For thousands of years the practice of yoga has enhanced lives.
Yoga refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Within Hinduism, it also refers to one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, and to the goal toward which that school directs its practices. In Jainism yoga is the sum total of all activities—mental, verbal and physical.
Maharaj Charan Singh Ji
The Six Yoga Systems + Yoga of the Saints
Hatha, Raja, Bhakti, Jnana, Kriya, Karma
Ha and tha, the sun and moon, refer to the two opposite currents that regulate all processes in our body. There is nothing mysterious about it because anything in our universe exists because of a positive and negative charge. Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Kriya Yoga are specifically dealing with the intention of gaining control over the flow of these life-currents.
Hatha Yoga is known for the asanas or postures. It is thought that by perfecting the body, creating a healthy physical condition, and raising Kundalini (dormant energy) upwards along the spine, the body becomes better prepared for yogic awakening. The first effects felt are usually improved health and strengthened nervous system. Some Hatha Yogis may even demonstrate control over internal organs, blood flow, and breathing. The ability of some Yogis to even stop the breathing and heart beat completely for a period of time has been demonstrated under laboratory settings.
Traditional Hatha Yoga consists of:
1. Asanas (postures);
2. Shat Karmas (six cleansing techniques, also known as Shat Kriyas);
3. Pranayama (control of breathing with retention);
4. Bandhas (locks) and Mudras (seals) for the regulation of Prana (life-force) and Kundalini; and
5. Samadhi (Union with God, realization of the Self, ecstasy, nirvana).
There are many good books available on this subject and one is wise to have a copy handy that also includes pictures of the various asanas and mudras.
Raja Yoga means royal and is sometimes called the crown of Hatha Yoga. Raja adds concentration after body and mind are cleaned and trained to stay calm and attentive. The improvement in our power of concentration, as a result of Raja Yoga, moves all of our attention towards the source of our Being in order to become that Being. Raja Yoga is a complete system, also refered to as Ashtanga Yoga because of the eight (ashta) limbs (anga) the system rests on.
The Eight Limbs (Ashta-anga) are:
1. Restraints (yamas: harmlessness, truthfulness, non-stealing, control of senses)
2. Disciplines (niyamas: cleanliness, purification of body, mind and nervous system, study of metaphysical principles, contemplation on God)
3. Postures (asanas)
4. Control of breathing and life-currents (pranayama)
5. Turning the attention within (pratyahara)
6. Concentration (dharana)
7. Meditation (dhyana: prolonged periods of perfect concentration and contemplation)
8. Holy Trance (Samadhi)
Bhakti Yoga(Union through Devotion and Love)
Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of selfless love, compassion, humility, purity and the desire and serious intention to merge with God. It is nothing else than to follow the ‘First Commandment’: “to love God with all your heart, mind and soul.”
Bhakti Yoga Meditation – a complete guide for understanding the philosophy and practice of bhakti for practitioners at any level. Following the teachings of Jagadguru Shri Kripaluji Maharaj, we offer online meditation instructions, mp3 downloads of meditation kirtan, lectures and other helpful accessories, tips and suggestions for you to progress in your bhakti meditation.
Jnana Yoga(The Yoga of Knowledge)
Jnana Yoga is practical Philosophy/Metaphysics. It is both theory and practice. Jnana Yoga uses the intellect as a tool to understand that our true Self is behind and beyond our mind. It is a Quest for the Self by direct inquiry into “who we are.” It is, however, a mistake to think that the Source could be found with the intellect alone.
For the purpose of Self-discovery, Jnana Yoga probes the nature of the Self through the question: Who am I? Through persistent probing, fixing our attention on the source of our Being, we regain our real Self. We remember who we are. The inquiry, as the result of practising Jnana Yoga, leads us towards clear Awareness by removing our attention from that which we are not. Along with Bhakti Yoga (Devotion), Jnana is listed among the best approaches for becoming aware of the eternal Self (God).
Shankara and Ramana Maharshi are the classic authorities concerning Jnana Yoga. Like Hatha and Raja Yogis, Jnana Yogis also acknowledge the relationship between breathing and thinking. They found that breathing slows automatically through concentration on the “I-AM.”
For more in-depth information, please see extended article: Jnana Yoga
Kriya Yoga refers to actions designed to rid the body and mind of obstructions. Kriya Yoga is a complete system including mantras, meditation, and other techniques towards controlling the life-force and bringing calmness and control over body and mind. The goal is to unite with pure Awareness (God). Since pure Awareness is our original condition, it is also referred to as Self-awareness.
For more in-depth information, please see our extended article: Kriya Yoga
Karma Yoga(Self-less work for our fellow neighbour)
Karma is the total sum of all our actions (mental and physical), in this life and before. Karma Yoga is the yoga of Service or self-transcending Action, whereby the yogi directs all actions towards God. By serving God and humanity (without selfishness, egoism, and attachment) the heart becomes pure, the ego fades and, over time, or even over many lifetimes, one becomes increasingly in tune and unified with God. Enlightenment (Samadhi, nirvana, union with God) is naturally realized through Karma yoga.
Surat Shabd Yoga:
The practice of joining the Soul (surat) with the Word (shabd) and merging (yoga) with it; once the soul merges into the Shabd, it is carried by the Shabd to its source, the Lord.
This form of yoga connects the soul to the universal consciousness through the use of meditation and inner sound (Shabd Dhun) ‘The music of the word’; the Shabd, the Audible Life Stream, The ‘Word’; Spiritual Sound; Sound Current. The creative power, the source of all creation, which manifests as sound and light in the spiritual regions. As the soul manifests in the body as consciousnesses, The Word of God manifests itself as inner spiritual Sound. It is the Word or Logos of the Bible; Kalma, Isme-i-Azam, Bang-i-Asmani, or Kalma-i-Ilahi of the Quran. It is the Nad of the Vedas; Nam, Ram Nam, Gurbani, Bani, and Dhun of the Adi Granth. It is called the Tao by the Chinese; Vadan and Saut-i-Surmad by the Sufis. The Zoroastrians call it Sharaosha, and it is known by many other names.
The secret of hearing the Shabd within oneself can be imparted only by a (Sat Guru) True Master. Maharaj Charan Singh Ji
True Master (Sat Guru) (light giver) is the chief instrument of the Supreme Ruler to contact this world of humanity… The ‘Word’ made flesh.
There are many Masters (Man/Woman) in each life time. (Living Master) (The Word made Flesh)
A Book that changed my life by answering all my spiritual questions…. THE PATH OF THE MASTERS by Julian Johnson
Die to Live….. A book of questions and answered by Maharaj Charan Singh Ji
Truest Religion…. How you focus on your 24 hour day.
Truest Prayer….. Asking for strength to go through your daily destiny.
The True Master….. informing you to love the lord with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul.
True Teachings of the Saints (Sant Mat) ( Sat Guru- Sat Sang- Sat Nam )
WellnessWillpower Mantra ….. ThankyouforgivingmethischancetosayThankyou. Repeat this throughout the day.
Please see the list of Yoga Organizations for excellent sources of various Yoga disciplines.
Enzymes in food add to the enzymes made by our bodies. This is a nutritional benefit in addition to the vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients in the food. Some foods—all raw or cultured—have a high level of enzymes and are listed here. For the benefits of these foods, see the discussion below the list.
Here’s how food combining works:
Each macro nutrient (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) digests at a different speed and each requires different digestive enzymes to be broken down. If you eat foods at the same meal that have opposing digestive requirements, they’re considered bad food combinations. Bad food combinations can result in an intestinal backup, which can cause symptoms such as gas, bloating, and abdominal cramps.
General Food Combining Guidelines
1. Eat Fruit Alone
Fruit is a simple sugar that digests very rapidly (under 30 minutes), so combining fruit with other foods can slow down the process and cause digestive distress. You should eat fruit 30 minutes before a meal and 1 hour after. It’s still important to eat fruit even though it doesn’t combine well with other foods. It’s an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals that we need for healthy cells, energy, and digestive function.
Let’s take eggs with fruit for example: Eggs are a protein, which can take between 3 to 4 hours to digest. Since the fruit only takes 20 to 30 minutes to digest, combining it with a protein will create digestive backup. Eat fruit alone and on an empty stomach so that it doesn’t have the chance to ferment. Fermentation in your GI tract not only leaves you feeling gassy and bloated, but can also create a feast for bad bacteria.
One exception to the rule would be smoothies: Fruit in smoothies already “chewed up”, so fruit can be combined with other nutrients in smoothies, such as chia seeds, avocado, olive oil, dark leafy greens, and plant protein. Because smoothies are already liquid they don’t stress the digestive system. Keep this in mind with other meals – chewing your food until it’s liquid will help support digestion, assimilation of nutrients, and overall health.
2. Pair Protein with Non-Starchy Vegetables
In order for protein to be digested, it needs an acidic environment and plenty of digestive enzymes. Protein can be paired with leafy greens and other non-starchy vegetables, such as asparagus, peppers, celery or broccoli. Since vegetables have their own enzymes, they don’t require an alkaline environment for digestion and therefore don’t interfere with the acidic environment required by protein.
All foods are raw or (in the case of some fermented foods) never heated after fermentation.
Enzymes are crucial to your health as they enable your body to break down food components into usable nutrients. Your intestines and pancreas produce a wide variety of enzymes, and certain foods contain these beneficial constituents or contain bacteria that produce them.
Certain foods are high in enzymes, too, though they’re broken down during digestion. While certain cultures eat high-enzyme foods for the perceived benefit of boosting digestion, there’s not much evidence to show that enzymes help. Several high-enzyme foods offer other benefits, though, so they’re still worthwhile additions to your diet.
Fermented chilli peppers, cabbage, radishes and seasonings give kimchi its spicy and sour flavor, and researchers say the traditional Korean side dish has numerous health properties. Bacteria in kimchi produce beneficial enzymes, according to a review published in the May 2014 issue of the journal Biotechnology International. For example, the dextransucrase enzyme kimchi bacteria produce helps break down starches and the sugar sucrose. In addition, kimchi contains beta-carotene, vitamin C, fiber and chlorophyll.
Apricots are rich in a mixture of enzymes, including invertase, according to Anthony J. Cichoke, author of “Enzymes: The Sparks of Life.” The invertase enzyme breaks sucrose down into fructose and glucose units so your body can use these rapidly absorbing carbohydrates for quick energy. Invertase is also an antioxidant enzyme with free radical-scavenging activities. Antioxidants in your diet play a crucial role in preventing free radicals — unstable molecules — from causing cellular damage.
Avocados are a good source of various enzymes, including lipase, according to Cichoke. The lipase enzyme is needed to break down dietary fat. Your pancreas produces lipase, so it’s typically not vital to get it from your diet. Lipase supplements might help relieve indigestion, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, but it’s not clear whether dietary lipase offers the same benefit. Enjoy avocados on salads, and make guacamole by blending avocado with chopped tomato, onion and cilantro.
In addition to their rich potassium content, bananas are a good source of the enzymes amylase and maltase. Amylase is one of the primary enzymes that breaks down carbohydrates found in foods like bread, potatoes and cereals. Like lipase, your pancreas produces amylase to facilitate digestion. Maltase breaks down maltose, also called malt sugar. Maltose is a less common sugar composed of two glucose units and found in corn syrup and beer.
Pineapples contain bromelain, which consists of various enzymes that digest proteins. According to a review published in the journal Cancer Letters, research indicates bromelain may have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects. When a bromelain supplement was tested on human platelets in the lab, it prevented them from sticking together, so it may be helpful for preventing blood clots, although more research in humans is needed.
Sprouts (According to Howell, sprouts contain the most enzymes when they are 1/2″ long.)
Wheat germ (raw)
Nuts and Seeds
Coconut (but not coconut oil)
Germinated tree nuts
Sea Vegetables and Algae
Butter (raw and unpasteurized)
Milk (raw and unpasteurized)
Enzymes are special proteins that act as the life force in living beings. In both plants and animals, enzymes carry out all the activities of metabolism. Some enzymes from the plant or animal’s life are retained in uncooked food. When you eat this food, the enzymes can continue their activity.
One activity is to help digest the food itself!
The raw avocado contains the enzyme lipase that breaks down the fat (lipids) in the avocado.
Unpasteurized milk contains lactase, the enzyme that breaks down the milk protein lactose. People with lactose intolerance actually lack the ability to produce enough lactase in their digestive system. They often can’t comfortably drink pasteurized milk, but can drink unpasteurized milk that includes its own lactase.
Raw beef contains the enzyme cathepsin. Beef that is aged is tenderized by the action of this enzyme.
Other foods contain enzymes that affect other foods.
Raw pineapple and raw papaya contain protease enzymes that digest protein. They are often used as tenderizers and marinades.
As we age, or under toxic conditions, our body’s ability to produce enzymes is compromised. Enzymes in food, or enzyme supplements, help take the pressure off our need to produce digestive enzymes. In particular, an overworked pancreas can be relieved.
Consumed enzymes do indeed help our bodies in ways not thoroughly understood, but the case for their promoting health and alleviating disease has been well made.
High-enzyme foods are high-calorie, special superfoods such as those listed above that are also raw or never re-heated.
The heating of food destroys its enzymes. Cooking, canning, pasteurization – all permanently deactivate any enzymes in food.
All foods that have ANY enzymes are raw. They are:
Raw: never been heated
Raw cultured (fermented) foods
Foods cultured after cooking and never re-heated. These contain enzymes from the fermentation process, not from the original food.
Specific enzymes work on specific foods. You need the right type of enzyme for the foods you want it to break down. Think of the foods you have problems with and then choose a product that contains at least those types of enzymes. Here is a list of the common enzyme types and foods they act on.
Digestive enzymes are enzymes that break down food into usable material. The major different types of digestive enzymes are:
• amylase – breaks down carbohydrates, starches, and sugars which are prevalent in potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and many snack foods
• lactase – breaks down lactose (milk sugars)
• diastase – digests vegetable starch
• sucrase – digests complex sugars and starches
• maltase – digests disaccharides to monosaccharides (malt sugars)
• invertase – breaks down sucrose (table sugar)
• glucoamylase – breaks down starch to glucose
• alpha-glactosidase – facilitates digestion of beans, legumes, seeds,
roots, soy products, and underground stems
• protease – breaks down proteins found in meats, nuts, eggs, and cheese
• pepsin – breaks down proteins into peptides
• peptidase – breaks down small peptide proteins to amino acids
• trypsin – derived from animal pancreas, breaks down proteins
• alpha – chymotrypsin, an animal-derived enzyme, breaks down proteins
• bromelain – derived from pineapple, breaks down a broad spectrum of proteins, has anti-inflammatory properties, effective over very wide pH range
• papain – derived from raw papaya, broad range of substrates and pH, works well breaking down small and large proteins
• lipase – breaks down fats found in most dairy products, nuts, oils, and meat
• cellulase – breaks down cellulose, plant fiber; not found in humans
• other stuff
• betaine HCL – increases the hydrochloric acid content of the upper digestive system; activates the protein digesting enzyme pepsin in the stomach (does not influence plant- or fungal-derived enzymes)
• CereCalase™ – a unique cellulase complex from National Enzyme Company that maximizes fiber and cereal digestion and absorption of essential minerals; an exclusive blend of synergistic phytase, hemicellulase, and beta-glucanase
• endoprotease – cleaves peptide bonds from the interior of peptide chains
• exoprotease – cleaves off amino acids from the ends of peptide chains
• extract of ox bile – an animal-derived enzyme, stimulates the intestine to move
• fructooligosaccharides (FOS) – helps support the growth of friendly intestinal microbes, also inhibits the growth of harmful species
• L-glutamic acid – activates the protein digesting enzyme pepsin in the stomach
• lysozyme – an animal-derived enzyme, and a component of every lung cell; lysozyme is very important in the control of infections, attacks invading bacterial and viruses
• papayotin – from papaya
• pancreatin – an animal-derived enzyme, breaks down protein and fats
• pancrelipase – an animal-derived enzyme, breaks down protein, fats, and carbohydrates
• pectinase – breaks down the pectin in fruit
• phytase – digests phytic acid, allows minerals such as calcium, zinc,
copper, manganese, etc. to be more available by the body, but does not break down any food proteins
• xylanase – breaks down xylan sugars, works well with grains such as corn
Other general terms for enzymes referring to their general action instead of specific action
Endopeptidase: Enzymes that cleave proteins only on the inside
Exopeptidase: Enzymes that cleave proteins only on the outside (terminal) part
Aminopeptidase: Exopeptidase that cleaves at the amino terminating end
Carboxypeptidase: Exopeptidase that cleaves at the carboxy terminating end
To keep your sodium consumption in check, measure out the amount of salt you use. A one-quarter teaspoon of salt has 500 milligrams of sodium per serving. The daily recommended upper limit for sodium is 2,300 milligrams for healthy adults, and 1,500 milligrams for those who have a history of heart disease, are over 51 or who are African American.
Common salt, the crystals of common table salts are unnatural. Kosher salt is the same as table salt only larger coarse grains. They are totally isolated and dead. To be able to be consumed by the body, the cells need to exert a big amount of energy. This results into great damage to the body but only receiving 2 minerals with zero gain. Table Salt should be for use outside the body! Table salt contributes to Heart disease which is the leading cause of death! Sea salt has the same amount of sodium as table salt!
Comparing it with sea salt, the sea salt has irregular crystalline structure. The minerals are way isolated with the other natural elements of the salt. It is for this reason that the body needs a lot of energy to metabolize but with lesser gain in absorbing the minerals. Also you should consider the contaminants attached to sea salt.
Himalayan pink salt is sold as a gourmet salt for use in cooking and adding at the dinner table. Because of its minerals content, Himalayan salt is considered healthier than regular table salt, which often has additives, such as the anti-caking agent sodium ferrocyanide. The need in human nutrition for many of the minerals found in Himalayan salt remains unknown, and many of the minerals are found only in minute quantities. Himalayan salt contains some minerals that are toxic in large quantities, including lead and plutonium, but which are safe in trace amounts.
List of Elements
The Meadow lists elements found in Himalayan salt in addition to sodium and chloride. In alphabetical order, they are: actinium, aluminum, antimony, arsenic, astatine, barium, beryllium, bismuth, boron, bromine, cadmium, calcium, carbon, cerium, cesium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, dysprosium, erbium, europium, fluorine, francium, gadolinium, gallium, germanium, gold, hafnium, holmium, hydrogen, indium, iodine, iridium, iron, lanthanum, lead, lithium, lutetium, magnesium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, neodymium, neptunium, nickel, niobium, nitrogen, osmium, oxygen, palladium, phosphorus, platinum, plutonium, polonium, potassium, praseodymium, protactinium, radium, rhenium, rhodium, rubidium, ruthenium, samarium, scandium, selenium, silicon, silver, sodium, strontium, sulfur, tantalum, tellurium, terbium, thallium, thorium, thulium, tin, titanium, uranium, vanadium, wolfram, yttrium, ytterbium, zinc and zirconium.
The Himalayan pink salt has balanced crystalline. The crystals are not isolated from the 84 natural minerals. They are connected in such a very harmonious condition. This structure makes the energy balance; thus, absorption by the body is quite easy. The crystals provide primal energy to the body. The result is purely gain for the body with no energy loss.
Is pure, hand-mined salt found naturally; deep within the pristine Himalayan Mountains. Himalayan salt is a marketing term for Halite (commonly known as rock salt) from Pakistan, which began being sold by various companies in Europe, North America, and Australia in the early 21st century. It is mined in the Khewra Salt Mines, the second largest salt mine in the world, located in Khewra, Jhelum District, Punjab, Pakistan, about 300 km from the Himalayas, about 160 kilometers from Islamabad, and 260 kilometers from Lahore, and in the foothills of the Salt Range where Yaks are loaded with Salt and brought off the mountains. Crystallized more than 200 million years ago, ancient sea beds were covered by volcanic lava, protecting the salt from modern-day pollution, and lending to the belief that Himalayan Pink salt is the purest salt to be found on earth.
Searching for a pure, gourmet salt that also delivers amazing health benefits? Himalayan Pink Salt is one of the purest salts found on earth. When it comes to purity and mineral content, no other salt compares. Praised by health and culinary experts for centuries, Himalayan Pink Salt delivers many healing benefits to the body, including lowering blood pressure, improving circulation and detoxification from heavy metals.
Himalayan Pink Salt offers an intriguing glimpse at mineral packed crystals, which formed naturally within the earth. The many hues of pink, red and white are an indication of this salt’s rich and varying mineral and iron content. Incorporate Himalayan Pink Salt into your culinary presentation; use it in a clear salt grinder so your guests can experience all the sensory delights of this amazingly pure flavor enhancer. Use it liberally in pickling brines, or try your hand at salt-roasting fish or chicken for a moist and flavorful result.
The same replenishing nutrients that make Himalayan Pink salt prized in the gourmet world makes it an absolute treasure as a bath salt. Naturally rich in 84 nourishing and skin-replenishing minerals, bathing with Himalayan Pink bath salt is truly a renewing and therapeutic experience for mind & body. This 250 million year old, Jurassic era sea salt is known for its healing properties and is used by health professionals, spas and individuals who are interested in utilizing natural products to heal the body and relax the mind.
Himalayan Pink salt’s vivid pink color is a result of the trace elements in the salt, including energy-rich iron. These naturally present minerals (84) are essential for human health, which can be consumed and can be readily absorbed through bathing therapies. Himalayan salt has long been praised for its healing benefits; and is known for stimulating circulation, soothing sore muscles, helping to reduce acid reflux, lowering blood pressure, and removing toxins.
Himalayan Pink Crystal Salts are the very same therapeutic salts as the Himalayan Pink salts, but come in chunks from 10 to 60mm in size. These crystals are often used for Himalayan Sole (so-lay), a mixture (approx. 16 oz. to 1 tsp.) of water and Himalayan crystals. The 84 bio-available trace minerals in the Sole are believed to help balance the body’s alkaline/acidity, normalize blood pressure & dissolve and eliminate sediment, which in turn detoxifies the body. Best taken when you have your first drink of the day. Believed also to relieve muscle spasms and cramps. Himalayan salt crystals are also used as potpourri for decoration, essential oil diffusion and air purification by producing negative ions when heated (Salt Lamp).
More recently, large crystal rocks are also used as Salt lamps. A salt lamp is a lamp carved from a larger salt crystal, often colored, with an incandescent bulb or a candle inside. The lamps give an attractive glow and are suitable for use as nightlights or for ambient mood lighting.
Cleaning the Surrounding Environment
Large Himalayan salt crystal lamps are particularly effective in eliminating the smell of chemicals, smoke, mold, mildew and allergens like dust, pollen and airborne bacteria. They are used often in school dorm rooms, art studios, hair styling work stations, home offices and work offices, at computer workstations where someone smokes and in doctor or dental examination rooms. People with allergies also benefit from being near these lamps.
Himalayan salt is called white gold because it contains ions of stored sunlight. Since it came from the undeveloped regions of the Himalayas, you can be sure that it contains the natural elements( 84 minerals) that can be found in the original, primal ocean. It has the essential minerals that are found in the body. Together with water, the stored primal energy in the salt can bring pure crystal of energy to the body.
This pure crystal has been exposed to earth pressure for millions and millions of years ago. And this pressure has perfected the geometric crystalline structure of Himalayan pink salt. The more perfect the geometric shape of the crystal, the more its energy content. And with this shape, the body can easily absorb this salt.
The Himalayan pink salt has balanced crystalline. The crystals are not isolated from the 84 natural minerals. They are connected in such a very harmonious condition. This structure makes the energy balance; thus, absorption by the body is quite easy. The crystals provide primal energy to the body. The result is purely gain for the body with no energy loss. Keep your sodium consumption in check, measure out the amount of salt you use. A one-quarter teaspoon of salt has 500 milligrams of sodium per serving. The daily recommended upper limit for sodium is 2,300 milligrams for healthy adults, and 1,500 milligrams for those who have a history of heart disease, are over 51 or who are African American.
Natural unprocessed salt, such as Himalayan pink salt, contains about 84 percent sodium chloride (just under 37 percent of which is pure sodium). The remaining 16 percent are naturally-occurring trace minerals, including silicon, phosphorus, and vanadium
Processed (table) salt contains 97.5 percent sodium chloride (just over 39 percent of which is sodium). The rest is man-made chemicals, such as moisture absorbents and flow agents, such as ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate.
Besides the basic differences in nutritional content, the processing—which involves drying the salt above 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit—also radically and detrimentally alters the chemical structure of the salt.
For a frame of reference, one teaspoon of regular table salt contains about 2.3 grams of sodium. According to some estimates, Americans get roughly four grams of sodium per day, which has long been thought to be too much for heart health.
Pink Salt -Using in Brine Therapy
Because of its mineral content, Himalayan salt can also be used in brine therapy, where it can help regulate your blood circulation and pressure, as well as treat skin diseases and help restore your acid-base balance. To take part in brine therapy, soak in a bath of dissolved Himalayan sea salt, which helps promote self-healing and detoxification through osmosis. Most commonly done in the form of a bath. As the sodium binds the water to the outer layer of your skin, moisture is preserved. Toxins are released from your body, while your skin absorbs the healthy minerals from the sodium into your body. It is recommended that the brine bath be as close as possible to normal body temperature before sweating, this enables absorption, around 97 degrees Fahrenheit, and that you use 2.2 lbs. of Himalayan salt for approximately every 26 to 32 gallons of water. Note that the science behind this is not complete, and it should be taken with a grain of salt.
Fermentation is an ancient art that pre-dates writing and agriculture.
Unlock the True Potential of Vegetables
By Kaare Melby
Organic Consumers AssociationWant to boost your immune system, increase the nutrient content in your food, improve your mental health and detox your body? Fermented vegetables are for you!Fermentation is the process that occurs when the natural bacteria in a vegetable break down the food’s complex elements into more digestible forms. When fermentation occurs, vegetables become easier to digest, allowing your body to work less, while reaping more benefits. And those benefits include higher levels of available nutrients, and live cultures of pro-biotic bacteria (kind of like the good stuff in yogurt). These pro-biotic bacteria can improve your digestion, boost your immune system, improve your mental health, and detox your body.
Worried that fermenting is risky? No need! Fermented veggies are actually safer than raw vegetables, because the fermentation process actually kills off any unwanted or dangerous bacteria that may exist on the food prior to fermentation. According to the USDA, there has “never been a single case of food poisoning reported from fermented vegetables.”
Fermented foods have been around for eons. Fermentation is an ancient art that pre-dates writing and agriculture. It’s often considered to be the practice that first ushered our ancient relatives from the natural world, into a culturally driven world. In fact, the word ‘culture’ is another word for fermentation. Sandor Katz, who has written several books on the subject, calls it “a health regimen, a gourmet art, a multicultural adventure, a form of activism, and a spiritual path, all rolled into one.”
And the good news is that it’s a simple process that even the most novice cook can accomplish.
To get started, you’ll want to choose vegetables that are fresh, local, and organic, as your ferment will be only as good as the ingredients you start with. You can ferment any vegetable, but some work better than others. It’s best if you experiment and find a mix of vegetables that you enjoy. Here at the OCA office, we like to mix as many fresh organic veggies together as possible. Not only does this create a variety of textures and flavors, but it also creates a wider variety of beneficial bacteria in the end product.
If you are looking for a good place to start, cabbage is easy to process, and makes a great ferment. Raddishes, carrots, turnips, apples and beets also make good ferments. The fermentation process creates a wonderful flavor that is often refered to as “sour.” But you can add more or different flavors in any way you want. Onions and garlic are great additions, and you can use fresh or dry herbs, and spices, too. The best approach is to experiment until you discover what combination of flavors you like most.
Here’s how to get started.
What you need
• Fresh vegetables
• A knife or grater
• A glass or ceramic jar for fermentation (quart sized, wide-mouth canning jars work well)
• A smaller jar that fits inside the fermentation jar (small jelly jars work great)
• Clean water
• A clean towel
• Rubber band to fit over the mouth of the fermentation jar
• Herbs and spices (optional)
What to do
• Chop/shred/grate vegetables, salting lightly as you go. You want to get all of the vegetables as uniform in size as possible. This way, they ferment at the same rate. Vegetables like carrots and radishes do well grated, while it’s best to slice up that cabbage or onion. As you chop or grate the vegetables, add small pinches of salt. But not too much—fermentation only needs a little. Try tasting as you go. The vegetables should taste only slightly salty.
• Mix the veggies well. You want to make sure that the salt is spread out evenly throughout all the vegetables. Taste the veggies, and add more salt to taste if needed. If you are going to add any herbs or spices, add them now.
• Let the vegetables sit for 5 to 10 minutes. As they sit the salt will start to draw the liquid out of the vegetables.
• Squeeze the vegetables to release their juices. Take handfuls of vegetables and squeeze as hard as you can, keeping the juice that comes out. You want to get as much juice out of them as possible.
• Tightly pack the vegetables into the fermenting jar and cover with collected juice. As you fill the jar with the vegetables, be sure to pack them down tightly to the bottom of the jar. This will help release more juice, and remove any air bubbles that get stuck in the vegetables. Add any remaining juice once the jar is filled. Be sure there is enough liquid to completely cover the vegetables. If you need to, use a mixture of salt and water to bring the juice level up over the vegetables. You don’t need too much salt for the water, just enough to make it taste like seawater.
• Fill the smaller jar with salt water, then place it on top of the vegetables in the fermenting jar. The purpose of the second jar is to hold the vegetables under the liquid in the jar. This will help the fermentation process by preventing “scum” from forming on the top of the ferment.
• Cover the fermenting jar with a clean towel, and secure it with the rubber band. Using a towel to cover the jar ensures that gases can escape, without letting any dirt or bugs get in.
• Let it ferment! Put the jar in an easily accessible area, and keep an eye on it. In about 24 hours you will begin to see air bubbles in the vegetables. This is how you know it’s working. After a few days, the ferment will start to smell sour. Taste it at every stage. This will help you determine how fermented you like your vegetables. Some people like “young” ferments that have only fermented a few days, while others like “mature” ferments that have been fermenting for months. If there is a white layer of “scum” that forms just scrape it off. It’s ok if you don’t get it all. When you like the flavor, remove the towel and smaller jar, put a lid on the fermentation jar and put it in your refrigerator. When the ferment cools down, the fermentation process rapidly slows, and you will be able to enjoy your fermented foods for several weeks or longer.
That’s it! Now you know the secret to unlocking the true potential of your vegetables. To learn more, check out Sandor Katz’s book “Wild Fermentation,” available through Chelsea Green Publishing. Good luck and happy fermenting.
Carefully Weigh Your Need for Narcotic Pain Relievers
It’s extremely important to be cognizant of your level of impairment when taking ANY drug. Know your dosage. Also beware of the addictive potential of opioid drugs. I urge you to seriously weigh your need for them. If you have not seen it yet, watch the documentary “Chasing the Dragon” before filling that prescription. There are so many other ways to address pain.
Below is a long list of suggestions. If you are in pain that is bearable, please try these options first, before resorting to prescription painkillers of any kind.
If you need a pain reliever, consider an over-the-counter (OTC option. Research shows prescription-strength naproxen (Naprosyn, sold OTC in lower dosages as Aleve) provides the same pain relief as more dangerous narcotic painkillers. However, while naproxen may be a better alternative to narcotic painkillers, it still comes with a very long list of potential side effects, and the risks increase with frequency of use. Ibuprofen(Advil) belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other members of this class include aspirin, naproxen (Aleve), indomethacin (Indocin), nabumetone (Relafen) and several others. These drugs are used for the management of mild to moderate pain, fever, and inflammation. Pain, fever, and inflammation are promoted by the release in the body of chemicals called prostaglandins. Ibuprofen blocks the enzyme that makes prostaglandins (cyclooxygenase), resulting in lower levels of prostaglandins. As a consequence, inflammation, pain and fever are reduced. The FDA approved ibuprofen in 1974.
Non-drug Solutions for Pain Relief
Eliminate or radically reduce most grains and sugars
from your diet
Avoiding grains and sugars will lower your insulin and leptin levels and decrease insulin
and leptin resistance, which is one of the most important reasons why inflammatory
prostaglandins are produced. That is why stopping sugar and sweets is so important
to controlling your pain and other types of chronic illnesses.
Take a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat
Omega-3 fats are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact,
that is how anti-inflammatory painkillers work, by manipulating prostaglandins.) Good
sources include wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines and anchovies, which are all high
in healthy omega-3s while being low in contaminants such as mercury. As for supplements,
my favorite is krill oil, as it has a number of benefits superior to fish oil.
Optimize your sun exposure and
production of vitamin D
Optimize your vitamin D by getting regular, appropriate sun exposure, which will work
through a variety of different mechanisms to reduce your pain. Sun exposure also has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effects that are unrelated to vitamin D production,
and these benefits cannot be obtained from a vitamin D supplement.
Shock-Wave Therapy is a multidisciplinary device used in orthopedics, physiotherapy, sports medicine, urology and veterinary medicine.
Only one unit Shock-Wave therapy system can solve all the above problems. It is the most popular choice for Physical Medicine , Sport Medicine, Orthopedic Medicine and so on .
We are leading manufacturer of Shock-Wave therapy systems since 2007, in Shanghai City , China. Smart-Wave is the 3rdgeneration professional product for aesthetics (cellulite), physiotherapy (pain relief) and orthopedics (body reshaping). In fact , we have 3 different models Shock-Wave therapy machine, you can see :
Operator can choose proper treatment protocols, and check live-help to learn parameter settings.
Operator can modify parameter at any time, and track treatment history for certain client.
Metal hand-case is included for easy moving. Trolley is optional for clients who would move the machine frequently.
Together with the machine there’s detailed operation manual, service manual and treatment table.
Therapeutic penetration depth
30mJ – 185mJ (0.5Bar to 5Bar)
1 – 22Hz
Continuous or Burst
5 for different applications
6mm, 15mm, 25mm x 2, 39mm
Live Help with pre-set parameters
30 + 8 preset protocols
Customer Profile Management
User Defined Settings
Gross Weight (include handcase)
Physiotherapy system ( sport injury , pain relief , podiatry problems , rehabilitation )
Physiotherapy system ( sport injury , pain relief , podiatry problems , rehabilitation )
A cellulose fiber plant dating 4,000 years back with historical roots in North East Africa. Kenaf has a botanical relationship with cotton, okra and hemp; a member of the hibiscus family.
There are several varieties of Kenaf (broad and palmate- segmented like hemp) and has been studied since the 1930’s at the University of Mississippi. Tender young leaves are used as alternative forage for livestock and food eaten by Africans, East Indians and Asians for 1,000 + years. In Pakistan it is called “Gongoora”. As food, for example, it is a great salad addition (green leafy texture like spinach with a citrus flavor). Nutritionally potent with high levels of calcium, selenium, protein, omega fatty acids, nitrogen, etc.
Kenaf is totally earth-friendly. All you need is water and fertilizer to grow as high as 20 feet in about 150 days. Having no natural predators, growing Kenaf nourishes the soil and cleans the air. The flowers are pretty yellow-white blooms with a deep red center that opens at sunrise and closes at night. Harvesting Kenaf three times during the growing season (to 5 feet) produces tender young leaf for highest nutrition (wet or dry). Food for humans–forage for livestock.Growing Kenaf for the rest of the season yields stock and core material that can be made into paper and textile products, animal bedding, soil remediation (pollution buster–water, land and air). Highest organic oil absorbancy to a 92% clean up, starting as soon as you apply it. One pound of Kenaf absorbs 1.66 gallons of oil or over 11 pounds of oil. Amazingly absorbs hydrocarbon products up to 12 times its own weight. Environmentally safe and correct. A great alternative to plywood (save the old growth trees). For the garden it’s a great mulch.
Much can be said! Food,Clothing, Building Material( Plywood, Brick, Plastics) Cleans the Soil,Water and Air. A remedy that we should act on now. Proven environmentally correct, one that should be used to make paper without killing trees and it doesn’t need insecticides or fungicides. There’s no need for importing from out-of-state any type of sawdust (substrate), bedding for livestock, mulch for gardens. EPA approved for 20 years. Bioremediation (clean up method converting contaminants such as creosote preservatives, PCP-pentachlorophenol, petroleum products into harmless byproducts, i.e. carbon dioxide and water. Kenaf contains indigenous hydrocarbons digesting microbes without any cultures, preservatives or stablizers. We can balance our pollution problem right here, right now! Use Kenaf everywhere.
OIL SUCK: Just a little sucks a lot. Kenaf manufactured locally by American farmers, is all natural and biodegradable. Kenaf absorbs up to 12 times its own weight. Kenaf assimilates pollution. Kenaf is a remedy for balancing pollution from industrial, military and lakes. Store 2-5 pound bags of Kenaf in cars, boats and trucks. Helps keep available proven clean up materials close by. Do your part–clean the ground and water. It will help clean our air, an incentive to reduce greenhouse effects. Need Seeds? Inquire about a Kenaf Presentation. Contact us at WellnessWillpower.
Future Green Industries
Food (leaves raw or cooked) for Humans and livestock
Dehydrated — freeze-dried — juiced — pickled (picture of pickled Kenaf in oil and garlic)
High in nitrogen, protein, calcium, selenium, omegas
Seeds yield nutritious food grade oil
Soil remediation – biodegradable (can be disposed in compost)
Absorbs oil 12 times it’s own weight
Highest organic oil absorbency tested by the us navy
Nourishes the soil – soil less potting mix
Landfills/ restore environmental balance
Store 2-5 lb. Bags of fine dust in cars, boats, trucks
Kenaf Cleans the air as it grows (more co2 absorption)
Building materials that are environmentally safe
Paper 100% free of tree and chlorine
Pulp — Pellets
Particleboard — Composites
Lost circulation media/Oil well mud mixed with kenaf fiber
Pavers — Block
Grass erosion mats –- Seeded mats — Mats for roads of the future
Thermo Plastic extender (bio-degradable plastics) — auto industry
Soil Neutralizer — landfills, farms, beaches
Filter Applications –- water treatment plants (pools, water and air)
Alternative to sawdust (premium grade) no need to import
Many times more absorbent than wood shavings
Animal litter – low dust – non toxic
Preferred for reptiles and horses with allergy problems
1. History: Indigenous of southern Asia, Africa, Middle East.
2. Age: Cultivated for at least 4000 years – originating in Egypt.
3. Yield: Kenaf may yield 6 to 10 tons of dry fiber per acre. Per year. This is 3 to 5 times greater than the yield for pine, which requires 7 to 40 years before they are ready for harvest. 5000 acres produce pulp to supply paper plant 200 tons a day.
4. Fiber: The outer fiber or bast makes up 40% of the stalks dry weight; the inner fiber or core makes up the other 60%.
5. Processing: Can be processed in a mechanical fiber separator similar to a cotton gin.
6. Growth: In the right climate, kenaf grows 14 feet tall in 4 to 5 months and is an annual. Environmentally safe.
7. Harvesting: Harvesting kenaf 3 times during the growing season (to 5 feet) produces tender young leaf for highest nutrition (wet or dry).
8. Flowers: Kenaf flowers at the end of the growing season, producing showy hibiscus-like blossoms.
9. Requirements: Requires a minimum of fertilizers, pesticides, and water in comparison to other row crops.
10. Growing areas: Almost all growing areas of U.S. kenaf, seed cannot mature. You need 60 to 90 days frost free to germinate. Arizona and southwest deserts can produce mature seed.
11. Seeds: 15,000 to 20,000 seeds per pound. Varieties include; Everglades41, Dowling, Whitten, tainung2, all have broad shape leaf, tainung2 has both palmate and broad shape leaf. Seed Price range: $8.50 for 240+, advance order: $2.80/lb. Minimum order 2000 lbs. (Kenaf.seed.com)
12. Absorption: Cleans the air 3 to 9 times more than other plants in Co2 Absorption. Absorbs oil up to 12 times its own weight. Neutralizes oil toxicity up to 92%.
Summary: America has studied KENAF enough for 80 years. I have been knocking on heads to start businesses for 14 years now!
Just a little Sucks Alot
Better than any Sponge- Absorbs 12 times its own weight- Oil Spills are happening Now. Its time to get this green industry on line now!
Some Say Kratom Is A Solution To Opioid Addiction. Not If Drug Warriors Ban It First.
Prohibition is a short-sighted, ineffective policy, but that’s not standing in their way.
03/03/2016 08:38 am ET | Updated Sep 07, 2016
Nick Wing Senior Viral Editor, The Huffington Post
America’s drug war is changing. Marijuana, long demonized without evidence as one of the world’s most dangerous drugs, is now legal, at least for medical use, in 23 states and Washington, D.C. The president has said that treatment ― not incarceration ― is the best way to combat the opioid addiction epidemic.
Right now, politicians in at least six states are pushing to ban kratom, an herbal drug made from the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa, a Southeast Asian tree. The natural substance, usually consumed as a tea or powder extract, contains mitragynine and a related compound, 7-hydroxymitragynine, which appear to activate opioid receptors in the brain and reduce pain. While most opioids have sedative qualities, low to moderate doses of kratom serve as a mild stimulant.
As kratom gets a modern makeover, popping up in new products like energy shots and bright, gaudy packages sold in head shops, the Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Administration are raising concerns about it.
State lawmakers, encouraged by sensationalist news stories and isolated reports of abuse, are treating it like a dangerous recreational substance that must be outlawed. Kratom bans are already in place in Indiana, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Vermont and most recently, Arkansas. Legislation is now pending in Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York, with more states jumping aboard the effort each session. People involved in abstinence-only drug rehab have spoken out against kratom, arguing that the drug is easy to abuse and can interfere with recovery from opioid addiction.
Despite the crackdown, there isn’t a scientific consensus on kratom’s full range of potential benefits and dangers. People in Southeast Asia have been using kratom for centuries, if not longer, and thousands of Americans now tout it as a promising therapy for opiate withdrawal and an alternative to certain prescription drugs, including narcotic painkillers. But if the drug warriors get their way, none of that will matter ― and kratom will be illegal.
Susan Ash’s path to kratom began around a decade ago in an old-growth forest in Oregon. Ash, then in her mid-30s, was working on a conservation project that often took her on treks through the towering redwoods, Douglas firs and Sitka spruce.
When she started feeling intense joint pain and debilitating fatigue, Ash didn’t think to consider Lyme disease. Nor did any of the many doctors she saw over the next few years. Though they couldn’t make an accurate diagnosis, the doctors did what they could to treat Ash’s worsening symptoms. That meant prescription drugs ― and lots of them.
“I was on every controlled substance under the sun,” Ash said.
Doctors were soon prescribing her pills just to treat the side effects of her other medications.
“I was on morphine, and because of the morphine, it was making me so fatigued that I wasn’t able to keep my job at the time, and so they put me on Adderall so that I could perform my work,” Ash said. “With the Adderall, my previous struggles with depression and anxiety got worse. They added on the Xanax. At one point I was on all three ― the benzodiazepines, the narcotics and the stimulants ― in addition to Seroquel [an antidepressant sometimes used for sleep], Lyrica [a pain medication used to treat fibromyalgia], Flexeril, a muscle relaxant.”
“I could go on,” Ash continued.
Despite being prescribed a cocktail of as many as 10 different pills, Ash’s condition only deteriorated. In 2010, after years of suffering, she began experiencing temporary paralysis and disturbing neurological effects. She was getting lost in her own neighborhood. She’d sometimes wake up unable to move her limbs until someone could pry them out of their torpor.
Finally, a pain specialist asked Ash if she’d been checked for Lyme disease. The test came back positive, and she began a 10-month course of antibiotics, pumped through a port installed in her chest.
But while Ash’s Lyme disease symptoms began to subside, the years-long regimen of increasingly powerful painkillers had awakened another disease. As Ash’s opioid tolerance grew, so did the strength of the drugs doctors prescribed her, and by 2011, she says she was addicted to pain pills.
Millions of Americans caught in the nation’s surging opioid epidemic have followed a similar trajectory. In 2013, doctors wrote nearly 207 million prescriptions for narcotic painkillers, up from around 76 million in 1991, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Much of this was due to the pharmaceutical industry’s lobbying and PR campaign, led by Purdue Pharmaceutical, to boost the use of narcotics. (Purdue would ultimately plead guilty to misleading the public about the addiction risk posed by the painkiller OxyContin, and pay a $634.5 million fine.)
The United States is far and away the largest global consumer of these drugs, making up almost 100 percent of the world total for consumption of hydrocodone (also known as Vicodin) and 81 percent for oxycodone (also known as Percocet) in 2013 — all of which brings in billions of dollars for the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture the pills.
In some cases, dependence on prescription opioids for pain management leads to something more harmful. In 2014, 1.9 million Americans ages 12 or older had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine. More than 18,000 people died after overdosing on prescription opioids that year. Another 10,574 died of heroin overdoses, a death toll that has continued to spike as people who get cut off from narcotic painkillers turn to harder, cheaper and easier-to-access drugs.
But like many people who get addicted, Ash wasn’t aware of her problem. She had a legitimate need for the pills, and didn’t realize what they were doing to her until it was too late.
“My family would look back on how I was then and say I was living my life with morphine glasses on,” said Ash. “I was not caring about my actual living environment. It was dirty and nasty and I wasn’t cleaning it up, and I didn’t even notice.”
Ash entered treatment in 2011. She successfully detoxed, and for a number of years continued in recovery with the help of buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid addiction. It worked, Ash says, but she still felt chained to pills, as if she couldn’t live free from narcotics. That’s when Ash discovered kratom, first as a way to help deal with the symptoms of withdrawal, and then as a replacement for other medications.
“Life couldn’t have been much worse at that point. I was not leaving the house at all. I was only leaving the house to see doctors,” she said. “In a matter of two weeks, I had the energy, I had the pain relief and I had the depression and anxiety relief I needed to become a productive member of society again. It was such a stark difference and such an immediate change in my life.”
Uncle Sam vs. Kratom
Kratom has long been known as an effective way to alleviate opiate withdrawals. In the 1940s, the Thai government banned it in what some historians believe was an effort to eliminate a threat to opium, which was bringing in substantial tax revenue at the time. Without an alternative drug or legal means to combat withdrawals, many users were likely driven back into opium dens, where the state could benefit financially from their addiction.
The U.S. government hasn’t gone that far — yet. Kratom is on the DEA’s list of “drugs of concern,” which means federal drug warriors are eyeing a more heavy-handed approach. The FDA has also identified kratom as a botanical substance that could pose a risk to public health and could potentially be abused, which has prompted large-scale seizures at the agency’s behest.
Much of this anxiety has been driven by fatalities supposedly linked to kratom. But in almost all of the cited cases, toxicology reports showed that kratom users who died also showed signs of polydrug abuse or pre-existing health conditions. In a number of instances, they appeared to have taken deceptively marketed products that contained not only kratom, but more dangerous synthetic drugs — a concern for people on either side of the kratom issue.
“After researching the literature, I found that were more positive aspects to kratom than there were negative,” he said. “Additional studies are needed to explore potential benefits of kratom. Also, work is needed to look at toxicity, though. How would kratom interact with prescription drugs or nutritional supplements that a person might be using?”
Prozialeck described kratom itself as largely benign, and said it doesn’t produce much in the way of psychoactive high in low-to-moderate doses. That means it doesn’t have a particularly high potential for recreational use.
“With anything, there are dangers of using too much,” Prozialeck said. “But the amount that a person has to take in to get any severe effects is ridiculously high. You’re talking 10 to 15 grams of raw leaf. Most people who are using kratom for pain management don’t take that much. Most people can’t take that much.”
In online forums like Erowid and Sage Wisdom, users report that higher doses lead to sedative effects, and that taking too much kratom can cause gastrointestinal issues — stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. This isn’t fun, most of them suggest, and it’s certainly a stupid way to use any drug.
Others say kratom must be banned because its promise as a therapy that relies on a less harmful opioid substitute is complicating the addiction recovery process. But the loudest critics have so far been the ones who believe abstinence is the only way to overcome addiction, a position that has come under intense scientific scrutiny in recent years.
In January, The New York Times reported on a Florida woman who’d turned to kratom during her time in a recovery facility for heroin addiction. She was getting regular drug tests, and said she began buying kratom beverages ata kava bar — an establishment that sells a variety of mildly intoxicating drinks, often at an obscene markup —because it didn’t interfere with her screening. She eventually got addicted, she said, and spent hundreds of dollars a week before eventually returning to heroin. The woman said kratom was “causing a lot of relapses” among people who are addicted. The article concluded that the plant was essentially analogous to other opiates, and in some cases, equally as risky.
That thinking isn’t uncommon.
Gloria Anderson, supervisor of addiction programming at the Hazelden Betty Ford Clinic, a 12-step facility in New York City, recently told TV station PIX11 that 20 percent of her patients reported using the drug as “a Band-Aid when they are unable to get ahold of opiates such as painkillers and heroin.”
Anderson and others argue that lawmakers should respond by making kratom a Schedule I substance alongside heroin itself, classifying it as one of the most dangerous drugs with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”
“After researching the literature, I found that were more positive aspects to kratom than there were negative.”Walter C. Prozialeck, professor of pharmacology at Midwestern University.
Initial studies have suggested kratom does have some addictive potential. And this is perhaps more likely to be true among people who have existing opioid abuse disorders and who may be in mandatory, abstinence-only drug treatment, where they may be going through painful withdrawals without the help of medication.
All of this speaks to the need for better education on kratom to encourage responsible use and minimize potential harm.
Considering the research he’s reviewed, however, Prozialeck says it’s a stretch to compare kratom to heroin and other opiates.
“I would respectfully disagree with the idea that kratom poses as much risk as other opiates,” he said. “I think kratom is probably less dangerous in terms of long-term dependence and addiction. People who turn to kratom are probably desperate for an alternative.”
Jag Davies, director of communications strategy at the Drug Policy Alliance, says he’s skeptical of the desire to ban kratom. He sees it as a function of the “treatment industrial complex,” which he says is profiting from treatment-instead-of-incarceration policies that funnel clients from the criminal justice system into programs that aren’t based on science, such as abstinence-only and 12-step. Davies said there’s a better way to approach the problem.
“A health-centered approach to drug use assesses improvement by many measures, not simply by someone’s drug use level, but also by their overall health, their employment status, their social relationships and their general well-being,” said Davies. “Determining success by boiling it down to this single measure of abstinence to this arbitrary group of certain drugs isn’t realistic or effective.”
If we were more willing to judge the success of treatment and recovery by other metrics, Davies says, people wouldn’t be so dismissive of the idea that a recovering addict could use kratom and be a productive member of society, while causing less harm to themselves than they did with heroin. In fact, from a treatment provider’s perspective, that should be seen as a victory.
Where Are We Headed?
But that would appear to be asking a lot in the current debate over kratom.
In Florida, a bill to ban kratom advanced through an initial committee vote last month, despite opposition from some members.
“They provided zero reasons for supporting it,” state Sen. Jeff Brandes (R) said of the legislation’s supporters. “Honestly, this was the least intellectual rigor I have seen in the Florida legislature — on this bill and on banning a product. There was literally zero testimony as to why this product should have been banned.”
Brandes voted against the bill, but he’s not so sure his colleagues will view the effort with the same skepticism as it progresses through the state Senate.
“It shows the utter conflict in drug policy,” he said. “I think it’s just a knee-jerk reaction to someone saying, ‘Oh, this is dangerous,’ but then providing no data to support their position.”
The stakes are high for advocates of kratom, and they’re now working to combat the sensationalism and misinformation that has historically dominated political debates about drugs.
Big Kratom Fights Back
In 2014, Ash formed the American Kratom Association, a consumer-based nonprofit that now has hundreds of dues-paying members and around 2,500 active contributors who share their experiences with kratom in an online forum. The AKA recently announced that Paul Pelosi Jr., son of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), would serve as the group’s executive director.
Advocates have been busy trying to convince lawmakers that banning kratom would deprive the public of a promising treatment that has already helped many people who struggle not just with opioid addiction, but with other ailments treated with heavier prescription drugs. And while Ash says kratom has worked for her and thousands of others, she adds that the drug affects everybody differently. As with any drug, prospective users should approach it with caution.
There are also some legitimate concerns surrounding kratom, Ash admits, but points out they tend to get lost in the hysteria of total ban legislation. There is plenty of room, she says, for further regulation of kratom to ensure proper consumer protections are in place.
Much of the bad press has revolved around unscrupulous manufacturers that have sold adulterated products, or have marketed their products deceptively, leading to confusion about what kratom actually is. It doesn’t help that it’s regularly found in head shops, alongside shady synthetic drugs that have attracted their own share of negative headlines, in many cases for good reason.
“The industry needs to come together to self-regulate and self-police one another and get rid of some of the bad apples out there,” said Ash.
The AKA supports placing an age restriction on kratom for consumers who are 18 or older. The organization also believes that stricter labeling guidelines are necessary. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn’t use kratom, for example, and anyone with a medical condition or who is taking prescription medications should consult their doctor before trying kratom. Perhaps most importantly, the AKA wants to make sure that products aren’t being deliberately marketed toward younger consumers, or with the intent of comparing its effects to other drugs, like actual opiates.
Ash says that although she hopes the FDA will stop cracking down on kratom, she doesn’t see a path toward more mainstream medical acceptance. Clinical testing and FDA trials require huge financial investments, and considering the product in question is a plant that’s likely been around for millions of years, pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t see any way to make money from it. In fact, broader use of the plant as an alternative treatment would presumably take away from their bottom line.
But the pharmaceutical industry does factor in to what the AKA says are its broader hopes that it can help foster a smarter, more robust approach to treating addiction, chronic pain and other conditions that currently leave people with few options beyond prescription drugs. The organization would like to see better programs to manage and monitor the prescribing of opioids, while ensuring they’re accessible to those who need them, says Ash. The AKA also believes lawmakers need to invest more resources into recovery and reduce reliance on abstinence-only programs that, according to Ash, have shown “a dismal success rate.”
“Rather than put all of this effort and sensational attention onto this plant that could be part of the solution, why not focus on making better programs and evidence-based programs on recovery and putting more attention on mental health and addiction,” she said.
That may sound like common sense to the growing number of people who believe in a health-based approach to drug policy. But the campaign to ban kratom — which has shown therapeutic promise, but would benefit from further scientific research — shows we still have a ways to go in order to truly reorient the political conversation around drugs.
“We’re at a really contradictory moment in drug policy in some ways, where there seems to be this consensus for a new approach, but then at the same time, there’s still these knee-jerk, punitive responses whenever a new drug comes up,” said Davies, of the Drug Policy Alliance. “People are very easily fooled by new drugs, and it’s still very easy to push through bad legislation.” TOP OF PAGE
A large number of studies have shown that organic foods:
Are less likely to be contaminated with pesticide residues. (Synthetic chemicals are not permitted in organic agriculture, yet can occur due to contamination from nearby conventional farms.)
Contain fewer heavy metals (on average 48 percent lower levels of cadmium for example).
Contain anywhere from 18 to 69 percent more antioxidants than conventionally-grown varieties.
May in some cases be more nutrient-dense. For example, one 2010 study which was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), found that organic strawberries were more nutrient-rich than non-organic strawberries.
If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh foods:
EatWild.com provides lists of farmers known to produce wholesome raw dairy products as well as grass-fed beef and other farm-fresh produce (although not all are certified organic). Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass-fed products.
Weston A. Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.
The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs and markets near you.
The Cornucopia Institute maintains web-based tools rating all certified organic brands of eggs, dairy products, and other commodities, based on their ethical sourcing and authentic farming practices separating CAFO “organic” production from authentic organic practices.
If you’re still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out Raw-Milk-Facts.com and RealMilk.com. They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area.
The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk law s. California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at www.OrganicPastures.com.
AtPublicHealthCorps, we believe that all Americans should have easy access to the most current healthcare information — but we also know how tricky it can be to navigate the web to find the best data. That’s where we come in! We decided to put together a helpful collection of resources on healthcare and health insurance.