Could Oregon ban the herbal supplement Kratom?

More than a dozen bills have already been proposed in the upcoming Oregon Legislature dealing with marijuana, but there is also one bill about a lesser-known herb unheard of by many, fiercely adored by some and almost banned by the DEA.

For millennia, people in Southeast Asia used the leaves from the tree Mitragyna speciosa — more commonly known as kratom — to combat fatigue and as a traditional medicine. This herb is often sold as a kratom powder or extract.

The herb’s modern proponents claim it can help with opioid withdrawal, pain, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Its detractors decry it as an “imminent hazard to public safety,” citing 15 kratom-related deaths in the United States during a two-year period.

Read the full story on Statesman Journal

Health Benefits of Herbs and Botanicals

According to the National Health Statistics Report, shoppers are turning to alternative medicine, not only as a complement to conventional care but also as a sole means to help relieve pain from conditions that are impairing their health. But with so many choices, how will shoppers know how to make sense of it all? Here, we explore up and coming herbs and their many health benefits.

Black Cohosh
First used for medical purposes by Native American Indians for colds, coughs and kidney disorders, the root of the black cohosh plant, Actaea racemose, is most commonly used today to help treat acne, menstrual cramps and by some midwives to induce labor in pregnant women.

Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle, a member of the Asteraceae family that also includes daisies and sunflowers, is native to the Mediterranean region and is used for the support of liver, kidney and gallbladder problems.

Feverfew
Once used to treat fevers, Feverfew, a short perennial that gives off a strong and bitter odor, is now used to help with migraine headaches.

Ginkgo
One of the oldest living tree species, Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is used in support of memory loss and also in improving blood circulation.

Echinacea
During the 18th and 19th century, echinacea was a popular herb used to treat malaria, syphilis and scarlet fever. Today the prickly, scaled herb with a conical seed head is used to ease fevers, sore throats, the common cold and the flu.

Whole Foods

What happens if kratom becomes illegal?

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has received thousands of comments on whether it should make a psychoactive painkiller called kratom illegal because some say it could be key to battling the country’s opioid epidemic.

The DEA announced in August that it would list kratom, which is typically sold as a powder in capsules or for tea and can produce both a narcotic and a stimulant effect, as a Schedule 1 drug — along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Schedule 1 drugs are illegal because they have a “high potential for abuse” and there is no existing research that would make it acceptable for medical use.

Read the full story here.

What the Reversed Kratom Ban Teaches Us About Drug Advocacy in America

You may not be familiar with the drug kratom, but many Americans are. Kratom is known to relieve pain and anxiety, and has often been used to ease the challenges of getting off of more harmful drugs, namely opioids. The DEA was slated to ban kratom until late September, when an outpouring of public activism by kratom users led to an indefinite delay on such a ban.

Earlier this year, the DEA announced its intent to place kratom on the list of Schedule I drugs. This is the most restrictive category of banned substances that includes drugs like heroin and LSD. The DEA describes a Schedule I like so: “Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse and the potential to create severe psychological and/or physical dependence.” Kratom users have used the drug to help them kick their OxyContin habit. Despite being a far more addictive substance, OxyContin is a Schedule II drug. Advocates for kratom compare the drug’s addictive power to coffee. No deaths have been linked to the drug.

Read the full story on Merry Jane.

Herbal medicine: A relic of the past or a signpost of the future?

Dr. Carol Barron has been researching the National Folklore Collection at University College Dublin (UCD) consist of 3,000 bound volumes of folklore to see what people used when they were sick.

“For colds, people took garlic or onion, and the fumes worked like a eucalyptus decongestant,” says Barron. “We see elderberry wine feature heavily. But it’s not wine as such: they mean elderberry with sugar and some blackcurrant. This is straightforward vitamin C. Fruit comes up a lot. We find cures which say to use fresh fruit.”

Some of the cures are simply fascinating in their own right, she says. “A lot of the herbs were either boiled in milk or mixed with butter or lard as an emollient, ointment or cream. Mint was commonly used.”

One cure that comes up, again and again, is a spider’s web, used to stop bleeding in various cultures, including Ireland, for thousands of years. We now know that spiderwebs are high in vitamin K, which helps to clot blood.

More of this interesting news at the Irish Times

How Essential Oils and Aromatherapy Help Cancer Survivors

RiverBend Cancer Services in South Bend offers several programs and support services to those with cancer and survivors, most of which are free.

Kris Losch, one of the teachers that offer Living Well with Cancer Educational Series and is a certified aromatherapist talked about how these oils can help fight off fatigue, headaches, other pain, anxiety, and depression. These are things that tend to come up during cancer treatment.

Losch’s mom is currently going through cancer treatment so she has some first-hand knowledge.

“For the most part, she uses our headache relief oil. Right now, she is using a hair stimulant oil blend that created for her and some lip support because she is having some mouth sores. The pain relief has been real, really great for her and definitely happy,” says Losch.

WNDU.com

Featuring: The All-Natural Cleopatra’s Beauty Regimen You Should Try!

You Could Lose Weight Just By Smelling This Amazing Biblical Food. As stated in Psalms 23:5: Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
A study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found that skin absorbs an incredible 64 percent of chemicals found in drinking water. Other studies have found that the face is several times more permeable than broad body surfaces. Underarms absorb 100 percent of the chemicals that they are exposed to.

Fragrance also has a 100 percent absorption rate. This is actually good news when the fragrance that one is inhaling is that of olive oil. Studies from Technische Universität München (TUM) under Professor Peter Schieberle and at the University of Vienna under Professor Veronika Somoza found that consuming olive oil not only helps people lose weight but just smelling olive oil had a positive effect on the body’s health.

Breaking Israel News

Trends in the Beverage Industry: Natural Alternatives are in!

In May 2016, FDA unveiled new requirements for the Nutrition Facts panel of packaged foods, including the reporting of a product’s, added sugar content. In addition to several proprietary blends of natural alternative sweeteners driving specific product and brand growth, SPINS data also showed a number of ingredients trending across categories in the natural retail channel. Stevia, blends of stevia and other sweeteners, and monk fruit emerge as versatile natural alternative sweeteners to watch in three areas of interest: the soda space refrigerated juices and functional beverages, and drink mix products.

Soda
Perhaps due to perceived negative health connotations around soda (both regular and diet formulas), the carbonated beverages category is seeing limited overall growth. One such alternative sweetener ingredient with cross-channel success is monk fruit, with burgeoning growth (159 percent) in carbonated beverages across natural, specialty gourmet and conventional channels. Once a natural industry trend, stevia sweeteners have flourished in the mainstream market. Even stevia blends with cane sugar are emerging in the soda segment.

Refrigerated Juices & Functional Beverages
The refrigerated juices and functional beverages category, though only growing in the single digits mainstream, is up 11 percent in the natural channel.

Drink Mixes
The natural channel showed 23 percent growth in the drink mixes and concentrates category, while specialty and conventional channels see less or no growth over last year.

FDA announced most manufacturers have two years, and small manufacturers three years, to comply with recent updates to the Nutrition Facts panel. With new attention to added sugar intake in plain view on packaging, and with the current momentum of consumer culture shifting away from sugar (or conversely, artificial sweeteners), brands have an opportunity to update their formulas and develop new beverages.

Natural Products Insider

Diet Rich in Nuts Associated with Less Inflammation

A diet rich in nuts may be associated with lower levels of biomarkers of inflammation, a finding that may help explain the health benefits of nuts, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The findings suggest people who consumed five or more servings of nuts per week had lower levels of C-reactive protein and C-reactive protein than those who never or almost never ate nuts.

Peanuts and tree nuts contain a number of healthful components including magnesium, fiber, L-arginine, antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids such as α-linolenic acid. Researchers have not yet determined which of these components, or if the combination of all of them, may offer protection against inflammation.

Interest in health also has been a key driver in the market in recent years with the growing positioning of nuts as a healthy snack. Nuts have evolved into so much more than just a bar snack; they are a great snack, indeed, but they go beyond simple trail mixes for athletes and a free snack for happy-hour goers. Nuts are suitable for year-round consumption, both as an impulse snack and as a planned snack for sharing during in-home family and social occasions.

Natural Product Insider