A year ago, I had what was an infection of the finger called paronychia. This results in a painful, throbbing inflammation of the fingernail lining and the treatment is usually to excise it to release pressure off the finger.
Paronychia is an infection of the cuticle of the finger.
Of course, I knew exactly how I had attained this infection, I had ripped off my nail cuticle, and noticed it bled a little but did nothing about it. A few days later, it developed into an abscess which required a trip to the hospital. As I was on a weekend trip, I didn’t go to my usual doctor, but a local doctor in town, and when I went into his office and announced I had paronychia, he seemed surprised. I’m not even sure he knew what it was, but he examined my finger, looked shocked and insisted that I needed surgery on it straight away and needed to take a course of antibiotics.
However, my understanding of anatomy told me that it is actually quite dangerous to cut into a finger, as thousands of nerve endings could end up damaged and lose sensitivity. In fact, I often questioned why doctors would even suggest cutting into the finger in the first place. In addition, since antibiotics have been known to cause DNA damage, I wasn’t exactly keen with his prognosis and treatment suggestion.
Borax contains boron and a salt of boric acid, which inhibits the growth of bacteria, viruses, fungi and cancer cells.
Anyhow, I thanked him for his time, and went to pick up a few items at the drug store before I went home: hydrogen peroxide 1% and borax powder (which is a combination of boron + a salt of boric acid). I made a solution utilising 3:1 spring water to hydrogen peroxide solution with 3 tablespoons borax. First I dissolved 3 tablespoons of borax powder into the simmering 3 cups of bottled spring water at a low temperature until the borax powder fully dissolved and cooled; then I added 1 cup hydrogen peroxide 1% solution.
This makes quite a large batch, but it’s good to have around. I put the majority into an empty plastic water bottle to store at room temperature, and a little into an empty little spritzer bottle and I generously sprayed my infected finger with the solution a few times a day. After a few hours, the throbbing and pain had stopped. After 1 day, the abscess size shrunk considerably. After 2 days, the infection had completely disappeared.
What lead me to make this solution was that previously, I recalled I had read some studies in which boric acid (what is in borax) had inhibited the growth of bacteria, viruses, fungi and even cancer by its disruption of NAD/NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) cycles in opportunistic diseases. NAD is necessary for mitochondrial cells to multiply. However, boric acid is interesting in that it only targets the cell cycle in microorganisms, resulting in an inhibition of bacteria, viruses, fungi and cancer cells. Boric acid is also added in very miniscule amounts in contact lens solution.
Similarly, several months ago, my father had attained some sort infection on his ankle which grew into a very large cyst. His doctor wanted to cut and drain it, and have him on a course of antibiotics. (Sound familiar?) Anyhow, I suggested that he try the borax solution first, by generously spraying onto the area once or twice daily. After 72 hours, his infection was completely gone.
Borax is a naturally occurring substance and formulated from boron (a mineral compound that we need for strengthening bones) and a salt of boric acid. Borax was first discovered in dry lake beds in Tibet and was imported via the Silk Road to the Arabian Peninsula in the 8th Century AD. It became commonly used in the 19th century through Smith’s Pacific Coast Borax Company that began commercialising borax for household use.
I think borax powder is one of those staple household items with multiple uses and excellent to have around for disinfection, cleaning purposes, treatment of mites (for people who have pets) and for instances such as mine, paronychia or cellulitis. Since this incident, I now carry the borax-hydrogen peroxide solution with me on holiday and always have it around at home.
Another item that I take with me is coconut oil. I use coconut oil to brush my dogs’ teeth, and they all have sparkling white teeth without any yellow plaque residue. Typically, veterinarians put dogs under anaesthesia in order to clean their teeth, but I found that simply brushing their teeth nightly with coconut oil usually results in a complete removal of plaque within a couple of weeks. I also use coconut oil on the ends of my hair as a hair conditioner. I find this dramatically repairs hair that has been in the sun and instantly brings shine and moisture.
I also carry a bottle of activated charcoal capsules on holiday. I usually mix the melted liquid form of coconut oil with activated charcoal capsules in case my dogs accidently ingest something toxic. Melted, liquid coconut oil is great for this as the activated charcoal mixes in seamlessly as opposed to attempting to mix in it water, in which the powder floats on top and makes a big mess. Also, dogs like the taste of coconut oil and might eat it on their own without the application with a spoon to feed them.
Activated charcoal binds to toxins to prevent absorption in the body.
Studies have found that having dogs take activated charcoal immediately after the ingestion of a toxic substance has the same therapeutic effect as inducing the dogs to vomit, having their stomachs pumped, then given activated charcoal. This is because activated charcoal has a large surface area, and 1g of activated charcoal has a surface area of 500 m2 (about one tenth the size of a football field) and can attach to toxins to prevent absorption; however, activated charcoal has its limits and does not work to absorb toxins such as xylitol, which is a substance found in toothpaste, gum and candy. It’s best to go to a vet if any pets are in a serious state, but I think for minor problems such as diarrhea, upset stomach or if they accidently ingest something that contains onions, grapes etc, then this remedy usually immediately rectifies the problem.
I have read some accounts of people’s blogs in which they say to limit water intake for dogs if they suffer from diarrhea, but this is highly inadvisable. Diarrhea is a way of quickly removing toxins from the dogs’ bodies, and because it rapidly progresses through the dogs’ digestion system to prevent absorption, this results in diarrhea. However, dogs can become extremely dehydrated if suffering from diarrhea so it is advisable to get them to drink more clean, purified, non tap sources of water and fluids to help accelerate the removal of toxins. I found though that treating them with activated charcoal (500 mg capsule per 1kg body weight) mixed in with coconut oil typically resolves the problem immediately.
Activated charcoal also works on humans too - in case one develops food poisoning whilst on holiday. Taking around 1000-2000 mg of activated charcoal immediately after having eaten something questionable, I find completely resolves my food poisoning issues.
Another item that I like to take with me is aloe vera gel. Recently there were some articles in the news which reported that the majority of the aloe vera products sold at stores were found not to actually contain any aloe vera. However, one of my favourite brands that is a reputable aloe vera source is Real Aloe Vera Gel, and the consistency of this gel is immediately noticeable as it is different from other brands. This gel is especially great for the hot summer months when skin prefers cool moisture. I also use this as a face gel and I think it works quite well. I typically take a bottle of this product with me everywhere. From bug bites, to dry skin to a face gel, this aloe vera gel from Real Aloe Vera is extremely versatile. Thankfully this high quality product isn’t expensive at all, so I tend to buy multiple bottles at a time and store them in the refrigerator.
The handheld photobiomodulation device from Laspot for accelerated healing for portable consumer usage (around $200).
Another item I like to take with me on holiday is a handheld photobiomodulation (PBM) device. Also called a low-level laser or NIR (near infrared laser) it helps to immediately accelerate healing and generally good for aches and pains, muscle strain, cuts, or any damage to the skin. I previously wrote about photobiomodulation here: Thor Photomedicine: Making of an Icon
The traditional advice of doctors is to typically ice an area that has had traumatic impact to prevent swelling and bruising. However, inflammation is usually an immune system response to draw more circulation and blood flow to the area so that damaged cells may be repaired or removed. When an area is iced, then this prevents blood flow, hence preventing the adequate removal of damaged cells, so that the area may be prone to re-developing symptoms of the same injury again. This can probably be seen with athletes who may suffer from injury of the same area again and again. I would have to extrapolate that this is due to the fact that the original injury probably never healed completely due to the interruption of the immune system response by icing the area and/or treatment with steroids to reduce inflammation; the inflammation is what is necessary for the adequate removal of injured cells.
Recently, I had an injury on my knee from a sporting event and instead of icing the area, I utilised my photobiomodulation (PBM) handheld device at the highest setting 650nm on continuous laser for 20 min. I repeated this procedure for 2 more days, and although the area was a little achy for a couple of days, on the 3rd day, the pain had completely disappeared and in addition, I never developed inflammation nor a bruise. This is because the PBM laser accelerates healing by increasing ATP in mitochondria - what would otherwise naturally occur through inflammation or a bruise, when blood flow is increased to an area. However, by using near infrared light (NIR) I was able to accelerate this process without any inflammation.
The only negative with the handheld PBM device is that because it runs on rechargeable lithium batteries that it doesn’t have a lifetime use of the device, and my device lasted about 11 months before I had to replace it. I also use this device on my dogs for any injuries they may have and I have to mention that I am a high frequency user, due to being constantly physically active in sports, so it probably had a lot of mileage on it after 11 months.
There are also PBM products that utilise LED lights, but I find the NIR laser to be much more effective. Currently this item is on my wish list:
HNC photobiomodulation device for home usage (around $1000). For top of the line professional or home usage, Thor Photomedicine has a range of products here.
Similar to my handheld device, it utilises both 650nm and 808nm, however this desktop version has a higher power output at 150mW vs. my handheld at 5mW. However, more power doesn't mean it's necessarily better. The optimal power range for photobiomodulation is less than 300mW otherwise, it could have an inhibitory effect on mitochondria. I still think the handheld is good for convenience and travel, however, I hope future versions move away from the built-in lithium battery as this drastically shortens the lifespan of the product into a throwaway product of planned obsolescence.
The last item that I find absolutely important whilst going on holiday is a hat. Although I already have quite a large collection of hats, and most likely will probably end up buying more hats on holiday, and probably wouldn’t be seen outside without one in the daytime, I find that there’s no such as having too many hats.
By Sierra Choi
(Disclaimer: This article is not intended as medical advice and is for educational purposes only)
In the year 1930, an epidemic was slowly tapering. For several generations, a disease known as consumption, otherwise known as the white plague or tuberculosis, had killed millions of Europeans in the 18th and 19th century. Some of the literary icons who had succumbed to the disease included Honoré de Balzac, Albert Camus, John Keats, DH Lawrence, Molière, George Orwell and Robert Louis Stevenson. Although researchers at the time hypothesised that consumption was linked to a contagious bacterium, mainstream medical practice believed that consumption was a genetic disease. For most of the 19th century, tuberculosis was thought to be a hereditary, constitutional disease rather than a contagious one.
Tuberculosis sanatorium in the early part of the 20th century.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, doctors also often treated people who had tuberculosis with mercury, a neurotoxin, which would ultimately progress the disease towards mortality. However, between the late 19th century and towards 1940, another common method for treating consumption and other diseases became widespread in hospitals: blood transfusions. Although Karl Landsteiner had discovered the different blood types in 1900, his research was relatively unknown and the book that he had published in Germany and Austria would remain largely unread, and it wouldn’t be until after WWII that blood typing became commonplace before blood transfusions took place.
Doctors at hospitals performed blood transfusions on patients and in soldiers during WWI who would subsequently die from septic shock and kidney failure before 1940 when blood typing became more widely known.
In the year 1930, if you, your child or anyone you knew had a cough, such as those symptoms of the common cold, doctors would’ve treated you with mercury, and you might’ve been given a blood transfusion. During this era, it was simply the luck of the draw if the patient would receive the right blood type or not, and many hospitals were still not able to type blood reliably and there were many deaths as a result of ABO incompatibility.
When we examine the annals of medical history, it could quite possibly be hypothesised that consumption, or the white plague, was a disease that became an epidemic largely through the widespread ignorance and malpractice of medical doctors. Ignorance of antisepsis, asepsis and immunology had resulted in the deaths of millions of people across Europe, spanning two centuries.
George Orwell wrote the groundbreaking book, 1984 whilst suffering from tuberculosis and died at the age of 44. During this time, doctors often treated patients with mercury, a neurotoxin and blood transfusions as they believed tuberculosis was a "genetic disease".
However, let’s take a look at legal rulings in our modern times. What if in 1930, you had refused treatment from the hospital and the courts had ruled in favour of doctors and the hospital if they treated you for tuberculosis instead of the wishes of you, or the parent of the child, such as in the Charlie Gard case? What if you were forced to do as doctors ordered you to do?
In the highly publicised Charlie Gard case, doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in the UK were given clearance by a judge to put a 10 month old child to death, by turning off his life support, because according to the opinions of the doctors, the child would’ve “continued [in] pain, suffering, distress” and that treatment elsewhere would result in “causing significant harm”.
Let’s remember in 1930, doctors believed tuberculosis to be a genetic disease. In fact, this kind of diagnosis could also be reflective of our own era. When traditional medical doctors are often confused about the causes of disease, many times, they revert to a diagnosis of: it’s a “genetic disease" or most likely an “autoimmune disease".
Genetic Disease vs. Epigenetic Disease State
A genetic disease is a genetic abnormality that often results from mistakes made in replication during the gestational period when X chromosome inactivation is interrupted, and mistakes are made in DNA methylation in which repetitive elements in our DNA are not silenced or an error occurs in imprinting X and Y chromosomes. Examples of genetic diseases are Beckwith Wiedermann Syndrome, Prader Willi Syndrome and Angelman Syndrome, in which imprint control regions in human chromosomes 11, 15 and 18 lead to a gene expression in which controls certain kinds of growth - such as in Beckwith Wiedermann which results in an overgrowth at birth and in Prader Willi which results in spinal muscular atrophy.
Another genetic abnormality or “disease” are chromosomal conditions in which men or women have an extra chromosome, such as in the Klinefelter Syndrome in which instead of possessing the typical XY normal karyotype, men have an XXY pattern that leads to sterility and oftentimes the growth of breasts (eg, gynaecomnastia). Similarly, XYY syndrome is the addition of an extra Y chromosome that also leads to abnormal karyotyping that leads to heightened stature in men.
TV presenter Annabel Giles revealed her son Ted (aged 8 in photo) was born with abnormal karyotyping and has the genetic disorder XYY syndrome which causes increased height in males.
These genetic diseases are immediately noticeable at birth, and must be distinguished from epigenetic disease states. An epigenetic disease state is one that arises due to exposure to substances, toxins or other elements in the environment that leads to the silencing and activation of certain genes. This isn’t a genetic disease, but an epigenetic disease state, terms in which probably most mainstream medical doctors use interchangeably without knowing the distinction between them. For example, let’s examine breast cancer. A lot of hype has been promoted in the media that breast cancer is due to a genetic mutation in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, and that it is a genetic disease that is inherited. Mainly this hype has been promoted through celebrities such as Angelina Jolie who underwent a double mastectomy and hysterectomy because after a gene screening, her doctors discovered mutations in BRCA1 and/ or BRCA2, in which self-repairing genes that target certain types of cancer cells were switched off.
However, with the advent of epigenetics, researchers are now beginning to understand that there is a difference between a genetic disease vs. an epigenetic disease state. One example we can utilise to understand this difference is through nature: the fertility of queen bees. A queen bee is not genetically different from female worker bees, however, she is fed on royal jelly, in which the metabolism of a fatty acid in this substance (eg, 10HDA) leads to a reactivation of a gene that turns on fertility, so that the queen bee remains fertile for the entire duration of her life.This is an epigenetic control of gene expression, one that is derived through the environmental exposure to a specific substance and not a genetic disease.
Queen bees are genetically the same as worker bees, but due to their ingestion of royal jelly, re-activates a gene for fertility, so that they continue to be fertile for life and grow larger than other bees.
Likewise, researchers have found that cancer is more likely an epigenetic disease state in which exposure to toxins in the environment lead to the silencing of multiple combinations of genes that target abnormal cells and not an inherited, genetic disease. This, however, did not stop certain medical doctors from performing unnecessary breast cancer operations for financial gain for more than a decade.
Let’s now examine what doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital diagnosed Charlie Gard with. Charlie Gard was a baby who was born perfectly healthy, until after several months when his parents noticed something off. The doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital say that Charlie Gard has Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome (MDDS) and that he will unnecessarily suffer for the rest of his life due to this “genetic disease” that he inherited from his parents.
However, last year, research into Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome suggests that patients suffering from certain types of this disease had elevated levels of neurotoxins in their tissues, such as mercury, arsenic and lead and that these neurotoxins lead to the mutations in the MPV17 gene that lead to this dysfunction.In other words, exposure to these toxins lead to silencing of genes that control muscle and brain development. These kinds of findings would then point to MDDS as an epigenetic disease state, caused by exposure to neurotoxins as opposed to a “genetic disease” as doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital have suggested and given an early death sentence to a child who is just 10 months old.
Taurine has been studied by researchers to completely eradicate epileptic seizures and abnormal cardiac arrhythmia with oral supplementation.
In another interesting study, mitochondrial myopathy and mitochondrial diseases were also found to be closely related to the symptoms of taurine deficiency. Taurine acts as a neurotransmitter that regulates the central nervous system and is also an amino acid that is the required building block of protein and found in large amounts in the brain, spinal cord, retina, heart, and blood cells, platelets. Without taurine, our eyes wouldn’t be able to see, and our brains and muscles would not develop nor function normally. In fact, these symptoms seem very similar to what Charlie Gard appears to be suffering from. His doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital say that Charlie Gard will never be able to see, breathe on his own, has muscle weakness and is suffering from brain damage, and that he has a “genetic disease” although he had been born perfectly healthy.
If we examine the children of Flint, Michigan, who were exposed to toxic amounts of lead and other substances in their drinking water, they too suffered a similar type of brain and muscle damage which could be reversible. These children did not have a “genetic” disease, they were unintentionally poisoned through something they thought harmless: drinking tap water; however, they were exposed to the neurotoxins after their brain had already developed, and not in the case of Charlie Gard, a baby who was born healthy, but over a period of several months became ill. Babies and young children are most susceptible to neurotoxins in the environment because they are rapidly developing. In the United States and United Kingdom, elevated lead, mercury and arsenic concentration in reconstituted baby formula, baby food and juices have lead to many recalls, beginning from the 1980s up to the present time and many still sit on the shelves of supermarkets.
Baby formula, baby food and juices have been found in the UK and United States to have elevated levels of arsenic, mercury and lead.
So my question is did the doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital test for neurotoxins such as arsenic, mercury and lead in baby Charlie Gard? What makes them think he has a “genetic disease” rather than suffering from symptoms of an epigenetic disease state? We must also consider the fact that the judge ruled in favour of shutting down Charlie Gard’s life support to prevent “unnecessary suffering”. If those were the only conditions necessary to put a child’s life to death, then why not extend that to everyone across the globe? What about children suffering in poverty in India, who will most likely never prevail from their circumstances? Why not put them to death to “ease their suffering”? What about elderly people in senior homes who suffer from dementia? Why make them suffer needlessly and what kind of life is it to live out your last days in a hospital bed or a wheelchair, not remembering who they are? Why not just put them to death as well?
The mystery of life often eludes doctors because medical doctors are most often, only familiar with death, but when a patient survives contrary to their beliefs, it eludes them. To be fair, I think most doctors have patients’ best interests at heart, but due to limitations of education, in experience and practice, they are often not in the position to conduct research in which they have not received active funding.
This is why we should consider doctors, as specialists like any other, such as financial advisers or campaign managers. Their word should not be God, but the words of advisers who share their knowledge so that patients may make informed decisions. It should not be what happened in the ruling of the Charlie Gard case, when a British judge ruled in favour of doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital, who were given the power to make the ultimate decision on what happens to a child who cannot yet speak, instead of giving that right to his parents, who have hope that there exists a treatment out there that may save him.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) chamber. A patient is exposed to pure oxygen that is 1.5-3 times the normal atmospheric pressure which leads to delivery of oxygen to cells that accelerate healing. I wrote about hyperbaric oxygen therapy in a previous article.
When I was in Athens, Georgia in the beginning of the year, I met an entrepreneur and founder, and an incredible father, Hulet Smith who is CEO of a company called Rehabmart. His eldest daughter Sophia was discovered to be bleeding in the brain inside the womb during the third trimester and when she was born, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Against the traditional advice of her doctors and specialists, Hulet decided to pursue a different, integrative path than traditional western medicine which often uses pharmaceuticals to treat a disease. At the time, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) was not an experimental treatment, and although it has had a long history of practice and use, it is still relatively obscure in traditional medical practice. HBOT is a pressurised oxygen chamber that delivers oxygen to cells which accelerates healing.
Sophia was given the prognosis by her doctors to be legally blind, wheelchair bound and severely intellectually impaired for the rest of her life. Today, Sophia is not only physically active and can walk, and see, she is miraculously studying at the normal level of her grade and age.
Sophia's Video Story
She still has problems with eyesight and needs to wear glasses, but overall, she is leading a life in which she is not held back by her initial brain injury in the womb.
Imagine for a moment, if doctors had the power to put her to death against the wishes of her parents to “ease her suffering” or if people in history, such as Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking were given an early death sentence? Imagine what would’ve happened to that little newborn baby who couldn’t yet speak, if Sophia’s parents had decided to follow the advice of her doctors, or worse yet, if her doctors had the power to make the ultimate decision to put her to death before she had a chance to live?
The truth is, we do not have that intrinsic right to make that decision for anyone, but we must carry the responsibility to protect the rights of those who cannot speak, children such as Sophia, and Charlie Gard whose parents want to pursue alternative treatment than the death sentence handed to the latter by doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital. The ruling by the court in favour of doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital not only endangers those who cannot speak for themselves, but for all of us, by taking away our right to choose.
By Sierra Choi
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose any diseases and is for educational purposes only.