet experimentation apparently continued uninterrupted (with U.S. funding) in China at the Wuhan lab.

Then in 2017, the Trump Administration reversed this “funding pause,” essentially allowing illegal germ warfare research to continue. Longtime anti-GMO activists at GM Watch in the U.K. recently published an article entitled “COVID-19 Could Be a Wake-Up Call for Biosafety.”

The article explains how, below the public radar, secretive and reckless research on genetically engineering and weaponizing coronaviruses has been going on for decades:

“Stuart Newman, professor of cell biology and anatomy at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York, editor-in-chief of the journal Biological Theory, and co-author of Biotech Juggernaut, adds crucial historical context that shows exploring whether COVID-19 could have been genetically engineered should not be dismissed as a subject fit only for conspiracy theorists.

[Newman] points out that the genetic engineering of coronaviruses has been going on for a long time. According to Newman, ‘Even most biologists are not aware that virologists have been experimentally recombining and genetically modifying coronaviruses for more than a decade to study their mechanisms of pathogenicity.’ Indeed, Newman points to papers on engineering coronaviruses that go back a full 20 years.”

US and China Collaborated on Coronavirus Research

Dr. Peter Breggin points out that in 2015, researchers from the U.S. and China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology collaborated to transform an animal coronavirus into one that can attack humans. Breggin’s provocative essay includes a direct link to the original study which was published in the British journal, Nature.

Recent investigative reporting, including an explosive April 14 Washington Post article by Josh Rogin, followed by more muted coverage by CBS News, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and others, have alerted millions of people to the fact that the official Chinese/Big Pharma/WHO/NIH “bat in the market” story about the origins of COVID-19 may no longer be credible.

As Rogin’s article points out, officials from the U.S. embassy in Beijing visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology numerous times in early 2018, and tried to warn the Trump Administration that there were serious safety violations in the lab’s handling of bat coronaviruses.

The officials were especially concerned that inadequately trained staff and lax security procedures at the lab, jointly funded by the Chinese and U.S., posed a serious risk of unleashing a “new SARS-like pandemic.”

In fact, in 2004, foreshadowing the current disaster, there were two serious accidents at the high-security Beijing Virology lab, infecting two researchers with the dangerous SARS virus. Ebright, who has been speaking out on lab safety since the early 2000s, said this about the dangerous security procedures at the Wuhan labs:

“… bat coronaviruses at Wuhan [Center for Disease Control] and Wuhan Institute of Virology routinely were collected and studied at BSL-2 (Biosecurity Level 2), which provides only minimal protections against infection of lab workers.

Virus collection, culture, isolation, or animal infection at BSL-2 with a virus having the transmission characteristics of the outbreak virus would pose substantial risk of infection of a lab worker, and from the lab worker, the public.”

Politics Most Foul

The Trump Administration did nothing about the repeated warnings from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in 2018, concerning the dangerous practices at the Wuhan Lab. Nor scientists at the NIH and the World Health Organization who were supposedly monitoring the lab’s coronavirus experiments.

After the outbreak happened, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) silenced or “disappeared” scientists and journalists who had earlier published research or news articles indicating that the COVID-19 virus leaked from a government lab and infected researchers. As the Canadian journalist Andrew Nikiforuk wrote:

“Faced with the coronavirus threat, Chinese authorities, according to comprehensive reports by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, suppressed whistleblowers, ignored critical evidence and responded so tardily to the outbreak that they moved to compensate for their failures with a draconian lockdown …”

Frantically covering their tracks, the CCP removed every scientific article and news report from the internet and public record which contradicted their official story.

Aiding and abetting the CCP/Biopharm cover-up were the gatekeepers at Facebook (now heavily invested in Big Pharma), who censored and removed an article by Steve Mosher, published by the NY Post on Feb. 22, 2020, which called the official story into question.

Facebook finally unblocked the NY Post article after it was revealed that Facebook’s objective “fact checker,” Danielle E. Anderson, was in fact previously a paid researcher at the same Wuhan lab whose lax security so alarmed State Department officials.

Trying hard to cover up the fact that they ignored the repeated warnings of the State Department and intelligence officials, the Trump Administration and the entire U.S. Biopharm and Vaccine Establishment are doing their utmost to uphold the official Chinese-scripted story.

Especially troubling to the powers that be is the fact that the criminally negligent Wuhan Lab bat experiments were being funded, at least in part, by Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, along with the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch — even after these types of germ warfare experiments had been banned in the U.S.

Commander-in-Chief Trump himself goes back and forth on the “bat in the market” theory, torn between rousing his populist base by denouncing the “Chinese Virus,” and siding with his good friend, and Corporate America’s most important business partner, Xi Jinping, the Chinese Dictator, who just happens to control not only trillions of dollars in U.S. Treasury Bonds and exports, but the medical equipment, Pharma drugs and lab chemicals that are in such short supply in the U.S.

Congress Needs to Investigate NIAID Mischief

In an April 14, 2020 Instagram post, Robert Kennedy Jr. exposes the complicity of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the supposed “rational voice” of the Trump Administration on COVID-19, in the Wuhan disaster:

“The Daily Mail today reports that it has uncovered documents showing that Anthony Fauci’s NIAID gave $3.7 million to scientists at the Wuhan Lab at the center of Coronavirus leak scrutiny. According to the British paper, ‘the federal grant funded experiments on bats from the caves where the virus is believed to have originated.’

Background: following the 2002-2003 SARS coronavirus outbreak, NIH funded a collaboration by Chinese scientists, U.S. military virologists from the bioweapons lab at Ft. Detrick & NIH scientists from NIAID to prevent future coronavirus outbreaks by studying the evolution of virulent strains from bats in human tissues.

Those efforts included ‘gain of function’ research that used a process called ‘accelerated evolution’ to create COVID Pandemic superbugs: enhanced bat borne COVID mutants more lethal and more transmissible than wild COVID.

Fauci’s studies alarmed scientists around the globe who complained, according a Dec. 2017 NY Times article that ‘these researchers risk creating a monster germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic.’

Dr. Mark Lipsitch of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Communicable Disease Center told the Times that Dr. Fauci’s NIAID experiments ‘have given us some modest scientific knowledge and done almost nothing to improve our preparedness for pandemic, and yet risked creating an accidental pandemic.’

In October 2014, following a series of federal laboratory mishaps that narrowly missed releasing these deadly engineered viruses, President Obama ordered the halt to all federal funding for Fauci’s dangerous experiments. It now appears that Dr. Fauci may have dodged the federal restrictions by shifting the research to the military lab in Wuhan. Congress needs to launch an investigation of NIAD’s mischief in China.”

Coronavirus Response Experts Have Shady Backgrounds   

Kennedy also calls out two of the other supposed “health experts” on the Trump team, Robert Redfield and Deborah Birx:

Redfield, Birx & Fauci lead the White House #coronavirus task force. In 1992, two military investigators charged Redfield & Birx with engaging in ‘a systematic pattern of data manipulation, inappropriate statistical analyses & misleading data presentation in an apparent attempt to promote the usefulness of the GP160 AIDS vaccine.’

A subsequent Air Force tribunal on Scientific Fraud and Misconduct agreed that Redfield’s ‘misleading or, possibly, deceptive’ information ‘seriously threatens his credibility as a researcher and has the potential to negatively impact AIDS research funding for military institutions as a whole. His allegedly unethical behavior creates false hope and could result in premature deployment of the vaccine.’

The tribunal recommended investigation by a ‘fully independent outside investigative body.’ Dr. Redfield confessed to D.O.D. interrogators and to the tribunal, that his analyses were faulty and deceptive. He agreed to publicly correct them.

Afterward, he continued making his false claims at 3 subsequent international HIV conferences, & perjured himself in testimony before Congress, swearing that his vaccine cured HIV.

Their gambit worked. Based upon his testimony, Congress appropriated $20 million to the military to support Redfield/Birx’s research project. Public Citizen complained in a 1994 letter to the Congressional Committee’s Henry Waxman that the money caused the Army to kill the investigation & ‘whitewash’ Redfield’s crimes. The fraud propelled Birx & Redfield into stellar careers as health officials. Docs obtained via Tom Paine.”

Although the Chinese government and most of the U.S. political establishment continue to support the official “bat in the market” story, the majority of Americans, do not. As reported in the UK’s Sunday Times:

“According to a Pew Research poll, only 43 percent think the virus came about naturally, while a sizeable 29 percent believe it was made in a laboratory.”

Journalism Most Foul

It is frustrating, and indeed alarming, that so few independent journalists, scientists, activists, and public officials have thus far been willing to question the “official story.”

For 30 years now, myself and others have warned about the dangers of genetically engineered foods and crops and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in general, including gene-altered bioweapons, gene drives, and the new CRISPR gene-editing technologies. Now it appears that our worst fears have materialized.

We need a global public inquiry, led by independent scientists, to gather the evidence on what really happened with COVID-19, followed by an International Biowarfare Crimes Tribunal, so that we can bring the Chinese, U.S. and other perpetrators of this pandemic to justice, and prevent this type of disaster from ever happening again.

It’s time to shut down every Biosafety/Biowar lab in the world (including Bayer and Monsanto’s lab) and implement a true global ban on weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), including all atomic, chemical and biological weapons and WMD experimentation. Until we do this, none of us will ever be safe again.

The so-called progressive media in America, with a few exceptions, have up until now failed to investigate the real causes of the COVID-19 pandemic, partly out of ignorance of the machinations and arrogant recklessness of the gene engineers and bio-warfare scientists, partly out of fear of appearing to agree with Trump’s racist rantings, or even worse, being branded a “conspiracy theorist” by Establishment Democrats and mass media outlets.

And speaking of conspiracies and murder most foul, almost everyone seems to have forgotten about the nationwide panic surrounding the post-9/11 2001 anthrax bioterrorist attacks — used to help justify the invasion of Iraq — against liberal members of the media and the U.S. Congress.

Then and now, it was clear that these attacks were carried out not by Arab terrorists, nor a single crazed individual, but by a yet unidentified cabal who engineered and deployed weaponized spores from the U.S. military biowarfare lab at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

But perhaps you think we shouldn’t worry so much, since a blockbuster lineup of anti-COVID vaccines are on the way, funded by the Chinese government, Big Pharma and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, likely including some of the same gene engineers who weaponized COVID-19?

Never mind that Bill Gates, Monsanto, the Gene Giants and Big Pharma appear quite willing to join up with Facebook and Google to implement a 24/7 totalitarian medical surveillance state, with everyone injected with a mandatory and expensive COVID-19 vaccine, while the world’s dictators, corporate criminals and billionaires hunker down in their underground mansions and bunkers.

Never mind that most flu vaccines up until now don’t work that well, especially against constantly mutating viruses like COVID-19, or that they’re routinely laced with aluminum adjuvants and mercury preservatives.

Never mind that perhaps our only real defense against biowarfare is to stop eating Big Ag and Big Food’s poison products, and instead strengthen our health and our immune systems, clean up the world’s air, water and environment, shut down factory farms, stop destroying wildlife habitat and pray that herd immunity eventually stops the spread of COVID-19, since so many of us have already been infected, but are asymptomatic.

In the meantime, please don’t believe everything you read in the corporate mass media, Facebook or even the progressive press. Stay in touch with and support those of us determined to seek and defend the truth, fight for freedom and justice, and organize for a regenerative future and climate.

Remember to eat healthy, organic, regenerative foods, take your immune-boosting supplements, get as much exercise, fresh air and sunshine as possible, wash your hands frequently, stay safe, and stay out of the way of those most vulnerable. Please sign our petition demanding an end to genetic engineering of viruses.

Soursop Tea: 13 Potential Benefits You Should Know About

According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the second leading cause of death around the world, claiming 9.6 million lives in 2018.1 The prevalence of this disease has led to a rise in remedies with supposed cancer-fighting capabilities, with soursop tea being a perfect example.

Soursop (Annona muricata) is a tree native to the tropical region of the Americas. It is known for its fruit, which has white flesh and a taste described as a blend between mango and pineapple. Due to its enjoyable flavor, it’s used as an ingredient for custards, ice cream and drinks. The plant’s leaves have also been touted as a potential alternative to cancer treatments, with soursop tea being one of its most popular derivatives. But is there any truth to these claims?2

What Is Soursop Tea?

Soursop tea is a beverage made by brewing the leaves of the soursop tree. The plant can also be identified as guanabana and Brazilian paw paw.3 In the Philippines, it is commonly referred to as guyabano.4

Soursop has gained popularity around the world due to its long historical use and reputation as a supposed cancer-fighting food. This hypothesis has piqued the interests of scientists aiming to discover if these claims are real or not.

13 Possible Health Benefits of Soursop Tea

Soursop leaves, the main ingredient in soursop tea, have been studied extensively by researchers around the world. Published scientific research shows the strong potential of these leaves, along with other interesting uses. Here are some possible benefits this plant might offer:

Lowers your risk of cancer — Soursop’s apparent ability to fight cancer is a major factor in its popularity. The leaves contain acetogenins, which help fight cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone.5,6 The following medical journals provide an overview of the plant’s potential in lowering the risk of various types of cancers in both human and animal studies.

? Colon Cancer

? Asian Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2017) — Thirty patients with colorectal cancer who had undergone tumor surgery were given either a placebo or soursop leaf extract, and their serum was studied for cytotoxicity against colorectal cancer cell lines. Results showed that the soursop group had higher cytotoxicity in their cancer cells compared to the placebo group.7

? PLOS One (2015) — In this study, researchers noted soursop leaves have potential in reducing the risk of colon cancer, thanks to a constituent called annomuricin E.8

? Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2014) — Researchers discovered that soursop leaves induced apoptosis in colon cancer cells in an in vitro setting.9

? Breast Cancer

? Advances in Breast Cancer Research (2014) — A retrospective chart review found that a 66-year-old woman who started drinking soursop tea helped stabilize her breast cancer while undergoing chemotherapy.10

? Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2011) — Annonacin derived from soursop induced apoptosis in estrogen receptor-alpha-related pathways of breast cancer cells in mice subjects.11

? BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2016) — Extracts from soursop leaves may be a potential candidate for breast cancer treatment because they were discovered to induce cytotoxicity toward breast cancer cell lines.12

? Current Pharmaceutical Design (2016) — Leaf extracts of soursop exhibited cell inhibition activity in breast cancer cells by as much as 98% in a laboratory setting.13

? Prostate Cancer

? Carcinogenesis (2015) — Flavonoids and acetogenins found in soursop leaves provide a synergistic interaction that may inhibit tumor growth in prostate cancer cells.14

? Phytochemistry (1998) — Results from this study show that two constituents in soursop leaves show significant cytotoxic properties against prostate and pancreatic cancer cell lines.15

? Lung Cancer

? Journal of Natural Products (1995) — Acetogenins from soursop leaf extracts were found to be toxic against human lung tumor cell lines.16

Boosts your antioxidant levels — Several studies indicate that antioxidants found in soursop leaves may help eliminate free radicals throughout your body.17,18 In one study published in 2007, soursop leaves had a maximum scavenging activity of 90.05%.19 In another, soursop leaves were shown to have cytoprotective properties against hydrogen peroxide-induced stress.20

Fights pathogenic microbes — A study published in 2016 notes that soursop leaf extracts were effective in fighting off various bacterial strains such as Streptococcus, Porphyromonas and Prevotella, as well as the yeast Candida.21 In a separate study, soursop helped inhibit the growth of Herpes simplex virus-1.

Helps manage inflammation According to a study published in the Journal of Natural Remedies, soursop leaf extracts inhibited various inflammatory mediators.22 Two other studies show similar results.23,24

Helps manage diabetes In a 2008 study, researchers determined that soursop leaf extracts have protective effects on serum lipid profile and oxidative stress for diabetic rats.25 Two other studies note that the leaves helped lower blood glucose concentrations in hyperglycemic or diabetic rats.26,27

Improves pancreatic health — A study published in the African Journal of Biomedical Research found that leaf aqueous extracts of soursop may enhance the production of antioxidants that can help promote pancreatic health.28

Eliminates insects — If you’re growing your own produce, extracts of soursop leaves may protect your produce from insects and other pests. For example, in one 2006 study, the leaves were shown to be toxic against snails and brine shrimp.29

Annonacins of soursop have also been found to be effective against the Spodoptera littoralis (Egyptian cotton leafworm), Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Colorado potato beetle) and Myzus persicae (green peach aphid).30

Boosts your liver health — A mouse study published in 2012 notes that soursop leaf extracts have bilirubin-lowering potential in jaundiced rats.31 Bilirubin is a yellow-orange substance produced by the liver as it breaks down red blood cells, which is excreted from the body. If it is not expelled, it can cause jaundice.32

Helps manage your mental health — Soursop leaf extracts may help lower stress, as shown in a rat study published in the Journal of Natural Remedies. Researchers found that soursop can inhibit the production of neurotransmitter stressors in the central nervous system.33 A different study notes that soursop may help manage depression as well.34

Improves wound healing — Topical application of soursop leaves may help accelerate wound healing, as noted in a rat study in the International Journal of Surgery (London, England).35

Manages your blood pressure levels — Mice injected with soursop leaf extract had lowered blood pressure. Researchers observed that soursop has hypotensive effects by blocking Ca(2+), or calcium ions that resulted in lowered blood pressure without affecting heart rates.36

Boosts your digestive health — Antioxidants in soursop leaves have been found to reduce gastric ulcers in rats, as well as preserve the gastric wall mucus.37

Boosts your immune system — A study published in 2016 shows that soursop leaves may help boost your immune system by triggering mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways.38

How to Make Soursop Tea

One of the most popular methods of benefiting from soursop is by brewing the leaves as tea. It’s a fairly simple process and requires few ingredients. Try this recipe from the Times Caribbean:39

Soursop Tea Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 liter filtered water
  • 15 soursop leaves, dried or fresh
  • 1 soursop stem, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice (optional)
  • 2 mint leaves (optional)
  • A dab of raw honey (optional)

Procedure

  1. Boil the water in a pot, and place the leaves and stem in the pot.
  2. Turn the heat to low and continue to boil for 30 minutes or until the water evaporates by half the amount.
  3. Filter the tea and place in a teapot. You can drink up to 3 cups a day.
  4. You can add either mint, lime or honey to help improve the taste.

Note: The Times Caribbean recommends drinking soursop tea 30 minutes before eating.

Soursop Tea Side Effects and Contraindications

While soursop tea may benefit your health in many ways, there are some caveats you should be aware of. You should avoid soursop if you are taking blood pressure and diabetic medications, as soursop may increase the effects of these drugs.40

In addition, soursop may cause movement disorders and myeloneuropathy, which may imitate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.41 Examples include limb tremors, rigid muscles, loss of automatic movements and speech changes.42

Don’t Rely on Soursop Tea to Lower Your Cancer Risk

While soursop’s benefits sound promising, it’s not wise to rely on it as your sole method for lowering your risk of cancer. The majority of published soursop studies were conducted on animals in a laboratory setting, which necessitates more studies on humans to ascertain the true potential of this plant and its leaves for human use.

Don’t take this to mean that you should disregard soursop entirely; you can still add it to your healthy diet to help boost your antioxidant profile and support your overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions About Soursop Tea

Q: What is soursop leaf tea good for?

A: Studies — a majority done with animals — show that soursop leaves may have potential in helping lower the risk of cancer, fighting bacteria, boosting your antioxidant profile and helping promote digestive health, among others.

Q: How do you take soursop tea?

A: According to the Times Caribbean, you should drink soursop tea 30 minutes before eating a meal.43

Q: Is soursop tea good for high blood pressure?

A: Soursop tea may help lower blood pressure in humans, as the same effects were found in rats administered with soursop leaf extracts.44 However, you should not take soursop if you are taking blood pressure medications, as the soursop may increase the effects of the medications.

Coronavirus — What Are the Best Alternatives for Self-Care?

Analysis by Pat Thomas for the Organic Consumers Association

The global spread of coronavirus/COVID-19 has sent researchers and scientists into overdrive to find both treatments and cures.

In the meantime, doctors and other practitioners are, to a large extent, improvising. They are employing best-care practices for the very sick in hospital and providing best-guess advice for those with mild symptoms who are self-isolating, and for those who have no symptoms and would like to keep it that way.

It’s important to remember that there are no proven treatments for coronavirus. The picture changes daily. But right now, the main treatment for severe cases is not a drug at all, but supportive care and oxygen therapy, administered via ventilators in order to help people breathe.

Some doctors are giving standard antibiotics to prevent or treat secondary infections. A few are trying experimental drugs, like the novel antiviral Remdesivir,1 not yet approved for widespread use.

Others are using “off label” treatments — drugs or drug combinations not originally intended for the treatment of coronavirus, such as chloroquine2 and hydroxychloroquine3 (both are antimalaria drugs) with or without the antibiotic azithromycin.4

After heavy publicity from doctors reporting success with the drug, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized an emergency authorization5 for the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus, and followed up with a fact sheet guideline on it April 3, 2020, specifying that it should only be used if “the benefit to the patient outweighs the potential risks.”6

This move followed emerging7 reports of problems with both drugs, such as worryingly high heart rates with chloroquine8 (hydroxychloroquine is a less toxic compound9) and stories of chloroquine poisonings in the U.S.10 and Africa11 by people who decided to self-medicate with chloroquine following a tweet by President Trump.

Results from short-term trials for other drugs are starting to come in, but so far none are very encouraging.

Back to Basics

Given these problems, some practitioners are taking a back-to-basics approach. They’re looking at remedies we already know about that have a low toxicity and some efficacy in different strains of influenza, to see if they might work with coronavirus.

April 3, 2020 the FDA gave the go ahead12 — on a case-by-case basis — for using the antibodies in plasma13 donated by coronavirus survivors to treat patients who are critically ill with the virus. This relatively simple treatment was most recently used to treat patients during outbreaks of Ebola and avian flu. But it also saved countless lives during the flu pandemic of 1918, when there were no vaccines or antiviral drugs.

In some hard-hit New York hospitals, doctors have begun to administer large intravenous doses of vitamin C, three to four times per day, alongside other treatments. At least one doctor using these treatments reports that those who get the vitamin C do “significantly better”14 than those who don’t.

There is both historical and current data to show this is a reasonable choice. Vitamin C is short-lived in the body and prolonged infection depletes it faster. Studies show that supplementing is effective15 against some strains of coronavirus in humans and animals.

Based on their experience, Chinese officials are now recommending vitamin C for prevention and treatment of COVID-19. A new clinical trial16 is underway China, premised on the fact that the antioxidant activity of vitamin C may help prevent cytokine-induced lung damage. Cytokines are small proteins released by cells, which trigger inflammation in response to infections. Severe lung inflammation with COVID-19 can lead to respiratory distress and even death.

Internal Hygiene

In addressing coronavirus, professional complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners are doing exactly what conventional doctors are doing — basing their advice on what is already known to be effective with similar viruses.

Likewise, nutritionists are advising from a perspective of foods and nutraceuticals that are known to support health and immunity.

Data are accumulating on the kind of pre-existing conditions that leave us more vulnerable to coronavirus. Noted U.K. cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra has found that the majority of those who fall seriously ill with the disease are suffering from chronic metabolic diseases17 including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

An early audit of hospitalized U.K. patients supports Malhotra’s findings, showing that two-thirds of critically coronavirus patients were overweight.18 Combined with lowered immunity, excess weight against the chest means muscles have to work harder to draw in a full breath.

Environment, and particularly air pollution, is important, too. During the 2003 SARS outbreak infected people living in areas with high levels of air pollution were twice as likely to die19 (2.18 times) as those living in less polluted areas. With the MERS coronavirus outbreak, first seen in Saudi Arabia in 2012, tobacco smokers were more vulnerable20 to the disease, and more likely to die.

On the plus side, researchers in Melbourne, Australia, have tracked the immune responses21,22 of one of Australia’s first COVID-19 patients. Their data show that a healthy body that has never been exposed to coronavirus before does have the ability to fight the virus and recover from the infection.

The picture that is emerging adds another dimension to the notion of hygiene. Washing hands and maintaining good hygiene practices at home is vital. Social hygiene — maintaining a safe distance from others — is also important.

But so is internal hygiene. What you eat, how you manage stress and your environment, and how you act to support your own overall health — all of this is relevant to how well your body responds to infection with the coronavirus.

Why Is Information on CAM so Hard to Find?

For a variety of reasons, many people feel they either have to, or want to, manage their health at home. According to a major U.S. government survey,23 36 percent of adults aged 18 years and older use some form of complementary and alternative medicine to do this. Although this survey dates back to 2004, this is a substantial proportion of the population, and the appears to still hold true, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.24

Alternative treatments, for instance with supplements or herbs, nutrition or stress management, all have a role to play in maintaining good health. But, as with conventional treatments, good advice on the potential of these approaches in relation to the coronavirus outbreak is hard to find.

In fact, these days advice on natural health solutions is generally scarce since “information providers” like Google have decided to make websites providing this information harder to find, based on claims that these websites are pedaling fake news.

This information suppression is real and concerning. One Google whistle-blower has collected over 950 pages of Google documents that show how the search engine is manipulating the flow of information online according to its own political agenda.

The vitamin C story, however, suggests that whether Google approves or not, some doctors at least are returning to tried and tested, low-risk strategies for the treatment of hospitalized patients with coronavirus.

So what else could be effective? There are certainly plenty of tips and recommendations flying around at the moment, though not all of them have reasonable evidence to back them up. Here, then, is a summary of some of the better alternatives for maintaining health at home.

Food

It goes without saying that this is not a time to indulge a craving for junk food, prepackaged snacks or what has been dubbed “quarantinis.” As experts at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health note,25 a glass of wine is fine, but regular home based happy hours — especially with hard liquor — can suppress immune responses and leave you more vulnerable to respiratory illness.

Food rich in polyphenols is good for health under any circumstances, but now serious research is looking into the role of polyphenols in fighting the coronavirus.

In the lab, natural compounds like hesperidin and diosmin (abundant in citrus fruits, their pith and peels), rutin (found in apples, buckwheat, figs, green and black tea and figs) and apiin (found in parsley and celery), have been shown26 to target an important protein, M(pro), which is responsible for helping the coronavirus to reproduce.

Even the skin on peanuts,27 so often blanched off in pre-prepared spreads and foods, has been shown to have a powerful antiviral effect, with researchers recently concluding that its polyphenol content “inhibits the early replication stages of the influenza virus.”

Can dietary polyphenols do the same thing? According to researchers from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health,28 polyphenol compounds — abundant in fresh, whole foods — are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and have been shown to offer protection against certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes, osteoporosis, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal problems, neurodegenerative diseases and lung damage.

In the gut, polyphenols could also help support beneficial gut bacteria (your “microbiome”) while inhibiting invasive or pathogenic species. This is important because gut health, or lack of it, may also increase vulnerability to viruses like the coronavirus.

According to Tim Spector,29 professor of genetic epidemiology, King’s College, London, recent research has shown that a healthy microbiome — one with a diversity of “good’ bacteria” — plays an essential role30 in the body’s immune response to infection, helping it mount a robust response to infectious pathogens like coronavirus. The natural diversity of the microbiome can decline with age, which is why it is particularly important to ensure our elders are eating well.

The best way to increase microbiome diversity is to eat a wide range of plant-based foods, which are high in fiber and which help to “feed” diverse bacteria in the gut.

You can, however, also use supplements. Those containing a mixture of strains of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria have been shown to reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infection in children31 and acute respiratory infections in adults.32

When choosing a probiotic, look for one with a high number of colony-forming units (CFU), which indicates the number of viable cells. At least 10-20 billion per dose is reasonable unless advised to take more (or fewer) by a healthcare practitioner.

Supplements

Apart from 1 to 3 grams of vitamin C daily and probiotics, you might want to ensure you are getting enough vitamin D. In the Northern Hemisphere spring is upon us. This would be the time that most of us would naturally be going outdoors and topping up low vitamin D stores through exposure to sunshine. That’s harder to do if you are sick or under quarantine indoors.

Vitamin D enhances the body’s natural immune response helping it fight infections,33 including influenza and, according to an analysis in the British Medical Journal, acute respiratory tract infections.34 Newer evidence suggests vitamin D could help reduce illness and death from coronavirus.35

Former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Tom Frieden is among those supporting the idea that adequate vitamin D can be a preventative.36 Even Anthony Fauci37 has stated that strategies like vitamin D (and vitamin C) are unlikely to harm and might even help.

Get regular physical activity outdoors, or sit by a sunny window if you are stuck inside. If you are supplementing, a reasonable daily dose for adults and children is around 1000 IU of vitamin C and 400 IU of vitamin D3 (although most people actually need much more vitamin D than that).

Vitamin A is also crucial to our immune response, coordinating both our innate and adaptive immunity.38 It supports the epithelium (which lines the outer surfaces of organs and blood vessels throughout the body, as well as the inner surfaces of cavities in many internal organs) and crucially, it protects the integrity of the mucus membranes of the body, such as in the gut and lungs, making it harder for infection to take hold.

It can be obtained through diet: organ meats, oily fish, cheese and butter are animal-based sources of vitamin A, while carrots, sweet potatoes, squash and green leafy vegetable like spinach and kale supply beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. The recommended daily amount of vitamin A, according to the Mayo Clinic,39 is 900 micrograms (mcg) for adult men and 700 mcg for adult women.

Zinc is another immune-enhancing supplement. In fact, one study from the Netherlands found that zinc can inhibit the replication of a relative of the coronavirus, SARS-CoV, the cause of the 2003 SARS outbreak.40

The recommended daily amount of zinc is for 11 mg per day for adult males and 8 mg daily for adult females.41 Don’t be tempted to megadose. With lozenges, use them at the first sign of a scratchy throat rather than as a daily preventative and stop using once symptoms resolve. Some people may experience a bad taste in their mouths or nausea from lozenges.

Whatever supplement you choose, buy the best quality you can afford and remember that nutrients often work together.

GrassrootsHealth, a nonprofit public health research organization studying a large cohort of 16,000 individuals, has found that those who take supplemental vitamin C alone are 32 percent less likely to get the flu. For those who take omega-3 (another good anti-inflammatory), the figure is 38 percent. But those supplementing with both were 59 percent less likely to get the flu.42

Herbs

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) often taken as a syrup and widely available over the counter, has a potent antiviral effect against the flu virus.43 Scientists suggest it stops the virus from reproducing44 by blocking key proteins that help the virus attach to and enter a host cell.

Elderberry is safe to take as a daily preventative and there is some evidence to suggest that, should you fall ill, it could significantly speed recovery.45 Newer evidence shows effectiveness against human coronavirus HCoV-NL63 — one of the main circulating coronaviruses worldwide.46

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) has both an antiviral and antibacterial activity. New research47 out of Thailand suggests that preparations could serve as effective prophylactic treatment for all coronaviruses including the current one.

This is not (yet) peer-reviewed research but, as with vitamin C, there is historical evidence48 of echinacea’s effectiveness and again, like vitamin C, echinacea has been shown to interfere with cytokine activity49 and therefore may help to reduce inflammation and help to ease symptoms. Always take herbs as directed on the package or as prescribed by a health care professional.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are known to be rich in antimicrobial compounds that can help kill bacteria and viruses. Laboratory studies on infected cell cultures are far more abundant than human studies, however.

A helpful review from 2017 published by the Tisserand Institute50 details a list of studies showing antiviral effects from tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), bergamot (Citrus bergamia), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) oils, when applied to the cells in the lab.

But can that be translated into personal use at home, for instance, through diffusers? Influenza particles can be spread by airborne droplets, close contact with infected people or touching surfaces. Coronavirus particles can remain viable51 in the air for up to three hours and on surfaces for up to three days. Cleaning surfaces, therefore, is essential.

Cleaning the air may also be beneficial. There is some evidence that passive diffusion of certain essential oils via diffusers, combination diffuser/humidifiers and room sprays can help neutralize airborne viruses.

In one study,52 under controlled conditions, vapors of bergamot and blue gum completely inactivated the influenza virus within 10 minutes. Cinnamon, lemongrass and Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) worked after 30 minutes.

Another 2010 lab study53 found that even a highly diluted commercial essential oil blend containing cinnamon, blue gum, clove bud (Syzygium aromaticum), sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) oils, reduced the infectivity of the influenza virus, lending support to the idea that low concentrations via room diffusion could help sanitize the air.

Essential oils can also help reduce stress and anxiety — and this can have a knock-on effect of bolstering immunity (see below). Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has proven benefits for anxiety54 as do citrus essential oils such as sweet orange55 (Citrus sinensis) or lemon (Citrus limon).

When diluting essential oils for room diffusion follow the instructions for your specific machine. If there are none, try somewhere between a 2 percent (12 drops of oil to 20 mls of water) and a 5 percent (30 drops of oil to 20 ml of water) dilution.

Stronger oils like cinnamon may need to be more dilute; lighter oils like citrus less so. Intermittent diffusion — 30 to 60 minutes on and 30 to 60 minutes off — is thought to be more effective than continuous diffusion.

Stress Management

Even the normally stoic CDC recognizes that coronavirus is escalating feelings of anxiety and stress.56 When we are stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off infection is reduced.57 Stress also promotes inflammation.58

The effects of stress are direct, e.g., the hormone corticosteroid, released when we are stressed, can suppress an effective immune response by lowering the number of infection-fighting lymphocytes circulating in the body. But they can also be indirect, e.g., by interfering with sleep, or prompting unhealthy behavioral coping strategies such as snacking, drinking and smoking.

Another effect of prolonged stress is its ability to activate latent (‘hibernating’) cytomegaloviruses (CMV) which many of us unknowingly carry.59 Viruses in the CMV family cause diseases like herpes and chickenpox but also fever and flu-like symptoms. As with coronavirus, there is no current treatment. Combined with coronavirus, a secondary infection like this may be particularly risky for the elderly, pregnant women and those with pre-existing conditions.

Relaxation techniques are an important therapeutic strategy60 for stress-related diseases. One recent randomized controlled trial concluded61 that those who exercised or meditated had fewer severe acute respiratory illnesses than those that did neither.

Relaxation works for kids, too. In one clinical trial62 of children between ages 8 and 12, guided relaxation therapy decreased frequency of colds. Relaxation therapy was shown to increase levels of secretory immunoglobulin-A, one of the molecules responsible for protecting mucosal surfaces, like those on the lungs, from infection.

You don’t need a therapist to relax. Meditate, read, listen to music, engage in an absorbing hobby, talk to friends — even if it is across the internet — do the crossword, walk when you can get out in a green space, do yoga — whatever engages you fully and takes you out of your head for a while counts as relaxation, so find what works for you.

With coronavirus, a multifaceted approach to health and care is absolutely warranted. The 4 out of 10 of us who wish to use alternative treatments for uncomplicated self-care should feel confident to do so.

Google may not help you find the best — or any — CAM information, but in addition to Mercola.com, the following websites are a good place to start if you want to know more:

Pat Thomas is a journalist and author of several books on health and environment including “Complete Wellness and What Works, What Doesn’t — The Guide to Alternative Healthcare.” She is also the editor at Natural Health News in the U.K. See more on her website at howlatthemoon.org.uk. Thomas frequently writes for the Organic Consumers Association. You can sign up here for OCA’s news and alerts.