In latest medical insanity, Planned Parenthood now offering transgender chemical injections on FIRST visit

(Natural News) Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, just so happens to also be the nation’s second largest provider of “gender affirming hormone care,” which it apparently makes available to patients as early as the first visit, according to shocking new reports. Even though transgender chemical injections are very likely to cause permanent sterility…

Cobra Update 8-18-19… “The Grand Cross”

Much interesting news and data about Cosmic occurrences here. Also about Epstein. So, really, who knows what happened, but all is proceeding as necessary, toward the Event.

“Clearing of the Chimera group, primary anomaly and toplet bombs continues. Our Flower of Life meditations in last few weeks along with other factors were strong enough to eliminate most dangerous potential outcomes and the planetary liberation process can continue in a slightly more balanced way.

“…the Light Forces are asking everybody to meditate as often as they can and as often as they feel guided, until the moment of the Compression Breakthrough, to assist in stabilizing the energy grid around the planet utilizing Flower of Life mediation

“For the first time since the creation of this universe, areas completely free of quantum fluctuations primary anomaly have appeared inside the universe… this is the first sign of the beginning of the new cosmic cycle…

“…NASA probe has detected a plasma anomaly shockwave that collapsed the Alpha timeline in January 2018… Another sign that we are slowly approaching the Compression Breakthrough is China bracing for the impact…

“According to sources, the Cabal has considered Epstein to be a security threat and he was taken out of his cell by the Cabal agents on August 10th, a lookalike was put into the prison cell and murdered there, whereas Epstein was taken to a secret Cabal location in Manhattan, interrogated, and ritually sacrificed to Moloch the next day, August 11th.

“Both [grand cross] alignments were peak moments of purification of the primary anomaly which dark forces tried to misuse, but were also peak moments of great cosmic revelation, when the Source sent powerful signals into the universe, which now lead to creation of first areas without quantum fluctuations primary anomaly.

“To start clearing all this from a higher perspective, a meditation has been announced:

“…the Cabal is leading a campaign against the healthy, assertive masculine principle through extremist feminism and tries to change men into docile sheep… Extremist feminism has nothing to do with the Goddess energy, on the contrary…”

—————————————————-

The Grand Cross

Clearing of the Chimera group, primary anomaly and toplet bombs continues. Our Flower of Life meditations in last few weeks along with other factors were strong enough to eliminate most dangerous potential outcomes and the planetary liberation process can continue in a slightly more balanced way.

Still, the Light Forces are asking everybody to meditate as often as they can and as often as they feel guided, until the moment of the Compression Breakthrough, to assist in stabilizing the energy grid around the planet utilizing Flower of Life mediation:

https://www.welovemassmeditation.com/2019/08/flower-of-life-meditation-during-lions.html

There are big changes taking place in the universe. For the first time since the creation of this universe, areas completely free of quantum fluctuations primary anomaly have appeared inside the universe. They are not stable yet, but this is the first sign of the beginning of the new cosmic cycle and the coming cosmic vacuum metastability event:

https://cosmosmagazine.com/physics/vacuum-decay-ultimate-catastrophe
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_vacuum

This will not lead to the destruction of the universe as physicists falsely claim, but will simply push the universe into a more stable state in which primary anomaly and thus evil will not be possible.

Current increase of activity of the Galactic Center is only indirectly related to this, but it is still another indicator that we are getting closer to the Event:

https://www.sciencealert.com/our-galaxy-s-supermassive-black-hole-just-mysteriously-got-really-really-bright
https://arxiv.org/abs/1908.01777

While we are speaking about cosmic changes, we might note that NASA probe has detected a plasma anomaly shockwave that collapsed the Alpha timeline in January 2018:

https://www.space.com/nasa-detects-first-interplanetary-shock.html

Another sign that we are slowly approaching the Compression Breakthrough is China bracing for the impact:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-09/china-hoarding-food-gold-other-commodities-anticipation-global-collapse

The arrest of Epstein has brought the reality of child abuse into the mass consciousness of humanity:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-08-17/it-took-billionaire-pedophile-die-jail-media-finally-report-elite-child-sex

According to sources, the Cabal has considered Epstein to be a security threat and he was taken out of his cell by the Cabal agents on August 10th, a lookalike was put into the prison cell and murdered there, whereas Epstein was taken to a secret Cabal location in Manhattan, interrogated, and ritually sacrificed to Moloch the next day, August 11th.

Illuminati were doing many rituals on August 11th, 2019, to connect with the energy of the grand cross solar eclipse which occured exactly 20 years earlier, on August 11th, 1999:

http://www.greatdreams.com/eclipse.htm

The grand cross solar eclipse in August 1999 took place during the fixed grand cross astrological alignment which involved Sun, Moon, Mars, Uranus and Saturn:

Alignment on August 11th, 2019 showed fixed grand cross astrological alignment which involved Mercury, Pallas, Pluto and Eris:

Both alignments were peak moments of purification of the primary anomaly which dark forces tried to misuse, but were also peak moments of great cosmic revelation, when the Source sent powerful signals into the universe, which now lead to creation of first areas without quantum fluctuations primary anomaly.

With Epstein gone, deeper investigation would find many ties to DynCorp:

Jeffrey Epstein Deep Dive – The Mossad, Fraud and His Creepy Temple

Deeper investigation would also uncover the other big child abuser:

https://pedophilesdownunder.com/2018/09/04/michael-aquinos-last-desperate-attempt-to-silence-his-victims/

It would uncover the programming sites:

https://www.stopeg.com/tinet.nl/public/browse-online/raven1-eleanor-white/mcf/programmingsites.htm

And many layers of child abuse networks:

https://www.exopolitics.org/epstein-murdered-to-hide-satanic-pedophile-network-manipulating-global-elites/

To start clearing all this from a higher perspective, a meditation has been announced:

https://www.welovemassmeditation.com/2019/08/blessings-of-al-nilam.html?m=1
https://www.welovemassmeditation.com/p/blessings-of.html?m=1

Along with the clearing of child abuse networks, there is more awareness about distorted programs about sexuality that the Cabal has enforced upon humanity:

https://www.rt.com/news/451375-vatican-priests-gay-martel-book/
https://stillnessinthestorm.com/2019/02/the-foreskin-why-is-it-such-a-secret-in-north-america/

Meanwhile, the Cabal is leading a campaign against the healthy, assertive masculine principle through extremist feminism and tries to change men into docile sheep:

http://alt-market.com/articles/3639-feminism-is-a-disease-and-masculinty-is-the-cure

The Cabal has also hijacked the Me Too movement and changed it into an instrument of psychological manipulation which tries to portray all men as abusers in the eyes of women and sow distrust:

https://www.sott.net/article/366469-The-new-prudes-Viewing-all-men-as-predators-leads-to-new-sexual-reformation-even-as-libertinism-runs-rampant
https://thefederalist.com/2017/12/13/metoo-movement-destroying-trust-men-women/
https://globalnews.ca/news/4177138/metoo-men-angry/

Extremist feminism has nothing to do with the Goddess energy, on the contrary:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/449688-us-toxic-femininity-hollywood/

And many women do not agree with it:

https://www.rt.com/uk/466045-sasha-rakoff-feminism-strip-clubs/

Unfortunately, the Cabal is very active, and they have attacked the Congo vortex with Ebola virus:

https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-07-28-bioweapons-experiments-unleashes-ebola-outbreak-in-africa.html

Perhaps it is now time to expose the creators of the big pharma and bioweapon experimentation, the Rockefellers:

https://politicalvelcraft.org/2019/07/20/how-rockefeller-founded-deep-state-pharma-and-waged-war-on-natural-cures/

The Light Forces have communicated that the Jesuits are trying to ignite civil war in the United States by polarizing the population into division and hatred between political right and political left. You need to understand that both sides of the political spectrum have been equally infiltrated by the Cabal, and both sides equally contain many good people.

And at last, little inspiration:

http://annavonreitz.com/allbuyart.pdf

Victory of the Light!

Do optimistic people sleep better?

Optimism is associated with greater physical and mental health, and one reason why could be linked to its role in promoting better sleep. In a study of 3,548 people, those who were the most optimistic enjoyed higher quality sleep, hinting at the importance of a positive outlook in getting a good night’s rest.1

While the reason why optimism leads to better sleep wasn’t revealed by this study, the researchers, from the University of Illinois, suggested it could be due to buffering the effects of stress, leading to better coping mechanisms. In other words, optimists may spend less time lying in bed with their mind racing, allowing them to drift off easier.

“Optimists are more likely to engage in active problem-focused coping and to interpret stressful events in more positive ways, reducing worry and ruminative thoughts when they’re falling asleep and throughout their sleep cycle,” study author Rosalba Hernandez said in a news release.2

Optimists sleep better

The study began by measuring participants’ level of optimism using a 10-item survey, which included statements such as “I’m always optimistic about my future” and “I hardly expect things to go my way.” Participants then rated how much they agreed with the statements, using a five-point scale.

The participants’ sleep quality and duration was also tracked, using self-reported data, including the number of hours slept at night, difficulty falling asleep and symptoms of insomnia (a subset of participants wore activity monitors to track sleep data).

Optimism was significantly associated with better sleep, with each standard deviation increase in optimism score linked to a 78% increased likelihood of reporting very good sleep quality.3

Those with greater optimism scores were also 74% more likely to have no symptoms of insomnia, had less daytime sleepiness and were more likely to get adequate sleep — sleeping for six to nine hours a night. Hernandez explained in a news release:4

“The lack of healthy sleep is a public health concern, as poor sleep quality is associated with multiple health problems, including higher risks of obesity, hypertension and all-cause mortality. Dispositional optimism — the belief that positive things will occur in the future — has emerged as a psychological asset of particular salience for disease-free survival and superior health.”

Positive personality characteristics linked to better sleep

A number of previous studies have also linked positive personality characteristics, including optimism and self-esteem, with better sleep. In one study of 1,805 adults, ranging in age from 30 to 84 years, those with insomnia symptoms scored lower on measures of optimism and self-esteem.5

Further, those with lower optimism and self-esteem were more likely to sleep for six hours or less each night (defined as short sleep duration) or for more than nine hours each night (long sleep duration).

The relationship between positive personality characteristics and sufficient sleep occurred even after the association between poor sleep and depression was accounted for. Results were similar in a study involving children, which found healthy sleep duration was linked to optimism. The researchers explained:6

“The relation resembled a reverse J-shaped curve, such that children whose sleep duration was in the middle of the distribution scored higher on optimism compared to children who slept relatively little. Further, children with shorter sleep latency scored higher on optimism and tended to have higher scores on self-esteem.”

Another study on college students looked at the relationship of sleep, optimism and mood, revealing “complex relationships” among them. People who tended to be pessimistic also tended to be more anxious and have more symptoms of stress, which had adverse effects on sleep. Poor sleep was, in turn, damaging to optimism, yet, being a morning person seemed to counter some of this damage. 

“In conclusion, optimism and sleep quality were both cause and effect of each other. Depressive mood partially explained the effect of sleep quality on optimism, whereas anxiety and stress symptoms were mechanisms bridging optimism to sleep quality,” according to the study.7

Benefits of optimism beyond sleep

The ability to be optimistic, which is defined as the “generalized expectation that good things will happen”8 is protective against cardiovascular disease (CVD),9 such that it reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.10 Lead author Julia Boehm noted in a news release that being positive is about more than the absence of negative:11

“The absence of the negative is not the same thing as the presence of the positive. We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction, and happiness are associated with reduced risk of CVD regardless of such factors as a person’s age, socioeconomic status, smoking status, or body weight.

For example, the most optimistic individuals had an approximately 50% reduced risk of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers.”

Being optimistic is also linked to a longer life span, with increasing levels of optimism associated with lower risk of mortality. In fact, optimism was associated with a lower risk of death from chronic disease, including cancer, heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease, as well as infection.12 Further, optimism is also linked to following health benefits:13

Healthier lipid profile

Lower levels of inflammatory markers

Higher levels of serum antioxidants

Better immune responsiveness

Healthier autonomic function

Higher levels of heart rate variability

Experiencing emotional well-being, positive mood, joy, happiness, vigor, energy and other measures of “positive affect,” along with positive dispositions like life satisfaction, hopefulness, optimism and a sense of humor, is also associated with increased survival in healthy people, including reduced cardiovascular mortality.14

Further, people with diseases, including renal failure and HIV, and positive psychological well-being also had reduced death rates, suggesting once again that happiness may indeed be protective over your physical health.15

You can learn to be more optimistic

It’s thought that a person’s tendency to be optimistic may be partially due to genes (one study suggested optimism is about 25% heritable16), but it’s also possible to become more optimistic. In one example, researchers asked study participants to write about their best possible self for 15 minutes, then use mental imagery of the positive future expectancies for five minutes.

Compared to a control scenario, the positive future thinking manipulation led to a larger increase in positive affect and future expectancies, showing that “imagining a positive future can indeed increase expectancies for a positive future.”17

Another simple optimism intervention is to think of three things you’re looking forward to tomorrow. When you do this regularly, say before bed, it may lead to reduced pessimism and emotional exhaustion.18

Mindfulness is another tool to increase optimism. Practicing “mindfulness” means you’re actively paying attention to the moment you’re in right now. Rather than letting your mind wander, when you’re mindful, you’re living in the moment and letting distracting or negative thoughts pass through your mind without getting caught up in their emotional implications.

One study showed that practicing mindfulness helped workers in high-stress jobs alter their brain activity to be more left-sided (which is associated with positive moods).19 “[M]indfulness meditation produces demonstrable effects on brain and immune function,” the researchers noted. “These findings suggest that meditation may change brain and immune function in positive ways.”20 Tips for being mindful include:21

When you’re walking, tune into how your weight shifts and the sensations in the bottom of your feet. Focus less on where you are headed.

Don’t feel that you need to fill up all your time with doing. Take some time to simply be.

When your mind wanders to thinking, gently bring it back to your breath.

Notice how the mind likes to constantly judge. Don’t take it seriously. It’s not who you are.

Practice listening without making judgments.

Notice where you tend to zone out (i.e., driving, emailing or texting, web surfing, feeding the dog, doing dishes, brushing teeth). Practice bringing more awareness to that activity.

Spend time in nature.

The Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), a psychological acupressure technique, is another tool you can use to increase optimism. It’s excellent for working through negative emotions and limiting beliefs that may be stifling your positive outlook on life.

Why sleep issues should be addressed right away

If you’re having trouble sleeping, whether you consider yourself an optimist or not, it’s important to get to the bottom of it sooner rather than later. Lack of sleep is linked to numerous health problems, including depression,22 diabetes, obesity23 and heart problems.

Sleep is even connected with subclinical atherosclerosis, the early stages of hardening and narrowing of the arteries. In one study, those who slept for less than six hours a night were 27% more likely to have subclinical atherosclerosis than those who slept for seven or eight hours a night.24,25

If you have trouble achieving this duration, or you wake frequently during the night, it’s time to take steps to improve your sleep. If you’d describe yourself as a pessimist, making a concerted effort to be more optimistic may help, however you should also pay attention to proper sleep hygiene.

Be sure you’re sleeping in complete darkness, as light (even that from a night light or alarm clock) can disrupt your internal clock and your production of melatonin and serotonin, thereby interfering with your sleep.

In the morning, bright, blue light-rich sunlight signals to your body that it’s time to wake up. At night, as the sun sets, darkness should signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. Keep the temperature cool, between 60 and 68 degrees F, and eliminate electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Ideally, shut down the electricity to your bedroom by pulling your circuit breaker before bed and turning off your Wi-Fi at night.

Other practical solutions include going to bed earlier and considering a separate bedroom if your partner is interfering with your sleep. For more tips, my 33 healthy sleep secrets provides a comprehensive list of strategies for a better night’s rest.

How exercise treats depression

In this short video, Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., a biomedical scientist and researcher with the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, California, discusses the science behind the mood-lifting effects of exercise.1 Indeed, many experts agree that exercise is one of the most powerful tools available for the prevention and management of depression.

For example, a meta-analysis2 published in 2016, which looked at 23 randomized controlled trials in which exercise was used as treatment for unipolar depression, found that, compared to no intervention, exercise “yielded a large and significant effect size,” which led them to conclude, “Physical exercise is an effective intervention for depression.”

How exercise ameliorates depression

One of the ways exercise promotes mental health is by normalizing insulin resistance. Mechanistic studies, several of which are highlighted in Patrick’s video, have also linked the antidepressant effects of exercise to molecular mechanisms involving:

  • Kynurenine, a neurotoxic stress chemical produced from the amino acid tryptophan
  • Myokines
  • Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a growth factor that regulates neuroplasticity and new growth of neurons
  • The endocannabinoid system
  • Beta endorphin, an endogenous opioid neuropeptide and peptide hormone

Exercise boosts metabolism of kynurenine

As explained by Patrick, tryptophan is an essential amino acid required for the synthesis of serotonin, melatonin, vitamin B3 and kynurenine. While kynurenine is associated with stress and depression at higher levels, higher levels of serotonin are associated with improved mood.

To a degree, exercise will allow you to control what the tryptophan will be synthesized into. By allowing for more tryptophan to be transported into your brain, exercise raises your serotonin and inhibits conversion into kynurenine, thereby boosting mood and preventing depression.

Conversely, chronic stress and low-grade inflammation makes more tryptophan available for conversion into kynurenine and less into serotonin, which has a depressive effect.

Kynurenine, in turn, is a precursor to a neurotoxic compound called quinolinic acid, as well as a neuroprotective compound called kynurenic acid. Here too, exercise — and especially endurance exercise — activates a gene that prevents kynurenine from forming quinolinic acid, and makes it form kynurenic acid instead.

Animal research3 has also shown that well-trained muscles have higher levels of an enzyme that helps metabolize kynurenine, thereby ridding the body of it. As noted by the authors:4

 “Our initial research hypothesis was that trained muscle would produce a substance with beneficial effects on the brain. We actually found the opposite: well-trained muscle produces an enzyme that purges the body of harmful substances. So in this context the muscle’s function is reminiscent of that of the kidney or the liver.”

Endurance training promotes anti-inflammatory myokines

Myokines are a type of a chemical messenger in a class called cytokines. Many of the cytokines we already know about are the kind liberated from adipose tissue, your body fat, particularly the truncal fat mass that gives you that apple-shape.

Many of these are inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1 family (IL-1), which are involved in a variety of disease states, including cancer. Interestingly, the cytokines produced by muscle tissue, which are known as myokines (“myo” being the Latin root for muscles), have anti-inflammatory effects.

Myokines also increase your insulin sensitivity by improving glucose utilization inside your muscles and, acting as chemical messengers, myokines help inhibit the release of inflammatory cytokines produced by body fat.

Transient inflammation has beneficial effects

As explained by Patrick, microglia in your brain secrete neurotropic substances such as BDNF in response to exercise. Interestingly, it is inflammatory cytokines that are responsible for this beneficial effect.

So, while chronic release of inflammatory cytokines can cause grave harm — and is associated with depression — the transient inflammation caused by vigorous exercise actually has beneficial impact.

According to research cited by Patrick, low BDNF levels have been implicated as a central component of depression, as depressed patients typically have lower levels than healthy controls. As noted in a 2013 study5 on the interactions between exercise, depression and BDNF levels:

“[T]here is strong evidence that decreased BDNF is associated with … increased risk for depression, whereas increasing BDNF by aerobic exercise appears to … reduce depression.” 

Exercise is known to enhance BDNF secretion, while chronic stress reduces it. In one study,6 moderate and vigorous intensity cycling raised BDNF levels by an average of 32% compared to baseline.

As you might expect, duration plays an important role in how much BDNF is produced. Moderate to vigorous intensity for 40 minutes produced a more significant increase than those exercising at the same intensity for just 20 minutes.

The endocannabinoid connection

Cannabinoid receptors in the human body were discovered in the 1990s, which in turn led to the realization that we make compounds in our body — endogenous cannabinoids — that influence these receptors.

It was also discovered that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) orchestrates communication between other bodily systems, such as your respiratory, digestive, immune and cardiovascular systems.

One of the cannabinoids your body produces is called anandamide — a nod to the word “ananda,” the Sanskrit word for “bliss,” as it attaches to the same CB1 receptors that the psychoactive THC in cannabis attaches to.

While runner’s high is typically attributed to the release of endorphins, running also dramatically increases anandamide in the body, and anandamide not only targets the CB1 receptor, but it also influences opioid and endorphin receptors. Not surprisingly, then, the higher an individual’s anandamide level, the better they report feeling.

Research cited by Patrick shows people engaging in moderate intensity running or cycling increase their anandamide levels, and that the greatest increase occurs when you’re exercising at 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate.7

Exercise boosts feel-good hormones

Exercise also triggers the release of beta endorphin, an endogenous (meaning it’s made by your body) opioid neuropeptide and peptide hormone produced in specific neurons located in your central and peripheral nervous systems. As noted in the 2008 paper,8 “The Runner’s High: Opiodergic Mechanisms in the Human Brain”:

Reductions in opioid receptor availability were identified preferentially in prefrontal and limbic/paralimbic brain structures. The level of euphoria was significantly increased after running and was inversely correlated with opioid binding in prefrontal/orbitofrontal cortices, the anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral insula, parainsular cortex, and temporoparietal regions.

These findings support the ‘opioid theory’ of the runner’s high and suggest region-specific effects in frontolimbic brain areas that are involved in the processing of affective states and mood.”

Other studies showing exercise can treat depression

As noted by Patrick, there’s a solid and ever-growing body of scientific evidence showing physical exercise is a major key in the successful treatment of depression. Aside from the mechanistic studies highlighted in her video, here’s a short-list of studies and scientific review articles that have investigated this oft-ignored prescription:

JAMA Psychiatry 20189,10 (a study funded in part by the National Institute of Mental Health) concluded exercise “may have greater efficacy than current approaches that target depressed mood.”

Contrary to popular belief, they found that while physical activity affected the participants’ mood afterward, their mood did not affect the amount of physical activity they engaged in. This defies the common assumption that depression causes physical inactivity. In fact, the results suggest it’s largely the other way around.

Frontiers in Pharmacology 201711 addressed the question of whether a comparison between exercise and drug treatment is evidence based, noting that:

The literature on the benefits of exercise for depression is extensive. Nevertheless, two recent reviews focusing on antidepressants vs. other therapies as a basis for clinical practice guidelines recommended mainly antidepressants, excluding exercise as a viable choice for treatment of depression. The aim of this perspective is to analyze the literature exploring the reasons for this discrepancy …

[I]t is possible that academics and health care practitioners are skeptical of viewing exercise as medicine. Maybe, there is a reluctance to accept that changes in lifestyle as opposed to pharmacological treatment can alter biological mechanisms.”

In conclusion, they found three randomized controlled trials comparing four months of exercise to the use of antidepressants (two of which involved patients with major depression and one recruited those with minor depression). All of them found that exercise and antidepressant treatment were equally effective.

Of 11 randomized controlled trials comparing exercise as an adjunctive treatment to antidepressants (combination comparisons) against a wide variety of controls, 10 of them found “a significant depressive improvement after the exercise period, and/or that the proportion of patients with a clinical response was larger for the exercise group than the control.”

The paper reviews a variety of biological mechanisms by which exercise can benefit those with depression, including boosting BDNF and serotonin and lowering inflammation biomarkers. The authors also point out that:

“Two meta-analyses examining the efficacy of exercise as a treatment for major depression concluded that exercise as a treatment for depression can be recommended as a stand-alone treatment or as an adjunct to antidepressant medication, and that exercise can be considered an evidence-based treatment for the management of depression …

Almost all reviews examining exercise vs. other treatments of depression, including antidepressants, support the use of exercise in the treatment of depression, at least as an add-on therapy …

Based on the present review, which examined most or all RCTs published in 1999–2016, and most or all meta-analyses/systematic reviews published in 2009–2016, it can be stated that exercise is an evidenced-based medicine for depression — at least as an add-on to antidepressants.”

Current Opinion in Psychology 201512 highlighted the role of inflammation in depression, and how biological markers can help explain how exercise reduces depressive symptoms. As explained in this review:

There is growing support for the efficacy of exercise interventions for the treatment of individuals who present with mild-to-moderate depression … The present article reviews contemporary theoretical accounts and recent empirical data pointing to neuroinflammatory states and neurotrophin production as possible biomarkers of the antidepressant response to exercise …

Recent research suggests that depressed patients have elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, with the most reliably observed elevations in Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)

Along with the elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines among depressed individuals, several studies show lower than average levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as Interleukin-10 (IL-10) and a lack of correlation between IL-10 and IL-6 that typically is present, suggesting there is a dysregulation of the inflammatory system among depressed patients

Exercise has emerged as an effective strategy to target inflammatory deregulation … For example, acting as a stressor, acute bouts of exercise result in the release of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 from muscles.

This release of IL-6, in turn, activates the synthesis of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10 and inhibits release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha, suggesting that exercise promotes, in this way, an anti-inflammatory environment.

Similarly, when occurring chronically, exercise (training) reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-alpha and increases the production of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10.”

Many other studies support the view that depression is mediated, and perhaps directly caused,13 by inflammation, especially gastrointestinal inflammation.14 Cytokines15 in your blood, and/or inflammatory messengers such as CRP, interleukin-1, interleukin-6 and TNF-alpha are all predictive of16 and correlate17 to depression.

In melancholic depression, bipolar disorder and postpartum depression, white blood cells called monocytes express proinflammatory genes that provoke secretion of cytokines.18

At the same time, cortisol sensitivity goes down, and cortisol is a stress hormone that buffers against inflammation. Together, these inflammatory agents transfer information to your nervous system, typically by stimulating your vagus nerve, which connects your gut and brain.

In one study,19 the researchers suggested “depression may be a neuropsychiatric manifestation of a chronic inflammatory syndrome,” and that “these findings justify an assumption that treating gastrointestinal inflammations may improve the efficacy of the currently used treatment modalities of depression …”

In this model, depression is the result of your body’s attempts to protect itself from an inflammatory response, and involves hormones and neurotransmitters. Depressive symptoms most strongly associated with chronic inflammation include:20

  • Flat mood
  • Slowed thinking
  • Avoidance
  • Alterations in perception
  • Metabolic changes

Asian Journal of Sports Medicine 201521 looked at “systematic reviews, meta-analyses and large-scale randomized control trials on effects of exercise on depression” to devise recommendations for doctors “who plan to use exercise protocols in depression.”

Here, they highlighted 10 different biological effects of exercise known to have a beneficial effect on people with depression. These effects include22 upregulation or increase in the levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, BDNF, endorphins and endocannabinoids, and a downregulation or decrease in the levels of cortisol, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 and ACTH.

They also note psychosocial effects that have a beneficial impact, such as self-mastery, social interaction and distraction from rumination. According to this evaluation, depressed patients most likely to benefit from exercise are: Between 20 and 40 years old, have higher education status, are untrained and have mild to moderate depression.

Characteristics of an exercise program most likely to benefit people with depression include: Supervised and/or structured exercise; individually tailored exercise consisting of aerobic exercise and resistance training (or a mix); low to moderate intensity; 45 to 60 minutes per session at least three to four times per week for a minimum of 10 weeks. The authors also encourage physicians to employ a multidisciplinary team, noting that:

“It is very beneficial to encourage physicians and exercise specialists to work in collaboration on depression and exercise treatments. It seems that most medical professionals have little or no training in exercise programs and exercise specialists are not familiar with the clinical population particularly depressed patients.

Physicians’ recommendation is often limited to ‘get more exercise’ while the exercise specialist may advise physical activities that are not actually useful for patients with depression.

However, with a multidisciplinary team, it is possible to prescribe an exercise program more safely, efficiently, operatively, objectively and realistic. Such a multidisciplinary team may include a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist, sports medicine specialist and exercise trainer.”

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 201123 concluded 12 weeks of high-intensity exercise led to a 28.3% remission rate in patients who had previously failed to get any relief from SSRIs.

Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 2006.24 This meta-analysis of 11 studies concluded doctors would be well advised to recommend exercise to patients suffering from depression, anxiety and eating disorders, as the evidence showed “substantial benefit.”

Archives of Internal Medicine 199925 reported 16 weeks of aerobic exercise was just as effective as Zoloft for the treatment of major depression in older patients.

Consider lifestyle changes before resorting to drugs

While there’s strong evidence to support moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise and strength training for the treatment of depression, I would also urge you to reassess your diet.

Foods have an immense impact on your brain, and eating whole foods as described in my nutrition plan will best support your mental and physical health. Avoiding processed foods, sugar and grains is particularly important as it will help normalize your insulin and leptin levels, which is an important contributing factor to depression.

Certain nutrients are also known to cause symptoms of depression when lacking, and specific herbs and nutritional supplements may also help counteract symptoms.

For a list of nutrients, herbs and supplements that have been shown to be particularly helpful for depression, as well as a long list of studies showing just how ineffective antidepressants are, and guidelines for safe drug withdrawal, please see “What Does the ‘Best Evidence’ Say About Antidepressants?

You can also learn more about depression and its contributing causes on Patrick’s website26 and in her full-length interview with Dr. Charles Raison27 (who is only briefly featured in the video above), in which he expounds on the links between depression and inflammation, and the use of heat stress as a therapeutic intervention for depression.

Fingerroot: A flavorful spice bursting with benefits

Fingerroot (boesenbergia rotunda) is a type of rhizome from the ginger (Zingiberaceae) family. Many people across Asia consider this a valuable addition to meals and potential remedy for certain sicknesses.1 If you’re curious about what this vibrant spice has to offer and how you can grow it at home, read this guide.

What is fingerroot?

Fingerroot is well-known as a spice and therapeutic crop2 that’s grown in India, Sri Lanka, southern China and Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. It’s also known as Chinese keys, krachai-dang, temu kunci3 or Chinese ginger.4

Yellow and slender fingerroots come from a small plant that’s 50 centimeters (20 inches) tall. It features three to four undivided, elongated and oblong-shaped leaves measuring 7 to 11 centimeters (2 to 4 inches) wide and 25 to 50 centimeters (10 to 20 inches) long.5 The plant bears fragrant pink flowers. Most people grow fingerroot from cuttings as an ornamental plant, although the rhizomes and roots can be used for other purposes.6

Health benefits of fingerroot

Fingerroot exhibits the following health-boosting properties:7

  • Antifungal
  • Antibacterial
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiparasitic (assists with eliminating helminth and round worms in your intestines)
  • Anticancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Antimutagenic
  • Carminative
  • Diuretic

Some studies have also highlighted that fingerroot was used in traditional medicine to help address health problems like:8,9

  • Dental caries, and other tooth and gum diseases
  • Dermatitis
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry cough and cold
  • Swelling
  • Wounds
  • Diarrhea
  • Dysentery

Results of a 2012 Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine study showed that the plant may help alleviate rheumatism, muscle pain, febrifuge, gout, flatulence, stomach aches, dyspepsia, peptic ulcers and skin itchiness caused by mite bites. Fingerroot is also a known ingredient in the traditional Indonesian tonic “jamu,” often given to women who just gave birth or used by teenage girls for cosmetic purposes.10

Culinary uses of fingerroot

As a spice, fingerroot is mainly used in Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, Chinese and Indian cuisines, especially in soups and curries. It can be prepared like typical vegetables, and has an aromatic flavor that can deliver appetite-boosting capabilities.11 The fingerroot plant’s leaves, combined with teak tree leaves, may be used to wrap a traditional Indonesian fermented soy bean cake called tempeh. If you have young fingerroots, you can enjoy them raw, too.12

Components of fingerroot

Multiple substances have been discovered in fingerroot. A 2017 Pharmacognosy Reviews article lists the potentially health-boosting components found in the rhizome:13

  • Flavonoids such as alpinetin, boesenbergin, cardamonin, geraniol, krachaizin, panduratin, pinostrobin, pinocembrin, rotundaflavone, silybin, rubranine, sakuranetin and more
  • Polyphenols like caffeic acid, coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, hesperidin, kaempferol, naringin and quercetin

What can fingerroot essential oil do?

Essential oil made from fingerroot contains beneficial compounds like:14

  • Terpinene
  • Geraniol
  • Camphor
  • 1,8-cineole
  • Ocimene
  • Myrcene
  • Borneol
  • Camphene
  • Methyl cinnamate
  • Terpineol
  • Geranial
  • Neral
  • Nerolidol
  • Citral
  • Limonene
  • 11-dodecen-1-ol

Additional research noted that essential oil15 and extracts16,17,18 derived from fingerroot exhibited antibacterial properties against bacteria strains.

What do studies say about fingerroot?

Fingerroot possesses antimicrobial properties. One 2006 study found that turmeric and fingerroot extracts worked as a treatment for Mongolian gerbils with gastric lesions caused by a Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection.19

Another study published in the same year found that compounds extracted from the fingerroot plant’s roots, namely pinostrobin and red oil, together with dihydroguaiaretic acid from Myristica fragrans (responsible for producing the spices nutmeg and mace20) were effective against the same bacteria.21 Researchers discovered that fingerroot may also exhibit the following health-boosting abilities:

  • Aphrodisiac22 ? In this 2011 animal study, mature rats that ingested fingerroot juice exhibited better sperm quality, which may be linked to improved fertility.23
  • Anticancer ?— Fingerroot extract assisted in inhibiting development of breast, colon, cervical and ovarian cancer cells.24
  • Antimicrobial ?— Extracts from ginger, turmeric, fingerroot and galangal (Thai or Siamese ginger25) may combat pathogens that cause spoilage, and potentially work as natural preservative agents.26

How is fingerroot grown?

According to Useful Tropical Plants, fingerroot can be grown in areas where daytime temperatures fall either between 64.4 and 86 degrees F (18 to 30 degrees C) or between 53.6 and 95 degrees F (12 to 35 degrees C). However, if you live somewhere with temperatures that reach 10.4 degrees F (-12 degrees C) to 30.2 degrees F (-1 degrees C), it’s probably best not to try to grow this plant, as it may be prone to severe damage or death.

Fingerroot is best grown in moist, well-drained soil with high amounts of organic matter, ideally with pH levels between 6 and 7, or 5.5 and 7.5 if conditions permit.27 A study published in 2015 also highlighted that fingerroot plants may thrive well in a growing medium composed of high amounts of red soil and black soil, with little quantities of sand.28

Cultimate fingerroot in places where annual rainfall falls between 1,200 and 3,000 millimeters (47 to 118 inches), or in some cases, 1,000 and 5,000 millimeters (39 to 197 inches). Grow your plants under full sun or a light shade. Propagating the plants in shady areas may decrease the amount of cineole in fingerroots.

Always make sure to prune your plants, as they can grow through their roots and form into a massive community that you may find difficulty maintaining.

As the plant grows, it will bear long, straight and carrot-like rhizomes. Fingerroot plants may live for five months, producing young shoots and rhizomes you can use in the coming years. You may start harvesting mature roots at least four to five months after planting. If you want to use young fingerroots, wait for around one to two months after planting to harvest them.

What are the possible side effects of fingerroot?

A study conducted on male rats found that fingerroot extracts were safe and didn’t trigger side effects.29 However, it’s best to stay safe and talk to your doctor before consuming, handling or growing fingerroot. You may have allergies to it or some of its components, or have conditions that may prevent you from reaping its health benefits.

Why it’s time to try the vibrant fingerroot

Just like people from Asian countries who have been using it for many years, you may count on fingerroot for potential health benefits. Although it may not be as popular as other members of the ginger family, some studies have proven it may be as beneficial. It’s never too late to try adding fingerroot to your dishes to see how you like it.