Archive for Author Darlene Jorgens

About the Author: Darlene Jorgens
As the Student Advisor at Genesis School of Natural Health my purpose is to guide students through their studies. I also take on projects as needed. ~~ My business is called The Herbs & The Bees, LLC, which has a fully-stocked apothecary and provides holistic wellness consults and services utilizing nutritional augmentation, herbal and homeopathic remedies, as well as energetic modalities.

HERBS TO LIVE BY… Oatstraw & Milky Oats

COMMON NAME: Oatstraw; Milky Oats, Oats Flowering Tops; Oats

LATIN NAME: Avena sativa

FAMILY: Poaceae

PLANT PART USED: Stems (Oatstraw) & Premature Seeds (Milky Oats)

ENERGETICS: Neutral to cooling, moistening

TASTE: Sweet

PRIMARY ACTIONS: Antidepressant, Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory (topically as colloidal oatmeal), Anti-insomnia, Antispasmodic, Anxiolytic, Cardiotonic, Capillary-Strengthening, Diuretic, Galactagogue, Hypolipidemic, Nervine Tonic, Nutritive, Vasodilator, Vulnerary (Demulcent & Emollient)­

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Many herbal professionals would agree there are no problems with using oatstraw or milky oats, In theory, caution should be exercised with those who are celiac or have a recognized gluten sensitivity. While oats do not contain gluten, those with Celiac disease or gluten allergies must take care to verify the oats they select are not cross-contaminated in a facility that processes other gluten-containing grains.

Milky Oats

ABOUT: ‘Milky oats’ are the premature oat that has not yet formed a seed. When harvested at the right time the premature green seed head can be squeezed and a sticky whitish “milk” will be released.

The ‘oat straw’ is the grassy stalk of the plant that should be harvested while the oats are in the milky oats stage.

As food, oats are the seed of the mature plant that is harvested for food commonly called oatmeal or baked and added to granola or muesli. Oatmeal is a calcium channel blocker that helps to lower blood pressure. When soaked and strained the oat ‘milk’ can be consumed as a beverage or medicinally added to bath water to soothe skin conditions or applied topically to soothe skin conditions including contact dermatitis, dryness, itching, rashes, eczema (weeping), and burns.

The most common herbal remedies are those made of the oatstraw infusion and of the milky oats tincture. Though they appear simple, one should not underestimate their healing potential. Oatstraw or milky oats should be considered remedies for most anyone at any time throughout life.

Oat Straw with Milky Oats

Oatstraw can help brighten one’s mood and lift depression by inhibiting the ability of monoamine oxide-B to break down a neurotransmitter called dopamine important for mood regulation. Oatstraw also keeps phosphodiesterase-4 from causing inflammation often connected to anxiety and depression. Additionally, oatstraw increases focus through vasodilation, therefore, it may be beneficial for those with ADHD.

Oatstraw infusion is supportive of those suffering from bed-wetting, boils, flu, coughs, bladder issues, joint pain and rheumatic complaints, exhaustion, frostbite, gall bladder issues, gout, heart and/or liver issues, impetigo, lung weakness, nervous conditions, sexual debility, etc.

Ayurvedic practitioners have used a decoction of Avena sativa as an elixir for opium addiction and noticed that certain people also have found it supportive for smoking cessation.1 While this may be controversial, it is not surprising that addictions stemming from anxiety may be helped by this gentle, yet powerful nervous system trophorestorative.

To make an oatstraw infusion, place 1/4 cup of chopped organic oatstraw into a mason jar. Fill the jar with steaming hot/boiling water and cover. To extract all the minerals, allow the infusion to set overnight for a minimum of 8 hours. Then strain and drink. Keep refrigerated for up to three days. An adult may consume one cup up to three times per day.

Oatstraw tea is even safe for infants (in small doses), children, women who are pregnant or menopausal, the elderly, the convalescing and in just about every life-stage and condition of health.

The milky oats of the oat plant are made into a tincture. It must be done at the premature milky stage of the oat seed. The best tinctures are made using a very high-percentage alcohol solvent as this is necessary to extract the milky white latex exudate from the immature seed.

Milky oats is a traditional remedy used to support and restore the nervous system. especially after long periods of prolonged stress The tincture would likely be faster-acting and more appropriate in an acute situation. Old-time practitioners used milky oats tincture to promote healthy heart and nerve function as well as to encourage healthy sleep patterns, An adult dose of milky oats tincture ranges from 20-40 drops 3 or more times per day.

The Ultimate Immune Booster

Boost Your Immune System & Reduce Your Viral Load Through Forgiveness

Good health includes many health-promoting practices from eating the right foods and drinking pure water, to avoiding chemicals and getting proper rest. Spiritual and emotional factors are also important. While designed to live in the present, all of us at some point have to deal with something that keeps us emotionally and physically tied to an unpleasant person or event, and that is unforgiveness. The decision to withhold forgiveness has the deleterious power to bind us to the past through either ours or another’s action or inaction.

Unforgiveness can be thought of as an anchor that holds the emotions of hatred or bitterness, anger or rage, resentment, retaliation and even murder in place. Unforgiveness is an emotional “toxin” and an underlying factor in much physical or psychological dysfunction. Simply stated, the body cannot thrive while holding onto toxicity of any kind.

Just like an anchor is designed to keep a boat from floating away on the water, so our ability to overcome daily stressors is drastically hindered with these ties to past wounds, traumas and offenses.

When bound to the past through toxic decisions such as unforgiveness, the soul (mind, will and emotions) simply cannot operate at maximum capacity. This causes our body to enter into a heightened state of chronic stress which causes physical vitality begin to wane. These toxic emotions keep the body under chronic levels of stress, hindering the ability to repair itself.

As innervation (the excitation of nerve fibers that causes an organ, gland, muscle or body region to react beyond what is required for homeostasis) occurs, among the first systems that become affected are the amount and quality of sleep, proper digestion including the assimilation of nutrition, and the proper elimination of wastes. The mind is often inordinately occupied with wrong(s) done, rehearsing things that did not happen that might have been better said or done in the moment. This chronic insistence of holding on to the “Fight” or “Flight” of the autonomic nervous system’s “Fight or Flight” response hinders the healing processes that occur when the body returns to the “Rest and Digest” of the parasympathetic nervous system keeping the body from returning to a state of peace.

Eventually, a dip in energy levels with increasing fatigue occurs while the body adjusts to the constant state of unresolved stress. This manifests in the physical body through an energetic pathway connected to the autonomic nervous system. (For more information about this newly-discovered organ system, read about the Primo Vascular System HERE.)

Negative emotions increase the risk of having adverse health experiences, for instance, a stroke. In one study “three potential triggers stood out: anger, negative emotions – guilt, fear, nervousness, irritability, and hostility – and sudden posture changes due to a startling event. Nearly 30% of participants reported at least one of those experiences two hours before their stroke. …There was a 14-fold increase in stroke risk with both negative emotions and anger.”1

While it is not known exactly how years of negative feelings and anger affect the risk of having a stroke, it is a good idea for those who experience intense negative feelings to incorporate skills such as forgiveness to release this build-up of inner tension in a healthful manner. We will discuss this in more detail later.

A study published in the European Heart Journal on March 3, 2014, confirms these findings. “Researchers found in the two hours after an angry outburst, a person’s risk for a heart attack increased nearly five times and their risk of stroke shot up more than three times, compared to when patients were not angry. Risk for arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm, was also increased.”2

It is important to understand that for any negative emotion, overexpression, suppression or pretending the problem is not there takes tremendous emotional and physical resources as well as communicating toxic messages to the body. This is always harmful. This would explain why it is most beneficial for maintaining and regaining health and longevity to release the root cause of these emotions. Forgiveness of self and others often plays a key role.

In relationship to anger and cancer, researchers have found that “Extremely low anger scores have been noted in numerous studies of patients with cancer. Such low scores suggest suppression, repression, or restraint of anger. There is evidence to show that suppressed anger can be a precursor to the development of cancer, and also a factor in its progression after diagnosis. Some studies indicate that it may be beneficial for patients to mobilize anger to battle their cancer.”3

Another study found that natural killer cell counts are negatively influenced by outward expressions of anger. Natural killer cells are important in the body’s anti-tumor immune response. It is significant to note that other factors were measured which did not appear to affect natural killer cell counts such as inward anger, clinical anxiety or depression. The results of this study suggest that the unregulated expression of anger may suppress the body’s innate immunity.4 There is always unforgiveness lurking behind anger. So if someone wants to deal with anger issues, they should consider the need to forgive.

Do you want to boost your immune system and reduce your viral load? Then forgive!

A study of those living with HIV presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine 32nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions “shows individuals who truly forgave someone who had hurt them in the past showed positive changes in their immune status.”5

CD4 is a type of protein that is found on immune cells such as T-cells, macrophages, and monocytes. CD4s do not neutralize infections; however, they trigger the body’s proper response to infections. The results of a blood test CD4 T-cell count are used to indicate the health of immune function. It is most commonly used in people with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). In this next study, CD4 cell percentages correlate to the health of the immune system with a significant relationship to the level of forgiveness.

“Not forgiving is like drinking poison and
expecting the other person to die.”

“We hypothesized that higher levels of forgiveness would be associated with higher CD4 cell percentages controlled for demographic and behavioral variables as well as viral load,’ Dr. Owen told Medscape Medical News. ‘And none of these variables accounted for the relationship between forgiveness and CD4 cell percentages. So, there is something special going on between forgiveness and CD4 cell counts.”5 Interestingly, this study also equated the greater the forgiveness, the higher the CD4 percentages which boosts the immune system and reduces viral load.

It has also been found that forgiveness improves immune function in those with HIV. A new study was presented at the Society of Behavioral Medicine 32nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions. This study included people who were living with HIV. It revealed that “individuals who truly forgave someone who had hurt them in the past showed positive changes in their immune status.”6

Another study confirms the correlation. It found the more unforgiving nature a person has, the worse mental and physical health were experienced, and conversely, demonstrated that there is a positive interaction of those who practice having a forgiving nature and a correspondingly weaker effect of stress and adverse mental health in an individual’s life.7

Caution: Unforgiveness may be detrimental to your health!

What Unforgiveness IS ~
Reverend Michael Barry, PhD, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania explained, “…Unforgiveness is a state where a person retains negative emotions, including anger and hatred, for a perpetrator of harm. ‘This creates a state of chronic anxiety, and chronic anxiety has a predictable impact on a wide range of bodily functions, including the reproductive system, the digestive system, and the immune system,’ he said.

‘There is a direct correlation between unforgiveness and our immune system, which directly affects our healing processes.”

Rev. Michael Barry, Ph.D.

For example, stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenalin, have been shown to reduce the production of natural killer cells — the ‘foot soldiers’ in the fight against cancer, he noted.

Dr. Barry’s own research has shown that almost two-thirds of cancer patients identified forgiveness as a personal issue for them, and 1 in 3 of them indicated they had severe forgiveness issues, ‘so we are aware of the emotional pain that many of our patients are in.”8

Caution: Forgiveness may be beneficial to your health!

What Forgiveness IS ~
Forgiveness is something one does for themselves. It is solely for the individual, not anyone else. Incorporating the practice of forgiveness into one’s lifestyle brings health-promoting separation for the soul and the body, breaking its destructive negatively-charged chronically stressful emotions, thoughts and behaviors anchored to a toxic past.

For those who have experienced the release of deeply forgiving another person, it is a truly liberating, burden-lightening decision for the restoration of health.

What Forgiveness is NOT ~
The act of forgiveness does not make light of or diminish the violation, pain or suffering of the wounded in any way. The kind of emotional turmoil associated with traumatic events follow people throughout their lifetimes. Sadly, unforgiveness towards self or others can affect one’s ability to succeed, experience healthy and fulfilling relationships, feel the depths and the heights of love, hope, peace and joy, and even a dramatic lessening of physical vitality.

Forgiveness is not forgetting, nor does it approve of a wrong done. It is a powerful technique that can bring separation, lessening of emotional angst, and increased ability to live with joy in the present and with confidence toward the future.

Reconciliation may or may not be appropriate as a result of forgiveness. This is different for each individual as there are situations where reconciliation is not recommended. A safe distance of separation should be kept if there is any possibility of continued emotional or physical abuse to the forgiver or their children. In some instances contact should be completely avoided.

How To Forgive? Some Pointers…
Forgivers are predominantly “faith-oriented and empathetic people who understand the meaning of forgiveness as letting go of negative emotions.”9 Their primary tools are prayer and meditation. Fostering a willingness to forgive along with a decision to not carry past burdens into the present gives the fortitude to release others deeply within their soul. The most successful forgivers fill their minds with good thoughts about themselves and their future, scripture is often used and gives added direction when walking out from past offenses.

Helpful Hints:

  • Understand what forgiveness really is
  • Acknowledge that the negativity is affecting your emotional or physical health
  • Put your feelings into words.*
  • Garner the support of family or friends*
  • Be specific. A generalized “I forgive everybody” type of prayer is not effective.
  • It is best to start small and work one’s way up to the more difficult transgressions.
  • Write down the date you have deeply forgiven someone, just in case you need a reminder.
  • Repeat forgiveness exercises as needed.

*Verbalizing one’s feelings lessen the intensity of the emotions. The reason is that the attachment of a word to an emotion decreases the amygdala’s response. As a result, this increases the response of the prefrontal cortex where thinking occurs.10 This is why people find talking about emotional issues with family, friends, or a counselor can be helpful.

Do people need to know I’ve forgiven them?
Well no, not really. Especially if they don’t know they have caused an offense. Simply forgive and enjoy the release that you have gained while moving on with your life.

Can I forgive someone who has died or left me that I will never see again?
Absolutely! Remember that forgiveness is for YOU! It’s about you and releasing your negative connections with any person or situation in the past. Freedom is merely a deeply heartfelt decision away.

Wounded People, Wound People…

Let’s face it. All of us have been hurt, and in turn have hurt someone at one time or another. The most honorable thing we can do is diligently practice forgiveness in our own lives, and where we have wounded others ask for forgiveness. In this way we help them find the release that they need by experiencing forgiveness for themselves.

Personal Story ~
When my father passed, I felt very disoriented and surprised at the effect his death had on me. Within days, the mother of friend approached me and confessed that she resented how I could be so happy all of the time. Still grieving, I was not exactly feeling “happy”.

As I looked into her pain-filled eyes and heard her words I understood that she didn’t come to accuse me, rather, she came for help. She had a point, I usually did exhibit a joy that she wanted for herself, but it wasn’t until later that I understood why.

Taking responsibility for the role I had in her offense, I replied, “I am so sorry to have caused you pain. Will you forgive me.” To which she graciously did. It wasn’t until later that the thought occurred to me that I had seen this woman almost every week, but never “noticed” the burdens she silently carried due to the painful connections to her past, until that day.

I am grateful for that exchange. Although it cost me nothing, it made me a better person and lifted a burden of precious woman who had endured much suffering during her lifetime.

How To Ask for Forgiveness? Some Pointers…
To maximize the effectiveness of requesting forgiveness, it should be thought of as a transaction. Both parties have a role.

The Process:

  1. Turn off the cell phone and eliminate all interruptions
  2. Make solid eye contact
  3. Listen and take responsibility: “I’m sorry that I (Use their words). Will you forgive me?”
    (Don’t say: “I’m sorry ‘if‘ I…” The word ‘if’ inserts doubt and shows unwillingness to take full responsibility. This makes the apology less sincere.)
  4. Wait patiently for their response
  5. Ask: “Is there anything else you need to share?”

Of course, the response you would like to hear is “Yes, I forgive you”, but that does not always happen. If you don’t get that answer, gently persist. Remember, you have nothing better to do than help this person become free. It may take time and tears for someone to verbalize or process forgiveness for a deep wounding – or for an offense that touches another deep wounded place.

If they need more time and persistence, kindness, gentleness, and love from you, agree to come back to forgiveness again later. If so, make an appointment and keep it. When ready to restart the forgiveness process, begin again at step number one.

The Most Important Thing to Teach a Child is how to Forgive.

Forgiving and needing to be forgiven is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of our humanity.

Some health issues are being discovered that are not only rooted in unforgiveness, but in self-unforgiveness or even the need to forgive God for situations and deeds caused by others that were then attributed to Him.

With practice, forgiveness becomes easier. We become more prone to forgive and establish that trait in our lives. In the end it benefits our physical and mental well-being, making it much easier to experience joy and gratitude.

At Genesis School of Natural Health it is our desire that you experience vibrant health; rewarding, deep and lasting relationships, and discovery of the joy and peace that comes with forgiveness.




COMMON NAME: Golden Root, Roseroot, Arctic Rose
LATIN NAME: Rhodiola rosea
PLANT PART USED: Roots/Rhizomes
ENERGETICS: Cool, Dry, Aromatic
TASTE: Sweet, Slightly Bitter, Spicy

PRIMARY ACTIONS: Adaptogenic, astringent, antioxidant, cardioprotective, immuno-stimulant, neuro-stimulant, tonic

ABOUT: R. rosea is primarily found at higher elevations in the cold mountains and sea cliff rocks of Scandinavia, Tibet, Siberia, China, Himalayas, and North America. There are over 50 species of Rhodiola. The studies and use of the herb only apply to R. rosea L. (Linnaeus instituted plant naming in the 1700’s).

R. rosea is a perennial succulent that can grow approximately 12 to 36 inches in height and 12 inches across. The fleshy leaves are whorled toothed with an oblong shape. The small, yellow flowers are terminal and multiple. The thick root and rhizomes smell of roses when cut. As a dioecious plant, it requires both male and female plants to be grown in the same area.

INDICATIONS / SYMPTOMS: Rhodiola is used to help combat fatigue, psychological stress and depression, restore energy, improve over-all vitality and longevity, increase mental performance and the ability to concentrate, modulate and support the neuroendocrine system (HPA-axis and more), increase cellular energy, protect and restore nervous system and brain, enhance physical performance, improve resistance to high-altitude sickness, help recovery from head trauma, strengthen immune, and protect cells from chemical and radiation damage. It is stimulating but not anxiety producing – in spite of the energy increasing effect it helps improve sleep quality. While it may seem counter-intuitive, one of the benefits of Rhodiola is that it helps regulate sleep and improve the quality of sleep.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Not recommended for use during pregnancy and lactation or for those with severe anxiety or mania.

Tincture (1:5): 30-90 drops, one-two times per day*
Standardized Product: 75-100 mg, one-two times per day* (Standardized products should contain at least 3% rosavins and about 1% salidroside as this is close to the natural composition within the roots.)

*Always start at a lower dose and increase slowly to find the best individual dose. Low doses tend to be more stimulating and high doses tend to be more sedating.


COMMON NAME: Mullein, Great Mullein, Common Mullein, Aaron’s Rod
LATIN NAME: Verbascum thapsus
PLANT PARTS USED: Flower, Leaf & Root

Leaf – Slightly moistening, cooling
Flower – Moistening, cooling
Root – Warming, drying

TASTE: Leaf – Sweet & Bitter

Leaf – Anticatarrhal, Expectorant, lymphagogue, mild spasmolytic, mucilage, vulnerary
Flowers – Demulcent, sedative (mild), anodyne
Root – Urinary tract/bladder tonic, Musculoskeletal support; Analgesic
Stalk, Root & Flowers – Mild sedative

Mullein Flowers


Flowers – For ear infections combine with anti-microbials (e.g. garlic oil), works best when heated gently. For respiratory ailments use the oil as chest rub. It can also be applied to ulcers that are especially painful.

Leaves – The most well-known and commonly used part of the Mullein plant are the leaves. Folk use considers mullein a primary remedy for afflictions of the lung such as congestion, and breaking up mucous in dry coughs, dry coughs with hollow wheezing, tuberculosis and “old coughs”. It can also be used blended with plantain when lung irritants (such as dry particles of hay, smoke, pollen, dust, etc.)

Freshly chopped leaves are used as a compress for glandular swellings. Pour a hot decoction over freshly chopped leaves and place over swellings.

Leaves, Smoking Herb – Mullein is a favorite herb used in smoking blends as it soothes tissues. However, it is important to keep a few things in mind. First, ALL smoked herbs are drying and although Mullein has soothing properties, its overall effect is to dry the tissues. Mullein can be helpful where there is lung congestion, especially when smoked in a blend with other respiratory herbs. Smoked Mullein interferes with mucous production; therefore, it is not recommended for dry coughs as it interferes with the necessary mucous secretions of those dry tissues and can make a dry cough worse. Lastly, other than its ability to soothe, when smoked most of Mullein’s other properties are lost.

Root – Mullein root is helpful for reducing inflammation due to its mild astringent properties. It can be used with recurring bladder infections, urinary incontinence, benign prostatic hyperplasia, chronic cystitis and interstitial cystitis. It helps to soothe the mucosa lining of the urinary tract, having a tonic effect when used long-term.

Flower, Salk & Leaves – Herbalist Susan Weed shares that she harvests the shole stalk of the young plants from the ground up, for use in tinctures as she finds the mild sedative qualities found in the stalk (and to a lesser extent in the flowers) beneficial in cases of breathing difficulties.

INDICATIONS / SYMPTOMS: Cough (wet); Cough (dry); Inflammation; Asthma; Earache; Otitis media; Upper respiratory infection; Bronchitis; Pneumonia; Pain (acute injury); Discopathy; Back strain; Back sprain; Back injury; Pain (chronic related to old musculoskeletal injuries); Pain (joint); Arthritis (w/ aching pain); Benign prostatic hyperplasia; Cystitis (chronic); Interstitial cystitis; Pain (facial); Pain

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Do not put oil in ear if the tympanic membrane is perforated. Possible skin irritation may occur due to leaf hairs (be sure to strain well). Mullein’s colloquial use as “cowboy toilet paper” might not be for everyone. While the hairs, appear smooth, they have been found to be irritating to the skin.

Cold infusion/Infusion: 2-3 tsp/c 3 times per day. A cold infusion best extracts mucilage.
Tincture (1:2-1:3): 40-100 drops 3 times per day
Flower Infused in oil: 2-4 drops in ear 2-4 times per day
Topical: Use freshly chopped leaves as a compress

FOOD: Other than a medicinal tea made of the leaves, Mullein is not used as food.

HERBS TO LIVE BY… Marshmallow

COMMON NAME: Marshmallow; Althea

LATIN NAME: Althaea officinalis


ENERGETICS: Moistening & Cooling

TASTE: Sweet & a bit Salty

PRIMARY ACTIONS: Anti-putrefacient, Demulcent, Emollient, Vulnerary


ABOUT: Marshmallow is an often-underestimated herb that is very gentle and soothing for internal or external use. Its anti-inflammatory benefits are well-known and lend support to the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts (including the skin). As its properties are soothing and moistening, it is best used for conditions that are dry, hot and inflamed.

Dr. Christopher, the renowned herbalist, was unique among herbalists in that he successfully used external marshmallow fomentations and soaks to treat gangrene. He also recommended the person take marshmallow decoction internally.


Internal: Asthma, Bronchitis, Colitis, Crohn’s/Ulcerative Colitis, Cystitis, Dry Coughs/Mouth, Gastritis, GERD, IBS, Indigestion, Inflammation (throughout the body), Hyperacidity, Kidney Irritation and Pain (including Stones), Leaky Gut, Peptic Ulcers, Skin Inflammation, Sore Throat, and Pharyngitis.

External: Bruises Burns, Skin Irritations and those of the Rectum, Vagina and Perineum, and Mastitis. Marshmallow is a “draw”-er., Poultices can be used in the case of abscesses, boils, poisons, swollen tissue and tumors to draw substances to the surface of the skin.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Avoid taking Marshmallow with other herbs or medications as the mucilage coats and may impair absorption. It is possible that Marshmallow root may lessen the need for drugs to lower blood sugar. There are no current significant studies regarding the use of marshmallow root in pregnancy and lactation. However, this herb has been used by pregnant women for thousands of years of folk medicine and is generally considered safe when used in moderation.

­­­PREPARATION / DOSAGE: Consider marshmallow root a “tea herb” as its mucilage is best extracted in water. There is more mucilage found in the root than the leaf of the marshmallow plant. Cold or hot infusions can be taken three times per day, or more often for acute symptoms. They can be further sweetened with stevia or honey, if desired.

Hot Infusion: Infuse 1 TBSP of chopped/shredded root per 1.5 C water and simmer for 20 minutes.

Cold Infusion: Place 4 TBSPS of chopped/shredded root in 1 quart of cold water for 8 hours or overnight.

Poultice: The leaves work well for topical poultices to reduce inflammation, irritation, insect bites, eczema/dermatitis, burns, wounds and chapped skin. 

FOOD: Euell Gibbons, author of Stalking the Wild Asparagus and Stalking the Healthful Herbs, writes about boiling and then frying marshmallow roots with butter and onions.  He also noted the usefulness of the mucilage that remained after the boil as a vegetarian egg white replacement when it was whipped to a froth.

The tender spring greens (tops and leaves) can be eaten in salads and benefit by stimulating the kidneys.

Menthol Chest Balm

by Johanice De Jesus
Student: CMH, MH & TND programs

Have you ever looked at the ingredients in those store-bought menthol chest rubs?

When you are congested, with cloudy eyes and you feel like your body is going to fall apart, it does not even cross your mind to read the ingredients, but I warn you, you will not like to discover what you have just rubbed on your chest. Commercial chest balms contain a mixture of derivatives that one would not expect. Although it will give some relief to the respiratory tract, you have just made an innocent, but serious mistake that can have serious consequences on your health.

Classic over-the-counter chest rubs generally have less than 10 percent herbal ingredients and are about 90 percent petroleum jelly in gel or cream form, which is usually combined with turpentine. When petroleum jelly is not properly or completely refined, as is sometimes the case in the U.S., it may be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are known carcinogens, especially when used for an extended period of time.

Fortunately, there are excellent natural and organic respiratory chest rubs that you can make right at home that will offer sincere and safe relief for your health and the health of your entire family (especially for the little ones!) with all the benefits of herbs and without carcinogenic ingredients. . . such as those found in: Vaseline, or other P.A.H.S. pollutants.

So, allow me to share some information with you since the cold and flu season is upon us and we turn to products such as these in search of relief. If this is the case, be sure to always seek a natural response and use the opportunity to develop your trustworthy herbal passion.

Let’s Get Started!

Gather the following ingredients to create your respiratory remedy:

Menthol Chest Balm


  • Bees Wax – 40 grams
  • Menthol Crystals – 30 grams
  • Grape Seed Oil – 10 oz.
  • Eucalyptus Leaves – 3 oz.
  • Mint Leaves – 3 oz.
  • Rosemary – 3 oz.
  • Vitamin E – 1 Tsp

*At the end add 5 drops each of Rosemary, Lavender and Eucalyptus essential oils.

STEP #1 ~

Place the following ingredients into a glass mason jar.

  • 10 oz. Grape Seed Oil
  • 3 oz. Eucalyptus Leaves
  • 3 oz. Rosemary
  • 3 oz. Mint Leaves

STEP #2 ~

Put the jar into a bain-marie water bath for 4 hours on a low temperature. During the maceration time, occasionally stir using a wooden utensil.

STEP #3 ~

When the maceration process in the water bath is finished, proceed to strain the oil to remove the herbs. For this, use:

  • Clean Glass Bowl
  • Strainer

During the casting process be carful to not to let any particular herbs pass into the oil.

*At this point the oil has a spectacular smell! This is an indication that everything is going well, and the extraction of the herbal properties that was expected in this process, has occurred.

Such a Heavenly Aroma!!

STEP #4 ~

Once the oil is completely strained, place the glass container in the warm water of the bain-marie and add the beeswax. Use 40 grams of beeswax.

Next, using a wooden utensil, stir the beeswax so that it melts quickly. , taking advantage of the heat that the water conserves where we carry out the maceration process.

STEP #5 ~

Once the beeswax is melted, remove the glass container with the oil from the warm water and proceed to add the rest of the ingredients.

Adding the Remaining Ingredients…

STEP #6 ~

First add the menthol crystals (approximately 30 grams). Allow them to dissolve in their entirety.

STEP #7 ~

Next, check the temperature of the oil before adding the rest of the ingredients that make up this balm.

When the temperature drops to approximately 130 degrees F, continue.

STEP #8 ~

Then add the small teaspoon of Vitamin E. This ingredient protects all of the ingredients in the balm. Since the recipe is oil-based, Vitamin E acts as a preservative for the product.

STEP #9 ~

Now add 5 drops each of rosemary, eucalyptus and lavender essential oils. Then stir well to incorporate.

Now the balm is complete! I am super-excited to see the finished product. The aroma of this balm blend has blown me away. We are all eager to know how it will look and to sample it.

Decant the Product

The next step is to place our balsam mixture in the containers previously sterilized with alcohol.

This time I decided upon a beautiful 4-ounce glass container in blue to protect the final product very well.

Finally, while the balsam mixture is still warm enough to pour easily, pour it into the containers, then wait for it to harden. Once hardened, I will verify that the consistency is as I expect – a firm but creamy consistency.

I waited about one hour to make sure it was completely hardened. When it was completely cooled, it was time to complete the packaging process.

I am very happy with the packaging that I selected since it brings additional protection to the product that, in addition to looking very good, will offer security to the consumer.

My product is finally packed! Now with help from the canvas program, I am able to create beautiful labels for my product.

This is the information that I included:

  • Product name
  • Product weight and quantity
  • Product ingredients
  • Description and usage suggestions

Well, I won’t make them wait any longer. This is the result and I love it, and my whole family does too!

I really enjoyed this project and must say that In the end I am very satisfied. I tried as much as possible within my knowledge to take care of the details, but I know that there is a lot to learn and I am very eager to do so. I find it to be very exciting, the idea of having the ability to create something that is for the well-being of others and that helps them to live better and in a more natural way. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of this beautiful race.

Nano & Your Health

Since about 1981, scientists have been working alongside of product developers to develop new market opportunities for various nanoparticle applications. These nanomaterials (NM), also called Nano, have special qualities that offer distinct advantages over the commonly-used compounds of the day. Depending upon the type of nanoparticles used, qualities are demonstrated such as softening, strengthening, lubricating, whitening, illuminating, etc. are offered. In very competitive industries, Nano was cutting-edge. Now, Nano has become necessary for product manufacturers to stay ahead of the game.

The United States continues to remain unregulated in its relationship to Nano, unlike Canada and Europe. Food manufacturers are not required to list that nanoparticles are in the products they sell. It is assumed that medications are subject to more intense oversight before becoming available for public distribution, but this does not appear to be the case. Let’s just say that Nano can be found everywhere. It contaminates our food supply, pharmaceuticals, supplements, personal care products, waterways, …most everything. All the while there is no official safety-testing and study-after-study declares the ravages found by these unnatural compounds on human, animal and aquatic life.

According to the Center for Food Safety, nanoparticles in food or food packaging can gain access to the human body via ingestion, inhalation or skin penetration. Nanoparticles’ small size allows them to circulate through the body when ingested, reaching potentially sensitive target sites, such as bone marrow, lymph nodes, the spleen, the brain, the liver and the heart. After nanoparticles are in the body, some types may have the ability to translocate to various organs and the central nervous system. For example, silver and carbon nanoparticles show up in other parts of the body after inhalation exposure.

Is Nanotechnology Safe?
by Shelley Stonebrook
Mother Earth News

Yet still, most people believe that supplements are designed to promote health and vitality and an ideal world this would be true. However, it is unfortunate that not all of our modern supplement production methods are beneficial, including Nano. When in fact, some may be quite detrimental, neutralizing any benefit of the supplement at best, and at worst, harming the body. Let’s take a look.


In the past ten years or so, “Nano” has increasingly become all the rage. Fancy and cute terms like ‘quantum dots’ and ‘ENPs’ get us all excited while we lack true understanding. Quantum what’s? and ‘HUHs’? Many of us don’t really know what they mean, except perhaps that they’re really small bits of, well, something… that we just happen to be ingesting more of on a daily basis, almost blissfully, without much of a clue. Let’s look at this a little deeper…

To put it simply, nanoparticles are very, very tiny particles, less than 100 nanometers (nm) in size in a minimum of one dimension. They fall into one of three main categories:

  • Ultrafine Particles (UFPs) ~ Natural nanoparticles and aerosols which include the smallest particles found in air pollution, both indoors and outdoors. Sources of UFPs are: sea spray, viruses, “inorganic ash, soot, sulfur and mineral particles found in the air or in wells, to sulfur and selenium nanoparticles produced by many bacteria and yeasts.”1
  • Incidental (INPs) ~ Resulting from ‘anthropogenic’ (meaning, caused by humans) processes (i.e. industrial wastes, manufacturing and welding fumes, diesel exhaust, etc.). These particles have the ability to penetrate mammalian cells gaining a direct route to the brain. UFPs cause oxidative stress resulting in increased incidences of cardiovascular and cardio-respiratory mortalities.2
  • Engineered Nanoparticles (ENPs) ~ Intentionally created, (not natural) synthetics, using processes designed to meet very specific properties.3

At present, there are five subcategories of nanoparticles. All five categories can be engineered, but, the first two subcategories can also be found naturally. These are the carbon-based and metal-based Nanos. The three engineered Nanos are called quantum dots, dendrimers and composite nanomaterials.

Carbon-Based Materials

Carbon-based supplements are an exciting field of opportunity in Nano technology especially related to supplementation. Substances called bioactive carbons are made up of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen that create high-energy organic molecules. They also contain something called ‘poly-dispersed polyanions’ which contain multiple, negatively-charged sites, capable of binding and neutralizing positively charged molecules. In other words, polyanions put the “bioactive” into bioactive carbons.

Polyanions put the “bioactive” into bioactive carbons

These electrons allow bioactive carbons to function as both a carrier and a binder. Their small size gives them access to places in the body that larger molecules from more traditional supplements cannot go. They have the ability not only to remove toxins but to increase the body’s retention, ability to absorb, and effective use of the nutrients in food, vitamins, minerals and supplements. Used appropriately, bioactive carbons have potential to be the shining light in this Nano-mess that has been thrust upon us.

Metal-Based Materials

Metal-based materials like carbon-based Nano have a high reactivity and can occur naturally or are commonly engineered into materials such as nanogold, nanosilver, titanium dioxide, zinc dioxide, cerium dioxide, and zero-valent iron.4

Quantum Dots

A quantum is the very smallest bit of a substance that contains electromagnetic radiation. Quantum Dots (QDs) are not found in nature and are strictly engineered with a reactive core made out of metals or semiconductors that are encased in an protective organic shell. The purpose of this shell is to protect the core from oxidation (breaking down).

Colloidal quantum dots irradiated with UV light.
QDs emit colors based on size.

These types of nanoparticles are used in “medical bioimaging, targeted therapeutics, solar cells, photonics and telecommunication.” These types of nanoparticles are considered useful as their small size allows them to travel in the body. Biomedical applications such as medical imaging, drug delivery or “targeted therapeutics”, biosensors, solar cells, photonics and telecommunication as being pursued. The “dots” or centers of these nanoparticles are made from materials such as “cadmium selenide, cadmium telluride, indium phosphide, and zinc selenide.5

Discovered in 2004, graphene is a material made of carbon atoms that are bonded together in a repeating pattern of hexagons which are arranged in a honeycomb pattern. In itself, graphene is not fluorescent (unlike cadmium). It “quenches the fluorescence of the quantum dots. However, when conjugated with bovine serum albumin (BSA or Fraction V”, a protein derived from cows) it “provides a novel highly fluorescent nano probe” with the potential for “non-invasive optical in vitro imaging. The graphene-QDs are used for in vitro imaging of live human carcinoma (Hela) cells. Graphene-QDs could be readily up-taken by Hela cells in the absence of specific targeting molecules, e.g., antibodies or folic acid, and no in vitro cytotoxicity is observed at 360 μg mL(-1) of the graphene-QDs. The results for the imaging of live cells indicated that the cell-penetrating graphene-QDs could be a promising nano probe for intracellular imaging and therapeutic applications.”6

No in vitro cytotoxicity. Doesn’t that sound great? Maybe, but not so fast. ‘In vitro’ simply means the test above was performed in a Petri dish, not within a human or even in an animal. The medium used was an immortal cell line called HeLa. HeLa is a line of ovarian cancer cells taken in 1951 that has been perpetuated for the last 70 years. These HeLa cancer cells do not contain normal human “karyotype”. Meaning that the number and appearance of chromosomes in these cells range from 76 to 80, of which 22 to 25 chromosomes are abnormal. A normal human cell has 46 chromosomes. It is important to note that while “HeLa cells resemble normal human cells in many ways, they are neither normal nor entirely human.”7

Now, to be clear the researchers did not claim that Nano graphene was not cytotoxic to humans, only to the non-human cell line they experimented upon in the Petri dish. In Toxicity of graphene-family nanoparticles: a general review of the origins and mechanisms, researchers compiled data from multiple sources to get an even bigger picture. Here is what they found:

Along with the application and production of GFNs increasing, the risk of unintentional occupational or environmental exposure to GFNs is increasing. And recently, there are some investigation on GFNs exposure in occupational settings and published data showed that the occupational exposure of GFNs had potential toxicity to the workers and researchers. GFNs can be delivered into bodies by intratracheal instillation, oral administration, intravenous injection, intraperitoneal injection and subcutaneous injection. GFNs can induce acute and chronic injuries in tissues by penetrating through the blood-air barrier, blood-testis barrier, blood-brain barrier, and blood-placenta barrier etc. and accumulating in the lung, liver, and spleen etc. For example, some graphene nanomaterials aerosols can be inhaled and substantial deposition in the respiratory tract, and they can easily penetrate through the tracheobronchial airways and then transit down to the lower lung airways, resulting in the subsequent formation of granulomas, lung fibrosis and adverse health effects to exposed persons… The toxicological mechanisms of GFNs demonstrated in recent studies mainly contain inflammatory response, DNA damage, apoptosis, autophagy and necrosis etc., and those mechanisms can be collected to further explore the complex signaling pathways network regulating the toxicity of GFNs. It needs to point out that there are several factors which largely influence the toxicity of GFNs, such as the concentration, lateral dimension, surface structure and functionalization etc.

Ou, L., Song, B., Liang, H. et al.
Toxicity of graphene-family nanoparticles:
a general review of the origins and mechanisms.
Part Fibre Toxicol 13, 57 (2016).

In general, the data that is known about the toxicity of graphene should be of great concern for anyone that considers undergoing any of the therapies that have been mentioned. There is simply not enough known to prove that exposure to this known toxin is safe for use in any form, internally or externally.


STM Image of First generation “CyanoStar” dendrimer

Dendrimers are engineered nano-compounds (branched nanomolecules) which are particularly useful to the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries for use as drug delivery systems, polymer materials (large molecules such as plastics to DNA and proteins), chemical sensors, and modified electrodes. They are “three-dimensional nanostructures engineered to carry molecules incapsulated in their interior void spaces or attached to the surface.”8

Here is an example for your consideration. When studying the natural cell membrane found in the blood of healthy donors, it was found that rises in the presence of engineered microparticles (MPs) circulating “in the blood [were] associated with diseases that damage blood vessels….Among the major potential adverse events are abnormal clotting and inflammation, particularly after administration of blood platelet products. In fact, moderate to severe reactions to transfusion of platelet products have been documented in more than 20% of recipients.”9

Composite Nanomaterials

Composite NMs are made “using two different NMs or NMs combined with larger, bulk-type materials. They can also be made with NMs combined with synthetic polymers or resins.” They “consist of multifunctional components and have novel electrical, catalytic, magnetic, mechanical, thermal or imaging features.”10

Safety Concerns

The common substances found in each of the supplement fillers listed below are all Engineered Nanoparticles (ENPs). Nano is everywhere. It is found in food as flavor and texture enhancers and preservatives, in the water supply, the air, medications, supplements, cosmetics and personal care products like suntan lotions, metal fabrication, auto parts, product packaging, aircraft engines, paints and coatings, plastics, technology, television screens, Nano-engineered organs and tissues, etc.

In an article entitled, “The Bad” the following health considerations are raised:

  Nanoparticles have been shown to be absorbed in the livers of research animals and even cause brain damage in fish exposed to them after just 48 hours.  If they can be taken up by cells, then they can enter our food chain through bacteria and pose a health threat like mercury in fish, pesticides in vegetables or hormones in meat.  The increasingly-popular carbon nanotube (20x stronger and lighter than steel) looks very much like an asbestos fiber – what happens if they get released into the air?  Being carbon-based, they wouldn’t set off the usual alarms in our bodies, making them difficult to detect.

The Nnanoethics Group

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Supplements are more than just a pill or a capsule. They are even more than the sum total of the active ingredients. There are other additives that require awareness. Some additives to supplements are also commonly known additives to food and cosmetics. Researchers are questioning the safety of these ingredients, although they have been labeled as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for years. Science is discovering scads of evidence that Nano is contrary to what is promoted as “safe”, but sadly, many are suffering from the adverse affects without knowing why.

It is so important for natural health professionals as well as consumers. All of us need to be “on-our-game” – making sure ingredients are indeed beneficial and the supplement quality is high. The best supplements are not available to people direct through retail outlets. In fact, it is nearly impossible to find supplements of the quality available to health professionals ina retail shop.

Still, health professionals have to look closely at the ingredient list for each supplement they buy. Professional supplement companies, even those that are very good, can offer supplements that have ingredients that the knowledgeable health professional should reject. Certainly, if you were not a label-reader before becoming aware of this information, we hope that you will become an avid label-reader as a result.

The following are a some of the most common nanoparticles found in supplements:


One of the most common additives is stearic acid. This is a substance (a part of the magnesium molecule) that that benefits manufacturers in a few different ways. First, as a lubricant it acts as a “flow agent” to keep the product moving nicely through the machine so it doesn’t get clogged up. It also has a softening property which makes the supplement more pliable to fit into a form. Stearic acid also causes the ingredients in pills to stick together making a nice, firm tablet.

It is able to do this because stearic acid is a naturally-occurring type of fat found in animal and vegetable fats, such as coconut and cocoa fats. It is a precursor to oleic acid which is found in coconut oil, palm oil and shea butter.  While this natural form of stearic acid is known to be a potent anti-inflammatory, there appears to be a dangerous difference between consuming a healthy fat that naturally contains stearic acid and a supplement that contains a commercially isolated stearic acid molecule that has been mechanically processed two or three times.

Hydrolysis is a chemical process that destroys the chemical bonds of a substance. In the case of stearic acid, hydrolysis reduces it to an isolated fat molecule. It is sticky so that it sticks the pill together and emollient so that it aids in the flow through the machines. Science assumes that it is okay to do this because the stearic acid molecule looks the same if it is in a healthy fat or in an isolated form. What is not known is whether it is the hydrolyzation process or the loss of synergy that causes hydrolyzed stearic acid to become destructive in the body.

Plants and animals are not made up of isolated chemicals, rather, they are made up of a multitude of complex chemical interactions. Some of these interactions aid in the proper absorption and bioavailability of its components, others act as buffers which reduce the likelihood of side-effects. There are many different factors involved.

Researchers have found that commercial stearic acid does cause problems. It “selectively inhibits T-dependent immune responses in vitro.” It does this by enhancing “membrane rigidity to an extent that plasma membrane integrity is significantly impaired, leading to a loss of membrane potential and ultimately cell function and viability.”12 In other words, steric acid works to suppress T-cells by breaking down cell membranes. In a world where we need as much natural immunity as possible, this is not good.

The network of membranes inside of a cell that proteins and other molecules move through is called the endoplasmic reticulum. As stearic acid accumulates within the cells of the endoplasmic reticulum, the stress that it causes creates inflammation and cell death.13 Furthermore, formaldehyde has been found to be a metabolite of stearic acid. Both steric acid and formaldehyde are substances listed as contact allergens.14, 15


Similar in action to stearic acid, magnesium stearate is a compound of stearic acid plus a magnesium ion. It is 6-8 percent magnesium oxide bound to stearic acid. Like stearic acid, magnesium stearate is a common manufacturing lubricant and adhesive that holds pills together and keeps capsules from sticking together.

A product that is bound (coated) with magnesium stearate keeps the body from absorbing the whole product. This dramatically reduces the absorption of nutrients and the intended therapeutic effect of the supplement. As magnesium stearate is not a natural substance, it uses up additional resources in the body as it attempts to detox these molecules. There is also a cumulative effect as various supplements containing magnesium stearate are multiplied and ingested.

~The supplement that doesn’t work, soon becomes the most expensive one.~


Titanium dioxide is an industrial chemical that is white and without taste or odor. It is used as a whitener and is added to food, toothpaste, cosmetics, sunscreens, paints and plastics as well as pharmaceuticals and supplements. It has never been consumed in traditional diets and the addition to food and supplements is a modern-day contrivance.

“Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO(2)-NPs, <100 nm) are increasingly being used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics due to the unique properties derived from their small sizes. However, their large surface-area to mass ratio and high redox potential may negatively impact human health and the environment. TiO(2)-NPs can cause inflammation, pulmonary damage, fibrosis, and lung tumors and they are possibly carcinogenic to humans. Because cancer is a disease involving mutation, there are a large number of studies on the genotoxicity of TiO(2)-NPs.”16 (A carcinogen is a substance that causes cancer.)

Titanium(IV) oxide
Titanium Dioxide

Researchers have found that titanium dioxide nanoparticles can be translocated and accumulated in the brain causing oxidative stress and an “overproliferation of all glial cells, tissue necrosis” (irreversible tissue death caused by a lack of blood and oxygen) and apoptosis (genetically regulated cell self-destruction marked by the fragmentation of nuclear DNA) of the cells of the hippocampus. Additionally, “…numerous studies have described the accumulation of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO(2) NPs) in the liver, kidneys, lung, spleen, and brain, and the corresponding damage…”17 “Therefore, these genes may be potential biomarkers of brain toxicity caused by TiO2 NPs [Titanium Dioxide nanoparticles] exposure…”18

Multiple studies have recorded changes in the regulation of multiple genes that are associated with the following (in mice): 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

By Aaron Logan CC BY 1.0 from
  • Oxidative stress
  • Immune Dysfunction/Autoimmune Disease
  • Apoptosis
  • Altered Memory & Learning
  • Altered Brain Development
  • Signal Transduction
  • Disrupted Metabolic Process
  • DNA Repair
  • Response to Stimulus
  • Cellular Toxicity
  • Ovarian Injury
  • Imbalanced Mineral Elements
  • Imbalanced Sex Hormones
  • Decreased Fertility & Rate of Pregnancy
  • Increased Estradiol Biosynthesis & Corresponding Decreased Progesterone
  • Kidney Toxicity, Inflammation & Cellular Apoptosis
  • Liver Toxicity, Inflammation & Cellular Apoptosis Resulting in Autoimmune & Inflammatory Disease
  • Colon Microinflammation & Susceptibility to Colon Cancer
  • Neurogenic Disease States
  • Apoptosis in the spleen
  • Spleen Injury Reducing Immune Capacity
  • Severely Altered Gene Expression Involved in Immune/Inflammatory Responses


Silicon dioxide or silica has many uses. In the construction industry it is used in the production of concrete, fracking, semiconductors, on microchips, glass production, fiberglass, foods like spices and non-dairy creamer (to reduce caking), cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Due to its ability to bind to nucleic acids, it is used in the extraction of DNA and RNA.25 Silica is also be used to increase the weight of supplements and medications causing them feel more ‘substantial’ to the consumer.

Silicon when processed into nanoparticles becomes dangerous to the human n body. “Silicon-based materials and their oxides are widely used in drug delivery, dietary supplements, implants and dental fillers. Silica nanoparticles (SiNPs) interact with immunocompetent cells and induce immunotoxicity.”26

While studying the effects of silicon dioxide nanoparticles on mice, researchers happened upon the finding that neurotoxic affects may become apparent through changes in the gut-brain axis. They said, we “demonstrated for the first time that the neurobehavioral impairments and brain damages induced by SiO2NPs [silicon dioxide nanoparticles] might be distinctively associated with the disruption of gut-brain axis by specific chemical substances originated from gut…”27 [Silicon Dioxide] “..SiO2NPs significantly caused the spatial learning and memory impairments and locomotor inhibition. Although SiO2NPs did not trigger evident intestinal or neuronal inflammation, they remarkably damaged the tissue integrity.”28

Silicon dioxide also appears to cause severe inflammation and cytokine imbalances which leads to lung hyperresponsiveness (allergic asthma).29, 30, 31, and lung cancer (from the inhaled nanoparticles).32

Be Proactive!

The importance of selecting supplements with safe ingredients cannot be overstated. It is the utmost priority for one to regain and maintain their vitality. One can easily find studies outlining the damaging effects of additives like silicon dioxide, while at the same time slick-looking websites are promoting products such as ‘digestive system cleanses’ made of this same damaging substance. How can this be? How should someone select quality supplements with the least amount of harmful ingredients?

The answer is multifaceted. First read the labels and know what it is them. Then learn to identify particularly harmful ingredients. Next, realize that a majority of supplements available to the public are owned by or manufactured by pharmaceutical companies (although the brand of the supplement may have a different or previously-trusted company name).

Natural health professionals have access to high-quality, clean supplements, but you will always want to know the ingredients as it is those “other” ingredients that are particularly troublesome.

Natural health professionals, especially those who are herbalists, are willing to encapsulate ingredients or provide what you need in an alternative form that is beneficial. They should never add fillers or binders because they are not using high-output machinery. Seek out relationships with people like this or better yet, become one yourself!

New Organ System Discovery

Anyone who has studied basic human anatomy knows that blood travels through the circulatory system, lymphatic fluid moves throughout the lymphatic system and electro-chemical messages are sent back-and-forth via the nervous system. Science has identified and proven these so they are known facts.

Conversely, Eastern medicine. also called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is based upon an invisible energy movement in the body that flows along energetic pathways called meridians. In TCM, meridians are most commonly associated with acupuncture or acupressure. The name given to this energy that travels along these meridians is known as Qi (pronounced chee’).

Science is increasing in its ability to identify how the body transfers this energy and just how critically important it is to vibrant health. Additionally, there are quite a number of methods used to measure this energy. First, let’s take a look at some of the amazing recent discoveries within the human body.

It should come as no surprise that science is always gaining new insights in the identification of parts of the body never before proven to exist. While there is much that is yet unknown about the workings of the human body, new discoveries are being made on a regular basis.

For instance, in 2010, two doctors inadvertently discovered the interstitium which is the actual organ that carries interstitial fluid. Previously it was believed that interstitial fluid was only an extracellular fluid, but now it is known that this fluid is contained within connected fluid-filled sacks. While much is still unknown, the interstitium seems to be a holding place for fluids that are going to the lymphatic system. Additionally, the interstitium may also act as a shock-absorber for organs. If you’ve ever been jarred in an accident, having internal shock-absorbers would become of tantamount importance.

In 2012, the glymphatic system was first described. No, that was not a misspelling. The glymphatic system is the part of the lymphatic system that runs parallel to arteries and works to clear waste from the central nervous system and the brain mostly during sleep. It also importantly drives cerebrospinal fluid into the brain. It makes sense that the brain has a system in place to drain wastes and other toxins and holistic health professionals have been operating upon this principle that science has how proven to exist.

In 2013, the Dua’s Layer of the eye’s cornea was discovered. Primarily made up of collagen, this layer is very tough although it is thinner than a human hair at only about 15 microns thick. Knowledge of the Dua is beneficial to those on the receiving end of cataract surgery.

Another new organ called the mesentary was discovered in 2016. The mesentary is part of the gastrointestinal system. It was previously thought to be many fragmented layers but has been been observed to be one continuous organ. In actuality it is a double fold of the peritoneum which lines the abdominal cavity providing support and holding the intestines in place by connecting them to the abdomen. Calvin Coffey, a researcher from the University Hospital Limerick in Ireland and discoverer of the mesentary stated “In the paper which has been peer reviewed and assessed, we are now saying we have an organ in the body which hasn’t been acknowledged as such to date,”1

Enter the Primo Vascular System (PVS). The PVS is considered an anatomical system which is dispersed throughout tissues, organs and cavities in the body. The PVS covers the entire body and functions as a regulator and coordinator of biological processes that are the foundation of life. The “PVS has never been discovered in human dissections because it hides within the fascia, a collagen structure that surrounds muscles, tendons, organs and other tissues of the body.”2 The primo-vascular system also appears to be able to regenerate cells and tissues. More about that later.

In the 1960s, a Korean scientist named Bong-han Kim published a book in Korean, Chinese, English and Russian that contained the results of his discovery of the primo vascular system and its interrelation to acupuncture points and energetic meridians. However, in 1966, he and most of his books disappeared and his research institute was closed. His revolutionary work stopped and was all but forgotten until recently.

In 2016, an article was published detailing professor Vitaly Bodyanny’s use of a microscopy system called CytoViva which he invented, patented, and used to confirm the actual substance of the primo vascular system. Through microscopy, professor Bodyanny “revealed for the first time the microstructure of the miniscule, translucent system of vessels, subvessels and stem cell-filled nodes—together making up the primo-vascular system—running throughout a rat’s body, appearing in and on blood vessels, organ tissue and the lymphatic system.”3

“Even with our microscope, you cannot see the vessels until they are touched because they are transparent, but they turn a yellowish color when touched. The width of the node is only 1 mm, and the fine structure of the node can only be seen using high-resolution light microscopy,” said Vodyanoy, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and physiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University. “The rat is an excellent model for research before studies are conducted with humans.”4

Korean scientists have also been able to view meridians by using a Trypan blue BHS-specific dye along with technologies such as detailed CT scans. These clearly reveal acupuncture point anatomical structures. Other types of equipment that have been used to ‘see’ this newly discovered organ system are infrared imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs), ultrasound and LCD thermal photography.

Prime vessels (PVs) have been found in brain ventricles, blood vessels, lymph vessels, thoracic ducts/tissues, abdominal subcutaneous tissue, adipose tissue, in the placenta and umbilical cord, and in cancerous tumors. “The structure was filled with various immune cells including mast cells and WBCs [white blood cells].”5 “…one of the most important PVS functions appears to be its role in the regeneration via a small (~1 μm) subcellular body called ‘sanal.’ According to [Bong-han] Kim, a cell generates multiple sanals and the sanals arriving at the primo nodes (PNs) via primo vessels (PV) eventually produce new cells, by way of the ‘Sanal-Cell Cycle.’ Sanals express stem cell biomarkers[*]. Appropriately differentiated sanals have been shown to perform non-marrow hematopoiesis and repair damaged tissues. However, many questions on sanals still remain…”6

*A biomarker is simply a cellular, biochemical or molecular alteration that can be measured. These measurements are frequently used to determine the pathogenicity of disease but can also be used to determine healing potential.

To view images of Primo Vascular tissue, click HERE.

Professor Vitaly “Vodyanoy is collaborating with the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, or LECOM, in Pennsylvania to test his hypothesis that the nodes, when activated by acupuncture, osteopathic manipulation, pressure or laser, release stem cells that flow to organs where they replace injured cells and become organ cells.”4

“A liquid, called “the primo fluid”, circulates in the PVS. Its flow is slower than blood flow and lymphatic flow. The primo fluid flows in one direction, attending blood flow. The liquid flow depends on the heart beat and on the pressures of the blood and the lymph.”7

Prmo Vessels have mechanisms to circulate the primo fluid actively. All nuclei of the tissue cells are connected to fine terminal subvessels, and these subvessels are connected to the primo vessels in a body’s organs. …All the PNs [primo nodes] in an organ are connected to all meridians. The meridian structures start and end at the PNs for the organs.”7

A May 2018 article entitled A New Definition of an Acupuncture Meridian published by Fletcher Kovich asserts that meridians do not have an actual anatomical structure of their own but they ride on the anatomy of the PVS.

“The meridians themselves do not have a dedicated anatomical structure; instead they are merely tracts of tissue whose normal function is impeded when the related abdominal organ is stressed. It is hypothesized that the organ information is communicated in electrical waves that may travel through the connective tissue sheaths of the superficial primo vessels. Hence, the primo vessels serve as an inadvertent transport for this information, but the organ information is independent of the physiological purpose of the primo vascular system, as are the resultant meridians.”8

Chinese theory of acupuncture teaches that each meridian is a subtle electromagnetic field in the body and that each acupuncture point a magnetic unit. Dr. Jerry Tennant MD, MD(H), PScD, ophthalmologist and founder of The Tennant Institute further elaborates upon this concept. He teaches that acupuncture meridians flow along a series of muscles that can be likened to rechargeable batteries. The flow of electromagnetic energy passing along these muscle-battery circuits provides energy to the muscles which in turn form a power supply for the organs on that circuit to operate and regenerate by producing new healthy cells.

Dr. Tennant further theorizes, when voltage runs low at the cellular level, chronic illness ensues due to the body’s inability to make new, properly functioning cells. The subsequent failure of organ(s) on that same circuit will result should the root cause(s) of the inadequate voltage not be remedied. Pain is an indicator of energetic deficiencies and/or blockages along various meridians.

“The development of meridians (i.e., the PVS) takes place prior to the development of other organs such as blood vessels and the nervous system. The formation of the PV [primo vascular] blast cell occurs within 7–8 hours after fertilization; the formation of the primordial PVs occurs within 10 h[ours] after fertilization; the formation of the primitive primo lumens occurs within 15 hours after fertilization; and the completion of the primo lumens occurs within 20–28 hours after fertilization. The PVS plays an important role during the development of an organism and seems to exist throughout the biological world, including in invertebrates, vertebrates, and plants. Living organisms keep themselves alive via regeneration following the sanal-cell cycle. Sanals* (i.e., microcells) grow into cells, and cells become sanals. A sanalsome is a type of chromosome that forms when cells divide. The chromosome emerges in the metaphase of cell division. Hematopoietic [blood cell forming] organs such as bone marrow, spleen, and lymphatic nodes have well-developed PVs, the structures and functions of which are similar to PNs [primo nodes].”9

*Sanals are DNA microgranules (not fragments) as they contain all of the DNA information, not just a part. They appear to be able to grow in concentric circular patterns and become cell-like structures. They grow very quickly and steadily, especially in the beginning (think of the early fertilization and growth).10 They appear to be unique to the primo vascular system and at this time there is much less information available about them than the PVS.

The energy flow of the meridians can be measured without regard to whether this energy flows through or upon the primo vessels and will gain clarification with further exploration. What remains is the intelligent design that empowers the human body energetically from the moment of conception and throughout life. Primo vessels (PVs) “have bioelectrical activity, excitatory conductivity, and mechanical motility. The electrical activity changes in relation to stimuli to the PVs.”7 The energetic pathways of meridians can be measured by finely calibrated voltage meters that are not unlike those used by electricians.

One of the best methods of testing energy flow for the health professional is electrodermal screening (EDS/EDT). EDS is a form of Acupuncture point testing that utilizes Chinese meridian theory to detect electrical changes on the acupuncture points of the hands. Additionally, a proper form of manual muscle testing (kinesiology) techniques may identify blocks in the electromagnetic energy field of a person through testing the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is connected to the meridians at the autonomic ganglia.

Students of Genesis School of Natural Health can learn muscle testing which works upon the autonomic nervous system. In addition, both students and graduates have a unique opportunity to purchase a professional-grade EDS machine (Avatar) for use in their business at a discount.

There is reason for celebration of the amazing scientific discoveries such as the Primo Vascular System and the pathways it creates for life-giving energy to flow throughout the body. Discoveries such as this confirm that the ancient paths can be the best choice for ones healing journey. While our forefathers did not see the structure, they understood well, the function and the pathways of energetic medicine – something modern medicine is only now beginning to explore.

Confidence & The Natural Health Professional

Many Different Reasons

Students come to us from all walks of life and for many different reasons. Some are young and gaining the skills to enter their first career. Others are now pursuing a passion for natural health that had been put on hold to raise a family. Still others are actively raising children (or grandchildren) and attempting to balance their studies with parenting and perhaps holding jobs outside of the home. While our military students experience frequently being uprooted which causes disruptive breaks in their studies. Fortunately, with our programs they have the ability to pick up where they left off.

It is common for some folks to begin their studies seeking to find answers to their own personal health crisis. There are also those who are caregivers for a loved one who has decided to refuse the benefit of natural remedies for the duration of their illness. Still, these students remain grounded in the belief that natural healing with herbs and gentle remedies is the best support of the body in its ability to heal, if not for their loved one, perhaps for someone else who will embrace it. They are absolutely right.

Quite a number of our students have already worked in the healthcare field. Once having gained a clear understanding of the industry’s strengths and weaknesses are wanting to understand the functional relationship between body systems and how gentle, yet powerful, non-invasive remedies foster the healing process and not simply disease maintenance.

These are some of the most common scenarios in a broad sense, yet there are as many different stories in totality as there are students.

Of these, there are students that graduate and immediately take flight applying their knowledge and quickly building a clientele. They seem to give no thought to their ability to “fly”. They just believe they can, and they do. It is quite a sight to behold.

Hidden Doubts

Yet others struggle with a myriad of doubts and concerns. Do I really know enough? Will people listen to me? Can I possibly help someone? As an introvert, how do I convince people I can help them? I don’t yet “look” the part, will people trust me to help them? I’m still working on my own health issues, will anyone believe I am capable? …and on and on.

Often there are a number of themes centered around self-doubt. Here’s a list of some of the most commonly expressed concerns.

I Struggle with My Confidence Because…

  • I still have my own “uncured” disease or health condition
  • I’m not perfect
  • I don’t look “the part”
  • My family refuses to take my advice. Who else would believe me?
  • I’m not perfect
  • I’m overweight
  • I’m afraid to speak in public
  • I’ve made previous “health” decisions that have harmed my children
  • My experience is only in the medical profession
  • I’m not perfect
  • I’m not married
  • I think I might be too old
  • I’m not good enough
  • I’m married
  • I’m not smart enough
  • I struggle with unhealthy lifestyle choices (addictions)
  • I’m not perfect
  • Insert your special disqualification here: _________________

All of the listed items above are legitimate concerns. However, none of them are good-enough reasons to derail our hopes and dreams. So here we find those suffering silently who just can’t get past their personal fears of unworthiness and private feelings of inadequacy. Are those feelings actually valid reasons for holding them back? Likely not.

Self-doubt is a powerful force that can hold us back from our dreams. It comes replete with constant reminders of our shortcomings and any shred of confidence we manage to gain takes a pummeling when we consider stepping out.

if you’re someone who suffers from self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy I’m gonna ask you to do something brave. Put on your greatest “inner warrior” and determine not to let self-doubt keep you from realizing your God-given dreams. Get ready?

So I want to take a moment and expose self-doubt for what it is …a coward that is full of fear. Just wait warrior, you’re gonna be all over this because the very thing self-doubt accuses you of (that list above) is the very thing that self-doubt is. You on the other hand are not self-doubt. If you see yourself as a player in this scenario, then perhaps you’ve been listening to its voice for much too long.

Self doubt can only appear strong when it remains hidden within you influencing your thoughts. Once it is exposed it loses its power. What is the power of self-doubt? In one word…


Bouncing around in our minds and our hearts, self-doubt wields paralyzing power. Worse than a discouraging roommate …and certainly not a topic shared by any of Dale Carnegie’s professionally trained presenters You know the type, they look a fabulous picture of health presenting no major health issues or bad habits.

Silence. Yes, that’s it. As long as these thoughts remain unspoken, they will remain unaddressed. A modern-day poet wrote about silence and its power to restrain our life vision.

The Sound of Silence

Verse I ~
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains, within the sound of silence…

Verse 5 ~
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence”

Words and Music Written by Paul Simon

Reflecting upon these words I was taken aback by that last verse. Here the author describes the homage paid to ‘silence’ and how the voices and dreams of many are being squelched. I wonder if anyone besides me can relate?

Break the Silence.

Now is the time to speak out about your dream. Now is the time to believe. It is great to have a vision, because we need to set goals to get ourselves there. If you need help setting goals read this blog to learn how:

Getting from Point A to Point G (Graduation) & Beyond…

If you recognize self-doubt it is critically important to do so that you may realize your dream. Share that dream and the doubts you are having with someone. Be brave. BREAK THE SILENCE! Find someone to share with! There are many people who will listen and be encouraging. In any case take action and break its power. However, once spoken, you may be surprised at how fast self-doubt retreats.

When I hear all the talents, interests and visions of the students I speak with I am absolutely amazed at how different each one is. Like snowflakes, no two people and no two dreams are alike. It is so incredibly beautiful. So don’t let a lack of confidence ruin your whole day, or week, or year, or life. Work with the talents that you have and continue to build yourself up in areas that are lacking. Don’t try be a mirror image of someone else. That just no fun and someone’s already done that.

The world doesn’t need two of any of us. What it does need is for you to be the very best you that you can be.  You will reach people that others never could. Likewise, this is true for each of us, but only if we refuse to pay homage to the silence of those things that hold us back.

Take Stock!

In order to see ourselves accurately we need to know what we can do. So without being hypercritical or getting into a funk, analyze your personal strengths and weakness. Remember, you have both! We all have both. So make sure to list items under both the ‘strengths’ category and the ‘weakness’ category.

Celebrate Your Strengths!

Focus on who you are and what you can do and not just on those things you are not – or are not… yet. We’ll get to those in a moment.

Any student that is learning about natural healing is already increasing in strength and knowledge. Experience helps it all come together. It is normal to be a little jittery in the beginning. Don’t worry if all the pieces don’t fit right away. If you persist, eventually they will.

We can use our journey as part of our testimony:

I am not yet who I want to be. but I am also not what I would have been if I had not begun making changes. By actively using these tools, I have accomplished this“… (and name your victories). Talk about the struggles you have had and the obstacles you’ve overcome.

People relate to the struggle and they will trust your honesty. More still, they will hope that you will have compassion for them because you have faced difficulties. …and you will.

Take Action!

Next. Take Action.

Meanwhile, turn your weaknesses into strengths! Skills can be gained. So where you believe you are lacking, do some extra work. For instance the person who struggles with public speaking could join Toast Masters International. It is a free club that provides speaking opportunities and offers constructive feedback. If you are interested visit their website and find a club in your area or a group that meets online.

If the thought of interviewing clients brings on anxiety, then ask friends or a sympathetic family member to sit in. At the end let them critique you. Although it’s not always easy to be on the receiving end, honest criticism is extremely beneficial. This has helped me to be a much better interviewer – giving my clients what they need, and not too much.

For those with physical issues, whatever they may be. Having the perfect body or being disease-free is not a prerequisite for helping people. While it’s true that some people are judgmental, much of your business will come from referrals. Once you begin to help others they will talk and your business will grow.

Still, each of us should be actively engaged in becoming a better “ME”. For some of us, we may need the help of another health professional to walk with us in our journey for awhile. This can be a great learning experience as well as a healing one. It’s not just about being smart enough to learn all the answers for our clients. Walking a similar path to that of our clients will be very enlightening and the tips and tricks we gain are incredibly helpful. Do or will you require your clients to keep a food diary? Then keeping one yourself for months on end will give you a good idea of what some folks will need for encouragement along the way.

Is family less than encouraging? Sadly, just about every natural health professional deals with this in some form or other. Family are often the most difficult people to help. After all, they’re older and “wiser”, a witness to some of the shear dumbest things we’ve ever done, know how to “push our buttons”, and a host of other things. Even so, we love them.

Still, when we want to break out of the box, it’s hard to work within those well-established boundaries set for us as children. It is wonderful if we gain our family’s support. But if not, it is only as limiting as we allow it to be. Stay humble, take courage and press on.

Surround yourself with those people who are supportive and give ample space between yourself and those who are not. Don’t let them drain the strength and momentum that you need to accomplish your goals. When we love our family members we must respect (not agree with) their decisions for their health. Given the space they need, sometimes down-the-road they will seek us out, and then sometimes they will let us help them. In my experience, it their initial coming to me has always on their terms and never on mine. – I direct the path to healing, they have to do the work, just as any client would. The initial coming to me for help is always determined by them.

For those living a stressed-out life, finding it impossible to balance family, work, school and everything else, learn and apply stress-reduction techniques to your own life. What herbs do you find effective? How do prayer and meditation help? Why is exercise important? What things, not so much? Why is sleep foundational to good health? How do you get good sleep. All these things and more, are the important life lessons learned in your journey all the while getting a holistic education. NONE of it is wasted!

Your clients will deal with just as much stress and self-doubt. In time you will find that your recommendations, having been hard-earned for you, will be delivered with compassion and conviction, not simply intellect. You will feel the right amount of pressure to use in the delivery – not too little to be ignored and not too much to overwhelm.

Perfection is stagnation. Your clients won’t need a perfect example, they need someone who can identify with them and the hindrances they face to getting well. They need to be met where they are at. They need to be given creative and manageable goals that will get them right where they need to be. They need your help and encouragement to feel successful along the way. So ask yourself, what did you learn (or are learning) on your journey to a healthier you? How did you clear your obstacle to healing? Have you arrived at perfection? Nope, but you’re on your journey to excellence! …and you’re further now than you used to be.

There is a theme in all of this. The excellence that we find in our own personal journey, offers those golden nuggets to be shared with others. Things that can really make a difference. If we only became ‘perfect’, then most of our clients would find true health (like perfection) to be unattainable. So let’s teach them to be their best THEM while we are learning to be our best MEs and leave images of perfection to the television health guru pseudo-personalities.

Be excellent!

Rest assured, that experience will come with practice. Meanwhile, let us set our hearts on being excellent each day of our journey. While true confidence comes with experience, you can do a lot to bolster that in areas that you see room for improvement.

“The one who says it cannot be done
should not interrupt the one doing it.”

~Chinese Proverb

Trust Yourself!

What is confidence, if it is not believing in ones-self? So as you can see, there is no need to worry. Simply take stock, take action, and trust yourself. You got this thing!

Herbs for Your Bug-Out Bag

A well-equipped backpack is a must have for any sportsman or woman such as hikers, backpackers, hunters and survivalists. However, everyone can benefit by giving some forethought and preparation to some herbal basics for emergency situations.

A bug-out bag or “BOB” as it is sometimes called, is prepared in anticipation of a disaster event to last a minimum of 72 hours. It is self-contained with the basic components necessary for survival. In other words, one’s BOB should be a complete set up for the individual. Every individual ought to know how to proficiently use the components of their BOB and not be dependent upon another person in the event of separation or injury.

Additionally, each BOB should contain thoughtfully-considered items to provide for short-term necessities such as a basic shelter/sleep system and cordage, navigation, fire-starters, emergency food, utensils for cooking and eating, extra essential clothing, water purification supplies, a first-aid kit, emergency food, a knife, etc.

While this blog will only consider four valuable herbs that should be included, there are a host of videos and articles available on the internet that can easily be located to instruct one on the art of survival and identifying the bare necessities for a bug-out bag.

Here we will begin with the first essential “herb” one should carry.


Essential for life as our bodies cannot produce it, salt is a catalyst in many important functions within the body. It is crucial in that it assists the body in retaining water. Sweating, fever, vomiting and diarrhea deplete the body of fluids and can cause a medical emergency.

Heavy perspiration can cause a rapid loss of essential salt thereby throwing off the body’s electrolyte balance causing cramps and spasms, change in the regular beating of the heart, brain fog and the like. Salt also aids in activating salivary enzymes and producing hydrochloric acid, both of which are necessary for the proper digestion and absorption of food.

How much salt do we need each day? The Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) recommends consuming one and one-half teaspoons of unrefined salt each day. Be sure to remember that with exertion and perspiration more salt is lost through the skin and must be replaced beyond the recommended daily dose.

Hilda Labrada Gore of the WAPF writes, “Low salt consumption has been linked to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, poor digestion, parasites, and even depression. Salt is critical for proper brain and body functionality.”1

It is best to select an unrefined sea salt such as Celtic or pink Himalayan salt. The grind you choose is up to you. For myself, I prefer a course grind of salt in this application for ease in handling (fine ground salt is a bit easier to lose out of a zip-lock baggie. Plus, I like the idea of tossing a few grains of salt in my mouth to suck on as I walk along.

Additionally, the daily allotment can be used to boost the flavor of foraged foods.

Perhaps it could be argued that “technically” salt is a mineral and not an herb. However, there are herbs that contain mineral “salts” including sodium chloride. For those who live in areas without access to salt reserves, foraging for herbs like hickory roots, coltsfoot and lambsquarters (among others) can provide a source of salt and were used by our ancestors.

In those first few days of a disaster scenario, it may just prove simpler to have already packed a salt source, saving the necessity of foraging for later.

Every year roughly half a million people in the United States end up in the hospital, primarily due to dehydration. Intravenous (IV) rehydration (saline) is used to treat moderate to severe cases of dehydration. Children are more likely than adults to become dangerously dehydrated when they become ill.

Awareness is key to maintaining health and avoiding additional challenges when dealing with emergency situations.

The solution to the health problems of the world today is to be found in natural remedies, not in poisoning the system with chemicals. Although they may appear to bring temporary relief, they add a debt of debilitating poison which will later result in serious problems.”

John Harvey Kellogg, MD 1852-1943
(Founder – Kellogg’s Corn Flakes)

Chia Seed (Salvia Hispanica L.)

As a food, Chia is a veritable nutrition explosion! The following are some nutrition facts would garner appreciation from any health food aficionado.

Chia has been an ancient source of food for well over 5,000 years. Highly esteemed by the Mayan and Inca peoples, the seeds of the Chia plant were likely the most important part of their dietary staples. It was once called “warrior’s food” and only one tablespoon of this nutritious seed was said to provide a whole day’s worth of energy.

Chia is one of the highest sources of plant-based protein that includes all nine of the essential amino acids we need. It is high in the vitamins B-1, B-2 and B-3; the minerals calcium, magnesium, selenium, iron; and it is high in antioxidants! Chia also contains phosphorus, potassium, boron, and copper and zinc.

What a Mighty Little Seed!

To learn more about the benefits of chia seed read our blog entitled: Chia ~ Salvia Hispanica

It is recommended to rehydrate chia by mixing it in water and allowing it to set for 15-20 minutes prior to eating or drinking. It is also suggested that an adult not consume more than two tablespoons of chia seed in one day.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal (AC) powder is pure carbon created by burning substances like hardwood, coconut shells, bamboo, etc. (yes, these substances are herbs!) at high temperature in an oxygen-deprived environment. The result is regular charcoal.

It is important to note that activated charcoal is NOT the same as those “charcoal briquettes” folks purchase by the bag from the grocer or the home store for grilling food. This type of charcoal is saturated with toxic chemicals and is detrimental to one’s health. It should never be used medicinally.

However, regular charcoal can be ground to a powder and used in the same manner as AC, however, a significantly greater quantity must be used.

Activated charcoal, unlike regular charcoal has undergone additional processing with chloride salts that increase its surface area by developing a network of pores. In fact, so much additional surface area is created by this process that a single teaspoon of charcoal powder that has been “activated” has a surface area equivalent to that of a football field.2 Now that’s something!

The surface area of a single teaspoon of activated charcoal powder is equivalent to that of a football field.

Charcoal has a remarkable capacity to ‘adsorb’, whereby atoms or molecules from certain substances are attracted to and collect upon its surface. “This function is not to be confused with “absorb”, as when a towel soaks up water. …As the charcoal travels through the stomach and bowels, it will capture and neutralize poisons. Charcoal is not absorbed by the body and does not pass into the bloodstream.”2

The uses of activated charcoal are bountiful. It is commonly used in air and water purification, odor reduction, beauty products, and in gardening. In fact, AC can be used to make a primitive water filtration system in an emergency situation. Activated charcoal’s unique adsorptive qualities make it a dynamic emergency herbal that can be used both internally and topically.

Internally, one of activated charcoal’s outstanding characteristics is its ability to neutralize toxins through adsorption thereby assisting the body’s ability to eliminate toxins. Activated charcoal is a “well-known detoxification agent, it is used daily in hospitals and recommended by Poison Control Centers to treat poisoning emergencies.”3 So on the trail, should diarrhea, gastrointestinal distress, stomach bug, or food or chemical poisoning occur, don’t delay – reach for the AC.

Using Activated Charcoal Internally

Caution: There are no absolute contraindications for use in poisoning, however, activated charcoal is not equally effective for all toxins.

It is also important to be aware that ingesting activated charcoal can have a detoxifying effect upon any pharmaceuticals a person may be taking. Therefore, medications may not reach full potency, nor last as long. The following instructions are for emergency situations and not for chronic use of AC.

Ingested acids must be neutralized with baking soda and water. Caustic/corrosive agents must be neutralized with vinegar and water. Additionally, activated charcoal may obscure endoscopic visualization of esophageal and gastric lesions caused by the corrosive agents.4 If possible, call poison control or 911 for advice. (The phone number is in red text below.)

In severe acute poisonings oral activated charcoal should be administered repeatedly, e.g. 20 to 50g at intervals of 4 to 6 hours, until recovery or until plasma drug concentrations have fallen to non-toxic levels.

In addition to increasing the elimination of many drugs and toxins even after their systemic absorption, repeated doses of charcoal also reduce the risk of desorbing from the charcoal-toxin complex as the complex passes through the gastrointestinal tract.

Charcoal will not increase the elimination of all substances taken. However, as the drug history in acute intoxications is often unreliable, repeated doses of oral activated charcoal in severe intoxications seem to be justified unless the toxicological laboratory has identified the causative agent as not being prone to adsorption by charcoal.

The role of repeated doses of oral activated charcoal in chronic intoxication has not been clearly defined.5

Neuvonen PJ, Olkkola KT. Oral activated charcoal in the treatment of intoxications. Role of single and repeated doses. Med Toxicol Adverse Drug Exp. 1988 Jan-Dec;3(1):33-58. doi: 10.1007/BF03259930. PMID: 3285126.

While there are discrepancies between the various sources regarding proper amounts for dosing, the following oral dosing recommendations will serve as a guide. There are also dosing instructions on the “Herb Label PDF” available below. You can attach these labels directly to your baggies containing your herbal remedies.

Don’t worry about giving too much activated charcoal in an emergency. AC will not harm a person beyond potentially causing constipation and black stools. Constipation can be avoided by having the person drink an additional two (2) glasses of water after taking each dose.

In an emergency…

Call 911 or the Poison Control Center

Then, while you are waiting, give activated charcoal…

Oral Dosing for Poison Ingestion6

Adult – 50 to 100 grams = 5 to 10 TBSPS
12+ Years – 50 to 100 grams = 5 to 10 TBSPS
1-12 Years – 25 to 50 grams = 2.5 to 5 TBSPS
Under 1 Year – 1 gram = approximately 1 rounded ¼ TSP

Repeat doses in 10 minutes, and again if the dose is
vomited up, and should symptoms begin to worsen.2

Activated charcoal is tasteless but does have a slight powdery/gritty texture. Children who need to be encouraged to drink “black” water can be helped by using a straw, adding the AC to apple juice (if available), and having the grownup ‘enjoy’ a glass of “black” water too.

“Small children will resist and must be held. Laying a child on his back will prompt him to swallow reflexively. Use a spoon or small bulb syringe to give the charcoal mixture.”2

Slurry or Grey Water – Used for babies (colic, digestive) and individuals with digestive sensitivities (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, IBS, etc.). Stir 2-3 tablespoons AC powder into a quart of warm water, allow the AC to settle, then pour the grey water into a glass or baby bottle. Repeat several times by adding water to the remaining AC, stirring, and settling out again.

Note: Activated charcoal dissolves more easily into warm or hot water.

In addition to taking AC internally, should the liver or kidneys not be functioning properly or in the event of snake or insect bites a poultice should also be applied to the appropriate area(s) topically.

Using Activated Charcoal Topically

Apply a plain poultice or the even more effective ‘jelly poultice’ (wound dressing).

A plain poultice made with only activated charcoal will dry out rapidly making it quickly lose its effectiveness. A jelly poultice holds water much longer and is made by mixing the AC with another substance that “gels” when water is added. Soaking this substance for 15-20 minutes is reasonable. Mucilaginous herbs are best for a jelly poultice. Those such as ground flaxseed, slippery elm, marshmallow root, sassafras – or even that chia seed that you packed (works best if ground). More possibilities are cornstarch, arrowroot, tapioca starch, potato starch (basically anything starch-y), lentils, xanthan gum, and the like.

While not the most effective these other herbs (and herbs like them) can be foraged for depending upon the season and used mixed with activated charcoal for a poultice. Note: this list is incomplete – Aloe vera, American ginseng, angelica, asparagus, burdock, chickweed, dandelion, fenugreek, horse chestnut, Irish moss, mullein, osha, plantain, psyllium husk, etc. Plantain and dandelion greens can sometimes be found even underneath snow.

Apply the wet jelly poultice to a cloth or paper towel and apply another cloth or paper towel over the jelly and apply wet-side down on the area to be treated. Cover with plastic and leave in place a minimum of 2-4 hours for a maximum of 12 hours. A poultice needs to be changed a minimum of twice per day.

Did You Know?

Dr. John R. Christopher, American Herbalist, 1909 – 1983 recommended charcoal as one of the useful herbs for healing the condition of gangrene.

A plain poultice (AC and water only) is assembled and applied in the same manner, but will need to be kept moist with filtered, boiled, and then cooled water to remain effective. It is possible to mix with substances that swell with water like soaked oatmeal (especially ground) but this will still dry out and need repeated applications of purified water.

*To deal with circulating venom from bites and stings or toxins from infected wounds, AC must also be given internally to help with the removal of toxins.

Charcoal Bath – For multiple stings, scrapes, or poison ivy/oak, soak the injured limb(s). Add 2 cups of activated charcoal powder to a warm bath. Immerse body or limb for up to 1 hour.

Activated charcoal is not generally found in most first aid kits. You’ll be glad you took time to include this indispensable herb in your bug-out bag.

Keep reading to learn about the last (but not least) indispensable herb you will want to carry in your emergency supplies.

Cayenne (Capsicum frutescens) Powder

Cayenne comes form the dried pods of chili peppers. It is a pungent herb that can add flavor and a heat to food, but is that any reason to carry it around in your survival sack? Well, there’s a lot more to cayenne than its well-known ability to spice up one’s life. It is also a powerful medicinal herb that has been used for thousands of years. Read on to learn more.

If you master only one herb in your life, master cayenne pepper. It is more powerful than any other.

Dr. Richard Schulze ND, MH
American Herbalist & Natural Healer

Cayenne is what is known in natural medicine as an herbal stimulant. “Stimulants quicken, excite and increase nervous sensibility, thereby stimulating energy in the body and enhancing its function. These herbs stimulate naturally, in contrast with unnatural drugs and alcohol which irritate and debilitate the system, and in the case of alcohol, depresses it. Stimulants increase the power of the pulse and carry blood to all parts of the body equalizing and restoring the circulation in all parts.”7

In addition to adding heat to the pepper, capsaicin acts to reduce platelet stickiness and relieve pain. Other constituents of cayenne are vitamins E, vitamin C and carotenoids. Today cayenne is used worldwide to treat a variety of health conditions, including poor circulation, weak digestion, heart disease, chronic pain, sore throats, headaches and toothache. Cayenne is the greatest herbal aid to circulation and can be used on a regular basis.”8

The hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin (the active chemical) it contains, and the more capsaicin the pepper contains, the more potent and effective of a medicinal it will be. There is little medicinal effect in the cayenne spice purchased at the grocery store. As a spice, cayenne generally offers only about 34,000 HUs (heat units). To use medicinally, look for a minimum of 160,000 HUs, preferably 200,000 to 300,000 HUs or more as is found in African Bird cayenne or in Mexican Habanero.

Taken internally, “cayenne influences the heart immediately, then gradually extends its effects to the arteries, capillaries, and nerves. The frequency of the pulse is not increased, but it is given more power. In equalizing the bold circulation, cayenne produces natural warmth, and in stimulating the peristaltic motion of the intestines, it aids in assimilation and elimination. It rebuilds the tissue in the stomach. It also heals stomach and intestinal ulcers.”7

Cayenne Powder

“Due to its high capsaicin and beta-carotene content, cayenne pepper is an excellent decongestant and expectorant.  This makes it useful in cystic fibrosis where the transport of mucus is altered. It helps to loosen the sticky mucus and eases elimination. It reduces swelling and inflammation in the respiratory tract, improving breathing.”9 Also, this thinning of mucus will help the mucus membranes throughout the body. It can be useful to open the airways with asthma, to clear the sinuses, nasal passages, lungs and urinary tract.

Using Cayenne Internally

Cold, Stuffed Nose, Headache, Internal Bleeding, Cramps, Circulation, Blood Clots, Digestive Issues, Enzymes, Low or High Blood Pressure, Muscle Pain or Stiffness – Use ½-1 teaspoon to 1 cup hot water, steep 10 min, 2-3x per day.

Sore Throat – (same doses as above) taken as a gargle, repeat as needed.

Epilepsy –1 teaspoon 1x/per day.

In an emergency… Call 911 while you are preparing and giving or taking this remedy. It is not to be sipped it is to be “chugged.

Cayenne is said to stop a heart attack in under a minute. It acts as a styptic internally as well as externally so it can stop bleeding such as happens in a stroke.

Stroke or Heart Attack, Chest Pain, Issues with Circulation, Shortness of Breath – Put 1 heaping teaspoon cayenne in 1 small cup warm or hot water (2 to 4 ounces water). Have the person “chug” it. It will be HOT/uncomfortable. If they sip it they may not get a sufficient dose. You can follow with extra pure water if desired. Repeat dose as needed.

Heart Attack– Put 1 heaping teaspoon cayenne OR 2 teaspoons of chili powder OR 3 teaspoons of finely ground black pepper (cayenne pepper works best – but use what you have) in 1 small cup warm or hot water (2 to 4 ounces water). Have the person “chug” it. It will be HOT/uncomfortable. If they sip it they may not get a sufficient dose. You can follow with extra pure water if desired. Repeat dose as needed.

Call 911

Warning: Pregnant or nursing women and those using blood thinners, seizure medications and muscle relaxants should not use cayenne internally.

Using Cayenne Topically

Sprinkle in Socks or on Feet and in Gloves/on Hands – Increases warmth and circulation. Do not touch your eyes if you get cayenne on your hands. Cayenne causes a burning sensation in the eyes, but will not harm them. In fact, cayenne is one of the healing herbs included in Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Eyebright Formula!

Inflammation, Joint/Arthritis Pain, Gout, Musculoskeletal (Acute Back & Neck) Pain, Slipped Disk, Neuropathy, – Mix 1 tablespoon to 4 tablespoons of cayenne powder with butter, oil, or a gel and massage area for 15 minutes 2x per day.

Wounds/Gangrene – Flush wound with clean water mixed with 1 teaspoon cayenne first, THEN pack with cayenne. It is styptic and will stop bleeding fast.

All of these conditions will benefit by taking cayenne both internally and externally. Internal “doses” for chronic conditions can be added to food, if desired.

*Internal or external burning sensations may cause discomfort, but they do not cause harm.

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STEP #1 – Print your labels. These labels are formatted for a 10-per page (2″ x 4″) shipping label such as PRES-a-ply #30609 or Avery template #5163.

Do not fill the bags with herbs until steps 2 & 3 are complete!

STEP #2 – Attach each label to a small zip-lock snack bag. The salt and chia seed bags will only require one label each. The activated charcoal and cayenne snack bags will both need two labels. Place an ‘internal’ label on one side and a ‘topical’ label on the opposite side of each bag.

STEP #3 – Place a layer of clear packing tape over each label on the bags. This is to preserve the text from potential water damage.

STEP #4 – NOW add the herbs to the bags. (It is helpful to have an assistant hold each bag open while herbs are being added.)

STEP #5 – For extra protection, use a sandwich-sized zip-lock bag to double-bag the herbs, especially the activated charcoal and cayenne. If either of those two opened inside your bug-out bag that would be terrible.

STEP #6 – Place the herbs (including the double-bagged herbs) together inside a one gallon zip-lock bag within your BOB.

The key to using these herbs is to not have to solely rely upon them. They can be very effective used during the time it takes for emergency personnel to arrive or during transport to medical facilities.

There are literally thousands of herbs. Many are worthy of mention because they are helpful in so many different circumstances. The herbs chosen specifically for this article are those with a broad range of use that cannot quickly or easily be foraged for in a medical emergency.

The student of herbalism benefits by becoming well-acquainted with a number of common herbs. It is important to know how and where to forage for, process, and use these herbs for food and medicine. Here are a few of the most common, multi-use herbs to study: Yarrow (a favorite among herbalists for wounds and as a fever-reducer), plantain “the draw-er” and so much more, pine, burdock leaves and root, white oak bark, boneset, mullein, nettle, dandelion and so much more!

If you are interested in learning about the benefits of dandelion – the whole plant! – read our blog entitled: 3 Reasons to Love Dandelion

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We hope you learned something new from this blog today. Do you have a bug-out bag for emergencies? Are there other herbs that you believe should be considered for emergency first-aid use? What herbs do you carry in your BOB? Comment below and tell us about it! We would love to hear from you.

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