Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Frankincense and Mistletoe, by Allie Brook

Hello everyone and my apologies for being gone so long!  I am going to end the year with a guest article from Ms. Allie Brook (see her bio at the end of the article) and I will be back with new articles in 2012.  I want to wish you all a healthy and safe holiday season and a new year full of love, happiness, and laughter!    Linda Mundorff

How these holiday favorites is making a comeback

As the holidays creep up among us, and our houses start to smell of cinnamon and sweet pumpkin pies, I bet no one had a second thought about the effect of those scents on the body and mind. Certain scents open different parts of the mind and body to produce positive effects, and if you don’t think this is true; think again. Even the most simple of scents has an effect on a person’s mood, attitude towards the situation, and so on. Smells and Scents have an effect on just about everything and everyone.

This is why we invest time and considerations in the perfumes we buy, the air fresheners we stock in our homes, and of course holiday scents. And the most notable, and probably most historic, holiday scent in Frankincense. The widely used aromatherapy plant has been used for generations to clear the mind and open the soul. It’s mostly known for its presence in the story of the Three-Wise Men and in Roman Catholic ceremonies, but never for clinical trials….right?

Well, now Frankincense is making a comeback by being used as an integrative therapy in cancer treatment. There have been many scientific studies proving the “reset” function frankincense has on the brain. Doctors have noted a frankincense aromatherapy treatment, actually separates the nucleus of the cancerous cell from the cytoplasm, making it unable to reproduce corrupt/cancerous DNA. This is a major development in cancer treatment since the frankincense does not negatively interact with healthy cells, unlike chemotherapy.

Another holiday favorite that is making its debut in the medical realm is Mistletoe. This common decoration and kissing tradition, is now way more than just that. Being studied for over 90 years now, mistletoe is showing impressive effects in the battle against cancer. So far, a 30-year long controlled study has shown that patients using Iscador treatments with conventional treatments have a 40% greater chance of survivability. Iscador, is the medical term for the derivative used from the mistletoe plant.

Today, many doctors recommended patients with a low-survivability rate cancer, such as non-hodgkin’s lymphoma or pleural mesothelioma, to practice aromatherapy sessions or use Iscador as complementary therapies. They also suggest taking classes to learn the helpful components of aromatic herbs and oils to help boost the immune system. The aromatherapy classes also give the patients a sense of control when life might seem out of their reach.

Who would have thought that over nine-thousand year ago a cleansing and curative plants would be the medical science of tomorrow?

Frankincense Reference:

Mistletoe Reference:
Cancer Information: and

BIO:  I live in Florida, but recently graduated from University of Mississippi, with a degree in biomedical anthropology. I have kept busy with this endeavor and travel a great deal to study the effects of biomedicalization on traditional medicine in certain cultures.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that is stored in the fat cells (known as adipose tissue), liver, and pancreas. It has many functions, and research at the Mayo Cancer Center in Minnesota found that "the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphomas—cancer of the immune system—was approximately 45% lower for those whose vitamin K intake was in the top quarter, vs. those whose intake of the vitamin was in the bottom quarter."


Vitamin K deficiency is uncommon in healthy adults because it is found in a variety of foods and is conserved through a process called the ‘vitamin K cycle’.

The Three Forms of Vitamin K:

• Vitamin K1 is the dietary form found in green leafy vegetables
• Vitamin K2 is naturally synthesized by normal colon bacteria
• Vitamin K3 is a major contributor in the blood clotting process


Most people have no idea what vitamin K's function is in the body.  So it might surprise you to know that:

• It regulates blood clotting, occurring when any injury results in a tear in a blood vessel.
• It transports calcium out of the blood vessels and into those bones deficient of the mineral.
• It prevents the calcification of organs and other soft tissues.
• It promotes healthy bones and reduces fractures, especially among postmenopausal women.

Food Sources

The vitamin is predominately found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, kale and broccoli; and in a small group of vegetable oils (such as olive, cottonseed, soybean, and canola oils). A liquid form can be found in water-soluble chlorophyll, and vitamin K is also enriched in olestra-containing foods*.


Although vitamin K deficiencies are rare, certain diseases can interfere with vitamin K's production cycle:

• Liver disease,
• Gallbladder disease such as fat malabsorption syndrome,
• Platelet disorders,
• Chrohn's disease, and
• Celiac disease

Drug Interactions

Most individuals receive their daily recommended amount of vitamin K through diet and taking a daily multi-vitamin. However, too much vitamin K, either in dietary form or in supplements, can interfere with the medicinal effects of certain medications:

• Anticoagulants like warfarin, and
• Anticonvulsants like isoniazid

Interference with Vitamin K Absorption

On the other hand, some medications can interfere with the body's ability to utilize vitamin K. These medications interfere with the absorption of dietary fats and therefore, may block the proper absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins K, A, D, and E):

• Phenytoin,
• Orlistat
• Olestra*
• Cholestyramine
• Colestipol

Balancing the medicinal and nutritional needs of the body can often be a delicate process. Therefore, always consult with your physician before taking any self-help remedies.


*Olestra is a substance added to many weight-loss products because it blocks absorption of fat. The substance may also reduce the body's ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins. The Food and Drug Administration now requires that vitamin K as well as the other fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, and E) be added to food products containing olestra.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Holistic Approach to Healthy Living, Weight Loss, Diet & Exercise


Holistic living is a dedication to a lifestyle of balance and health. According to Linda Mundorff in her book, "Take Control: A Guide to Holistic Living," it involves several things, including making time for family, getting along with others, spirituality and relaxation time. It also requires a commitment to a healthy diet and staying physically active. There are numerous ways you can go about this holistically. An understanding of the fundamentals of health and the body will better help you along your path.

Read more:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Better Bladder Health in Just a Few Weeks

Healthy bladders are often compromised by extended sitting and poor bathroom facilities (in both quality and quantity)—both common aspects in our nation’s schools and workplaces. These conditions often account for the retraining of the bladder to store a larger volume of urine than is medically recommended. This can cause a sluggish bladder, which results in the urge to empty the bladder again in a relatively short amount of time.

The bladder is simply a reservoir for urine and not designed to store copious amounts of urine. The brain signals the urge response when a pre-set amount, which varies per individual, is stored. A good rule of thumb is to comfortably wait to empty the bladder every couple of hours.

Many individuals, especially women, have a tendency to ignore this urge and will wait to urinate when their bladder is two or three times larger than the recommended volume.

The regular flushing of the bladder serves to discourage bacterial growth, while maintaining proper bladder size and elasticity. An overstretched bladder is not going to recoil as effectively (think of an overused rubber band) and eventually will become sluggish. For sluggish bladders, the better bladder techniques may provide some relief. This includes:

It all Starts with a Flush

Better bladder health begins with drinking lots of water to help dilute the urine and regularly flush the bladder. The goal is to reach eight glasses per day. If you do not like the taste of water, try adding the juice of a fresh lemon or orange.

Pelvic Floor Training

Strengthening the bladder muscle provides optimal storage and emptying capacities and encourages a healthy bladder. This is best achieved by Kegel exercises. Contract the pelvic floor muscles and hold for a ten-second count and relax. It is recommended that you perform ten repetitions every hour.

Walk and Squat

Better bladder health is greatly improved with the addition of this pelvic-floor strengthening exercise. The goal is to reach thirty walk and squats per day. To do a walk and squat: walk five steps, stop and squat. Hold for a five-second count and relax. Do not do all thirty at the same time—instead, perform a set of five walk and squats at a time, until you reach a total of six cycles per day.

Empty, Wait, Empty

Better bladder health includes completely emptying the bladder, otherwise the urge to go will return fifteen minutes later (however, it is normal to have a small residual of approximately 1.5 oz). Pregnancy and age can lead to bladder relaxation and result in the incomplete emptying of the bladder. Do not try to combat this by forcing urine out of the bladder, as the pressure actually causes more problems. Instead, try and relax the pelvic floor by taking several slow deep breaths. After urination, continue sitting and wait a minute and then try to urinate again to empty the rest of the bladder.

By following these recommendations, better bladder health can easily be achieved in a few short weeks. If you are suffering from a medically-related bladder disorder or take prescription medication that affects bladder emptying, be sure to consult your physician before attempting this program.