Check for Cell Masts in your area

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By Miriam Raftery

When Mom asked me to look into possible health hazards posed by cell phone panel antennas that a church in her neighborhood wants to put up, I expected to find reassuring facts to allay Mom’s concerns.  Instead, I found deeply disturbing data that makes me wonder why the public is not being informed about health risks—and why our government seems intent on covering up troubling truths.

Cell phone companies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration assert that cell phone towers don’t pose health risks to the public.  Some studies support this assertion, but other studies suggest just the opposite.

Harvard-trained Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona’s medical center recently observed, “In January 2008, the National Research Council (NRC), an arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, issued a report saying that we simply don’t know enough about the potential health risks of long-term exposure to RF energy from cell phones themselves, cell towers, television towers, and other components of our communications system. The scientists who prepared the report emphasized, in particular, the unknown risks to the health of children, pregnant women, and fetuses as well as of workers whose jobs entail high exposure to RF (radiofrequency) energy….Because so much of cell phone technology is new and evolving, we don’t have data on the consequences of 10, 20 or 30 years worth of exposure to the RF energy they emit,”  Weil concluded.  The report called for long-term safety studies on all wireless devices including cell phones, computers, and cell phone towers.

A 2006  report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) offered some reassurance and found no scientific evidence that radiofrequency signals from cell towers cause adverse health effects.  The report noted that up to five times more of the RF signals from FM radio and television (than from cell towers) are absorbed by the body with no known adverse effects on health in the more than 50 years that radio and TV broadcast stations have been operating.

But an Australian study found that children living near TV and FM broadcast towers, which emit similar radiation to cell towers, developed leukemia at three times the rate of children living over seven miles away.

If you live within a quarter mile of a cell phone antenna or tower, you may be at risk of serious harm to your health, according to a German study cited at  www.EMF-Health.com, a site devoted to exposing hazards associated with electromagnetic frequencies from cell phone towers and other sources.

Cancer rates more than tripled among people living within 400 meters of cell phone towers or antennas, a German study found.  Those within 100 meters were exposed to radiation at 100 times normal levels.  An Israeli study found risk of cancer quadrupled among people living within 350 meters (1,148 feet) of a cell phone transmitter—and seven out of eight cancer victims were women.  Both studies focused only on people who had lived at the same address for many years.

Other studies have found that levels of radiation emitted from cell phone towers can damage cell tissues and DNA, causing miscarriage, suppressing immune function, and causing other health problems.

Astoundingly, the federal government does not allow rejection of a cell phone tower based on health risks, according to a 2005 article. A Google search found no evidence that this situation has changed.

Yet over 1.9 million cell phone towers and antennae have been approved nationwide without federal studies to assure safety of those living nearby.

How many cell phone towers and antennas are in your neighborhood?  Find out at www.antennasearch.com.  I plugged in my address on Mt. Helix, hardly an urban stronghold, and was astounded to discover that there are 96 cell phone towers, 286 antennas and 2 proposals for new towers within four miles of my home!

So how about Mom’s neighborhood, where an Evangelical church insists a new tower is needed? Mom gets perfectly fine cell phone reception, and so do the neighbors she’s spoken with—not surprising since there are already 113  towers and 335 antennas within a four-mile radius.

Churches, schools, fire stations, and other buildings are increasingly erecting cell phone towers or antennas because cell phone companies are willing to pay rental fees of hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month—welcome infusions for cash-strapped budgets. But at what cost to the public’s health?  There are young children in Mom’s neighborhood, less than one block from the proposed cell phone antenna site.

In Sweden, the government requires interventions to protect the public from electromagnetic frequencies.  Why isn’t the U.S. government paying attention to this potential risk to public safety?

If you wish to share your views on the T-Mobile proposed cell phone tower at 5777 Lake Murray Blvd. (near Marengo Avenue), the La Mesa City Council will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, November 5th at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at the La Mesa City Hall, 8130 Allison Ave., La Mesa.

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Detox Advice: Liver Cleanse


The term “detox” has turned into a popular buzzword. In some ways, that’s a good thing. People are becoming more aware of the dangers posed by vast quantities of toxins we’re exposed to every day — through sources such as food, water, household products and the environment. Cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other diseases are linked to ongoing toxin exposure. Skin and joint problems, allergies, headaches, digestive issues, and frequent colds are also part of the package. And with all the celebrity detox diets and juicing fads sprouting up, this age-old tradition of total body cleansing has also gained a reputation as the magic bullet for weight loss, anti-aging and simply feeling your best. But is detox all it’s cracked up to be?

The answer is: Yes, a healthy cleanse and detoxification program can be your door to optimal vitality. But it depends on how you open that door; there are right ways and wrong ways. If you’re not careful, a poorly planned program can drain your energy and redistribute toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides to vital organs.

One problem is that many of today’s detox regimens promise a quick fix and ignore the importance of a gradual toxin-removal program. You see, it takes years for health-robbing pollutants to accumulate in joints, organs and tissues; so we can’t expect to be “scrubbed clean” with a three-day cleanse. The goal is to incorporate a cleansing diet, targeted natural supplements, exercise and the right attitudes to help gently remove toxins over time while promoting overall wellness. With this type of gradual momentum, your body can take it from there and propel you to a greater level of health and vitality.

Detox risks

There’s a common misconception about detoxification. The myth is that when we start to detoxify, we have to feel sick before we can feel good, especially when the body begins releasing toxins into the circulation. We suffer from headaches, constipation, brain fog and worse. This is often called a “detox crisis,” and many people will tell you it’s a good sign that your program is working. In some cases, that is a valid concept. However, it can also be a concern, because toxins are being released too quickly and the body can’t handle the sudden load of pollutants in the bloodstream. It’s like a spring thaw: If the snow melts too quickly, the river floods, leaving debris and destruction on its banks.

On the other hand, if we gradually transition to a cleansing diet and slowly incorporate supplements that help cleanse the circulation and digestive tract first, we prepare our bodies for a deeper, more thorough detoxification processes. This way, we can avoid uncomfortable reactions and optimize our long-term health.

Another potential pitfall during detoxification is dehydration. Inadequate hydration stalls the process, leading to constipation, headaches and toxin redistribution. To keep your organs of elimination running smoothly, I recommend drinking a gallon of filtered water each day, some of which can come from herbal teas and salt-free vegetable broths.

Perhaps the biggest saboteurs to any detox program are cravings for unhealthy foods. Simple sugars and carbs can be highly addicting — a result of blood glucose spiking and crashing. The good news is certain herbs and nutrients that promote healthy detox can also regulate blood glucose levels to curb cravings and maintain balanced energy. That makes it much easier to stick with your program.

When to cleanse

Though the abundance of industrial toxins is relatively new, the practice of cleansing and detoxification isn’t. Chinese, Ayurvedic and other traditional medical systemshave long recognized that periodic detoxification is essential for long-term vitality. These ancient healing systems deeply understood our relationships to the seasons and designed detoxification protocols to synchronize health with the rhythms of the natural world.

According to these traditions, spring and fall are particularly good times to detox. Winter stagnancy makes us vulnerable to pathogens, toxin buildup and weight gain. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the spring season relates to liver and gallbladder health, and it emphasizes new growth and regeneration. A gentle spring cleanse is an excellent time to harness this energy, support these organs and rejuvenate our systems for optimal health throughout the year.

On the other side of the calendar, fall offers another opportunity for detoxification. In TCM, the fall season relates to the large intestines and lungs. A detox program during this time of year emphasizes the deeper removal of toxins to support immunity and energy during the winter.  

The first step: Diet

Regardless of when we decide to detox, reducing sugar and salt is critical. In addition to sugar’s impact on glucose metabolism and salt’s contribution to dehydration, they are both inflammatory foods. Other items that contribute to inflammation and toxin buildup are alcohol, processed foods, cooked oils and caffeinated beverages. Eliminate these during a cleanse.

I also recommend reducing animal proteins, especially red meat. Switch to plant-based proteins, which are easier to digest. Add fiber, including flax, chia seeds, psyllium and rice bran. Whenever possible, buy organic foods to avoid more pesticide exposure.

The basis of a cleansing diet includes lots of vegetables, which can be juiced, steamed, sautéed in water or soups, or eaten raw. One of the goals of detoxification is reducing acidity, caused by unhealthy foods, stress and lack of exercise. Choose alkaline vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and avocado, as these help the body release toxins. I also recommend cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts and broccoli, which are rich in compounds that support toxin removal. A brothy vegetable soup made with an assortment of your favorite items is an excellent staple in any cleanse and detox program.

Another key ingredient is probiotics, which add healthy bacteria to support the digestive tract and numerous other areas of health. Kimchee, tempeh, coconut kefir, sauerkraut and miso are all good sources of food-based probiotics.

Exercise and mindfulness

Detoxification is about movement — moving toxins out of our bodies. Exercise and deep breathing are critical to this process. Exercise boosts the lymphatic system, a critical part of the body’s detoxification channels. It also increases metabolism on all levels, supporting the removal of toxins from cells, tissues and organs, including the skin.

Deep breathing is also essential. Toxins are released from the lungs during exhalation, and increased oxygen supports the detox process. It’s also an excellent way to relax, another essential component. If we’re holding on to tension and stress, we’re also holding toxins and generating new ones in the process. Meditation, walks in nature and yoga — these practices are proven to relieve stress, reduce inflammation and support overall well-being.

Key supplements

Detoxification is a two-part process: Toxins are released from organs and tissues; then they become metabolized by the body and eliminated through the urine, bowels, skin and lungs. The first step is to prepare the circulation and digestion with natural ingredients that bind toxins and help the body remove them.

In any detox program, one of the most important supplements I recommend is PectaClear, a combination of modified citrus pectin (MCP) from citrus peels and sodium alginates from kelp. This formula is clinically proven to remove harmful heavy metals from circulation and digestion, without affecting essential minerals. The formula can also eliminate pesticides, radioactive particles and other chemicals, while supporting immunity. With this combination, circulating toxins are tightly bound and eliminated through the urinary and digestive tract.

I recommend preparing with PectaClear formula for at least two weeks, in combination with a cleansing diet, before adding in supplements that stimulate the release of toxins from deeper in the body.

For more thorough detoxification, I recommend adding a comprehensive detox formula called Detox Complete, with ingredients such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC), methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), alpha lipoic acid, dandelion, milk thistle, garlic and cilantro. These ingredients support the organs of elimination and increase vital energy during a cleanse. They work together with MCP/alginates to give deeply stored toxins the old heave-ho.

In my clinical practice, I also use Integrative Metabolic Formula to help stabilize blood glucose and insulin, support metabolism and digestion, and reduce cravings. Metabolic ingredients such as holy basil, fenugreek, gymnema leaf, sodium alginates and certain mushrooms also help remove toxins and boost immunity.

Other important supplements for detox:

  • Proteolytic enzymes: Reduce inflammation, support detoxification, boost circulation.
  • Green drink powders: Provide extra nutrients and support detoxification.
  • Digestive supplements: Keep the bowels regular and support efficient detox.

Keep at it

Even when going slowly, a gentle detoxification program can seem daunting with so many changes to adopt. But it’s important to consider how all these elements synergize to produce profound improvements in health and well-being. And as the body adjusts to the new regimen and the benefits become more apparent, we actually come to crave the healthier approach. Just as bad practices can be addictive, so can good ones. More energy, less pain, stronger immunity, better digestion, and greater emotional and mental health are all noticeable benefits of a safe and gentle detox program.

You don’t need liver-cleansing supplements to detox. Really, you don’t! People often think that cleansing their liver would be best supported by strict detoxing, fasting or limited calories, however just the simple act of eating whole foods can clean up your liver. We actually need nutrients to support the detoxification process that our bodies naturally like to do.

The following real-food ideas can assist in the natural detoxification of your liver and other organs that might be on overload too.

  • Go nuts! All nuts are full of amino acids and no sugar. Not only are nuts full of essential fatty acids, but walnuts in particular are high in l-arginine and glutathione, which can assist in detoxifying the liver and oxygenating the blood. It’s the walnut hull that is often found in liver-cleansing products that you can purchase in the chemist. Why not just eat them?

  • Sidestep alcohol and fructose. Fructose is very hard on your liver, much the same way as drinking alcohol is. Fructose is converted into fat that gets stored in your liver and other tissues as body fat. If this is consumed in excess this can lead to non-alcohol fatty liver disease (NADLD). When the liver becomes dysfunctional, we lose our metabolic powerhouse.

  • Love a grapefruit. This yellow or rosey-hued fruit is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which are excellent at cleansing the liver. One of the flavonoids in grapefruit, naringenin, contains a compound that makes the liver burn fat rather than store it. Why not squeeze some into your sparkling water today?

  • Befriend onions and garlic. Foods rich in sulphur containing compounds are one of the primary types of molecules used to help the liver detoxify a wide range of toxins. Food like onions, garlic and eggs yolks come under this category. Garlic contains allicin and selenium, which are proven to help protect the liver from toxic overload. Do your best to buy Australian-grown garlic and organic eggs.

  • Go green. Green tea has antioxidant properties and is loaded with catechins.Catechins are a type of plant antioxidant that have been known to eliminate fat accumulation and promote proper liver function. It also protects against toxins that can cause serious liver damage.

  • Spice it up. Turmeric has increased in popularity. Everyone wants this little spice as its proven much of its beneficial properties in research studies. It’s shown to protect the liver against toxic damage and even regenerate damaged liver cells. Turmeric also boosts the production of bile and hepatic dusts, which is beneficial to those who have gallbladder issues.

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Do You Make This Cancer-Inducing Pet Care Mistake?

Many pet guardians don’t realize the potential for exposing their four-legged family member to environmental toxins like pesticides and herbicides. People also don’t realize that after they apply a product to their lawn or garden, the chemical residues are tracked indoors on pet paws, and contaminate surfaces throughout their home.

A pesticide known as 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, or “2,4-D”, was developed during World War II. It was one of two active ingredients in the notorious defoliant known as Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam War to destroy forest cover for our enemies, as well as their food crops. A tremendous amount of herbicide was sprayed over millions of acres of land in Vietnam from 1961 to 1972. Agent Orange was the most commonly used product, and it has since been revealed to cause a wide range of serious health issues, including rashes, psychological problems, birth defects, tumors, and cancer.

These days, 2,4-D is used on athletic fields, golf courses, landscaping, timberland, rights-of-way, and various crops. A short list of popular products containing 2,4-D includes:

  • Bayer Advanced All-in-One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer
  • Ortho Weed-B-Gon Max
  • Scotts Liquid Turf Builder
  • Sta-Green Phosphorus-Free Weed & Feed
  • Scotts Snap Pac Weed & Feed

Despite decades of scientific studies associating 2,4-D with cancer in humans and animals, the chemical continues to be one of the top three pesticides sold in the U.S. More recent studies have linked the chemical to hormone disruption that increases the risk of birth defects and neurologic damage in children.

Pesticides, Bees, and Your Pet

I’m sure many of you are aware that bee colonies across the world are disappearing in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder (CCD). In fact, most U.S. beekeepers have lost from 50 to 90 percent of their honeybee populations.

There are several factors involved in the die off of bees, not the least of which is the unprecedented widespread use of pesticides and insecticides. Neonicotinoid pesticides kill insects by attacking their nervous systems. These are known to get into pollen and nectar, and can damage beneficial insects such as bees.

Honeybees contribute $15 billion in annual agriculture revenue to the U.S. economy alone, as a full one-third of the American food supply depends on them pollinating crops. Just about every fruit and vegetable you can think of is dependent on the pollinating services of bees. Apple orchards, for instance, require one colony of bees per acre in order to be adequately pollinated. So, unless the mysterious disappearance of bees is reversed, major food shortages could result.

If we don’t take action to protect bees and other pollinators from the toxic effects of pesticides and insecticides, there is no question that the survival of our pets, and our own survival, will be in jeopardy. In fact, honeybees are so crucial to our existence that a quote attributed to Einstein states: “If bees die out, man will only have four years of life left on Earth.”

Pesticides and Canine Malignant Lymphoma

Most dogs love a carpet of thick green grass. They run around on it, roll on it, dig at it, and stick their noses in it. But unlike humans, who launder their clothes and bathe regularly, dogs don’t change their fur or footpads every day. Whatever collects on their feet and coat outdoors stays there until the next time they get a bath. It also gets deposited across multiple surfaces inside your home, including carpeting, rugs, furniture and pet bedding.

A recently published study conducted over a six year period by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University1 showed that exposure to lawn pesticides, specifically those applied by professional lawn care companies, raised the risk of canine malignant lymphoma – a progressive, fatal disease — by as much as 70 percent.

Sadly, it’s easy to envision how normal canine behavior turns risky when your dog’s outdoor environment has been doused in potentially toxic chemicals.

Herbicides and Bladder Cancer In Dogs

Another study, published last year in Science of the Total Environment,2 indicates that exposure to herbicide-treated lawns has been associated with significantly higher bladder cancer risk in dogs.

The chemicals in question are common herbicides containing 2,4-D, 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxypropionic acid (MCPP) and/or dicamba. Dogs are being exposed through ingestion, inhalation and transdermal contact.

Since these chemicals are commonly detected in grass residues from treated lawns AND untreated lawns, it’s clear there is chemical drift. This means that even if you don’t use these products, if a neighbor does, your dog could still be at risk from chemicals that blow into your yard from a nearby property.

Flea and Tick Preventives (Pesticides) and Your Pet

You may not be aware of it, but most flea and tick preventives are actually pesticides, regardless of what form they come in — spot-on treatments, pills, dips, solutions, shampoos, or collars.

Spot-on products attracted the attention of the EPA in 2009 after reports surfaced of over 40,000 adverse events the prior year, including 600 deaths of family pets. The agency called for new labeling requirements, but as recently as September, four cats were reported to have died from misuse of the products.

It’s important to remember that just because a compound is applied to or worn on your pet’s fur doesn’t mean it’s safe. What goes ON your pet goes IN your pet, by absorption through the skin or ingestion during grooming.

Protecting Your Pet from Toxic Pesticides

Don’t apply pesticides to your yard, and if you use a lawn care service, don’t allow them to use chemicals, either. The same goes for herbicides, and be aware that a neighbor’s herbicide can potentially contaminate your property and pose a risk to your pet.

Avoid lawn care and other gardening products that contain insect growth regulators (IGRs). (And be aware that the chemical pyriproxyfen, an IGR, is used in certain flea/tick spot-on treatments.)

Don’t allow your dog access to any lawn unless you can confirm no pesticides have been used.

If you think your pet has rolled around on chemically treated grass, my recommendation is to bathe him as soon as possible. If you’ve walked your dog in a suspect grassy area, giving him a foot soak as soon as you get home should flush away any chemical residue that may be clinging to his feet and lower legs.

If you live in a townhouse or community that applies chemicals to common areas, I recommend “detoxing” a patch of grass in your backyard by watering the chemicals down into the soil to reduce skin contact after application. Keep your pet on a leash (and on the sidewalk) until you’ve walked to your chemical free destination.

When it comes to pest control, remember — keeping your pet’s immune system healthy and strong is the best way to help him fight off parasites as well as disease. A balanced, species-appropriate diet is the foundation upon which your pet’s good health and long life must be built.

Use a safe, natural pest deterrent that is chemical-free. Also consider cedar oil (specifically manufactured for pet health), natural food-grade diatomaceous earth, or fresh garlic (work with your holistic vet to determine a safe amount for your pet’s body weight).

Bathe and brush your pet regularly and perform frequent full-body inspections to check for parasite activity, and insure your indoor and outdoor environments are unfriendly to pests.

Detoxifying Your Pet

Consider periodic detoxification for your pet. The level of environmental exposure to chemicals will dictate the appropriate frequency and type of detox. If your dog has constant exposure to toxic chemicals all summer, supplying a daily detox protocol is a wise idea. But if your pet’s only source of chemical exposure is heartworm pills, or if you are applying flea and tick chemicals directly on your pet, then offering a detox program the week after each pill or topical treatment makes sense.

There are many detoxifying herbs and supplements to choose from. A detox protocol should not cause any side effects or visible changes in your pet.


Dr. Becker explains why chemical exposure may overwhelm your pet during the warm-weather months — even if you don’t spray chemicals around your own home. Also find out how to reduce your pet’s chemical load by using natural alternatives.

Dr. Becker’s Comments:

Pets can be overwhelmed by toxins in their environment, just as people can. However, they don’t get a choice about where to hang out, which means that you and I, as their stewards, have the responsibility for keeping their living space as safe as possible.

Your pet’s liver bears the burden of filtering out the chemicals and toxic sludge, in the same way your liver provides that service for you.

Summertime Brings Pretty Poisons

Along with splashy annuals, cookouts and romantic strolls, summertime brings higher levels of chemicals in your environment due to the increased application of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

Just because you avoid these noxious chemicals in and around your house doesn’t necessarily mean your uphill neighbor isn’t riding around on his lawnmower with a tank of Roundup strapped to his back — like Weedkiller Man, dousing every weed in sight.

County agencies, such as Parks and Recreation, are known to use copious amounts of commercial pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers on parks, highways, and roadways.

Your dog or cat can be exposed to these toxins by visiting public places — or even your neighbor’s yard. And you can’t see where these nasty-cides lurk. They are invisible and pervasive.

Your animals have another level of exposure from the medications they receive — which their livers then have to deal with. Flea, tick and heartworm medications abound, particularly in the summer.

These pills, spot-on treatments, dips, solutions, shampoos and collars are not without side effects.

Please don’t assume that a medication that is just being applied to the fur of your animal is benign. What goes on your pet goes in your pet, being readily absorbed through the skin, as well as being ingested while grooming.

Tips for Lowering Your Pet’s Toxic Load

Fortunately, you have some control over your pet’s chemical burden.

Parasites are attracted to the weakest members of the species. Therefore, strengthening your pet’s immune system is crucial in helping him fight off opportunistic offenders, as well as flushing out toxins.

Implementing the following measures will help strengthen your pet’s immune system:

A major portion of the chemicals your pet accumulates is on his feet. You can actually reduce these with regular foot soaks, or simply rinsing his feet. Increasing the number of baths you give your pet in the summer will also help remove chemicals from his feet and fur.

The EPA is finally acknowledging that there are significant adverse effects to topical flea, tick and heartworm products. These adverse effects range from skin irritation to the worst possible reaction — the death of your pet!

I cannot stress enough that you need to avoid the unnecessary application of these products, which are turning out to be every bit as toxic as we feared.

As usual, government agencies wait to act until it’s too late for many.

Safer Alternatives for Flea and Tick Prevention

Some pets are more at risk for developing flea and tick borne illness than others, depending on their location and habits. The indoor housecat in Canada does not have the same risk as the outdoor westie in Florida. You should discuss your pet’s risk with a holistic veterinarian, and together, design a parasite control program that is as nontoxic as possible.

The focus of any parasite control program should be creating healthy bodies that are naturally more resilient. Your holistic vet will have a large arsenal of natural products from which to choose.

Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Essential oil sprays can be very effective as parasite deterrents, making your pet an unattractive host. You need to purchase a pre-blended product or work with an animal aromatherapist to make sure you’re using safe oils at the correct concentration.

  • Cedar oil is a long-recognized flea eradicator, and products exist that are specially formulated for cats and dogs.

  • Natural diatomaceous earth helps to remove fleas and ticks from your pet’s body.

  • Fresh garlic can be given to dogs and cats to prevent internal as well as external parasites. Work with your vet on providing a safe amount for your pet’s body weight.

Of course, it goes without saying that you should minimize use of pharmaceutical topical flea and tick products.

If you do use them, there are some steps you can take to lower the probability for adverse reactions:

  1. You can use the natural products in combination with the chemical ones to reduce the frequency of application of the chemical products. Rotating chemical applications with natural deterrents every other month works well for many pet owners.

  2. Be sure to carefully follow the dosing directions on the label (and do not apply dog topical on cats!).

  3. Monitor your pet for adverse reactions after application, especially when using these products for the first time on your pet. Like people, dogs and cats can have severe acute allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).

If you are using flea or heartworm chemical preventatives, I recommend giving your pet something to help his liver detox from these agents.

One herb that is very good for the liver is milk thistle. Milk thistle helps with liver detoxification and hepatocellular regeneration — meaning it stimulates regeneration of liver cells.

You can get milk thistle through your holistic vet, who can advise you about the dose. Dosing will depend on your pet’s age, weight, and what medications he’s taking. I recommend giving it once a day for seven days following any flea, tick or heartworm application.

The second product I recommend is chlorella, a super green food that is fabulous for detoxification. Your vet can also advise you about dose.

By using both of these products throughout the summer, you can improve your pet’s vitality and make her liver function more resilient in the months to come.




Diatomaceous earth /ˌd.ətəˌmʃəs ˈɜrθ/, also known as D.E., diatomite, or kieselgur/kieselguhr, is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. It has a particle size ranging from less than 3 micrometres to more than 1 millimetre, but typically 10 to 200 micrometres. Depending on the granularity, this powder can have an abrasive feel, similar to pumice powder, and has a low density as a result of its high porosity. The typical chemical composition of oven-dried diatomaceous earth is 80 to 90% silica, with 2 to 4% alumina (attributed mostly to clay minerals) and 0.5 to 2% iron oxide.[1]

Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. It is used as a filtration aid, mild abrasive in products including toothpaste, mechanical insecticide, absorbent for liquids, matting agent for coatings, reinforcing filler in plastics and rubber, anti-block in plastic films, porous support for chemical catalysts, cat litter, activator in blood clotting studies, a stabilizing component of dynamite, and a thermal insulator.


Chlorella is a genus of single-cell green algae, belonging to the phylum Chlorophyta. It is spherical in shape, about 2 to 10 μm in diameter, and is without flagella. Chlorella contains the green photosynthetic pigments chlorophyll-a and -b in its chloroplast. Through photosynthesis, it multiplies rapidly, requiring only carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, and a small amount of minerals to reproduce.[1]

The name Chlorella is taken from the Greek chloros, meaning green, and the Latin diminutive suffix ella, meaning small. German biochemist and cell physiologist Otto Heinrich Warburg, awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1931 for his research on cell respiration, also studied photosynthesis in Chlorella. In 1961, Melvin Calvin of the University of California received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on the pathways of carbon dioxide assimilation in plants using Chlorella.

Many people believed Chlorella could serve as a potential source of food and energy because its photosynthetic efficiency can, in theory, reach 8%,[2] comparable with other highly efficient crops such as sugar cane.

Chlorella as a food source

It is an attractive potential food source because it is high in protein and other essential nutrients; when dried, it is about 45% protein, 20% fat, 20% carbohydrate, 5% fibre, and 10% minerals and vitamins. Mass-production methods are now being used to cultivate it in large artificial circular ponds. It is also abundant in calories and vitamins.[3]

When first harvested, Chlorella was suggested as an inexpensive protein supplement to the human diet. Advocates sometimes focus on other supposed health benefits of the algae, such as claims of weight control, cancer prevention, and immune system support.[3] According to the American Cancer Society, “available scientific studies do not support its effectiveness for preventing or treating cancer or any other disease in humans”.[4]

Under certain growing conditions, Chlorella yields oils that are high in polyunsaturated fatsChlorella minutissima has yielded EPA at 39.9% of total lipids.[5]

One small (35 participant) study suggested Chlorella supplementation has a positive effect on the reduction of dioxin levels in breast milk and it may also have beneficial effects on nursing infants by increasing the IgA levels in breast milk.

Current status

Since the growing world food problem of the 1940s was solved by better crop efficiency and not from a “super food“, Chlorella has not seen the kind of public and scientific interest that it had in the 1940s. Chlorella can still be found today from companies promoting its “super-food” effects.[3]

Production difficulties

In the end, scientists discovered that Chlorella would be much more difficult to produce than previously thought. The experimental research was carried out in laboratories, not in the field. To be practical, the entire batch of algae grown would have to be placed either in artificial light or in shade to produce at its maximum photosynthetic efficiency. Also, for the Chlorella to be as productive as the world would require, it would have to be grown in carbonated water, which would have added millions to the production cost. A sophisticated process, and additional cost, was required to harvest the crop, and, for Chlorella to be a viable food source, its cell walls would have to be pulverized. The plant could reach its nutritional potential only in highly modified artificial situations. Another problem was developing sufficiently palatable food products from Chlorella.[8]

Although the production of Chlorella looked promising and involved creative technology, it has not to date been cultivated on the scale some had predicted. It has not been sold on the scale of Spirulina, soybean products, or whole-grains. Costs have remained high, and Chlorella has for the most part been sold as a health food, for cosmetics, or as animal feed.[8] After a decade of experimentation, studies showed that, following exposure to sunlight, Chlorella captured just 2.5% of the solar energy, not much better than conventional crops.[3] Chlorella, too, was found by scientists in the 1960s to be impossible for humans and other animals to digest in its natural state due to the tough cell walls encapsulating the nutrients, which presented further problems for its use in American food production.[3]

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Mosquitos plus Ticks

You’ve been looking forward to that backyard barbecue for some time, and the weather has finally cooperated. Just when you start enjoying your meal, however, mosquitoes seem to be making a meal of you. Rather than spending all your time indoors and feeling angry at the pesky critters or spraying harsh chemicals on your skin every time you venture outside, whip up a batch of mosquito repellent with apple cider vinegar. Mosquitoes do not care for the fragrance and will land elsewhere instead. This homemade spray with a citrus fragrance costs little to make and feels good on the skin.

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Measure 1/3 cup of witch hazel and pour it into a clean spray bottle. Use a funnel if pouring without spilling is difficult.


Measure 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, adding it to the witch hazel in the spray bottle.


Pour five or six drops of citronella oil into the bottle containing witch hazel and vinegar. Place the lid back on the bottle, securing tightly. Shake the bottle well.


Spray the solution on exposed skin such as arms or legs immediately before going outside. To apply to areas such as the back of your neck, spray some into your hand and rub your hand on the spot.


Reapply the homemade repel

Women and children are at higher risk for mosquito bites than men.

On a nice day, biting insects like mosquitoes can interrupt your outdoor relaxation. Protecting yourself from mosquitoes is essential, as these pests cause itchy and painful bites or welts. They also carry diseases, such as the West Nile virus. However, you do not need to turn to harsh sprays and chemicals to keep your yard mosquito-free. There are many natural scents emitted by flowers, herbs and essential oils that repel mosquitoes.

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Essential Oils

Essential oils often have a pleasant aroma and are effective at keeping mosquitoes away. Repeat applications are necessary to remain effective; however, these oils are a safe and nontoxic alternative to chemical-laden insect repellents. Keep mosquitoes away using a mixture of citronella oil and citrus oil, such as orange peel or grapefruit seed oil. Create a 2-to-1 mixture of citronella and citrus essential oils and apply the mixture to your skin once an hour to remain free of mosquito bites. Similarly, pure vanilla extract is also effective for keeping mosquitoes from biting. Mix 1 tablespoon of vanilla with 1 tablespoon of water and apply the mixture to your skin with a cotton ball. Pure vanilla extract is essential, as imitation varieties contain sugar alcohols and syrups that may actually attract mosquitoes.

Other Natural Odors

Citronella in candle form is also effective for keeping mosquitoes away. In the early evening or morning hours when mosquitoes are most active, light and place large citronella candles in a safe area around the perimeter of your outdoor space to keep mosquitoes away. You can also alter the natural chemistry within your body to emit odors that repel mosquitoes. People with a diet rich in vitamin B1 have a scent that mosquitoes find unappealing. Foods such as oranges, eggs, whole grains and nuts such as pecans and Brazil nuts are all high in vitamin B1. Consuming garlic also creates a natural odor to which mosquitoes are not attracted.


Certain flowers perform double-duty, brightening up your garden and landscape space with cheerful color, while also emitting natural scents that keep mosquitoes away from the areas in which you plant them. Such flowers include marigolds (Tagetes spp.), lavender (Lavandula spp.) and geraniums (Pelargonium x hortorum). With many different species and cultivars to choose from, each of these flowers grow as perennials in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. While some species may survive in lower climate zones, in other areas of the country, these flowers grow as annuals. Plant these flowers around the perimeter of your garden and landscape or in planters to repel mosquitoes.

Other Plants and Herbs

Other plants that repel mosquitoes include eucalyptus, particularly Eucalyptus neglecta, commonly called Omeo gum. As a perennial that thrives in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 11, this plant produces highly aromatic leaves that keep mosquitoes away. Strategically place planters or fill window boxes with annual herbs such as basil (Ocimum basilicum), or perennial herbs such as garlic (Allium sativum) and lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratusis), as these scents are offensive to mosquitoes. Garlic grows as a perennial in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 through 8, while lemongrass is a tropical grass added to soups and teas that thrives in USDA plant hardiness zones 9 through 11.


Pest-repelling plants can grow anywhere in a yard.

Pest-repelling plants can grow anywhere in a yard.

When you’re enjoying an evening on the patio with friends and family, the last item you want to worry about is biting insects annoying you and your guests. Mosquitoes, fleas, flies and other pests aren’t just annoying; those insects may carry disease. Commercial insect repellants ward off bugs, but try using plants instead if you’re concerned about the commercial repellants’ chemicals. Many plants emit a scent that biting insects can’t stand.

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Basil and Rosemary

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is one of the easiest herbs to grow. As an added bonus, many bugs, including flying insects such as mosquitoes, hate its aroma. Basil survives winter outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) zones 9 through 11. In cooler climates, grow basil as a tender annual. Basil grows well in containers. Try setting a pot of basil on an outdoor table to shoo insects from the yard. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) has a scent that humans enjoy and most biting pests hate. This culinary herb is hardy in USDA zones 9 and 10. If it is grown in a container, however, you can take it indoors for winter and set it back outside in spring.

Catnip and Lemongrass

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) was found to be 10 times more effective than the repellent DEET against mosquitoes, according to the Mother Earth Living website. Catnip is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9. It can become invasive if planted in a yard. So consider keeping it in containers. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratusis), as its scientific name implies, emits a citrus fragrance from its leaves. The plant survives winter outdoors in USDA zones 9b through 11, but in any zone it also grows well in containers taken indoors for winter. The plant can be grown by rooting lemongrass stalks purchased from a grocery store.


Crushed leaves of American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) could be as effective against mosquitoes as DEET, according to USDA research cited in a Mother Earth News article. The plant’s leaves also repel fire ants and black-legged ticks for several hours when applied to skin. American beautyberry is hardy outdoors in USDA zones 7 to 9 and in zone 6 when it is planted in a protected location close to a building. Beautyberry’s Japanese variety (Callicarpa japonica) is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.

Pennyroyal and Citronella Grass

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) wards off mosquitoes, fleas, flies and other biting insects. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9. Pennyroyal is a member of the mint family, and like all mints, it can spread aggressively. Keep this plant confined to a container to prevent it from taking over your garden. Citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus) is the main source of commercial citronella oil, a scented chemical that keeps flying pests away. The scent also may repel cats. The tender plant is hardy in USDA zones 10 through 12, but in any zone it can grow in containers taken indoors for winter.


Ticks feed on human blood.

Ticks feed on human blood.

Ticks may seem small and insignificant, but they can create big problems when you want to enjoy your home’s backyard and are instead bitten by dozens of these insects. Not only are they a physical nuisance, but ticks also often carry dangerous diseases like Lyme disease. If you want to reduce existing tick populations and keep ticks from invading your yard without resorting to harsh chemicals, look into eco-friendly options.

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Deter Deer

Deer are one of the chief carriers of ticks in the wild. By deterring deer and keeping them away from your home, you dramatically reduce your risks of tick invasions in your yard while also removing one of the biggest food sources for existing ticks in your landscape. This in turn helps to control tick populations and encourages them to move to areas where deer are more present. Avoid feeding deer, erect fences around your home that are a minimum of 8 feet tall, and avoid planting deer-attracting vegetation such as lilies, impatiens and hostas.

Pick up Debris

Debris around your yard, such as stacks of wood, piles of brush and leaves, and stands of dead vegetation, attracts ticks by providing them with breeding sites that are moist, shaded and protected. Regular landscape cleanups help remove the ticks’ hiding spots and expose them to natural predators, as well as the lethal effects of sunshine and drying wind. Over time, the ticks will flee your yard for more shaded, protected parts of neighborhood.

Mow Your Lawn

Ticks thrive in yards that have tall lawn grass because this creates a humid, protected layer just above the soil surface. Homeowners should regularly mow their lawn, keeping grass at the shortest height allowed for their specific species of turf grass. This removes the ticks’ hiding spots while minimizing soil level humidity, helping to dry out and kill any present tick populations.

Apply a Natural Insecticide

Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium plants have high levels of pyrethrins. These botanical compounds are extracted from the plant and used to create a natural insecticide known as pyrethrum, which is available in numerous over-the-counter natural pesticide products. Such products paralyze and kill ticks and fleas quickly for eco-friendly tick control. Pyrethrum powder can be dusted on a lawn’s surface while pyrethrum sprays can be applied to vertical surfaces, such as fences.

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