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September Issue Of Natural Alternatives
September 02, 2015

Natural Alternatives for Your Total Health

September 2015

Hello, and welcome to this edition edition of my Natural Alternatives Newsletter!

I hope you will enjoy reading this issue.

If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a favor and pay it forward!

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“The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” ~Hippocrates






by Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

The benefits of probiotics are numerous, but did you know different bacterial strains provide different benefits? While all of them are helpful for digestion, not all probiotics are equal. This fact has led to a lot of confusion. Let’s clear up a few questions and take a closer look at one specific probiotic strain your body depends on: Bifidobacterium breve.

Bifidobacterium breve: The Health Benefits of Probiotics

It can be a difficult task to understand there are good bacteria but your gut is home to many of them, and they’re called probiotics. The term “pro-” means “for” and “-biotic” stands for “life.” These friendly bacteria digest sugars, starches, and carbs into nutrients your body can easily digest, and they also break down fiber. Probiotics are also your first line of defense against invading bacteria like E. coli, C. difficile, and H. pylori. Considering that 80% of your immune cells are in the gut, it makes sense that probiotics protect the immune response. Probiotics line the surface of your intestines, preventing germs from attacking you and making you sick. Probiotics may also support mood, blood sugar stability, bone health, and reduce allergy symptoms.

Bifidobacterium breve: A Probiotic Strain You Want

This powerhouse probiotic bacteria plays a key role in your health. B. breve also protects colon function, alleviates constipation, and reduces gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Additionally, it stimulates your immune system, inhibits E. coli, and suppresses the fungus Candida. While there’s always a big focus on the positive effect of probiotics on digestion, B. breve has proven effective in reducing oral candida in the elderly. This helps prevent the spread of candida to other areas of the body, like the gut. Researchers speculate that many cases of Irritable Bowel Disease may be a result of a Candida infestation.

Additional research shows that this bacteria strain could be helpful in reducing intestine irritation and allergic responses in animal models. More research is needed in this area, however, to see how it translates into human subjects. B. breve also shows action against antibiotic-associated diarrhea, a common issue for people receiving large doses of antibiotics. The main job of B. breve is to ferment sugars and produce acetic and lactic acid. It can digest plant fibers that are typically thought of as non-digestible, perhaps the main reason why B. breve is so helpful for supporting digestion. If you’re the type of person who needs a little assistance in digesting your food, it’s probably wise to consider supplementing with this powerful strain.

How to Support Bifidobacterium Breve Population

Kombucha, water kefir, and raw sauerkraut are excellent food sources of probiotics. Supplements are another way to get the probiotics you need. But make sure it’s a high-quality supplement. Organisms like B. breve use fiber, inulin, and natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables as food, or prebiotics. Prebiotics feed your probiotic bacteria, keeping them hearty and robust. Simply increasing your fiber intake through whole plant foods can be helpful. Supplementation with inulin or gum acacia can also be extremely helpful for supporting B. breve population.



In a study to test coconut oil’s biocidal properties against the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, the oil proved to be quite effective.

The action of coconut oil was tested in its natural state and after being treated with enzymes, in a process similar to digestion. The oils were tested against strains of Streptococcus bacteria, which are common inhabitants of your mouth.

They found that enzyme-modified coconut oil strongly inhibits the growth of most strains of Streptococcus bacteria, including Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium that is a major cause of tooth decay.1 It is thought that the breaking down of the fatty coconut oil by the enzymes turns it into acids, which are toxic to certain bacteria. Chief researcher Dr. Damien Brady said:

“Incorporating enzyme-modified coconut oil into dental hygiene products would be an attractive alternative to chemical additives, particularly as it works at relatively low concentrations. Also, with increasing antibiotic resistance, it is important that we turn our attention to new ways to combat microbial infection.”

6 Reasons to Use Coconut Oil as Toothpaste

A case could be made that coconut oil has a near-perfect makeup to act as an effective toothpaste. Six top reasons, as reported by MindBodyGreen, include:

1. No Harmful Chemicals

Conventional toothpaste such as Colgate Total contains an antibacterial chemical called triclosan, which has been linked to concerns over antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are a serious concern, as they can promote a wide variety of health problems, including: breast, ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancer, preterm and low birth weight babies, precocious puberty in girls, and undescended testicles in boys.

Some animal studies showed that triclosan caused fetal bone malformations in mice and rats, which may hint at hormonal effects.

Fluoride is another common chemical in conventional toothpaste. Fluoride is a toxic industrial waste product that is a poison to your body even in trace amounts…

2. Effective Against Cavity-Causing Bacteria

Research even shows that massaging coconut oil into your gums for about 10 minutes daily (continued for three weeks) significantly reduces decay-causing Streptococcus mutans as well as plaque.

3. No Foaming Agents

Many toothpastes also contain surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES). Surfactants are chemicals responsible for the foaming action of the toothpaste, but they also interfere with the functioning of your taste buds by breaking up the phospholipids on your tongue.

This enhances bitter tastes and is thought to be the reason why everything tastes so bad right after you’ve brushed your teeth. This may also be part of why coconut oil works so well for oral hygiene, as it helps maintain a more natural balance of lipids on your tongue, while still having potent antibacterial properties.

Not to mention, SLS has even been linked to painful canker sores, with research suggesting an SLS-free toothpaste should be used for people with recurring sores.

4. Inexpensive

It takes only a small amount of coconut oil to keep your teeth clean, and one jar can easily last you months, making it a very inexpensive toothpaste.

5. You Can Use It on Your Dog’s Teeth Too

While you wouldn’t want to brush your pets’ teeth with ordinary “human” toothpaste, coconut oil is effective and safe for dogs and humans alike. Applying it with a toothbrush would be best, but your pet may even get some oral health benefits just from licking a small amount of oil. The recipe below is not recommended for dogs. As noted, some ingredients that are fine for human consumption can be toxic for pets.  

6. Simple to Make

Coconut oil toothpaste is simple to make with just a few ingredients: Coconut oil, Baking soda, which acts as an abrasive and helps with whitening,Essential oils to give your toothpaste flavor and add additional therapeutic benefits. Peppermint oil extract, for instance, has been shown to be superior to the mouthwash chemical chlorhexidine in inhibiting the formation of biofilm formations linked to dental cavities.Erythritol, xylitol, or stevia (optional), which are natural sweeteners. Xylitol, in particular, has been linked to reductions in cavities. However, if you plan to give this toothpaste to your dog, do not include xylitol, as it is toxic to dogs. Salt, Bentonite clay, which adds a paste-like consistency and may help draw out toxins from your gums and tongue .

You Can Use Coconut Oil for Oil Pulling Too

Oil pulling involves ‘rinsing’ your mouth with coconut oil, much like you would with a mouthwash (except you shouldn’t attempt to gargle with it). The oil is “worked” around your mouth by pushing, pulling, and drawing it through your teeth for about 10-15 minutes. When you’re first starting out, you may want to try it for just five minutes at a time.

This process allows the oil to “pull out” cavity-causing bacteria and other debris from your mouth. Once the oil turns thin and milky white, you’ll know it’s time to spit it out. As reported by the Indian Journal of Dental Research:

“Oil pulling has been used extensively as a traditional Indian folk remedy without scientific proof for many years for strengthening teeth, gums, and jaws and to prevent decay, oral malodor, bleeding gums, and dryness of throat and cracked lips.”

However, oil pulling does appear to have a significant cleansing and healing effect, which is backed by science:

Oil pulling reduced counts of Streptococcus mutans bacteria – a significant contributor to tooth decay – in the plaque and saliva of children. Researchers concluded, “Oil pulling can be used as an effective preventive adjunct in maintaining and improving oral health.”

Oil pulling significantly reduced plaque, improved gum health, and reduced aerobic microorganisms in plaque among adolescent boys with plaque-induced gingivitis

Oil pulling is as effective as mouthwash at improving bad breath and reducing the microorganisms that may cause it.

Oil pulling benefits your mouth, in part, via its mechanical cleaning action.Researchers noted, “The myth that the effect of oil pulling therapy on oral health was just a placebo effect has been broken and there are clear indications of possible saponification and emulsification process, which enhances its mechanical cleaning action.”

It’s worth noting that the above studies used sesame oil, which is traditionally recommended.

by Jonathon Engels

In all our efforts to move to more sustainable living, growing our own food and going green with energy, why wouldn’t we also try to kick our bad habit with modern medicine? Recent studies have shown that nearly seven out of ten U.S. citizens are taking prescription medicines each year, and of course, that doesn’t even begin to take into account all of the over-the-counter pills, powders, and syrups. It’s the wrong mentality.

While medical technology is without a doubt something we should all utilize when we need it, the right answer isn’t always a synthetically derived capsule. As we all know, the best medicine is prevention, but even when the inevitable cold or headache strikes, there are other avenues to be taken before turning to store-bought or doctor-prescribed “health” care.

Nature can provide viable, effective treatments for any common ailment, and what’s more, is that they enable the body to pacify illnesses, engaging our highly capable human faculties as opposed to bypassing them. This means our overall health is improved rather than one symptom subdued with the price of several side effects and reliance on drugs instead of actual better wellbeing.

Herbal remedies are not hooey. They are common sense.


We all know the signs, the fingertips to the temples working in circles, trying to will it away. Headaches happen. Why? They are a form of inflammation, signaling to us that our bodies are struggling somehow: loud noise, a bump on the head, high blood pressure, too much alcohol or caffeine…

Basically, we first need to acknowledge the possible sources and address them to start taking preventative measures to avoid them. This includes eating less processed food and sugar, reducing caffeine and booze intake, and increasing our magnesium. There are lots of foods to help with this. However, to start working on the problem right away, go for this quick recipe:

Take two spoons of raw, organic apple cider vinegar. It’s anti-inflammatory and full of minerals.

2. Stomach Aches

Another in the list of common aches that keep us from going to school or work, that slow us down enough to make living a struggle, stomachaches are miserable. But, they are sometimes a part of life, and one that we can deal with quickly and naturally, as opposed to turning to scarily pink solutions.

Again, stomach problems have causes and trying to pinpoint those causes and address them is where to start. There are lots of foods that will help to soothe cramps and digestions issues. But, for a more medicinal sounding response, there is always this:

Drink a steady supply of ginger tea. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory power pack with particular prowess with stomach and nausea issues.

3. Burns

Some ailments have nothing to do with our dietary woes or lifestyle choices, but they are plain old accidents. Nevertheless, we’ve got to address them. We need relief, and that relief doesn’t necessarily have to come from a tube. Nature has equipped us very well with plants that have miraculous qualities. When it comes to burns, does anything really stack up against aloe vera? Just keep one as houseplant instead of buying medicine.

Topically apply the natural gel within the aloe leaf. It cools the burn, as well as has reparative clout for reducing inflammation and healing the skin. Plus, it basically comes in its own natural squeeze tube.

4. Cuts

Once more, accidents sometimes happen, and unless the occasional cut is coming from juggling knives or sword fights, there is likely not a lot we can change to prevent them. So, we just have to do our best to deal with them when they happen, and that doesn’t have to be in the form of a chemical paste. Lots and lots and lots of natural plants have anti-bacterial and antiseptic attributes that will keep that slice for getting infected and becoming a real problem.

Mix turmeric powder and water to make a paste and cover the problem area. It prevents infection, helps stop bleeding and repairs skin.

5. Rashes

Since skin is our largest organ and also completely exposed to the elements, it’s no wonder so many common ailments — burns, cuts and now rashes — are skin-related. Rashes can come from all sorts of sources, both natural and chemical. They can be itchy or simply unsightly. Luckily, they are also perfectly treatable.

Many chemical medicines can truly help with the symptoms of rashes but, with toxic ingredients that have negative effects on the rest of the body, to what end. Plenty of natural remedies are out there for whatever kind of rash has ailed us, so why not just go the safe, effective route?

Coconut and tea tree oil are both potent anti-fungal agents that will conquer many rash and all the while provide respite from stinging and/or itchiness.

6. Cold and Flu

One need only see the range of products and their varying strengths to understand the modern medical discord with colds and flus.

Luckily, there are a lot of things that can be done/eaten in order to ward off colds and flus, most of which match perfectly with the seasonal produce in the autumn and winter. However, when the winter out wiles us, all hope is not lost, and we can most certainly turn to the garden rather than the science lab.

Drink green tea all the livelong day to boost the immune system, and combine it with some lemon, ginger, cayenne and stevia for an oddly tasty and strong elixir.

There is certainly a time and place for medical technology, but perhaps it’s not always the first road we should take. In fact, nature can handle many of the bumps and bruises that can complicate life, often for much less money and with fewer negative consequences.


Thank you for reading.

Brampton, Ontario, Canada

P.S. If you have a comment or suggestion, just reply to this e-mail. Your feedback is important to me.



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This newsletter is for educational purposes only. It is your right to educate yourself in health and medical knowledge, to seek helpful information and make use of it for your own benefit, and for that of your family. You are the one responsible for your health. You must educate yourself in order to make decisions in all health matters. My views and advises are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medicine, but simply a help you to make educated changes in order to help your body heal itself. If you have a medical condition or concern you should consult your physician.

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