Alexander Hamilton and Nicholas Biddle: Bankster Syndicate Actors and Made Men

The Rothschild syndicate utilized two primary operatives to establish a defacto central banking system that was under their control in the early years of the United States: Alexander Hamilton and Nicholas Biddle.

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James Rothschild (1792-1868)

“More than $8 million of the stock of the Bank is held by foreigners who are more dangerous than the military power of an enemy,” declared Andrew Jackson when he revoked the charter of the Second Bank of the United States.

The First and Second Bank of the United States were James Rothschild (1792-1868) projects. Our focus in this post are events and people surrounding the First Bank.

Primary operative No. 1 was Alexander Hamilton (1757–1804), who was born on the British island of Nevis, in the West Indies. His mother was most likely Jewish and his father, James Hamilton, was a non-Jewish Scotsman descended from the House of Hamilton in Ayrshire, Scotland, according to the Jewish Virtual Library.

In the 1760s, Hamilton attended a Jewish school in Nevis that was housed inside a synagogue in Charleston, the island’s capital.

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Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804)

Nevis had a large Jewish community, constituting one-quarter of the white population by the 1720s. As a small boy, he was tutored by a Jewish schoolmistress and had learned to recite the Ten Commandments in the original Hebrew. Hamilton exhibited a degree of respect for Jews that was described by Chernow as “a life-long reverence.” He believed that Jewish achievement was a result of divine providence.

As an American political figure, Hamilton operated in the classic crypto manner, as an Anglican.

Documents in the British Museum prove that Alexander Hamilton received payment from the Rothschilds for his deed in binding the U.S. government and the States to the international bankers.

Hamilton pursued the large-capital plutocratic policies of establishing a national bank, a system of tariffs, friendly trade relations with Britain and a strong central government. He mobilized a nationwide network of friends of the government, especially bankers and businessmen, who formed the Federalist Party.

In 1784, he founded the Bank of New York, one of the oldest still-existing banks in America. He was a boy wonder and made man who, at the age of 20, came out of nowhere to serve a four-year term (1777-1781) as Washington’s chief staff aide.

Also par for the course were compelling indications that Hamilton was part of a homosexual in-group “mafia.” His letters to the Marquis de Lafayette and in particular to John Laurens employed  sentimental literary conventions and alluded to Greek history and mythology. Jonathan Ned Katz, author of “Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A.,” reveals Hamilton was in homo-social or more likely homosexual relationships.

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Nicholas Biddle (1786-1844)

After Hamilton was killed in an 1804 duel with Aaron Burr, the mantle was passed to operative No. 2, Nicholas Biddle (1786-1844). Biddle was another  young prodigy who, like Hamilton, came out of nowhere. In 1807, Biddle returned home to Philadelphia from Paris.

“Following the Rothschild Formula, Biddle had been careful to reward compliant politicians with success in the business world. Few of them were unwilling to bite the hand that fed them. Even the great Senator Daniel Webster found himself kneeling at Biddle’s throne,” wrote G. Edward Griffin, author of “The Creature From Jekyll Island.”

In 1822, Monroe appointed Biddle as the third president of the Second Bank of the United States. He is best known for his battle with President Andrew Jackson over the rechartering of the Second Bank, but our focus here is more on the First Bank.

The Strange ‘Lone Wolf’ Assassination of British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval

Biddle failed to prevent the withdrawal of the charter of the First Bank of the United States in 1811. Almost immediately bankster interests in The City of London began lobbying for a war. Initially, British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was in the way.

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Spencer Perceval (1762-1812)

Nathan Mayer Rothschild, who took a big loss, railed, “Teach those impudent Americans a lesson! Bring them back to colonial status!”

Enter one of the first in a long string of strange “lone wolf formula” assassins, one John Bellingham (1769-1812). Bellingham was a ruined, compromised and suicidal businessman cut right out of the Jack Ruby cloth.

Gazette [issue 16605]: John Bellingham, ‘an abandoned and infamous assassin’, ‘with diabolical and unfounded malice’  was arrested and imprisoned in 1804 for supposed insurance fraud while working in Russia. Bellingham had protested and attempted to impeach the governor general on his release a year later, and had pleaded with the British authorities for help. After an additional sentence was served, he was released, but without permission to leave Russia. He petitioned the Russian tsar and was permitted to leave in 1809. Bellingham had spent five years in prison, in most likely appalling conditions, and was set on seeking reparation from the British government. He was unsuccessful.

Bellingham shot and killed Perceval on May 11, 1812.

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John Bellingham
John Bellingham (1769-1812)

After a “hurry up and get rid of him” trial, Bellingham was hung and then made a hero to many a week later. Almost “by the book,” no time was wasted in looking for accomplices. Incredibly, a pay-off subscription was raised for the widow and children of Bellingham, and “their fortune was 10 times greater than they could ever have expected in any other circumstances.” Somebody put the suicidal (or deluded)  Bellingham up to it.

Motive: Andro Linklater in his book “Why Spencer Perceval Had to Die” explains that Perceval had moved strongly to strangle the slave trade. Additionally, the British economy was in depression due to trade blockades against Napoleon. Linklater points out that in January 1812 the desperate Bellingham was flat broke. But from February on, his accounts suggest, he was reasonably flush. There were 20-pound payments rolling in from Thomas Wilson & Co.

Linklater believes that Bellingham was being funded and unwittingly maneuvered by two closely associated men : Thomas Wilson (1767-1852), a London merchant and banker, and Elisha Peck (1789-1851), an American tin manufacturer residing in Liverpool. Peck was a co-founder of Phelps Dodge. By 1830, Peck was almost certainly the largest exporter of tin-plate from Britain, shipping about 51,000 boxes in that year. Wilson was a particularly interesting operative, who was pro-slavery and a defender of the Bank of England. An extensive and long list reveals his various lobbying activities in Parliament. He has City of London banksterism written all over him. However, Peck was not a member of any war party with America and, if used by other forces, would have been a slide or decoy.

The motives and point-of-the-spear players cited by Linklater may have played a key role in Perceval’s assassination, but almost immediately afterward the dirty deed the war parties prevailed. War broke out on June 18, 1812, over grievances and British instigations. The War of 1812 was a series of small battles and shit storms, but ultimately the British blockaded the U.S., took Washington, D.C. and torched the White House.

Winter Watch Takeaway: Was the War of 1812 payback for not renewing the First Bank of the United States charter? Sure looks that way.

MOMENT OF TRUTH: Q Anon Discloses Secret Space Program

On Wednesday, September 19th, 2018, the mysterious Q Anon revealed that we are not alone in the universe, and that we do indeed have a Secret Space Program. This is arguably the single most exciting…

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12 Fall Superfoods to Put on Your Grocery List

As summer gives way to fall, I invite you to consider eating some of the superfoods that are at their peak this time of year. Certain fruits and vegetables are more readily available locally during fall, including apples, pumpkins and squash.

When preparing your seasonal menu, be sure to add some of these 12 fall superfoods to your grocery list. To find the freshest seasonal produce, visit your local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), farmers market or food co-op.

12 Superfoods to Try That Are at Their Peak in Fall

Apples — Apples ranked second behind bananas in 2017 as the fruit most frequently eaten by Americans,1 perhaps due to the adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While you’ll want to keep a close eye on your total daily fructose intake, and most certainly avoid an all-fruit diet, eating whole fruit like apples can be beneficial to your health.

Research suggests apples are a great source of antioxidant and anticancer phytochemicals, most of which reside in the skin.2,3 Apples are also prized for their ability to promote healthy digestion, with one medium apple boasting about 4.4 grams (g) of fiber. 

To ensure you receive the best of the flavanoids and polyphenols apples have to offer, you’ll want to eat the whole fruit, including the skin. Because apples are one of the most pesticide-contaminated foods, you’ll want to buy organic. However, the apple peel is far more concentrated than the flesh.

If you live near an organic apple orchard, you may enjoy picking your own. Want a healthy spin on an old favorite way to use apples? Try my “Health-Boosting Apple Crumble Recipe.” Remember, apples contain fructose so eat them in moderation.

Beets and beet greens — Beetroot contains high amounts of fiber and infection-fighting vitamin C, as well as nutrients that help you detoxify, fight inflammation and lower your blood pressure.4 As a source of healthy nitrates, the consumption of beets boosts your nitric oxide levels.

Beetroot may also help combat cancer, particularly cancers of the breast and prostate.5 I include about 1 to 2 ounces of raw beets in my daily smoothie and also take a powdered fermented beetroot supplement. Due to beets’ high sugar content, raw beet juice may not be a healthy choice for you, especially if you have diabetes or are insulin resistant.

If you routinely discard beet greens, you should know they are an excellent source of vitamins A and K, as well as calcium and potassium.6 Beet greens are quite tasty steamed or you can sauté them with a little raw grass fed butter and salt. Check out the video above for six more reasons you should eat beets.

Brussels sprouts — Brussels sprouts are some of the hardiest members of the cabbage family and a touch of frost brings out their sweetness, making them an ideal fall food. One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains nearly all of your recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamins C and K1.7

They’re also a good source of vitamin B6, choline, fiber, manganese and potassium. A 2009 study published in Food Chemistry highlighted the chemopreventive properties of cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, kale and broccoli.

The study authors noted these vegetables were “found to possess very potent inhibitory activities against all tested [cancer] cell lines. These properties are in agreement with the known anticancer properties of these vegetables observed in both epidemiological and laboratory studies.”8

Cauliflower — Cauliflower contains an impressive array of nutrients, including vitamin B6, fiber, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium. It also is packed with natural antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, vitamin C and others, which defend against free radical damage.

Cauliflower contains the cancer-fighting compounds sulforaphane and isothiocyanates, the former of which has been shown to kill cancer stem cells responsible for its spread.9,10,11 The sulforaphane found in cauliflower may also help improve your blood pressure and kidney function.12 View the video above to discover more of the health benefits associated with cauliflower.

Two ways you can enjoy cauliflower as a comfort food include steaming and mashing it to make “caulitators,” a healthier substitute for traditional mashed potatoes, and using it to create a mouth-watering cauliflower pizza casserole or cauliflower pizza crust.

Daikon radish — According to The Japan Times,13 daikon radish is considered Japan’s most popular vegetable, with its white roots and green tops eaten year-round in various forms: cooked, dried, pickled, raw and sprouted. Radishes have been part of Japanese cuisine for millennia and 90 percent of daikon radishes are grown and consumed in that country.14

Raw grated daikon (known as daikon oroshi) has a taste less pungent than, but similar to, horseradish. This ubiquitous Japanese condiment is served with many meat and fish dishes, and is also added to sauces for soba noodles and tempura. Particularly during the winter months, dried daikon and pickled daikon are important staples of the Japanese diet.

Some mix daikon oroshi with plain yogurt and honey to make a concoction that is believed to promote regularity. Similar to beets, don’t throw away radish greens; they’re edible. About daikon greens, the University of Illinois Extension said:15

“Daikon greens are delicious too. They can be washed, stacked, rolled into a scroll and cut crosswise. This produces thin julienne strips which are traditionally salted and left standing for an hour. The moisture is squeezed out. The leaves are then chopped and stored in glass jars for up to a week in the refrigerator. The Japanese stir them into warm rice, [and] they can also be added to soups and other recipes.”

Kale — Kale is a powerhouse vegetable loaded with antioxidants, calcium, fiber and vitamins A, C and K. The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin found in kale help protect your eyes against macular degeneration.

A 1-cup serving of this healthy green contains significant amounts of vitamin C and about half as much calcium as a cup of milk.16,17 It also provides plant-based omega-3 fatty acids and 18 amino acids. Kale’s anti-inflammatory properties are said to help prevent arthritis, autoimmune diseases and heart disease.

Studies suggest kale can help reduce your risk of heart disease because it optimizes your cholesterol, including raising your high density lipoprotein (HDL).18 The presence of cancer-fighting sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol are other reasons to eat kale.

If you like variety, you’ll love kale because it is available in curly, dinosaur, Russian and ornamental varieties, each with a slightly different taste and texture. Looking for a new way to prepare kale? Check out my article “9 Healthy Kale Recipes.”

Kumquats — This tiny yellow-orange fruit, which resembles a small oval orange, boasts a sweet-yet-tangy flavor and a hint of bitterness. What sets kumquats apart from other citrus fruits is the fact its skin and zest are sweet and can be eaten.

Kumquats are a low-calorie fruit, with 100 g of fresh kumquats containing just 71 calories.19 This fruit is rich in antioxidant vitamins A, C and E and contains flavonoid antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. While kumquats are delicious when eaten whole, they do contain fructose so I suggest you eat them only occasionally.

Kumquats can also be incorporated into fruit salads or used as a glaze for duck and other fatty meats. They are a fine addition to poultry stuffing and can also be used as a dessert topping.

Pomegranates — While popularized in the U.S. in juice form, I recommend you consume pomegranates as a whole fruit. Even though it takes concentrated effort to extract the 600 or so juice-filled seed sacs (called arils) found in the average pomegranate, you’ll be rewarded with not only a wonderful tart flavor, but also a number of health benefits.

But, just like apples, the bulk of the polyphenols and phtyochemical benefits are stacked away in the peel that is relatively bitter. But it can be dried and powdered and put into capsules and taken as a supplement.

Research has shown eating pomegranates may protect you against Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers, increase blood flow to your heart, soothe inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and help maintain your blood pressure and cholesterol balance.20  If you toss a half cup of pomegranate seeds into a salad, you’ll receive a slew of antioxidants and 4 g of fiber, as well as a decent amount of calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C.21

A 100 g serving (about one-half cup) of pomegranates contains roughly 7 g of fructose.22 When adding pomegranates to your diet, keep in mind that I recommend limiting your daily fructose intake to 25 milligrams (mg) or less if you are healthy and less than 15 mg if you are dealing with a chronic illness.

Pumpkins — Pumpkins are among the most quintessential fall produce. While they are artfully carved in celebration of Halloween, pumpkins also feature prominently on Thanksgiving tables as decorations and, of course, in the form of pumpkin pie. View the video above for a summary of the health benefits associated with pumpkins.

Beyond decorations and pie, pumpkin is useful for its seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a convenient source of magnesium, plant-based omega-3 fats and zinc. To obtain the healthy omega-3 fats, you must eat pumpkin seeds raw.

If you prefer to eat the seeds roasted, do so yourself as a means of controlling the roasting temperature and time. For best results, sprinkle raw pumpkin seeds with pink Himalayan salt and roast them at no more than 170 degrees F (75 degrees Celsius) for 15 to 20 minutes. Store roasted pumpkin seeds in an airtight container.

Squash — With names like acorn, banana, butternut, delicata, kabocha and spaghetti, along with various crook-necked varieties, squash abounds in fall. The creamy, luscious texture of butternut squash, for example, along with its distinctive aroma and flavor provide just a hint of sweetness that enlivens fall soups and stews.

A popular way to prepare butternut squash, which is high in vitamins A and C, as well as folate and potassium,23 is to simply bake or steam it in chunks or halves. Although it needs no enhancement, you may enjoy squash with a pat of grass fed butter and a dash of salt. Alternately, to accent its natural sweetness, you can top it with honey and cinnamon to give it a dessert-like presentation.

Given the starchy nature of most squash varieties, you’ll want to eat this fall crop in moderation, however. If you eat the skin, which is nutrient rich, you should opt for organic varieties. Squash stores well and some varieties will last for several months when maintained in a cool, dark place.

Swiss chard — While not as popular as kale, Swiss chard packs many of the same nutritional benefits, such as high amounts of vitamins A (as beta-carotene), C and K.24 The vibrant array of colors associated with Swiss chard signal the presence of phytonutrients that are prized for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Among them is kaempferol, the flavonoid regarded for its cardioprotective properties, and syringic acid, which is known to help regulate your blood sugar. Similar to beets, Swiss chard provides betalain pigments,25 which have been shown to support your body’s Phase 2 detoxification process involving glutathione,26 the “master antioxidant.”

One cup of cooked Swiss chard provides healthy amounts of calcium and potassium, as well as well as 3.7 g of digestion-boosting fiber.27 If you are prone to kidney stones, keep in mind Swiss chard is high in oxalates, which are naturally-occurring substances that can become problematic if they overaccumulate inside your body, namely in your kidneys.28

Enjoy Swiss chard in salads, smoothies or vegetable juice, or lightly steamed or sautéed as you would other leafy greens like spinach. Like all vegetables, it’s healthier when eaten organically.

Turnips and turnip greens — Turnip taproots and their greens, which are somewhat bitter, are both edible and nutritious. Turnip taproots are a hearty addition to soups and stews, have a mild flavor and bring forth a potato-like texture when cooked.

You can steam turnip greens to reduce their bitterness or toss them with a citrus vinaigrette dressing to balance out the sharp taste. Cook turnips in a manner that allows them to retain some of their characteristic crunch.

As noted in the video above, turnips are rich in antioxidants and beneficial nutrients such as vitamins A (in the form of beta-carotene), C, E and K — found in the leafy green tops — as well as calcium, copper, iron, manganese and potassium. If you’d like to combine turnips with a healthy fat, you might enjoy my “Savory Roasted Turnip with Coconut Oil Recipe.”

When eaten raw or prepared in healthy ways, these fall superfoods enable you to receive beneficial nutrients while still enjoying some of the season’s traditional comfort foods. Bon appetite!

Documentary Investigates the Placebo Effect on Back Pain

Could relief for chronic back pain be as easy as taking a sugar pill? In the BBC documentary, “The Placebo Experiment: Can My Brain Cure My Body?” Dr. Michael Mosley sets out to investigate the power of the placebo effect.

Several studies have demonstrated complaints of lower back pain have risen dramatically in recent decades. Ranking 12th as a cause of disability in 1990,1 it’s now the leading cause of disability in nearly all high-income countries.2,3 As many as 8 in 10 adults will experience low back pain at some time in their life.4

Unfortunately, while the problem is fairly common worldwide, so is the mistreatment of the condition.5 In the U.S., more than 60 percent of people who see their physician for lower back pain are prescribed an opioid painkiller. This despite guidelines from the American College of Physicians which state prescription drugs should be used as a last resort.6

A series of papers published in The Lancet7 has highlighted the extent to which this mistreatment is contributing not only to further pain but also to opioid addiction. Considering the enormous risks of opioid treatment, it’s really important to keep our minds open to safer alternatives, provided they’re of any use.

The Power of Your Mind

To find out if fake pills and the power of your mind might be capable of providing effective pain relief, Mosley devised a novel experiment involving 100 patients, many of whom have spent years struggling with chronic back pain. Mosley and his team went to great lengths to create the impression that the patients were participating in a study of a brand-new and exceptionally effective pain drug.

Everything from the size, color and dosage of the pills and the label on the bottle, to the clinical environment and doctor-patient interface was based on previous placebo research. And, while the participants are told they will be randomly assigned to receive either the drug or a placebo, in reality, they’re all getting the placebo — a white and blue pill that contains nothing but rice powder.

At the same time, they also evaluated the potential benefits of simply having more time with an empathic doctor. So, while one group receives a standard consultation lasting no more than nine minutes and 22 seconds, which is the average consultation time for a general practitioner, the other group gets up to 30 minutes with the doctor. The experiment lasted for three weeks.

What did they find? As of Day 2 and 3, results were disappointing. None of the patients, all of whom were asked to keep a video diary log of how they felt each day, reported any kind of pain relief. However, by Week 2, many suddenly began reporting significant — and in some cases complete — pain relief.

Is the Placebo Effect Real?

Many are still under the mistaken impression that the placebo effect is somehow a “lie;” some kind of trick. However, modern research tools such as MRI scans reveal the effect is most definitely real, as it creates measurable changes in your brain.

For example, in trials involving placebos for pain relief, the participants’ brains release natural opioids that provide opioid-mediated pain control. So, the placebo effect is tapping into the same pain control centers as opioid drugs. Placebo trials on patients with Parkinson’s disease have revealed even this serious condition can be ameliorated with a dummy pill.

Lack of dopamine is one of the factors producing the symptoms of Parkinson’s, and brain scans show that when Parkinson’s patients are told they’re receiving an active medication, the dopamine levels in their brains increase, even when there’s no active ingredient in the pill. In fact, a placebo can release as much dopamine as amphetamines in a person with a healthy dopamine system.

Perhaps even more remarkable, studies have shown the placebo effect is at work in animals too. Rats have been found to experience placebo-induced pain relief,8,9 for example.

To demonstrate this, rats were injected with morphine two times, which preconditioned them to expect pain relief in conjunction with an injection. Then, when the morphine was traded for saline, as many as 40 percent of the rats responded with signs of pain relief, as if they’d been given morphine.

They’ve also found that when a placebo procedure is stressful or painful, such as an injection, it will impact the animal’s response.10 Hence, whenever stressful procedures are part of the study design, a control group of completely untreated animals should be included, in addition to the group getting the actual drug injected, and the group getting a placebo injection.

Epileptic dogs have also been shown to respond to placebo, actually experiencing a decrease in seizure frequency in response to sham drugs.11

Placebo Effect Also Plays a Big Role in the Effectiveness of Conventional Drugs

Some studies into the placebo effect have concluded that even many conventional treatments work because of the placebo effect. In one such study, the placebo effect was found to account for more than 50 percent of the therapeutic value of the migraine drug Maxalt.12 Lead author Ted Kaptchuk, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, explained:13

“This study untangled and reassembled the clinical effects of placebo and medication in a unique manner. Very few, if any, experiments have compared the effectiveness of medication under different degrees of information in a naturally recurring disease.

Our discovery showing that subjects’ reports of pain were nearly identical when they were told that an active drug was a placebo as when they were told that a placebo was an active drug demonstrates that the placebo effect is an unacknowledged partner for powerful medications.”

The Power of Expectations

Your expectation plays a significant role in the placebo effect, research14 shows. These expectations are influenced by medical rituals such as being forced to wait in a waiting room, being greeted by a doctor wearing a white lab coat and so on.

The words and body language your doctor uses also influence your expectations. Telling the patient that the treatment will relieve their symptoms produces a greater placebo effect than saying it “might” help. Other factors that influence a patient’s expectations include the size, color and price of the medication. For example:15,16

  • Capsules are more effective than tablets
  • Large capsules are more effective than small capsules
  • Expensive medications are more effective than inexpensive ones17
  • Red pills tend to be energizing while blue pills tend to be best for treating pain
  • Sham injections and sham acupuncture (which also uses needles) are more effective than placebo pills

In short, the placebo effect relies on your body’s own chemicals, released in response to or in accordance with your mental or emotional expectations or beliefs.

Research18 has also shown that your emotions and/or expectations can significantly influence the perceived intensity of pain. Positive expectations and emotions tend to minimize pain, while negative emotions such as fear tend to exacerbate it. This is an aspect of pain that has been exploited by torturers throughout human history.

Placebo Knee Surgery Just as Effective as Real Surgery

The placebo effect comes into play not only when you’re taking a pill but also during surgical procedures. One of the most dramatic examples of this was a knee surgery study19 published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002. 

Not only does this double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial definitively prove the power of your mind in healing, it also reveals that most knee surgery for osteoarthritis is a waste of money.

The results of this study show the improvement people report after surgery is almost entirely due to the placebo effect. As noted by the authors, “In this controlled trial involving patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, the outcomes after arthroscopic lavage or arthroscopic débridement were no better than those after a placebo procedure.”

A similar study20 published in 2013 also concluded that arthroscopic knee surgery for degenerative meniscal tears had no more benefit than sham surgery. This is a significant concession, as arthroscopic surgery on the meniscus is the most common orthopedic procedure in the U.S.

Here, they even excluded people with knee arthritis, as they tend not to benefit as much from meniscus surgery anyway, and the researchers wanted to ascertain if the surgery helps under “ideal circumstances.”

These kinds of findings are well worth considering when weighing your treatment options. Remembering that your mind is the primary healer may help you find safer and less costly alternatives.

Placebo Surgery for Fractured Spines

A more extreme example involves sham back surgery. Vertebroplasty is a procedure in which a fractured spine is repaired by injecting surgical cement into the bone. However, one doctor became aware of a strange anomaly. Some patients, who for whatever reason received treatment on the wrong vertebrae, still received pain relief. So, he decided to undertake a placebo trial.

Some patients received the real procedure, and others received sham surgery. A total of 130 patients were included in this study. When the results were tallied, there was no statistical difference in the degree of pain relief between the real and the sham surgeries.

Even more importantly, there was no statistical difference in the improvement of physical function between the two. More than 1 million Americans have received vertebroplasty over the past couple of decades, yet it is no better than placebo!

“The Placebo Experiment” presents evidence from yet another sham surgery experiment. In 2012, Oxford University researchers investigated the effectiveness of acromioplasty, i.e., rotator cuff surgery, in which a small bone spur is removed from the shoulder.

In this trial, patients were randomly assigned to receive either real surgery or sham surgery in which an incision was made and then simply sewed back up without removing any of the bone. Here, again, the researchers found no difference between the real and the fake surgery. Both patient groups experienced the same rate of physical improvement and pain relief.

Can Placebo Effect be Used to Heal a Broken Heart?

In a second experiment, Mosley and his team set about to investigate whether the placebo effect might be used to help people recover after a relationship breakup. Heartbreak, he says, is essentially a form of depression, and if the placebo effect can help people recover from a broken heart, placebos could potentially benefit other types of depression as well.

Participants are first asked to view a photo of someone they feel very positively about. Next, they’re shown a photo of their ex. The participants rate how they feel about each on a scale of 1 through 5. They’re then given a nasal spray said to contain an analgesic designed to ease emotional pain. In reality, it’s just saltwater.

The same set of images are again shown, and in many cases, the participants were in fact feeling better about the partner who broke their heart. Some said they felt mildly happy.

This isn’t the first time the placebo effect has been shown to play a significant role in depression treatment. In fact, studies21,22 have repeatedly shown placebos are as effective as antidepressants in people with mild to moderate depression. Considering the long list of side effects associated with antidepressants, including worsening depression, it seems reasonable to conclude that a placebo would be a far preferable option to the real thing.

Placebo Can Work Even When You Know You’re Taking a Fake Pill

Ted Kaptchuk, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, is one of the leading researchers on the placebo effect. Normally, the placebo effect is studied by giving half of the test subjects the real treatment while the other gets a dummy pill, but neither of the groups is aware of what they’re getting.

Kaptchuk was curious what might happen if people knew they were receiving a placebo right from the start. So, in 2009, he launched the first open-label placebo trial,23 enrolling people diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Curiously, compared to those who received no treatment, nearly twice as many in the placebo group — all of whom knew they were taking a dummy pill — reported adequate symptom relief. 

Overall, nearly 60 percent of the patients given a placebo pill (and, again, told they were receiving a placebo) reported adequate relief from IBS symptoms, compared to just 35 percent of those who received no treatment. Even more remarkable, the placebo group actually improved to a degree equal to that of two commonly prescribed IBS medications.

Harnessing the Healing Power of Placebo

At the three-week mark, 45 percent of the participants report feeling significant improvement. At this point, Mosley also reveals the truth: They’ve all been taking a placebo; there was no actual drug involved. All of these patients had previously been on powerful painkillers, yet simple rice powder capsules were now able to relieve their back pain.

The data also showed that of those whose medical appointment was of standard length, maxing out at nine minutes and 22 seconds, 38 percent reported significant improvement in pain. In the group who got up to half an hour with the physician, 51 percent significantly improved.

A final test remained though. Would they continue getting pain relief now that they knew they were taking a placebo? At the final follow-up at the end of Week 4, 70 percent of those who reported improvement at Week 3 and continued taking the pills did in fact continue to benefit — even though they knew they were taking a placebo.

This just goes to show that if you think you will benefit from a treatment, there’s a good chance you will, and this is all due to the placebo effect — whether the treatment consists of a “real” drug (or surgery) or not.

The Long-Term Benefits of Drinking Oolong Tea

While there is growing interest in green tea, particularly the famous matcha green tea from Japan, there are other varieties that can offer exemplary benefits as well. Take oolong, for example: It offers potential for weight loss, heart health and a wide array of health issues;1 yet, it only accounts for 2 percent of overall tea consumption worldwide.2

This article puts the spotlight on oolong tea: its origins, how it’s produced and potential effects it can have on your health. Brew yourself a delicious cup of this tea and take delight in every sip.

What Is Oolong Tea?

Some say oolong is a type of black tea, while others often pit oolong against green tea, claiming these two are the same. But oolong actually doesn’t fall under either type.

Various teas are enjoyed all over the world, but actually there are only four main types of tea: black, white, green and oolong. These are the varieties produced from the Camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas are not considered “true” teas, as they do not come from Camellia sinensis.3

What sets the four true teas apart is their degree of fermentation. Organic oolong tea, made from the buds and stems of the plant, is described as “slightly fermented and semi-oxidized,”4 and as a result has a taste that falls between green tea and black tea.

Oolong’s flavor depends on its oxidation level, which can vary from 10 to over 80 percent.5 Less oxidized oolongs may have a fresh green tea flavor, while more oxidized varieties may have a “woodsy” black tea flavor.6

Oolong tea is said to have originated from China and Taiwan. There are many different types of oolong tea, with the most famous type hailing from the Fuijan province in China.7 The word “oolong” actually means “black dragon” in Chinese. One folklore tale has it that a plantation owner went to check his harvest only to find a black dragon in the fields, scaring him away. After coming back a few days later, the creature was gone. However, the tea leaves had gone dark and fermented under the sunlight.8

You can brew oolong by steeping loose tea leaves or you can simply buy oolong tea bags. Just make sure to avoid tea bags made with plastic, such as nylon, thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene, which can leach unwanted and potentially harmful chemicals into your beverage.

Health Benefits of Oolong Tea

Because it falls between black tea and green tea, oolong tea offers both of these teas’ benefits, making it one of the healthiest tea varieties you can consume.

Oolong tea is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which include theaflavins, thearubigins, catechins and Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These beneficial compounds account for oolong tea’s positive effects. Another beneficial component in it is theanine,9 an amino acid with relaxing properties.10 The caffeine in oolong tea is also responsible for some of its benefits, particularly in fat metabolism and weight management.11

Sipping a cup of oolong tea can go a long way in improving your well-being. If you want to know what oolong tea is good for, just take a look at these potential effects:

Helps with weight management — The polyphenols in oolong tea help control fat metabolism in the body by activating certain enzymes.12 A 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that participants who ingested either full-strength or diluted oolong tea burned 2.9 to 3.4 percent more total calories daily.13

Assists in free radical elimination — The antioxidant properties of polyphenols help remove excessive free radicals in the body,14 which play a role in various diseases, such as stroke, cancer, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

May boost brain function — One study conducted on elderly Chinese people found that those who regularly drank black and oolong tea had a 64 percent lower risk of brain function decline.15

This may be because of various factors, such as the caffeine, which can increase the release of the brain messenger hormones norepinephrine and dopamine, therefore improving mood, attention and brain function. The theanine in oolong is believed to help boost attention and relieve anxiety as well.

Helps keep your bones strong — Drinking black, green or oolong tea every day (in a 10-year period) is said to increase bone mineral density by 2 percent, according to one study.16 Having a higher bone mineral density may help reduce the risk of fractures.

Maintains good heart health — This is believed to be brought on by the antioxidants in the tea. One study involving over 76,000 Japanese adults found that those who consumed 8 ounces or more of oolong tea daily reduced their heart disease risk by 61 percent.17 In a separate study done in China, a 39 percent reduced stroke risk was seen in adults who drank 16 ounces of green tea or oolong tea daily.18

How to Make Oolong Tea

Oolong can come in different leaf shapes and may have varying oxidations levels. For this reason, there is no one-size-fits-all technique for steeping this tea. The Kitchn provides general guidelines on how to brew oolong tea:19

Procedure

  1. If the oolong is rolled into balls, use 1 teaspoon of tea leaves per 6 ounces of water. If what you have are large open leaves, use 2 tablespoons for the same amount of water.
  2. Use fresh cold water that has not been boiled. Do not used distilled water, as it will give your oolong a flat flavor.
  3. Boil your water to 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit before steeping the tea.
  4. How long you should steep oolong depends on how weak or strong you want the tea to be. Ideally, steeping time should be anywhere from one to five minutes.

Oolong leaves needs room to “unfold” and release their flavor, so you should use a basket-style infuser instead of a ball-style infuser. Another good idea is to directly brew the tea leaves in the pot or cup and then just strain them out.

Many people love using oolong to make milk tea, with various recipes available today. However, I advise doing this sparingly, as adding milk may significantly reduce its health benefits. This is because the proteins in the milk may bind to and neutralize the antioxidants in tea.20

How to Store Oolong Tea

Because oolong is semi-fermented, its shelf life is somewhat longer than green tea, with heavily oxidized oolong varieties lasting as long as two years. However, this still largely depends on the degree of fermentation and how well it is stored. Loose leaf oolong tea sold in bulk also tends to become stale quicker.

The trick to prolonging the shelf life of oolong, as well as any tea variety, is making sure that it’s stored properly. Put it in an airtight container and keep in a dry, dark cabinet. Refrain from placing it under direct sunlight or heat, and put it away from pantry items like spices and coffee that can leach their flavors and odors onto the tea.21

A Note Regarding the Caffeine in Oolong Tea

Oolong does have caffeine, but its levels actually fall somewhere in between black tea and green tea. The caffeine levels in oolong are also lower than coffee. Caffeine Informer tested four types and found that their caffeine content can be as low as 16.6 milligrams per cup (mg/cup) or as high as 55.4 (mg/cup).22

Keep in mind that numerous factors may influence the caffeine content in oolong, such as the processing method and how the tea was brewed. If you are truly concerned about the caffeine in oolong tea, you can reduce the brewing time. One study found that oolong tea that’s steeped for five minutes had 40 mg/cup, while another that’s steeped for three minutes had only 30 mg/cup. One minute of steeping produced only 13 mg/cup of caffeine.23

It’s also a good idea to ask the vendor or manufacturer about the caffeine levels in the product you’re buying.

Oolong Tea May Have Side Effects for Caffeine-Sensitive People

Even if the caffeine content of oolong is significantly lower than that of coffee, those who are sensitive to this stimulant should still limit their intake. Excessive consumption may lead to caffeine overload, causing potential side effects such as:24

Palpitations

Rapid heartbeat

Headaches

Tremors

Nervousness

Increased urine flow

In addition, tea, in general, may decrease the amount of iron you get from plant foods. Hence, if you want to drink oolong tea, you should make sure to get enough vitamin C, which can increase the amount of iron from plant foods.25

Don’t Miss Out on the Outstanding Benefits of Oolong Tea

Oolong may not be as widely talked about as green tea, but maybe it should be. The health benefits mentioned above should be enough to convince you to try this tea.

Just make sure to get oolong from a reliable manufacturer and drink it in moderation, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine. Brew yourself a cup of oolong today and start enjoying the many wholesome benefits of this beverage!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Oolong Tea

Q: Is oolong tea a type of black tea?

A: No. While they both come from the same Camellia sinensis plant, oolong tea is not black tea. Black tea is fully oxidized, while oolong is semi-oxidized. It falls between green tea and black tea.

Q: What does oolong tea taste like?

A: Depending on the oxidation of oolong, its flavor may vary. Less oxidized oolong may have a fresh green tea flavor, while heavily oxidized varieties may have a malty taste reminiscent of black tea.

Q: Where can you buy oolong tea?

A: You can buy oolong tea in any health store, and some specialty tea online stores carry this tea variety as well. The most famous oolongs come from Taiwan and China, although other countries, such as Japan, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand, also grow Camellia sinensis plants for oolong tea production.26

Q: Is oolong tea caffeinated?

A: Yes, oolong tea contains caffeine, albeit in smaller amounts than black tea and coffee.

Q: How much caffeine is in oolong tea?

A: This depends on the brand or variety. Caffeine Informer tested four oolong types and found their caffeine levels to range from 16.6 to 55.4 milligrams per cup.27 In general, oolong has more caffeine than green tea, but less than black tea.

Q: Is oolong tea fermented?

A: The correct term is “semi-fermented.”28 Oolong is partially oxidized, and is somewhere in the middle of green tea and black tea.

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 you can be sure you’re ingesting only pure, high-quality tea.


What About the Feminine? How Patriarchal Value Systems Affect Consciousness

By Christa Mackinnon

“The world will be saved by Western Women.” ~  Dalai Lama, 2009

Not long ago I spoke to a friend who is part of a team organizing a consciousness conference. Looking at the speakers and their subjects, I was surprised that a conference dedicated to ‘ecology, consciousness, human evolution, spirituality, future’ didn’t include a topic that explored the outcomes of the imbalance of the feminine and masculine in our patriarchal societies. This was reflected in the line up of speakers, who were predominantly male. I checked a few more events in the consciousness conference calendar and found a similar picture: only one third, or sometimes even less, of the speakers were female.

This wouldn’t be worth mentioning if we were dealing with a different subject, but it certainly warrants some reflection when we look at conferences within the consciousness, eco, and spirituality scene. We all begin to understand that a functioning, sustainable whole requires the feminine and the masculine to be integrated within the individual and within humanity as a whole, and we are increasingly aware of the dysfunctional results of millennia of human development based almost solely on patriarchal, masculine value systems.

The issues deriving from this one-sided way of thinking and being reach from the appalling way women were, and still are, treated all over the world to the over-exploitation of our planet’s (mother earth’s) resources. They show themselves in the way we use wars as a means of conflict resolution and in the non-caring, self-centered attitudes of our societies. They have led to the exclusion of the feminine from our major religions and to valuing individual success, hierarchical structures and left-brain scientific thinking more than caring for communities, sharing structures and emotional  intelligence and connection.

None of the countless issues we face on this planet today can be resolved by our current way of thinking and being, based on our established, mainly masculine, value systems.  

So, why is the feminine principle not more prominent as a subject and, as importantly, why aren’t more women invited to speak about it? When I asked my friend, who is a heart- and soul-orientated guy, this question, he replied “Oh, it didn’t even occur to us.” Yes, that’s exactly it! It is a kind of ‘thoughtless’ acceptance of the status quo.

The Development

The feminine wasn’t always subordinate to the masculine. As far as we know, it was the earth – nature itself  –  who provided our ancient, tribal forefathers and mothers with the concept of the Great Mother and with a value system based on nature’s ways and cycles. The Great Mother was a symbol of life itself. In her womb grew all of life; from her body emerged all of life; she sustained all of life through the nourishment she provided, and all living things retuned to her when dying. Therefore, the Great Mother, as an inclusive force of life and its cycles, was seen as being sacred.

The feminine principle stems in its origins from this nature-based concept, as the female body exhibits the same patterns and cycles as nature. Consequently, the feminine was seen as the life-giving, nurturing, sustaining and life-embracing force, the ‘creative vessel of life that contained, birthed, nurtured and protected’. Not surprising, then, that ancient people respected the feminine.

Over many millennia, we developed from a tribal, hunter-gatherer existence. We became more powerful users of tools and resources; we established agriculture and individual possession; we begun to fight territorial wars; we started  to build big cities and civilizations and we grew in numbers. And as all of this was happening, our spiritual systems changed: the feminine, as the sacred womb-creatrix, was replaced by the masculine all-powerful god-head. We went from female goddesses and priestesses, to both male and female deities, and then to the dominance of the male gods and male priests.

These gods were fierce, war-orientated, powerful creatures, competing with each other for influence and for the possession and sub-ordination of the feminine. This became increasingly evident in ancient Greece around 500 – 400 BC, but so far as our current state of consciousness is concerned the subjugation of the feminine principle reached its culmination in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In these three ‘religions of the book’ the ‘one masculine God in the sky’ is firmly established whilst the sacred feminine disappears either completely or is, as in Christianity for instance, replaced with a split, guilty woman and a holy mother, subordinated to her son.

It should therefore be no surprise that, parallel to this development, and driving it economically and socially, value systems based on the masculine came increasingly to dominate all levels of society. The feminine, which is defined as the life-giving, nurturing, heart-centred (emotional), intuitive, life-sustaining and circularly-connecting force was increasingly suppressed, belittled, devalued, silenced and even persecuted — and firmly defined as ‘inferior’ to the masculine force, which is the head-centered (analytical), rational, hierarchically directed, seeding, fight-orientated and conquering force.

The Future

This gradual implementation of a patriarchal, masculine (value) system, which is too complex in its many strands to describe in one article, has brought us much by way of material, scientific and cultural riches, but has now reached a point where the destructive outweighs the benefits, where it cannot serve us any longer. Basic attributes of the feminine principle, the life-giving, life-sustaining, the nurturing, the emotional, the intuitive, the inclusive and connective, as well as the wild, nature-based force need now to be brought to the fore, valued and implemented. These values need to enter into our consciousness as a system on which we base our way of life, our relating to each other and our decisions, if we want to find ways and means to create positive change.

No longer is it helpful to look at our problematic development needs from a dis-connected, head-centered, self-serving, exploiting view of life. We need to cultivate a way of being that strives for emotional connection and honours intuitive knowing, a consciousness that helps us to experience ourselves as being part of the whole living community. No longer can we afford to base our life on a war consciousness that demands ‘to conquer markets’, to make ‘war on drugs and terror’, to ‘fight climate change’, to ’struggle for success within hierarchical systems’. No longer can we afford to turn a blind eye when looking at the mental health statistics, which show that a quarter of the UK population now suffers from depression and/or anxiety. Our rational, pharmaceutical and profitable approach to this problem is to medicate, but we need the nurturing, caring, sharing, compassionate and feminine approach if we are to create a society that does not suffer chronically  from mental  health problems. And no longer can we ignore that loneliness and isolation is at an all-time high in our elders, who should be the source of our wisdom teachings,  and in our young people, who are our future.

No longer can we afford to put factual knowledge above the emotional, communicative and intuitive, because the vast knowledge and facts we have accumulated neither deter us, nor do they make us feel compassionate. We have, for instance, become numb to the fact that we rear animals brutally and slaughter them to provide us with the 7 billion tons of meat we consume every year (that’s over 100,000 living beings per minute). We have numbed ourselves to the pain of the earth and become accustomed to the fact that we over-exploit her for resources, which are used mainly to keep up our so called ‘life-styles’ and to produce unnecessary goods. We have become numb to the suffering of mothers and children in war zones all around the world and rarely do we take the time to consciously form and contribute to communities, which might help us to overcome our isolation.

In other words, no longer can we afford to cultivate a consciousness that is based on masculine principles.

If we could just begin to feel again, instead of running away from our uncomfortable emotions by taking prescription drugs or distracting ourselves though entertainment, TV, internet, social media and more. If we could cultivate our heart responses, allow ourselves to communicate with each other more, tune into what is happening around us properly and feel the suffering, we could begin to take the first steps. If we would allow ourselves to honour woman in her wholeness, her life giving abilities, her cycles and wildness and all the stages of her life, from young to old, which would teach us much about nature. If societies would value woman’s ability to nurture and to connect, her capacity for endurance, communication and intuitive emotionality instead of wanting women to be forever young, plastically enhanced, sex-goddesses whilst expecting them to compete and succeed in the work place or stay in low paid jobs, nurture the children, care for the elderly, run our charities, stay out of religious hierarchies and whilst doing all of this and more, never, ever utter the word ‘feminism’.

When we allow ourselves to explore the feminine as a principle, to look at deeper ways of experiencing it, to bring feminine principle values, such as compassion, emotional intelligence, connecting, sharing, caring and nature connected wildness into our education systems and much more, then we will, and not before time, be taking vital steps in the right direction. Needless to say, I believe that the ‘consciousness scene’ should be at the forefront of this.

There can be no paradigm shift without honouring and implementing the feminine principle equally on all levels of society.

About the author:

Christa Mackinnon holds a Master of Science in psychology and is a family counselor, clinical hypnotherapist and shamanic teacher. She has worked as a psychologist, therapist, trainer, lecturer and trauma consultant internationally for 25 years, and is an honorary teaching fellow at the University of Exeter in the UK.

Christa sees her current work as ‘Bridging the Worlds’ between the ancient shamanic and the contemporary therapeutic. Based on her ground-breaking book on the subject matter, she facilitates Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses for professionals, speaks at conferences, and lectures widely. She also facilitates courses and retreats for women and is currently in the process of writing a new book, which will be about the feminine.

Source: https://wakeup-world.com

 

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