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Speed up your metabolism by detoxing your liver

liver detoxIf you’re struggling to lose weight, it might be time to add liver- and gut-cleansing foods to your diet. By eating certain kinds of nutritious foods, you can boost your body’s detoxification process.

According to Dr. Charles Passler, a nutritionist based in New York, a healthy liver can take toxins, turn them into a water-soluble form, and efficiently flush them out of your body.

Detoxify your liver with a nutrient-rich diet

By eating the right kinds of food, you can easily eliminate foreign chemicals that your body is exposed to when you consume unhealthy snacks.

The six foods included in the list below can give your body a detoxifying boost.


Organic apples are good for your liver and gut health because they are rich in fiber.

Fiber helps clean out the bowels and introduce “good” bacteria. Leave the skin on apples to boost your fiber and nutrient intake. You can also add apples to chia seed pudding, another great source of gut-friendly fiber.


Beets are full of antioxidants. Eating beets helps activate liver enzymes and bile, which break down and absorb healthy fats and fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamin E.

As the liver transforms fat and soluble toxins into their water-soluble form for excretion, it binds various toxins to bile so they can be flushed out of your body via bowel movements.

Broccoli sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are a “detox superstar” because they’re full of antioxidants. They can also boost your glutathione levels better than broccoli, which is a good thing since this supports both phases of liver detoxification.

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Additionally, broccoli sprouts contain indole-3-carbinol, a compound that helps the liver flush out excessive levels of hormones.

Passler noted that broccoli sprouts contain the precursors of sulforaphane, a substance that may prevent certain types of cancers. (Related: 16 Signs that you need a liver cleanse (and how to detox naturally).)

Fermented foods

If you’ve been bloated or constipated for more than three days, you may need to add more fermented foods to your diet.

The following fermented foods can help introduce gut-friendly bacteria that will colonize your intestines and promote healthy bowel movements.

  • Kefir – Kefir is a fermented dairy product that can boost lactose digestion, decrease inflammation, and improve bone health.
  • Kimchi – Kimchi is a popular Korean dish that’s usually made of fermented vegetables like cabbage or radishes. According to research, kimchi can reduce insulin resistance and blood cholesterol.
  • Miso – Miso, a Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans, is often used to make miso soup. Studies suggest that miso can lower cancer risk and improve heart health.
  • Sauerkraut – Sauerkraut, a dish made from shredded and fermented cabbage, is full of antioxidants that are essential for eye health. The dish is also rich in fiber and vitamins C and K.


Eating fresh, organic garlic activates liver detox enzymes that break down toxins and eliminate them from your system. Garlic contains a sulfur compound called alliin that converts to the active ingredient allicin when garlic is chopped, crushed, or minced.

Allicin is a powerful antioxidant, antibiotic, and antifungal substance that offers many benefits for your liver health. Garlic’s antioxidant properties keep toxic substances filtered by your liver from reaching other organs.


Walnuts aren’t just good for boosting your brain health – they can also promote detoxification and keep your liver in good condition. Passler explained that walnuts help boost circulation and blood flow, which allows toxins to be transported more efficiently from different points in your body to the liver.

Walnuts are chock-full of arginine, which helps your body neutralize and flush out toxic byproducts of alcohol and ammonia from the brain and central nervous system.

Follow a healthy diet and eat nutritious foods to boost your liver health and improve your metabolism.

Sources include:

Originally posted:

Red yeast rice improves endothelial function by reducing inflammation, alleviating oxidative stress

red-yeastResearchers from the University of South ChinaThe Second Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Science and Technology, and Beijing Anzhen Hospital of Capital Medical University reviewed existing evidence on the ability of red yeast rice and its related products in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). They published their findings in the Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines.

  • ASCVD is one of the deadliest diseases in the world, wherein endothelial injury continues throughout the course of the disease.
  • Improvement in endothelial function is essential in the prevention of ASCVD.
  • Red yeast rice is a healthy traditional Chinese food made by fermenting the fungus Monascus purpureus on wet rice.
  • Studies have shown that red yeast rice and its products help in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases because of their effectiveness and safety in improving lipid levels.
  • Red yeast rice also helps in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as increasing nitric oxide (NO), which maintains normal vasodilatory function and helps prevent platelet aggregation and adhesion.
  • These beneficial effects may be attributed to its compounds: polyketides, monounsaturated fatty acids, phytosterols, isoflavones, condensed tannins, Coenzyme Q10, microelements, and pigments, including ankaflavin, monascin, rubropunctatin, monascorubrin, rubropunctamine, and monascorubramine.

In sum, these results suggested that red yeast rice and its products can be used as a healthy functional food for preventing and treating cardiovascular diseases.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

For more studies on heart-healthy foods like red yeast rice, visit

Journal Reference:

Feng SJ, Tang ZH, Wang Y, Tang XY, Li TH, Tang W, Kuang ZM. POTENTIAL PROTECTIVE EFFECTS OF RED YEAST RICE IN ENDOTHELIAL FUNCTION AGAINST ATHEROSCLEROTIC CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE. Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines. January 2019; 17(1): 50-58. DOI: 10.1016/S1875-5364(19)30009-3

Maca Mango Smoothie for Natural Hormone Balance

maca mangoBy Anastasia

Originally published at kindearth.netand reproduced here with permission

I must confess… maca has been one of those foods that have made a big difference in my life. I swear by the stuff! I am super sensitive to the hormonal shifts in my body, feeling every nuance of these ebbs and flows.

I also pop into ‘fight or flight’ mode easily – it’s just the way I’m made. I feel overwhelmed in crowds. I feel everyone’s stuff. My ‘time of the month’ always used to feel like a plunge into the fiery depths.

Don’t get me wrong here, I am actually a pretty calm person (in general) – largely due to the fact that I have learned to find my centre, to stay present, grounded and spend a lot of time on my own. My lifestyle is rather conducive to being calm and relaxed – that’s the way I’ve created it (out of necessity). Hormone balance is something I have to constantly stay on top of though. I guess I am just wired with a super sensitive system.

Natives from Peru have used maca for centuries

Maca changed everything for me. Not only does it help with the obvious hormonal things, it supports me with stressful situations, where my fight or flight mode has a tendency to go into total overdrive. Natives from the mountains of Peru, have actually used this plant to counteract hormonal issues(including menopausal and post menopause symptoms) for centuries.

Maca for all-around hormone support for everyone

Sexual and reproductive health and libido are usually the first things that spring to mind when we think of hormones – all of which are greatly supported by maca – however, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Hormones are in fact chemical messengers that tell our cells what they need to do, regulating the balance of our entire body. Hormone function includes digestion control, sleep regulation, brain development, mood, heart behaviour, blood pressure, fat metabolism, skin health, mental health, immune system, reproductive health, sexual health, bone maintenance. Hormones also manage our fight or flight response, induce calm, and control the rate at which we age. Maca’s powerful ability to balance hormones make it one incredible plant-food to include in your daily life.

Personally speaking, it’s the best I’ve ever found.

There is a lot to contend – for all of us – within our unnatural world of unnatural everything, chemicals all over the place, distractions, demands chaos. The stress is on us all!

I eat gelatinised maca every day for my hormone health

I include maca in my diet every day for maintenance purposes. A heaped teaspoon, usually in a smoothie usually does the trick. Whilst going through challenging timesin life, if I miss it out for more than a week in a row, I notice a difference in myself too.

I use gelatinised maca powder because it is more concentrated and easier to digest than raw maca and much closer to the form that native peoples would consume it.

You can read my in-depth article about maca for lots more information on it (including the difference between raw & gelatinised and maca’s ethics, history etc.) here: All about maca and it’s amazing benefits

Anyway, I think it’s time for a maca smoothie!

With many different smoothie blends that we can make, today I am sharing one of my favourites. I also include flaxseed, tahini, ginger and mangoes in this one – which are all full of nutrients that help to regulate hormones.

This recipe is delicious, nutritious. Drinking this sort of thing daily, coupled with a healthy, plant-based diet, can really help with hormone balance.

Maca Mango Smoothie for Natural Hormone Balance

yield: 1 GLASS
prep time: 2 MINUTES
total time: 2 MINUTES
A super healthy maca and mango smoothie to help balance the hormones naturally. Using helpful ingredients like flaxseed and tahini too.


  • 200g frozen mango
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 heaped teaspoon maca powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 150ml plant-based milk (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (optional)


  1. Finely grate the ginger if you are opting to use it.
  2. You can also use fresh mango for this, although you might want to leave out a little of the liquid if you are choosing not to use frozen (frozen keeps the smoothie thick).
  3. Put all of the ingredients into a blender.
  4. Stop and scrape down the sides if necessary.
  5. Blend until creamy smooth.
  6. Enjoy immediately.

Recommended Products

  • UK: Sevenhills Wholefoods Organic Gelatinised Maca Powder 1kg
    UK: Sevenhills Wholefoods Organic Gelatinised Maca Powder 1kg
  • USA: Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder, 16 Ounce
    USA: Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Gelatinized Maca Powder, 16 Ounce

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Where to get your Maca Root Powder from?

Your health is important, so be sure to buy

  1. Certified organic
  2. GMO free
  3. Peruvian Maca

It might be tempting to cut corners and go for inferior products for convenience, but it’s not worth it. You would probably only use between a teaspoon and tablespoon every day. Therefore a 500g (1lb) packet could last you up to three months. A small price to pay for such healthful properties.

I only recommend products that I have used, tried and tested myself. The following two companies both have excellent ethical standards and I’ve been in touch with them personally. Here are my suggestions…

UK and Europe

My favourite company in the UK is Sevenhills Wholefoods. They sell the maca that I use almost all of the time. Sevenhills are very much in contact with their farmers, and are proud of the direct-supply line they have established, with ethics, fairtrade, organic and sustainability as priorities. Their price is very good value.

Check it out here:

Sevenhills Wholefoods Organic Gelatinised Maca Powder 500g

North America

My favourite brand the USA is now Terrasoul. I was looking for an alternative to the Sevenhills one that I use, for my mother who lives out there. The grown it with small family-owned, organic farms high in the Peruvian Andes and selectively harvest their roots. I’ve used this when I visit the USA and love it

Check it out here:
Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Gelatinised Maca Powder

About the author:

Plant-based workshop leader, retreat chef, recipe developer and life coach Anastasia was born in England and is currently nomadic. After a profound spiritual awakening in 1995, she recognised that all things are deeply connected and adopted a lifestyle of compassion and respect for all sentient beings. With a deep affinity with Mother Earth she founded a space dedicated to compassionate, heart-centred living, plant-based recipes, meditation and reconnection with nature. Having enjoyed a vegan diet for over 24 years, she has experienced optimal health along the way, publishing several cook books and developing a plethora of original high vibe recipes. Anastasia invites us all to rise up from our deepest depths, to honour our true calling and is always delighted to hear from others who resonate on this journey back to a higher paradigm of love and respect.

Follow Anastasia here on Facebook:

You tube:


This article was shared with permission. Original article here.

Artemisia capillaris (wormwood) found to stimulate mineralization of bone, prevent bone loss

wormwoodResearchers at the Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine looked at the effect of capillary wormwood (Artemisia capillaris) to prevent bone loss. They published in their results in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.

  • For the study, the researchers administered a water extract from capillary wormwood to the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL)-induced bone loss model.
  • This resulted in significantly preventing osteoporotic bone loss.
  • Bone volume and trabecular number were increased, while trabecular separation was increased.
  • In addition, capillary wormwood water extract also stimulated osteoblast mineralization from primary osteoblasts.
  • Moreover, capillary wormwood water extract treatment significantly suppressed osteoclast formation from bone marrow macrophages.
  • These results suggested that water extract from capillary wormwood has a beneficial effect on bone loss as it regulated osteoblast mineralization, osteoclast formation, and bone resorption.

In conclusion, the researchers concluded that capillary wormwood may be a promising herbal medicine used to treat or prevent osteoporotic bone diseases.

For more studies on medicinal plants that support bone health such as capillary wormwood, visit

Journal Reference:


Originally posted:

23 Ways You Can Painlessly Help Cleanse Your Body

cleanseThere Are Many Easy Ways On How To Cleanse Your Body

A lot of people hear the word “detox” or “cleanse” and immediately have images of starvation and painful detox symptoms. In reality, there are a lot of things you can do on a daily basis to gently support your body’s detoxification and elimination organs! In the long run, these habits can be more effective than intense short-term detox plans and for many, much more realistic.

1) Water

Water makes up more than half of your body weight. It is vital to every cell, organ, system and function that goes on in your body. It is especially important for the lymphatic system because it is what flushes your body of toxins and unneeded substances. Without the consistent flow of water coming in and out, your body will become like a stagnant puddle of water – yuck!

Start off your morning with a warm glass of fresh squeezed lemon water and – if you’re daring – add some baking soda. Both lemon and baking soda will normalize the pH of your body, are anti-carcinogenic, anti fungal, antibacterial and will pull toxins from your bloodstream. What better way to start off your morning?

For more info on lemon water check out this article on the benefits of lemon.

2) Meditation

Cleansing the mind is just as important – if not more so – than cleansing the body. Meditation gives you a space to breathe and let go of racing thoughts and emotions. You can take five minutes to meditate, or 60 – whatever you feel you need. There are a lot of meditation aids online such as Alpha Waves, which plays music specifically formulated to help the mind relax and focus

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3) Juicing with dandelion greens

Juicing is one of the most powerful ways to flood your tired body with micronutrients and flush out all the bad guys. Dandelions are a natural diuretic that help the kidneysfilter through excess water and salt. They also cleanse the liver (one of your hardest working detox organs), are loaded with antioxidants, minerals and vitamins and act as an anti-inflammatory. We highly recommend adding dandelion greens to your juice or smoothies! Don’t have time to juice? Try our superfood-packed green drink powder Organifi.

4) Your Lymph System, Using Dry Brushing and Rebounding

The Lymphatic System is an intricate network of nodes, ducts and vessels throughout your body that moves lymph from the body tissue to the bloodstream. Since it’s circulating through your body and is key to cleaning out toxins and waste, it’s an important point of focus when it comes to detoxification. A popular way to smooth out the flow of your lymph system is called dry brushing, which is the process of running a brush in specific, continuous, circular motions across your skin, upwards towards your heart. To ensure cleansing, add in some rebounding (physical aerobic activity) to your days to make your brushing efforts worthwhile (plus rebounding is fun!).

how to cleanse your body, how to detox your body, detox

5) Hydrotherapy

After dry brushing, hop in the shower and alternate between 1-2 minutes of hot water and 30 seconds of cold. You can do this 3-5 times during your shower. If the cold is too unbearable at first, try lukewarm and work your way to cold. This type of hydrotherapy increases circulation and lymphatic flow, as well as boosts your immune system and metabolism. Once you get used to it, these shower cycles should actually feel pretty good!


6) Workout (qi gong)

Qi = life force and vital energy. Gong = accomplishment or skill. Qi Gong = Cultivating energy. It is an ancient Chinese health care system that uses physical postures, specific breathing techniques, and mental focus to help cleanse the body and stimulate energy flow. It is one of the best ways to find relief from anxiety and cultivate inner peace. Even taking 10 minutes out of your day to do qi gong or a similar exercise will boost your productivity and mental performance.

Try it for yourself! Here’s how.

7) Stretching

We are always so busy going about our days tending to our responsibilities and obligations, that it’s easy to forget to stop and stretch out our body. Taking the time to stretch gives you the chance to ease out your tensed up muscles and keep your body functioning at a top-notch level. I’m sure you’ve noticed on occasion that while you’re sitting at a table or desk, your shoulders are hunched up. This causes all sorts of problems.  Stretching is also a great way to rejuvenate your body and cleanse it through slow, steady motions and movements. These movements help increase the circulation throughout your body and stimulate the release of toxins.


how to cleanse your body, how to detox your body, detox

8) Bone Broth In The AM

Bone broth is something your grandmother probably believed in (and she’s a smart lady!). This is an affordable, nutrient and mineral dense addition to anyone’s diet. It is particularly high in magnesium, calcium, amino acids and phosphorus and is believed to help reduce cellulite. You can use bones from beef, lamb, bison, fish,  and birds. This is an immune boosting drink for when you’re sick and is also great for the digestive system.

how to cleanse your body, how to detox your body, detox

9) Turn Off The News

CNN = Constant Negative News. 😉 The news is a money-making industry just like any other. Depressing and/or shocking news sells more than happy and uplifting news. Turn off the TV to cleanse your mind and clear your time for something more uplifting, like a walk outdoors or time with loved ones. If you are looking for drastic changes in your mental and physical health, try taking an entire week to do a media and electronics fast.

10) Sound Therapy

Because we are constantly surrounded by noise and disturbances, our ears start to become desensitized towards the higher pitched sound frequencies. This sort of therapy is designed to help restore that sensitivity again. When our sensitivity to sound frequencies grows dull, it also begins to decrease our energy, increases our irritability to sound and can be a contributor to other health issues. Here is an example of sound therapy for you to enjoy.

11) Listen to Uplifting Music

We are constantly bombarded by frequencies from the media and environment, a lot of which are “low” or “negative” and may contribute to various health issues. Listening to uplifting music is one of the best ways to combat this negativity. To your mind, it is like drinking fresh spring water instead of pond water. Find something that you LOVE to listen to and do it often (for me, it’s 80’s music and movie soundtracks!).

how to cleanse your body, how to detox your body, detox

12) Pet Therapy

Pet therapy is a phenomenal way to ease stress and cleanse your body at an emotional level. Pets are energy sensitive and have a way of knowing when people are uptight or depressed. With their constant temperaments and love for affection, they have been known to lower heart rates, calm reeling thought processes and ease fatigue. They are capable of bringing smiles to people’s faces who haven’t laughed in years and have an unparalleled way of teaching people how to love and trust again. Even just 10 – 15 minutes of petting and playing with a pet can have a remarkable effect on a person’s whole demeanor. Pets make wonderful companions and can give you a sort of cleansing that you won’t find possible with anything else in this world.


13) Steam Therapy

One major way our body gets rid of junk and waste that we inhale and breathe in all day is done through the sinuses. When these get clogged or if you get sick, your sinuses have trouble processing correctly. One of the oldest and most efficient ways to clear your sinuses out and move the detox process along is through steam therapy. You can purchase humidifiers for this, or even just breathe the steam from a hot shower, both accomplish the same goal. But the top suggestion that is the easiest and costs you nothing is just using your stove. All you do is boil some water, pour it into a bowl and then cover both your head and that bowl with a towel and simply breathe in the steam. Done at least twice a day, this method has been known to show quick and relieving results.

14) Herbs For Cleansing

Herbs are by far some of the most powerful plants on the planet when it comes to restoring our health. The synchronicity of the Universe is amazing – for almost every human disease there is a healing counterpart that can be found in the plant kingdom. Some that are particularly potent cleansers include Borotutu Bark, Milk Thistle, Turmeric, Peppermint and Garlic.

how to cleanse your body, how to detox your body, detox

15) Wake-Up And Don’t Eat

Our body goes through natural cycles throughout a day where it focuses respectively on these three processes: Elimination, Appropriation, and Assimilation. In the morning we are typically in elimination mode and our body is focusing on releasing toxins and cleansing. Waking up and eating a heavy breakfast can be counterproductive to your body’s attempts to cleanse. Instead of cereal or waffles, drink warm lemon water and then a little later drink fresh green juice or a smoothie. These are full of raw, living foods that will continue to cleanse and replenish your body in the best way possible.

how to cleanse your body, how to detox your body, detox

16) Aromatherapy

Aromatic compounds from plants can have a powerful influence on one’s mental, emotional and physical well-being. Many cultures around the globe use aromatherapyfor healing and rejuvenating purposes. An everyday use may include rubbing peppermint oil in your hands and cupping them around your face to breath deeply- this is known to help with focus and feeling more awake.

how to cleanse your body, how to detox your body, detox

17) Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is a simple yet effective way to cleanse your mouth and gums. You do it by swishing a teaspoon of oil (sesamesunflower or coconut) in your mouth for about 20 minutes (you can find a more in-depth article here on the whole process). The reason it’s called oil pulling is because the oil literally “pulls” out toxins, waste, and debris from where it resides in your mouth. Your mouth is a very popular place for bacteria and toxins to gather, so not only will Oil Pulling help whiten your teeth, it will help cleanse your body and improve your lymphatic system. WE USE COCONUT OIL.

how to cleanse your body, how to detox your body, detox

18) Foam Rolling

Often our lifestyle may contribute to stiff, overused/underused muscles. This can happen because of stress, bad posture, a sedentary job, or health issues.  Foam rolling helps to release toxic buildup and lactic acid in muscle tissue, as well as increase circulation to various areas of the body. This can help our body to heal and stay balanced.

how to cleanse your body, how to detox your body, detox

19) Foot Massage

Your feet are some of the quickest receptors to energy and particles put on them through lotion or oils. For that reason, they are also a major point of toxin build up. Massaging your feet gives them the chance to loosen up and release these toxins. There are many methods on how to massage your feet and one that we suggest (which is cheap and easy) is a massage using a lacrosse ball

how to cleanse your body, how to detox your body, detox

20) Infrared Heating Therapy

The far infrared waves in a sauna penetrate deep into the human body and gently elevate the surface temperature. This helps to activate many of the body’s major functions. When you sweat in this type of sauna your sweat will contain about 17% toxins (including heavy metals), compared to the 3% you would sweat out in a traditional sauna or while out in the sun. This type of heat therapy also increases circulation and may boost the immune system.


21) Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt is high in magnesium; the second most abundant element in humans cells. It helps to regulate over 325 enzymes and helps with numerous bodily functions. This is one of those tricky minerals to obtain on the standard American diet, which is why a lot of people are deficient (it’s estimated that upwards of 80% of the population are deficient!). Soaking in Epsom salts is an excellent way to get a boost of magnesium and address any connected symptoms.

Detox bath recipe: 1 cup Epsom salt, 1 cup baking soda, splash of apple cider vinegarand 10 drops essential oils (optional – I like lavender for it’s calming effect).

how to cleanse your body, how to detox your body, detox

22) Vitamin D Therapy

Don’t be afraid of the sun! We are made to live connected to sunlight and the energy of the earth. Vitamin D deficiency is a rising problem in the United States and contributes to all sorts of health problems. Daily vitamin D supplementation, adequate time in the sun and using vitamin D “lamps,” or UVB tanning beds are all ways to get enough of this important vitamin. Especially in times of winter where it is too cold to be outside, tanning and using “happy lights” may be a good alternative. Dr Mercola addresses concerns people may have with the sun and tanning here and here.

23) Oxygen Therapy

Oxygen is key when wanting to cleanse and detoxify your body. Oxygen is what empowers your cellular network and helps give your body energy. Oxygen therapy – as you’ve probably guessed – is simply the act of breathing in an increased amounts of oxygen. This is something you can go to a professional for who will measure the right amount of oxygen you need and then have you breathe it through a mask, or if you’re more of the naturalist type, simply going outside and doing some deep breathing exercises can accomplish this just fine. Spending just 10 – 20 minutes outside in the fresh air breathing deeply can do wonders for you and your body. Breathing itself helps you clear your mind, calm your heart rate, ease stress and ultimately help detoxify your system. This gives you a fantastic excuse to spend more time in the great outdoors!

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So as you can see, there are a ton of different ways you can detox your body each day. It doesn’t have to be hard or painful either!

If you’re really serious about your health (which I believe that you are), then this is a great step to really take your body and your overall health to the next level.

Not only will it help you get the amazing, healthy body that you want and deserve, but it will also help to get you there much, MUCH faster, without the guesswork of where to begin and how to sustain the incredible results you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

So don’t miss out! 🙂
Happy detoxing!

how to cleanse your body, how to detox your body, detox

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Research finds Spirulina lowers blood pressure

SpirulinaSpirulina is easily one of nature’s most potent superfoods. The blue-green microalgae is highly regarded for its impressive nutritional content and antioxidant activity, and offers a host of health benefits. While the mainstream medical industry continues to eschew food as medicine, research continues to demonstrate that spirulina (and many other plants) do have powerful healing effects. Science has proven time and time again that food isn’t just what makes people sick — it’s what makes them better. And yet, medical dogma continues to dictate that only Big Pharma’s drugs can be curative.

Indeed, the ancient art of healing has given way to the modern practice of putting profits before people. But many health enthusiasts are taking charge of their well-being by combining the power of a clean diet and potent, research-backed supplements like spirulina.

What is spirulina?

Spirulina is a blue-green microalgae that grows naturally in oceans and salty lakes. As Live Science puts it, spirulina is basically edible pond scum that’s been harvested by humans for centuries. Way back when the Aztecs even collected the good stuff from Lake Texcoco in central Mexico.

In the wild, spirulina is found in subtropical climates, but with modern technology, it is now grown around the world.  The algae forms microscopic “spirals” as it grows. These spirals tend to stick together, which makes harvesting it pretty simple. Combined with an outstanding array of health benefits, it is no small wonder that spirulina has been hailed as a medicinal superfood for hundreds of years.

The power of the elements: Discover Colloidal Silver Mouthwash with quality, natural ingredients like Sangre de Drago sap, black walnut hulls, menthol crystals and more. Zero artificial sweeteners, colors or alcohol. Learn more at the Health Ranger Store and help support this news site.

In some cultures, spirulina is still harvested from lakes by hand and formed into dried cakes. But, the prized superfood is also widely available as a nutritional supplement, typically either in powder or pill form. Powdered spirulina can be added to a variety of foods and beverages; it is even used as a natural colorant. Experts say taking just one to three grams of spirulina a day is all you need to experience the algae’s medicinal power.

Lower blood pressure and more

As Natural Health 365 reports, recent research has demonstrated one of spirulina’s most profound uses: Benefiting the cardiovascular system. High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) affects an estimated one-third of adults in the United States.

As a risk factor for the two leading causes of death (heart disease and stroke), hypertension is a major health concern. Now, scientists have found that spirulina can help reduce high blood pressure.

In a study of animal models, researchers found that spirulina relaxes the arteries by “stimulating a process mediated by nitric oxide.”

As sources note, impairments in the metabolic processes mediated by nitric oxide are common in people with hypertension — which makes the effects of spirulina particularly remarkable. The team was even able to determine the specific compound in spirulina responsible for these heart-healthy effects.

“SP6 interacts with an important signaling pathway known as PI3K/AKT. This interaction leads to the release of [nitric oxide] and, consequently, a drop in blood pressure,” the scientists wrote.

Research has also shown that spirulina can help promote a healthy blood lipid profile, reduce blood sugar levels and enhance muscle strength and endurance. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of spirulina are also well-documented. Some research even shows that spirulina can help prevent cancer.

And on top of all that, spirulina also boasts an impressive nutritional profile: It’s loaded with an array of essential vitamins and minerals and is also a good source of protein.

Despite what mainstream medical shills want you to think, food really is medicine. Indeed, when you give your body the nutrition it needs to function at its best, amazing things can happen — and Big Pharma’s toxic cocktails become irrelevant.

Learn more about spirulina and other superfoods at

Sources for this article include:

Originally posted:


Cranberries Help Antibiotics Fight Bacterial Infections

cranberryResearch conducted at McGill University and INRS has found that a cranberry extract makes bacteria more sensitive to antibiotics, a promising avenue for limiting resistance to these important drugs

The global spread of antibiotic resistance is undermining decades of progress in fighting bacterial infections. Due to the overuse of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture, we are on the cusp of returning to a pre-antibiotic era in which minor infections can once again become deadly. Therefore, countering the fall in antibiotic efficacy by improving the effectiveness of currently available antibiotics is a crucial goal.

Cranberries are highly sought after for their tangy taste and the antioxidants they contain, but a new study published in the journal Advanced Science provides evidence that they could also help in the fight against bacteria. When treated with molecules derived from cranberries, pathogenic bacteria become more sensitive to lower doses of antibiotics. What’s more, the bacteria don’t develop resistance to the antibiotics, according to the findings by researchers at McGill University and INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique) in Montreal.

Given the popular belief that drinking cranberry juice is helpful against urinary tract infections, the researchers sought to find out more about the berry’s molecular properties by treating various bacteria with a cranberry extract. The bacteria selected for study were those responsible for urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gastroenteritis (Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Escherichia coli).

“Normally when we treat bacteria with an antibiotic in the lab, the bacteria eventually acquire resistance over time,” said McGill chemical engineering professor Nathalie Tufenkji, lead author of the study. “But when we simultaneously treated the bacteria with an antibiotic and the cranberry extract, no resistance developed. We were very surprised by this, and we see it as an important opportunity.”

Analyses showed that the cranberry extract increases bacterial sensitivity to antibiotics by acting in two ways. First, it makes the bacterial cell wall more permeable to the antibiotic, and second, it interferes with the mechanism used by the bacteria to pump out the antibiotic. Consequently, the antibiotic penetrates more easily, and the bacteria have a harder time getting rid of it, which explains why the drug is effective at lower doses.

“These are really exciting results,” said coauthor Éric Déziel, a professor of microbiology at INRS. “The activity is generated by molecules called proanthocyanidins. There are several different kinds of proanthocyanidins, and they may work together to deliver this outcome. We’ll need to do more research to determine which ones are most active in synergy with the antibiotic.”

After confirming the activity of the cranberry molecules on bacterial culture, the researchers tested to determine whether the pattern persisted in a preliminary animal model: infected insects. Since the synergistic effect of the extract and the antibiotic was also observed in the insects, further experiments will be conducted to clearly identify the active molecules.

If the results are confirmed in animals, certain classes of antibiotics subject to high levels of resistance could be made useful again by using cranberry extract to boost their potential.

“We are eager to pursue this research further,” Tufenkji said. “Our hope is to reduce the doses of antibiotics required in human and veterinary medicine as part of efforts to combat antibiotic resistance.”

Article by McGill University. Related journal article in Advanced Science. Image by Pixabay.

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Gut Feeling: The Microbiome and Mental Health

gutThe Secret Life of Your Microbiome (New Society Publishers, 2017), by Susan L. Prescott, MD, PhD and by Alan C. Logan, ND presents the scientific connection between our bodies and the microbial world and suggests that the health industry not neglect the symbiosis of microbial and human life. The book includes recipes for a healthy microbiome from “The Gut Girl”, Marlies Venier, a skilled fermenter, blogger, and certified health coach. The following excerpt discusses the link between the gut, disease, and mental health from the theory of dysbiosphere, first described by John Arthur Thomson (1861-1933) as “the way life (Greek: bios) that surrounds us like a living globe (Latin: sphaera),” or “life in distress” (The Secret Life of Your Microbiome).

Shifting Psyche in the Dysbiosphere

At all hours of the day and night, just as surely as birds migrate and the Earth rotates on its axis, massive juggernauts traverse national highways and city streets. These semi-trailer trucks — 40-ton transport vessels unimaginable just a century ago — are filled to the brim with cargo that is driving dysbiosis — life in distress. Flinging open the back doors for forensic examination, we soon see the stash that is eroding life and health. Sugar-rich foods and beverages, cigarettes, ultra-processed foods, high-calorie/low-nutrient foods far removed from nature, energy drinks, and the raw material for fast food that gets assembled by workers who don’t receive a living wage are making their way to a city near you. These are all markers of a system of personal, public, and planetary health run amok. Yet, all the while, they are also our desperate attempts for a healing balm for all that ails us, along with literally truckloads of antidepressants. Distress in life serves only to increase the bloated haul.

Close to 30 million tons of sugar are hauled around the United States annually. The markers of our sedentary life — 37 million new televisions, 160 million new smartphones — scurry over interstate highways. Many more are destined for households in westernized and developing nations alike.

Psychotropic medications are increasingly prescribed to children, teens, and adults. Although prescription drugs don’t weigh much, they represent one of the most valuable commodities transported on US highways and rail routes — $914 billion per year. Despite having a per-pill weight which is next to nothing, the haul still amounts to over 200 tons of antidepressants, anti-anxiety, attention deficit, and sleep-enhancing medications. We also turn to dietary supplements to soothe us and help fill in nutritional voids — $30 billion worth of approximately 30,000 different dietary supplements in North America alone. Just one small segment of this industry — omega-3 and other fatty acids — tells a story of the sheer volume of our desire to be fixed: 120 million tons of fatty acid supplements are moved around our global transportation systems.

Then we have energy drinks. Juggernauts deliver $43 billion worth of so-called energy drinks to keep up with global demand. Experts in business marketing describe it as an unquenchable thirst for more energy; they foresee a 40 percent growth in sales and profits galore by 2020. We, on the other hand, foresee an increasingly fatigued global population trying to prop themselves up and survive the demands of modernity via the contents of little plastic bottles or large tins of packaged stimulants. Each can and bottle is interconnected to so many other issues of our time. For example, Dr. Subin Park and colleagues have found that energy drink use is linked to sleep problems, depression, suicidal ideation, and stress. They found that consuming junk food magnifies these energy drink-neuro-behavioral-emotional links.

Visualize all that global locomotion for just a moment. The colossal movement of products, the energy it takes, the planetary fatigue it induces, the pressure it places on the biodiversity we are increasingly detached from. A core theme of Secret Life is the interconnectedness of life in promoting health, which therefore cannot be removed from the interconnected forces that threaten that vital force. One by one the semi-trailers pull up to the urban loading dock, which is essentially our own gullet. Heavily supported by prodigious promissory notes written by marketers who pledge us a better life, each load brings us further away from our ancestral past.

No Health Without Mental Health

In order to make our argument that all aspects of life — both seen and unseen — are connected to your health and vitality, and, by extension, the health of those around you, we first need to take a step back and take stock of where we are at, mentally, in westernized societies or so-called developed nations. We apologize up front if this might seem, for lack of a better word, depressing. However, as the messages of positivity break through, they will do so from the oft-overlooked vantage of mental health. This is an essential prism so that we can later crush the superficial dismissal of nature by many political leaders, institutions, and those in positions of power and authority. In many of these halls, nature, if on the radar at all, is viewed merely as a low-ranking variable in modern health. To illuminate our argument, we must first shine the optimistic, variegated light of our vis medicatrix naturae dialogue on the unsettling crises in our midst.

Although we will focus on health from the mental and emotional perspective, we do so with the understanding that emotional health is deeply connected to the epidemic of chronic, non-communicable diseases in our midst. Allergy, asthma, and autoimmunity are the barometers of change. These diseases are happening at increasing rates, especially early in life. Consider that pediatric inflammatory bowel disease has tripled in some countries over the last half-century. But careful study shows that rapid increases have occurred mostly over the last decade. Based on twin studies, genetics are not the issue, accounting for only about 20-30 percent of the causation. Also, although it’s tempting to dismiss this as simply increased awareness by doctors, the increases in pediatric type one diabetes are increasing along similar lines. Increases in type one diabetes aren’t a matter of physician awareness. It is fairly obvious, life-threatening disease and has been since doctors rode in a horse and buggy. The only rational conclusion is that something, or some things, have changed in our environment, lifestyle, or both.

Onwards then, to the current psyche in developed nations. As defined, the term “developed” might infer that nations like Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States are all grown up and fully mature. When it comes to dealing with infectious disease, early-life mortality, and the delivery of advanced healthcare, these and other G12 countries are certainly wise beyond their years. But not so much when looking at them through the filter of what actually defines health.

Health, as Thomson made clear and as the World Health Organization (WHO) has now formally defined, is not the absence of disease but rather a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. WHO has more specifically defined mental health as the ability to reach one’s potential while coping with the normal stresses of life. Of course, defining what, exactly, are the “normal” stressors of life in our increasingly complex, urbanized, technological, nature-detached world, is a bit of a challenge. However, we can all understand that, just because someone doesn’t meet the checklist criteria for a mental disorder, doesn’t mean they are thriving. Nor does it mean they are healthy.

Beyond the Borders of Disorders

The international statistics on mental health in developed nations are troubling to say the least. In the United States 25 percent of the adult population reports having a mental illness in a given year, and 50 percent of adults over the course of a lifetime. Those are actual disorders. Primary interventions — pharmaceutical drugs and cognitive- behavioral therapy — can be powerfully effective. They just aren’t effective enough for everyone. Plus, they are often used after months or even years of suffering. Prevention of mental disorders desperately needs to be prioritized.

Since our focus is on mental health, we won’t enter the debate about whether or not there is a more recent epidemic of defined mental disorders. Although some studies have shown major increases in diagnoses of depression and anxiety in recent years, others have not. Whatever the accurate percentage of westerners that currently meet various criteria for depression and anxiety disorders may be, we can all agree that it is unacceptably high.

There are untold numbers of people who sit just below the threshold of diagnostic criteria for depression and anxiety disorders. In medical jargon the individuals who look good from afar, but are far from good, are labeled as having subsyndromal, subthreshold, or subclinical conditions. Psychological distress, fatigue, sleep difficulties, and other symptoms associated with subclinical mental health disorders are commonly reported in primary care settings. Only eight percent of people show up to their doctor to discuss mental health issues like depression, anxiety, alcohol problems; they are much more willing to talk about physical ailments. But when prodded just a bit, it turns out one in three are actually experiencing emotional symptoms that they were reluctant to discuss.

Only in recent years, have researchers started to get a handle on the true suffering, unrealized quality of life, and difficulty performing daily activities, experienced by those who sit just below diagnostic cutoffs. Historically, scientists and clinicians have been hyperfocused on individuals that meet highly-debated criteria for various mental disorders; the consequences of this are now clear — many suffering individuals have been overlooked. We think it is an important part of the discussion because living on the borderland around “nearly” having major depression and/or anxiety disorder(s) sets one on the path to a higher risk of other chronic diseases, and, most certainly, impaired quality of life. The physiological and metabolic changes — oxidative stress and inflammation — that lead to damage to cells are there on either side of the line.

In fact, scientists discovered recently that individuals with sub-threshold depression experience loss of grey matter and increased mortality. That’s code for the reality that the mind-body interface really isn’t interested in diagnostic manuals: moving along the mental state continuum in the direction away from vitality damages cells and can shrink your brain and shorten your lifespan. We describe in Secret Life how recognition of the interconnectedness of life and lifestyle can provide an antidote to the erosion of health. Provide a sea wall to protect your grey matter.

The Resonance of Stress

Shifting mental health can also be gleaned from perceptions of stress. The vast majority of international academic studies and surveys conducted by various mental health organizations show significantly higher reporting of psychological distress within the last few decades. In fact, never mind decades, they show significantly more distress in the last few years. If youth and adults of all ages are reporting higher levels of perceived stress — and perception is reality when it comes to thoughts and feelings — then we have a clear roadblock to the realization of mental health.

Very telling are the increases in cases involving symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress fielded by the employee assistance departments of major global companies. For example, one survey involving 100,000 employees located in Europe, Asia, and the Americas reported a 27.4 percent increase in such cases from 2012 to 2014. Similar findings from an Australian employee assistance firm covering 600,000 employees has shown a 15 percent uptick in stress-related sickness and cases of flat-out AWOL from work due to stress in re- cent years. There are many legitimate reasons why this might be the case, often pinned on horrible bosses, modern workplace culture, and excessive demands. However, our children, teens, and university students are also experiencing the same trends.

New research from Dr. Jean Twene shows that compared to their peers from 1980, North American teens are much more likely to report symptoms of distress such as trouble sleeping, shortness of breath, diminished cognitive focus, and memory recall. Also in the last few decades, young adults in the university are more likely to report feeling overwhelmed. Recently, Canadian scientists from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that the number of teens reporting moderate to serious psychological distress has increased since 2013. Meanwhile, rates of disability due to mental or neurodevelopmental conditions has increased by 21 percent over the last decade. It’s an upward creep of stress, especially among our youth.

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Author:  Susan L. Prescott, MD, PhD and by Alan C. Logan, ND

What Diet Is Best For You? The One That Makes You Feel Your Best.

dietBy Amanda Warren

If you’re like me, you probably know at least one person who makes horrible dietary choices but still never seems to get sick, looks great, has tons of energy, and is always in a great mood.  In fact, that person may even be you.  Or maybe – once upon a time, that was you.

Many of us learned poor dietary habits from our parents.  Often times, they didn’t know better because they learned poor eating habits from their own parents.  Sometimes they were also misled by whatever diet was being touted by mainstream doctors at the time.

When I was growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, my mom was one of those parents who tried to stay current on what doctors were recommending.  Her parents had horrible diets, which she later learned and revised only after she went to college.  She wanted my sister and me to learn healthy eating habits when we were young.  This included forcing us to eat green vegetables every night at dinner – whether we liked them or not.

When doctors started recommending whole wheat bread over white bread, my mom started buying less bleached flour-based food products.  Bread, English muffins, bagels, pasta and pancakes often became whole wheat.  It was definitely not as tasty but we adapted.

Like everyone else, though, she was misled by other dietary recommendations.  My sister and I were slim and athletic and we didn’t have any chronic health problems.  But my mom still stopped making us eggs as often because she was concerned about us getting high cholesterol.  She stopped salting our food because there were warnings about salt.  She started buying low-fat milk and cheeses.  She started steaming and boiling vegetables more often than cooking them in oil.  Dinners seemed to become more about pasta than anything else because that was being recommended by doctors.  It seemed like she stopped buying and serving us as much meat too.  Fat was the enemy.

Of course, what we ate was still probably better than what many kids ate while growing up.  Even today, some people do just fine with that kind of diet.  Some people do just fine on vegetarian and vegan diets too.  Everybody is different because every body is different.

Because of health issues I was experiencing a few years ago, my doctor recommended that I try a Keto diet to see if I felt better.  Lots of protein and fat – less carbs including starchy vegetables.  Wow – what a difference.  Not only that – when you start eating this way, it doesn’t take long before you stop craving carbs and sugar.  It’s never a bad idea to have a cheat day once in a while – which I do.  But overall, I feel and look so much better on the Keto diet that I don’t really want to cheat that often.

There is so much information now readily available at everyone’s fingertips that we no longer have the excuse of being enslaved by our parents’ misinformation or bad choices.  Nor should we remain subservient to the often ethically compromised healthcare system and the medical doctors that are often beholden to it. You can easily learn for yourself about new findings that show the benefits of MCT oil, for example, or why it is so essential for the body to have enough hydrolyzed collagen to keep healthy joints and ligaments, as well as healthy skin that keeps you looking your best.

It is essential to begin finding the right combinations for your own body as early on as possible. Far too many people wind up letting their weight and general physical condition get so far out of hand that desperation forces them onto the toxic quick-fix “solutions” of prescription medications, or even the more radical weight loss programs that can have long-lasting negative consequences.

Remember:  Food should be your medicine, not a source of bodily injury.

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Civil War Plant Medicines DISARM Drug-Resistant Bacteria In Lab Tests

drug resistant bacteriaDuring the height of the Civil War, the Confederate Surgeon General commissioned a guide to traditional plant remedies of the South, as battlefield physicians faced high rates of infections among the wounded and shortages of conventional medicines. A new study of three of the plants from this guide — the white oak, the tulip poplar, and the devil’s walking stick — find that they have antiseptic properties.

Scientific Reports is publishing the results of the study led by scientists at Emory University. The results show that extracts from the plants have antimicrobial activity against one or more of a trio of dangerous species of multi-drug-resistant bacteria associated with wound infections: Acinetobacter baumannii, Staphylococcus aureus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae.

“Our findings suggest that the use of these topical therapies may have saved some limbs, and maybe even lives, during the Civil War,” says Cassandra Quave, senior author of the paper and assistant professor at Emory’s Center for the Study of Human Health and the School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology.

Quave is an ethnobotanist, studying how people use plants in traditional healing practices, to uncover promising candidates for new drugs. “Ethnobotany is essentially the science of survival — how people get by when limited to what’s available in their immediate environment,” she says. “The Civil War guide to plant remedies is a great example of that.”

“Our research might one day benefit modern wound care if we can identify which compounds are responsible for the antimicrobial activity,” adds Micah Dettweiler, the first author of the paper.

If the active ingredients are identified, “it is my hope that we can then [further] test these molecules in our world-renowned models of bacterial infection,” says co-author Daniel Zurawski, chief of pathogenesis and virulence for the Wound Infections Department at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.

“I’ve always been a Civil War buff,” Zurawski adds. “I am also a firm believer in learning everything we can garner from the past so we can benefit now from the knowledge and wisdom of our ancestors.”

Additional co-authors on the paper include Ryan Reddinger, from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; James Lyles, from the Quave lab; and Kate Nelson, from Emory School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology.

Dettweiler was still an Emory undergraduate when he heard about the Civil War plant guide and decided to research it for his honors thesis. He has since graduated with a degree in biology and now works as a research specialist in the Quave lab.

“I was surprised to learn that far more Civil War soldiers died from disease than in battle,” he says. “I was also surprised at how common amputation was as a medical treatment for an infected wound.”

About one in 13 surviving Civil War soldiers went home with one or more missing limbs, according to the American Battlefield Trust.

At the time of the Civil War, from 1861 to 1865, germ theory was in its developmental stages and only gradually beginning to gain acceptance. Formal medical training for physicians was also in its infancy. An antiseptic was simply defined as a tonic used to prevent “mortification of the flesh.” Iodine and bromine were sometimes used to treat infections, according to the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, although the reason for their effectiveness was unknown.

Other conventional medicines available at the time included quinine, for treating malaria, and morphine and chloroform, to block pain.

Military field hospitals within the Confederacy, however, did not have reliable access to these medicines due to a blockade — the Union Navy closely monitored the major ports of the South to prevent the Confederacy from trading.

Seeking alternatives, the Confederacy commissioned Francis Porcher, a botanist, and surgeon from South Carolina, to compile a book of medicinal plants of the Southern states, including plant remedies used by Native Americans and enslaved Africans. “Resources of the Southern Fields and Forests,” published in 1863, was a major compendium of uses for different plants, including a description of 37 species for treating gangrene and other infections. Samuel Moore, the Confederate Surgeon General, drew from Porcher’s work to produce a document called “Standard supply table of the indigenous remedies for field service and the sick in general hospitals.”

For the current study, the researchers focused on three plant species Porcher cited for antiseptic use that grows in Lullwater Preserve on the Emory campus. They included two common hardwood trees — the white oak (Quercus alba) and the tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) — as well as a thorny, woody shrub commonly known as the devil’s walking stick (Aralia spinosa).

Samples of these three plants were gathered from campus specimens, based on Porcher’s specifications. Extracts were taken from white oak bark and galls; tulip poplar leaves, root inner bark and branch bark; and the devil’s walking stick leaves. The extracts were then tested on three species of multi-drug-resistant bacteria commonly found in wound infections.

Aceinetobacter baumannii — better known as “Iraqibacter” due to its association with wounded combat troops returning from the Iraq War — exhibits extensive resistance to most first-line antibiotics. “It’s emerging as a major threat for soldiers recovering from battle wounds and for hospitals in general,” Quave says.

Staphylococcus aureus is considered the most dangerous of many common staph bacteria and can spread from skin infections or medical devices through the bloodstream and infect distant organs. Klebsiella pneumoniae is another leading cause of hospital infection and can result in life-threatening cases of pneumonia and septic shock.

Laboratory tests showed that extracts from the white oak and tulip poplar inhibited the growth of S. aureus, while the white oak extracts also inhibited the growth of A. baumannii and K. pneumoniae. Extracts from both of these plants also inhibited S. aureus from forming biofilms, which can act like a shield against antibiotics.

Extracts from the devil’s walking stick inhibited both biofilm formation and quorum sensing in S. aureus. Quorum sensing is a signaling system that staph bacteria use to manufacture toxins and ramp up virulence. Blocking this system essentially “disarms” the bacteria.

Traditional plant remedies are often dismissed if they don’t actively attack and kill pathogens, Quave notes, adding: “There are many more ways to help cure infections, and we need to focus on them in the era of drug-resistant bacteria.”

“Plants have a great wealth of chemical diversity, which is one more reason to protect natural environments,” Dettweiler says. He plans to go to graduate school with a focus on researching plants for either medical or agricultural purposes. “I’m interested in plants because, even though they don’t move from place to place, they are extremely powerful and important.”

Article published by Emory University. Image by Stephen Nowland of Emory University.