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When suffering from coughing and congestion, there’s nothing more soothing than an application of an aromatic vapor rub to clear the sinuses and warm the chest. The problem is that many of the vapor rub products that are widely available are actually bad for you.

BackdoorSurvival.com recently posted a recipe for a natural and effective homemade vapor rub ointment that doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, such as the petroleum byproducts found in many of the popular vapor rub brands.

Along with the simple recipe, which is based on coconut oil blended with other essential oils, Backdoor Survival also provides a number of good reasons to make your own vapor rub instead of buying such products from your supermarket or drugstore — and that’s not limited to topical ointments, either. Many orally administered over-the-counter cough and cold medicines contain lots of sugar, among other undesirable ingredients.

A link to a Huffington Post article reveals the harmful properties of petroleum jelly — a common ingredient in many vapor rub ointments. Petroleum jelly essentially “suffocates” pores in the skin, and some products may have less-than-fully refined petroleum jelly among their ingredients. Less-than-thoroughly refined petroleum jelly may contain carcinogens.

The ingredients used in the Backdoor Survival vapor rub recipe are as follows:

  • 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
  • 15 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 15 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
  • 10 drops Cedarwood Essential Oils

Simply blend the ingredients with a fork or stick blender. The ointment should easily have a shelf life of more than six months, according to the author. Substitutions such as olive or jojoba oil can be used in place of the coconut oil. Other variations may include adding beeswax for a consistency more like a salve.

The creator of the recipe and author of the article, Gaye Levy, in explaining why she included cedarwood essential oil among the ingredients, quoted a post from OrganicFacts.net which reads:

If you are suffering from cough, cold and related congestion, you should try Cedarwood Oil to alleviate the irritation. It is an expectorant and efficiently eliminates coughs and removes phlegm from the respiratory tracts and lungs, thereby relieving congestion. It also gives relief from headaches, red and watery eyes, and other symptom of coughs and colds.

Sounds like a perfect addition to any homemade vapor rub ointment. The other aromatic ingredients in the recipe, such as eucalyptus and peppermint, are also great for opening up congested air passages.

For those interested in purchasing these and other essential oils, Levy provides a link to her favorite source: SparkNaturals.com.

It makes no sense to continue buying expensive cold and flu remedies in pharmacies and supermarkets — remedies which may be not only ineffective but also harmful, compared to inexpensive treatments that you can make at home out of natural ingredients.

Aside from the topical ointment recipe contained here, there are many natural treatments for coughs, colds and congestion. Herbal teas and dietary supplements such as ginger and garlic are highly effective at combating symptoms and promoting recovery without any side effects or chemical ingredients.

As with most of modern medicine, over-the-counter medicines usually treat or simply mask only the symptoms. Holistic medicine alleviates symptoms while encouraging the body to heal through restoring natural balances.

Whether you’re stockpiling medical items for a SHTF scenario or simply trying to lead a healthy life, natural and organic remedies should be the foundation of your bug-out bag, emergency health kit or at-home medicine chest.

Something sinister in the modern era is destroying the bodies and minds of today’s children at an accelerating rate — and no, it isn’t better diagnoses or other such lame excuses peddled by the media. People today, especially in the U.S., are increasingly overweight, chronically fatigued, perpetually brain “fogged,” and in a growing number of cases regressively unable to function normally or interact socially due to inexplicable mental problems and neurological disorders.

The autism rate, as a highly relevant example, has risen exponentially since the 1970s, jumping from about 1 in 5,000 children back then to more than 1 in 68 today — a more than 7,400 percent increase! Surely this dramatic surge isn’t solely due to improved diagnostic protocols that, because they supposedly didn’t exist 40 years ago, somehow allowed tens of thousands of autistic children to slip by undetected.

Believing such tripe is like believing in the tooth fairy, as common sense dictates that something other than just modern advancements in disease diagnosis is responsible for ever-escalating disease rates. If you pore closely through the data, you’ll find several common denominators that the mainstream media and health authorities try their best to ignore, but that also turn up in conjunction with disease: pesticides like Roundup and vaccines.

Roundup damages gut bacteria and greatly amplifies toxicity of other herbicides and toxins

Contrary to what Monsanto, its manufacturer, claims, Roundup (glyphosate plus “inert” ingredients that greatly increase its toxicity), the world’s most popular herbicide, is extremely toxic to humans. The complex microbiome in the human gut contains the infamous shikimate pathway that Roundup was designed to inhibit, which means that this necessary process to produce essential amino acids is barred from functioning properly when exposed to the herbicide.

Most of the conventional wheat grown in the U.S. today is doused with Roundup just prior to harvest, as are virtually all commercially approved genetically modified (GM) crops, the derivatives of which are commonly added to processed foods. Roundup is everywhere, in other words, and data on its use over the years reveals a direct correlation between increased exposure to the herbicide and increased disease rates.

Worse is the fact that Roundup has been shown to synergistically increase the toxicity of other herbicides and toxins, making them that much more destructive than they otherwise would be in isolation. MIT researcher Dr. Stephanie Seneff has covered this extensively, noting that Roundup greatly amplifies the toxicity of aluminum, for instance, which is found in many childhood vaccines.

Glyphosate prevents gut from absorbing nutrients, causes toxins to accumulate in blood and brain

Glyphosate, which is just one of the many toxic ingredients used in Roundup, also impairs the expression of cytochrome P450 enzymes, which the human body needs to chelate minerals and synthesize amino acids. When cytochrome P450 enzymes aren’t functioning as they should, virtually every system of the body suffers.

“Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested,” reads a 2014 study published in the journal BioMed Research International. “This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.”

The link between glyphosate exposure and autism is extensively documented in the scientific literature, as is the corresponding link between glyphosate, vaccines and autism. More on the synergistic toxicity of Roundup and vaccines can be found in the following report by MIT researcher Stephanie Seneff:

A number of American corporations and foundations are spearheading efforts to spread genetically modified organisms to the African continent, including agri-giant Monsanto and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, according to a just-released report.

“The U.S., the world’s top producer of GM crops, is seeking new markets for American GM crops in Africa,” said Haidee Swanby of the African Center for Biosafety, which authored the report commissioned by Friends of the Earth International. “The U.S. administration’s strategy consists of assisting African nations to produce biosafety laws that promote agribusiness interests instead of protecting Africans from the potential threats of GM crops.”

In addition, the new report “exposes” the manner in which Monsanto uses its clout to negatively influence biosafety measures in African nations, how the agri-giant gets its regulatory approval for its products, and opens the door for its GMO maize.

Thus far, according to Friends of the Earth International, only four African nations – Burkina Faso, Egypt, South Africa and Sudan – have released commercial GMO crops. However, the issue of GM maize remains controversial, even as it is used already to feed millions of Africans.

The group, in a press release, noted that unlike Europe and the U.S., where some of the more stringent biosafety regulations are in place, most African nations have no such legalistic protections. In fact, the group said, just seven African countries have a functional biosafety regulatory framework.

“African governments must protect their citizens and our rights must be respected. We deserve the same level of biosafety protection that European citizens enjoy,” said Mariann Bassey Orovwuje, from Friends of the Earth Nigeria.

Around the world global markets for GMO foods and crops have increasingly been hampered by biosafety regulations and other measures over the past 10 years or so. In some countries, and especially many Eurozone nations, GMO foods and crops have been rejected outright by consumers. The same is true in the U.S., where organic food consumption topped $42 billion in sales in 2014, up from about $31 billion two years earlier.

“South African farmers have more than 16 years’ experience cultivating GM maize, soya and cotton, but the promise that GM crops would address food security has not been fulfilled,” Swanby continued. “Indeed, South Africa’s food security is reportedly declining with almost half the nation currently categorised as food insecure even though South Africa exports maize.

“The South African experience confirms that GM crops can only bring financial benefits for a small number of well-resourced farmers,” she added. “The vast majority of African farmers are small farmers who cannot afford to adopt expensive crops which need polluting inputs such as synthetic fertilizers and chemicals to perform effectively.”

Friends of the Earth delegates attended the International Forum for Agroecology, which was held at the Nyeleni Center in Selingue, Mali, Feb. 24-27. Groups that attended represented millions of small food producers and local growers, and all believe that GMO foods are part of the problem of, rather than a solution to, hunger, climate change and global biodiversity crises.

The Friends of the Earth press release further noted:

In March 2011 the UN Special rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, released a report, “Agro-ecology and the right to food”, which demonstrates that agroecology, if sufficiently supported, can double food production in entire regions within 10 years while mitigating climate change and alleviating rural poverty.

The report challenged technological, industrial farming methods including patented seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and genetically modified crops.

Agroecology is defined as “application of ecology to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems,” and “a whole-systems approach to agriculture and food systems development based on traditional knowledge, alternative agriculture, and local food system experiences.”

The Vaccine World Summit has just been launched and the response has been incredible. The pharmaceutical industry does NOT want you to get this information. But, the general public has had enough, and thousands of people (worldwide) are helping us to spread the scientific truth about vaccines and infectious diseases.

Get access today! The Vaccine World Summit reveals lifesaving information for every healthcare provider and concerned individual – especially parents. You’ll learn about vaccine research – like you’ve never heard before. Get educated to avoid the dangers of fear mongering and medical tyranny.

Simply click the link (below) and join the movement to greater awareness:

Who should hear the Vaccine World Summit?

This event is specifically designed for healthcare professionals, concerned parents or any individual looking to learn more about how to prevent, treat and REVERSE infectious disease symptoms.

• Are you a healthcare provider looking to improve your knowledge about infectious diseases?
• Are you a concerned parent looking to protect the health of your family?
• Or, are you just looking to clear up the confusion about whether to vaccinate or not?
• Then, this summit is PERFECT for you!

What will you discover during this summit?

You are going to hear about vaccine research – NEVER disclosed to the public before this event. This is life-altering, empowering information that will forever change your perspective about preventing, treating and reversing infectious disease conditions.

Find out what the mainstream media refuses to tell you about vaccine safety and controlling viral outbreaks. Learn how to maintain a powerful immune system that effectively protects you against contagious diseases.

Get access today! Simply click the link (below) and join the movement to greater awareness:

Highlights of the Vaccine World Summit

Dr. Andrew Wakefield discloses the suppressed (scientific) link between autism and vaccines, damaging MMR vaccine results from the Japanese population, new evidence of Merck and CDC scientific fraud, and why we should be concerned about the loss of vaccine exemption rights.

Suzanne Humphries, M.D. gets into the untold story behind vaccine “safety” propaganda, vaccine research that will SHOCK every concerned parent, the politics behind mandatory vaccination policies, and an urgent message to every doctor about “herd immunity.”

Robert Rowen, M.D. talks about why vaccine “effectiveness” is a complete lie, measles statistics that will surprise every physician, important questions to ask BEFORE getting vaccinated, and research news that will forever change your attitude about vaccines.

Jane Orient, M.D. has a serious vaccine message for every healthcare provider, a very special message for every member of the American Medical Association, the unpopular truth about unvaccinated people, and valuable information for every doctor about the CDC and FDA procedures.

Janet Levatin, M.D. lists the real reasons why parents need to question vaccines and how to dramatically reduce your risk of illness – naturally, plus a fascinating look at how to effectively improve immune function without harmful medications.

The Vaccine World Summit is FREE and available now! End the confusion surrounding vaccines and infectious diseases and get educated today.

Simply click the link (below) and join the movement to greater awareness:

Though previously thought to be impervious due to its massive size, the collective of the world’s oceans may be on the verge of a wide-scale extinction event, according to a new study. Scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara, (UCSB) warn that, if human activity continues on its current trajectory, we could be seeing a whole lot more sea animal deaths, and possibly collapses of entire oceanic ecosystems.

Published in the journal Science, the new study suggests a silver lining to this dark cloud — it’s not too late to reverse course, claim experts. It appears as though we have several additional decades to stop destroying the planet and save the oceans from becoming uninhabitable for many of the world’s sea creatures. But this is not an excuse to stall coming up with better management and conservation tactics.

“We’re lucky in many ways,” said Dr. Malin L. Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University and one of the authors of the new report. “The impacts are accelerating, but they’re not so bad we can’t reverse them.”

Ocean destruction has increased, but there’s still time to make things right

According to Dr. Douglas J. McCauley, one of Pinsky’s colleagues and lead author of the new study, the world’s oceans are still mostly intact, at least compared to the situation on land. If overfishing, excessive pollution and other harmful factors were to be dramatically cut back today, the oceans could almost completely revert back to what they were before humans started destroying them.

This is unlikely to happen anytime soon, of course, but all is not lost — at least not yet. There is still so much to learn about how marine species live in the vast expanses of blue and black beneath what can be tracked by humans near the surface. For all we know, there are massive populations of fish and marine mammal species hiding in pockets of the ocean that we have yet to even explore.

Drs. Pinsky and McCauley tried to gain a better understanding of all this by collecting data from a wide range of sources, including discoveries logged in the fossil record and statistics on modern-day shipping activities, fish catches and seabed mining. What they found is that there’s still time to make things right.

“I see this as a call for action to close the gap between conservation on land and in the sea,” commented Loren McClenachan from Colby College, who was not involved in the study, as quoted by The New York Times.

It’s not just over-harvesting that’s a problem; entire habitats are being lost due to human activity

It’s important to note here that modern technological advances have made it significantly easier for humans to cause catastrophic damage to the world’s oceans, in ways never before seen. The threat of specific species becoming rare or extinct is dwarfed by the potential loss of entire habitats and ecosystems.

The ability of large trawlers to sweep the seas for fish and shellfish, for instance, has increased yields but at the same time depleted many areas of sea life. Sea mining is also problematic, as contracts now cover some 460,000 square miles of underwater area — back in 2000, there were zero sea mining contracts.

Then there’s Fukushima, which still hasn’t stopped releasing radioactive pollution into the Pacific Ocean. The past several years have seen multiple mass die-offs likely caused by such contamination, including thousands of seals, dolphins and other sea creatures that have washed up on shores all around the world.

Gluten is the common protein molecule found in wheat, barley, rye, kamut and spelt. Gluten is a sticky, storage protein that binds to the small intestinal wall where it often causes digestive and immune system disorders. The most common condition associated with a gluten sensitivity is celiac disease where the small intestinal villi are flattened. However, the immune reaction that takes place with gluten sensitivity can affect many different tissues and when it does it is termed non-celiac, gluten sensitivity (NCGS). NCGS is an epidemic that is a major factor in inflammatory disorders of the brain and nervous system.

Studies have found associations between gluten sensitivity and disorders in every part of the neurological system including the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves (1). Gluten is a significant trigger in psychiatric disorders, movement disorders, sensory ganglionapathy, ataxia, neuromyelitis, multiple sclerosis, cerebellar disease, cognitive impairment, dementia, restless leg syndrome, migraines, apraxia, neuropathy, myoclonus, hearing loss and virtually every other neurological disorder (2,3,4, 5, 6).

For many individuals there immune system gets so overworked from gluten sensitivity and other environmental challenges such as toxins, parasites, vitamin D3 deficiencies and trauma that they can have severe immune reactions that last months after one provoked exposure. This means that consuming gluten on one day can cause an inflammatory assault that could last 2-3 months afterwards (5). This is why it is so critical to be as strict as possible when avoiding gluten and other inflammatory irritants.

The complexity of gluten sensitivity

Gluten is made up of a sticky portion called glutenin and a protein portion called gliadin. Gliadin can be broken down into alpha, omega and gamma gliadins. Most lab tests only look at alpha gliadin anti-bodies but this is only a very small component of the total molecule. Often times this lab comes back negative but the individual is reacting to some of the other components of the gluten molecule.

Glutenin gives wheat dough strength and elasticity and is very commonly used in the baking process do to these desirable characteristics. Many people have severe reactions to this molecule but it never shows up on the basic gliadin anti-body testing (6).

The food processing industry very often deamidates the gladin molecule to make it water soluble. Deamidated gliadin has been shown to trigger severe immune responses in many individuals. This never tests out for gliadin anti-bodies.

Gluten based opioids

When the body metabolizes gluten it creates opoids in the form of gluteomorphin. One can have a blood test to see if the body produces antibodies to gluteomorphin and the building block prodynorphin (7).

When someone has a opioid sensitivity going gluten free can cause severe withdrawal symptoms that are similar to coming off of opioid drugs such as heroin. These symptoms include depression, crazy mood swings, nausea and vomiting as well as abnormal bowel activity. This can often last anywhere from several days to weeks.

Cross-reactivity immunology & nervous system dysfunction

Immune cross reactivity happens when the immune system mistakes one protein for another. The gluten protein is similar to protein structures in the nervous system and the thyroid tissue. When the body creates anti-bodies for gluten it may also produce anti-bodies to the body’s own nervous tissue or thyroid (9). This cross-reactive effect leads to damage to the brain, thyroid and other neurological tissue when the individual consumes anything with even the slightest bit of gluten.

The most common area of cross reactivity is through a family of proteins located on neurons called synapsin. These proteins help to regulate neurotransmitter release. This is most common in the cerebellum which can cause problems with vertigo, motor control, balance and anxiety (10).

Waking up with a fuzzy tongue even without a night of libations likely signals the need for a tongue cleaner. This woolly coating is courtesy of the bacteria, fungi, food debris and dead cells that can get trapped by the tongue’s spongy tissue. Lovely, huh? And it gets worse as we age due to accumulation and improper care. So even if you’re not feeling so fuzzy, it’s a good idea to get rid of any clandestine shag.

Unquestionably, the mouth is a doorway into the body – for food, drink, and deep cleansing inhales, but also for airborne environmental pollutants. Not only is the tongue’s coating incriminated in most cases of halitosis (bad breath) but it is also a contributing factor in oral health conditions, and even general health issues. Toxins are deposited onto the tongue while we sleep as part of the body’s regular nightly cleaning process. At night, all those microbes have a party and deposit their evidence of a good time on the surface of the tongue. Scraping first thing in the morning will remove these toxins so that they are not reabsorbed during the day.

Tongue coating ranges in color from whitish to brownish, even greenish, and according to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of medicine, its location indicates specific areas of congestion elsewhere in the body. The tongue is a mirror for the rest of the body, similar to the way reflexology maps bodily organs onto the feet. Tongue cleaning has been advised since ancient times in Russia and India and has long been a part of daily care in Ayurveda.

The best time to clean the tongue is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, before brushing, and not with your toothbrush. Tongue scrapers are ergonomically designed in the shape of the tongue and can be made of metal or plastic – the metal ones are stronger and will last for years, all for well under $10 – and won’t cause the gagging that some find when using plastic. Begin by reaching the scraper as far back as possible on the tongue without stimulating the gag reflex. Bring it forward slowly, scraping the surface to the tongue’s tip then fling the debris into the sink. Rinse the scraper well after each swipe and continue all over the tongue until no residue remains. Then brush your teeth as usual.

When you do it the first time, you will see why you want to keep this gunk away from your toothbrush. This is one of those practices that once begun, you will not know how you lived without it. After just a few days you may even notice that food tastes better. Scrape away the fuzz and your tongue will feel as clean as a baby’s, well, tongue.

– See more at: http://www.naturalhealthmag.com/blogs/practical-well-being/fuzz-got-your-tongue#sthash.EifSPDC7.dpuf

You choose brown rice over white because it’s less processed and higher in fiber, vitamins and minerals. But a recent report published in Consumer Reports found that both kinds of rice sold in grocery stores contain arsenic, a toxic chemical element—and usually at higher levels in brown rice. Rice and rice products including cereal, crackers, pasta and drinks tested positive for the carcinogen in a Consumer Reports study published last November.

Consumer Reports tested more than 200 grocery store brands of rice and rice products, including organic brands, and found traces of arsenic in nearly every sample. Brown rice is liable to contain more arsenic because it retains the outer levels of the grain, where arsenic is most concentrated. The Consumer Reports study also found that rice grown domestically has higher concentrations of inorganic arsenic (the more poisonous of two kinds of arsenic) than rice grown elsewhere. The federal limit for arsenic in drinking water is 10 parts per billion in a liter, and the highest level of arsenic found in 1/4 cup of uncooked rice was 9.4, in Basmati rice.

There is no federal limit for arsenic in most foods, and the Food and Drug Administration is not recommending consumers change their diets to eliminate rice completely, although you may want to rotate it with other grains. Arsenic has been found to cause cancer of the bladder, lung and skin, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Lately I find myself thinking about light. Sunlight, incandescent light, candlelight, the light from our computers and televisions and smart phones, as well as, and maybe most importantly, our own inner light. Depression in the wintertime is well documented, and many of us may notice a certain heaviness on very gray days. Personally, I always feel better when the sun is shining.

I have always waited until the last possible moment at the end of the day, until I can hardly see what I’m doing, to turn on the lights in my house. Candlelight feels romantic sometimes, and often encourages a quiet, meditative state for me. On the other hand, I find that if the television is on, I can’t sleep (some people have the opposite experience) or if I’ve checked my email on my smart phone or used the computer before bedtime, I also have trouble falling asleep. Television tends to leave me feeling empty and a little depressed, so I don’t watch it very often.

But have you noticed that when you are feeling good, and at ease with yourself and open to others, people will say you are glowing? Perhaps because your inner light is shining through. When we feel good about ourselves, others are attracted to us. It’s our job to notice how our surroundings affect us, and at this time of year especially, how we are affected by different sources of light, or lack of light. Studies may have been done to support or negate our anecdotal findings, but in the end, we are the best judge of how our surroundings affect us. What do you need more of in your life, and what do you need less of, in order to allow your own light to shine through in these dark winter days? What makes you glow?

1. Do Your Homework

Check with your local collection center, and find out what it accepts and rejects. Residents in some areas face fines for not recycling. (New York City residents, for example, face up to a $500 ticket.) To find out what your municipality recycles, call 800-CLEANUP or visit recyclingcenters.org.

2. Study Your Trash

What you use most will determine the type and size of the containers you’ll require. If your family drinks a lot of juices and soda, you’ll want a larger bin for cans and bottles.

3. Create Convenience

Ideally, your home recycling center will be a two-part system one part for everyday disposal and the other for storing. The everyday part should be where you generate the most waste―for many, the kitchen. The spot should be as accessible as the trash can, perhaps right next to it. If you are short on space, consider hanging sturdy shopping bags on the inside of a pantry door. Sorting is a tiresome truth of recycling, so why do it twice? Get a divided container that lets you separate as you dispose. (Try the compartmentalized wicker bin from Waste-Not-Baskets; 16-inch basket, $79, waste-not-basket.com.)

4. Pick a Storage Space

When your kitchen bins fill up, move their contents to a storage spot (separate from the household stamping grounds) until it’s time to drop off at the curb or a center. Consider the garage, laundry room, mudroom, or utility closet. Containers should be easy to transport, so look for ones with wheels. If your community has return deposits on cans and bottles, separate them, too, for returns.

5. Post Recycling Guidelines

Learn how you should recycle phone books, metals, makeup, mirrors, and more. It’s a good reminder for your family, and the quick reference makes recycling easier. Use a Magic Marker to write what goes where.