These are in reverse chronological order as I found them. The top one is probably the most spectacular view of the lava flows, and the second one shows how the lava level in the vent at Halemaumau (up in Volcanoes National Park, at about 4400 feet) suddenly dropped, starting around 5-5-18. Thanks to the works of all these people that are flying over (and some standing next to the lava) and capturing these views. Mahalo to DH for posting the second one.
For anyone who suffers from frequent bouts of upper respiratory tract issues, and even for anyone wanting to protect against them, research shows three interesting things: First, about 95 percent of all infections start in what’s called the mucosal surfaces, or moist areas such as your nose, eyes and mouth.1
Second, a School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences study2 at Bangor University in the U.K. revealed that women who don’t tend to get much exercise but then start walking briskly for 45 minutes a day may, after just a few months, cut the frequency of such infections in half. Third, mucosal surfaces can be protected by “immunological barrier” antibodies contained in chlorella, a freshwater alga.
In fact, this relatively unknown alga has so many beneficial functions in your body, it’s hard to list them all. But first, we’ll tackle the impact of the studies.
Dr. Michael Greger, a New York Times best sellers author at Nutrition Facts, explains that even a 30-minute workout three times a week might be enough to provide a significant immune system boost and considerably curtail your risk of developing upper respiratory problems.3 But regarding its relation to your susceptibility to flu-like symptoms (and arguably, the flu itself), those mucosal surfaces:
” … are protected by antibodies like IgA, which provide ‘an immunological barrier by neutralizing and preventing viral pathogens from penetrating the body through the mucosal surfaces.’ The IgA in our saliva, for example, is ‘the first line of defense against respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and influenza.'”4
He also states that it doesn’t take much, including in children: “Let kids run around for just six minutes, and you can boost the numbers of immune cells circulating in their bloodstream by more than a third.”5
How Studies Have Used Chlorella to Increase Athletes’ Immune Systems
While it may seem counterintuitive, it was established years ago that heavy exercise for a prolonged period may actually reduce your resistance to infections, even leading to a two to six times greater risk of acquiring an upper respiratory tract infection following strenuous activity such as marathon participation.6 As such, immune function is something savvy sports coaches keep their eye on and even monitor, as illnesses like these can seriously undermine athletic performance.
One of the most effective ways to inhibit illness is to minimize contact with cold viruses, but it’s not always enough for athletes who push their bodies to extremes (or otherwise overtrain) to wash their hands or wear a mask.
Upper respiratory tract infections can be initiated when latent viruses already inside your body (such as Epstein-Barr (EBV)) are reactivated. According to Greger, this can happen as soon as your immune system starts to flag. In fact, IgA levels drop the day before EBV “comes out of hiding” and symptoms begin emerging, which can be linked to reduced salivary IgA during training.
Greger suggests that to keep athletes’ collective immune functions strong, using nutritional yeast — a one-celled fungi — can help improve immunity in athletes,7 but, as Greger asks, what about a one-celled plant? Chlorella, described as a single-celled, freshwater alga (compared to spirulina, which is multicelled) is generally sold in powder or tablet form.
Scientists in Japan reported that levels of IgA in breast milk are increased when nursing mothers include a chlorella regimen as part of their supplementation.8 In another trial, 30 chlorella tablets a day for a month increased IgA secretion in study participants’ mouths,9 which researchers took to mean it “possibly improves mucosal immune function in humans.”
In a Canadian study, a “chlorella-derived dietary supplement” didn’t seem to have any effect at all in increasing antibody response to the flu shot,10 but they used an extract of chlorella rather than the real thing, Greger emphasizes. Finally, he notes a study involving kendo training in Japan:
“High-intensity physical activity and group living create an environment ripe for infection, and, indeed, the training was so intense IgA levels significantly dropped —but not in those given chlorella each day. So, chlorella intake may attenuate the reduced IgA secretion during athletic training.”11
Benefits Regarding Chlorella Use
Dr. Marc Bubbs, director of nutrition for the Canadian Men’s National Basketball Team, cautions that if intense training sessions are part of your routine you may be doing yourself more harm than good in regard to increasing your disease immunity. However, in explaining the outcome of a Brazilian study,12 he notes:
“Contrary to popular belief, it’s not simply a high total training load that depletes immunity, but rather how abruptly your training ramps up that leaves your immune system compromised and susceptible to attack. In fact, experts have uncovered dramatic increases in training volume are perhaps a better predictor of upper-respiratory tract infection (URTI) than just your training load alone.”
Bubbs’ premise answers questions many have about what you can do to support your body’s many functions through diet and supplementation, and what you can do to elicit extra immune support to fight off disease and infections, especially before a major athletic competition. For most people, though, knowing what to add and what to avoid can be tricky. Chlorella, he explains, is rich in chlorophyll, plus:
“It’s tremendously nutrient-dense, but cannot be broken down by the human digestive tract due to its hard cell wall, and thus can only be consumed via supplementation. Chlorella is a complete protein source containing all essential amino acids, a significant source of iron and vitamin C, as well as [provides] 100mg of omega-3 fats per teaspoon.”13
He adds that, as mentioned, it’s also “tremendous” as an antioxidant, with a number of powerful free radical scavengers, including vitamin C, beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein. Bubbs cited a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition that compared 26 cyclists, half given chlorella and the others a placebo at the beginning, at four weeks in and again at weeks five and six.14
The training was intense and called for enormous endurance, but concluded with more protection from infection in the first group, signaling chlorella may be a “simple and effective strategy to support immunity for athletes pushing themselves hard in preparation for competition.”15
Chlorella’s Effect on Disorders and Diseases
Aside from athletes, due to its rich assortment of inflammation-fighting essential nutrients, chlorella, according to IdeaHacks16 and SelfHacked,17 has been identified as having properties that may be beneficial for increasing stamina and endurance and aiding in a plethora of diseases and disorders, including:
As the subtitle suggests, there are a few things to watch for in regard to using chlorella as a dietary supplement. In short, one brand of chlorella, when taken by a patient with hepatitis C, seemed to be a contributing factor in development of psychosis. Researchers described it as chlorella-induced psychosis, which she developed after taking the alga for two months. It happened twice, and the symptoms seemed to diminish when she stopped taking it.26
However, there’s been a lot of speculation about whether her condition was linked to an adverse reaction to chlorella, whether the incidents were coincidental or whether there was some “toxic impurity or adulteration” in the supplements.27Most of the research surrounding chlorella points to its benefits. A previously cited study notes that chlorella supplementation may decrease anemia and pregnancy-related hypertension28 and another lists several potent antioxidant carotenoids it contains, such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
Breastfeeding mothers taking chlorella were found to have higher concentrations of these antioxidants.29 Further, other research indicates that chlorella supplementation by pregnant moms may actually prevent the transfer of mercury to both the fetus and the mother herself.30 In general, chlorella is considered safe, but it may contain trace levels of iodine so it’s been suggested that certain individuals should pass it up, including:
People who are taking a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin), as it may alter the drug’s effectiveness31
Men and postmenopausal women due to the high iron content
However, anyone with concerns should talk to a qualified health practitioner to determine if chlorella supplementation would be beneficial for them.
Recommended Chlorella Intake
One of the most nutrient-dense algae in the world, 3 tablespoons or 1 ounce of chlorella per day contains 16 grams of protein, plus high percentages in regard to your RDI, or reference daily intake:
133 percent of the RDI for zinc
287 percent of the RDI for vitamin A
71 percent of the RDI for vitamin B2
33 percent of the RDI for vitamin B3
202 percent of the RDI for iron
22 percent of the RDI for magnesium
In addition, if you decide to start taking chlorella supplements, whether in capsule form, tablet or a powder, start gradually, and make sure you don’t choose alga supplements that are freeze-dried, pasteurized or contain synthetic ingredients, as they won’t contain beneficial enzymes. They should be as absorbable and digestible as possible. Because chlorella has a tough cell wall, it’s impossible to digest it and have it do any good, so it’s processed before being sold so its nutrients can be properly absorbed.
However, how the cell wall is broken is very important. If broken cell wall chlorella is unavailable, especially for detoxification, fermented chlorella has thin cell walls, so it, too, would be a good choice. Most chlorella supplements come in 500 milligram (mg) tablet form, so up to five tablets a day is recommended, starting gradually and working toward a total of 4 grams per day, as taking too much too soon could result in nausea, diarrhea and other unwanted side effects.
The news across the U.S. with respect to contamination involving bagged and chopped romaine lettuce continues to worsen. After a multistate outbreak dating back to March 13, 2018, involving at least 121 known Escherichia coli (E. coli) infections spanning 25 states, including one death, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has isolated the problem lettuce to Yuma, Arizona.1
Because it takes an average of two to three weeks for this type of outbreak-related illness to be reported, even more cases are expected to be made known in the coming weeks.
To date, more than 50 people have been hospitalized with a nasty E. coli infection and at least 14 victims have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, making this quite a serious matter.2 Yuma-grown greens purchased at the grocery store, as well as those served in restaurants, are equally suspect. Sadly, most bagged salad brands do not identify the region where they are grown and processed, making identification difficult.
For that reason, until further notice, consumers are advised to avoid consuming all types of romaine lettuce, including hearts and whole heads, in addition to bagged and chopped romaine, as well as any salad mixes containing romaine grown in the Yuma region.3 Rather than guess if your favorite salad greens are safe, the wisest move is to avoid buying or eating any romaine lettuce or mixes containing romaine until the situation improves.
If you have any doubt, throw it out! Thankfully, there are many other salad greens and vegetables you can eat safely until this situation resolves. I’d also like to suggest a few tips that will help you enjoy salad greens and other produce safely going forward.
Why Are There so Many Health and Safety Issues With Salad Greens?
It’s no secret U.S. consumers love the convenience of prewashed produce that is sold in bags, clamshells and tubs. Unfortunately, those types of greens are precisely the ones continually implicated in outbreaks associated with foodborne illness. In fact, says The Washington Post, food-safety experts suggest “convenience greens — those handy bags of prechopped and prewashed salads — carry an extra risk because they come in contact with more people and machinery before they arrive on your plate.”4
E. coli is quite common — its many strains are found in food and the environment and also live in animal and human intestines. Thankfully, most E. coli infections are tolerable, if not harmless. The types of E. coli known to cause illness are often transmitted through contaminated food and water or through contact with animals or people. For example, in a large 2006 outbreak of E. coli involving spinach, wild pigs and well water were suspected causes.5
The particular strain currently in question with respect to romaine lettuce, however, is not your average E. coli. It is Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157:H7, which is known to be particularly dangerous. In the U.S., the CDC says an estimated 265,000 people suffer from STEC infections annually; the O157:H7 variety is responsible for more than one-third of those illnesses.6While people of all ages are susceptible, the elderly and young children are most likely to be severely affected by STEC’s unpleasant side effects.
Generally, symptoms appear one to 10 days after eating the contaminated food item and may include bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting. The age range for the current outbreak, notes the CDC, is from 1 to 88 years, with a median age of 29, again suggesting all populations are vulnerable to this strain of E. coli.7 To date, no one brand, grower or supplier has been tagged as the source of the contaminated lettuce.
Do You Know Where Your Salad Greens Are Grown?
Due to the industrialization of our food system, Americans eat produce from all over the world, regardless of whether it is in season locally. It’s not unusual to go to the supermarket and return with fruits and vegetables grown and harvested in Canada and Mexico, as well as countries in Europe and South America, among others. Although enjoying seasonal produce raised far from home has become the norm, this convenience is not without a cost.
According to The New York Times,8 the majority of bagged romaine lettuce provided to grocery stores and restaurants across North America is grown in California’s Salinas Valley. There is, however, one exception: In late fall and winter, the industry makes a seasonal move to Yuma.
Given the timing of the current E. coli outbreak, authorities believe the infected romaine was very likely grown in Yuma. While more details will be forthcoming, it seems likely the outbreak was caused either by an animal defecating in a field or some form of contaminated water runoff.
It’s worth noting that concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are a major source of water contamination throughout the U.S. Even the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) states, “Nationwide and in Arizona, the potential for surface and ground water pollution exists through livestock facility discharge of manure-contaminated run off to natural waterways and through wastewater leaching to aquifers.”9
While the source of the outbreak has not yet been pinned down, it’s certainly possible that industrialized agriculture has played a role. On a brighter note, because most of the industry’s bagged romaine production shifted back to California in April, says The New York Times, the Yuma-grown produce should be out of the food supply shortly.10
“Hopefully with it being in one particular growing region and that region moving to California, it won’t be too much longer [before you can begin eating romaine again],” said Laura Gieraltowski, Ph.D., who leads the foodborne outbreak response team within the CDC’s outbreak response and prevention branch. “It’s a fast-moving outbreak,” she said. “We’re getting reports of new illnesses daily from our state and local health departments.”11
Seven Reasons Why You Should Avoid Packaged Greens
Given the health concerns about prepackaged romaine and other processed greens, it may be time to make a change. Below are seven reasons you may want to avoid packaged greens:12
Chemicals such as chlorine are routinely used during the rinsing process for precut, prepackaged greens as a means of trying to kill off bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.13
The use of chemical washes, though not safe for anyone, are of particular concern if you are sensitive to chemicals. Researchers at the University of California — Riverside (UCR) found bleach rinses to be somewhat ineffective for cleaning baby spinach, noting while it caused bacteria to detach from the greens, it did not always kill the bacteria, meaning it could still make its way into your kitchen.14,15
A continued reliance on prepackaged, convenience greens only further disconnects you from the reality of where your food comes from, the needs of the soil it is grown in and the hard work it takes to grow these crops. While some may view processed greens as a cut above other types of processed food, they are still less than ideal because nature did not intend for us to eat the majority of our food out of shiny packages we purchased from the grocery store.
Frogs and feces
In 2017, a California woman discovered a small frog in a prepackaged spring mix she had purchased from Target — as she was eating it, begging the question, “Do you know what is in your bagged salad?”
After recovering from an episode of vomiting and the shock of nearly ingesting the dime-sized creature, the woman opted to keep it as a family pet.16 Tests performed by Consumer Reports in 2015 on 208 prewashed salad mixes, representing 16 brands, found bacteria suggesting poor sanitation and fecal contamination, in some cases at high levels. They stated:17
“Several industry experts we consulted suggested that for leafy greens, an unacceptable level of total coliforms or enterococcus is 10,000 or more colony forming units per gram (CFU/g) or a comparable estimate.
In our tests, 39 percent of samples exceeded that level for total coliforms and 23 percent for enterococcus. Results varied widely among samples, even within the same brand, from undetectable levels of those bacteria to more than 1 million CFU/g.”
Most people choose bagged lettuce and other greens for the convenience. The fact they are prewashed and precut perhaps draws some to eat greens who otherwise would not. While washing is meant to clean produce, says CNN Health, it “can also damage plant tissues and expose them to oxygen dissolved in the washing water.
This can cause a loss of vitamins that are water-soluble and sensitive to oxygen, such as vitamin C and the B vitamin folate.”18 For this reason, uncut produce is usually a better choice.
No matter what type of greens you select, when buying fresh greens from the store, you’ll always face the issue of packaging waste. Some argue that plastic tubs at least can be recycled. In contrast, the plastic bags housing most premade lettuce mixes, and the plastic produce bags used for loose produce, such as whole heads of lettuce, cannot be recycled.
Sean Cash, Ph.D., associate professor and economist at the Friedman School of Nutrition and Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, says, “The processing and packaging of bagged salad would still outweigh the cost of making the plastic bags that a consumer might use at the store.”19 As such, there is less packaging waste when you buy whole produce.
Triple washing ineffective
Even when the package suggests your greens have been triple-washed, you can never know for sure what may be lurking on them. Even after all that washing, germs can linger in the nooks and crannies of certain produce. Such was the case with respect to the UCR baby spinach study, where researchers observed “upward of 90 percent of adhered bacteria were observed to remain attached to and survive on the leaf surface.”20
Nichola Kinsinger, Ph.D, researcher with the UCR department of chemical and environmental engineering, who was one of the study authors, said:21
“In a sense, the leaf is protecting the bacteria and allowing it to spread. It was surprising to discover how the leaf surface formed microenvironments that reduced the bleach concentration. [I]n this case, the very disinfection processes intended to clean, remove and prevent contamination were found to be the potential pathway to amplifying foodborne outbreaks.”
As reported by Mother Jones, many produce companies have been triple washing their packaged greens since the 2006 spinach E. coli outbreak killed three and sickened 205.22
Gidon Eshel, Ph.D., research professor of environmental science and physics at New York’s Bard College, said, “What I know is that the bagged, triple-washed variety is enormously water costly. I visited such an operation and saw for myself … the washing was just staggering.”23
Given that the greens involved in the latest E. coli outbreak are grown in a water-starved area like Arizona, triple-washing “most likely becomes the single most important environmental consideration, and … becomes very difficult to defend,” added Eshel.24
Ways to Safeguard Your Health When Eating Greens
While you may think washing your lettuce would eliminate the bacteria, the truth is it takes but a few cells of E. coli to make you sick. Despite the fact that rinsing your produce with water — even the brands that claim to be triple washed — may lower your risk of illness, it doesn’t eliminate your risk entirely. Washing is no guarantee you will get rid of potential toxins. Beyond that, some experts suggest using commercial fruit and vegetable washes are not much more effective than water alone.25
Although some recommend a light bleach solution, I cannot recommend bleach for household cleaning applications and even less so for food preparation. The best way to ensure the cleanliness of your food and food-preparation area is to apply common sense. Below are a few tips that will guide you in handling produce and other foods safely. Always:
Wash your hands with soap and water before handling food, and most especially after handling raw meat
Use a scrub brush to remove dirt and debris from root vegetables or any fruit or vegetable with a rough skin
Keep babies and children away from your food-preparation area
Rinse all produce, even bagged varieties, well under running water
Remember loose produce is touched and handled by many other people before it is purchased by you; wash it well before eating
When chopping more than one type of food, wash your counter, cutting board and utensils frequently to avoid cross contamination
Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meat
Do not prepare food for others when you are sick
Because most of the people affected by the current E. coli outbreak became ill after eating at restaurants that used bagged, prechopped lettuce in their salads,26 you can dramatically reduce your risk of infection simply by avoiding salads when dining out and by eating more meals at home. Beyond that, since raw greens pose the most risk, you may decide to cook more of your greens to reduce your risk of contamination.
Two safe options for consuming greens are steaming or using a pressure cooker — you may want to add some healthy fat to promote maximum absorption. In my opinion, your very best option is to grow your own food. Whether that be in a vegetable garden, in containers or in trays, you won’t regret the time and energy you invest in cultivating healthy, homegrown food.
The good news is greens such as lettuce are among the easiest garden vegetables to grow, and they are prolific. By planting new seeds every 10 days, you can receive multiple harvests throughout the growing season. Depending on where you live, you may be able to grow certain greens year-round. If gardening is just not your thing, consider purchasing your greens from a local farmers market instead of the grocery store.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate or NaHCO3), popularized by Arm & Hammer more than 150 years ago, is a staple in many homes for baking and cleaning purposes, but this inexpensive ingredient also has a number of medicinal uses and benefits. It rates right up there with hydrogen peroxide as one of the most inexpensive and safe health tools around, so it makes sense to learn all you can about the many uses of baking soda.
It’s commonly known to have alkalinizing, antacid and electrolyte replacement properties.1 When taken internally, baking soda is thought to raise the pH of your blood. This appears to be the basic premise behind its recommended use against colds and influenza symptoms, recounted in a 1924 Arm & Hammer booklet on the medical uses of baking soda.2,3
Taking one-half to 1 teaspoon or so of baking soda dissolved in a glass of water is also an inexpensive way to ease heartburn. Long-distance runners have also engaged in a practice known as “soda doping” — taking baking soda capsules — before races to enhance performance — a measure thought to work similarly to carbohydrate loading.
In this case, by increasing the pH of your blood, this practice is thought to offset the acidity produced in muscles during intense activity. While I do not suggest or recommend you try this at home, use of baking soda has also been shown to improve speed among swimmers.4
Research5 has also shown drinking baking soda solution can help pregnant women who are having a slow or difficult labor to avoid C-sections in about 20 percent of cases by neutralizing acid in their womb. This could spell the difference between life and death in developing countries and/or instances where C-section is not an option.
Baking Soda May Be an Inexpensive Treatment for Autoimmune Diseases
Most recently, research funded by the National Institutes of Health suggests baking soda may be an effective treatment adjunct for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases. According to this study,6,7 led by renal physiologist Paul O’Connor and published in The Journal of Immunology, drinking a solution of water and baking soda appears to prime your immune system against inflammation.
The theory was initially tested on rats, and later in human subjects. According to O’Connor, baking soda may indeed be “a really safe way to treat inflammatory disease,”8 including arthritis. As reported by Medical News Today:9
“Their experiments tell a complex story about how this salt provides a signal to a special kind of cell called ‘mesothelial cells,’ telling them that the body is fine and not under attack, rendering an aggressive immune system unnecessary. Thus, harmful autoimmune responses are averted. Mesothelial cells line the internal organs as well as many different cavities in the body …
Basically, in O’Connor words, mesothelial cells learn that ‘[i]t’s most likely a hamburger not a bacterial infection.’ So they, in turn, do not activate the spleen’s ‘army’ of macrophages, or white blood cells tasked with clearing up potentially harmful cellular detritus. ‘Certainly, drinking bicarbonate affects the spleen and we think it’s through the mesothelial cells,’ O’Connor explains.”
Baking Soda Alters Immune Cell Activation, Triggering Anti-Inflammatory Response
Mesothelial cells are found in your blood and kidneys, and baking soda is already used in the treatment of chronic kidney disease. It was this that led the researchers to explore the mechanisms by which baking soda benefits renal function, slowing the progression of kidney disease. It was during this investigation they noticed that baking soda shifted the balance of immune cells in the kidneys, boosting anti-inflammatory immune cells while simultaneously decreasing inflammatory cells.
Further tests revealed baking soda has the same anti-inflammatory effect on blood and spleen as well. But how does it do this? Mesothelial cells, which line your internal organs, communicate with the organ in question via microvilli that emit a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, and this appears to be an important part of the equation.
A previous hypothesis suggested the anti-inflammatory signals were being transmitted through the vagus nerve, which connects your gut, brain and other organs. Experiments revealed this idea did not hold true. Even when the vagus nerve was completely severed, it did not suppress the anti-inflammatory signaling of the mesothelial cells.
Eventually, they realized the inflammatory response is being mediated via acetylcholine signals through the microvilli connecting the mesothelial cells and the organ they line. The anti-inflammatory response triggered by drinking baking soda-infused water was found to continue for a minimum of four hours. As explained by the authors:
“Following oral NaHCO3 loading, macrophage polarization was shifted from predominantly M1 (inflammatory) to M2 (regulatory) phenotypes, and FOXP3+CD4+ T-lymphocytes increased in the spleen, blood, and kidneys of rats. Similar anti-inflammatory changes in macrophage polarization were observed in the blood of human subjects …
Our data indicate that oral NaHCO3 activates a splenic anti-inflammatory pathway and provides evidence that the signals that mediate this response are transmitted to the spleen via a novel neuronal-like function of mesothelial cells.”
Conventional Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Is Fraught With Health Hazards
Considering the devastating side effects inherent with rheumatoid arthritis drugs, the idea that something as safe and inexpensive as baking soda water may alleviate the inflammation driving this and other autoimmune diseases is as welcome as it is intriguing. Indeed, the drugs commonly prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis are among the most dangerous on the market.
These include prednisone, TNF-alpha inhibitors (sold under brand names such as Humira, Enbrel and Remicade. Side effects of these drugs include infection and an increased risk for cancer), and harsh anticancer drugs like methotrexate. Chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics like Tylenol can also result in life-threatening liver and/or kidney damage.
Acetaminophen is actually the No. 1 cause of acute liver failure in the U.S. It’s tragic that conventional medicine doesn’t promote lifestyle changes before drugs for arthritis as, in my own practice, about 80 percent of my arthritic patients were able to achieve significant improvement or complete remission simply by following my nutritional and lifestyle recommendations.
In 2015, I interviewed a former patient of mine, Sarah Allen, about her successful remission. You can review that interview, and a summary of the most important lifestyle changes required to control this condition, in “Inspiring Account of How to Put Rheumatoid Arthritis Into Remission,” hyperlinked earlier.
Other Medicinal Uses for Baking Soda
In addition to the examples given at the beginning of this article, baking soda can also be beneficial for a number of other conditions and ailments, including the following. Keep in mind, you do not need to seek out aluminum-free baking soda, as all baking soda is aluminum free. The aluminum issue is related to baking powder, some brands of which may contain aluminum sulphate.10
I have personally recommended this to many, including family members, and have been surprised how remarkably effective it is. This would make sense, as the baking soda works as an antacid in your gut, neutralizing stomach acid. In fact, the active ingredient in many over-the-counter (OTC) antacids is just baking soda.
Dosing is typically one-half to 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a full glass of water. Make sure the baking soda is completely dissolved in at least 4 ounces of water, and sip it slowly to avoid gas formation. Also keep in mind that excessive dosages can cause acid rebound, thereby making your symptoms worse. This is the same problem posed by OTC antacids.
Facilitate splinter removal
Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda to a small glass of water, then soak the affected area twice a day. Many splinters will come out on their own after a couple of days of this treatment.
Add one-half cup of baking soda to lukewarm bathwater, then soak in the tub for natural relief. For added relief, let your skin air dry rather than toweling off the excess baking soda. You can also add a mixture of baking soda and water to a cool compress and apply it to the sunburn directly.
If you want to avoid the parabens and aluminum found in many deodorants and antiperspirants, try a pinch of baking soda mixed with water instead. This simple paste makes an effective and simple natural deodorant.
For an effective tooth and gum paste, use a mixture of six parts baking soda to one part sea salt. Place them in a blender and mix for 30 seconds, then place in a container to use. Wet the tip of your index finger and place a small amount of the salt and soda mixture on your gums. Starting with the upper outside gums and then the inside of the upper, followed by the lower outside of the gums then the lower inside, rub the mixture onto your teeth and gums.
Spit out the excess. After 15 minutes rinse your mouth. This mixture is incredibly effective at killing bacteria. For a natural way to whiten your teeth, crush one ripe strawberry and mix it with one-half teaspoon of baking soda. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave on for five minutes. Then brush your teeth as usual and rinse. This method should be used no more than once a week, as excessive use could potentially damage your tooth enamel.
Relieve itchy rashes
Apply a paste made of baking soda and water to insect bites to help relieve itching. You can also try rubbing the dry powder onto your skin. This is also effective for itchy rashes and poison ivy.
Soothe aching feet
Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda to a tub of warm water for an invigorating foot soak.
Natural exfoliator and skin scrub
A paste made from three parts baking soda to one part water can be used as an exfoliator for your face and body. It’s natural, inexpensive and gentle enough to use every day.
Baking soda and apple cider make a wonderful spa-like bath for soaking away aches and pains and detoxing. As a bonus, it also cleans the tub and drain.
1 Which of the following has been shown to increase digestive-resistant starch in foods like bread, rice, pasta and potatoes?
Overcooking and/or deep browning
Cooking, refrigerating overnight, then reheating
High net-carb foods such as potatoes, rice, bread and pasta become more digestive-resistant when cooked, cooled and reheated. Learn more.
None of the above, you can’t make resistant starch from carbs and anyone who states otherwise is promoting a dangerous concept
2 Which farm animal is best suited to serving as the foundation for a new agroecological and agroforestry model, capable of reforesting and restoring large amounts of conventionally farmed and degenerated landscapes?
Poultry production offers the shortest economic cycle and lowest up-front investment cost, and is easily scalable. Chickens can also serve as the foundation for a massive new agroecological and agroforestry model, capable of reforesting and restoring large amounts of conventionally farmed and degenerated landscapes. Learn more.
3 Which of the following conveniences now poses one of the most severe threats to environmental and human health?
Discarded plastic — both large and microscopic — circles the globe, choking our oceans and harming wildlife, ultimately finding its way onto your plate and into your body. A number of studies have now revealed we are both eating and drinking microplastic particles on a regular basis. Learn more.
4 Low-grade accumulation of concussions over time accelerates the process of Alzheimer’s. Recent research also shows even a single concussion increases your risk of which disease?
According to recent research, even a single concussion could increase your risk for Parkinson’s by 56 to 83 percent, depending on the severity of the injury. Learn more.
5 Which of the following is a major underlying cause of heart attacks?
High cholesterol levels
Chronically low parasympathetic nervous system activity
While conventional medicine still focuses on cholesterol and the plaque buildup in your arteries, compelling evidence suggests three major underlying causes of heart attacks are mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired microcirculation to your heart and chronically suppressed parasympathetic nervous system activity. Learn more.
Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)
6 Which of the following supplements has very similar effects as the drug metformin, and is a safer, and perhaps even more effective, alternative for those using metformin for Type 2 diabetes treatment and/or antiaging purposes?
Diabetics taking metformin tend to live longer than those taking other diabetes drugs. Some nondiabetic people take metformin just for its potential antiaging benefits. While it’s among the least hazardous drugs out there, the supplement berberine has many of the same effects, and is likely a safer and likely better alternative. Learn more.
7 To ensure proper hydration, you need to:
Drink eight glasses of water per day and more if you are in a hot environment and/or exercising
Avoid tea and coffee
Improve electrical charges across your cellular membranes to get water inside your cells
Proper hydration is not simply infusing your body with water. More specifically, it’s about getting the water inside your cells. To do that, you need to improve the electrical charges across your cellular membranes. Learn more.
Many ancient cultures have stories and texts which refer to ‘magical’ and ‘mythical’ lands that c0-exist alongside our reality. Whether these places are actual physical places, or places that reside in ‘another dimension,’ for lack of a better term, has been the subject of great discussion within various material throughout the ages. These stories can be found in ancient Buddhism and Vedic philosophy, along with oral stories passed down from Native cultures throughout the world. Regardless of what tradition the stories come from, however, it’s clear these weren’t just fables, but in fact, a part of reality that many experienced and witnessed.
The idea of gnomes or dwarfs dwelling alongside human beings might seem ridiculous to many readers, but this doesn’t change the fact that some of the world’s most brilliant scholars have critically examined the lore, and the evidence.
They are one of multiple ‘elementals, which are ‘magical’ entities who personifies a force of nature and therefore possess the special capabilities.
The elementals who dwell in that attenuated body of the earth which is called the terrreous ether are grouped together under the general heading of gnomes. (The name is probably derived from the Greek genomus, meaning earth dweller.)
Just as there are many types of human beings evolving through the objective physical elements of Nature, so there are many types of gnomes evolving through the subjective ethereal body of Nature. These earth spirits work so close in vibratory rate to the material earth that they have immense power over its rocks and flora, and also over the human and animal kingdoms.
I’ve personally spent some time living amongst Native North Americans, and during this period I heard multiple stories of “people in the rocks,” who were seen by many within the community, and most often by children.
“There is abundant evidence of the fact that small children often see the gnomes, insomuch as their contact with the material side of Nature is not yet complete, and they still function more or less consciously in the invisible worlds.”
According to Hall, the gnomes have families, governments, and communities, just like we do. They wear clothing, and are very fond of food.
According to Paracelsus, a German-Swiss physician and alchemist (like Issac Newton) who established the role of chemistry in medicine, in his Philosophia Occulta, translated by Franz Hartmann:“Man lives in the exterior elements and the Elementals live in the interior elements. The latter have dwellings and clothing, manners and customs, languages and governments of their own, in the same sense as the bees have their queens and herds of animals their leaders.”
Gnomes are nature spirits (elements), and many scholars agree that, when it comes to their rare interaction with man, they are faithful and true, and also very trustworthy. However, one must not betray their trust, because they could cause much sorrow and destruction in retaliation. As long as man was in service to others, the gnomes would work with them and protect them, but “if he sought to use their aid selfishly to gain temporal power they would turn upon him with unrelenting fury. The same was true if he sought to deceive them.”
On the other hand, some have described them as difficult to manage, malicious, tricky, and treacherous. Perhaps if they were to describe human beings, the same descriptions would fit, as not all of us share the same traits.
Hall also points to the fact that the elementals, one group being the gnomes, were also touched upon in Shakespeare’s AMidsummer Night’s Dream, where earth spirits meet at certain times of the year in great conclave. Where “the elementals all gather to rejoice in the beauty and harmony of Nature and the prospects of an excellent harvest.”
Entities Existing Within the Non-Material World
As mentioned in the article linked above regarding Shambhala, many of these lands exist in a world that’s separate from our own. Peracelsus believed, as did many others, that the gnomes are only visible at certain times and only to those “en rapport with their ethereal vibrations.” That being said, many also believed that these Nature Spirits also had a physical/material composition which allowed them to function in both the material and non-material worlds.
When it comes to the non-material world, quantum physics, among other disciplines, has shown that there is substance there, energy, a whole world that’s invisible to the senses and we are just starting to learn how to detect. This stuff, according to many of these physicists, is known as the “aether,” which is interesting because this is also where it is believed these elementals dwell.
In all facets of life, including science, we continue to rely on the measurements of the material world, searching for the God particle and more, despite the fact that groundbreaking science has shown that at the quantum level, a majority of what we call the physical material world isn’t really physical at all — that most of our reality is made up of that which we cannot perceive with our senses. Human beings do not even see all levels of the light spectrum, so who knows what we could be missing?
If science is confirming this ‘invisible’ world, who is to say that there are not lifeforms that dwell within these worlds? Lifeforms existing within these places have been the subject of lore for thousands of years, so should we really just brush all of this information off as ‘mythical?’
I’ll leave you with this quote from Abbe de Villars, an author and French clergyman born in 1635: “The earth is filled well nigh to its center with Gnomes, people of slight stature, who are the guardians of treasures, minerals and precious stones. They are ingenious, friends of man, and easy to govern.”