Long-time readers of Panaceachronicles know that the human gut is one of my passions and that I have been an advocate for the use of probiotics as both preventative and healing medicines. A good understanding of the role of probiotics in controlling, treating and even curing inflammatory gut disease is even more important now that in many states patients have access to medical marijuana for relief of symptoms. Combining the symptomatic relief of Cannabis with the right probiotics to help heal the gut and prevent further colonization by pathogens is without doubt the natural path to effective treatment.
It is well-known that there are significant differences in the effectiveness of different brands of commercial probiotics. A quick glance at the labels will confirm the great discrepancies between brands. Since there are important differences in the species of bacteria they provide, the concentrations of each species, the viability of those bacteria, the methods used to culture the bacteria, the sources of the extraction base, and the matrix in which the bacteria are stabilized for human consumption, being an informed probiotics buyer is a critical part of healing yourself.
Probiotics appear to be one of those classes of products where you really do get what you pay for – although a high price is not a guarantee of a more effective medicine. Just because a particular brand is very expensive, or contains an impressive list of species, doesn’t mean that it is the right choice for you. You have to do your homework on your own gut biome, and it is important that the probiotics you choose are tailored to the gaps or weaknesses in your own gut microbes.
If you are serious about getting a hand on an inflammatory gut issue and haven’t yet had your gut biome profiled, you may want to consider participating in the crowd-sourced “American Gut Project”. This project is not limited to people in the US, by the way.
However, this blog post is to alert readers to something new and very important that is emerging in the field of probiotics, specifically that there is now a highly concentrated form of probiotic called “Amanlac probiotics”, that appears to be far more effective against a wide range of inflammatory gut diseases than even the best “commercial” probiotics.
In an article in the June 2012 Journal of Food & Drug Analysis entitled “High Concentrated Probiotics Improve Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Better Than Commercial Concentrations”. The article details Korean research into Amanlac probiotics – it seems that Korean and Japanese microbiologists are far ahead of the west in understanding how specific probiotic configurations can be used to treat specific inflammatory gut diseases. Here is how the researcher’s describe their findings in the article abstract:
“Probiotics have been clinically administered to improve intestinal inflammation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. In this study we identified that higher concentrations of probiotics called “Amanlac” probiotics protected intestinal tissues with the regulation of cytokine production and the improvement of intestinal injury in mice with dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced Colitis much better than commercial probiotics. Amanlac probiotics significantly ameliorated both gross and pathological scores caused by DSS in a concentration-dependent manner, based on the following mechanisms: inflammatory markers such as IL1-β, TNF α, and COX-2 as well as MMPs and ICAM1 were significantly lower in probiotic-treated mice following DSS treatment compared with DSS-treated control mice, but the overall efficacy of “Amanlac” probiotics was significantly improved over conventional concentration of probiotics. In conclusion, administration of higher concentration probiotics helps to successfully maintain intestinal homeostasis while also improving intestinal inflammation.”
While there may be other “Amanlac” probiotics available, the brand that my wife and I have found to be remarkable in its ability to restore normal, healthy, pain-free intestinal functioning is Dr. Ohhira’s Professional Formula. These probiotics are manufactured in Japan using both traditional and state-of-the-art fermentation methods and incorporate a very wide range of traditional Japanese plants in the base mixture from which the probiotics are fermented and extracted.
If you are using a commercial probiotic and are having limited success you may want to read this research paper in its entirety and consider choosing an “Amanlac” probiotic rather than the one you are currently using.
Readers of this blog know that I believe in the wisdom of the Indigenous Peoples of the Andes – “La Coca no es La Cocaine”.
This of course is not a clever slogan, but the truth. However since those of us who live in the North have been deprived of any knowledge of medicinal Coca for over a century, we have no way of finding this truth for ourselves. Not so in Peru, Bolivia and now Uruguay.
The Bolivian company IngaCoca is the manufacturer of an extensive line of medicinal tonics and salves that combine the healing power of Coca Leaf extract with the healing power of a wide range of traditional medicinal herbs, many of them also not familiar to us in the North.
Several things stand out about the IngaCoca website and the products that this company produces. First, while the healing power of Coca takes the lead role in all of their preparations, none of the preparations are simply Coca extract. The Indigenous Peoples of the Andes are not mono-maniacs when it comes to the medicinal properties of Coca. They do not see Coca as a stand-alone cure-all – although in some cases this great plant comes as close as anything else in nature’s pharmacy to being a true panacea. So the products of IngaCoca always incorporate other, complementary medicinal herbs to form a complete healing solution for specific diseases and ailments.
Second, not a single one of IngaCoca’s products can possibly get you high – which is the excuse given by the USA and other authoritarian governments for banning trade in Coca Leaf. (By the way, IMO there’s nothing wrong with getting high, but Coca Leaf isn’t going to do it for you.) The products that Ingacoca produces are proof positive that there is a vast range of medicinal applications of Coca Leaf that have nothing to do with recreational drug use. This is unlike Cannabis, which opponents of Medical Marijuana frantically point out – “Well, OK – it might possibly be good for you but MY GOD – IT GETS YOU HIGH!!!!” Venemous idiots, of course, but Cannabis does give them an opening while Coca Leaf does not.
As I have pointed out elsewhere in this blog, you could not chew enough Coca Leaves, or drink enough Coca tea, to get anything more than a mild coffee-style buzz. Coca Leaf is not about having fun – unless you think that preventing or curing dozens of nasty diseases and conditions is fun – which I happen to think it is!
The last thing that strikes me about the curative tonics and salves produced by IngaCoca is how many of the diseases and conditions that plague Americans and Europeans are NOT addressed by any of their products. None of their products are designed to address killer diseases like Congestive Heart Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, neurological diseases like MS and ALS, or Alzheimer’s, that carry away tens of millions of Northern Hemisphere dwellers every year, and that there is plenty of evidence could be prevented treated, or even cured by having access to pure, natural Coca Leaf.
After pondering this for a few minutes it occurred to me – IngaCoca doesn’t make these products because the people of the Andes don’t need them. In another post on this blog I took a look at the 50 leading causes of death in Peru and noticed that the diseases that are true plagues upon the People of the North are minor factors in Peru and, as I check the same database, the same is true of Bolivia. Sure there is some Heart disease – almost all in urban dwellers. There is Diabetes – also mostly among urban dwellers. There is also a very low incidence of Lung disease. And – most interesting to me – there is zero Dementia/Alzheimer’s. Nowhere in the 50 leading causes of death in the Andes.
Does that suggest something to you about our toxic environment, and most likely our industrialized food chain, in the North?
So, as you have probably noticed if you’ve already clicked through to the IngaCoca website, it is in Spanish with no English language option. After all, why would they bother since our government won’t let us have access to their products? So I have done my best to translate the website for readers of PanaceaChronicles, with apologies for any errors that my rudimentary Spanish may have caused. I have also annotated IngaCoca’s product descriptions whenever a medicinal herb is mentioned in the ingredients that most readers outside of the Andean region may not be familiar with. Some of these herbs are available in the US and Europe and have VERY interesting properties.
IngaCoca are pioneers, and deserve great credit for demonstrating conclusively that their national treasure is far, far more than the white powder that gives the governments of the world an excuse to make Coca Leaf illegal. We all understand that this is about protecting the global Pharmaceutical industry, and giving free reign to the Cartels and their Big Bank money launderers and co-conspirators, and to a few less obvious stakeholders like the anti-drug police bureaucracies.
Perhaps, in time and with increasing enlightenment of the people, a few legislators in the US or elsewhere will grow at least some tiny Cojones and do something about this farce which is actually a death sentence for millions of people whose interests they claim to care about. Without access to pure, natural medicines, and condemned to use only the toxic products of the greedheads who run Pig Pharma, that is exactly the result of the “War on Drugs” – mandatory death sentences for millions.
In the meanwhile I would like to encourage readers of this blog who live in countries that are enlightened enough to recognize the difference between Coca Leaf medicines and Cocaine to look into helping IngaCoca reach people in your country with its products. This seems to be to be not only a humanitarian effort, but quite possibly an excellent business opportunity.
Products of IngaCoca
This Tonic Is Effective For: Cough , Asthma , Bronchitis , Tonsillitis
Composition : It is a natural compound of Coca , Wirawira , Cardosanto and Eucalyptus.
Wirawira is known as a remedy for coughs, bronchitis, hoarseness, high fever, stomach ache, indigestion, sores and wounds, inflamed throat, colds and flu. This herb has proven antibiotic and antiviral activity.
The flowers of Cardo Santo are a natural remedy for anemia, loss of appetite, migraines and inflammatory conditions.
This Tonic Is Effective For: Prostate, Bladder inflammation
Composition: Natural therapeutic compound of COCA from Kishuara , Yareta and Flower Of The Valley . It is used in pain, obstruction and hypertrophy of the prostate, and inflammation of the urethra and bladder.
Yareta or llareta is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to South America. It resembles a large mound of green moss rather than a flowering plant, and is found primarily in remote, arid regions of the Altiplano region of Bolivia.
This Tonic Is Effective For: The Nerves
Composition: A natural composition of Coca, Matico, Totongil , Valerian and Rosemary possess excellent therapeutic properties which facilitates oxygenation to the brain. You can use as an Antidepressant, for Stress, Nervous Tension, Insomnia, and Dizziness.
Matico has strong styptic properties are due to the volatile oil, and it is used for arresting hemorrhages, as a local application to ulcers, in genito-urinary complaints, atonic diarrhoea, dysentery, etc. In Peru it is also considered an aphrodisiac. It is effective as a topical application to slight wounds, bites of leeches, or after the extraction of teeth. The under surface of the leaf is preferred to the powder for this purpose.
Totongil, or Melissa, is also known as lemon balm, lemongrass or lemon leaf. Totongil is used as a tea as a natural tranquilizer with anti-spasmodic properties. It is used in the resuscitation of fainting and as a natural painkiller. Other medicinal properties include treatment of Tachycardia or palpitations of nervous origin, where lemon balm calms the heart muscle and restores normal rhythm to the heart.
This Tonic Is Effective For: Ulcers
Composition: A natural composition of Coca, phasa, matico, mauve and thusca. Possesses therapeutic properties for stomach ulcers and gastritis; helps prevent ulcerative disorders that affect the gut.
This Tonic Is Effective For: Weight Loss
Composition: natural composition Coca, chick (?), lupine and others. Contains Egnonina. Therapeutic for metabolizing fats and carbohydrates, eliminating obesity, purifying the blood and regulating cholesterol.
This Tonic Is Effective For: Anti-Diabetic
Composition: Natural extract of Coca, sage, lupine and dandelion, forms a therapeutic substance that normalizes the functioning of the pancreas, regulating the secretion of natural insulin.
This Tonic Is Effective For: Energy
Composition : The natural essence of: Coca, Alfalfa, Beet Root , Spinach and Abeja honey. Works effectively as a powerful stimulant of blood, and muscle system develops more force if energy is depleted, in cases of Hemorrhage, Anemia, diminished Mental Activity, Sexual Function, and/or Appetite
This Tonic Is Effective For: Liver Conditions
Composition: Coca, Chanca Piedra, Boldo, Grass And Artichoke. Therapeutic properties assist in the normal functioning of the liver and bile secretion, eliminating harmful and toxic blood wastes.
Boldo (Peumus boldus) is native to the Andes and is a common medicinal tea. The leaves, have a strong, slightly bitter flavor and an aroma reminiscent of Bay or Camphor.
Grip Grass, also known simply as Grass, is used as a folk medicine for treating kidney disorders. It is a powerful herb and should not be used by diabetics.
Chanca Piedra is a powerful medicinal herb that has many applications in kidney and urinary tract disorders, and is especially effective in helping to eliminate kidney stones.
This Tonic Is Effective For: Anti-Rheumatic
Composition: Coca, eucalyptus, molle (?), nettle; containing therapeutic properties that remove uric acid substances, and therefore is effective against rheumatism, joint pain, arthritis, gout, and varicose veins .
This Tonic Is Effective For: Liver & Kidneys
Composition : Coca , Chanca Stone, Sarsaparilla, Artichoke, Horsetail And Ortiga.
This tonic has therapeutic properties that reduce inflammation and clean the excess fat from the Liver and Kidney and also facilitate filtration
Ortiga (ortiga verde) is a member of the stinging nettle family of herbs. The Nettle family has a worldwide reputation as an effective treatment for purifying the blood, fighting inflammation and internal infections, and promoting digestive health.
This Tonic Is Effective For: Parasites
COMPOSITION : A natural compound Coca, Yerba Buena, Papaya Seeds, and Squash. It works effectively in expelling existing parasites within the body.
This Salve Is Effective For: Rheumatic, Muscular, Varicose Veins And Bone Pain
Extracted From: Coca, eucalyptus and molle, enabling high levels of penetration to the bone marrow. To treat, use massage on the affected parts before sleeping; for varicose veins massage gently upwards, then lie down for about 15 minutes with feet elevated.
This Salve Is Effective For: Arthritis & Gout
Extracted From: Coca and nettle ; massage the affected part before bedtime.
This Salve Is Effective For: Fungal Infections
Extracted From: Coca and aloe if the problem is in the feet/toes, first washing with plain soap fragrance, then freshly dry and apply the ointment 2 times a day.
This Salve Is Effective For: Hemorrhoids
Extracted From: Coca, dandelion, kara launa. First after passing stools in the morning, do a sitz bath in cold water infused with Chamomile for 15 minutes, then apply ointment or oil, preferably both in the morning and evening
The roles of Coca Leaf and Cannabis in controlling systemic (whole body) inflammatory conditions in the human body have been discussed in a number of posts on this blog, and there is a growing understanding in the medical community of the links between systemic inflammatory conditions and major diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, dementia and depression.
These are among the leading causes of death in the US and the rest of the so-called advanced civilizations, and for the most part the medical and scientific communities of these nations seem to be either just saying “Oh well, that’s what happens when you get old” or else “Hey, we have this new, expensive, dangerous drug that will give you an extra week or two of life strapped to a hospital bed and invaded by tubes.” Oh thank you medical saviors!
However, the interaction between systemic inflammation and Insomnia, or chronic sleep deprivation, has rarely been explored, and considering that systematic inflammation is a key factor in so many debilitating and fatal diseases and conditions this is an area of research that desperately needs attention.
Since there is already substantial documentation that the right strains of Cannabis are effective sleep aids, as well as safe and effective treatments for many of the diseases and conditions related to the inflammatory processes that arise as a result of chronic Insomnia, I’ll forego reciting that evidence here and concentrate on the potential of Coca Leaf as a complimentary natural medicine. The key word here is “Complimentary”; while there is much that Cannabis can do to aid the healing process, there is also much that Coca Leaf can do, and while there is some minimal overlap each has its own place in an apothecary of natural medicines.
So first, let’s take a quick look at the existing evidence that Coca Leaf is a safe and effective treatment for systemic inflammation and many its consequences.
Here are links to some of my posts that discuss the scientific and medical evidence from the 1800s that Coca Leaf can be a safe and effective treatment for the underlying systemic inflammatory conditions that drive a wide range of deadly diseases and conditions, whether these systemic inflammatory conditions arise from Insomnia or from other known causes including diet and environmental toxicity.
Finally, for a more comprehensive view of the medical and scientific applications of Coca Leaf please consider reading my book “The Coca Leaf Papers” which includes an extensive bibliography with hyperlinks to original sources of the writings by doctors, scientists, and intelligent lay persons from the 1700’s and 1800’s on virtually every aspect of the healing powers of Coca Leaf – including, by the way, its very useful role in helping people sleep when sleep is made difficult or impossible by a wide range of problems including chronic illness, chronic pain, exhaustion, and nervousness, among others.
A recent major study ( see an abstract of the study below) has just been published that followed people suffering from persistent insomnia for over 20 years and has found solid evidence that persistent lack of sleep is associated closely with many of the major killer diseases and conditions in the US and around the world. And most relevant for those of us who advocate the medical use of both Coca Leaf and Cannabis the link between insomnia and disease and death seems to be a startling level of systemic inflammation in the body – specifically in the blood.
It is especially interesting, as mentioned earlier, that Coca Leaf and Cannabis are highly complementary but only minimally overlapping in their healing properties. In other words, it isn’t a question of having to choose between these two natural medicines. For almost every medical application, current medical and scientific research on Cannabis and historical medical and scientific research on Coca Leal make it quite evident that these two natural medicines can be most effective, and offer the greatest potential for healing, when they are used together.
With regard to the Insomnia study that we’ll examine in a moment, it’s important to note also that the researchers controlled for “confounding factors” like cigarette smoking, alcohol use, sedative use, age, physical activity levels, etc. In other words, they eliminated any role that these “confounding factors” might play so that they could say with confidence that they were looking at just the effects of persistent insomnia. This means that when they point to inflammation of the blood as a major effect, they are looking just at inflammation that is being caused by insomnia and not by other factors.
However, as they also point out, “the role of systemic inflammation in such an association is unknown”. Translated that says “We know that it’s there, and that it’s being caused by persistent insomnia, but we don’t know precisely its association with death.”
I do love scientific verbal precision because in the search for truth its important not to claim you know something for a fact when all you really know is that it seems to be a fact, but you can’t prove it. In that same vein, I don’t know for a fact that Coca Leaf controls systemic inflammation and therefore heals hearts, controls diabetes, helps the body to shed obesity, perhaps helps to reverse some forms of cancer, and reduces or eliminates dementia and depression – all I can really say is that according to my interpretation of the evidence in the writings of doctors and scientists of the 1800s, it sure looks like it could. And of course, increasingly, the healing powers of Cannabis are now being documented, and it seems like every week brings new evidence for increased efficacy in existing applications for Cannabis and findings that support new applications as well.
And it would be so damn simple to investigate and document the efficacy and safety of Coca Leaf, confirming what is still only hints and bits of historical evidence from the 1800’s, so that people could finally see that BOTH Coca Leaf and Cannabis deserve a place in the hands of people suffering from literally dozens of serious, life-threatening and life-ending diseases. We’re not talking about huge, expensive studies here, nor about massive government programs, nor about regiments of over-priced consultants, nor about the participation of Pig Pharma control freaks.
We’re talking about a few simple studies under controlled conditions among groups of people who suffer from each of these conditions using simple infusions of pure, natural Coca Leaf in the form of tea or tonic. The Coca Leaf studies probably would not be done in the US – at least at first they would have to be done in Peru, Bolivia and Uruguay, because these are the only countries in the world where enlightenment has illuminated the human mind on the subject of Coca Leaf as a natural healing medicine. Once these studies were done and published however, I can’t imagine that people in the US and Europe would allow their governments’ “War on Drugs” to continue to keep Coca leaf from assuming its rightful place in the pharmacy of natural medicines alongside Cannabis. And at the same time, since Cannabis is illegal even in countries that recognize the legitimacy of Coca Leaf, the same complimentary political, scientific and medical processes would have to take place there also.
However, there is another possibility that needs to be discussed and examined. There are many countries in the world where Cannabis is now legal, but where Coca Leaf is not. If people in any of those countries recognized the good common sense of having both Cannabis and Coca Leaf available to treat disease then it would be no problem to begin Coca cultivation in those countries.
For one thing, as pointed out in a recent post, Coca species are already widely distributed around the world, but of course only a few are really suitable as potent medicinal plants. Nevertheless, where one species of Coca flourishes as an indigenous species, the more useful spcies could also be brought into cultivation either in a natural or artificial environment.
In the 1800s Coca was widely cultivated around the world, and with modern growing technology even in those countries where Coca might not grow well in the natural outdoors environment it could easily be cultivated under indoor growing conditions. There is a vast literature available from the 1800’s on experiments that were conducted on growing Coca across the planet under a wide range of conditions. In fact one of the most successful indoor growing projects was that of Angelo Mariani, inventor of the then-famous “Vin Mariani”, whose conservatory greenhouse in the center of Paris was one of the wonders of the botanical world.
In one of my recent posts I discuss how this “Journey To Healing” could be organized as an ongoing project that would enable groups of people suffering from the same diseases to travel to Peru, Bolivia and/or Uruguay to be treated with not just Coca Leaf but with the whole range of Andean ethnopharamacological resources – and in the case of Uruguay patients who are already on Cannabis treatments would not have to be concerned about legal issues as they would have to be in both Peru and Bolivia, at this time.
When this happens, and when medical and scientific researchers can begin studying and documenting the healing powers of both natural medicines, as well as individual people taking the initiative into their own hands even before the formal studies have been done, perhaps then at last millions of people who now are victimized by the medical industry, Pig Pharma and Pig Government will be able to break free and heal themselves.
Let’s work together to make that day come as soon as possible.
So here’s of the Insomnia study I referred to earlier. If you want to read the full paper Elsevier will be happy to charge you an obscene amount for access, but personally I have never, and will never, pay those ripoff artists a penny for access to their chattel.
“Persistent Insomnia Is Associated With Mortality Risk”
(By) Sairam Parthasarathy, M.D. et al, published online Oct. 14, 2014 in the “American Journal of Medicine”.
Insomnia has been associated with mortality risk, but whether this association is different in subjects with persistent versus intermittent insomnia is unclear. Additionally, the role of systemic inflammation in such an association is unknown.
We used data from a community-based cohort to determine whether persistent or intermittent insomnia, defined based on persistence of symptoms over a six-year period, were associated with death during the following 20-years of follow-up. We also determined whether changes in serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels measured over two decades between study initiation and insomnia determination were different for the persistent, intermittent, and never insomnia groups. The results were adjusted for confounders such as age, sex, body mass index, smoking, physical activity, alcohol and sedatives.
Of the 1409 adult participants, 249 (18%) had intermittent and 128 (9%) had persistent insomnia. During a 20-year follow-up period, 318 participants died (118 due to cardiopulmonary disease). In adjusted Cox proportional-hazards models, participants with persistent insomnia (adjusted Hazards Ratio [HR] 1.58, 95%CI: 1.02-2.45) but not intermittent insomnia (HR 1.22, 0.86-1.74), were more likely to die than participants without insomnia. Serum CRP levels were higher and increased at a steeper rate in subjects with persistent insomnia as compared with intermittent (p=0.04) or never (p=0.004) insomnia. Although CRP levels were themselves associated with increased mortality (adjHR: 1.36, 1.01-1.82, p=0.04), adjustment for CRP levels did not notably change the association between persistent insomnia and mortality.
In a population-based cohort, persistent, and not intermittent, insomnia was associated with increased risk for all-cause and cardiopulmonary mortality and was associated with a steeper increase in inflammation.
End of abstract
So there you have it. A well crafted longitudinal study that unequivocally makes the point that anything that prevents you from getting a good nights sleep on a regular basis is moving you swiftly toward an early grave. And all it would take to head off this morbid end of life would be a nice pipe of Cannabis at bedtime and a nice cup of Coca Leaf tea upon rising. Sounds entirely too simple, too unprofitable, and too straightforward to be worth the attention of all those important people in boardrooms and government offices worldwide, doesn’t it.
Or maybe they have a different agenda. But the marvelous thing is – they are insomniacs too. So whatever their agenda, they are as much victims as those who they are intent on victimizing. The planet is tight.
Recently on this blog I’ve posted what I believe is solid evidence that Coca Leaf tea can probably be used as-is, right out of the “Mate de Coca” bag from Peru or Bolivia, to successfully treat inflammatory obesity and many chronic conditions underlying congestive heart failure.
This would NOT be the Coca Leaf tea that has been ‘sanitized’ for export to the US – the “de-cocainized” stuff that the US government so graciously allows in. I’m talking of course about the pure, natural leaves of the Coca plant, produced, packaged and widely consumed in Peru and Bolivia. There is where I believe that a very simple but effective approach could be devised to begin validating Coca Leaf as a medicinal herb of the highest order.
When you think about it there is already remarkable evidence right in front of our eyes that Coca Leaf is probably a powerful, natural medicine for a range of health issues – it’s just one of those things hidden in plain sight.
Up to 500,000 travelers to the Andes in the past couple of years are estimated to have used Coca Leaf tea successfully for altitude sickness, and of course for countless generations the indigenous people of the mountains have seen this benefit too. (They have also, in the absence of western disease and culture, often lived long and productive lives.) There is solid evidence going back as far as western records go that the powers of Coca Leaf in effectively treating Altitude Sickness have been proven beyond dispute.
So, we know that the Divine plant is useful for altitude sickness. We also know that it’s effective because of its broad action on multiple body systems – heart, lungs, muscle efficiency, metabolism, brain function, and oxygen use. All of the same body systems, incidentally, involved in inflammatory conditions that lead to obesity and congestive heart failure.
But because so many people know from experience that Coca Leaf is so good at relieving altitude sickness- then it’s easy to miss the follow-up question – “what else could Coca Leaf tea be doing?”
So let’s zero back in on inflammation. It’s a very interesting topic in the medical literature because it is so often treated as the baseline, the underlying condition that is simply there. Chronic low-level inflammation is simply the way things are for lots of people. Doctors seem to start with inflammation as a given – they “give you something for it” and then go on and ‘treat’ the conditions that have arisen from the underlying inflammation, which so often remains despite “medications”.
A little while ago I posted an opinion on a forum elsewhere regarding chronic low-level inflammation, industrial foods and obesity and that post provoked a lot of “fat hate” comments like “Oh, a new excuse for being a fat pig”, and “the only thing inflamed is their greedy gut” and other such slobbering wit.
Maybe it’s difficult for people, even those affected, to visualize whole body inflammation. Most of us can picture an inflamed toe, or a sore throat, but what does who body inflammation look like?
Well, if it’s low-level it isn’t going to be dramatic – like an open sore. And if it’s whole body then nothing will be disproportionate – like a 3X normal toe.
The idea of chronic low-level whole body inflammation has always made sense to me because I link it to my own experiences with cuts and sores during my life. Depending on the cut or sore, and whether or not it leads to infection, there are different levels of the body’s own attack on the cut or sore. It always involves sore, pink flesh – responding to the injury with blood and body fluids that swell cells and flood the area with healing bio-chemicals. But – the clue to me is “Pink”. When the area around a sore or wound turns Pink then at that moment it is always in the first stages of inflammation.
So then I mentally translate that very early stage pinkness to a whole body situation and what I get is slightly-to-definitely swollen, slightly to definitely “Pink” people (whether their natural racial color is black, Brown or White). There’s just a swollen quality to them, and they move as if they are in pain.
I see a lot of those people as I move around my community and elsewhere. I see a lot of people with chronic low level whole body inflammation as a baseline in their lives, which then creates a short but deadly list of diseased conditions like diabetes and heart disease. And I see people who I sincerely believe could be helped by a few cups of tea a day from the Divine Coca plant.
So I have to ask – what if it were possible to conclusively prove that you could control chronic low-level whole body inflammation with either a few cups of Coca leaf tea every day, or with safe doses of a natural extract of Coca Leaf such as the 1890’s “Vin Mariani”? As you read the opening paragraph of the summary of the following research, ask yourself what if the conditions that the authors identify with chronic low-level inflammation could be controlled so easily and naturally? Who knows if Coca Leaf offers a cure for chronic low-level inflammation especially if the “cause” of the inflammation is a combination of environment, genetics, and behavior.
I’m sure that new fortunes will be made in Peru, Bolivia and other Andean countries by those who dare to reclaim their heritage and use the Coca Leaf for natural healing of inflammatory disease in clinics and spas throughout the Andes. Later I believe that this will happen in the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountains, and in other areas of the world where we already know from the historical record that Coca grows well.
Chronic low-level inflammation isn’t a mysterious topic, and the fact that it underlies a lot of disease process, and might be treated or cured by Coca Leaf, makes it worth asking the question.
With the role of Coca Leaf chronic low level inflammation in mind it’s interesting to note the following excerpts of a research paper on Cytokine levels in different populations. As I understand it, Cytokines are a family of small proteins circulating in the blood and involved in cell signaling, some of which are used by the body to guide inflammatory processes to wounds, infections, and the like. They are reliable markers of low-level widespread inflammation, among other things, and this research indicates that there are lots of reasons for different people to suffer from the condition. Parenthetically I have to wonder what the results would have been if the following study had been able to include a sample of recent immigrants of Andean origin?
Plasma Cytokine Levels in a Population-Based Study: Relation to Age and Ethnicity
Raymond P. Stowe, M. Kristen Peek, Malcolm P. Cutchin, and James S. Goodwin
E-Pub Info: J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2010 Apr;65(4):429-33. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glp198. Epub 2009 Dec 16.
“Inflammation is believed to contribute to the onset of many age-related diseases as evidenced by a variety of medical studies linking proinflammatory cytokines to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis. Much attention has been paid to interleukin (IL)-6 because of its association with cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death. IL-6 is associated with a broad spectrum of age-related illnesses, chronic stress, and functional disability in older adults. IL-6 is also a strong inducer of C-reactive protein (CRP) by the liver, and both IL-6 and CRP are important in the development of cardiovascular disease. IL-6 and CRP also play a pathogenic role in a number of diseases associated with disability in older adults, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and depression among others.”
“Studies of older humans have reported age-related increases in proinflammatory cytokines, but the switch from the inflammatory burst that resolves following an infection or injury to the chronic elevation encountered in many older adults is not well understood. Several investigations have indicated that there is an age-related increase in circulating IL-6, which has been called a “cytokine for gerontologists”. However, some studies have found no changes with age. Similarly, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, a cytokine that is involved in septic shock, was reportedly increased in some studies but not others.”
“Anti-inflammatory mediators, such as IL-10 and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), may also be important in the aging process because they counteract proinflammatory cytokines. With regards to IL-10, few studies have measured circulating levels of this cytokine, but there have been reports that indicated no change occurs with aging. Reports have also shown an age-related increase in the IL-1ra. Altogether, the discrepancies regarding these cytokines mostly likely relate to variations in age and sample size.”
“Besides age, cytokine levels may also be influenced by ethnicity. Plasma levels of IL-8 and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor were elevated in African Americans compared with Caucasians, and TNF-α has been reported to be higher in non-obese Mexican Americans compared with non-Hispanic whites. Because there is little other information on circulating pro-inflammatory cytokine levels and ethnicity, our goal was to investigate plasma levels of circulating cytokines in relation to ethnicity as well as age in a large population-based study. We found age-related differences in proinflammatory cytokines as well as significant differences in circulating cytokine levels between Mexican Americans, non-Hispanic whites, and non-Hispanic blacks.”
“Because our study population was tri-ethnic in nature, we analyzed the data accordingly and found significant associations between cytokine levels and ethnicity. The highest levels of pro-inflammatory markers were found in either non-Hispanic whites or blacks. Interestingly, it has been proposed that the health status of Hispanics in the Southwestern United States is comparable more so with whites than with blacks despite the fact that socioeconomically Hispanics are more similar to blacks than the more advantaged whites; this has been aptly named the “Hispanic Paradox”. Our results support this concept, which demonstrates that, collectively, lower levels of inflammatory cytokines were found in Hispanics compared with whites or blacks. Notably, the lowest inflammatory levels were found in foreign-born Hispanics. We have previously proposed that protective measures (eg, acculturation) may in part underlie the differences between foreign-born and US-born Hispanics because we found that increasing years in the United States was associated with increasing IL-1ra levels among Hispanic women at 22–24 weeks of pregnancy. Further research is needed to determine the mechanisms underlying the differences in cytokine profiles between foreign-born and US-born Hispanics.”
“One potential explanation for the ethnic variations in cytokine levels is differences in cytokine gene polymorphisms. Allelic variations in the regulatory regions of inflammatory cytokine genes have been shown to affect the expression of some cytokines. Several studies have focused on IL-6 because of its biological importance and have demonstrated that the G/G IL-6 genotype, which results in high IL-6 production, is predominantly found in blacks. It has been hypothesized that the dissimilarities in cytokine gene polymorphisms may contribute to the differences in inflammatory responses and cancer incidence and mortality in blacks. Additionally, obesity was a significant determinant of CRP levels in non-Hispanic blacks, and BMI was significantly higher in non-Hispanic blacks than either non-Hispanic whites or Hispanics (data not shown).”
“In summary, our results confirm and extend other studies demonstrating age-related increases in circulating proinflammatory cytokines. In addition, we have shown ethnic differences in cytokine levels, and to our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating ethnic differences in proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine profiles in large population-based study. Future studies are needed to determine the epigenetic link between inflammation and ethnicity.”
Editor’s Afterthought: When it’s so clear that chronic low-level inflammatory processes are at work underlying so much disease, is there any good reason that pure, natural Coca Leaf sourced directly from growers in Peru and Bolivia by legal means shouldn’t be tested for potential health benefits?
Even if Coca Leaf were simply helpful, without causing any harm, Coca Leaf could form the core of therapies at spas and clinics. And incidentally, these Spas and Clinics should be free to grow their own Coca Leaf or to contract with any indigenous person or group to grow their Coca Leaf for them.
Although I’ve tried to illustrate this point many times in this blog, it is so critical to overcoming decades of government propaganda that it bears repeated emphasis. In this case I’m offering the abstracts of two key articles published decades ago, but still well within the scope of contemporary science. Those who follow Natural Medicine research will no doubt recognize the author of these two articles as the incomparable Dr. Andy Weil.
The medicinal, healing properties of Coca Leaf do not lie in the Cocaine alkaloid – it is the whole, natural leaf that was the great gift of Mama Coca to her people and through them to the world. This leaf is the loving gift of the Spirit of Coca to those in the world who have the openness of mind to pull aside the deliberately woven veils of illusion that have been put in place to keep her hidden from the tens of millions of people who suffer and die unnecessarily from diseases that this profoundly powerful natural medicine could help to cure.