Registered Nuts – A Night in the Life of an ER Nurse

I’ve ceased with the pre-shift ritual of meditating in my parked truck along with a soothing piece of music. No more prayers to God en route to work asking for more patience, more humanity, more understanding. I have accepted the fact that it will be no different than any other night in the Emergency Department, no matter if I blare Yanni’s rancid piano etudes or make a promise to God to pass out my own body parts to the discharged patients as they leave. Nothing will change. I use to look forward to making a difference in someone’s life, helping a poor soul whose body has given out. Those moments are few and far between now. Instead, I resign myself to the fact that the next 12 hours will be spent pasting a fake smile on a tired body, going through the motions of caring, repeating ready-made lines of false concern and giving out medical advice that fall on deaf ears. I use to feel important in my role as Charge Nurse at a major ER of an inner-city charity hospital. Now, as I sit in my truck at 6:45 in the evening, gangster rap blaring, I send out a quick impromptu message to God….. “Please God, allow me the opportunity to be gainfully employed 12 hours from now.”

7:02 PM-

I receive a quick report of the clingons and leftovers who haven’t made it out of the department by change of shift and to no surprise to myself and the night crew, a few names are all too familiar and the reports of their latest “illness” easily recitable from memory. The usual apologies from the day crew for not getting them out before we arrived go unnoticed. A shrill screech from one of the psych beds startles no one. We all just look up from within the “safe” confines of the nursing station, confirm that our overweight security force is camped out beside the room, shake our heads briefly and go on about our business. We go through the ritual of taking our own baseline vital signs, popping a few Xanax and removing sharp objects from our pockets. Patient safety is important and we wouldn’t want to accidentally stab one of them repeatedly in the chest.

7:17 PM-

My primary job aside from direct patient care is triage. Initial interview, vital signs, brief medical history, current medical problem, current medications, height, weight etc etc. My first of 35 or so fits the typical profile of this or any other ER in the country. 40 year old, female, morbidly obese, diabetic, hypertensive, multiple psych meds, very little English, less common sense, no means to pay. She complains of the usual nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and generalized abdominal pain. She’s already spent thousands of dollars of other people’s money last week for the same complaint. She didn’t fill her scripts, didn’t follow up with her Gastroenterologist as requested and by no means was this 300 + lb, truffle hunting leech going to alter her diet one iota in order to prevent another attack of diverticulitis. Her idea of a “Clear Liquid Diet” was a bucket of chicken and bowl of menudo an hour prior to her arrival. So here she is, totally oblivious as to why she is still sick. Non-compliant with her meds, non-compliant with the discharge instructions, follow up or diet instructions, which included a bland, low-fat, liquid diet for a few days until she was able to tolerate semi-solid/or solid food.

She bitches profusely when she is not brought straight back and put into a bed, instead she is sent back out to the waiting area for a lengthy wait. We are full and busy with the truly “emergent” patients but she can’t seem to fathom this. She barrels through the exit door, into the waiting area calling me every name in the book (in Spanish) and swearing to never come back again. “PENDEJO!”, she mutters. Oh, she’ll be back.


7:31 PM-

My 3rd patient is a 23-year-old mother of 3, the oldest being 10. She has somehow mistaken our “EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT” for a pediatric clinic and wants her brood “checked out” because they feel “hot.” No temperature ever taken at home, no Tylenol or Motrin given before the decision was made to spend $1500.00 of other people’s money and to waste our time babysitting 3 snot-nosed, unkempt ankle-biters who are no more sicker than the man in the moon. I usher them one at a time onto a scale for weights and am not surprised that each is twice the size they should be at their particular ages. One, I have to pry finger foods and a “Big Gulp” from their obstinate little mitts prior to the weight so as not to inadvertently add 5 lbs to his already triple digit reading. The electronic scale beeps incessantly and reads, “ONE AT A TIME, PLEASE.”(Ok, not really) With all their vitals being normal they are ushered out into the waiting area where they eagerly pounce on the furniture and run around like the defensive line for the Attention Deficits.

I am verbally attacked by my obese belly pain lady, who has “been waiting for hours” (uh, how about 20 minutes). I instantly notice the “positive Cheetos sign” on her fingers and around her lips and remind her that the sickest are seen first and to have a seat. She tosses me a “Pincha Pendejo” and rumbles back to her seat. I sneak in a quick call to God asking that he makes sure she looks before she plops back down in her chair(s). I can hear the intercom announcer now, “CODE BLUE TRAUMA, ER WAITING ROOM.” I mentally picture the scenario of the code team spending the next hour removing baby Julio from the rectum of a 300-lb verbally abusive Hispanic woman.


9:21 PM-

I’ve survived the dinner crowd with my job intact and make my way back to the treatment area to assist the rest of my team in the treatment of the patients who were lucky enough to make it back ahead of the non-emergent riff-raff. I make my way to the EMS radio station when I hear…..”Unit 842 code 2 patient report”….we have a 102 year old nursing home patient,….found unresponsive on the floor….no IV….she’s now awake, combative, confused, covered in stool, incontinent of urine, blah, blah, blah…” The report from the nursing home prior to her EMS transport reveals that this patient had a tendency to “dig out stool from her rectum when constipated.” “Oh, that’s just friggin lovely”

9:25 PM-

The waiting room intercom a buzz……”I beeen waiting for 10 hours, you pendejo…you piece of….” Click!

9:33 PM

Our lovely elderly finger painter arrives, covered in poop from head to toe. EMS personnel smirk as they wheel her by, updating us as to any changes en route. Nope, no changes, except that now she’s given up the fight and is again unresponsive and her breathing more shallow. In an instant her breathing stops and is immediately rushed to trauma 1 where CPR is initiated. “CODE BLUE ER-1, CODE BLUE ER-1.”

9:57 PM-

“Time of death, 9:55” is belted out by the code team leader. “She never stood a chance.” “It was her time.” “She had a long and good life.” Blah Blah Blah Blah. She had a horrendous death. Born covered in amniotic fluid, but certainly a proud moment for her parents one can be sure. She died, however, covered in shit, piss and bedsores. The nursing home where she spent her remaining days in agony and perpetual loneliness should be burned to the ground. No family, no attention, nowhere near as prominent and proud as she once was. Left to waste while the understaffed workers at Our Lady of the Perpetual Petri Dish took their extended breaks and pillaged through her personal belongings. A courtesy call to the nursing home is placed telling them that Mrs. Mullins will not be coming back and has been transferred to the ECU (Eternal Care Unit). I hear, “Whew, thank God…..CLICK.”

10:22 PM-

Our usually bevy of drug-seeking, bipolar, depressed, suicidal, Xanax, Vicodin, Demerol hounds arrive as scheduled with multiple and varied complaints of, migraine headaches, chronic back pain, stress, anxiety, fibromyalgia, blah, blah, blah….!

They are easy to spot, almost always familiar, with the same ole’ story. Most we know on a first name basis. They are all, coincidentally, allergic to the same medications; Tylenol, Motrin, Vistaril, Toradol, Aspirin or any other non narcotic or harmless placebo we’ve attempted to quell their “pain” with in the past. The only thing that works is “Demerol” and they must have a large supply of Vicodin in the form of a prescription when they leave. (Vicodin has Tylenol in it but apparently doesn’t cause a severe allergic reaction when mixed with euphoria,….go figure!)

Security is usually called, for to tell them “no drugs tonight” is just asking for a fight. $1000.00 later of other peoples money and they usually leave with their buzz on and their script for Vicodin. But usually not before asking for a “shot for the road” or additional scripts for anxiety (preferably Xanax) or sleep aids. 30 pills are often the number of pills given, depending on the frequency of the prescribed dose. This usually last a few days for the typical drug seeker and then they’ll usually return with more “pain” and a hungry monkey.

In the age when Doctors are sued for both under treating pain OR for prescribing too many narcotics and “getting them addicted”, we medical personal are caught up in the proverbial “catch 22”. More often than not I have been written up and on several occasions was at a point where my job was in jeopardy because I challenged their pathetic lies whenever these low-life drug addicts invaded our ER’s. Now I just shut up, shake my head and pray for an overdose.

11:12 PM

Waiting Room intercom is ringing off the wall. “…how long will I…….can you tell me where I am on the list……Donde esta su Doctor…….I can’t find my child……..the dingo ate my baby…..PINCHE PEDEJO, I BEEN HEER FER TWO DAYS AND MY ASS FEELS LIKE SOMEONE POURED SALSA RIGHT UP MY……….click.

Midnight in the garden of good (for nothings) and the evil (doers)-

After a flurry of non emergent triages, (sore toe, “the shakes”, anal abscess, foreign bodies in the nose, ears and stomach of a 2 year old, blah blah, blah) I call in an astute, well dressed, middle aged white male, who is walking quite gingerly and refusing to sit. Differential diagnoses race through my head, back pain, abdominal pain, rectal abscess,. or perhaps….no!….NO!……NOOOOOOOOOOO!


The story goes (and it is a common one) that he and the Mrs. were “experimenting” in bed (against his wishes, no doubt) when a vibrator was jammed in his keester and is now painfully out of reach. Given the nature of the “injury” he is whisked back to a private room, placed on his side, lubed up like a 57 Chevy, and a valiant effort is made to retrieve the 12 inch “perpetrator with ribs” from his large bowel. All to no avail. At one point we had a hold of the foreign body (actually, it was made in the US) but the colon wouldn’t let go of it’s new found cylindrical friend. We tugged, twisted, yanked, pulled, all efforts proving futile. Finally the physician stopped, exhausted from the tug-o-war match, with the forceps, commonly used to removed big headed babies, protruding from the prominent lawyers butt, he made the decision to call in the surgical team. All efforts to remain professional, however, fell by the wayside when, during a moment of silence, a low buzz was detected in the room. Had the blood pressure cuff inflated? Were the incandescent lights buzzing? Was the TV on?

No, no and no. We looked at the forceps and noticed they were vibrating uncontrollably, instantly realizing at that point that this thing was STILL ON. A mad rush by the scant crew to the exit door of the private room was attempted as to not embarrass this local professional with our boisterous laughter. No dice.

We will all eventually be written up and apologies made for our “unprofessionalism and disregard for the patient’s privacy and mental well being”.

That’s ok. We needed that to preserve our own mental well being. Still proving that laughter is still the best medicine.

1:02 AM

Ten triages later and its dinner time for this mentally worn crew. We retrieve our food, locate it to the middle of the nursing station and we eat. Not all at once, mind you but usually a bite at a time. Eat a French fry, go wipe an ass in ER-1, a bite of a Big Mac, go clean up cherry cool-aid flavored vomit in ER-4, a sip of Dr Pepper, then physically restrain a combative Scitzo-effective patient. By 2:15 we have polished off the last bite of a hardened burger, ate our last stale French fry and sucked down the last gulp of our watered-down soda. A soda that is now as warm as fresh urine and food that is as cold as Mrs. Mullins in ER13.

2:30 AM-

Ahhh, my favorite time during the entire shift is upon us. The “Last Call at the local bar crowd” (LCLBC) start to pour in to the front entrance, while EMS brings the ones who got the shit kicked out of them through the back ambulance entrance. “Santa Rosa, this is unit 842….we are coming code 2 trauma with a 19 year old male…..closed head injury….intoxicated…combative….soiled….bloody… insurance…..blah, blah,blah.

The same ole song and dance spews from this patients bloodied spout as he is wheeled into Trauma-2……”I was just minding my own business”……”I only had two beers”…..”I don’t do drugs”….. “Can I get something to eat?” “RAALLLLLLPHHH!” “Housekeeping to ER Trauma-2, Housekeeping….”

2:31 AM-

“Dear Lord, If ANYONE can make time travel possible, it’s you, God.” “Pleeeese, send me forward to 7 AM.

3:03 AM-

Patient waiting room intercom is screaming………..”CLICK”…….”BANG, BANG, BANG”.

3:15 AM-

I am ushered into the staff break room for a “time out” and reminded by the night supervisor that the cost of the intercom will be deducted from my paycheck.

4:18 AM-

Our portly female beast of a woman is finally ushered back to a room but not before mumbling under her breath as she brushes past me, “Pendejo”! A major “abdominal work-up” is ordered. 40 lab tests, urine tests, stool cultures, abdominal x-rays, Cat Scans, blah, blah, blah……She’s placed in a gown that looks like curtains stolen from the Grand Ole Opry, and given the reminder “Opening to the back, please,” tossed in for good measure. (“Lord, give me the strength to………..Oh forget it, never mind”)

She’s given a URINE cup as she bounces her way to the bathroom. She fills it with STOOL. “Housekeeping to ER, STAT.”

Can’t find a blood pressure cuff large enough so we must take a chance at an erroneous reading by placing it around her calf or forearm. The hydraulic bed grunts and groans with ever twitch and shift from this woman of substances. She continues to bitch and moan and will eventually file a complaint with (in) human resources, I am sure. Multiple attempts at IV access finally yields a vein that hasn’t been choked off by the mass of arm fat and IV fluids are initiated. After a quick assessment by the ER physician she is off to radiology, with a little 120 lb tech pushing 600 lbs of patient and bed up to the 3rd floor for a series of $3000.00 radiologic exams. X-rays that were done just last week and that she has no intention or means to pay for. It would have been easier (and cheaper) had she driven to Sea World instead. Certainly more accommodating for a woman of her stature.

5:57 AM-

Multiple early morning stragglers are triaged and sent to wait. The foul odor of urine, poop, BO, booze, vomit, etc, permeates the air. “One Hour Left”, I thought. We get all the results of the voluptuous Ms. Hinojosa’s tests back and surprise, surprise….”Diverticulitis.” Perhaps this time she will be compliant with her meds, compliant with her diet, compliant with her follow up, compliant with life. “Fat chance,”I thought. (Pun intended).

Her IV is removed and a half gallon of fat globules ooze from the harpoon hole. She is hoisted off the bed with the help of several departments within the hospital; half of who will call in sick tomorrow with severe back spasms. The battered stretcher which now resembles a low-rider after a major accident is towed to the back for repair. Ms Hinojosa is discharged but not before requesting a breakfast tray. Request denied.

Off she goes to the local “Taco Cabana” for a flurry of assorted breakfast tacos and a bowl of menudo. “She you in a few days, Ms Hinojosa.”

“Pinche Pendejo!”

6:47 AM-

The dismal faces of the morning crew are evident as they reluctantly make there way in, some still in mid-prayer, the newer nurses with walkman’s on, listening to ocean waves or cricket noises saturated with Muzac. A quick report is given to the mentally exhausted night crew and apologies made for the missing bed in ER 3 and the dead body in ER-12.

7:07 AM-

Each member of the night crew, each with a phone in hand, are awaiting the instant the clock strikes 7:08 where, with lightning speed, a flurry of buttons will be punched to clock out, ending another horrendous but typical night in the ER.

7:47 AM-

I pull up to my apartment and sit quietly in my truck. I recall the night’s events and wonder if I had made any critical errors in care or judgment. I mentally prepare for the answers to the complaints made the night before by this unique ER culture of ignorant, non-compliant, abusive, poor, helpless, drugged-up, psychotic, dregs of society.

I say a prayer for Mrs. Mullins and her family and curse all those who’ve abused the system in the last 12 hours, spending thousands upon thousands of dollars of other people’s money but contributing nothing to society what-so-ever. Once I deem that I will have a job come 6:45 that evening, I ease my tired body and shattered mind out of my vehicle, meander up to my apartment and into bed, hungry, frustrated, angry. Where I will fight the demons for an hour or so until I am able to fall asleep. I don’t. I am woken by a dream whereby the ER staff are all patients in the waiting room on a busy night. I am called into the back where a 500-lb female nurse is ripping my clothes off with one hand and swinging a 6 foot rectal scope in the other like a pair of numchucks in a Bruce Lee movie. The alarm clock sounds and I immediately spring up and grab my ass, praying that a 6-foot proctoscope isn’t dangling precariously from it. It’s not. I breathe a sigh of relief and make my way to the shower and into another fateful night of chaos and mayhem.

6:43 PM-

I pull up to the ER, park my truck and sit. I clip on my name badge, giggle as I read our “Mission statement” tattooed on the back. “To extend the healing ministry of Christ,” it reads, and I take a minute to ponder that statement. I smile, acknowledge it’s powerful and profound meaning and bow my head to pray.

“Lord, today, give me your divine power to accept my responsibilities within this ministry. I pray that…”

Just then a beat up delta 88 rolls by on two wheels, with a definite lean to one side. I watch as they take up two parking spaces in the “staff” lot and out pops Ms Hinojosa. I cringe. She leaves a trail of urped-up fajita and menudo through the patient parking lot, into the physicians parking area, towards the ER entrance. Anger churns inside me and I hang my head, looking down at my badge and the mission statement on the back. I try desperately to find the peace and pride I felt just 2 minutes earlier and I resume my prayer……”Lord,….I just…….If you could only find it in your heart to…………OH FORGET IT!!!!!……. NEVER MIND.”

What is a "Normal" Bowel Movement?

With every new exam I ask the same question…

“How many bowel movements do you have each day? Do you see any mucous, blood, diarrhea or constipation?”

Feces, crap, stools, shit, poop, manure, BM, #2, dung, droppings, and bowel contents are all the same thing. I use all these terms as sometimes my clients don’t know what feces or stool is. If I can’t communicate with my clients, I can’t help them.

Feces contains water, indigestible fiber, undigested food, sloughed off intestinal cells, living and dead bacteria, bile, and worn out red blood cells. A normal stool should be brown to light brown, formed but not hard or too soft, cylindrical but not flattened on any side, fairly bulky and full bodied but not compact, easy to pass, and it shouldn’t have an extremely foul smell. Each bowel movement should be in one piece, about the size and shape of a banana being tapered at the end. Sometimes this will not be discernable if the feces breaks up in the toilet. Some people feel that if the body is absorbing all the minerals from the food that the stool will float. Others believe that the stool should sink. I think the important thing is that there are no air bubbles in the stool and that it doesn’t drop like a brick in the toilet. It should be somewhere in between.

An occasional deviation from this pattern is acceptable. Any chronic deviation from the above pattern is not healthy and should be dealt with.

It’s amazing how many people don’t even look at their stools in the toilet. It’s so important. Stools can reveal a lot about your health if you learn to read them. Digestion happens. It’s a shame that few of us are unable to talk about them without embarrassment. For instance:

o Air or bubbles in the stool can mean that we have a gut or flora imbalance and that gas producing bacteria are overgrown and competing with the healthier flora.

o Alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation can be cause by irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies, red meat, spices, sugar, alcohol, stress, lack of fiber, irregular bowel habits.

o Color: Stools are usually the color of the food.

o Constipation can occur leading to impaction–the presence in the rectum of a mass of feces too large to pass. Fecal impaction is usually the result of poor bowel habits, a diet with too little liquid and roughage, too much protein and inadequate physical activity.

o Diarrhea, whether acute or chronic, can disrupt the bowel’s normal rhythm and lead to irregularity. It can mean that your large intestine is not functioning properly. The large intestine is in charge of removing excess water from the feces. Rule outs can include food poisoning, lactose intolerance, anxiety, stress, too many antacids, antibiotics, parasites like Giardia or Coccidia, Balantidia, Coccidoidiomycosis or other parasites, viruses, bacterial overgrowth, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome. A healthy bowel will take about a quart and a half and condense it down to 1 cup of stool. That’s pretty amazing.

o Frank red blood (obvious bright red bleeding) can be a sign of hemorrhoids, colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer or be caused from impacted stools passing through the rectum telling us we need to drink more water.

o Horrible smelling stools–too much protein, flora imbalance.

o If the stools are black, tarry and sticky (called melena), this can mean that there is bleeding from the small intestine. These types of stools usually have a distinctive bad odor. If you’ve ever smelled a dog with Parvo, corona or rotavirus, you know what I mean.

o Light green stools–Too much sugar, fruits or vegetables and not enough grains or salt (or in the case of animals, too much grass)Mucous can reveal diverticulitis and gut inflammation due to allergies or parasites.

o Oily or greasy looking stools that usually float and can be large can mean that your pancreas or small intestine are not functioning well enough and not releasing enough digestive enzymes. Normal stools are about 1% fat. When this percentage increases to about 7%, the stool will look oily and greasy. This is called steatorrhea. High fat meals can cause this to happen but should be temporary.

o Pale or clay colored stools can mean that your gallbladder or liver is not working correctly.

o Pencil thin or ribbon-like stools can mean you have a polyp or growth on the inside of the colon or rectum.

o Presence of food: If the stool breaks up easily and you can see bits and pieces of the food you ate, maybe you are not chewing your food thoroughly enough. This can cause GERD, acid reflux, abdominal bloating and diarrhea.

o Red or magenta stools– ingestion of beets.

o Very dark stools: Too much red wine, too much salt in the diet, not enough vegetables. Blueberries, Pepto Bismol (the bismuth in it) and iron pills can also be responsible for dark stools.

Normal bowel habits not only improve the quality of life, they help prevent several common diseases–for example, diverticulitis and fecal impaction. Gall stones, appendicitis, colon cancer, hiatal hernia, diabetes, and heart disease have also been related to the quality of bowel movements and the foods that affect them.

Number of bowel movements: Healthy bowel activity is considered one or two movements of moderate size every day. Every other day or once or twice a week bowel movements can harm you because the bowel contents release toxins back into the body through the mucous membranes. You’ve got to keep that waste moving!

Fecal incontinence (uncontrollable diarrhea) should be dealt with by a professional. Often with this particular symptom (and irritable bowel syndrome) I will pick up a bowel parasite. A bottle or two of Bowel Pathogen Nosode drops does an awesome job most of the time in clearing up these cases.

Healthy bowel habits:

There is usually a time of day when bowel movements are more likely to occur. In anticipation of this time, the patient should participate in activities that stimulate a normal bowel movement. It is also important for the patient to recognize the urge to defecate and to respond right away to that urge. The longer stool sits in the rectum, the more water the rectum will absorb from it, making it harder and more difficult to pass.

The urge to defecate is often strongest in the morning: Just getting up triggers the movement of the large intestine. The stomach also sends a signal when it expands after a meal. This gastrocolic reflex is the reason many people, and especially children, need to go to the bathroom soon after eating. The reflex gets weaker with age, which is one source of constipation problems and the reason why good and consistent bowel habits are helpful.

Laxatives: Some patients are so convinced they need daily laxatives that they are afraid to do without them. It takes time for a changed diet to affect the bowels and for the bowel to regain its normal rhythm. Be patient. Enemas are a better solution.

Healthy bowel movements require ingestion of a large amount of liquids and bulk foods. The patient should drink two to three quarts of liquids every day. Bulk comes from unrefined foods. Oat bran, wheat bran, brown rice, green vegetables, apples, and pears are a few examples of high residue, high fiber foods.

Some patients will benefit from adding bulk preparations of psyllium, but others find that psyllium will cause extreme amounts of gas. For these people, the addition of WHOLE flax seeds (eat without chewing them) and bran will help. And one single 8-ounce cup of coffee in the morning often helps people get a regular bowel movement.

Natural Laxatives include:

o Anti-Constipation Paste

o Coffee

o DSS (dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate)

o Glycerine suppositories

o Nature’s Sunshine LBS II (excellent)

o Oil enemas

o Prune juice

o Saline purges

Fleet enemas are used only for people and dogs. They are very toxic to cats and can kill them. These are OK to use occasionally, but the other enemas we are talking about are better for healing purposes.

Soap suds enemas can be a little harsh to the intestine. Use these only occasionally if necessary

Some Notes on Intestinal Bacteria Replacement: Inside a healthy lower intestine are billions of beneficial intestinal bacteria or microflora. These bacteria are of the Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bifidus strains and were transferred by breast-feeding into our intestines as newborn infants. The body uses L. acidophilus and L. bifidus in the final stages of digestion reproducing themselves as necessary to keep in total harmony with the body.

When the good bacteria can’t keep up, bad bacteria overpopulate the gut to give a gut flora imbalance resulting in lower bowel diseases, gas, diarrhea, IBS, and Crohn’s. The devitalizing effect caused by harmful bacteria in the intestine is rarely diagnosed near the beginning of this imbalance. Headaches, skin infections, weakness and constipation can also be symptoms of depleted intestinal bacteria.

What Causes A Gut Flora Imbalance?

o Toxins, especially drugs such as antibiotics and narcotics.

o Severe diarrhea can damage or destroy these beneficial bacteria, allowing harmful bacteria to take over producing by-products like ammonia, purines and ethionine, which can eventually cause colon cancer.

o Fasting can also deplete the beneficial bacteria because large quantities of toxins are dumped from the lymph glands into the colon at the time of the fast. Also during a fast, with certain diets and with eating disorders, there is an absence of foods that the good bacteria thrive on.

o Using enemas also depletes the beneficial bacteria, especially if chlorinated water is used.

To reestablish intestinal bacteria, do a couple enemas with liquid acidophilus or live acidophilus. These products should be stored and purchased refrigerated. Off-the-shelf products are not so effective for replacing gut flora. You can also mix a couple tablespoons of active plain yogurt to your enema mix along with a tablespoon of the liquid acidophilus. Add some warm water, but do not heat the mixture or use chlorinated water. After blending the mixture, pour it into the enema bag. Use less water for these types of enemas (only 1-2 cups) and try to retain the liquid within the colon for ten minutes to allow the beneficial bacteria to pass up through the intestine. This procedure will ensure that a healthy culture will propagate within the intestines.

You can also start adding L. acidophilus and L. bifidus to your foods a day or two before you break a fast. Use repeat dosages as per bottle instructions once a week for about 5 weeks.

FOS (Fructooligosaccharides) are also good for reestablishing gut flora. These are long-chain sugars that feed friendly flora. You can purchase this in concentrated pill form or eat lots of apples, Jerusalem artichokes, or pears. These foods have high amounts of FOS in them.

Well…That’s the scoop on poop. (Some people take things so seriously.)

Celebrity Out-Of-Body Experiences – 3 Fascinating Cases

Reading or hearing about out-of-body experiences is a fascinating hobby; but hearing about the out-of-body experiences of celebrities is much more exciting. Some famous celebrities have not only had an OOBE when they were in the very jaws of death, but have also survived to relate the story to others. Many celebrities shared their out-of-body experiences with others; and some of them are Gary Busey, Rebecca DeMornay, and Eric Roberts.

Eric Roberts, the internationally acclaimed actor, has done more than 70. Eric had a major accident when he was in Westport, Connecticut. His dog distracted him when he was driving and he had a major crash. He was rushed to the hospital, where he slipped into a coma and almost died. However, Eric pulled out of it and reported that he had had an out-of-body experience.

Rebecca Demornay was the bad girl in the thriller “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.” At the age of 7, when she was in Mexico, she got a peptic ulcer, which resulted in an out-of-body experience. She said that she overheard the doctors tell her mother that she might not recover the illness. She had 3 IVs sticking into her, but still she got out of the bed and looked out of the window. There was snow all around; and she saw a group of bare-footed kids dancing around an ancient lamp-post.

Rebecca went back to bed; and when she woke up the next morning, she was feeling much better. Rebecca, however, wondered if it ever snowed in Mexico city. When she revisited Mexico in 1983, she couldn’t spot those ancient lamp posts. She also learned that it never snowed in Mexico. She concluded that she must have had an out-of-body experience.

The most curious and fascinating case of OOBE is that of Gary Busey. His experience absolutely transformed his life. Before his OOBE, Busey was addicted to alcohol and drugs. He also got the nickname of Gary Abusey by his wife. Busey almost died thrice of drug abuse, cancer, and an accident, respectively. However, a motorcycle accident of 1988 completely transformed his life. When he crashed, he wasn’t even wearing a helmet as a result of which he cracked his skull.

Busey reported having an NDE when he was lying on the operating table with surgeons busily operating on his brain. When he was out of his body, he saw a number of angels around him. He saw them as large balls of light filled with love and warmth. This experience transformed his life. He recovered from his accident and became a devout Christian. Later, he also made speeches at Christian Promise Keeper rallies.

Although reading about NDEs and OOBEs is exciting, nothing can beat the experience of having an OOBE. All the stories related above are NDEs. You can induce an OOBE… you need not have an NDE; and having an OOBE can indeed be a life-transforming experience.

Relief and Preventive Remedies for Acid Reflux Disease

Do you always feel a burning sensation on the area near your chest especially after a meal? If you do so, you might have acid reflux disease. This disease, also called heartburn, is the flowing back of the stomach acid upwards to the esophagus and sometimes to the mouth. Nearly every American adult experiences this acid reflux.

The general cause of reflux disease is the person’s lifestyle and diet. The obese population regularly experiences the acid reflux. The same happens with smokers and alcohol drinkers. That is due to the kind of food and lifestyle they have.

Fatty foods play a large part in the development of this disease. Fats are very difficult to digest and therefore they contribute to the delay of gastric emptying, making the person more at risk to experience an acid reflux.

Smoking and alcohol both have properties that trigger the stomach to produce higher amounts of gastric acid. Moreover, both cigarette and alcohol relax the lower esophageal sphincter which prevents the gastric acid backflow from the stomach to the esophagus. If you are a smoker and an alcohol drinker, acid reflux disease is without a doubt, an impending condition to occur.

Aside from smoking, alcohol and fatty foods, drugs and other types of foods also trigger increased acid production and relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter. But make no worries because there are drugs and natural remedies that can give you relief for the pain of acid reflux disease.

Lifestyle and Diet Modifications and Natural Remedies

1. Wear loose shirts and pants.

2. Do not lie down, exercise, or bend over after eating.

3. Do not take large meals. You can, however, take small but frequent meals every day.

4. When sleeping, adjust the head part of the bed inches high.

5. Avoid smoking, caffeinated drinks, alcohol and fatty foods at night or even during the day.

6. Drink warm liquid.

7. Drink a mix of apple cider in water after or during each meal.

8. Relax the mind and body to reduce stress by performing yoga and/or meditation regularly.

Over-the-Counter Drugs

1. Antacids

Antacids or anti-acids have been very effective since long ago as relief for the pain of acid reflux disease. Taking Maalox or Mylanta will help in neutralizing the acidity of the stomach acid to relieve the pain and burning sensation. Antacids should be taken during attacks of reflux disease or after meals.

2. H2 Receptor Antagonists

H2 receptor antagonists or H2 blockers reduce the production of gastric juices. Examples of H2 blockers are ranitidine and cimetidine. Unlike antacids, H2 blockers should be taken before meals.

3. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI)

PPI are commonly used by patients with ulcer. PPI acts by antagonizing the acidic property of the gastric juice and reduce the production of stomach acid as well. Examples of PPI are omeprazole, esomeprazole and lameprazole. Just like H2 blockers, PPI should be taken before meals.

If these remedies aren’t enough to relieve the heartburn, it is best to consult a physician. Acid reflux may also be a symptom of an underlying serious condition.

GERD Diet – What it Can Do For You and Your Heartburn

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a very common disorder and millions of people across the globe have been suffering from this disease, which is caused when the stomach contents along with the digestive acids in the stomach reflux back into the esophagus. Apart from drug therapy and lifestyle modifications, doctors also recommend using the correct diet to ease the symptoms of heart burn. This is because there exists a very strong relationship between acid reflux disease and diet. Such a diet, which includes foods that help ease the symptoms of heartburn, is known as a GERD diet. In fact, apples for acid reflux prevention have been in use since historical times. Similarly, doctors recommend a lot of other foods to eat with acid reflux.

Usually a GERD diet includes a list of foods to eat with acid reflux. Such a list of food items is provided below –


Apart from apples for acid reflux prevention, several other fresh fruits such as apples (either in raw or cooked form), bananas, berries, melons, peaches, pears, and almost all other varieties of fruits with the exception of a few varieties such as oranges, grape fruit, pineapple are considered extremely safe since they do not trigger any heartburn or GERD symptoms in the body.


Fresh vegetables such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, green peas, potato (in baked form), and almost all other varieties of fruits with the exception of a few varieties such as the tomatoes, are also considered relatively safe and are not likely to cause GERD symptoms at all.

Rice and breads section:

Among the rice and breads section, those food items which help stop heartburn include brown or white rice, brown bread or white bread, oatmeal, cornflakes, bread made out of corn flour, are considered extremely safe and have no potential for causing acid reflux in your body.


There is a great example to explain the relationship between acid reflux disease and diet – when GERD patients drink whole milk or chocolate milk topped with extra cream, they immediately start experiencing the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. Therefore, people with GERD must strictly avoid drinking whole milk or chocolate milk as these drinks can aggravate the acid reflux symptoms. Instead, they may safely use items like skimmed milk, low fat yoghurt, low fat cheese, low fat creams, which are considered extremely safe since they do not trigger any heartburn or GERD symptoms in the body at all.

Non-vegetarian foods:

Non-vegetarian food items such as lean meat, skinless chicken breast, fish (with no extra added fat in it), turkey, egg white, etc, are also considered relatively safe and are not likely to cause GERD symptoms. However, items such as fat laden meat, chicken (with skin), bacon, etc should be avoided by people suffering from GERD to stop heartburn problem.

Soups and Deserts:

The basic rule is to avoid oily and spicy foods to relieve the symptoms of GERD. One must also avoid chocolate, and sweets which are laden with excessive oil and sugar. However, if you cannot do without dessert or sweets, then you may go for low fat and sugar-free or low sugar alternatives containing natural sweeteners, which will not aggravate your acid reflux symptoms. Even cream laden soups, are strictly not recommended. You must stick on with clear soups, which do not contain any chicken or beef fat in it if you are suffering from acid reflux.

Drinks and Juices:

There is another great example to explain the relationship between acid reflux disease and diet – people drinking tea, coffee, alcohol, or citric fruit juices are commonly found to be suffering from acid reflux. When they discontinue using such foods which aggravate the symptoms, then the symptoms are seen to subside temporarily. Therefore, people who are suffering from acid reflux problem must avoid citrus fruits and fruit juices to stop heartburn. However, they may drink juices prepared from non-citrus fruits. Juice of apples for acid reflux prevention is very popular. GERD patients must also avoid heavily caffeinated drinks, herbal tea containing mint, cloves, or other spices, or even carbonated soft drinks, as all of these items are grossly responsible for aggravating the symptoms of acid reflux in the body.

Millions of people have observed an improvement in their condition through the use of a GERD diet. So, if you suffer from GERD, why not stick to this kind of a diet and include different foods to eat with acid reflux and observe whether you experience any positive change yourself.

Diosmin for Circulation & Vein Benefits

Believe it or not, there is a natural ingredient from Europe that can help change the way your legs feel and the way you feel about the circulation in your legs. Whether we realize it or not, the circulation in our legs can have a huge influence on how we feel and what we do everyday and perhaps even more so every evening. The comfort level of our legs, or better said, their discomfort level at the end of the day can adversely affect our social life and fitness activities – not to mention adversely affecting our sleep. If our legs felt better perhaps we would find it easier to do the things we’d love to do, but find it so difficult to muster the motivation. As if the way our legs can feel at the end of day isn’t challenging enough, the changes in the circulation in our legs as we age can seem even more hopeless and discouraging. Now add to that the seeming conspiracy among fashion designers to have us exposing even larger portions of our aging legs and we have a problem that over 80 million Americans with varicose veins understand all too well. (1).

Unfortunately, about half of all American women will develop varicose or spider veins at some point in their lives (2). Not only are they unsightly, these leg problems can also cause significant discomfort. Typically, varicose veins are characterized by bulging, blue, sometimes painful and inflamed veins that appear primarily in the calves and thighs. Spider veins, on the other hand, show up as a web of fine lines that can make your legs look like a road map.

While age and heredity play a role in the development of varicose and spider veins, weight gain, pregnancy, menopause and the use of hormone replacement therapy can also trigger these vein problems. Making matters worse, chronic inactivity, standing for long periods of time or habitually crossing your legs can make you more prone to injured veins (2).

Conventional treatments include surgical stripping, injecting the veins with a chemical irritant or zapping them with lasers. While these approaches can remove existing varicose or spider veins, they will not prevent new ones from developing, since these high-tech treatments do not address the underlying problem of poor circulation. Worse yet, these procedures can also cause infection, scarring, nerve damage and pain (26). If these radical treatments are not an option for you, you’ll be happy to hear that there is a natural approach that not only improves the appearance of these ropy, bulging veins, it also fosters leg health to prevent future problems.

Veins Explained

To understand how varicose veins develop, you need to know a little bit about how blood moves through the body. Essentially, there are two types of major circulatory vessels in the body: the arteries, which channel blood from the heart to the extremities, and the veins, which bring blood from the extremities back to the heart. Of all the veins in your body, leg veins work the hardest to carry blood back to the heart. To accomplish this difficult task, your legs are equipped with specially designed one-way valves that keep the blood moving in the right direction. As efficiently as these valves work, your legs still fight a constant battle against the natural pull of gravity. If the veins can’t move the blood efficiently or the one-way valves that prevent the blood from backwashing fail to close properly, blood collects in the legs. This pooling of blood then stretches the vein, causing swelling and injury to the vein’s walls (3).

Depending on the extent of the enlargement, these veins can show up as either spider or varicose veins. Spider veins are broken capillaries and small veins that appear as jagged red, blue or purple lines on the surface of the skin. While they aren’t painful, they can be extremely unattractive. Varicose veins, on the other hand, are thick veins that run deeper beneath the skin. They are far larger and much less attractive than spider veins – and they can make your legs feel fatigued, heavy, achy or even itchy. Varicose veins can also cause burning, throbbing, cramping and restlessness.

While these conditions aren’t usually dangerous, severe cases can lead to chronic venous insufficiency – a persistent inability of the leg veins to adequately return blood back to the heart (4). Varicose veins are also associated with the development of skin ulcers or a chronic inflammation of a vein – a condition known as phlebitis. Phlebitis is often accompanied by formation of a blood clot, a dangerous situation since the clot can move from the leg vein and travel to the lungs (2).

Get a Leg Up with Diosmin

Your strategy for battling vein problems naturally is twofold: improving circulation and strengthening the vein walls. The first and simplest measure to improve blood flow is to counteract gravity. Standing or sitting all day makes it harder for blood to move up from the legs and back to the heart. But taking a few minutes to rest with your legs higher than your heart each day allows gravity to help return blood to the heart.

Getting in shape can also help relieve varicose and spider veins – and it can even prevent new ones from forming. As we age we lose muscle tone, which adversely affects the health of our legs. Yet adopting a consistent exercise program promotes good circulation and can help to keep our leg muscles, and the blood vessels in our legs, toned. Walking, weight training, low-impact aerobics and swimming strengthen the legs and circulatory system, and help to reduce the throbbing and aching often associated with varicose veins.

What you eat can also ease unsightly veins. A low-fat diet filled with fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and whole grains add key nutrients and fiber to your diet. Eating a fiber-rich diet reduces the chances of constipation which can contribute to varicose veins. Constipation restricts the blood as it returns to the torso through the deep veins in the legs. Straining to have a bowel movement closes off the deep veins in the legs and restricts the flow of blood as it returns to the torso. As the blood backs up, it takes another course through superficial veins, thus the blue streaks in the legs. Eating a fiber-rich diet alleviates and prevents constipation, helping to avoid the damage to the vascular system that can result. In addition to fiber, a diet high in fruits and vegetables also ensures adequate intake of nutrients and phytonutrients, which also help tonify the blood vessels. As a bonus, a healthy diet and exercise program can also jump-start weight loss – an important consideration since carrying too much weight creates extra pressure on your heart and blood vessels, interfering with healthy circulation (2).

To strengthen the veins themselves, take a tip from the Europeans. From Austria to France to Italy, women and their doctors have relied on Diosmin for more than 30 years to treat circulatory problems affecting the legs – and with good reason. Diosmin is a unique bioflavonoid derived from citrus fruits and is closely related to other citrus bioflavonoids such as hesperiden, quercetin, and rutin (5). Clinical trials have shown that Diosmin is highly effective in boosting circulation and strengthening the veins in the legs (5). Not only does this improve existing varicose and spider veins, it can also reduce the likelihood of future problems.

What makes Diosmin so amazing is its power to specifically target the blood vessels in the legs. Diosmin improves both blood vessel elasticity and microcirculation while relieving pain and inflammation by inhibiting pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxanes (21,24). Because of its direct action on the integrity of vein walls, Diosmin also reduces the amount of fluid that leaks out of them (21,22). Diosmin’s protective benefits do not stop there. Because it is a potent anti-oxidant, Diosmin decreases lipid peroxidation and reduces free radical damage that can undermine vein health (23, 27).

In one clinical trial, people who suffered from pain and swelling due to varicose veins experienced significant improvement in their symptoms after taking Diosmin for a few months (6). A review of studies also found that, among more than 5,000 patients with vein disorders, the vast majority not only saw a reduction in their discomfort, they actually saw the swelling in their calves and ankles disappear (7). Across the board, research shows that a daily dose of 500 to 1,000 mg of Diosmin improves the health of leg veins and brings tremendous relief from pain, night cramps and leg heaviness (8,9,10,11). Both short- and long-term use of this highly effective natural ingredient comes without any side effects. It is also so safe that you need not worry about adverse interactions of Diosmin with drugs, foods, lab tests or interactions with diseases or conditions. (5).

Help for Hemorrhoids

Because Diosmin reduces swelling and bolsters vein health, it can also help people suffering with hemorrhoids – those uncomfortable varicose veins that form in the lower rectum and anus. Along with making it painful to sit, hemorrhoids can itch, bleed or protrude – and almost half of all Americans suffer from them by the time they turn 50 (12). Extensive research conclusively shows that Diosmin can safely alleviate the pain, inflammation and bleeding of hemorrhoids (13,14,15). Best of all, it offers quick relief, often working its magic within a week or two (16). Plus, Diosmin reduces the risk of a relapse (17).

Diosmin for Cancer?

While no one questions Diosmin’s efficacy for treating varicose and spider veins or hemorrhoids, scientists have begun exploring other ways this potent flavonoid may boost health. Their main focus – cancer prevention – especially oral and skin cancers.

Researchers haven’t conclusively identified the cancer-fighting component in Diosmin, but preliminary experiments show that this flavonoid inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells (18). In two studies pitting Diosmin against other flavonoids like rutin, grapeseed extract and red wine, Spanish investigators found that Diosmin was considerably more effective at reducing the number of metastatic melanoma cells (a potentially deadly type of skin cancer cells that spread through the body) than any of the other flavonoids tested (19,20). Other studies have found that Diosmin puts the brakes on the spread of cancer cells in the mouth (25).

Although it could be years before science conclusively proves Diosmin’s cancer benefit, this nutrient can’t be beat for supporting vein health. Along with taking supplemental Diosmin, there are several simple strategies you can employ to encourage healthy circulation. Eating a high-fiber, anti-oxidant rich diet and getting plenty of exercise can help keep veins in top form. And remember to take a break and put your feet up every now and again.


1. American Society for Dermatoloic Surgery.

2. National Women’s Health Information Center. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

3. American College of Phlebology.

4. Society for Vascular Surgery.

5. Diosmin Monograph. Alternative Medicine Review. 2004;9(3):308-311.

6. Ting AC, et al. Clinical and hemodynamic outcomes in patients with chronic venous insufficiency after oral micronized flavonoids therapy. Vascular Surgery. 2001;35(6):443-447.

7. Ramelet AA. Daflon 500 mg: symptoms and edema clinical update. Angiology. 2005;56 Suppl 1:S25-S32.

8. Bergan JJ. Chronic venous insufficiency and the therapeutic effects of Daflon 500 mg. Angiology. 2005; 56 Suppl 1:S21-S24.

9. Nicolaides AN. From symptoms to leg edema: efficacy of Daflon 500 mg. Angiology. 2003;54 Suppl 1:S33-S44.

10. Smith PC. Daflon 500 mg and venous leg ulcer: new results from a meta-analysis. Angiology. 2005; 56 Suppl 1:S33-S39.

11. Jantet G. Chronic venous insufficiency: worldwide results of the RELIEF study. Reflux assessment and quality of life improvement with micronized Flavonoids. Angiology. 2002;533:245-256.

12. National Institutes of Health.

13. Lyseng-Williamson KA, et al. Micronised purified flavonoids fraction: a review of its use in chronic venous insufficiency, venous ulcers and haemorrhoids. Drugs. 2003;63(1):71-100.

14. Meshikhes AW. Daflon for haemorrhoids: a prospective, multi-centre observational study. Surgeon. 2004;2(6):335-338.

15. Kecmanovic D, et al. PHLEBODIA (diosmine): a role in the management of bleeding nonprolapsed hemorrhoids). Acta Chirurgica Iugoslavica. 2005;52(1):115-116.

16. Diana G, et al. Activity of purified diosmin in the treatment of hemorrhoids. La Clinica Terapeutica. 2000;151(5):341-344.

17. Misra MC, et al. Randomized clinical trial of micronized flavonoids in the early control of bleeding from acute internal haemorrhoids. British Journal of Surgery. 2000;87(12):1732-1733.

18. Browning AM, et al. Flavonoid glycosides inhibit oral cancer cell proliferation – role of cellular uptake and hydrolysis to the aglycones. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 2005;57(8):1037-1042.

19. Martinez C, et al. Treatment of metastatic melanoma B16F10 by the flavonoids tangeretin, rutin, and diosmin. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2005;53(17):6791-6797.

20. Martinez C, et al. The effect of the flavonoids dioxmin, grapeseed extract and red wine on the pulmonary metastatic B16F10 melanoma. Histology and Histopathology. 2005;20(4):1121-1129.

21. Ramelet AA. Clinical benefits of Daflon 500 mg in the most severe stages of chronic venous insufficiency. Angiology. 2001;52 Suppl 1:S49-56.

22. Cyrino FZ, et al. Micronization enhances the protective effect of purified flavonoidsfraction against postischaemic microvascular injury in the hamster cheek pouch. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology & Physiology. 2004;31(3):159-162.

23. Bergan JJ, et al. Therapeutic approach to chronic venous insufficiency and its complications: place of Daflon 500 mg. Angiology. 2001;52 Suppl 1:S43-7.

24. Katsenis K. Micronized purified flavonoids fraction (MPFF): a review of its pharmacological effects, therapeutic efficacy and benefits in the management of chronic venous insufficiency. Current Vascular Pharamcology. 2005;3(1):1-9.

25. Browning AM, et al. Flavonoid glycosides inhibit oral cancer cell proliferation – role of cellular uptake and hydrolysis to the aglycones. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 2005;57(8):1037-1042.

26. National Women’s Health Information Center. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’s Health.

27. Villa P, et al. Protective effect of diosmetin on in vitro cell membrane damage and oxidative stress in cultured rat hepatocytes. Toxicology. 1992;73:179-189.

You Can Eliminate Statin Drug Side Effects

I have some great news for the millions of people that take cholesterol- lowering drugs and have statin drug side effects as a result. As most of you know, studies have shown that the class of drugs known as statins effectively lowers cholesterol, and for about one in 33 users, lowers the chances of having a heart attack.

Unfortunately this good news comes with some bad news. There are approximately 80 reported statin drug side effects that may occur, and some of them can be very dangerous. Recently, the British Medical Journal reported that in the analysis of more than two million patients taking statins for cholesterol, it was shown that the risk of liver damage, kidney damage, muscle damage, and/or cataracts was increased.

It is fairly common knowledge that most drugs come with side effects. Typically, those are caused by the drugs either interfering with the production of certain nutrients in the body, or the depletion the nutrients. Such is the case with statin drugs. Your doctor is supposed to tell you of at least one of the major side effects, which is the depletion of CoQ10. This is required for all cellular functions, so being depleted of this nutrient can be devastating to your body.

And there are other things going on due to the chemicals in prescription drugs, including free radical damage, interference with the cellular energy, and liver stress (since it is the main filtering organ within the body). To properly repair and rebalance your system, you would normally need to find five or six separate products.

Fortunately, there is a company called Pharma Defense LLC that has formulated and produced a product called Statin Relief. It has approximately fifteen separate ingredients that will reduce or eliminate the side effects of statin drugs. I don’t take statins as my cholesterol is normal; however, I have personally tried this product as have several friends who are doctors and scientists. In the case of two of them that often have muscle pain and fatigue, those side effects went away within five days. A few days after stopping the Statin Relief, the side effects of the cholesterol-lowering drugs returned. Then, after going back on the Statin Relief, the side effects again went away. They are convinced Statin Relief has safely solved their side effects issues.

I am not sure what stores are carrying the product yet, but it is certainly worth locating and trying. With the required ingredients to help protect your system, and the energy it will return to your body, it makes perfect sense. There is plenty of research on the Statin Relief website; most of it is supported by government studies on the ingredients as well as the information in most of the Universities. With a blend of nutrients to help spare and heal the liver, replace lost CoQ10, recharge the muscles, fight free radicals, and reduce stress, this is a great find and in a must-have formula. Look for it in your local stores or contact the Statin Relief company (

I believe you will be quite happy that you did.

5 Fantastic Benefits of Polyunsaturated Fats

There are two main types of polyunsaturated fat; omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) and omega 6 EFAs. The health benefits of this type of fat (particularly omega 3s) have been well publicised in recent years with more and more research revealing the nutritional value of oily fish. In this article I am going to look into this topic in more detail and discuss five fantastic benefits of polyunsaturated fats.

1) BETTER ABSORPTION OF FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS:- Omega 3 EFAs improve your body’s absorption of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. These vitamin have various benefits which include protecting your body from disease, helping your blood to clot and promoting healthy vision.

2) HEALTHY BRAIN:- Omega 3 EFAs support your brain in a number of ways. First, they are used to produce cell membranes, signal pathways and other neurological systems all of which are essential brain structures. Secondly, they protect your brain from diseases such as Alzheimer’s (a condition which leads to your brain cells being destroyed).

3) HEALTHY SKIN:- Polyunsaturated fats in the form of omega 6 EFAs promote healthy, vibrant skin. Omega 6 EFAs are needed by your body to create skin cell membranes. They have also been shown to relieve certain skin conditions including dermatitis and eczema.

4) LOWER HEART DISEASE RISK:- Omega 3 EFAs have been shown to lower your heart disease risk in a number of ways. First, they lower blood levels of triglycerides (a type of fat linked with heart disease). Secondly, they prevent blood clots and the growth of fatty plaques on the arteries which can both increase your heart disease risk by restricting the flow of blood to the heart.

5) STRONG TEETH AND BONES:- Omega 6 EFAs help your body absorb calcium. Calcium is one of the most important minerals when it comes to building bones and teeth. Not only does calcium help keep your bones and teeth strong but it also protects you from conditions such as bone loss and osteoporosis (reduced bone density).

If you want to enjoy optimal health polyunsaturated fats should be a regular fixture in your diet. Not only do they protect your vital organs but they also help you absorb vital micronutrients. You can get omega 3 EFAs from cold water fish, dairy products and certain meats. Omega 6 EFAs can be found in nuts, oils and wholemeal products. So make sure you are eating some of these foods on a regular basis and you will experience all the health benefits listed in this article.

Cayenne Pepper and Heart Health – Is Cayenne a Cure For Heart Disease?

Cayenne pepper is one of the most powerful and beneficial herbs known to mankind, but unfortunately very few know of its efficacy. Cayenne pepper and heart health should be synonymous for anyone with heart disease or cardiovascular issues but it is not. Due to the power and might of Big Pharma and their unholy alliance with the United States government, many Americans are simply unaware of natural herbs that can dramatically improve their heart health.

“If this is true, then why haven’t the masses heard of it?” you may ask. A fair question. In a word, money. Literally billions of dollars have been spent on heart disease care and research, not to mention the billions on pharmaceutical drugs fighting cholesterol.

In fact, the number-one-selling drug in the US is Lipitor — ostensibly sold to reduce cholesterol and by extension heart disease. Cayenne could eliminate all that and that is why the medical establishment doesn’t want people to know about it.

Before discussing the benefits of cayenne pepper and heart health however, let’s consider the result of the billions that have been “invested” in the name of curing heart disease for if there is one fundamental criterion by which government and medical institutional spending should be judged, it should be by the results.

According to a May 25th, 2006 report by the BBC, heart disease is the biggest killer in the United Kingdom. Across the pond in the United States, the National Heart Foundation says, “Coronary heart disease is the single greatest cause of death for both men and women in the US, eclipsing all other causes, including cancer and lung diseases. Every year more than 479,000 Americans die of coronary heart disease.”

Clearly, the current allopathic (traditional Western medicine) approach is lacking.

The unholy collusion between government, pharmaceutical interests and institutional medicine, with its powerful financial influence, pervades nearly every facet of society. Homeopathic medicine is not only derided but persecuted and even criminalized while allopathic medicine is deified as the only way to health.

In reality, the joining of the best of allopathic and homeopathic interventions would be ideal, but for that to happen, results would have to be the final arbiter as to an intervention’s effectiveness, not corporate and governmental interests.

Background Info

So, what is cayenne? You probably recognize its name as a potent condiment often used in cooking, but its value lies well beyond its culinary uses. It is an herb that is nothing short of amazing.

It is a multi-talented herb that is also known, although obliquely so, as African red pepper, American red pepper, Spanish pepper, capsicum, and bird pepper. Cayenne is derived from two related plants. Specifically, the American variety (Capsicum minimum) is distinguished from its African counterpart the African birdseye cayenne (Capsicum fastigiatum) although both are highly beneficial to man. The African birdseye cayenne is the most pungent with small, yellowish red pods while the American variety is distinguished with its herb-sized plants and larger fruit or pods.

The food value of cayenne is known, of course, but its real value is as a medicinal and nutritional herb. Its medical uses include using it for wounds, heart disease, heart attacks, heart problems at large, ulcers, congestion, colds, chills, bleeding of the lungs, neuralgia, lumbago, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, high and low blood pressure, indigestion, and kidney and related problems. (This is by no means a comprehensive list as to the herb’s effectiveness.)

Cayenne is a stimulant and as such is an activator, carrier, and accentuator to other herbs as well. Still, it can and should be used by itself. Let’s discuss now some of those ancillary uses before we talk in depth about capsicum and heart health.

Cayenne pepper anti-fungal properties are tangible although this is not its primary health benefit. It has been shown in some studies to be active against collectotrichum and phomopsis, both of which are fungal pathogens. These important fungal pathogens affect strawberries and other fruits and are not directly related to humans per se.

However, cayenne immune system benefits are of interest to researchers. Currently, it is being studied by many nutritional supplement companies for its therapeutic and nutritional benefits. If you desire a natural anti-fungal aid, garlic is preferred over cayenne for garlic has long been known for its anti-fungal properties. (In Russia, it has long been called “the Russian penicillin.”)

Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

Capsicum increases metabolism by immediately influencing the venous structure. It is remarkable with its immediate effects on the circulatory system as it feeds the vital elements into the cell structure of capillaries, veins, arteries and helps adjust blood pressure to normal levels. Yes, cayenne pepper for high blood pressure is certainly one of its core uses, but it cleans the arteries as well.

It also stimulates the peristaltic motion of the intestines and aids in assimilation and elimination. When taken internally, it warms the body and has even been used by some herbalist doctors to help severe frostbite as cayenne not only facilitates the healing of the flesh but it helps rebuild tissue as well.

Notwithstanding its hot taste, it is superb for rebuilding the tissue in the stomach for it actually facilitates rapid healing with stomach and intestinal ulcers. Capsicum for ulcers is not something most would have considered due to its native calidity but the author can testify to this aspect of this wonder herb.

Its Dramatic Effects

Dr. John Christopher, the famed natural herbalist, was persecuted relentlessly by the government while assisting patients in curing cancer, heart disease, pleurisy, tuberculosis, infertility, rheumatism, leukemia, and other maladies. One of his greatest stories in his long career was how he could instantly stop a heart attack if he could get the patient to drink a glass of warm cayenne water. In his writings, he said, “A teaspoon of cayenne should bring the patient out of the heart attack.”

(While this is not directly related to heart health, with internal hemorrhaging, if the patient can drink a glass of extra warm water with cayenne, Dr. Christopher wrote, “…by the count of ten the bleeding will stop. Instead of all the pressure being centralized, it is equalized and the clotting becomes more rapid.”)

Perhaps now you can see why cayenne is regarded as a “miracle herb.” With over 700,000 Americans experiencing a stroke each year and almost half a million dying of heart disease, the cure to a healthy heart is as close as your local grocery store. The cayenne detoxification drink, when taken religiously, will dramatically improve your heart health as well as your venous structure.

Side Effects of Cayenne Pepper

What are the side effects of cayenne pepper? What are its bad points? Well, it is certainly hot to the taste. Drinking what the author calls the cayenne detoxification drink is not for the faint of heart (on second thought perhaps it is!). When starting to drink the cayenne pepper detoxification drink, it tends to come out of the body’s orifices with a burning sensation.

Not to worry, though. It is very beneficial. In fact, capsicum will help clear up hemorrhoids if taken regularly — especially if the hemorrhoid sufferer changes their diet to one more rich in fiber.

To mitigate its heat, the author suggests starting with just a half a teaspoon of cayenne in a glass of eight ounces of lukewarm water (or even less if desired). Have another glass of just water nearby as drinking cold water after the cayenne drink will help mitigate the calidity of the drink’s after effects. Yes, you can take it in capsule form but its effects won’t be immediate the way it would be by direct application.

There are also some who suggest combining lemon water and cayenne for fast metabolism. (There are also some who think that a combination of cayenne lemon fat burn facilitates adipose loss. That is debatable, but drinking a concoction of lemon water and cayenne for fast metabolism is certainly more palatable.)

Drinking the capsicum detoxification drink daily will produce noticeable benefits, and the body will acclimate very quickly to its native heat. Within a month or two, you will be able to drink a tablespoon of capsicum without too much discomfort.

Yes, you could go on a cayenne fruit diet, but drinking it is easier and more convenient. One last comment: no significant side effects have been reported. Of course, taking too much of anything is not healthy, a problem never really attributed to cayenne due to its heat. In terms of health side effects, there are none. As with all things, though, use with discretion and wisdom.


If you are concerned about your heart health, or if you are suffering from heart ailments, cayenne should be a daily staple in your diet. This incredible herb is a wonder and can tremendously affect your health. Cayenne is one of the greatest health secrets in the world.

Cayenne certainly is a great condiment, used with panache by great cooks and chefs, but its true value lies in its medicinal qualities. Slowly and surely, its remarkable benefits are gaining awareness by a public becoming increasingly disenchanted by traditional medicine’s non-causal approach. Perhaps now you can see why cayenne is a prince among herbs.

Woodworking: The Best Wood For Beginners

Woodworking: Know Your Wood

Wood is made of cellulose fibers, held together with a property called lignin, and is classified as hardwood or softwood, depending on the type of tree from which it comes. In addition, sapwood or new growth wood on a tree is still alive, while heartwood refers to the part of the tree that is no longer functioning. These two stages of wood also have different properties and uses. Knowing something about the different woods can help you determine which to use, how to work it, what problems to watch for, and how to care for the finished product.

There are hundreds of different types of trees and wood, with a wide range of colors, density, grain, figure, and other characteristics that affect its workability and application to different types of uses. The following is an alphabetical listing and description of some of the more popular woods used in woodworking. Types such as ebony and ironwood are not listed here, as they are not typically used in woodworking, at least not by beginners. The focus is on woods that work well and are common in woodworking.

The following legend provides a guide for symbols included with each type of wood.

Cost: $ = inexpensive, $$ = moderate, $$$ = expensive

Ease of working: E = easy, M = moderate, D = difficult

Ash, white $, M

A strong, inexpensive wood that is lighter in color and bends well, white ash is often used in sports equipment such as bats and canoe paddles. It is also common in pool cues, tool handles, and other products that require durability and strength.

Balsa $$, E

One of the lightest hardwoods, balsa has been used for canoes, model building, life rafts and other situations where a light, buoyant wood is needed. It is usually white in color and priced moderately. Because it is exceptionally soft, it can be worked well with hand tools, but has poor durability.

Basswood $, E

Basswood is an inexpensive and versatile hardwood that is often used for woodcarving. It is soft, light, fine textured and ranges in color from soft white to brown. Other uses include turning, toys, kitchen utensils and crates.

Birch $, E

The birch known as paper birch, is the white tree growing in the forest with its bark peeling like paper. Inside the sapwood is creamy and darkens toward brown at the heartwood. It is inexpensive to purchase and consequently is one of the most popular woods with beginner furniture makers. It can also be used for cabinets, toys and plywood but is not durable when left unfinished.

Butternut $$, M

A course-textured wood that is light to medium brown, butternut is moderately priced, and is a common choice for veneers, woodenware, and church alters.

Cedar, aromatic $, M

Known for its red coloring and pleasing, somewhat spicy smell, aromatic cedar or red cedar is a popular woodworking material for containers and closets. It has alternating lines of dark and light color and may also have dark knots, making it visually appealing as well. It is relatively inexpensive.

Cherry, black $$, E

Cherry sapwood is light colored, but the heartwood can vary from light brown to a dark red color that many find appealing. It has a fine grain and tends to darken in color as it ages. It is used most often in cabinetry and furniture making and is moderately priced.

Cottonwood $, E

A white to pale brown colored wood that is part of the poplar family, cottonwood is light and tends to be soft, which makes it good for carving. It is also used in making furniture, toys and woodenwares. Many carvers prefer the bark of the cottonwood tree because it can be found in large pieces and has a soft, workable nature.

Cypress $, E-M

Cypress wood has an oily texture, resists rot and decay and is often used in outdoor furniture and docks. It is light yellow in color and is inexpensive compared to other woods.

Elm, white $$, M

There are many elms, and most tend to be easy to work with and bend well. The white elm is soft yellow in color, and if used by beginners, it is usually in a furniture project. This tree is affected by Dutch Elm disease, so it is becoming more difficult to find, and thus a bit more expensive.

Mahogany $$, E

A reddish colored, dense hardwood that is durable and easy to work, Mahogany, (especially that from Honduras) is often used when making various grades of furniture and cabinets. It is moderately priced.

Maple, white $$, M-D

Maple has white sapwood and reddish brown heartwood. The grain can come in different patterns including wavy and birds eye. It can be difficult to work, but is used to make furniture, cabinets, flooring, and small projects such as cutting boards.

Oak $$, E-M

In the oak family, white oak is perhaps the easiest to work and is highly durable. It has a light tan color with a straight grain. It is moderate in price and used for furniture, cabinets, and is a favored wood for building barrels.

Pine: Ponderosa, white, yellow $, E

Although the different kinds of pine have varying specific features, it tends to be a softer, light colored wood that is used in many construction settings. It is also a popular wood for woodworkers, especially beginners, because it is inexpensive, easy to find, relatively easy to work, and holds up well (except for white pine). Often selected for birdhouses, flower boxes, benches and other beginner projects.

Redwood $$$, E

Redwood is known for its ability to hold up well in outdoor conditions. It is relatively easy to work and is used in outdoor furniture, decks, and other applications where durability outdoors is important. Despite the fact that redwood trees grow quite large and yield high quantities of boards, the price is on the higher end.

Walnut, black $$, E

A dark, tough wood that works well, black walnut is used in carving, making gunstocks, fine furniture, cabinets, and other items where strength and appearance are both important. It has a chemical in it that can cause irritation. Black walnut is moderately priced.

Willow $$, E

There are many different varieties of willow, but in general they are a soft, light wood with dull brownish heartwood and light colored sapwood. Because of its softness, it is popular with carvers. It is also used for caskets, Venetian blinds, and a number of other items.

Yellow poplar $, E

Yellow poplar is a strong, inexpensive hardwood that has a light color and sometimes is streaked with green, which can make it more difficult to finish. It is not a true poplar. Along with pine, it is one of the most common woods used today. Poplar is used in basic furniture, shelving, and boxes. It is also acceptable for carving.

Raw, Unpasteurized Noni Juice – Is It Really Better?

You may have heard of the many health benefits of Morinda Citrifolia, commonly known as Noni fruit. You may not have heard that raw, unpasteurized noni juice is available as a potentially healthier alternative to other types of noni products.

What chemical constituents are available in raw, unpasteurized noni juice?

Just in case you need a refresher…raw, unpasteurized noni juice has been attributed with a wide range of healthy benefits, a few of which include: inhibiting tumor growth, alleviating depression and sleep disorders, boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure. According to the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii, here are the main chemical constituents found in noni fruit and noni fruit juice which attribute to its beneficial effects.

These include:

Polysaccharides: (contributing immune-stimulatory, immune-modulatory, anti-bacterial, anti-tumor and anti-cancer effects)

Scopoletin: (dilates vasculature and lowers blood pressure, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, histamine-inhibiting, as well as effects on arthritic conditions, allergies, sleep disorders, migraine headaches, depression and Alzheimer’s disease)

The alkaloid Xeronine: (In theory, xeronine enhances enzyme activity and protein structure, although additional research is needed to further substantiate its effect.)

Vitamins and Minerals: (Magnesium, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc, copper, sulfur and ascorbic acid (vitamin C))

Lactic Acid Bacteria: Research has also shown that fermented noni juice contains lactic acid bacteria, which may improve the nutritional value of the food and the digestion of lactose, as well as help control intestinal infections, some types of cancer and serum cholesterol levels.

Why might noni juice be healthier if it’s raw and unpasteurized?

As raw food enthusiasts know, heating kills live vegetative cells. Fruits and vegetables retain the highest amounts of healthy nutrients and enzymes in their raw, natural state. Heating and processing food is one of the quickest ways to reduce the quality of its nutritional components.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of noni products which are commercially available are created using a pasteurized and processed noni puree or noni powder, which is then reconstituted with water or fruit juices.

This method of noni preparation significantly reduces the amount of nutrients and healthy enzymes which the raw, unpasteurized noni juice contains.

Ensure the quality of raw, unpasteurized noni juice before you buy

Drinking raw, unpasteurized noni juice has incredible potential to benefit your health. That said, not all noni juices are created equal. Here are some important quality indicators to look for before you buy raw, unpasteurized noni juice:

Aside from ensuring that your noni juice is made from 100% pure, raw noni fruit, you should also pay attention to the method used to process the juice. The highest quality noni juice is created by selecting a raw noni fruit in the perfect stage of ripeness, using traditional methods to ferment it for 3-6 months, then utilizing cold-pressing technology to create the noni fruit juice. Minimal processing should be used, in order to preserve the powerful healing properties of the noni plant.

Obviously, all noni products you use should also be organic, and preferably, grown by USDA certified organic farmers. The noni provider should be licensed by the FDA branch of their state Department of Health, and all noni products they produce should be processed in a certified organic handling and processing facility.

Ideally, the noni fruit juice should be made in small batches, with careful attention paid to FDA food preparation requirements. Noni drinks should be bottled in glass containers, to best retain their health properties and to preserve freshness.

When a Spider Bite Isn’t a Spider Bite – MRSA Infection – Dangers and Treatment

You swear you’ve been bitten by a spider. Naturally you didn’t see the 8-legged critter – you were sleeping. But there are spiders in your house and you spent a lot of time cleaning cobwebs over the weekend. When you notice a red bump that looks like a bug bite, it’s only logical to think that it’s a spider bite. But when the little red bump becomes larger and redder you ask yourself if perhaps it was a poisonous spider. Or maybe you’re allergic to spider bites. When the spot becomes large enough, you decide to see your doctor.

The above is a common scenario, sending thousands of patients to their doctor each week. But if you go to your doctor with the above story, your doctor will likely say the lesion is not a spider bite.

Why? In recent years a new infection has been spreading that has the appearance of what people assume is a spider bite. This infection, community-acquired methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, is not really new. It’s been around in hospitals for decades, but in recent years it has moved into the community. Luckily, it’s generally not as severe as that seen in hospitals, in part because its victims are usually healthier than hospitalized patients, and also because the bacteria itself is somewhat less aggressive.

MRSA presents most commonly as a skin infection, but over the past few years I have seen other infections caused by this microbe including pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and bowel infection. However, it has the potential to effect any body part.

The problem with this infection is that antibiotics that normally work to kill staph germs do not necessarily kill off MRSA germs. Specifically, antibiotics that are usually chosen to treat staph infections (methicillin and other forms of penicillin) will not work. Nowadays if a staph infection is suspected, your doctor may treat you with two different types of antibiotics until the results of a culture are available. If there is a high prevalence of MRSA in your community, your physician may choose an antibiotic to treat this specific infection from the outset.

What’s the big deal about a staph infection? A lesion the size of a bug bite may heal itself if you have a good immune system. However, the risk is that it will spread to your blood stream, your bones, your heart, or your lungs – all potentially fatal infections.

Don’t take a chance. If you think you have a spider bite, and didn’t actually see the spider bite you, go to your doctor. There are effective antibiotics. It’s not worth dying in case you were wrong.

Copyright 2010 Cynthia J. Koelker, M.D.

Non-Verbal Communication During Your Job Interview

No Slouching!

It’s about demonstrating confidence – standing straight, making eye contact, and connecting with a good, firm handshake. That first impression can be a great beginning, or a quick ending to your interview.

Lack of body movement?

Once the interview begins you should be relaxed, use your hands in talking – most people do. Do not overdo anything! Small gestures with your hands are fine but when you start waving your arms around you are out-of-bounds and could strike out.

The worst posture is to fold your arms across your chest. This is a hostile posture – very closed and uncomfortable.

Often times, women fold their arms because they are cold. Wear a sweater or jacket to the interview – but don’t fold your arms over your chest.

Contact – The Hand Shake

The first contact you will have with the interviewer is the handshake. It’s often looked at as a telling gesture to judge the confidence of a person.

The interviewer extends his hand and you in turn extend your hand. If your hand is sweaty it will give an unpleasant feeling to the interchange.

Your Image – How do you look?

You are judged by how you look!

Whether we like it or not – your general appearance – how you look – does set the first impression for the rest of the interview.

This is going to take some research on your part. You can call the HR Department or even the Receptionist to ask about the company dress code. If the answer is “Casual,” you should think one level above to “Business Casual.” A good rule to follow is: “Dress One Level Above the Company Culture.”

Something else to take into consideration is the position that you are seeking. The goal is to look like someone who will fit in, but someone who could also represent the company to people outside the company.

Your Eye Contact

True – or – False?

You should never look directly into the interviewer’s eyes because this may make him or her feel uncomfortable.

This is definitely FALSE.

When you talk to someone and your eyes are looking in another direction, the person feels as though you are not talking to them directly. If you don’t look directly into the eyes of the interviewer it can be judged as a lack of confidence.

It may feel very uncomfortable for you to look directly into someone’s eyes but you need to look at the person while you talk. This doesn’t mean staring, but looking directly at the person you are addressing.

Here is a tip that is taken from people on tv who use “teleprompters.” They are looking at the teleprompter and reading their lines, but it appears as though they are looking straight at the camera.

Smells – Good and Bad

It is important not to smell – Good or Bad – during the interview!

Smelling bad – breath or body odor – could be disastrous! Most people know that. But did you know that it could be equally disastrous to smell too good?

Perfumes and colognes are annoying offenders to someone who cannot tolerate scents. Allergies or personal memories or preferences about scents can come into play during the interview and can be very distracting.

Ears – for listening

You’ve been missing a major point if you thought job interviewing was just about answering questions. You’ve also been missing a huge opportunity to gather valuable information. Listening is one of the most underutilized skills by candidates. The majority of people go into the interview thinking and worrying about how they will answer the interviewer’s questions. They forget that they are there to also find out about the job and the company and whether this is the right place for them.

The bonus of listening is that you impress the interviewer by the fact that you have heard what was said, and sometimes what was not said. The best questions you can ask come as a result of listening. Turn up your listening and intuitive skills. Read between the lines!

Demeanor – Confidence

One of the most important factors a candidate can bring to the interview is self-confidence.

You will make an immediate good first impression when you stand tall and look the interviewer in the eye while you give a firm handshake.

In today’s competitive job market it is worth taking some time to think about the impression you are making. Will you stand out from the competition with your confidence and demeanor? If not – take the time to make some changes.

How to Detox Lungs For Heavy Smokers

If you are or have been a heavy smoker then you may be aware that your lungs are probably clogged with stick black tar that is acting as a barrier to the body’s natural detox lungs mechanisms as well as being carcinogenic itself and aiding to other common respiratory illnesses.

It is for this reason that heavy smokers should look into lung detoxification not just to breathe a little easier but to stave off some incredibly debilitating and deadly illnesses such as Lung cancer, emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

How this is done requires a level of self discipline but does not involve anything over the top, expensive or outlandish. There are two parts to this process being the removing of tar from the lungs and the boosting of the bodies natural detoxification systems.

Tar removal

This is the tricky bit and involves a range of methods to break up the sticky tar that the body cannot usually destroy except over a long period that can last decades. Through as combination of lung exercises and adding vitamins to your site that have proven to break up tar into more manageable chunks that can be flushed from the body you can quickly start scrubbing your lungs clean of the black substance that is responsible for so many problems.

Immune system boosting

The lung exercises will help strengthen your lungs which is important but the body relies on nutrients via food and drink mostly to function and a detox diet will aid this greatly with healthy meals that are not only good for you but also contain the right mix of nutrients that send your body into overdrive when it comes to immune defense and detoxification of the lungs and other parts of the body.

Part One: Will China’s Coalbed Methane Projects Make a New Energy Billionaire?

Even the enemies of Randeep S. Grewal admire his business savvy. Few might be surprised if the CEO of Green Dragon shows up some day on the Forbes magazine list of billionaires. His company’s recent share offering on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM, commencing with a market capitalization of US$525 million, was quite the bold stroke, raising a few eyebrows. Green Dragon placed a bit more than 4.5 million shares, less than 5 percent of the company’s outstanding shares, to raise $25 million. Randeep Grewal kept the remaining 95.2 percent of Green Dragon for himself.

Upon the company’s admission to the AIM market Grewal remarked, “2007 promises to be a landmark year for CBM and its contribution to the Chinese energy supply…This listing is an important and timely milestone in our growth driven strategy.” The last time Grewal stooped to deal with the minor annoyances of the capital markets, he personally bought up all the shares of Greka Energy Corp, then trading on the NASDAQ. Shareholders loved him – he paid a 69 percent premium for their shares in 2003. Greka delisted from NASDAQ and deregistered with the U.S. Securities Commission.

Since then, it’s been more difficult to track Grewal’s latest accomplishments, but based upon the price of oil, his privately owned fiefdom is likely flush with cash. In a 2002 news release, Grewal revealed the then-public Greka Energy owned 800 million barrels of recoverable heavy gravity oil, which is ideal as feedstock for his asphalt refinery. That year Greka’s throughput was 3400 barrels of asphalt per day. According to ABC News, the state of California paid $359/ton for asphalt – up 61 percent over the past year. High gasoline prices are driving major oil companies to squeeze more gasoline production out of their crude oil. In any event, Grewal simply gets wealthier with every new barrel of asphalt or crude oil his company produces.

At least Green Dragon Gas is now publicly traded, offering shareholder participation. But, few shares are available to the public. Grewal may be generous to shareholders at the end of the day, but he’s not parting with his shares this early in the game. In his filing statement with AIM, the company noted that issuing further shares to raise additional cash would come as a last resort, or more delicately stated, “… as appropriate under the circumstances.” Grewal would first turn to debt financings and other measures before offering shareholders additional liquidity.

It is not an accident the share price of GDG, which opened for trading at US$5.56/share quickly rose to a recent high of $6.60/share. A close study of Grewal’s last company explains the high confidence in Green Dragon Gas. Not to be confused with his previously named Grewal Energy, which is now called Greka Integrated, Green Dragon Gas is the parent company of Hong-Kong based Greka Energy. They hold five CBM production-sharing contracts with China’s state-owned CUCBM (China United Coalbed Methane Company). Green Dragon’s contracts are upon massive tracts of land (more than twice the size of Rhode Island), which could potentially host 16.5 trillion cubic feet of methane gas.

According to the Green Dragon Gas website, Grewal is also chairman and chief executive of the California-based Greka Integrated, a company which is described as being “involved in heavy oil and gas transportation, refining, real estate and with interests in energy properties and refining assets.” It is Santa Barbara County’ largest onshore oil company with holdings in Bakersfield, Orange County and the Los Angeles basin, Greka operates almost 70 onshore production, processing and transportation facilities in Santa Barbara (California), as well as the Santa Maria Asphalt Refinery. It is the same one which produced 3400 barrels of asphalt every day during 2002.

While others talk a good game, Grewal excels at the energy game. In his last published interview which we were able to dig up (August 2001), Grewal explained exactly how he planned to make Greka Energy a success story, i.e. selling oil or using it product asphalt and then sell asphalt, depending upon the price. And then he did. In a July 2002 news release, Grewal mentioned his company would have long-term activities in China. And now it does – through Green Dragon Gas.

In explaining the company’s business plan, during his 2001 interview, Grewal unabashedly boasted, “We’re profitable at $10 oil. We’re profitable at $30 oil. We’re profitable at $2 gas, and we’re profitable at $16 gas.” He called his asphalt plant “a natural hedge to fluctuating commodity prices.” It also provides consistent cash flow. And there is no doubt Grewal is ever more profitable with crude oil selling around $70/barrel.

Steve Chase, Santa Barbara County’s deputy energy director, who regulates Greka’s refinery (and has participated in fining Greka – see below), calls the company’s business plan “absolutely brilliant.” Chase praised Greka in a New Times newspaper article, explaining the company’s economics, “Oil sells either high or low, but asphalt doesn’t. If you’re an oil company with an asphalt refinery, you can sell into two different markets. When oil is low, you use it to make asphalt. When it’s high, you (just) sell it.”

Despite Chase’s praise, Grewal’s road to success has not been without a few car wrecks along the way. In 2002 and 2003, his company was cited for more than 70 violations, which included oil spills and gas releases, according to the Santa Barbara News-Press newspaper. The country’s district attorney filed felony charges against Greka after an explosion near the asphalt refinery injured two workers. Greka settled for civil penalties of $200,000.

In November 2005, Greka Integrated lost its breach-of-contract lawsuit against a former safety manager, Gary Lowery. In June of this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined the company $127,500 for “unauthorized disposal of oil refinery wastewater into the facility’s injection wells, in violation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.” This Greka has paid out about $700,000 in settlements since Grewal took the company private. Life’s little annoyance become less problematic when one is selling oil for much more than $30/barrel. Especially when this same oil was profitable at $10/barrel.

Grewal Turns to China to Build His Fortune

Randeep Grewal’s came into the energy markets as chairman and chief executive of an oil and gas horizontal drilling company, Horizontal Ventures. During the energy bear market, Grewal cleverly began a series of mergers and acquiring oil and gas assets, which led to his first Greka Energy Corp. He knew where to find deals and deftly began assembling his energy empire. Horizontal drilling is integral to coalbed methane development, which brings Grewal back to where he started – as a gas drilling company.

Also along the way, two of Grewal’s companies have suffered bankruptcies. This past November, Saba Enterprises, formerly Greka Energy Corporation, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, after two creditors won judgments totaling $19.5 million. In its petition the company announced it had no assets. The total creditor shortfall could rise to more than $24 million. In 1999, another company of which Grewal was a director, Sabacol – a subsidiary of Saba Petroleum, was dissolved following the sale of its assets after working its way through Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Life is also filled with many second chances. This time, however, through Greka Energy (Hong Kong) and Green Dragon Gas (GDG), Grewal owns what might someday become a multi-billion dollar gas project. Smith & Williamson, Green Dragon’s IPO underwriter valued the company at $973 million, depending on its success in recovering GDG’s estimated methane gas in place and the wellhead price at time of delivery.

Until recently, coalbed methane was treated as a hazardous waste product which killed coal miners in tunnel explosions. In China, depending upon whose numbers you believe, between 4,000 and 6,000 coal miners die each year. At best, methane was an unwelcome byproduct of coal mining, which the Chinese vented into the atmosphere aggravating an already atrocious air pollution crisis.

When the Chinese began to realize CBM was providing a greater percentage of the U.S. gas production, they wanted to develop their own vast resources. After all, the Chinese are pragmatists. Why pay through the nose to import LNG, when you are throwing away all that methane? In 2004, coalbed methane accounted for 8 percent of U.S. gas production. That’s the same percentage number China mandated in its eleventh five-year plan for the role of gas in its energy mix. And as we’ve mentioned in previous articles, China has idled as much as 40 percent of its gas-fired plants because it could not obtain sufficient gas supplies.

Methane or C4, which is a more pure gas than conventional gas, is found within the carbon lattice of coal at a molecular level. The less “sweet” natural gas, which is found in more conventional fields, was generated by hydrocarbon source rocks and is trapped in a porous and permeable reservoir rock, such as carbonate reserve or sandstone. Water pressure holds coalbed methane in place, which required new drilling technology, to efficiently extract.

To extract coalbed methane, a company drills wells into the coal seam, and then perforates and fractures the coal seams. By increasing permeability through this process, water is able to be pumped out of the coal seam. During this de-watering process, pressure holding the gas in place is reduced. This pressure differential vents the gas through the fracture systems into the well. Voila! What had been killing coal miners and polluting China’s atmosphere could now be utilized to power gas-fired energy plants.

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