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Smelling Lavender Really Can Relax You

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Anxiety is a worldwide problem, and in the U.S. it affects almost one-fifth of the adult population.1 Yet prescription treatments for anxiety are far from ideal and often present undesirable side effects.

SSRI antidepressants, often prescribed for anxiety despite questions about their effectiveness for this use,2 put patients at clear risk of suicide, mania and bipolar disorder, birth defects, weight gain and sexual dysfunction.3

When combined with other drugs, SSRIs can put patients at risk for serotonin syndrome4 and are increasingly suspected of contributing to osteoporosis.5 They’ve even been linked to a heightened risk of developing the dreaded intestinal infection, Clostridium difficile.6 Moreover, SSRI antidepressants have a “clinical effect delay” — it may take weeks for them to produce any response.”7

Benzodiazepines like Xanax, Ativan, Valium and Lorazepam, the drug class widely prescribed for anxiety, are also not ideal. On top of sedation and motor impairment, benzodiazepines put patients at risk of addiction and, according to some reports, dementia.

Moreover, they account for as many as one-third of overdose deaths. A treatment for anxiety without the side effects of SSRI antidepressants and benzodiazepines would help many.

A New Study Shows Lavender’s Effectiveness in Relieving Anxiety

Investigators at Kagoshima University in Japan recently studied the effect of linalool, a component of lavender oil, in mice and found a significant reduction in anxiety without impaired motor coordination. Their results appeared in the October 23 issue of Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.8

How could the researchers detect anxiety in the mice they were studying? The mice were put in a “light/dark box” in which they could choose between adjoining light and dark compartments. Mice with less anxiety spent more time in the lighted chamber, engaged in “exploratory behavior” said the researchers.

The researchers also put mice treated with linalool in a maze that consisted of two “open arms” and two “closed arms.” Again, mice with less anxiety spent more time engaged in “exploratory behavior” — in this case exploring the “open arms” parts of the maze said the researchers.

Linalool as Effective as Benzodiazepines in Study

Kagoshima University researchers compared the behavior of linalool-exposed mice to those exposed to nothing and those exposed to diazepam, a benzodiazepine commonly known as Valium. Mice exposed to linalool had roughly the same anxiety reduction as those on diazepam but they had no accompanying motor impairment as seen with benzodiazepines.

When the mice exposed to linalool were placed on a rotating bar, they could keep from falling off the bar for as long as control mice who had been treated with nothing.9 This, say the researchers, implies they experienced no significant motor impairment from the linalool.

This is not the first time linalool has performed as well as benzodiazepines in reducing anxiety. In 2010, a group of researchers in Germany writing in the journal Phytomedicine found that a lavender based preparation:10

“… is as effective as lorazepam in adults with GAD [general anxiety disorder]. The safety of silexan [a lavender based compound that was used in the study] was also demonstrated. Since lavender oil showed no sedative effects in our study and has no potential for drug abuse, silexan appears to be an effective and well tolerated alternative to benzodiazepines for amelioration of generalized anxiety.”

Aromatherapy Proved Effective in Study

In determining the anxiety reduction benefits of linalool, researchers at Kagoshima University also confirmed the effectiveness of aromatherapy, a mechanism that is still called into doubt by mainstream medicine despite its years of successful use. Here is how the researchers describe the way mice were exposed to linalool:11

“Linalool odor exposure was performed in a custom-made odor chamber. A piece of 2 cm × 2 cm filter paper treated with … linalool was placed at each of the four corners of an acryl box … A mouse was placed into an acryl cage with a wire netting cover … and was placed at the center of the odor chamber.

Mice were unable to access the odor source directly, but were exposed to odorized air. In this odor chamber, mice were exposed to linalool odor for 30 min[utes].”

To confirm that the drug effects were through the olfactory system and not a different means, researchers disrupted the ability to smell in some mice who would be used for control purposes, producing anosmic or the inability to smell. Effects from linalool were not observed in these anosmic mice who could not smell it, confirming the olfactory system as the route of transmission.

Researchers also found that linalool was mediated through GABA receptors, as benzodiazepines are, and not through serotonin (5HT) receptors which are used by SSRI antidepressants. Again, linalool closely approximates the action of benzodiazepines but without motor impairment, which is a major drawback to their use. That is good news for anyone who wants to feel a little less anxious without becoming fatigued, sedated or experiencing muscle weakness.

Other Lavender Actions Unlocked

Linalool may also have pain reduction properties (analgesia) speculate the researchers at Japan’s Kagoshima University, because it activates calcium channels which regulate aspects of pain processing:12

“In addition to the odorant receptors, T-type calcium channels (TTCCs) are also affected by linalool … Because the TTCCs contribute to the generation of action potentials in olfactory sensory neurons … the modulation of TTCCs by linalool may also contribute to linalool odor- induced analgesia.”

In an earlier linalool study in mice, researchers at Kagoshima University explored similar, pain mediating functions:13

“Various folk remedies employ certain odorous compounds with analgesic effects. In fact, linalool, a monoterpene alcohol found in lavender extracts, has been found to attenuate pain responses via subcutaneous, intraperitoneal, intrathecal, and oral administration.

However, the analgesic effects of odorous compounds mediated by olfaction have not been thoroughly examined. We performed behavioral pain tests under odourant vapor exposure in mice. Among six odourant molecules examined, linalool significantly increased the pain threshold and attenuated pain behavior …

These findings reveal central analgesic circuits triggered by olfactory input in the mammalian brain and support a potential therapeutic approach for treating pain with linalool odor stimulation.”

Linalool, because it is administered through the sense of smell, as aromatherapy, may be useful for those who struggle with “oral or suppository administration of anxiolytics, such as infants or confused elders,” says Kagoshima University researcher Hideki Kashiwadani.14

Lavender Aromatherapy Can Ease Presurgical Anxiety

Studies that confirm the anxiety reduction problems of lavender oil are especially good news for the many people who fear medical procedures, especially surgery. Side effect-free treatments like lavender are immensely preferable to the benzodiazepines, painkillers and anesthetics usually used for “pre-op” fear.

These less natural treatments can often prolong recovery from medical procedures and surgery through longer hospital stays and slower wound healing. Here is what researchers wrote in Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology:15

“Aromatherapy may offer a simple, low-risk and cost-effective method of reducing preoperative anxiety … Given the adverse effects of preoperative anxiety and the simplicity of aromatherapy, health care providers should consider the use of preoperative lavender aromatherapy in the ambulatory surgery setting, in which a short preoperative waiting time necessitates a convenient method of anxiety reduction.

While the researchers, writing in Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology, affirm linalool’s role in reducing anxiety, they note that linalyl acetate, a different component found in the lavender plant, has pain relieving properties and “is recognized as a narcotic.” Lavender has been successfully used in a variety of medical settings say the researchers:16

“Lavender aromatherapy was shown to reduce anxiety in patients in the coronary intensive care unit (ICU), dental office, before open-heart surgery, general surgery, intrauterine device (IUD) insertion, during peripheral venous cannulation, and after myocardial infarction and percutaneous coronary intervention.”

The use of lavender aromatherapy may be especially valuable “in the ambulatory surgery setting, in which preoperative waiting time is brief and a convenient method of reducing anxiety is needed,” write the researchers.

Lavender Oil Fights Bacterial Infections Without Causing Resistance

Lavender has another important action –– it combats bacteria. According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center website, lavender oil has “broad-spectrum antibacterial activity” including against the dangerous bacteria S. aureus and multidrug-resistant E. coli.17

This is especially important as the problem of antibiotic resistance grows from the overuse of antibiotics in medical settings and in livestock. Antibiotic resistance has become a major threat to public health worldwide, and the primary cause for this man-made epidemic is the overprescription and widespread misuse of antibiotics.

They are routinely given to food animals on cramped “factory farms” to keep disease from breaking out. Antibiotics are also irresponsibly prescribed to humans for viral infections such as the flu, for which they have no effect, a practice that should stop.

Many Antibiotics Have Been Removed From the Marketplace

Despite all that is known about the dangers of antibiotic resistance, antibiotics are added to personal hygiene consumer products such as soaps, wipes, gels and sprays, as well as household products like dish detergent and even laundry detergent. Even cutting boards have been treated with antimicrobials.

Products with antibiotics added to them do not get you “cleaner” than soap and water but allow consumer companies to call their products “new” and “improved” and charge more for them. Meanwhile, 2 million people a year get antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections in the U.S. and 23,000 die,18 making antibiotic-resistant bacteria one of our most pressing public health problems.

For example, in 2014, mega poultry producer Foster Farms was linked to a 29-state outbreak of drug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg in a striking example of the dangers of antibiotic resistance.19 Six-hundred thirty-four people were sickened, and federal lawmakers urged that the operations be shut down.

Lavender oil’s ability to fight bacteria and especially antibiotic-resistant bacteria is also great news for anyone who has experienced any side effect from taking antibiotics, especially those containing fluoride. In fact, many antibiotics containing fluoroquinolone (flouride) have been removed from the marketplace due to their horrific side effects.

Omniflox,20 Raxar,21 Trovan,22 Zagam23 and Tequin24 were withdrawn from the market several years ago. Levaquin’s maker, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, quietly halted production of this antibiotic in December 2017, telling an Indianapolis TV station in July 2018 that it had done so out of “safety concerns.” However, the drug hasn’t been pulled from shelves yet, so it’s possible it could still be available until 2020.25

However, Cipro, Avelox and Floxin continue to be prescribed for a variety of infections, both major and minor. Cipro is by far one of the favorites, despite new FDA warnings about serious side effects associated with the drug, including neurological problems such as delirium and memory impairments, as wel as serious dips in blood sugar, and my advice to you is to avoid it.

Lavender Oil Also Fights Fungal Infections

Lavender also fights fungal infections. Lavender oil’s antifungal properties are great news because various fungi are becoming as tough to treat as antibiotic resistant bacteria. Already, there are relatively few antifungal drugs, and they oftentimes have side effects.

The rise of antimicrobial resistant strains of bacteria, fungi and viruses has become a widespread problem due to the overuse of antibiotics in both animals and humans. Scientists tested lavender oil and also found it to be lethal to a range of skin-pathogenic strains known as dermatophytes, as well as various species of Candida.

Dermatophytes cause infections of the skin, hair and nails, and Candida species can cause mucocutaneous candidosis, also known as thrush. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):26

“Invasive candidiasis is a common health care-associated infection: It’s estimated that approximately 46,000 cases of healthcare-associated invasive candidiasis occur each year in the U.S. …

Candidemia, the most common form of invasive Candidiasis, is one of the most common bloodstream infections in the United States, The incidence of Candidemia is approximately 14 per 100,000 people in the Baltimore area and 10 per 100,000 people in the Atlanta area, but the incidence and the distribution of Candida species causing infection vary substantially by geographic location and patient population.”

Other Lavender Oil Benefits Are Medically Recognized

Lavender oil also accelerates wound healing, protects against neural damage and oxidative stress, protects against heart attacks through its antioxidant effects and can inhibit seizures.27 It has even improved spatial performance in an Alzheimer’s disease model and reduced falls in the elderly.28

With linalool’s newly confirmed ability to reduce anxiety, we again see the superiority of older, safer treatments. Time and time again medical science comes back to the age-old truth that simple, holistic remedies like lavender oil provide benefits where the drug companies cannot, and with few or no side effects.

If more people knew the truth about how easy it is to maintain your health naturally without the so-called “help” of the pharmaceutical industry, the U.S. might be able to escape the failed paradigm of “sickness management” that now passes for health care.

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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

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(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

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(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

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In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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