First Graders Possess Medical Marijuana Cards

Medical marijuana card

An example of an Oregon State medical marijuana card.

Written by: Jason Garoutte

No. That’s not a typo. Parents with children diagnosed with disorders and diseases like autism or leukemia are becoming more open to non-traditional treatments such as medical marijuana. There are currently 58 children in the state of Oregon who are covered under the state medical marijuana law which allows them use of the so called “gateway drug.”

All of us have probably heard the terms leukemia and autism before, but do we fully understand what challenges parents are faced with day in and day out with such disorders? Autism is a brain disorder that often makes it difficult to communicate with and relate to others. With autism, the different areas of the brain fail to work together. This leads to anti-social behavior, repeated types of behavior like body rocking, and becoming upset when routines change.

With one in every 88 children diagnosed with autism in the United States, more parents are searching for answers and treatments that work. One problem with autism is that there is no typical case. People can have many different types of behavior, from mild to severe. In nearly one in three cases, children with autism experience seizures or seizure disorders such as epilepsy.

Although marijuana is not currently considered a treatment for autism by the medical profession, it is considered a treatment for seizures and mood altering behavior. So, what makes medical marijuana a safe treatment for children over the more traditional treatments?

The active chemical in marijuana is called THC(Tetrahydrocannabinol.) This is what gives marijuana its medical properties. In essence, the human body produces receptors that bind with THC, interfering with the brains neurotransmitter systems. This allows the recipient to feel various effects, such as reducing pain, limiting seizures, and lowering anxiety. In cancer patients, marijuana has been shown to reduce nausea and increase appetite, after receiving chemotherapy,

“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the use of scientifically validated treatments. The use of medical marijuana to treat autism has not been tested and could be dangerous for children,” says Susan Martin, director of media relations at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Although long term effects from marijuana have yet to be determined, using marijuana at such a young age may be detrimental to the child’s brain growth and development.

Traditional treatments for autism include special behavior training, speech therapy, physical therapy, and FDA approved drugs. Melatonin and Chelation are widely used, legal treatments for autism, where medical marijuana is only legal in 18 states.

There are many traditional treatments available to parents for children with these disorders that are safe, legal, and readily available across the nation. However, as a parent when you are faced with the challenges of raising a child with special needs, you may find yourself weighing the possible long term effects against the apparent short term benefits of non-traditional treatment, even if it involves allowing your child access to a medical marijuana card.

Plant-based foods decrease risk of health problems

Written by: Shauna Bannan

Several flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables

Common flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables.

People who add a moderate amount of flavonoids, plant compounds found in food and beverages, to their diets are less likely to suffer from serious health problems, recent studies show.

There are over 4,000 compounds classified as flavonoids, many of which can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as tea, beer, wine, nuts, and soy. Research suggests that the naturally occurring plant compounds have a number of beneficial effects on human health, including a reduced risk of cancer, asthma, stroke, and heart disease.

A recent study conducted on nearly 100,000 older U.S. adults found that those who consumed the most amount of flavonoids were less likely to die of heart disease or stroke, compared to those who consumed the least amounts, over the next seven years. The participants were divided into groups of five – based on their flavonoid intake. One-fifth of those with the highest level of plant compounds were 18 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular trouble than the group with the lowest intake.

A study conducted at UCLA found that smokers who consumed high levels of these compounds in their diets were less likely to develop lung cancer.

“What we found was extremely interesting, that several types of flavonoids are associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer among smokers,” said Dr. Zuo-Feng Zhang, a researcher and professor of public health and epidemiology at UCLA. “The findings were especially interesting because tobacco smoking is the major risk factor for lung cancer.”

Zhang suggests that flavonoids may prevent cancer cells from blocking, in addition to blocking the formation of blood vessels that tumors develop.

The secret lies within the compound’s antioxidant activity. Like other antioxidants, flavonoids provide the body with protection against cellular damage. Due to the common high intake of fruits, vegetables, tea, and wine, these plant-based compounds may, at times, have stronger antioxidant abilities than those of vitamins C and E.

Many of these foods are consumed on a daily basis. Most vegetables, particularly those that are green and red, contain high levels of the compound. Tree fruits, spices, and beverages, including red wine and tea of all types, are also among a long list of flavonoid-rich foods.

“Even adding one serving of flavonoid-rich food a day could be beneficial,” said Marjorie L. McCullough, lead researcher of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. “Flavonoid-rich foods are the types of foods we should be eating anyway.”

Are Apples Safe for Children?

The all-American food!

          Are Apples Safe for Children?

   By: Barbara J. Ross

The number one fruit eaten by children is our country is – the apple!!!  Even for picky eaters it seems that this mainstay of the American diet is the one fruit that almost every child will eat. That begs the question – just how safe is the apple?  We should also wonder – just how safe is the most popular fruit juice for children – apple juice?

I went out to seek information about the fruit that Johnny Appleseed turned intoAmerica’s most popular food.  Consulting sources such as The President’s Cancer Panel, I researched the environmental hazard created when fruit is sprayed with pesticides.  Well parents, this news requires action – now!  Protect you children from contaminants.  Research provides evidence that pesticide indeed has harmful effects:

  • According to the Environmental Working Group of Washington, 92% of all non-organic apples contain 2 or more pesticides. reports that this same group “called on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Carol Browner to immediately halt the use of one highly toxic insecticide that poses short-term risks to small children. The group said an emergency cancellation of the bug killer methyl parathion is needed because hundreds of thousands of preschoolers are exceeding government-established safety limits for the pesticide every day, mostly through consumption of apples and peaches.”
  • The University of California-Berkeley participated in a study about the intelligence of children as tested for an IQ score. The research conducted included an excess of 400 children, using records before birth and through ages of 6 to 9. Berkeley’s findings were that children with the greatest exposure scored on an average 7 points lower on standardized IQ tests compared with children with the lowest pesticide exposures.
  • A research article by S H Zahm for the National Institutes of Health reports that “Malignancies linked to pesticides in case reports or case-control studies include leukemia, neuroblastoma, Wilms’ tumor, soft-tissue sarcoma,Ewing’s sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and cancers of the brain, colorectum, and testes.”  Zahm continues with the suggestion “that  children may be particularly sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of pesticides.”

One cannot ignore the phenomenal nutritional value that the apple gives to those who eat it, especially children since they seem to love apples so much.  What can we do to minimize the effects of all these chemicals on our children?  How can we make this beloved fruit safe for children?

The very first thing we should all do is write to government leaders and let them know about our concerns and even our anger.  We should not and cannot accept the continued pesticide exposure to children through this inexpensive and readily available popular diet mainstay.

Families can certainly take extra steps to wash all fruit with soap and water.  Never, never,  serve your children this fruit without a good scrubbing.

Of course the very best solution is to buy organic.  If a family can afford just one organic food, the evidence above suggests that it should be that popular American staple – the apple.  Happy crunching!

Research Shows Even More Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

Written by Lisa Pearson

When you’re ready to curl up with a cup of your favorite hot drink, what do you prefer-coffee or tea? Research by Harvard School of Public Health shows that although coffee has its benefits such as boosting metabolism as well as reducing the risk of endometrial cancer; green tea reigns supreme when it comes to overall health benefits.

Green tea in teacup

Drinking green tea for health benefits

You have probably long heard that there are many health benefits to drinking green tea such as burning fat and lowering the risk of heart disease as well as several types of cancers. Researchers from the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA conducted a study and found that the guzzling of green tea is now linked to lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol levels. The study published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, showed that the individuals with high “bad” LDL cholesterol levels saw the most benefit. The study participants consumed green tea in some form such as in capsules or a drink, and a placebo for a period of three weeks to six months.

In a study in Harvard Women’s Health Watch, green tea was found to not only increase “good” HDL cholesterol points but improved artery function in addition to lowering the “bad” LDL cholesterol. Researchers warn though, that although there were significant findings, individuals with high cholesterol should avoid swapping medication for green tea altogether.

Harvard Women’s Health Watch recommends drinking tea at least a couple of times a day and steep your tea bag for three to five minutes in order to bring out the catechins. The catechins are the super stars in the elixir as they consist of potent, water soluble polyphenol and antioxidants that gives green tea its 5 star rating.

Green tea is also great for your skin. For one, it fights free radicals which damage the skin and the body. A study conducted by Case Western Reserve University in the year 2000 found that green tea extracts help protect your skin from sunburns. Dr. Stephen Hsu of the Medical College of Georgia Department of Oral Biology found that consuming green tea helps regenerate old skin cells nearing the end of their life cycle. He goes on to say that “Cells that migrate toward the surface of the skin normally live about 28 days, and by day 20, they basically sit on the upper layer of the skin getting ready to die. But EGCG reactivates them. I was so surprised.” EGCG is Epigallocatechin gallate, which is a catechin and antioxidant found in tea.

There are also many ways to use green tea for homemade beauty treatments by applying green tea to your skin. Check out the video below for one way to use green tea along some common household products to make a green tea scrub.


As you can see, there are many health benefits linked to green tea. So the next time you meet up with friends at a coffee shop, give tea a try. Your body will thank you for it!