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Potential US presidential contender thinks YOUR money is in the “wrong hands”

Grab your wallets. Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of New York City, may be lining up a presidential run. And in his State of the City speech last Thursday, he gave us a peak of what the future could have in store…

“Here’s the truth. Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world. There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands.”

Brothers and sisters? In the wrong hands? REALLY, comrade de Blasio?!

The Mayor of New York City doesn’t think the people who earn the money should get to keep it.

For the time being, New York City is still the financial capital of the world, despite Bill de Blasio’s best efforts to change that.

This guy is as far left as they come. And he doesn’t try to hide it.

He traveled to Nicaragua to support the socialist Sandinistas back in 1988. (The same socialist leader, Danny Ortega, is still in power and currently on a mass killing spree).

De Blasio wants to guarantee health care for everyone in New York City, including illegal immigrants.

He even wants to seize buildings from bad landlords (if we took property away from every landlord that had a complaint filed against them, I don’t think we’d have any left).

In a 2017 interview, he told New York Magazine:

What’s been hardest is the way our legal system is structured to favor private property. I think people all over this city, of every background, would like to have the city government be able to determine which building goes where, how high it will be, who gets to live in it, what the rent will be.

I think there’s a socialistic impulse, which I hear every day, in every kind of community, that they would like things to be planned in accordance to their needs. And I would, too.

De Blasio believes in a top down centrally planned society from the bottom of his heart. He thinks every facet of life should be regulated and controlled by the government.

He was mayor while New York City outlawed common “gravity knives” used in construction work.

He signed a bill that forces Airbnb to hand over information on every host and every transaction. Already NYC is one of the most restrictive places in the country when it comes to Airbnb, and the city spends up to $7 million per year enforcing these rules.

Plus New York City residents are already paying one of the highest tax rates in the country. In addition to federal and (high) state taxes, they owe a city wide income tax. In the end, over half of their money already gets confiscated by various governments.

But that’s not enough for Bill. And that’s no surprise given the agendas he’s pushing forward like free healthcare. The question remains the same… who is going to pay for all of this?

Maybe he wants a 70% tax rate like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Maybe it’s 90% like back in the days of FDR.

But before he tries to squeeze more blood from the stone, Bill should look across the river to New Jersey.

Jersey has some of the highest income, property, and inheritance tax rates in the country. And its residents are already fleeing, including the billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper, who moved himself and his business to Florida.

Just this one guy leaving means the state of New Jersey lost hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue – he almost singlehandedly threw the state into crisis.

And Tepper isn’t alone in fleeing to a friendlier tax state. Two million residents left New Jersey between 2005 and 2014. 60% of them went to Florida, taking with them their combined $18 billion of income.

New York is in the same boat. In the 12 months ending July 2017, the State of New York lost a net 190,508 residents (bringing the total loss to 1 million people since 2010 – the largest of any state). Guess where they’re headed… states with friendlier tax regimes.

So what exactly does de Blasio think this kind of rhetoric is going to do for NYC’s tax revenue?

He doesn’t care. Because this speech wasn’t really aimed at New Yorkers. It was aimed at the entire nation.

Bill de Blasio is one of the cadre of rising socialists who is considering throwing their hat in the ring for a 2020 Democratic nomination.

If Trump was the answer to politically correct, cry-baby social justice warriors, just imagine who will come to power when the pendulum swings back the other way. We saw a preview with Bernie Sanders in 2016… Elizabeth “you didn’t build that” Warren echoes his economic illiteracy.

Message received loud and clear Comrade Bill. Wealthy people are the enemy… and their money should be in the “right” hands (presumably the not-so-invisible hands of government).

This pretty much captures it all: they want your money. It’s not even your money. You earned it… but they have a right to take it.

This is an important, and growing, trend in the Land of the Free. And you need to pay attention.

To your freedom,
Simon Black,
Founder, SovereignMan.com

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“Unplug Your Alexa Devices Right Now… You’re Being Hacked”

That was the disturbing message that a Portland family received just weeks after installing the Amazon listening devices throughout their home.

As KIRO7 reports, Danielle, who did not want us to use her last name, contacted Amazon to investigate after they say a private conversation in their home was recorded by Amazon’s Alexa, and that the recorded audio was sent to the phone of a random person in Seattle, who was in the family’s contact list.

“My husband and I would joke and say I’d bet these devices are listening to what we’re saying,” said Danielle.

After receiving the call above from one of her husband’s employees – who was in the family’s contact list – Danielle says she unplugged all the devices, and she repeatedly called Amazon. She says an Alexa engineer investigated.

“We unplugged all of them and he proceeded to tell us that he had received audio files of recordings from inside our house,” she said. “At first, my husband was, like, ‘no you didn’t!’ And the (recipient of the message) said ‘You sat there talking about hardwood floors.’ And we said, ‘oh gosh, you really did hear us.'”

“I felt invaded,” she said. “A total privacy invasion. Immediately I said, ‘I’m never plugging that device in again, because I can’t trust it.'”

Danielle says the engineer did not provide specifics about why it happened, or if it’s a widespread issue.

“He told us that the device just guessed what we were saying,” she said.

Danielle said the device did not audibly advise her it was preparing to send the recording, something it’s programmed to do.

When KIRO 7 asked Amazon questions, they sent this response:

Amazon takes privacy very seriously. We investigated what happened and determined this was an extremely rare occurrence. We are taking steps to avoid this from happening in the future.

This is not the first ‘anomaly’ that has occurred with these domestic spying devices.

In March, many recent new owners of Amazon’s Alexa devices have been rudely woken by “bone-chillingly creepy” laughing from their AI friend.

So far, no attempt has been made top blame ‘Russian hackers’ for this “creepy” laughter or the recording of people’s conversations in the privacy of their own homes… though we suspect it will not be long.

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Your Weapon Is Only Tool to Survive: The Tactics of a Gunfight After SHTF

 

Looking around I couldn’t find an important piece of information – how one should fight in a SHTF situation. I think this is an important topic to cover because it has several special circumstances that need to be considered.

  1. Ammo will need to be conserved – I don’t care how many rounds you have saved up, it won’t be enough and the long-term of a complete collapse of society (potentially 40+ years) means that from the get go every single shot will be precious.
  2. Due to the fact that it is almost a certainty that combatants will be intensely familiar with the area and possibly have been residing for a long period of time it rather changes the mechanics of combat.
  3. Due to limited manpower and the fact that any attrition will be felt heavily, patrols, night combat, and outposts will be nigh impossible to field with regularity.
  4. Expanding on the above, most medication has a limited shelf life and even minor wounds will start to become quite threatening (increased risk of disease and infection)

With that in mind, let us analyse why tactical considerations are always important and what style of fighting we will have to adopt. Due to the fact that ammo will always be a luxury, modern tactics which rely on the idea of expending more ammo in a gunfight at the foe over men or positioning is obviously not possible.

Now – every weapon you should use should focus on stopping power, the smallest cartridge in your arsenal should be 6.5mm (handguns excluded). Whilst 5.56 has good aerodynamics and is plentiful it simply is designed to suppress whilst a mortar, grenade, or artillery piece does the killing – it simply isn’t designed with taking down man-sized targets with minimal rounds (I have heard anecdotes of anywhere between 5-15 torso shots on an adrenalized up foe before they go down).

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With that out-of-the-way – let us look at the overall thought process and things to identify before you engage in any situation.

  1. Manpower: Who has more bodies at their disposal – do they look weak and ill-trained or are their movements/positions well thought out and the men (and women!) well fed? Are they all moving armed or do they have the luxury of people dedicated to guard duties?
  2. Armament: What weapons are they using – are they rusted and in ill repair? Can you identify if they are carrying enough ammo for everyone to fight adequately?
  3. Maneuver: Who is in the better position? – do they have a path of pursuit and escape, do they have a height advantage? Importantly are they defending something valuable (like a base or stash)? If so you may have the luxury of being able to attack at will, the same thing goes if you are on the defensive.

From these 3 guidelines a threat level can be deduced, obviously there will be some situation where one advantage is so great that it will offset disadvantages – this is a rough guideline. If they check off none, then you are probably in a position to utilize a diplomatic approach and join groups. If they check off one of 3 then you should approach with caution, maybe attempt to surround them at night and make your intentions clear – again diplomacy may be the best decision here. If they check two of three than combat should be avoided until you are in a position to use your advantage to overwhelm them (attacking at night, in an ambush, etc). Do not attempt diplomacy at this threat level as you will not be in a position to make a fair deal and all emphasis should be placed on evening the odds or avoiding the threat. Finally if they check off all three do not engage at all, the goal is survival not heroic death and if worst comes to worst retreating completely or surrendering goods is preferable to a bullet in the brain. They still are people and unless you are absolutely sure that they are completely hostile they may be willing to work with you.

Now with the overall threat assessment done we may now talk about the five stages of combat (Recce, Skirmish, Combat, Push/Withdraw, Decisive Blow/Total Withdrawal).

RECCE

Recce is often the most overlooked stage of combat but it is BY FAR the most important. Recce is the mode of thought that you should be on at all times, dispatching a scout if possible and identifying incoming threats. The more focus you place on recce the more forewarning you will have as to inbound threats, and more time to prepare/evacuate. Obviously you will be unable to have a complete recon net due to limited supplies but any extra hands should be trained for recce and dispatched when possible.

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This is where you will identify your enemies capabilities on your threat checklist and decide whether to choose engagement/diplomacy/retreat. Just to outline how vital this is, 90% of a good tactician’s skill is how the deploy and utilize information from recce, with the other 10% being a good leader with good interpersonal skills and the ability to keep cool under pressure.

SKIRMISH

This is where you action your initial decision on engaging the enemy, it is the period where hostilities have begun but you are not locked into a fight. This will be the period where you harry the enemy with traps and marksman to attempt to pick off men before you attack or they reach your designated point of defense (usually your fortifications).

Some skirmishes may only last a minute or two and some may be the entire fight, note that your main focus should be leaders and sensitive targets (heavily armed fighters and if possible, medics). The goal of this will be to break your enemies organisation and morale when combat begins – that being said…

COMBAT

This will be the time when individual training counts. Communication will be close to impossible in this brief period and this is where the most casualties will be sustained – though despite this being the most calamitous point of a fight it will be the least important for you as the person in command. Your main role will be encouraging your men and stopping any obvious screw-ups.

What you should be watching closely is the movement of combat, are you making good progress towards your goal or are you sustaining casualties – are there hostile elements that you were unaware of?

Before I make my next point the thing to keep in mind is that in a ‘battle’ there may be multiple combats, intensive fighting between periods of skirmish, pushing, and retreat.

PUSH/WITHDRAW

This is as much a phase of combat as it is its own separate action, and the commands will have to be executed well and especially in the case of a withdrawal you need pre-planned points to ensure cohesiveness.

Really the most that can be said of pushing is that your enemy has begun to break or have thinned enough that they can no longer maintain the area their position demands, as I would expect almost all combatants to be ill-trained this will almost certainly result in a decisive victory as the enemy breaks completely.

However, keeping your men together in the case of a withdrawal is another issue. The things to watch out for: can you retreat to your designated point safely (if you have one – keep in mind most defense should take a multi layered approach), do you have enough manpower left to pursue another attack, is the enemy willing to pursue or are they holding position. If it is the latter the combat may switch to a skirmishing stance again.

TOTAL WITHDRAWAL/ DECISIVE BLOW

Decisive blow: Your enemy has completely shattered, this is the period encompassing cleaning up resistance before taking stock of supplies and beginning the process of recce again – re-assessing.

Total Withdrawal: This comes about one of two ways – Your force has broken and are fleeing in a blind panic, or it is (hopefully) an organised retreat to put some distance between yourselves and the enemy combatants and re-asses. You will again need to survey the situation and determine the next point of action for your group.

Something to note – Overall your group should always be prepared for a total retreat, even an easy fight could be a ruse and you always need to be prepared to move and maintain as many supplies as possible.

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What Happens When You Keep Your Pet Parrot In a Drug Lab

This parrot named Lollibaby was a pet at a drug lab home

A parrot called Lollibaby was a pet at a drug lab in Tennessee. Methamphetamine was cooked at this home.

 

During a drug raid, Lollibaby was found with all her feathers fallen out due to living in close proximity to the toxic chemicals

During a drug raid, Lollibaby was found with all her feathers fallen out due to living in close proximity to the toxic chemicals.

A parrot who was rescued from a meth house is slowly recovering after living in close proximity to the toxic chemicals caused all her feathers to fall out.

dailymail.co.uk

Lollibaby was found with all her feathers fallen out due to living in close proximity to the toxic chemicals.

Lollibaby is now on the road to recovery at the One Stop Pet Shop in Tennessee, US

Joseph Clapp, who works at the pet store, said, “We’re trying to get her back to health. It’s going to be 6-8 months, and it may take longer than that because we’re just not sure.”

nydailynews.com

Employees at the store say the cockatoo’s appetite is getting better by the day and they have moved her to a larger cage.

Meth effects on human beings, illustrated with “before” and “after” photos:

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Image result for meth users before afterImage result for meth users before after

Why is methamphetamine so addictive? It causes the body to release 10 times its normal level of dopamine (the brain’s pleasure chemical)

A leading drug tester says methamphetamine, the dangerous drug commonly known as ice, is making its way into Bowen Basin mine camps as more miners seek a “cheap cocaine” high.

It also prompts a rush of norepinephrine, or adrenaline. All that boosts a users heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. It erases rational decision-making as well as the body’s cravings for food and sleep.

mercedsunstar.com

In the long term, meth causes increased heart rate & blood pressure; damaged blood vessels in the brain that can cause strokes or an irregular heartbeat that can, in turn, cause cardiovascular collapse or death.

‘Lollibaby’ the bird slowly recovering from meth house

A cockatoo rescued from a meth house in Morgan County made world headlines last September. Lollibaby, the white female bird, lost most of her feathers in her former home.

Six months have passed and Lollibaby remains in the care of a Roane County pet store. One Stop Pet Shop in downtown Rockwood rescued and has custody of the cockatoo.

Lollibaby has grown new feathers on her back and can fully open her wings. She has also become a great dancer.

The story WBIR first published on Lollibaby reached far and wide.

“This is the sock buddy. There’s a lady in Boston that makes them.  She sends them to us because she has to stay warm. She has to keep a core temperature of 102 to 104 degrees at all times,” said Charles McPherson of One Stop Pet Shop.

Lollibaby still has a lot of missing feathers on her chest. Eventually, the pet shop believes she may grow those back.

One Stop Pet Shop is working to raise awareness of the impact meth has on animals. You may purchase your shirt and meet Lollibaby at the pet shop located at 109 South Front Street in Downtown Rockwood.

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To Avoid Mental Problems, Turn Your Phone Off By 10 PM

Late night phone use has been linked to many mental issues stemming from a lack of sleep.  Now experts are saying if you’d like a clean mental bill of health, turn your phone off by 10 PM.

Looking at your phone after 10 PM causes moodiness the next day because the light tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime, leading to sleep issues.  Sleeping less than the eight hours per night is associated with intrusive, repetitive thoughts like those seen in anxiety or depression, says new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.

And humanity’s growing addiction to their phones is not helping matters. Now. more recent research is showing that people who fail to follow their natural body clock rhythm – like staying up to look at their phone rather than going to sleep, are more likely to have depression and mental health problems. The study has also found that those who are inactive during the day and more active or restless at night have an increased risk of depression, bipolar disorder, and low mood.

The findings come from the largest study of its kind, involving more than 91,000 people across the United Kingdom.  The researchers discovered that regular sleep disruptions are associated with difficulty in shifting one’s attention away from negative information – like that we are bombarded with on social media via our phones in the dopamine feedback loop created by companies like Facebook.  This may mean that inadequate sleep is part of what makes negative intrusive thoughts stick around and interfere with people’s lives.

Binghamton Professor of Psychology Meredith Coles and Jacob Nota assessed the timing and duration of sleep in individuals with moderate to high levels of repetitive negative thoughts (e.g., worry and rumination). The research participants were exposed to different pictures intended to trigger an emotional response, and researchers tracked their attention through their eye movements.

According to The Daily Mail,  Professor Daniel Smith, professor of psychiatry at the university, said a healthy rhythm is the key to curing mood disorders. “A healthy rhythm is to be quite active during the day and very inactive at night. This is an important study demonstrating a robust association between disrupted circadian rhythm and mood disorders,” said Smith.

But have no fear if you don’t follow your natural rhythm.  Smith says there are a few things you can do to get more in tune with your body. “There are a lot of things people can do, especially during the winter, such as getting out of the house in the morning to get exposed to light and take exercise, so that by evening they are tired,” he said.  “You can also turn off your mobile phone around 10 pm because the light in it is telling your brain it’s daytime. But it is hard for some people, such as shift workers, because of their job or because of their family circumstances.”

It is already known that the internal body clock regulates many functions including body temperature and eating habits. Long-term night-shift work has previously been associated with an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and obesity.

Scientists are often interested in finding biological fault in emotional or highly sensitive people (e.g. it’s your genes, it’s brain chemicals), studies like this should offer hope to the weary that you may need more rest and relaxation, less pressure, and maybe less evening phone time.

DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. 

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Get Your Cortisol Levels Under Control & Turn Down the Stress

Cortisol levels - Dr. Axe

Do you find yourself overly stressed, tired, and even notice weight gain despite not changing your diet or workout frequency? Your cortisol levels may be out of whack. More specifically, they may be too high.

Cortisol is often called the primary “stress hormone” because it’s one of the main hormones we release when we’re under any sort of pressure and our evolutionary-based “fight or flight response” kicks into gear. Although most think of cortisol as a bad thing — such as contributing to acne, weight gain or high blood pressure — there’s actually a lot more to cortisol levels than just our stress response and its unwanted symptoms. We need it to live.

While producing cortisol is a necessity for life and helps keep us motivated, awake and responsive to our environment, maintaining abnormally high circulating cortisol levels can become dangerous and contribute to long-term problems. Long-term use of corticosteroids and chronic stress are two of the biggest contributors to high cortisol. Chronic, high cortisol production is tied to symptoms and ailments including weight gain, anxiety, sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances and fertility problems, in addition to many other problems.

The good news is there are many natural ways to get your cortisol levels in check. For instance, some adaptogen herbs are known to lower cortisol, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Read on for more ways to lower high cortisol levels naturally.


How to Lower Cortisol Levels Naturally

You can greatly help manage cortisol levels and regain your health by changing your diet, exercise routine, sleep and stress levels. Assuming you haven’t been diagnosed with Cushing’s disease by your doctor, here are steps you can take to help lower high cortisol levels naturally:

1. Switch to a Whole Foods, Anti-inflammatory Diet

Poorly managed blood sugar levels (especially hypoglycemia, having low blood sugar) and high levels of inflammation can contribute to high cortisol levels and other hormonal imbalances. Following an anti-inflammatory diet low in processed foods and high in antioxidants, fiber and essential nutrients is key to balancing hormones, controlling your cravings and getting you on the right track. These same strategies can also help with adrenal support, allowing you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, boosting energy during the day and helping you sleep better at night.

Some of the most significant dietary contributors to inflammation and high cortisol levels include: (1)

  • high-sugar, high-glycemic diet (with many packaged foods, refined grain products, sugary drinks and snacks)
  • consuming high amounts of refined and trans fats
  • drinking too much caffeine and alcohol
  • experiencing insufficient intake of micronutrients and antioxidants
  • not consuming enough fiber (which makes it hard to balance blood sugar)
  • not consuming enough healthy fats or protein (which can lead to hunger, weight gain and high blood sugar)

Instead, switch to a low-glycemic diet, include healthy fats and proteins with every meal, and make sure to get enough fiber and phytonutrients by eating plenty fresh fruits and veggies. (2) Some of the most useful foods for lowering cortisol and stabilizing blood sugar include vegetables; fruits; coconut or olive oil; nuts; seeds; lean proteins like eggs, fish and grass-fed beef; and probiotic foods (like yogurt, kefir or cultured veggies).

2. Reduce and Manage Stress

Chronic stress is now linked with just about every health problem out there. Stress affects most people at least to some degree and impacts health by sending chemical signals around the body, including to the heart and blood vessels, immune system, lungs, digestive system, sensory organs, and brain. Stress has the power to increase breathing, heart rate, pain and muscle tension, your appetite (including overeating), and sleep-related problems.

Luckily, the natural stress relievers listed below are proven to help lower cortisol and decrease the negative impact stress has on your health:

  • Meditation or “mindfulness”: This practice has been shown to help train the brain and body to turn off the stress response and promote more relaxation. And these benefits are possible without impairing alertness, concentration or memory. Many studies show that daily mediation or even healing prayer for just 15 to 30 minutes can offer significant reductions in cortisol. Participating in a regular “mindfulness-based stress reduction” program also offers significant reductions in cortisol and stress-related symptoms or diseases. Using meditative methods can also improve brain and heart health while bolstering your immune system. (3)
  • Acupuncture: Trusted for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture treatments help naturally control stress and reduce symptoms like muscle or joint pain, headaches, fertility problems, troubling sleeping, and poor circulation.
  • Deep breathing exercises: Taking deep breaths helps turn down the sympathetic nervous system and kick in the body’s natural relaxation response by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Diaphragmatic breathing is an easy technique to learn on your own and practice throughout the day to relieve muscle tension and anxiety. Controlled breathing techniques have been a staple in Eastern health practices for centuries and are becoming more popular in the West, too, thanks to emerging studies and books describing their benefits — such as Dr. Herbert Benson’s book “The Relaxation Response.” (4)
  • Spending time in nature/outdoors: Studies show that physical settings play a role in stress reduction, and being in nature is a well-documented way to promote relaxation. (5) Try going for walks or runs outside (especially barefoot running or walking, a practice called “earthing“), spending time at the ocean, walking through forests, gardening at home, or doing other things outdoors and away from technology to reduce anxiety.

3. Exercise Regularly

According to research published by Harvard Medical School, regular exercise (about 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week, depending on the intensity) is one of the best ways to manage stress, balance hormones, sleep better and aid normal metabolic functions (like balancing blood sugar levels). (6) The key is to avoid overtraining and overexerting yourself, which can actually cause even more cortisol to be released.

Exercise benefits hormone levels because although it temporarily increases adrenaline and cortisol production, it generally helps bring cortisol back down to normal levels afterward. This cycle helps your body better handle stress and gives your autonomic nervous system (the one that controls your stress and relaxation responses) its own workout. This means the next time your stress hormones rise due to a perceived threat, you should be able to lower cortisol levels more easily, since your body becomes primed to this during physical activity.

4. Use Adaptogen Herbs and Superfoods

Adaptogen herbs help naturally lower high cortisol levels in several key ways. They help balance hormones, reduce inflammation due to their strong antioxidant, antiviral and antibacterial effects, have natural antidepressant effects, lower fatigue, and help balance blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Many adaptogens, such as reishi mushrooms and cocoa, have been safely used for thousands of years to promote better overall health with little to no side effects.

Some adaptogenic herbs that have been observed to directly regulate cortisol levels are:

  • ashwaganda
  • astragalus
  • licorice root
  • medicinal mushrooms, including resishi and cordyceps
  • rhodiola

While some adaptogenic herbs haven’t been found in scientific research to directly impact cortisol, they may help indirectly because of the way they function. See, adaptogens have “non-specific” impact throughout the whole body, resulting in an improved response to stress overall. Some of them lower corticosterone (another stress hormone), while others result in improved cognition, neurotransmitter function, immunity and antioxidant activity. Adaptogens that act without directly altering cortisol levels include Panax ginseng and holy basil, among others.

Interestingly, the herbs listed above may first act by giving you an extra bump in cortisol when presented with the fight-or-flight response. People who suffer from adrenal fatigue often aren’t able to produce proper amounts of cortisol when exposed to stress because their adrenal glands are taxed, so adaptogens that influence cortisol might provide the necessary boost. That way, your body is able to respond more efficiently to stress, resulting in lower circulating cortisol levels over time.

Many adaptogens are available in capsule or powder form. Some, such as holy basil, can be grown or bought in fresh plant form to use in beverages or foods.

5. Try Essential Oils to Promote Relaxation

Similarly to adaptogen herbs, essential oils are also helpful for fighting stress and balancing hormones. Essential oils, including lavender, clary sage, frankincense and bergamot, contain potent, active ingredients that have been shown to naturally lower cortisol, combat anxiety, reduce inflammation, improve immunity, and/or help with sleep and digestive functions. (7, 8, 9, 10)

Try inhaling some of the best essential oils for hormones, diffusing them in your home, making bath soaks or body washes using your favorite kinds, or rubbing them directly into your skin when mixed properly with a carrier oil (like coconut or jojoba oil). If you’re dealing with side effects of high cortisol, including acne, indigestion or bloated stomach, certain essential oils like lemon or peppermint can help with that, too.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep helps us control cortisol production, but having high cortisol levels can make it hard to rest. In people with normal circadian rhythms, cortisol levels rise during the early morning hours and then drop very low at night prior to sleep and during sleep. People who develop high cortisol levels can wind up feeling the opposite: wired and anxious at night, but then fatigued during the day — thus, they can’t sleep well at the times they’re supposed to. On the reverse end, sleep deprivation results in higher levels of cortisol just the following evening. (11)

This overactivity of the adrenal glands is one of the biggest signs of Cushing’s disease or adrenal fatigue and is usually tied to stress and hormonal imbalances. By taking the steps listed above, you should be able to rest more easily. Ideally, you should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night to reset your circadian rhythms and bring hormones back to balance.


What Is Cortisol?

The adrenal gland, following signals from the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, is responsible for the secretion of cortisol, a type of essential glucocorticoid steroid hormone. Cortisol levels are highest in the morning around 7 a.m. and lowest at night (called a diurnal rhythm). Cortisol is also present in both chronically stressed individuals and those who are perfectly healthy. (12) This vital hormone possesses dozens of different purposes within the body and makes numerous chemical interactions every single day.

What does cortisol do exactly? Cortisol receptors are scattered throughout the entire body, found in nearly every cell, and serve different essential functions, including: (13)

  • helping to keep us awake and alert
  • preventing fatigue or brain fog
  • keeping our metabolisms running (it helps us burn fat for energy)
  • balancing blood sugar levels (since it allows cells to take up and use glucose for energy)
  • reducing inflammation and helping with healing
  • balancing fluid levels based on salt and water intake
  • contributing to control over blood pressure
  • helping with many cognitive processes like learning and memory formulation
  • allowing us to respond to and escape perceived dangers
  • helping to develop the fetus during pregnancy

Levels of cortisol rise when the pituitary gland releases another hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH signals the adrenals to pump out more cortisol. Why does this happen? Many different things trigger this release, including various forms of physical or emotional stress, a poor lifestyle, too little sleep, or illnesses and infections.

 

Symptoms of high cortisol levels - Dr. Axe

 


High Cortisol Levels, Cushing’s, Addison’s and Adrenal Fatigue: What’s the Difference?

Cushing’s Disease/Syndrome

When the pituitary or adrenal glands produce abnormally high levels of cortisol for a duration of time, a doctor may diagnose a serious, chronic disorder called Cushing’s disease. Cushing’s disease is usually caused by tumors on the adrenal or pituitary glands and often causes symptoms like rapid weight gain, a swollen face, fatigue, and water retention/swelling around the abdomen and upper back. It impacts women between the ages of 25 to 40 most often, although people of any age and gender can develop this condition. (14)

Diagnosable Cushing’s disease caused by an overactive adrenal gland is considered much rarer than just having generally high cortisol levels. In other words, you have a much greater chance of experiencing high cortisol at certain times due to increased stress in your life than you do of ever being diagnosed with Cushing’s disease. While people experience at least somewhat high levels of cortisol at one time or another during very stressful episodes (such as a job loss, family crisis or major change), rates of Cushing’s disease diagnoses are still very low compared to other hormonal/endocrine conditions like thyroid disorders or diabetes, for example.

It’s estimated that Cushing’s disease impacts between 10 to 15 people per million, but comparatively high cortisol levels above what are considered normal affect millions of people and most adults. While symptoms of Cushing’s disease and high cortisol tend to be similar, those caused by Cushing’s disease are usually more severe, last longer and more often cause other complications.

To clear up confusion about terminology, Cushing’s syndrome is not the same as Cushing’s disease. They’re similar but also different conditions: Cushing’s syndrome is less serious and refers to “the general state characterized by excessive levels of cortisol in the blood,” while Cushing’s disease is the condition caused by a pituitary tumor that secretes the hormone ACTH, which causes excess cortisol. (15)

Adrenal Insufficiency and Addison’s Disease

On the other hand, the opposite of having Cushing’s disease — experiencing abnormally low cortisol levels — can result in a condition known as Addison’s disease or adrenal insufficiency. Addison’s disease is also rare and is considered a type of autoimmune disease, since it causes the immune system to attack the body’s own healthy tissue. In this case, tissues within the adrenal glands themselves becomes damaged and inflamed due to some sort of trauma, which alters how the adrenals produce hormones.

Certain symptoms of Addison’s disease are essentially the opposite of symptoms of Cushing’s disease, since they’re caused by a deficit in cortisol rather than an excess. Addison’s symptoms can include fatigue, weight loss, muscle wasting, mood swings and changes to the skin.

Adrenal Fatigue

Finally, you have adrenal fatigue. A diagnosis of adrenal fatigue is still very controversial and many health professionals and scientists think it’s a completely fabricated disorder.

However, most natural health professionals agree that the science supports the concept of adrenal fatigue as what may be considered a “subclinical” (not severe enough for a diagnosis of illness/disease) condition that can benefit from following an adrenal fatigue diet, taking supplements and herbs known to improve stress responses and reduce stressors in your life.

Adrenal fatigue symptoms result from overstimulation of the adrenal glands, which results in inconsistent cortisol production. Sometimes, cortisol levels are far too high, and other times, not enough cortisol is produced to allow you to deal with stressful stimuli. These symptoms range from chronic fatigue, autoimmune reactions and brain fog to decreased libido, depression, sleep disturbances and (often) weight gain. (16)


Symptoms of Low or High Cortisol Levels

According to research done by the Genetics Learning Science Center, the long-term danger of having perpetually high cortisol is that it activates the fight or flight response, which temporarily shuts down normal reproductive, digestive and immune functions. The body targets these systems for shutdown because it doesn’t need them for immediate survival.

Sensory nerve cells pass the perception of a threat, or stress, from the environment to the hypothalamus in the brain. This signals the pituitary and adrenal glands to produce more cortisol. If this cycle goes on for too long, someone becomes more susceptible to all sorts of illnesses, infections and hormonal problems. (17)

Some clues that may signal you’re living with high cortisol levels, specifically in the form of Cushing’s disease, include: (18)

  • weight gain, especially around the abdomen/stomach (this can happen despite not changing your diet or exercise routine)
  • a puffy, flushed face
  • mood swings and increased anxiety
  • fatigue (including feeling “tired but wired”)
  • trouble sleeping normally
  • irregular periods and fertility problems (Chronic stress drives pregnenolone/progesterone into conversion to cortisol, which competes for precursors available for synthesizing of other important hormones, like DHEA, estrogen and estradiol. This is known as “The Progesterone/Pregnenolone Steal Effect”) (19)
  • high blood pressure levels (cortisol narrows the arteries while the epinephrine increases heart rate)
  • acne or other changes in the skin
  • higher rates for bone fractures and osteoporosis (cortisol can lower hormones like estrogen, which are important for bone health)
  • muscle aches and pains
  • changes in libido due to changes in estrogen or decreased testosterone
  • excessive thirst
  • increased urination
  • higher susceptibility to infections (the stress response can lower immune system functions)

If you’re not making enough cortisol, you will have symptoms of Addison’s disease and/or adrenal fatigue. These are symptoms like: (20)

  • skin changes (such as scar darkening)
  • fatigue
  • worsening muscle weakness
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • weight loss
  • loss of appetite
  • low blood pressure

Don’t try to diagnose yourself when you have these symptoms, especially if they persist for more than a few days to weeks. Your health care provider can help determine if your symptoms are caused by poor cortisol levels or another underlying condition.


Causes of Abnormal Cortisol Levels

Wondering what underlying conditions could be contributing to your high cortisol levels? Cortisol tends to go up as perceived stress goes up, so anything that triggers a negative mind states — things like anxiety, worry, anger or frustration — contributes to high cortisol levels. Medication use, inflammation, poor sleep and a poor diet can also trigger high cortisol levels by altering hormonal balances and negatively affecting the immune system.

Corticosteroid medications like hydrocortisone, prednisone pills or other medications used to treat inflammatory-related diseases or symptoms are common causes of high cortisol levels. Aside from corticosteroids, other major factors associated with poor cortisol production may include:

  • depression (21)
  • over-exercising or overtraining (22)
  • addiction (alcohol or drug abuse) (23)
  • malnourishment and eating disorders (24)
  • severe kidney or liver disease (25)
  • hyperthyroidism (26)
  • obesity (27)
  • pregnancy or birth control pills (28, 29)
  • inflammation (30)
  • a tumor (A pituitary adenoma (benign tumor on the pituitary gland) or an ectopic ACTH-secreting tumor can result in high cortisol levels seen in Cushing’s.)
  • familial Cushing syndrome (There is a rare inherited genetic trait that is linked to the development of tumors on the endocrine gland, leading to Cushing’s syndrome.) (31)

Cortisol Testing and Diagnoses

Your doctor can order a number of tests to determine if you have abnormally low or high cortisol levels. Both blood and urine testing help reveal a problem, but a 24-hour urine test is used more often than a cortisol blood test to diagnose Cushing’s disease or syndrome.

The cortisol values listed below, which can be obtained from a blood test, serve as a reference range for what’s considered normal. Cortisol levels above this normal range are considered high and can be risky or problematic. But keep in mind that values differ depending on time of day, age and the type of cortisol test preformed. Because of this, your doctor will always need to evaluate your results in light of your specific symptoms and medical history.

  • Normal cortisol ranges for adults and children in the morning are between five to 23 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dL) or 138 to 635 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) (32)
  • Normal cortisol ranges for adults and children in the afternoon are between three to 16 mcg/dL or 83 to 441 nmol/L
  • Normal cortisol for a newborn baby is between two to 11 mcg/dL or 55 to 304 nmol/L

If your test results reveal that you’re at risk for Cushing’s disease or Cushing’s syndrome, you’ll be treated dependent on what’s causing cortisol levels to rise in the first place. Cushing’s syndrome and Cushing’s disease are often caused by benign tumor growth on the pituitary gland (called a pituitary adenoma), cortisol-like synthetic medication use and the cortisol-increasing lifestyle factors mentioned above, so all of these will be addressed by your doctor if they’re contributing to your symptoms.

A high percentage of people with either Cushing’s disease or syndrome display at least small tumor growths on their pituitary glands and need to have these removed with surgery or reduced with medications and lifestyle changes in order to resolve cortisol-related symptoms.

It’s important to talk to your doctor if you suspect you might have Cushing’s disease or syndrome to assess whether or not you need to discontinue or lower use of medications that increase cortisol (such as steroids), undergo life-saving surgery to remove the tumor, or use radiation and/or medications to shrink the tumor. However, keep in mind these are very rarely needed interventions, and most people with high cortisol levels are able to manage their conditions naturally without surgery or medication.

If your healthcare provider is concerned you may have low cortisol to the point of adrenal insufficiency, they will likely administer an ACTH stimulation test, which involves getting an injection of synthetic ACTH along with testing reactions in the blood and urine for changes in cortisol levels. People with adrenal insufficiency won’t have a significant increase in cortisol, which should occur in a healthy person who receives ACTH.


Final Thoughts on Cortisol Levels

Although cortisol is often viewed as a bad actor, we need it to live. There are many causes for too-low or too-high cortisol levels, but many of them are environmental or lifestyle-related. In rare cases, a (usually benign) tumor could be the root cause of abnormal cortisol levels. Your doctor can order routine tests to determine your cortisol levels and suggest ways to lower it.

Regardless, we could all probably tap in to natural cortisol-lowering techniques like mindfulness, exercise, and a diet rich in fresh vegetables, clean protein and fruit. So in order to keep your cortisol levels in check, remember the following:

  • Here are some steps you can take to manage your cortisol levels: switch to a whole foods, anti-inflammatory diet; reduce and manage stress; exercise regularly; use adaptogen herbs and superfoods; use essential oils to promote relaxation; and get enough sleep.
  • You have a much greater chance of experiencing high cortisol at certain times due to increased stress in your life than you do of ever being diagnosed with Cushing’s disease, though Cushing’s disease is usually caused by tumors on the adrenal or pituitary glands and often causes symptoms like rapid weight gain, a swollen face, fatigue, and water retention/swelling around the abdomen and upper back. It impacts women between the ages of 25 to 40 most often, although people of any age and gender can develop this condition. While symptoms of Cushing’s disease and high cortisol tend to be similar, those caused by Cushing’s disease are usually more severe, last longer and more often cause other complications.
  • Symptoms of high cortisol levels include weight gain, a puffy, flushed face, mood swings and increased anxiety, fatigue, trouble sleeping, irregular periods and fertility problems, high blood pressure, acne or other changes in the skin, higher rates for bone fractures and osteoporosis, muscle aches and pains, changes in libido due to changes in estrogen or decreased testosterone, excessive thirst, increased urination and higher susceptibility to infections.
  • Symptoms of low cortisol levels include skin changes, fatigue, weight loss, muscle weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite and low blood pressure.
  • Corticosteroids, depression, over-exercising or overtraining, malnourishment and eating disorders, sever kidney or liver disease, hyperthyroidism, obesity, pregnancy or birth control pills and inflammation can all cause abnormal cortisol production.

Read Next: 7 Adaptogen Herbs to Lower Cortisol

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A bowl of curry a day can keep your heart healthy

Image: A bowl of curry a day can keep your heart healthy – Nutrition Journal study

(Natural News) If you want to improve your heart health, consider eating at least one bowl of curry every day.

According to a study published in Nutrition Journal, one culinary serving of curry made with various spices can help dilate the arteries and “[prevent] the cardiovascular harms associated with eating common foods.”

Aside from enhancing the flavor of various dishes, certain spices are also potent medicinal agents. Some spices may even help alleviate the harmful side effects of foods that we usually consume.

A curry is often made with different spices and used as a sauce for dishes. The study used a traditional Japanese recipe that included eight herbs: Clove, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, onion, red pepper, and turmeric.

In the study, researchers observed 14 healthy male subjects. The participants had an average age of 45 and they were fed either a single serving of curry or a spice-free control meal (180 grams [g] of curry or control and 200 g of cooked rice, which had about 500 kilocalories [kcal] in total). The researchers then examined what happened to the subjects’ blood vessels before and after they consumed either meal.

Data from post-meal measurements of the blood ability to pass through the blood vessels ( or postprandial flow-mediated vasodilation [FMD]) and other criteria, eating curry increased blood flow through the blood vessels (increased FMD). Meanwhile, eating the curry-free control meal resulted in a decrease in blood flow (decreased FMD).

The results of the test helped the researchers determine that curry prevented the negative effects of the meal due to post-meal “endothelial function.” This means that curry prevented the inner lining/endothelium of the blood vessels from contracting and restricting normal blood flow throughout the cardiovascular system.

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The researchers posited that the antioxidant properties of the spices could be behind this health benefit. They explained that the spices could be “blunting” any blood sugar and/or oxidative stress that may occur after the meal.

Eating curry can mitigate postprandial endothelial dysfunction and it can even prevent heart conditions such as atherosclerosis and other conditions like diabetes mellitus. Even though atherosclerosis, or the “hardening of the arteries,” may take decades to develop, this condition doesn’t usually have any symptoms, making it hard to diagnose the condition.

When an individual has atherosclerosis, they may experience a pathological process called endothelial dysfunction, which starts when the blood vessels are unable to fully relax when faced with stressors such as dietary incompatibilities (like wheat) or psychological (like stress) along with the damage caused by these factors.

Heart disease is the number one killer around the world, and further studies can glean further proof of the benefits of certain medicinal spices used in curry. Turmeric, one of the spices in curry, offers significant benefits for heart health. Meanwhile, garlic can help clear plaque from the arteries. Garlic can also help lower the blood pressure of hypertensive patients.

Instead of ordering pizza for dinner today, try to make a batch of heart health-boosting curry instead.

Fast facts on curry

  • Japanese curry was introduced to Japan by the British during the Meiji period (1868-1912). However, during this time India was still under colonial rule so curry was deemed a “Western” influence in the Asian country even though the dish was originally from the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
  • During the Meiji period, Japanese naval officers first tasted curries when they had dinners with their British counterparts. Since these curries were imported from India, most modern varieties of Japanese curry share characteristics with Anglo curry, which uses curry powder.
  • Since Japanese curries are based on Anglo curry, they are often mild and sweet. Japanese curry isn’t as spicy as curries from other cuisines, hence their popularity in Japan.
  • Curry is considered the national dish of Japan, alongside other favorites like ramen, sushi, and miso soup.

You can read more articles about curry and other foods that can improve your cardiovascular health at Food.news. Check the latest research on turmeric, an ingredient in curry, at Turmeric.news.

Sources include:

GreenMedInfo.com

AsianInspirations.com

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Are you feeding your brain the right nutrients? Folate, vitamins B12, C, E, and D are crucial for mental health

Feeding your brain the right nutrients, such as folate, and vitamins B12, C, E, and D are crucial for mental health. In a review, it was found that patients with the chronic mental disorder schizophrenia have low levels of these nutrients.

A team of researchers from the University of Manchester, Belgium’s KU Leuven University, and the University of Western Sydney analyzed 28 study articles with a total of 2,612 participants.

The research team discovered that low levels of the nutrients appeared to be present from the beginning of the illness and were associated with worsening of the disease. They saw a significant reduction in folate, vitamin D, and vitamin C in people with first-episode psychosis in comparison to the controls. In addition, they found that the difference in vitamin D levels between first-episode psychosis and controls was the most striking of all nutrients.

One notable study found that differences in folate levels were because of genetic difference in folate metabolism instead of dietary influences. Two studies with small sample sizes revealed large deficiency of vitamin C in first-episode psychosis.

This is parallel with data indicating low fruit and vegetable consumption in this population. In addition, a single randomized control trial in patients experiencing first antipsychotic treatment has shown 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C each day significantly lessens psychiatric symptoms.

Low levels of folate and vitamin B12 were also often seen in patients with schizophrenia, where worsening of symptom severity were also observed. Supplementation of B-vitamins may significantly reduce symptoms of schizophrenia and reverse some neurological deficits linked to the illness. Moreover, vitamins C and E – which are antioxidants – are also lacking in chronic schizophrenia. This potentially contributes to the increased oxidative stress seen in this population.

“Right away, as soon as they are presenting with psychotic symptoms, they have low folate – which is really important for brain health – and low vitamin D, which is also a neuroprotective nutrient; both key factors in people’s mood and energy levels,” said Joseph Firth, lead author of the study.

The team also found that the participants with the lower levels of these nutrients also had the worst mental health. Firth explained that people with high levels of these nutrients had better mental health even if they got psychosis.

Furthermore, researchers also found that the eating a healthy diet does not only apply to mental health, but also to cardiovascular health as well. This is because large-scale studies found associations between low levels of both vitamin D and folate to heart-related conditions.

Based on the analysis, nutritional deficiencies as a result of inadequate intake or absorption of nutrients are now considered as a risk factor for psychiatric conditions. This review suggests that the consumption of a nutritious diet is important for overall health.

Here is a list of foods for the brain that you can include in your diet:

  • Folate – Folate-rich foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, breakfast cereals, and fortified grains and grain products.
  • Vitamin B12 – You can get this vitamin from eggs, milk, cheese, milk products, meat, fish, shellfish, and poultry.
  • Vitamin C – Although the most common source of vitamin C is orange, there are other foods rich in this vitamin. These include bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, kiwi, mangoes, papaya, pineapple, and strawberries.
  • Vitamin D – The most common source of this vitamin is the sun, but you can also get the body to make vitamin D from foods like salmon, mackerel, beef, calf liver, egg yolks, tuna, sardines, shiitake mushrooms, yogurt, and almond milk.
    Vitamin E –
    Vitamin E can help prevent cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, according to studies. You can get your vitamin E from foods, such as almonds, avocado, dried apricots, eggs, hazelnuts, kiwi, peanut butter, pine nuts, spinach, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ oil.

Read more news stories and studies about the brain by going to Brain.news.

Sources include:

NutraIngredients.com

HSPH.Harvard.edu

Dietitians.ca

Prevention.com 1

Prevention.com 2

StyleCraze.com

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Detox Your Liver: Try My 6-Step Liver Cleanse

Liver cleanse: detox your liver in 6 steps - Dr. AxeEvery person’s health and well-being depends on how well their body removes and purges toxins. With exposure to environmental toxins, toxic body care products and processed foods, most people are in desperate need of a serious detox! A liver cleanse is a great way to do this.

Ready To Cleanse Your Liver? Download Your Quick Guide Here.

One of the main ways that the body rids itself of toxins is through the liver. In fact, the liver is one of the hardest working organs in the body. It works tirelessly to detoxify our blood; produce the bile needed to digest fat; break down hormones; and store essential vitamins, minerals and iron. When liver function is not optimal, we cannot digest our food properly, especially fats.

Some of the essential functions of the liver include: (1)

  • Processing nutrients absorbed by the intestines so they are more efficiently absorbed
  • Regulating blood composition to balance protein, fat and sugar
  • Destroying old red blood cells
  • Producing essential chemicals to help blood clot properly
  • Breaking down and metabolizing alcohol and medications
  • Producing essential proteins and cholesterol
  • Removing toxins from the bloodstream, including bilirubin, ammonia and others
  • Storing of minerals, iron and vitamin A

For the liver to take care of the body, it must be able to perform optimally. When many people think of liver disease, they think of alcohol-induced cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a serious health condition, but contrary to popular thought, alcoholism is not the only cause.

In fact, there are a number of factors that can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver damage, including: (2)

  • Eating uncooked shellfish
  • Some medications (including acetaminophen)
  • Chronic malnutrition
  • Eating poisonous wild mushrooms and exposure to chemicals

Cirrhosis occurs when scar tissue replaces the healthy cells in the liver. As the scar tissue continues to grow, the liver’s ability to function is diminished. Liver failure is the next biological step and occurs when the scar tissue has created so much damage that it no longer functions.


Liver Cleanse Effectively Removes Toxins

Today, we are faced with so many environmental toxins occurring in our homes, places of work and in our food supply. It is essential for our general health and well-being to keep our livers functioning properly. Below are some of the risk factors associated with impaired liver function. (3)

  • Low potassium levels (4)
  • Heavy alcohol abuse
  • Intravenous drug use
  • Blood transfusions prior to 1992
  • Exposure to certain industrial chemicals and environmental toxins
  • Unprotected sex
  • Obesity and a diet high in saturated fats, and processed foods
  • Tattoos or body piercings
  • High levels of triglycerides in the blood
  • Prescription medications including acetaminophen
  • Viral infections
  • Autoimmune diseases

Signs and Symptoms Your Liver Isn’t Functioning Optimally

If you have recently noticed any of the symptoms listed below, you could be suffering from impaired liver function. It is particularly important to consider these symptoms if you identify with one or more of the risk factors mentioned above.

  • Bloating and gas
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Skin and/or eyes that are yellowish (a symptom of jaundice)
  • Inability to lose weight
  • High blood pressure
  • Moodiness, anxiety or depression
  • Dark urine
  • Rosacea
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Excessive sweating
  • Bruise easily
  • Poor appetite

Fortunately, you can help improve your liver’s functioning. Through a thorough liver cleanse, you can start to feel better in a matter of a couple of weeks.

6-step liver cleanse - Dr. Axe


6-Step Liver Cleanse

Follow these six steps to help boost your health and vitality:

  1. Remove toxic foods from your diet.
  2. Drink raw vegetable juice.
  3. Load up on potassium-rich foods.
  4. Do a coffee enema.
  5. Take milk thistle, dandelion and turmeric supplements.
  6. Eat liver or take beef liver tablets.

1. Remove Toxic Foods from Your Diet

If you are eating a diet high in processed foods, you are putting the health of your liver at risk.
Hydrogenated oils, refined sugar, convenience foods and lunch meats are notoriously toxic to your system.

Hydrogenated oils, also known as “trans fats,” have higher levels of saturated fat. The chemical structure of the oil itself has been altered to increase shelf life. Consumption of trans fats dramatically increases the risk for heart disease by 25 percent or more. In addition, it is believed that trans fats cause problems with our immune system and can lead to inflammation throughout the body.

Added nitrates and nitrites, commonly found in convenience foods, fast foods and lunch meats, have been linked to serious health conditions. These chemicals are used to preserve foods to make them last longer, inhibit bacteria growth and preserve color. Replace these foods immediately with healthy choices. Healthy foods taste great, and, with a bit of creativity, you can create healthful meals for your family.

Roast your own organic chicken breast and turkey breast to replace deli meats for quick lunches and after school snacks. Replace chips and other processed snacks with fresh fruit, carrot sticks, nuts and homemade granola bars.

For a healthy (and tasty) alternative to kid-favorite macaroni and cheese, try my Cheesy Spaghetti Squash with Raisins and Walnuts. Spaghetti squash is low in calories, low in saturated fat, and considered a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, manganese, pantothenic acid and is rich with potassium. The walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and contain anti-oxidants to boost cardiovascular health.

2. Drink Raw Vegetable Juice

It can be nearly impossible to eat all of the raw vegetables you need to make your liver cleanse effective. However, by juicing a variety of raw vegetables, you can easily get the 4–5 servings of fresh, organic vegetables you need. Even vegetables that aren’t your favorites can be disguised and enjoyed in a fresh vegetable juice!

With impaired liver function, juicing vegetables has the added benefit of making the vegetables easier to digest and more readily available for absorption.

Vegetables ideal for a liver cleanse include cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. While that combination may not sound very enjoyable, you can add other vegetables that you enjoy to the mix including carrots, cucumber, beets and greens.

All of these vegetables help to reduce acid levels in the body, helping to create a more friendly pH balance. Experiment with your favorite flavor combinations; you can add fresh herbs including parsley, mint and others to make the juices more enjoyable.

Try my kid-friendly Orange Carrot Ginger Juice. Fresh, organic carrots are essential to any liver cleanse (5). In the liver, the beta carotene is converted into vitamin A to help flush out the toxins in the body while reducing fat in the liver.

The high fiber content helps support a healthy digestive tract, hastening the elimination of toxins in your body. The ginger root helps to soothe the digestive tract, reduce intestinal gas, and has strong anti-inflammatory compounds. The fresh oranges in this recipe not only add tangy sweetness, but also add significant vitamin C, additional vitamin A and vitamin B6.

3. Load Up on Potassium-Rich Foods

Are you getting the recommended 4,700 milligrams per day of potassium? Chances are, you aren’t. Potassium-rich foods help to lower systolic blood pressure, lower cholesterol and support a healthy cardiovascular system, in addition to helping cleanse your liver. If you have been tempted to take potassium supplements, instead add these healthful foods to your diet.

Sweet Potatoes

Surprisingly, it is not the banana that is the richest in potassium. It is the sweet potato. A single medium sweet potato contains nearly 700 milligrams of potassium, not to mention the high fiber and beta carotene content.

A sweet potato only has 131 calories, yet is rich with vitamins B6, C, D, magnesium and iron. While naturally sweet, the sugars actually are slowly released into the bloodstream through the liver, without causing a spike in blood sugar.

Tomato Sauces

Potassium, and the other beneficial nutrients in tomatoes, is significantly concentrated as a sauce, puree or as a paste. As an example, 1 cup of tomato puree contains 1,065 milligrams of potassium, but 1 cup of fresh tomatoes contains only 400 milligrams. When selecting tomato sauce, paste or puree, be sure to choose those made only from organic tomatoes.

To make your own concentrated tomato sauce, slice organic tomatoes in half and roast face down in the oven for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F, until the skin has shriveled. Remove from the oven, and let cool. Slide the skins off and gently crush in your food processor or blender. Strain to remove seeds, if you desire. Pour into a Dutch oven, and let simmer until thick, 1 to 2 hours.

Beet Greens and Spinach

Rich in antioxidants, beet greens contain over 1,300 milligrams of potassium per cup. Add beets and beet greens to your fresh vegetable juice recipe; finely chop and add raw to salads; or sauté lightly, like other greens. Beets also naturally cleanse the gallbladder and improve bile flow.

Fresh organic spinach is easily added to your diet, and it’s a good source of potassium, containing 840 milligrams per serving.

Beans

White beans, kidney beans and lima beans are all rich in potassium, protein and fiber. Swap out garbanzo beans for one of these potassium-rich beans in your favorite hummus recipe. Enjoy it with carrot sticks and celery sticks.

Blackstrap Molasses

Just 2 teaspoons of this rich all-natural syrup contains 10 percent of the daily-recommended amount of potassium. In addition to potassium, blackstrap molasses is rich with iron, calcium, manganese and copper.

Incorporate blackstrap molasses into your diet by replacing other natural sweeteners with it. You can use it to create barbecue sauces and to top oatmeal or quinoa porridge in the mornings. Two teaspoons added to coffee intensifies the richness of the coffee, while lowering the acidic taste.

Bananas

And finally, add a banana to your favorite smoothie. While in comparison to the other high potassium foods on this list, the banana’s 470 milligrams of potassium are only part of the story. Bananas assist in digestion, and help to release toxins and heavy metals from the body — all of which are essential during a liver cleanse.

Please note: If you have high levels of potassium in your kidneys, foods rich in potassium should be consumed moderately.

4. Coffee Enemas

Coffee enemas help with constipation, reduce fatigue, and aid in liver detoxification. During the enema, organic coffee is retained in your bowel, allowing the fluid to enter the liver through the intestinal wall.

This has a stimulating effect that increases bile flow, helping to jump-start both your gallbladder and your liver. This sparks the production of the chemical glutathione, a strong cleansing compound that helps to release the buildup of toxins in your system.

Eliminating the toxins during a liver cleanse is critical so they don’t build up and are moved quickly out of your system.

Combine 2 tablespoons of organic ground coffee with 3 cups of filtered or distilled water in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 15 minutes and allow to cool. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and use in your enema kit. Try to retain the mixture for 10–15 minutes and then release.

5. Take Milk Thistle, Dandelion, and Turmeric Supplements

Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle is considered the “king” of detoxifying herbs, making it ideal for a liver cleanse. Milk thistle helps to eliminate the buildup of heavy metals, prescription medications, environmental pollutants and alcohol in the liver.

In addition, it helps to reduce the negative effects on the liver after chemotherapy and radiation. The active ingredient silymarin helps to strengthen the cell walls in the liver, while supporting healthy regeneration. (6)

Turmeric

Turmeric reduces joint pain; is an effective antidepressant; aids in digestion; helps to restore a healthy blood sugar balance; and supports healthy liver tissue and liver metabolism (7).

Currently, researchers are studying turmeric for a variety of health benefits for diseases and conditions, including: Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, depression, osteoarthritis, breast health, prostate health and chronic pain.

Dandelion Root

Most homeowners hate the dandelion, as it volunteers to populate yards every spring. But, this flower, and its root, is actually packed with vitamins and minerals.

Dandelion root has a natural diuretic effect, allowing your liver to more quickly eliminate toxins. It also helps to strengthen the immune system, balance blood sugar levels, relieve heartburn, and soothe digestive upset.

6. Eat Real Liver or Take Liver Tablets

Liver from young, healthy, grass-fed cattle or chicken liver is rich with vitamins A and B, folic acid, choline, iron, copper, zinc, chromium and CoQ10. Liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat.

If you can’t stomach eating liver, you can take beef liver pills. Seek a supplement that guarantees no hormones, pesticides or antibiotics are used in the feeding and care of the cattle.

Liver cleanse: detox drink recipe - Dr. Axe


A Quick-Start 24-Hour Liver Cleanse

In addition to the healthy foods and supplements mentioned above, you can give your liver a boost by starting with a quick, 24-hour cleanse. In the seven days prior to this short cleanse, eat kale, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, asparagus, beets and celery. Avoid any processed foods, and eat free-range organic meats, refined carbohydrates and gluten sparingly. This preparation will help facilitate the cleanse.

During the week you are preparing your body, try my Secret Detox Drink. It boosts your energy and helps you to detox and cleanse the liver. This recipe calls for apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and water.

Then, during the week of your cleanse try this liver detox drink. This recipe will help support your body while cleansing:

Liver Detox Drink

  1. Dilute cranberry juice with a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part cranberry juice.
  2. Add 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg and ginger and a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon into a tea infuser and let steep in simmering water for 20 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Add the juice of 3 oranges and 3 lemons and stir. If the mixture is too tart, sweeten with your favorite all-natural sweetener.
  5. Sip throughout the day.

You should consume a minimum of 72 ounces of this mixture and 72 ounces of water. After one day of the cranberry juice blend, reintroduce the foods you ate in preparation for the cleanse.


Liver Cleanse Key Points

  • Cleansing and detoxing the liver and colon helps to clear pesticides, medications, heavy metals and the remnants of cancer therapy out of your system, resulting in a healthy liver.
  • To keep your liver healthy through the years, periodically do a 24-hour liver cleanse
  • Maintain a healthy diet void of processed foods, and high in vegetables, legumes and whole grains.

The 6-Step Liver Cleanse

  1. Remove toxic foods from your diet.
  2. Drink raw vegetable juice.
  3. Load up on potassium-rich foods.
  4. Do a coffee enema.
  5. Take milk thistle, dandelion and turmeric supplements.
  6. Eat liver or take beef liver tablets.
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If you don’t # DeleteFacebook it’s your funeral

# DeleteFacebook is a rapidly growing movement that has seen over US$80 billion wiped off Facebook’s share price, or Faecesbook as it is now known, since the ‘Fit hit the Shan’ on 16 March. Shares are going to tumble further.

While this is not good for shareholders who are jumping ship like lemmings, we hope it is translating into masses of the 2.2 billion users invoking # DeleteFacebook.

DeleteFacebook

GadgetGuy does not often make political statements, but unless you protest by doing a # DeleteFacebook, the recidivists will continue to get away with the most significant privacy abuse in history.

Why do we hope you will # DeleteFacebook? No one company should have that much knowledge – power. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

It is time to put the handbrake on rampant privacy abuse. Mark Zuckerberg et al., have proven beyond any doubt that they don’t deserve our trust.

Read what Channel Seven Sunrise GadgetGuy Val Quinn had to say about # DeleteFacebook issues.

A half-hearted apology does not make things better

Zuckerberg made a half-hearted attempt to apologise over the Cambridge Analytica debacle, but it was a non-apology, a streak of brilliant wordsmithing.

Simply the best Politspeak obscuring what he means, and he is not sorry. Zuckerberg knows exactly what Facebook does, and at best gives lip service to tightening control. If you believe him sincere, you believe in Santa Claus.

But just when things seemed to have settled down came ‘Callageddon.’

This week Facebook users were rocked by the discovery that Faecesbook was caught shitting all over its user’s privacy again.

Facebook Messenger was caught storing all voice, and text messages and Telco carried phone calls to and from your Contacts. All that information including speech converted to text and mined for keywords ends up your profile. What next WhatsApp and Instagram spying? LOL if it was not so dangerous.

GadgetGuy has covered Feacesbook’s blatant attempt to capture user’s web visits via its Onavo VPN. Nothing seems sacred to this company.

If something is free, then its product is you!

The Sydney Daily Telegraph revealed that a YouGov Galaxy survey conducted just before the scandal broke showed

  • 80% of users were concerned that their personal information was being sold.
  • 62% do not trust Facebook
  • 74% feel identity could be stolen based on their Facebook page
  • 84% have noticed targeted advertising after a search
  • 54% want to see what information Facebook has and amend/delete it
  • 56% think they should be paid for the information as they are its product
  • Only 15% feel Facebook keeps their data safe and believe in the Easter Bunny too

Repeat that survey today, – I suspect 100% would not trust Facebook.

Interestingly, # DeleteFacebook comments seem to fall into two camps

Pro:

Facebook is not “selling our privacy”. We give it to them freely by signing up. They then sell the information we provide. That is their business model, and it has been extremely profitable for them to date.

It’s also why Mark Zuckerberg isn’t apologising – he’s been open about that since they started. If you don’t like it – don’t use it.

Con:

Facebook is a bunch of scum who play fast and loose with the truth and people’s understanding of tech. Evil is as evil does. Regulate Facebook now – out of existence. The root of all evil is the money Facebook makes selling our privacy up the creek to bad actors, but the biggest bad actor of them all is Facebook!

All major companies store your personally identifiable information (PII)

The sentiment is turning against ‘Silicon Valley’, and Facebook is regarded as the tip of a sinister iceberg.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has come out swinging against Facebook saying, “We are not going to traffic in your personal privacy. Privacy, to us, it a human right and civil liberty.” What Cook did not say is that it is OK for Apple to know everything about its users to drive sales to profitable services like iTunes, Apple Music etc.

Google’s old mantra was ‘Don’t be evil’ recently updated to ‘Do the right thing’. Google has a tonne of information about you including Gmail, calendar, contacts, search, location history and more. Android is a thinly veiled vehicle to sell more targeted advertising delivered by Google services. At least it’s a closed loop.

Microsoft Windows has default privacy settings that are repulsive. But to be fair it walks you through these in setup and the system performs flawlessly with all settings turned off. Then you ruin it all by using Cortana and Bing that get to know you a little too well.

Interestingly there is a major groundswell against Amazon too. Even US President Donald Trump does not like it. US Congress will investigate further. Sure, that is mainly about taxes or lack thereof, but the still waters run much deeper.

There is significant concerned at Amazon’s Alexa, business model. It is not to voice-enable everything. It is just another subtle way to collect so much information that Amazon (and its merchants) can sell their products to you. Alexa Skills is just another word for data-sharing. The suspicion now extends to everything hosted in the Amazon cloud (AWS) to.

PII abused galore – bring on the tech-lash

To be fair most big guys have accessible pages to see what PII they have so you can delete or modify it. Most have accessible switches to turn on extensive privacy measures like do not track, block advertisements, private mode browsing, and turn location/ID off.

Simply search for ‘How to enable privacy’ on your operating system – macOS, iOS, Windows, Android or Chrome. Then search for how to enable privacy on a browser – Chrome, Bing, Safari, Firefox, etc.

They appear to be far more responsible and respect its use. They know abuse would send them out of business.

But I don’t trust them either. I strictly limit the information they collect by using privacy switches, VPN, alternate online identity, etc. Investigate Ghostery – it does a great job of helping to make the web cleaner!

I may be naive, but I tend to believe these companies have more to lose and will respect us. If you don’t, please use Linux and wear a tinfoil hat!

# DeleteFacebook is a top priority, but there are too many ‘mini-me’s.’

Then there are the others we all deal with. Banks/finance, insurance, utilities, comparison websites, retail and online stores, loyalty cards and more – all collecting masses of PII.

Coles Flybuys, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Virgin Velocity, Woolworths Rewards and many store cards appear safe. But they know so much through their partner network it is scary. They share data freely with those partners that can afford it.

Comparison websites are a very deep, dark, rabbit hole that you should never go down. Sure, some are slightly better than others privacy-wise. But they all want masses of PII to enable them to compare everything from mobile phone plans to health insurance. Not only do they get commissions from so-called objective comparisons, but they gain information to sell to partners.

Fact: There is nothing legally or morally you can currently do to stop abuses of your PII.

We need a universal online bill of rights with teeth

No single, comprehensive, law sets out our online rights. Where such rights do exist, they have developed, in a piecemeal, Band-Aid fashion.

It is heartening that the ACCC will conduct an enquiry into Facebook and Google’s practices. ACCC has teeth and is not afraid to use them.

I am delighted that the Federal Government seems willing to investigate what is now known as Facebook laws to hand back control of personal data to its rightful owner – you.

All we need is legislation covering

  • The key rights relevant to the online world.
  • Add to those any existing civil and human rights that apply in the physical world.
  • Prohibit collection of any data without immediate consent, g. A red light flashing in a browser or app. No disagreement can stop you accessing a website or shopping etc. Any agreement must not last more than that one instance.
  • Greater transparency around how government and the private sector use personal data. In simple words no more fine print, word-smithed, legal gobbledygook privacy agreements.
  • Citizens to take control of their data and to make informed choices about their online lives including the right to monetise their data.

 

If you dont # DeleteFacebook then read the following

 

DeleteFacebook

Image from https://www.le-vpn.com/tips-secure-facebook-account/

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