Is Your Sweet Tooth Setting You up for a ‘Sugar Crash’?

By Dr. Mercola

“Sugar Crash,” a documentary, details the havoc that excess sugar consumption is causing for the people of Ireland, a country that ranks No. 4 in sugar consumption worldwide. On average, the Irish are consuming 24 teaspoons of sugar per person daily, whereas the World Health Organization recommends limiting it to 6 teaspoons a day to protect your health.1 For comparison, in the U.S, the No. 1 consumers of sugar worldwide, the average American consumes 31.6 teaspoons of sugar each day.

The start of the film details the perils of tooth decay, with children just 4 and 6 years old requiring numerous tooth extractions. Sugar was blamed as the definite culprit, starting from the time the children are infants chewing on sugar-laced teething biscuits into later childhood when sugary juices became the drink of choice. There are more than 50 different names to describe sugar on food labels, which means if you’re trying to remove it from your diet, you’d better become well-versed in the many pseudonyms.

Even savory foods like pizza and pasta sauce have added sugars, as do popular condiments like ketchup and salad dressings. Sugary drinks alone can contain 10 or 11 teaspoons of sugar in one can, which puts you well over the recommended limit for the day. While the documentary focuses on Ireland’s sugar habit, it’s one that’s shared through much of the developed world, with devastating repercussions on global health.

How Did so Much Sugar Creep Into Our Diets?

Ireland was the thinnest country in Europe after World War II, and the increasing weight that occurred during the ’50s and ’60s was seen as a good thing. However, average weight caught up with the rest of Europe by the ’70s and continued rising, such that Ireland is slated to become the fattest country in Europe by 2030. Expanding waistlines are again blamed largely on diet. As occurred in the U.S., food manufacturers and health agencies alike began to vilify fat, removing it from foods starting in the ’70s.

Without fat to make food taste good, food manufacturers turned to other less-healthy additives, namely processed salt and sugar. Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of California in San Francisco (USCF), explained that sugar was added in such a way that it made the food irresistible. If you find it difficult to stop eating sugary foods, or find that the more you eat them, the more you want them, it’s because sugar is addictive.

Sugar stimulates the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that plays a role in many important pathways, most notably the mesolimbic pathway.2 The way dopamine affects your brain in this area changes with addiction and spikes your perception of motivation or pleasure.

In fact, evidence in humans shows that sugar can induce reward responses and cravings that are comparable to those induced by addictive drugs, which may “explain why many people can have difficultly … [controlling] the consumption of foods high in sugar when continuously exposed to them.”3

Even if You’re Thin and ‘Healthy,’ Sugar Could Be Devastating Your Health

Sugar makes you pack on excess pounds and prevents your body from burning body fat. It’s been implicated as a foundational cause of obesity as well, but even if you’re not overweight, it’s very possible that sugar is damaging your health. “Sugar Crash” documents the story of one family, including a couple in their 40s who aren’t overweight but admit to eating sugary treats on a regular basis.

They have no outward indications of health problems, but MRI scans revealed they both had fat around their abdominal organs (visceral fat), which is linked to an increased risk of diseases like heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and stroke, along with imbalanced cholesterol.

They cut down their sugar intake significantly and were able to reduce their visceral fat and improve their cholesterol, as shown later on in the film. Sugar Crash also features an interview with documentary filmmaker Damon Gameau, from “That Sugar Film,” who conducted an experiment during which he went from eating a low-sugar diet to consuming about 40 teaspoons of sugar a day.

What makes the experiment even more surprising is that he got to 40 teaspoons not by feasting on candy and soda but by eating supposedly “healthy” foods like energy drinks, fruit juice, cereal and yogurt. After 12 days of ramping up his sugar intake, Gameau had gained almost 7 pounds, the majority of which went straight to his abdomen.

In a month of eating 40 teaspoons of sugar per day, he added 2.75 inches (7 centimeters) to his waistline. Beyond weight gain, Gameau began displaying signs of fatty liver disease within three weeks. “By the end, I’d developed pre-Type 2 diabetes, I had heart disease, I had 11 centimeters of visceral fat. But the big one was, the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease was almost in a full-blown state,” said Gameau in a news article highlighting his film.4

What Excess Sugar Does to Your Liver

Researchers have known since the 1960s that your body metabolizes different types of carbohydrates, like glucose and fructose, in different ways, causing very different hormonal and physiological responses that absolutely may influence fat accumulation and metabolism.5 Unlike glucose, which can be used by virtually every cell in your body, fructose can only be metabolized by your liver, because your liver is the only organ that has the transporter for it.

Since all fructose gets shuttled to your liver, it ends up taxing and damaging your liver in the same way alcohol and other toxins do, particularly if you consume excess amounts of it. In fact, fructose is virtually identical to alcohol with regard to the metabolic havoc it wreaks. According to Lustig, fructose is a “chronic, dose-dependent liver toxin.” And just like alcohol, fructose is metabolized directly into fat – not cellular energy, like glucose.

His findings were published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, where he explained the three similarities between fructose and its fermentation byproduct, ethanol (alcohol):6

  1. Your liver’s metabolism of fructose is similar to alcohol, as they both serve as substrates for converting dietary carbohydrate into fat, which promotes insulin resistance, dyslipidemia (abnormal fat levels in the bloodstream) and fatty liver
  2. Fructose undergoes the Maillard reaction with proteins, leading to the formation of superoxide free radicals that can result in liver inflammation similar to acetaldehyde, an intermediary metabolite of ethanol
  3. By “stimulating the ‘hedonic pathway’ of the brain both directly and indirectly,” Lustig noted, “fructose creates habituation, and possibly dependence; also paralleling ethanol”

“We keep alcohol out of the hands of children, but we don’t think twice about giving them a glass of soda or orange juice,” Lustig says in the film. “Children are getting the diseases of alcohol without alcohol, because sugar is the alcohol of the child.” While childhood obesity is a growing problem, it’s also true that lean children who eat a high-sugar diet may be metabolically unhealthy, even though it’s not obvious from looking at them.

On a global scale, massive sugar addiction is responsible for not only obesity and diabetes, but also heart damage and heart failure, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, hypertension, stroke and shorter lifespans.

Big Sugar Similarities to the Tobacco Industry

U.S. Dietary Guidelines only recommend limiting calories from added sugars to no more than 10 percent each day, or 12 teaspoons, for a 2,000-calorie diet. Most Americans eat far more, but why wouldn’t U.S. Dietary Guidelines, which are intended to protect public health, recommend a far lower amount? In fact, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) did recommend that Americans reduce their intake of sugar-sweetened foods and beverages.

However, this was followed by a flurry of activity from sugar industry groups who, using tobacco-industry tactics, attempted to sway the dietary debate in their favor. It’s common knowledge that senior leaders in the food industry seek to influence science, politics and public health recommendations in their favor. Several tactics were revealed, according to a Critical Public Health report, including:7

  • Influence on evidence generation and summation, such as the food industry generating its own evidence by directly commissioning the work and using external organizations to do so
  • Highlighting the limitations of non-industry sponsored research to raise doubts in science
  • Exerting influence over scientific bodies and medical associations by seeking key leadership roles in such organizations and using their positions to direct debate and discussions in their favor
  • Using academic contacts to guide global debate and advocating “broad-based collaboration with government and key opinion leaders, and involvement in nutrition-related government reviews of the evidence base”

American taxpayers have contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to sugar subsidies,8 which is why the Sugar Policy Modernization Act is seeking to eliminate all direct and indirect subsidies that benefit the production or export of sugar.

The bill has yet to be passed, and many members of Congress receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sugar industry, so it’s unknown whether the subsidies, which occur in the form of “loans, price guarantees, import restrictions and government promises to buy surplus product,”9 will ever fully disappear. In the film, it’s even suggested that labeling similar to that required on tobacco products may be necessary to help people understand the health risks of excess sugar.

How Can You Reduce Sugar in Your Diet?

Cutting back on sugar isn’t as simple as skipping dessert or a morning doughnut, because added sugars are found in virtually every processed food at your grocery store. In addition to ingredients that contain the word “sugar,” such as beet sugar or date sugar, you’ll know a food contains added sugars if you spot any of these on the label:10

Blackstrap molasses

Buttered syrup

Cane juice crystals

Evaporated cane juice

Caramel

Carob syrup

Fruit juice

Honey

Fruit juice concentrate

Brown rice syrup

Corn syrup solids

Florida crystals

Golden syrup

Maple syrup

Molasses

Refiner’s syrup

Sorghum syrup

Sucanat

Treacle

Turbinado

Barley malt

Corn syrup

Dextrin

Dextrose

Diastatic malt

Ethyl maltol

Glucose

Glucose solids

Lactose

Malt syrup

Maltose

D-ribose

Rice syrup

Galactose

Maltodextrin

Castor

The film recommends looking for “reduced sugar” foods, but in reality the best way to avoid sugar is to eat real foods. Following a high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein diet like the one described in “Fat for Fuel” is an excellent guide, which will help you reduce not only your fructose intake but also your net carbs.

Sugar is metabolized as a carbohydrate in your body, spiking your blood sugar and insulin levels. Your net carbs are calculated by taking the total grams of carbs and subtracting the total grams of fiber. By keeping your net carbs below 100 grams per day, and for a healthier diet as low as 50 grams per day, you will reduce your cravings for sweets.

Eating healthy fats like grass fed butter, avocados and coconut oil, will keep you satisfied to help you avoid the urge to binge on sweets. Fermented foods are another great dietary addition, as the sour taste squelches sugar cravings. For processed foods you do purchase, scour the label for ingredients that represent sugar to evaluate the total amount. Remember that the less sugar you eat, the less you’ll crave. Avoid swapping sugar for artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which are toxic in their own right.

On occasion, you can try Stevia, an herbal sweetener I use in my recipes, as a sugar alternative. Finally, if you’re finding it difficult to overcome an emotional addiction to sugar, the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is another great option, which has been shown to significantly reduce food cravings and increased peoples’ ability to show restraint – even after six months.11

If necessary, start slowly by removing some of the biggest high-sugar offenders from your diet then gradually cutting back from there. And remember, the more you cut back on added sugars, the better for your health.

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The Anatomy of Loneliness – Teal Swan

Loneliness is comprised of three basic pillars. These pillars can be seen as the anatomy of loneliness. In this episode, Teal explains the anatomy of loneliness, which also just so happens to be the title of her new book ‘The Anatomy of Loneliness’ which is the 4th book written by Teal Swan.

Published by Watkins books

pre-order a copy of the book here

https://tealswan.com/

Teal Swan is an International Contemporary Spiritual Leader. She offers perspective on a wide range of topics including relationships, anxiety, meditation, shadow work, authenticity, the law of attraction, The Completion Process, healing, PTSD, emotions and spirituality

Website: http://www.tealswan.com

For daily updates, monthly online Synchronization Workshops join TealSwan.com/premium

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thespiritualcatalyst/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tealspiritualcatalyst/?hl=en

Twitter: TEALCATALYST

Newsletter: https://tealswan.com/newsletter

Completion Process Book: https://thecompletionprocess.com/#the-book

Teal’s Meditations: https://gumroad.com/tealswan

Teal’s e-shop: tealswan.com/teals-products

Beginning Song:

Kuan Yin’s Mantra (c) 2002 Lisa Thiel

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The Broken Brain Podcast: Episode 5 with Dr. Akil Palanisamy

https://player.pippa.io/5aef7da96eb47cc259946be7/episodes/episode-5-with-dr-akil-palanisamy?theme=default&cover=1&latest=1

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With a much lower Alzheimer’s rate in India, have you been curious about the ancient Indian traditions of Ayurvedic Medicine and how these practices impact brain health?

If you are interested in Functional Medicine, today’s Broken Brain Podcast might be fascinating to you, too. Ayurvedic Medicine, like Functional Medicine, focuses on treatment of the individual person taking a whole body approach to a balanced and healthy life.

In our fifth Broken Brain Podcast, our Broken Brain executive producer Dhru Purohit sits down with the author of The Paleovedic Diet, creator of Achieving Life-Long Brain Health with Ayurveda, and Functional Medicine practitioner, Dr. Akil Palanisamy (“Dr. Akil”) to talk about the ways in which Ayurvedic practices can promote a healthy brain and body.

Dr. Akil covers many helpful Ayurvedic topics, like what spices to include in your “Kitchen Pharmacy”, the connection between the gut and brain, if dairy is the right choice for you, social connection, and much more. Dr. Akil also shares his recipe for Saffron and Turmeric Spiced Milk.

I think you will walk away from this podcast with many takeaways that will enhance your life and improve your health.

In this episode, we dive into:

  • Dr. Akil’s personal health crisis (2:05)
  • Ayurveda and its effect on brain health (4:31)
  • 13 spices in your “Kitchen Pharmacy” (6:01)
  • Alzheimer’s in India (7:57)
  • Ayurvedic practices to help strong digestion (11:12)
  • Dairy – friend or foe? (16:11)
  • Brain inflammation or “leaky brain” (18:20)
  • Improve your health with social connection (24:00)
  • The MIND diet (26:30)
  • Tips to get started to improve your health (31:20)
  • Ayurvedic mind and body practices (33:18)
  • Resources to help you go deeper into Ayurvedic Medicine (37:24)

I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Mark Hyman, MD

 

F#!k Balance! – Rethinking Balance and What it Means to be Balanced – Teal Swan

Fuck Balance? How can we say Fuck Balance? When we are working to hard we play more to achieve balance. In this episode, Teal Swan explains that it is less about Balance and more about integration.

Teal Swan is an International Spiritual Leader. She offers perspective on a wide range of topics including relationships, anxiety, meditation, shadow work, authenticity, the law of attraction, The Completion Process, healing, PTSD, emotions and spirituality

Website: http://www.tealswan.com

For daily updates, monthly online Synchronization Workshops join TealSwan.com/premium

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thespiritualcatalyst/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tealspiritualcatalyst/?hl=en

Twitter: TEALCATALYST

Newsletter: https://tealswan.com/newsletter

Completion Process Book: https://thecompletionprocess.com/#the-book

Teal’s Meditations: https://gumroad.com/tealswan

Teal’s e-shop: tealswan.com/teals-products

Beginning Song:

Kuan Yin’s Mantra (c) 2002 Lisa Thiel

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Does a Full Moon Affect Human Behavior?

By Dr. Mercola

This natural phenomenon takes place once every 29.53 days, or roughly once a month. As it did in March 2018, it sometimes appears twice a month. It occurs when the moon is completely illuminated by the sun’s rays as a result of the Earth being nearly directly aligned between the sun and the moon. By now, you probably know what it is: a full moon.

Urban legend suggests the full moon brings out the worst in both people and situations. If you talk to emergency room (ER) personnel, firefighters, paramedics and police officers, they very likely will share a story or two about the “lunacy” that occurs on nights when the sky is enlivened by a full moon.

By the way, the word lunacy and a related term “lunatic,” which was coined in the mid-16th century to refer to a temporary insanity in humans attributable to changes in the moon, have their origin in the Latin root “luna,” which means moon.

According to Scientific American, “Belief in the ‘lunar lunacy effect,’ or ‘Transylvania effect,’ as it is sometimes called, persisted in Europe through the Middle Ages, when humans were widely reputed to transmogrify into werewolves or vampires during a full moon.”1 But is it true? Does a full moon negatively affect human behavior? Let’s take a closer look at the facts.

The Full Moon Has Been Said to Cause Accidents, Crimes, Suicides and More

Eric Chudler, Ph.D., a research associate professor in the department of bioengineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, has compiled research highlighting possible links between a full moon and human behavior. Below are the major categories of activities and experiences noted by Chudler that have been associated with increased activity during a full moon:2

Anxiety and depression

Animal bites

Accidents

Crime

Drug overdoses

ER visits

Hospital admissions

Suicides

Violence and aggression

According to Chudler, while urban legend persists, the scientific results related to how full moons affect human behavior are somewhat inconclusive. He states:3

“Perhaps one of the first things you notice about [lunar] studies is that the results are inconsistent. Some studies show a particular behavior will occur more often during the full moon and other studies show no relationship between the behavior and the full moon.

Although most experiments fail to show a relationship between the phase of the moon and abnormal behavior, the belief in the ‘lunar effect’ is still strong among many people. Unfortunately, the occasional newspaper story that describes strange behaviors during a full moon only reinforces this myth.”

German Researchers Debunk Influence of Friday the 13th, Full Moons and Zodiac Signs

While anecdotal evidence may suggest a full moon triggers strange human behavior, such as more ER visits, more psychiatric admissions and more traffic accidents, the scientific evidence doesn’t seem to support the belief there is a so-called “dark side of the moon” when it is full.4

For example, a 2011 study published in the World Journal of Surgery suggests that while a significant portion of medical staff believe lunar phases can affect human behavior, the evidence does not support such a conclusion. The study authors said:5

“The influence of superstition, moon calendars and popular belief on evidence-based medicine is stunning. More than 40 percent of medical staff is convinced that lunar phases can affect human behavior. The idea that Friday the 13th is associated with adverse events and bad luck is deep-rooted in the population of Western industrialized countries. The­ aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that these myths are transferable to real-life surgery.”

After analyzing operation records of nearly 28,000 patients who underwent some type of surgery during a nine-year period from August 2001 and August 2010 – a period punctuated by 111 full moons – researchers at University Hospitals of Saarland in Homburg/Saar, Germany, found patient characteristics did not differ with respect to lunar phases, zodiac signs or occurrences of Friday the 13th. The study authors said:6

“Full moon phases, the presence of Friday the 13th and zodiac signs influenced neither intraoperative blood loss nor emergency frequency. No statistical peaks regarding perforated aortic aneurysms and gastrointestinal perforations were found on a full moon or Friday the 13th.

Scientific analysis of our data does not support the belief that moon phases, zodiac signs or Friday 13th influence surgical blood loss and emergency frequency. Our data indicate such beliefs are myths and far beyond reality.”

Research Aside, Doctors and Police Subscribe to ‘Full Moon Madness’

Regardless of the scientific evidence, many doctors, such as Dr. John Becher, past president of the American Osteopathic Association and current treasurer of their board of trustees, believe the full moon has a very real effect on the ER. Having practiced emergency medicine for nearly 40 years, including more than 30 years as residency director of emergency medicine at the former City Avenue Hospital and Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Becher noticed changes in the 11-bed psychiatric emergency center area during full moons.

“You could almost tell the phase of the moon by how crowded that area … was,” says Becher. “Anytime the moon was full, that area was overflowing.”7 Dr. Paul Allegretti, program director for emergency medicine residency at Midwestern University-Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in Downers Grove, Illinois, also believes the ER seems busier when the moon is full. “I think people are sicker and it seems like more unusual things happen when the moon is full, though I don’t think I could ever prove it,” he says.8

According to BBC News, police in Brighton employed extra officers during full moons after research in 2007 suggested an increase in violent incidents when the moon was full.9 The late Andy Parr, a Brighton inspector, said, “From my experience, over 19 years of being a police officer, undoubtedly on full moons, we do seem to get people with … stranger behavior [who are] more fractious [and] argumentative. And I think that’s something that’s been borne out by police officers up and down the country for years.”10

Not All Doctors Are Convinced the Full Moon Matters

A 2004 study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Science11 suggests a full moon has little or no direct bearing on ER admissions. Researchers from the Sina Trauma and Surgery Research Center in Tehran analyzed more than 54,000 patient cases, representing trauma admissions to three Tehran-based hospitals, during a 13-month time period. About the relationship between rate of admissions and full moons, the study authors said:12

“In our study the number of trauma patients was not increased during the full moon days [as compared to] other days of the lunar month. Statistical analyses of data didn’t exhibit a positive relationship between full moon days and increased trauma patient admission to ERs. An association between assault and attempted suicide was not observed around the full moon days either … and [neither was there an] increase in severity of traumatic injury sustained during full moon days.”

In terms of anecdotal evidence, the aptly named Dr. Eric Moon, an ER physician who has more than 12 years’ experience working the night shift at St. Bernard Hospital in Chicago, ascribes little value to urban legends linking medical events and full moons.

“For as long as I’ve worked in the emergency department, whenever there’s a full moon, invariably someone will make a comment about how it’s going to be a rough night,” he said. While his co-workers buy into the full moon myth, Moon thinks attempts to link lunar phases with ER work have little merit. “We frequently have crazy nights in the ER when the moon is full because that’s just the nature of the ER, no matter what phase the moon is in,” he noted.13

Dental Events Also Shown to Be Unaffected by Lunar Cycles

While you may hear a lot about how a full moon can affect physical health, what might its effects be on oral health? Can a full moon impact what’s going on inside your mouth? A 2015 study published in BMC Oral Health14 suggests there is no observable relationship between the occurrence of odontogenic abscesses (OA), also known as tooth abscesses, and lunar phases.

In the study, a group of German researchers analyzed the records of more than 1200 patients who experienced a dental emergency during 2012. All patients were surgically treated at the AllDent Dental Center emergency unit in Munich. The incidence of tooth abscess was correlated to “daily meteorological data, biosynoptic weather analysis and cyclic lunar activity.” Based on their analysis, the study authors concluded:15

“There was no seasonal variation in OA incidence. None of the meteorological parameters, lunar phases or biosynoptic weather classes were significantly correlated with OA incidence, except the mean barometric pressure, which was weakly correlated … There is no evidence supporting a correlation between the incidence of OA and the weather or lunar activities.”

Can a Full Moon Affect Your Sleep?

If you’ve ever wondered if a full moon affects your sleep, scientists from Switzerland’s University of Basel may have the answer. As noted in the journal Current Biology,16 their 3.5-day study involved 33 volunteers who were not told of the purpose of the research, nor could they see the moon from their beds. The research was conducted in a dark room inside a sleep lab under close supervision. In terms of a so-called “lunar influence” on sleep, during a full moon the researchers noted the participants:17

  • Took five minutes longer to fall asleep
  • Experienced 20 minutes less sleep, as assessed by an electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Spent 30 percent less time in non-rapid eye movement (NREM) deep sleep, which was also assessed by EEG

The study authors noted those changes were associated with an overall decrease in subjective sleep quality as well as diminished endogenous melatonin levels. About the research, they stated, “This is the first reliable evidence that a lunar rhythm can modulate sleep structure in humans when measured under the highly controlled conditions of a circadian laboratory study protocol without time cues.”18

Professor Christian Cajochen, Ph.D., head of the center for chronobiology at the University of Basel and one of the study authors, added, “The lunar cycle seems to influence human sleep, even when one does not see the moon and is not aware of the actual moon phase.”19

While some suggest poor sleep may come from the moon being brighter when it’s full, the current study controlled for brightness. This factor seems to suggest that you cannot manage potential full moon-related sleep issues simply by wearing an eye mask or using blackout curtains.

U.K. sleep expert Neil Stanley, Ph.D., says he found the University of Basel study intriguing. That said, he also believes more research is needed with a larger group of individuals over a longer period of time to substantiate any potential lunar effects on sleep. “It’s one of those things you would instinctively believe, so to actually find an effect is interesting,” he said. “Unfortunately, there has been no further research in this area since that study.”20

Given the interest in blue moons and super moons these days, Stanley suggests some of the sleep issues linked to full moons might just be due to its brightness and size. After all, you are less likely to notice a crescent moon and therefore unlikely to attach your sleep problems to it. Such realities, he suggests, could be “an example of confirmation bias – where people are more likely to notice and remember information that fits with their beliefs.”21

The Bottom Line About a Full Moon’s Effects

As you can see, the opinions about how a full moon may affect human life vary widely. While anecdotal information suggests “the lunar effect” is real and is noticeable on a regular basis, scientific evidence fails to attribute clear physical cause.

The common perception that more accidents, crimes, medical emergencies, violence and other terrible events happen under a full moon are just that, perceptions. In an attempt to describe how people perceive a full moon, a pair of scientists coined the term “illusory correlation,” which Scientific American describes as:22

“[T]the perception of an association that does not in fact exist. Illusory correlations result in part from our mind’s propensity to attend to – and recall – most events better than nonevents. When there is a full moon and something decidedly odd happens, we usually notice it, tell others about it and remember it.

We do so because such co-occurrences fit with our preconceptions. In contrast, when there is a full moon and nothing odd happens, this nonevent quickly fades from our memory. As a result of our selective recall, we erroneously perceive an association between full moons and myriad bizarre events.”

As noted by The Washington Post, “No one has ever been able to show consistently, with multiple studies, that the full moon has any effect on behavior.”23 Until research is presented to overturn this fact, it’s best to simply enjoy a full moon as a natural wonder and object of beauty. In terms of any unusual events that may coincide with a full moon – I suggest you take them at face value and embrace them as part of the human experience as you would any other night, moon or no moon.

Help Target Inflammation by Having a Sip of This Herbal Tea

Unless you come from parts of Asia where it’s been extensively used, it’s highly likely that you’re unfamiliar with burdock root. Popularly used as an ingredient in Japanese cuisine, burdock root is usually added to stir-fries,1 consumed raw,2 used as a broth3 or pickled in apple cider vinegar to prolong shelf life.4

However, an easy way to use burdock root and possibly obtain benefits is by steeping the roots in boiling water to make burdock root tea. Learn more about this tea’s uses, how you can make this beverage at home and what you must watch out for when drinking it.

What Is Burdock Root Tea?

Burdock root tea is concocted by steeping roots of the burdock (Arctium lappa) plant. For centuries now, burdock roots, leaves and flowers have been well-respected for their medicinal and nutritional abilities.5 The burdock plant stands between 1 and 2 meters (3.2 to 6.5 feet) when fully grown, and has large leaves that can grow up to 50 centimeters (19.6 inches), with white undersides. Between June and October, the plant bears purple flowers extending away from the plant’s bracts.  

Burdock Root Tea’s Health Benefits

Burdock root tea may be helpful in addressing certain conditions, such as:6,7

High blood pressure8

Colds

Flu

Fever

Arthritis

Gout

Headaches9

Indigestion10

Constipation11

Apart from targeting these diseases, burdock root tea may deliver these benefits:12

Promote antioxidant capabilities: The root contains antioxidants such as phenolic acids, quercetin and luteolin13 (all of which may be transferred to the tea) that can shield the body against cell-damaging free radicals.

In a 2011 article in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers suggested that burdock root tea’s antioxidant content may aid in slowing down tumor cell growth.14

Promote diuretic effects: One of burdock root tea’s earliest uses was for detoxifying the body. It can also help purify the blood, and is known to induce sweating and urination.

This effect may benefit your liver, kidneys and lymphatic system. Because it’s a diuretic, burdock root tea may cause the body to eliminate excess toxins, salts and water.15

Act as an expectorant and decongestant: If you have coughs, colds or flu-like symptoms, drinking burdock root tea may help alleviate them by targeting phlegm and mucus. Burdock root tea has antibacterial properties as well.16

Alleviate hair issues: You can address concerns like hair loss and dandruff,17 and boost scalp and follicle health, as burdock root tea is known to contain helpful phytosterols in burdock root tea, while the burdock root plant contains hair-helping essential oils.

Serve as an anti-inflammatory: This drink may help people combat fever, aches, pains and joint disorders.18,19

Help people with liver-related issues: For people with either cirrhosis or hepatitis, burdock root tea may assist in promoting liver cell regrowth.20

This tea may help people with blood-borne diseases or those who have a liver that’s been damaged heavily by alcohol consumption.

Enhance the immune system: Burdock root tea’s vitamin C content may improve your immune system and boost white blood cell production.

Other immune-boosting effects this tea may offer include enhancing collagen production and promoting quicker healing and recovery after illness.21

Promote better heart health: Burdock root tea has potassium that may help maintain normal blood pressure levels and serve as a vasodilator, which may lower your risk for atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.

This mineral is also important for heart health because it aids in maintaining fluid balance in the body.22

Help lower risk for cancer: Quercetin and luteolin, both found in burdock root tea, possess antimutagenic properties.

These nutrients eliminate free radicals, help prevent cellular mutation and reduce a person’s cancer risk.23

What Nutrients Can You Find in Burdock Root Tea?

Burdock root tea is home to antioxidants such as phenolic acids, luteolin and quercetin.24 It also contains the minerals potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, calcium and iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B3 and fiber.25 People who are sensitive to caffeine may drink this tea without any issues. As “The Tea Book” highlights, roasted and dried roots like burdock root may work as caffeine-free tea alternatives.26

How to Make Burdock Root Tea

Making your own burdock root tea at home is possible. Try following this recipe:27

Burdock Root Tea Recipe

Ingredients:

1 burdock root

2 liters (a little over 2 quarts) of water

Procedure:

1. Cut burdock root into thirds. Using a scouring pad, scrape off the dirt on its surface under running water. Do not peel the skin since most of its nutrients are in it. Cut the root into thin slices.

2. Spread all the burdock on a bamboo sieve, cover with a nylon food cover and place under clear sun for one to two days until dry, pliable or almost crisp. If you are not comfortable drying your food in the sun or the weather is not cooperating, use a dehydrator.

3. Place dried burdock in a pan with no oil or liquid. Stir constantly over low heat for 10 minutes until golden brown, crispy and fragrant.

4. Let the burdock cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Store immediately in an airtight glass container. Seal it to prevent moisture.

5. Burdock tea can be cooked or brewed. Boil the water. Add 10 grams (0.35 ounces) of burdock tea leaves and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. If you want to make a single cup of burdock root tea, pour 185- to 212-degree Fahrenheit water onto five to eight pieces of burdock tea leaves in a cup and brew for four to five minutes. Raw honey, chrysanthemum, red dates, wolf berries or mint leaves may be added to taste.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

A single-serving of this recipe makes 100 or more grams (about 3 1/2 ounces) of tea.

You can look for burdock root in Oriental markets, natural food stores and Japanese and Taiwanese grocery stores. Pick roots that are medium-sized, firm, unbroken and have taut skin. Do not purchase burdock roots that are overly dry or sunken, since these may not have a pleasant flavor.

When cleaned properly and kept in a cool, well-ventilated place, the root can stay fresh for many months. You can also preserve burdock roots by wrapping them in a paper towel, enclosing them inside a plastic bag and placing them inside your refrigerator’s vegetable compartment, where they can be kept for months.

Should the burdock root turn limp and/or dry, soak it in water until it’s firm again.28 For processed burdock root parts and slices, ensure that they are stored in the refrigerator and used as soon as possible.29 If you aren’t able to purchase fresh burdock root, there are burdock root tea bags available online. Just make sure you’re purchasing from a highly reputable source that provides high-quality tea.

Burdock Root Tea’s Side Effects

Burdock root tea may trigger allergic reactions, including dermatitis, among people who are sensitive to daises, chrysanthemums or ragweed. Should these adverse effects develop, stop drinking burdock root tea immediately.30 Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid this tea because there aren’t enough studies that confirm its safety for these groups.31

Drinking burdock root can lead to other side effects like hallucinations, dry mouth, blurred vision and urinary retention, as seen in the case of a 26-year-old woman who purchased burdock root tea from a health shop. As always, ensure that you’re purchasing high-quality tea from a reliable supplier.32,33

In the wild, burdock root can be confused with dangerous, poisonous plants like belladonna or deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) because of the similarities in their physical appearance.34 Hence, do not pick burdock in the wild. Should negative reactions develop, stop drinking the tea and discard other root strips. Furthermore, avoid burdock root tea when taking the following medicines because it can interfere with the way they work:35

Diuretics (water pills): Dehydrated people should stay away from burdock since the roots can increase the pills’ diuretic effects and exacerbate dehydration.

Diabetes medications: Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels, may occur if you drink this tea with these medicines.

Blood-thinning medicines: Burdock root can worsen bleeding in people diagnosed with bleeding disorders who take these medications. It can slow down blood clotting too.36

Before taking burdock root tea, talk to your physician and verify if this herbal tea is good for you. By doing so, you can get an idea of the dosage that may be needed to address your condition and be guided on what you can do to avoid side effects.

Caution Is Needed if You Want to Try Burdock Root Tea

For many years now, burdock root has been widely valued in Asia for its potential effects toward the brain, heart and immune system. Drinking burdock root tea may allow you to reap the nutrients found in the plant and help boost your well-being.

However, before drinking burdock root tea, remember that there are contraindications linked to this beverage, especially among women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding and people taking certain medicines. If you’re interested in trying burdock root tea, consult a doctor first, so you are aware of the ideal amount that would be both suitable for your condition and won’t put you at risk for adverse health effects.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Burdock Root Tea

Q: What are the health benefits of burdock root tea?

A: Burdock root tea may promote the following benefits:

Deliver antioxidant, expectorant, decongestant, anti-inflammatory and diuretic effects

Assist with relieving fevers, headaches, flu, gout and constipation, to name a few

Help address hair issues

Boost health in people with liver conditions

Improve the immune system

Help improve heart health

Detoxify the blood

Q: Where can you buy burdock root tea?

A: Fresh burdock root can be purchased from Oriental markets, natural food stores, and Japanese and Taiwanese grocery stores. While burdock root tea bags can be purchased online, do thorough research first. Only buy burdock root tea bags from a trustworthy source that sells high-quality tea made from real burdock root.

Q: Can drinking burdock root tea lead to side effects?

A: Yes. Some side effects that burdock root tea may trigger include:

Allergic reactions (including dermatitis, swelling, inflammation or skin rash) in people who are sensitive to daisies, chrysanthemums or ragweed

Toxicity symptoms such as blurred vision, hallucinations, dry mouth and urinary retention

Negative interactions with diuretic, diabetes and blood-thinning medicines

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/mercola/carousel/teas.html

How to Trust the Signs You Receive from the Universe

Learn how to recognize and trust the signs of guidance you receive from the Universe, and how to know the difference between a divine sign and your own ego.

For a full guide to asking for and trusting the signs you receive from the Universe, check out my blog post: https://gabbybernstein.com/secret-asking-universe-sign-trusting-guidance-receive/

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Self Hate (The Most Dangerous Coping Mechanism) – Teal Swan

Are you or someone you love a victim of Self Hate, Suicidal Feelings, Self Harm, or Severe Depression? Understanding how self hate begins with how hatred for the self was developed during childhood is critical. How to stop hating yourself resides in the realization that Self Hatred is merely a coping mechanism developed in childhood. A Genius Coping Mechanism at that.

Teal Swan is an International Spiritual Leader. She offers perspective on a wide range of topics including relationships, anxiety, meditation, shadow work, authenticity, the law of attraction, The Completion Process, healing, PTSD, emotions and spirituality

Website: http://www.tealswan.com

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Beginning Song:

Kuan Yin’s Mantra (c) 2002 Lisa Thiel

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