Sunday, June 27, 2021

LANGUISHING: EMOTIONAL CRISIS FROM THE PANDEMIC

By: Jessica A. Conner-Glynn, LMSW  / Edited by: the NYCRA NEWS writing staff

Observing the many emotional after-effects of our ‘new Covid lifestyle’, I find a link between stepping away one's our work environment and a direct improvement in one’s well-being. The surge of the coronavirus pandemic brought a unique kind of widespread emotional disorder called LANGUISHING- an issue identified as somewhere between a downturn ‘blah’, emptiness or depression causing a type of burnout from mandatory social distancing.  

Many of us are working really hard in the same place that we actually live- removing that safe separation between work and home that we once had.  The shift in working at home takes away that place to relax and shut down, eventually causing a state of emotional exhaustion from staying ON (and on guard) the whole time.  There is also a physical aspect to all this; the new sedentary lifestyle of working from home eliminates the vital energy stimulation from circulation and cardiovascular activity of physical traveling.  In addition, self-isolating has induced an unhealthy weight gain in many, also adding to this malaise.

This Languishing is one subset of elevated ANXIETY. Whether it be the fear of getting COVID or its effects after having been infected, the wide range of possible effects add a constant load of stress on our sense of stability and peace of mind.  One of the heaviest impacts on the psyche is the LONELINESS that comes from self-isolating. This answers for the rising trend in social anxiety from the abrupt absence of engaging with others (let it be friends and family or just seeing people on the street) – adding to their lack of confidence in the world.  

BREAKDOWN FROM SYSTEMIC PANIC
Heightened anxiety unchecked or unaddressed can lead to a cascade of internal breakdown.  A sense of helplessness and loss of hope from any situation is something we try to prevent as part of our survival instincts. Anxiety and depression are very closely related. In the brain, there is something called the amygdala which carries our fear response.  Enough anxiety can cause this to malfunction from its ability to enact the fight or flight mode- cycling to this sense of helplessness and hopelessness, then driving the anxiety into depression.  “There's nothing I can do to feel better” will turn into “I'm never going to be okay…” then into “The world is a very negative place and I don't want to be here anymore”. 

REVERSING HOPELESSNESS & SUICIDAL TENDENCIES
One of the main focus points in suicide prevention is for people to know that there's somebody out there that can support them- and that THEY ARE NOT ALONE. Suicide prevention hotlines work directly this way, as does psychotherapy, support groups and outreach / interventions- all acts embodying the access to HOPE.

As a professional in practice, my job is to make myself available when someone falls in that space of loss of hopelessness. If I assess that somebody has any sort of suicidal ideation at the end of each session, we do a safety contract. When a safety contract looks like, if you're going to, if you feel scared that you're going to hurt yourself, 

#1. Call 9-1-1

#2. Reach out to me (or your therapist)

#3. Call prevention hotline

Not being alone is actually very helpful. When people are suicidal, they're scared and untrusting of anyone- so we take their calls very seriously.  I can be on the phone with them and actually, virtually walk them to the door of the hospital, affirming that they're going to be safe.


Can an Ultrasound Probe Scan SUICIDAL TENDENCIES or PTSD?
June, 2021- The medical community continues advancing its efforts to mitigate the health effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the 'borderless' collective of scientists and regulatory initiatives, infection rates are now showing a significant drop within vaccinated areas.  In addition, mental health programs are also working full-time to address the pandemic related spike in DEPRESSION cases.  A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (9/2020) showed an increase in cases 3 times the national count from pre-pandemic years.  Factors such as economic anxieties, social isolation and fears of infection have formed a MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS.  Additionally, a recorded rise in substance abuse & a surge in violent crimes are also attributed to this pandemic.

The medical community continues advancing its efforts to mitigate the health effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the 'borderless' collective of scientists and regulatory initiatives, infection rates are now showing a significant drop within vaccinated areas.  In addition, mental health programs are also working full-time to address the pandemic related spike in DEPRESSION cases.  A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (9/2020) showed an increase in cases 3 times the national count from pre-pandemic years.  Factors such as economic anxieties, social isolation and fears of infection have formed a MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS.  Additionally, a recorded rise in substance abuse & a surge in violent crimes are also attributed to this pandemic.


MODERN PROTOCOLS: MODALITY INTEGRATION & HIGH-SPEED COMMUNICATION
Research continues to advance our abilities to diagnose any health issue. As people undergo new and different challenges interpersonally, emotionally and mentally, science also continues to find more efficient tools and approaches to identify disorders and solutions.  The paradigm of INTEGRATING modalities, essentially forming a collaboration between various disciplines is always your best bet to healing- where experts share data and assemble new strategies that would not have been possible if specialists stayed isolated their beliefs.  It is this same teamwork that helped to fast track solutions for the pandemic, what was not evident in other pandemics in history. 

I support the integration of medical imaging technologies to scan, monitor and help assess mental disorders. “Partnerships with imaging experts can be a powerful and scientific game changer- this can allow us to quantify physiological and neurological evidence aligned with these disorders.  Imaging adds a new level of confirmation or data validation to support patient care professionals towards treatment.”

Moreover, our advanced information and communication technologies greatly added to the global collaboration of solutionists. As an example, imagine how the Spanish flu could have been better managed in our digital world?   A brief view of the limited resources in 1918-1920 vs our current tools of today certainly identifies the difference in their respective end points.

5 WAYS TO MANAGE DEPRESSION THE NATURAL WAY 
 
by: Debbie Falborn, RN (aka The Chaga Lady) 

Undoubtedly, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in varying levels of adversity. With all health disorders, the fight to restore wellness is a battle that we all deserve to win.  Thanks to our information age, we have access to a world of health solutions ranging from allopathic & pharmaceutical to holistic and naturopathic.  
If quarantining or social distancing has gotten the better of you, here are a few tools to help get you back on track.

¡ STAY IN MOTION: go for walks every hour
¡ GET OUTSIDE: sun, air and space are all mental medicines and grounding
¡ MEDITATE: Center the mind from stress, anxiety and depression
¡ LISTEN TO MUSIC: A great way to keep your mind in motion
¡ EAT SUPERFOODS: Diet and nutrients greatly affect mood and perspective



References:

1) NYT 4/19/2021: There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing

2) Verywellmind.com: Languishing Is the Mood of 2021, How to Identify It and How to Cope

3)     CDC: Coping with Stress https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html

4) Health.harvard.edu: Could COVID-19 infection be responsible for your depressed mood or anxiety?

5) mdanderson.org: COVID-19 blues vs. depression: How to tell the difference



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JESSICA CONNER-GLYNN, LCSW, CPC, CEC / Dir. of Health Responders Mental Health Program  - As a therapist and coach, a lot of my work with clients is helping to manage symptoms of anxiety and panic- that which manifests in physical, often frightening and alarming ways. We can experience things like racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, numbness in arms and legs which can all make us feel like we are out control of our bodies and our surrounding world. When we have experienced a traumatic event in our lives, these feelings can be even more severe and heightened. The trauma and residually related fear is one that is very close to my heart and a reason I can provide empathy and understanding to clients that have been affected by the horrific day. When we work to process physical emotions that arise from trauma, the hope is that one day we can be less affected by it and live more presently to enjoy life’s fulfilling moments. I work with clients to slowly pull apart the physical emotions we experience from the thoughts that we are having and process them in a more self-aware and grounded way., visit her website- www.jagtheracoach.com


Friday, May 21, 2021

CHAGA MUSHROOM 101: Century Old Healing Option for Complex Disorders

INTRODUCTION
Written by the editorial staff @ Prevention101.org 

In our unending search for "all answers to cancer", Prevention101 reviews all reports and testimonials about CHAGA MUSHROOM- and learned about its remarkable healing properties from nature. Chaga Mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) was first introduced to me by a patient who reported battling his prostate cancer 'his own way'. He credited much of his success to alternative (non-clinical) efforts from holistic means. 

The name Chaga (pronounced "cha-ga") originates from the Russian word for mushroom (czaga) which is derived from the word for fungus. In Norway Chaga (kreftkjuke') translates to "cancer polypore" in reference to its fungal appearance and alleged medicinal properties. [1]  Research showed the medicinal properties of CHAGA has been used for thousands of years in China, Russia, Norway and other cultures (far older than America). In Norway Chaga (kreftkjuke') means "cancer polypore" describing what is shown to be its medicinal properties.  [1.5

According to a report in the US Natl. Library of Medicine (NIH), "the analysis of the organic extracts of Chaga revealed birch compounds such as betulin, betulinic acid, and a characteristic fungal molecule inotodiol... observations allow us to consider the therapeutic interest of the Chaga, its chemical complexity, and to emphasize the interest of continuing to investigate mycotherapy potential by associating both chemical and biological approaches." [2]

In March of 2021, NYCRANEWS editors interviewed Debbie Falborn, Pediatric & Home Care Nurse from Sag Harbor, NY and a major wellness resource about the healing powers of Chaga mushroom.  Since her business tenure as co-owner of CHAGA ISLAND INC. (2016-2019), Debbie and partner Bridget LeRoy helped to bring "this  health secret of the east" to many with safe alternatives in anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties through public education and public access to this historically recognized therapeutic option from nature. 

We originally learned about Chaga mushroom and its medicinal qualities from our prior interview with Jim Hunt and his solutions to treat his own prostate cancer.  Debbie Falborn shared her experiences, her research and personal understanding about how this unique treatment solution works.  She employed her talents as a clinician (RN) and a health advisor to cancer patients who showed tremendous success using the mushroom for some of a wide range of health issues.



HEALING PROPERTIES FROM A SINGLE MUSHROOM
By: Debbie Falborn
I was introduced to Chaga Mushrooms many years ago by my sister who is also a registered nurse, but light years ahead of me with her background in Oriental medicine. I was in a car accident and I had a very bad neck injury – resulting in surgeries and subsequent traumas from it.  She introduced Chaga to me, and immediately I felt amazing levels of improvement in my mobility, my neuropathy and other issues from my injury!  

Experts in Chinese medicine are well aware of Chaga for their patients, as it has been around for thousands of years in other cultures like Scandinavia, Russia, China etc. Even an article from Sloan Kettering mentioned that Chaga mushroom is being used in association with Covid, managing influenza type B like a Tamiflu/ They see it as a preventive to help your immune system and keeps you strong and healthy.

From all the global research, Chaga mushroom has an exceptional amount of Betulinic acid which has been found to shrink tumors. It also provides the ability to detox, and many vital supportive nutrients like potassium, zinc, vitamin D- helpful supplements to complement our inactive lifestyle. The way I understand it, Chaga mushroom has been recognized to actually change the mitochondria in the cancer cell, where its compounds can actually break down the outer shell up the cancer cell. 

The active constituents of Chaga are thought to be a combination of amino acids, beta glucans, betulinic acid, calcium, chloride, copper, dietary fiber, enzymes, flavonoids, germanium, inotodiols, iron, lanosterol, manganese, magnesium, melanin, pantothenic acid, phenols, phosphorus, phytonutrients, polysaccharides, potassium, saponins, selenium, sodium, sterols, trametenolic acid, tripeptides, triterpenes, triterpenoids, vanillic acid, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin D2 (ergosterol), vitamin K, and zinc. (source: Debbie Falborn, CHAGA ISLAND INC.) Betulinic acid is a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid which has antiretroviral, antimalarial, and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as a more recently discovered potential as an anticancer agent, by inhibition of topoisomerase.  


HOW DO YOU FIND IT?
There are specific suppliers online. You can search under “Chaga chunks” or “Chaga mushroom chunks”. It comes from very cold climates. It needs to be taken off LIVE WHITE BIRCH TREES. It can't be off dead trees - so people need to know where it comes from.  Some science that says that the Chaga from Siberia was contaminated by Fukushima because it has to grow for a minimum of 15 years to be hard to stick. So it's a slow growing conch. It feels like wood and it never disintegrates when you cook it.  It will stay this property until all of the goodness is extracted out of it. And then you can just use it as a Tinder in the fire or throw it out. But slow brew it into a tea and it's very strong, very medicinal, and it's pretty remarkable stuff. 

GETTING THE WORD OUT
Years later, I formed a successful business around this with a friend (Bridget Leroy) whose son I helped recover from a very long bout with mono within just a few days with Chaga mushroom tea. We started promoting Chaga Mushroom chunks in health fairs and farmers markets for weight loss, then for things like skin psoriasis.  But soon after, more and more (young) people started coming around searching for it based on their own research to manage cancer.  Most of them were quite verbal about their cancers and raved about their own findings and success with Chaga.  This helped to drive us to build up the entire distributorship and marketing to expand our community reach, and even expanded the product line to include bottling Chaga tea.

The major audience for our Chaga business was mainly those who were needing the strong medicinal version (needed more than just a pre bottled tea). They specifically needed the concentrate from the chunks to brew it themselves as part of their entire health program-- many of which involved special diets, other supplements and things tailored to people undergoing treatments or suffering cancers.

With my background as a registered nurse, I made suggestions based on their blood work and their current symptoms & diagnoses.  They integrated the Chaga information I provided with those from their practitioners as part of a personal integrative health plan.  I would often check in with many of them from time to time to see how they were doing, and I found a lot of incredible success stories to attest to the efficacy of this tea.


Experience-Based Learning about Chaga from Trusted Sources"
-by: Keri Hoyt (Long Island, NY)
I heard of Chaga mushrooms from my girlfriend Keri Stromski* who was an avid researcher in Chinese herbs and alternative treatments. For 4+ years, she valiantly battled breast cancer and she drank chaga tea religiously. Four and a half months from her diagnosis, I understand her tumors shrank significantly. Through all this, I connected with Debbie at the farmer's market where she gave a whole education on Chaga as an anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial... and studies show it shrinks tumors, battles Crohn's disease, arthritis, psoriasis, and serves as an overall immunity booster. The Chaga mushroom also helps maintain liver health, lowers blood pressure & cholesterol.  As a cervical cancer survivor, I maintained my health and attribute staying cancer free to things like Chaga... it definitely controlled other major issues I used to have like chronic migraines and psoriasis. ... Whether it be cancer or autoimmune disorders, you truly are what you eat. It's all just a matter of what you put into your body or how your body reacts to these elements- and with the amount of information out there, you'll find so many medicinal qualities from Chaga mushroom that's been discovered for centuries." 

JIM HUNT: MEDICINAL WONDERS SOURCED FROM NORTHERN NATURE
Jim was one of those well researched shoppers at the farmer's market.  He may have sent his mom the first time and I believe she was a wellness or nutrition buff herself. We got to connect by phone at first about his medical history, his lifestyle, his family- and we put it all together towards some kind of a sensible plan alongside working with his physician.  His plan was his own and he did great- he's thriving and doing wonderfully.


WORKING THE BENEFITS OF THE MUSHROOM
During our video interview, Debbie showed us the actual Chaga mushroom chunks, looking like dried dark meat in the palm of her hand.  

You start with four or five 2 inch cubes, fill up a Crock-Pot that should make enough tea to fill an eight quart crock pot twice.  A rule of thumb is to (not boil and) slowly heat the Chaga for 8 hours - however many that can fit in the cup of your hand. It gets to be the color of dark maple syrup, and you can drink it warm or cold.  People can sweeten it if they choose to.  For re-heating (to enjoy it warm), place on the stove in a pot until it get hot, but doesn't boil.   I suggest drinking two cups a day.  Before I started working with so many cancer patients, I used this for DIABETES because it stabilizes blood sugar and blood pressure. 

There's different ways of extracting the benefit. Jim Hunt’s version was to brewed it, using four or five mushrooms in eight quarts of water, put it in the fridge then he took it to work every day in his cooler.  In order to get all of the properties out of the Chaga mushroom, like the BETULINIC ACID, the POLYPHENOLS, the ANTIOXIDANTS and all the different properties that are in it, it has to leach out into the water. So the only way to make that happen is to slow brew it with a continual heat.  

Another way to use it is to grind it into a powder and make it into a tincture with alcohol. It sits for months, and you can put it under your tongue- like any other kind of a tincture.  But for most of the people that I've spoken to (those who are sick), they need the optimal benefit of the tea. And for that is definitely slow brewing it and drinking it out of a cup, like a cup of coffee or tea. That is definitely the best way to do it.

 


Solid Research on a Wellness-driven Lifestyle - by: Tanya Repper
"When you're open to alternatives (nutrition & therapies), you have to dig into the research because it's easy to get swept into the wrong direction. This means talking to actual users, seeking out reputable specialists & researchers and reading from the right sources. I found that Chaga truly helps take out that inflammation. It helps restore your body to the state that it's supposed to be in running optimally and what we keep throwing things at it so that it doesn't do that. And so by drinking Chaga, it truly helps restore your system to the way that it's supposed to be... and to keep those viral infections at bay. We're exposed to inflammation every single day, constantly from the foods we eat to the toxins around us. It helps the good stuff do what it's supposed to do to fight the bad cells that are awakened by the things that you're doing wrong - like being exposed to the toxins that you don't even know you're being exposed to.  


PROLOGUE

On February of 2020, Debbie Falborn liquidated her ownership of Chaga Island at the start of the Covid Pandemic, due in part to the regulated shutdowns of all public gatherings.  She continues her personal initiative an educator and health coach in the wellness community doing private presentations and counsel about prevention, early detection and treatment modalities. Currently, she supports chronic patients as a private home care nurse-  where Chaga mushroom is part of her arsenal of solutions to help manage her many patients health issues.  In addition, she was recently appointed an ambassadorship with the NY Cancer Resource Alliance* and the AngioFoundation (501c3)* as an advocate for naturopathic and alternative medical sciences dedicated to cancer care and prevention.





REFERENCES

2) US Natl Library of Medicine/NIH: "Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), a Future Potential Medicinal Fungus in Oncology? A Chemical Study and a Comparison of the Cytotoxicity Against Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells (A549) and Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells (BEAS-2B)" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6142110/

3) NYCRANEWS: "WHAT IS INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE?" 


5) Inonotus Obliquus: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inonotus_obliquus

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

CHAGA MUSHROOM: Century Old Healing Option for Complex Disorders

MEDICINAL WONDERS HARVESTED FROM NORTHERN NATURE- AND HISTORY!

In my unending search for "all answers to cancer", disease is an historically impressive and what appears to be a remarkable healing answer from nature. CHAGA MUSHROOM was first introduced to me by a patient who claims to battle his prostate cancer 'his own way', crediting much of his success to this solution direct from nature. According to The name Chaga (pronounced "cha-ga") originates from the Russian word for mushroom (czaga) which is derived from the word for fungus. In Norway Chaga (kreftkjuke') translates to "cancer polypore" in reference to its fungal appearance and alleged medicinal properties. Research showed the medicinal properties of CHAGA has been used for thousands of years in China, Russia, Norway and other cultures (far older than America). In Norway Chaga (kreftkjuke') means "cancer polypore" describing what is shown to be its medicinal properties.  [1] According to a report in the US Natl. Library of Medicine (NIH), "the analysis of the organic extracts of Chaga revealed birch compounds such as betulin, betulinic acid, and a characteristic fungal molecule inotodiol... observations allow us to consider the therapeutic interest of the Chaga, its chemical complexity, and to emphasize the interest of continuing to investigate mycotherapy potential by associating both chemical and biological approaches." [2]

In March of 2021, NYCRANEWS editors interviewed Debbie Falborn, Pediatric & Home Care Nurse from Sag Harbor, NY and a major wellness resource about the healing powers of Chaga mushroom.  Since her business tenure as co-owner of CHAGA ISLAND INC. (2016-2019), Debbie and partner Bridget LeRoy helped to bring "this  health secret of the east" to many with safe alternatives in anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties through public education and public access to this historically recognized therapeutic option from nature. 

In support of INTEGRATIVE research and treatment modalities, recognized leader in Onco-Immunology, Dr. Jesse A. Stoff (NY) supports the global philosophy of drawing answers to cancer from all areas of research, from ancient cultural remedies to modern clinical science. One of the sciences that came out of INTEGRATIVE healing is Immunotherapy - the applied science known as "the smartest and safest ways to battle any disease" by strengthening your body's immune system and let your body's defenses do its job.   They pursue the most basic tenets of logic and a sensible healing plan to attack the patient's health problems and any disease without making new problems (called side effects).  Dr. Stoff trademarked a clever breakdown for what triggers immune disfunction- what he calls "The PITTS"; Poor nutrition, Infection, Toxins, Trauma and Stress. [3]

We originally learned about Chaga mushroom and its medicinal qualities from our prior interview with Jim Hunt and his solutions to treat his own prostate cancer.  Debbie shared her experiences, her research and personal understanding about how this unique treatment solution works.  She employed her talents as a clinician (RN) and a health advisor to cancer patients who showed tremendous success using the mushroom for some of a wide range of health issues.



HEALING PROPERTIES FROM A SINGLE MUSHROOM
By: Debbie Falborn
I was introduced to Chaga Mushrooms many years ago by my sister who is also a registered nurse, but light years ahead of me with her background in Oriental medicine. I was in a car accident and I had a very bad neck injury – resulting in surgeries and subsequent traumas from it.  She introduced chaga to me, and immediately I felt amazing levels of improvement in my mobility, my neuropathy and other issues from my injury!  

Experts in Chinese medicine are well aware of chaga for their patients, as it has been around for thousands of years in other cultures like Scandinavia, Russia, China etc. Even an article from Sloan Kettering mentioned that chaga mushroom is being used in association with Covid, managing influenza type B like a Tamiflu/ They see it as a preventive to help your immune system and keeps you strong and healthy.

From all the global research, chaga mushroom has an exceptional amount of Betulinic acid which has been found to shrink tumors. It also provides the ability to detox, and many vital supportive nutrients like potassium, zinc, vitamin D- helpful supplements to complement our inactive lifestyle. The way I understand it, chaga mushroom has been recognized to actually change the mitochondria in the cancer cell, where its compounds can actually break down the outer shell up the cancer cell. 

The active constituents of chaga are thought to be a combination of amino acids, beta glucans, betulinic acid, calcium, chloride, copper, dietary fiber, enzymes, flavonoids, germanium, inotodiols, iron, lanosterol, manganese, magnesium, melanin, pantothenic acid, phenols, phosphorus, phytonutrients, polysaccharides, potassium, saponins, selenium, sodium, sterols, trametenolic acid, tripeptides, triterpenes, triterpenoids, vanillic acid, vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin D2 (ergosterol), vitamin K, and zinc. (source: Debbie Falborn, CHAGA ISLAND INC.)

Betulinic acid
 is a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid which has antiretroviral, antimalarial, and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as a more recently discovered potential as an anticancer agent, by inhibition of topoisomerase.  


HOW DO YOU FIND IT?
There are specific suppliers online. You can search under “chaga chunks” or “chaga mushroom chunks”. It comes from very cold climates. It needs to be taken off LIVE WHITE BIRCH TREES. It can't be off dead trees - so people need to know where it comes from.  Some science that says that the chaga from Siberia was contaminated by Fukushima because it has to grow for a minimum of 15 years to be hard to stick. So it's a slow growing conch. It feels like wood and it never disintegrates when you cook it.  It will stay this property until all of the goodness is extracted out of it. And then you can just use it as a Tinder in the fire or throw it out. But slow brew it into a tea and it's very strong, very medicinal, and it's pretty remarkable stuff. 

GETTING THE WORD OUT
Years later, I formed a successful business around this with a friend (Bridget Leroy) whose son I helped recover from a very long bout with mono within just a few days with chaga mushroom tea. We started promoting Chaga Mushroom chunks in health fairs and farmers markets for weight loss, then for things like skin psoriasis.  But soon after, more and more (young) people started coming around searching for it based on their own research to manage cancer.  Most of them were quite verbal about their cancers and raved about their own findings and success with Chaga.  This helped to drive us to build up the entire distributorship and marketing to expand our community reach, and even expanded the product line to include bottling chaga tea.

The major audience for our chaga business was mainly those who were needing the strong medicinal version (needed more than just a pre bottled tea). They specifically needed the concentrate from the chunks to brew it themselves as part of their entire health program-- many of which involved special diets, other supplements and things tailored to people undergoing treatments or suffering cancers.

With my background as a registered nurse, I made suggestions based on their blood work and their current symptoms & diagnoses.  They integrated the chaga information I provided with those from their practitioners as part of a personal integrative health plan.  I would often check in with many of them from time to time to see how they were doing, and I found a lot of incredible success stories to attest to the efficacy of this tea.

JIM HUNT
Jim was one of those well researched shoppers at the farmer's market.  He may have sent his mom the first time and I believe she was a wellness or nutrition buff herself. We got to connect by phone at first about his medical history, his lifestyle, his family- and we put it all together towards some kind of a sensible plan alongside working with his physician.  His plan was his own and he did great- he's thriving and doing wonderfully.


WORKING THE BENEFITS OF THE MUSHROOM
During our video interview, Debbie showed us the actual chaga mushroom chunks, looking like dried dark meat in the palm of her hand.  

You start with four or five 2 inch cubes, fill up a Crock-Pot that should make enough tea to fill an eight quart crock pot twice.  A rule of thumb is to boil just however many that can fit in the cup of your hand. It gets to be the color of dark maple syrup, and you can drink it warm or cold.  People can sweeten it if they choose to.  I suggest a true stove top boil, better than microwave to get the most out of it. I suggest two cups a day.  Before I started working with so many cancer patients, I used this for DIABETES because it stabilizes blood sugar and blood pressure. 

There's different ways of extracting the benefit. Jim Hunt’s version was to brewed it, using four or five mushrooms in eight quarts of water, put it in the fridge then he took it to work every day in his cooler.  In order to get all of the properties out of the chaga mushroom, like the BETULINIC ACID, the POLYPHENOLS, the ANTIOXIDANTS and all the different properties that are in it, it has to leach out into the water. So the only way to make that happen is to slow brew it with a continual heat.  

Another way to use it is to grind it into a powder and make it into a tincture with alcohol. It sits for months, and you can put it under your tongue- like any other kind of a tincture.  But for most of the people that I've spoken to (those who are sick), they need the optimal benefit of the tea. And for that is definitely slow brewing it and drinking it out of a cup, like a cup of coffee or tea. That is definitely the best way to do it.


Debbie Falborn closed Chaga Island in early 2020- at the start of the Covid Pandemic due to the regulated shutdowns of all public gatherings.  She remains a recognized figure and an educational resource in the wellness community.  She continues to support patients as a private home care nurse, where chaga mushroom remains a major part of her arsenal in managing her patients.  





REFERENCES

2) US Natl Library of Medicine/NIH: "Chaga (Inonotus obliquus), a Future Potential Medicinal Fungus in Oncology? A Chemical Study and a Comparison of the Cytotoxicity Against Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells (A549) and Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells (BEAS-2B)" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6142110/

3) NYCRANEWS: "WHAT IS INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE?" 


5) Inonotus Obliquus: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inonotus_obliquus

Monday, March 22, 2021

STRAIGHT TALK GOT ME TO VACCINATE


Op Ed: ABOUT GETTING THE SHOT
By: Leopoldo Gratzi, Ed.D

NYCRA-NEWS launched the "GET THE SHOT" campaign, kicked off with by Dr. Richard Schulder (R) and the many front line health responders who posted their vaccination selfies on Linkedin.  Contrary to the very program I designed to bring prevention and safety to the public, I write this segment confessing my (then) conflicted thoughts about the vaccine.  The barrage of pros and cons from the media who all drove their hardline versions of "convincing truths" constantly fed trepidation and confusion in me.  As a publisher of health news, I wrestled daily with my social responsibility vs. my fears fueled by the daily data overload.

Adding to my struggling lack of faith was the challenge of getting the vaccine for my elderly family members (back in January of this year). Long waits, broken websites and insane lines for appointments turned into dis-appointments with zero inventory certainly took all the desire out of getting vaccinated.


"CLEAR TALK FROM THE DOCS"
I became a medical publisher to offer Scientists, Doctors and Researchers an educational platform to impart their experience-based wisdom to the general public. After conducting enough interviews with medical professionals explaining in clear English WHY they trust the vaccine, I found great peace and personal value in their logic.  Their sensible guidance broke through my fears and questioning mind, such that this compelled me to share their viewpoints to others. But more than my public service, I also realized that I was gathering their views to quell my OWN resistance from getting the shot.

Front liners and essential workers are at the top of the list for the simple reason that their work does not lend itself the option to self-isolate.  If there was a group of people who understood infection, contamination and prevention, physicians make it their business to do their 'homework' on the vaccine- enough to personally support hoping to educate the skeptics, the nay-sayers and the fear-mongers.

I found the source of our divided community to stem from confusion  overwhelming flood of digital information vs. the the emotional and psychological tolls (from the pandemic) on the public. "I got the shot to get back to work, but I can empathize those who resist it -- it takes strength and a lot of  energy to TRUST anything (ie. the government) after a year of mask-wearing, half a million deaths and a life upside down!" - says Elizabeth Cristi, home health aide.

Speaking out to all public concerns, Dr. Stephen Chagares shared his own personal findings (through the use of 1st grade math) to verify why the vaccine is SAFE and NOT RUSHED- for himself, his family and for the community.  A talented educator to his patients, Dr. Chagares drives compelling statements with the help of reputable references to support herd immunity as a sound strategy for reversing the pandemic. "The very first recipients of the vaccine were healthcare personnel... the same people who treat and restore the ill. 


SPRING IS HERE
March 2021. US news reports 447 million doses have been administered at an estimated pace of 11 million doses a day- covering 1/4 of the US population. At least four companies are successfully manufacturing and distributing a tested and proven vaccine with more underway in the next few weeks. Appointments in vaccination sites are (now) happening on a next-day basis with no issues or delays.  Truly a different environment from January.

Sunday, 3/21 - Quietly sitting in the mandatory post-vaccination 15 minute waiting room, I reflected on how quickly and efficiently I got my shot (@ a CVS in Auburndale in Queens, NY).  With a strange calm, I first texted Dr. Chagares with a big smile underneath my double mask "I'm here because of your interview on the vaccine!" attaching my selfie (R), just like the ones my docs posted on social media. 

In closing, I see the vaccine resistance is a direct stand on our personal independence.  This is reflective on our cynicism and our unrelenting ability to question authority. But as a people, we also hold the ability to band together, self-motivate and shape our beliefs for the greater good- especially in times of crisis. Dr. Chagares and the many health responders who speak out or post their selfies getting the shot are clearly endorsing the return of our way of life and a healthy community.  If the pandemic challenge is earning public trust, "Straight Talk from the Docs" got one more subscriber to join the movement of social responsibility. 

This is US.


My Vaccination Debate - by: Anthony J. Carfang

I marvel at the wonders of modern medical science and its gifts to mankind.  However, I am even more amazed at the miraculous recuperative powers of the human body.  So much so that I absolutely hate to have anything foreign enter my system.  I avoid pills and supplements.  Until this year, I had never taken the flu shot! My logic about the flu shot was simple: 1) follow all the health protocols and sanitary precautions, 2) avoid people with flu symptoms.  I further reasoned that I would have time to seek care if I did catch the flu.  It worked for decades. Those assumptions don't work for Covid.  Asymptomatic spread makes it impossible to avoid the virus, even by diligently following the protocols.  Further, I've seen friends and relatives progress from mild symptoms to hospitalization in a matter of hours.  That made a vaccine believer out of me.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Anthony Carfang is a board member of Survivingbreastcancer.org, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting those who have been touched by breast cancer. Whether you are caring for someone who has been diagnosed, know someone who has breast cancer, have been diagnosed yourself or carry one of the gene mutations, we understand that a breast cancer diagnosis can be life changing and overwhelming. Out of the need to navigate the uncertainty and the strong desire for connection, support, and resources, survivingbreastcancer.org was born.




REFERENCES

1) “Operation Warp Speed selects billionaire scientist’s COVID-19 vaccine for monkey tests” https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/operation-warp-speed-selects-billionaire-scientist-s-covid-19-vaccine-monkey-tests

2) How were researchers able to develop COVID-19 vaccines so quickly? https://news.uchicago.edu/story/how-were-researchers-able-develop-covid-19-vaccines-so-quickly

3) “How did we develop a COVID-19 vaccine so quickly?”  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-did-we-develop-a-covid-19-vaccine-so-quickly

4) “Fact check: The vaccine for COVID-19 has been nearly 20 years in the making” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/01/21/fact-check-covid-19-vaccine-nearly-20-years-making/3873247001/

5) “A Timeline of COVID-19 Vaccine Development”  https://www.biospace.com/article/a-timeline-of-covid-19-vaccine-development/

6) National Geographic: “COVID-19 requires the world to consider 'unconventional approaches'” https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/to-make-a-coronavirus-vaccine-we-may-need-to-deliberately-infect-people

7) https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-12/u-s-hits-100-million-dose-mark-three-months-into-vaccine-push


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

FUCOIDAN: Anti-Cancer Functions + Inhibitor of Covid-19?

By: Dr. Robert L. Bard & Adrian Barrios  (NY Cancer Resource Alliance writing team)

A natural health ingredient known as FUCOIDAN has joined our western fight against cancer  -native to the cold temperate seas of China, Japan, Korea. According to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, "Fucoidan is a complex polysaccharide found in many species of brown seaweed (including Undaria pinnatifida and Cladosiphon okamuranus Tokida).... shown to slow blood clotting. Laboratory studies suggest that it can prevent the growth of cancer cells and has antiviral, neuroprotective, and immune-modulating effects."

In addition to its anticancer & anti-tumor components, Fucoidan has also shown effects as an antioxidant, anti-angiogenic, antiviral, and anticoagulant activities. [5]  These properties have captured the current interest of clinicians determined to produce treatment solutions for the complex symptoms of the CoronaVirus.  At the advent of public recognition of the drug REMDESEVIR (a widely popularized drug for its qualities as an immunomodulator), recent news headlines are highlighting major comparisons and competing statements with "the Seaweed extract to out-perform Remdesivir as a Covid inhibitor".  Also, Fucoidan has been compared to HEPARIN, an anticoagulant for its chemical composition of sulfated polysaccharide.

REMDESIVIR: Is recognized as the first approved drug to be effective against SARS-CoV-2. [8] In a clinical study (on 8/6/2020) by The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)- a branch of the NIH, tests for the efficacy of the antiviral Remdesivir + the interferon Beta-1a is underway a potential COVID-19 treatment.  "Laboratory studies suggest... type 1 interferon can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 and two closely related viruses, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. In addition, two small randomized controlled trials suggest that treatment with interferon beta may benefit patients with COVID-19." [6]

First isolated by Dr. Harvey Kylin in 1913 (Uppsala University, Sweden), Fucoidan has been known to come from different species of brown algae and seaweed, carrying different biochemical properties[0] Fucoidan's bioactivity has been linked to its anti-cancer properties including the induction of inflammation through the immune system, oxidative stress and stem cell mobilization[1].

The anti-cancer property of fucoidan has been demonstrated in vivo and in vitro in different types of cancers. For the Immune System, Fucoidan has been recognized to increase the number of natural killer cells and increase in the number of cytotoxic T-cells. Tests/Trials of fucoidan's effects on dendritic cells showed that the stimulation of CTLs was more effective in fucoidan-treated DCs which exerted a high level of specific lysis of breast cancer cells [2]. In addition, Fucoidan has also been known to carry (immunomodulatory) protective effects against the side effects from chemotherapies or radiation.

 

(Geographical distribution of Okinawa mozuku.)

ANTI-INFLAMMATION
Inflammation and immunity play important roles in the development of tumorigenesis [7]. Current epidemiological and preclinical results strongly support an anti-inflammatory approach to treating cancers. Several therapeutic agents targeting cancer-derived inflammatory responses and related signaling molecules, cytokines, transcription factors, and immune cells are being developed and tested [7.5]. Inflammation, cancer recurrence and cancer metastasis have a complicated relationship. Inflammatory responses play important roles in tumor development, including metastasis [9].

In mid-2018, an oral administration and absorption study of Mozuku fucoidan in 396 Japanese volunteers was performed. [10]. The results showed that fucoidan absorption in humans is extremely low; the fucoidan concentration after oral administration was approximately ten times higher in urine than in serum, confirming the intestinal absorption of Mozuku fucoidan in humans. The results indicated that volunteers living in Okinawa prefecture have the maximum value of urinary fucoidan, significantly higher estimated urinary excretion of fucoidan by place of residence, and significantly higher Mozuku fucoidan consumption habits compared with those living outside Okinawa prefecture. However, the biological mechanisms of fucoidan absorption across the intestinal tract need to be further investigated.


FROM THE SOURCE 

This section is directly sourced from an interview with Dr. Yoshiyuki Miyazaki at the NPO Research Institute of Fucoidan in Fukuoka, Japan.  Dr. Miyazaki received his PhD in Food Science and Biotechnology (2003) at Kyushu University.  He achieved a post-doctoral fellowship of JST, and then worked on basic research work on the immune regulation in infectious and allergic diseases at Saga University as associate professor (2004-2009). Since 2014, he started FUCOIDAN research on anti-cancer and immune regulatory effects to improve “Quality of Life” at NPO Research Institute of Fucoidan as chief researcher (2010-2011). After receiving a research fellowship (2014-2016), he assumed an associate professorship in the Laboratory of Bioactive Polysaccharide Analysis in Kyushu University where he performed research work on mechanisms in the regulation of intestinal immunity by fucoidan to enhance anti-tumor immunity (2016-present)

FUCOIDAN AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Fucoidan is extracted using a special filtration membrane, and components with a molecular weight of 10,000 or less (impurities such as salts, heavy metals) are removed during the extraction process. As in the case of a research program from Keio University, synthesis of Fucoidan [1][2][3], is possible at the laboratory level, but has not yet been put to practical use.

We emphasize that the actual physiological action of Fucoidan is not "anti-cancer" that suppresses the growth of cancer cells with direct interaction, but "immune improvement" that is a host defense mechanism to prevent tumor growth. It is believed that Fucoidan activates the human body's natural immune mechanism that leads to the treatment of diseases that progress with a measurable decrease in immunity. I have studied on the mechanism of immune regulation by Fucoidan since 2010 as chief researcher in NPO Research Institute of Fucoidan, and now continuing in Laboratory of Bioactive Polysaccharide Analysis, Faculty of Agriculture in Kyushu University (2016. 4 - present, associate professor). Through 10 years of research, I have found unique and certain immuno-potentiating effects of Fucoidan. I hope that immune enhancement by Fucoidan may enhance the host resistance against SARS-CoV-2 and vaccine efficacy for Covid-19 treatment.

Fucoidan is not classified as a drug, therefore is not currently applied as a measurable treatment solution for the pandemic. (Development of vaccines for COVID-19 is desired to improve the current situation.) Fucoidan may, however be used as an effective supplement to immune enhancement in the vaccination.


EFFICACY & GLOBAL ACCEPTANCE

Some human trials have revealed useful physiological effects of Fucoidan improving medical treatment. However, in my opinion, there remains varied challenges in pharmaceutical approval of Fucoidan (due to the reasons described above)  unless mass-production of synthetic Fucoidan would be developed. Meanwhile, laboratory studies indicated success in synthesizing Fucoidan at the Keio University research program-- whereby the effects of oligofucosides, synthetic sulfated oligosaccharide with backbone structures of Fucoidan have been investigated on cancer cell growth [1][2] and influenza virus infection [3].

Currently, the scientific and medical communities have no conclusive evidence of therapeutic effects of Fucoidan on SARS-CoV-2. However, Fucoidan has been known to prevent dengue virus infection by direct interaction with viral envelope glycoprotein[4]. Furthermore, it was reported that Fucoidan possibly control influenza virus infection by augment immune responses, especially virus neutralizing antibody production[5]. In this context, we previously reported that Fucoidan derived from Undaria pinnatifida augmented immunoglobulin (IgA, IgG and IgM) production by mouse spleen lymphocytes[6]. So, we are believing that Fucoidan have sure physiological activities to reinforce vaccine efficacy.


ACTIVE COMPONENTS

Fucoidan is a natural ingredient with complex composition- whereby its pharmacological component is not a single chemical substance like a DRUG or MEDICINE. Fucoidan is a kind of polysaccharide, but similar polysaccharides have β-glucan derived from mushroom. A purified β-glucan preparation named "Lentinan" has uniform composition and is approved as a drug for gastric cancer in Japan. In contrast, "Fucoidan" cannot be expected to have medicinal action by single component like β-glucan, so it is used as a naturally occurring SUPPLEMENT like Kampo rather than pharmaceuticals.

The source plant of Fucoidan is not only Undaria pinnatifida but also Cladosiphon okamuranus Tokida-  the most major species of Mozuku Fucoidan (Okinawa mozuku in Japanese name).

Physiological properties of Fucoidan has had extensive presence in the health and wellness communities, where scientific information is accessible in many articles- including Therapies from Fucoidan; Multifunctional Marine Polymers[7]   A protective effect of Fucoidan against side effects from chemotherapy with FOLFOX or FOLFIRI has been investigated in the following report; Fucoidan reduces the toxicities of chemotherapy for patients with unresectable advanced or recurrent colorectal cancer[8]


GEOGRAPHIC SOURCING

I believe Fucoidan is related to brown algae habitat and food culture. In Japan, it can be seen that seaweed has been used for health since ancient times, since there is a description in "本草和名:Honzo Wamyo", the oldest existing drug dictionary in Japan compiled around the year 900 AD. In Japan, where the country faces the sea, a food culture that incorporates seafood into the diet takes root, and it is thought that aquaculture of seaweeds and the research have advanced.

Seaweeds are classified into three groups, "red algae", "green algae" and "brown algae", and Fucoidan is a component contained only in brown algae. Other plants do not have Fucoidan.

Among the brown algae, only Fucoidan contained in Mozuku (Cladosiphon okamuranus Tokida), Mekabu (Undaria pinnatifida), and Gagomecomb (Kjellmaniella crassifolia) has the Japan Health Food Authorization (JHFA)[9] quality standards and can be certified as conforming.  The association conducts work that contributes to the health promotion of the Japanese nationals, such as collecting and spreading information on food with health claims and operating JHFA and other certifications.

According to reports, response of Fucoidan appears to affect a higher rate of residents of the sourced area (Japan) than any other part of the globe.  The research team at "Station Biologique de Roscoff", research and educational institute for marine biology and oceanography in France, reported that Japanese can decompose some kinds of polysaccharides contained in seaweed, because their enterobacteria (Bacteroides plebeius) took up gene for degrading enzyme from other marine microorganisms (published in British scientific journal "Nature" at April 8, 2010). Even within Japan, there are regional differences as with food culture, so I believe it is highly possible that there will be regional differences in the effects of Fucoidan around the world.


References:

1) Systematic synthesis of sulfated oligofucosides and their effect on breast cancer MCF-7 cells (https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2014/cc/c4cc03544e)

2) Systematic synthesis of low-molecular weight Fucoidan derivatives and their effect on cancer cells (https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2015/ob/c5ob01634g)

3) Novel hemagglutinin-binding sulfated oligofucosides and their effect on influenza virus infection (https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2018/cc/c8cc03865a)

4) Structure and anti-dengue virus activity of sulfated polysaccharide from a marine alga (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006291X08016562)

5) Supplementation of Elderly Japanese Men and Women with Fucoidan from Seaweed Increases Immune Responses to Seasonal Influenza Vaccination (https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/143/11/1794/4637681)

6) The enhancing effect of Fucoidan derived from Undaria pinnatifida on immunoglobulin production by mouse spleen lymphocytes

(https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09168451.2014.930323)

7) "Therapies from Fucoidan; Multifunctional Marine Polymers"

https://www.mdpi.com/1660-3397/9/10/1731/htm

8) Fucoidan reduces the toxicities of chemotherapy for patients with unresectable advanced or recurrent colorectal cancer  https://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/ol.2011.254

9) JHFA is a certificate given to health foods that comply with voluntary food standard set by the Japan Health and Nutrition Food Association (JHNFA). JHNFA is a public interest incorporated foundation authorized by the Cabinet Office with the aim of promoting public health (http://www.jhnfa.org/english-info.html).




The above results show that fucoidan, whether through basic in vitro to in vivo research studies or clinical trials in humans, has been proven to produce effect of adjuvant therapy on cancer treatment. This allows molecular mechanisms in cancer research to be applied in adjuvant treatment, in line with the pursuit of translational medicine and the mindset of establishing a direct link between basic medical research and clinical application.

In conclusion, understanding the mechanisms underlying the anti-cancer effects of fucoidan, the advantages of combining fucoidan with therapeutic agents in the treatment of cancers, and the pharmacological limitations of fucoidan will aid the development of more informed approaches to treating cancers and may improve current clinical outcomes for cancer patients.


References:

0. 4. Kylin H. Biochemistry of sea algae. HZ Physiol. Chem. 1913;83:171–197. doi: 10.1515/bchm2.1913.83.3.171. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

1. Kwak J.Y. Fucoidan as a marine anticancer agent in preclinical development. Mar. Drugs. 2014;12:851–870. doi: 10.3390/md12020851. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

2. Hu Y., Cheng S.C., Chan K.T., Ke Y., Xue B., Sin F.W., Zeng C., Xie Y. Fucoidin enhances dendritic cell-mediated t-cell cytotoxicity against ny-eso-1 expressing human cancer cells. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2010;392:329–334. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.01.018. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]


Main sources:

4. Fucoidan and Cancer: A Multifunctional Molecule with Anti-Tumor Potential   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4413214/

5. Fucoidan Extracted from Undaria pinnatifida: Source for Nutraceuticals/Functional Foods   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6164441/#B4-marinedrugs-16-00321

6. NIH clinical trial testing remdesivir plus interferon beta-1a for COVID-19 treatment begins    https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-clinical-trial-testing-remdesivir-plus-interferon-beta-1a-covid-19-treatment-begins

7. Albrengues J, Shields MA, Ng D, Park CG, Ambrico A, Poindexter ME, Upadhyay P, Uyeminami DL, Pommier A, Küttner V, Bružas E, Maiorino L, Bautista C, Carmona EM, Gimotty PA, Fearon DT, Chang K, Lyons SK, Pinkerton KE, Trotman LC, Goldberg MS, Yeh JT, Egeblad M (2018) Neutrophil extracellular traps produced during inflammation awaken dormant cancer cells in mice. Science 361:1314–1315

7.5 Grivennikov SI, Greten FR, Karin M (2010) Immunity, Inflammation, and Cancer. Cell 140(6):883–899

8. FDA: Frequently Asked Questions on the Emergency Use Authorization for Remdesivir for Certain Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients -  https://www.fda.gov/media/137574/download

9. SpringerOpen: https://clintransmed.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40169-019-0234-9 (open access)

10. Kadena K, Tomori M, Iha M, Nagamine T (2018) Absorption study of mozuku fucoidan in japanese volunteers. Mar Drugs 16:254. https://doi.org/10.3390/md16080254

11. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-3397/16/8/254  Posted by Awareness 4aCure at 11:24 AM   



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