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      1,4 Dioxane and Ethoxylation

      1,4 Dioxane and Ethoxylation

      1,4 Dioxane is getting much publicity lately as this known carcinogen was even found in some natural personal care companies products.

      What is 1,4 Dioxane? 1,4 Dioxane or just Dioxane in the industrial manufacturing world is used in solvents and as a fumigant in the automotive coolant. The fact that this chemical appears in personal care is of particular concern because it is believed to be a kidney toxicant, neurotoxicant, and respiratory toxicant.

      Of equal concern is that 1,4-Dioxane is not biodegradable, does not readily bind to soils and is the number one leading groundwater contaminant. It is a byproduct of the cancer-causing petrochemical Ethylene Oxide. As mentioned Dioxane is a byproduct of the Ethoxylation process in cosmetic manufacturing, an example is the ethoxylation of sodium dodecyl sulphate to form sodium laureth sulphate, a foaming agent used in toothpaste, shampoos, and detergent.

      How can we avoid this chemical? The Organic Consumers Association is the US recommends reading ingredient labels and avoiding products with indications of ethoxylation, which include: "myreth," "oleth," "laureth," "ceteareth," any other "eth," "PEG," "polyethylene," "polyethylene glycol," "polyoxyethylene," or "oxynol," in ingredient names.

      Stretch Marks

      Stretch Marks

      Stretch marks or striae gravidarumare (associated with pregnancy) as a dermatologist may refer to them as is the result of damaged elastin skin fibers.
      Elastin is the protein in the skin which gives it flexibility and allows it to stretch and subsequently recoil back to it's original position.

      Elastin makes up approximately 4% of skin tissue. When the elastin fibers are damaged, they appear as stretch marks. It is important to mention that stretch marked skin is still healthy, it has just changed in appearance visually and textually. Stretch marks can be the result of pregnancy, obesity, growth spurts and rapid muscle growth.

      So the bad news first... no treatment can 'cure' stretch marks once they have formed. (It may be possible to minimize the appearance by applying topical remedies and having procedures such as laser resurfacing techniques, tummy tucks and dermabrasion.)

      The good news that may come to late is that prevention to a certain extent may be possible. During pregnancy or intense bodybuilding, one can apply a topical ointment that will reduce inflammation and moisturize the compromised elastin tissue.

      Ingredients that have shown to be helpful include essential fatty acids, alpha lipoic acid or r-lipoic acid, lavender essential oil, rosemary essential oil, gotu cola extract, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid (use the plant source). Another key is to avoid dehydration, make sure you are drinking enough good clean water every day.

      Topical Antibiotics

      Topical Antibiotics

      Many people do not even think twice when they use antibiotic creams and soaps.

      This is likely a very bad habit and here is why. As reported in the well-respected journal 
      Nature (Nature November 22, 2001;414:454-457), the skin has a built-in ability to produce it’s own antibiotic like chemicals to protects against bacteria and infection. This chemical is known as a human cath cell or LL-37 and works similar to antibiotics with the added intelligence to jump into action and increase activity only to cells under assault.

      For most people, the use of topical antibiotics will seriously impair the delicate balance of microorganisms on our skin. Compromising skin tissue repetitively can lead to more serious infections and a lack of resistance to pathogens even creating ‘super-bugs’.

      Humans have an important symbiotic relationship with microorganisms that must be respected. A recent Italian study found that exposure to bacteria is essential for the development of an infant’s immune system. It is now thought that a baby must be exposed to germs during its first year in order to develop antibodies needed to fight infection later in life.

      Dr. Stuart Levy of the 
      Alliance for Prudent Use of Antibiotics has been cautioning against the overuse of antibiotic products for years. 

      Food as Medicine

      Food as Medicine

      Is it possible that a solution to many health disorders is so much more simple than the search for a miracle pill or vaccine? Can we use food as a means to overcome our health concerns?

      What if our government was to spend the same kind of money that we currently do on expensive equipment to diagnose disease and put some of that money into preventative education programs with a focus on healthy food choices? We already know that what we eat has a direct correlation to our health as the food we consume becomes part of our cellular makeup. The human body regenerates itself every second of every day. Every day billions of cells in our bodies die and new cells are regenerated. The source of the building blocks for this process comes from the nutrients in the food we eat.

      Fact: We have a whole new stomach lining every 5 days
      Fact: We have new skin covering every 5 weeks
      Fact: Our entire skeleton is regenerated every 3 months
      Fact: We have new blood every 4 months
      Fact: Within a year 98% of the cells in our bodies will have been replaced.

      Would this not indicate that we are able to choose the kind of body we wish to have by making healthy food choices?

      Plant Intelligence

      Plant Intelligence

      I have never forgotten the study done by a gentleman named Cleve Backster reported in the International Journal of Parapsychology in the 1960s.

      Mr. Backster who was a polygraph expert got the idea (likely from previous experiments done by the Indian scientist Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose) to attach electrodes to the leaves of plants in order to measure their electrical conductivity to certain stimuli.

      He found the plants to be quite sensitive reacting to other cell tissue death, music and apparently even his thoughts. What I found most remarkable was the hypothesis that these plants may have a kind of memory. Backster had several people separately enter a room where the plants were placed, then had one of the participants attack some of the plants with a stick. Sometime later when the perpetrator came back into the room, the electrical resonance was off the scale in comparison to the other participants.

      Subsequent tests of this nature have been conducted with varying results and it is obvious that this experiment would not be considered hard science however the idea that plants also have a vibrational life force that allows them to perform complex bio-communication amongst other plant and insect species may not be that far off.

      Even on the most basic level, we can observe the intelligent and complex workings of plants from their brilliant colors, germination, adaptations, pollination techniques, and even something as simple as moving towards the sunlight or flowers opening and closing with daylight.