Tag Archives: science

Medicine – science, nature or both?

Thymus vulgaris

Thymus vulgaris

Over the years I have seen how closely body and mind works together; If you can balance one part, the other usually follows, sometimes followed by “miraculous healing”. We are biology and as such, we are part of a whole. If we could not heal “miraculously”, we would not exist as a species today, we would be extinct. Sometimes people are to die, it is the way of nature, and no medicine in the world will keep them alive, and sometimes my work is about helping people to die in peace. It may be frustrating to my sensibilities as a healer, but it is also an acceptance of the way of nature – a hard learned lesson for somebody like me who likes to heal…

Every tiniest thing in the Universe is under constant change; like bacteria: With the introduction of penicillin it was believed that bacteria would now be controlled once and for all, never to raise their ugly heads again, but one thing was overlooked; the fact that everything strives for survival, bacteria included. By using antibiotics indiscriminately for every little thing, we have created a new problem; antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The “oh-so-powerful” antibiotics came to a standstill; at best, they do nothing, at worst they diminish the immune-system, leaving body unprotected against the bacteria we all carry around and these bacteria turn on us and devour us. I have seen people  that have been on broad-spectra antibiotics of different kinds for weeks and months on end. Sometimes intravenously…Did it help? No.

laboratory containersI want to make it clear here, that I am not attacking anybody; neither doctors, scientists or the medical system. We all do the best we can but nature will not be controlled and sometimes off-beat healing methods can work really well. I am not a doctor, but I know a lot of doctors and work side by side with a few of them. They have their limits, as do I, or any kind of healer. But if we work together we can find solutions. Nature is coming into play again, and natural antibiotics such as essential oils are being found to kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria quite successfully. The healing power of nature can be harnessed and used, but it can not be recreated in a laboratory.

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Essential oils as medicines

This is the editorial comment in Medicinal & Aromatic Plants, Vol. 1 issue 1 2012. The editor is Paul Schnitzler,  Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Heidelberg Medical School, Germany.

“Plants produce primary and secondary metabolites, which have been exploited by humans for many different beneficial purposes. Many secondary plant metabolites, e.g. terpenes, terpenoids, alkaloids and phenolic compounds have been well characterized. Essential oils are considered the chemical weapons of plants, as their compounds may deter insects or protect plants against bacterial and fungal infections. They also act as plant pheromones to attract insects. In traditional medicine, lots of plant products have been widely used for the treatment of neurologic diseases, cancer, inflammation and infectious diseases and plants represent an abundant source of new bioactive secondary metabolites.

According to the Communicable Diseases Centre in the US, about one third of prescribed antibiotics were inappropriate thus stating an overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Essential oils are also highly active against multi-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the so-called hospital super bugs, as well as more common and well-known infections like herpes labialis. In addition to antibacterial and antiviral effects, essential oils have been shown to possess many useful pharmacological properties, often being more effective than conventional drugs and revealing fewer side effects.

Oregano oil gland

Although the number of published papers on anti-infective properties of medicinal plants is increasing during the last years, most of these papers seem to somehow disappear and do not attract physicians and pharmacologists. On the other side, there is often lack of finance to continue research to the clinical trial level. This area is largely dominated by pharmaceutical companies, who can afford costly clinical trials. It also seems that natural and complementary therapies are pushed aside by pharmaceutical companies.

Although there is no shortage of research on the antimicrobial effects of medicinal and aromatic plants, it is somehow ignored in industrialized countries. Prescribed drugs are more convenient for patients and physicians, although natural products might offer an alternative in treatment of many different diseases. In resource-limited countries, conventional medications are often not affordable or not available and consequently natural products are the medication of choice.

Our goal is to provide scientific results that can be reproduced by others, thus standardized plant products are required. If more standardized and only high quality natural products are used in basic research as well as in clinical trials, the critics might be convinced and acceptance of medicinal plant products might be increased. Investigators are also encouraged to explore the potential of phytopreparations in combination with synthetic drugs in order to enhance pharmacological actions. High quality plant products and more clinical trials are urgently needed to establish rational phytotherapy.”

THE SIMPLER IT GETS – THE HARDER IT GETS

Years ago, when I first started making natural skin-care and health products, I would get all caught up in every newbie ingredient that came on the market. Over time my products got so complicated and the INCI-list so long; herbs, tinctures, essential oils, maceration, vitamins and what-have you. One day I realized that I had no idea what kind of reaction all those substances had with each-other, even less when mixed with many others. All natural substances are alive, they react with each-other; sometimes they create synergy and will do great things. Other times they enhance more negative aspects, doing harm.

So, 10 years later, I down-scaled – big time! I went back to my origins with very simple formulas; as stable as possible and needing the bare minimum. I started working on a deeper level with the natural compounds and found beautiful synergies; less is truly more. There came a time for another kind of studying, understanding the magic within nature, and how it can be used. Feeling the product instead of thinking it, making it do whatever it is you want it to do.

Making formulations and products is a very precise matter, never mind how much you “feel” the proportions are right, if they’re not you will end up with some worthless goo fit only for the bin, and the margins aren’t that large. I’ve binned plenty in my day. 🙂 So you have to be precise and use your head, scales and measures to make it happen. But the magic that truly makes it come alive is in the combination of compounds. This is the real science. And here you have to “feel”. Natural compounds change from year to year, depending on weather etc. Every time you get a new oil or plant it will be different from the last and in a way you have to “start over” every time.

It has taken me 20 years to simplify, to learn to understand these beautiful compounds I work with and how to use them. The stuff I do now looks so simple and easy – it’s not.

It’s like mixing colors; too many in the blend and it ends up brown-greyish. Same, same.

WATER – a response

WaterI had a request to write more on the topic “water as a medium” so I have spent a couple of days in research trying to find something to interest the person who asked.  I might not always agree with everything I find, but I do believe in information and that every-one makes their own decision in what to believe. Everything interests me and with time all my questions are usually answered. Nobody in the entire world has all the answers and I think that keeping an open mind is the way forward. I do not speak of religion ever, nor do I speak from religious belief. I speak of a global community, of humanity – whatever religious beliefs there might be. On a cellular level we are all the same. 🙂

“The cell is immortal. It is merely the fluid in which it floats which degenerates. Renew this fluid at intervals, give the cell something on which to feed and, so far as we know, the pulsation of life may go on forever…” When cells’ health is compromised because the fluid surrounding them is not conducive for life because of various causes including high acidity etc., they either mutate or die. Once the cell death rate exceeds the birth rate, any individual’s body experiences accelerated aging. Among the many factors that affect aging, diet is the most important, and the foundation of a good diet is water. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2003 was given to Peter Agre and Roderick MacKinnon for pioneering discoveries concerning water and ion channels of cells, the mechanism that explains how water flows from and into cells. These discoveries contributed to fundamental chemical knowledge of how cells function.” ( By Jaime Zaragoza, “Water for thought”) For the whole article, check out this link:

http://www.whatthebleep.com/herald10/health.shtml)

This, I believe, is the basic idea of water as a medium. Since water is the single most important life-keeping substance for us as living beings, wouldn’t it make sense that the quality of the water is important? We all know that we get sick, and even die, from polluted water. But what if the water is polluted in a different way? In a way that can’t be measured?….Yet. I have a friend who at one point started praying to her food and drink before she took it; her health improved immensely, she seemed to rejuvenate and grow younger, stronger and fitter. Of course the quality of her nutrition is the best, and she lives her life in accordance to health.

watercrystal after prayerDr. Masaru Emoto

Considering that water is the single largest part of our bodies make-up, responsible for cellular communication and health, wouldn’t it make sense to believe that our thought-patterns integrate with our bodies? If we constantly think negatively about ourselves, are we poisoning ourselves? Returning to the photos of water crystals by Dr. Masaru Emoto:

emoto water-crystal hatewater crystal “hate”

Emoto-Water-Crystal-for-Global-Love-Day-07water crystal “love”

Much discussion surrounds the work of Dr. Masuru Emoto. The scientific world – rightly – state that his work is not scientific, but also that it can not be refuted.

“As published on the website of the Institute of Noetic Sciences on May 25, 2004, Mr. Nash states that the team “did not find sufficient evidence to refute or accept Emoto’s hypothesis that thought influences water crystalformation.”


Quartz_CrystalCrystal water is often used to promote health; You place a crystal in a jug of spring- or filtered- water and leave it overnight. This will promote health to all living; yourself, your animals and your plants. I made an experiment many years ago; I divided a plant in two parts, planting them in separate pots and setting them side by side in a window. One of the plants was given crystal water, the other spring water from our private well. There was a clear difference in how quickly they healed and grew, the crystal-water plant being much stronger all along.

Homeopathy (Dr. Samuel Hahnemann 1796) is created on the principal of water as a medium.  The more you potentize (dilute) it, the more powerful it gets. (The idea of the smallest part of the body – the cell) Homeopathy has never been accepted by the scientific world, but stays to this day a much-used and constantly growing form of alternative medicine. In Germany homeopathic remedies are sold in pharmacies.

As I said before; I do not allow science alone to dictate what I should believe. I love science and I love when a belief becomes scientific fact. But belief is the key, the vital point that make things happen. Poor is the world without belief. And maybe, yes maybe, it is all make-believe…who cares? Why should that even be important – if it works?

Now to something funny apropos diet:cartoon ekorre

THE SCENT-VOID

smelling-1A friend called me yesterday and talked – interestingly enough – of the absence of smell; he had been to America and noticed that both the hired car and the hotel-room were entirely devoid of smell, the non-odor environment, he called it.

A few years back I was involved in a scientific group in Sweden. It was called GustOlf and was created by a group of scientists and other people involved in the art and science of taste and smell.  I was invited as an aromatherapist. The scientists came from different universities and were all experts in their fields; biology, chemistry and physics. There was also a chef representing a restaurateur institute and an art-professor. A most interesting group. We had a few conferences where we would discuss taste & smell for a couple of days; from pheromones and insects through the make-up of an odorous molecule to the digestive system and emotional impact of scent. I was a frequent speaker at these occasions since I work with the emotional reaction to scent. What we all agreed on was this:

The sense of smell is completely subjective and different for each individual

The most ardent group of participants were from the automotive industry, all with the same question: “How do I make a car smell attractive?”

Scented trees

Smells are smells; some are nice and some not. The problem with “scenting away” an odor is that it usually gets even worse; perfumed deodorant on strong sweat?…well, you get the picture. So how do we avoid smells? (following is taken from Wikipedia)

Air fresheners are consumer products that mitigate unpleasant odors in indoor spaces. They can be in the form of candles, aerosol sprays, potpourri, gels and mechanical or heat release products. [1]

They work in one of five ways:

  1. Masking: Many “fresheners” obscure odors with a fragrance.
  2. Adsorption: Adsorbents like activated charcoal or silica gel may be used to absorb offending, chemical odors.
  3. Chemical neutralization: Substances such as rubber or TEG may be used for some odors.
  4. Disinfection. Odors caused by bacterial activity can be eliminated by disinfectants like ozone, TEG, or bleaching agents containing hydrogen peroxide, chlorine or hypochlorites.
  5. Anesthetization: Some air fresheners use anesthetics to dull the sense of smell.

A Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study of 13 common household air fresheners found that most of the surveyed products contain chemicals that can aggravate asthma and affect reproductive development. The NRDC called for more rigorous supervision of the manufacturers and their products, which are widely assumed to be safe:

“The study assessed scented sprays, gels, and plug-in air fresheners. Independent lab testing confirmed the presence of phthalates, or hormone-disrupting chemicals that may pose a particular health risk to babies and young children, in 12 of the 14 products—including those marked ‘all natural.’ None of the products had these chemicals listed on their labels.” (wikipedia)

It doesn’t paint a pretty picture, does it?

Air-Freshener-Spray

What is an odor? An odor is a molecule; some agents, such as ozone, function by severing the bonds in the molecule. Odors can arise from most anything, many odors are caused by bacteria and fungi. At one point we need to accept that odors are part of life, messages about our surroundings. It is better to smell the smoke and realize that something is burning, than to suddenly find yourself in a burning inferno…?

An alternative is to use essential oils….more about that in my next post… Stay tuned.