0

GOT POTASSIUM?

Fred Liers PhD potassium minerals pH AdjustGot potassium? You heard me right. Po-tass-i-um.

Well, no—you probably don’t get enough—and you’re not alone. Fewer than 2% of people do.

Experts say 4,700 milligrams (4.7 grams) of potassium is the minimum daily intake required for health and to reduce risk of chronic disease.

Yet, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reports the average potassium intake for Americans is 2,640 milligrams (2.6 g) daily. This low intake remains unchanged over decades! Most people get less than half the amount of potassium needed to meet “adequate” or minimum levels.

Given essential roles played by potassium in the body, and the known health benefits it confers, almost everyone — including you — can benefit from additional potassium. From where will it come?

That is to say, will the average person really meet recommended potassium intake from diet alone? I’m a huge advocate for increasing intake of dietary potassium, but long-term evidence suggests the answer is “no.” Supplementing with certain forms of potassium can be an effective adjunct to dietary intake.

It therefore can be highly beneficial to take a potassium-containing formula like pH Adjust, which provides potassium bicarbonate that boosts potassium levels and powerfully alkalinizes the body.

Bananas provide potassium (400–800 mg), but not if you don’t eat them!

THE “NEGLECTED” MINERAL?

For years, a parade of minerals—calcium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, and yes, sodium—have drawn attention from health professionals, consumers, and the media. Whither potassium?

Yet despite compelling scientific studies, articles, and books, potassium has not “caught on” among doctors, consumers, or health aficionados. Nevertheless, knowledgeable health professionals and a small number of health-consious individuals have known of its importance for decades and longer.

Potassium has become known as the “forgotten” or “neglected” mineral. It’s time to revisit what we thought we knew…or never knew. It’s time to recognize potassium as “first among equals” in the pantheon of macrominerals.

If you think you know potassium, prepare to think again.

POTASSIUM FACTS

A review from Nutrition 101…and some things you may not know:

The symbol for potassium is “K” in the periodic table. It is one of seven essential macrominerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, and sulfur.

POTASSIUM BASICS:

• Regulates fluid balance in the body by means of the sodium-potassium pump (Na+/K+ pump)

• Controls electrical activity of cardiac muscle (heart) and other muscles

• Counters the effects of sodium and thereby maintains proper blood pressure

• Maintains proper acid-base balance in the body

BENEFITS OF HIGH (ADEQUATE) POTASSIUM:

• Decreases risk of dying from all causes (20%)

• Reduces risk of stroke

• Lowers blood pressure

• Protects against loss of muscle mass

• Preserves bone mineral density

• Reduces formation of kidney stones

POTASSIUM – NEEDED MORE THAN EVER?

Beyond the benefits you may take for granted that are provided by the mineral you don’t get enough of…there are many reasons why potassium is more important than ever.

One major reason potassium is needed more than ever: sodium.

Sodium is the essential macromineral no one seems to be lacking. Just the opposite! When people talk about sodium, it is usually about how to avoid it. Sodium is blamed for hypertension and adverse cardiovascular health. What is the connection between sodium and potassium?

It all starts at the level of the cell with the “sodium-potassium pump” (or N+/K+ pump). The sodium-potassium pump is responsible for keeping sodium out of cells and keeping potassium in. But it also a carrier for nutrients going into cells, and it is involved in the energy production.

The typical modern diet —low in potassium and high in sodium (and sugar)—is a major problem for cells because it compromises the function of the sodium-potassium pump. Optimal function of the sodium-potassium pump requires not only increasing potassium intake, but also reducing sodium intake.

Potassium Sodium Pump cell

The sodium-potassium pump expels 3 sodium ions and brings in 2 potassium ions per cycle

SODIUM – POTASSIUM RELATIONSHIP:

• Humans once consumed high levels of potassium (12 g or higher) and low levels of sodium (<2 g) daily. That 6:1 ratio in favor of potassium has radically shifted to a 2:1 or even 4:1 ratio in favor of sodium. Salt is everywhere in the food supply. The potassium to sodium ratio (K/Na ratio) is called the “K Factor.”

• High “K Factor”: During evolutionary history, humans consumed 5–10+ times more potassium than sodium. Because the prehistoric diet contained little sodium, the body developed means for conserving it through resorption. Conversely, our potassium supplies were higher, and therefore the body developed no system for conserving it—it is absorbed, filtered by the kidneys, and eliminated.

• Cellular imbalance between potassium and sodium can cause strokes and other damage without increasing blood pressure (K Factor xxix). An exclusive focus on decreasing blood pressure (whether through diet or drugs) that fails to take potassium into consideration may not produce desired results.

• The sodium-potassium (Na+/K+) pump is an important pump that exists in cells. Its job is to keep sodium levels low in cells (pump out sodium and wastes) and pump in potassium, glucose, and other nutrients. Sufficient potassium is critical for this all-important pump that keeps us healthy.

• When sodium (salt) levels are high and potassium levels are low, the pump does not function efficiently. Cells cannot prevent sodium from entering, causing them to swell from osmotic pressure, and causing metabolic blockage.

• The sodium-potassium pump uses sodium as a “carrier” to bring in potassium, glucose, and other nutrients. For every glucose molecule, two sodium molecules are pumped into a cell. With high sodium intakes, cells become overloaded with sodium, and the pump works far less efficiently.

• Low potassium creates greater imbalance preventing the pump from excreting sodium, and also preventing nutrients from entering cells. The cell produces less energy and enters a type of metabolic stasis.

• Studies show the greatest decreases in blood pressure occur not only when sodium intake decreases, but when potassium intake simultaneously increases.

The role of potassium in the sodium-potassium pump has implications for nearly every function in the human body. And potassium does a lot more.

MANY HEALTH BENEFITS

Potassium provides many benefits. These include known benefits for reducing hypertension, stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney stones, as well as supporting cardiovascular health, and stabilizing blood glucose. Many of potassium’s benefits relate to its role in the sodium-potassium pump. Other benefits relate to different aspects of potassium.

POTASSIUM ALKALINIZES YOUR BODY

Among the most significant features of potassium is its ability to alkalinize the body. Potassium neutralizes acids by itself and especially when combined with minerals such as bicarbonates.

I have recently posted several articles that discuss potassium’s role in keeping the body alkaline. Specifically, how consuming more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables remains the most important means for maintaining alkaline conditions in the body.

Potassium contributes mightily to acid-alkaline balance essential for health by boosting alkalinity. pH levels in the range of 7.35–7.45 provide many benefits. Because modern diets and lifestyles tend to produce acidic conditions (acidosis) in the body, it is important to recognize potassium’s role as “ultimate alkalinizer.”

Known benefits of ideal pH levels (slightly alkaline) include:

• Optimal function of enzymes
• Proper mineral retention, including electrolyte reserves
• Better tissue oxygenation
• Beneficial effects on microbiome

fruits vegetables potassium alkalinization

Consuming more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables can help maintain proper pH in the body.

The alkaline-forming minerals include potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium. They work together to keep you alkaline—all are important. Yet, in terms of what in your diet most drives alkalinity, potassium is the king. In fact, certain measures of pH indicate that alkalinity is a function of potassium intake. This means potassium intake most effectively creates alkaline conditions.

High dietary intake of potassium-rich, alkaline-forming fruits and vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables) and vegetable juices is the best way of supporting proper pH. This is a proven means for balancing the effects of acid-forming foods like meats, and most grains and starches (simple carbohydrates).

Known factors producing overly acidic conditions in the body include consuming meats, sugar, processed foods, and simple carbohydrates like wheat, corn, rice, and most pastas and breads.

IT’S REALLY ABOUT DIET?

TOO LITTLE POTASSIUM…TOO MUCH SODIUM

The human story behind potassium begins with dietary intake. Once upon a time, we “got plenty” of potassium in our diets. Now, not so much.

Indeed, humans have a long history of high potassium intake from foods. Our paleolithic ancestors ate a lot of vegetables, fruits, and nuts—all of which are high in potassium. This helped balance their intake of nutrients from animal foods, which are typically lower in potassium.

During the rise of agriculture (20,000–30,000 years ago) and settled communities, grains became a significant portion of our diet. Yet, grains contain relatively low levels of potassium.

In addition, salt was added to foods in larger quantities as a preservative and taste enhancer. A long, slow slide toward decreasing potassium levels— and simultaneously increasing sodium levels—was set in motion.

Sodium is an essential mineral for health—it is one of the alkalinizing minerals. But historically, humans obtained 5–10+ times as much potassium as sodium. We have now “successfully” reversed potassium preponderance by consuming 2–4 times as much sodium as potassium. This causes lots of problems, and is one of the major elements creating dysfunction in sodium-potassium pumps in cells (see above).

In our modern age, and especially since the later decades of the the 20th century, intake of fresh vegetables and fruits has fallen dramatically. And so has the dietary intake of potassium.

The 20th century witnessed an unprecedented and dramatic rise in consumption of processed, packaged, and “fast” foods — most of which are low in potassium and high in sodium.

Beyond the rise of processed foods, there are declines in nutrients (including potassium) in foods due to steadily poorer soil quality on farmland. And adverse impacts on nutrients in food crops relating to the rise of industrial agriculture—with its dependency on chemicals—and failure to replenish soils.

DIET REMAINS BEST TO INCREASE POTASSIUM INTAKE

Potassium remains high in vegetables and fruits, including dried fruits. And vegetable broths. The best solution to low intake of potassium in the diet is simply consuming higher levels of vegetables and fruits, especially those that are fresh and organic.

spinach leafy greens potassium alkalinity

Got spinach? It provides 800 mg potassium per cup!

Leafy greens (raw or cooked) are among the very best sources. Beet greens contain 1,300 mg of potassium per cup and spinach about 800 mg per cup.

Fresh carrot juice is my favorite providing nearly 700 mg per cup. Even comfort foods like baked potatoes (or sweet potatoes) provide high levels (1,000 mg) with skin. Avocado lovers rejoice, as there are 400–500 mg per avocado.

Beans and nuts are good sources, too. Fruits like bananas (400 mg), cantaloupe (350 mg), and even fruit juices like orange juice (650 mg) are significant sources. Among animal foods, fish, chicken, and pork are highest in potassium.

Nutritionists frequently suggest a 80–20 rule: simply consume 80% alkaline-forming foods to 20% acid-forming foods.

With this simple 80–20 formula, nearly everyone can achieve high—or at least adequate—potassium intake through their dietary choices.

The question is: Will people CHOOSE high-potassium foods? Do you?

SOLUTIONS FOR INCREASING POTASSIUM AND REDUCING SODIUM

You can point a person to high-potassium foods, but you can’t make them eat them. Despite exhortations from all sides for greater consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other high-potassium foods, “potassium sufficiency” isn’t the reality for most people. Potassium intake has been steady for decades.

Regarding sodium, it is just as easy (and important) for most people to decrease sodium in the diet as it is to increase potassium intake. Reduce use of salt. Choose low-sodium options when possible. Sodium is now on the radar as a mineral that promotes hypertension, so low-sodium options are increasingly available.

But like eating more fruits and vegetables, getting more exercise—and other things we know we “should” do—reducing sodium requires a conscious effort. The first part is awareness on the part of the individual. That leads to greater responsibility.

sodium salt shaker potassium

Too much sodium and insufficient potassium in the diet describes modern life.

I also believe manufacturers, restaurants, and the food industry in general should voluntarily limit the amount of sodium they put in foods. That would go a long way toward making it easier to reduce salt.

Coming back to potassium, an interesting fact is that based on US research, Finland in the 1990s replaced their salt shakers with potassium shakers. It’s true. And among other benefits, the incidence of strokes and heart attacks decreased by 60%.

Much can be done by individuals to improve their lives by increasing their potassium intake. Unless and until people eat enough high-potassium foods (and/or the US replaces its salt shakers with potassium shakers—which actually would help solve two problems), another viable option is potassium supplements.

POTASSIUM SUPPLEMENTS

For individuals who do not (or will not) consume sufficient potassium in their diets—this includes the vast majority of people—potassium supplementation can be beneficial.

Even for those who often consume adequate potassium, but sometimes fall short, supplementation is a useful option because it allows for increased potassium intake during times when they need more of it. And who doesn’t?

There are various potassium supplements, typically either capsules or alternate “salts” comprised partly or wholly of potassium bicarbonate. This form of potassium found naturally in fruits and vegetables (versus potassium chloride), and therefore is considered safe. Even when taken in amounts beyond normal recommended daily values, excesses will typically be excreted.

A few caveats. Most nutritional supplements only provide small amounts (100 mg) due to government rules created to avert “hyperalkemia,” defined as too much potassium in the blood. Hyperalkemia can be caused by acute or chronic kidney failure, so if you suffer from kidney failure, please leave potassium supplements alone.

Hyperalkemia can also be caused by medications, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (taken for lowering high blood pressure, ironically), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and blood thinners like heparin. It may also relate to alcoholism, diabetes (type 1), or excessive use of potassium supplements.

The “normal” range of potassium in blood is 3.6–4.8 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L).

On the reverse side: while most people get less than ideal amounts of potassium in their diets, deficiencies that would qualify as too little potassium (“hypoalkemia”) are not common. (Symptoms of hypoalkemia can include irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, cramping, mood changes, nausea, and vomiting. Severe deficiencies may lead to muscle paralysis and abnormal heart rhythms.)

Given that most people do not obtain sufficient potassium, eating more fruits and vegetables and perhaps taking a high-quality potassium supplement will help the average person. That is, most people benefit from more potassium—not less—which they can get from diet and/or supplements.

pH ADJUST & POTASSIUM

HPDI recently launched pH Adjust, which is probably the world’s most sophisticated alkalinizing formula. pH Adjust is not a potassium supplement, per se. Yet, it provides easily assimilated potassium as part of a synergistic formula (including other important macrominerals) that is exceptionally well designed for increasing pH levels in the body.

pH Adjust potassium bicarbonate magnesium carbonate

pH ADJUST provides potassium and sodium bicarbonates and magnesium carbonate for alkalinity.

pH Adjust is already popular because many people are overly acidic due to dietary and lifestyle choices, including—but not limited to—not consuming enough vegetables and fruits and over-consuming meats, grains, and other acid-forming foods.

pH Adjust is an excellent formula for those interested in safely and rapidly increasing their pH to overcome acidosis, and creating alkaline conditions in the body.

One gram (1/4 teaspoon) of pH Adjust provides 141.7 mg of potassium from potassium bicarbonate and potassium glycinate. This means that one teaspoon — which is the amount I take daily — gives me 567 mg (.567 g) of potassium. That is not a huge amount of potassium, perhaps as much as you would obtain from mid-sized banana. However, if you consider that pH Adjust is a dietary supplement, which in conjunction with improved diet (i.e., consuming more potassium-rich foods) can make a difference in your potassium intake.

And for the many individuals whose potassium intake is less than 2.6 g — recall that 2.6 g is the AVERAGE intake — a 1/2 gram increase in potassium can make a big difference (a 20% boost!) in terms of improving total intake.

Then consider the “healthy” person whose potassium intake may hover around 4 g, which is above average, but less than the suggested 4.7 g intake level. One teaspoon of pH Adjust will move them into the range where they will meet— or get much closer to—the recommended daily intake.

pH ADJUST: MINERALS FOR ALKALINITY

Taking one teaspoon of pH Adjust daily not only helps boost potassium intake, but represents a HUGE move toward being alkaline, which is a major benefit for health, as I wrote in my last blog article.

Equally important in terms of alkalinizing the body, the bicarbonate form of potassium in pH Adjust is hugely alkaline-forming. That is, while potassium itself neutralizes acids in the body, potassium bicarbonate is substantially more alkalizing because of the tremendous alkaline-forming power of bicarbonate.

That is why HPDI created pH Adjust—to rapidly and effectively create alkaline conditions in the body.

Other significant facts: pH Adjust contains magnesium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. Magnesium carbonate helps neutralizes stomach acids (hydrochloric acid) and then after it is absorbed (as magnesium ions) it continues to neutralize acids throughout the body. The sodium bicarbonate similarly splits: sodium neutralizes acids and bicarbonates alkalinize the body.

Moreover, it is known that without sufficient magnesium, cells cannot retain potassium. pH Adjust provides a significant amount (105 mg) of magnesium (from carbonate) per 1/4 teaspoon. Think about it—pH Adjust supplies more than 400 mg of easily assimilated magnesium in a single teaspoon! (This means you can reduce or drop your other magnesium supplements.)

pH Adjust provides a 3:1 ratio of potassium to sodium. This ratio is known to be ideal for optimal uptake of potassium.

supplement facts pH Adjust potassium magnesium sodium

pH Adjust provides 141.7 mg potassium and 105 mg magnesium per 1/4 teaspoon serving.

FINAL WORDS

Potassium powers sodium-potassium pumps in your cells and keeps you alkaline. It supports proper blood pressure and cardiovascular function. It balances the effects of sodium and works synergistically with other macrominerals keeping you healthy.

Potassium loves you. Yet, you hardly know potassium—or how deficient you are.

Love potassium like it loves you. Eat more potassium-rich fruits, vegetables, and fresh juices. Take a potassium-containing formula like pH Adjust. Not only will it supply you with easily assimilated potassium, but also powerfully boost your alkalinity.

Eat less salt. For God’s sake, eat less salt. Do all these things. Then it’s likely your poor sodium-potassium pumps will revive themselves. I promise, you will feel it!

 

RESOURCES

BLOG ARTICLES

Alkalinize Rapidly Using pH Adjust

pH Adjust Alkalinizing Formula – New Product!

BOOKS & SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES

The High Blood Pressure Solution by Richard D. Moore, MD, PhD

The K Factor: Reversing and Preventing High Blood Pressure without Drugs by Richard D. Moore, MD, PhD

The XXL Syndrome by Max Rombi, MD

Acid & Alkaline by Herman Aihara

Acid-alkaline balance: role in chronic disease and detoxification
(Altern Ther Health Med, 13(4):62-5)

Potassium Intake of the US Population (PDF)
(NHANES Food Surveys Research Group, USDA)

LIST OF HIGH-POTASSIUM FOODS

Potassium: Health Benefits, Recommended Intake

 

This article is dedicated to the memory of our friend Dr. Victor A. Galunic, who provided HPDI with information, resources, and technical assistance.

0

NO DEATHS FROM ANY DIETARY SUPPLEMENT: US POISON DATA SYSTEM

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD dietary supplementFred Liers PhD dietary supplement dshea

The recently published annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers indicates no deaths from dietary supplements in 2013. The annual report was published in the journal Clinical Toxicology and was based on information collected by the US National Poison Data System (NPDS).

The report also indicated no deaths from any amino acid product or herbal product.

vitamin dietary supplement safety

No deaths were caused by any dietary supplement in 2013 according to US NPDS data.

The full text of the January 16, 2015 press release obtained from the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS) follows. ~

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 16, 2015

No Deaths from ANY Dietary Supplement

Zero Fatalities from Minerals, Vitamins, Amino Acids, Herbs, Homeopathic Remedies

by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Jan 16, 2015) There was not even one death caused by any dietary supplement in 2013, according to the most recent information collected by the US National Poison Data System. The new 251-page annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers, published in the journal Clinical Toxicology (1), shows no deaths whatsoever from any dietary supplement.

Additionally, there were zero deaths from any amino acid or herbal product. This means no deaths at all from blue cohosh, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava, St. John’s wort, valerian, yohimbe, Asian medicines, ayurvedic medicines, or any other botanical. There were zero deaths from creatine, blue-green algae, glucosamine, chondroitin, melatonin, or any homeopathic remedy.

Furthermore, there were zero deaths from any dietary mineral supplement. This means there were no fatalities from calcium, magnesium, chromium, zinc, colloidal silver, selenium, iron, or multimineral supplements. Reported in the “Electrolyte and Mineral” category were two fatalities from the medical use of “Sodium and sodium salts.” These are not dietary supplements.

The US National Poison Data System is “the only comprehensive, near real-time, poisoning surveillance database in the United States. In 2013, poison professionals at the nation’s 55 poison centers managed about 2.2 million human poison exposures, with children younger than 6 accounting for about half of all poison exposure cases.”

No man, woman or child died from any nutritional supplement. Period.

If nutritional supplements are allegedly so “dangerous,” as the FDA, the news media, and even some physicians still claim, then where are the bodies?

 

References:

1. Mowry JB, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR Jr, McMillan N, Ford M. 2013 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 31st Annual Report. Clinical Toxicology (2014), 52, p 1032-1283. ISSN: 1556-3650 print / 1556-9519 online. DOI: 10.3109/15563650.2014.987397.

The full text article is available for free download at http://www.aapcc.org/annual-reports/ . Minerals, herbs, amino acids and other supplements are in table 22B, pages 1247-1249.

2. http://www.aapcc.org/press/38/

 

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org

Find a Doctor

To locate an orthomolecular physician near you: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n09.shtml

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:

Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor and contact person. Email: omns@orthomolecular.org. This is a comments-only address; OMNS is unable to respond to individual reader emails. However, readers are encouraged to write in with their viewpoints. Reader comments become the property of OMNS and may or may not be used for publication.

To Subscribe at no charge: http://www.orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html

OMNS archivehttp://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml

===

Read this press release on supplement safety on the OMNS website: http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v11n02.shtml

US National Poison Data System (NPDS): http://www.aapcc.org/data-system/

Annual Reports of the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC): http://www.aapcc.org/annual-reports/

Journal of Clinical Toxicology: http://omicsonline.org/clinical-toxicology.php

5

Rejuvenation Program: Part Five

FOUNATIONAL ELMENTS IN THE HPDI MASTER REJUVENATION PROGRAM

Fred Liers PhD rejuvenation programThe HPDI Rejuvenation Program provides practices, protocols, and recommendations proven over 26 years. It is a complete program to rejuvenate, regenerate, and boost vitality to body, mind, and spirit. It is especially helpful for those who want to restore health.

The program emphasizes establishing basic nutrition via foundational nutritional supplement formulas, including high-RNA Rejuvenate!™ superfoods and other sources of dietary nucleic acids. The program rests on six elements: 1) Attitude/Commitment, 2) Detoxification, 3) Preventing Toxicity, 4) Health Building Nutrition, 5) Building Powerful Immunity, and 6) Supporting Protocols.

The six foundational elements remain powerful individually, but act synergistically when combined to support optimal health. The results are greatly improved capabilities for your body to heal, regenerate, rejuvenate, and restore its vitality.

FOUR TYPES OF FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENT FORMULAS FOR HEALTH

In Part Four of the Rejuvenation Program series, I presented key roles played by four foundational nutritional supplements, which sometimes are referred to as “core” supplements. These supplements are critical to success in creating powerful health by establishing optimal nutrient status in the body. We at HPDI consider foundational supplements to include: 1) high-potency multivitamins, 2) essential fats, 3) Vitamin C / antioxidant formulas, and 4) Rejuvenate! high-RNA superfoods.

These four types of foundational formulas are the most important nutritional supplements regardless of what other supplements you take. In particular, we recommend our HPDI supplement formulas, primarily because they incorporate the latest science, and provide the highest-purity and highest-quality nutrition, cutting-edge design, uniquely effective ingredients (e.g., coenzyme form B-vitamins). Perhaps most importantly, they have been designed to work together synergistically as part of our system of foundational nutrition.

Here are some of HPDI’s most effective foundational formulas:

Multivitamin formulas include multivitamins Multi Two (tab and capsules) Hank & Brians’ Mighty Multi-Vite!, and our Mini Multi (contains no fillers, excipients, or additives). Our essential fats formulas include Omega Plus and Hank & Brian’s Essential Fats Plus E. Our Antioxidant and/or Vitamin C formulas include Ultimate Protector™PRO-C™, OPC-C™, and Buffered C (tabs and powder).

Recall that in Part Four of the Rejuvenation Program series, I also discussed foods recommended in our Rejuvenation Program. Our recommendations include consuming foods high in nucleic acids (RNA and DNA). RNA-rich foods include chlorella and Rejuvenate!™ superfoods. Rejuvenate! superfoods provide therapeutic levels of nucleic acids to support optimal rejuvenation, revitalization, and health. They also provide unique supporting nutrients (e.g., d-ribose, coenzyme B vitamins) that maximize utilization and healing effects of dietary nucleic acids.

HPDI offers five versions of Rejuvenate!, including Rejuvenate! (original greens), Rejuvenate! PRO, Rejuvenate! PLUSRejuvenate! Berries & Herbs and Rejuvenate! Strawberry-Peach Protein Plus. Rejuvenate! PLUS and Rejuvenate Berries & Herbs are the most comprehensive in the line. Both provide delicious taste, therapeutic levels of dietary RNA, nutrients that support the body’s use of nucleic acids, a complete multivitamin, essential fats, and high levels of protein (except Berries & Herbs contains no greens).

BEYOND “FOUNDATIONAL” NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS:
IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR REJUVENATION

The four foundational supplements (multivitamins, essential fats, Vitamin C, and Rejuvenate! superfoods) are primary. They are needed to build health, especially because they provide significant nutrition and support detoxification. You can count on these supplements to provide a solid foundation for any nutritional supplement program.

Now I’ll discuss the most important supplements that can be critical for building health beyond (i.e., in addition to) the four foundational supplements. That is, I’ll consider supplements in the “next tier” in terms of importance in our Rejuvenation Program.

There are many “non-foundational” nutritional supplements (enhancements, add-ons, and/or specific-condition formulas) that can play important roles in building health. However, I will focus on seven supplements we find most useful in supporting the four foundational supplements (multivitamins, essential fats, Antioxidants / Vitamin C formulas, and Rejuvenate!™ high-RNA superfoods) to rejuvenate the body. These seven supplements have proven themselves in our Rejuvenation Program, and represent the next level of importance for supplements for rejuvenation.

SEVEN SUPPLEMENTS THAT SUPERCHARGE REJUVENATION

COENZYME Q10 AND UBIQUINOL DRAMATICALLY BOOST CELLULAR ENERGY (ATP) PRODUCTION

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an important nutrient that is well known to boost cellular energy and acts as a powerful antioxidant. The primary function of this enzyme is to allow mitochondria to convert food metabolites (from the digestive process) into energy for cells. The body produces this enzyme, which is found in all cells, and which is especially abundant in heart, liver, and immune system.

CoQ10 is a fat-soluble antioxidant that has many other functions and provides many benefits in the body. It protects and regenerates Vitamin E in cell membranes. CoQ10 also has been shown to stimulate the body’s immune system.

When essential levels of CoQ10 are allowed to decline, the body’s vital organs and systems cannot meet their energy requirements. The inevitable results are major ill health and disease states.

Advancing age causes the body gradually to lose its innate ability to produce CoQ10. Improper nutrition and/or maldigestion also can reduce the body’s ability to generate the needed amounts of CoQ10. Dosages in the range of 50-300 mg have been reported effective in cases of heart disease, fatigue, and immune deficiency. Numerous studies have indicated that supplemental CoQ10 in the amounts of 30-100 mg can be helpful when gums need to be strengthened.

When individuals have low energy levels, CoQ10 boosts energy (ATP) production in cells and thereby provides greater levels of energy to the entire body.

CoQ10 as ubiquinone is an oxidized form of ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is the reduced form of CoQ10 and is the form that is primarily used in the body. In younger (i.e., less than 40 years of age) and healthy individuals, the body readily makes ubiquinol from ubiquinone. Because ubiquinone costs about half as much as ubiquinol, it is more cost-effective for young or healthy individuals to take ubiquinone.

Our CoQ10 Plus (100 mg) product contains 100 mg of ubiquinone along with the other fat-soluble vitamins E and A (as beta-carotene). This combination of antioxidants gets carried in the blood on lipoproteins and acts as a very powerful antioxidant. This combination also prevents crystallization of the CoQ10 in the softgel thereby keeping it bioavailable.

For those over the age of 40 or with significant health issues, CoQ10 in the form of ubiquinol is much more effective, and in many cases necessary. In this case, we highly recommend our Ubiquinol 50 product that contains 50 mg of ubquinol. For enhanced absorption and stability (i.e., to prevent crystallization and oxidation), Ubiquinol-50 also contains d-limonene oil (emulsifier), caprylic acid, capric acid, and alpha-lipoic acid.

CoQ10 (as ubiquinone) and/or Ubiquinol can play a major role in supporting rejuvenation by increasing cellular energy (ATP) production. Users often notice the difference immediately or shortly after starting to supplement with these potent, natural energy boosters.

MYO-MAG: MAGNESIUM, MALIC ACID, AND MORE

Magnesium is critical for rejuvenating the body. In fact, it’s so important, we’ve developed an entire magnesium protocol for topically applied magnesium chloride (oil, flakes, and gel) (and I will address the topic transdermal magnesium therapy in an upcoming article). However, today I will discuss the oral magnesium supplement we recommend most highly.

While many of body’s needs for magnesium can be well met with topical magnesium chloride, certain applications (including our Rejuvenation Program itself) make excellent use of a specific oral magnesium supplement known as Myo-Mag. Myo-Mag is simultaneously an energizer (boosts celluar energy) and a relaxer (relaxes muscles) and rapidly boosts magnesium levels.

Myo-Mag contains ingredients known to participate in ATP production in the body. One capsule contains 100 mg of magnesium and 440 mg of l-malic acid. Whereas magnesium plays a critical role in key enzymatic reactions for both aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis, L-malic acid is a Kreb cycle intermediate compound intricately involved in the production of energy (as ATP). Research indicates that when there is increased demand for ATP, there is also an increased demand and utilization of both magnesium and malic acid.

Myo-Mag includes Vitamins B1 and B2 both in standard and phosphorylated coenzyme forms and Vitamin B6 in its phosphorylated coenzyme form only. These B vitamins are involved in many steps in energy production processes. Myo-Mag also provides manganese (because high levels of magnesium can deplete the body of manganese), magnesium carbonate (a malic acid buffer), and glycine as the carrier for a portion of the magnesium and for the manganese. Glycine is a carrier of magnesium in the blood and therefore can reduce the tendency to loosen stools for which other forms of magnesium are noted.

We have found that Myo-Mag is a critical supplement for individuals experiencing fibromyalgia, multiple chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, and other conditions of low energy. In addition, we often recommended Myo-Mag for athletes just prior to intense exercise in order to keep them in an aerobic energy state for longer periods of time. Under hypoxic (i.e., low oxygen) conditions, Myo-Mag can support greater anaerobic energy production. Many of our customers have used Myo-Mag to reduce muscle cramping.

HEPA PLUS

One of six foundations in our Master Rejuvenation Program is detoxification. Indeed, rejuvenation of the body requires support for detoxification of the body, including liver detoxification. For this reason, we offer specific recommendations and supporting protocols for detoxification.

Many supplements we recommended in our Rejuvenation Program support detoxification via increased energy production (e.g., see Nascent Iodine and Myo-Mag). Yet, we also know how vital direct support for the liver can be for health. We designed Hepa Plus with the specific purpose of supporting healthy liver function, including detoxification.

Hepa Plus is a synergistic formula containing milk thistle (Silybum marianum) extract standardized to greater than 80 percent silymarin, dandelion root extract 4:1, alpha lipoic acid, n-acetyl l-cysteine (NAC), thiamin diphosphate (cocarboxylase), ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate, glycine, taurine, and minerals molybdenum and selenium.

The liver plays a major role in metabolism and has a number of functions in the body, including detoxification, glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, plasma protein synthesis, and hormone production. It produces bile, an alkaline compound which aids in digestion via the emulsification of lipids. Its highly specialized tissues also regulate a wide variety of high-volume biochemical reactions, including the synthesis and breakdown of small and complex molecules, many of which are necessary for normal vital functions. Simply put, the liver is necessary for survival. For example, there is currently no means to compensate for complete loss of liver function. Therefore, it is essential to maintain liver health both to sustain life and to create optimal health in a toxic world.

Extensive research has shown that silymarin (the major component of milk thistle extract) exerts both a protective and a restorative effect on the liver and can stimulate the growth of new liver cells to replace old damaged cells. Studies have shown that dandelion root enhances the flow of bile, improving such conditions as liver congestion, bile duct inflammation, hepatitis, gallstones, and jaundice. Lipoic acid is an important nutrient that enhances metabolism, acts both as a water-soluble and fat-soluble antioxidant, and is a toxic metal chelator (including chelation of free iron, copper, cadmium, mercury, and lead). Thiamin diphosphate (cocarboxylase) is a coenzyme form of Vitamin B1 and is especially helpful for impaired liver function.

Other nutrients in Hepa Plus include NAC, which is effective for increasing liver concentrations of glutathione, a critically important antioxidant in the liver claimed to be responsible for about 60% of the liver’s detoxification processes. Glycine and taurine play important roles in Phase II liver detoxification pathways. Ornithine plays a key role in the urea cycle and allows the liver to eliminate the buildup of toxic levels of ammonia. Molybdenum and selenium are essential minerals for the synthesis of enzymes that support liver detoxification.

HPDI designed Hepa Plus as your powerful ally for building and maintaining liver health because  optimal liver function is critical to detoxification and successful rejuvenation. When liver function is restored and/or improved and thereby brought into a state of health, your body’s overall capacity to heal and rejuvenate becomes much greater. Because nutrients that help maintain peak liver function play important roles in our Rejuvenation Program, Hepa Plus is the supplement we recommend most highly for direct liver support, as it provides nutrients critically needed for it.

NASCENT IODINE FOR DETOXIFICATION AND GREATER ENERGY

Nascent Iodine is a unique, ideal form of iodine that is rapidly absorbed and used by the body when taken as a nutritional supplement. It is associated with a wide range of benefits, not limited to supporting thyroid function and regulating metabolism, boosting energy levels (when iodine is deficient), supporting and maintaining detoxification systems and processes, supporting immune system function, fighting infections (natural antiseptic), and many other healthy benefits. Because of its antiseptic properties, it also can be used effectively to purify water for drinking. One drop provides 400 micrograms of Nascent Iodine in a base of organic grain alcohol.

More than 90% of Americans suffer from a deficiency of iodine. There are many causes for widespread deficiency among the population. Significant factors include diets lacking in ocean fish or sea vegetables (e.g., seaweeds), high intakes of toxic bromine (which is added to commercial breads and baked goods), and vegetarian or vegan diets (see more below), all of which can contribute to less than optimal levels of iodine.

Moreover, it is known that toxic halides, including chlorine, fluorine (e.g., fluoride in toothpaste), and bromine (e.g., in breads) compete for uptake with iodine in the body, and thereby contribute to iodine deficiency. Iodine deficiency can lead to the development of many adverse health conditions (and a wide variety of symptoms) because the entire body (i.e., all organ systems) depends upon iodine for the critical roles it plays energy production, healthy metabolism, and overall support of health. Nascent Iodine helps you transition from state of iodine deficiency to achieving optimal iodine levels.

Nascent Iodine biochemically is consumable iodine in an atomic form rather than a molecular form. It is a highly bioavailable, pure atomic iodine supplement in an energized state. This “charged” state is held by the atom until diluted in water and consumed, whereupon it gradually loses energy over a two to three hour span. During this time, the body recognizes Nascent Iodine as identical to the iodine used by the thyroid, and therefore it is absorbed effortlessly. This form of iodine is unique and well known to offer beneficial effects unlike any other form of iodine. In fact, Nascent Iodine is the most easily assimilated iodine available.

IMMUNE SUPPORT

A healthy immune system is required for rejuvenation. Yet, often it is the immune system itself that requires rejuvenating to bring it to a level where it can better support rejuvenation of the entire body. Our Rejuvenation Program therefore builds the immune system and includes supplement recommendations and supporting protocols to accomplish that goal. Two of the most important immune building supplements we recommend are Echinacea (an immune enhancing herb) and Immune-Assist (a six-mushroom complex that provides polysaccharides that provide a wide range of health benefits).

Echinacea is one of the most powerful herbs known for boosting the immune system. Research shows that echinacea boosts immunity, prevents infection, and helps reduce the duration of illness. It also helps promote healing, has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities, and stimulates the nervous system. It is an amazingly versatile herb.

Echinacea can be taken internally and applied externally to fight bacterial infections. It can also be used internally to lower fever and reduce allergic reactions. It is effective in fighting infectious conditions, including influenza, common colds, candida, herpes, and respiratory infections. In combination with other herbs it may be used for infections in any area of the body. For example, in combination with yarrow or bearberry it will effectively stop cystitis (bladder infection).

You can make your own echinacea tincture in a glass mason jar using fresh organic or wildcrafted echinacea roots, leaves, and seeds (available from Pacific Botanicals, 541-479-7777) soaked in vodka. Soak the herbs for several weeks in enough vodka to see 1/3 liquid above the solids at the top of the jar). Shake once or twice daily. After three to four weeks, strain through cheesecloth or a cotton towel into a large bowl, and then pour the filtered Echinacea tincture into the glass mason jar and/or dropper bottles. Use two droppers full (about 70 drops) of tincture four times daily.

IMMUNE ASSIST™ MUSHROOM POLYSACCHARIDE COMPLEX

Rejuvenation requires strong a strong immune system. While echinacea can provide a significant boost to immunity, there are other immune-building supplements that exert powerful effects. One of the best (and one we highly recommend) is Immune-Assist™, a unique mushroom-derived polysaccharide complex in a vegetarian capsule.

Immune-Assist™ Daily Formula is a new type of dietary supplement. It contains more than 200 different polysaccharides, derived from enzymatic breakdown of organic material derived from six different species of medicinal mushrooms. These include the species Agaricus blazei, Cordyceps sinensis hybrid, Lentinula edodes (shiitake), Grifola frondosa (maitake), Ganoderma lucidum (reishi), and Coriolus versicolor. Immune Assist™ contains 500 mg per vegetarian capsule and is made in America using only USDA-certified organic materials.

Scientific research shows that medicinal mushrooms grown on vegetable sources (including millet, rice bran, buckwheat, barley, etc.) activate an enzymatic process whereby complex cross-linked polysaccharides from these vegetable sources convert to biologically active immunomodulators (a.k.a., “biological response modifiers”). The polysaccharides produced from this process are powerful immune system stimulators that are effective and safe. For this reason, Immune Assist™ and other mushroom supplements are growing in popularity among health-minded indivduals.

Immune-Assist™ consistently and effectively boosts immune system function in the following ways: 1) stimulates cytokine (IL-2, IL-12, Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF), and Interferon) production, which stimulates immune function, 2) increases Natural Killer (NK) cell activity against diseased cells, 3) increases the formation of explosive granules within NK cells, 4) increases the number and the activity of lymphocytes, specifically increasing T cells, 5) increases Interferon levels, which inhibits the replication of viruses and stimulates NK cell activity, and 6) increases the formation of TNF, a group of proteins that help destroy cancer cells.

Applications for Immune Assist™ include: 1) recurrent infections, such as colds, flu, and parasites, 2) gum disease, 3) heart disease, 4) peptic ulcer, 5) cancers, 6) slow healing wounds, 7) digestive problems, 8) AIDS, 9) hepatitis, 10) multiple sclerosis, and 11) autoimmune illnesses. Immune Assist™ has not exhibited side effects and is completely non-toxic even after years of use at therapeutic levels.

The importance of a strong, adaptable immune system cannot be underestimated, especially in the context of building (or rebuilding) health and for successful rejuvenation. While there are other useful immune building supplements (e.g., garlic, olive leaf extract), both echinacea and Immune Assist™ have proven highly effective for boosting immunity as part of a complete program for rejuvenation.

FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS + ADDITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
= POWERFUL SUPPORT FOR REJUVENATION

It is vital to take the four foundational nutritional supplements, which include a high-quality multivitamin formula, essential fats, an Antioxidant/Vitamin C formula, and a high-RNA superfood (e.g., Rejuvenate!™ superfoods) as part of a complete program of rejuvenation because the nutrients they provide remain foundational to health. Yet, optimal results usually depend on additional supplements both building on the nutrition provided by the foundational nutritional supplements and providing unique benefits beyond foundational nutrition. I have described seven of the most important additional supplements you can take for this purpose: CoQ10 + (100 mg) (as ubiquinone) or Ubiquinol-50, Myo-Mag, Hepa Plus, Nascent Iodine, Echinacea, and Immune Assist.

When you combine solid basic nutrition and foundational nutritional supplements with a combination of additional supplements right for you, you can expect results far exceeding what is possible for health when taking either foundational nutritional supplements, or additional supplements by themselves. The synergistic effects of this combination can transcend the effects of the individual supplements. Therefore, significant synergy results from combining the four foundational supplements with other supplements that optimize biological function, boost cellular energy (as ATP), enhance immunity, support detoxification processes, and help create powerful health from the inside-out.

It is evident that supplements by themselves are no replacement for the right attitude, healthy diet, detoxification, proper exercise, meditation, and other elements in our Rejuvenation Program. However, when the proper supplements are combined with other elements in the program, the supplements play a critical role in creating health and supporting your regeneration and rejuvenation.

Following the best practices generally produces the best results. This is especially true when establishing superior nutrition that can powerfully support rejuvenation and create sustainable health. This is why we at HPDI suggest first establishing a foundation for good health using foundational nutritional supplements, and then recommend adding specific additional supplements that build on your nutrient foundation in order to facilitate and optimize processes of regeneration and rejuvenation.

3

The Health Benefits of Oral Magnesium Using MYO-MAG

I first became involved with nutritional supplements and alternative approaches to health in 1984 when my wife Joanne became extremely chemically sensitive. In 1989, I formulated my first nutritional supplement, which we still sell today as OPC-C. Initially, it was a combination of Vitamin C buffered with magnesium and calcium and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) from pine bark. Later, the OPC source became grape seed, skin, and stems.

In 1993, a blood test indicated that Joanne had a functional magnesium deficiency. This meant that although she had adequate magnesium levels in her body, her mitochondria could not use it effectively to produce energy (ATP). Without sufficient ATP the body cannot carry out many of its metabolic functions, and a person suffers from severe fatigue.

Shortly after receiving Joanne’s blood test results, I learned about a product that contained magnesium and malic acid. Indeed, in “Management of Fibromyalgia: Rationale for the Use of Magnesium and Malic Acid,” Abraham and Flechas reported that supplementing the diet with magnesium and malic acid may reverse conditions of low energy (Journal of Nutritional Medicine 1992 3: 49–59). The recommended daily amounts included 300–600 mg of oral magnesium and 1200–2400 mg of malic acid. Based on this information, Joanne tried this product and it seemed to give her more energy.

Can Oral Magnesium Help?

As it turned out, the magnesium and malic acid product Joanne took was not properly buffered and contained no B vitamins, which are critical to the body’s metabolic processes that make ATP. I therefore formulated MYO-MAG, which provides oral magnesium in the form of malate and diglycinate, as well as Vitamins B1, B2, and B6 (including coenzyme forms of these vitamins). MYO-MAG is buffered with a small amount of magnesium carbonate, and included some manganese for mineral balance.

After taking MYO-MAG, Joanne’s energy and sense of well-being dramatically increased. And for the first time in many years, she could also take a wide range of other nutritional supplements that provided additional benefits. When I gave even small amounts of MYO-MAG to other chemically sensitive people, there was an almost instant positive response and having more energy. Even those with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue respond well to MYO-MAG.

I find it useful to employ a method of titration to ‘bowel tolerance’ in order to arrive at the optimal dosage. If someone takes too much oral magnesium at one time, very frequently the person will experience diarrhea, gas, or loose stools. However, by starting at a smaller dose, spreading out the doses over the course of the day, and gradually increasing the amounts taken until gassiness and stomach rumbling are experienced (and then backing off a bit), you gain the maximum benefit. Using this method, Joanne was able to take 12 capsules daily (1,200 mg of oral magnesium) and her health began improving significantly.

Today, MYO-MAG remains one of our bestselling products. We are pleased to continue offering our customers this highly effective oral magnesium supplement with a proven track record of major benefits. These benefits include less fatigue and greater energy, improved metabolic functions, cardiovascular support, nutrition for muscles, reduced spasms or cramps, help for migraine headaches, and many other benefits.

0

SUPER REMEDIES FOR STINGS AND BITES

Fred Liers PhD stings bitesSummer is a season of sun, outdoor fun, friends, family, and food! It can also be a time of bites or stings from bees and other insects, as well as spiders, scorpions, and sometimes snakes.

Bites and stings quickly put a damper on one’s enjoyment of the day. I don’t like being stung myself. But as a parent, it can be quite traumatic dealing with a child’s pain, discomfort, and suffering.

As my wife Stefanie says about our son Olin, he has been stung by bees more often in his four years than she has in her entire life. And he’s had his share of ant bites, too. Our garden usually has some ant and bee activity, and he is often in the garden among the flowers and insects. So, naturally we try to use the most effective, natural solutions to bites and stings.

The good news is that we know what do when stings or bites occur. In fact, how we handle them may surprise you. Gone are the days when we worry too much about the pain, swelling, and other harmful effects of stings from bees and other insects, spiders, scorpions, and even snakes. This information can benefit you, too.

We know what works. The key is being prepared to act quickly after a bite or sting occurs.

MAKE AN EMERGENCY KIT FOR BITES AND STINGS

Assemble the few items you will need to treat stings and bites. I suggest keeping all essential items (see list below) in an easily accessible place, so they are available when stings or bites happen. Better yet, make a kit and you can take it with you when you’re traveling or in the outdoors. You can also keep it in your car, or in a handy place where you can access it quickly when needed.

KIT ITEMS

1) POULTICE POWDER (use Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula) (or to make your own, see below), gauze or cloth strips, plastic wrap, tape, and distilled water to prepare poultice.
2) ECHINACEA TINCTURE. Use a high-quality product like Super Echinacea, or make your own).
3) VITAMIN C (preferably buffered form in capsules like PRO-C™ or tablets like Buffered C 1,000 Tabs. Ideally, the kit will contain an entire bottle of Vitamin C.
4) HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES. Keep two or three 30C homeopathic pellet formulas (in tubes), especially Ledum palustre, Apis mellifica, Arnica montana, Arnicare® Trauma Pellets, and others. I prefer the Boiron® brand.
5) ADDITIONAL ITEMS (not necessarily in your kit): Warrior Mist™, foundational supplements, magnesium (oral and/or transdermal form), Immune-Assist™ Daily Formula, etc.

WHAT TO DO

1) APPLY ECHINACEA TINCTURE

Echinacea purpurea

The first thing to do is put some liquid echinacea tincture directly onto the sting or bite. Rub at least three or four dropperfuls into the affected area as quickly as possible.

Be sure to give at least two or three dropperfuls of echinacea directly into the mouth of the person. If an alcohol tincture is too strong for a child, then put it in a few ounces of water. For snake bites, give correspondingly more tincture.

The immediate effect of echinacea tincture is to neutralize the effects of the proteins and enzymes within venom. Another effect is to boost the immune system.

I typically make my own echinacea tincture, but also recommend a few brands known for their effectiveness. These include include Herb Pharm’s Super Echinacea and American Botanical Pharmacy’s Echinacea Plus. These tinctures are readily available at health food stores, cost effective, and easy to store or keep in your kit.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN ECHINACEA TINCTURE

You can use homegrown echinacea, or get the dried herb from Pacific Botanicals. Use fresh or dried echinacea root (root powder or whole root). You can also use other parts of plant (e.g., seeds). Cut the herb into pieces (if not already powdered). Put the herb into a blender, add 80 proof alcohol (vodka, brandy, etc.) and mix.

Pour the mixture from the blender into a mason jar and add more alcohol so that the herb is covered (one to two inches above the plant material). Shake daily for at least two weeks (preferably a month or longer for greater strength) and then filter into a large bowl using cotton cloth or cheesecloth.

Pour the filtered tincture into mason jar and then transfer into dropper bottles, as needed. You may find it helpful to use a small ladel and a funnel to transfer from the mason jar to dropper bottles. Clearly label your mason jar and dropper bottles, so you know what it is, and so you don’t accidentally drink it thinking it’s apple cider vinegar (it happens!). Then put a dropper bottle or two of your labeled echinacea into your kit(s).

As I previously noted, regardless of whether you make your own tincture or buy it online or in a store, it’s a good idea not just to have it at home, but also to have it ready to go on trips. So, either bring your kit when you go out (e.g., hiking, camping, etc.) or make another kit to keep in your car for trips.

Echinacea is a perennial flowering herb endemic to north America, and is often referred to as ‘purple coneflower’ although its various species exhibit other colors. The primary medicinal species are E. purpurea, E. angustifolia, and E. pallida, so look for these in tinctures or seeds (if you plan to grow your own). It is a known immunomodulator and immunostimulator, stimulating the body’s non-specific immune system to help fight infections.

It was historically used medicinally by Native Americans (and especially tribes (i.e., Kiowa, Lakotah, Pawnee, Cheyenne) living on the Great Plains) who introduced it to European settlers. It was used in the 19th and early 20th centuries as an antimicrobial, but also documented for use for snakebite and pain relief.

Echinacea is reported to have been the original 19th-century “snake oil”  used by traveling entertainers as a remedy for intentional snake bites where it was used to miraculously ‘cure’ the bite recipient in front of an audience. I can’t verify the accuracy of these reports. However, if there is a single, natural remedy that could rapidly deactivate snake venom, then echinacea probably would be it.

Echinacea certainly offers special properties when it comes to neutralizing various types of venom. Yet, I wouldn’t be without a drawing poultice in the event of snake bite, for example, in order to draw out the venom, even as it is being neutralized by echinacea. So read on.

2) APPLY A DRAWING POULTICE

The next thing to do is to make a wet drawing poultice from pre-prepared poultice mix. The purpose is to draw out the venom (or poisons) from the bite or sting. A drawing poultice is highly effective topical, herbal treatment for pulling out toxins of all sorts.

A very good prepared poultice powder mix is HPDI’s Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula, which contains all the ingredients needed to make a poutice directly from the container. An added advantage of our unique formula is that you can also use it internally to gently cleanse your digestive tract (e.g., ideal for use on a summer juice fast). In fact, it was primarily designed as an intestinal cleansing formula. But it performs superbly as a poultice, too.

You can also make your own poultice powder mix. Prepare a basic poultice powder using a combination that is two parts slippery elm bark powder (e.g., 2 tablespoons) and one part (e.g., 1 tablespoon) each of activated charcoal, bentonite clay, and apple pectin. Mix the herbs in a large bowl and then store in a mason jar for future use. (You can get these herbs from your local herb shop, or order them from Pacific Botanicals (541-479-7777) or Blessed Herbs (774-298-0966).

Make the actual drawing poultice you will use on a bite or sting by mixing a few teaspoons (or more) of the pre-prepared poultice mix (i.e., Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula or your own formula) with some water in a pyrex cup or small bowl. Add water slowly (i.e., don’t add too much) and then stir with a spoon or chopstick until it has a somewhat thick consistency, basically a paste.

Spread a thin layer of the wet poultice “paste” directly onto skin (i.e., sting or bite) and surrounding area (including swollen areas). The layer shouldn’t be too thin. In fact, more is generally better, as long as it isn’t clumping, drying, or falling off. Try to spread the paste evenly.

Cover the poultice with a thin layer of gauze and wrap it with plastic wrap, which you can tape in place. If you don’t have gauze or think cotton cloth (think T-shirt material), then you can just wrap it with plastic wrap and tape it down.

The purpose of the gauze and plastic wrap not only is to hold the poultice in place, but also to keep the poultice moist. By keeping it moist, you allow the poultice  to continue drawing venom from the bite. If it dries out completely, you will have to remove it entirely and start again (as sometimes happens overnight). if the poultice is just beginning to dry out (and is still flexible or slightly ‘rubbery’), you can often just add water directly to it without having to remove it). You can leave a poultice on the skin for six (or more) hours before you remove it and apply a fresh one, which you can do as often as necessary. It may be helpful to apply a cold pack over the poultice to prevent venom or toxins from spreading.

If you act rapidly enough, you will find that just by using echinacea and applying the drawing poultice on the bite or sting will in most cases cause the pain and swelling to stop within 15–30 minutes (or less) depending on its severity.

However, the longer the time between the sting/bite and the start of these measures means a longer time before the pain and swelling disappear (e.g., possibly up to 24 hours or more). Also, even if the pain and swelling disappear quickly, it can still be important to apply fresh poultices and continue taking echinacea (e.g., by mouth every 20–30 minutes) because the venom may not be completely drawn from the site.

3) GIVE / TAKE VITAMIN C

Immediately give at least 1–3 grams of vitamin C. I suggest a buffered form, such as PRO-C™ or Buffered C 1,000 Tabs. Vitamin C will immediately protect the body from free-radical damage, reduce inflammation and limit histamine release, and boost the immune system. Children can take 0.5 to 1 gram immediately. Give more vitamin C depending on the severity of the sting or bite. For a bee sting, you can give another gram every 20–30 minutes. For a snake bite, much larger doses (5–10 grams or more) may be needed and given repeatedly over a longer period of time.

4) GIVE / TAKE HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES

It is also important to take or give homeopathic remedies after a sting or bite. Some of the most useful homeopathic remedies include Ledum palustre, Apis mellifica, Hypericum, Urtica urens. The 30C strength is ideal for this purpose, but other potencies work well, too. Start with 4–5 pellets and repeat every 15 minutes for up to four doses, or as directed on the label.

You can purchase individual tubes of about 80 pellets (I prefer the Boiron® brand) at your local health food store, Whole Foods Market, or even Amazon.com. Shop around. Sometimes you can find deals on multi-tube packages.

These (below) are the three remedies I use most. In fact, for a bee sting I will usually give all three remedies within about 5–10 minutes of each other, and follow with repeat doses, as needed.

Ledum palustre 30C – works well for stings, pain, as well as itching related to insect bites.

Apis mellifica 30C – works for pain, swelling, and inflammation specifically due to stings from bees, wasps, hornets, etc.

Arnica montana 30C – works for pain, swelling, bruising, and inflammation related to trauma.

I also like the Boiron Arnicare® Trauma Pellets, a blended formula which includes Arnica montana 9C, Ledum palustre 5C, and Bellis perennis 5C. It works effectively for major bumps, bruises, and swelling. Use it as an all-purpose bite, sting, and trauma formula.

ADDITIONAL MEASURES

I include these additional measure because they can be helpful, even critically important at times, depending on the individual or situation. However, I would not necessarily rate them as immediately necessary as the four measures above. In fact, except for possibly Warrior Mist™, these items won’t likely be included in your emergency kit. Instead, you will likely keep them in your kitchen or wherever you store your supplements.

5) APPLY WARRIOR MIST™ TOPICAL PAIN FORMULA

Warrior Mist™ is a topical, transdermal pain relief formula that Dr. Hank Liers designed to stop pain in sixty seconds (or less!). This is a very serious natural pain killing formula that works well on all major sources of pain like the pain of bee and wasp stings. Of course, it also works nicely on lesser pains like mosquito and fly bites. In fact, whether or not you have your emergency kit available, if you have Warrior Mist™, then by all means use it, if only to stop pain fast.

Although Warrior Mist™ is exceedingly effective for stopping pain, it is not a substitute for echinacea (to neutralize venom) and a poultice (to draw out venom) when a bite or sting is severe. For example, if you are dealing with a rattlesnake bite, you will obviously want to use echinacea and apply a poultice first, and then consider applying Warrior Mist™.

Other benefits of keeping Warrior Mist™ in your kit include the fact that you can use it for all types of pain. And so you will find uses for it whether or not you need it for bites and stings. It works well for everything from bumps and bruises to the pain of fibromyalgia, joint pains, neck and shoulder pain, and all types of chronic pain. It also effectively reduces the size of scars by dissolving keloids.

6) TAKE FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

Supplements I regard as foundational (or what I sometimes refer to as essential or ‘core’) include a multivitamin, essential fats, vitamin C, and a Rejuvenate!™ superfood. These are daily supplements recommended for everyone for basic health.

Taking a multivitamin, essential fats, vitamin C, and superfoods on a daily basis is important for health. We at HPDI always recommend that everyone take these supplement daily. This is because these are essential nutrients for supporting basic health and life itself. Later, you can add specific supplement formulas for their unique needs (e.g., Joint Health Formula, Allergy Support Plus, Eye & Vision Formula, etc.). Indeed, the best health is created when you appropriately combine foundational formulas with the specific-condition formulas that fit your individual needs.

So, if you first establish a condition of basic health for yourself, in part by taking foundational supplements daily, then your body will always be better prepared for a sting or a bite because your nutritional status will be good. The corollary is that your body’s response to a sting may be vastly worse if your nutritional status is compromised.

7) TAKE MAGNESIUM

When your body has optimal (or at least adequate) levels of magnesium, then it can perform a myriad of functions better. In fact, most Americans (and many other peoples around the world) are magnesium deficient. Magnesium supports the health of all organ systems, and is especially important for muscle function (including cardiac muscle), healing rapidly, fighting inflammation, and energy production (as ATP) in the body. We recommend a good oral magnesium supplement like MYO-MAG, which is a very complete and balanced formula. (Also see this month’s featured product article on MYO-MAG.)

Oral magnesium supplementation has limits for how rapidly it can raise magnesium levels in the body. For this reason, transdermal magnesium therapy with pure magnesium chloride in the form of Ancient Minerals magnesium oil or magnesium flakes is quickly becoming a preferred method of delivery. This is because the body can absorb large quantities through the skin (i.e., applied directly or in baths or footbaths). In contrast, the body can only absorb limited amounts orally within a given time frame, and this can be problematic during times of severe deficiency. In other words, transdermal delivery can safely and effectively raise magnesium levels and basically saturate the body with magnesium.

A major advantage of transdermal magnesium products like Ancient Minerals magnesium oil is that you can spray it directly on a bite. Magnesium oil is anti-inflammatory, speeds healing, supports healthy skin, and naturally repels bugs like mosquitoes. In fact, I rub it on during the summer and it prevents bites from mosquitoes, gnats, and biting flies. It must taste terrible to bugs! Plus, unlike commercial insect repellents, it contains no toxic ingredients (and is actually a detoxifier!), produces no side effects, and has no chemical odors! You won’t see us advertise magnesium oil as an insect repellent, but it’s really the one I like best!

For these reasons, we recommend both oral and transdermal modes of delivery. Oral magnesium delivery (e.g., Myo-Mag) primarily works as a maintenance dose after body magnesium levels are high. Transdermal magnesium is best used when the body needs maximal amounts of magnesium quickly, or for external uses (trauma, bruises, muscle injuries, aches and pains, etc.). It is also an ideal form for athletes or anyone who sweats frequently or profusely because perspiration carries magnesium out of the body.

8) TAKE IMMUNE-ASSIST™ DAILY FORMULA

Immune-Assist™ Daily Formula is an potent immune-enhancing medicinal mushroom supplement. It provides immunity enhancing polysaccharides (more than 200 different polysaccharides) derived from the enzymatic breakdown of complex organic plant material from six different species of medicinal mushrooms.

The six types of medicinal mushrooms are Agaricus blazeiCordyceps sinensis hybrid, Lentinula edodes (shiitake), Grifola frondosa (maitake), Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi), and Coriolus versicolor. Immune-Assist™ provides 500 mg of mushroom complex per vegetarian capsule and uses only USDA-certified organic materials.

We recommend Immune-Assist™ because it effectively boosts the immune system and therefore the body’s ability to defend itself. We like this formula, but there are other  good mushroom complex formulas available.

WHAT TO EXPECT

You can expect the items in your kit to do a great job remedying the problem of stings and bites. Again, the effectiveness of the kit depends on how quickly you act, the severity of the sting/bite, the nutritional status of the person affected (as well as their individual degree of sensitivity to stings/bites), and other factors. But overall, it will work remarkably well, and you will be very glad you took the time to assemble your kit.

BEES

I have treated numerous bee stings on myself and others over the years with the protocol described above. It always works in my experience. Again, the key is speed. Get echinacea tincture onto the sting site as rapidly as possible, then make your poultice and apply it. Then you can take Vitamin C and homeopathic remedies.

For individuals who are hypersensitive to bee venom (or any other type of venom) and are concerned about anaphylaxis, I suggest doing what you need to do to make sure that doesn’t happen. However, you can still apply the protocol to good effect and heal faster than if you didn’t use it. That is, there is no reason I am aware of that you can’t use this protocol, whether or not you feel you must take medication to counter a severe allergic reaction.

Also, if the protocol I present here appears too complex or difficult to use, trust me, it’s not! Even if all you do is take echinacea and apply a poultice to the affected area, you will have accomplished 90% of what needs to be done! And if you’re not into making your own herbal formulas, then just purchase echinacea tincture (like Super Echinacea) and Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula. Those are the most essential elements of the kit.

ANTS

Not-so-random fact: I was attacked and bitten this week by small fire ants (ironically during the course of writing this article!). I had personally never been attacked by a large number of ants. At the time, I was at a local park where I kneeled down in the grass to take a picture of my son Olin. I suddenly felt many sharp pains. Looking down, I saw that I had placed one knee on top of an ant nest covered by grass. My knee and the surrounding area were dotted with about fifty painful bites that were now swelling. Ouch! I ran to the car where I applied Super Echinacea (kept in the glove compartment). Within minutes the bites were already less painful and the swelling was dissipating. By the time we got home, the bites were no longer visible, and I felt no more pain. What a relief!

As noted, the key with ant (and other insect) bites and stings is speedy application of echinacea and a poultice when necessary. Back when Olin was two years old, he was stung by a single large, black harvester ant. The sting swelled hugely, but I wasn’t convinced it was terribly serious (after all, how much harm could one ant do?). I applied echinacea and gave him homeopathic remedies and Vitamin C, but I did not immediately apply a poultice (thinking it might not be needed). No doubt the echinacea gave him some relief. But the sting site continued swelling and his pain (and his crying) were unremitting until I finally applied a poultice. Lesson learned!!

SCORPIONS

I’ve had three scorpion stings since living in southern Arizona. The first time, I was new to using echinacea and poultices for this purpose. So I took a little echinacea and waited until the next day to apply a poultice. The sting occurred on the joint of my left middle finger, so the venom became sequestered in a place with little blood flow. It took an entire month before the pain and numbness were completely gone!

My second scorpion sting occurred on my ring finger the night before my wedding. How auspicious! This time, I flew into action, applying echinacea immediately and taking it orally, and getting a poultice onto the area within ten minutes. By wedding time the next day, I felt almost no pain, and there was no numbness or swelling. If I had not taken rapid action, my wedding ring might not have fit on my finger! Echinacea and drawing poultice saved the day!

The third sting occurred last year when I stepped on a scorpion with my left foot. Dang! Well, at least I was fortunate to be indoors at the time, close to all kit ingredients. I applied echinacea (and took it by mouth) immediately and placed a poultice on the sting site all within just few minutes.This time, the pain was gone within 15 minutes! There was no numbness or swelling at all.

Another cool fact is that these same practices work for snake bites. I’m not saying you shouldn’t seek ‘proper medical attention’ in the event you (or someone you know) receives a bite from a snake, particularly if the bite is deep or if the person is especially sensitive. However, if you’re hiking deep in a canyon where medical attention is not likely to be timely, using your kit just might save your life.

SNAKES

I personally know of a case in which a 14-year-old boy was bitten in the leg by a rattlesnake. Neither he nor his parents previously knew about echinacea or poultices for bites. He was taken to the hospital, treated with anti-venom, and days later released. However, his swelling persisted, and his leg remained very swollen. It was not until his family followed a recommendation to apply a poultice and he took Vitamin C that the swelling in his leg abated. At the least, this shows that an emergency kit can be an effective adjunct to standard medical treatment for snakebite. If the poultice were applied earlier, his suffering could have been significantly lessened, and possibly his time in the hospital would have been reduced.

I also know hikers who won’t go deep into the Grand Canyon (or any remote area) without their bite and sting kit. If there ever were an appropriate time to bring the kit, even just for peace of mind, then a trip away from civilization would be it! As I recall from my days as a Boy Scout, their motto was “Be Prepared.” For what? For anything. Since snake bites are something for which we can prepare, it just makes sense to bring your kit.

CONCLUSION: MAKE A KIT!

Make an emergency kit for bites and stings. You may never need it. However, if or when a bite or sting occurs, you will be glad you have it ready and so will the people you help.

In fact, make an extra kit or two for family members or friends who are hypersensitive to stings or bites, or who spend a lot of time outdoors (e.g., hiking in remote areas). This would make a great holiday gift for someone you love, and they will thank you for it.

The time and costs involved are relatively small given the benefits you stand to gain. I personally find it very empowering to make tinctures and poultice powders that can sit ready in my kit, awaiting the day they will provide welcome relief from a sting or a bite.

For more information, see our Insect / Bee / Snake Stings and Bites Suggested Activity & Supplement Schedule in the Health Recommendations Index on the HPDI website.