What is listeria and how to avoid it?

March 1st, 2018

What is Listeria?

Listeria infection, also known as Listeriosis, is a rare but potentially severe illness caused by bacteria that infect humans and other warm-blooded animals.

It is caught most commonly through contaminated food.

How do you get the listeria infection?

Listeria is found in a plethora of environments and food items including:

  • Dirty water, irrigation water, soil and fertiliser
  • Cold chicken, deli meat, and pre-packaged meats
  • Raw and cold seafood including smoked salmon
  • Ice cream and unpasteurised milk products
  • Soft cheeses such as camembert and brie
  • Fresh fruit and bagged vegetables
  • Pre-prepared salads
  • Soy products such as tofu and tempeh

Lisa Szabo, CEO of Food Authority NSW, told SBS News that listeria infections happen most frequently through the food we eat, especially pre-packaged items.

“The bacteria are found very widely in our environment,” she said. “It’s present in the soil and it can be present in water. It can also be present in animals, whether it’s pets, cattle or sheep. So it’s not unexpected that it does find its way into food.”

Infection can also occur through contact with animals and pests, and insufficient cleaning of contaminated fruit and unclean hands.

Who is most at risk?

Listeria is uncommon in people with robust immune systems. Those most at risk include; pregnant women, infants, the elderly, people weakened by chronic illness and those taking immunity-impairing medications. Blood or spinal fluid samples are necessary for doctors to diagnose infection.

Listeria is not normally transmitted between people, although a pregnant woman can pass it onto her unborn baby through the placenta. Transmission can result in stillbirth or premature birth.

What does listeria do to the body?

Ms Szabo said listeria commonly presents as flu-like symptoms but infected patients have also presented with pneumonia and heart valve infections.

“People can have aches, pains, fever and chills. Some people can get nausea, and sometimes people will get diarrhoea,” she said.

“In very extreme cases people can get septicaemia and meningitis, and unfortunately, some people do die as a result of the more extreme forms.”

How to avoid getting it?

To avoid Listeria infection, Ms Szabo emphasised that people need to maintain good hygiene standards and be especially careful when buying and consuming fresh produce.

“We’re saying to people, particularly those who fall into those high-risk groups, not to purchase melons that have been bruised or damaged. That might be giving an indication that maybe organisms on the outside of the food have gotten into the middle,” she said.

“We also want to enforce basic hygiene messages: washing your hands before and after handling food; and making sure your cutting boards, dishes, utensils and countertops are washed and clean.”

Food Authority NSW and the Food Safety Information Council list the following simple measures: 

  • Avoid items past their ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date
  • Refrigerate food items within two hours of slicing.
  • Cook foods thoroughly
  • Reheat food until it is steaming hot
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly and use within 24 hours, or freeze
  • Ready to eat food should never be stored in the fridge for too long


More than 70 cases of listeria were reported in 2017 and there have been 30 cases so far this year.

A listeria outbreak that resulted in the deaths of two people in New South Wales has sparked warnings from health authorities for Australians to throw out their rockmelons (also known as cantaloupe).

So far, ten elderly people across Australia have been diagnosed with listeria infection after eating rockmelons from the NSW Riverina region. The affected melons have been removed from sale.

How was the outbreak linked to rockmelons in Australia?

The latest Listeria outbreak has been linked to a rockmelon grower in the NSW town of Nericon, near Griffith, who volunteered to cease production last week after being notified of the outbreak.

Food Authority NSW has launched an investigation and CEO Lisa Szabo said her team is looking at a variety of contributing factors.

“It could be contaminated water, the type of fertilizer that was used, or that there was insufficient cleaning of the rockmelons prior to sale,” she said. “But if people are now seeing rockmelons on the shelves of supermarkets, they’re not rockmelons that have been implicated in this particular outbreak.”

Authorities have advised consumers to dispose of rockmelons in rubbish bins, not compost bins, if they are uncertain of the fruit’s origin.

Henry Sapiecha

Ten Herbs For Fibromyalgia

February 28th, 2018

Top 10 Herbs For Fibromyalgia
The body image shows the “the location of the nine paired tender points that comprise the 1990 American College of Rheumatology criteria for fibromyalgia.”
(source – wikipedia)
Herbs background pic © Jag_cz –

The challenge with fibromyalgia is that it is not only characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain but is also a syndrome that is accompanied by fatigue, sleeplessness, joint stiffness and even psychological conditions like depression and anxiety.

While the exact origin of this central nervous system disorder remains unknown, many clinical treatments involve therapeutic and pharmacologic interventions. However, these often have shortcomings. Therapies are usually ineffective with some clinical studies showing only short-term effectiveness or patients may have trouble complying with exercise based treatments. Pharmacological treatments on the other hand may pose extensive side effects. Which is why a 2011 survey reports that approximately 90% of arthritic patients employ alternative therapies like herbal medicines for common rheumatic conditions including fibromyalgia. Below are 10 herbal remedies regarded by many as beneficial for fibromyalgia.

10 Herbs for Fibromyalgia


With sleep difficulties and increasing anxiety frequently associated with fibromyalgia, the calming herb chamomile has been found to promote better sleep, reduce anxiety and even boost the immune system. [4] Scientists believe the dried flowers of chamomile contain terpenoids and flavonoids which contribute to its curative and preventive medicinal properties. [5] And because it is very mild, it is safe even for children and has a wide variety of applications aside from muscle spasm, rheumatic pain and fibromyalgia.



Like chamomile, valerian is also an herbal relaxant. When researchers in Germany studied whether bathing in water containing valerian oil have an effect on pain, sleeplessness and tender point count, out-patients with generalized fibromyalgia reported significant improvements in their well-being and sleep while tender point count also decreased significantly.

St. John’s Wort

While no specific study has claimed St. John’s Wort success in treating fibromyalgia, several researches have shown St. John’s Wort as more effective than placebo in treating depression that commonly accompanies fibromyalgia. Other sources show that this herb can be as effective as antidepressants like Prozac in alleviating mild depression – however claims of no side effects should be met with caution as St. John’s wort does have the potential for side effects and can can cause adverse reactions if combined with several prescription medications.

Ginko Biloba

In 2002, British scientists conducted an open, uncontrolled study to evaluate the effects of coenzyme 10 combined with Ginko biloba extract in volunteer subjects with clinically diagnosed fibromyalgia syndrome. After participants orally received 200 mg of Ginko extracts everyday for 84 days, improvement in quality of life was gradually observed throughout the duration of the study, with a significant difference noted compared when the study first began. This, together with only minor side effects, proves to be promising for more controlled studies in the future.


Red hot chili pepper isolated on white

Studies suggest cayenne to be a versatile herb targetting pain from anywhere in the head like migraine or tension headaches down to body muscle pain. Clinical trials using various topical preparations of cayenne found evidence of their effectiveness in reducing low back pain compared to a placebo.

Red Clover

Known for its ability to boost the immune system of the body as well as in providing ample amount of energy, red clover is considered as one of the best natural solutions to fibromyalgia. This herb is actually a good source of Vitamins B and C which normally lack in people diagnosed with fibromyalgia. [10]

When made into tea, red clover, together with dandelion and burdock root, aids in cleansing the bloodstream. It also helps in relieving different symptoms of fibromyalgia like poor mental function, intestinal issues, restless sleep, stiffness of the joints and joint pain. [11]


This potent herb has sometimes been included in natural treatments for fibromyalgia because of its ability to relieve common symptoms of fibromyalgia which include tension, nervousness, fatigue, sleep disturbances and anxiety.


Considered as one of the oldest herbs that aid in treating fibromyalgia, ginseng is a very potent herb that is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that help people suffering from this condition. It also helps in stimulating the body’s immune system against viral and bacterial infections.

Regular intake of ginseng actually helps in cleansing the body as well as in stimulating the proper functioning of the organs. It gradually eliminates the discomforts caused by fibromyalgia, and through time, all symptoms are relieved. Ginseng also works by restoring the energy lost during the attack of fibromyalgia.

Griffonia Simplicifolia

Though less commonly known, griffonia simplicifolia is a powerful herb that can be used in eliminating the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia. The herb actually contains high levels of 5- HTP which is considered as an effective natural pain killer. Griffonia Simplicifolia primarily functions by alleviating the pain associated with fibromyalgia. Also, its natural ability in bringing relaxation and calmness to the muscles to help deal with the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Kava kava

Well known for its ability to ward off anxiety and nervousness, kava kava is a very potent herb that can be used to treat several symptoms of fibromyalgia. It actually helps in relieving nervous tension that is associated with conditions characterized by muscle spasms, like fibromyalgia.

The use of kava kava is believed to be effective in reducing mental stress while enhancing mental capacities. It also relaxes striated muscles thereby permitting more blood to flow into the brain. In effect, patients are capable of  thinking clearly and properly.

Because no widely accepted cure for fibromyalgia exists, treatment is usually simply focused in relieving the symptoms. Consequently, the growing popularity of using alternative remedies like herbs especially by those who suffer chronic fibromyalgia necessitates further studies on their effectiveness and the mechanisms involved behind them.

Henry Sapiecha

Herbs For Fibromyalgia – References:


[2] Complementary and alternative therapies for fibromyalgia.

[3] Herbal medicine in the treatment of rheumatic diseases.


[5] Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future.

[6] Medicinal baths for treatment of generalized fibromyalgia.


[8] An open, pilot study to evaluate the potential benefits of coenzyme Q10 combined with Ginkgo biloba extract in fibromyalgia syndrome.

[9] Herbal medicine for low back pain: a Cochrane review.








Young boy has his seizures cured with cannabis oil-The family story here.

February 19th, 2018

This is Sam. He’s my son. His epilepsy caused him to have up to 100 seizures a day. After seven years we were out of options. Our last hope: an untested, unproven treatment. The only problem? It was illegal.

The hospital pharmacist slid three bottles of pills across the counter, gave my wife a form to sign, and reminded her that this was not the corner drugstore. The pharmacy knew how many pills had been dispensed, he said; it would know how many had been consumed; and it would expect her to return the unused pills before she left the country. The pharmacist made it clear that he was not only in touch with our doctor but with the company supplying the medication. They would know if she broke the rules. MORE

There are products here below that may help you

Henry Sapiecha

Man dies from extremely rare infectious disease. QLD Australia.

February 9th, 2018

A YOUNG Queensland man has died after contracting diphtheria. A highly contagious illness that rarely occurs in Australia.

The man, 27, from Cairns, was flown to the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane on January 24.

Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service confirmed on Thursday the man had died.

Diphtheria is caused by a bacterium, Corynebacterium diphtheriae. The actual disease is caused when the bacteria release a toxin, or poison, into a person’s body. Diphtheria bacteria live in the mouth, throat, and nose of an infected person and can be passed to other persons by coughing or sneezing.



Health officials last month were at a loss as to how the man contracted the contagious and potentially life-threatening illness.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said the man hadn’t done any recent international travel.

It is understood he wasn’t vaccinated against diphtheria, and health officials have stressed the importance of being immunised.

Qld Australia.Brisbane mothers line up to have their children immunised against diphtheria in 1941.

Diphtheria is a very contagious and potentially deadly infection caused by a toxin (poison) produced by bacteria.

There are four different types of diphtheria:

1…• Classical respiratory diphtheria

2…• Laryngeal diphtheria

3…• Nasal diphtheria and

4…• Cutaneous diphtheria (skin lesions).

It is not known what type the Queensland patient is suffering from.

Symptoms generally begin two to five days after exposure to the bacteria but at times can appear up to 10 days after exposure. Symptoms will depend on the type of diphtheria infection. Experts say symptoms range from sore throats and mucus, to ulcers on limbs. Diphtheria results primarily in swelling in the nose, throat and windpipe, which can cause breathing difficulties.

It is spread by direct contact with an infected person, or through contaminated objects. Some pics below

“Bull neck” appearance of diphtheritic cervical lymphadenopathy

10-year-old child unfortunately has severe diphtheria

This child has “bullneck diphtheria”

Pharyngeal diphtheria and membranes covering the tonsils and uvula

Diphtheria pneumonia (hemorrhagic) and bronchiolar membranes

A huge diphtheria skin lesion on the leg

Close-up image of a diphtheria skin lesion

Diphtheria skin lesion on a mans neck

 Indonesian child with diphtheria kept alive via a throat operation

Can diphtheria be treated?
Doctors achieve this by initially giving small doses of the antitoxin and then gradually increasing the dosage. Antibiotics. Diphtheria is also treated with antibiotics, such as penicillin or erythromycin. Antibiotics help kill bacteria in the body, clearing up infections.Dec 8, 2016

The Department of Health members urgently tried to find locals that may have come into contact with the man after he contracted the illness.

Henry Sapiecha


February 4th, 2018


Shona Leigh said she had second stage cervical cancer cured in eight months using oil supplied freely.


Henry Sapiecha



The Tropical Fruit Mangosteen has been found deadly to prostate, liver, colon, and pancreatic cancers as well as leukemia.

January 21st, 2018

Great news for mangosteen lovers and those following the quest to find novel anti-cancer medicines derived from plants! We just received this report from our friends over at The Eden Prescription: In a new study published in Molecular Cancer (an open-access, peer-reviewed journal) alpha-mangostin, a substance derived from mangosteen pericarp, was proven to kill up to 99% of human breast cancer cells in vitro.*

What was particularly interesting about this study was that the researchers gained a deeper understanding of the mechanism of action of the mangosteen-derived substance. Alpha-mangostin was reported to block Fatty Acid Synthase – which supposedly disrupts the cancer cells’ ability to make fatty acids – without which they die.

It appears that numerous cancer cell types require Fatty Acid Synthase for their survival, which may be the reason why mangostin has received much attention recently; it has also been found deadly also to prostate, liver, colon, and pancreatic cancers as well as leukemia.

Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is an amazing, delicious tropical fruit – one of my favorites in fact – and was originally native to Thailand. Don’t be fooled by the name, it does not look or taste like a mango. Mangosteen has a thick, pithy casing (pericarp) which is easily broken or cut open to reveal the white, fleshy part inside that is eaten. Mangosteen is also considered potentially valuable with weight loss, inflammation, heart disease and diabetes! However it is the pericarp that may have the strongest medicinal qualities. For centuries, people in Southeast Asia have used dried mangosteen pericarp as antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, antipyretic, analgesic, and as a treatment for rashes. [2]

Tests like the study mentioned are the first step in the development and study of new medicines. It’s a long way before we can say for certain that mangosteen will have a direct anti-cancer action in humans – and in this study the beneficial substance was in the pericarp (the pithy case). However there have now been several promising studies on mangosteen extracts – including a 2013 study in which alpha-mangostin significantly suppressed tumor growth and reduced lymph node metastasis in mammary cancer in mice; leading researchers to conclude that “Mangosteen extracts appear to, in fact, have chemopreventive qualities and might prove useful as adjunctive and/or complementary alternative treatments in human breast cancer.” [2]

Mangosteen pericarp is available in supplement form.

* “In vitro” (literally “in glass”) is a scientific term used to denote that the test was done on isolated cell cultures in laboratory glassware, as opposed to in living creatures (“In vivo”).

Henry Sapiecha

Video presentation by Jimmy Lin explains how this simple new blood test that can catch cancer early

January 19th, 2018

A simple new blood test that can catch cancer early | Jimmy Lin

Jimmy Lin is developing technologies to catch cancer months to years before current methods. He shares a breakthrough technique that looks for small signals of cancer’s presence via a simple blood test, detecting the recurrence of some forms of the disease 100 days earlier than traditional methods. It could be a light at the end of the tunnel in a fight where early detection makes all the difference. Check out more TED talks: The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading movers & shakers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global problems, the arts and much more.

Henry Sapiecha

What the parasites in a defector’s stomach tell us about North Korea being run by a parasite

November 20th, 2017

The North Korean defector had sped across the demilitarised zone in a stolen Jeep, then crawled south as the men who had been his comrades moments ago shot at him with handguns and AK-47 rifles.

South Korean soldiers found the defector under a pile of leaves, bleeding from at least five gunshot wounds.

He was brought to doctors, who expected to find the soldier in bad shape. But what they also found when they opened him up gave the world a glimpse into just how bad things are in North Korea.

Doctors repairing the unidentified soldier’s digestive tract found dozens of parasites in his intestines. One of the suspected roundworms was nearly a foot long.

“I spent more than 20 years of experience as a surgeon, but I have not found parasites this big in the intestines of South Koreans,” Lee Cook-jong, who leads the team treating the soldier, told the Associated Press.

Authorities have not released the name or rank of the defecting soldier. He has spent his first days in South Korea unconscious, sedated and relying on a breathing machine to stay alive.

But the worms taken from his intestines with tweezers tell a story of the humanitarian and health crisis gripping North Korea even as it expends significant resources in its effort to become a global nuclear power.

Other public spending priorities in North Korea have suffered, as leader Kim Jong Un has built and tested his nuclear arsenal while also trading radioactive barbs with Western leaders.

A Newsweek headline put it more succinctly – and brutally: “North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is starving his people to pay for nuclear weapons.”

According to a report by the United Nations, two of every five people in North Korea are undernourished. Seventy per cent of people require food assistance to survive, including 1.3 million children below the age of five.

And the food they have access to can sicken or kill them. According to The New York Times, many North Koreans who have defected to South Korea have shown up infected with parasites.

That’s partially because North Korea lacks chemical fertiliser, and many farmers rely on human excrement to fertilise fields. As a fertiliser, “night soil” is free and abundant.

But it’s notorious for transmitting parasites like the ones inside the North Korean defector’s stomach.

In a 2014 study, South Korean doctors checked a sample of 17 female defectors from North Korea and found seven of them infected with parasitic worms, according to the BBC. They also had higher rates of other diseases, including hepatitis B and tuberculosis.

Finding worms inside a soldier who once guarded one of the most scrutinised borders in the world is especially telling, a sign that North Korea’s food woes affect military members, who typically have a higher ranking on the food-rationing list. There are even reports that North Korean soldiers have been ordered to steal corn from farmers to stave off hunger.

The soldier’s vital signs were stabilising this weekend, the AP reported, but it was still unclear whether he would recover or wake up.

Until then, the parasites taken from his body were the only things telling a story, as Peter Preiser of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University told the BBC.

“What they all do is take nutrients away from your body,” the professor told the BBC. “So (even) if most of them might go unnoticed, they all indicate a poor health status.

“To put it simply: People who have parasites are not healthy.”

The Washington Post

Henry Sapiecha


Finger cut leaves Australian dad fighting for life with flesh-eating bacteria

November 19th, 2017

An Australian father remains in hospital with a potentially deadly flesh-eating bacteria after cutting his finger at work.

What started as a small cut has left a Victorian dad fighting for life with a flesh-eating bacteria, his family says.

Two weeks ago, Jeff Beck thought he had the flu. A day later, he was undergoing emergency surgery and doctors discovered he had necrotising fasciitis.

Health experts believe the potentially deadly flesh-eating bacteria is caused by microscopic bugs commonly found on the body.

It gets under the skin through open wounds or small cuts before destroying fat and muscle.

“This was caused simply from a small cut on his finger which he did at work – something that happens almost daily when you are doing physical labour,” Mr Beck’s daughter Stephanie wrote on a GoFundMe page.

“Jeff has so far had a quarter of his torso removed to cut out the dead tissue.

“They are now giving him hyperbaric chamber treatments twice a day to help stop the infection spreading and to also treat his large open wound.”

Mr Beck was placed in an induced coma and underwent multiple surgeries but was improving by the day at Melbourne’s The Alfred Hospital , Stephanie said.

“I went and sat with Dad last night and he could respond to my questions by blinking,” she wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.

“He would obviously be very scared and confused waking up as he will have no idea what has happened to him – the last time he was awake he thought he just had the flu.

“Nurses say he is absolutely smashing it.”

Mr Beck’s family, from Moe, are hoping to raise money for treatment and accommodation costs.

Henry Sapiecha

Turmeric could Be The World’s Most Important Herb.600 reasons why.PLEASE SHARE.

November 14th, 2017

This article was supplied by

We found a simply astonishing page all about Turmeric and had to share! I honestly think it is one of the best pages about a herb I have ever seen (and I’ve seen a fair number!) The link is after our commentary.

There are several things that are amazing about the page we discovered. First – of course – the fact that there is scientific research to support the notion that turmeric may be beneficial for a staggering 600+ conditions. It is one of the world’s most studied items for medicinal potential, with over 4000 scientific studies being recorded overall.

Then there is the fact that the mighty turmeric has been in use for over 6000 years, with an incredible safety record. Note also, the effects of turmeric have been found by scientists to be greatly enhanced when it is taken in combination with black pepper (see our report here – Substance In Black Pepper Increases Bioavailability Of Beneficial Turmeric Compounds by 2000% )

Even more amazing is the way the article weaves a crystal-clear narrative that exposes the farce behind the fact that the modern medical world will perhaps never approve turmeric “officially” for medical use. It explains clearly that “proof” is effectively only purchased by those with very deep pockets (802 million dollars on average is the cost for obtaining a new drug approval). [1] The situation is a complete joke. Turmeric is clearly and obviously one of the most benign and beneficial things in the known universe.

But most amazing of all, to me, was the comment from the man who states calmly that he is one of the world’s longest survivors of the kidney transplant operation (34 years since the op, the world record is 40 years) and he takes capsules of turmeric (and other herbs) daily. Truly inspiring stuff.

The original article is fantastic, electrifying even – and we encourage you to share this article  far and wide. Here’s the link:

Henry Sapiecha