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Your April Issue of Natural Alternatives
March 31, 2021

Natural Alternatives for Your Total Health

April 2021

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

I hope you will enjoy reading this issue.

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









By Dr. Mercola

Chronic anxiety, like stress, is very damaging to your mental and physical health, temporarily shutting down your immune system

* Long-term anxiety raises your risk for depression, hypertension, hormone imbalance, cancer, and many other serious health problems

* One of the most effective tools against anxiety is EFT, which helps correct the biochemical short-circuiting that occurs with chronic anxiety

The effects of stress on your mental and physical health are being studied more intensively these days. Anxiety can be considered a type of stress response, typically involving a sense of fear, dread, or apprehension.

A brief period of anxiety is a natural, adaptive response to a potential threat, which puts your body into a heightened state of arousal to keep you out of harm's way—your heart beats faster and your respirations increase as your muscles are prepared for action.

For instance, the anxiety you may feel while hiking near a steep drop-off will likely make you more alert and careful in your movements. The problem arises when anxiety becomes a permanent state, in the absence of any real threats.

When anxiety becomes chronic—as it is for an estimated 40 million Americans—it can increase your risk for a number of mental and physical health problems. If you find you spend a good deal of time feeling anxious, then it's important to take steps to reduce that anxiety before it has a chance to damage your health.

While you can't eliminate anxiety from your life entirely, energy psychology tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), demonstrated in the video above, can help you reduce your stress by correcting the bioelectrical short-circuiting that can happen when anxiety becomes chronic.

Anxiety and Stress Have Similar Effects on Your Brain

Although stress and anxiety are not the same thing, they do significantly overlap in terms of their effects on your body. While stress often occurs in response to an external stimulus (like an argument with your spouse), anxiety tends to be more of an internal state.

Many experts believe that anxiety disorders result from a combination of nature (your genetics) and nurture (your environment).

In other words, individuals who are abused or neglected as children have a higher risk for developing an anxiety disorder, but whether or not it manifests depends in part on their innate ability to cope with stressful situations, "internal resources," personality traits, and social support system.

Anxiety evokes the same "fight or flight or freeze" response as stress, meaning that anxiety will trigger a flood of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol that help you respond in an emergency.

It's normal to feel anxiety with a stressful event, such as before public speaking or in anticipation of a job interview, but normally anxiety will fade once the event passes.

Is Your Brain Becoming Wired for Anxiety?

If you experience anxiety for long enough, your brain may become "wired" for it, such that any potentially undesirable situation sounds a biological alarm. Chronic anxiety might cause you to constantly look out for potential threats when none exist.

Worse yet, some people are so used to feeling anxious that they don't realize there's a problem and simply suffer in silence. Prolonged anxiety can lead to social isolation, physical symptoms, and related mental health problems, including depression.

Chronic anxiety and anxiety disorders may persist for months or even years, regardless of the coming and going of life events. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) explains how your brain processes anxiety:

"Several parts of the brain are key actors in the production of fear and anxiety… scientists have discovered that the amygdala and the hippocampus play significant roles in most anxiety disorders.

The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain that is believed to be a communications hub between the parts of the brain that process incoming sensory signals and the parts that interpret these signals. It can alert the rest of the brain that a threat is present and trigger a fear or anxiety response.

The emotional memories stored in the central part of the amygdala may play a role in anxiety disorders involving very distinct fears, such as fears of dogs, spiders, or flying. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that encodes threatening events into memories."

Anxiety Can Lead to a Number of Physical Illnesses

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 85 percent of all disease has an emotional element (and this is probably a conservative estimate), and stress and anxiety may top the list.

When you're stressed, the stress hormones that prepare your body for the perceived emergency also temporarily suppress parts of your immune system, which reduces your response to pathogens and other foreign invaders.

So, if you're stressed all the time, as with chronic anxiety, you are setting yourself up for a crash, in terms of your overall health. The list of stress-related health problems is long and growing longer all the time. The following is just a sample:

* Lowered immune system function
* Heightened inflammatory response (researchers found that dwelling on a stressful event can increase your levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation in your body)
* Increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels
* Altered brain chemistry, blood sugar and hormone balance
* Increased risk of cancer and tumor growth rate

Anti-Anxiety Drugs

It is estimated that only one-third of people with anxiety disorders receive treatment,and the majority of that "treatment" is limited to prescription drugs. Anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiazepines, which include Ativan, Xanax, and Valium, are a poor solution and come with many potentially serious risks, including memory loss, hip fractures, and addiction.

Up to 43 percent of older adults use benzodiazepines for anxiety and insomnia, often chronically, even though their long-term effectiveness and safety remain unproven. People who take these drugs are nearly four times more likely to die prematurely than people who don't, and also have a 35 percent greater risk of cancer. There is also evidence that benzodiazepine use by older adults results in a 50 percent higher risk for dementia.

Benzodiazepines exert a calming effect by boosting the action of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), in the same way as opioids (heroin) and cannabinoids (cannabis). This in turn activates the gratification hormone, dopamine, in your brain.

Taking anti-anxiety medications over time can result in addiction or physical dependence, and getting off of them can be a major challenge—and very unpleasant, as "benzodiazepine withdrawal syndrome" is characterized by panic, insomnia, sweating, vomiting, seizures, muscular pain and a plethora of other symptoms that can persist for up to two weeks. I believe there are better ways to manage anxiety.

Tapping Your Troubles Away

Energy psychology techniques, such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), can be very effective for reducing anxiety by correcting the bioelectrical short-circuiting that causes your body's reactions—without adverse effects. You can think of EFT as a tool for "reprogramming" your circuitry, and it works on both relend imagined stressors.

EFT is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture for more than 5,000 years to treat physical and emotional ailments, but without the invasiveness of needles. Following a 2012 review in the American Psychological Association's journal Review of General Psychology, EFT is moving closer to meeting the criteria for an "evidence-based treatment."

Recent research has shown that EFT significantly increases positive emotions, such as hope and enjoyment, and decreases negative emotional states, including anxiety. EFT is particularly powerful for treating stress and anxiety because it specifically targets your amygdala and hippocampus, which are the parts of your brain that help you decide whether or not something is a threat. If you recall NIMH's explanation about how your amygdala and hippocampus are involved in anxiety disorders, you can see why tapping is such a powerful tool. EFT has also been shown to lower cortisol levels.

Although you can learn the basics of EFT on your own, if you or your child has a serious anxiety disorder, I highly recommend that you consult a qualified EFT practitioner. For serious or complex issue you need a qualified health care professional that is trained in EFT to help guide you through the process, as it typically takes years of training to develop the skill to tap on and relieve deep-seated, significant issues.

Teach Yourself How to Tap—And Then Teach Your Entire Family

EFT is simple to learn and can be done effectively by both adults and children. EFT is a great tool to teach to your children to help them diffuse their everyday stresses, thus preventing them from festering or evolving into chronic anxiety.

Children with mood problems such as anxiety are being drugged at an alarming rate, which certainly doesn't help them learn how to regulate their emotions. If your child's anxiety is out of control, then there's a good chance it will persist into adulthood, setting him up for all of the problems already discussed.

Many mood and behavior problems can be addressed safely and effectively without drugs. Suitable approaches include nutrition, appropriate exercise, avoidance of environmental toxins, and tools such as EFT. Learning to regulate emotions helps children to better manage their own moods and behaviors, improves self-esteem, and empowers them to feel more "normal" and less stigmatized.

You can learn the basics of tapping on your own and then teach the process to your child, or you can recruit the help of a professional EFT practitioner.
I am inviting you to check out these resources

The Major Contributors to Anxiety That Many Fail to Consider

If you suffer from anxiety, make sure you are addressing basic factors that are often overlooked with mental health issues. Specifically, make sure to address the following:

* Too much sugar. Many studies have demonstrated the connection between a high-sugar diet and poor mental health. High sugar and starchy carbohydrates lead to excessive insulin release, which can result in falling blood sugar levels, or hypoglycemia. In turn, hypoglycemia causes your brain to secrete glutamate in levels that can cause agitation, depression, anger, anxiety, and panic attacks. Additionally, sugar fans the flames of inflammation in your body.

* Leaky gut and poorly functioning second brain. As explained by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, toxicity in your gut can flow throughout your body and into your brain, where it can cause a variety of psychiatric symptoms, including anxiety and depression.

Reducing gut inflammation is imperative when addressing mental health issues, so optimizing your gut flora is a critical piece. Your gut sends more signals to your brain than the brain sends to it. It also has more neurons and produces more neurotransmitters than the brain. So optimize your gut health by eliminating sugar and increasing beneficial bacteria. Make sure to include plenty of naturally fermented vegetables in your diet to help balance your gut flora, and if that's not an option for you, consider a high-quality probiotic supplement.

* Inactivity. Exercising creates new GABA-producing neurons that help induce a natural state of calm. Exercise also boosts your levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which help buffer the effects of stress. Stand up as much as possible, as compelling research now tells us that prolonged sitting has an extremely detrimental impact on your health, even if you exercise regularly. Intermittent movement may be even more important than regular exercise, so make a goal of walking 7,000 to 10,000 steps daily.

* Animal-sourced omega-3 deficiency. Your diet should include a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fats, like krill oil. The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA play an important role in emotional health, and deficiencies have been linked to mood disorders. Research has shown a dramatic 20 percent reduction in anxiety among medical students taking omega-3s.

* Food additives and GMO ingredients. A number of food additives and dyes are thought to negatively affect mental health, and many have been banned in Europe. Potential culprits to avoid include Blue #1 and #2 food coloring; Green #3; Orange B; Red #3 and #40; Yellow #5 and #6; and the preservative sodium benzoate. Recent research also shows that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide Roundup, which is used in large quantities on genetically engineered crops, limits your body's ability to detoxify foreign chemical compounds. As a result, the damaging effects of those toxins are magnified, potentially resulting in a wide variety of diseases, including brain disorders that have both psychological and behavioral effects.

* EMF. Limit your exposure to radiofrequency microwave radiation, cell and portable phones, and electro-pollution. This is especially true for your sleeping environment where rest and repair occur.

* Other toxic exposures. Avoid all known toxins as much as possible, such as MSG and artificial sweeteners including aspartame, mercury from "silver" amalgam fillings, and fluoride in the water supply, just to name a few.

Learn more about EFT

By Sara Middleton

Eating healthy foods can prevent early death and reduce the incidence of chronic disease – a fact most of us can easily get behind.  But given all the marketing and nutrition philosophies out there – from the vegan diet to the keto diet -what’s less clear is which “healthy foods” should make it onto our weekly grocery list.

One clear winner that happens to fit into many dietary styles: prebiotics.  Time to discover why this group of foods is so beneficial for your health.

8 Impressive Health Benefits Of Including Prebiotics in Your Diet

Prebiotics were first defined in the literature in 1995.  In a 2018 review published in Current Developments in Nutrition, a group of authors offered this definition for prebiotics: “a non-digestible compound that, through its metabolization by microorganisms in the gut, modulates composition and/or activity of the gut microbiota, thus conferring a beneficial physiologic effect on the host.”

In other words:

Prebiotics are high-fiber foods that feed your friendly gut bacteria (microbiota), which benefits your gut health and you!  Note the difference in probiotics, which are foods and supplements containing live microorganisms that also support friendly gut bacteria.  (Examples of probiotic foods and beverages include kombucha, kefir, tempeh, kimchi, and sauerkraut.)

Here are 8 science-supported ways that prebiotic foods can help:

* Increases the amounts of healthy bacteria in the gut, including Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli
1. Decreases the amount of pathogenic or “bad” bacteria in the gut
2. Increases the production of beneficial “metabolites” by gut bacteria, which are compounds that are involved in important processes like cell-to-cell communication, metabolism, and immunity
3. Increases the absorption of calcium
4. Decreases fermentation of protein, which could otherwise lead to the accumulation of potentially harmful metabolites like ammonia, amines, and sulfides
5. Decreases the risk of allergy
6. Improves immune function
7. Reducing gut barrier permeability and inflammation (hallmarks of “leaky gut”)

Your prebiotics grocery list: Add these healthy foods to your gut-friendly diet

According to various research studies, the following healthy foods offer some of the greatest prebiotic potential.  You might already be eating more prebiotics than you realize!

Whole grains,Apples,Bananas,Dandelion greens,Jicama root,Garlic,Onions,Artichokes,Seaweed,Flaxseed.

To give a few examples, barley and oats contain a prebiotic fiber called beta-glucan.  Beta-glucan is shown to support healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels.  Wheat bran contains a type of prebiotic fiber called arabinoxylan oligosaccharides (AXOS) that help healthy Bifidobacteria thrive. 

Prebiotics found in flaxseed and bananas may help reduce bloating.  Apples contain a compound called pectin that increases the production of a short-chain fatty acid called butyrate that improves gut bacteria balance.

By the way, these foods contain other nutrients, too – including vitamins, minerals, proteins, and essential fatty acids that are great for your overall health.  Many of these foods, including garlic, even demonstrate potential anticancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Consider enjoying these foods raw or lightly cooked to minimize any damage to their prebiotic nutrients.

The bottom line: Prebiotic foods fuel you – but they fuel your gut bacteria, too.  Incorporate prebiotics into your daily diet to help reduce your risk of chronic disease, ease symptoms like bloating, and improve your overall wellbeing.

By Ashley Lauretta

You’ve likely encountered oregano—even just out of a tiny jar—while whipping up something in the kitchen. What you may not know, however, is that oregano is sold in other forms, specifically as an oil, that is used in the world of functional medicine for multiple purposes, including as an antibacterial agent.

But what is oregano oil, exactly? Is it just another essential oil? And are there proven benefits to using it outside of the kitchen? Not all oregano oil is created equal, so read this before you stock up and start slathering it on your skin. 

What is Oregano Oil?

When it comes to oregano, Origanum vulgare is the variety you’re probably most familiar with, as it is what is commonly sold in the United States. Making oregano oil involves an extraction process from the leaves, the makeup of which varies depending on the exact species used. While oregano oil contains multiple compounds, carvacrol and thymol are the two most referenced when discussing the purported medicinal properties of the herb. 

“Oregano contains compounds called phenols, terpenes, [of which carvacrol and thymol are two], and terpenoids which are high in antioxidants and known to be helpful to the body and overall health,” explains Erin James, a certified sports nutritionist. “The oil is made by drying the leaves and stems and several extraction methods can be used, depending on the usage.”

There are two common forms of oregano oil; oregano oil and oregano essential oil, which is typically less concentrated (and at times mixed with other oil, according to James). The difference between the two is important, as oregano oil can be taken orally—as a liquid or pill—and in its essential oil form, it should only be used topically. 

What are the benefits of oregano oil?

Because the scientific profile of oregano oil can vary based on the exact species used, the benefits themselves can vary. Additionally, researchers stress that many of the benefits of oregano are preliminary findings and more studies are needed—in humans, specifically—to confirm the research that has already been done, mostly on mice.

“The top benefits for oregano oil are anti- infective, so essentially it has antifungal, anti-viral, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties,” explains Juli Keene, BSc, CN, known professionally as the Los Angeles Nutritionist. “This is mainly from in-vitro and animal studies, but there are a lot of functional medicine practitioners and clinical nutritionists who recommend oregano oil and oregano supplements.”

Some of the most common uses and benefits of oregano oil are:


This is due to carvacrol, which has been found to be an antibacterial agent. One study specifically found oregano oil was as successful at preventing the growth of staphylococcus bacteria—the source of many infections—as antibiotics. However, this research was conducted on mice and the efficacy still needs to be confirmed for humans. 

Gastrointestinal relief

One study, which looked at alternative therapies for people with small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), states that oregano oil “directly kills or strongly inhibits the growth of intestinal microbes.” In this case, oregano oil was one component of the herbal therapy used, however, James acknowledges oregano oil has been said to “kill parasites, bacteria and other toxins and fungal infections in the body.” Additionally, carvacrol has also been noted to change genes involved in inflammation that are directly related to obesity in mice. 


Oregano has noted antioxidant properties, which James notes can “protect your body from oxidative stress and free radicals,” which can damage your cells.  

Lower cholesterol

James notes oregano oil can help to “reduce LDL cholesterol levels, which are referred to as the bad kind, while helping increase the good cholesterol (HDL),” which was confirmed in a study conducted over a 3-month period in patients with mildly elevated cholesterol levels.


One study found that thymol has an antifungal effect on certain Candida, meaning it may help treat fungal infections, such as oral infections, as demonstrated in the aforementioned study, and yeast infections, as demonstrated in additional research. 

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) notes that other common uses for oregano oil include wound care and pain relief, though it is noted there is insufficient evidence of its effectiveness (as well as in many of the benefits noted above).

Are there any side effects of oregano oil?

According to the NLM, oregano oil is generally safe, though there are some precautions and warnings for individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding, have bleeding disorders or are about to undergo surgery, have allergies, and have diabetes. 

“Make sure you aren’t consuming oregano essential oil as it can only be applied topically, not digested,” stresses James. “If used topically, less is more to start in case your body gets irritated. Everyone’s body is different, so if you are going to consume an oregano oil, start with a small dosage and see how your body reacts. Some may have a stomach ache while those who have an allergy to plants in the Lamiaceae family (mint) can have an allergic reaction.”

What should you look for when buying oregano oil?

As noted above, there are many different species of oregano. When buying oregano oil—especially if you plan to take it orally—James notes you want to make sure it only has one ingredient and is pure oregano oil.

“Look for a high-quality brand that has been around for at least 10-15 years,” adds Keene. “I recommend to my patients and buy from companies who were studying, creating and selling herbal products to market when no one knew what they were. These companies know what is important to know and the commitment to quality is there, or they would not have survived.”


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Thank you for reading.


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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 forconventional medicine, but simply a help you to make educated changesin order to help your body heal itself. If you have a medical condition or concern you should consult your physician.

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