Saturday, April 28, 2012

Amazon Tax Bill Passes State Assembly

Note: Like California doesn't have enough regulations. Can't get a Berkey Water Filter in this state, but we could be taxed if we have a small on-line business in this New Economy! 

The state of California could collect more than $1 billion a year by taxing Amazon and other online retailers if a bill approved by the Assembly becomes law.

Assemblyman Charles Calderon, a Democrat from Whittier, says his legislation doesn't impose a new sales tax, but extends one that California should already have been enforcing.

AB155 passed, 47-16, with the support of one GOP lawmaker Tuesday. It now heads to the Senate.
Other Republicans rejected the bill because they said it would invite lawsuits, drive business out of California, and get the state entangled in the messy task of regulating the Internet.

The measure extends the sales tax to online companies that have a presence in the state, including those that work with sister companies with offices in California.

7 medicinal herbs and spices that help lower blood pressure

High blood pressure is an epidemic that is currently sweeping across America. The fast lifestyle of fast food, soda and stress is starting to catch up on the average American, so much so that an estimated one in every three Americans has high blood pressure. This puts them at risk of heart disease, stroke and even kidney disease. Moreover, this condition is costing the country 93.5 billion dollars in health care services.

Putting too much faith in the medical establishment to find a cure for your high blood pressure may no longer be advisable in the least. The number of prescription drugs on the market and the cascade of variations suggest that a cure for blood pressure is not in the offing anytime soon.

Despite all the consequences associated with high blood pressure, it is still a condition that is preventable and easily managed. Observing a healthy balanced diet and enjoying an active, healthy lifestyle can help avoid the risk of high blood pressure as well as reduce one that is already elevated.

High blood pressure - A package of woe

There is no one identifiable cause for high blood pressure. A combination of factors like stress, alcohol, smoking, weight and lack of physical activity seem to have to come together to produce this problem, which is further compounded by family history and age.

Although it is a condition that if left unattended could gravitate to something worse, high blood pressure is not a disease. Taking proactive measures in preventing heart diseases, stroke and even kidney disease by managing your blood pressure may be the best decision you can make today.

While the idea of drug-free high blood pressure management through the use of herbs and spices has slowly been gaining ground, it is still treated with skepticism by the medical establishment. The reliance on prescription drugs, however, has not in any way shown that high blood pressure could be cured through this manner. There are still reports by patients who are currently using drugs to manage their high blood pressure that their condition has not shown any improvement, nor their quality of life. Instead, they have to deal with side effects and drugs that are expensive to maintain.

Spice up your life

In a published study featured in the Journal of Medicine, it was revealed that common spices can protect from heart disease and the deterioration brought about by aging. In the said study, researchers discovered a connection between the phenol content of certain herbs and spices and their capacity to prevent glycation and formation of AGE compounds that are responsible for premature aging and heart disease.

As a way to manage your blood pressure, herbs and spices are a fantastic way to increase the medicinal value of your food. Below are some herbs and spices you may have been enjoying with no idea as to their value:

1. Garlic - Garlic contains allicin, a substance which has antibacterial, antioxidant, lipid lowering and anti-hypertension properties. In a pilot study made at Clinical Research Center of New Orleans on whether garlic could lower blood pressure, nine patients with severe hypertension were given a garlic preparation containing 1.3 % allicin. Sitting blood pressure fell with a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure only five to 14 hours after the dose. Moreover, it was proven in a 2009 study that fresh garlic has more potent cardio-protective properties than processed garlic.

2. Cinnamon - Cinnamon not only prevents heart disease, it can also prevent diabetes. The Center for Applied Health Sciences in Ohio conducted a study of 22 subjects, half of which were given a 250mg of water soluble cinnamon daily while the other half were given placebo. It was discovered that those who drank cinnamon had a 13 to 23 percent increase in antioxidants connected with lowering blood sugar levels.

3. Onions - Onions contain quercetin, an antioxidant flavonol found to prevent heart disease and stroke. In a research study published in the Journal of Nutrition, subjects with hypertension experienced a decrease in their blood pressure by 7mmHg systolic and 5 mmHg diastolic as opposed to those who were taking placebo.

4. Olives - This herb is a significant part of the Mediterranean diet, recognized to be one of the healthiest in the world. Oil made from olives has been found to reduce blood pressure. In a study conducted on the importance of olive oil, Dr. L. Aldo Ferrara, Associate Professor at the Frederico II University of Naples in Italy discovered that the daily use of 40 grams of olive oil reduced the dosage of blood pressure medication in hypertensive patients by about 50 percent. Polyphenols in extra-virgin olive oil was credited for the significant reduction of blood pressure.

5. Oregano - This herb contains the compound carvacrol which has been proven to be effective against blood pressure. In a study conducted on animal subjects, by researchers from Eskisehir Osmangazi University in Turkey, carvacrol was found to reduce heart rate, mean arterial pressure as well as the systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

6. Hawthorn - This herb has been traditionally used to treat high blood pressure. In one study conducted in Reading, UK, 79 type-2 diabetic patients were randomized to receive 1200 mg of hawthorn extract while another group received medication for high blood pressure. Results revealed that patients taking hawthorn by the end of the 16th week showed a reduction in their mean diastolic pressure.

7. Cardamom- In one study published in the Indian Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 20 subjects newly diagnosed with primary hypertension were administered 3 g of cardamom powder. After the end of the 3 months, all the subjects experienced feelings of well-being without any side effects. Moreover, the study was able to demonstrate that blood pressure was effectively reduced. It also improved antioxidant status while breaking down blood clots without significantly altering blood lipids and fibrinogen levels.

Taking advantage of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of spices and herbs is an excellent way to boost your body's health. Herbs have low calorie content, increase the medicinal value of your food and allow you to use natural forms of lowering blood pressure. Mix them up with your soups, salads, fish and meat and vegetable dishes. It's a healthier and cheaper alternative to keeping bottles of prescription drugs and synthetic supplements.

Sources for this article:
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbp/
http://www.naturalnews.com/033656_blood_pressure_treatments.html
http://orlandobchealth.com/the-blood-pressure-hoax/
http://www.allicinfacts.com/allicin01.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8361870
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19722587
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20361714


Another Reason Why I Choose To Not Drink Soda...

* Note, when I came across this article I couldn't believe that human tissue could be used for a soft drink?!? Warning sensitive subject matter.

 The Obama Administration has given its blessing to PepsiCo to continue utilizing the services of a company that produces flavor chemicals for the beverage giant using aborted human fetal tissue. LifeSiteNews.com reports that the Obama Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided that PepsiCo's arrangement with San Diego, Cal.-based Senomyx, which produces flavor enhancing chemicals for Pepsi using human embryonic kidney tissue, simply constitutes "ordinary business operations."

The issue began in 2011 when the non-profit group Children of God for Life (CGL) first broke the news about Pepsi's alliance with Senomyx, which led to massive outcry and a worldwide boycott of Pepsi products. At that time, it was revealed that Pepsi had many other options at its disposal to produce flavor chemicals, which is what its competitors do, but had instead chosen to continue using aborted fetal cells -- or as Senomyx deceptively puts it, "isolated human taste receptors" (http://www.naturalnews.com).

A few months later, Pepsi' shareholders filed a resolution petitioning the company to "adopt a corporate policy that recognizes human rights and employs ethical standards which do not involve using the remains of aborted human beings in both private and collaborative research and development agreements." But the Obama Administration shut down this 36-page proposal, deciding instead that Pepsi's used of aborted babies to flavor its beverage products is just business as usual, and not a significant concern.

"We're not talking about what kind of pencils PepsiCo wants to use -- we are talking about exploiting the remains of an aborted child for profit," said Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director of CGL, concerning the SEC decision. "Using human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) to produce flavor enhancers for their beverages is a far cry from routine operations!"

To be clear, the aborted fetal tissue used to make Pepsi's flavor chemicals does not end up in the final product sold to customers, according to reports -- it is used, instead, to evaluate how actual human taste receptors respond to these chemical flavorings. But the fact that Pepsi uses them at all when viable, non-human alternatives are available illustrates the company's blatant disregard for ethical and moral concerns in the matter.

Back in January, Oklahoma Senator Ralph Shortey proposed legislation to ban the production of aborted fetal cell-derived flavor chemicals in his home state. If passed, S.B. 1418 would also reportedly ban the sale of any products that contain flavor chemicals derived from human fetal tissue, which includes Pepsi products as well as products produced by Kraft and Nestle (http://www.naturalnews.com).

Sources for this article include:

http://www.lifesitenews.com

Killing ants naturally with ant exterminators from your pantry, garden and fridge

It's springtime and along with May flowers come infestations of every kind of ant, taking over house and yard. Many ants bite, and most are unwelcome visitors that are difficult to exterminate, such as carpenter and fire ants. How to get rid of ants without using toxic poisons around your home and garden? Natural ant control combines several natural products from your pantry and feed stores to create homemade ant exterminators. You must be persistent in your efforts to exterminate ants, so be prepared to apply treatments on a regular basis throughout the season.

Natural ant exterminator products

1. Mix dry active baker's yeast with an equal amount of honey or molasses. Add a little water to moisten but the mixture should be more of a paste rather than liquid. Spread small amounts of the paste on two inch square pieces of cardboard and place throughout the house where pets and kids can't reach. This natural ant exterminator is a good one to leave out all summer and takes about two weeks to work on its own.

2. Another excellent natural ant control method consists of a mixture of 1/3 cup white vinegar, 2/3 cup water, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of dish soap. Combine in a spray bottle and apply to places with ant infestations, both inside and out. Expect to repeat the application weekly. Use this method with other natural ant control methods.

3. Grow some fresh catnip and sprinkle around ant hills and on pathways to the house. Ants seem to dislike catnip and will avoid it.

4. Repel ants with ground cinnamon for an aromatic natural ant control. Sprinkle the spice on the ground across doorways or on the outside of window sills where ants enter. Ants will not cross the spice barrier.

5. Apply food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) to ant hills as a natural exterminator. DE is a safe for pets and children and works well as an ant control method. DE is also effective for killing fleas, ticks, chiggers and other crawling insects in the house and garden. Buy DE from feed stores, gardening centers and online.

6. Scatter fresh spearmint leaves along the ground around the perimeter of the house as an ant repellent -- they hate it and will not cross the line.

7. Make an ant killer juice by combining one tablespoon of boric acid powder with one cup sugar and enough water to make a runny syrup. Allow the dry ingredients to fully dissolve. Pour the mixture into a squirt bottle, like an old ketchup or mustard container with a long applicator tip. Squeeze a drop or two of the liquid on small pieces of cardboard and place strategically around the house away from pets and children. The ants will at first be drawn to eat the syrup. They'll take it back to the queen and it will kill the entire nest. Use the liquid outside in hot spots as long as it's not accessible to pets. This is a highly effective method for killing all types of ants, including fire ants. Squirt some right down the hole of the ant hill and watch it disappear overnight.

The best approach for natural ant control is by using a combination of the above methods.

Sources for this article include:

WikiHow: How to Kill Ants Without Pesticides
http://www.wikihow.com/Kill-Ants-Without-Pesticides

TheFrugalLife.com : Getting Rid of Ants
http://www.thefrugallife.com/ants.html

Ehow.com: How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally
http://www.ehow.com/how_3791_rid-ants-naturally.html

About the author:
JB Bardot is trained in herbal medicine and homeopathy, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle. You can find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001364941208&ref=tn_tnmn or on Twitter at jbbardot23