17 September 2014 0 Comments

7 Underrated Medicinal Plants –from Mercola.com

By Dr. Mercola

Before there was modern-day medicine and its pharmacopeia of synthetic drugs, there were plants, and ancient civilizations knew how to use them strategically to treat common ailments and even life-threatening diseases.

The ancient Egyptian Ebers Papyrus, a scroll from 1550 BC that’s over 100 pages long, details 700 medicinal herbs and how to use them. The Greek Corpus Hippocraticum from the 16th century BC also details the use of herbal medicine.1

Later, during the 1800s and early 1900s, the knowledge of herbal medicine was passed down from one generation to the next. Typically, the woman of the house was well versed in the use of herbs for healing, and would act as the family’s physician not only to treat illnesses but also to prepare various herbal wellness tonics and other remedies.

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 80 percent of the world’s population still uses traditional remedies, including plants, as their primary health care tools.2 Meanwhile, the majority of new drugs (70 percent) introduced in the US are derived from natural products, primarily plants.3

Unfortunately, the reverence for the use of medicinal plants in everyday life has largely been lost in the US. But if you are interested in using natural remedies to support your health, you should know that there are many right at your fingertips.

7 Medicinal Plants You Can Use to Benefit Your Health

Below is an excellent starting point to learn how to harness the power of medicinal plants. This is only a small sample, of course, and once you get your feet wet, you’ll likely be inspired to explore more and more uses for these healing wonders.

1. Ginger

Ginger is one spice that I recommend keeping on hand in your kitchen at all times. Not only is it a wonderful addition to your cooking (especially paired with garlic) but it also has enough medicinal properties to fill several books.

Ginger is best known for its antinausea effects but also has broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties, to name just several of its more than 40 scientifically confirmed pharmacological actions. It is anti-inflammatory, making it valuable for pain relief for joint pain, menstrual pain, headaches, and more.

The pain-relieving potential of ginger appears to be far-reaching. Along with help for muscle and joint pain, ginger has been found to reduce the severity of migraine headaches as well as the migraine medication Sumatriptan – with fewer side effects.4

Ginger also shows promise for fighting cancer, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, asthma, bacterial and fungal infections, and it is one of the best natural remedies available for motion sickness or nausea (from pregnancy or chemotherapy, for example).

Taking one gram of ginger daily may help reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women, or those with migraines and ginger has been shown to work better than a placebo in relieving morning sickness.5

Ginger is also a must-have if you struggle with indigestion, and it does more than simply relieve pain. Ginger contains powerful protein-digesting enzymes and helps to stimulate the emptying of your stomach without any negative effect, and it’s an antispasmodic agent, which may explain its beneficial effects on your intestinal tract.

Many people enjoy ginger tea on a regular basis, and this is one of the simplest ways to use it. Simply chop off a couple of inches of ginger root and let it steep in hot water for fresh ginger tea. I would advise against using it daily as it can lead to an allergy and is what happened to me about twenty years ago.

You can also peel the root using a paring knife and then slice it thinly (or grate it or mince it) to add to tea or cooked dishes. You can’t go wrong by adding ginger to stir fries or even your favorite homemade chicken soup. For serious issues, a natural health care provider can help you get the maximum therapeutic benefits of ginger.

2. Garlic

Eating a clove or two of fresh garlic a day may indeed keep the doctor away, in part because it has immune-boosting, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal effects. Many of garlic’s therapeutic effects are derived from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which are also what give it its characteristic smell. In general, garlic’s benefits fall into four main categories:
1.Reducing inflammation (reduces the risk of osteoarthritis and other disease associated with inflammation)
2.Boosting immune function (antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties)
3.Improving cardiovascular health and circulation (protects against clotting, retards plaque, improves lipids, and reduces blood pressure)
4.Toxic to at least 14 kinds of cancer cells (including brain, lung, breast, gastric, and pancreatic)

In addition, garlic may be effective against drug-resistant bacteria, and research has revealed that as allicin digests in your body, it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts with dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound.6 This is one of the reasons why I named garlic as one of the top seven anti-aging foods you can consume.

In order to get the health benefits, the fresh clove must be crushed or chopped in order to stimulate the release of an enzyme called alliinase, which in turn catalyzes the formation of allicin.

Allicin, in turn, rapidly breaks down to form a number of different organosulfur compounds. So to “activate” garlic’s medicinal properties, compress a fresh clove with a spoon prior to swallowing it, or put it through your juicer to add to your vegetable juice.

A single medium-size clove or two is usually sufficient and is well-tolerated by most people. The active ingredient, allicin, is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic, so garlic pills are virtually worthless. Black garlic, which is basically fermented garlic, and sprouted garlic may contain even more antioxidants than regular garlic.

3. Peppermint

Peppermint offers benefits to the respiratory system, including for coughs, colds, asthma, allergies, and tuberculosis. In terms of digestive health, peppermint oil capsules have been described as “the drug of first choice” in IBS patients,7 and peppermint oil is an effective alternative to drugs like Buscopan for reducing colonic spasms.8

It may also relax the muscles of your intestines, allowing gas to pass and easing abdominal pain. Try peppermint oil or leaves added to tea for gas relief. Inhaling the peppermint aroma may offer memory enhancement and stress relief, and peppermint oil acts as an expectorant and decongestant, and may help clear your respiratory tract.

Use peppermint essential oil as a cold rub on your chest or inhale it through a vaporizer to help clear nasal congestion and relieve cough and cold symptoms. Peppermint oil may also help relieve tension headache pain. For headache pain, try dabbing a few drops on your wrist or sprinkling a few drops on a cloth, then inhaling the aroma. You can also massage the oil directly onto your temples and forehead. Peppermint essential oil is ideal for muscle and chest rubs, headache pain, dental care, and aromatherapy. You can even add it to your homemade cleaning supplies for extra antimicrobial power and natural fragrance.

When selecting peppermint for your own use, the fresh leaves will impart a superior flavor to dried leaves (such as for use in tea). Look for fresh leaves that are green in color without any dark spots or yellowing. In addition to using fresh mint leaves in tea, you can add them to soups, fruit salad, or gazpacho. Additionally, it is really easy to grow peppermint yourself and the plant works as a highly effective deterrent to many insects that might invade your garden or your home.

4. Lavender

Lavender oil has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents.9 This oil is rich in esters, which are aromatic molecules with antispasmodic (suppressing spasms and pain), calming, and stimulating properties. The chief botanical constituents of lavender oil are linalyl acetate, linalool (a non-toxic terpene alcohol that has natural germicidal properties), terpinen-4-ol, and camphor. Other constituents in lavender oil that are responsible for its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties include cis-ocimene, lavandulyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, limonene, and geraniol.

lavender essential oil usesLavender oil is known for its calming and relaxing properties, and has been used aromatherapeutically for alleviating insomnia, anxiety, depression, restlessness, dental anxiety, and stress. It has also been proven effective for nearly all kinds of ailments, from pain to infections.

I am particularly fascinated by lavender oil’s potential in fighting antifungal-resistant skin and nail infections. Scientists from the University of Coimbra found that lavender oil is lethal to skin-pathogenic strains known as dermatophytes, as well as various Candida species.10 Lavender oil can also be used to:
•Relieve pain. It can ease sore or tense muscles, joint pain and rheumatism, sprains, backache, and lumbago. Simply massage a small amount of lavender oil onto the affected area. Lavender oil may also help lessen pain following needle insertion.
•Treat various skin disorders like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and wrinkles. It also helps form scar tissues, which may be essential in healing wounds, cuts, and burns. Lavender can also help soothe insect bites and itchy skin (lavender oil can help ward off mosquitoes and moths. It is actually used as an ingredient in some mosquito repellents).
•Keep your hair healthy. It helps kill lice, lice eggs, and nits. The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCB) says that lavender is possibly effective for treating alopecia areata (hair loss), boosting hair growth by up to 44 percent after just seven months of treatment.11
•Improve your digestion. This oil helps stimulate the mobility of your intestine and stimulates the production of bile and gastric juices, which may help treat stomach pain, indigestion, flatulence, colic, vomiting, and diarrhea.
•Relieve respiratory disorders. Lavender oil can help alleviate respiratory problems like colds and flu, throat infections, cough, asthma, whooping cough, sinus congestion, bronchitis, tonsillitis, and laryngitis. It can be applied on your neck, chest, or back, or inhaled via steam inhalation or through a vaporizer.
•Stimulate urine production, which helps restore hormonal balance, prevent cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder), and relieve cramps and other urinary disorders.
•Improve your blood circulation. It helps lower elevated blood pressure levels and can be used for hypertension.

5. Thyme

Thyme is a fragrant herb that makes a wonderful addition to your cooking, in part because it is rich in antioxidants. Thyme contains health-boosting flavonoids including apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin, and has been shown to protect and increase the percentage of healthy fats found in cell membranes. As reported by the George Mateljan Foundation:12 “In particular, the amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes was increased after dietary supplementation with thyme.”

Thyme is also nutrient dense, containing vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, manganese, copper, and dietary fiber. When used in cooked dishes, thyme may also help inhibit glycation and the formation of dangerous advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in your food, making thyme a potential preventer of heart disease and premature aging. Due to thyme oil’s antibacterial, antispasmodic, antirheumatic, expectorant, hypertensive, and calming properties, it also has a long list of topical uses, including:
•Home remedy – Thyme oil is used to relieve and treat problems like gout, arthritis, wounds, bites, and sores, water retention, menstrual and menopausal problems, nausea and fatigue, respiratory problems (like colds), skin conditions (oily skin and scars), athlete’s foot, hangovers, and even depression.
•Aromatherapy oil – The oil can be used to stimulate the mind, strengthen memory and concentration, and calm the nerves.
•Hair product – It is said that thyme oil can prevent hair loss. It is used as a treatment for the scalp and is added to shampoos and other hair products.
•Skin product – Thyme oil can help tone aged skin and prevent acne outbreaks.
•Mouthwashes and herbal rinses – Like peppermint, wintergreen, and eucalyptus oils, thyme oil is used to improve oral health.
•Insecticide/insect repellent – Thyme oil can keep insects and parasites like mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and moths away.

6. Chamomile

Chamomile is most popular in tea form for use to calm upset stomach and help support restful sleep. Germany’s Commission E (a government organization) has even approved the use of chamomile for reducing swelling on your skin and fighting bacteria. Chamomile is a powerful anti-inflammatory that also has antibacterial, anti-spasmodic, anti-allergenic, muscle relaxant, and sedative properties. It is used to treat psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, diaper rash, slow-healing wounds, abscesses, and gum inflammation,13 and according to Herb Wisdom may also be useful for the following conditions:14

“The oil serves many medicinal purposes, but one of the best-documented uses is for relaxation. The oil has a calming effect on people, and can be used to help induce sleep, ease frayed nerves, and promote a general sense of calmness and well being. It is great for those with nervousness or anxiety problems. Aside from having mental calming properties, chamomile is also good at relaxing sore muscles and tight joints.

It can ease menstrual cramps and back aches, as well as relax the digestive system to ease upset stomach or indigestion issues. When applied topically to the skin, it soothes redness and irritation. For this reason, it is a common ingredient in skincare. It also eliminates itchiness and is good for those with allergic reactions. Sometimes chamomile is used on rashes. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can work to take down swelling caused by rashes or skin irritants.”

7. Dandelion

This flowering plant has traditionally been used as a liver tonic, useful for detoxification and improving liver function. Dandelion is known as a stimulant that is typically used for kidney and liver disorders. It is also traditionally used to reduce the side effects of prescription drugs, as well as to treat infections, gallbladder problems, water retention and swelling.15 Dandelion greens, which you can prepare simply by blanching them in boiling water for 20 seconds to help remove their bitter flavor (they can also be added to vegetable juice), contain many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese. They are a particularly good source of vitamin A and may also have cancer-fighting properties.

Getting in Touch with Your Inner Healer: How to Use More Medicinal Plants

In the past, I have regarded herbs, in many cases, as a safer alternative to drugs, useful for treating various symptoms but not to treat the underlying cause. I have since revised my opinion on this quite significantly, and now realize that herbs can help support your health from a very basic level, just as foods do. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, you could walk into a drug store and find hundreds of herbal extracts for sale. Upwards of 90 percent of the population at that time knew how to use the medicinal plants growing in their backyards to treat common illnesses and injuries; they had too, as this was virtually the only “medicine” available.

With the rise of what is now known as conventional allopathic medicine shortly before World War I, herbalism slowly fell out of favor and became to be thought of as folk medicine. Rather than viewing nature as the source of healing, as had been done for centuries, people began to view drugs and other “modern” healing methods as superior. If you would like to start using medicinal plants more often, here are 9 tips to do so:16
1.Learn to identify three medicinal plants you don’t already know that grow in your region and learn their uses.
2.Add at least one of these herbs to your garden or to pots on your windowsill.
3.Make a tincture, tea, syrup, or salve. Or make one of each!
4.Harvest and dry mint, lemon balm, calendula, nettles, or any other plant growing in your region.
5.Find a plant to sit with quietly each morning for a week; draw the plant.
6.Identify one healing skill you would like to have but don’t, and find a way to learn it—perhaps by taking an herb or aromatherapy class.
7.Make an herbal first aid kit.
8.Organize local healers for emergency response in your community.
9.With medicinal plants grown in your region, learn how to treat one condition that you and/or someone in your family struggles with.

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14 September 2014 0 Comments

America’s Most Sleep-Deprived Cities –From Mercola.com

By Dr. Mercola

Earlier this year, the Labor Statistics Bureau released data that stated Americans get an average of nearly nine hours of sleep per night.1 This seems high, considering most other surveys suggest Americans are largely sleep deprived.

And if the data relied on Americans’ notoriously inaccurate self-reporting their sleep time each night, it is seriously flawed. Most people calculate their sleep time by counting the hours from the time they went to bed until they wake up in the morning.

Using that approach does not actually factor the time it takes to fall asleep or the number of times one awakens every night. So this estimate will typically be off by 30-60 minutes or more. I am speaking from personal experience having used the Jawbone UP24 since the more accurate Zeo sleep-monitoring system went out of business.

When you use a fitness-tracking wristband device such as Jawbone UP or any of the many other similar products on the market, you can get a much more accurate picture of how much you’re actually sleeping.

You might be surprised to learn that your seven hours a night is really closer to six because you woke up multiple times and took 20 minutes to fall asleep initially. When Jawbone analyzed data for tens of thousands of Americans in 21 US cities, they indeed found that Americans may be sleeping much less than the Labor Statistics Bureau suggested.

Average Sleeping Time in Large US Cities? 6.8 Hours a Night

Sleep times in the 21 largest cities in the US were remarkably similar, ranging from a low of 6.82 hours in Houston, Texas to a high of 6.93 hours in Orlando, Florida. On average, that’s just over 6.8 hours of sleep a night.2

These results are close to those of the 2013 International Bedroom Poll by the National Sleep Foundation, which found, on average, Americans get only 6.5 hours of sleep on weeknights (but report needing 7.25 hours in order to function optimally).3 Although I seek to get 8 hours of sleep, my Jawbone UP typically records me at 7:30 to 7:45.

So how much sleep do you really need? There is no perfect answer to this question because like most everything else, the answer depends on a large number of highly individual factors. The general consensus seems to be that most people need somewhere between six and eight hours of sleep each night.

There’s compelling research indicating that sleeping less than six hours may increase your insulin resistance and risk of diabetes. And studies show that less than five hours of sleep at night can double your risk of being diagnosed with angina, coronary heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. Interestingly enough, the same appears to be true when you sleep more than nine hours per night.

Dr. Rubin Naiman — a clinical psychologist, author, teacher, and a leader in integrative medicine approaches to sleep and dreams — recommends you simply sleep “enough hours so that your energy is sustained through the day without artificial stimulation, with the exception of a daytime nap,” which he believes you are biologically programmed for.

I agree with this functional description rather than trying to come up with a specific numeric range. I would add to that guideline, however, the suggestion to watch out for physical or biological symptoms.

Pay attention to clues your body may be giving you. For instance, if you need an alarm clock to wake up, and you wake up feeling tired and groggy, you probably need to go to sleep earlier (or get more restful sleep).

It’s also said that if you fall asleep within a few minutes of your head hitting the pillow, you’re probably sleep deprived. A well-rested person will take about 10-15 minutes to fall asleep at night.4

That is an interesting factoid as I find it is true in my own life. Now that I get more sleep, it takes at least that amount of time to fall asleep. For many decades, I would only get 6 hours or less of sleep and would easily fall asleep in minutes. So don’t make the mistake I did and try to get by on minimal sleep.

Poor Sleep May Increase Suicide Risk in Older Adults

Poor sleep can actually impact virtually every aspect of your health, and the reason for this is your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) actually “drives” the rhythms of biological activity at the cellular level.

We’re only beginning to uncover the fascinating biological processes that take place during sleep, and the consequences that arise when you don’t get enough. Recent research revealed, for instance, that older adults with poor sleep quality may have an increased risk for suicide.

Both poor sleep and suicide rise with age, and the study found that older adults who reported poor sleep had a 1.4 times increased risk for suicide – an increase that persisted after controlling for the effects of a depressed mood.5

There are many reasons why the elderly may be at increase risk of poor sleep and its related problems. For instance, lack of magnesium may play a role in insomnia, and dietary surveys suggest that the majority of Americans are simply not getting enough magnesium from their diet alone.

Older adults, in particular, are more likely to be magnesium deficient because absorption decreases with age, and the elderly are more likely to take medications that can interfere with absorption (or interfere with sleep directly).

As you get older, your body’s internal clock also gradually adjusts to earlier bedtimes and wakeup times. If you don’t listen to your body and go to bed earlier (instead choosing to stay up late), sleep deprivation may result.6 Health issues, such as frequent urination or pain, can also keep seniors up at night, as can sleep apnea, which carries risks of its own.

Sleep Apnea Linked to High Blood Pressure That’s Resistant to Treatment

Sleep apnea is the inability to breathe properly, or the limitation of breath or breathing, during sleep. There are three general types of apnea described in the literature:
1.Central apnea, which typically relates to your diaphragm and chest wall and an inability to properly pull air in
2.Obstructive apnea, which relates to an obstruction of your airway that begins in your nose and ends in your lungs
3.Mixed apnea is a combination of both

Obstructive sleep apnea consists of the frequent collapse of the airway during sleep, making it difficult for victims to breathe for periods lasting as long as 10 seconds. Those with a severe form of the disorder have at least 30 disruptions per hour. Not only do these breathing disruptions interfere with sleep, leaving you unusually tired the next day, it also reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, which can impair the function of internal organs and/or exacerbate other health conditions you may have.

Recent research found, for instance, that severe obstructive sleep apnea may contribute to poor blood pressure control, even when medications are used.7 The study revealed that 58 percent of people with severe sleep apnea had treatment-resistant high blood pressure compared to fewer than 29 percent of those with moderate sleep apnea.8

If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, orofacial myofunctional therapy may be the most profound therapy available. Myofunctional therapy is the “neuromuscular re-education or re-patterning of the oral and facial muscles.” The therapy includes facial and tongue exercises and behavior modification techniques to promote proper tongue position, improved breathing, chewing, and swallowing. Proper head and neck postures are also addressed. To learn more, please see my interview with Joy Moeller, a leading expert in this form of therapy in the US.

What Happens When You’re Sleep Deprived?

Research tells us that lack of sleep can contribute to everything, from diabetes, obesity, and heart disease to physical aches and pains and irreversible brain damage. In one recent animal study, sleep-deprived mice lost 25 percent of the neurons located in their locus coeruleus, a nucleus in the brainstem associated with wakefulness and cognitive processes.9 The research also showed that “catching up” on sleep on the weekend will not prevent this damage.

Other research published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging suggests that people with chronic sleep problems may develop Alzheimer’s disease sooner than those who sleep well.10 And other research shows that sleeping less than six hours per night more than triples your risk of high blood pressure, and women who get less than four hours of shut-eye per night double their chances of dying from heart disease.11 What makes sleep deprivation so detrimental is that it doesn’t just impact one aspect of your health… it impacts many. Among them are three major risks to your mental and physical well-being:12
1.Reaction Time Slows: When you’re sleep-deprived, you’re not going to react as quickly as you normally would, making driving or other potentially dangerous activities, like using power tools, risky. One study even found that sleepiness behind the wheel was nearly as dangerous as drinking and driving.13
2.Your Cognition Suffers: Your ability to think clearly is also dampened by lack of sleep. If you’re sleep-deprived, you will have trouble retaining memories, processing information, and making decisions. This is why it’s so important to get a good night’s sleep prior to important events at work or home.
3.Emotions Are Heightened: As your reaction time and cognition slows, your emotions will be kicked into high gear. This means that arguments with co-workers or your spouse are likely and you’re probably going to be at fault for blowing things out of proportion.

Meanwhile, previous research has found that sleep deprivation has the same effect on your immune system as physical stress or illness,14 which may help explain why lack of sleep is tied to an increased risk of numerous chronic diseases.

If You’re Tired, You Probably Need to Go to Bed Earlier

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? And your mother probably told you this many times when you were a teenager, yet many of us still fight our body’s signals and stay up later than we should. According to the Jawbone data, the average bedtime for New Yorkers is 11:15 p.m. – and that’s earlier on average than people in other parts of the nation. Since most people have a set time when they must wake up, if you need more sleep, the solution is simple: turn off your TV, your cell phone, your computer, and your tablet… and go to sleep early. Try it for a night or two and you might be amazed at how rested you feel.

According to the 2014 Sleep in America Poll, 53 percent of respondents who turn electronics off while sleeping rate their sleep as excellent, compared to just 27 percent of those who leave their devices on.15 The blue light emitted from electronics such as TVs and computers suppresses your melatonin production, thereby preventing you from feeling sleepy. What you may not realize is that even if you don’t feel sleepy, you need sleep. You’ve simply artificially disrupted your body clock; you have not in any way altered your body’s biological needs. As noted by Oxford University Professor Russell Foster:16

“We are the supremely arrogant species; we feel we can abandon four billion years of evolution and ignore the fact that we have evolved under a light-dark cycle. And long-term, acting against the clock can lead to serious health problems.”

Whether you’d like to acknowledge it or not, your body is programmed to rise with the sun and sleep when it’s dark, and maintaining a natural rhythm of exposure to sunlight during the day and darkness at night is one crucial foundational component of sleeping well. This was addressed in an interview with Dan Pardi, a researcher who works with the Behavioral Sciences Department at Stanford University and the Departments of Neurology and Endocrinology at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

The reason why light exposure during the daytime is so important is because it serves as the major synchronizer of your master body clock. This master clock is a group of cells in your brain called the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN). As a group, these nuclei synchronize to the light-dark cycle of your environment when light enters your eye. You also have other biological clocks throughout your body, and those clocks subsequently synchronize to your master clock.

To maintain healthy master clock timing, aim to adjust your light exposure to a more natural light rhythm, where you get bright light exposure during the day and limited blue light and bright light exposure once the sun sets. Pardi recommends getting at least 30-60 minutes of outdoor light exposure during daylight hours, in order to “anchor” your master clock rhythm. The ideal time to go outdoors is right around solar noon but any time during daylight hours is useful. Once the sun has set, the converse applies. Now, you want to avoid light as much as possible, in order for your body to secrete melatonin, which helps you feel sleepy.

My Top ‘Secrets’ for a Good Night’s Sleep

Making small adjustments to your daily routine and sleeping area can go a long way to ensure uninterrupted, restful sleep and, thereby, better health. I suggest you read through my full set of 33 healthy sleep guidelines for all of the details, but to start, consider implementing the following changes:
•Avoid watching TV or using your computer in the evening, at least an hour or so before going to bed. These devices emit blue light, which tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daytime. Normally, your brain starts secreting melatonin between 9 pm and 10 pm, and these devices emit light that may stifle that process. Even the American Medical Association now states:17 “…nighttime electric light can disrupt circadian rhythms in humans and documents the rapidly advancing understanding from basic science of how disruption of circadian rhythmicity affects aspects of physiology with direct links to human health, such as cell cycle regulation, DNA damage response, and metabolism.”
•Make sure you get BRIGHT sun exposure regularly. Your pineal gland produces melatonin roughly in approximation to the contrast of bright sun exposure in the day and complete darkness at night. If you are in darkness all day long, it can’t appreciate the difference and will not optimize your melatonin production.
•Sleep in complete darkness, or as close to it as possible. Even the slightest bit of light in your bedroom can disrupt your body’s clock and your pineal gland’s melatonin production. Even the tiniest glow from your clock radio could be interfering with your sleep, so cover your radio up at night or get rid of it altogether. Move all electrical devices at least three feet away from your bed. You may want to cover your windows with drapes or blackout shades.
•Install a low-wattage yellow, orange, or red light bulb if you need a source of light for navigation at night. Light in these bandwidths does not shut down melatonin production in the way that white and blue bandwidth light does. Salt lamps are handy for this purpose. You can also download a free application called F.lux that automatically dims your monitor or screens.18
•Keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees F. Many people keep their homes too warm (particularly their upstairs bedrooms). Studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is between 60 to 68 degrees F.
•Take a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime. This increases your core body temperature, and when you get out of the bath it abruptly drops, signaling your body that you are ready to sleep.
•Avoid using loud alarm clocks. Being jolted awake each morning can be very stressful. If you are regularly getting enough sleep, you might not even need an alarm.
•Get some sun in the morning, if possible. Your circadian system needs bright light to reset itself. Ten to 15 minutes of morning sunlight will send a strong message to your internal clock that day has arrived, making it less likely to be confused by weaker light signals during the night. More sunlight exposure is required as you age.
•Be mindful of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in your bedroom. EMFs can disrupt your pineal gland and its melatonin production, and may have other negative biological effects as well. A gauss meter is required if you want to measure EMF levels in various areas of your home. Ideally, you should turn off any wireless router while you are sleeping. You don’t need the Internet on when you are asleep.

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6 September 2014 0 Comments

Nan Madol— Reef of Heaven- Land of GIANTS—-Is it all True Series # 336

Mu Giants

Nan Madol-
All this is on an island called Pohnpei in Eastern Federated Micronesia. Here there are strange structures built out of basalt stone up to 250 tons, with a combined total weight greater than the Great Pyramid of Giza. All of the small islands that are part of a large lagoon on the east sideof the island were artificially made by someone in the distant past. The area to the west of the lagoon has over 800 stone basalt structures that are one story, but 15 feet tall.Can we say Giants? All of these structures are connected by 85 ft. deep underground caves and corridors. Many of the smaller blocks range from 5 to 50 tons; it seems that these huge stones were quarried on the opposite end of the island.

In a Discovery Channel special in 1995,it was speculated that the huge stones were floated around the island to the building site in bamboo boats. But all attempts to duplicate this feat failed, as the bamboo boats quickly sunk. These structures were built on a coral reef, and it seems that all food and fresh water had to be bought into the island from some kind of outside source.

Under Japanese rule before World War II it was said that they carried out caskets made of platinumfrom an underwater location called House of the Dead. During the German occupation, the German governor of the time in the 1900s discovered tombs of 9ft tall Giants. He died that same day.

The Pohnpei people have said that the Giants were the native peoples of the lost continent of Mu. The native people have said that there were three races of Giants: one group was human-like and able to fly, another group was Simian-likeand could fly and live under the sea, and finally the Mega Giants were worker drones wholived and worked under the sea asslave-types.
Regarding the huge rocks floating to the other side of the island, in reality the ships were likelyairships that lifted the stones and flew them to the construction sites. Other stories claim this island of strange structures isaweather machine that was activated in 2012.

And finally, the Russian Geographical Society went to the island a few years ago to study the structures, and to this day no word has been published about their findings.

Sleep tight – Reality is not truly what it seems and Giants are real.

MWiz…

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24 August 2014 0 Comments

Our Many Realities—-Is it all True Series # 335

alien pokerSo as I was sitting waiting for my plane at the Albuquerque airport, I observed hundreds of people moving to the various gates, with no knowledge that their present reality was not the only one on this planet. I have three and maybe more realities: one, my family life, which holds some of my personal secrets; next, my work life, which holds other secrets; and then my UFO/Paranormal researcher life, where all these secrets have made the heads spin of some surprised new visitors to my UFO reality.

On this particular flight I met a professional poker player. Wow, that is an interesting profession – very much like a UFO/paranormal researcher, as we both measure risk. My risk measurement involves figuring out who I should approach with this strange but true knowledge, who will be open-minded enough to look at the possibilities. Since there is limited time for our adventure here, this time must be spent wisely. A poker player also has very limited time and must collect data on his opponents quickly and precisely. Even though lady lucky has a part in the game, the mental poker game separates the medium and lesser players from the winners. Two more key concepts which are common to both poker playing and paranormal researching are focus and detail.
Focus is what gives the UFO researcher the ability to separate the disinformation from the truth. Intense focus allows the researcher to gather valuable information that is constantly missed in our environment. Every time we breathe there is something we can learn, and most people miss this. To the professional gambler focus is what keeps them sane in the total distraction of a gambling hall/casino.

And finally there is detail, and gathering and paying attention to the smallest detail can gain the most valuable knowledge. In the UFO/Paranormal world the small stuff holds the real truth, in the detail lies the reality. For the Poker player the detail is learning/observing your opponent’s movements, speech, manners and his apparent focus, and knowing all that can make the long-term difference between winning and losing.

The most interesting people can be sitting next to you on an airplane; search them out, it’s worth the effort.

Sleep tight …. For focus and detail are keys in the search for truth and knowledge.
MWiz.

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13 August 2014 0 Comments

Women in Black – not to be messed with–Is it all True Series # 334

Black_ 0060Many years ago I had a MIB (Men in Black) and a Women in Black experience, which to say the least was very strange, but enlightening. Once I realized what was going on and was able to keep calm, I quickly confused them with my own bizarre questions, which they were not able to answer,and they quickly left the area.
Well let’s talk about the female version of those MIBs.

They seem to have a long rich history going back centuries. In the very distant past they (WIBs)seemed to like the cover of night as they terrorized witnesses of paranormal subjects such as pixies, fairies, goblins,people that studied alchemy, etc. In the recent past they would be seen coming out of an old shiny black Cadillac, or in the 17thcentury,in a black carriage pulled by black red-eyed stallions. In the 1920’s one appeared in a Charlie Chaplin movie; she was wearing a black hat, long black coat and covered her face, and believe it or not, she was holding something to her head that looked a lot like a cell phone (this was from an article by Nick Redfern).

During the 60’s in West Virginia the Mothman legend brought out the WIBs trying to stop the reporting of the numerous sightings of the famous winged creature. One of the WIB reportedly told the witness that she was John Keel’s secretary. John, as you may know, wrote the book Mothman Prophecies. Turns out he never had a secretary.

The WIBs also have approached homes telling occupants that they are social workers concerned about the children in the home, police officers,and other professionals that could sneak into a person’s home to possibly do something sinister to family members as they(WIBs) try to suppress UFO/paranormal memories. This approach is very similar to that of the “black-eyed children” (search for my recent blog on that subject -upper right corner).

If you have more interest in WIBs, watch for Nick Redfern’s new book on the subject.

Sleep tight, WIBs, if they approach be fearless, for fear is where their power over you lies.
MWiz

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26 July 2014 0 Comments

The Youth and the UFO/Paranormal Movement-–Is it all True Series # 333

white sandsI have been studying UFOs and other paranormal subjects for about 50 years now. I have run a few large UFO groups around the country, and I have noticed over the years that the participation of people under the age of 25 has been minimal. I would think that this age group would have some interest in the UFO subject, but maybe not; or maybe interest comes to people as they mature and realize reality is not what it seems.
Well to my surprise I ran into a young man while I was working in Dallas the last few weeks that had a major interest in UFOs and everything paranormal. The young man and I were talking about a work-related matter when he out of the blue mentioned Sacred Geometry, something you don’t hear from young or old these days. So I pursued the subject and to my surprise he had a good understanding of Sacred Geometry, and furthermore, he was into UFOs and the paranormal.

While he was in the service he was stationed at White Sands in New Mexico and he and a group of fellow soldiers saw an amazing display of UFO sightings. They were doing night patrol and a large formation of UFOs danced through the sky for several minutes, an event he has never forgotten that helped motivate him to explore our Universe from a totally different vantage point.

My new friend had an amazingly open mind and was beside himself knowing he was hanging with a mature (although somewhat crazy) adult, who shared his interest in the unknown. Unfortunately we were in a work setting which limited our conversation, but I was happy to share a story or two and hopefully it will further motivate this young man to continue to expand his wisdom of our true reality.

Sleep tight; if you are under 25 come join the reality of the New Humanity.

MWiz.

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17 July 2014 0 Comments

Bill Cooper – Revisited–Is it all True Series # 332

Cooper 911
On November 5th 2001 Cooper was dead a couple of months after another great mystery occurred, 911, the event that Cooper indirectly predicted, in a world that was slowly going amok. Cooper’s main two themes have been that aliens have been among us for a very long time and that world governments have been trying to control the situation. The world governments are suppressing and not letting the public know the real truth, that we are being occupied and used by several groups of non-humans for their agendas.

To say the very least, Cooper was a very controversial figure, and even his death was a mystery, but I am leaning toward the idea that he was murdered. The question in my mind about his death was, why then? Bill had been speaking in public for years and his stories were very consistent. Did Bill have something new he was going to spring on the public, and maybe did it have something to do with 911? Bill had known of all the main players in 911, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the billions the government had lost in the Black Ops projects, which Rumsfeld announced the day before 911. We all know the group (department) that was investigating the Pentagon’s mystery $ lost was destroyed by a bomb alias (plane striking) the Pentagon. I truly believe Cooper was going to open up a can of truth that our government can’t control nor wanted to try to control.

After my many years in the world of UFOs and Aliens, I do believe Cooper had many things correct and others facts I believe he straight out made up to make his story flow a little better. The thing about Cooper was, I had concerns about his sources of information, and it seemed to me he was always finding it on a copy machine or on someone’s desk. If you consider the seriousness of the subject matter, these documents he claimed to find would have been guarded and considered the highest levels of security clearance.

I do consider Cooper a hero for his courage to push out the truth and make people think and do their research. I have zero doubt that 80% of what Cooper said was solid truth, and this is from my 45 years of personal research.

Sleep Tight and if you get a chance watch Cooper’s big speech on You Tube – the one in his all-white suit.

MWiz.

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5 July 2014 0 Comments

Part 3: Mountainair- Shaffer- Hotel of Mystery -Is it all True Series # 331

schaffer hotelPlease read part 1 and part 2 to catch up on the Shaffer Hotel’s great epic ghost saga. So let’s continue with the stories that made this cute hotel in the middle of Mountainair, New Mexico a treasured landmark.

There was a particular room in the hotel where there were constant noises coming from the room, most of them sounded like footsteps. It got so bad that staff thought someone was sneaking into the room and making the noises and strangely putting a child’s footprints into the carpet. So the staff changed the locks on the room, but the noises and the footprints continue until today.

Next the hotel has a regular guest that does business out of one of the hotel’s rooms. This guest commented to the staff that the ghosts had to go. Our tour guide knew that comment wasn’t going to fly with the ghosts and she was right. Quickly thereafter a strange symbol appeared outside the room of that particular guest and it looked a bit satanic or maybe Masonic in nature. The staff tried everything to remove the symbol but nothing worked. Finally the guest apologized to the ghosts and the symbol disappeared.

And then there was the famous suitcase incident: a mother, daughter and grandmother were staying in a room together and there was a beautiful piece of furniture, a rocking chair built by Pa Shaffer in the room. The little girl placed her suitcase on the chair and opened it, but suddenly the suitcase slammed shut, scaring the three women into the hallway. Other strange events had happened before in that particular room involving that rocking chair. This event happen in April 2014, and since then the rocker has been removed to storage and any further happenings have stopped.

There are many more stories. I would encourage you to visit this wonderful hotel in a very enchanted part of New Mexico, get the guided tour from Becky or Sheryl and tell them Mike from the New Mexico UFO/Paranormal Forum sent you.

Sleep tight, remember you can safely befriend a ghost but don’t challenge them, they will have the advantage.
MWiz

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24 June 2014 0 Comments

Part 2: Mountainair- Shaffer- Hotel of Mystery -Is it all True Series # 330

schaffer hotelPlease read part 1 last week for a little more background on thehotel; so let’s continue with the wonderful stories coming from this hotel in Mountainair, New Mexico.

The Jack and Jill rooms, numbers 17 and 18: in 1928 a cowboy was staying in the Shafferwhile attending the Bean and Cattle Auction. Well the bad news is the cowboy was found hung in the bathroom between rooms 17 and 18. Pa Shaffer found the body and not knowing who he was strangely buried his body in an unknown burial site, for the cowboy didn’t sign the hotel register. Those were different times I guess. A couple of years ago a local skeptic on the cowboy hanging stayed in the same room where this incident took place.

The skeptic challenged the cowboy ghost to show himself. Note other past guests to the room had seen out of the corner of their eyes a body lying on the floor in the bathroom. So the skeptic in the middle of the night got up to go to the bathroom and suddenly he was shoved head first into the wall and held there for several minutes. He howled for his kids who were in the adjoining room 17, but they could not move to help their dad; finally he was released from the ghostly hold.But he next found out that all doors to the hall werelocked and after several minutes of struggling to get out, the doors opened freely. The skeptic and his children were found in the hotel lobby at 4am in the morning by the early staff, very shaken,not asking for their money back but just wanting to check out as soon as possible. He vowednever to return to the hotel, which he hasn’t to this day.This event happened just a few years ago.

Part 3 to come and remember to sleep tight, Ghosts and other beings have been among us from the beginning of Human time and probably before.

MWiz.

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15 June 2014 0 Comments

Mountainair Revisited and High Strangeness at the Shaffer Hotel —Is it all True Series # 329

schaffer hotel

This was my third visit to the sleepy town of Mountainair New Mexico, once known as the Pinto Bean Capital of the World, and there resides the Shaffer Hotel, a hotel rich in paranormal activity. There were two fires that nearly destroyed the hotel back many years ago when Pop & Ma Shaffer owned it.

So here are some interesting stories from the Shaffer. My research partner and I were toured around the hotel by Ms. Becky who knew many of the stories that make this hotel so very special. She took us first to one of the Cowboy rooms, a very small one person room, where she showed us the tiny footprints on the freshly vacuumed carpet, which are from the small ghost child that lives in the hotel and has been seen many times in the past.
Next Ms. Becky was in a room where the bath tub was right against the window. She noticed the window needed cleaning, and the only way to do that was to stand on the tub, which she starting doing. Suddenly somebody shouted out in a stern voice “No, don’t.” To her surprise she was the only person in the room. Apparently the ghost was warning her there was danger in standing on the tub next to a window.

The present owner Sheryl told us a story about when her mother ran the Shaffer hotel in the 70’s. Sheryl was walking down the hallway at the hotel and Sheryl clearly saw Ma Shaffer’s ghost standing in front of her smiling.
There is a beautiful honeymoon suite, room #12, where several guests have seen a reflection in the armoire mirror of the ghosts of Ma and Pa Shaffer sitting together on the bed.

Next week in part two, many more great ghost stories from the Shaffer.

Sleep tight, reality is not what it seems.
MWiz.

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