Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What Can You Do To Change The World When You Feel Done With It?

I recently re-pinned the following quote on Pinterest:

Someone commented that they know a lot of people who have woken up, but they feel jaded and don't exactly know how to change anything. These are screenshots of my answers. What would you add to this?

Here's a link to the pin: CLICK HERE

Saturday, July 12, 2014

WTH Do I Do With Fennel Essential Oil?

A few months ago, I bought fennel essential oil (sweet fennel or Foeniculum vulgare) instead of the doTerra DigestZen blend because I already had peppermint and I figured (hoped?) the two together would work just as well. I mixed up a blend with olive oil for when my daughter was sick and all the doctor would say is "come back later if it gets worse." The blend helped her tremendously, by easing nausea and helping with intestinal cramping.

Now I have a nearly full bottle of fennel oil taking up precious space in my very small essential oils storage case.

So, what the hell else can I do with this? 

Fennel helps with respiratory issues and acts as an expectorant (link)

Fennel helps trigger the let-down reflex in breastfeeding mothers (link)

Fennel can help relieve menstrual cramps (link)
"A randomized, double-blind crossover study examined the effect of oral fennel essential oil at
1% or 2% concentration as compared to placebo for the treatment of 60 women with mild to moderate dysmenorrhea. Up to 1 mL of the solution was taken as required for the pain at intervals of not less than 4 h. In the treatment groups, the severity of the pain was signifi cantly decreased; the effi cacy of the 2% fennel oil was 67.4%, which was comparable to the effi cacy of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (Khorshidi et al., 2003)" (Baser 330).

Fennel may help prevent postmenopausal bone loss (link)

Fennel helps with gas pains, and acts as a laxative (link)

Fennel, like many essential oils, is antiseptic and can be used with wound care (link)

Fennel freshens the breath (link)

Fennel is antispasmodic and can be used for sore muscles and growing pains (link)

Fennel has estrogenic qualities and benefits women going through menopause
NOTE: Fennel might interfere with birth control pills

Fennel is good for the skin and can help with the appearance of wrinkles

Fennel helps ease baby colic
"A clinical trial shows that breast-fed infants with colic who are given a specific multi-ingredient product containing fennel, lemon balm, and German chamomile (Colimil) cry for a shorter period of time than other infants with colic." - WebMd (link

Fennel is antiparasitic and can help kill intestinal worms

Fennel strengthens the kidneys and may help prevent/treat kidney stones (link)

Fennel is antifungal and can be used to treat candida overgrowth (link)

Fennel is anti-inflammatory and may help with peptic ulcers (link)

Fennel can help with blood clots (link)

Fennel may help treat Type 2 diabetes (link)

Fennel can be used as an eye-wash for conjunctivitis. Essential oils are too strong to use in the eyes. This would need to be HEAVILY diluted in water, and then you could soak a wash cloth or piece of cotton in the mixture to place over the eye for a few minutes, several times a day (Chevallier 210).

Recipes and Blends: recommends the following uplifting blend for diffusing:
3 drops sweet fennel eo
4 drops lemon eo
3 drops marjoram eo

Herbs & Oils World includes 10 drops of fennel eo in this free anti-wrinkle blend CLICK HERE

This is my own tummy blend that I used on my daughter:

Where To Buy Fennel Essential Oil:

I use and sell doTerra essential oils because I love what they are doing for growers and for customers. doTerra sources their oils from all over the world, preferring regions where the plants are indigenous, and grown by people with years of experience, who use sustainable practices without pesticides or herbicides. doTerra oils are never tested on animals, and are screened for purity by third parties. The oils are potent and often only 1 or 2 drops are needed.

As a wholesale Wellness Advocate, I earn points on my orders towards free oils, and qualify for compensation checks as people sign up under me. When you buy through me, you support fair trade for the growers, as well as a supplemental income for my family. You can be confident that you are getting a high quality oil from a company dedicated to improving people's lives.

If you would like to order fennel essential oil through me, visit my doTerra website BY CLICKING HERE. Find out more about how to get 20-25% off the retail price of oils (and how to earn points towards free oils!) BY CLICKING HERE.

Books referenced:
Chevallier, Andrew. The encyclopedia of medicinal plants. New York Boston: DK Pub. Distributed by Houghton Mifflin, 1996. Print.

Başer, K. H. C., and Gerhard Buchbauer. Handbook of essential oils : science, technology, and applications. Boca Raton: CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, 2010. Print.

Note: I should not have to say this, but I am not a medical professional and this blog is not a science journal. Always check my or anyone's sources yourself, and be prudent when using alternative medicine for major diseases or conditions that might otherwise require a doctor's care. I subscribe to Dr. Christiane Northrup's philosophy that the least invasive thing should be tried first, and then one should move up from there until one finds what works. If natural therapies don't work, consult a medical professional.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Research Behind Why I Do Not Vaccinate My Children

I do not vaccinate my kids. I made this decision before Jenny McCarthy ever wrote her book about a possible connection between vaccines and autism. Autism wasn't even my concern when I made my decisions.

I weighed the information and made an informed choice.

Parents like me are now being called baby killers and child-abusers for that choice. We are being blamed for "outbreaks" in vaccine-preventable diseases. Our ability to exempt our children from vaccines is being eroded. Our intelligence is being insulted. We are being told we follow pseudoscience, employ logical fallacies, and are endangering the public.

Very well, come see what I see.

This is a document available on the United States Census website. It is not a blog, news outlet, or face science website. It is a document tracking reportable diseases back to 1912. There are no deceptive charts here. These are infection rates, not death rates. This isn't how many people were dying, but how many people got disease in the first place.

We do not use the tuberculosis vaccine and never have on a large scale, yet it has gone down steadily since 1930.

There is no vaccine for malaria, and it went down steadily over the same time period.

The typhoid fever vaccine was developed and put into use in the United States around 1914. Note the disease rate does not drop off, but just goes down steadily as other diseases drop. An oral Typhoid vaccine was licensed in the United States in 1989. Note that rates remained practically unchanged from 1965 to 1996.

In 1914, William H. Park developed a diphtheria "vaccine" that included both the toxoid and antitoxin. He began an earnest campaign for it to be used widespread in 1921 after a huge outbreak. In 1926 a toxoid vaccine campaign began to get children vaccinated against diphtheria. Both types of vaccines were used, even though the former was considered less effective. It first became available combined with the whooping cough and tetanus vaccines in 1948. There has been 1 case reported to the CDC since 2004. It went down with the toxoid/antitoxin vaccine, with just the toxin vaccine, and then stayed down, even though vaccine compliance is supposedly waning "thanks to Jenny McCarthy." Why would less vaccinations with the DTaP vaccine lead to more of one disease but no change in the other two?

Tetanus is not on this chart but surveillance by the CDC can be found HERE. The toxoid vaccine first became widely used during World War II (1939-1945). As previously states, it was combined with the pertussis and diphtheria vaccines in 1948. According to the CDC's own chart, these didn't have much of an impact. Tetanus is tricky because it is not contagious. you wouldn't have an "outbreak" necessarily unless a group of people in the same area at the same time all received the same kind of wound that wasn't treated competently. Nevertheless, according to this census chart, tetanus rates have gone down since 1980 regardless of vaccine compliance.

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is important. It is one of the disease that has made the news a lot, followed by accusations that us non-vaxers are to blame. Review the chart and note that in the 1980s, pertussis starts going up. And up. Slowly but surely. The census chart stops at 2001, but you can continue on here where the CDC lists incident rates from 1922 to 2013. It's still going up. Did Jenny McCarthy make people scared to get vaccinated in the 80s? Was the connection between the MMR (a completely different vaccine) and autism there to ruin vaccine rates in the 80s and 90s?

Yet, despite over 3 decades of data, non-vaccinators are being blamed for whooping cough outbreaks, all the time

So, we have disease with vaccine and diseases without vaccines, and they went down. Why? We have lowered vaccine compliance, but only 1 of the 3 diseases is increasing. Why?

Measles also went down steadily before the vaccine became available, but it's the first to have a significant drop. It went from a high of 680/100,000 to 204/100,000 before the vaccine was introduced, and then we see a drop from 204 to 104 and then down to 11. In 1968 Merck develops a "more effective" vaccine, and it is combined with mumps and rubella in 1971, but then measles rates actually go up a little until 1979. Then they go down again. Then they go up again in the 90s. Then they go down again. Between 1989 to 1991, there is low vaccine compliance and 123 people died from measles. That seems to definitely be indicated by the chart.

Rubella is not on the Census chart, but I found THIS LINK to a different US census chart which contains information back to 1980. The rubella vaccine was first licensed in 1969 and an improved version became available in 1979. Mumps is also on this chart.

What can be demonstrated when taking both charts and other records into consideration, is that where the DTaP is concerned, two of the disease have gone down while the third has been steadily going up, and with the MMR, one is going up, one went down, then kind of up, then down, and one went down and stayed down. Tuberculosis and malaria are still going steadily down with no vaccine at all. Hepatitis A and B have vaccines, hepatitis C does not, all 3 have gone down. The chicken pox vaccines appears to have had a major impact.

Vaccine compliance has very inconsistent affect on these diseases.

Back to the first chart for polio. After the 1916 epidemic, polio dropped and sort of stayed low. The first polio vaccine trials took place in 1935. People actually caught polio, became paralyzed, and died. Polio started to increase again, which is opposite of what most diseases do on this chart. In 1952, Jonas Salk tested various polio vaccines on developmentally disabled children (sounds ethical and awesome). A massive trial began in 1954. The trial was actually a blind study, which is rare in vaccine studies. In 1955, the results showed 80-90% effectiveness, and the US licensed the vaccine. One of the six vaccine manufacturers failed to follow Salk's instructions and their batch killed 11 people and made hundreds more paralyzed. The vaccination program was halted, and when it resumed, many areas refused to participate. Still, polio started dropping again, dramatically. Albert Sabin tested his oral polio vaccine in 1959, and it was licensed here in 1960, when polio was already obviously on the outs. The oral vaccine had the unfortunate disadvantage of being a live virus capable of actually passing on polio. Incidentally, this is the version we send to third world countries because it is cheaper, even though we stopped using it in 1997. When people talk about eradicating polio, they mean the wild type. (source)

The effectiveness of vaccines cannot be discussed without also discussing safety.

It has been pointed out that vaccine package inserts are misleading because the listed side effects are reported AFTER market, which means there's no proof that they are caused by the vaccines themselves.

The government runs a website called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, but it is not very effective, because there is virtually no follow up to reports. Nevertheless, the website itself claims that one of the biggest weaknesses of the program is probably UNDER-REPORTING. ""Underreporting" is one of the main limitations of passive surveillance systems, including VAERS. The term, underreporting refers to the fact that VAERS receives reports for only a small fraction of actual adverse events."

The CDC has a search tool for more easily sorting through the VAERS information (which is raw data not easily organized). The search tool has a learning curve. I ran a general query by year, type of vaccine, and type of adverse event.

For 2013, the Varivax chicken pox vaccine has 4 reported deaths, 19 reported life-threatening reactions, 4 reports of permanent disability, and 691 emergency room visits.

The Boostrix TDaP vaccine has 2 reported deaths, 21 life threatening reactions, 11 reports of permanent disability, and 708 emergency room visits.

Prevnar has 23 reported deaths, 47 life threatening reactions, 8 reports of permanent disability, and 510 emergency room visits.

The Trivalent flu vaccine has 25 deaths, 131 life threatening reactions, 70 reports of permanent disability, and 2,557 emergency room visits.

Recall that the biggest weakness of VAERS is supposed to be underreporting.

Let me show you a very important example of why follow-up is important, and why trusting pharmaceutical company research is a mistake.

In 1998, the vaccine Rotashield was licensed to provide immunity against rotavirus. In less than a year it was recalled and investigated for causing intussusception, which is a painful condition where the intestines telescope over themselves, causing an obstruction. The safety studies done before the vaccine was put on the market showed no connection. Together, the CDC and FDA did their own investigation, including using VAERS reports, and found a definitive connection between the vaccine and intussusception. Follow up studies by other organizations have disputed the results.The VAERS report shows that in 1998 and 1999 combined, there were 122 reports of intussuception.

Two new rotavirus vaccines were put into development, and the FDA recommended that doctors and parents look out for intussusception within the first 3 weeks of vaccination. Both manufacturers for Rotateq and Rotarix conducted research that they said demonstrated no connection between their vaccines and intussusception. The FDA reviewed the data themselves and said there is no increase in risk. "Neither vaccine has been associated with any increased risk of intussusception. [April 2008]"

The FDA released the results of a study in 2013 that claimed that yes, there IS an increased risk of intussuception after receiving either rotavirus vaccine. "The Mini-Sentinel PRISM study is the largest study of intussusception after rotavirus vaccines to date and identified an increased risk of intussusception in the 21 day time period after the first dose of RotaTeq, with most cases occurring in the first 7 days after vaccination."

Here is what the FDA says about pre-market safety:

Was the risk for intussusception evaluated before FDA approved RotaTeq ?
Merck and Co., Inc. studied more than 71,000 infants in three placebo-controlled clinical trials.  FDA evaluated these studies which showed no increase in the risk of intussusception in those who received RotaTeq compared to those who received placebo.

Was the risk for intussusception evaluated before FDA approved Rotarix?
GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals conducted a study of more than 63,000 infants to assess whether there was an increased risk of intussusception. FDA evaluated the study which showed that no increased risk for intussusception was found in infants receiving Rotarix compared to those who received placebo."

Why did it take a major follow up study from the FDA to find the link? Has that been reviewed? Why did they find no connection in the first place? How do we trust pharmaceutical companies or the FDA itself to be certain about safety BEFORE a vaccine goes into widespread use if we can't trust their studies or ability to evaluate those studies?

My youngest sister had her baby boy vaccinated with a rotavirus vaccine, and the doctor told her to keep an eye out for symptoms. Two weeks later her screaming boy was in the hospital, just a few hours out of surgery before his intestines righted themselves and he pooped.

In 2006, when a rotavirus vaccine was made available again, there were 73 reported cases of intussusception related to the vaccine, including 2 deaths. In 2007, there were 274 reported cases, including 3 deaths. This is more than from Rotashield over two years. Where was the recall in order to make an investigation? In 2008 there were 350 reported cases with 4 deaths. 2009, 135 cases, 2 deaths. 2010, 134 cases, 2 deaths. 2011, 131 cases, thankfully no reported deaths. 2012, 151 cases, 3 deaths.

In 2012 the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study confirming there is no increased risk of intussusception associated with the rotavirus vaccines. 

2013, 118 cases, 1 death. And these are underreported??

The CDC states "Some, but not all, studies suggest that RotaTeq and Rotarix vaccines may possibly cause a small increase in the risk of intussusception."

So what does all of this mean?

It means vaccine effectiveness and safety are not that cut and dried.

It means that it is disingenuous to automatically point to non-vaccinating families when there is a breakout of an infectious disease. 

It means that it's ignorant to accuse non-vaccinating families of not doing their homework, understanding science, or knowing the difference between actual data and sensationalized news reports and blog posts.

It means that parents should not have to jump through hoops in order to obtain exemptions from vaccinations, or get hyperbolic lectures from doctors and nurses when they turn down vaccines or opt for an altered schedule.

It means that this is still a personal medical decision as well as a public safety one, and when a parent weighs the pros and cons, they should not be told that they are putting other people's children at risk, because parents are first and foremost responsible for their OWN children. 

It means IT IS possible for an intelligent human being to look at all the information and make an educated decision against vaccinations. 

On June 2, Paul Offit claimed on The Daily Show that non-vaxers are "communities which have large populations of caucasian, upper middle-class residents who are college-educated, graduate school educated, and believe simply by googling the term vaccine on the internet they can know as much if not more than anyone who’s giving them advice." He has the first part right. The majority of non-vaccinating families have college educations and have been taught to think. The second part is a myth.

As one commenter on this Paul Offit article states, "Please prove me wrong in finding just one vaccination study that wasn't funded by a vax manufacturer and completes double blind trials proving the vaccination has low side effects and is more than 85% effective. Wonder how long I will have to wait."