Should You Eat Dirt? The New Clay Cleansing Diet Reviewed.

by L. Creapeau, Circkles Certified Nutritionist.

You may have seen or read of a few celebrities lately who swear by this latest fad for weight loss and feeling great. The clay cleanses involve either swallowing clay tablets or mixing powdered clay with juice. The rationale is that the clay — usually bentonite clay, a super-absorbent type of volcanic ash mined in the U.S. and China — swells to 12 times its original volume in the stomach, curbing hunger pangs which helps them lose weight.
Well that right there should be cause for concern and stop you in your tracks. Clay is used in cat litter because it's highly absorbent. It will do the same thing in your intestines - absorb all intestinal fluids and put anyone who uses it at high risk for constipation and intestinal blockages. See that glob of clay in the photo above after water is added to it? That's what it will look like in your intestines when intestinal fluids are added to it. Most of the new clay cleansing kits include psyllium as high fiber to combat the constipating effects of the clay, but user error and not having the two mixed completely and in even amounts in every serving is very high.

Why do people always think there is a cheap, easy, lazy, quick fix for everything? Be leery of anything that boasts quick weight loss results with no need to exercise or eat right - because no such thing exists. People are always looking for a way to lose the weight without doing the work. If it were that easy, everybody would be doing it by now. Diet "fad" is the key here, and with any new diet that promises results by some miracle other than eating right and exercising. Besides, there is no substitute for exercise, which does the body good for many reasons other than just maintaining weight.

Devotees also claim that the indigestible clay sucks away ‘toxins’ thanks to its absorbency, and removes heavy metals from the body. There are much safer and efficient ways to do this than by using clay. Also, no research has been done to support any of these clay cleansing diet claims. Apples chelate mercury and help the body to remove it; I would much rather eat an apple than a handful of dirt.

The other thing the clay cleanse manufacturers keep quiet is that the clay can be highly toxic itself. I would not eat anything coming from China - the most polluted country in the world - especially their soil which is known to contain high levels of arsenic and lead and agricultural chemicals. They can barely grow anything on their soil, the last thing anyone should be doing is eating it. The soil in Alabama, where betonite clay is mined in the U.S. is not much better.

Worried by the popularity of the cleanses, the Food Standards Agency watchdog has issued a warning about the dangers of ingesting some clay-based ‘detox’ products, after finding dangerously high arsenic and lead levels in some supplements.
Arsenic can trigger kidney failure, nerve damage, and skin, lung and bladder cancer; while ingestion of lead can result in anaemia, brain damage and liver failure. But even such a stark warning can’t seem to put off women desperate for a quick-fix.

There are also reports of clay ingestion causing bowel perforations — which require surgery — and even kidney and heart failure, as it disrupts potassium levels in the body.

‘There are minerals in the clay that can cause fluid retention and, in turn, deterioration in heart and kidney function,’ says Dr Emmanuel. ‘Bowel perforation can also occur because the bowel may contract and perforate against a “blocking” lump in the gut.’

Clay diet kits include psyllium and instruct people to consume a juice diet and eat mostly fruits and vegetables. Everyone, including the celebrities going around boasting of this new craze, have all said they ate nothing during the cleanse, but drank juice and later rice or vegetables. None of them continued to eat meat, dairy or fatty foods while on the cleanse. It is more than likely the high fiber, no fat, all vegetarian part of the diet that does the work; not the clay.

Just because something has been done for hundreds of years by ancient tribes or cultures does not make it right, okay or smart. Many tribes used to practice sacrifices too, you don't see us doing that anymore do you? Don't just assume because there's a product on the market that it's safe or effective. Manufacturers will make wild claims and assumptions to sell just about anything.

There are much safer, healthier and effective ways to accomplish what the clay cleansing gimmicks claim. Like so many things, this is a new way to get more money from a product. Clay is great as a facial mask, but even after using it for a mask, you have to moisturize your face against it's highly dehydrating effects. It does clean pores well, so keep the clay on your face and out of your bowels please.




Consumer Apps to Detect Toxins in Foods and Monitor Vital Signs.

by Redstone Promotional Communications /

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed a cradle and app for the iPhone that uses the phone’s built-in camera and processing power as a biosensor to detect toxins, proteins, bacteria, viruses and other molecules.
Having such sensitive biosensing capabilities in the field could enable on-the-spot tracking of groundwater contamination, combine the phone’s GPS data with biosensing data to map the spread of pathogens, or provide immediate and inexpensive medical diagnostic tests in field clinics or contaminant checks in the food processing and distribution chain.
“We’re interested in biodetection that needs to be performed outside of the laboratory,” said team leader Brian Cunningham, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and of bioengineering at Illinois. “Smartphones are making a big impact on our society — the way we get our information, the way we communicate. And they have really powerful computing capability and imaging. A lot of medical conditions might be monitored very inexpensively and non-invasively using mobile platforms like phones. They can detect molecular things, like pathogens, disease biomarkers or DNA, things that are currently only done in big diagnostic labs with lots of expense and large volumes of blood.”
“Modern biological research is also allowing an extension of laboratory devices on to small computer chips to detect biological information within DNA sequences,” said biotech specialist Dr. Marek Banaszewski. “Bioinformatic algorithms within programs will aid the identification of transgenes, promoters, and other functional elements of DNA, making detection of genetically modified foods on-the-spot and real-time without transportation to a laboratory.”
Every human being in every developed nation on Earth, whether living in a rural or isolated area, in the middle of a large city, or near an industrialized area, now contains at least 700 contaminants in their body including pesticides, pthalates, benzenes, parabens, xylenes and many other carcinogenic and endrocrine disrupting chemicals.

The wedge-shaped cradle created by Cunningham’s team contains a series of optical components — lenses and filters — found in much larger and more expensive laboratory devices. The cradle holds the phone’s camera in alignment with the optical components.
At the heart of the biosensor is a photonic crystal. A photonic crystal is like a mirror that only reflects one wavelength of light while the rest of the spectrum passes through. When anything biological attaches to the photonic crystal — such as protein, cells, pathogens or DNA — the reflected color will shift from a shorter wavelength to a longer wavelength.
The entire test takes only a few minutes; the app walks the user through the process step by step. Although the cradle holds only about $200 of optical components, it performs as accurately as a large $50,000 spectrophotometer in the laboratory. So now, the device is not only portable, but also affordable for fieldwork in developing nations. 
In a paper published in the journal Lab on a Chip, the team demonstrated sensing of an immune system protein, but the slide could be primed for any type of biological molecule or cell type. The researchers are working to improve the manufacturing process for the iPhone cradle and are working on a cradle for Android phones as well. They hope to begin making the cradles available next year.

In addition, Cunningham’s team is working on biosensing tests that could be performed in the field to detect toxins in harvested corn and soybeans, and to detect pathogens in food and water.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Modular Solid State Technologies EMFT in Regensburg have also engineered an ingenious solution to detecting toxins – a glove that recognizes if toxic substances are present in the surrounding air.

Meanwhile, Scanadu, a California-based company, is connecting smartphone technology with EKG monitors, blood-pressure sensors, and thermometers to provide patients feedback on their vital signs. Scanadu’s $199 cookie-sized electronic puck can be pressed to the forehead to collect data that is then transmitted to a smartphone for analysis.

Walter de Brouwer, a Belgian engineer and founder of Scanadu, predicts that empowering patients with their own devices to monitor their vital signs will transform healthcare.

“We have never had access to this kind of information before,” say de Brouwer, who hopes that sensing abnormalities in blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels with the device will prompt patients to take corrective action before a heart attack or stroke occurs.

Cunningham is currently negotiating with potential partners, and a prototype product might be ready within a year. We wrote an article last summer on Pet Circkles about a similar gadget and app that will tell you when your pet is sick.



Foods That Heal: Grape.

Do you know what foods will give you more energy, calm your nerves, act as an anti-inflammatory, help prevent cancers, or help you lose weight? Hopefully this column will help you to have a better understanding of food and its healing properties. The best diet for optimal health is a wide variation of foods, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and minimally cooked  and processed whole foods. Sweets, fatty foods, meat, dairy and carbs in moderation.

by Redstone Promotional Communications /

Therapeutic Properties: Red and purple grapes are the highest in antioxidants like Quercetin. Grape skin raises HDL (good) cholesterol and is antibiotic and antiviral. Grape juice can be laxative. Grapeseed oil is considered one of the most potent antioxidants on the market.

Acid or Alkaline: Alkaline, grape juice with sugar added is slightly acidic.

Significant Nutrients: Fairly high in potassium, iron and vitamin C. Grapeseed oil is higher in Vitamin E than olive oil.

© 2014 Redstone Promotional Communications / All rights reserved to images and articles.


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HOME REMEDIES: Sore Muscles.

We all overdue it once in a while, but there's no need to suffer afterward.

Hot baths are the best for sore muscles. They increase circulation, relax the muscle and promote quick healing by doing so. If you've really done yourself in, and need something you can take to work with you or during the day when you can't soak 24/7, below are a few good herbal alternatives to aspirin or chemical salves.

Kava Kava works great to relax the muscles of the neck and shoulders. Natives on the Islands where it grows also use it to lift their mood. So you can't go wrong with this herb. It was difficult to find in the stores for a while because the FDA wanted to ban it, but I am now starting to see it at Whole Foods.

Bergamot is the herb used to flavor Earl Grey tea. It also happens to be a good relaxer. It can numb your tongue if it is very fresh and strong.

Valerian is a very stinky herb that has been used for years to treat headaches and relax nerves. If you are experiencing pain, try this herb, however, it tastes like stinky feet, so try mixing it with something or bite the bullet and take it in water and do it like a shot.

Salves: There are some good herbal salves on the market made with arnica, cayenne or menthol for sore muscles when you need something for on the go. They may label the cayenne as capsaicin, but it's the same thing. Also the menthol may be from eucalyptus.



How to use herbs for maximum benefit. Short and sweet descriptions and uses written by our on-staff Nutritional Herbalist. Always remember that herbs should be treated as a medicine. Almost all of our modern-day medicines are derived from chemical compounds found in herbs and plants. If you have not used a particular herb before, try a half dose at first to make sure you do not have an unfavorable reaction to it.

Goldenseal Hydrastis canadensis CAUTION!

Medicinal Properties: This herb needs to be used with extreme caution! While it is one of the strongest remedies for upper respiratory congestion, such as any kind of sinus infection, it has many lethal side effects if it is not used in small doses and for very short periods of time. Goldenseal stays in the system for a long period of time and so it is easy to overdose on it.

How to Use: Capsules

Parts Used: Root

Warning: Do not use very often or take more than 3-4 doses in a week's time. Do not take strong doses of. Can cause convulsions, respiratory failure, miscarriage and overstimulate the nervous system. It is the worst thing I have ever tasted and causes stomach upset in many people. There are other, safer herbs to use. Try raw garlic and elderberry instead of using this herb. For sinus infections, try a nasal spray made of 70% fresh lemon juice and 30% water along with eating raw garlic.

Growing: Very difficult to get started. Takes up to 3 years for a plant to get its root system going. Needs partial shade and moderate moisture. Mulch in the winter.

Some Herb Basics: Most herbs work better on an empty stomach. A few exceptions are garlic, goldenseal and cayenne due to stomach upset. Herbs work in a cumulative fashion meaning they are not a "one dose wonder." They need to build up in the system a little, usually within 2-3 doses, before any real affect can be noticed. Fresh herbs always work better than old herbs and science is always proving the fact that a whole herb usually is more effective than one isolated compound of that herb.


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December, 2014

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"The Doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."
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