Did you know that the leading causes of death today include heart disease, cancer and other metabolic illnesses? With each of these causes, there is some type of dysfunction that destroys the mitochondria. They all share the common attribute of excessive oxidative stress and free radical damage to the cell. As a rule, the body protects against these things through its networks of antioxidants. Our pine needle tea is loaded with antioxidants, but did you know what the most powerful of all antioxidants is? It’s melatonin – and it’s now thought to be even more powerful than glutathione!
Melatonin is 2x more powerful than vitamin E and it triggers other antioxidants like glutathione. It also promotes sleep and supports the immune system. It has anti-cancer benefits as well. There are two types of melatonin. One is subcellular which is found inside the cell’s mitochondria. It’s there to help protect against oxidation and free radical damage inside.
A lack of melatonin can affect your sleep, cause inflammation, cause you to lose your antioxidant protection in the mitochondria, and even lead to chronic degenerative diseases (especially of the brain).
The largest stimulus of subcellular melatonin is near-infrared light (NIR). Sources that give off this beneficial light are the sun, campfires, fireplace fires (real), candles, incandescent lights, infrared sauna, and infrared lights and lasers. Being outside in nature and in the sun may be just as important as eating healthy. Infrared light also protects against UV radiation.
Being exposed to artificial lights (LED light and blue light) is a big cause of a deficiency of infrared light. What can you do personally? First of all, get outside in the sun! Not only will the sun’s natural light trigger your body to make more of its own melatonin, but you will be getting your natural vitamin D as well. You could also supplement with a therapeutic near-infrared light (either purchase your own or visit a local spa). You could switch your lights to incandescent lighting. Also, sitting by a candle flame (while enjoying your favorite cup of pine needle tea) will boost melatonin. And try enjoying more fires (campfires or fireplace fires with real flames) and soak up all those beneficial rays while relaxing and allowing the body to heal itself.
Want to learn more? Check out Dr. Eric Berg’s newest video on melatonin. He lists quite a few great published resources to validate the importance of melatonin to our health. A word of caution, though. Taking supplemental melatonin (you know - out of a bottle) can actually trigger your own body to produce less of its own natural melatonin, leading to some of the chronic ailments and diseases listed above. Natural is always better! Here's to your good health and your commitment to treat your body better this coming year.