Natural health remedies, and supplements for that matter, have been maligned by the western medicine establishment for decades now leaving many wondering whether they are really worth the trouble. Certainly, there are two sides to every story but after well over a decade of researching and supporting a healthy lifestyle with natural health remedies I would be inclined to disagree with those discounting the benefits of natural health remedies and supplements.

Have you been to your local pharmacy lately?

For many the answer is I was just there recently as according to a new study the average senior age 60 is on 5 plus prescription medications. But what strikes me as odd about the pharmacy is how unhealthy the vast majority of people picking up prescription medications look. In fact, I would venture to say most appear to be much older than they really are with a disproportionate number being overweight.

Now if pharmaceuticals are really the answer why is the majority of those individuals visiting them looking like they have one foot in the grave.

Additionally, it seems people are filling more prescriptions now than ever before with this observation being supported by statistics measuring pharmaceutical company growth.

Do we really have all the answers?

When someone claims to have all the answers about health and wellness I can’t help but recall a story about the two Kellogg brothers of cereal fame. These two guys were as different as night and day with one opening a famous health and wellness spa in the early part of the 20th century. The spa offered such things as coffee enemas, impressive exercise areas, and diets full of, you guessed it, grains.

The other brother loved to drink, smoke cigars, womanize, and throw caution to the wind. When it was all said and done they both lived to be over 90 dying within a few months of each other.

The one thing they did have in common though was neither used prescription medications are their evolution was still in its infancy.

Inflammation the missing link often ignored by western medicine

There have been some bold, and quite brave, voices speaking out in recent years about the role internal inflammation plays in health as inflammation has been linked to a long list of diseases and conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer’s. The research studies supporting this view is quite compelling and I would encourage everyone to read all the information they can find on inflammation as it relates to disease.

Natural herbal and homeopathic remedies along with vitamin supplements do not trigger inflammation with many possessing additional benefits especially when it comes to cellular and immunological health.

I find it odd that some will pay a premium for organic products only to be ready and willing to take any one of a myriad of chemical medications at the drop of a hat.

I would speculate that the person taking 5 prescription medication would be taking at least that many over the counter pain killers, allergy medications, sleep remedies, and cold and flu remedies. All of which likely cause some internal inflammation.

So it seems we are bombarding our bodies with chemical medicines. It is for those far smarter than I to figure out how much is too much without opening the door for both short and long-term side effects.

Reversing the trend

This is not as easy as it sounds! Doctors tend to lean heavily toward pharmaceuticals and most of their patients seem to be convinced it is the way to go as well. Also, any changes may be complicated as many meds are stacked in order to manage problems created by other meds.

For those looking to make a chance you will likely be met with some resistance so be sure and do your homework before you go charging in and tell your doctor you no longer want to use that statin medication for lowering cholesterol as you have just read statins increase the chances of type 2 diabetes by 70 percent.

In conclusion, the debate as to whether a lifestyle dependent primarily on pharmaceuticals or one based on a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, supplementation, and natural health remedies is not one that will be decided anytime soon as those on each side of the argument are deeply entrenched.

The best we can do as consumers is keep up with the latest research conducted by independent organizations such as the National Institute of Health and in conjunction with a competent medical professional try to make smart decisions that allow us to live life to fullest with compromising our long-term health.

The latest study on vitamins and health is out. It isn’t pretty. This research adds to other studies suggesting that multivitamins don’t improve health. They may, in fact, increase risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and heart failure.

By the Numbers

Researchers in Sweden examined the connection between multivitamin use and breast cancer risk. They followed more than 35,000 women for an average of 10 years. The women were free of cancer and 49 to 83 years old at the beginning of the study.

The researchers collected and adjusted for other factors that can affect breast cancer risk. This includes family history of breast cancer, body weight, vegetable and fruit intake, physical activity levels, and use of tobacco and alcohol.

Not Best for Breast Health

After ten years, the study indicated that the women who had taken multivitamins were 19% more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer compared with the women not taking multivitamins.

It is important to note that this is an observational study. Study participants were not randomly assigned to take or not take multivitamins. The study does not prove cause and effect. It shows an association between multivitamin use and higher breast cancer risk.

Nonetheless, the study authors noted that a connection between multivitamins and breast cancer risk is plausible. Also keep in mind that this is not the first study to show that multivitamins and other supplements may pose a risk to health.

The Bigger Picture

The first hint that isolated nutrient supplements may harm health came in the mid-1990s. Two large, randomized, placebo-controlled trials looked at this question. The trials included a total of more than 47,000 study subjects between them. They examined how beta-carotene and vitamins A, C, and E affected lung cancer risk in people at high risk for the disease. High-risk study subjects included current and former smokers and asbestos workers.

The researchers expected the vitamin supplements would decrease risk of lung cancer. They found the exact opposite. The men who had been randomized to take the supplements had a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer. They also had a higher risk of other types of cancer. They had higher risk of heart disease and stroke too. Back to the drawing board!

Since that time, studies have continued to demonstrate that antioxidant supplements can increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. This is especially true for people who smoke or have smoked in the past.

Not So Fast

“Great,” you say, “I’m not a smoker anyway. I’ll keep taking my vitamins and beta-carotene pills.” Not so fast.

Don’t forget about the Swedish study. It points to the possibility that multivitamins increase breast cancer risk. And if you’re not a woman or not concerned about breast cancer, there are plenty of additional studies showing problems with multivitamin and antioxidant supplements.

A 2007 comprehensive research review concluded, “Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality.” A similar review that same year stated that clinical trials of antioxidant supplements, “should be closely monitored for potential harmful effects.”

Other studies have shown that vitamins C and E do not decrease risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Unfortunately, vitamin E does increase the risk of heart failure in people with vascular disease or diabetes. Many US adults have, or are at high risk of, these conditions.

Are Isolated Antioxidant Nutrients Friend or Foe?

Multivitamins and other sources of isolated antioxidant nutrients may be problematic for several reasons. One of the most likely is that they can have a dual nature. To understand why this matters, it helps to understand oxidation.

Oxidation is a damaging process that can occur inside the body. A good way to think of oxidation is to think of rusting. But instead of causing damage to metal in the environment, oxidation causes damage to your cells. Excess oxidation is believed to contribute to the major diseases that plague us today.

This means that antioxidants, which prevent damaging oxidation in the body, should be a good thing. This is true only if they act like antioxidants. Unfortunately, when taken in isolation, antioxidants actually may become pro-oxidants. Under some conditions, antioxidant supplements promote oxidation, not stop it!

Singles Lack Synergy

Another potential issue multivitamins and antioxidant supplements is that these products lack synergy. Synergy refers to the idea that two or more things can work together in a way that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual parts.

Food is so incredibly complex. Trying to duplicate it in a vitamin pill is something of a fool’s errand. Consider the carotenes. Beta-carotene is the most well known of the carotenes. But there are several hundred carotenes found in nature and in the foods we eat.

Taking a pill that provides just one, two, or three carotenes is nothing like eating a beta-carotene-rich food. The food provides many carotenes plus dozens of other nutrients. And don’t forget about the fiber.

Polyphenols are another large group of nutrients. Research suggests polyphenols provide numerous health they come from food. Taking one or two polyphenols really misses the “nutritional boat.” There are thousands of polyphenols in hundreds of foods. Polyphenols are found in foods as diverse as apples to tea and onions to berries.

Why Food Rules

And so we come back to food. Food is the ideal way to nourish our bodies. Make it a priority to fill two-thirds to three-quarters of your plate with nutrient-rich foods. Think of the bounty of the garden to guide your choices.

Brilliant orange carrots and ruby red tomatoes, shiny green pea pods and deep magenta beets, bright purple blueberries and deep purple blackberries…these are the very foods that will give your body what it needs. And getting what you need is the greatest nutritional gift you can give yourself.

Once upon a time, when you got a headache, you looked around for the cause. Some causes were very obvious. On Sunday mornings, my husband, known to imbibe a few gin and tonics Saturday nights, would wake up clutching his head and moaning “I knew there was something wrong with that tonic water”…..Right! So that’s one very obvious cause.

It’s when the cause of your headache is not obvious, or you don’t have the time or inclination to figure out where it came from that the problem arises.

You know the drill. Have a headache? Pop a pill or four or so! Preferably a brand name pill, heavily advertised on TV. Pills where the cost of manufacture is zero and where marketing costs are in the millions.

Big drug can afford lavish TV advertising for its products. To sell one pain pill it will spend more than the GDP of many small countries. And the TV ads work. You see a beautiful woman clutching her head, in obvious pain. The weight of the world is on her shoulders. What can she do? Take a pill of course! The bottle is right there in the foreground, brand name carefully highlighted. She takes the pill and voila! Headache gone! She’s practically dancing. Wow! Those pills really work! Right!

In the real world, what happens? We get a headache. We take the pills so heavily advertised on TV. The pain of the headache is temporarily alleviated. The headache is actually just sitting in a corner doing its knitting. The temporary effect of the pills wears off. We take more. Then we need stronger pills and heavier doses. Soon, we need a prescription for pain medication. Luckily for us, we know exactly what to ask our doctor for. It’s another heavily advertised prescription medication.

Is this the answer? Of course not! The answer is a lot simpler, cheaper and healthier than that.

You feel a headache coming on. It will not hit you like a sledgehammer. You feel it coming; a general unease. Where are you? Crouched over your computer, maybe? Neck tense? Shoulders knotted? Tension everywhere? Well, yes. Right there, is the major cause of headache in the modern world.

Just once, don’t reach into your desk drawer and extract your pain pills and swallow them unthinking. Realize that your body is in knots and it’s trying to tell you so. Listen to it. Get up. Stretch. If you’re in a commercial office, walk to the outside door. Take a few breaths. Walk to the water cooler. Drink two cups of water. Stretch five times before returning to your desk. See how that works? Rocket science! The world didn’t end because you took a five minute break. But the synapses firing off your headache subsided. Your eyes cleared. Your shoulders dropped from around your ears. A neck rub is great too, but a bit difficult to get at the office.

If you work from home, oh lucky you! Take all the above steps but, if you have a garden, go outside. Admire your glorious plants. Have a few words with them. Do a little weeding. Return to your desk refreshed.

So, what just happened? We ignored the siren call of lethal chemicals and we soothed our tortured limbs and muscles all by ourselves. This actually works for tension and stress headaches. And it’s so much healthier than ingesting chemicals passed as safe by the Keystone Cops in the FDA.

There are other headaches, of course, not succeptible to these particular natural remedies and I’ll cover them in later articles. But, for now, there is one instance I want to highlight:

If you get a blinding headache, out of the blue, no warning at all, your first instinct is to lie down and hope it passes. Don’t. Call your PCP or the emergency services. You need to be examined right away. Remember. If you get a blinding headache without warning, act immediately. Get help. Now.

The sheer pace of our lives today causes all sorts of unease in our bodies. Big Drug has a panacea for all the ills the befall us. But it’s not a panacea; it’s not even a Band Aid. It’s a false fix and we need to get away from it. Thanks to TV advertising, we’re conditioned to think we should take a pill every time we feel less than on top of the world. Not so. Let’s start with small natural steps and see if we can bring our bodies back to the glorious ease we had as children.

When you are in pain you want nothing more than to end it. The Western approach is to reach for a pill. If this does not work then a trip to the MD for stronger pills, or even injections or patches. But what if all this fails, or you are simply wishing to avoid the unwanted side effects (the most dramatic being death via Aspirin).

Luckily there are alternatives to the sometimes dangerous ‘conventional’ approach – there is natural pain relief available to you.

The first step is trying your understand your pain. As any real pain expert will tell you – we don’t really know what sets it off.

For example we all know someone who has agonising back pain due to a slipped disc, but many people have slipped discs and no pain. Some who have surgery on the disc get better, some it makes no difference!

Pain would seem to be not just down to physical injuries and causes, but a complex interaction of thoughts, feelings, habits, lifestyle, posture, diet, biochemistry, and for some people even things like atmospheric conditions.

So how do you get to understand your pain in order to get natural pain relief?

Well, first of all you have to become aware of all the possibilities – which you are now. Next, try and find some professional help from an MD interested in more than medicine, or a chiropractor interested in more than adjusting your spine. Other alternatives would be Applied Kinesiologists, acupuncturists, naturopaths. It is probably good to find someone who is experienced in more than one field of natural pain relief – a good sign is if they know about Functional Medicine.

What are some of the natural pain relief alternatives?

A good chiropractor or osteopath should get your muscles and joints in shape using a combination of soft tissue techniques and specific spinal adjustments. Along with the manual techniques a good look into nutrition and your emotions may be in order.

Lets tackle some of the mental/emotional issues first.

Anything that stresses you out will tighten your muscles, so you need to get in control of that. There are a number of easy to do techniques that make traditional psychology look quite old fashioned. Try Emotional Freedom Technique or Thought Field Therapy for starters, and pick up a copy of Maxwell Maltz’s excellent book Psycho cybernetics. Again, having someone to guide you will help.

With nutrition there are a range of helpful supplements, but the first thing is to check your diet – you need enough water and vegetables, and less processed meats, wheat and sugar. Even things like tea and coffee can send some people into pain, but they don’t realise until they stop. One of my patients turned out to be suffering from years of back pain as she had an intolerance to eggs and coffee.

After your diet, supplement with pharmaceutical grade fish oil. You need these healthy fats to make your own natural pain killers and anti-inflammatories, as well as oil to lubricate your joints and sooth the nerves.

The spices ginger and cayenne pepper have shown good results in clinical trials for pain relief.

The humble pineapple is full of a natural pain killer called bromelain, which can be bought in pill form.

There is also SAM-e (short for S-adenosylmethionine) which has been shown to be as good as some drugs for arthritis.

Another is the herb arnica – often used in homeopathic form, which makes it safe for children. It comes as both a pill and a cream, and no matter what skeptics may say it seems to help.

One of my favourite tools I use in our clinic for helping to asses which nutrients and foods may be best for an individual is the Braverman Nature Assessment. You can find this easily online but you will need help interpreting what it means, so feel free to email the clinic!

Another way to help decrease pain and swelling is promoting the production glutathione. Glutathione is needed to detoxify, promote immune system health, and keep your cells producing energy.

Although glutathione is found in all foods it is destroyed by your digestive juices. You can however boost it with very specific supplementation.

How to raise glutathione will be the subject of another article – or see the resource box below.

Whatever pain you are struggling with I hope this short article helps.

According to Dr. Andrew Jones, DVM, hot spots, or Acute Moist Dermatitis, are on the rise with more and more dogs, cats and various other species of pets needing help with hot spots. Dr. Jones verifies that the most common cause of re-curring hot spots is allergies. Weeding out the cause of the allergy can often take some time leaving behind the problem of hot spots. In the field of pet natural health care, this new natural remedy just may do the trick.

Dr. Jones has been testing out this rather new hot spot natural remedy, putting it to the test and finding it’s potential one to be shared with all pet owners particularly those of dogs and cats.

First, lets start with the basic pet natural health care for hot spots, how to care for the wound, and an already known natural remedy so that all readers can benefit from this information not only those who have been down this road before.

It is important to know that when it comes to natural remedies whether for you or your pet, you may need to try several different remedies, and there are usually more than just one, as nature is full of medicinal valuable qualities. Each pet in it’s breed is unique and what works for one may or may not work for another. Therefore, always try more than just one remedy if the first doesn’t take hold.

Signs Itchy, oozing, red painful area on the skin that has an odor.

Causes A local area of bacterial infected hair follicles that mostly form in the summer months. The skin can become infected by any scratch or wound causing the hot spot to form. Most common cause is some type of skin allergy.

PET NATURAL HEALTH CARE SOLUTIONS

Remove hair

Removing hair on and around the hot spot should be your first step. It is very important in order to let the skin breath, helping the hot spot to heal. Be sure to use a blunt end scissor such as nose hair scissors. Be as gentle as you can, because the hot spot area is painful and your pet will feel discomfort just from the hair being cut.

Clean the Wound

It is very important that you clean the wound by using a MILD, non perfumed antiseptic soap to clean. Use a cotton ball and gently dab the wound with the cleaner. Be sure to rinse well and not leave any soap residue behind.

Tea and Aspirin

The key to healing the hot spot is to get it to dry out and there are some very powerful natural aids that can do this and are probably already in your kitchen. One of them is black tea and the other is aspirin. Make a strong cup of black tea and dissolve an aspirin in it. Immerse a clean cloth in this solution and apply it to the hot spot for minutes. Do this four times a day.

The New Remedy – Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is used in quite a few other home remedies such as ear cleaning, of which it is highly effective. (I know because I recently used it to clean my dogs ears and it did a heck of a job – better than any ear cleaning solution I have ever purchased). It also houses potassium in high form, which is good for older pets, and can be consumed orally to boost the immune system. I use apple cider vinegar in my dog’s food on a daily basis.

Soak a cloth in apple cider vinegar and apply it directly to the hot spot 4 times a day.

If your pet is having re-occurring hot spots it is suggested that you begin to address the high possibility of allergies in your pet. Addressing the root of the problem will give you a cure to these hot spots, and for pet allergies Essential Fatty Acids is vital in your pets diet.

Good pet wellness practices means getting down to the root cause of acute moist dermatitis by ensuring your pet is treated for allergies through Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) in his diet. In the mean time, or in the event your pets allergies act up, use this pet natural health care remedy of apple cider vinegar for pain relief and healing.

For years now we have been exhorted to avoid the sun, to cover up and to use sun screen so we can avoid getting skin cancer. However, unfortunately it looks as though we have thrown the baby out with the bathwater. We desperately need some sun on our skin to make vitamin D, and a lot more of it than the doctors and health people have been recommending for a long time.

We have known for years that we need vitamin D and calcium for strong bones and the recommended vitamin D levels were set when the major concern was to avoid rickets in children. Later vitamin D became a concern because older people were developing osteoporosis and needed to strengthen their bones to see them through their old age.

Vitamin D is usually metabolized by the body from sunlight but in these days of “slip, slop, slap” of sunscreen, too many of us are now avoiding the sun when we should be reveling in it for at least a few hours each week – but do be careful, we still want to avoid getting burnt.

Most people are now vitamin D deficient and this is having a terrible consequence. We are finding more and more diseases which are made worse by lack of vitamin D. A range of cancers are made more likely by a lack of vitamin D, as is multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

An article in the Annals of Epidemiology, published early in 2009 said that women who had high levels of Vitamin D had less than half the chance of getting breast cancer and only one quarter the chance of dying from it than those who had the lowest levels.

Think about that for a moment. The journal article suggests a woman can cut their risk of getting breast cancer by more than half? And their chance of dying of it by three quarters? Why are we not hearing that being trumpeted from the roof tops?

One of the problems is that medicine has got itself caught up in a mess – a research mess. Medicine has developed a good way of working out whether a drug will improve outcomes. However most research is done by drug companies but because there isn’t a large profit to be made it just isn’t worth it to them. In addition most of the research and medical agenda has been hijacked by the drug companies so that even when a non-drug, natural activity or supplement is found to be useful there is a strong inertia in the medical profession to taking it up.

It is time to take responsibility for your own health and get out in the sun or go get some Vitamin D3 from your local pharmacist as almost everyone in the developed world is now deficient. You need 2000IU per day as a minimum. However next time you go to see your family physician or go to have a blood test then ask for a Vitamin D blood test as some people have very low levels and need to have higher doses of Vitamin D than 2000IU daily to get their levels up to a reasonable level quickly.

P.S. If you are still worried about the skin cancer problem then think on this: skin cancer kills some 1600 people a year in Australia. This is not good. But lack of vitamin D kills over 3000 people a year from breast cancer in Australia and over 4000 people a year from colorectal cancer. This is much worse.

We’re right smack in the middle of holiday-celebration season, and, if you’re like most of my patients, you want to indulge in all the food and merrymaking and not have to worry about weight gain. Well, the holidays are for fun and fantasy, but, we have to be a little realistic when it comes to keeping that scale needle from moving too far forward during the holidays.

Did you know that most people average 1-2 pound weight gain over the holidays? It’s true. That wouldn’t be so bad if they got rid of it in the first 2-3 weeks of New Years. Unfortunately, most holiday weight gain tends to not only stay on during the winter months but may even stay permanently getting added to every year! To prevent that from happening, I’d like to share with you some tips on how NOT to gain weight during the holidays, and still have fun and partake in the delicious feast of foods that characterize this time of year.

Control Your Food Intake

There’s no real reason why you shouldn’t be able to eat the foods you love during the holidays andnot gain any additional weight. Sound impossible? Well, it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Here are some of my favorite holiday weight gain prevention tips:

Water is your ally. A staple of all natural health diets is water, and you should be drinking adequate amounts of water every day anyway, but during the holiday party times, let it also be your ally in helping you control how much you eat. Drink a full, 12-16 ounce tumbler size of cold water with some lemon slices in it on the way to a party or upon first arriving, before you eat anything. When your stomach is full, it will really help you pare down food portions.

Don’t go hungry. To avoid overeating at a party, don’t starve yourself during the day, thinking you’re saving up for party food. This always ends in overeating because psychologically you’ve already given yourself a free pass to eat too much. Instead, eat a smaller, yet nutritious, breakfast, and lunch if the party is not until evening, or just eat an apple and an ounce of cheese, if the party starts in the early afternoon. Make your small meals a little protein, like tuna fish, chicken, a hard boiled egg, cottage cheese, and a small amount of complex carbohydrate like a vegetable or fruit.

Spoonfuls, not Platefuls: The best way to outsmart a holiday buffet filled with a number of things you want to eat is to take a little of everything you would like instead of a small plate with a few things that you keep going back for more. I recommend using the large plate and, instead, using the dish’s serving spoon, which is about twice the size of a regular tablespoon, take 1 spoonful of several things you would really enjoy. Just be sure your plate has more proteins like roast beef, turkey or ham, and more green and yellow vegetables, than white potatoes, corn, or breads, go very lightly with the gravies. Think drizzle rather than river on your plate, a pat of butter on vegetables, rather than a golf ball. If you have room for dessert after this amount of food, use a small plate with a small sample of whatever is served. Think grocery store food sample size for desserts. This allows you to try a few things and not feel deprived.

Exercise. Many of us have a hard time keeping a regular exercise routine in non-holiday times, but during the holidays, it’s even more crucial to get some regular exercise at least 4-5 days a week if you can. This will help burn off those extra calories. Aim for 30-40 minutes a day of walking, bicycling if the weather allows, or using a stair stepper or elliptical at the gym.

Focus on fun. Did you ever go to a holiday party and leave without knowing what really went on in some of the other rooms where people were dancing, or having a lively discussion about something, because you were sitting too close to the buffet table? Get up and mingle and join in a conversation, dance with someone, or get a group together to go for a walk to look at holiday lights. In other words, focus on doing something other than eating. Most of all have fun!

Alcohol. Some of my patients like to have a glass of wine or two, or a mixed drink, at holiday parties, and this is fine. Just don’t over do it and be sure to eat soon after. Avoid the sugary mixed drinks, or liqueurs, as they really spike your appetite. Try to stick to clear red or white wines, a martini, etc.

Calorie trading. The day after the holiday party, trade down your higher amount of party calories by eating less the next day or so. Focus on proteins and vegetables, very limited amounts of sugar (read labels), and drink plenty of water.

As I tell my patients, the holidays are for the 4 F’s – family, friends, fun and food. Enjoy all four of them by controlling your food and alcohol intake, and getting in some exercise. Most of all enjoy yourself and have a healthy, happy holiday season!

When we are looking for relief remedies for a medical condition many in the community turn to their medical practitioner to help them find a remedy for their problem. In this they make the assumption that their doctor is the best person to advise them as to what can make them better. As a result of this belief most expect that any drug prescribed by their doctor will be effective, but is this the case?

That very much depends on what you mean by effective. As a health researcher I have been looking at this question for more than a year. Most people I ask expect a prescribed drug to be 90-100% effective, otherwise why would the doctor prescribe it? Doctors become very uncomfortable when I give these figures as they know that few drugs are that effective. They do understand that a high belief is likely to improve the outcome for the patient, but they also recognize that that is not what it necessarily all about. I have often heard them say, “Patients have unrealistic expectations of what drugs can do.”

There are a number of issues here. The first is the matter of evidence. The second is the matter of who is allowed to say what the evidence is and how this impacts on what can be offered to people who want to improve their health.

While this is obviously a very large topic I would like to draw out just a couple of points.

I accept that most medical practitioners mean well and care for their patients. However most medical practitioners, their employers and the pharmaceutical companies make enormous profits out of people who are ill. Whenever billions of dollars are at stake then we have to recognize the moral hazard that exists. It is just too easy to turn a blind eye to the lack of good outcomes and worse, the level and severity of side effects to say nothing of the effect of the cost on the patient’s wallet.

For example chemotherapy only adds just over 2% to the average 5-year survival rate of people with cancer with horrendous side effects for the vast majority of patients. Breast cancer patients have an average life span of 20 years and a 78-85% 5-year survival rate in Australia but chemotherapy only contributes 1.5% to that survival rate. A range of cancers for which chemo is prescribed add NO additional survivors. It is time that these figures became well known. Chemotherapy drugs are not the cancer remedies most of us have come to believe.

Statins, a drug prescribed to lower cholesterol levels also has very low rates of effectiveness. When I searched dozens of the top medical journal papers looking at the cholesterol issues, and buried right down into the data (ignoring the positive titles, introductions and discussions), I was gobsmacked. Firstly, the drugs had no improvement in death rates for women or the elderly. And secondly for men the number needed to treat to save one life was 250 for five years on the drugs. 1250 years of drug taking with many suffering side effects to save one life?

As a third example, the package insert of the H1N1 monovalent vaccine says [Section 12.1 Mechanism of Action] “the administration of the flu vaccine has not been correlated with protection from influenza illness”. This is amazing in its audacity. Here we have the government promoted drive for mass vaccination and its own covering paperwork says that there is no evidence that it offers protection.

These examples are just a few showing the moral hazard from profit making – pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors and government are all involved.

So what does this mean to us as individuals? If you have an expectation of 90-100% efficacy for a drug prescribed then you need to tell the doctor – you are paying for their time and the drugs, after all. If you are asked to go on long term medication then you might like to ask for evidence in writing that the drug does come up to standard. When my own doctor tried to scare me into taking a particular medication and provided me with the scientific papers I discovered they didn’t say what the drug companies and doctor said they did. When I discussed the results with her she was quite perplexed.

Perhaps one way to think of it is that if the relief remedies being offered are bio-identical to what the body produces or is a nutrient normally found in foods known to be good for you then you can be reasonably comfortable in taking it. However if it is a pharmaceutical drug, then exercise caution and demand to see the “rigorous scientific evidence sufficient to substantiate the claims.” You want the actual medical journal papers, not the government guidelines. Even if you can’t make much sense out of the paper, it makes your doctor think several times before making unrealistic claims.

The devil’s claw was a very helpful herb. As he traveled away from his home in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa he had only thing on his mind; to cure an ailment. He had traveled almost the entire continent of Africa, but did not feel that he was needed there. Suddenly and without warning he realized that he needed to go to the New World (America). He zoomed across the sea and before long he was in Florida. But he felt something pulling him further north and west. He traveled up through Florida and into Georgia and still he kept moving.

When he got to the middle of Alabama he saw only too well why he had come and why he was needed so much. He was approaching this poor hapless person who had arthritis and she was surrounded by drugs. He rushed in quickly to offer his help.

“Hello”, the Devil’s Claw said a little too enthusiastically.

“My name is Devil’s Claw. What’s your name?”

“Alice Bennet”, she responded apathetically.

“I have come to offer you my services to help you with your arthritis”, Devil’s Claw told her in a caring tone.

Devil’s Claw could that see she was about to answer but just then the head drug stepped in and interrupted with, “We don’t need any amateurs here. We drugs are the professionals and we have everything all under control here!”

“I can see that”, Devil’s Claw retorted sarcastically. Then he continued with, “If you are feeling bold and daring I would like to make a bet with you. If I win this women’s health will be restored and I will continue wandering this land and helping as many as I can. If I lose I will leave off and go home and you will never see me again.”

“On behalf of my colleagues I will take this bet. It will be only too easy and enjoyable to see you defeated. We are the authorities and everyone knows that drugs are the only answer for treatment”, the head drug announced pompously.

Devil’s Claw then turned back to Alice and said, “I want you to make a tea of me and drink of it every day for two weeks. During this time you shall not receive any services of these drugs.”

“OK”, she said a little bewildered by it all.

And so it began and she did drink the tea every day. For the first few days it looked like it was going to be too rough for her as the pain increased. Of course the drugs did not keep their promise of the bet and taunted Alice to use their services whenever her pain was active. But she remained firm and did not partake.

After the first week the pain started to subside and she began to feel more at ease and alive. As the second week passed the drugs left one by one as they realized that they had been beat. When the second week had passed Alice did feel oh so much better.

“I want to thank you kind herb for your most effective help. I will continue drinking this tea”, Alice said with much gratitude.

“You are welcome dear Alice”, he responded and then looked momentarily toward the north where I felt another calling. “I must leave now to heal another. I bid you fair health and if you or anyone you know ever needs my service – know that you can count on me.”

At that he was off, heading north toward another in need.

The Neti Pot, a time tested and holistic cure for sinus congestion, has been featured in the media recently because it’s use was linked to a meningitis-like infection. Mainstream news stories on this topic have scared some people from using natural, non-invasive therapies. In this article, it will be evident that this holistic remedy was not to blame for the deaths of these people. Rather, the contaminated water provided to the victims by the government was the cause of death. It was not the Neti Pot that led to their death, but the contaminated tap water that was placed in the pot.

Naegleria fowleri is the name of the germ that killed the people who used the Neti Pot. Microorganisms, such as the ones that cause meningitis, do not spontaneously come to life when a person uses a natural cure like this one. A better question to ask is why Naegleria fowleri was present inside of supposedly clean tap water that people routinely drink and bathe in?

There are normal bacteria and other germs living inside of everyone’s nose all of the time. People suffer from nasal congestion and infection when non-normal residents move into the nose. Placing tap water inside of your nose does not cause death unless the tap water is contaminated with harmful bacteria. This is the reason why cities and municipalities have water treatment procedures.

Proper hygiene and a healthy immune system are the best ways to prevent infections. Standing water is a breeding ground for germs that prefer to live in water, especially when the standing water contains germs to begin with. Contrary to some people’s belief, germs do not fall from the air and move into water to make people sick. The germs had to already be in the container or the water. The use of salt water should not be eliminated as a holistic cure. Our bodies are made of 60% water. Water is supposed to be life giving and beneficial. When water isn’t fit to be used in the body, the problem lies not in the water itself, but in the contamination of the water.

The use of a Neti Pot provides nasal congestion relief. Neti pots are a holistic cure for nasal congestion that work by delivering saline to the root of the problem, which is the mucus in the nose itself. This saline rinse does not affecting the body or the bacteria in the rest of the body in the manner that taking an oral medication would. Untreated, severe congestion can lead to a painful sinus infection, which will likely require treatment with antibiotics. The use of antibiotics brings with it a host of other complications. The use of a Neti pot helps to avert sinus infections.

Traditional Neti Pot usage provides sinus congestion relief that works harmoniously with your body. Saline, or salt water is not harmful to the body, which is why this holistic treatment works as a natural cure for congestion. Saline water only harms the microorganisms that shouldn’t live on the body.

Saline is a natural cure for getting germs out of the body. Salt draws the water out of bacteria and leads to their death. The use of salt water as a germ killer does not lead to the development of antibiotic resistant mutated germs, the way that the use of antibiotics and antiviral drugs do.

The Neti Pot is an effective and safe, natural cure for sinus infections and nasal congestion. The Neti Pot works as long as the people who use it are given the information that they need to stay safe. In the case of the deaths that have been linked to the Neti Pot use, these deaths weren’t caused by the Neti Pot, but by the dirty and contaminated tap water that they used. More natural cures for common illnesses can be found at