Observations on the Squirrel Hill Synagogue Shooting

At this stage of our national arrested development, if we can’t find an intrepid journalist(s) with a pair — like a Michael Hastings or Gary Webb, for example — to investigate the Squirrel Hill and other shootings, and to corroborate the evidence and victims, then it will simply be one more nail in the already sealed “U.S. coffin.”

One of the most startling elements of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting event is that nine of the 11 killed were seniors, and five could be classified as quite elderly. Average age- 74.

Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland
Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross
Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood
Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and his brother David Rosenthal, 54, both of Squirrel Hill
Sylvan Simon, 86, and his wife, Bernice, 84, of Wilkinsburg
Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill
Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill
Irving Younger, 69, of Mt. Washington.

If a virulent anti-Jew — in this case, one Robert Bowers — was willing to throw away his own life with an attack, why would he target seniors at an inter-faith religious facility? Seriously. Old retired Jews on Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill are a far cry from the heart of the New World Order that Bowers railed on. As a target for a fanatic, unless he was under mind control or scopolamine, this is utterly nonsensical. Instead, he would go after high value targets. The man condemned online a slew of Judaics and their specific activities. So why didn’t he go after those? But no, thus the story makes ZERO sense on its face.

A check of Live Leaks — where sometimes real-citizen video footage or non-MSM material shows up — reveals nothing.

In fact, aside from a vigil, two days in- there’s not much to see on the Pittsburgh synagogue “shooting” at all. Hours of live news coverage from the scene only showed police and medical staff milling and shuttling around, parked ambulances and a few interviews with people who didn’t know much. We’ve seen no images of anybody resembling a human being brought out on a stretcher, nor any survivors leaving the Tree of Life Synagogue. And the perp was taken away without the slightest notice? Where were the triage units in such a large casualty event?

Typical of the coverage is the following “live” video that shows the same imagery reel being looped over and over for more than two hours. At minute 00:02:43, you can see the aerial layout of the synagogue, which is prominently located and quite visible at the corner of the intersection of two main streets. This is also shown in the header photo. For time reference, the gunman was reportedly disarmed and cuffed at 11:13 a.m. local time. This was nearly 80 minutes after the incident began at 9:54 AM- which was before the doors even opened at 10:00 AM. There were 40 to 50 people estimated to be inside the building. If you actually view this coverage, does this look like a mass casualty event with 11 dead and 7 wounded to you?

One thing is painfully clear: This event will lead to another big crackdown on speech. Trump’s speech on the matter was threatening with references to “they”, as if there are really legions of boogeyman who would willfully target seniors in religious facilities. Trump is regularly feeding into and exploiting these deceptions.

Social media site The Gab — where the Bowers is said to have posted comments — had its Paypal account yanked within hours of the event. The reasoning given was that The Gab allowed “hate speech” and was unable to detect pre-crime intentions. Also within hours of the event, The Gab’s hosting provider pulled its service, which removed the site from the Internet. The pre-crime narrative is definitely being pushed hard again with this one, as well as the week-ago “bombs in the mail” story.

Meanwhile in Gaza: Israeli Forces on Friday Killed 4 Palestinian Protesters, Wounded 232 in Air Strikes, Sniper Fire

Another coinkydink datapoint: In January, the Department of Homeland Security and FBI held live-shooter drills in Squirrel Hill, The Tribune-Review reports:

Active shooter drill planned for Thursday night in Squirrel Hill, Darlington Road to close

By Emily Balser | 24 January 2018

Pittsburgh and Allegheny County police along with the FBI will hold an active shooter drill Thursday night in Squirrel Hill.

The drill will take place from 8 p.m. to midnight at the Jewish Community Center, 5738 Forbes Ave.

Darlington Road will be closed from St. Edmund’s Way to Murray Avenue.

Residents may notice a large police presence in the area.

The exercise is closed to the public and the media.

The exercise is to ensure the area is prepared and ready to respond in an active shooter situation. The exercise will include apprehending a shooter, evacuations and treating victims at the scene.

At least 50 volunteers from the Squirrel Hill community and the Jewish Community Center staff will serve as role players for the exercise.

What are the odds?

Arjuna tree found to have medicinal properties, including antioxidant, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic benefits

(Natural News) Medicinal plants have always surrounded us since the beginning of time. History has shown that our ancestors heavily relied on these plants to treat a lot of ailments. However, with the advent of so-called “modern medicine,” these plants have been left by the wayside, seemingly forgotten by everyone. However, a renewed interest in…

Non-invasive treatment for low back pain: Controlled “core muscle release technique” provides effective relief

(Natural News) There are many conventional drugs available for treating low back pain, but they are nonetheless harmful when used frequently over long periods of time. Many medical experts are now trying to find alternatives to painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, looking towards nature and little-known therapies. Researchers from the Sri Ramaswamy Memorial University (SRM University) found…

Weekly Health Quiz: Diabetes, Disability and the Nobel Prize

1 Which of the following treatments has been shown to eliminate the need for insulin in Type 2 diabetics within a month’s time?

  • Intermittent fasting (24-hour fasting three times a week or every other day)

    Diabetic patients who did 24-hour fasting three times a week or every other day were able to stop taking insulin within a month. They also lost 10 to 18 percent of their body weight. Learn more.

  • Eating a high-carb, low-fat diet
  • High-intensity exercise, once a week
  • Getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night

2 The DARPA project, “Insect Allies,” uses insects to disperse infectious viruses with which of the following aims?

  • As a form of biowarfare
  • To genetically modify plants in the field

    The DARPA program, “Insect Allies,” is the first to propose and fund the development of insects to disperse infectious GE viruses engineered to edit the chromosomes in plants. Learn more.

  • To control other pests
  • To kill weeds

3 When milk production in a CAFO dairy cow starts to decline, the cow is routinely:

  • Retired to pasture
  • Sold to a petting zoo
  • Killed and processed into ground beef

    CAFO dairy cows are routinely sold for meat, typically ground beef, when their milk production wanes. This is a hidden food safety hazard, as waning milk production is often caused by illness, including Salmonella infection. Learn more.

  • Killed but not processed for food

4 Which of the following opioid alternatives has no scientific support for its use as a pain reliever and/or withdrawal aid?

  • Kratom
  • Medicinal cannabis
  • Gabapentinoids
  • Fentanyl

    Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid associated with a growing number of overdose deaths. It is so potent just a few grains can be deadly. Opioid alternatives backed by science include kratom, cannabis and gabapentinoids, all of which have been shown to have either pain-relieving effects and/or ease opioid withdrawal symptoms. Learn more.

5 The only mammal that can survive on a diet consisting of eucalyptus alone is the:

  • Koala

    If you’re wondering how koalas can eat it, they are the only mammal that can survive on a diet consisting of eucalyptus alone. Learn more.

  • Panda bear
  • Kangaroo
  • Antelope

6 Which of the following conditions is the leading cause of disability in nearly all high-income countries?

  • Heart disease
  • Chronic back pain

    Chronic back pain is now the leading cause of disability in nearly all high-income countries. In the U.S., more than 60 percent of people who see their physician for lower back pain are prescribed an opioid painkiller, but research shows placebo pills can offer significant relief for many patients struggling with long-term chronic back pain. Learn more.

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis

7 In 2017, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three U.S. biologists for which discovery?

  • Cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain
  • Mechanisms of autophagy
  • Master genes that control your body’s circadian rhythms

    Last year, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to three U.S. biologists — Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young — for their discovery of master genes that control your body’s circadian rhythms. Learn more.

  • Process of activation of innate immunity

Here’s the Latest on Longevity Vitamins

A review of more than a decade of research in nutritional science suggests most American diets are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals now believed to play a role in promoting longevity. These vital nutrients are also believed to be useful in the prevention of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease, as well as neurodegenerative conditions.

The study calls out vitamins A, C, D, E and K, as well as minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. The researchers also highlight the usefulness of compounds like astaxanthin, ergothioneine and pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ).

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can oftentimes be difficult to identify because you may not develop symptoms until the deficiency has become quite pronounced. One of your best strategies to promote health and longevity is to eat a balanced, whole-food diet.

Research Suggests Nutrient Deficiencies Contribute to Aging

A review published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA1 by Bruce Ames, Ph.D., senior scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) and Professor Emeritus of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, flags specific nutrients as the keys to longevity and disease prevention.

Ames is a prolific author of 555 scholarly papers, some of which have focused on uncovering strategies to reverse aging, including research on mitochondria. He is also the creator of the Ames test, a system for cheaply and easily testing the mutagenicity of compounds such as flame retardants. In the current review, Ames analyzed more than a decade of research conducted at the CHORI laboratory and elsewhere, applying what he calls the “triage theory.”

As discussed in the featured video, the triage theory suggests moderate deficiencies in one or more essential nutrients can lead to DNA damage that accelerates aging.2 In a 2011 interview published in Life Extension magazine, Ames explained the theory, which borrows the term “triage” from the field of urgent medical care, in which patients are treated in priority order to ensure the best possible chances of survival, stating:3

“Our bodies evolved to do pretty much the same thing. Faced with limited nutritional resources, the human physiology must ‘decide’ which biological functions to prioritize in order to give the total organism — and the species — the best chance to survive and reproduce.

Under this scenario, the body will always direct nutrients toward short-term health and reproductive capability — and away from regulation and repair of cellular DNA and proteins that increase longevity.”

Are You Deficient in Any of These ‘Longevity Vitamins’?

In the current research, Ames arrived at a list of what he calls “longevity vitamins,” noting the nutrients (i.e., proteins and enzymes) you need to stay healthy can be classified as either “survival proteins” or “longevity proteins.”4

Like Ames, who will celebrate his 90th birthday later this year and has enjoyed an illustrious research career spanning seven decades, I see value in paying attention to your nutrient levels. Below is a list of the particular vitamins called out by Ames for their role in extending longevity.5

Vitamin A — Nearly half of American adults and teens are at risk for insufficiency or deficiency of vitamin A.6 Your body needs a daily dose of this fat-soluble vitamin to maintain healthy bones, cell membranes, immune function, skin, teeth and vision.

The best source of vitamin A your body can actually use is found in animal products such as grass fed meat, pastured poultry and wild-caught salmon, as well as raw, organic dairy products like butter.7

Vitamin B1 (thiamine) — Thiamine supports important tasks such as the flow of electrolytes in and out of your nerve and muscle cells, as well as enabling your body to use carbohydrates as energy. B1 is found in grass fed beef and liver, nuts, oranges and peas.8

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) — B2 helps break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins and plays a role in maintaining your body’s energy supply. Good sources of riboflavin include almonds, avocados, grass fed beef and leafy greens like spinach and mushrooms.9

Vitamin B3 (niacin) — B3, which is available in more than one form, supports your digestive system, nervous system and skin. Among the foods rich in niacin are green vegetables, organic pastured eggs, raw milk and wild-caught fish.10

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) — B5 is found in many foods, making deficiencies rare. B5 helps convert food into glucose, synthesizes cholesterol and forms red blood cells. It is found in avocados, grass fed beef, pastured chicken and sunflower seeds.11

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) — B6, which is found in chickpeas, bananas, pastured chicken and potatoes, is important for normal brain development. It also promotes the health of your immune and nervous systems. People suffering from kidney disease or a malabsorption syndrome are at increased risk of B6 deficiency.

Vitamin B7 (biotin) — B7 is particularly important for pregnant and nursing mothers and promotes hair, nail and skin health. Sources of biotin include almonds, cauliflower, leafy greens like spinach, organic pastured egg yolks and raw cheese.12

Vitamin B9 (folic acid) — B9, which is called folic acid in its synthetic form and folate when it naturally occurs in food, is needed for proper brain function. It also plays an important role in your emotional and mental health.

B9 joins with B12 to help make red blood cells and regulate the use of iron. Food sources of folate include asparagus, avocados, beets, Brussels sprouts and turnips.13

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) — Vitamin B12 is known as the energy vitamin, and you need it for blood formation, DNA synthesis, energy production and myelin formation. Nearly 40 percent of the American population may have marginal vitamin B12 status14 — not low enough to qualify as deficiency, but low enough to introduce neurological symptoms.

Vitamin C — Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that acts as an antioxidant, boosting your immune system and helping to protect your cells from the damage caused by free radicals. It is found in vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, as well as all citrus fruits.15

Vitamin D — An estimated 1 billion people worldwide have low vitamin D levels, with deficiencies noted across all age and ethnic groups.16 It works synergistically with calcium, magnesium and vitamin K2 to promote bone growth, among other roles. The optimal vitamin D level for general health and disease prevention is 60 to 80 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml).

Vitamin E — Vitamin E is an important fat-soluble vitamin and antioxidant designed to combat inflammation and make red blood cells. It also helps your body use vitamin K, which is important for heart health. Seventy-five to 90 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin E.17 It is found in leafy greens, nuts and seeds.

Vitamin K — Vitamin K refers to a group of fat-soluble vitamins prized for their role in blood clotting, bone metabolism and regulating your blood calcium levels. Dark leafy greens are the best source of this vitamin, which is also found in grapes and natto.18

Animal-based omega-3 fats — Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and vital for supporting your brain function, joints, skin and vision, as well as your heart.19,20 While available from plants, I recommend you focus mainly on animal-based sources, such as anchovies, salmon and sardines. You can also take a krill oil supplement. Learn more in “The Crucial Differences Between Omega-3 Fats From Plants and Marine Animals.”

Minerals That Promote Health and Longevity

Following is a list of the minerals Ames and his team have called out as being important to your health and longevity:21

Calcium — Beyond its contribution to strong bones and teeth, your body needs calcium for blood clotting, your heartbeat and muscle contractions. It is the most abundant mineral in your body. Sources: collard greens, goat’s milk, sesame seeds, sardines, spinach and yogurt.

Chloride — Necessary for fluid regulation and electrolyte balance, chloride also helps maintain your blood pressure. Sources: celery, olives, salt and seaweed.

Chromium — Chromium is an essential trace mineral your body needs in very small amounts. It can be useful to improve your insulin sensitivity and also enhances your metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Sources: broccoli, green beans, nuts and organic pastured egg yolks.

Cobalt — As a key component of vitamin B12, cobalt is useful in making red blood cells and maintaining your nervous system. Sources: broccoli, leafy green vegetables, nuts and oats.22

Choline — Choline supports the functioning of your liver, brain, muscles, nervous system and overall metabolism. It is critical during fetal development. Sources: cauliflower, organic pastured egg yolks and wild-caught salmon, as well as organic, grass fed beef liver.

Copper — Copper is useful for bone growth, hormone secretion and nerve conduction. Sources: Beans (but be mindful of lectins), nuts, potatoes and shellfish.

IodineIodine is necessary to make thyroid hormones, which control your metabolism and other vital functions. Sources: cheese, sea vegetables, strawberries and yogurt — as always, raw, grass fed, organic sources are best.

Iron — Iron is essential for life because it transports oxygen in your body, helps regulate cell growth and maintains your brain function, metabolism and endocrine system. However, iron overload is actually far more common than iron deficiency, but is rarely checked. Sources: grass fed beef and liver, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and spinach.

MagnesiumMagnesium is important to the heath of nearly every one of your cells, playing a role in over 600 different reactions in your body, including reducing your risk of hypertension and heart disease. Sources: avocados, Brazil nuts, cashews, dark leafy greens, raw cacao and seaweed.

Molybdenum — This little-known trace element is crucial to nearly every life form on earth mainly because it is an essential catalyst for enzymes. Molybdenum helps metabolize carbohydrates and fats and facilitates the breakdown of certain amino acids in your body Sources: cheese and leafy greens.

Phosphorus — Phosphorus, which is the second most abundant mineral in your body, helps utilize carbohydrates, fats and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy. Sources: raw, organic dairy products, nuts, organic pastured eggs and seeds.

Potassium — Potassium balances low blood sugar, helps your muscles contract, lowers your blood pressure, regulates your body fluids and transmits nerve impulses. Sources: avocados, bananas, broccoli, cantaloupe, oranges and spinach.

Selenium — Selenium protects you from oxidative damage and plays a role in DNA synthesis, reproduction and thyroid hormone metabolism. Sources: Brazil nuts, chicken, grass fed organ meats, sardines and sunflower seeds.

Sodium — Symptoms of sodium deficiency may include cramps, heart palpitations, muscle fatigue and spasms. These symptoms are likely to disappear after you add more salt to your diet, particularly if you are in the habit of eating whole, unprocessed foods.

Sulfur — Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body and it plays important roles in hundreds of physiological processes. Sources: broccoli, grass fed meat, homemade bone broth, organic pastured eggs and wild-caught Alaskan salmon.

ZincZinc is an essential trace mineral that plays a vital role in your immune system and preserving your DNA strands. Sources: Alaskan crab, cashews, chickpeas and oysters.

Important Compounds That Can Help Your Body Age Gracefully

Ames and his team also highlighted 11 compounds — including amino acids, carotenoids and micronutrients — as useful for promoting graceful aging. They are as follows:23

Alpha carotene






Beta carotene



Beta cryptoxanthin


While all of these compounds called out by Ames are important, three of notable interest, which are readily available in supplement form, include:

Astaxanthin — Commonly called “king of the carotenoids,” astaxanthin is a naturally occurring substance found in a specific type of microalgae, as well as certain seafood. Its red color is responsible for turning the flesh of crab, lobster, salmon and shrimp pink.

Astaxanthin is a potent anti-inflammatory and may be useful for treating joint problems like carpal tunnel syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. It also supports healthy vision and can be used as an “internal sunscreen.”

Ergothioneine — Found in porcini mushrooms, ergothioneine appears to play a specific role in protecting your DNA from oxidative damage. Along with glutathione, it may offer protection against age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and heart disease.

PQQ — Particularly important for the health and protection of your mitochondria, PQQ has been shown to protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It also works synergistically with CoQ10, producing better results than when either one is used alone. Celery, parsley and kiwi are dietary sources of PQQ.

Eating a Healthy Diet Is a Good Place to Start

Based on his findings, Ames underscores the value of adhering to a balanced, healthy diet. “Diet is very important for our long-term health, and this theoretical framework just reinforces you should try to do what your mother told you: Eat your veggies, eat your fruit [and] give up sugary soft drinks and empty carbohydrates,” he says.24

While I agree with Ames’ advice, especially with respect to eating more vegetables (preferably organic) and giving up sugary beverages and empty carbs, because fruit contains fructose, I suggest you limit your total fructose intake to 25 milligrams (mg) or less per day if you are healthy and less than 15 mg if you are dealing with a chronic illness like cancer or diabetes.

That said, even when you eat a balanced, whole-food diet similar to the one presented in my nutrition plan, you may still fail to get the right balance of vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal health. Because many factors contribute to your body’s ability to derive nutrients from the food you consume, you can eat a healthy diet and still lack proper nutrition.

Changes in animal feed, climate, farming and food-processing methods, soil conditions, water quality and weather patterns, as well as the increased use of genetic engineering and toxic pesticides, can have a negative effect on the quality of food available to you.

Beyond that, your age, genetics and health conditions — such as digestive issues — also impact your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from your food. Often, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be difficult to identify because you may not develop symptoms until the deficiency has become quite pronounced.

All this to say: Do the best you can. As often as you can, eat fresh, organic whole foods, especially vegetables, as well as healthy fats and moderate amounts of grass fed protein. Your style of eating and the timing of your meals also play a role. Now is a great time to learn more about the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting, two approaches to eating I believe can revolutionize your health.

If you need help tracking your intake of nutrients from food and supplements, you may want to check out Cronometer, a free tool I highly recommend. As noted by Ames, “Because nutrient deficiencies are highly prevalent in the [U.S.] (and elsewhere), appropriate supplementation and/or an improved diet could reduce much of the consequent risk of chronic disease and premature aging.”25

What Are the Benefits of Ground Cherries?

If there were a short list of fruits surrounded by confusing, misleading and downright incorrect nomenclature, ground cherries would be on it. There are several reasons for that: They have a long history and are well-traveled over hundreds of years, as they were discovered and propagated in multiple areas of the world.

They’re also similar in appearance to the fruit of other plants, so this small, yellow-orange, husk-covered fruit with a store of tiny yellow seeds inside has a plethora of names.

They’ve been called “uniquely sweet; a mixture of pineapple, strawberry and green grapes — sweet, tart and vaguely tropical.”1 Smithsonian may have the best description of ground cherries: They’re said to taste “like a cherry tomato injected with mango and pineapple juice, and (look) like an orange pearl encased in a miniature paper lantern.”

Equally at home in tropical, subtropical and temperate climates, they’re sometimes called cape gooseberries, but the botanical names are slightly different. Because of their early history in Central and South America, they’re sometimes referred to as Aztec berry, Inca berry, Peruvian groundcherry and Peruvian cherry.

They’ve taken on such monikers as aguaymanto in Peru, uvilla in Ecuador and uchuva in Colombia. In Madagascar they’re called pok pok; in Hawaii, they’re known as poha; and in Egypt, they’re harankash.

According to Healthy Steps, ground cherries are not only related to the tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) and Chinese lantern (Physalis alkekengi), they’re also members of the nightshade family of plants. But in spite of the label, they’re related to neither gooseberries nor cherries.

If all that is confusing, this might help: The botanical name for ground cherries, the variety native to North America, is Physalis pruinosa, while cape gooseberries, aka Physalis peruviana, are thought to have originated in South America. As Gracelinks observes:

“The two are very, very similar in both appearance and flavor, and in reality, the two names (ground cherries and cape gooseberries) are used interchangeably to refer to the fruit, which is generally yellow-orange, about the size of a large marble and enclosed in a papery husk …

Cape gooseberries, although native to South America, got their name from the Cape of Good Hope. They were introduced to South Africa in the early 19th century, and quickly became popular there.

From South Africa, the fruit was introduced to Australia and New Zealand. As with the early American pioneer settlers, early European colonists in Australia valued the fruit because it was one of the few fresh fruits available at the time.”2

Ground Cherries Can Also Be Good for You

Their appearance as well as their flavor helps differentiate ground cherries from other fruits. Ground cherries (with yet again another descriptive name of “husk cherry”) are said to make desserts brighter and add a sweet component to robust meals of meat or vegetables.

In her article referring to ground cherries as “misunderstood neighbors,” Liz Granger mentions 70 varieties of Physalis fruits worldwide, and colorfully describes their many culinary aspects:

“Bite into this golden relative of the tomatillo, this berry thing, and taste its jammy insides — the nutty watermelon, the mellow sugar, the dulcet vinegar finish … They do sweet; they do savory. Native Americans turned ground cherries into a relish.

A Native American Zuni recipe combines them with onions, chili paste and coriander. The Omaha and other tribes enjoyed them fresh. Homesteaders preferred them with sugar. In sod homes and log cabins, pioneer ladies made ground cherry pie and ground cherry jam.”3

But while one might think much of the nutritional value of this fruit must lie in its store of vitamins and minerals, in this case it’s actually the phytochemicals. Like the sulforaphane in broccoli and the fisetin found in strawberries, it’s in the polyphenols that you’ll find the true power of the little-known ground cherry.

For instance, the oil from the fruit is rich in fatty acids, natural antioxidants, carotenoids, phytosterols and such chemical compounds as kaempferol, quercetin and withanolides, which have been found to possess antimicrobial, antitumor, anti-inflammatory and insect repellant properties, as well as hepatoprotective and immunomodulatory activity; glycosides also show anticancer activity.

Another study notes that a specific withanolide compound inhibits the growth of colon cancer cultures, induces cell cycle arrest at low concentrations and apoptosis at higher concentrations, and may have some effect on the prevalence of colon cancer, as well as having growth inhibiting effects on breast cancer cells.4

What Makes Ground Cherries Nutritionally Beneficial?

According to Fruits Info,5 ground cherries contain more vitamin C than oranges. It’s important to note that the riper the fruit is, the higher the concentration of beta carotene. The journal International Journal of Food Nutrition and Safety notes that ground cherries (or more specifically, South American-derived cape gooseberries), have been popular as a traditional herb for blood purification and for treating cancer, leukemia, hepatitis and other ailments.

Vitamins and minerals are also plentiful. The five most prominent vitamins are A, C, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin, while significant minerals include calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Then there’s protein, which Nutrition Data6 reports is 2.7 grams or 5 percent of the dietary reference intake (DRI) per 1-cup serving. Lose Weight With Us also weighs in:

“Not only is vitamin A good for our eyesight, (it’s) believed to inhibit cancer and lower cholesterol. Vitamin C protects us against colds and flu and is thought to lower our blood pressure and protect us from Parkinson’s disease.

Niacin or vitamin B3 is well-known for increasing the level of HDL (high density lipoprotein) in our bodies, which in turn is thought to reduce the incidence of heart disease. This fruit also contains pectin, which helps regulate blood sugar.”7

Additionally, water and ethanol extracts of P. peruviana, as well as other fruits, were tested to determine phenolic and antioxidant activity, and high levels of radical scavenging activity were found, which positively influenced high blood sugar and hypertension linked to Type 2 diabetes.8 As the International Journal of Food Nutrition and Safety observes:

“P. peruviana have been widely used in folk medicine as anticancer, antimycobacterial, antileukemic, antipyretic, immunomodulatory, and for treating diseases such as malaria, asthma, hepatitis, dermatitis, diuretic and rheumatism …

The plant is diuretic and juice of its leaves is given in worm and bowel complaints, while heated leaves are applied as a poultice (and) an extract of the leaves shows antibiotic activity against Staphylococcus.”9

Propagating, Harvesting and Delicious Experimentation With Ground Cherries

Granger quotes Kathleen Cue, a horticulture associate from the University of Nebraska’s Lincoln Extension office, who says early settlers found ground cherries invaluable because unlike many fruits like apples, pears and cherries, they didn’t — and still don’t — require five years to begin producing fruit; instead, they are easy for home gardeners to “morph from seed to food.”

Treated like tomato plants, the seeds can be started indoors six weeks before the last frost before being transplanted into areas of full sun and, similarly, many “volunteer” by reseeding themselves.

It doesn’t take long for ground cherry branches, which are faintly purple in color covered with fine hairs, to vine and spread. Under favorable conditions they may reach 6 feet in height, but they also do well when staked.

Although the period of harvest is relatively short, taking place somewhere between midsummer and early fall, the ease of the harvest helps explain how these fruits got their name, as they simply drop to the ground when they’re ripe. The fruits continue to ripen, though, so collecting them early is best for flavor and texture.

First, the fruit turns from pale green to an amber or gold color, and indicates ripeness when the husk becomes papery and straw-colored. If they’re still green in color, they’re not ready yet and will taste bitter. When purchasing ground cherries, note that the outer covering should be intact, which helps them continue to ripen. They can be kept for as long as six months in a well-ventilated storage area, Fruits Info10 notes.

As for making use of your ground cherries in culinary endeavors, both sweet and savory recipes aren’t difficult to find, but you don’t need to go to a lot of trouble; simply adding them to tossed salads is said to be tasty with goat cheese. A sweet treat might involve adapting a healthy version of this tart recipe from My Three Loves,11 which uses “husk cherries” and plums with slices of ginger, orange and/or lemon zest, stevia (instead of sugar), nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla.

Smithsonian.com12 lists five quite novel ways to prepare them, such as chopping them into a salsa verde concoction with diced red onion and jalapeno, cilantro, lime and sea salt. Or, use them in combination with a relative such as tomatoes. Making a caprese salad is as simple as slicing them onto a platter and adding fresh mozzarella, chiffonaded basil, seasonings and a splash of rice vinegar.

The Kitchn13 passes along the recipe for a tasty salad vinaigrette from a site called Rawmazing.14 Combine the following in your blender or food processor, but note that the salad itself incorporates a cup of ground cherries mixed with cubed jicama, pumpkin seeds and lettuce:


  • 1 cup ground cherries
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 to 1 tablespoon liquid stevia
  • 1/4 cup organic virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

Caveats for Buying Ground Cherries: Go for Non-GMO

For whatever reason, ground cherries, although native to the continent, are relatively unfamiliar to many people in the U.S., which explains why you’re not likely to find them at your local supermarket. You may, however acquire them at farmers markets and heartland fruit and veggie booths.

They’re generally sold in their husks. Inside, the fruits are often covered with a fine, slightly sticky coating that should be washed off before eating. But once you try them, it’s altogether possible you’ll be hooked.

It must be noted that as a nightshade plant alongside relatives like potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers and eggplant, they may prove to be hard to tolerate for some people.

The unripe fruits of some varieties, particularly the Chinese lantern plant, Granger cautions, have been reported as potentially toxic if too many are ingested. The wisest course with the leaves, stems and husks of nightshades is that they be discarded because they contain the poisonous compound solanine.

But there’s something else to consider. Ground cherries may be prolific all over North America, growing in forests and hedgerows, but they’re not exempt from efforts to use chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides in their growth. For that reason, search out sources for ground cherries that are free from harmful residue and sprays, which can be dangerous for anyone who ingests them.

Researchers using the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindrome repeat), say that while most produce took hundreds of generations to become what they are today, they’ve been able to circumvent that.

Now, with CRISPR-Cas9, they can “whittle down the domestication process” to a few years, and their first experiment involves ground cherries, which “has everything it takes to become the next strawberry” that’s “more suitable for agriculture.”

Plant biotechnology expert and one of the developers to make the plants more productive and larger, Joyce Van Eck, says: “With some improvements, maybe it could become a specialty fruit crop.”15

But if you’re more interested in adding non-GM (genetically modified) ground cherries to your nutritional and culinary repertoire, Seed Savers Exchange is a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and sharing of heirloom seeds. Granger suggests Aunt Molly’s Physalis pruinosa,16 an organic ground cherry variety featured in the organization’s current catalog. Planet Natural17 offers heirloom varieties, as does Heirloom Seeds.18

Best Nutrients for Cold and Flu Season

The common cold is the leading cause of doctor visits in the U.S.1 There are several factors that increase your risk for a cold, including:2

Season — A majority of colds occur during fall and winter months,3 and research reveals there is more than one reason for this. For starters, cold weather drives people indoors where exposure to those who are already ill increases. Cold temperatures also weaken the first line of immune defense in your nose.4

Research5 reveals the immune system responds slower at cold temperatures than at body temperature, and the rhinovirus — known to replicate faster at lower temperatures — typically invades your body through the nose, where the air tends to be cooler than body temperature. Dry winter air may also dry your mucous membranes, making the symptoms of a cold worse.

Age — The immune system in children younger than 6 is still developing and they have not yet developed resistance to many viruses, which is why children tend to have far more colds than adults.

Weakened immune system — Poor diet, lack of sleep, stress, food allergies, overtraining and concurrent or chronic illness are factors that can weaken your immune system.

Smoking — Compared to nonsmokers, smokers are more prone to colds and have a greater risk of developing subsequent infections.6

Exposure — A cold passes through direct physical contact with one of nearly 200 viruses that can trigger symptoms.7 Someone who has a cold can pass it to you by touching your hand, sneezing near your face, or through contact with their body where the cold virus has been sprayed after a cough or sneeze. Hence, being in close proximity and contact with others, such as at school, day care or on an airplane, increases your risk for contracting a cold.

Once inside your body, the virus attaches itself to the lining of your throat or nose, triggering your body’s immune system to send white blood cells. If you’ve built antibodies to this virus in the past, the fight doesn’t last long.

However, if the virus is new, your body sends reinforcements to fight, inflaming your nose and throat. With so much of your body’s resources aimed at fighting the cold, you’re left feeling tired and miserable. The good news is there are simple ways to strengthen your immune function to ward off both the common cold and influenza.

Four nutrients known to offer powerful protection during cold and flu season are vitamins C and D, zinc and beta glucans. These can also be used acutely if you feel like you’re coming down with a cold or flu. Getting plenty of prebiotic fiber and sleep are also important.

Vitamins C Offers Powerful Protection Against Cold and Flu

Research8,9,10 supports the use of vitamin C during a common cold to reduce the duration of symptoms. Typically, the higher the dose you take the better the results during a cold. However, there are limitations when taking oral vitamin C, as it can cause loose bowels.

You can get higher doses when using intravenous vitamin C or liposomal vitamin C. Personally, I use 3 to 4 grams of liposomal vitamin C every hour in the rare occasion when I get sick, with great results.11

As a general rule, I don’t recommend high doses of vitamin C unless it’s in liposomal form. I also don’t recommend long-term or chronic high-dose vitamin C supplementation as this may cause nutritional imbalances.

For example, taking large doses of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) on a regular basis lowers your level of copper, so if you are already deficient in copper and take high doses of vitamin C, you can actually compromise your immune system.

So, whereas temporarily taking megadoses of liposomal vitamin C to combat a case of the cold or flu will be helpful, for year-round support, get your vitamin C from food instead.

Kiwi fruits, for example, are exceptionally high in vitamin C. Research12 published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that a kiwifruit-packed diet reduced the duration and severity of upper respiratory tract infections symptoms in older individuals. Other foods high in vitamin C include: citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, papaya and sweet potatoes.

High-Dose Vitamin C for Viral Infections

According to Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, a biochemist who was the first to isolate vitamin C and who received a Nobel Prize for his work with the vitamin, “health” occurs when there is an ample flow and interchange of electrons in your cells. Impaired or poor electron flow and interchange equals “disease,” and when the flow and interchange ceases entirely, your cells die. Oxidation, caused by free radicals in your body, involves the loss of electrons.

Antioxidants counter the disease process caused by oxidation (loss of electrons) by supplying electrons. Vitamin C is a major antioxidant, and perhaps the most important electron donor to maintain optimal electron flow in your cells. As reported by Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (a nonprofit and noncommercial informational resource):13

“High dose vitamin C is a remarkably safe and effective treatment for viral infections. In high doses, vitamin C neutralizes free radicals, helps kill viruses, and strengthens your body’s immune system. Taking supplemental vitamin C routinely helps prevent viral infections.”

For severe types of influenza, such as swine flu, very high dosages of intravenous vitamin C are recommended, typically between 200,000 to 300,000 milligrams or more.14 For this, you would need to see a physician. Vitamin C, at saturation, can even replace antiviral drugs in many cases.

Vitamin D Deficiency May Be an Underlying Cause of Cold and Flu

Low vitamin D also increases your risk of contracting a cold or flu.15 Vitamin D — produced in your skin in response to sun exposure — is a steroid hormone with powerful antimicrobial activity, capable of fighting bacteria, viruses and fungi. The evidence is clear that the lower your vitamin D level, the higher your risk of developing a cold or the flu.16

Dr. John Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, was one of the first to introduce the idea that vitamin D deficiency may actually be an underlying cause of influenza. His hypothesis17 was initially published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection in 2006.18

His hypothesis was subsequently followed up and supported by studies published in the Virology Journal in 200819 and the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2009.20 Since then, a number of other studies have come to similar conclusions. Most recently, a scientific review21,22 of 25 randomized controlled trials confirmed that vitamin D supplementation boosts immunity and cuts rates of cold and flu.

Like Cannell before them, the researchers believe vitamin D offers protection by increasing antimicrobial peptides in your lungs, and that “[t]his may be one reason why colds and flus are most common in the winter, when sunlight exposure (and therefore the body’s natural vitamin D production) is at its lowest …”23

According to this international research team, one person would be spared from influenza for every 33 people taking a vitamin D supplement, whereas 40 people have to receive the flu vaccine in order to prevent one case of the flu. Among those with severe vitamin D deficiency at baseline, 1 in 4 people taking a vitamin D supplement would be protected from the flu.

For optimal protection, get tested at least twice a year and aim for a level between 60 and 80 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) year-round. While sensible sun exposure is your best source of vitamin D, many cannot get enough sun during winter months, which may make oral supplementation a necessity. Your best source is sensible sun exposure.

If this is not an option where you live, using an oral vitamin D3 supplement is advisable. In this case, keep in mind you may also need take additional calcium and vitamin K2 (MK7 form) to protect your arteries, and magnesium to activate vitamin D.

Cold or Flu Symptoms? Try This Crash Treatment

If you are coming down with cold or flu-like symptoms and have not been taking vitamin D on a regular basis, you can take 50,000 international units (IUs) a day for three days to treat the acute infection. (Cannell believes the dose could even be as high as 1,000 IUs per pound of body weight for three days.)

That said, there’s still the possibility that vitamin D won’t work, even in these mega-doses, if you’ve never been exposed to the antigens before. (Ultimately, your best bet is to maintain a vitamin D level between 60 and 80 ng/mL year-round.) Alternatively, take 3 to 4 grams of liposomal vitamin C every hour until you feel better.

Low Zinc Also Raises Your Risk of Viral Infections

A third nutrient deficiency associated with increased risk for cold and flu is zinc. Zinc may also reduce the duration and severity of your cold if taken at the first signs of infection. Your body has no way to store zinc, so it depends on a daily supply through diet. For a list of foods rich in zinc, see “Zinc — One of the Best Supplements to Fight Cold and Flu.”

Zinc is a constituent of at least 3,000 different proteins in your body and a component of more than 200 different enzymes. In fact, zinc is involved in more enzymatic reactions in your body than any other mineral.

Zinc increases your production of white blood cells and helps them fight infection more effectively. It also helps your immune system release more antibodies. If your body has inadequate zinc stores, you will experience increased susceptibility to a variety of infectious agents, as your white blood cells simply can’t function without zinc.

Zinc affects multiple aspects of your immune system, including neutrophils, natural killer (NK) cells, phagocytosis, cytokine production and even gene regulation within your lymphocytes.

Zinc Lozenges May Cut Duration of a Cold

As with other nutrients, your best bet is to make sure you’re getting enough zinc in your diet year-round. However, if a cold strikes, you could use zinc lozenges. A meta-analysis24 of seven randomized trials published in 2017 concluded people taking zinc lozenges shortened the duration of their colds by 33 percent on average.

Zinc acetate may be slightly better than zinc gluconate, although the difference was not considered significant. A third form is zinc citrate. It’s advantageous to take a supplement with a variety of forms, if possible. Zinc sulfate is one of the inorganic forms of zinc and can cause stomach irritation, so I don’t recommend using this form. According to this study:

“Five trials used zinc doses of 80 to 92?mg/day, common cold duration was reduced by 33 percent, and two trials used zinc doses of 192 to 207?mg/day and found an effect of 35 percent. The difference between the high-dose and low-dose zinc trials was not significant …”

Beta-Glucans Protect Against Flu by Boosting Natural Killer Cells

Beta-glucan is a polysaccharide known for its immune-boosting and cancer-fighting activities. Mushrooms such as shiitake, maitake and oyster mushrooms are a good source.25 Importantly, beta-glucans enhance NK cell activity and function,26 and recent research27,28 shows that if you have enough NK cells in your system, you will not contract influenza.

As reported by Live Science,29 a specific gene called KLRD1 “could serve as a proxy for a person’s levels of natural killer cells.” KLRD1 is a receptor gene found on the surface of NK cells, and the level of KLRD1 found in a person’s blood prior to exposure to the influenza virus was able to predict whether that individual would contract the flu with 86 percent accuracy.

According to senior study author Purvesh Khatri, associate professor of medicine and biomedical data science at Stanford University School of Medicine, KLRD1 is “the first biomarker that shows susceptibility to influenza, across multiple strains.”30 As reported by Eurekalert:31

“[O]n the whole, those whose immune cells consisted of 10 to 13 percent natural killers [NK cells] did not succumb to the flu, whereas those whose natural killer cells fell short of 10 percent wound up ill.

It’s a fine line, Khatri said, but the distinction between the groups is quite clear: Everyone who had 10 percent or more natural killer cells stood strong against the infection and showed no symptoms. Khatri said his findings could help health professionals understand who’s at the highest risk for flu infection.”

Beta-Glucans — Powerful Cold and Flu Prevention

A number of studies have confirmed beta-glucans offer powerful protection against cold and flu, including the following.

  • A 2013 study32 found that taking 900 mg of beta-glucans in the form of brewer’s yeast for 16 weeks reduced the rate of cold infections by 25 percent, and eased symptoms in those who got ill by 15 percent
  • Marathon runners who took 250 mg of brewer’s yeast for 28 days following a marathon were 37 percent less likely to contract a cold or flu compared to those taking a placebo33
  • People who took 250 mg of a beta-glucan product called Wellmune WGP per day for 90 days reported 43 fewer days with symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection compared to those taking a placebo34
  • A 2015 animal study35 found feeding mice beta-glucans for two weeks “significantly reduced the effects of influenza infection in total mortality.” According to the authors, “these effects are caused by stimulation of both cellular and humoral immune reaction resulting in lower viral load”

Get Your Z’s

The importance of sleep also should not be underrated. Studies show that not getting enough sleep (which for most adults is around eight hours per night) will quickly decrease your immune function, leaving your system wide-open for environmental influences, including cold and flu viruses.

Missing as little as just one hour of sleep per night increases the expression of genes associated with inflammation, immune excitability, diabetes, cancer and stress.36

An interesting animal study37 published in 2012 found that the circadian clocks of mice control an essential immune system gene that helps their bodies sense and ward off bacteria and viruses. When the level of that particular gene, called toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9), was at its highest, the mice were better able to withstand infections. As noted by lead author Dr. Erol Fikrig from Yale University School of Medicine:

“These findings not only unveil a novel, direct molecular link between circadian rhythms and the immune system, but also open a new paradigm in the biology of the overall immune response with important implications for the prevention and treatment of disease.”

Optimizing Your Immune Function Can Keep You Healthy This Winter

As you can see, there are simple ways to dramatically reduce your risk of cold and flu this winter. Ideally, optimize your vitamin D level and make sure you’re getting enough zinc and vitamin C in your diet on a daily basis. This will lay the groundwork for healthy immune function.

To further boost your immune function in preparation for cold and flu season, you may want to consider a beta-glucan supplement. And, should a cold or flu strike, you may significantly cut its duration and severity using either high-dose vitamin C or D (or a combination of both, short-term) and/or zinc lozenges. Fiber, a source of prebiotics, and sleep are also important factors, both for the prevention of cold and flu, and during the treatment of these infections.

Message from Gab.com 10-28-18… “As we transition to a new hosting provider Gab will be inaccessible for a period of time” (and a Styx video)

This came out today, and this was expected as they move their server service to another platform.

This is all backfiring on those who try to take down these “free speech” social media platforms. I wrote a comment to the Gab co-founder, saying something like, “How great this is that this happened, because it will bring a lot more attention to alternative social media sites like Gab.com.”

Styxhexenhammer666, in his video, outlines how this is exactly what he predicted one year ago. He emphasizes his message with an “f word” or two.


Gab.com is under attack. We have been systematically no-platformed by App Stores, multiple hosting providers, and several payment processors. We have been smeared by the mainstream media for defending free expression and individual liberty for all people and for working with law enforcement to ensure that justice is served for the horrible atrocity committed in Pittsburgh. Gab will continue to fight for the fundamental human right to speak freely.

As we transition to a new hosting provider Gab will be inaccessible for a period of time. We are working around the clock to get Gab.com back online. Thank you and remember to speak freely.



Published on Oct 27, 2018

I warned that echo chambers would lead to fanatic criminality post-deplatforming. Also it’s funny to see the corporations blame Trump when Bowers hated him, or Gab, which itself has no political modus operandi beyond free speech.