Homemade Ant Bait — Less Toxic and More Effective


By Dr. Mercola The tiny ant is a unique marvel of nature. However, after invading your home, you may not find ants so fascinating. It has become convenient to run to the local hardware store for bug killer to rid your home of the pests, but you may be swapping one problem for another, more toxic, one. Your next option may be to reach for the nontoxic, green product advertised as safe for home and family. Unfortunately, finding a safer option may not be as straightforward as it seems since you can’t judge a book by its cover. Some of these “green” options may not be as harmless as advertised. Thankfully, there are truly safe options to rid your home of these insects and most of the necessary items can be found at your local grocery or health food store. In order to understand how the products should work, it helps to understand how the ant functions. The Mighty Ant In the short video above, you’ll discover five interesting facts about ants that may help you understand how to ke
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Documentary Investigates the Causes and Ramifications of Stress-Related Burnout


By Dr. Mercola Unless kept in check, stress can wreak absolute havoc on your life, undercutting your health and depressing your very will to live. Around the world, “burnout” is becoming an increasingly pervasive problem, affecting people from all walks of life. Being successful per se will not insulate you from burnout. On the contrary, it may actually raise your risk. “The Day I Snapped” is a mental health documentary featuring five professionals who walked into the proverbial wall one day, “suddenly” unable to cope any longer. However, as noted in the film, while the crisis may appear sudden, that moment when a person “snaps” is really the culmination of an untenable situation that has been going on for a long time. Why the Modern Workplace Promotes Burnout The five individuals in the film suffered burnout due to work-related stress, which is the most typical scenario. But what is it about the modern workplace that pressures people beyond their limits? Key factors highlighted in th
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How to Grow Basil


By Dr. Mercola Savory green pesto sauce, tomato and mozzarella salad, nearly any egg dish, wild-caught Alaskan salmon — these and many more meal options take on a fresh tweak of flavor when basil is part of the equation. If you’ve ever headed for the produce section of your grocery store to pick up a small package of basil, though, you know how expensive it can be. Growing your own is super easy, even if all you have in the way of a garden spot is a balcony, deck or patio. Basil (ocimum basilicum, a member of the mint family) grows beautifully in pots or in your backyard garden, offering a pretty pop of greenery that you can snip off and pop into any number of delicious recipes. Gardener’s World features a video clip of horticulturalist Monty Don, who says no other herb goes quite as well with tomatoes as basil, as the basil cuts through the acidity of the tomato to create a perfect flavor balance. Further, tomatoes and basil share the same growing standards and conditions: “It’s wo
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Malabar Spinach — An Easy-Grow Summer Green That Loves the Heat


By Dr. Mercola Malabar spinach 1,2,3,4 is an interesting alternative to regular spinach. It grows like a perennial jungle vine, and thrives in the summer heat when most other greens tend to turn bitter and dry, easily reaching heights of 10 to 35 feet in a season. Trained on a trellis, with frequent pruning, you can turn it into a decorative edible hedge. Also known under the names Indian, creeping, Asian, Vietnamese, Surinam, Ceylonese and Chinese spinach, Malabar spinach comes in two varieties:5 Basella rubra, which has purple-red vines and pink flowers Basella alba, which has white to pale green stems and white flowers Characteristics The red variety is more visually dramatic, but other than that, it grows and tastes nearly identical to its white counterpart. Full-grown leaves are about the size of your palm, with a slight crunchiness and a hint of lemon-pepper flavor that take on a more characteristic spinach flavor when cooked, although it’s less bitter than regular spinach, th
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Too Many Children Taking Melatonin


By Dr. Mercola Melatonin is an important hormone produced by your body’s pineal gland. One of its primary roles is regulating your body’s circadian rhythm. When it gets dark, your brain starts secreting melatonin (typically around 9 or 10 p.m.), which makes you sleepy. Levels typically stay elevated for about 12 hours, then, as the sun rises, your pineal gland reduces your production, and the levels in your blood decrease until they’re hardly measurable at all. When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, such as from shift work, jet lag or nighttime light exposure, your body produces less melatonin. It’s these instances when supplementing with small amounts of melatonin can be most useful, as it may help to reset your internal clock.1 However, a growing number of children are reportedly now taking the supplement to help them sleep, which could be associated with long-term risks. Melatonin May Help Children With Certain Sleep Disorders If your child has a unique medical need that makes
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Jump-Start Your Health With Lemon Eucalyptus Oil


Lemon eucalyptus oil, the common name for one of the natural oils obtained from the lemon-scented gum eucalyptus plant, has gained popularity as an insect repellant. This use is important when you consider the dangers of DEET and other toxic solutions and want to steer clear of them. Learn more about the benefits, composition and proper therapeutic and practical applications of this plant oil. What Is Lemon Eucalyptus Oil? Lemon eucalyptus oil is extracted from the leaves and twigs of the lemon-scented gum eucalyptus plant, also known as Eucalyptus citriodora or Corymbia citriodora. The lemon eucalyptus is a tall tree that grows up to 50 meters (164 feet) tall and comes from the temperate and tropical northeastern Australia.1 Its name is derived from the Latin term citriodorus meaning “lemon-scented,” and is in demand for structural timber and for honey production. It is also popular in horticulture both in and outside of Australia. The oil — particularly p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD),
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Probiotics Help Reduce Symptoms of Depression


By Dr. Mercola When it comes to mental health, most assume the brain is in charge. In reality, your gut may be calling the shots. Interestingly enough, in the 1800s and early 1900s, it was thought that waste in your colon could produce infections that lead to depression. As it turns out, they weren’t too far off the mark. Scientific advances now suggest your state of mind is influenced, if not largely directed, by the microflora in your gut, and probiotics (beneficial bacteria) are being thought of as “the new antidepressants.” However, while it may be tempting to trade one pill for another, I urge you to consider taking a more comprehensive approach. Taking a probiotic supplement may be helpful, but if you’re still eating the same junk as before, it’s not likely to make a significant difference. The key, really, is to eat a healthy diet. Limiting or eliminating sugar is absolutely essential, as adding healthy fats will provide your brain with much-needed fuel, while fermented foods w
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How Misuse of a Single Paragraph Ended Up Killing 60,000 Americans Per Year


By Dr. Mercola Opioid addiction is at an all-time high in the U.S., and according to many addiction specialists, pain and hopelessness are primary drivers of this burgeoning crisis.1 Limiting the availability of opioids and making overdose-reversal drugs and treatment for drug addiction more readily available are part of the answer. But it’s not enough. We have to take a much deeper look at the root of the problem. What is causing all this physical pain and emotional distress in the first place? Clearly, the U.S. health care system is grossly ineffective when it comes to addressing chronic health problems. Whether pain is promoting hopelessness or the other way around is difficult to ascertain, but the two appear to be closely intertwined and need to be addressed together. Somehow or another, we need to refocus our efforts to create lives worth living, and improve access to and information about basic disease prevention, which begins with diet and basic lifestyle choices — the kin
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The Heroes Who Sunk Lead


By Dr. Mercola Lead has a cumulative effect on multiple organ systems in your body and is particularly harmful to young children. After it enters the body, it is distributed through the brain, kidney, liver and bones, and is often stored in the bones and teeth.1 There is no known safe exposure to lead, which often affects young children and lower socioeconomic groups the hardest. However, humans have a long and intimate relationship with lead, dating back to 3000 B.C. when the Roman Empire used it to create pipes for their plumbing and to sweeten wine that they then shipped all over Europe.2 Documents from that period report symptoms of colic, anemia and gout attributed to overexposure to lead. Some historians even believe lead poisoning hastened the fall of the Roman Empire. The oldest known piece made of lead is a figurine from 4000 B.C., found in Egypt.3 In more recent years, the durability of the heavy metal made it an excellent additive to paint, and the chemical properties made
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The Worst Kind of Meat


By Dr. Mercola The first large-scale animal farm factories appeared in the early 1970s,1 designed for egg-laying hens. However, it wasn’t long before beef and pork producers followed suit with the aim to reduce overhead and increase profits, which also reduced the quality of the meat produced. Today, most meat sold in the U.S. is raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). In a corporate-controlled environment characterized by large-scale, centralized production, companies — not farmers — have identified means of production, processing and distribution that produce more meat for less money. The repercussions associated with these farms have included a rise in antibiotic-resistant disease claiming the lives of nearly 23,000 Americans each year,2 and a significant impact on local water supply from waste water runoff from these farms.3,4 Both of these concerns are driving significant global issues with water quality and antibiotic-resistant bacterial disease. Although t
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