Essential Oils That Could Help Your Headaches

By Dr. Mercola

For people who experience the worst type of headache — migraines — one might describe them as something like being forced to go on a long, impromptu bus trip during a lightning storm while wearing a helmet that’s way too tight, the stereo is set on deafening and all the energy you’ve got is spent trying to hold your stomach together. Migraine headaches result from specific changes in the brain, and the pain almost always focuses itself on one side of your head, causing a “pounding” sensation that gets worse with physical exertion.

However, sometimes it hits both sides of your head and may involve sensitivity to light and/or sound, eye pain and nausea so severe that vomiting is part of the package. Migraines are experienced by 37 million people in the U.S. annually1 — roughly 1 in 7 Americans — which vary in duration from four to 72 hours and can be triggered by stress, hormonal changes and lack of sleep.

They’re the main reason why people visit emergency clinics, and most often are experienced by women of childbearing age.2 The Hearty Soul3 relates a number of other triggers that many might not consider:

Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Chocolate

Stress

Dehydration

Smoking

Birth control pills

Magnesium deficiency

Meats with nitrates (bacon or lunch meat)

Peanut butter

Wine

Medications

Dairy products

Whether the migraine excursion is taken occasionally or frequently, the pain is bad enough that any cure is deemed worth looking into: cold compresses, hot compresses, head massages, body massages. There are numerous over-the-counter and prescription drugs available, but these aren’t always without side effects.

Migraines: ‘Debilitating,’ ‘Like a Vice,’ ‘Soul Crushing’

To call a migraine a “bad headache” is a gross understatement. Some headache sufferers might tell you they’re impossible to define in a truly meaningful way — just that they’re awful. Huffington Post4 asked several people to describe the sensations they experience either before and/or during a migraine:

  • “It’s like having your head compressed by a 2-ton brick while someone hits your temple with a hammer at random intervals.”
  • “Like a vice around my head, with stabbing behind my ears and pressure behind my eyes. Pull the shades, lie down, don’t move.”
  • “Like being hit in the head by a semi. Or having your head compressed by thousands of cubic feet of water.”
  • “When I’m in the grip of a really bad one — one of those terrible, soul-crushing ones that comes around once a year or so — I almost always think, ‘There’s nothing I wouldn’t give up to make this go away right now.’”
  • “Like you are trying to give birth through your forehead.”

People describing symptoms often talk about their throbbing temples, pain behind their eyes, sensitivity to light and sounds and ongoing nausea. More than a few reference things like jackhammers and icepicks. Some mention auras of flickering light just before being slammed with the pain.

Understandably, migraines often lead to insomnia, and sleeplessness causes profound fatigue, which exacerbates the frequency and severity of migraines in a vicious circle. But Migraine.com5 notes that there are different types of headaches. A study of nearly 4,000 people enabled researchers to break the most common symptoms down into percentages:6

Throbbing, pulsating pain — 85 percent

Pain on one side — 59 percent

Light sensitivity — 80 percent

Blurred vision — 44 percent

Sound sensitivity — 76 percent

Auras — 36 percent

Nausea — 73 percent

Vomiting — 29 percent

Essential Oils to the Rescue

But what if the most effective relief came from something natural, extracted from powerful plant compounds instead of pain medications? I’m talking about essential oils, which have been used in ancient Egyptian, Chinese and East Indian cultures for around 6,000 years.7

Keep in mind that before applying essential oils topically, you should dilute them first with a safe and mild carrier oil, like coconut oil, olive oil, almond or jojoba oil. Essential oils have made a remarkable surge in popularity in the last several decades, proven not just anecdotally but in clinical trials to:

Ease pain

Relieve nausea

Relax your muscles

Improve sleep

Lower inflammation

Reduce stress

There are different ways to use essential oils for relieving headaches, including a few drops in tea, applying or massaging the oil (or oils) directly to the problem spots and inhaling the fragrance. One thing to always remember regarding essential oils is to avoid using them on your skin (or anyone else’s) undiluted. AromaWeb explains:

“Using a 2 percent essential oil dilution is generally considered a safe guideline for topical application of essential oils on adults when an essential oil does not have a more restricted dermal recommendation … For children or elderly, cut the dilution in half. With children, use only essential oils regarded as safe for children.”8

Reducing the frequency and severity of migraines has been achieved by continuous use over days, weeks and months. Essential oils have proved to have antibiotic, antiviral and antibacterial properties and some reports have suggested them as useful for Alzheimer’s disease, heart problems, cancer and labor pain.9

As for synthetic substances created for aromatherapy, the study noted that using actual plant oils was found to be superior, especially since synthetic fragrances often contain such irritants as solvents and propellants.10 Here’s a list of five of the most effective essential oils for relieving varied symptoms of migraines.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Having already made a name for itself among migraine sufferers, peppermint oil contains menthol to do double duty: relieve pain and relax your muscles. A collaborative study11 in Philadelphia found that applying a topical gel with 6 percent menthol “significantly” decreased pain intensity for patients after two hours.

A review published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine noted the merits of aromatherapy using essential oils from the roots, bark, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits of the peppermint plant for a number of maladies, including swollen joints, depression, indigestion, insomnia, muscular pain, respiratory problems, skin ailments and “urine-associated complications,” as well as headaches. According to the study:

“Inhalation and the external application of these oils for the treatment of mental and physical balance are the very basics of aromatherapy … to relieve stress, rejuvenate and regenerate … Olfactory nerves from nose to the brain are the site of action …”12

To mix a topical application, dilute two or three drops of peppermint oil with one or two drops of coconut oil to ease the nausea sometimes associated with migraines. Rub the oil on the back of your neck, forehead and shoulders, but a “double whammy” of effectiveness may come from diffusing a few drops of the oil for aromatherapy.

Peppermint is a good example of an essential oil that can be used in a number of ways for greater effect, The Hearty Soul13 notes. You can add five to 15 drops to a warm bath for a soak, and meanwhile, sip on peppermint tea.

Afterward, apply a diluted solution to your temples, the back of your neck below your skull and the bottoms of your feet. There are potential peppermint oil side effects in individuals with a sensitivity; one is possible sleep interference, for people taking antacids or with gall bladder problems, and in breast-feeding women, decreased milk production, to name a few.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) adds something that should always be in the forefront when using essential oils, including peppermint:

“Like other essential oils, peppermint oil is highly concentrated. When the undiluted essential oil is used for health purposes, only a few drops are used. Side effects of applying peppermint oil to the skin can include skin rashes and irritation. Peppermint oil should not be applied to the face or chest of infants or young children because serious side effects may occur if they inhale the menthol in the oil.”14

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender oil also helps with the pain of migraines, and it’s one that tackles the inflammation exacerbating it, causing the head-splitting “hammer on the skull” sensation. Part of the mechanism is its ability to dilate pressurized blood vessels. Lavender also improves sleep and reduces stress, which are the two main triggers of migraine attacks. A 2012 study15 published in European Neurology in 2012 notes this oil’s use as a sedative, antimicrobial and wound healing accelerator, among other things.

Reduced frequency and severity of migraines was reported by study subjects in a trial after using lavender for three months, according to a 2016 study.16 The researchers observed that among the 129 headache attacks in the course of the study, 92 “responded entirely or partially to lavender,” a significantly higher percentage compared to the participants in the placebo-controlled group.

The study concludes by saying that inhalation of lavender essential oil “may be an effective and safe treatment modality in acute management of migraine headaches.”

In another study featured in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2013, researchers conjectured that if lavender’s “alleged curative properties” ranged from successful treatment of insect bites, parasitic infections and spasms, it might also be an effective therapy for neurological disorders.

A review of lavender’s efficacy for pain was noted in the study, for pain ranging from cesarean section,17 breast biopsy surgery,18 “nonspecific subacute neck pain” and low back pain,19 and for migraine headaches, especially when applied early in the attack.20

Not to mention the fact that with lavender, “there’s no potential for drug abuse.”21 For aromatherapy, add five to 10 drops of lavender oil to a bowl of warm water. You can cover your head with a towel to get the most of the vapors, lean over the bowl and breathe deeply until your headache starts to diminish. You can also use a few diluted drops to massage behind your ears, your temples and back of your neck.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

This oil is good for several types of headache pain,22 but it’s said to be most effective for people suffering from headaches due to chronic sinusitis. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry23 reported that inhaling eucalyptus oil may relieve pain and lower inflammation.

Mix one drop with a teaspoon of carrier oil such as the aforementioned coconut oil before massaging into your chest, temples and forehead. Breathe the vapors as described in the lavender oil section, and place a few drops onto a handkerchief to inhale the fragrance whenever needed.

Chamomile Essential Oil

Another effective oil for migraines, chamomile oil reduces inflammation, according to a 2014 Medical Hypotheses study,24 which described it as “a novel medicine for the relief of migraine pain.” The Top 10 Home Remedies says it also relieves symptoms of stress and anxiety, which may in turn serve to relieve your migraine.

Dilute a few drops of chamomile oil with one or two drops of a carrier oil to massage into your temples and forehead. Inhaling the steam after placing a few drops into hot water is another way to help treat your pounding head.

Rosemary Essential Oil

A 2013 study25 published in Food Chemistry points to rosemary as having a long history in tradition for treating headaches due to the potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving compounds it contains. It backs up a 2008 study26 that found the same benefits. Added to that are comments by Top 10 Home Remedies:

“It helps treat headaches because of its stimulating, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It has a calming effect on the body and helps reduce stress and insomnia, common triggers that can cause headaches.”27

Suggested ways to use rosemary essential oil for migraine headache relief include adding one or two drops to a cup of tea, water or soup and drinking it. You can also mix two drops of rosemary oil with two drops of peppermint oil and a teaspoon of coconut oil to massage your forehead, temples and the back of your neck.

You can get an allergen test before using essential oils to make sure you’re not allergic. This entails applying a diluted amount of oil onto your skin and observing if allergic reactions occur. If you experience side effects, don’t use the oil. However, while oils like those mentioned above can have therapeutic effects, they aren’t instant cures, nor are they a substitute for optimal nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

Black Tea May Be Good for Your Heart Health, Gut Flora and More

Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. In America alone, around 158 million people drink tea each day. The Tea Association of the USA also reveals that the total tea consumption in the country amounted to a whopping 3.8 billion gallons in 2016, more than 80 percent of which was black tea.1

Black tea is undoubtedly a well-loved drink in Western culture, and for good reason. Its bold flavors make for a satisfying beverage that can be enjoyed any time of the day. Best of all, it contains a wide array of nutrients that are beneficial for your health.

What Is Black Tea?

Like green tea, white tea, oolong and pu’erh, black tea is also a “true tea” that is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. What makes these teas different from each other is the way they were processed. With organic black tea, the leaves are allowed to wither after harvest in order to reduce their moisture content. The withered leaves are then rolled by hand or a machine to break their cell walls, thereby exposing their enzymes to oxygen and allowing the oxidation process to take place.2

The oxidation stage lasts between two and four hours and results in the formation of two new flavonoids called theaflavins and thearubigins. These flavonoids give black tea its distinctive taste and color, and contribute to its potential health benefits.3,4 Once the leaves have oxidized, they’re dried using a high heat process, such as baking or firing, before being sorted and packed.

Despite its bold flavor profile, black tea is often mixed with other ingredients, particularly fruits, flowers and spices, to create other flavorful blends. Some of the most popular black tea blends include Earl Grey, which is blended with bergamot, and masala chai, which is flavored with various spices. Black tea is also sold by its origin. Some good examples are Darjeeling and Assam black tea.5

What Does Black Tea Do for Your Health?

Black tea not only warms your body with every sip, but it may also provide you with antioxidants, polyphenols, tannins and various minerals. Here are some of the impressive health benefits that black tea has to offer:

Helps improve gut microbiome: A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition suggests that the polyphenols in black tea may help improve gut microflora.6

Black tea may also act as a prebiotic since its molecules, which are too large to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream and liver, remain in the intestines, supporting the growth of friendly gut bacteria.

May aid in weight loss: Black tea may help contribute to weight loss and reduce the risk of obesity by supporting the formation of microbial metabolites, which plays a role in the regulation of energy metabolism.7

Helps fight against free radicals: Black tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, such as the flavonoids thearubigin and theaflavin, which may help fight the negative effects of free radicals to your body.8

Helps improve your cardiovascular health: Research shows that regular consumption of four to five cups of black tea per day may help lower blood pressure levels by 1 to 2 mmHg, reducing the risk for cardiovascular diseases.9

Helps reduce your risk for cancer: According to a study published in the Cancer Research journal, a polyphenol in black tea may help induce death in cancer cells without affecting the normal, healthy cells.10

This may help reduce your risk for certain types of cancer, including cancer of the mouth, pharynx, stomach, prostate and bladder, among others.11

Helps regulate blood sugar levels: Studies suggest that polysaccharides from black tea may help prevent blood sugar spikes by delaying the digestion of starch and sucrose.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, black tea may also be good for improving hair health, bone strength, mental focus and energy levels.12

Black Tea Nutrition Facts

If you’re looking to cut your daily calorie intake, then black tea is the ideal beverage for you. Even though it has a bit more flavor than water, its calorie content is still very low. A cup of unsweetened organic black tea is equivalent to approximately 2 calories.13 Check out the table below for a more detailed look at its nutritional value:14

Generic – Tea – Black, Unsweetened

Serving Size: 1 cup

  Amt. Per
Serving
  % Daily
Value*
Calories 2.4 Sodium 7.1 mg
Total Fat 0 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated Fat 0 g Total Carbs 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g Dietary Fiber 0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g Sugars 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g Protein 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg    
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 0%  
Vitamin C 0% Iron 0%  

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie

Does Black Tea Have Caffeine?

Just like other teas from the Camellia sinensis plant, black tea contains caffeine. In fact, black tea gets its energy- and brain-boosting effects from its caffeine content. But the question is how much caffeine is in a cup of black tea?

There are several factors that may affect the caffeine levels in black tea, such as the brewing time, water temperature and amount of tea leaves used in the blend. In general, an 8-ounce serving of unsweetened black tea can provide you with 14 to 61 milligrams of caffeine, making it a great alternative to caffeine-laden beverages like energy drinks and soda.15

The caffeine in black tea is also regulated by its L-theanine and L-theophylline content, which makes its effect smooth, continuous and evenly distributed to the heart, kidneys and respiratory system, instead of instant and jarring like other caffeinated drinks.16

How to Make a Good Cup of Black Tea

Whether you need an energizing cup of tea first thing in the morning or you simply want a soothing drink during your afternoon break, you can make a proper cup of black tea in no time by following these easy steps:17,18

Black Tea

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon black tea leaves

1 cup water

Lemon juice or honey, to taste (optional)

Procedure:

1. Place water in a teakettle and heat it to a rolling boil or between 200 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Steep 1 teaspoon of black tea leaves in a cup for three to five minutes. Cover the cup with a lid or saucer to retain the heat.

3. Taste the tea after the recommended steeping time to check if it suits your taste or if it needs to be steeped a little longer.

4. Strain out the leaves once the tea is ready. Add lemon juice or honey as desired.

Be careful not to over-steep your tea — doing so may increase its bitterness and astringency.19 Some people also prefer to flavor their black tea with sugar, but I suggest that you leave out this ingredient, since it may cancel out some of the health benefits of black tea.

Proper Ways to Store Black Tea

While black tea tends to last longer than other types of Camellia sinensis tea, it still needs proper storage to retain its flavor, quality and freshness for a long time. To keep it from going stale, put the leaves or teabags in an opaque, airtight glass container and store them in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight, moisture and foods with strong odors. When stored properly, the shelf life of black tea may last up to two years.20

Black Tea Side Effects That You Should Be Aware Of

Black tea is generally safe to drink daily and, as mentioned above, studies suggest that its benefits may increase with the consumption of four or more cups per day. However, you might want to limit your black tea intake if you’re sensitive to caffeine, since some of its most common side effects are caffeine-related, such as:

Difficulty sleeping

Headaches

Nervousness

Irritability

Irregular heart rate

Tremors

Upset stomach

Moreover, black tea may trigger either constipation or diarrhea when consumed in excessive amounts. Its caffeine content accounts for its mild laxative properties, while its tannins are responsible for triggering constipation. If you’re pregnant and/or breastfeeding, it’s best to limit your black tea consumption to two cups per day, since its  caffeine content may be harmful for you and your baby.21

Are You Sure That Your Black Tea Is Really Safe and Organic?

Did you know that some of the most popular black tea brands available in the market today contain traces of pesticides? In fact, even products with organic labels are found to have pesticide residues.22 This is because some sources of the Camellia sinensis plant use heavy doses of pesticide sprays.

The presence of pesticides in your tea ruins its potential health benefits, since constant exposure to these toxic chemicals can lead to serious health problems, such as infertility, neurological disorders and cancer. With that said, double-check the source of your black tea to guarantee that it comes from a reputable organic brand.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Black Tea

Q: Is black tea good for you?

A: Yes, black tea is good for your overall health, as it provides various nutrients that can help enhance your gut microflora, reduce your risk for cancer, lower blood sugar levels and improve cardiovascular health. Black tea is also an excellent source of antioxidants that can protect you against free radicals.

Q: Does black tea make you poop?

A: Black tea has a mild laxative effect when consumed in high amounts. This is due to its caffeine content.23

Q: Is black tea caffeinated?

A: Yes, black tea contains caffeine, just like other types of tea from the Camellia sinensis plant.

Q: Is black tea a diuretic?

A: Yes, black tea has a diuretic effect because of its caffeine content. This effect is more noticeable when you consume black tea in high amounts.24

Q: Is black tea acidic?

A: Black tea is mildly acidic, since its average pH level ranges from 4.9 to 5.5. Adding more water to it may decrease its acidity.25

Q: What does black tea taste like?

A: Pure black tea is often described as bold and brisk with an astringent taste. However, there are many factors that may affect its flavor profile, such as its origin and the season in which the leaves were harvested.26

Q: What is black tea made of?

A: Black tea is made from the fully oxidized leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.27

Note: When buying tea of any kind, make sure that it’s organic and grown in a pristine environment. The Camellia sinensis plant in particular is very efficient in absorbing lead, fluoride and other heavy metals and pesticides from the soil, which can then be taken up into the leaves. To avoid ingesting these dangerous toxins, a clean growing environment is essential, so that you can be sure you’re ingesting only pure, high-quality tea.


Resistance — Not All Germs Are Created Equal

By Dr. Mercola

Antibiotic resistance has become a major threat to public health worldwide, and the primary cause for this man-made epidemic is the widespread misuse of antibiotics — drugs used to combat bacterial infections in humans and animals. Over the decades, antibiotics have been widely overprescribed for infections that don’t respond well, or at all, to these drugs.

Viral infections, for example, cannot be treated with antibiotics since they only kill bacteria, yet many of you have likely taken a course of antibiotics for an ear infection, or a bout of cold or flu. Antibiotics have also been routinely used for growth promotion purposes in livestock, and this practice continues in the U.S. to this day, despite the well-known risks.

In the U.S. alone, antibiotic-resistant pathogens are conservatively estimated to cause at least 2 million infections annually, leading to 23,000 deaths each year. Data1,2 from the European Union show there’s been a significant rise of resistance to multiple antibiotics in Klebsiella pneumoniae and E. coli.

An estimated 25 to 60 percent of K. pneumoniae featuring in bloodstream infections are now resistant to several different antibiotics, making these infections extremely difficult to treat. The rise in pan-resistance (resistance to multiple drugs) in turn has led to a significant increase in use of carbapenems — a class of last-line antibiotics. Disturbingly, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae are also rapidly becoming more common in hospitals,3 and an estimated 1 in 25 patients now end up with a hospital-acquired infection.

The Rise of Antibiotic Resistance

The featured 2015 documentary, “Resistance,”4 delves into the history of bacteria, antibiotics and the subsequent development and spread of antibiotic resistance. It also features personal stories of people impacted by drug-resistant infections. Not surprisingly, those affected generally feel we’ve squandered an awesome resource by overusing antibiotics, thereby creating bacteria that are impervious to these drugs.

For years now, scientists have warned we are entering a pre-antibiotic era once more, where infections that were once simple to treat will become deadly. Already, drug-resistant urinary tract infections (UTIs) and tuberculosis are on the rise, as are several sexually transmitted diseases. For example, the two main strains of syphilis in circulation worldwide have developed resistance to azithromycin, the second drug of choice for this infection.5,6

The Street Strain 14 (SS14), which is a newer strain, appears to be far more drug-resistant than the older Nichols strain. A whopping 90 percent of the SS14 samples had drug resistance genes. There’s also evidence showing the three most common STDs — chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis — are all developing pan-resistance.

Gonorrhea is already resistant to all antibiotics that have been used against it, and is rapidly developing resistance against cephalosporins, the drug of last resort. In the case of UTIs, drug-resistant infections have actually been traced back to the consumption of chicken contaminated with antibiotic-resistant E. coli. As more and more antibiotics become useless, surgeries will also become life-threatening events, and organ transplants may become virtually impossible.

Efforts to Scale Back Human Consumption of Antibiotics Have Failed

Between 2000 and 2015, the global human consumption of antibiotics rose by 65 percent, reaching 42 billion doses a year.7 The increase was driven by low- and middle-income countries and, if no policy changes are made, it’s estimated that global antibiotic consumption will rise up to 200 percent higher by 2030.

Use of antibiotics in high-income countries still remains higher than in most low- and middle-income countries, but their use is rising fast — a concern, in part, because antibiotics are often available without a prescription in lower-income countries, making the potential for abuse high.

In the U.S., while rates of antibiotics didn’t rise sharply, they also didn’t fall, which suggests efforts to scale back inappropriate usage have largely failed. Lance Price, director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at George Washington University, recently told NPR:8

“The biggest driver for the evolution of superbugs is the use of antibiotics … The more we use antibiotics, the more we are going to encourage the growth of these bacteria that are resistant to them … [Already] you have these extreme cases like the woman [in Nevada] just about a year ago who died of an infection that was resistant to 26 different antibiotics … So, bacteria are out there that are resistant to everything, and they are becoming more and more prevalent.”

You’re Exposed to Antibiotics From Several Sources

As mentioned earlier, antibiotic overuse occurs not just in medicine, but also in food production. In fact, agricultural uses account for about 80 percent of all antibiotic use in the U.S.,9 so it’s a major source of human antibiotic consumption. The peril with giving animals antibiotics is that it alters their gut microbiome (this is also, in part, how antibiotics promote unnatural growth in the animal).

In the process, some of those gut bacteria become antibiotic-resistant. One of two things can then happen. Either the drug-resistant bacteria are passed into the environment via the animal’s manure, or the gut contents may contaminate the meat during slaughter or processing.

So, antibiotics given to animals enter your food supply not only via meat, but also via manure used as fertilizer on crops. Indeed, at least two studies10,11 show most vegetables grown in soil fertilized with manure will uptake antibiotics into leaves, plant tissues and tubers, and the greater the amount of antibiotics in the manure, the higher the levels detected in plant tissues.

One of the studies, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), found that root crops, which are in direct contact with soil, are particularly prone to antibiotic contamination. Antibiotics such as oxytetracycline and streptomycin are also used as pesticides in agriculture — primarily on fruit orchards, but also on some vegetable crops — and both of these antibiotics are used in human medicine as well.12

Protecting your gut health and reducing the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria are significant reasons for making sure you’re only eating organically-raised grass fed meats and animal products, and biodynamic fruits and vegetables. You can also help yourself and your community by using medical antibiotics only when absolutely necessary, and avoiding antibacterial products altogether.

This includes antibacterial soaps, wipes, gels and sprays, as well as personal hygiene and household products containing antimicrobial agents, such as triclosan-containing sanitizers and Microban-treated cutting boards. (Some toothpastes previously also contained triclosan, but in 2015 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ruled it not generally recognized as safe and effective for use in these products,13 so toothpaste products no longer supposed to contain them.)

US Government Has Been Too Lax on Curtailing Antibiotic Use in Factory Farms

In August 2017, PBS News14 featured a concise overview of how concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) serve as breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant superbugs — and how farmers have the power to change that by raising their animals in a more natural way. Perhaps most disturbing is the FDA’s lack of action on this issue, even as antibiotic-resistant disease has become a pressing public health threat.

The FDA issued voluntary guidance on agricultural antibiotics in 2013, asking drug companies to remove indications for “feed efficiency” and “weight gain” from the labels of their antibiotic products. They also required veterinarians to oversee any addition of these drugs to animal feed and water. Most companies agreed to comply with the guidelines and state they no longer use antibiotics for growth promotion purposes, but there’s a major loophole being exploited.

Instead of saying the drugs are being used to promote growth, they simply state they use the antibiotics for disease prevention and control, a use that is still allowed under the FDA’s guidance. Last year, the FDA officially banned the use of antibiotics for the purpose of growth promotion altogether. A veterinary prescription for antibiotics is now required. However, this outright ban has had no real impact either. CAFOs are still dispensing antibiotics as usual, since it’s easy enough to obtain a veterinary prescription.

Eliminating Nonmedical Use of Antibiotics Significantly Reduces Drug-Resistance

Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) also called on farmers and the food industry to stop the use of antibiotics in healthy animals to “help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that are important for human medicine.”15

They cited a 2017 study16 published in The Lancet Planetary Health, which found reducing antibiotic use in food-producing animals reduced antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the animals by up to 39 percent and may similarly reduce such bacteria in humans, particularly those who are directly exposed to food-producing animals.

Lower levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the animals also means less risk to those who consume the meat. In a Consumer Reports study17 of 300 raw ground beef samples published in 2015, CAFO samples were three times more likely to be contaminated with multidrug-resistant bacteria compared to grass fed beef raised without antibiotics. The grass fed beef was also less likely to be contaminated with E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus than the CAFO meat.

As it stands, the excessive use of antibiotics among CAFO animals has turned them into veritable “disease factories”18 and, in the U.S., when the FDA tests raw supermarket chicken, they routinely find antibiotic-resistant bacteria to be present.19

Outrageously, USDA acting chief scientist Chavonda Jacobs-Young countered WHO’s international call to action saying,20 “The WHO guidelines are not in alignment with U.S. policy and are not supported by sound science. The recommendations erroneously conflate disease prevention with growth promotion in animals.” This assertion flies in the face of previous investigations showing that nontherapeutic use accounts for an estimated 93 percent of the antibiotics used in American livestock.21,22

Are Antibiotics Essential in Farming?

The question is, are antibiotics absolutely essential in farming? There’s plenty of evidence to suggest the answer to that is no. It does, however, require some healthy changes to be implemented. Pastured animals, for example, rarely need antibiotics as they’re nowhere near as prone to disease as animals raised in confinement. Other countries have also shown that antibiotic-free meat can be produced on a larger scale.

In the featured documentary, the filmmakers travel to Denmark, a country in which reforms to tackle drug-resistance by eliminating antibiotic use in livestock began in the late 1980s. The EU followed suit, ending the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in 2006, and as noted in the film, raising antibiotic-free meat would be just as feasible in the U.S. as it is in Denmark and other European countries. Denmark’s success is also detailed in a 2014 article in Environmental Health Perspectives,23 which notes:

“One of the most striking aspects of Denmark’s transformation in antibiotics policy is that it reportedly has had little negative impact on the nation’s pork industry. From 1992 to 2008, antibiotic use per kilogram of pig raised in Denmark dropped by more than 50 percent. Yet overall productivity increased.

Production of weaning pigs increased from 18.4 million in 1992 to 27.1 million in 2008. Pig mortality began increasing in 1994 but fell sharply after 2004 and by 2008 was similar to 1992 levels. According to Niels Kjeldsen, a veterinarian with the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, the cost of raising pigs has gone up by about €1 per animal, from birth to slaughter, since the ban.

‘We have more efficient production and less disease,’ says Jørgen Schlundt, director of the National Food Institute … Many Danish farmers now allow piglets to stay with their mothers for a longer period, which allows them to build their immune systems naturally …”

Strategies to Protect Yourself and Limit Spread of Drug-Resistant Bacteria

As noted in the film, it seems inevitable that antibiotic resistance will continue to climb, and that treatment will become more expensive. Unless the drug industry starts making antibiotic development a priority, we may soon lose the fight against drug-resistant bacteria, which will inevitably mean more people will die from infections that were once relatively easy and inexpensive to treat.

While the problem of antibiotic resistance needs to be addressed through public policy, our individual choices also add up, and will influence your personal risk. The following strategies will help curtail the growth of antibiotic resistance in general and lower your personal risk of contracting and/or spreading a drug-resistant infection:

Infection prevention, with a focus on strengthening your immune system naturally. Avoiding sugars, processed foods and grains, stress reduction and optimizing your sleep and vitamin D level are foundational for this. Adding in traditionally fermented and cultured foods is also important, as this will help optimize your microbiome.

The Nitric Oxide Dump exercise will also help improve your immune status. Contrary to supplements that boost immune function, which should be taken only as needed, this exercise is a preventive method that should ideally be done daily.

Limit your use of antibiotics. Any time your doctor prescribes an antibiotic, ask if it’s absolutely necessary, and keep in mind that antibiotics do not work for viral infections. For example, antibiotics are typically unnecessary for most ear infections, and they do not work on the common cold or flu, both of which are caused by viruses.

Avoid antibiotics in food by purchasing organic or biodynamic grass fed meats and animal products and organically grown fruits and vegetables.

Avoid antibacterial household products such as antibacterial soaps, hand sanitizers and wipes, as these promote antibiotic resistance by allowing the strongest bacteria to survive and thrive in your home.

Properly wash your hands with warm water and plain soap, to prevent the spread of bacteria. Be particularly mindful of washing your hands and kitchen surfaces after handling raw meats, as about half of all meat sold in American grocery stores is likely to be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. Avoid antibiotic soaps that typically have dangerous chemicals like triclosan.

Take commonsense precautions in the kitchen: Kitchens are notorious breeding grounds for disease-causing bacteria, courtesy of contaminated meat products, including antibiotic-resistant strains of E. coli. To avoid cross-contamination between foods in your kitchen, adhere to the following recommendations:

  • Use a designated cutting board, preferably wood, not plastic, for raw meat and poultry, and never use this board for other food preparation, such as cutting up vegetables. Color coding your cutting boards is a simple way to distinguish between them
  • To sanitize your cutting board, use hot water and detergent. Simply wiping it off with a rag will not destroy the bacteria
  • For an inexpensive, safe and effective kitchen counter and cutting board sanitizer, use 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. Keep each liquid in a separate spray bottle, and then spray the surface with one, followed by the other, and wipe off
  • Coconut oil can also be used to clean, treat and sanitize your wooden cutting boards. It’s loaded with lauric acid that has potent antimicrobial actions. The fats will also help condition the wood

About the Distributor

I believe in bringing quality to my readers, which is why I wanted to share some information about the director, Daryl Wein, from “Consumed.” We sat down with Daryl to know a little more about what goes in to making these films. Thank you to Mr. Wein for sharing with us.

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(Natural News) If there’s one thing you can’t find in regular store-bought milk, it’s the presence of good bacteria – which have been destroyed by pasteurization. However, a study published in CyTa – Journal of Food revealed that fortifying milk with plant products that have been fermented with lactic acid bacteria could improve its nutritional value. The…

Chemists finally identify the molecule responsible for a carcinogen in recycled wastewater

(Natural News) Thanks to a recent study by California-based chemists, recycled water may become much safer for consumption. The researchers announced that they have tracked down the specific chemical molecule responsible for the creation of a highly potent carcinogen in treated wastewater, according to a ScienceDaily article. Formally known as N-nitrosodimethyalmine, NDMA is a cancer-causing…

Jordan Sather (Destroying the Illusion 2.0) 6-8-18… “New Sealed Record Count / CEOs Resigning / AZ Trafficking Camp / IG Report & FBI”

[Download this video here (360p, 65MB).]

I found this an excellent “summary of what is going on” video, made few days after the CITD event finished. He points out the increase in the number of sealed indictments, what’s going on in Arizona regarding taking down human trafficking, and other items.

Note that Jordan is using his 2.0 version of DTY, so we’ll see how long this stays up. I’m going to download this video and store in my own location, when I do, I’ll add that download link here.
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https://youtu.be/eccvVYi7Uwk

Destroying the Illusion 2.0
Published on Jun 7, 2018
Today’s Links:
Sealed Indictment Count – https://bit.ly/2sEfLSu
Sessions Announces 311 New Assistant United States Attorney Positions – https://bit.ly/2xJ7IbS
Metro sex-trafficking sting rescues nearly 160 children – https://on-ajc.com/2HuDQQ1
Update: ‘Child Trafficking Camp’ Discovered in Arizona is Located on Clinton Foundation Donor CEMEX Property – https://bit.ly/2Hk0uux . .
Website: http://www.destroyingtheillusion.com (Subscribe to the newsletter to stay in touch!)