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saffron-eye

Saffron has remained one of the world’s most prized and costly substances throughout history.

Its enchanting color and allure as a dye and medicine secured it a prominent position on the trade routes of the ancient world. East and South Asian cultures would anoint their sacred statues and temples with saffron, and Cleopatra would fill her baths with its crocus flowers before meeting her lovers.

It has been actively cultivated for over 3,500 years, and its value continues to be recognized even today.

Besides the somewhat mystical reputation it’s gained over the years, what makes saffron so valuable is its scarcity. Despite even modern agricultural tinkerings, it has proven itself incapable of independent sexual reproduction, and therefore all new plants must be propagated by hand as clones.

This means that it is immune to the scalability of industrial agriculture. It offers us a glimpse into a simpler agricultural past—one that required a more direct and complete relationship between the farmer and his plants.

Saffron offers us much more than sentimental reflection, though.

Research has revealed that it contains a wealth of apocarotenoids, a powerful class of antioxidants. You may have heard of carotenoids like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein, all of which are found in carrots (the word “carrot” is even derived from the same root as carotenoid).

You’ve probably also heard that carrots are fantastic for your eyes. It turns out that crocin and crocetin, the carotenoids in saffron, boast even more powerful benefits for eyesight.

Saffron heals macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in adults over 50, and its incidence is increasing steadily.

It presents as a blurry spot in the center of your vision, due to the damage or obscuration of the macula, the black spot in the center of the retina. This symptom is merely a nuisance at first, but it can quickly debilitate your daily life by escalating to partial or complete blindness.

There are many practices and remedies that are believed to help prevent AMD. Unsurprisingly, the list includes abstaining from smoking (which is one of the highest risk factors for the disease), exercising regularly, and eating plenty of leafy, green vegetables.

Certain herbs, vitamins, and minerals have also been shown to reduce the risk of developing AMD by up to 25%. Those that have shown the greatest promise are rosemary, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and copper.[1]

Treating the disease once it begins to manifest is another story, however. Usually, doctors have to resort to invasive surgeries and pharmaceutical drugs once the condition has set in.

Luckily, recent studies have shown that saffron is remarkably effective at slowing the progression of AMD and improving vision.

In one study, patients took 20 mg of saffron per day for just 90 days, and all of them improved significantly, according to both clinical measurement data and their personal experience of vision quality. Every one of them reported a marked increase in all aspects of their vision, and thus in their quality of life.

Researchers attribute this healing feat to the antioxidant derivatives mentioned above, crocin and crocetin, which help protect and heal the photoreceptors and cells of the eye.

And here’s an added bonus: this antioxidant activity also lends itself quite well to brain support. In double-blind studies, 15 mg of saffron twice daily was as effective (or more so) than leading pharmaceuticals for both depression[2] and Alzheimer’s disease[3] (Prozac and Aricept, respectively).

Ready to take advantage of this amazing spice?

Getting started with saffron is easy. Even though the study cited above used saffron supplements measured in milligrams, using it for cooking is just as effective as taking a supplement. Saffron is expensive enough already; don’t worry about purchasing fancy extracts.

Seek out whole saffron threads or stigmas rather than powder; they usually ensure more potent carotenoid content. Steep the threads in hot water or broth for 5-20 minutes before adding them to your dish (saffron is excellent in rice and risotto dishes, as well as stews and pasta sauces).

If you’d like some more recipe ideas, consider picking up a saffron-focused cookbook like this one.

After you add a couple saffron dishes to your repertoire, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do so sooner. You can’t go wrong with a spice that’s both richly delicious and deeply healing.


References

[1] Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group, “A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8,” Archives of Ophthalmology, vol. 119, pp. 1417–1436, 2001.

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17174460

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19838862

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glyphosate-test

By now, you’ve probably heard that one of the most destructive practices associated with GMO farming is the use of glyphosate-containing pesticides.

A mountain of scientific evidence has linked glyphosate—the main ingredient in Roundup, the world’s number 1 (and most profitable) pesticide—to a staggering number of chronic conditions, including autism, depression, gastrointestinal diseases, obesity, Alzheimer’s, ALS, multiple sclerosis, infertility, allergies, autoimmune dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease.[1]

And those are just the conditions for which a provable link has been found. The truth is that, once in the human body, glyphosate causes chronic nutritional deficiency and systemic toxicity. These conditions serve as fertile ground for the development of nearly any disease or condition.

Glyphosate even worsens antibiotic resistance, thus leading to the further proliferation of infectious superbugs.

The outcry against glyphosate—especially from those acutely victimized by its toxicity—is far too tragic and widespread to be ignored.

And yet, that’s exactly what Monsanto and its GMO cronies have done.

Company representatives still maintain that Roundup is safe, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly. They claim that it “leaves the soil clean,” and that it presents no danger to humans and other living organisms. And even if it did, they insist, there’s no chance whatsoever that it could ever end up in the human body.

Small-scale studies in 2014 proved all of these claims incorrect. Researchers found glyphosate not only in American water supplies, but also in women’s breast milk and urine.[2]

Manufacturers of glyphosate-containing pesticides countered that researchers’ testing method was flawed—and tragically, the EPA sided with them.

This incident is a perfect representation of why toxic agricultural practices have been allowed to continue for so long, despite the massive amount of suffering and destruction that they cause. Individuals and small groups bring attention to the issue, and the spark of awareness is immediately extinguished by a flood of money and propaganda.

It turns out that when you have as much money and influence as the agricultural industry does, you don’t need to have the facts on your side, as long as you can keep people in the dark for long enough.

But the veil is being lifted…

Something momentous happened in March: the World Health Organization declared that they now classify glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen.”

And when an entity as large as the WHO speaks against your product, no spin-doctoring or ignorance campaign can cover it up. Their declaration has greased the wheels of the growing anti-GMO movement, which seeks to ban the manufacture and sale of glyphosate.

One of the leaders of this movement is an organization called Feed the World, which has an impressive plan for ridding the world of glyphosate and its health-wrecking effects.

Feed the World rightfully believes that, in order to get regulators and politicians to take action against glyphosate, the public needs to be convinced that they’re being endangered by it.

They believe (also rightfully) that nearly all of us have been exposed to glyphosate, and that our bodies are contaminated with it. And to prove it, they’ve sponsored the development of a validated test that anyone can take.

They will present a Women’s and Children’s Bill of Rights to the Senate in October, which will call for a complete phasing out of glyphosate by 2018. They hope that, after their test demonstrates to the public that they and their family are contaminated with carcinogenic glyphosate, their campaign will receive overwhelming support.

Test yourself, protect yourself

This campaign provides an unprecendented opportunity to expose the dark side of the global biotech industry to the light of truth. In order for it to be successful, though, it’s imperative that we all participate.

Dr. Paul Winchester, Clinical Professor at the Division of Neonatology, Indiana University School of Medicine, and the Director of the Neonatal Intensive-Care Unit (NICU) at St. Francis Hospital, summed up the importance of the project in this way:

“Brave and concerned citizens will have to act if the real extent of pesticide contamination is to be known. We are being offered a chance to test ourselves for the most heavily used weed-killer in the history of mankind. RoundUp (Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide) is used to kill weeds but also to desiccate crops prior to harvest. It is found in ground water, river water, rain, snow, soil, and food, and the levels are rising. Is RoundUp in you? Is it in your baby? Is this weed killer imprinting our descendants’ DNA? These are the questions we hope you will help us answer. The EPA won’t do it. The government won’t do it. Chemical companies won’t do it. Farmers won’t do it. Grocers won’t do it. I hope you will help us find out the truth.”

The test is affordable and easy to use (you just provide a sample of urine, breast milk, and/or tap water). The analysis will be conducted by a highly regarded US laboratory, who will publish their findings in a peer-reviewed journal later this year.

Visit www.feedtheworld.info for lots more information, and to order your test. Together, we can defeat one of the greatest threats to the health of our bodies and our planet’s ecosystem in recorded history.


References

[1] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/09/monsanto-roundup-herbicide.aspx

[2] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/worlds-number-1-herbicide-your-body-test-yourself

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chlorophyll

Your mother was right when she told you to “Eat Your Greens”.

Why?

Plants have the ability to produce energy from sunlight…

Photosynthesis is truly an evolutionary wonder—it marked a whole new chapter in the development of life forms on the planet, and thus is rightfully praised as an awe-inspiring adaptation.

This nifty ability is made possible by chlorophyll, the pigment that gives green plants their distinguishing color. Chlorophyll is able to harvest light by forming vast photosensitive networks of molecules that capture, transfer, and process light.

Scientists decoded the incredible inner workings of chlorophyll in the early 20th century, but it’s taken them until now to discover something equally exciting: mammals (and human beings, by extension) can take advantage of this photosynthetic ability too.

Over the course of a series of experiments, researchers at the Columbia University Medical Center determined that the more greens (and thus chlorophyll) you eat, the more energy your body will produce! [1]

So eating plants makes us more like plants?

More or less, yes. Here’s how it works…

Researchers have discovered that chlorophyll metabolites remain in the tissues of mammals who consume green plants, and that these metabolites retain the ability to absorb light!

And it turns out that the tissues of mammals with more chlorophyll metabolites have more ATP (energy transfer) in their mitochondria after being exposed to light. This means that the chlorophyll is still doing its job even after being sequestered in animal tissue—upon light exposure, it gathers fuel that mitochondria can use to create more energy, just like in plants.

The same study even found that mammals with higher levels of chlorophyll metabolites and with sufficient sunlight exposure have a longer median life span.

These findings have profound implications for nutrition, medicine, and an overall understanding of human health.

They’re aligned with the knowledge that compromised ATP production leads to accelerated aging, cell dysfunction, and disease. They also provide a possible explanation for anecdotal reports that taking chlorophyll (or eating lots of chlorophyll-rich plants) can lead to greater energy and vitality. Most people attribute these effects to chlorophyll’s “blood-oxygenating” benefits, but there’s no concrete scientific evidence that chlorophyll increases the blood’s oxygen-carrying potential.

And by providing concrete data, the study opens up the discussion around more questions of human energy production (bioenergetics)—such as the theory that melanin, the pigment in our skin, is equipped with its own ability to convert sunlight into usable energy.[2]

Perhaps most importantly, the study offers profound scientific confirmation of what common sense (and probably your mother) has told you all along: that eating plenty of greens and spending time out in the sun will help you live a long, happy, healthy life.

Even more reasons to eat your greens

In case this groundbreaking information isn’t enough to convince you that eating a chlorophyll-rich diet is of primary importance, here’s a few more reasons that you should pile on the greens as often as possible…

Kale, spinach, and other dark leafy greens boost the immune system, stabilize metabolism, and flood the body with detoxifying antioxidants.[3] They’re also packed with prebiotics, the ideal food for the beneficial bacteria that make up your microbiome.

The chlorophyll that these veggies contain also alleviates anemia (another possible reason why this compound seems to combat fatigue so well), helps the body detox heavy metals, speeds up the healing of wounds, stabilizes blood sugar levels, and even controls hunger and cravings.[4]

And the more studies scientists conduct, the more benefits they find.

The takeaway here is simple: eat your greens everyday! Get creative with your veggie intake: make juices and smoothies, try some creative salads, and use dark greens as cooking ingredients. And don’t forget to catch some sun whenever you can, so that your body is able to transform all that chlorophyll into vital energy.


References

[1] http://jcs.biologists.org/content/127/2/388.long

[2] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/dietary-chlorophyll-helps-us-captureuse-sunlight-energy-groundbreaking-study-1?page=1

[3] http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/study-green-vegetables-may-boost-immune-system/

[4] http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/10-amazing-benefits-of-chlorophyll/

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