What is Berberine?
Berberine is a compound that can be extracted from several different plants. It can be found in European barberry, goldenseal, goldthread, Oregon grape, phellodendron, tree turmeric, and several other plants.
History of Berberine.
Berberine has had many uses throughout history. Most commonly as a dye and as a form of medicine. Because of the compounds strong yellow color, it is commonly used to dye clothing and is still used for this in some countries today. It also has a fluorescent yellow color under ultraviolet light. Because of this, it is used for staining certain cells in laboratories. It also has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine. From antibiotics, to cardiovascular health, it has several applications. The most common use for it now, is to help manage blood glucose and lipid levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
How does it work?
Berberine can have multiple effects on the body. It has been found that it is able to activate AMPK, an enzyme that effects our metabolism. It can also reduce insulin sensitivity which can be very beneficial, especially someone with type 2 diabetes. Several studies have found that the benefits of berberine include decreased insulin sensitivity, increased AMPK activation, improved LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, improved A1c levels, and even even improved gut bacteria. When compared to traditional medications for controlling blood sugar, it was found to be as effective as oral drugs such as metformin.
By: Isaac Stansbury & Alisha Sobotka
This blog post will be brought to you by Alisha Sobotka, the owner of Natural Foods and Supplements. Using her research and expertise on the subject, I hope to bring you information that has truly impacted the lives of many, including myself. I'll touch on some of my own experiences at the end of this post but first, here is the result of countless hours of research done by Alisha.
"Before we dive into the health benefits of using Authentic Himalayan Salt Lamps in your home, it may be helpful to first have a brief chemistry lesson:
All matter (the human body, air, water, and so forth) is made up of molecules which are made up of atoms which are made up of three types of particles: protons (positive charge), electrons (negative charge), and neutrons (no charge). Electrons orbit their molecules like planets revolve around a star. Occasionally an electron flies off and when it does, it leaves behind a positively-charged ion whose sole purpose in life becomes to fill the void left by its little lost electron. In other words; it wants to steal a replacement electron from another molecule. Due to differences in molecular structure (number of electrons in the outermost orbit, strength and structure of electron bonds, and so on) some materials lose electrons much more easily than others.
With this basic understanding of the behaviors of positive and negative ions fresh in your mind, let’s look at the top 10 benefits of an Authentic Himalayan Salt Lamp.
1. Cleanse & Deodorize the Air
Probably the most well-known benefit – and why most people use them – is due to their incredible power to remove dust, pollen, cigarette smoke and other contaminates from the air. “But how do they do this”, you ask? “It’s just a big chunk of Himalayan Salt with a light bulb inside, right?”
Well yes, but no. There’s much more to it than that. Himalayan Salt Lamps purify air through the power of hygroscopy meaning that they attract water molecules from the surrounding environment then absorb those molecules - as well as any foreign particles they may be carrying – into the salt crystal. As the Himalayan Salt Lamp warms up from the heat produced by the light bulb inside, that same water then evaporates back into the air and the trapped particles of dust, pollen, smoke and other contaminates remain locked into the salt.
2. Reduce Allergy & Asthma Symptoms
Because Himalayan Salt Lamps remove microscopic particles of dust, pet dander, mold and mildew from the surrounding air, placing a lamp or two in the rooms where you spend the most time can seriously cut back on allergy symptoms. Even people who suffer from asthma should notice a difference in a week or two. In fact, Himalayan Salt is good for the respiratory system, there are even Himalayan Salt inhalers!
3. Eases Coughing
When the Himalayan Salt Lamp heats up and begins its hygroscopic cycling of airborne particles, it also changes the charge of the molecules which are released. (Remember our chemistry lesson?) Most homes are filled with positively charged ions which aren’t particularly good for a person’s health. The positive ions are created by several things, but the primary source for most of us is from our electronics.
One of the health detriments of breathing lots of positive ions in the air is that the cilia (microscopic hairs) which line the trachea (aka: windpipe) become sluggish and don’t work as well to keep contaminates out of our lungs. As the Himalayan Salt Lamp absorbs water and contaminated particles from the air, it also takes the positive ions with them. Then, when the heated Himalayan Salt releases cleansed water vapor back into the air, it also expels negative ions which have the opposite effect on our airways thus increasing cilia activity to keep your lungs clear.
What all this means in a nut shell: Besides removing contaminates from the air, Himalayan Salt Lamps also help your body to filter air more efficiently so any foreign particles you do happen to breathe won’t make it into your lungs.
4. Increase Energy Levels
Taking a drive through the countryside with the windows down, spending time at the beach, camping in the mountains, or simply taking a shower first thing in the morning are all things that many people find to be invigorating. It’s not a coincidence that these are all activities which expose us to increased concentrations of negative ions such as those generated by Himalayan Salt Lamps. The fact is, positive ions deplete our bodies of energy. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for us to try to diagnose the problem as something else entirely.
If you constantly feel tired and don’t know why, try keeping a Himalayan Salt Lamp in the room or rooms where you spend the most time. After about a week or two, you should notice a difference.
5. Neutralize Electromagnetic Radiation
Nowadays, most of us are living in a metaphorical ocean of electromagnetic (EM) radiation which flows from our electronics (ie. Television, computer, cell phone, tablet, appliances, stereo, ect). While they may be invisible, the long-term effects of electromagnetic exposure can be quite serious. Constant exposure to electromagnetic radiation is known to increase stress levels, cause chronic fatigue, and decrease the body’s immune response, just to name a few.
As they emit negative ions into the air, Himalayan Salt Lamps work to neutralize electromagnetic radiation. Keep one next to your computer, television, and any other electronic devices which you use frequently to reduce the potential danger to you, your family and pets.
6. Better Sleep
Another side effect which results from over-exposure to positive ions in the air is that it robs you of quality sleep. This happens because those positively-charged particles can reduce the blood and oxygen supply to the brain resulting in irregular sleep patterns. Himalayan Salt Lamps are natural negative ion generators; thus, they can help to reverse this problem. Keep one or two in your bedroom to improve the air quality so you can get a better night’s sleep.
Remember, even if you can’t sleep unless the room is dark, you can always turn the lamps off or down with a dimmer switch. Just remember to leave it on during the rest of the day so it can do it’s work while your awake.
7. Improve Mood & Concentration
Himalayan Salt Lamps are a great way to naturally enhance your mood or help you to relax and unwind at the end of a stressful day. At the same time and on the opposite side of the coin, Himalayan Salt Lamps are great for improving concentration. Again, this is because of negative ions on your body, improving blood and oxygen supply to the brain and other organs, as well as providing a boost of serotonin – the neurotransmitter which makes us (literally) feel happy.
8. Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
In addition to generating negative ions which improve mood and energy levels. The soft and natural light given off by a Himalayan Salt Lamp is close enough to the warm glow of sunshine that they can even be used to relieve the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. This year when the days get shorter, fight back the lethargy by surrounding yourself with a few Himalayan Salt Lamps.
9. Reduce Static Electricity in the Air
While not a “health benefit” at first glance, static is pesky stuff. It causes stress, embarrassment and even frustration. Static zaps you when you least expect it, as you’re reaching for a door handle, kissing a loved one, or even trying to pet your four-legged friend. Static can give you a bad hair day, make it impossible to clean crumbs or coffee grounds off the kitchen counter, or even cause you to go to work with a sock stuck to the back of your shirt. Static electricity can be a huge pain and Himalayan Salt Lamps are a natural way to neutralize the airborne ionized particles which cause it.
10. Environmentally Friendly Light Source
Last, but not least; Himalayan Salt Lamps are extremely environmentally friendly. While only an estimate, the reserves from which Himalayan Salt Lamps are mined measure somewhere between 80 and 600 million tons. The reserves are projected to last for at least another 350 years at their current extraction rate. The base of a Himalayan Salt Lamp is generally carved from sustainable wood sources. Most Himalayan Salt Lamps use low wattage light bulbs which make their energy imprint very low.
**Remember, Himalayan Salt Lamp crystals will begin to breakdown with prolonged exposure to high humidity. For this reason, use caution and keep a close watch on any Himalayan Salt Lamp positioned near sources to steam such as dishwashers, laundry machines or showers. Caring for your genuine Himalayan Salt Lamps and candleholders is a breeze. All you should do is periodically wipe them with a slightly damp towel or sponge to remove any dust. You can then dry your Himalayan Salt Lamps with a clean dry towel, or, simply allow them to dry naturally from the heat produced from the bulb.
Also, as previously mentioned, results of negative ion generation may take one to two weeks to be noticeable, so be patient if you don’t feel the improvements right away!!!"
I'll admit, when I first heard about Himalayan Salt lamps, I was skeptical. My thoughts were that they were essentially overpriced night lights. I really didn't see any benefits to having one other than it being somewhat of a novelty. After receiving a lamp as a gift, my views on them and their benefits quickly changed.
As someone who grew up in central Nebraska, I have seen first hand how bad seasonal allergies can be. I personally experienced seasonal allergies starting at the age of six. They got to the point that I would have issues sleeping at night during the spring and summer because of how difficult it was for me to breathe. That began to change when I was given the salt lamp though. My wife and I kept in our bedroom to use as a light when our newborn daughter would wake up, however, I quickly started to notice that I was sleeping better at night. My wife told me that my snoring got better, and I genuinely felt better in the mornings. I also started noticing that the time that I spent in Alisha's store was much more comfortable for me. I was finally able to breathe!!! The only change that I had made from before was the salt lamps. There really wasn't another explanation for my experience other than the air purifying qualities of the Himalayan Salt Lamps.
Isaac Stansbury is a former employee of Alisha Sobotka who is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Chiropractic at Cleveland Chiropractic University in Overland Park, Kansas. From working with college athletes to assisting his wife with their home birth, Isaac utilizes a wealth of experiences to bring a truly unique perspective to the field of health and well-being.