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Benefits Of Black Seed Oil, Is It A Miracle Curative?

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Benefits Of Black Seed Oil, Is It A Miracle Curative?
Photo Credit: www.medicalnewstoday.com

Black seed oil, also called black cumin seed oil, is the oil derived by pressing or cold extracting the seeds from the Nigella sativa species. This variety is not related to the Cuminum cyminum species known as cumin, nor the cumin-related species Bunium bulbocastanum, also referred to as “black cumin.

The herbaceous N. sativa seed plant is common to Mediterranean locations as well as south-western Asian countries like India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The ground seeds are a utilized spice in these regions, especially in Middle Eastern and Indian foods. They don’t taste anything like “regular cumin” but have a pungent flavour that is usually combined with other spices.

Historical evidence of black seeds dates back to Ancient Egypt, often popularized as one of the found items in King Tut’s tomb. Other references to the use of the seeds are noted by Hippocrates for digestive issues and in Bible text as the curative “black cumin” or “ketzah.” The pressed oil is also reported to have been one of Cleopatra’s beauty secrets for the hair and skin.

But what is black cumin seed oil and are its many claimed benefits based on truth or hype?

What is Black Seed Oil?

Black cumin seed oil is basically a nutritive as well as medicinal type of oil and definitely tastes like one. If you’ve ever used fresh thyme or oregano, it has a very similar bitter and slightly spicy quality. In fact, it also happens to have some of the same beneficial properties as the oil derived from both of these herbs.

Unlike other healthy dietary fats you might use more liberally like coconut oil, olive oil or hemp seed oil, the oil from black seed is used for supplemental purposes in small amounts. A one teaspoon portion of black cumin oil, or 3 soft gel caps, is the typical dose amount recommended daily for average effectiveness.

A relatively new oil product to hit the health food scene, it is extensively marketed and sold now by over 70 different company’s since only a few years ago. We were a little sceptical upon our first experience with it due to all the hype and “believe-it-or-not” health claims. But, as it turns out, after over six months of using it off and on for several weeks at a time, we can see that there is some valid evidence to support its proposed benefits.

Health Benefits Of Black Seed Oil

May Help to Clear Sinuses and Improve Respiratory Issues

Black seed oil is in fact composed of several volatile oils such as carvacrol and thymol, also found in the herb oregano, as well as linalool, p-cymene and thymol, also found in the herb thyme. Thymol is a known disinfectant used in mouthwashes and is a natural monoterpenoid phenol identified for its aromatic scent and antiseptic nature.

As we mentioned, black seed oil consequently has some very similar properties to that of both of these herbs. One being that it has potent antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral qualities that can be great for sinus infections, allergies and clearing the respiratory tract.

When taking the oil in the morning before vigorous exercise, we personally noticed it helped to open up the lungs allowing for deeper respiration during running sessions. We also found it to be quite useful during California wildfire season when the outdoor air quality can become drastically impaired. For this purpose, it can help to ease breathing as well as boost immune response.

In a 2018 article, published in Integrative Medicine Research, we discovered that the fixed seed oil has actually been investigated for its therapeutic potential for the management of sinusitis. It was shown to be helpful for alleviating nasal congestion, inhibiting inflammation in the respiratory airways as well as lessening microbial infection in these regions.

In other unofficial reports, it has also been utilized for chronic dry coughs and its sinus clearing effects have likewise been reported by some individuals to have a positive impact on getting a better night’s sleep.

Working as a natural antihistamine, documented research on the oil also provides some evidence that it may be good for those with allergies and/or asthmatic conditions. In one study, it was shown that symptoms such as nasal itching, congestion and sneezing attacks were reduced in patients suffering from allergic rhinitis after 2 weeks of N. sativa treatment.

In a 2017 double-blind, placebo-controlled study, it was additionally shown that the anti-asthmatic influence of black cumin oil supplementation improved “asthma control with a trend in pulmonary function improvement” and a “remarkable normalization of blood eosinophilia“, or certain disease-fighting white blood cells. It was, however, concluded that more research on asthmatics is needed.

Is Black Cumin Seed Oil A Miracle Curative?

There have been hundreds of scientific studies conducted on black cumin seed and its derived oil, especially since the 1990’s.

Because of all this accrued investigation and subsequent evidence on the benefits of the seed, the oil and the thymoquinone compound for many health conditions, it is often viewed as a type of “miracle curative” that, as we mentioned, has been highly marketed.

However, anyone with a little common sense about diet and lifestyle choices might agree that there is usually a bit more involved to achieving one’s health goals than simply taking an herb or dietary supplement.

That being said, black cumin oil might indeed be one of those super food fats to consider adding to the diet for intermittent periods, if appropriate.

The oil, according to our research, does in fact appear to contain a potent amount of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory constituents that may be of benefit to a wide range of health issues.

Black Seed Oil, Antioxidants & Anti-Inflammatory Agents

Black seed oil is not only potentially useful for inflammatory conditions of the sinuses and respiratory pathways, but is also viewed as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent for other bodily conditions.

The most studied components identified in black seed oil are thymoquinone, thymohydroquinone (also called nigellone) as well as the mentioned thymol.

  1. Thymoquinone
  2. Thymohydroquinone or Nigellone
  3. Thymol

The compound thymoquinone, however, is found in the largest concentration and thus one of the most researched constituents.

All of these bioactive ingredients are known to possess strong ant oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.

Since inflammatory-related issues are often considered to be at the root of many diseases and health conditions, we can see how black seed oil can be perceived as a type of “cure-all” for many common ailments.

Again, this is not to say, however, that supplementation should go without remedying the initial cause of inflammation.

List of Other Researched Health Benefits

This is the “scientific” information we have gathered in our current findings on the oil and its potential benefits. It is important, however, to seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional before using black seed oil supplementation for the following health conditions.

Digestive Aid and Stimulant – As a carminative it is known to be good for stomach upset, bloating, flatulence and heartburn; its bitter component may help to improve digestion. Its warming and pungent attributes can have an energizing effect on the bodily systems.

Immunity Enhancer and Antimicrobial – Black cumin seed oil can encourage improved immune response, potentially beneficial for autoimmune conditions (*), and can inhibit microbial infections. It is known to be effective against certain “superbugs” which have developed a resistance to antibiotic treatments, like MRSA infection (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). (*)

Gastrointestinal Health and Parasites – May offer a protective influence to gastrointestinal tract and inhibit parasitic infections. (*) It is shown to combat E. coli and infections caused by Schistosoma mansoni, an intestinal blood parasite. (*) As an antifungal, it is often a recommended dietary supplement for candida overgrowth.  

Analgesic and Anti-Neurodegenerative Actions – Its anti-inflammatory actions can also help to reduce associated pain and can have a protective effect on neurotoxicity as a AChE inhibitor, which may be beneficial for certain nervous system disorders. (*)

Antidiabetic Properties – Thymoquinone has been shown to have a potentially protective effect against the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. (*)

Heart Health and Blood Pressure – The seeds have been identified to help to balance cholesterol, lowering LDL and increasing HDL. (*) In other evidence the oil shows it may be helpful for reducing blood pressure in adults. (*

Protective Effects to Liver and Kidney – Shown to have positive effects against kidney diseases, according to 2018 research. (*) It was likewise recognized to have a protective influence on liver and renal tissues due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. (*)

Fungal Skin Issues – Used topically for fungal infections and skin issues like psoriasis. (*) Thymol, one of the active ingredients in black seed oil, has been used in medications for the treatment of tinea or ringworm.

Fats in Black Seed Oil & Other Nutrients

According to the book, Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Spices: Modern Uses for Ancient Medicine, the main fatty acids in black seed oil include:

  • Linoleic Acid (Omega-6) – 55.6%
  • Oleic Acid – 23.4%
  • Palmitic Acid – 12.5%

Although is high in unsaturated fats, it is not a good source of Omega-3’s or ALA (alpha-linolenic acid).

The seeds, according to some nutrition fact labels, contain some vitamin C as well as some minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron.

How To Use

Black seed oil is used as a dietary supplement and, in our opinion, should not be used liberally on foods or as a cooking oil. The unsaturated omega fats are especially sensitive to high heat.

One to two teaspoons of oil is the typical dose recommended for daily consumption.

Because it has a stronger flavour some people prefer to take it in soft gel capsule form.

The herb-like flavour of the oil goes well in salad dressings blended with olive oil. It can also be poured directly onto foods in small amounts.

The oil can also be used topically as a skin or hair treatment.

We recommend refrigerating bottled oils after opening to preserve nutrients.

The dark black seeds are traditionally ground and added to food or mixed into honey as a medicinal preparation. They can be steeped as a tea or blended into drinks.

Precautions:

Black seed oil may cause skin irritation when used topically. It should be avoided when pregnant  as it is known to stimulate uterine contractions, especially when used in large quantities. Consult your health care practitioner before using black seed oil if you are nursing, have a serious medicinal condition or are taking prescribed medications.

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like this one, we’d be humbled if you would help us spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Join us in our quest to promote free, useful information to all!

This article (Benefits Of Black Seed Oil, Is It A Miracle Curative?) was originally published at SuperfoodEvolution and is re-posted here with permission.

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Health

Turmeric’s ‘Smart Kill’ Properties Put Chemo & Radiation To Shame

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Turmeric’s ‘Smart Kill’ Properties Put Chemo & Radiation To Shame
Photo Credit: www.divyabhakti.com

Sayer Ji, Green Med Info

The ancient Indian spice turmeric strikes again! A new study finds turmeric extract selectively and safely killing cancer stem cells in a way that chemo and radiation can not.

A ground-breaking new study published in the journal Anticancer Research reveals that one of the world’s most extensively researched and promising natural compounds for cancer treatment: the primary polyphenol in the ancient spice turmeric known as curcumin, has the ability to selectively target cancer stem cells, which are at the root of cancer malignancy, while having little to no toxicity on normal stem cells, which are essential for tissue regeneration and longevity

Titled, “Curcumin and Cancer Stem Cells: Curcumin Has Asymmetrical Effects on Cancer and Normal Stem Cells,” the study describes the wide range of molecular mechanisms presently identified by which curcumin attacks cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are the minority subpopulation of self-renewing cells within a tumour colony, and which alone are capable of producing all the other cells within a tumour, making them the most lethal, tumoriogenic of all cells within most if not all cancers.  Because CSCs are resistant to chemotherapy, radiation, and may even be provoked towards increased invasiveness through surgical intervention, they are widely believed to be responsible for tumour recurrence and the failure of conventional treatment.

The study identified the following 8 molecular mechanisms by which curcumin targets and kills cancer stem cells:

  • Down-regulation of interleukin-6 (IL-6): IL-6 is classified as a cytokine (a potent biomolecule released by the immune system) and modulates both immunity and inflammation. It’s over expression has been linked to the progression from inflammation to cancer. Curcumin inhibits IL-6 release, which in turn prevents CSC stimulation.
  • Down-regulation of interleukin-8 (IL-8): IL-8, another cytokine, is released after tumour cell death, subsequently stimulating CSCs to regrow the tumour and resist chemotherapy. Curcumin both inhibits IL-8 production directly and indirectly.
  • Down-regulation of interleukin-1 (IL-1): IL-1, a family of cytokines, are involved in response to injury and infection, with IL-1 β playing a key role in cancer cell growth and the stimulation of CSCs. Curcumin inhibits IL-1 both directly and indirectly.
  • Decrease CXCR1 and CXCR2 binding: CXCR1 and CXCR2 are proteins expressed on cells, including CSCs, which respond to the aforementioned cytokines in a deleterious manner. Curcumin has been found to not only block cytokine release, but their binding to these two cellular targets.
  • Modulation of the Wnt signalling pathway: The Wnt signalling pathway regulates a wide range of processes during embryonic development, but are also dsyregulated in cancer. Curcumin has been found to have a corrective action on Wnt signalling.
  • Modulation of the Notch Pathway: The Notch signalling pathway, also involved in embryogenesis, plays a key role in regulating cell differentiation, proliferation and programmed cell death (apoptosis), as well as the functioning of normal stem cells. Aberrant Notch signalling has been implicated in a wide range of cancers. Curcumin has been found to suppress tumour cells along the Notch pathway.
  • Modulation of the Hedgehog Pathways: Another pathway involved in embryogenesis, the Hedgehog pathway also regulates normal stem cell activity. Abnormal functioning of this pathway is implicated in a wide range of cancers and in the stimulation of CSCs and associated increases in tumour recurrence after conventional treatment. Curcumin has been found to inhibit the Hedgehog pathway through a number of different mechanisms.
  • Modulation of the FAK/AKT/FOXo3A Pathway: This pathway plays a key role in regulating normal stem cells, with aberrant signalling stimulating CSCs, resulting once again in tumour recurrence and resistance to chemotherapy. Curcumin has been found in multiple studies to destroy CSCs through inhibiting this pathway.

As you can see through these eight examples above, curcumin exhibits a rather profound level of complexity, modulating numerous molecular pathways simultaneously. Conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy is incapable of such delicate and “intelligent” behavior, as it preferentially targets fast-replicating cells by damaging their DNA in the vulnerable mitosis stage of cell division, regardless of whether they are benign, healthy or cancerous cells.  Curcumin’s selective cytotoxicity, on the other hand, targets the most dangerous cells – the cancer stem cells – which leaving unharmed the normal cells, as we will now learn more about below.

Curcumin & Normal Stem Cells

Normal stem cells (NSCs) are essential for health because they are responsible for differentiating into normal cells that are needed to replace damaged or sick ones. If curcumin were to kill normal cells, like radiation and chemotherapy, it would not provide a compelling alternative to these treatments.  The study addressed this point:

“The safety of curcumin has been long established, as it has been used for centuries as a dietary spice. The question arises as to why curcumin does not seem to have the same deleterious effects on normal stem cells (NSCs) as it does on CSCs. There are several possible reasons that curcumin has toxic effects on CSCs, while sparing NSCs.”

The study offered three potential explanations for curcumin’s differential or selective cytotoxicity:

  • Malignant cells take in much more curcumin than normal cells.
  • Curcumin alters the microenvironment of cells in such a way that is adverse to CSCs and beneficial to NSCs.
  • Curcumin may not only directly attack CSCs, but may encourage them to differentiate into non-lethal, more benign cells.
Concluding Remarks

This study adds growing support to the idea that safe, time-tested, natural substances are superior to synthetic ones. Given the evidence that a safe and effective alternative may already exist, chemotherapy, radiation and even surgery may no longer be justified as the first-line standard of care for cancer treatment. In fact, a significant body of evidence now implicates these treatments in worsening prognosis, and in some cases driving cancer stem cell enrichment in tumours. Radiotherapy, for instance, has been found to induce cancer stem cell like properties in breast cancer cells, essentially increasing their malignancy and tumoriogenicity by 30 fold.  This is hardly progress when one considers the role that CSCs play, especially in contributing to post-treatment secondary cancers.

Turmeric and its components, of course, are not FDA approved drugs, and by definition the FDA will not allow an unapproved substance, natural or synthetic, to prevent, treat, diagnosis or cure a disease.  This means that you will not be seeing it offered by an oncologist as an alternative to chemotherapy or radiation any time soon.  This does not, however, mean that it does not work. We have gathered over 1500 citations from the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database MEDLINE, accessible through pubmed.gov, and which can be viewed on our database here: Turmeric Research, showing that curcumin and related turmeric components possess significant anti-cancer activity.  Truth be told, the information is so extensive, revealing over 700 possible health benefits, that I believe this plant embodies a form of intelligence and even compassion. You can learn more about this supposition here: Turmeric’s Healing Power: A Physical Manifestation of Compassion?  I also discuss this concept in my lecture, Food As Medicine Rebooted, which you can watch below:

Of course, the point is not to wait until one has such a severe health problem that taking heroic doses of spices or herbs becomes the focus. It is important to remember that ancient cultures used spices like turmeric mainly in culinary doses, as part of their dietary practices. These smaller amounts, delivered mainly as whole food extracts, likely constituted effective preventive strategies – perhaps preventing the need for radical, heroic intervention later in life. If you read our previous article, Turmeric: A Wellness Promoting Tonic at Low Doses, Research Reveals, you’ll see this point explored in greater depth in light of a human clinical study.

For more research on turmeric and cancer, you can view our two database sections on these topics below:

For a far more in depth exploration of the truth about cancer, natural cancer cures, the many causes of the present day cancer epidemic, and testimony from cancer scientists, physicians and researchers, sign up for the upcoming free, 11-part docu-series ‘The Truth About Cancer,’ which goes live March 30th.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Collective Spark or its staff.

About the Author

Sayer Ji is founder of Greenmedinfo.com, on the Board of Governors for the National Health Federation, and Fearless Parent, Steering Committee Member of the Global GMO Free Coalition (GGFC), a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine.

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Hypnotic Healing & The Mysterious Relationship Between Mind & Body

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Hypnotic Healing & The Mysterious Relationship Between Mind & Body
Photo Credit: Waking Times

Steve Taylor, Ph.D.Guest Writer

In the 1840s, a Scottish doctor living in India named James Esdaile was frequently visited by men with enormous tumours (weighing up to 45 kg) in the scrotum, caused by mosquito bites. The operation to remove them was so painful that men would often put it off for years, only having it as a last resort.

Esdaile had read about hypnotism (or mesmerism, as he referred to it) and decided to try the technique as a way of relaxing patients, so that they would agree to have the operation.

To his surprise, he found that not only did the patients feel relaxed, but they also didn’t feel any pain during the operations. In other words, hypnosis had somehow acted as a powerful anaesthetic. Esdaile reported that, in some cases, there was no pain or injury after the operation either, and that the healing process was faster. As he wrote, “less constitutional disturbance has followed than under ordinary circumstances. There has not been a death among the cases operated on.”

Word began to spread about this amazing surgeon who could remove the massive tumours in 20 minutes without pain or after effects, and soon patients began to flock to Esdaile’s hospital near Calcutta. Esdaile began to use hypnotism in other procedures too, including eye surgery, the removal of tonsils, breast tumours, and childbirth. Esdaile was sure that it wasn’t a matter of his patients pretending (to themselves and/or to him) that they weren’t feeling any pain — he noted that, in addition to a lack of writhing and moaning, patients didn’t display physiological signs of pain such as changes to pulse rate and eye pupils.

At the time Esdaile was practising, mortality rates for operations were massive: a staggering 50% of patients died during or after them. But in 161 recorded cases of Esdaile’s operations, the mortality rate was only 5%. The reasons for this aren’t clear. Esdaile himself believed it was due to “vital mesmeric fluids” passing from him to the patient, which stimulated the healing process. However, it was probably related to reduced loss of blood, and perhaps an activation of the same self-healing abilities that occur with a placebo.

The Hypnotic State

The hypnotic state is still mysterious — there is no clear explanation of what happens when a person becomes hypnotised, or how the state is different from normal consciousness. But the essential aspect seems to be that, under hypnosis, the normal conscious self becomes immobilised. Normal conscious functions such as volition and control are taken over by the hypnotist. And with the conscious self in abeyance, the hypnotist appears to have direct access to the person’s subconscious mind.

Certainly, one of the most striking aspects of hypnosis is the powerful influence of the mind (via the hypnotist’s suggestions) over the functioning of the body.  Esdaile was by no means the only physician to use hypnosis, but from the mid-nineteenth century, the practice was superseded by the use of chemical anaesthetics. But there were still some areas of medicine where the practice continued — dentistry, in particular. At the turn of the 20th century, hypnosis was dentists’ main method of pain management, and it became almost universal for dentists during the First and Second World Wars, when chemical anaesthetics were scarce and facial trauma was common. Even now, some dentists still use hypnosis, especially in cases where a person’s medical history precludes the use of an anaesthetic.

Recent research with patients who had teeth extracted under hypnosis showed that “hypnotic-focused analgesia” can increase pain thresholds by up to 220%. (1) This research also found that 93% of patients experienced reduced postoperative pain and haemorrhage. (This links to Esdaile’s finding that mortality rates decreased very sharply as a result of his use of hypnosis. Hypnosis can reduce blood loss and haemorrhage.)

Beyond its analgesic properties, there is a great deal of evidence that hypnotism can have a powerful healing effect. During the early to mid-nineteenth century, the technique was used by physicians as a treatment and found to be effective against conditions such as epilepsy, neuralgia, and rheumatism. However, hypnosis appears to be particularly effective with skin conditions. In highly suggestible people, hypnosis has been used to rapidly heal wounds and burns, to make warts and blisters disappear and to control the bleeding of haemophiliacs. Conversely, highly suggestible people may produce blisters or burn marks, if they are told by a hypnotist that their skin has been burnt, or if they are blindfolded and the hypnotist pretends to touch them with a red hot poker or another object. (2)

Explaining Healing Under Hypnosis

Even though the effects of hypnosis are unexplained, it seems likely that the analgesic and healing properties of the state involve similar processes to the placebo effect. Research has made it very clear that the placebo effect isn’t just about patients believing that their conditions have improved. Real physiological and neurological changes take place; genuine healing occurs. Recent research (most notably by Dr. Ted Kaptchuk at Harvard Medical School) has found that placebos can have a significant effect even when people know they are taking them.

Both the placebo effect and hypnosis suggest that we have a good deal more influence on our physiological functioning than we usually realise. Our beliefs and intentions seem to be able to activate innate self-regulating and even self-healing powers. A hypnotist simply creates the conditions under which these powers can be activated.

One of the most mysterious aspects is why we don’t have access to these self-regulating powers in our normal conscious state. We can’t simply say to ourselves, “Okay, I’m going to make myself numb to pain” or “I’m going to use my mind’s power over the body to improve the symptoms of my rheumatism or back pain.” We can only use these abilities unconsciously, through the intervention of a doctor of a hypnotist.

For me though, perhaps the most important implication of the regulating and healing effects of hypnosis (and also the placebo effect) are what they suggest about the relationship between the mind and the body. In modern materialistic science, the mind is usually seen as a kind of “shadow” of the brain. Mental activity is a product of — and is equivalent to — brain activity. All mental states can be reduced to brain states.

However, if the mind is just an epiphenomenon of the brain, the powerful physiological effects of hypnosis and the placebo effect don’t make any sense. How could an epiphenomenon bring about such powerful changes to the primary thing that it’s a by-product of? How can a shadow change the object that it’s the shadow of? To use a different metaphor, it would be equivalent to suggesting that the images on the screen of a computer can change the software of the computer.

In other words, hypnosis and the placebo effect (and similar phenomena such as psychosomatic illness and psychogenesis, when mental intention generates illness) suggest that the mind is not just an epiphenomenon of the brain. In fact, since mental intentions (either our own or a hypnotist’s) can bring about such powerful changes to the body, it seems likely that mind is more fundamental than the material stuff of our bodies.

I believe that our culture urgently needs to adopt a “post-materialist” model of reality, which includes the principle that consciousness or mind is not by-products but primary qualities of the world. One possibility is panpsychism, which suggests that consciousness is an intrinsic property of all material particles. Another is what I call “panspiritism” which suggests that the primary reality of the universe is a “fundamental consciousness” (or spirit) that pervades all space and all material forms. (See my bookSpiritual Science for more details.)

Such post-materialist perspectives are the only hope of understanding rogue phenomena such as hypnotic healing and the placebo effect.

About the Author

Steve Taylor Ph.D is a senior lecturer in Psychology at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. He is the author of Back to Sanity: Healing the Madness of Our Minds and The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of A New Era.

Steve’s books have been published in 16 languages and his research has appeared in The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, The Journal of Consciousness Studies, The Transpersonal Psychology Review, The International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, as well as the popular media in the UK, including on BBC World TV, The Guardian, and The Independent.

References

(1) Facco, E. et al. (2011) Effects of Hypnotic Focused Analgesia on Dental Pain Threshold. International Journal of Clinical & Experimental Hypnosis. 59 (4), 454–68.

(2) Kelly, E. F. et al. (2007). Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

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Health

Top 7 Health Benefits Of Flax Seeds

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Photo Credit: www.medicalnewstoday.com

Flax seeds or linseed are tiny brown or yellow seeds that have been used therapeutically for centuries. They have some excellent nutritional and medicinal benefits and can help with various health conditions, such as constipation, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and digestive disorders. Flax seed has a unique combination of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and plant compounds, which make them a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

1. Prevents Constipation

Flax seeds are an excellent source of dietary fibre. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, which contribute to digestive health by preventing both constipation and diarrhoea. Two tablespoons of ground flax seed provide 16% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of fibre for the whole day. They act as a stool softener, stimulating the digestive system and easing bowel movements. Flax can also help improve the micro biome of the bowel by nourishing good bacteria.

2. Lowers Cholesterol

Flax seeds lower cholesterol for a few reasons. First, soluble fibre is proven to lower LDL cholesterol levels by binding to the cholesterol and preventing it from entering the bloodstream. Flax seeds are also high in omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA prevents plaque build-up in the blood vessels due to high cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

3. Lowers Blood Pressure

Fatty acids, lignans, and fibre all work together to treat and prevent hypertension or chronic high blood pressure. In one study, 110 hypertensive patients were given either flax seed or a placebo every day for six months. The test group showed a significant reduction in blood pressure compared with the control group. This study suggested flax seed has some of the most potent dietary blood-pressure-reducing effects.

4. Balances Blood Sugar

Flax seeds may affect blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics. According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, flax seed possesses hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties thanks to its abundant omega-3 and antioxidant and low carbohydrate content. The study noted a nearly 20% reduction in fasting blood glucose levels in subjects supplementing with flax seed.

5. Fights Cancer

Flax seed possesses powerful antioxidant properties that can help prevent the growth of cancer cells. One of the anti-cancer components of flax seed is lignans — phytoestrogens found in many fibre-rich plants. Flax seed contains as many as 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. In addition to aiding cancer prevention, flax seed may also reduce tumour growth in late stages of carcinogenesis among postmenopausal women with breast cancer, and could be beneficial in the treatment of colon, lung, and skin cancer.

6. Fights Inflammation

The omega-3 fatty acids and lignans abundant in flax seed can help reduce inflammation, improving symptoms of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. One study shows that flax seed may reduce inflammatory markers in people with obesity.

7. Improves Symptoms of Menopause

Some studies indicate flax seed supplementation can reduce the occurrence of hot flashes in women going through menopause by up to 50%. This may be due to the presence of lignans, which have estrogenic effects. Other studies do not prove the efficacy of flax seed in reducing menopausal symptoms, but experts agree that there are no adverse effects of supplementing with flax seeds.

A Brief History Of Flax Seeds

Sometime between 4000 and 2000 BC, flax cultivation became a common practice in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea and in regions of the Middle East, and there is some evidence that flax cultivation may have started even thousands of years earlier, during the Neolithic Era of approximately 10,000 BC. From the very beginning, the value of flax was both culinary and domestic, since flax fibres could be spun into linen to provide clothing and other textile-related products.

To this day, flax cultivation has remained both culinary and domestic, although crop production has become more specialized and wide scale. In the United States and Canada, most commercial flax production involves oilseed varieties of flax, in which the seeds will eventually be dried and crushed and used to produce different grades of oil. Non-food grade flax seed/linseed oil is used in wood finishes, paints, coatings, and other industrial supplies. Food grade flax seed/linseed oil can as be used in livestock feed, or as a culinary oil. (It is much more common, however, for livestock feed to contain flax seed meal versus flax seed oil.) Oilseed varieties of flax are typically classified as oilseed crops along with soybeans, rapeseed, cottonseed, sunflower seed, and peanuts. Canada is the world’s largest producer of oilseed flax, followed by Russia, France, and Argentina.

Tips For Adding Flax Seeds To Your Diet

Consume ground seeds rather than whole.

Opt for ground flax seeds, as they are easier to digest.

You won’t reap as many benefits from whole flax seeds, as your intestines cannot break down the tough outer shell of the seeds.

That being said, you can still buy whole flax seeds, grind them in a coffee grinder and store the ground flax seeds in an airtight container.

What About Flax Seed Oil?

The resurgence of the use of flax seed oil is due to its nutritional properties and health benefits.

It’s usually extracted by a process called cold pressing.

Given that oil is sensitive to heat and light, it’s best kept in dark glass bottles and stored in a dark, cool place like a kitchen cabinet.

Because some of its nutrients are heat sensitive, flax seed oil is not suitable for high-temperature cooking.

Nevertheless, some studies have shown that using flax seed oil in light stir-frying of up to 350°F/177°C did not cause any reduction in the quality of the oil (Trusted Source).

It’s worth noting that flax seed oil contains more ALA than flax seeds. One tablespoon of ground flax seeds contains 1.6 grams, while one tablespoon of flax seed oil contains 7 grams.

Nonetheless, flax seeds contain a host of other beneficial nutrients that are not included in its extracted oil, such as fibre. To fully reap the health benefits of flax seeds, ground flax seeds will make a great first choice.

How Much Do You Need?

The health benefits noted in the studies above were observed with just 1 tablespoon (10 grams) of ground flax seeds per day.

However, it’s recommended to keep serving sizes to less than 5 tablespoons (50 grams) of flax seeds per day.

With many proven health benefits and possibly more, there’s no better time than now to grab some flax seeds from your local grocery store.

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The Inquisitorial Roots Of The Insane War On Natural Medicine

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Photo Credit: www.collective-evolution.com

Brendan D. MurphyGuest Writer

In case you’re not aware, there is a not-entirely-covert war being waged by mainstream medicine (ably funded by Big Pharma) against all forms of natural medicine. Anything that non-toxically and non-invasively stimulates or capitalises on the body’s own programmed and innate healing mechanisms is not to be tolerated. Not only is it not to be tolerated, but it is to be attacked as viciously as (in) humanly possible, demonized, and crushed forever more.

Have you ever wondered just how far back this antipathy and irrational fear and loathing extends?

Some of you might point to the Rockefeller family and the incredible job they have done in destroying the reputations of all forms of natural medicine, as well as crushing all competitors using every (despicable) method possible. You’d be right, of course, in acknowledging their role, however, the ancient mental programs – “legacy programs” – that inhabit such imbalanced people and lead them to act in such tyrannical and violent ways are much older than David Rockefeller. He merely inherited them from a bygone age.

How much older are we talking?

Remember a little thing called the middle ages? Yeah, we can trace these predatory mental programs and agendas at LEAST that far back in time – right back to the Inquisition. Those were the heady days of witch hunting, mass torture, and Satan lurking around every corner.

The “wisest fool in Christendom” King James I, of Gunpowder Plot fame, published a book in 1597 (about eight years before Guy Fawkes’ failed Gunpowder Plot) called Daemonologie. James was a firm believer in witches and for a time viewed them as having supernatural powers – a view he later downgraded to seeing them instead as anti-social elements with subversive potential. The king’s helpful book detailed what kinds of “unlawful charms, without natural causes” were to be considered witchcraft:

“I mean by such kind of charms as commonly daft wives use, for healing of forspoken (bewitched) goods, for preserving them from evil eyes, by knitting…sundry kinds of herbs to the hair of the goods; by curing the worm, by stemming the blood, by healing of horse crooks…or doing such like innumerable things by words [think power of suggestion and hypnosis], without applying anything…to the part offended, as mediciners do.”1 (emphasis added)

As you can see, James had granted his inquisitors license to persecute traditional healers, herbalists; anyone who was merely continuing ancient folkloric traditions – whether they were effective and helpful or not was irrelevant. In fact, so rabid and blinded by hatred and irrational beliefs, were the clerics carrying out this persecution – which evinced a particular hostility towards the feminine, we might note – that they could twist genuine therapeutic efficacy according to their confirmation bias, such that it would merely have amounted to evidence of Satanic influence. The healer’s (grisly) fate would have been sealed regardless.

James’ ideological forebears Kramer and Sprenger, authors of the infamous Malleus Maleficarum (1486) had written:

“[S]ince the devil is more powerful than a man, and a man can obstruct the generative powers by means of frigid herbs or anything else that can be thought of, therefore  much more can the devil do this, since he has greater knowledge and cunning.”2

That devil was a clever lad. He could render a man impotent towards one woman in particular while leaving his lust for other women in tact through “his own power, or some herb or stone, or some occult natural means.”3 Thus, even humble garden herbs were potentially tools of those master genital puppeteers Satan and his minions. Buyer beware. Kramer and Sprenger wrote that witches who made potions or herbs as contraceptives were to be punished by “the extreme penalty,” meaning being tortured horrifically and killed either by fire or some other sadistic method. They also quoted Augustine of Hippo, another bright spark, who wrote in the early fifth century AD in City of God that “devils ensnare us by various kinds of stones and herbs and trees, animals, charms and ceremonies.”4

In a summation of Sprenger and Kramer’s mind-numbing work, Edo Nyland writes:

“Open hunting season was declared on women, especially herb gatherers, midwives, widows and spinsters…It has been estimated by Dr. Marija Gimbutas, Professor of Archaeology at the University of California, that as many as 9 million people, overwhelmingly women, were burned or hanged during the witch-craze.”5

Thus, the strange origins of the war on natural medicine appear to go at least as far back as the middle ages. The targeted women were, of course, in league with Satan. Misogyny played a tremendous part in the Inquisition as the feminine principal was stamped out and disempowered as thoroughly as possible. In today’s climate, women and men who practice natural healing methods – whether chiropractic, herbalism, acupuncture, detoxing and fasting, etc. –  are persecuted equally, so three cheers for progress, folks. Their sin is not doing “as mediciners do.” Their sin is deviating from the dogma of cut, poison/medicate, and burn. They are in league with nature and that is tantamount to being in league with the devil. The reason that mainstream medicine as an entity operates so much like a fanatical religion is simply because at its base, it is – and increasing numbers of medical doctors are in agreement.

In the USA the conspiracy against natural medicine / CAM has been proven beyond all reasonable doubt, so clear is the paper trail. There have been a number of court cases where practitioners who were hand picked by the establishment for termination successfully defended themselves and caused the Inquisitors some embarrassment in the process, showing how government agencies were overstepping their bounds and acting deceitfully and vexatiously. Those CAM practitioners were targeted by the usual suspects (“health fraud” task forces, AMA, FBI, FDA, cancer societies, etc.) and forced to defend themselves and their livelihoods.

Some therapists not only did that, but proved that they were being persecuted in accordance with a highly orchestrated conspiracy emanating from the most powerful quarters of establishment medicine and politics. This is not a theory. It is a matter of record. One example: A holistic dentist, Dr Vaughn Harada of Santa Monica, was called before the Dental Board. With the help of his attorney Bill Moore, he proved to the assistant attorney general the nature of the conspiracy against alternative medicine and that he was being targeted as part of it, and the matter was promptly dropped. Moore had several other clients with similar results.1

The same basic situation of the medical “powers that be” orchestrating and maintaining a vindictive attack against natural medicine is being played out in other countries – Australia being an obvious example. Biased and ignorant (and bought) politicians chime in, singing from the same pharmaceutical song sheet, offering paeans to their Father in Heaven, Lord of Mainstream Medicine. The message to the great unwashed masses is “submit – or else.” The hypnotic effect of these legacy programs is so strong that the hypnotized never stop to think if their viewpoint is actually accurate or not. Completely maddening is the systemic Stockholm syndrome we in the developed world display. The faithful flock suckles at the teat of the very authorities that have them scared stupid, under-informed, duped, mesmerized, and superficially placated. We think we can pay the government and Big Pharma to keep us safe from the terrors of the unknown (and invented), just as we used to pay the church indulgences to buy our way out of post-mortem punishment for “sinning.”

It’s significant that during the middle ages, Christendom took the gods, devas, and nature spirits (such as satyrs) – including the important Pan – and Satan-ised them, effectively turning man against nature, and making us even more paranoid and delusional in the process. Nature was to be viewed with suspicion. The fertile Greek satyr Pan – a harmless nature god with his hoofs and horns – became part of the template used to create the evil fantasy called Satan.2 By association, then, use of natural therapeutic interventions could be seen as evidence of an allegiance with the devil. Healing brought about through herbs, for instance, now had a menacing preternatural overtone. Anyone not using the church’s officially sanctioned medical interventions was derelict and in sin. The deviant had to be punished (cruelly).

Today, modern medicine – for all its “sophistication” – embodies this ancient and deep-seated paranoia towards natural interventions and the power of the human body to simply heal itself. Just look at the establishment’s bizarre and baseless hostility towards the sheer idea of reversing metastatic cancer through a nutritional approach, for example. Herbalism, naturopathy, and acupuncture are dismissed as quackery. Schools for natural medicine are being shut down. The inquisition continues on today – its form and modus operandi has only shifted slightly: these days it is corporately driven and funded – seemingly secular, but sectarian at its unbalanced and corrupt ideological core.

The underlying programs occupying the minds of today’s inquisitors seeking to stamp out CAM are much the same as they were in the middle ages, though they realise it not! The overweening self-righteousness and fanaticism are still with us. We’re not allowed to torture and mutilate homeopaths, chiropractors, or herbalists, but they remain the enemy of synthetic, invasive, PATERNALISTIC, and authoritarian mainstream medicine, which embodies the remaining schism between a manipulated humanity and the natural world which we so fundamentally rely on for our survival. It is yet another glaring example of unconscious continuation of irrational and self-defeating belief structures in the collective unconscious of humanity. The subtle and passive inheritance of legacy programs is causing us tremendous problems everywhere. Unexamined beliefs are dangerous to hold in matters of health and healing, but even more so when the State inherits and then enforces those blind beliefs with the full might of the law. (Consider: the legal basis for forced vaccination is now in place. See: Biosecurity Act 2015. Who determines if you “need” vaccinating? The State’s clerics, er, agents do. If that doesn’t concern you, please study this article carefully.)

A largely unconscious agenda to maintain an insidious thought control program is still in place today. The agenda is “unconscious” in the sense that it is fundamentally unaware of its own flaws, deeply irrational, unjustly damaging to the victims and their families, and ultimately self-defeating. It seems that every other day now there is a report of some poor doctor being persecuted and dragged into court or some medical tribunal for judgment all because they use acupuncture or chiropractic, or simply acknowledged a parent’s wish to not vaccinate a child who was demonstrably at high risk. The controlled media piles on with its usual shrill demonization campaign and the Inquisition rolls on – another “rebel” crushed by legacy programs once vigorously pushed by the Papacy and now running the modern medical  establishment (a.k.a. Medical Mafia).

The possibility that superior methods of protecting and enhancing health might exist OUTSIDE the purview of mainstream technically-oriented paternalistic medicine seems never to enter most doctors’ minds – after all, salvation can only be found through the Church and its sacraments. And yet there is no shortage at all of allopathically trained doctors who now rebuke the entire philosophical foundation of western medicine. They didn’t start out with such a dull view of it all. They arrived at that point through years of disappointing results and painful experience. Does anyone care, for instance, that Dr Robert Medelsohn – a classically trained medical professional – stated in Confessions of a Medical Heretic that we could probably eliminate 90+% of medical intervention and not only would we NOT suffer for it, but collectively would be better off? Does anyone pushing the pharmaceutical domination agenda care to even TRY understanding WHY he said what he said?

Such voices are drowned out by the thought control agenda driven by Big Pharma and its legions of shills and prostitutes who fail to see (or care?) that if we cannot have freedom of choice and sovereignty over our very own bodies, then we have no freedom at all. Today’s Inquisitors may not wear clerical garb but their authoritarian religion is clear enough for those with eyes to see.

It’s always the same old “externalised authority” / “power over” instead of “power within” programs running the show. We have outsourced our health to the Medical Mafia, trusting blindly in the medical priesthood that they know what is best for us and will deftly guide us forward, just as the masses used to outsource their spirituality to middle men acting as cardinals, priests, and popes. We know how that worked out.

What a disturbing spectacle it all makes. How much worse will it need to get before we try something new and start taking responsibility? Are we willing to embrace responsibility knowing that having an INFORMED opinion means hard study, that it means thinking for ourselves, questioning “truths” long taken for granted, and facing the very uncomfortable possibility that we have been lied to and played for fools?

About the Author

Brendan D. Murphy – Co-founder of Global Freedom Movement and host of GFM Radio, Brendan D. Murphy is a leading Australian author, researcher, activist, and musician. His acclaimed non-fiction epic The Grand Illusion: A Synthesis of Science & Spirituality – Book 1 is out now! Come and get your mind blown at www.brendandmurphy.net
“What a wonderful job of collating and integrating you have done! Every person in the field of ‘paranormal’ psychology or related topics should have this book as a major reference.” – Dr. Buryl Payne

“A masterpiece…The Grand Illusion is mind-blowing.” – Sol Luckman, author of Potentiate Your DNA.

“You’ve written the best synthesis of modern science and esoteric science that I’ve seen in 40 years of study in that area. Brilliant!”  – Michael K. Wade

Please visit – www.globalfreedommovement.org

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