A fi sau a nu fi...liber

Personal growth ,life-coaching,positive and transpersonal psychology , education for all,INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE. HAPPINESS, WELL-BEING,WISDOM, HARMONY, COMMITMENT TO LIFE MISSION AND VALUES


How to stay protected against body scanner radiation

(NaturalNews) While governments and aviation authorities the world over contrive to increase the dose of ionizing radiation travelers are exposed to by installing full body backscatter scanners, the real question we should concern ourselves with is how do we protect our health in the face of the inevitable.

Make no mistake about it, they will be installed and we will be subjected to these searches whether we like it or not. This imposition follows the precedent set after the terror attacks of 9/11. The infringement of civil liberties is nothing new in these times and shouldn't come as a surprise especially as most nations have declared a war on terror.

Supporters of the scanners will probably tell you that this measure is taken with everyone's safety in mind. They will also tell you that the doses of radiation used in the backscatter technology are within safe limits. What they won't tell you is that there is no such thing as a safe dose of radiation. The effects of exposure to radiation are cumulative. Increased and repeated exposure accumulates in the body and continues to damage tissue and organs.

Safe dose theorists have been shown to be mistaken by the work of the late Dr John Gofman (the considered expert on radiation) who is quoted as saying "there is no dose of radiation below which the risk of malignancy is nil". This being the case you should make every effort to avoid additional exposure wherever you can. With the inevitable looming on the horizon what are reasonable steps you can take to minimize this health debilitating measure?

First and foremost get educated and grow an awareness of the potential sources of radiation you are exposed to in the manner by which you live your life. If you think you are at particular risk get professional help or at the very least get yourself a Geiger counter and minimize your exposure as best you can. Remember exposure is cumulative so all exposure adds up and affects your health.

Secondly get a nutrient dense eating plan in place. Ionizing radioactive particles are somewhat opportunistic. Some of them bear similar resemblances to regular nutrients found in our diets. If you are lacking these in your regular diet you increase the chance that your body will absorb the radioactive counterparts in their absence.

Supplement and cover all bases. Start an advised and considered supplementation program; make sure you get the vital nutrients YOU need. Your biochemical individuality is a key expression of the way you function to remain optimally balanced and healthy. Support your needs through understanding your unique requirements.

Supplement with Alginic acid. Alginate as it is otherwise called has the ability to draw radiation out of the body better than most other substances. Adding alginate to your diet is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and continually remove absorbed radiation from your internal environment. The best source of alginate is raw seaweed; use it in salads and soups to maintain its health protective properties.

Radiation whether ionizing or non ionizing is a natural phenomenon and has been with us from the very beginning of time; what's changed is our ability to withstand its negative effects on our physiology. All fliers are subject to increased doses of radiation exposure because the atmosphere lets in more ionizing radiation the further away you fly from the earth's surface. The more you fly and the more you surround yourself with modern technology dependent on radiation, the more you should consider a comprehensive protection program to guard against radiation and jet lag.

Radiation & Human Health
- Dr John W. Gofman.

Fighting Radiation & Chemical Pollutants with Foods Herbs and Vitamins
- Dr Steve R. Schechter

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Radiation Basics Homepage http://www.epa.gov/radiation/unders...


Treat ADD and ADHD without drugs

(NaturalNews) ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder) are similar conditions. ADD is now often known as ADD/WO, meaning "attention deficit without hyperactivity"). Fortunately, such conditions may be prevented or improved with diet and supplementation instead of risky mainstream drugs.

Though ADD and ADHD may in part be syndromes created to describe age-old problems and publicized in order to sell drugs, it is also likely that modern living conditions are resulting in an increase in childhood and adult behavior and attention problems.

The suspected culprits for increased behavior and attention problems are multiple: excessive sugar and high fructose corn syrup, lack of vital nutrients, increased environmental toxins, increased vaccinations, food additives such as MSG, GMO crops, and exposure to microwaves and other electro magnetic radiation. In addition, lack of proper nurturing and parenting likely plays a big role as well.

One must remember that the brain is a vital organ just like the heart, lungs, liver, etc., and it needs optimum nutrition to function properly. Sadly, today's SAD diet of fast foods, snacks & junk foods, microwavable meals and processed foods on the grocers' shelves has left most of our kids, and us, woefully deficient in a great many nutrients the body was designed to utilize. Sometimes the consequences manifest themselves early on, and other times it is down the road a ways. But you can bet that there will be consequences if not addressed and corrected.

The first thing to do is to cut one's consumption of sugar to a minimum. Excessive refined sugar has been linked heavily to ADD, ADHD, bipolar, depression and other mental disorders. Also avoid alcohol, caffeine, and refined foods.

Eat good sources of lean protein, such as cold water fish, including salmon, herring, and mackerel and free range organic chicken and turkey. Include plentiful Omega 3s.

Though low-carb and no-carb foods and diets have been popular in recent years, carbohydrates are an essential energy source for the body and mind. The key is to insure that you are receiving the right kinds of carbohydrates. Unhealthy carbohydrates result in too much sugar which causes the problems we are trying to prevent. Healthy carbohydrates can be found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Examples are: apples, oranges, peaches, grapefruit, carrots, Brussels sprouts, beans, and whole wheat bread.

Supplement with magnesium (a 1-2 ratio with calcium) if you are unsure that you are getting enough of this vital mineral. Various studies have indicated that anywhere from 80 to 95% of us are deficient in magnesium and symptoms include mental disorders, light or restless sleep, daytime sleepiness, and inability to concentrate.

Some other suggested supplements:

* GABA (Gamma-amino-butyric acid) - calms the body
* Pycnogenol and/or Grapeseed Extract - powerful antioxidants offering cellular protection for the body and brain
* Quercetin - prevents allergies from aggravating symptoms
* SAMe (S-Adenosylmethionine) - aids in relieving stress and pain (Note: do not use in the event of manic-depressive disorder or if on prescription antidepressants)
* Gingko - enhances blood supply to the brain and improves nerve cell function
* Colloidal gold - can improve mood and focus
* Valerian root extract - has been used for ADD with dramatic results and no side effects

Lastly, consider a good all around whole food vitamin, mineral and other essential nutrient product. Some of the many benefits of getting regular optimum amounts of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients include:

* Neuro-cognitive brain function
* Focus and concentration
* Mood regulation
* Short and long term memory
* Sleep and wake cycle
* Sugar control
* Brain growth and development

Sources included:

Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition, Phyllis A. Balch, CNC


Healing properties of herbs

Healing Properties of Herbs

reference: Way of Herbs, by Michael Tierra

1. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) - 1 oz

Above Ground, Stomach, blood, sweet, vitamins & minerals, nutritive yin tonic, alterative, diuretic

Used for: wasting, digestion, weight gain, cystitis, prostate inflammation

2. Angelica (Angelica archangelica) - 5 g

Root, spicy, warm, lungs, stomach, intestines, blood, carminative, stimulant, emmagogue, diaphoretic, expectorant

Used for: coldness, rheumatism, digestion, menstrual irregularity, alcohol addiction, colds & flu, appetite, gout, cramps

3. Aniseed (Pimpinela anisum) - 5 g

Seeds, spicy, warm, stomach, lungs, liver, kidney, stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, expectorant, emmenagogue,

Used for: gas nausea, abdominal pain, colds

4. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

Leaf & berries, liver, astringent, refrigerant

Used for: vision, macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, adult diabetes

5. Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) - 5 g

Root, sweet, slightly bitter, cool, liver, spleen, stomach, large intestine, nervous system

Used for: nervousness, spasms, neuralgia, labor, asthma, coughs

6. Blessed Thistle (Cincus benedictus) - 15 g

Aerial portion sweet, bitter, cool, liver, spleen-stomach, alterative, stomachich, astringent, antiseptic, homostatic, vulnerary

Used for: liver congestion stomach, appetite, fevers, dyspepsia, bleeding, hepatitis, jaundice, fevers, blood clots

7. Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalicroides) - 3 g

Rhizome, acrid, bitter, warm, liver, emanogogue, antispasmodic, diuretic, diaphoretic

Used for: menstrual irregularities, genito-urinary tract, worms, blood mover

8. Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) - 1 g

Above ground, cool, bitter, liver, lungs, diaphoretic, expectorant, laxative

Used for: Fever, cold, liver, abdomen, muscle relaxant, uterus, skin, thirst, rheumatism

9. Buckthorn (Rhamnus chatarctica) - 1 teaspoon soaked 12 h

Bark, cold, bitter, laxative, alterative, diuretic

Used for: Constipation, dropsy, hemorrhoids, obesity, toxins

10. Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Root, seeds, leaves, bitter, cool, alterative, nutritive

Used for: Skin blood, urinary tract, minerals, arthritis, lumbago, kidney

11. Calamus (Acorus calamus) 1 teaspoon/cup

Rhizome, acrid, aromatic, heart, liver, spleen-stomach, stimulant, expectorant, emetic

Used for: focus, stomach, acidity, quitting smoking, nerves

12. Calendula (Calendula oficinalis) - 2 g - pregnancy

Flower, spicy, bitter, liver, heart, lungs, vulnerary, diaphoretic, alterative, astringent

Used for: Bruises (Salve), injuries, shingles, skin, fever, ulcer, ear

13. Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) 1 oz

Flowers, bitter, aromatic, liver, stomach, lungs, nervine, diaphoretic, carminative

Used for: Nervousness, digestion menstruation, back pain, flu, diarrhea, insomnia, gout, calcium, hair

14. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) 20 g

Leaves, spicy, cool, lungs, liver, nerves, sedative, nervine

Used for: insomnia, fever, diarrhea, bowels

15. Cleavers (Calium aparine) 1oz

Aerial portion, bitter, cool, bladder, gallbladder, diuretic, alterative, astringent

Used for: urinary tract, venereal & skin disease, hepatitis, burns, blood, lymph

16. Coltsfoot (Tusilago farfara) 1 oz

Leaves, flowers, bitter, neutral, lungs, expectorant, demulcent, astringent

Used for: lungs, coughs, emphysema

17 Comfrey (Syogttyn oficinale) 15 g

Leaf, root, bitter, cool, lungs, stomach, kidneys, bones, muscles, tonic, expectorant, astringent

Used for: healing, lungs, bones, diarrhea, blood, protein, blood sugar

18. Damiana (Turnera diffusa)

Leaves, spicy, warm, kidney, yang tonic, aphrodisiac, nervine

Used for: libido, depression, mucus, digestion

19. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinate) 20 g

Whole plant, bitter, cool, liver, spleen, stomach, kidney, bladder, alterative, diuretic, tonic

Used for: liver, urinary tract, skin, stomach, breast cancer, blood, minerals, spleen, pancreas, intestines, assimilation hepatitis

20. Echinacea (Echinacea augustifolia) 15 g

Root, leaves, bitter, cool, lungs, stomach

Used for: liver inflammation, sores, venomous bites

21. Elecampane (Inula helenium) 20 g

Root, sweet, bitter, warm, tonic, expectorant, diuretic, antiseptic, astringent, stimulant

Used for: Respiration, digestion, bronchitis, asthma, mucus, assimilation

22. Ephedra (Ephedra gerardiana) 3 g

Stems, pungent, warm, lungs, bladder, diaphoretic, stimulant, decongestant, astringent

Used for: Asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, allergy, hay fever, cough

23. Evening Primrose (Oenothera bienius)

Leaves, sweet, cool, liver, kidney,

Used for: Yin Tonic, inflammation, anxiety

24. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) 40 mg x 3

Leaves & Nut, bitter, astringent, lungs, kidneys, brain

Used for: circulation, coldness, senility, arthritis, congestion

25. Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) 1 teaspoon/cup

Rhizome, root, bitter, cold, heart, liver, stomach, colon, alterative, antinflamatory, astringent

Used for: Digestion, female reproductive tract, skin

26. Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus) 7 g

Seaweed, sweet, salty, cool, lungs, stomach, demulcent, nutrient, emollient

Used for: Lungs, tuberculosis, ulcers

27. Juniper (Juniperus communis) 1 teaspoon/cup (Pregnancy)

Berries, spicy, sweet, warm, kidneys, stomach, diuretic, carminative, antiseptic, stimulant

Used for: Urinary tract, gout, arthritis & rheumatism

28. Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla xanthochlora) 5 g/cup

Aerial portion, bitter, cool, uterus, spleen, kidney, astringent

Used for, Menstruation diarrhea, wounds, bleeding

29. Lavender (Lavendula augustiflia) 20 g

Flowers, spicy, cool, lungs, liver, aromatic, carminative, antispasmodic, antidepressant

Used for: Insect repellant, nervine

30. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) 1 oz

Leaves, spicy, cool, lungs, liver, diaphoretic, carminative, emanogogue

Used for, Fever, melancholy, digestion, depression, gas, herpes (balm)

31. Lobelia (Lobelia inflata) - 3g

Leaf, seed, bitter, neutral, liver, nerves, expectorant, stimulant, emetic

Used for: Asthma, spasm, food poisoning, catalyst

32. Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

Seeds, aerial portion, bitter, cool, liver, spleen, tonic, demulcent, antidepressant

Used for: mushroom poisoning (seed extract), Hepatitis A & B

33. Motherwort (Leonorus cardiaca) 1oz

Leaves, spicy, cool, pericardium, liver, cardiac tonic, diuretic, nervine, antispasmodic

Used for: Menstruation, heart, insomnia, blood clots

34. Mugwort (Artemsia vulgaris) 1 oz

Leaves, bitter, warm, emanogogue, narcotic

Used for: shaking, insomnia, smoke, liver, bronchitis

36. Nettle (Urtica urens) 1 oz

Leaves, bitter, cool, intestine, bladder, lungs, diuretic, astringent, tonic, expectorant, nutritive

Used for: lungs, stomach, urinary tract, anemia, bleeding (powder), hair, diarrhea

37. Oak (Quercus) 1 teaspoon/cup

Bark, bitter, neutral, spleen, stomach, intestines, astringent, antiseptic, homeostatic

Used for: Diarrhea, bleeding

38. Oregon Grape Root (Mahonia aquifolum) 20 g

Rhizome, root, bitter, cool, liver, gallbladder, alterative, antinflamatory

Used for: liver, menses, skin, arthritis, cancer

39. Parsley (Petroselinum sativum) 1 oz

Leaves, seeds, fruit, root, lungs, stomach, bladder, liver, diuretic, carminative, antiseptic, expectorant, sedative

Used for: Urinary inflammation, congestion

40 Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) 1 oz

Leaves, fruit, bitter, cool, heart, liver, sedative, hypnotic, antispasmodic

Used for: insomnia, nerves, Parkinson's, epilepsy, hypertension

41. Pau D'Arco (Tabebuia haptaphylla) 1oz

Inner Bark, bitter, cool, blood, liver, lungs, alterative, antifungal, tonic, antibacterial

Used for: cancer, skin, leukemia, diabetes, rheumatism, ringworm

42. Plantain (Plantago) 1 oz

Leaves, seeds, blend, cool, bladder, small intestine, gallbladder, diuretic, antinflamatory

Used for: urinary tract, hepatitis, stings, wounds, bleeding

43. Prickly Ash (Zentoxylum americanum) 1 oz

Bark, berries, spicy, warm, blood, lymph, spleen, stomach, kidney, stimulant, diaphoretic, carminative

Used for: Circulation, arthritis and rheumatism, toothache & gum

44. Red Clover (Frifolicum pratense) 10 g

Blossoms, sweet, cool, blood, liver, heart, lungs, alterative, expectorant

Used for: cancer, skin, fevers, colds, degeneration

45, Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) 1 teaspoon/cup

Leaves, spicy, cool, liver, stomach, spleen, antinflamatory, nervine, astringent antiseptic

Used for: headaches, indigestion, colds, hair46. Sarsaparilla (Smilax medica) 10 g

Root, rhizome, sweet, cool, liver, stomach, kidneys, alterative, heat clearing, antinflamatory, tonic

Used for: skin, syphilis, liver, jaundice, hepatitis, gout

47. Saw Palmetto ( Serenoa repens) 7 g

Fruit, sweet, warm, kidney, spleen, liver, yin tonic, diuretic, expectorant, sedative, aphrodisiac, anabolic

Used for: wasting, underweight, prostate, impotence

48. Skullcap (Scutelaria lateriflora) 5 g

Aerial portion, bitter, cool, sedative, nervine, antispasmodic

Used for: Insomnia, withdrawal, epilepsy, nerves, detoxify

49. Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) 15 g

Inner Bark, sweet, neutral, lungs, stomach, demulcent, yin tonic, expectorant, astringent

Used for: throat, ulcers, survival food

50. Spearmint (Mentha spicata) 1 oz

Leaves, cool, spicy, lungs, liver, diaphoretic, aromatic, alterative

Used for: fevers, cold, gas, depression, cramps

51. Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)

Leaves, cool, sweet, spleen, pancreas

Used for: Sweetening

52. St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatus) 20 g

Herb, bitter, cool, liver, nervous system, sedative, astringent, antidepressant

Used for: nerve pain, neuralgia, depression

53. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Leaves, flowers, spicy, warm, lungs, liver, stomach, carminative, antiseptic, expectorant

Used for: cough, colds and flu, indigestion, nightmares

54. Valerian (Valeriana officilinis) 15 g

Rhizome, bitter, warm, liver, heart, nerves, sedative, hypnotic, nervine, carminative

Used for: insomnia, stress, nervousness, menstruation, pain relief, gas

55. Vervein (Verbena ofininalis) 20 g

Aerial portion, bitter, cold, liver, spleen, nervous system, nervine, emanogogue, tonic

Used for: Liver, irregular menses, cold, mother's milk

56. Wild Yam (Dioscorea paniculata) 5g

Root, sweet, bitter, warm, liver, gallbladder, kidneys, spleen-pancreas, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, expectorant

Used for: gallstones, menstrual cramps, arthritis, abdomen, gas

57. Willow (Salix alba) 1 teaspoon/cup

Bark, bitter, cold, liver, kidneys, heart, alterative, analgesic, astringent

Used for: Aspirin, fevers, headache, arthritis, neuralgic pain

58. Wormwood (Arthemsia absinthum)

Aerial portion, bitter, cold, liver, gallbladder

Used for: Fever, Hepatitis, worms

59. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) 1 teaspoon/cup

Herb, warm, bitter, spicy, lungs, liver, diaphoretic, antiflamatory, astringent, antispasmodic

Used for: colds, menses, bleeding

60. Yohimbe (Pausinystalia johimbe)

Bark, bitter, warm, kidneys, adrenals, aphrodisiac

Used for: aphrodisiac

Way of Herbs, by Micheal Tierra


Cancer cells re-seed after chemo and radiation

(NaturalNews) Researchers from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York have published findings in the journal Cell that explain how tumor cells can re-seed and spread throughout the body after they have been removed through conventional chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation treatments. Tiny tumor cells that circulate throughout the body often begin to send out seeds to the places where the tumor originated, essentially planting the cancer back into the body.

Joan Massague and her colleagues at the Center are finding that conventional treatments leave behind malignant cells that relocate to other areas of the body to avoid being destroyed. Eventually they return as stronger and more aggressive tumors, having gathered back the worst leftover cells from the previous cancer. The result is a second cancer that is worse than the first.

Chemicals present in the immune system also appear to signal tumor cells in circulation to return to their source. Following conventional treatment, the immune system actually works against the body by drawing the vagrant cancer cells back to where they originally seeded, kick starting a relapse.

Medical professionals typically attribute recurrences of cancer following conventional treatment to a few remaining cells that survived treatment and remained at the source. However this study illustrates definitively that lingering cells hide throughout the body and later return to self seed back where they originally started.

What these findings illustrate is that conventional cancer treatments are not effective at eradicating cancer from the body. The targeting of a specific area with surgery, radiation treatment, and chemotherapy cannot successfully remove the cancer from the body because its cells will find another place to live temporarily, only to return even stronger the next time.

Biopsies cause cancer to spread
A conventional biopsy is usually recommended as the best way to identify the presence of cancer, both before and after treatments. Needle biopsies involve taking tissue samples at various places in order to identify the presence of cancer cells. Official diagnosis of cancer cannot take place without a biopsy, resulting in the pressuring of patients to get one if they suspect a tumor.

Many doctors will insist that a person needs a biopsy, but the threat of spreading cancer far outweighs any perceived benefits. Those who receive biopsies will most likely experience unnecessary cancer spread and, following conventional treatment, will probably experience cancer reseeding. Cancer is known to develop at the puncture sites of biopsies.

Chemotherapy leads to reseeding
Chemotherapy treatments involve targeting cancer cells that are rapidly dividing and spreading with harsh chemicals designed to kill them. While treatment may kill the primary tumor, it fails to eradicate the cells that divide more slowly, resulting in a continued replication of cancer cells following treatment.

Many who believe they are in remission following their chemotherapy treatments later discover that their cancer has returned. Not only do they undergo the horrors of the treatment which leaves their body and health in shambles, but they often end up with a more severe version of their original cancer.

Conventional therapies are a failure
Conventional medicine is at a loss for how to deal with the problem of reseeding. Within their paradigm, chemotherapy, radiation, drugs, and surgery are the only options for treating someone with cancer. Now that these are proving to be largely ineffective, scientists are searching for yet another new drug to combat the tendency of cancers to re-seed in order to continue promoting these accepted forms of cancer treatment. They are even investigating the possibility of developing vaccines that will allegedly use the body's immune system to stop vagrant cancer cells.

The problem with drugs, surgery, and radiation is that they will never be able to systematically rid the body of the problem because they are only capable of targeting a confined area. These methods are also wrought with negative side effects so severe that many people end up dying simply from the treatment.

Conventional treatment is also extremely expensive, heavily burdening an already overwhelmed health care system. It is simply assumed that there are no alternative methods by which cancer can be treated, let alone prevented.

Many recently published studies have found that pomegranates, mangoes, and other natural foods contain valuable phytonutrients that effectively prevent and stop malignant cancer cells while preserving good cells. These nutrients holistically rid the body of harmful cells, targeting them wherever they hide in the body and eliminating them.

Conventional medicine would do best to begin focusing heavily on the compounds found in nature that are designed to deter cancer without inflicting negative side effects as an alternative to the mainstream methods that are only making the problem worse. Whether in aloe vera, peach pits, raw almonds, or the many fruits and vegetables found around the world, anti-cancer nutrients are everywhere and modern medicine is only beginning to recognize them. They may not result in the next big blockbuster drug but they work and they are inexpensive. Perhaps this is the reason they are generally marginalized and looked down upon by the cancer industry.

Sources for this story include: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS... http://www.ethiopianreview.com/news... http://www.healingcancernaturally.c...


Chinese medicine-the kidney


From Li Zhongzi, A Primer of Medical Objectives (Yizong Bidu), 1637:

The Classic states: 'Whenever we treat a disease, we must approach it at the base.' Base here means root or source. Every stream on earth has a source, and every plant has a root. If all murky sediments settle at the source, the downstream waters will naturally be clear and fresh, and if we water a root, it will grow and branches will sprout; these are the laws of nature. The experienced physician, therefore, will always consider the source.

However, the body's source is differentiated into a prenatal and a postnatal aspect. The prenatal source is the kidney; the kidney is associated with the direction north and the phase element water-water being the first offspring, in Taoism, of heavenly Oneness. The postnatal source of the body is the spleen; the spleen is known as the Central Palace and associated with the phase element earth-earth being the mother of every living thing.

From Zhuang Yuanchen, Shujuzi: Inner Chapters (Shujuzi Neipian), Ming Dynasty:

The kidney is the ocean of the human body. Since oceans are situated on a lower level than the earth's streams and rivers, they draw every one of them to form one large body of water. Oceans may appear vast and inexhaustible, yet they still drain off some of their seemingly unlimited supply. One way of drainage is called 'going to ruins,' meaning the water drains down into the earth from where it will not return. The other way of drainage is called 'dwelling with the stars,' meaning the water steams toward the sky and later rains down to earth again, where it dissipates into rivers and streams and eventually returns to the ocean. This is the water that circulates between heaven and earth, always striving to keep an equilibrium between the extreme states of drought and flooding.

In the context of the human body only the kidney can be compared to the workings of this natural cycle. All the essences and fluids of the body's various pathways pour into the kidney. After the kidney has assembled the essential fluids of the body's vessels, it also experiences two ways of drainage: one way is through the sexual urge which draws the essence downward to the sexual centers; once it exits from here it cannot come back into the system, so this is just like the ocean "going to ruins." The other way is the upward dispersal by way of the suctioning affect of true qi, which draws the body's combined essences all the way up to the flower pond (mouth); from here it moves down through the throat into the stomach, lubricating the five organ networks, nourishing all of the body's pathways, and finally returning to the kidney. This is the microcosmic process of ascending and descending that can be compared to the ocean 'dwelling with the stars.'

Those who are knowledgeable in the art of nourishing life take care to shut off the lower exit [of jing via ejaculation] while striving to keep the upper pathway [of jing, nourishing the organs and brain] open and unobstructed. In this fashion, there will be a nourishing cycle that is free of leaks. Physical vitality (jing) and mental clarity (shen) will be abundant, nutritive qi (ying) and protective qi (wei) will be strong, inside (water essence) will be sufficient to control fire, and outside (qi) will be sufficient to ward off noxious influences. This is what the art of expelling disease and the art of longevity is all about.

From Zhang Huang, A Compendium of Illustrated Texts (Tushu Bian), Ming Dynasty:

In relation to the other organ networks, the kidney is situated in the lowest position. It is associated with the phase element water, and it is in charge of storing essence (jing). Just like water was the first substance to emerge from heavenly oneness, the kidney is the source of the human body, the initial sprout of physical life.

Everything between heaven and earth that is made from qi and blood has the urge to mate. Once fire and water separate and desire finds a match, the essence leaves the source, and what creates the body will turn into what kills the body. If you are a student of the Book of Change (Yijing) and align your desires by fooling around with the lofty hexagram 41 [Sacrifice, Decrease], then this is like being worried about floods at one moment and about water leakage the next-you 'sacrifice' again and again, thus using yourself up until there is nothing left to spare. Therefore, if you want to protect your source of longevity, there is no better way than to guard yourself against sexual desires.

From Sun Yikuei, Contemplations On Unexplored Medical Topics (Yizhi Xuyu), 1584:

In the Simple Questions (Suwen) section of the Neijing it is stated: 'The kidney stores the qi of the bones and the marrow.' At another place it says: 'The black color associated with the direction north corresponds directly with the kidney; its corresponding orifices in the body are the two yin (the genitals and the anus), and its essence is stored in the kidney.' The Nanjing (Classic of Difficulties) further explains: 'This is where males store their essence.' This line does not mean that all of the essence is stored right there; the brain is also called the sea of marrow, and the kidney connects with the brain via the spine.

Master Shengsheng once said: 'Chapter 36 of the Nanjing states that there are really two kidneys, namely the left one being the actual kidney, while the right one is mingmen, the gate of life. It is this mingmen that is the seat of all physical (jing) and mental (shen) essences, and it is here that essence is stored in males, and from where the uterus branches off in females. Thus, we speak of two kidneys. Just as is said in chapter 39 of the Nanjing: 'The fact that six fu organs are paired with five zang organs means that the kidney really represents two organ systems, namely the left one being the kidney, and the right one being mingmen. And mingmen, that is the abode of jing and shen. This is where male essence is stored and where the female uterus is attached; its qi is on the same wavelength with the kidney.''

A detailed examination of both sections of the Neijing does not yield any references to a differentiation of the kidney network into two distinct parts. It was the author of the Nanjing who first made this distinction. Does this mean that the entity which the Nanjing author calls mingmen-the abode of jing and shen, the seat of the original qi, the place where males store essence and females have their uterus-is nothing but idle talk? I say we have to take this theory seriously, since it appropriately places extra weight on the kidney network by emphasizing that the original qi which lodges in the kidney is the source of our life force.

The Central Junction Classic (Huangting Jing) states: 'The kidney qi regulates the upper burner, nourishes the middle burner, and protects the lower burner.' The Collection of Central Harmony (Zhonghe Ji) states: 'Breathing through the process of opening and closing-that is what happens at the gorge of mystery (mingmen), the root of heaven and earth.' Opening and closing here does not refer to the regular action of inhaling and exhaling through the nose or mouth, but to what is called the true breath. The author of the Nanjing also said: 'The igniting spark between the kidneys (shenjian dongqi) is the origin of the various processes of human life, the base of the body's five zang and six fu organs, the root of the twelve channel pathways, the door of breath, and the source of the triple burner.'

Precisely this is what the concept of mingmen is all about. It is what the Confucians refer to with their Taiji image, and what the Taoists call the gorge of mysterious origination. If we take a close look at a bronze acupuncture statue we can easily find out that the point mingmen is not located on top of the right kidney, but right between both kidneys. This certainly proves my point.

From Chen Shiduo, A Secret Manual from the Stone Chamber (Shishi Milu), ca. 1690:

As has already laid out in detail in the Nanjing, mingmen is the master of the twelve channel networks. But even though many texts have since been written about this subject, the quintessence of mingmen still remains in the dark. Therefore I chose to bring up this topic one more time.

It is always said that mingmen is the master of the twelve channel networks. Now, what kind of master is it exactly and what does it master? Let me put it this way: if there is no fire inside us, we cannot exist. This fire must be there first so that the twelve channel networks can be imbued with the igniting spark of transformation. mingmen, therefore, is a type of prenatal fire. This fire is immaterial and dwells in water. On earth, material fire is being quenched by water. Immaterial water, on the contrary, has the ability to generate fire. Therefore, when we say that "fire is being quenched by water" we refer to material water; when we say that "fire is being fueled by water" we refer to immaterial water. And it so happens that immaterial fire can generate immaterial water, meaning that fire is not contained within fire, but within water.

Mingmen fire, is yang fire-a yang that is embedded within two yin. In the microcosmic context of the human body, mingmen is generated first, and only then the heart. Does this fact not illuminate the importance of mingmen? When the heart procures the power of mingmen, consciousness is in command, and we can relate to the outside world. When the liver procures the power of mingmen, it can plan. When the gallbladder procures the power of mingmen, it can make decisions. When the stomach procures the power of mingmen, it can absorb food. When the spleen procures the power of mingmen, it can transport. When the lung procures the power of mingmen, it can fulfill its administrating and regulating functions. When the large intestine procures the power of mingmen, it can pass on the waste. When the small intestine procures the power of mingmen, it can disseminate. When the kidney procures the power of mingmen, it can bring about physical vigor. When the triple burner procures the power of mingmen, it can keep the body's water pathways unobstructed. When the bladder procures the power of mingmen, it can store. In other words, there is not a single one among the organ networks that does not rely on the mingmen fire for warmth and nourishment.

This type of fire should be tonified rather than purged. This is done by tonifying fire within water, and especially by tonifying water within fire. In this fashion, fire can be fueled by water and at the same time be stored within water. If we just use cold or cool herbs to attack the mingmen fire, it will become weak, and how could it then nourish the twelve channel networks? This is what is really meant by the Neijing statement 'when the master is dim, the twelve officials are all in a state of crisis.' Doesn't that strongly emphasize the importance of mingmen?

From Tang Zonghai, A Refined Interpretation of the Medical Classics (Yijing Jingyi), Qing Dynasty:

The root of the triple burner is in the kidney, more precisely right between the two anatomical kidneys. Right there is a greasy membrane that is connected with the spine. It is called mingmen, and constitutes the source of the three burners.

From Zhang Shanlei, A Revised Edition of Master Zhang's Treatise on the Organ Networks (Zhang Shi Zangfu Yaoshi Buzheng), ca. 1918:

The triple burner is really a name for the function of the body's ministerial fire. It is the process of disseminating original qi from mingmen, which is in charge of ascending and descending, and absorbing and excreting. It roams in between the heaven and earth of the body's landscape, and commands all bodily qi-the qi of the five zang and the six fu organs, the protective qi (wei) and the nutritive qi (ying), the qi in the channels and collaterals, and the qi on the top, the bottom, the left, and the right. Its unofficial name is therefore the central store house of clear qi. The upper part is in charge of absorbing, the middle part is in charge of transforming, and the lower part is in charge of excreting.

From Sun Yikui, Mysterious Pearls of Wisdom (Chi Shui Xuan Zhu), 1584:

The so called triple burner is embedded in the greasy membrane of the diaphragm, that is the hollow space between the five zang/six fu organs and the connective pathway through which food and grain must pass. The qi of the triple burner is contained and active within this space, steaming the diaphragm, reaching out to the skin, differentiating the flesh, and setting everything around it in motion. The regions that it reaches are labeled according to their location, that is why we speak of the upper burner, the middle burner, and the lower burner. Although the triple burner does not have any structural reality to it, it has a distinct location that is determined by the structural entities surrounding it.

From Shen Jin'ao, Illuminating Lantern on the Origins of Complex Diseases (Zabing Yuanliu Xizhu), 18th century:

What we call the triple burner is actually the corridor above and below the stomach. The triple burner and its associated regions thus entirely belong to the stomach, and what it oversees is primarily the functioning of the stomach. The triple burner qi is utilized to ferment and cook the food. Together with the stomach, the triple burner is located in front of the taiyin spleen network-a place that the roaming ministerial fire calls home. The term "burner," therefore, refers to the triple burner's function of cooking everything.

From Li Dongyuan, Illuminating the Science of Medicine (Yixue Faming), 13th century:

The triple burner is an entity that has a name but no structural form. It is in charge of all bodily qi, and it is a functional manifestation of the three treasures [jing, qi, shen]. All of the body's physiological movements, its unobstructed ins and outs and ups and downs, therefore, rely on the triple burner-the process of breathing in and breathing out, the ascending and descending motion of qi, and the absorption and excretion of food and water. The upper burner is located underneath the heart; it is in charge of storing without draining. The middle burner is in the center of the epigastric region; it is in charge of fermenting and cooking food and water. The lower burner is beneath the umbilicus; it is in charge of differentiating the clear from the turbid, and it drains without storing. The driving source behind all three of these functions, however, is the middle burner.

From Chen Nianzu, The Three Character Classic of Medicine (Yixue Sanzi Jing), Qing Dynasty:

The term triple burner refers to the qi that circulates in the upper, middle, and lower burners. Burner means heat. Only when the entire body cavity is permeated with hot qi can the body's water ways be open and regulated. The triple burner is the fu organ that forms a zang/fu pair with the pericardium, and thus belongs to the phase element fire. In other words, if the heating qualities of the upper burner are out of control, water will assault the upper plains of the body. If the middle burner is out of control, water will stagnate in the epigastric region. If the lower burner is out of control, water will disturb bowel movements and urination. On the other hand, if the triple burner qi is healthy and in control, the body's channels and collaterals will be open and its water ways will be disinhibited. It is for this reason that the triple burner is called the official in charge of uninhibited water flow.

Jing is the Chinese designation for the essential fluid of our physical body. The archaic Chinese character for jing denoted the most refined essence obtained from rice (which is the main staple of the Oriental diet, so this means the refined essence from food). The basic yin (matter) from which all yang (physical action) springs is jing. In classical Chinese medical texts, jing is sometimes referred to as the body's "original water" with water representing the ultimate yin ("original fire" being the ultimate yang).

Water has a tendency to drain downward. The kidney, the lowest of the organ networks, is where the body's water assembles and goes into storage until needed elsewhere. If the kidney function is weak, its storage capability will become inhibited and jing will leak from the body. Due to the Daoist belief that the jing is lost when a man excretes semen (of particular concern, when an elderly man, who already had deficiency of jing through aging, excretes semen), virtually all of the ancient medical texts mention spermatorrhea (a code for release during the disallowed practice of masturbation, wet dreams, and ejaculation during intercourse when the attempt is being made to prevent it) as a condition to be treated, since it indicates a breach of the kidney's function of safeguarding and storing jing. According to the Daoist ideal, except during early adulthood, men should refrain from releasing semen, or, at the very least, experience this infrequently.

Therefore, excessive sexual indulgence by males is considered to be a major health hazard in all genres of traditional Chinese writing. Since most men cannot control their urge to ejaculate, every intercourse means an irrevocable giving away of jing. Although Chinese medical texts consent that this may be affordable for young men (who have a rich supply of jing and who can easily replenish jing through post-natal sources), they generally warn that the health of elderly males will suffer serious consequences from frequent ejaculations. "What gives life will take life" is therefore a common admonition that spans two thousand years of Chinese medical literature.

While most Daoist and medical writings take up both the general topic and the detailed techniques of safeguarding jing, it is the realm of literature which best reflects the Chinese fear of continuous jing loss by way of sexual indulgence. The epic Ming Dynasty novel, Flower In the Golden Vase (Jin Ping Mei), narrates the story of the erotomaniac Ximen Qing who peddles his money and political influence to assemble a harem of six women, then resorts to tonic drugs to bolster his flagging virility, and finally comes to a horrid end after a final ejaculation of "mercury-like fluid, followed by blood and a gust of cold air." A Daoist physician who is called to the deathbed comments: "The candle flickers once the oil is used up." Both mercury and lamp oil are often used metaphors for the kidney jing. To avoid such a gruesome death, the handsome protagonist of the second moralist novel of the Ming dynasty, Prayer Mat of Flesh (Rou Putuan), decided to become a Buddhist hermit, cut off his surgically amplified penis, and utilize his jing for spiritual cultivation.

Although the word jing is synonymous with the Chinese word semen, the seminal fluid represents only one form of jing. Other dense fluid essences such as saliva (particularly the kind that gets spontaneously excreted during meditation), vaginal fluids, breast milk, or blood are all regarded to be different transformations of one and the same jing; these are refined essences. Female "leakage" problems, such as metrorrhagia or leukorrhea occurring in older women, are therefore taken seriously for the same reasons as loss of semen in men. Daoist body science even features a special category called female alchemy (nu dan), wherein adepts are instructed in the conservation of (menstrual) blood and its transformation into physical and spiritual energy.

The jing stored in the kidney can be differentiated into prenatal jing and postnatal jing. Prenatal jing contains the information that is given to us before birth (we would today describe it as genetic information) that is intimately linked to the growth and maturation of an individual, which differs for men and women. The defining passage in the Neijing for women reads: "At the age of seven, the kidney qi [the physical action generated by the material basis of kidney jing] in females is strong, and the teeth come in. At the age of two times seven, the tiangui (stage of hormonal and reproductive maturity) arrives, the conception vessel opens, the penetrating vessel flourishes, menstruation is regular, and pregnancy becomes possible." With regard to male physiology: "At the age of eight, the kidney qi solidifies in males and teeth develop. At the age of two times eight, the kidney qi flourishes, the tiangui arrives, ejaculation occurs, and it becomes possible to have intercourse with females and beget children...; at the age of seven times eight, the liver qi is exhausted, the tendons are unable to facilitate smooth movement, the tiangui is dried up, jing is sparse, the kidney system is exhausted, and symptoms of physical aging are plentiful."

Postnatal jing is the nutritive essence distilled from food by the spleen/stomach, and used to provide a constant flow of nourishing dew to the other organ networks. If all the networks are plentifully supplied, the surplus of the body's vital fluid transformation is stored in the kidney. The Neijing states: "The kidney is in charge of water, and it receives the essences of the other zang and fu organ networks and stores it." Before birth, prenatal jing forms the material basis for the development of postnatal jing. Once born, postnatal jing continuously boosts the body's limited supply of prenatal jing. Both forms of essence compose an indivisible entity.

Kidney jing encompasses both kidney yin and kidney yang, often referred to as the body's original yin and original yang. Kidney qi is produced by the dynamic interaction between the two, specifically the action of functional/warming kidney yang steaming the material kidney yin. Kidney yin is the source of all material body fluids, in charge of nourishing and moistening all organ networks. Kidney yang, sometimes also called true yang, is the source of all types of yang qi. It is the driving force behind all processes of warming, generation, and transformation. The yin and yang aspects of the kidney both rely on each other and control each other. The proper balance between kidney yin and kidney yang is an important precondition for health.

Will, determination, and power of memory are attributed to the kidney. The ability to keep a secret is attributed to the kidney's power of retention and safeguarding against leakage. The Neijing defined that "the kidney stores jing, and jing houses will power." In turn, if kidney jing becomes exhausted, a weak will and poor memory will result.

Fluids reach the kidney after they have been absorbed by the stomach, raised upwards by the spleen, and sprinkled downwards by the lung. At this point they become differentiated into clear and turbid aspects by virtue of the transformative powers of kidney yang. The clear part of fluid essence returns to the lung, from where it moistens each one of the zang organs. From the lung, it turns into nasal discharge, or sweat, or saliva, or tears; and it differentiates into jing, blood, jin (liquids, that is the thinner fluids moistening the muscles), and ye (the denser fluids lubricating the joints and bone marrow). The turbid part feeds into the bladder, where it is being transformed into urine, and excreted.

Bone marrow is considered to be a transformation of kidney jing that has the specific task of nourishing the bones. It is differentiated into bone marrow, spinal marrow, and brain marrow. Spinal marrow feeds into the brain, where the densest concentration of "marrow" can be observed. The brain is therefore also called the sea of marrow.

If kidney jing is plentiful, both the bone (supporting the body) and the brain (supporting the mind) will be at a level of ideal strength. On the other hand, a deficiency of kidney jing will bring about brittle bones and a listless spirit. As the Neijing puts it: "The kidney is the master of physical strength; it produces exquisite movements/actions."

Since the teeth are considered to be the "surplus of the bones," they also rely on the nourishment of the kidney. If the jing is plentiful, the teeth are firm; if not, they come loose or fall out.

The hair's growth process is governed by the waxing and waning of kidney qi. Again the crucial Neijing quote: "At the age of seven, a female's kidney qi is in high gear, the second teeth come in and the hair grows." Ancient texts often consider the head's hair to be a direct outgrowth of the brain, which would relate it to the kidney. The growth pattern and general luster of the hair is an important indication for the condition of prenatal jing.

Although the process of breathing is governed by the lung, the containment of incoming qi within the lower burner is governed by kidney qi. Only if kidney qi is plentiful and its grasping power sufficient can the qi passages of the lung be unobstructed and the breathing be harmonious. If the kidney is weak and the breath cannot "root" in the kidney, disease will eventually arise. Shallow breathing, particularly in patients suffering from chronic asthma, is therefore often associated with a kidney qi deficiency. In this situation, the breath gets stuck above the diaphragm and cannot descend into its rightful abode, the lower dantian. This aspect of the kidney is one reason why there is such an intent focus on abdominal breathing in Oriental cultures.

The kidney and bladder form a zang-fu pair: "The kidney is connected with the bladder," states the Neijing; "the bladder is the store house of the liquids and humors." This statement reminds us that the bladder, similar to the gallbladder and the small intestine, not only excretes unwanted waste materials, but comprises a temporary station along the body's complex highway of vital fluid transformation. Bladder function, particular its function of "opening and closing," is largely dependent on the power of kidney qi. If kidney qi is strong, normal water metabolism will take place. The storage and excretion process of water through the bladder is thus intimately related to the general functioning of the kidney.

The ears, which faintly resemble the kidneys in shape, are thought to reflect the condition of kidney jing. Large ears and sharp hearing indicate an excellent condition of kidney jing. As people grow older, they not only become more forgetful, but their power of hearing decreases (and sometimes their ears shrivel up) as their jing depletes. As the original statement of the Neijing goes: "The kidney qi communicates with the ears; if the kidney functions properly, the ears can distinguish the five essential sounds."

Kidney qi, due to its mother organ's close proximity to the openings in the lower burner, governs the opening and closing function of the "two private parts," including sexual functions like erection, ejaculation, and lubrication of the vaginal tract, and maintenance of fecal continence (as well as urinary continence via the control of the bladder).

The concept of mingmen, the vital gate of life, is an integral part of the kidney system. The Nanjing (Classic of Difficulties) elaborated on basic Neijing theory by figuratively differentiating these two aspects of the kidney in structural terms, thereby initiating a medical theory that was later referred to as the mingmen school: "There are two kidney parts. Actually, not both of them are kidneys. The left one is the kidney, the right one is mingmen." The classic then goes on to elaborate that mingmen is the place "where the entirety of bodily jing and shen is at home, and where the original qi is generated." "It is the root of all zang-fu networks, the foundation of the twelve channels, the gate of breath, and the source of all three burning spaces." Later medical scholars argued that mingmen is an immaterial force that could not be physically located in the right kidney. Rather, its location is the central point on the spine between the two anatomical kidneys and opposite the umbilicus, thus forming a "posterior dantian." The Chinese name for the acupuncture point located there is mingmen (GV-4).

The fire lodged within kidney water is often referred to as the body's ministerial fire (xiang huo), as opposed to the imperial fire (jun huo) of the heart. In its role of the "minister" serving the higher centers, it warms the spleen, ripens food, grasps lung qi, and gives volume to a person's voice.

The triple burner, a fu organ that is said to pass through and connect all of the body's three burning spaces, stimulates qi transformation with a specific focus on water metabolism. It keeps the body's water ways unobstructed and smoothly operating. These functions of the triple burner are intimately tied to the kidney and bladder. The Neijing says: "The upper burner is like a mist, the middle burner is like a swamp, and the lower burner is like a ditch," referring to the essence misting activity of the lung on top, the fermenting action of the spleen/stomach at the center, and the canalization of water in the lowest part of the torso.

Injury to Kidney (Yin) and Mingmen (Yang) Fire: if the kidney's ability to store jing becomes disturbed, a person's growth patterns and reproductive ability will be affected; infertility, hair and tooth loss, slow physical development, or softness and malformation of the bones may result.

If within the kidney jing the crucial controlling/generating balance between kidney yin and kidney yang becomes disturbed, different symptom patterns may arise. Typical manifestations of hyperactivity of yang due to kidney yin deficiency are burning sensation in the palms and soles, tidal heat sensations, night sweats, spermatorrhea, or sexual dreams. When the kidney yang is exhausted and thus unable to execute its ministerial warming function, symptoms of listless spirit may result: sore lower back and knees; cold sensations in the body and its extremities; inhibited urination or frequent and profuse urination; early morning diarrhea; asthmatic panting upon slight physical exertion; difficult breathing; impotence and premature ejaculation; or infertility due to a "cold uterus." If there is evidence of kidney deficiency without obvious cold or heat symptoms, this symptom complex is usually referred to as kidney qi (or kidney jing) deficiency.

It is important to understand the intimate relationship of kidney yin and kidney yang, and that prolonged kidney yin deficiency will eventually influence kidney yang and vice versa. This phenomenon is usually called a deficiency of kidney yin implicating kidney yang, or a deficiency of kidney yang implicating kidney yin.

Changes in Water Metabolism: since the kidney is said to be in charge of water, all pathological changes involving water are in some way associated with the kidney. If there is a lack of kidney yang, the body's general process of qi transformation will suffer, and consequently water metabolism will be inhibited. As the Treatise on Blood Diseases (Xuezheng Lun) explains: "If there is not enough yang qi, pathological water accumulations will turn into phlegm and distress the heart or attack the lung, or cause symptoms of edema, abdominal pain accompanied by a sensation of qi rushing upwards, or diarrhea and intense cold."

Most cases of phlegm or edema occur when the yang fire is unable to transform yin water. Figuratively speaking, the kidney is the general commanding the two water fu organs which are mainly involved in the transportation and transformation of water, namely the triple burner and the bladder. As the Neijing says: "The shaoyang [triple burner] belongs to the kidney; above, the kidney connects with the lung, and thus has two fu organs under its command [triple burner and bladder]."

Therefore, if there is not enough kidney yang, the upper burner cannot properly distribute fluids, the middle burner cannot properly steam and ripen food and separate the clear from the turbid, and the lower burner cannot properly transform qi, thus influencing the opening and closing ability of the bladder (causing excessive or inhibited urination, as in bed wetting, frequent urination, nocturia, etc.).

Moreover, since urine is manufactured from body fluids which are in part produced by the kidney, a deficiency of kidney water will always involve a deficiency of fluids, causing inhibited urination. Along the same lines, too much urination will eventually harm the body's fluid supply.

Emotional Influences on Proper Kidney Function: the kidney is said to house the force of will power and determination. Will power, therefore, relies on nourishment by kidney jing. If jing is weak, then will power and its sustained expression (memory) will also be weak.

Intense or prolonged fear, the emotion associated with the kidney, will cause injury to the kidney qi, resulting in impotence, spermatorrhea, or the gradual development of cowardly behavior. The other way around, a physical deficiency of kidney jing can cause a disposition for panicky and fearful behavior.

Kidney Disorders Causing Pathological Changes in the Bones, the Marrow, the Hair, and the Ears: if kidney jing is sufficient, the continuous production of high quality marrow is assured, resulting in properly nourished and, thus, firm and strong bones. Otherwise the skeletal structure will be weak, or structural changes such as osteoporosis might occur.

If the kidney is harmed by pernicious qi affecting the kidney jing and consequently the marrow and bones, there will be symptoms of weak and sore waist and legs, or even atrophy of the legs causing severely limited mobility. As the Neijing states: "If kidney qi is pathologically hot, the lumbar spine will be inhibited, the bones will become brittle and the marrow scorched, and atrophy of the bones will result."

For the same reasons, symptoms of loosening and deteriorating teeth, or the drying, greying, and gradual falling out of hair are related to the state of the kidney's jing qi. Since the ears and the associated sense of hearing also depend on nourishment by the kidney's jing qi, ringing in the ears, loss of hearing, or deafness are typical symptoms for various aspects of kidney deficiency.

Moisten the kidney (tonify kidney yin) (zi yin; bu shen yin): rehmannia (dihuang), tortoise shell (guiban), asparagus root (tianmendong), lycium fruit (gouqizi), morus fruit (sangshenzi), ligustrum (nuzhenzi).

Warm the kidney (strengthen yang; tonify the vital flame of life) (wen shen; zhuang yang; bu ming huo): aconite (fuzi), cinnamon bark (rougui), sulphur (liuhuang), morinda (bajitian), deer antler (lurong), cnidium fruit (shechuangzi), cistanche (roucongrong).

Complement jing and tonify the marrow (tian jing bu sui): animal bone marrow (dongwu jisui), animal brain (naosui), placenta (ziheche), deer antler (lurong), antler gelatin (lujiaojiao), tortoise plaster gelatin (guijiao), cordyceps (dongchong xiacao).

Restore the storing action of the kidney (astringe jing; stop vaginal discharge; curb frequent and profuse urination) (gu shen; se jing; zhi dai; shou se xiao bian): schizandra (wuweizi), cornus (shanzhuyu), alpinia (yizhiren), rubia (fupenzi), mantis egg case (sangpiaoxiao), rose hips (jinyingzi).

Restore the kidney's function of grasping and retaining qi (na qi gui shen): schizandra (wuweizi), psoralea (buguzhi), gecko (gejie), cornus (shanzhuyu), aquilaria (chenxiang).

Aid the transformation of bladder qi (hua pangguang qi): cinnamon twig (guizhi) and hoelen (fuling), cinnamon bark (rougui), lindera (wuyao), fennel (xiao huixiang), saussurea (muxiang), citrus seed (juhe), litchi seed (lizhihe).

Open and disinhibit the water passages of the bladder and the triple burner (tongli pangguang, sanjiao): alisma (zexie), hoelen (fuling), polyporus (zhuling), talc (huashi), akebia (mutong), tetrapanax (tongcao), tokoro (pixie), polygonum (bianxu), lygodium (haijinsha).

Clear kidney heat (moisten yin and descend deficiency fire) (qing shen re; zi yin jiang huo): anemarrhena (zhimu), phellodendron (huangbai), morus bark (digupi), eclipta (hanliancao).

Discharge kidney fire (purge fire with salty and cold materials) (xie shen huo; xian han xie huo): salt (qingyan), halite (qingyan), urine (tongbian), calcitum (hanshuishi).

Since the kidney is the representative lower burner organ, it generally needs to be addressed with high amounts of heavy and sticky substances. The 18th century fever school authority Wu Jutong once described this characteristic in graphic terms: "Lower burner therapy is like a weight-if it is not heavy enough, it does not reach the bottom."

Kidney disorders are generally of a cold and deficient nature. Kidney therapy, therefore, needs to focus primarily on the tonification of deficiency; purging of excess is a definite taboo. If kidney water is deficient, the kidney needs to be tonified by moistening yin. If kidney jing is deficient, it needs to be replenished by supplementing jing and tonifying the bone marrow. If kidney yang is deficient, the kidney needs to be tonified by using modalities that strengthen yang. In the more advanced scenario of mingmen fire exhaustion, materials that warm and tonify the vital flame of life need to be employed.

Since the kidney has both yin and yang aspects, pathological situations may arise from an imbalance in the ratio of kidney yin and kidney yang. The most typical example is the upflaring of deficiency fire due to a deficiency in kidney water, which calls for a descending action that re-anchors the floating fire in the yin waters of the kidney. This is primarily achieved by the use of yin tonics which will bring the diminished yin level back to full capacity and thus naturally extinguish the deficiency type of pathological heat. If yang deficiency has begun to implicate yin, both jing and marrow should be supplemented and the vital flame of life be warmed and tonified. If both kidney yin and yang are deficient, both the various aspects of the kidney and the vital flame of life should be tonified.

In the common scenario of spleen and kidney deficiency, both spleen and kidney yang need to be tonified. In case of lung and kidney deficiency, both lung and kidney yin need to be moistened. In chronic asthma patients where kidney deficiency results in an inability of the kidney to grasp the descending qi from the lung, the kidney needs to be warmed with substances that specifically assist with the action of grasping and retaining qi, such as gecko (gejie) and schizandra (wuweizi). If lung metal fails to properly generate kidney water, kidney yin needs to be moistened indirectly by nourishing the yin of its mother system, the lung. If kidney water fails to nourish its son, liver wood, the liver needs to be supported by moistening kidney yin and/or kidney jing. In the case that kidney deficiency has caused an exhaustion of the earth network, the lower burner's vital flame of life needs to be rekindled with warming substances in order to provide the transformative forces of the middle burner above with the activating heat they require.

If the extended water network (including the kidney, the bladder, and the triple burner) is compromised by a damp heat condition, the dampness should be disinhibited with materials of a cooling nature that have a specific affinity to the lower burner, such as alisma (zexie), polyporus (zhuling), and talc (huashi). If the transformative powers of the bladder and the triple burner fail due to an exhaustion of the kidney's vital flame of life, then this type of pathological water accumulation needs to be transformed by primarily warming kidney qi, and secondarily by adding several herbs that directly move out the pathological water. If phlegm, dampness, or water rheum stagnate internally, phlegm damp needs to be disinhibited, and water rheum driven out.

If the kidney has been damaged due to chronic illness, exaggerated emotions, or excessive sexual activity, a change of the situation or life style that has originally caused the condition is imperative. Simultaneously, the recovery of the kidney system can be supported by prescribing a selection of tonic agents that moisten yin, strengthen yang, or nourish jing and marrow.

As the water network, the kidney has an aversion to dry influences. It would be particularly detrimental to exclusively employ bitter and drying substances in a situation where the kidney yin is deficient. Perhaps unexpectedly, the Neijing recommends pungent flavors to counteract dryness in the kidney; these pungent flavors aid the lung in distributing moisture to the kidney. In clinical reality, herbs like cuscuta (tusizi) and cnidium fruit (shechuangzi) fit this category. The kidney strives for a state of guarded firmness and tight solidity. If the storage fortress of the kidney is properly buttressed, precious essence will not leak out. Many bitter materials, although they should be used cautiously for the reasons just mentioned, have a stabilizing affect on kidney yin. Anemarrhena (zhimu), an herb that is both bitter and moistening, and phellodendron (huangbai) are the prime substances used in situations of continuous jing leakage, particularly lower burner deficiency fire fueling obsessive sexual urges, excessive masturbation, recurrent sexual dreams, spermatorrhea, or certain types of leukorrhea.

Salty flavors have a direct affinity to the kidney network, and are generally beneficial when used in moderation. "Salty flavors generate the kidney," comments the Neijing. Increased dietary intake of salt, usually obtained from stored foods with salt as the preserving element, taken during the water season (winter) contributes to preserving the kidney against the cold. On the other hand, salt has a percolating and leakage-promoting affect that is overall unsuitable for an organ system that is in charge of storing and metabolizing physiological jing, humors, and fluids. Therefore, excessive consumption of salty foods is discouraged, as it will harm the kidney and its affiliated body layer. "If the disease is in the bone layer," the Neijing points out elsewhere, "do not eat salty foods."

If the kidney root is damaged, many of the body's stem and branch organs have already entered a pathological state first. If kidney yin-that is the base substance from which liver yin, stomach yin, heart yin, lung yin, and the body's humors and fluids are formed-is deficient, it usually means that the condition is preceded by a yin deficiency in other organs. Similarly, the essential flame of the lower burner only flickers after the light in the upper levels has grown dim. This situation has given rise to a school of medicine that favors kidney tonification in most deficiency situations. Tonifying kidney yin and kidney yang, proponents have argued since the 13th century, means to moisten and strengthen the body's source yin/yang and thereby the yin/yang of all organ networks. However, the root status of the kidney also implies that kidney deficiency is often accompanied by inadequate spleen/stomach function. This poses a problem in light of the fact that herbal kidney therapy requires heavy amounts of sticky substances that are generally hard to digest. One attempt to remedy this situation was the addition of herbal "digestive aids" to kidney formulas such as Rehmannia Six Formula (Liuwei Dihuang Wan). Pharmacists at the renowned Beijing herb emporium Tongren Tang, for instance, used to automatically add small amounts of the aromatic cardamon (sharen) if the patient's prescription called for large amounts of the greasy kidney tonic rehmannia (dihuang). Proponents of the spleen/stomach school, on the other hand, have argued that kidney deficiency is often the result of a deficiency of its controlling network, namely spleen earth. Spleen tonification advocates have said for more than half a millennium that this should be the primary modality to regenerate the kidney system. In any case, caution needs to be exercised regarding the prescription of heavy "water" substances to patients who show signs of digestive weakness, such as poor appetite, bloating, and tendency to experience diarrhea or loose stool. A safe method for the direct tonification of lower burner source qi has been developed by the ancestors of Chinese medicine, namely Daoist practitioners of "inner alchemy." The term inner alchemy refers to Qigong exercises of the quiet, meditative kind that focus on generating warmth and fullness in the lower dantian.

KIDNEY YIN DEFICIENCY (shen yin xu): primary symptoms are dizziness; blurry vision; ringing in the ears; sore and weak lower back or knees; burning in palms and soles; tidal heat sensations; night sweats. Secondary symptoms include dry mouth and throat; flushed face; emaciated features; premature graying of hair; low sperm count in males; decreased menstrual flow and infertility in females; forgetfulness; insomnia; spermatorrhea; premature ejaculation; heel pain; yellow urination; dry stool. The tongue typically presents with a red body and little or no coating; the pulse tends to be fine and rapid.

Representative Herbs: rehmannia (dihuang), cornus (shanzhuyu), asparagus root (tianmendong), ho-shou-wu (heshouwu), lycium fruit (gouqizi), ligustrum (nuzhenzi), tortoise shell (guiban), turtle shell (biejia), scrophularia (xuanshen), eclipta (hanliancao), anemarrhena (zhimu).

Representative Formulas: Return the Left Decoction; Achyranthes and Rehmannia Formula (Zuogui Yin); Rehmannia Six Formula (Liuwei Dihuang Wan).

KIDNEY YANG DEFICIENCY (shen yang xu): primary symptoms are pale or dark complexion; listless spirit; obvious aversion to cold; cold extremities; low sex drive; weak or cold and painful lower back and knees; early morning diarrhea; frequent urination or clear and profuse urination. Secondary symptoms include impotence; premature ejaculation; infertility; clear vaginal discharge; inhibited urination and edema; dizziness; ringing in the ears. The tongue typically presents with a pale, tender, and often toothmarked body, and a white and slippery coating; the pulse tends to be deep, slow, and forceless.

Representative Herbs: aconite (fuzi), cinnamon bark (rougui), epimedium (yinyanghuo), morinda (bajitian), psoralea (buguzhi), deer antler (lurong), curculigo (xianmao), fenugreek (huluba), cistanche (roucongrong), cynomorium (suoyang).

Representative Formulas: Return the Right Pill (Yougui Wan).

KIDNEY QI DEFICIENCY (shen qi xu): primary symptoms are dizziness; ringing in the ears; weak or sore lower back and knees; physical and mental fatigue; shortness of breath. Secondary symptoms include pale complexion; spontaneous sweating; decreased mental and physical growth rate in children; frequent urination; nocturia; spermatorrhea; premature ejaculation; asthmatic panting upon exertion. The tongue typically presents with a pale body and a white coating; the pulse tends to be fine and weak.

Representative Herbs: walnut (hutaorou), dioscorea (shanyao), eucommia (duzhong), cuscuta (tusizi), schizandra (wuweizi), cornus (shanzhuyu), morinda (bajitian).

Representative Formula: Rehmannia Eight Formula (Shenqi Wan).

KIDNEY JING DEPLETION (shen jing bu zu): primary symptoms are dizziness; ringing in the ears; weak or sore lower back and knees; low sperm count in males; amenorrhea and infertility in females; delayed mental and physical development in children. Secondary symptoms include decreased memory; slow and clumsy body movements; dull facial expressions; emaciated body structure; hair loss; loose teeth; late closing of fontanella in babies; muscular atrophy.

Representative Herbs: placenta (ziheche), deer antler (lurong), tortoise shell gelatin (guijiaojiao), cordyceps (dongchong xiacao), cooked rehmannia (shu dihuang), lycium fruit (gouqizi), cornus (shanzhuyu), eucommia (duzhong), cistanche (roucongrong).

Representative Formula: Placenta Restorative Pills (Heche Dazao Wan).

BILATERAL DEFICIENCY OF KIDNEY YIN AND YANG (shen yin yang liang xu): primary symptoms are dizziness; ringing in the ears; weak, sore, or painful lower back and knees; cold fingers and toes and/or burning sensations in palms and soles; night sweats or spontaneous sweating. Secondary symptoms include pale complexion and/or flushed face; poor memory; insomnia; vivid dreaming; listless spirit; loose teeth; dry and split hair; unsteady walk; swollen feet; asthmatic panting upon physical exertion. The tongue typically presents with a red body and little or no coating, or with a pale body and white coating; the pulse tends to be fine and rapid, or deep, slow, and weak.

Representative Herbs: cooked rehmannia (shu dihuang), ho-shou-wu (heshouwu), lycium fruit (gouqizi), ligustrum (nuzhenzi), cornus (shanzhuyu), cuscuta (tusizi), schizandra (wuweizi).

Representative Formulas: Rehmannia Eight Formula (Shenqi Wan); Five Seed Fertilize the Ancestral Force Pill (Wuzi Yanzong Wan).

THE KIDNEY QI FAILS TO EXECUTE ITS STORING ACTION (shen qi bu gu): primary symptoms include clear, frequent, and dribbling urination; enuresis; bedwetting; spermatorrhea; premature ejaculation; tendency to miscarry; clear vaginal discharge. Secondary symptoms include pale complexion; mental and physical fatigue; weak or sore back; loss of hearing; spontaneous sweating. The tongue typically presents with a pale body and a white coating; the pulse tends to be fine and weak.

Representative Herbs: schizandra (wuweizi), euryale (qianshi), rose hips (jinyingzi), mantis egg cases (sangpiaoxiao), dioscorea (shanyao), alpinia (yizhiren), dragon bone (longgu), oyster shell (muli), cuscuta (tusizi).

Representative Formulas: Golden Lock Shore Up the Jing Pill (Jinsuo Gujing Wan); Mantis Formula (Sangpiaoxiao San); Retract the Source Pill (Suoquan Wan).

THE KIDNEY FAILS TO GRASP AND RETAIN QI (shen bu na qi): primary symptoms are shortness of breath or asthmatic panting (brief inhale, longer exhale), especially following physical exertion. Secondary symptoms include pale complexion; puffy face; blue lips; emission of small amounts of urine when coughing; spontaneous sweating; general aversion to cold; cold extremities; weak or sore lower back and knees; mental and physical fatigue. The tongue typically presents with a pale body and a white coating; the pulse tends to be fine and weak, or floating and uprooted.

Representative Herbs: walnut (hutaorou), gecko (gejie), psoralea (buguzhi), schizandra (wuweizi), cooked rehmannia (shu dihuang), ginseng (renshen), codonopsis (dangshen), aquilaria (chenxiang), amethystum (zishiying).

Representative Formulas: Ginseng and Walnut Decoction (Renshen Hutao Tang); Ginseng and Gecko Powder (Shen Jie San); All Encompassing Qi Pill (Du Qi Wan).

YIN DEFICIENCY CAUSING FIRE EFFULGENCE (yin xu huo wang): primary symptoms are flushed face and red lips; restlessness; difficulty falling asleep; dry mouth and throat; burning sensation in palms and soles; tidal heat sensations; night sweats. Secondary symptoms include obsessive sexual fantasies; excessive urge to masturbate; frequent sexual dreams; dark urination; constipation. The tongue typically presents with a red body and little or no coating; the pulse tends to be fine and rapid.

Representative Herbs: anemarrhena (zhimu), phellodendron (huangbai), coptis (huanglian), raw rehmannia ( sheng dihuang), peony (baishao), cynanchum (baiwei), eclipta (hanliancao), lycium bark (digupi).

Representative Formulas: Anemarrhena, Phellodendron, and Rehmannia Formula (Zhi Bai Dihuang Wan); Lock in the Marrow Pellet (Fengsui Dan).

KIDNEY YANG DEFICIENCY CAUSING WATER EFFUSION (shen yang xu shui fan): primary symptoms are puffiness and edema (especially prominent in lower extremities). Secondary symptoms include ashen or waxen face color; inhibited urination; obvious aversion to cold; cold extremities; palpitations; stuffy sensation in chest; shortness of breath; cough or asthmatic panting accompanied by expectoration of runny and clear phlegm; heavy and painful waist; abdominal fullness; scrotal edema. The tongue typically presents with a fat, pale, and toothmarked body, and a white and slippery coating; the pulse tends to be deep and wiry; or deep and fine.

Representative Herbs: aconite (fuzi), cinnamon twig (guizhi), hoelen (fuling), curculigo (xianmao), alisma (zexie), plantago seed (cheqianzi), polyporus (zhuling).

Representative Formula: Vitality Combination (Zhenwu Tang).

How to treat acne naturally

(NaturalNews) Acne usually appears in puberty and goes away as one enters adulthood. However, many suffer acne into adulthood or do not experience acne until adulthood. Multiple factors are involved in acne. And there are just as many methods of treating it. While some treatments work for some, they may not work for others. It's important to check with a doctor before taking anything for acne or treating it at home.

Acne Factors

Acne is generally caused by increased activity in sebum (oil) production as a result of increased hormone production experienced as a result of puberty. Sometimes acne is a result of this oil becoming trapped due to the oil being relatively thicker, smaller pore size, or excess dead skin cells. Research, by Professor Zhao Zhongzhou, sites that acne is also caused by a microscopic mite which lives on the faces of the majority of humans on the planet.

Herbal Remedies

These do exist. The first, of course, is keeping a clean face. This means hands off. Overzealous washing can also trigger increased oil production. Washing twice per day and keeping the hands and other objects off the face can help prevent bacterial infections, which will make acne worse.

Tea tree oil kills the bacteria and demodex mites associated with acne lesions. In one study, a 5 percent tee tree oil preparation worked as well as a 5 percent benzoyl peroxide solution and had fewer side effects.

Lavender essential oil is thought to contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an astringent. To use it, try an essential oil lavender cleanser made for the face, and dot on essential oil with a clean cotton swab to lesions and break outs.

Burdock is taken internally for acne. This plant is rich in minerals and even used as food in some cultures. The roots, leaves, and seeds are used in a tea. The tea is used as a facial wash.

Dandelion, like burdock, may help the body rid itself of excess bacteria. It also stimulates the liver and digestion, thus flushing toxins and excess hormones such as androgens which trigger break outs. Full of minerals and vitamins, dandelion leaves are eaten fresh, cooked, or dried and made into tea.

Calendula works for many types of skin unless the person is allergic to daisies. It fights inflammation and provides antibacterial properties that relieve acne symptoms.

Oregon grape root may help acne in two ways. First, it promotes digestion and liver function, flushing out hormones, toxins and bacteria. Second, it is a powerful antibacterial.

Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties. It is made into a tea and then used as an astringent. It contains azulene, an anti-inflammatory essential oil with a blue color.

Roses were used in Victorian times and are still used in most of Europe today. The petals not only smell nice, but they also provide antibacterial properties. Use rose water made with pure essential oils, or put the essential oils in a spray bottle of water.

Grapefruit seed extract is a strong antimicrobial agent. It is useful for fighting bacteria externally and internally. It is safe when used as a toner if diluted in other products.

Aloe vera is used to soothe the skin, heal wounds, and as an anti-inflammatory for at least a century. The pure gel or juice is used as a toner after washing the face.

Anti-Acne Life

Acne is also conquered through dietary changes, lifestyle change, and proper treatment. In addition to topical and internal treatments listed above, eating a diet which promotes balanced hormones may also help fight acne.


Acne.org: What is Acne:

American Academy of Dermatology: Acne: http://www.aad.org/public/publicati...

Medicine.net: Acne:

Demodex Solutions: Mites http://www.demodexsolutions.com/def...

2009 Rodale Books: Herbs For Health: The Herbal Drugstore: Linda B. White M.D. Acne pg 67- 72


Serious birth defects linked to chemicals

(NaturalNews) Gastroschisis is a birth defect in which the intestines, and sometimes other organs, develop outside the fetal abdomen and poke out through an opening in the abdominal wall. Long considered a rare occurrence, gastroschisis has mysteriously been on the rise over the last three decades. In fact, the incidence of the defect has soared, increasing two to four times in the last 30 years. But why?

Researchers think they've found the answer. The culprit behind the suffering of babies born with this condition appears to be the agricultural chemical atrazine. That's the conclusion of a study just presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) held in Chicago.

Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle were alerted to a higher than normal number of cases in of the birth defect in babies born in eastern Washington. So they began investigating to see if the increased incidence was due to some kind of environmental exposure in that area.

"Our state has about two times the national average number of cases of gastroschisis," Dr. Sarah Waller, one of the study's authors, said in a statement to the media. "The life expectancy for fetuses with this diagnosis is better than 90 percent; however it requires delivery at a tertiary care center with immediate neonatal intervention which often separates families and can cause serious financial and emotional stress."

The condition can lead to poor function of the bowel after delivery and potential long term feeding problems. Bottom line: babies with this birth defect must undergo the trauma of surgery right after birth. And while most survive, some babies with gastroschisis have significant damage to the bowel due to direct contact between the intestine and amniotic fluid or because the intestine was twisted. These infants may develop a condition known as "short gut" which can lead to stunted growth and a host of feeding and other problems.

For the new study, Dr. Waller and her research team went to work investigating all cases of live born infants with gastroschisis during the period between 1987 and 2006. They matched birth certificates with databases from the U.S. Geological Survey that revealed where agricultural spraying took place and what chemicals were used. It turns out the chemicals atrazine, nitrates, and 2, 4 dichlorophenoxyacetic acid were heavily sprayed in the area.

Of the 805 cases and 3,616 controls in the study, gastroschisis developed far more frequently among babies whose mothers lived less than 25 km from the site of high surface water that was specifically contaminated with one of the chemicals -- atrazine. What's more, the risk of gastroschisis was found to especially rise in babies of women who conceived in the spring, from March through May. Those are the months when use of the chemical is the most prevalent.

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Echinacea- pros and cons

Echinacea: Pros and Cons

By Craig Williams, LAc, AHG
January, 2006, Vol. 07, Issue 01

During my years of tutoring and teaching traditional Chinese medical students, one issue comes up repeatedly. Students always express frustration over their lack of knowledge of Western herbs and their inability to discern whether the Western herb a patient is taking will help or hinder their TCM treatment protocol.

This is an interesting dilemma in a TCM clinic. Initially, my response to such issues was to encourage students to solely focus on Chinese medicinals in lieu of Western herbs. However, with the growing number of patients self-medicating themselves with Western herbs, I felt that there was a need for TCM students and practitioners to at least possess a basic familiarity with the most commonly used Western herbs. This is similar to TCM students and practitioners having a basic working knowledge of Western pharmaceuticals.

One important concept to keep in mind is that traditional Chinese medicine essentially is an independent modality. By this I mean it is not necessary or essential for students or practitioners to integrate Chinese medicinals with Western herbs. Using Western herbs in lieu of Chinese medicinals due to a lack of knowledge of the Chinese materia medica or poor TCM diagnostic skills in not only bad medicine; it is unethical. TCM practitioners should practice and administer what they are trained in: Chinese medicine. The integration of Eastern and Western herbs is a work in progress and does not have the clinical foundation of a 5,000-year old tradition to base decisions upon. This being said, I do feel it can be helpful for students and clinicians to be able to dialogue with their patients and offer honest, intelligent answers to patients questions concerning Western herbs. Over the next year, my column will explore the idea of integrating Eastern and Western herbs, and hopefully is a lucid and welcome addition to this "work in progress." With the approach of the cold and flu season, I felt a discussion on the pros and cons of the Western herb echinacea would be a timely and germane topic.

One of the most commonly misdiagnosed and therefore mistreated clinical scenarios is gan mao or the common cold. It is very common to see students and practitioners alike prescribe yin qiao san or gan mao ling without feeling a pulse, examining the tongue, or even pursuing a minimum amount of questioning. While sometimes a patient's pattern is simply wind heat or wind cold, in today's fast-paced, overworked environment, patients rarely present without some type of vacuity. If this vacuity is not addressed, the presenting pattern will not resolve and might potentially be exacerbated due to improper treatment.

This is not a modern dilemma. Texts such as the Shang Han Lun discuss the results of improper treatments and the iatrogenic effects of incorrectly prescribed medicinals. The sine qua non and inherent strength of traditional Chinese medicine is treatment based on pattern discrimination. It is odd to witness students and clinicians disregard this axiom when presented with an acute cough, fever, or sore throat in the cold and flu season. Worse yet is to witness the recommendation of a single Western herb such as echinacea in place of a TCM formula based on the presenting pattern.

Echinacea is one of the few Western herbs that possesses a highly refined clinical history and energetic classification. Echinacea, most notably echinacea augustifolia, was widely used during the 19th century by the Eclectics, a group of physicians who integrated herbs along with Western medicine. This movement declined and eventually disappeared by 1939. However, the Eclectics left behind a large body of writings and scientific journals revealing the use of a differential diagnostic system very similar in many ways to traditional Chinese medicine. King's American Dispensatory, a two-volume tome of Eclectic herbal classification compiled by Felter and Lloyd, focuses echinacea augustifolia's action to the lungs, stomach, blood, and liver, and gives it a bitter, pungent and cool nature. According to this text, echinacea appears to strongly clear heat from the lungs, stomach and blood and helps to purify "bad blood." With this in mind, it becomes apparent how the sole use of echinacea has limitations in complex pattern presentations. Would we administer shi gao or lu gen by itself? Not likely. Therefore, we should not resort to recommending just echinacea without combining it with appropriate Chinese medicinals. If there is an underlying qi, blood, or yin vacuity, echinacea will not work and may allow a condition to worsen. This is where traditional Chinese medicine can be used to strengthen the clinical efficacy of a single Western herb.

It is very common to encounter acute wind cold or wind heat patterns with an underlying qi vacuity. In this scenario, the body's qi is too weak to expel the invading pathogen even if strong heat-clearing or wind-dispelling medicinals are prescribed. I often see patients who have self-medicated with echinacea to keep symptoms at bay because they "don't have time to get sick." By the time they present in the clinic, the initial acute invasion has often progressed further to the interior, and qi vacuity symptoms are obvious. In these scenarios, it is important to remember that simple formulas will not work. Formulas such as shen su yin, ren shen bai du san or huo xiang zheng qiwan can be used in wind cold/qi vacuity patterns. In situations where wind heat patterns present with an underlying qi vacuity, modifications of xiao chai hu tang can be used with better clinical results than yin qiao san or gan mao ling. Xiao chai hu tang also can be combined with the aforementioned formulas depending upon the complexity of the presentation.

Xiao chai hu tang is one of my favorite formulas to modify for patients who have used echinacea and have failed to improve in wind heat/qi vacuity patterns. If more lung symptoms are worsening with the typical cold and flu symptoms, one can add bei mu, jie geng and gua lou to xiao chai hu tang to use concurrently with Echinacea, with excellent results. With this modification we are able to clear wind heat and lung heat, dissolve phlegm, and supplement the qi to assist the body in expelling the pathogen. If a sore throat is worsening, one can add ban lan gen and niu bang zi to xiao chai hu tang along with echinacea. Are you beginning to see the potential clinical applications?

It is important to remember that echinacea is only as strong as a person's immune system and vitality. Echinacea can stimulate an immune response and can potentially clear heat. However, if a patient's wei qi is vacuous, no amount of immune system-prompting or heat-clearing action will adequately work. In these scenarios, we need to remember the elegantly complex TCM formulas at our disposal. Or, if a patient asks us if echinacea can be used to treat their cold or flu symptoms, we can explain confidently that in TCM, we treat the patient, not the disease. Echinacea may or may not be effective depending upon the patient's pattern and underlying constitutional vitality.

Another relevant clinical issue to contend with when discussing echinacea and TCM formulas is correct dosing strategies. To insure effective therapeutic outcomes, the clinician must explain correct dosing to the patient. Frequent dosing is critical in acute colds and flu. Taking eight pills of a patent medicine or two capsules of echinacea TID will most likely not resolve any symptoms. Many studies of echinacea with negative outcomes reflect this. In most cases, doses need to be taken every 2-3 hours for the first 24 hours. Thereafter, one can switch to dosing every 4-6 hours until symptoms begin to subside. This must be combined with adequate hydration and bed rest. The most effective way to combine echinacea with Chinese medicinals in an acute wind heat pattern is to use a liquid extract and combine this with a warm Chinese medicinal tea or liquid extract to insure rapid absorption.

As mentioned earlier, the Eclectic tradition mainly used echinacea augustifolia root, while most modern German studies have used the aerial portions of echinacea purpurea or pallida. An entire article could be written discussing controversies over which type and/or part of echinacea is most clinically effective. I would suggest using echinacea preparations that use the entire plant, with several species/types. This should ensure adequate clinical outcomes.

I hope you enjoyed our first discussion on the integration of Eastern and Western herbal traditions. It is my intention to stimulate discussion and creative thinking with this series of articles. As herbalists and clinicians, it is vital for us to remember that our practice, whether Eastern or Western, is not static, but constantly evolving. In the next article, we will discuss two ayurvedic herbs and the potential cross-pollination with TCM formulas in lower back pain.

Health benefits of bananas

(NaturalNews) The banana that we eat with our morning cereal has been used as a medicine around the world for centuries. Known in Latin as Musa sapienta, the banana is not actually a fruit but an herbaceous perennial. Alone and combined with healing botanicals, the banana can be used to heal ulcers and asthma, or to cure cataracts and other eye problems. Research has now shown that bananas can lower blood pressure as well as prevent colon cancer. Full of many nutrients and fiber, the banana is not only a food, but also a potent medicine.

Nutrients and Vitamins in Bananas
Bananas contain vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin G. They contain the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium. Calcium and magnesium are needed for strong bones and to prevent insomnia. And studies have shown that selenium prevents both cancer and thyroid problems. Potassium is necessary for the function of every human cell, as well as the cells of every living plant and animal. The daily recommended intake is 4.7 grams, and one banana alone provides over 450 mgs of potassium. A single banana provides a third of the RDA of vitamin B6.

Blood Pressure Lowering Banana Research
A study in India showed that two bananas a week reduced blood pressure by 10%. Conducted at the Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, India, researchers compared the action of two bananas to other hypertension drugs, called ACE-inhibitors. The bananas showed the same blood pressure lowering action, without the side effects of the drugs, which can include dizziness, headaches, and birth defects. Ripe bananas showed a better action than unripe ones. In other research, seven bananas a day were shown to lower blood pressure.

Banana Cures
Bananas in combination with the African herb orinol are used to treat cataracts in Nigeria. For stomach ulcers, the peel of the banana is used for a permanent cure. The Dali Medical Centre in Cape Town, South Africa reputedly uses bananas with soy milk and herbs to treat cataracts as well.

Banana Fiber for Health
Bananas contain a type of fiber called pectin. Pectin has been found to be the best type of fiber to inhibit colon cancer. Pectin is a soluble fiber, as differentiated from insoluble fiber found in most whole grains. Pectin is also contained in apples and potatoes. One banana contains two grams of fiber, nearly ten per cent of the recommended daily dose, which is twenty-five grams.



Cancer research and vaccines

Immortal HeLa Cells
And The Continuing Contamination Of
Cancer And Vaccine Research

By Alan Cantwell MD
c. 2010 - All Rights Reserved


One of the most remarkable recent discoveries about the cells of the human body is that we are composed primary of germs! Unbelievably, there are 10 times as many bacterial cells in the body as there are human cells. In addition, much of our DNA is composed of viral remnants, leading New Scientist writer Frank Ryan to report, "I, virus: Why you're only half human."

In health, the relationship between microbes and the body is symbiotic, which is the benign co-existence of microbial and human cells for the benefit of both. However, when the delicate balance between microbes and man becomes disturbed , illness may result. There is also growing evidence that the germs we carry may be implicated in cancer and chronic diseases. Despite all this new research, most physicians do not believe these symbiotic bacteria play any role in the development chronic disease and cancer.

What has all this to do with cancer and vaccine research conducted over the last half-century? The answer is a question: Could cancer virus and vaccine experimentation, which utilizes live cells of human and animal origin, be spreading viruses and bacteria between various species? Could such experimentation be related to new emerging diseases and viruses that are erupting in man? Or to the increasing concern and controversy over vaccine-induced human illness? Or to contamination of HeLa cells (pronounced hee-lah), the widely-used experimental cancer cells that grow in cancer and vaccine laboratories like weeds?

Cancer and virus research and "immortal" HeLa cells

The history of human tissue cell culture began with Henrietta Lacks, a young black woman from Baltimore, who died from a highly malignant cervical cancer in 1951. Despite radiation and surgery, her tumor spread rapidly. Within eight months she was dead, at age 31. But part of Henrietta's cancer remained alive. At surgery, a few pieces of her tumor were donated to a laboratory specializing in tissue cell culture. In those days, this was a frustrating business. Most attempts to grow human cells outside the body failed. Rarely, a few cells would thrive for a while, and then die off.

Henrietta's cells were kept alive by feeding them a concoction more like a witch's brew that a lab recipe for cell culture. Nevertheless, the success of the recipe heralded a new age of modern virology. As chronicled by Michael Gold, A Conspiracy of Cells (1986), the laboratory concoction consisted of:

1. Blood from human placenta. (The placenta, which nurtures the developing fetus, contains powerful hormones and a host of viruses and bacteria, as yet not fully investigated.)

2. Beef embryo extract (the ground-up remains of a three-week-old unborn cattle embryo.

3. Fresh chicken plasma obtained from the blood of a live chicken heart.

For some unknown reason, Henrietta's cancer cells continued to grow vigorously. The cells did not age. Instead, if fed properly they could live and multiply indefinitely. Amazingly, her new tissue culture "cell line" proved to be "immortal." These malignant cells became the first successful human tissue culture cell line in medical history-the now famous HeLa cell line commemorating the legendary HEnrietta LAcks.

(Divide and Conquer A HeLa cell splitting into two new cells. The green spots are chromosomes.Courtesy Paul D. Andrews)

Gold claims the cell line brought revolutionary changes (as well as havoc) into the field of cancer virus research. Viruses could be now seeded onto glass tubes containing sheets of live cells; and for the first time, virologists could directly observe the effects of viral infection on living cells.

But what about all those known and unknown viruses and bacteria that were incorporated into Henrietta's cells by the chicken, beef and human blood and tissue mix that fed her cells and made them immortal? And what about the herpes virus-transformed human papilloma virus contained in her cancer cells, which in the 1950s was not accepted as the cause of cervical cancer? Apparently there was no scientific concern about any of this contamination.

HeLa cells proved so hardy that when passed around the world to various laboratories over the next few decades, the immortal cells frequently contaminated other tissue culture cells lines used in cancer and cancer virus research.

In 1974 Walter Nelson-Rees, a cell culture expert, discovered widespread contamination of cell lines with HeLa, by using a light microscope and a special Giemsa cell stain which revealed the distinctive chromosomal aberrations typical of HeLa. As a whistle-blower, he blew the lid off cancer research. Forty different human cell culture lines, used extensively in labs worldwide, were contaminated with HeLa. Millions of dollars worth of published cancer research experiments were ruined. "Liver cells" and "monkey cells" used in cancer experiments turned out to be Henrietta's cervical cancer in disguise. Benign cells, which "spontaneously transformed" into malignant cells, were retrospectively found to be cell cultures which had been inadvertently contaminated with HeLa.

Even the iconic Jonas Salk, who developed the legendary Salk polio vaccine, was fooled when HeLa cells contaminated his animal cell lines. Salk used HeLa cells to grow the polio virus and he tested the vaccine on HeLa cells before its use on human in 1955. Years later, in 1978, before a stunned audience of cell biologists and vaccine makers, he spoke about experiments he performed in the late 1950s on dying cancer patients. Salk injected them with a cell line of monkey heart tissue- the same cell line he used to harvest polio virus for his famous vaccine. He hoped the monkey cell injections would stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. However, when abscesses developed at the site of injections Salk began to suspect that he might be injecting HeLa cells rather than monkey cells, and he stopped the experiment.

Nelson-Rees, who also attended the 1978 conference, offered to test Salk's line if it was still available. Salk graciously agreed and the monkey cells indeed proved to be HeLa cells which had invaded and taken over the monkey cell line. According to author Gold, Salk thought there were adequate ways to separate viruses from the tissue cell lines, so that it really didn't matter what kind of cells were used. Even if vaccines weren't filtered, and even if whole cancer cells were injected directly into a human, Salk believed they would be rejected by the body and cause no harm. In those days doctors didn't much believe in cancer-causing viruses. Nowadays, no researcher would dare try injecting cancer cells into a human being. But in the 1950s Salk had done it accidently. He had injected cancerous HeLa cells into a few dozen patients and it hadn't bothered him a bit.

Rees-Nelson, who co-authored the paper, "Henrietta Lacks, HeLa cells, and cell culture contamination", published in the September 2009 issue of the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, concluded: "Despite the passing of nearly 50 years since the problem first surfaced of HeLa cell contamination of tissue cultures and despite the explosive advances in molecular biology, cell culture contamination remains an important issue for the scientific community. The problem extends far beyond HeLa cells, although they remain a culprit. In one study, 45 of 252 human cell lines (18%) supplied by 27 of 93 originators (29%) were contaminated. Fortunately, there was recently a call to action on preventing contaminated cell lines."

The Wikipedia currently provides a long "List of contaminated cell lines."

Continuing cell line contamination in the 21st century

On January 15, 2010 the BBC reported cell contamination still is a problem in cancer research, and that dozens of cancer studies may be thrown into doubt by the discovery that researchers inadvertently used the wrong type of cancer cells. The cell lines, according to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, were supplied as samples of esophageal cancer. However, tests show they contained other types of tumor, including lung and bowel.

Dutch researchers say this could put major trials of drugs in doubt. They noted: "Experimental results based on these contaminated cell lines have led to ongoing clinical trials recruiting patients, to more than 100 scientific publications, and to at least three cancer research grants and 11 US patents - which emphasizes the importance of our findings." Widespread use of these cell lines could threaten the development of new treatments, they said.

At the end of January 2010, ABC News issued a glowing report on "How one woman's cells changed medicine". Microbiology professor Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University claimed HeLa cells has led to some of the greatest medical breakthroughs of the last hundred years. ABC reminds us that these immortal cells, trillions upon trillions of them, were first used in research that led to the polio vaccine, as well as helping to develop medicines to fight cancer, the flu, and Parkinson's disease, and in the research that led to gene mapping and cloning. They were used to test the effects of atomic radiation and sent into outer space. "I think we owe a lot of gratitude for what Henrietta provided," Racaniello said. "There's absolutely no doubt about that."

On February 5, Popular Science online declared Henrietta Lacks as "the most important women in medical history."

Cancer-causing Monkey Viruses and the Polio Vaccine

Scientists tell us that HIV is the first monkey virus to "jump species" to cause the pandemic of AIDS. The rarely-publicized
truth is that a cancer-causing monkey viruses jumped species into man more than a half century ago when contaminated polio vaccines were given to millions of people in the 1950s, including half the U.S. population of that era.

In the early 1960's it was discovered that some lots of polio
vaccines manufactured on rhesus monkey kidney tissue during the period 1955 to 1963 were contaminated with a monkey virus called SV-40 (Simian virus 40). This primate virus was quickly proven to cause various cancers in experimental animals. However, to this day, government health officials still insist there is no absolute proof that SV40 causes cancer in humans.

Despite the denial, genetic and immunologic studies by independent researchers over the past decade indicate that SV40 is clearly associated with certain cancers, such as rapidly-fatal cancers of the lung (mesothelioma), bone marrow cancer (multiple myeloma), brain tumors in children, and other forms of cancer.

A Washington Times report (09/21/03) indicates "Some of the polio vaccine given to millions of American children from 1962 until 2000 could have been contaminated with a monkey virus that shows up in some cancers, according to documents and testimony to be delivered to a House committee Wednesday. The vaccine manufacturer said such
claims 'don't have any validity,' and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agrees. More information on polio vaccine litigation and SV40 contaminatiom can be found at sv40cancer.com.

For anyone who still thinks that vaccine makers and government health officials are always your friend, I would highly recommend The Virus and the Vaccine: The True Story of a Cancer-Causing Monkey Virus, Contaminated Polio Vaccine, and the Millions of Americans Exposed, by Debbie Bookchin and Jim Schumacher. The book explores the history of the polio vaccine, the contamination problems with SV40 , the ensuing vaccine-related cancer problems, and the government's cover-up of the problem.

Few people realize how dangerous vaccines can be and how complicated the process of vaccine manufacture really is, particularly when vaccines are made on living animal or human cells. Contamination with bacteria, mycoplasma, and viruses and their elimination from the final product are constant problems during development process. There are also suspicions that laboratory media used to
feed cell cultures can also be a source of contamination. For further details on the dangers of vaccines, see my Internet article, "Are Vaccines Causing More Diseases than they are curing?"

The vaccine connection to the origin of the AIDS epidemic

In my admittedly controversial view, HIV/AIDS is a man-made disease that was initially seeded exclusively into the U.S gay community via contaminated experimental hepatitis B vaccine programs conducted in the late 1970s. The details and evidence of the close relationship between the vaccine and the outbreak of the first AIDS cases in 1979 is explored in my books, AIDS & the Doctors of Death, and Queer Blood. One can easily Google "man-made AIDS" for numerous Internet articles on this taboo subject.

Since the publication of these books, a video has surfaced on youtube.com featuring Maurice Hilleman, PhD, one of the world's leading vaccine experts. He became famous at Merck pharmaceutical company for improving the Salk polio vaccine and for insisting that the macaque kidney cells not be used to produce the vaccine because the cells were known to cause cancer in hamsters. His crowning achievement came in 1971 when he developed the MMR vaccine, the universally used measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine that is the cornerstone of pediatric health in the United States.

Hilleman then turned his attention to the development of the hepatitis B vaccine. A series of experimental vaccine trails using gay man as guinea pigs that took place, first in Manhattan in 1978. The first cases of AIDS were reported in Manhattan a few months after the injections began.

In the video ("Merck Chief Brings HIV/AIDS to America"), Hilleman is heard speaking with colleagues. He declares, "I brought African greens [monkeys] in. I didn't know we were importing AIDS virus at the time [i.e., between 1970-1974]. His colleagues are heard laughing. Someone says, "It was you who introduced AIDS virus in the country." And a woman's voice giggles, "Now we know."

This stunning interview, conducted by Edward Shorter for WGBH public television and Blackwell Science, was cut from the documentary "The Health Century", due to liability issues, undoubtedly reflecting poorly on Merck where the vaccine injected into gay men was developed. We are indebted to Leonard G Horowitz, one of a handful of health professionals who is a whistle blower on man-made AIDS and vaccine issues, for uncovering and freely distributing this video segment.

As is often the fate of whistle-blowers, Walter Rees-Nelson was driven out of his lab by powerful members of the scientific establishment, undoubtedly angered by the disruption of cancer research and all the money lost because of contaminated HeLA. In 1999 British journalist Edward Hooper wrote a massive tome called The River, in which he theorizes that polio vaccines grown on primate tissue could have been contaminated with monkey viruses, thus giving rise to the outbreak of AIDS in Africa. This theory was uniformly rejected by scientists attending the Origin of AIDS Conference in London in September 2000. Hooper continues to allege a conspiracy to silence all aspects of his hypothesis.

In the early part of 2000, Nelson-Rees, who was openly gay, took an avid interest in Hooper's extensive AIDS research. Along with Hooper he took spoke at the London conference where the polio vaccine connection to AIDS was rejected. Although retired from science, Nelson-Rees was still highly respected and was allowed to present his views.

When Nelson-Rees died in 2009 at age 80, Hooper wrote a moving obituary (available on aidsorigins.com) entitled, "The death of an American hero". Hooper recalls, "Walter delivered an understated and yet powerful speech entitled 'Responsibility for Truth in Research', which pointed out that further cases of lab cross-contamination were still occurring, and went on to state that in his opinion there was no logical reason why chimp cells could not have been used to make the Congo vaccine, given the availability of these normal non-human cells and the prevailing custom in the 1950s of using cells about which little or nothing was known except that they could optimally support the growth of a given virus.'"

The idea of man-made AIDS and contaminated vaccines is so explosive that it is routinely dismissed by the major media as "conspiracy theory." But the theory almost destroyed Barack Obama's bid for the White House in the election of 2008. An entry on Leonard Horowitz in the Wikipedia states: On April 27, 2008, Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, during questions and answers at the National Press Club in connection with the general controversy over his opinions, was asked by a moderator, "In your sermon, you said the government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. So I ask you: Do you honestly believe your statement and those words?" Wright responded, "Have you read Horowitz's book, "Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola," whoever wrote that question? .... I read different things. As I said to my members, if you haven't read things, then you can't -- based on this Tuskegee experiment and based on what has happened to Africans in this country, I believe our government is capable of doing anything." (For more discussion, view my article "Rev. Wright is right about man-made AIDS".)

Henrietta Lacks and the creation of a new species

Due to their ability to replicate indefinitely (provided they are fed properly) and the development of a non-human number of chromosomes, immortal HeLa cells are now considered by some geneticists to be a contemporary creation of a new species. The proposed name is Helacyton gartleri, in honor of geneticist Stanley Gartler, who along with Nelson-Rees, called attention to the worldwide contamination of cell tissue cultures with HeLa.

Transformed by the cervical cancer-causing human papilloma virus 18 and more than 50 years of continuing culture, the various strains of Henrietta's cells produce and spread on their own. Growing like weeds in many labs, they now appear more like amoeba-type cells than as cells derived from a human. Amoebas are one-celled protozoa. There are several varieties found in humans that are not considered to be disease producers.

Twenty years ago, in The Cancer Microbe, I wrote about Wilhelm Reich, MD, the unfairly maligned and persecuted cancer researcher who was sentenced to Federal prison where he died in 1957. He firmly believed cancer was intimately associated with bacteria, which he called "T-bacilli." In cancer tumors artificially produced in animals, Reich observed the animal's cancer cells transform into monster cells that greatly resembled tiny protozoa and amoebae. Reich, in his time, was widely perceived as a menace and a crackpot. However, I am sure he would not be surprised to learn that Henrietta's cancer cells have taken on a life of their own, much like the amoebas that he studied extensively.

The lab creation of new forms of life has not escaped the attention of the military, always on the lookout for potential agents useful for biological warfare development. DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is an arm of the U.S. Department of Defense. On Feb 5, 2010, Katie Drummond of Wired.com reported that the Pentagon's mad science arm may have come up with its most radical project yet. DARPA is looking to re-write the laws of evolution to the military's advantage, creating "synthetic organisms" that can live forever. The plan would assemble the latest bio-tech knowledge to come up with living, breathing creatures that are genetically engineered to "produce the intended biological effect." DARPA wants the organisms to be fortified with molecules that bolster cell resistance to death, so that the lab-monsters can "ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely."

Henrietta Lacks: "The Godmother of Virology"

Also on February 5, 2010, a review was posted of a new book entitled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. The author spent ten years researching the billion dollar industry surrounding HeLa cells, and has extensively interviewed surviving family members. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits.

A reviewer for the Washington Post noted: "Nearly 60 years later, Lacks's tissue has yielded an estimated 50 million metric tons of HeLa cells. Scientific and medical researchers add about 300 HeLa-related studies a month to the library of 60,000 studies. Lacks's surviving family members have learned what was going on -- and have become subjects of interest for researchers, too."

In a The New York Times review (2/5/10), Lisa Margonelli writes:
"After Henrietta Lacks's death, HeLa went viral, so to speak, becoming the godmother of virology and then biotech, benefiting practically anyone who's ever taken a pill stronger than aspirin. HeLa has helped build thousands of careers, not to mention more than 60,000 scientific studies, with nearly 10 more being published every day, revealing the secrets of everything from aging and cancer to mosquito mating and the cellular effects of working in sewers." Deborah, Henrietta's daughter, "becomes the book's driving force, as Skloot joins her in her 'lifelong struggle to make peace with the existence of those cells, and the science that made them possible.'

To find the mother she never got to know, she read hundreds of articles about HeLa research, which led her to believe that her mother was 'eternally suffering' from all the experiments performed on her cells."

Horizontal gene transfer : Gene swapping among life forms

While HeLa cells were spreading around the world and contaminating cell cultures, there was little appreciation of how life forms related to one another. Scientists now have a better knowledge of how viruses can "recombine" with other viruses. Viruses can also infect bacteria as well as human cells. Over the past two decades, molecular scientists have become more and more aware of the back and forth gene swapping between and among various species of life, from the smallest forms of life up to the largest forms. The process is known as "horizontal gene transfer." We are familiar with "vertical gene transfer," whereby the offspring of an organism inherits genes from its parent.

Horizontal gene transfer in cancer and vaccine research is a serious hazard because genetic engineering experiments allow the spread of dangerous transgenic DNA from species to species. This has tremendous implications for theories of evolution, as well as for cancer virus research when viruses are moved between various species of animals and sometimes adapted to human cells. This was basically what scientists were doing in the War on Cancer throughout the 70s, the period right before the AIDS epidemic erupted in 1981 (see my book AIDS & the Doctors of Death). For more information, simply Google key words: dangerous lateral gene transfer.

HeLa cell research: Science or scientific madness?

Having graduated from medical school a half-century ago, I am disillusioned with my chosen profession. I spent 40 years researching the bacterial cause of cancer and showing bacteria in cancer tissue, where, according to the cancer experts, there aren't
supposed to be any. This research sparked little, if any, interest among my colleagues. I spent a quarter-century trying to alert people to the evidence that AIDS is a man-made disease, with no response from the AIDS experts, who educate people about HIV coming out of the African jungle to cause AIDS.

What do I really think about HeLa cells? HeLa cells are cancerous cells (infected with a known cancer-causing papilloma virus) to which was added the blood from a human placenta, ground-up beef embryo, and chicken plasma extracted from the blood of a live chicken heart. This is a concoction that I would expect from someone practicing witchcraft, but not good science. To use HeLa cells as a foundation, a cornerstone, a template, upon which to base viral studies strikes me as viral voodoo.

How can an infected cell culture like HeLa possibly help in cancer and vaccine research? Except to spread the known and unknown viruses, mycoplasma, bacteria, and God-only-knows what other potentially infectious agents are contained within Henrietta's cells and the new species Helacyton gartleri.

In all my research for this article, the one bit of reading that made more sense to me than any other was provided by an anonymous blogger who posted his comments (2/1/10) on the Baltimore Sun website (2/1/10), regarding Skloot's new book:

"A complete and total injustice was done to her family to obtain these cells. And now some crazy cancer cells that KILLED her are IN US ALL. That's right, if you have ever gotten a vaccine you got a little HeLa in you.

The cancer killed her, and anyway, these are not normal cells, they are CANCER CELLS, and if you ask a science dude HOW OR WHY her cells are STILL ALIVE they don't know, but they kept it a secret because at the time whites would have objected to having cancer cells that killed a black woman INJECTED INTO THEIR CHILDRENS' BODIES. I am an African-American. To me her story is fascinating and tragic like many stories of people who have been ripped off.

Look at it this way, if her family had to be paid every time her cells were used, there would be some record of who got them. The rates for cancer have gone through the roof in the last 40 years, her cells have been found in places where it was impossible for them to have been - and still the scientists do not know why her cells are 'Immortal.'

If her family had been informed possibly more care would have been taken with these cells that KILLED THEIR MOTHER, and for all we know, could be killing people now because we don't know how they work."

[Alan Cantwell is a retired dermatologist and cancer and AIDS researcher. His books on the microbe of cancer and the man-made origin of AIDS are available on amazon.com, or through Book Clearing House at 1-800-431-1579. Website: ariesrisingpress.com, Email:alancantwell@sbcglobal.net]

Alan Cantwell M.D.
author of, AIDS & The Doctors of Death and Queer Blood