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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lose Weight and Regain Your Health in the Hot Box: The Far Infrared Sauna by Kat Carroll, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner

As many who have been guests at Adytum Sanctuary ( know, we are committed to health and will go to great lengths to attain and preserve it. I feel so strongly about the power of the Far Infrared Sauna (FIR) to heal ourselves, to maintain health and perfect weight, that I predict the home of the future will have a FI sauna in every bathroom alongside the shower as a daily adjunct to hygiene and health.

I know what you’re thinking, “I can’t tolerate that kind of heat…I can’t even breathe in there!” But FIR is different. It heats your body and not the air; it reaches 2-3” deep into organs and tissues to sequester toxins held for years. The toxins measured in sweat from a FIR session versus running are different. It is effective. The FIR is relaxing and increases microcirculation thus alleviating pain as well as cleansing. It is an almost daily self-caring gift I give myself and I fully expect to reap the benefits, particularly when combined with my excellent diet, exercise, and stress reduction modalities I employ. But as the following study will show, even without any lifestyle changes, FIR use created weight loss.

I was reared in a crop dusting pilot’s home. We used lots of chemicals at home inside and out, oftentimes the contraband ones my father would bring home after they were outlawed commercially. As a child, I sat on lawns barefoot and barelegged drenched in pesticides; herbicides were used in the yard. Our lawn and yard looked perfect but it was perfectly sterile, deadly, and dangerous.

My next prediction: the yard of the future will be real and realistic, living from the soil level upward and sprouting dandelions and other weeds alongside flowers and plants. It will be proof of the rejection of the deadly glysophate/Roundup ® and other crimes against humanity; a testament to our commitment to care for nature and Mother Earth.

All of the women in my family have had breast cancer but me and I intend to keep it that way. How? By providing support for my liver so that it can perform detoxification properly with all the nutrients and protein available to carry out the toxins presented during far infrared sauna sessions. The liver is driven by nutrition and toxins are carried out on protein molecules. Detoxification is a sophisticated process even impacted by urine pH. We need to be alkaline or toxins will recirculate as often more dangerous metabolites. We need to have an open bowel so that toxins can be easily excreted and since skin is the largest organ of detoxification, we need to employ skin brushing. Deep breathing also aids in detoxification as the lungs are yet another path for toxins to travel out of the body.

Every chemical has a signature scent. When the FI sauna mobilizes toxins stored deep in the tissues and organs, often reaching several inches within the body, you can expect some unusual odors to emerge as well. I will never forget the smell of burning plastic filling the sauna; it was me! Eventually these perplexing scents become infrequent; we easily drop weight because we are not holding on to toxins, we feel good again... If the body wants to avoid the release of a toxin it will sequester it deeply into tissues and organs. If we want to release those toxins, we need to support the liver, drink pure water, use the FI sauna, and limit future toxic exposures as much as possible.

When I returned from Hong Kong this year and Beijing last year working with the National Health Federation ( at Codex Alimentarius Committee meetings on food additives, nutrition, food labeling, etc. protecting our food, beverage, and supplement supply from contaminants, additives, and more,  I could not get 4-5 pounds off. In those crowded cities full of smog and foods contaminated with heavy metals like arsenic and cadmium and more, I was consuming and breathing daily toxins. When I was in Beijing, 16,000 dead pigs were floating down the river. They said the water was “pork flavored…”
Once home, regardless of my diet and exercise, I remained over my ideal weight/body composition and with cellulite until I had accomplished several sauna sessions in the Thermal Life FI Sauna from High Tech Health in the Orion Suite at Adytum Sanctuary. Then the weight just dropped off and the cellulite disappeared. Not only that—I felt better and looked more rested! Clear mind, clear eyes.

Reams of research have been collected (and I have many of these studies) on FI Sauna’s use in congestive heart failure, erectile dysfunction (acts like Viagra by increasing nitric oxide levels), autism, neurological issues, Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, headaches, allergies, insomnia, chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivity, tremors, even ocular issues like macular degeneration, and many more conditions which have underlying metal and/or chemical toxicity. Google Scholar and Pub Med list thousands of citations proving the effectiveness of thermal therapy on conditions and diseases. Unlike some detox methods like foot pads/foot baths which seem to lack scientific research, thermal therapy has been well documented.

I feel so strongly about the FI sauna that I bought another one- this time a Clearlight Sauna- for the Star of the North Suite. Research well as particular woods off-gas and some saunas are higher in electromagnetic (EMF) emissions. Some saunas are “infrared” but not “far infrared” and there is a difference. Adytum Sanctuary has a Thermal Life Sauna in Poplar and a Clearlight Sauna in Spruce.

Sauna-time is powerful; I love being in my ‘hot box’ for an hour at a time reading, studying, learning, writing, etc. while remaining thin and healthy.  My electronics last for some time (Kindle, computer, iPhone) before I switch to a paper book or my writing. It took me several times in the sauna before I began to sweat. No problem now! It is so cleansing and the medical food I use, Ultra Clear Renew, upregulates heavy metal removal. Adding Metalloclear will potentiate this effect making it stronger. These recommended products are listed below with a link to get them at a discount.

I recently became certified in First Line Therapy and am a Lifestyle Educator (LE) and a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) along with all my other passions. The FI Saunas will play a prominent role in teaching these courses on detox, weight loss, and avoiding the medical model by making positive lifestyle changes based on good foods, intelligent supplementation, and lifestyle changes.

One of my favorite studies shows the value in cleansing. Researchers took two groups, both having the markers for diabetes. One group used thermal (sauna) therapy and the other did not. The group excreting contaminants like persistent organic pollutants (POPs) did not progress into diabetes whereas the group not cleansing with thermal therapy went on to develop full blown diabetes.

POPs are now found in high altitude “pristine” lakes. POP consumption is cumulative with a long half-life, storing for years in our fatty tissue. It’s not a good time to eat fish as POP exposure at higher levels created a 38% higher risk for developing diabetes by increasing insulin resistance. Using thermal therapy can mean the difference between moving into the medical model with a disease and remaining healthy, at the proper weight, and clear-minded.

Recommended products to support Far Infrared Sauna sessions can be found at with a 20% discount off initial orders and 10% off subsequent orders that are recurring. We’ve been using these medical foods meal replacement shakes for breakfast for years. They are powerful but they also contain the protein equivalent of two eggs/14 grams and half of the day’s supply of vitamins and minerals so they are cost effective.

  • Ultra Clear Renew: Metabolic Detoxification With an Emphasis on Removing Heavy Metals
  • Advaclear: Daily Support for Detoxification
  • Clear Change 10 Day Detox Kit: For Metabolic Detoxification
  • Ultra Meal 360 Rice Sweetened with Stevia: Nutritional Support for the Management of Conditions Associated with Metabolic Syndrome and Cardiovascular Disease
  • Ultra Flora Balance: Daily Immune Health and Digestive Support
  • Metalloclear: Support for Heavy Metal Metabolism

If you are interested in purchasing a Thermal Life Sauna, please visit this link:

If you are interested in purchasing a Clearlight Far Infrared Sauna, please visit this link:

A recent study at SUNY Binghamton University study performed by Dr. Kenneth McLeod, Professor of Bioengineering, showed conclusively that people using a Clearlight Infrared Sauna three times a week can eliminate an average of 4% body fat over a four month period. For a 175 lb man, that represents a reduction of seven pounds of unneeded weight. Control groups that did not use the Clearlight Sauna in the study showed no weight loss. Obesity has been linked to many health problems, including:
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Gallbladder disease and gallstones
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sleep apnea

The amazing part about this study was that the participants did not change their exercise or diet patterns. The sauna group used the Clearlightsaunas installed at Binghamton campus three times a week for 45 minutes, that's all! Many people find it difficult to change their diets and exercise habits but using an infrared sauna is easy, comfortable and relaxing; like going to a spa. This study opens the door for more good research and demonstrates what we have known for over 17 years: Clearlight Saunas are good for your health!

Binghamton University study exposing people to 45 minutes per day in a Clearlight Infrared Sauna to measure the effects on body temperature, physiologic measures, and long-term body weight changes.
--Kenneth McLeod, professor of bioengineering at Binghamton University
Phase One (16 week study):
Participants were exposed 3 times per week for a 45 minute infrared sauna at 110 degrees for 16 weeks. Compliance ranged from a low of 12 sessions completed to 45 sessions.
Findings: Participants who had high compliance (used the sauna regularly) had a greater loss in body fat. Participants measured up to a 4% drop in body fat over the four months. However, interestingly, those that came in late in the day or evening lost significantly more body fat than those using the sauna in the morning. The change in body fat was confirmed by measurements of serum glucose levels. Our hypothesis is that increasing core body temperature will increase human growth hormone production and that should increase serum glucose levels, which is what was found. In addition, we observed that the higher the core body temperature reached, the larger the decrease in body fat, also consistent with the HGH hypothesis.
Phase Two (8 week study):
Participants were exposed 5 times per week for a 30 minute infrared sauna at 110 degrees after 3pm. On average, the study subjects lost about 0.25% body fat per week totaling approximately 4% over 8 weeks. This resulted in approximately twice the rate of fat loss as compared to Phase 1 (8 weeks vs. 16 weeks). A control population was used in Phase Two of the study and the body fat of the control group did not change over the 8 week study.
Obesity is not just a cosmetic issue; it can kill you. A concise article from pub med follows:
What Are the Health Risks of Overweight and Obesity?
Being overweight or obese isn't a cosmetic problem. These conditions greatly raise your risk for other health problems.
Overweight and Obesity-Related Health Problems in Adults
Coronary Heart Disease
As your body mass index rises, so does your risk for coronary heart disease(CHD). CHD is a condition in which a waxy substance called plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart.
Plaque can narrow or block the coronary arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart muscle. This can cause angina (an-JI-nuh or AN-juh-nuh) or a heart attack. (Angina is chest pain or discomfort.)
Obesity also can lead to heart failure. This is a serious condition in which your heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs.
High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage the body in many ways.
Your chances of having high blood pressure are greater if you're overweight or obese.
Being overweight or obese can lead to a buildup of plaque in your arteries. Eventually, an area of plaque can rupture, causing a blood clot to form.
If the clot is close to your brain, it can block the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain and cause a stroke. The risk of having a stroke rises as BMI increases.
Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease in which the body's blood glucose, or blood sugar, level is too high. Normally, the body breaks down food into glucose and then carries it to cells throughout the body. The cells use a hormone called insulin to turn the glucose into energy.
In type 2 diabetes, the body's cells don't use insulin properly. At first, the body reacts by making more insulin. Over time, however, the body can't make enough insulin to control its blood sugar level.
Diabetes is a leading cause of early death, CHD, stroke, kidney disease, and blindness. Most people who have type 2 diabetes are overweight.
Abnormal Blood Fats
If you're overweight or obese, you're at increased risk of having abnormal levels of blood fats. These include high levels of triglycerides and LDL ("bad") cholesterol and low levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol.
Abnormal levels of these blood fats are a risk factor for CHD. For more information about triglycerides and LDL and HDL cholesterol, go to the Health Topics High Blood Cholesterol article.
Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke.
You can develop any one of these risk factors by itself, but they tend to occur together. A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is made if you have at least three of the following risk factors:
  • A large waistline. This is called abdominal obesity or "having an apple shape." Having extra fat in the waist area is a greater risk factor for CHD than having extra fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.
  • A higher than normal triglyceride level (or you're on medicine to treat high triglycerides).
  • A lower than normal HDL cholesterol level (or you're on medicine to treat low HDL cholesterol).
  • Higher than normal blood pressure (or you're on medicine to treat high blood pressure).
  • Higher than normal fasting blood sugar (or you're on medicine to treat diabetes).
Being overweight or obese raises your risk for colon, breast, endometrial, and gallbladder cancers.
Osteoarthritis is a common joint problem of the knees, hips, and lower back. The condition occurs if the tissue that protects the joints wears away. Extra weight can put more pressure and wear on joints, causing pain.
Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.
A person who has sleep apnea may have more fat stored around the neck. This can narrow the airway, making it hard to breathe.
Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome
Obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) is a breathing disorder that affects some obese people. In OHS, poor breathing results in too much carbon dioxide (hypoventilation) and too little oxygen in the blood (hypoxemia).
OHS can lead to serious health problems and may even cause death.
Reproductive Problems
Obesity can cause menstrual issues and infertility in women.
Gallstones are hard pieces of stone-like material that form in the gallbladder. They're mostly made of cholesterol. Gallstones can cause stomach or back pain.
People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of having gallstones. Also, being overweight may result in an enlarged gallbladder that doesn't work well.
Overweight and Obesity-Related Health Problems in Children and Teens
Overweight and obesity also increase the health risks for children and teens. Type 2 diabetes once was rare in American children, but an increasing number of children are developing the disease.
Also, overweight children are more likely to become overweight or obese as adults, with the same disease risks.
Who Is at Risk for Overweight and Obesity?
Overweight and obesity affect Americans of all ages, sexes, and racial/ethnic groups. This serious health problem has been growing over the last 30 years.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2009–2010, almost 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. The survey also shows differences in overweight and obesity among racial/ethnic groups.
  • In women, overweight and obesity are highest among non-Hispanic Black women (about 82 percent), compared with about 76 percent for Hispanic women and 64 percent for non-Hispanic White women.
  • In men, overweight and obesity are highest among Hispanic men (about 82 percent), compared with about 74 percent for non-Hispanic White men and about 70 percent for non-Hispanic Black men.
Children and Teens
Children also have become heavier. In the past 30 years, obesity has tripled among school-aged children and teens.

According to NHANES 2009–2010, about 1 in 6 American children ages 2–19 are obese. The survey also suggests that overweight and obesity are having a greater effect on minority groups, including Blacks and Hispanics. 


No matter how careful we are, we cannot fully protect ourselves from exposure to the toxins that have become ubiquitous in our environment. They can be heavy metals and/or chemicals and are lipophilic (fat soluble). The average adult has between 400 and 800 toxic compounds stored in their fat cells.  Well over 200 chemical compounds were found in newborn umbilical cord blood samples according to a 2005 Environmental Working Group study.  Blood tests may reveal only one fifth the amounts of toxins that are being stored in the cells of the body.  Toxins enter our bodies through ingestion, inhalation, absorption and other vectors including possible exposure during fetal development. There is likely a connection between this prenatal toxic exposure and autism.

Autism is defined as a developmental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). It is a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) that appears in the first three years of life and affects brain development impacting social and communication skills defined by behaviors including, but not limited to, deficits in nonverbal and verbal communication, lack of social reciprocity, and failure to develop and maintain appropriate peer relationships   It is now understood that 1 in 50 children in the U.S. are considered to be on the autism spectrum.

Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, copper and cadmium have been identified in many of the children on the autism spectrum.  These heavy metals are known to negatively affect the metabolic detoxification pathways in the body and impair its ability to excrete these toxins.   These substances also impair proper functioning of the endocrine system and many of the other organ systems in the body.

Toxic burden also negatively impacts proper functioning of the immune system.  It is well known that much of our immune system actually resides in the intestinal tract. Individuals with autism are routinely diagnosed with severe gastrointestinal problems including candidiasis and “leaky gut”, which generate their own toxic waste products thereby adding to the toxic load. The presence of these toxins has far reaching effects on the body. It is obvious they must be eliminated for a person’s health to improve.

The most comprehensive, gentle, effective technology available today to detoxify the body is far infrared (FIR) sauna therapy.  It is currently being used in clinics around the world for this purpose and, using the appropriate protocols, it can be safely used with children as young as two years old.

A FIR sauna designed for therapeutic use will have emitters producing FIR waves of between 6 - 12 microns in length which optimally stimulate multiple pathways in the body including the liver detoxification metabolic pathways, kidney filtration and elimination pathways, and lipid mobilization pathways leading to subcutaneous toxin release via sweat.  Through the process of resonant absorption, FIR waves trigger the release of lipophilic toxins out of the lipid cells so they can be eliminated through these pathways.  Many parents have told us that they see significant improvement in their child’s symptoms once they begin to reduce this toxic burden.

FIR sauna therapy will cause a mild increase in core body temperature of between 1 and 3 degrees F.   Raising core body temperature is analogous to experiencing a slight fever – the body’s natural mechanism for destroying bacteria and viruses. It also causes sweating – which is one of the important ways the body excretes toxins.   Interestingly, there is research confirming mild core body temperature increase positively affecting behavior in children with autism.

 Another area of interest regarding FIR sauna therapy for individuals with autism is FIR waves’ ability to trigger the release of nitric oxide (NO) from the endothelial lining of the blood vessels.   NO helps preserve blood vessel elasticity and enhances blood circulation.”   This has significant implications, because optimal blood circulation is a key factor for healing virtually all health issues - but especially for people with autism.  Research indicates that regular far infrared sauna use increases micro circulation which enables blood to flow more easily throughout the body thereby improving the exchange of oxygen and nutrients for waste products in the cells. Also, individuals with autism can have diminished blood circulation in certain areas of the brain.  This is known as hypo perfusion.    Extrapolating from research done on FIR and congestive heart failure,   and research on FIR sauna therapy and the release of NO, it is likely that increased perfusion in the brain would be expected in any individual who is exposed to FIR waves.  FIR waves’ ability to trigger the release of NO may also play a role in enhancing memory, learning and behavior modification  along with improving neurotransmission, and immune functions .

It is imperative to use a true far infrared (FIR) sauna designed to emit optimal FIR waves between 6 - 12 microns in wavelength - not just infrared (IR) which may emit waves outside the optimal FIR range. It must be specifically designed for therapeutic use; made with non-toxic components (many IR saunas today are made of woods that are on the list of toxic woods published by the wood industry) and with very low electromagnetic radiation -- ideally at or below 2 milligauss.  Most IR saunas emit much higher EMFS - some as high as 100+ milligauss.  To accurately measure EMFS, you must use a tri field meter.  The last thing you want to do is add to your toxic burden by using a sauna made with toxic materials and/or emitting potentially harmful EMFS.  Another important thing to consider - most FIR saunas are not safety certified for both home and clinic use.  As an example, look for a certification such as CSA and TUV. CSA is recognized throughout the U.S. and Canada, and TUV is recognized throughout the European Union. These safety certifications let you know that you are using a sauna that has been independently tested for electrical safety. Also, look for a FIR sauna that has the European roHS certification.  This certification guarantees that the electronics are free of substances such as mercury, lead, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and brominated fire retardants. Finally, a high quality FIR sauna will come with a money back guarantee - so you know you are working with a company of integrity who stands by their product.

These are just a few examples of research confirming the benefits of far infrared sauna therapy for individuals on the autism spectrum. I have personally talked with parents of children on the autism spectrum that have reported amazing, positive results ranging from increased eye contact, verbal communication, improved sleep patterns, and even improved cognitive ability after using FIR sauna therapy.  We expect ongoing research to reveal even more benefits of FIR sauna use in the future.

First appeared in print in Health Freedom News, the quarterly publication of the National Health Federation,

B.A Psychology, Certified Biofeedback Therapist.
Senior Product Specialist, High Tech Health International.
Host of the Healthy Nature Show from 1999 - 2006.

Contact Information for questions and purchase of a Far Infrared Sauna:


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Will Codex and the Drug Companies Raid the Spice Rack to Steal Your Eyesight? By Kat Carroll, Associate Editor, National Health Federation

I want to invite you to follow one of my other blogs at for those of you interested in eye health, naturally. This blog has breaking news that will save someone's eyesight so excuse the departure from what is normally published on this blog, but it is just too important not to share.  Be well!

Culinary Indian spices are rising superheroes of the nutritional World. When most of us were growing up, these spices were not a regular part of many of our diets.  Today, though, they are commonly available high-profile healers of the highest order. But if history repeats itself, we can anticipate a raid on powerful molecules found in your spice rack, turning them into drugs available only by prescription or subject to unnecessary regulation. This is one of the reasons the National Health Federation (NHF) opposes Senator Dick Durbin’s Dietary Supplement Act – in this case, to protect manufacturers who encapsulate spices in therapeutic formulations designed to heal serious eye disease and more. As Codex Alimentarius has decided to add a new committee to its roster with the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) in February 2014, the potential for unnecessary regulatory control has NHF concerned.

Curcumin is the main curcuminoid of the popular Indian spice turmeric, which is currently enjoying exalted status as a true panacea for modern-day ills as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antitumor spice.  Zeaxanthin-rich saffron, the most expensive of spices at $500 a pound, is a proven star in both the Eastern and Western healing traditions for treating macular degeneration. It takes nearly 150 flowers to produce a single gram of dried saffron threads.[1] Even ordinary rosemary is being touted as one of the healing modalities for the potentially blinding diseases of macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

Several studies of these spices have shown their effective use in the potentially blinding diseases macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and cataract development as well. In a December 2013 study, “Curcumin: Therapeutical Potential in Ophthalmology,”[2] curcumin proved itself effective against several ocular diseases, such as chronic anterior uveitis, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, and dry eye syndrome.Unfortunately, because of its low solubility and oral bioavailability, the biomedical potential of curcumin is not easy to exploit; for this reason more attention has been given to nanoparticles and liposomes, which are able to improve curcumin's bioavailability. Pharmacologically, curcumin does not show any dose-limiting toxicity when it is administered at doses of up to 8 g/day for three months.”  Black pepper and lecithin also improve bioavailability.

 But to truly impact absorption of the healing spices and creating a remedial response, restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract which is potentially the greatest source of inflammation in the body. Microbial imbalance leads to increased inflammation, oxidative stress, and impaired immune response and more—which are foundational to potentially blinding eye diseases. A January 2014 study in Cell[3] researched life extension and the diseases related to age-related changes in the gut flora. When bacteria in the gut are in balance, not only is one’s life span extended, but the diseases common to the elderly decrease, leading to a higher quality of life.

From tumors and cancer to cataracts there is little turmeric cannot heal. Speaking with an Indian delegate to Codex recently, a food scientist from the Spices Board, she said that even a poultice made of turmeric and applied overnight would resolve most ulcers and abscesses on the body. Many East Indians eat pickled turmeric daily; NHF wants to ensure that it remains available as a nutritional supplement for those who don’t eat it daily as a part of their dietary pattern.

In another study from PubMed republished on GreenMedInfo’s database in 2008, diabetes was induced in rats but the subsequently administered curcumin-and-turmeric treatment appeared to have countered the hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress.[4] Blindness is a complication of diabetes. Curcumin will make an effective addition to a diabetic protocol on several counts.

In the July 2012 issue of Evidence Based Complementary Medicine, a longitudinal follow-up study of saffron supplementation in early, age-related macular degeneration reported sustained benefits to central retinal function.[5] Lastly, lowly rosemary comes to the forefront in retinal protection[6] in macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, which has no known therapeutic treatments, so this is exciting indeed.

If you don’t think the drug companies are anxious to swoop in and snatch up these ancient spices and herbs to patent them out of your reach, just look at how GlaxoSmithKline reacted in 2010 when resveratrol’s incredible healing powers were rising and its impact on multiple myeloma was creating excitement for the next super-drug.[7] Observing the incredible potential of resveratrol, GlaxoSmithKline pursued this molecule, skewing its molecular structure in order to patent what was being touted as a “poly-pill” capable of curing anything. What they most likely did not factor in was dose-dependency and ended a trial when their presumably high dose created kidney failure; they may very well have missed their aim of patenting a natural substance that still holds its place well, impacting an important cross section of diseases. But the pharmaceutical model stands as a threat to health and health freedom today as common spices are exhibiting radical healing potential on their own without the structural skewing and we have access to them directly and much more cheaply due in large part to NHF’s protective stance in regards to nutritional supplements at Codex.

 It puts NHF on high alert when Codex Alimentarius decides to insinuate itself into your kitchen spice rack by adding a new Codex committee meeting in India in February 2014.[8] According to Sanjay Dave, Codex Chairman, the first meeting will be to frame strategies for quality of culinary spices and promote harmonization to facilitate World trade.  As far as the spice quality is concerned, that deals with issues like physical characteristics, uniformity in color, size, appearance, and packaging, which come under quality parameters.

Safety parameters in spices focus on pesticide residues, mycotoxin contamination, microbiological such as Salmonella, E. coli, and other contamination that is harmful to health. When these issues arise in relation to quality regulation, which again is simply addressing color, size, appearance, and packaging, they will be referred to the appropriate Codex committee responsible for them, such as the Food Labelling, Food Additives, Food Hygiene, Pesticide Residues, Contaminants, and so on, most of which the National Health Federation participates in. This initial Codex committee meeting on Culinary Spices will begin the tedious process of sorting every culinary herb into monitoring pathways handled by appropriate Codex committees on all of the issues from quality to safety. For example, the Pesticide Residue Codex Committee will determine appropriate parts per million or maximum upper limits of pesticide residues which will be adopted globally for purposes of creating harmonization in World Trade when that particular spice is exported.

According to the Spices Board of India, countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Netherlands have laid down cleanliness specification for spices.  The European Spice Association (ESA), comprising members of the European Union, has come out with the "quality minima for herbs and spices." This serves as a guideline with specifications for member countries in European Union. The European Union has yet to finalize the cleanliness specification for spices and spice products.[9] It is too bad this governing body was not able to achieve a clean, relatively standardized export product without Codex involvement. So while there are some decidedly good aspects to Codex’s goal of harmonization by promoting the assurance that imported spices are clean and free from contaminants, where spices are concerned that have been proven in scientific research to heal many diseases, of the eyes in particular, NHF sees a pathway directly from the kitchen spice rack right to the revolving door of the Pharmaceutical industry in the hopes of patenting these healing spices. This will reduce the power of the average person to control their own health by using these spices for treating disease as World trade and the potential for profits and increased regulatory control at the expense of health reigns supreme.

The threat is not only drug companies lobbying to regulate common, but powerfully healing, kitchen spices but irradiation is an issue as well, which lowers the nutritional content of foods. India is having a problem currently with a lack of integrity in the cleanliness of their spices. Like China, once you gain a reputation for releasing impure product in world trade, you are forever suspect. They are wise to adopt standards and guidelines in many respects if they wish to increase their economy by trading globally. This could have been achieved apart from Codex, however, and should have been achieved nationally. But they have adopted this course and the National Health Federation intends to have a say in how it’s managed as we see the potential pitfalls and loss of control of healing spices currently labeled “culinary.”

Perhaps the most important part of the Indian spice issue is just what happened when GlaxoSmithKline tried to get a patent on resveratrol for use in diabetics. This action threatened to take a valuable healing tool out of the reach of the consumer and leave drug companies and doctors in full control of access and availability. The same could happen with the developing spice market being so effective in healing potentially blinding eye disease with curcumin, turmeric, saffron, and rosemary being potentially regulated as drugs. If NHF can stave it off, so much the better for us all who feel our eyesight is too precious to brook the interference of excessive and unnecessary regulation. NHF appreciates your support ( as we attend many Codex meetings in 2014 to protect you and your family.

(c) 2014 Katherine A. Carroll

[1]  See “Saffron Stamens” page on Mountain Rose Herbs website:, accessed on December 27, 2013.
[2] Pescosolido NGiannotti RPlateroti AMPascarella ANebbioso M, Curcumin: Therapeutical Potential in Ophthalmology, ” Planta Med., 2013 Dec 9.

[3] “PGRP-SC2 Promotes Gut Immune Homeostasis to Limit Commensal Dysbiosis and Extend Lifespan” ; publishing January 12, 2014 in Cell

[4]  Suryanarayana PSaraswat MMrudula TKrishna TPKrishnaswamy KReddy GB,   National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR), Hyderabad, India, “Curcumin and turmeric delay streptozotocin-induced diabetic cataract in rats,” Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci., 2005 Jun;46(6):2092-9.
[5] Piccardi M, Marangoni D, Minnella AM, Savastano MC, Valentini P, Ambrosio L, Capoluongo E, Maccarone R, Bisti S, Falsini B, “A longitudinal follow-up study of saffron supplementation in early age-related macular degeneration: sustained benefits to central retinal function,” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2012;2012:429124. doi: 10.1155/2012/429124. Epub 2012 Jul 18.                                                                                                         
[6] Tayebeh Rezaie1, Scott R. McKercher1, Kunio Kosaka2, Masaaki Seki1, Larry Wheeler3, Veena Viswanath3, Teresa Chun3, Rabina Joshi1, Marcos Valencia1, Shunsuke Sasaki4, Terumasa Tozawa4, Takumi Satoh1,4 and Stuart A. Lipton1, “Protective Effect of Carnosic Acid, a Pro-Electrophilic Compound, in Models of Oxidative Stress and Light-Induced Retinal Degeneration,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci., November 27, 2012 vol. 53 no. 12 7847-7854, Published online before print October 18, 2012, doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10793.                                                  
[7]Allan Haberman , “GlaxoSmithKline Stops Development Of Resveratrol Drug SRT501,” Haberman Associates
Consulting for Effective Life Science R&D and Partnering Blog, December 1, 2010.                                           
[8] See“Uniform standards would help improve trade in spices,”, accessed Monday, October 07, 2013.
[9] See “Quality Specifications,” on Indian Spice Board website at:          

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Hike on the way to Comet Falls Near Mt. Rainier and an Understanding of True Gratitude by Kat Carroll

Thanksgiving Day Hike on the way to Comet Falls Near Mt. Rainier and an Understanding of True Gratitude

By Kat Carroll


Adytum Sanctuary guests all want to know about great hikes, nearby. Comet Falls, on the drive in to Mt. Rainier, is just that. In years past, before our optometry offices (Medical Vision Center and Martin Way Vision Center) were intense and busy, we’d take off in the early afternoon heading east from Morton the 45 minutes to reach Mt. Rainier to hike Paradise; and a true Paradise it is. Oftentimes we settled for hiking on the way to Comet Falls and perhaps see spectacular Narada Falls too instead of driving the distance to Paradise. There’s always something to see in the Pacific Northwest where Paradise, with its elevation at the 5400 feet level, sees an average of 126 inches of rain fall annually creating stunning waterfalls where you’d never expect them- many along the scenic drive in.

The Comet Falls hike engages immediately with natural stone forming steps, interlacing with the roots of ancient trees emerging on the surface to provide a foothold as well. Pathways can be so seductive, beckoning us on with the hopes of capturing the essence and thunderous force of a waterfall where we’d least expect to find one.

Walking among the company of old friends, The Ancients- Fir primarily, we forget cities, burdens, work, cares, and we are One with the Earth again as though we’d laid on its surface to soak in its energy and ground ourselves to Reality once more. This is Reality. Cities and schedules come and go. This is Life and it nurtures our spirits this Thanksgiving day.

Truly I can think of few more pleasurable ways to spend a holiday…I only wish my family were with me today as we make our way up the gentle rise toward the Falls. Thanksgivings are casualties of divorce and this one allowed my children to spend time with their father and some to serve others in working on this day of gratitude. But it was okay. I just wanted them to experience Life apart from what Thanksgiving has become in too many cases, not necessarily this one: Turkey, hard work for the women in the family, and football.

Nature naturally inspires gratitude. It is also an invitation to exist in the moment whether it entices us on a gentle upward rise toward beauty or engages fully as man summits a peak fighting forces of nature and his own exhaustion. To celebrate Thanksgiving in the mountains is the perfect way for me, today, to gain perspective.

What emerged was an intense gratitude not so much for the blessings in my life but for the hard spots. Trials. Places of resignation—of “I am willing to have this be so…”   because I woke with The Breath of the Dragon
over the valley and Lake Mayfield and later, as it dissipated as a vapor into thin air, it taught me in its silent lesson that all of life is a matter of perspective. For those in the Valley below, trapped in the exceedingly heavy fog and mists we term, “The Dragon’s Breath” or “Spirit Breathing”, they may have been limited in their thinking, seeing little but darkness around them, and perhaps felt depressed and hopeless inside of the seeming oppression. But from our perspective, at Adytum Sanctuary, we saw beautiful rafts of clouds undulating slowly…rising and falling and gaining altitude as they made their way to the very tops of tall trees and ringing the mountains so that only their peaks emerged into the atmosphere. It was magnificent and it was terrible all at once. It all depends upon perspective.

And this is what I carried into my hike on this Thanksgiving Day. Nature fed my spirit and I skipped the focus altogether on feeding my appetite. The first Thanksgiving focused on what the pilgrims most had need of: physical sustenance. This Thanksgiving, I have need of spiritual sustenance as things are in front of me that I balk at interiorly. So as I traversed the gentle slope to a magnificent waterfall that came so unexpectedly to intersect my meditative walk, I had been thinking of some people in my life who had horrific things intersect their lives—hard things and permanent things for which the tunnel would forever remain darkened with no light at the proverbial end. Gratitude was not only for the happinesses that are in my life but also that I was not chosen to bear such hard burdens this year. That year may come, when God deems me strong enough, but for this Thanksgiving Day, I marveled at the friends around me who WERE strong enough to bear hard things and face them not with resignation but with grace and full surrender, willing to be a Light to the rest of us and me in particular who will complain about the pebble in my shoe.

This Thanksgiving was filled with the admiration and awe of my dear friends who have earned such a place in the Universe that they are allowed to bear things which would make most of us melt. I have a new respect for adversity and thankfulness and blessing on this Thanksgiving Day is just a small part of embracing ALL that life has with thanksgiving, blessing it, surrendering to it not with resignation but welcoming it as a teacher.

A dear friend and mentor of mine suggested a book, A Treatise on Efficacy Between Western and Chinese Thinking by Francois Jullien and translated by Janet Lloyd. The Chinese thought process, which I very much respect, teaches to not seek to impact a situation by imposing our will upon it but to wait, watching for the advantage to reveal itself. This is the place where true power is found and it’s been true in my life in the past when things were hard; patiently waiting, acceptance, and finally reaching the place of gratitude opened the way for transformation where imposing will never did one thing but create frustration. The Western way opposes this thinking. The will is asserted over the situation and yet the outcome will remain unsure despite the aggressive template of will over conditions.

Thankfulness and gratitude assume new proportions this Thanksgiving because of learning the Chinese thought process. It is easy to be thankful for blessings and we in the Western World in particular have so very, very many. It is not so easy to be thankful for places we are being led where we have no desire to go but must. This Thanksgiving, spent in nature among my dear old friends, My Ancients, who have bent and swayed with many a storm and yet stand firm and strong, I have been taught that gratitude and thankfulness are not dependent on blessing but upon standing and standing firm despite the odds. And that those of my friends whom have been tested the most severely are the ones deserving least of my pity but more my awe and sincere admiration. One day perhaps I will be counted worthy to be among their number, bearing much and still standing to give thanks.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pinnacle Peak...My Favorite Valley The most beautiful Valley I've ever seen... If you are at Paradise at Mt. Rainier looking at the Tatoosh Mountain Range in the distance, Pinnacle Peak at 6562 ft. is one of many in the range jutting up into the sky in a Tolkeinesque scene of rugged beauty. We hiked up so far it hurt and was dangerous actually at points. Interesting that we saw more Amanita mushrooms here than ever before.... and Wiki has to say, "Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly amanita, is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. Native throughout the temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, Amanita muscaria has been unintentionally introduced to many countries in the southern hemisphere, generally as a symbiont with pine plantations, and is now a true cosmopolitan species. It associates with various deciduous and coniferous trees. The quintessential toadstool, it is a large white-gilled, white-spotted, usually red mushroom, one of the most recognisable and widely encountered in popular culture. Several subspecies with differing cap colour have been recognised, including the brown regalis (considered a separate species), the yellow-orange flavivolvata, guessowii, formosa, and the pinkish persicina. Genetic studies published in 2006 and 2008 show several sharply delineated clades that may represent separate species.
Although it is generally considered poisonous, there are few documented human deaths from its consumption, and after having been parboiled it is eaten as a food in parts of Europe, Asia, and North America. Amanita muscaria is noted for its hallucinogenic properties, with its main psychoactive constituent being the compound muscimol. The mushroom was used as an intoxicant and entheogen by the peoples of Siberia, and has a religious significance in these cultures. There has been much speculation on possible traditional use of this mushroom as an intoxicant in places other than Siberia, but such traditions are far less well documented. The American banker and amateur ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson proposed that the fly agaric was the soma of the ancient Rig Veda texts of India; since its introduction in 1968, this theory has gained both followers and detractors in anthropological literature.[1]"
Along the way, we passed Washington Trail Association volunteers maintaining the trail. Thanking them profusely, we learn that Jen, the trail-boss, works all over and she looks up to the task.If you're drawn to this path of service to the World, volunteer here:
Further up toward the peak, streams degrade the trail to the point we're walking through them so this work is necessary. Donn takes a minute to divert the flow off the trail.
On the way down the peak, we had to grab tree limbs to keep from going over the edge around a few corners- very dangerous...but then whom do we meet at the descent but Charlie, dubbed by a fellow-hiker on the trail down.
He is the friendliest wild creature I've EVER met and he ate almonds (which I halved with my teeth) out of my hand. Biting me once on accident, he ran, realizing his breach of trust. "It's okay sweetheart; come get the other half..." and he is right there again. But get this...when I leave, he RUNS after me! I have fallen in love with...Charlie.
I am a Child of the Forest and the Woods...a friend of fawns and fairies. Tolkien and Lewis...Yes, I can wear the dress and the heels and be charming but this is really who I am at heart, just a barefoot girl grounding out on dewy grass at dawn. I admit, I had to throw stones down the steep and rocky ravine to try to create a a little Elvish and Impishly Mischievious too.
We ran into about 10-15 people which makes me think mid-week will work best for me. I'm used to running into bears, deer, and elk- not people and need silence vs. the laughter of hiking groups. Interesting what Nature means to different people and at different times as I've been a part of those hiking groups in the past. For now, I need filling and profound serenity which is Pinnacle Saddle in a nutshell.
At the end, because of using downhill muscle I'm quite unaccustomed to using (very steep descent on slippery rocks) I lay on the wall of Reflection Lake. I am done...tapped out..wasted....

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Favorite Places in the World: Paradise at Mt. Rainier in Late Summer by Kat Carroll, NTP, Associate Editor, Health Freedom News

We were admittedly multi-tasking needing to get some shopping done and but also needing the enjoyment of a late summer’s day at Paradise on Mt. Rainier too. So many of our guests had already gone...Finally, our turn!!
 Whittaker’s Mountaineering has become a “must stop” when passing through Ashford at the entrance to Mt. Rainier for wool tops to wear as layers over a wicking T-shirt (my new favorites: and the mountain and great children’s gifts are there too.
 If you’re into climbing, the guides will get you there. The energy and excitement is palpable where climbers either return from summiting Mt. Rainier or prepare to depart. Kids are all over the climbing rock wall. Picnic tables in the sunshine fuel mountaineers with burgers, pizza, and beer.

There is much to see and do along the way: Cougar Rock Campground, Longmire where we walked in the Fall years ago and saw more mushroom varieties than we knew existed, the exalted Christine Falls, Comet Falls with a great trail and rushing water like a falling star at the end, and the "crowning jewel" of Narada Falls where we have fed Clark’s Nutcrackers by hand and stood in the mist of thunderous water crashing into the valley below. So much of Nature makes me feel very small....

Once into the National Park after a series of hairpin curves and long after cell reception deemed us “unplugged” we were fortunate to find one of the two remaining parking spaces at 3 p.m. at Paradise. Otherwise a shuttle is provided.
An acrid note hung in the air mixed with late afternoon, sun-drenched sweetness from wildflower stragglers like asters, pearly everlasting, lupine, and some which bloom late and are worth coming to see specifically.

As we began to walk up the mountain on paved trails, every language and accent met our ears and children raced along with their families. For those who had walked enough for their little legs and were cranky, we shared the sighting of a deer with two fawns to distract them. In the past, we’ve seen a fox family every year as we drove to the mountain.

While Europe has its castles and great gardens, America has National Parks and Lodges. Paradise Lodge, at 5400 ft., was built in 1916 from a stand of burned Alaska Cedar that had stood as ghost trees for 30 years. It was based on the great Lodges of the Catskills and Adirondacks. Most of the architects worked around the US so there was little variation on the Rustic National Park Lodge theme.

The park ranger told a story in the Lodge that really fascinated me. Some of us (okay, I admit it, I identified completely….) need continual challenges and must always be building and creating. Stephen Mather’s boredom and restlessness paid off as a gift to the World: “Stephen Mather was the first director of the National Park Service. He used his wealth and political connections to take the national park idea in important new directions.

Born in California to a family with deep, patrician roots in New England, Mather graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, worked as a reporter for the New York Sun, and then served as sales manager for the Pacific Coast Borax Company, where he demonstrated his special genius for promotion.

He branded the product as 20 Mule Team Borax and inventively created so much publicity that sales skyrocketed. Mather then helped start a competing borax company and soon became rich beyond belief. But by 1914, at age 47, the self-made millionaire was restless for a new challenge.

Mather counted as one of the highlights of his life meeting the legendary John Muir on a hike in Sequoia National Park in 1912. When he visited Sequoia and Yosemite in the summer of 1914, Mather was disgusted by the poor condition of the parks. He wrote a letter of complaint to his college friend, Secretary of the Interior Franklin Lane, who invited Mather to come to Washington and do something about it himself. Mather accepted the challenge. As assistant to Lane in charge of the parks, he began a crusade to mold a haphazard collection of national parks into a cohesive system and to create a federal agency solely devoted to them: the National Park Service….

Upon Mather's death, the Park Service erected bronze plaques in every park with the words: "There will never come an end to the good that he has done."  While his work might seem too governmentally regulated to some, the upgraded experience to the National Parks which marked Mather's contribution provided my childhood with rich memories of existing inside of wild, rugged nature in Yosemite and Sequoia where trees  thousands of years old  put life into perspective in their noble way. In my 20’s when life expanded to my own family and children, the National Parks were always a place to “get my peace back” and we passed this legacy to our own children as many we walked with up the Mountain were giving to theirs. It made me happy to see it.

Adjacent to Mt. Rainier is the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. “The Gifford Pinchot National Forest is one of the oldest National Forests in the United States. Included as part of the Mount Rainier Forest Reserve in 1897, this area was set aside as the Columbia National Forest in 1908. It was renamed the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in 1949….Gifford Pinchot, an active conservationist, was appointed first Chief of the Forest Service. He played a key role in developing the early principles of environmental awareness. Pinchot's philosophy is made clear in his farsighted statement that the forests should be managed for "..the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run."

The Park Ranger went on to tell us how much damage the forest and meadows had suffered in years past while these early managers determined how best to handle increasing amounts of people visiting the area. The terrain is as fragile as arctic tundra. In one meadow which used to be a golf course, it took 80 years to recover its original condition once the golf course was abandoned. Campers used to light ancient trees on fire just to watch them burn all night…

Evidently there are few places in the World one can drive right to the alpine area where the trees are sparse due to extreme conditions  without hiking in. The endurance of the Alpines are particularly precious to me. Their usual spire-shapes accommodate to contortion under the weight of heavy snow. They are tough and persevering and remind us how strong we are too if need be. Surrounded by fragile and delicate flowers which live under snow and ice much of the year, the Alpine meadows are profound in their simplicity, power, and beauty.

In the distance, glacier water rushes down the mountain dropping rapidly forming the Nisqually River at 3820 ft.  The fresh, mineralized water is distinct in its milky appearance. It flows across several county lines 81 miles and is the territorial center of the Nisqually Tribe who share its name.

Despite picking a lot of huckleberries (the ones on the lower branches are the sweetest) we are hungry after the stimulation of high-mountain air and so we stop at Alexander’s Country Inn passing through their gift shop to sit by the trout pond. We enjoy the absorbing activity of fish jumping, insects visible in the lowering sunlight in gyrating swarms over the greenish water overhung by weeping willow trees. Swallows fly low, scooping them up and dragonflies lazily make their way around the edges- one landing on my leg as I ate!  (Yes, I 'emoted' quite loudly despite the other diners there who quickly empathized...)

Alexander’s has resident deer and one mama enjoyed apples knocked off the tree by the chef with a very long stick taped one to the other, sharing them with her two fawns. He said she had been a fawn just last year and now she is three.  We have eaten many times at Alexander’s and the food is consistently good but a little expensive. We even enjoyed blackberry pie and ice cream, celebrating the end of summer- an unusual treat for us. Eclectic food made by the Sherpa’s wives is at Wild Berry- Yak Burger is on the menu and a good selection for vegetarians. Copper Creek is always busy as we near the exit to the National Park.

Near Morton where our Optometry Clinic is, the phone service returns and we hear the buzz of voice mail notification. There’s something about stopping- unplugging- and returning to how it used to be before wireless became an obsession and an addiction (again, okay- I admit it (: )  Returning to the ways of childhood, immersing in nature, losing ourselves in the moment, breathing deeply of pure mountain air and really smelling each layer of scent, feasting our eyes on magnificent beauty, pristine water, and climbing mountains both evocative of  Middle Earth terrain where Dragons and Sorcerers might live and  yet terrifying in their implication (Mt. Rainier is a volcano…) brings wholeness and balance to life in 2013. I’ll never stop needing to be near the innate commanding majesty of mountains to “get my peace back”. Mt. Rainier and the Tatoosh Range  are so phenomenal and I hope you see them if you never have. They change us like all travel does. Make the trek. You won't ever regret it...