Notes on natural health/healing topics: H- P

By Cat, beginning Feb 2018

These notes are from various health documentary videos and websites, as noted for each item. Topics are in alphabetical order. The article was getting too long, so I’ve separated it into four articles.

See also: 1. Natural Health Topics Menu; 2. Notes by section: A-CD-G; H-P, below; Q – Z

Hand-Washing – the Proper way to Wash and Dry your Hands

With the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, across the US and the world, experts are advising that people wash their hands properly 5-times a day. “Properly” includes not only how you do it, but also what you use to do it.

What you use:

  • Real soap; not just any soap will do, and antibacterial ‘soaps’ or wipes don’t qualify. It’s important to use real soap, such as Castile (Kirk’s Castile and Dr. Bronner’s Castile are popular brands), or handmade soaps made by someone in your community. Most liquid soaps are not real soaps and are not antimicrobial (won’t kill bacteria nor viruses).  How does real soap kill viruses?  it “dissolves the fatty membrane that holds the virus together. As the virus falls apart, it is rendered harmless and can easily be washed off under running water” (from a Mercola article: Which Soap is Best for Preventing Outbreaks?)
  • How to know if it’s real soap? See my articles Soap Basics and Making real soap at home for more.
  • Drying your hands: You can use a clean cloth or paper towel; see below for more detail.

How you wash your hands: You need to wash for 20 minutes. See a 1-minute YouTube video (from a Mercola article): How to Properly Wash Your Hands (

How you dry your hands: This is also important. From a Mercola article:

  • Do NOT use a hot air dryer, as they are known to harbor bad bugs  which are moved over your hands my the moving air.
  • If you use a cloth towel, wash them frequently: every 2-days if you/your family are healthy; after every use if there is disease in your home or if you suspect you’ve been exposed.
  • If you use paper towel, limit to 1 paper towel after each hand-wash, to limit paper waste. See a 4- minute TED Talk YouTube video about this: How to Use One Paper Towel (

Heart & Cardiovascular Health

Honey for Heart Health

From Green Med Info: Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

A 2018 study (published in the Journal of the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN), found that honey “aids the body in healthy processing of fats by decreasing the overall amount of cholesterol and fats in the bloodstream,” but “plain sugar  is toxic and has the opposite effect and is toxic. (see Reference PMID: 29908688 for more).

Heart Rate Variability and your Health

from Mercola:

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a measure of frequency of changes in your heart rate. Or, quoting from the article: “a measure of the variations in time elapsed between your heartbeats, and is representative of your heart’s ability to respond to physiological and environmental stressors”

HRV is a far better predictor of cardiovascular health and fitness than “standard testing like cholesterol, C-reactive protein and even blood pressure; … A Health heart rhythm is not perfectly even.”

A monotonously regular heart rate means your HRV is low, and is associated with impairment of your autonomic nervous system. This reduces your body’s ability to cope with stressors. A healthy heart rhythm is not perfectly even; when you heart rate is: 

  • Monotonously regular, your HRV will be low. Low HRV is associated with autonomic nervous system (ANS) impairment, which “reduces your body’s ability to cope with stressors. It is “a strong and independent predictor of mortality after an acute myocardial infarction.”
  • Irregular,  your HRV will be high. High HRV is “indicative of greater cardiovascular fitness,” and “an indication of augmented resilience against stress.”

The best way to increase your HRV is through your diet.  “Factors that up-regulate your parasympathetic nervous system and protect your heart include dietary nitrates* that stimulate nitric oxide production, and foods or supplements that stimulate acetylcholine production, such as eggs and other choline-rich foods.

Toward the end of Mercola’s article is a list of ways to improve your HRV; check it out! The ones I do include: practicing forgiveness, mindfulness, breathing exercises, and optimizing my Omega-3 level by eating wild-caught fish/seafood 2 times a week, and adding high-quality cod liver oil to my daily smoothie. I could get more exercise, and spend more time in nature.

‘* NOTE: nitrates are not the same as nitrites; they have opposite effects on your health. In fact, our bodies naturally produce nitrates. Nitric oxide, a precursor to nitrates, is well-known as a vascular dilator (“causes your blood vessels to relax and dilated”), and is important for people who have history of heart attacks. Nitrate-rich foods include leafy green vegetables, healthy proteins, beets and beetroot juice, garlic, dark chocolate, citrus fruits, nuts and seeds, meats from grass-fed/pastured animals, wild-caught seafood, and foods with plentiful antioxidants. [Quotes in this paragraph, and list of nitrate-rich foods are from article.]


5 natural, proven remedies

from Green Med Info: See that article for more information about the research behind these remedies.

  1. Melatonin (supplements)
  2. Gluten-free diet [another reason to eat sprouted or fermented grains, which partially breaks down the gluten, making it tolerable]
  3. Ginger (food, spice)
  4. Acupuncture (treatment)
  5. A glass of water [preferably filtered, if from a city water supply or a local well]

Herpes (Types I and II)

Mushrooms to Cut Pain and Other Symptoms of Herpes in Half

from Green Med Info: See also “Mushrooms” section, below. In addition to Herpes Types 1 (oral) and II (genital), Herpes zoster (a type of herpetic infection caused by reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox), commonly called “shingles” are discussed. A Japanese study is discussed.

There is no known cure for either type of herpes, but there are proven ways to reduce symptoms. The article focuses on reishi mushrooms, the “large, dark mushrooms with a shiny, slick surface and “woody” texture.”

The article also discusses other ways reishi mushrooms are helpful for improving health, and also the vitamins and minerals present in reishi.

Various Foods and Supplements to Reduce Symptoms and Pain of Herpes

From Mercola ( His article, primarily about genital herpes, is short, and provides links to specific Herpes topics for more info. For example “Treatment” or “Prevention” topics.

Regarding treatment, there are no known ways to get rid of the herpes viruses. The most common symptomatic treatment (to relieve the pain) is Tylenol, but it can have significant long term effects, such as liver trouble. There are several common prescription anti-viral drugs that alleviate the symptoms such as acyclovir, valacyclovir or famciclovir, but all have bad potential side effects (listed in the article).

Mercola recommends several natural (herbal and homeopathic) options (see his references below the text (before the next topic).

Pain Relief:

  • Ice packs (18)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar and Tea Tree Oil (essential oils) (19,20)


  • Echinacea — for potent antiviral capabilities against the HSV-1 virus, according to authors of this 2002 Planta Medica study.” (1)
  • Propolis (an antioxidant-rich bee-derived resin) may help improve immune system function. Various studies have also highlighted that it helps combat the HSV-1 virus18 and speeds up healing time for cold sores.(3) However, if you have asthma or are allergic to bee products, do not use this.(4)
  • Lysine — obtained from lysine-rich foods or high-quality supplements, may decrease the time of herpes outbreaks, and lower incidences of herpes recurrences.(5) He cautions to “refrain from consuming high calcium doses alongside lysine because it may raise calcium absorption in your body. If you have high cholesterol or triglyceride levels or heart disease, talk to your doctor about taking lysine supplements, as some animal studies have linked this nutrient to increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels.”
  • Zinc — Ointments containing zinc were found to be effective in alleviating herpes symptoms. (6)Just make sure your doses aren’t excessively high because it may lead to some side effects (7) or interactions with a chemotherapy drug called cisplatin, or some antibiotics.
  • Lemon balm — Its extract possesses antiviral abilities against the HSV-2 virus,(9) while its essential oil may work as a topical treatment for herpes lesions.(10)
  • Aloe vera — Two different studies involving aloe vera extracts proved that it has antiviral abilities against the HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses.(11,12)
  • Red ginseng extract — A 2013 study published in the Journal of Ginseng Research revealed that this extract helped increase resistance against vaginal infections caused by the herpes virus.(13)


  • Propolis (an antioxidant-rich bee-derived resin) may help improve immune system function. Various studies have also highlighted that it helps combat the HSV-1 virus18 and speeds up healing time for cold sores.(3) However, if you have asthma or are allergic to bee products, do not use this.(4)
  • Lysine — obtained from lysine-rich foods or high-quality supplements, may decrease the time of herpes outbreaks, and lower incidences of herpes recurrences.(5) He cautions to “refrain from consuming high calcium doses alongside lysine because it may raise calcium absorption in your body. If you have high cholesterol or triglyceride levels or heart disease, talk to your doctor about taking lysine supplements, as some animal studies have linked this nutrient to increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels.”
  • Zinc — Ointments containing zinc were found to be effective in alleviating herpes symptoms. (6) Just make sure your doses aren’t excessively high because it may lead to some side effects (7) or interactions with a chemotherapy drug called cisplatin, or some antibiotics.(link not available)

Homeopathic remedies

  • Rhus toxicodendron for oral herpes (15) — Please note the common name for this is poison ivy. If you are allergic to poison ivy, do not use this without supervision of your physician.
  • Graphites or petroleum for genital herpes (16)
  • Sepia (17) or Natrum muriaticum (15) may work for both oral and genital herpes
Mercola’s references: (numbers 17-39, in parenthesis are Mercola’s numbers; numbers in text above are my numbers, 1 – 20)
  1. (17) Planta Med. 2002 Sep;68(9):780-3, Abstract
  2. (18)  Isr Med Assoc J. 2002 Nov;4(11 Suppl):923-7, Conclusions
  3. (19) Journal of Clinical Research 4(65):65-75, Abstract
  4. (20)  WebMD, “Propolis”, Special Precautions & Warnings
  5. (21)  Altern Med Rev 2005;10(2):123-12, p.123, Abstract
  6. (22) Altern Ther Health Med. 2001;7(3):49-56, p. 49, Conclusion
  7. (23) WebMD, “Zinc”, Side Effects
  8. (25) PennState Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, September 29, 2015, Herbs
  9. (26) Nat Prod Res. 2008;22(16):1433-40, Abstract
  10. (27) Phytomedicine. 2008 Sep;15(9):734-40, Abstract
  11. (28) J Dent (Shiraz). 2016 Mar; 17(1): 49–54, Conclusion
  12. (29) African Journal of Biotechnology (ISSN: 1684-5315) Vol 6 Num 15. 6, Abstract
  13. (30) J Ginseng Res. 2013 Apr; 37(2): 210–218, Abstract
  14. (31) PennState Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, September 29, 2015, For Cold Sores
  15. (32) British Homeopathic Association, Rhus toxicodendron, Skin
  16. (33) Homeopathica, May 31, 2018, Homeopathic Treatment For Herpes (Type 2-Genital Herpes)
  17. (34) National Center for Homeopathy, Sepia
  18. (37) WebMD, September 15, 2018, How to Treat Cold Sores
  19. (38) Pharmazie. 2001 Apr;56(4):343-7, Abstract
  20. (39) Medical News Today, October 26, 2018, Apple Cider Vinegar and Psoriasis


    See also my summary article on this branch of natural medicine: Introduction to Homeopathy.

    History and Modern Uses of Homeopathy

    From TTAC, links include video and transcript:

    Homeopathy Treatment for Influenza

    from Mercola:

    The wisdom and logic of homeopathic medicines are that instead of suppressing symptoms with fever-lowering drugs, a nano-dose of a medicine that might actually cause a fever or flu-like condition will be used to augment the person’s immune and defense system.” [This was the original inspiration for vaccines; unfortunately, vaccines contain toxic heavy metals as adjuvants. But homeopathic remedies don’t need toxic adjuvants to be successful.]

    The use of a homeopathic medicine called Oscillococcinum is an example of a remedy that can be effective for many people with the flu, though clinical experience suggests that it is most effective when used within 48 hours of getting flu symptoms. Although most homeopathic medicines are made from the plant or mineral kingdom, Oscillococcinum is unusual in that it is made from the heart and liver of a duck.” This treatment has been effective since 1925

    Why from these organs of a bird? “Epidemiologists have determined that various birds, including ducks, carry influenza viruses in their digestive tracts.”


    Benefits of real honey

    The following is quoted from Mercola. (Note: the tiny, raised reference numbers are copied from the article; to find the reference, see the original article – scroll to near the bottom and click on “Sources and References” to find each numbered reference). Also, the “Manuka honey” link goes to another Mercola article.

    “People have relied on honey for centuries for its health benefits and the enjoyment of its taste. Scientists have found that honey has antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus epidermidis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella enterica.1 It has demonstrated activity against antibiotic-sensitive and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.2

    It has been used to treat infected wounds, and some researchers have even suggested its use on difficult-to-heal wounds, while being careful to select those that will do well with honey.3 It’s also been infused into wound dressings but only recently has evidence been presented to explain honey’s effectiveness in health care.

    Specifically, Manuka honey has been used in wound care products because of its ability to inhibit bacterial growth and stimulate a local immune response, all while suppressing inflammation.4

    When compared to dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine in the treatment of coughs and upper respiratory illnesses, researchers found a 2.5 ml dose of honey before sleep was more effective than either drug.5 However, take care to never give honey to children younger than 1 year as their digestive system can’t process some common contaminants, including botulism.”

    Adulterated honey vs the real deal

    Honey is a wonderful and healthful sweetener – provided it’s the real deal.

    Unfortunately, just like inexpensive Mediterranean olive oils that have been adulterated or even faked by the Mob (see my article: Olive Oil: The Real Deal, or Adulterated/Fake for more), most commercial honey has been adulterated to meet demand, as the global drop and collapse in bee populations increases (due to overuse of pesticides and other problems).

    The safest honey you can buy is that made locally by bee-keepers you know. If you cannot find any locally-made honey, here are some ways to test the honey you buy to determine if it is pure, unadulterated honey (from Mercola):

    • Scent: Your first test is the aroma coming from the jar, which should be reminiscent of the flowers and grasses the bees collect pollen from; industrial honey has an industrial smell.
    • Thickness: The movement should be slow and dense. Place a droplet on your thumb. If it starts to spread, the honey is not pure. Dense, pure honey will remain intact.
    • Taste: When eating pure honey, the taste disappears quickly, but adulterated honey is sugary rich.
    • Dissolving: When added to water, pure honey will form a lump and stick together, while adulterated honey dissolves. Pure honey will not be absorbed into blotting paper or cloth, but adulterated honey will leave stains as it absorbs.
    • Sticky: Pure honey is not sticky, even in your hands.
    • Heat and flame: When heated on the stove, adulterated honey will form bubbles. Try dipping the end of a match in honey and lighting it. If it lights, the honey is likely pure since the added moisture in adulterated honey makes it nearly impossible to light.
    • Tests: Consider these additional tests: 
      • Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar to a glass of water. Add honey and stir well. Adulterated honey will foam.
      • Spread on a piece of bread; pure honey will solidify the bread while adulterated honey will make it wet and soft.
      • Check for impurities by looking at it through a clear container. Adulterated honey will be clear while pure honey will have particles from pollen or bee parts.

    Hydrogen-rich water:

    Benefits of H2 water

    This is from a Mercola newsletter article ( The article is long and very technical. Here’s a helpful quote (no links are provided for the cited studies, but they are available on the original article published in the  Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology:

    “There are a limited number of clinical human studies to confirm the promising effects observed in laboratory animals. However, the approximately 60 studies in humans published so far strengthen hydrogen’s potential as a feasible therapeutic agent.
    These clinical studies have demonstrated beneficial effects in a wide range of diseases including:
    1. Metabolic syndrome (Nakao et al. 2010), 
    2. Diabetes (Kajiyama et al. 2008), 
    3. Hyperlipidemia (Song et al. 2013), 
    4. Parkinson’s disease (Yoritaka et al. 2013), 
    5. Cognitive impairments (Nishimaki et al. 2018), 
    6. Rheumatoid arthritis (Ishibashi et al. 2012), 
    7. Chronic hepatitis B (Xia et al. 2013), 
    8. Vascular function (Sakai et al. 2014), 
    9. Exercise performance (Ostojic´ et al. 2011), and 
    10. others (Ichihara et al. 2015).”

    Molecular Hydrogen Tablets

    from Mercola article: and article by Alex Tarnava: Here’s the “story at a glance” from Mercola’s article:

      • “Molecular hydrogen (H2) is a gas with very unique and selective antioxidant effects. It works primarily by improving the redox status of the cell when needed
      • Hydrogen is the smallest molecule in the universe, which is why its bioavailability is so great. It’s also neutral, so it can easily penetrate any membrane space in your body
      • Drinking hydrogen water can double your cellular concentration of hydrogen gas. For about five minutes, your blood level peaks, and this is when beneficial changes in cell signaling and gene expression occur
      • Molecular hydrogen is best taken cyclically or pulsed. If you take it continuously — say you’re drinking hydrogen water throughout the whole day — the effect seems to dissipate and can actually vanish altogether
      • For best results, place two tablets in 1 liter of water and drink it all in the morning. This will give you a very strong pulse, which will produce better results than a lower pulse twice a day. Once the tablets are fully dissolved, you’ll want to drink it as fast as possible”

    You can add these tablets (Ultra I LOVE H2 at to water, and drink the water immediately after the tablet dissolves. Don’t do more than once a day, preferably in the morning, as continuous or more frequent use can undo all the good the tablets do.

    Note that not all brands are of good quality, so buyer beware. Consult with your practitioner before using.

    Special water filters for H2 water

    I received a sales pitch  about Turapur water filters, that claims to provide hydrogen-rich water, which claims to be more healthful than alkaline/”dead” water. Here’s a study showing the benefit of hydrogen-rich water for those with insulin resistance or impaired glucose tolerance ncbi abstract: Supplementation of hydrogen-rich water improves lipid and glucose metabolism in patients with type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.

    Side note: This made me curious whether adding magnesium to water (as I do with MgCl2) increases hydrogen. The answer is yes if elemental magnesium is used: it reacts with water to produce mag-oxide (from steam or water vapor) or mag-hydroxide (from liquid water) plus hydrogen gas. But ionized magnesium (e.g. MgCl2, which is what I take) doesn’t produce hydrogen gas when added to water.

    Holistic Oral Health Summit:

    Why Hidden Poisons in Your Mouth Cause Cancer, Arthritis, Heart Disease and More with Jonathan Landsman and Mike Adams (2 min introductory video). The full summit aired online March 12-19, 2018

    Inflammation: Foods to fight inflammation, and foods to avoid

    Move this to separate article, and add more about what inflammation means. Then reduce this to a summary as simple lists.

    Importance of sulfur as anti-inflammatory: 6 foods to fix underlying cause of inflammation

    From Dr Mercola’s article on Benefits of MSM:

    • “Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body and plays important roles in many bodily processes, including metabolism and detoxification
    • Sulfur bonds are required for proteins to maintain their shape, and these bonds determine the biological activity of the proteins. Sulfur is also required for the proper structure and biological activity of enzymes
    • Sulfur is crucial for healthy liver function and the prevention of liver disease. A derangement in sulfur amino acid metabolism is found even in mild forms of liver disease

    He recommends the following food sources of sulfur:

    1. homemade bone broth,
    2. organic pastured eggs,
    3. grass fed meats,
    4. seafood,
    5. cruciferous vegetables and
    6. alliums like onions and garlic.

    He also recommends taking supplemental MSM and/or take Epsom salt baths. I have food sensitivity problems with most sulfur-supplements, so prefer to get my daily dose from foods (see also the list below), plus the occasional Epsom salt bath (which also helps if you have low magnesium)

    The top 9 anti-inflammatory foods, from J. Bailor:

    This is from J. Bailor’s article: Top 9 Anti-Inflammatory Foods; see also the top 12 Anti-Inflammatory Foods, below

    1. Green leafy greens [Cat’s note: raw is not the best way to consume them because many of them are high in oxalates, which cause all kinds of issues. For this reason, I lightly braise most greens, tho I still eat raw greens in my daily salads, with an oil-based dressing. Overcooking greens is also not good as it breaks down the anti-inflammatory nutrients.]
    2. Beets: they “include repairing cells and adding high levels of inflammation-fighting potassium and magnesium.” [Cat’s note: I eat a bit of beets every day, primarily to support my liver, but also because I love them.]
    3. Broccoli [and other crucifers; I eat these 3 – 4 days weekly.]
    4. Blueberries are very high in quercitin, a powerful anti-inflammatory; they can also slow cognitive decline. [I have a few blueberries in my morning smoothie, every day, and love to add them to a bowl of oatmeal with a handful of pecans.]
    5. Wild-caught salmon is one of the best sources of EPA and DHA, two very important Omega-3 acids, and is low in mercury; as  such, it is an excellent anti-inflammatory food. Unfortunately, farmed salmon does not have the same benefits. [Cat’s note: I grew up with these in my weekly diet, as Flathead Lake was an amazing land-locked Kokanee fishery; that is, until the state added mysis shrimp to the lake, hoping to help the salmon grow larger faster. Unfortunately, the lake trout got the shrimp and the salmon died. But I still eat a lot of salmon from Alaska fisheries.
    6. Walnuts [I eat a handful of nuts every evening, and often have them in a salad at lunch; walnuts, almonds and pecans are my favs.]
    7. Chia seeds – their main benefit is essential Omega-3 ad Omega-6 fats [these are not a regular part of my diet, tho I would consider adding them if I knew how… I do get good quality Omega 3/6 fats from other foods in my diet, including cod liver oil from fermented cod.]
    8. Turmeric‘s “high anti-inflammatory properties, [make it] highly effective at helping people manage rheumatoid arthritis (RA),” among many other anti-inflammatory benefits. See my article Turmeric (About) for more about this amazing spice.
    9. Ginger: “Ayurvedic medicine has praised ginger’s ability to boost the immune system before recorded history. It believes that because ginger is so effective at warming the body, it can help break down the accumulation of toxins in your organs. It’s also known to cleanse the lymphatic system, our body’s sewage system.” [See my article Herbs and Spices: G – Z , and scroll down to “Ginger” for more about this amazing spice.]

    The top 12 keto foods to fight inflammation, from Dr. Jockers

    This anti-inflammatory foods list, and the following list of foods to avoid, are from Dr. Jocker’s article on the Autoimmune Diet. See the article for more detail.

    • Fatty fish (such as salmon)
    • Olives and extra virgin olive oil (preferably Organic and/or local)
    • Turmeric
    • Berries
    • Avocados
    • Leafy greens (arugula, collards, kale, lettuces, mustard greens, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens
    • Green tea
    • Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, etc.)
    • Coconut oil
    • Mushrooms
    • Carminative herbs (those that improve digestion): arugula, basil, black pepper, cilantro, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, sage, fennel, thyme, and turmeric
    • Bone broth and collagen

    Foods to avoid for autoimmunity (those highlighted in orange should NEVER be eaten); this is from Dr. Jocker’s article on the Autoimmune Diet. See the article for more detail:

    • Microwaved popcorn
    • Nightshades (tomato, eggplant, bell peppers, potatoes), especially canned tomatoes
    • Pro-inflammatory foods (sugar and refined carbs, conventionally-raised meat and dairy, processed meats, farm-raised fish, margarine and other trans fats/oils (partially-hydrogenated), MSG and other food additives/preservatives, most seed oils unless cold-pressed), artificial sweeteners.
    • Soy protein and other non-fermented soy prodcucts
    • Table salt


    (Note, I’m moving this to a separate article but will keep the basics here)

    See also

    Myo- and Chiro-Inositol:

    Inositol is member of Vitamin B-family. Two important forms of Inositol are Myo- and Chiro-inositol.

    Myo-Inositol was recommended by Dr. Steven Gordon, ND for my Insulin Resistance; he suggested taking 1/16 – 1/4 tsp daily. It has had amazing benefits for me, including:

    • Weight loss around my middle;
    • Resolving my food sensitivity to alpha-lipoid acid and to MgCl2 supplements;
    • While I’ve not yet been tested for fasting insulin and glucose levels since I started taking the supplement, I do believe it has helped my insulin resistance.

    See great articles: How Inositol benefits 6 health conditions, How to Use Inositol for Weight Loss,  and search list. See also my Reversing Insulin Resistance (IR)* article (from my old Health Topics web pages; link may no longer work).

    Chiro-inositol also has benefits for insulin resistance;* see 2010 research abstract: D-Chiro-Inositol Glycans in Insulin Signaling and Insulin Resistance.

    ‘* NOTE: Insulin resistance is a metabolic disorder that is the precursor to Type-2 Diabetes. It means that the insulin receptors on cell walls no longer respond to insulin, starving the cells of glucose for fuel. This typically starts as hypoglycemia, but eventually leads to hyperglycemia, or Type-2 Diabetes, if not resolved at the cellular level.

    Insulin Resistance

    Reversing Insulin Resistance with Foods

    The following is from Green Med Info article: Reverse Insulin Resistance with these 8 Foods.  Note that Roman numeral references are for those in the original article.

    Chronically high insulin levels [from insulin resistance] cause rapid weight gain, premature aging, high blood pressure, heart disease, and higher cancer risks. Eventually they lead to type 2 diabetes.”

    1. Turmeric:2009 study found curcumin, an active compound found in turmeric, was 500 to 100,000 times more effective than the prescription drug Metformin at activating glucose uptake. [i]”
    2. Ginger: “Lowers Fasting Blood Glucose by 10.5%.” I note that ginger and turmeric are close cousins. Two studies are cited: [ii] and [iii]
    3. Cinnamon: Less Than Half a Teaspoon A Day Reduces Blood Sugar Levels.” It works in two known ways: 1) It “improves the ability of cells to respond to insulin;” and 2) “by slowing the rate at which the stomach empties after eating,” which in turn “slows the rise in blood sugar.” Two studies are cited: [iv] and [v]
    4. Olive leaf extract: In the cited study [vi], “After 12 weeks, olive leaf extract lowered insulin resistance by an average of 15%. It also increased the productivity of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas by 28%.”
    5. Berries:  “Studies show the body needs less insulin for sugar balance after a meal if berries are also eaten…. (Strawberries, bilberries, lingonberries, and chokeberries were effective. So was a mixture consisting of strawberries, bilberries, cranberries, and blackberries).” [vii]
    6. Black Seed (Nigella Sativa): “Just 2 Grams Reduces Insulin Resistance. …at the dose of 2 grams per day, black seed significantly reduced fasting blood glucose and insulin resistance. The higher dose of 3 grams per day did not result in additional benefits.” [viii] Black seed is also known as black caraway, black cumin, nigella, kalojeere, and kalonji) (from Wikipedia).
    7. SpirulinaIncreases Insulin Sensitivity by 225%” according to one cited study. [ix] Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae; it helps me to avoid symptoms of too-low blood sugar during a veggie juice fast.
    8. Berberine “is a bitter compound found in the roots of several plants including goldenseal, barberry, and Oregon grape. Studies prove it’s just as good as prescription diabetes drugs [such as metformin] … with no serious side effects.” Two studies are cited: [x] and [xi]. …For more than 70 studies on this herbal compound visit Green Med Info’s page on berberine. Cat’s note: It is not recommended to take berberine for many days in a row, as your body will stop responding to it, and you don’t want that because it is also a powerful antimicrobial. I take it one-week on and one-week off.

    Iron and Ferritin Levels

    from Mercola:

    Too much iron in your body can have negative consequences including “cirrhosis, cancer, hepatitis C, gouty arthritis, arrhythmia, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and more.” Much of these consequences result from mitochondrial damage caused by iron. [Free iron is even more dangerous as it can cause oxidative damage of tissues, especially in the central nervous system.]

    At your annual exam, request a ferritin blood test; healthy range is 20 – 80 ng/ml; ideal range is 40 – 60 ng/ml. If you take supplements that include iron, best not to exceed recommended limits. Also, don’t cook acidic food (such as tomatoes) in cast iron pot or pan.

    Recommended limits:

    • recommended daily allowance:
      • 8 mg for men and postmenopausal women*
      • 18 mg for premenopausal women;
    • upper tolerance limit:45 mg for adults

    ‘* limit for postmenopausal women is from Research Gate; see their site for a great chart for different ages.


    Aronia Berry (Ditch Weed or Chokeberry) for joint pain and more

    See Lee Euler’s sales pitch for TheraFlex ACN. Aronia berries are a traditional medicine among Native Americans. Includes info about several studies. Some of the benefits of this native plant (see his sales pitch (link above) for his reference numbers 6 – 12.

    • Heart: Keep your heart pumping strong for many years to come6
    • Memory: Improve your memory for sharp mental recall7
    • Blood sugar: Balance your blood sugar for better energy and a happier mood8
    • Blood Pressure: Support Blood Pressure9
    • fight bacteria and viruses to keep you healthy10
    • Improve digestion for regular elimination11
    • Vision: Boost your night vision for safe driving when the sun goes down!12

    Contains Aronia (fruit) extract 15% Anthocyanins, 255 mg per capsule; take 2/day.

    I’m currently taking (May 2018) Eclectic brand of freeze-dried aronia berries that contains 900 mg of the berries in 2 capsules per day (but can take 2 caps 2 – 4 time/day). So far no noticeable help with knee pain, but will try increasing to 2 caps 2x daily.

    Kidney Stones and UTI (Urinary Tract Infections):

    For treating kidney stones and/or UTI:

    • From Natural Health365.
      • Lemon juice is very high in citric acid, which helps with passing kidney stones; drink lemonade (sweetened with stevia instead of sugar, or no sweetener at all), or eat lots of fresh lemons throughout the day.
      • Also reduce salt intake to avoid future kidney stones. For bladder infections, I highly recommend cranberry supplements and/or D-mannose supplements (a simple sugar in cranberries that is healthful for the urinary tract.
    • Swan Valley Herbs (Bigfork MT) has several herbal tinctures for different types of UTIs, kidney and bladder stones. The herb “gravel root” is a must for stones.

    Lab Tests

    Tests not normally ordered by conventional medicine doctors: 

    From Mercola article. These are:

    1. Vitamin D levels; 40 – 60 ng/ml is optimal
    2. Omega-3 Index. Note that a combined Vitamin-D/Omega-3 test is available
    3. Fasting Insulin. This is one that I request with every lab that includes fasting blood sugar (my MD doesn’t request it – I have to ask for it). Normal level is below 5; but below 3 is optimal. Anything above 5 is concerning.
    4. Fasting glucose:insulin ratio: Although fasting glucose (blood sugar) is a regular test doctors order, they seldom order Fasting Insulin, and you need both for to calculate this important ratio. It is important especially if your fasting insulin is above 5, to determine how serious the problem might be. From Mercola: the ratio of glucose to insulin (fasting) is an even more important indicator of problems. It should be less than 10:1; any value above that is cause for concern. (11)
    5. Serum ferritin.While iron is an essential mineral, too much of it in your blood can be deadly. Ideal for adult men and post-menopausal women is between 30 and 40 ng/ml. The GGT test (gamma-glutamyl transpepridase) is a good one to have along with serum ferritin; it tells you if you have liver damage and also if you have excess free-iron.
    6. hs-CRP (high sensitivity C-reactive protein) measures a liver protein produced in response to inflammation in your body.
    7. RBC-magnesium. Low magnesium levels in the body are a problem for me so I take it supplementally, primarily as magnesium chloride (MgCl2) solution. The RDA for magnesium is 310-420 mg/day, but may experts believe it should be 600-900 mg/day, which is more in-line with paleolithic levels. Mercola recommends 1000-2000 mg/day in divided doses to offset the damage done by EMFs. However such high levels may lead to loose stool which disrupts the microbiome. In that case, get part of your magnesium from epsom salt baths or magnesium oil spray. See my article on magnesium for more details. (need link)
    8. Homocysteine: Elevated homocysteine is a risk factor for heart disease, and when combined with a low omega-3 index, it’s associated with an increased risk of brain atrophy and dementia. Also, Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 (which convert homocysteine to methionine, to avoid elevated homocysteine levels) are also really important for cognition and mental health in general.
    9. NMR LipoProfile: measures your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particle number. This test also has other markers that can help determine if you have insulin resistance, which is a primary cause of elevated LDL particle number and increased heart disease risk.


    Moved to separate article: Lectins: What they are and how to deal with them.

    See also a new video conversation on Lectins: Which Lectins are the Most Dangerous, from Dr. Alan Christianson with Dr. David Katz, MD

    Leg muscle health and neuro-degeneration:

    from Mercola: “Physical exercise, especially strength training, is important for healthy brain and nervous system function. A number of studies have linked leg muscle strength in particular to various cognitive benefits Research shows that whenever you’re unable to perform load-bearing exercises, you not only lose muscle mass, your body chemistry is impacted in such a way that your nervous system and brain also deteriorate. Weak leg muscles impacts the CDK5Rap1 gene, which plays an important role in mitochondrial health & function.”

    Lip Eczema

    see Itchy Little World article: 5 best treatments for Lip Eczema (also known as lip dermatitis):

    See also my notes on Scalp and Face Eczema (Seborrheic Dermatitis), in Notes Q – Z article.


    12 Signs your Liver is in Trouble

    The first 11 listed below are from a slide-show: 9 Strange Signs your Liver is in Trouble (the author has since added 2 more signs but did not update the title); the 12th is added by me (Cat).

    The first one, “jaundice,” is something many people miss but it is the most important and a direct sign of liver trouble, because bile produced by the liver has gotten into your bloodstream. It was my Mom’s first sign of cancer in her liver. If you or someone you know has yellowing of skin/eyes, see a doctor immediately.

    1. Jaundice – yellowing of the skin and whites of the eye, due to bile in the bloodstream;
    2. Bloated ankles indicate there may be a problem with the liver, heart or kidney;
    3. Appetite changes (liver trouble is just one of many causes of this symptom);
    4. Diarrhea (loose, urgent stool);
    5. Strange and frequent bruises: bruises become more problem when there’s trouble in the liver;
    6. Intense exhaustion: As waste builds in the liver, it leads to lower oxygen levels, leaving us feeling tired all the time;
    7. Dark urine, especially if stools are lighter than normal (note: if you take supplemental B-vitamins);
    8. Pain in right shoulder, especially if there is cancer in the liver;
    9. Abdominal pain near the right ribs;
    10. Throwing up regularly;
    11. Changing personality;
    12. Itching of the skin and/or eczema (see my article on eczema, especially on the scalp and face: Eczema: Seborrheic Dermatitis.

    Liver Cleanse: 7 foods that do the job

    This is from PaleoHack blog:; NOTE: I’ve reorganized the list in alphabetical order.

    1. Avocadocontains glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the liver from incoming waste and toxins. It also assists the liver in eliminating these chemicals from your body and protects against cellular damage.
    2. Broccoli and “other brassica vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower … [also] contain sulfur compounds … that help to support the detoxification process and the health of the liver. In fact, these fibrous veggies can help flush out toxins from your gut, and they contain compounds that help support the liver in metabolizing hormones.
    3. Citrus fruitsare all natural sources of vitamin C and contain many potent antioxidants. Like garlic, citrus fruits have the ability to boost the production of liver detoxification enzymes.”
    4. Garlic contains sulfur compounds that are essential for supporting the liver and activating liver enzymes that are responsible for flushing out toxins and waste from the body. Garlic also contains selenium, an important mineral and nutrient that assists in detoxification and supports the thyroid gland.
    5. Leafy veggies: The bitterer, the better! Your liver loves bitter, so load up on dandelion, rapini, arugula, mustard greens and chicory. These leafy greens contain numerous cleansing compounds that neutralize heavy metals, which can slow down the liver’s ability to detoxify. Plus, they help to stimulate bile flow.” [Cat’s note: another great source of “bitter” is Angostura or Swedish bitters – add to a glass of water, seltzer, or soda water.]
    6. Turmericcontains a boatload of antioxidants that help to repair the liver cells, protect against cellular damage and assist in detoxification. Turmeric is particularly good at helping the liver detox from heavy metals and assist in hormone metabolism. Turmeric also boosts the production of bile and improves the health of the gallbladder.” See my recipes for delicious turmeric beverages: Golden Milk (Turmeric Tea) and Ginger-Turmeric Latte. Or Paleo-Hack recipe for Pumpkin and Turmeric Soup.
    7. Walnuts contain high levels of l-arginine, glutathione, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which help to detoxify the liver and support toxin elimination. Plus, they are great for fighting inflammation and supporting the health of the brain.”

    The good news for me is that I eat all of these regularly.

    Lyme Disease:

    Herbs that protect against Lyme disease

    See my pdf: Herbs that Protect Against Lyme Disease, transcribed from:

    • “Reduce your chance of tick-borne illness with these beneficial botanicals,” by Vera Tweed, Jul 1, 2019 (printed in “Better Nutrition” magazine); and
    • Stephen Buhner’s Lyme Protocol,” from Tired of Lyme website

    Stevia leaf extract for combatting Lyme disease

    (from GreenMedInfo) Stevia leaf extract (but not the stevoside extract) is more effective than antibiotics at combatting this disease and killing B. burgdorferi that causes the disease. From GreenMedInfo article:

    B. burgdorferi … can exist in radically different forms: spirochetes, spheroplast (or L-form which lacks a cell wall), round bodies or cyst form (which allows for dormancy and escaping PCR detection), and highly antibiotic-resistant biofilms. This pleomorphic property makes conventional treatment exceptionally difficult because while some conventional antibiotics are effective against forms with a cell wall such as spirochetes, they are ineffective against those without a cell wall. This enables B. burgdorferi to change form to evade eradication through conventional means. Also, biofilm formation creates a significant barrier against most conventional antibiotics, even when used in combination, and has been recently suggested to be the most effective mechanism of resistance.”

    Mattresses and Beds

    Inclined 6 inches (5 degrees), head to toe (higher at head end). This can help with many issues including Alzheimer’s. Start with a 3” incline to help you get used to the tilt. There is strong archeological evidence that some Egyptians slept on inclined beds. See The Sirius Report August 11, 2016. See also:

    This is from a Chris Masterjohn email; he writes: “The chiliPAD, and its latest iteration, the OOLER, is a mattress pad that acts as an air conditioner for your bed. It sucks the warmth out of the bed and blows it into the rest of the room. To fall asleep, your body must lower its core temperature. Once you are asleep, the quality of that sleep is dictated in large part by how successful you were in lowering your core body temperature. By making it cooler under the covers, the chiliPAD helps you fall asleep faster and get more restful sleep.

    See Chris’s blog for the complete article:


    Gut Health and Metabolism

    Sept 2019 article form Mercola: that discusses links between probiotics, obesity, frequency of bowel movements, and inflammation.

    Methionine/Glycine Balance

    (from Chris Masterjohn email). Both amino acids are important:

    • “Methionine helps prevent fatty liver disease, which affects an estimated 70 million Americans. It makes us mentally more flexible, and can help cool our anxiety or lift us from depression when our minds are rigidly ruminating on negative thoughts.” The body uses methionine to make cysteine, one of the amino acids in the detox agent, glutathione. (See also Glutathione and NAC, or N-Acetyl Cysteine below)
    • Glycine helps stabilize our blood sugar. It helps stabilize our mind, to prevent us from drifting into endless distractions. It promotes healthy sleep, and it revitalizes our skin and bones.”

    But maintaining proper dietary balance between the two is also important because too much methionine represses glycine. [The former is] especially abundant in eggs, dairy, meat, poultry, and fish. Glycine is especially abundant in skin and bones.” [Unfortunately many of us avoid skin and bones in our meals;] “for example, skinless, boneless chicken breast is rich in methionine, but the glycine-rich skin and bones have been removed.”

    Chris has developed a database to help you determine your methionine-to-glycine balance; see

    Common Food Sources of each: 

    • Methionine (from My Food Data and Healthfully): similar to cysteine and includes meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, seeds and beans – same as for cysteine.
    • Glycine (from Nutrition Data): skin and bones, and their products such as gelatin and collagen, including gelled meat products are the best sources. Other sources: meats such as pork, beef, poultry, game, pigs-feet, mollusks, shellfish, soy.

    MTHFR Gene and Methylation

    (from Chris Masterjohn, PhD);  – click on his “Click Here” for information on each of the listed topics, which include:

    • Intro to methylation
    • How to eat to nourish your methylation
    • His MTHFR [the name of a gene] protocol
    • Lab tests related to methylation
    • Plus links to various related topics.

    Methylation (the transfer of a methyl or ‘CH3’ group from one molecule to another) is an important process used by the body to activate enzymes that support biochemical reactions in the body. See Thorne article: by Dr. Allan Miller, ND, for lots more on this topic.

    Muscle Health:

    See my notes on Whey Protein Can Help Prevent Muscle Loss (Sarcopenia).


    Mushrooms to Cut Pain and Other Symptoms of Herpes in Half

    from Green Med Info: This article focuses on Reishi mushrooms; see article, “Mushrooms to cut Pain and Other Symptoms of Herpes in Half,” above. Reishi are the “large, dark mushrooms with a shiny, slick surface and “woody” texture.”

    Musical Frequency and its Healing Power

    (from Magdalena Wszelaki:, and YouTube: )

    Saved transcript: HealingFrequencyOf Music-tscrpt.pdf:


    • How different vibrations can help sleep, anxiety (even restless pets…);
    • The research behind it all;
    • How Michael connected frequencies to the different conditions;
    • Frequencies for menopause symptoms;
    • Frequencies for better relationships;

    Mitochondrial & Cellular Health

    Youthfulness, or “CARM”

    CARM (Cellular Age-Reversal Modus), from Dr Gerhauser’s sales pitch for AstaVida supplement. For label info including dosage and list of ingredients, go to:

    CARM has four stages, plus one additional ingredient (#5):

    1. Ubiquinone (CoQsol-CF®Coenzyme Q10, on product label), a natural nutrient to “re-energize” your cells to how they worked when you were younger; a rush of non-stop energy. 200 mg/serving.
    2. Selenium (as selenium yeast), another super-nutrient (mineral) that helps protect and “reverse the age” of your heart and entire cardiovascular system. Plus, combination of stages 1 and 2 could add more wonderful years to your life. 200 mcg/serving.
    3. Astazanthin, a keto-carotenoid from Krill, goes to work “rejuvenating” your skin and eyes at the cellular level. Wrinkles disappear, replaced by tight skin; and your vision re-sharpens into the eagle eyes you used to have. 4 mg/serving.
    4. Alpha Lipoic Acid, an anti-aging wonder helps protect your brain from age-related decline. 200 mg/serving.
    5. Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol, 134 g (200 IU)/serving

    Natural Healing vs Prescribed Meds:

    See Sayer Ji’s article, “Who Are The Real “Quacks” And “Snake Oil” Salesmen?” ( See also related article,


    See PQQ an effective tool against arthritis and chronic inflammation; saved as pdf: PQQ for arthritis-NaturalHealth365.pdf. See also Dr Michael Murray article: Is PQQ The Next Nutrient Superstar. PQQ (Pyrroloquinoline quinone) is a nutrient found in all plant foods; PQQ-rich foods include parsley, green peppers, kiwi fruit, papaya and tofu.


    See also Dr. Alan Christianson: The Truth About Parasites: Avoiding, Treating, Defeating, which also includes a video: I saved text as pdf: TruthAboutParasites-AvoidingTreatingDefeating_DrAChritianson.pdf. Lots of good info here.

    Recommended natural treatments include:

    • Artemesia (Wormwood)
    • Black walnut
    • Berberine (from Oregon Grape, Goldenseal, Goldenthread, barberry, and tree turmeric
    • Triphala (a blend of three fruits, without the seed: amla (Emblica officinalis), myrobalan (Terminalia chebula), and belleric myrobalan (Terminalia belerica)).

    Parkinson’s Disease; also memory & anxiety

    From Mercola:

    • Parkinson’s disease may originate in the gastrointestinal tractResearchers injected misfolded alpha-synuclein, a protein linked to Parkinson’s disease, into the guts of healthy mice, then tracked it. One month later, it had turned up in the brainstem, while after three months it had traveled to the brain’s amygdala and midbrain; within seven and 10 months, it had turned up in even more regions of the brain. The researchers also injected the misfolded proteins into the guts of mice that had a severed vagus nerve; after seven months, no signs of cell death were present in the mice brains, and it appeared that the proteins were not able to advance to the brain
    • Problems with memory and anxiety also appeared in the intact vagus nerve mice that received the misfolded proteins in their guts, which were not seen in the other groups of mice.
    • Pesticide exposure is strongly linked to Parkinson’s disease and may increase the risk by 80% in some cases.

    Pelvic Floor Exercises to Do at Home

    from Green Med Info:

    This article by Isa Herraera doesn’t tell how to do the exercises, just WHY you should do them. To learn how, you must attend a new masterclass which will air Feb 5 – 7, 2020, 8 PM Eastern (7 PM Central, 6 PM Mtn and 5 PM Pacific). To sign up:

    Symptoms of weak pelvic floor include:

    1/22/20: I signed up for the 3-evening class that begins 2/5/20.

    Proteins in the diet:

    from TTAC (The Truth About Cancer). Best sources of protein:

    1. Grass-fed & finished meats, pastured eggs and dairy, and wild-caught fish/seafood.
    2. For vegetarians: chia and hemp seeds [best if sprouted]. Other seeds and tree-nuts [and sprouted legumes] are also good sources but not necessarily “superfoods.”
    3. Dairy whey (from grass-fed/pastured dairy).
    4. Bone broth, “one of the most nutritionally dense sources of protein on the planet.” Best if from grass-fed and pastured animals or wild-caught fish.

    Psoriasis of the scalp:

    I have red, scaly patches on my scalp near the hairline that first appeared late in 2018; my doctor says is is scalp psoriasis. However, when it spread in April 2019 to the folds/creases on each side of the base of my nose, and each side of my chin below the corners of my mouth, I concluded it is scalp eczema or sebborheic dermatitis. See  Q (none) – Z (Zinc deficiency) for my notes on scalp eczema

    Nevertheless, here’s my notes on treating scalp psoriasis.

    Turmeric tonic (applied to affected areas) can be an effective treatment for this problem (article and abstract on Green Med Info). I don’t know what is in the turmeric tonic (besides turmeric) – that is not given in the abstract nor article.

    In Feb 2019, I started adding turmeric powder to my morning Smoothie to see if it helps. I will also mix ground turmeric with the Comfrey Salve from Swan Valley Herbs, to apply directly to the disturbed areas.  See also Turmeric-GuideToUsing-GMI_2.0.pdf (16-page pdf from Green Med Info)

    Other possible herbal treatments:

    • Oregon Grape root or Mahonia aquifolium: From “Oregon grape root is a powerful antimicrobial herb that plays a role in immune response. Studies show that applying a cream containing 10% mahonia is effective in treating mild to moderate psoriasis. Because it is in the alkaloid family, mahonia should only be used topical unless under physician supervision.” I may also add this to my comfrey salve. Back in 1981, I had a bad red rash on my face that my MD mistakenly diagnosed as Lupus; a ND had me try homeopathic 3X Oregon Grape Root that he prepared for me, and it did the trick.
    • Honey: From “Honey is an ancient medicine used for a variety of conditions, including skin problems. With particular use for wounds, eczema and psoriasis, reducing inflammation and scar formation.”  I’ll try mixing honey & turmeric to apply topically.


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