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Your body sends you signals about your health in lots of different ways. Each symptom can mean something a little different. One major indicator of problems can be found in your nasal mucous. Or snot, if you prefer.

Snot is a gooey substance that lines your mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and even your gastrointestinal tract. It really is a multi-purpose substance! The Cleveland Clinic has come out with a helpful and insightful infographic about what the shade of your mucous indicates about your health. If there’s anything to be concerned about, go see your family doctor.


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When I was a kid, and it really wasn’t that long ago, my parents were totally up for letting me play in the dirt. It was an every day thing. These days, I watch everything-phobic parents of my generation keep their kids out of the sun, out of the dirt, and inside where it’s “safe.” But it turns out, that may not actually be good for them – or anyone for that matter.

According to an article published by Mary Ruebush, PhD, Why Dirt is Good: 5 Ways to Make Germs Your Friendskids are naturally attracted to playing in the dirt. It’s an evolutionary trait that boosts our immune systems and makes us less susceptible to catching, and dying, of various diseases.

“What a child is doing when he puts things in his mouth is allowing his immune response to explore his environment.” writes Ruebush. “Not only does this allow for ‘practice’ of immune responses, which will be necessary for protection, but it also plays a critical role in teaching the immature immune response what is best ignored.”

And it’s not just some random person saying it. Science backs it up. In a 2012 study, researchers were able to demonstrate what lack of exposure to microbes does to the immune system later in life. They found that early exposure to dirt and bugs helped immune cells later in life, and that there was actually a disruption of the natural bacterial flora in the body that led to hyperactivity in T cells and may contribute to asthma.

The most incredible finding though is that if children are denied access to these microbes, it can’t be fixed later on in life.

Of course, don’t overdo it! If you have kids, don’t make them eat dirt or anything. Just let them do what they do.

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Last weekend, 45,000 people from all over Ecuador came together to set the world record for a single day of reforestation efforts.

More and more, we’re hearing some sad truths about our world. Deforestation is a huge problem; more than half of the planet’s original growth forest is gone. To strike back at this and make waves doing it, Ecuador set out to set the world record for reforestation in a single day.

“Ecuador broke a world record for reforestation Saturday, as thousands of people pitched in to plant 647,250 trees of more than 200 species.” said Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa.

They planted 220 different kinds of trees over 5,000 acres of land. Ecuador is well on its way to conserve and restore more land than has been lost so far. The entire country shares the government’s vision.

Since 2008, deforestation has been halved, which is a significant step toward reducing carbon emissions, sequestering existing carbon, and preventing climate change. Trees also clean the air, making it less of a health hazard for people.

Ecuador also holds the world record for most plastic bottles recycled in a week. Awesome!

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According to a leading Danish scientist, drugs used to treat psychiatric disorders in the west may be responsible for the deaths of half a million people over the age of 65.

“Given their lack of benefit, I estimate we could stop almost all psychotropic drugs without causing harm – by dropping all antidepressants, ADHD drugs and dementia drugs … and using only a fraction of the antipsychotics and benzodiazepines we currently use. This would lead to healthier and more long-lived populations.” says Professor Peter Gøtzsche, the Research director at Denmark’s Nordic Cochrane Centre.

His research was published in the British Medical Journal and is likely to stir some serious controversy, but his concerns aren’t exactly unfounded.

Under-reporting of deaths in industry funded trials is another major flaw. Based on some of the randomized trials that were included in a meta-analysis of 100,000 patients by the US Food and Drug Administration, I have estimated that there are likely to have been 15 times more suicides among people taking antidepressants than reported by the FDA—for example, there were 14 suicides in 9,956 patients in trials with fluoxetine and paroxetine, whereas the FDA had only five suicides in 52,960 patients, partly because the FDA only included events up to 24 hours after patients stopped taking the drug.” Gøtzsche says in his research.

An additional study of patients around 55 years old found benzodiazepines and similar drugs resulted in a death rate twice as high. But sadly, the reality of living without these drugs can be scary to people who have been prescribed them.

“We need new guidelines to reflect this,” writes Gøtzsche. “We also need widespread withdrawal clinics because many patients have become dependent on psychiatric drugs, including antidepressants and need help so that they can stop taking them slowly and safely.”

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If you’re smoking a cigarette right now, I have good news for you: if you don’t ever pick one up again, your body will go through amazing transformations within minutes of finishing your last one.

  • 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your blood pressure and pulse will lower and return to normal. The temperature in your hands and feet increase.
  • After 12 hours, the carbon monoxide level in your blood will lower and return to normal. Blood oxygen begins to increase. You’ll feel more alert, sleep better, and be stronger.
  • After 24 hours, your risk of heart attack drops significantly.
  • After 48 hours, nerve endings begin to regrow and your sense of smell and taste will return.
  • After about 3 months, your circulation will improve, walking will be easier, and you’ll cough less. Lung function will be markedly improved.
  • Between 1 and 9 months, you’ll have less sinus congestion, fatigue, and nearly no shortness of breath.
  • After 1 year, your risk of coronary heart disease is half of what it was when you smoked.
  • After 5-15 years, your risk of stroke returns to normal, as if you never smoked at all.
  • At the 10 year mark, your chance of developing smoking-related cancer is about the same as a non-smoker. Diet and smoking contribute to 60% of cancers.
  • After 15 years, your risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack is that of a non-smoker. Your risk of death has dropped to that of a non-smoker.

You’ll also save a ton of money by not smoking too. Who wouldn’t want that?

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Ann Cameron, an author of many children’s books, was devastated when she found out that she had colon cancer. In June of 2012, she entered the third phase of her cancer. It was especially terrifying because her husband passed away from lung cancer in 2005 after receiving chemotherapy. She opted not to take the same path.

“I was exposed to operation for colon cancer in June 2012, and then I denied chemotherapy healing. I was feeling well, however after six months the cancer was spread to the lungs and entered the fourth phase,” she said.

She found a story about a man diagnosed with skin cancer who effectively cured it by consuming about two and a half kilograms of carrot juice every day. She thought it was worth a try and gave it a whirl.

The results?

Eight weeks later, her tumors had stopped spreading. Her tumor and lymph glands began to shrink.

Four months later, her tissues were back to normal and her tumors were continuing their withdrawal.

Eight months later, the registered tomograpy examination indicated the cancer was completely gone.

It’s something of a mystery why carrots did the trick. They’re known to be rich in anticancer properties and contain carotene, which in some has been found to prevent tumors from growing. She wrote about her experiences in a book called Curing Cancer with Carrots.

The takeaway? If you find yourself diagnosed with cancer, keep an open mind. What works for one may not work for everyone, but natural cures like this are worth pursuing.

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1. Stress relief.

Sex is a great stress reliever. Sex makes your body produce dopamine, endorphins, and other “feel good” hormones.

2. Exercise.

Sex is on par with most other types of exercises. Having sex three times a week for 15 minutes for an entire year is the same as jogging 75 miles.

3. Lowers high blood pressure.

Both hugs and sex lower high blood pressure. Sex is able to reduce diastolic blood pressure.

4. It boosts your immune system.

Immunoglobin A is an antigen that fights off bugs, and it’s increased when your frequency of sex increases.

5. You’ll look younger.

Having sex three times a week can make you look up to ten years younger, according to a study on the effects of sex published in Secrets of the Superyoung.

6. Your heart will be stronger.

All that exercise from having sex improves your cardiovascular health and makes your heart stronger. You’ll be about 45% less likely to experience cardiovascular disease with frequent sex.

7. Pain relief.

Dr. George E. Elrich is an arthritis specialist from Philadelphia. He conducted a study on the link between arthritis and sex and found that those who had sex more often experienced less pain.

8. Lowered risk of cancer.

Routine ejaculation reduces your risk of prostate cancer. An Australian study found that men who ejaculated 21 times a month were less likely to develop prostate cancer.

9. Better sleep.

After a romp in the hay, much like exercise, the increased heart rate leads to relaxation afterward. This makes it ideal for insomniacs. Sex helps you sleep!

10. Regular periods.

Sex helps regulate hormones in women which makes the menstrual cycle a bit more routine. Stress is one of the biggest reasons women miss periods too.

11. No erectile dysfunction.

Half of men older than 40 suffer from erectile dysfunction of some kind. The best medicine is…sex! Erections help keep the blood flowering correctly.

12. You’ll live longer.

Summing it all up, less stress, a stronger heart, increased circulation of oxygen and happiness are all factors that help you live longer!

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I don’t know about you, but I don’t especially want to start my day by rubbing rat crap all over my face. Unfortunately, according to a press release issued by the London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, cheap knockoffs of common cosmetics are manufactured illegally and may contain unsanitary ingredients.

According to their lab tests, knockoff perfumes contained both human urine and cyanide. Cosmetic products applied to the face were found to contain traces of arsenic, mercury and led. Even rat waste was occasionally found in these products.

There are real dangers to makeup tools as well. Fake styling tools are actually liable to overheat and burn the person using them. Today there is a $139 million a year counterfeit cosmetic industry, but there’s a legal effort to put an end to it in the United Kingdom. Ending it has been difficult because fakes are harder to spot if you’re not paying attention or buying online.

Police are warning that if you look closer, you can spot a fake. Grammatical errors on the website you’re buying from or the product itself is a dead giveaway. Before you purchase cosmetics online, the FBI recommends doing a price check of the item against other online retailers. If the price is roughly the same, you’re likely safe.

Be careful with your purchases, especially online!

Image credit: Dee ♥, Flickr

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It’s probably never crossed your mind. When you use the restroom, you use it the way your parents taught you, their parents taught them, and so on. It really is what unites us all. But could you be pooping the wrong way?

Some scientists at the Stanford University Pelvic Floor think that we’re more designed for squatting than sitting. When you look at very old toilets, you start to see it making sense. Some studies have even tied incorrect pooping to cancer, appendicitis, hernias and other intestinal issues.

In 2003, a group of scientists asked 28 participants to poop in 3 different positions: sitting on a high toilet, a low toilet, and squatting. They found that elimination was easier when the participants squatted. How fun of a study must that have been to participate in?

Here’s the skinny on how we ought to be pooping:

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We don’t generally encourage the purchase of bottled water. Manufacturing the bottles is awful for the environment (and we think the environment is awesome!) and the water is usually just tap water from wherever it was bottled. Often times, bottled water companies steal water in mass quantities from arid communities that live in drought. That’s no fun. That said, I do always keep a pack of bottled water in my car. You never know when you might be stranded somewhere and a little water could mean the difference between life and death. But when I’m stocking my emergency water supply, I check the label on the bottom of the bottles.


The letters you see in the recycle symbol, like PP and HDP, can tell you a lot about the plastic itself. This is what you need to know:

If the label says PET or PETE, the plastic bottles may have leaked metals and chemicals into the water that impact hormonal balance in your body.

If the label says HDP or HDPE, your water is likely the safest out of any type of plastic. it’s the least likely to leak harmful substances into your water.

If the label says 3V or PVC, don’t drink it. They release toxic chemicals that impact your hormonal balance.

If the label says LDPE, that’s weird, because LDPE is only used to make plastic bags.

If the label says PS, the plastic can leak carcinogenic substances. It’s usually used when producing coffee cups and fast food casings. Also known as Styrofoam.

If the label says PC or is simple not labeled at all, it’s likely to contain BPA, an endocrine disruptor. This is most common in sports water bottles and some food containers.