Search Term: " Migraine "
Catnip is for man and beast!
You've probably heard of catnip leaves before and instantly think of cats. Well, it turns out this versatile herb has a few different uses and they're not just for cats!
Catnip is actually a member of the mint family which also includes basil, sage, and oregano. The part of the stem that causes cats to get "high" is called nepetalactone, and it is found in the leaves. It causes our furry little friends to get hyperactive by triggering their pheromones.
When it comes to children with a fever, catnip tea helps their body perspire more and get rid of the fever. The tea also aids in digestion as well as improve sleep, treat Migraines, and reduce anxiety. So the next time you're at the pet store getting a treat for Fluffy, pick up some catnip leaves.
7 Amazing Benefits Of Alfalfa Leaf
Alfalfa is an amazing plant with many health benefits. Many cultures, mainly in Asia, have long used this plant as an appetite stimulator, as well as a healing digestive remedy for alleviating ulcers.
10 Benefits of this excellent plant:
There are many other amazing health benefits of Alfalfa Leaf, but these are the most important. Like all detoxification herbs, alfalfa may have minor side effects when taken in the beginning. These small effects are the result of your body detoxing and cleansing itself and are short-lived. Always consult your health care provider before using this, or any other herb, if you're pregnant or if you're taking any other medications. Do you wanna feel better? Give Alfalfa a try!
Magnesium is the essential mineral that 50% of migrain suffers are deficient in.
Magnesium has a long history in Migraine research, it has been found that 50% of all Migraine suffers are deficient in magnesium. Taking magnesium regularly can help lower the incident of Migraines.
Magnesium can be hard to absorb, so it is recommended that magnesium be taken with each meal of the day, 200 mg per meal is 600mg daily.
This mineral is a relaxing mineral, taking it 30 minutes before bed time can help must anybody sleep better. Have you had your magnesium today?
Health Benefits of Aconitum Napellus.
June 28, 2014 05:41 AM
Apart from being a beautiful herb, Aconitum Nappellus has been used for centuries in treating a variety of ailments. The herb is mainly found in the United Kingdom, northeastern United States and Eastern Europe. Its common name is monkshood or wolfs bane.
Benefits of aconitum napellus
In ancient Europe, it was used to treat many ailments including flu, fevers, colds and nervous disorders. It was also used to relieve pain, and roots were used as anesthesia. In the modern world.
Aconitum is used to treat different ailments such as
Aconitum is used to treat constipation, vomiting and other stomach upsets. If you suffer stomach upsets, leaves and roots from Aconitum have been found to remedy stomach upsets.
Aconitum pills available in the market have been found to be very effective in treating headache including Migraine headache. People who suffer frequent headache have found Aconitum pills to be very beneficial in alleviating headaches.
Treat fear and shock
When properly prepared, aconitum pills will alleviate fear, shock and anxiety. It has significant sedative, ant-neuralgic, analgesic properties and has been proved to alleviate panic attacks and shock.
Aconitum has been found to have antibacterial properties. When frequently used, it will strength your immune system and protects your body against bacterial infections. However, it is always good to use together with other antibacterial drugs.
It is also useful in the treatment of eye ailments. For example, if you suffer swollen, red and hard lids, or your eyes feel dry and hot, aconitum can treat such conditions.
Is used to treat Red, dry, numb, prickling, constricted, burning, stinging throat as well as swollen and dry tonsils.
If you suffer difficulties in urinating, tenesmus and urine retention, aconitum will remedy these conditions.
Aconitum Napellus is poisonous. Symptoms of Aconite poisoning include vomiting crawling skin, and coldness.
Is Beta Carotene The Safe Vitamin A?
March 21, 2014 02:29 AM
What is beta carotene
Beta Carotene is a capable pwerful antioxidant that is useful for the heart and circulatory. In the constitution, it is changed into Vitamin A for the support of solid skin, great vision, and a strong immune system. Vitamin An is fundamental for ordinary structure of epithelial cells that ensures the form from ecological defilement.
Benefits Eucalyptus Oil-Discover Its Amazing Power In Healing Different Health Problems
February 17, 2014 06:32 AM
What is eucalptus
Eucalyptus oil originates from the Eucalyptus tree, which develops characteristically in Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia and parts of the Philippines. With more than 700 types of Eucalyptus, numerous sorts are developed everywhere throughout the world. Eucalyptus oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the tree, and is utilized as a part of various sorts of items for numerous diverse purposes. It has a mint-like quality that makes it well known for sweet, throat drops, toothpaste, and some hack medications, particularly those for ache alleviation. Notwithstanding that, it has bug repellent lands that make it an extraordinary characteristic alternative for open air utilization
The Eucalyptus globulus -the most usually discovered key oil, has an empowering however extremely solid aroma. It is useful for respiratory issues, lessening bodily fluid film swelling and irritation, and for calming sore muscles, rheumatism, Migraines and anxious depletion. It is broadly utilized as a part of business cool cures and arrangements for mitigating throbbing muscles.
February 04, 2014 06:59 PM
Sunflower seed nutrients
Sunflower seeds are a source of polyunsaturated oil. They are rich in nutrients. These nutrients comprise of vitamin E, B1, B6 & B3, copper, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, folate and selenium. Due to their high content of nutrients the sunflower seeds have various health benefits to a human body which include:
Health benefits of sunflower
Cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory benefits - since they are a source of vitamin E. vitamin E has various functions in the body. They are fat-soluble antioxidants. It neutralizes free radicals in the body thus ensuring that fat containing structures and molecules are not damaged. It also stops radicals from oxidizing cholesterol thus preventing blockages in the arteries. It thus have anti-inflammatory effects leading to reduced symptoms in the conditions that are inflammatory in nature such as gastric ulcers, asthma, joint pain, skin eruption and also prevention of cardiovascular diseases, risk of colon cancer and reduce the development of diabetic complications. Vitamin E also helps ease arthritic pain. Vitamin E also reduces hot flashes during menopause
Lowering cholesterol - sunflower seeds have phytosterols which reduce the blood levels of cholesterol, enhance the body immune system and reduce the risk of certain cancers when taken in a diet.
Calms the nerves, the blood vessels and the muscles - sunflower seeds have magnesium nutrients that reduce the severity of asthma, reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack, prevents Migraine headaches and lower high blood pressure. Magnesium is also important for healthy bone formation and energy production. Magnesium and copper are needed for the body to stay strong.
Improving detoxification and cancer prevention - sunflower seeds are a good source of selenium that is important for human health. Selenium induces DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells. Thus they control cell damage hence playing a role in preventing cancer.
The vitamin E present - in the sunflower seeds help bring glow to the skin. The vitamin E prevents the skin from the ultra violet rays hence keeping the skin youthful.it also strengthens the hair and protects it from damage.
Sesame sticks - a choice full of health
December 18, 2013 04:03 AM
What is Sesame
Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world. The story of its amazing benefits, begins 3600 years ago in the ancient Egyptian times. Since those antique times, women used the sesame seeds to keep their beauty and their youth and the Roman soldiers ate them for energy and strength. In recent years, an abundance of scientific information was exposed to demonstrate that the sesame seeds and their components have over 36 therapeutic properties.
Sesame seeds are number one when it comes to the richness and complexity of nutrients. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc and these can be added in salads, sandwiches or over cereal in the morning.Another excellent choice are the sesame sticks. These are the real sources of health and in addition there are some excellent snacks.
Sesame sticks consumption helps to detoxify the liver and kidneys, being highly recommended for cirrhotic patients. In addition, these snacks prevent arthritis and osteoporosis, asthma, Migraines and headaches; have antirheumatic and anti-cancer effects; strengthen the immune system and decrease the level of cholesterol.All these properties put together, give your body energy and a great power to work.
So, as you can see, the sesame seeds have many health benefits and additionally, these keep your silhouette. Therefore, when you sit and watch your favorite show on TV, you can choose a healthy snack consisting of sesame sticks, instead of chips that will fill you with cholesterol and that will add you a few extra pounds.You can also consume sesame sticks during breaks or when you feel the need for a snack.Vitamins and minerals contained by sesame seeds will provide you the necessary energy and will create you a feeling of satiety.
Can ButterBur Extract Help Fight Migraine Headaches?
November 25, 2013 06:21 PM
What is Butterbur?
Butterbur is a plant found in the daisy asteraceae and is in genus petasites. They are also known as sweet coltsfoot. They are mainly found in the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere in areas such as riverbanks, ditches and marshes it’s also found in Europe, Asia and North America. The plant was mainly used by Native Americans as a remedy for inflammation, coughs, asthma allergies and headaches. For many years its leaves and roots have been used as an important medicinal herb. In recent research, researchers have found out that extracts of butterbur contains an active ingredient that can be used to prevent Migraines and also act as an antispasmodic supporting chronic cough or asthma.
What are the Benefits of Butterbur?
The plant contains two very active chemicals namely petasin and isopetasin. This chemicals are believed to be beneficial in treating headaches, the highest concentration of this chemicals mainly occurs in roots. Root extracts of the plant have been discovered to be very effective in the reduction of frequency and severity of Migraines. Migraines are caused by rapid change in the blood flow to the head, they are characterized by episodes of headaches, sensitivity to light and sound and nausea. Treatment includes pain relievers and other medication that affect the openness of the blood vessels. Medication can help ease the pain as a short term measure but in the long run the may cause more headaches as a result of a condition known as medication overuse headaches. These resultant headaches are more difficult to treat than Migraines; these medicines may also lead to other problems for people with other chronic illness.
Butterbur root extracts presumably contains isopetasin and/or petasin that are effective in relieving and preventing Migraine, since the compound prevents blood vessel inflammation, although it’s said to have gastrointestinal side effects. From research it was discovered that petasin contains anti-spasmodic properties which helps in reducing spasms in vascular walls and smooth muscles. It also contains a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that prevents the synthesis of leukotrienes that is the pro-inflammatory agent in the blood vessel walls. Isopetasin also contains an anti-inflammatory by modulating prostaglandin metabolism. The two together have an antispasmodic effect on vascular walls.
According to a survey carried out in Germany where two hundred and two people who had Migraines attacks three months prior to the survey and those who had stopped medication three months before were randomly assigned to receive 75mg of butterbur extract twice a day, the other group was assigned 50 mg or placebo. The results were recorded and it was discovered that people using a higher dosage of butterbur experienced a greater reduction in the frequency in Migraines.
Other Treatment of Butterbur
Other than being used in Migraine treatment butterbur have several other uses and benefits such as allergy relief without antihistamine side effects, while antihistamines have advance side effects such as fuzzy head and fatigue, when butterbur was used no side effects were evident. Butterbur extracts are also used to treat asthma; this is as a result of anti-inflammatory properties combined with bronchodilating properties.
Can Butterbur Extract Help with Bladder Incontinence?
October 30, 2013 09:56 PM
What is ButterburIt is a shrub that usually grows in marshy ground. It is found in North America, Europe, and Asia. In ancient times, its leaves were used to wrap butter when it was warm. Despite the rather interesting use, it is a plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for quite a while now. It has over time proved effective for clearing headaches, reducing pain, fever, anxiety, and problems with the urinary tract.
Butterbur extract is derived from the roots, leaves and rhizomes. It is used in the manufacturing of tablets. Topically, it treats allergies, clears Migraines and asthma.
How it helps elevate incontinence
The traditional use of butterbur in treating problems in the urinary tract is still applicable today even in modern medicine. Normally, it is neurons in the brain and in the bladder's smooth muscles that involuntarily influence the muscle that surrounds the bladder, referred to as detrusor muscle. The detrusor muscle will contract and expand depending on the amount of urine present in the bladder.
Incontinence results when the smooth muscle in the bladder contracts without any warning whatsoever. It is characterized by overly frequent urination, which is more than 3 times in 24 hours, urgency and leaking.
The extract works by relaxing the detrusor muscle which reduces pressure on the bladder. Its active ingredient is a compound known as petasin. The results can be seen after a minimum of 4 weeks. By the eighth week, they are even more pronounced. Patients can improve from a minimum of 30 minutes urination intervals to 150 minutes. There are absolutely no side effects. It is not recommended for expectant mothers, or during lactation.
However, it should be noted that unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) are present in the natural form which could lead to liver damage. However, after processing, the P.A.s are removed. It is always safe to check whether the processed one has got any.
Can Guarana Boost Energy?
January 24, 2013 01:29 PM
Guarana, scientifically named as Paullinia cupana is an evergreen vine indigenous to the northern regions of Brazil and Venezuela. Guarana berries are widely considered to be a great source of organic caffeine and also have been used for hundreds of years by native Amazonian tribes, the Guaranis to help retain their stamina levels and improve physical endurance. The natives believed that the drink made from this powdered ground seeds of the berries could provide more energy. They also claimed that, by drinking Guarana juice one could go on hunt for many days without food and also without feeling fatigue.
Guarana is used as an organic and effective energy booster. It has an identical chemical composition to that of caffeine, and also the plant seeds produce even greater caffeine effects than usual caffeine drinks. Guarana is released into the body much more slowly to provide longer stimulation. The plant immediately energizes the nervous system to provide sustained energy and may be taken in small dose to fight weakness and improve activity levels. Additionally, it decreases tiredness, and improves mental alertness. Also, Guarana extract is taken by sports athletes to keep up their peak performance.
Guarana is traditionally used for weight Loss as well. It helps reduce fluid retention, inhibits appetite and boosts metabolic process. As a result, the extra fat stored becomes a source of fuel to the body.
Guarana also consists of tannins, which is valuable in treating diarrhea and other types of digestive problems.
Because of higher content of caffeine, Guarana has received a reputation of a powerful stimulant and also aphrodisiac. When compared to other libido supplements, Guarana doesn't have any side effects.
As an all-natural adaptogen, Guarana can be used to boost the body's effectiveness against anxiety, stress and fatigue. It's traditionally been useful for Migraines, menstruation pains as well as heart related illnesses.
VITAMIN B COMPLEX AND ITS HEALTH BENEFITS
December 27, 2012 11:52 AM
Vitamin B complex is food a supplement that is soluble in water and fundamental in growth, development and cell metabolism. B complex is a group of the B vitamin compounds including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, B12 (cobalamins), biotin (B7) and folic acid (B9). The distinction of the B complex into numbers arose because initially it was thought to be a single nutrient existing in specific food types only but further research discovered the existence of different compounds in the nutrient. All compounds of the B complex have distinct structures and perform different roles in the body. They play an important role in enzyme activities more so in chemical reactions that lead to production of energy in the body. They are mostly found in plant and animal food sources and also as supplement tablets.
Vitamin B compounds have numerous health benefits each one with a different function.
The different individual health benefits of the compounds are as follows:
It is due to these benefits that medical practitioners encourage use of diets rich in vitamin b compounds or intake of the compounds in dietary supplement form as tablets
What Is Kava Root?
December 19, 2012 03:53 PM
Kava root or piper methysticum is a kind of shrub that can be found all throughout the South Pacific islands. Locally called as kava kava, this plant is a close relative of black pepper. Its shrubs have woody roots or rhizomes that contain medicinal properties. People in the South Pacific islands use kava mainly during traditional ceremonies and they have been using this herb as medicine for centuries already.
Traditionally, kava is prepared as a tea or an intoxicating ceremonial beverage. But nowadays, it now comes into several forms such as capsules, extract forms, liquids, tablets, and even topical creams. One of the main benefits of kava is that it promotes relaxation.
Calming effects of kava
Its calming effects are due to a substance called kavalactone. It works almost exactly like a mild sedative and muscle tension reliever. Taking supplements with kava root induces sleep without the hangover effects. Because of that, kava root can help a person sleep easier.
Additionally, the quality of the sleep is also improved. Kava can also elevate the mood of a person promoting the sense of well-being and satisfaction. Kavalactone has calming effects as it can interfere with the brain activity by slightly stimulating the brain waves which eventually make people feel better. Kava is definitely not addictive but its effects may decrease with regular use.
The calming effects of kava root can relieve anxiety, restlessness and some other stress-related symptoms like muscle tension and spasm. Another active compound that naturally occurs in kava is the flavokawain B which is known as a cancer-fighting property. Other potential benefits of kava root include treatment for ADHD or attention deficit disorder, depression and Migraine. When applied topically, kava creams and lotions hastens the healing ability of the skin and treat several skin diseases like leprosy.
If taken improperly, kava supplements can only bring about adversarial effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, gastrointestinal issues and tremors.
Nevertheless, kava can still be very beneficial most especially if taken properly.
Migraine Headaches and Feverfew
November 27, 2012 08:03 AM
Feverfew, the white flowered traditional herb, has been commonly used as an anti inflammatory to combat ailments like fever as well as the pain of arthritis and headaches. It belongs to the chrysanthemum family. This severe headache can have a debilitating effect on the sufferer's productivity. Feverfew has the compounds parthenolides and tanetin.
How it works:
It works by controlling the constriction of blood vessels that is so characteristic of Migraine headaches. The constriction of blood vessels is affected by the levels of serotonin. On the other hand, feverfew helps to dilate blood vessels, thereby helping to reduce the pain of Migraines. As the blood vessels regain normal tone, the severity of Migraine as well as the frequency of incidents is considerably reduced. Migraines have also been linked with platelet disorders and feverfew is said to produce changes in platelet behavior and the general advice is that it should not be taken with other blood thinning drugs. The effect of this natural occurring herb has been studied extensively since it was first reported as an effective remedy for headaches. Results begin to show only after about a month's use. You should have it every day and not wait for your Migraine to start as then it may not be as effective.
It is better consumed as a tincture or a capsule. Though generally it is safe to use one should not have feverfew during pregnancy or lactation. In addition to this, you should stop consuming it before any surgery as it has blood thinning properties.
November 24, 2012 11:37 AM
Magnesium is important in the body for good health.
Its approximated that about fifty percent (50%) of magnesium is present in bones and the other half is found in body cells.One percent is present in the blood and the body has to maintain this level to prevent an imbalance which could cause problems. Magnesium is needed to aid in biochemical reactions of the body.
It helps to maintain proper nerve and muscle functioning. It helps in keeping the heart rate steady by ensuring smooth flow of the body to prevent cardiovascular diseases, helps maintain a healthy immune system, and helps in making strong bones. Magnesium improves the mineral density in the bones making bones stronger. Magnesium functions together with calcium in regulating the nerves and muscles of the body.
Manage Blood Sugar
Magnesium helps to regulate the levels of sugar in the body to ensure that the body is functioning properly and prevent diabetes. It helps to regulate the body's blood pressure and aids in protein synthesis and energy metabolism.
Reduce Insomnia, Stress, And Anxiety
Magnesium treats symptoms of depression and insomnia. Taking magnesium supplements reduces stress, panic attacks, anxiety and helps in treating Migraines. If one has low magnesium in the body, symptoms may include weakening and softening of bones, diabetes, headaches, high blood pressure, irregular heart beat and muscle weakness. Some foods rich in magnesium include soybeans, spinach, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds and black beans.
Prevent Disease With Magnesium
Magnesium is important and to prevent diseases that come as a result of lack of it in the body, one should consider including the above foods in their diet. Eating a balanced diet that includes foods rich in magnesium will help the body function properly and prevent diseases. Care should be taken while taking magnesium supplements to prevent overloading the body with too much magnesium which could cause problems. A sign that magnesium is too much is diarrhea. When taken as directed, this mineral can do wonders to help one relax, improve bowel function, and improve sleep naturally.
Give It a Try and feel the difference!
What Is Vitamin B-2 Riboflavon Good For?
November 17, 2012 02:11 PM
Vitamin B-2 is one of the B-complex, water soluble vitamins that is required for the proper functioning of the human body. They can be found in different dietary sources including but not limited to eggs, dairy products, grains and cereals, green vegetables, mushrooms, oily fish and meat.
A B-2 Deficiency:
It is concluded that the deficiency in this vitamin can disrupt the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein. Symptoms of deficiency includes high sensitivity to light, inflammation the mouth, sore tongue, anemia, skin rash and fatigue, and it affects mostly malnourished people like alcoholics and the elderly.
Benefits of vitamin B-2 Riboflavin.
Apart from helping to increase the level of body metabolism, the vitamins is also useful in helping to prevent and treat diseases e.G. Riboflavin deficiency states and newborn jaundice. It can also help for the prevention of cataracts of the eyes and reduce Migraine headaches intensity. Riboflavin plays a major role in the development of reproductive organs. It also help to support the growth of body tissue like the skin, nervous system, mucous membranes and the connective tissue. vitamin B-2 helps to improve the body immunity by energizing the body's natural defense and disease suppressing systems. Known to be very helpful as a natural supplement in the treatment of nervous system conditions like Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.
Constant intake of vitamin B-2 will help in the digestion of carbohydrates, fats and protein so that the body cells can derive more minerals and vitamins from them, for utilization. Absorption of other vitamins and minerals like folic acid, vitamin B1, Iron and vitamin B6 is also made very possible.
To have stress free digestion you'll need to have a digestive system with functioning mucus membranes. Riboflavin is helpful in making the mucus membrane in the digestive track work at optimum levels. Recent research also suggests that vitamin B-2 can help improve the body's response to iron therapy, which is a method used to boost red blood cell production in sickle cell anemia patients.
So my question to you is, are you getting enough B-2 in your daily diet?
Kava root and its health benefits
October 18, 2012 07:51 AM
Also known as the intoxicating pepper, or botanically Piper methysticum, the kava shrub has for thousands of years been known to have health benefits from its roots. Kava roots have been known to provide relief from stress and physical ailments. With its origin in the pacific, now the kava root is known all around the world for its continued success in providing the mind and body with concentration and relaxation respectively.
The kava root contains a chemical component called kavalactone which when induced creates a relaxing feeling to the mind and body thereby treating stress and insomnia. Other health benefits of kava root are treatment of asthma, Migraines and headaches, depression, gout, urinary tract infections, prostate inflammation and even reduction of pain in joints for rheumatism patients.
Recent researchers have proven that the kava root is effective in treating leukemia and cancer of the ovaries as well as having the effectiveness of modern painkillers. It is recommended that you seek a medical expert's advice before you start using kava roots and no alcohol or other drugs should supplement it.
What Makes St Johns Wort Good For Depression And Anxiety?
September 18, 2012 09:18 PM
St Johns wort
St Johns wort is a particular plant species. Firstly, in ancient Greek the medicinal uses of St Johns wort are recognized. It is an herb with yellow flowers. It contains active ingredients like flavonoids, anthrancenes, volatile oil and sugar alcohol which are used for medicinal purpose. St Johns wort binomial name Hypericum perforatum is also considered as wild plant, herb and weed. The other common names for this plant are Amber Touch-and-heel, goat weed, Klamath weed, Rosin rose and Tipton weed. As it is an herb its leaves and flowers are used for medicinal purpose.
What is St Johns wort?
St Johns wort is considered as a medicinal plant. It has yellow flowers which are used for medical purposes in various parts of the world. It is an herbal remedy to treat depression. This medicinal plant is also used for Migraine, headache, muscle pain, chronic fatigue syndrome. It is also used for cancer and HIV/AIDS. St Johns is known as natural herbal remedy for mild to moderate depression. This highly valuable contains a chemical known as hypericin which effects against depression. This chemical act as mediatator in the nervous system which control the mood.
Does St Johns worth help depression? Depression has now become a common problem in humans now days. Due to the side effects of antidepressant medications, people are frequently moving towards natural remedies. St John wort is a complete health booster for the entire nervous system. It is recommended as a useful herbal remedy. It is scientifically proven that this particular plant is effective for mild to moderate depression. It has been used to treat mental disorders. St John wort is commonly used for depression and the conditions which are responsible depression such as anxiety, tiredness and sleep disorders. In most of the countries it is widely prescribed for depression. Wort is beneficial to people with mild depression but it is less effective on major depression.
St Johns wort medicinal properties:This medicinal plant is a powerful medicine.It is effective and well tolerated by the patients.You can feel yourself improving within the first week of usage of St John wort.As it is well tolerated by the patients, you can see fast results with fewer side effects.It decreases anxiety related to depression.It includes medicinal properties like antibacterial, anti inflammatory, antiviral, antidepressant and pain relieving.Traditionally it has been used to cure burns, headache, wounds, etc.
Though this is a powerful and remarkable medicine for treating mild to moderate depression, but still there is a question in the mind of health experts regarding major depression? In accordance with this, medicinal wort is less effective for the people who are taking other medications. St John wort is not effective on severe depression as discussed earlier. St John wort causes drug interaction so it might not be the right choice for the people who take other medication. You cannot ignore St Johns Wort, as it is a natural remedy for treatment of depression in spite of having few side effects.
Health Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid
July 02, 2012 07:53 AM
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid, popularly abbreviated as ALA, can also be referred to as thioctic acid. It is an antioxidant as well as a fatty acid occurring naturally in the body. Every single cell in your body has this compound, which can also be sourced from food staff such as broccoli, spinach, organ meats, peas, brussel sprouts and rice bran. The following is a comprehensive list of the health benefits of ALA.
Health benefits of ALA on the aging process
ALA is known to delay the aging process. It does this through its antioxidant properties that help reduce cell damage, a condition that contributes to early aging of cells. This function also helps protect you from chronic illnesses that are attributed to old age.
Health benefits of ALA on brain cells
ALA also protects your brain from the damage caused by free radicals, thus protecting you from dementia and memory related problems. Studies conducted on animals have shown that this acid helps boost memory. Free radicals are also associated with brain cancer, and so this antioxidant helps protect you from developing malignant tumors in your brain. It also protects you from diseases such as Alzheimer.
Health benefits of ALA on blood sugar
Lipoic acid has been found to help regulate blood sugar thus helping relieve the symptoms of diabetes. It helps relieve the numbness, tingling, pain and itchiness experienced by diabetes patients. This function makes ALA an effective remedy for diabetes-related conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, cardiac autonomic neuropathy and autonomic neuropathy.
Health benefits of ALA on the skin
ALA has been used to manufacture a wide range of beauty creams because of its ability to improve the skin texture. This acid also protects the skin against sun damage, thus reducing chances of developing sunburns. It reduces the size of your skin pores thus helping correct specific types of acne. Finally, ALA helps improve the radiance of your skin thus giving you a beautiful and glowing skin.
Other health benefits of ALA
ALA plays almost all the roles of antioxidants, since it also helps boost your immunity. This function helps protect you from diseases such as:
• Multiple sclerosis
One of the advantages that ALA has over other antioxidants is that it is both water soluble and fat soluble, unlike the other antioxidants that are soluble in either water or fat only. Therefore, its health benefits can be felt all over your body. In addition, ALA is found in all cells within your body and so deficiencies are rare.
Even though ALA is synthesized naturally within your body cells, their production goes down as you age. This is why alpha lipoic acid supplements are available. They are often presented in the form of capsules. There is no recommended daily dose of this supplement, but you need the guidance of a health physician in order to determine the right dosage for you. These supplements may cause serious reactions with specific drugs, and so your doctor will determine whether they are appropriate for you. Children are not allowed to take alpha llipoic acid supplements because their bodies are still in a position to release enough for their needs.
How does 5-HTP Help the Brain?
May 28, 2012 08:17 AM
5-HTP is the abbreviation of 5-Hydroxytryptophan, an amino acid that converts tryptophan into serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps with the regulation of sleep, mood and appetite, and it is found in the stomach or the CNS. 5-HTP is mainly obtained from animal products especially red meats and eggs. Fish and dairy products are also rich in this amino acid. Vegetarians get this compound from pumpkin seeds, oats, potatoes, peanuts and dried dates. Due to its ability to regulate the amount of serotonin and melatonin in your body, 5-HTP regulates the functioning of your brain.
The following are the health benefits of this compound:
It fixes anxiety
Anxiety and panic disorders are some of the most popular mental disorders that can be cured using 5-HTP. These two illnesses occur when your body experiences a deficiency of serotonin. Therefore, taking supplements of this amino acid reduces your chances of developing any or both of these conditions.
It treats insomnia
Insomnia is a problem that affects the quality of your sleep. Sleep is normally regulated by your brain. Every night, your brain releases receptors that lead to the five stages of a sleep cycle. If your brain fails to release the appropriate receptors, you cannot enjoy a complete sleep cycle. In addition, Melatonin is the hormone that induces sleep and therefore its absence leads to poor sleep quality. The production of sufficient melatonin therefore boosts the quality of your sleep and helps with the treatment of insomnia.
It helps relieve the symptoms of depression
Your mood is controlled by the neurotransmitter serotonin. The absence of this neurotransmitter leads to the development of a depressed mood. However, the availability of 5-HTP in your body leads to the production of sufficient serotonin thus restoring your happiness.
It also treats eating disorders especially among young children Your brain controls your levels of appetite. Serotonin is specifically in charge of this function, and therefore its deficiency in your body leads to a disruption in your appetite mechanism. Most people who have this problem often tend to eat lots of sweet foods that are rich in empty calories, high carb and junk food. This often leads to obesity and overweight. However, taking 5-HTP supplements restores your appetite mechanism thus protecting you from eating disorders and subsequent complications such as obesity.
It is a natural pain killer
5-HTP enhances the production of endorphins, thus helping your body overcome pain and Migraines. Chronic headache is often associated with low levels of serotonin, and this can be reversed by taking sufficient 5-HTP. Serotonin has a calming and soothing effect on the central nervous system, and therefore the sufficient release of this neurotransmitter helps ease pain on the head.
5-HTP helps relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is often accompanied by chronic pains and aches that can be relieved by taking sufficient supply of 5-HTP. This is because this amino acid helps with the secretion of serotonin, which helps ease such pains and aches.
It is therefore important for you to ensure that you have sufficient supply of 5-HTP in order to enhance the functioning of your brain.
What Is L-Carnosine And What Does It Do?
March 30, 2012 08:28 AM
What Is L-Carnosine
L-Carnosine is basically a combination of 2 vital amino acids-L-histidine and beta-alanine. It is naturally present in the body, mainly in the muscle, and in many animals too. Carnosine can be broken down easily into the two amino acids, but it is good to know that these amino acids work much better when combined to form L-Carnosine. L-Carnosine has the remarkable ability to revitalize, that is, to make older cells younger and lengthen their life cycle. This compound is commercially available and is the only one that has the rare and distinctive ability to rejuvenate cells.
What does L-Carnosine do?
In simple language, L-carnosine is able to transform itself into so many compounds with each performing or enhancing a number of crucial body functions such as:
May bind to dangerous metal compounds to make them inactive.
Turning the resultant metal compound/carnosine into useful antioxidants which in turn can be anti-ulcer agents
Protecting and stabilizing cell membranes, keeping cells safe from dangerous free radicals
Protecting healthy cells from damage caused by radiation
Enhances blood flow to the brain
Acts like a neurotransmitter, helping messages move from one nerve to the other. This helps fight dementia, as in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, and boost memory.
Blocks guanylate cyclase activation, an enzyme associated with cancer, Migraine, asthma, and septic shock.
Special derivatives of carnosine can help get rid of the accumulation of sugar compounds and abnormal protein in the eye. A variety of these compounds may cause glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
Carnosine works like a catalyst to boost the work of so many other compounds and nutrients.
Benefits of using L-carnosine
Although L-carnosine benefits haven't been extensively researched, according to initial studies it may help in:
Dealing with complications related to cataracts, diabetes, neuropathy, and kidney failure.
It may also help in slowing down aging in skin, minimizing wrinkles as well as breakdown of elasticity in skin.
It can help to prevent joint inflammation, atherosclerosis, and formation of cataract.
Carnosine has been known to prevent and reduce cell damage occasioned by beta amyloid-the substance found in Alzheimer's patent's brain.
Additionally, carnosine appears able to help get rid of the helicobacter pylori bacterium, the organism associated with stomach cancer and peptic cancer. Therefore, it can significantly help protect and heal both peptic and gastric ulcers.
Other possible L-carnosine benefits
Increase muscle endurance and strength
Improves heart function
Speeds healing of wound
A powerful antioxidant that can deal with even the worst free radicals
Reduces inflammation and boosts immunity
It helps pull out or chelate some heavy metals from your body
May help autistic children
Act as anti-cancer agent in the body
Stabilizes cell membranes and slows down lipid peroxidation to protect the process of aging of the brain
L-carnosine can help in preventing or even treating age-related conditions like:
Cell aging/cellular senescence
Cross-linking of eye lens
Build up of damaged proteins
Brain circulatory deficit
Cross-linking of collagen in the skin
DNA chromosome damage
LDL cholesterol oxidation
Formation of AGEs i.e. advanced glycation end-products.
What is stopping you from taking L-Carnosine today?
What Makes Curamin Such A Good Natural Pain Remedy?
March 07, 2012 06:57 AM
Curamin: A Natural Anti-Inflammatory
When nerve endings become irritated, they cause pain. This is because of factors such as lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance, stress, nutritional imbalance, etc. Pain is generally symptomatic of some dysfunction or inflammation in our body and the first reaction for those suffering from it is to reach out for a pain killer. This is where Curamin comes in.
Curamin is a proprietary formula and a curcumin based supplement. Curcumin is a beneficial compound found in turmeric, a popular Indian spice. Turmeric has been used since centuries in the field of alternate medicine like Ayurveda because of its many medicinal properties. The compound, curcumin in fact, has the ability to reduce pain by supporting the body's ability to respond to swelling and inflammation. It has been found equivalent to some popular allopathic pain killers. Apart from this, it also has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anticancer properties and has been found to promote anti depressant and cognitive enhancement benefits.
Curamin is a product having a formula based on this particular compound of turmeric and is therefore extracted out of natural ingredients and has been found to have minimal side effects. Curamin, apart from other ingredients, also contains a strain of curcumin that has a high absorption factor which makes it several times more effective and stronger than plain curcumin products. It not only balances the body's response to inflammation but also has been observed to have a consistent and long lasting effect. Therefore, this makes curamin the most effective form of curcumin available.
Studies have established that curamin is safe and does not interfere with kidney, liver or stomach functions. The safe dosage recommended by the company is two pills twice a day for pain alleviation and not more than 8 pills within a 24-hour period. An overdose of such herbal products may sometimes cause intestinal discomfort at the most.
Main Ingredients of Curamin
Curamin has four principle ingredients that have an overall effect on inflammation caused in the bones and joints due to arthritis or overuse and exercise. These ingredients include: DL-phenylalanine or DLPA is a two part amino acid that acts as a positive mood enhancer by preventing the breakdown of enkephalin compound and also helps in the production of brain chemicals like dopamine and norepinephrine. Boswellia that helps to prevent the activity of the inflammatory enzyme. Curcumin which helps block multiple pathways within the body to retard and stop inflammation. Nattokinase which is an enzyme that helps the fast absorption of the ingredients through the body by promoting blood flow and improving circulation.
Benefits of Curamin
Curamin has helped people suffering from problems like arthritis, Migraines, bursitis, and soreness caused by accidents or injuries. It also helps build resistance and immunity to inflammation concerned especially with the bones and joints.
Curamin, being a plant based product has no toxic effects and is available with many natural medicine practitioners and pharmacies. It is a very effective natural alternative to allopathic drugs and painkillers that over a long term use cause many side effects, some of which are potent.
If you are in pain, try curamin today!
What Are The Health Benefits Of Magnesium?
March 03, 2012 08:05 AM
Magnesium is of paramount importance for the overall health. It is required by the body in sufficient amount to facilitate certain metabolic processes. Unfortunately, most people are so focused on the need to supply the body with vitamins, iron and calcium that they forget about this important mineral. It is found in green vegetables, peas, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and whole grains. Its deficiency can result in serious effects like weak muscles, loss of appetite, vomiting and nausea. The following are some health benefits of magnesium.
Magnesium benefits for the bones and muscles Magnesium is important for the formation of strong bones and teeth. However, it is not directly responsible but it helps the body to absorb calcium to keep the bones strong.Its supplements are used to treat back ache as it relieves muscle tension and stress also.It can be used by people with calcium deficiency although it should not replace calcium. The person should continue taking calcium even when taking magnesium.Magnesium is used in muscle contractions treatment as it helps the muscles to relax.Athletes and sportsmen are advised to consume lots of magnesium as it aids in blood circulation during physical exercises to ensure that muscles have enough oxygen.
Benefits of magnesium for heart health Magnesium is very important for health. It aids heart rates and also prevents the formation of blood clots which can cause stroke.In addition, to preventing heart diseases, it can aid in recovering from heart disease.It is also regulates breathing and thus is used in treatment of respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis.It regulates blood sugar levels to prevent high blood pressure.
Other benefits of magnesium Absorption: magnesium aids the absorption of potassium, phosphorus and sodium which are important for the general health of our bodies.Prevent diabetes: it regulates the production of insulin in the body to make sure the blood glucose levels are maintained at the right levels.
Pregnancy: in pregnant women it reduces safe delivery and reduces labor pain also. Not only that, it regulates blood sugar levels to ensure the health of the unborn baby and the mother.
Depression: by regulating blood pressure it relieves the symptoms of depression which include stress, anger and anxiety. Migraine: Magnesium is beneficial for people suffering from Migraine as well as those with insomnia.Anti aging: It prevents the signs of aging such as wrinkles by nourishing the body cells. It is also effective in preventing degenerating diseases such as cancer.
What are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?
Magnesium deficiency can result in diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Osteoporosis and nerve malfunctioning are other symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Osteoporosis is a bone disease which increases the risk of fractures and injury. Other symptoms are listed below. Asthma Depression Headache Leg cramps Migraine Loss of appetite Diarrhea.
The symptoms are always subtle but they should not be neglected because by addressing them early one can prevent complications such as heart disease.
The above listed health benefits of magnesium are a clear indication that people should include the mineral in the diet.
What Are The Health Benefits Of The Grain Quinoa?
February 13, 2012 01:57 AM
Quinoa is a gluten free seed rich in dietary fibers with creamy, fluffy and slightly crunchy texture. Its taste is somewhat nutty when cooked. It belongs to the family of spinach, beets, swiss chard and lamb's quarter.It is a complete protein grain with all the essential amino acids. There are nine essential amino acids known as the building blocks of protein. Amino acids help in building strong muscles and nourish the nerves.It is also rich in essential minerals such as manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and iron.
Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain of a goose foot plant. The name quinoa came from Greek words chen which means goose and pou which means foot. This is because the leaves of the plant of quinoa seeds resemble the webbed foot of a goose.
Quinoa has been cultivated as early as the 12th century by the Incans, the ancient people of South America. They referred to quinoa as the "mother seed",considered as a sacred grain and gold of the Incans.They believed that it is a gift from gods that possesses enhancing properties.The emperor ritually planted and sowed the first quinoa seed of the season using his golden taquiza, a shovel like planting stick. Quinoa gives energy and increases oxygen to the relay teams of bare footed running messengers who lived in the mountains with an altitude considered high enough where oxygen level is reduced.This is because they were holding ash from quinoa plant and cocoa leaves. This combination increases oxygen in their body to sustain the runners increasing need for oxygen. In can armies also used quinoa to energize their body from frequent marching for days. Quinoa is part of the native Indian diet to increase their resistance to prevail over harsh living condition in the high mountains.
Today quinoa is making its name popular in the industry of wonder foods.It is so high in protein that builds and nourishes muscle tissues. It is used to treat people with Migraine, diabetes and atherosclerosis. It is a good source of magnesium that relaxes the blood vessels. Magnesium reduces attack of Migraine by improving blood and oxygen distribution to the brain.
Magnesium combined with high dietary fiber found in quinoa helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure and prevents cardiovascular diseases. Fibers absorb and eliminate bad cholesterol.It prevents plaque that blocks the arteries and enhances blood circulation.This process prevents atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries due to fat deposits and plaque buildup that narrows the arteries.
Quinoa is rich in anti oxidants that shields each cells from getting damaged caused by free radicals, pollution, alcohol and medication. It boosts the immunity and increases resistance from stress. Anti oxidants and fibers prevent risks of cancer and diabetes.Obesity and overweight are the most common risk factor of diabetes. Fibers remove toxins and excess fats, improve digestion and maintain healthy body weight to prevent diabetes.While antioxidants enhances cell regeneration and repair. This process lowers risks of cancer.
Quinoa is highin insoluble fiber thatprevents gallstones and helps in cleansing the liver. Whole grains like quinoa reduce asthma, allergic cough and wheezing in children. The protein in quinoa strengthens the muscle tissues of the air passage, thus prevents inflammation that narrows the airways of asthma patients.
Melatonin, Sleep, and insomnia
February 08, 2012 08:01 AM
The pattern according to which a human being wakes up and remains awake during the day and falls asleep at night is regulated by a hormone known as Melatonin. This hormone was first discovered by a team of researchers that was led by a Yale dermatologist by the name of Dr. Aaron Lerner. While Lerner passed away on the 3rd of February, 2007, however, his discovery was quite groundbreaking in medical science.
Initially back in 1958, the Melatonin hormone that was isolated from the pineal gland inside a frog's brain was believed to be a cure for skin pigmentation problems. However, it was later discovered that rather than helping to treat skin pigmentation problems, this hormone had a role in regulating the wake and sleep pattern of human beings. There, Dr. Aaron Lerner and his team of researchers came to conclusion that sleep related problems; especially insomnia could be treated using this hormone.
Almost millions of Americans these days are suffering from sleep disorders include insomnia, narcolepsy, etc. Insomnia, in particular, is not really a disease but is merely a disorder or a symptom that makes an individual sleepless and makes it difficult for them to fall asleep. In fact, people suffering from insomnia are hardly able to get any quality sleep, especially at night, which is most essential for them. Those people who have had a couple of sleepless nights can be certain that they are suffering from insomnia, however, people rarely visit a doctor when suffering from this sleep disorder.
There are a variety of reasons that cause insomnia. Anxiety, depression, discomfort, specific medical illnesses, stress, etc. are some of the most common causes of insomnia. Insomnia can last for both short and long periods of time. When it comes to safely treating insomnia, the melatonin hormone can be used for this purpose. Presently there are numerous natural melatonin supplements available in the market that can be used by insomniacs as a remedy for the sleep disorder they are suffering from.
It was somewhere during the mid 1990s when this hormone became available in the form of pills. At that time travelers who frequently suffered from jet lag used supplements containing this hormone.
These days, after further research claims are being made that many other benefits are also offered by this antioxidant hormone. Research has proven that headaches and Migraines, which are among the causes of insomnia, can be effectively relieved by using supplements containing melatonin. It is believed that the certain cancers can also be prevented from further developing with the help of this hormone.
As for insomnia, it is a sleep disorder that disrupts the natural sleep and wake pattern of the body. This hormone, therefore, restores that pattern back to normal causing people to feel sleepy at the right time when they actually need sleep. This sleep is being promoted by a natural hormone so these supplements cannot be considered drugs and neither do they cause an individual to feel as if they are drugged. Insomniacs will simply begin feeling naturally sleepy and this is why it is safe to use melatonin supplements to treat insomnia.
Give it a try and feel the difference
What Are The Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency?
August 15, 2011 06:25 PM
Magnesium is a chemical element and the seventh most abundant element in the crust of the Earth and is third most being dissolved in seawater. In the human body, it is the 11th most abundant by mass. Its ions are essential and play a major role in all living things through its ability to manipulate important biological polyphosphate compounds and most familiar of which is DNA. It is important in over 350 needed biochemical reactions in the body. Digestion, energy production, the function of muscle, formation of bone, creation of new cells, activation of B vitamins, relaxation of muscles, and also aids in the proper functioning of major parts of the body like heart, kidneys, brain and nervous system.
Magnesium deficiency is a state of the body where in dietary magnesium is below acceptable levels because of poor intake and can result to numerous symptoms and diseases. Magnesium deficiency is more common than most people think. However, these can usually be remedied by an uptake of magnesium in diet or through supplementation. In sever case though, intravenous remedies may be required. The initial symptoms of magnesium deficiency are more often than not subtle. Magnesium is stored by our body in its tissues, so pain in the muscles, cramps and some “twitches” are most commonly the first tell tale signs. Moving on down the list Migraine, insomnia, or headaches are also most common of magnesium deficiency symptoms. Magnesium deficiency not only exists but is common.
Low Energy and Weakness
Magnesium has a key role in regulating how well our body processes the conversion of food into usable energy. Metabolism of carbohydrates and fats needs a number of magnesium-dependent chemical reactions. Some studies have found that during a low-magnesium phase of the body we use up more oxygen during physical activities. Our heart rates will increase by an additional 10 beats per minute. Inadequate magnesium has long been associated with a need for increased oxygen during strenuous activities and people who routinely complain of low energy should benefit from magnesium supplementation. Our muscles only can be pushed as far as its nutrition will allow, in other words if we lack magnesium to help lessen the need of oxygen all throughout our bodies then we should have an overall increase of energy and lessen the feeling of weakness since oxygen equals energy for our muscles, we need to help lessen our muscles need for oxygen to make it function more efficiently.
Weakening of the Bones
Some studies have found that Magnesium is perhaps, the most important single element to promote the health of our bones. For so long calcium was considered the foremost mineral in preventing Osteoporosis, however new research has proven that supplementing with magnesium is equally important. Magnesium comprises a percent of the human bones mineral make up. Bone mineral metabolism and matrix are both influenced by magnesium and allows are body to assimilate calcium easier. In essence it helps calcium to be absorbed by the bones more easily.
What is the Difference between 5-HTP and Tryptophan And How Does It Help Sleep Patterns?
June 22, 2011 11:00 AM
5-Htp and Tryptophan to Sleep Better, Feel Better
5-HTP, short for 5-hydroxytryptophan, is an organic compound that naturally occurs in the human body. It is a metabolite of tryptophan, and as such it serves as a chemical intermediate in the synthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. It is sold over the counter in many countries primarily as a dietary supplement. In addition, it is used as an antidepressant, appetite suppressant, and sleep aid.
Tryptophan to 5-HTP
Tryptophan is best known as an essential amino acid that must be obtained from the diet. Popular sources of this amino acid are eggs, cheese, pork, turkey, chicken, beef, salmon, and white flour. In one metabolic pathway, tryptophan is processed into vitamin B3, or niacin. In a completely different pathway, it is metabolized into serotonin and then melatonin, both of which are processed from 5-HTP.
Also known as oxitriptan, 5-HTP has been the subject of numerous studies in the past few decades. Being the immediate precursor of serotonin, regular intake has been observed to specifically increase the production of serotonin, the reason why it has been a very important amino acid widely utilized in the treatment of depression. On the other hand, tryptophan is utilized by the body in many ways.
5-HTP to Serotonin
Supplementation of tryptophan has also been used as a therapeutic treatment for depression. It is an alternative to antidepressants and stimulants, especially for patients deemed unresponsive to conventional treatments. Regular intake of this amino acid is recommended for the sole purpose of raising the levels of serotonin. But in order to do so, tryptophan must be metabolized into 5-HTP first.
Serotonin is often referred to as the happiness hormone, inasmuch as this neurotransmitter is implicated in several chemical reactions that contribute to physical well-being. For example, the perception of hunger is triggered by low serotonin levels. Not surprisingly, serotonin is the target of many drugs, such as antidepressant, anxiolytic, antiemetic, anti-Migraine, and antipsychotic drugs.
Serotonin to Melatonin
It is a widely accepted fact that serotonin produced and released outside the central nervous system does not cross the blood-brain barrier, and thus it does not have the effect of serotonin found in the brain. That being said, its precursors, tryptophan and 5-HTP, can. For this reason, tryptophan and 5-HTP makes a viable candidate in increasing the levels of serotonin in the central nervous system.
Melatonin is synthesized from serotonin by a short metabolic pathway that stems from the synthesis of 5-HTP. Proponents argue that 5-HTP supplements work better than tryptophan due to the fact that the former is the immediate precursor of the neurotransmitters of concern. Furthermore, 5-HTP readily crosses the blood-brain barrier whereas tryptophan is subject to different metabolic pathways.
5-HTP works as an appetite suppressant since it makes serotonin more available outside the nervous system, especially in the digestive tract. By so doing, it promotes the synthesis of melatonin, which induces sleep. It also makes a reliable antidepressant as it increases serotonin levels in the central nervous system.
Grab Some Tryptophan or 5-HTP today and feel better, sleep better right now!
How Does Holy Basil Extract Help with Pain
May 19, 2011 01:52 PM
Holy Basil And Pain Management.
Holy basil extract is an herbal remedy that originated from India. It is best known as an adaptogen, and as such has become an increasingly popular herbal supplement in the past few years. It is effective in the management of stress, and anecdotal evidence is very positive. More importantly, recent studies have compared its analgesic properties to commonly used pain relievers in the market.
Many different factors are involved in the perception of pain, but most painful conditions are tied to the process of inflammation. Pain is in fact a mechanism of the human body in response to situations that are potentially harmful or even life-threatening. For example, signals are sent to the brain from the body part exposed to extreme temperatures, allowing us to move away from the harmful stimulus.
Pain is of course an undesirable condition, though it is helpful in certain situations. The thought of pain alone brings about disagreeable feelings, such as fear. No wonder people are always seeking for remedies for physical pain, which can be caused by open wounds or physical trauma. More often than not, it is linked to routine activities, such as bad sleeping positions and sitting for long periods of time.
Modern lifestyle renders the human body more susceptible to pain, brought on by injuries and wounds as well as physical inactivity. There are countless working conditions that doctors and medical professionals have pointed out to be real occupational hazards. We often do not care so much about the way we work because the repercussions are not immediately felt, not while we are young. Two major factors lead to chronic pain later in life: wear and tear of tissues and limited physical exertion.
We become increasingly sensitive to pain as we age. We keep a wrong position during sleep sometimes, and the next morning we feel all sorts of muscle pain, such as neck pain. Similar pains take place every time we lean into our computer at work. In general, these kinds of pain are due to poor posture, which can easily be remedied. However, this can take a turn for the worse in the next couple of years as we continually subject our body to muscle strain and physical immobility.
This is when natural remedies can help us. Holy basil has an age-old association with the relief of pain due to muscle strain. The chemical compounds that occur naturally in the plant species Ocimum tenuiflorum have been discovered to interact with mediators of inflammation. Researchers have learned that holy basil extracts are not only relieves pain but also contributes to holistic health.
More importantly, holy basil extracts appear to inhibit an enzyme called COX-2, which facilitates the biosynthesis of pain chemicals. Its role is to get our attention and tell us that there is something wrong with our body. This enzyme is responsible for the sensitizing arthritic joints to pain. It is also implicated in severe headaches, Migraine attacks, muscle cramps, and related symptoms.
If you experience chronic pain, give holy basil a try!
Can Butterbur Help Me with Migraines
April 02, 2011 12:14 PM
Butterbur and Headaches
Butterbur has helped countless of Migraine sufferers for more than three decades. In Europe, it is available as a prescription drug, which neurologists have prescribed since 1972. It has been the subject of numerous studies and reviews in a span of 40 years that have come to a conclusion that it does alleviate symptoms of Migraine and reduce frequency of attacks. It is one of the herbal remedies clinically tested in Migraine centers in the US. To date there has been no recorded adverse effects and harmful drug interactions, and as such available in the US over the counter, no prescription required. It has been compared to beta blockers and anticonvulsants and in general believed to be better than both of these more common treatments.
Petasites hybridus, the common butterbur, is the herb where butterbur extracts are obtained from although other species that belong to the genus Petasites are also known to produce the same health benefits. Petasites comprises up to 20 plant species widely distributed across the globe, a number of which have been tied to folk medicine throughout the ages. Petasites hybridus is native to North America and thrive well in marshes and wetlands, where there is a significant amount of moisture in the soil.
American Indians have long used its rhizomatous roots to fight off headaches and inflammation-induced diseases, such as asthma attacks and hay fever. Indeed the discovery of the organic compounds petasin, isopetasin, and oxopetasin explained its long-standing association with the treatment of Migraines and allergies. Today most butterbur preparations do not contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which were identified to cause liver damage. That being said, it is still best to seek professional advice and ask assistance in choosing products from a reputable laboratory.
Interferes with Releases of Pain Chemicals
The phytochemicals unique to Butterbur have been well investigated, and results point to their effects on inhibiting the productions of local pain chemicals, which are pro-inflammatory in nature. Leukotrienes are lipid mediators that supervise the productions of other intermediaries of inflammation. Prostaglandins are responsible for vasodilation of blood vessels and their consequent sensitization to pain. Butterbur has been observed to influence these two pain chemicals.
Plays the Role of a Natural Beta Blocker
Beta-adrenergic antagonists, or simply beta blockers, are a class of drugs that target endogenous catecholamines implicated in Migraine attacks. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are catecholamines that act on beta-andrenergic receptors, leading to a reduced blood flow in the brain. This results in the spasmodic contractions of cerebral blood vessels characteristic of Migraines. Butterbur works on the principle of blocking the effects of catecholamines and inducing normal blood flow to the brain.
Produces No Known Serious Side Effects
Most analgesics and beta blockers have been associated with several adverse effects, which more often than not include nausea, dizziness, and muscle weakness. Many have been reported to cause weight gain. None of these have been linked to regular use of butterbur, one of the reasons why it has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years.
If you suffer from Migraine headaches, give butterbur a try!
Melatonin, What is it, Sleep And How it Helps!
December 22, 2010 03:20 PM
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin, or N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, is a hormone secreted during the hours of darkness by the light-sensitive pineal gland located in the brain and also by bone marrow, epithelial cells and lymphocytes. Melatonin plays a role in the human circadian cycle because of the fact that it is secreted only when it is dark. It can therefore be used to treat sleeping disorders, although it also affects conditions such as fibromyalgia and depression.
Melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant, particularly protecting the DNA from free radical oxidation and studies have indicated a potential application in inhibiting the aggregation of amyloid beta protein in the brain that promotes Alzheimer's disease. It not only reduces the production of cholesterol in the gall bladder, but also increases the rate of conversion of cholesterol to bile, thus reducing the amount available for oxidation in the arteries that leads to atherosclerosis.
A melatonin supplement is also believed to be an effective treatment for Migraine and helps the gall bladder to expel gallstones, rendering them less likely to become a problem.
Melatonin and Sleep
Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted mainly by the pineal gland, a small pea-sized gland in the brain that is sensitive to light in that it secretes this hormone only during the hours of darkness. For this reason, melatonin can be used to help people sleep earlier and awake earlier, by shifting the circadian cycle to an earlier time.
An interesting factor learned from the effect of light on melatonin is that it is suppressed only by blue light (460-480 nanometers) and by wearing blue filtering glasses it is possible to achieve the same effect as taking a supplement of the hormone. That is, to sleep earlier and waken earlier.
People suffering jet lag, or who have to adapt to differing shift work patterns, benefit by taking melatonin, and it has also been used in helping with benzodiazepine withdrawal and helping people to stop smoking. You must let your doctor know you are using it, and in many countries it is available only by prescription.
October 29, 2009 12:56 PM
The pennyroyal herb is a member of the mint genus. It is an essential oil that is extracted and used in aromatherapy. Crushed pennyroyal leaves and foliage give off a very strong spearmint fragrance. Traditionally, pennyroyal is used as culinary herb, folk medicine, and abortifacient. This herb was commonly used by the Greeks and Romans as a cooking herb. The Greeks often flavored their wine with pennyroyal. Additionally, a large number of the recipes in the Roman cookbook of Apicius use pennyroyal along with herbs such as lovage, oregano, and coriander. Although it was still commonly used for cooking in the Middle Ages, it slowly fell out of use as a culinary herb. Today, it is seldom used. However, the essential oil of pennyroyal is extremely high in pulegone, which is toxic volatile organic compound, and is therefore poisonous to the liver and can stimulate uterine activity.
Pennyroyal was brought by European settlers to the New World. There, they found that Native Americans were using the American variety of pennyroyal for repelling insects, skin irritations, and many of the same illnesses that they were using their own variety for. Additionally, this herb was used to soothe the stomach and relieve cold symptoms. The pennyroyal that is found in America has similar properties to the herb that is found in Europe. However, the European variety is thought to be much more potent.
This herb possesses a volatile oil that works to remove gas from the stomach. It can be consumed as a tea of used as a footbath. If it is taken a few days before menstruation is due, it can help increase a suppressed flow. The pennyroyal tea is beneficial in relieving cold symptoms and also promoting perspiration. This herb has a strong, minty odor. It is used externally to repel insects like fleas, flies, and mosquitoes.
The oil of the pennyroyal plant is extremely concentrated and is often linked to toxic results. The oil is often associated with abortions and convulsions that result in death. It is believed that the oil irritates the uterus, which causes uterine contractions. The action is not predictable and is potentially dangerous. It is recommended that the oil be used only externally as a natural insect repellant. This herb is suggested for use as a decongestant for coughs and colds. Tea that is made from the pennyroyal herb is not associated with toxicity. In fact, it helps to relax the digestive tract and soothe the stomach.
In short, the entire pennyroyal plant is used to provide alterative, antispasmodic, antivenomous, aromatic, carminative, decongestant, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, nervine, oxytocic, parasiticide, sedative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. Primarily, pennyroyal is extremely beneficial in treating bronchitis, childbirth pain, colds, colic, uterine cramps, fevers, gas, lung infections, and absent menstruation. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with convulsions, coughs, abdominal cramps, delirium, earache, flu, gout, headaches, leprosy, measles, Migraines, mucus, nausea, phlegm, pleurisy, pneumonia, smallpox, sunstroke, toothaches, tuberculosis, ulcers, uterine problems, and vertigo.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by pennyroyal, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
October 20, 2009 12:02 PM
For thousands of years feverfew has been used for the treatment of various ailments. History is full of references to feverfew. Dioscorides, an ancient Greek herbalist, recommended the use of feverfew almost two thousand years ago, as he valued the herb for childbirth, fevers, melancholy, and congestion of the lungs. It was also suggested for arthritis. In 1772, feverfew was suggested to be used to treat painful headaches. Many people believe that feverfew obtained its name from its use as a remedy for bringing down fevers, but this has been determined to be incorrect. Instead, the name came from the traditional Old English name for feverfew, featherfew. Featherfew came from the feather-shaped leaves of the feverfew plant.
Feverfew has been used for a long time as a natural remedy for pain relief, as it is considered an excellent remedy for Migraines. This herb was used to treat any kind of pain and helped with chills and fever. Additionally, it helps in relieving colds, dizziness, tinnitus, and inflammation from arthritis. The herb works gradually and with a gentle action that allows the body to heal itself.
The most popular use of feverfew is in the prevention and relief of Migraine headaches. In a study, those given the placebo had an increase in frequency and severity of headaches, nausea, and vomiting. On the other hand, those given the feverfew capsules had no increase in frequency or severity of Migraines. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study was done on seventy-two volunteers. One group received capsule dried feverfew leaves, while the other received a placebo. The group taking feverfew showed less severity of attacks and a reduction in symptoms that were associated with Migraines, including vomiting. There was a definite improvement in the group using feverfew and no serious side effects resulted. Because some forms of Migraines are believed to be associated with abnormal platelet behavior, feverfew may be beneficial as it has been found to help restrain the release of serotonin from platelets. This prevents a Migraine from occurring.
It is thought that feverfew may also be a useful treatment in cases of rheumatoid arthritis. This is because of its ability to inhibit the formation of inflammation-promoting compounds like prostaglandins and leukotriene. This herb seems to have similar properties to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), like aspirin. Feverfew may actually be even more effective with a lot fewer potential complications. Some of the studies involving feverfew and Migraines have shown that feverfew may also lower blood pressure.
The leaves and flowers of the feverfew plant are used to provide alterative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, aromatic, bitter, carminative, emmenagogue, febrifuge, nervine, parasiticide, mild purgative, stimulant, and vasodilator properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are iron, niacin, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, vitamins A and C, and zinc. Primarily, feverfew is extremely helpful in dealing with chills, colds, fever, headaches, sinus headaches, and inflammation.
Additionally, this herb is very beneficial in treating aches, ague, allergies, anxiety, arthritis, insect bites, poor circulation, dizziness, gastric disorders, nervous headaches, hot flashes, indigestion, and menopausal symptoms, absent menstruation, nervousness, tinnitus, and vertigo. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by feverfew, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Periwinkle - Vinpocetine
October 09, 2009 10:23 AM
Periwinkle can be found natively growing in North America, Europe, China, and India. The plant is a semi woody evergreen perennial. It is known by three names: Vinca, Periwinkle, and Myrtle. Typically, the plant is grown as an annual. It has a woody stem that can be found near the base and grows two to three feet tall and spreads out just as wide. The plant has a long life span of approximately twenty years. It also has a moderate growth rate. The plant has dark green foliage and bright blue flowers. The leaves are retained from year to year and are about two to three inches in length. This plant is very easy to grow, requiring little or no attention. Typically, it does best in poor, well drained soils. The flowers will suffer if the soils are too fertile. The periwinkle plant needs full sun or partial shade. It should be watered moderately during the growing season, but it is relatively drought resistant once it is established. The plant does not tolerate over watering. Fungus problems can occur in humid or wet weather.
For centuries, periwinkle has been used in different areas of the world to treat a variety of conditions. This herb grows in temperate climates and is often grown as an ornamental plant. Periwinkle juice from the leaves of the plant is used in India and applied to bee stings and bug bites. The plant grows well in Hawaii. The extract has been applied to wounds to stop bleeding. This herb can be found growing in South America and has been used for a wide variety of medicinal purposes. Periwinkle was used by native healers in Madagascar for cancer. Vincristine sulfate and vinblastine sulfate, two anticancer drugs, were developed from the periwinkle plant after the herbal healers in Madagascar were studied.
Periwinkle is considered to be a good binder. It can be chewed to stop bleeding in both the nose and mouth. It has been used historically for female complaints including excessive menstrual bleeding and uterine discharge. It also helps in aiding blood coagulation in wounds. This herb is effective in treating colitis, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, headaches, Migraines, nervous conditions, and diabetes.
Studies have found that periwinkle possesses anticancer attributes. Anticancer agents in periwinkle have been used to treat Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, and cancer of the lungs, liver, and kidneys, along with other types of cancer. Periwinkle can be found natively growing in North America, Europe, China, and India. The plant is a semi woody evergreen perennial. It is known by three names: Vinca, Periwinkle, and Myrtle. Typically, the plant is grown as an annual. It has a woody stem that can be found near the base and grows two to three feet tall and spreads out just as wide. The plant has a long life span of approximately twenty years. It also has a moderate growth rate. The plant has dark green foliage and bright blue flowers. The leaves are retained from year to year and are about two to three inches in length. This plant is very easy to grow, requiring little or no attention. Typically, it does best in poor, well-drained soils. The flowers will suffer if the soils are too fertile. The periwinkle plant needs full sun or partial shade. It should be watered moderately during the growing season, but it is relatively drought r
The entire periwinkle plant is used to provide antineoplastic, astringent, hemostatic, nervine, and sedative properties. Primarily, periwinkle is extremely beneficial in dealing with cancer, diabetes, hemorrhoids, nervousness, and ulcers. Vincamine is an alkaloid found in this plant has been studied and found to support cerebral blood flow, and oxygen and glucose utilization. It may also support cognitive function and enhance memory and concentration when taken regularly.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in treating bleeding, congestion, chronic constipation, cramps, dandruff, chronic diarrhea, internal hemorrhages, leukemia, menstrual bleeding, excessive mucus, nightmares, skin disorders, sores, and toothache. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by periwinkle, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
October 01, 2009 11:57 AM
In the past decade, ginkgo has received much attention. It has been revered throughout China and other areas of Asia for thousands of years. However, its popularity increased in Western countries. An increase in sales can be attributed to interest in the benefits of ginkgo on conditions that are associated with aging like Alzheimer’s, memory loss, dementia, and circulatory disorders. Often, gingko is used to increase the blood flow to the brain, which improves memory problems like Alzheimer’s, to prevent strokes, and to increase blood circulation through vasodialation. The improved circulation is also thought to improve ear conditions, help blood flow to the retina, aid in preventing muscular degeneration, reduce frequency of asthma attacks, and help transplant recipients avoid rejection.
The ability of ginkgo to boost brain function has been studied extensively. Most importantly, ginkgo increases oxygen supply to brain cells, as the brain is the body’s most sensitive organ to oxygen deprivation. Additionally, ginkgo has been used to improve electrical transmission in nerves and supply more oxygen and nutrients to brain cells. The effect that ginkgo has on the brain and circulatory system disorders seems to be extremely promising for a variety of conditions. Ginkgo has also been found to be effective in treating Migraine headaches. In one study that took place in 1975, ginkgo extract was given to individuals who were suffering from Migraines. Results concluded that eighty percent of the patients showed improvement or were cured of the condition.
Ginkgo extract has also helped dementia that results from poor blood flow to the brain. Senile dementia is often recognized by depression, unusual fatigue, and memory problems. Ginkgo has the ability to help improve circulation to the brain tissue, which in turn improves brain function.
Blood platelet aggregation, or clotting, can cause serious problems in the body. Among these are strokes, heart attacks, and coronary thrombosis. It has been found that ginkgo can reduce the tendency for platelets to stick together and prevent them from forming clots in the arteries and veins.
The brain and nervous system are extremely sensitive to free-radical damage because of the high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids. It has been found that ginkgo’s antioxidant activity is particularly powerful in these areas, along with the eye and retina. This is extremely helpful in conditions like retinopathy, cataracts and macular degeneration. The central nervous system possesses fat lipids in the cell membranes that are typically attracted by free radicals. Ginkgo can help protect these cell membranes and prevent condition which can occur in the brain and nervous system that are often associated with aging, like memory loss.
The leaves of the ginkgo plant are used to provide adaptogen, alterative, antioxidant, antiseptic, and stimulant properties. Primarily, ginkgo is extremely helpful in treating ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, lack of attention span, blood clots, cardiovascular disorders, poor circulation, dementia, dizziness, edema, impotence, inflammation, ischemia, memory loss, lack of mental clarity, multiple sclerosis, muscular degeneration, PMS, Raynaud’s disease, senility, stress, stroke, and tinnitus.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with allergies, angina, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, coughs, depression, lack of equilibrium, eye problems, hearing problems, hemorrhoids, lung disorders, Migraines, mood swings, toxic shock syndrome, transplant rejection, varicose veins, vascular problems, and vertigo.
July 20, 2009 11:51 AM
Valerian was used by ancient Greeks for digestion, nausea, and urinary tract disorders. A famous Greek physician, Galen, was known for prescribing valerian to be used as a decongestant. Herbalist John Gerard recommended valerian for chest congestion, convulsions, and bruises in 1597. Additionally, Native Americans traditionally used valerian for healing wounds. It was also accepted as a tranquilizer from 1820 to 1942 and was listed this way until 1950.
One of the most valuable properties of valerian is its ability to produce a deep, satisfying sleep. This herb acts as a relaxant and is an effective remedy for fighting against insomnia. The active ingredients that are found in valerian root are also responsible for relaxing smooth muscle tissue and also depressing the central nervous system. It seems as if there is no single component of valerian that is entirely responsible for all of its sedative activity. Instead, several of the constituents of valerian are responsible for causing the sedative effect when combined together. Like other standard sleep aids that are often prescribed, valerian works in the same way. However, it possesses an advantage in the fact that it does not cause the morning grogginess that is often linked to prescription sleep medications.
There have been many different studies conducted which have all led to the belief that valerian possesses benefits for insomnia, anxiety, and stress. Valerian is also extremely useful for all kinds f sleep disorders, especially when those sleep disorders are related to anxiety, nervousness, headache pain, or even physical and mental exhaustion. Research has proven that valerian is not only effective in treating insomnia, but also in reducing sleep latency and night awakenings.
Valerian has been shown to be great for the heart, lungs, liver, stomach, and the nerves and the brain. It has also shown possibilities in helping with epilepsy, hysteria, Migraines, and the elimination of worms. It does all of these things because it works to calm anxiety, muscle spasms, and nervous tension. In addition to the ability to relax and calm, valerian can help to improve mental acuity and coordination. One study even found that those individuals who were hyperactive were able to concentrate for longer periods of time with the assistance of valerian.
Valerian is rich in calcium, which gives it to the ability to strengthen the spine, nerves, and brain. This herb is also high in magnesium and manganese. Both of these minerals work with calcium in order to build healthy bones and nervous system. Valerian is high in selenium, which strengthens the body against immune related disorders. The niacin content that is found in valerian helps to prevent cholesterol build-up, irritability, depression, loss of memory, and weakness. This herb also contains potassium, iron, sodium, zinc, silicon, and vitamins A and C. There appear to be no contraindications to the use of valerian during pregnancy or lactation. Valerian is thought to be safe for almost everyone. Although safe, this herb is usually recommended for short-term use.
Great herbs like valerian are available in capsule, tablet, and liquid extract forms at your local or internet health food store. For more information about valerian and its benefits, contact your local health food retailer. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the valerian product you purchase.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
May 13, 2009 12:39 PM
The barberry plant is a shrub that has gray, thorny branches. This shrub can grow up to nine feet tall. The flower of the barberry plant are bright yellow and bloom between the months of April and June. These flowers then become dark, drooping bunches of red berries in the fall.
The use of barberry dates back approximately three thousand years, originating in China in India where it was used for the treatment of diarrhea and intestinal infections. The barberry plant was used by Native Americans for treating liver conditions like jaundice. Additionally, Egyptians mixed the berries of the plant with fennel seed to protect themselves from the plague. Barberry is made up of an alkaloid known as berberine, which can also be found in other medicinal herbs such as goldenseal and Orgeon grape. The therapeutic effects of barberry can be attributed to its berberine content.
Studies have concluded that berberine contains properties that are effective against a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These studies also found that berberine was much more effective in treating some bacteria than even a strong antibiotic. Other studies have found that barberry has the potential to kill microorganisms including staphylococci, streptococci, salmonella, Giardia lamblia, Escherichia coli, shigella, and Candida albicans. The berberine in barberry has been noted to contain antidarrheal properties. This alkaloid is also recommended for stimulating the immune system.
The effects of barberry include helping against cancer, liver problems, kidney problems, coughs, cholera, diarrhea, fever, inflammation, hypertension, and tumors. Barberry has also been recommended to increase bile secretions and stimulate the appetite. This herb may also help in cases of anemia and malnutrition. Barberry stimulates bile production for liver problems and also dilates blood vessels to lower blood pressure.
Barberry is used in easing inflammation and infection of the urinary, gastrointestinal, and respiratory tracts, as well as candida infections of the both the skin and vagina. Barberry extract has also been shown to improve symptoms that are associated with certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis. However, more research is still needed on determining the reliability of these findings. Barberry is shown to be an extremely effective treatment for diarrhea. A few studies have found that barberry is able to improve symptoms faster than antibiotics. This is possibly because of its astringent properties. However antibiotics are still thought to be more effective at killing bacteria in the intestines. For this reason, it is best to use barberry to ease symptoms, along with a standard antibiotic, as bacterial diarrhea can have extremely serious consequences.
The bark, root, and berries of the barberry plant are used to provide alterative, antibacterial, antineoplastic, antiseptic, aromatic, astringent, blood purifier, cholagogue, diuretic, hepatic, hypotensive, purgative, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients provided by this herb include iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Primarily, barberry can be beneficial in dealing with loss of appetite, high blood pressure, impurities in the blood, candidiasis, constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, fevers, indigestion, infections, jaundice, liver disorders, pyorrhea, and sore throat. However, this herb is also extremely helpful in dealing with anemia, arthritis, boils, breath odor, cholera, gallstones, heart problems, heartburn, hemorrhages, itching, kidney problems, Migraines, rheumatisms, ringworm, and skin conditions. For more information on barberry or to make a purchase, along with its many beneficial effects, feel free to contact a representative at your local health food store.
March 29, 2009 10:08 AM
Constipation occurs when one has difficulty passing stools, or infrequently passes hard, dry stools. This is the result of food moving extremely slowly through the large intestine. From time to time, most people experience constipation. However, lifestyle changes and better eating habits can help to relieve the symptoms and prevent recurrences. Constipation usually results from insufficient amounts of fiber and fluids in the diet. Fiber can be found in plant foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Fiber that is water-soluble takes on a soft texture and is helpful in softening the stools. Insoluble fiber goes through the large intestine unchanged and is helpful in adding bulk to the stools to stimulate bowel contractions.
Other factors that can cause constipation include inadequate exercise, advanced age, muscle disorders, structural abnormalities, bowel diseases, neurogenic disorders, and a poor diet, especially a heavy consumption of junk food. Constipation can also be a side effect of iron supplements and some drugs, like painkillers and antidepressants. It is also common during pregnancy. High levels of calcium and low levels of thyroid hormone can also lead to constipation. Those with kidney failure are also prone to having problems with constipation. Constipation is often caused by dehydration in older individuals, with depression being a factor in people of any age. Some medications, like cough syrups, pain medications that contain codeine, antidepressants, iron supplements, blood pressure and heart medicines, calcium supplements, and some antihistamines can also cause constipation.
A small percentage of people with spinal injuries and other similar problems have constipation because the nerves that usually regulate bowel movement have been damaged or destroyed. A condition referred to as Hirshsprung’s disease makes the normal excretion of feces impossible because the nerves inside the bowel are missing. The nerve cells in the colon can also be damaged by long-term use of laxatives, which makes constipation inevitable. A thrombosed hemorrhoid, anal fissure, or a pocket of infection at the anus can create a spasm of pain that is strong enough to contract the muscles and prevent the evacuation of stools.
Constipation can cause a variety of other ailments such as appendicitis, bad breath, body odor, coated tongue, depression, diverticulitis, fatigue, gas, headaches, hemorrhoids, hernia, indigestion, insomnia, mal-absorption syndrome, obesity, and varicose veins. It may even be involved in the development of other serious diseases like bowel cancer. It is important to have regular bowel movements in order to remove toxins from the body. Toxins from bowel bacteria and undigested food particles play a part in the development of diabetes mellitus, meningitis, myasthenia gravis, thyroid disease, candidiasis, chronic gas and bloating, Migraines, fatigue, and ulcerative colitis. People can have bowel movements as infrequently as three times a week and still not be constipated, but there are some health practitioners that believe that it is important to have a bowel movement every day.
The following nutrients are very helpful in dealing with and preventing constipation: garlic, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, apple pectin, chlorophyll liquid, essential fatty acids, a multi-enzyme complex, a multivitamin and mineral complex, vitamin B complex, vitamin D3, vitamin E. Additionally, the following herbs are also beneficial: alfalfa extract, fennel seed, aloe vera, ginger, milk thistle, triphala, cascara sagrada, goldenseal, rhubarb root, senna leaves, and yerba mate.
Adding a good fiber supplement as well as the above mentioned supplements can help one stop constipation and start normal bowel movements again. Natural fiber, vitamins, and herbs are available at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands such as Source Naturals, Solaray, Kal, Planetary Formulas, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and safely of all your natural supplement needs.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins, herbs, and fibers are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
February 21, 2009 12:33 PM
Migraines are severe, throbbing headaches that may or may not be accompanied by nausea, possibly with visual disturbances and other symptoms. Migraine incidences have increased by 50 percent within the last twenty years, with an estimated 25 to 30 million people suffering from them in the United States. Three out of four of these 25 to 30 million are women, with up to 24 percent of women experiencing at least one Migraine in their lives and only 12 percent of men getting Migraines. Migraine headaches are one of the most severe types of headache.
Research has described Migraines as vascular headaches, as they involved excessive dilation or contraction of the brain’s blood vessels. Current research, however, gives other clues. The inflammation involved in Migraines is most noticeable in the meninges, which surround the brain and the spinal cord. However, the inflammation of the meninges is not what leads to the pain of Migraine, but instead abnormal nerve activity. Stimulation of the trigeminal nerve, which goes from the brain to the head and face, triggers the release of substances that are known as calcitonin gene-related peptides. These induce inflammation and send messages to pain receptors in the meninges. Some researches even liken Migraines to meningitis in some ways, as the symptoms are very similar. However, meningitis is caused by viral or bacterial infection.
Migraines can occur anywhere from once a week to once or twice a year, often running in families. One factor that may contribute to the higher incidence of Migraine in women may be fluctuations in the level of the hormone estrogen, as women typically get Migraines around the time of menstruation, when estrogen levels are low. Most often, Migraines occur in people between the ages of twenty and thirty-five, seeming to decline with age. Children can also suffer from Migraines, with pain tending to be more diffuse, rather than localized. Migraines can first show up in childhood as colic, periodic abdominal pain, vomiting, dizziness, and severe motion sickness, rather than as headaches.
There are typically five phases in a Migraine. The first phase beings a day or so before the onset of a headache, as changes in mood, problems with memory, an alteration in one or all of the five senses, and speech problems occur. Secondly, some people will see flashes or patterns of light and experience numbness of the hands and mouth just before the headache. This is called an aura, and is a common sign of a classic Migraine.
Those Migraines that occur without auras are called common Migraines. The third phase occurs when the headache starts with a severe, throbbing pain occurring on one or both sides of the head and can also move from side to side. Nausea can also set in this phase, along with tenderness in the neck and scalp, sensitivity to light, and possibly immobilization due to pain. The fourth phase occurs when the headache dissipates, although nausea may linger. During the fifth phase, the person may feel tired and lethargic, simply wanting to sleep.
A variety of things can trigger a Migraine in an individual who is susceptible, including allergies, constipation, stress, liver malfunction, too much or too little sleep, emotional changes, hormonal changes, sun glare, flashing lights, lack of exercise, and changes in barometric pressure. Dental problems and low blood sugar can also be factors, while other underlying causes such as genetic factors, chemical imbalances in the brain, poor nutrition, and the overuse of painkillers can cause an individual to be susceptible to Migraines. Block Migraines with vitamins and herbs.
The following nutrients are recommended for preventing and dealing with Migraines: calcium, magnesium, coenzyme Q10, DMG, DLPA, essential fatty acid complex, 5-HTP, a multivitamin and mineral complex, rutin, vitamin B complex, garlic, quercetin, taurine, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, cordyceps, feverfew, ginkgo biloba, cayeene, chamomile, fumitory, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, valerian, willow bark, and wormwood.
If you are experiencing Migraines, consult your doctor before starting vitamin supplements. Vitamin supplements are natural and feed the body to make it stronger and capable of fighting the diseases it may come up against, but medications prescribed by your doctor can conflict with certain vitamins and herbs and a doctors consultation is needed when taken with medications. A source of natural vitamins are available at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
Flax Seed Oil Supplement
December 29, 2008 01:13 PM
The majority of Americans know to some extent that there is a an association between a high-fat diet and serious health problems including heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes complications, and cancer. However, what a lot of people are unaware of is that the kind of fat that we take into our bodies is as important as regulating the amount.
This notion was first observed by researchers in the early 1950s and is made particularly clear when observing the Eskimo diet versus the standard American diet. Because Eskimos routinely eat a diet that is full of animal fat, it is a wonder why they do not suffer from the cardiovascular disease that is associated with these foods as Americans do.
The explanation of this is because Eskimos eat a great deal of fish, which is a food that is high in unsaturated fats, which work to prohibit the harmful effects that saturated fats produce. Saturated fat is often associated with harmful disease, and comes from animals, while unsaturated fat comes from vegetables and can actually work to inhibit the effects of saturated fats. Put simply, it is safe to say that the two types of fats work to cancel each other out. Saturated fats found in foods such as margarine, shortening, and most prepared foods negatively affect the way that the body uses unsaturated fats, while the reverse is also true.
A diet that is low in levels of saturated fats ad high in levels of unsaturated ones can help to protect the body against heart disease and cancer. This counteractive effect works because of the presence of two specific fats which function as essential fatty acids, which are needed in the body in order to properly function. However, the body cannot produce these essential fatty acids on its own and without them, deficiency symptoms develop and growth ceases. Because the body can not produce its own essential fatty acids, it relies on food sources that supply them. The problems result because the typical American diet does not provide a sufficient amount of essential fatty acids.
There are two primary types of essential fatty acids: linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid, the body needs both of these acids in order for it to function properly and have normal cellular structure. The main difference between the two is basically a structural one, leading two the identification of two different oils: omega-3 and omega-6. A balance of these two oils is needed by the body in order for it to function at an optimal level.
Linoleic acid is responsible for transportation of water across the skin and the proper functioning of the pituitary gland. It is beneficial in the treatment of many skin conditions and in growth and development therapies. Alpha-linolenic acid, on the other hand, offers protective effects against coronary heart disease and stroke and benefits those who are suffering from Migraines, arthritis, and high cholesterol levels.
There are two main sources of fatty acids: fish oil and flaxseed oil. Fish oil has many benefits, while flaxseed oil may have greater benefits at a more economical price. If one doesn’t like the smell of fish then the flaxseed oil alternative is more appealing and has very little smell while still retaining the health benefits that omega supplements provide.
Noni Fruit Extract
November 22, 2008 09:34 AM
Tahitian Noni juice can promote a healthy body in many ways. These Noni benefits are conferred by the phytochemicals contained within the fruit pulp, but before discussing the benefits of Noni let's first have a look at what it actually is.
Morinda citrifolia is also known as the Indian or beach mulberry tree, and is a member of Rubiaceae family. Although it originated in Southeast Asia, it has spread all the way to French Polynesia and the Dominican Republic. It is mainly cultivated in Tahiti for its fruit, known as cheese fruit or Noni fruit.
Although it is a staple food in some areas of the Pacific, it has a pungent smell and a bitter taste, and often eaten either raw or cooked only in times of famine. However, the fruit is particularly rich in phytonutrients, and many people swear by the Noni benefits it to maintain a glowing healthy body, free from disease and many of the health problems from which most people suffer.
The strange thing about it is the taste: you would not drink Tahitian Noni juice by choice, nor eat the fruit, so how were these Noni health benefits discovered? Hunger likely explains it: those forced to eat it through hunger were likely the lucky ones, who actually ate a nutritional diet even though they were eating a fruit normally eaten only in times of famine.
Among the conditions that Noni fruit is believed to protect you from are cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol levels, asthma, cholesterol, strokes, Migraines, a weak immune system, arthritis and some cancers. Many of these conditions should give you a clue as to the nature of the phytochemicals contained within the fruit, since most of them involve free radical attack and immune system response.
Prior to examining thee diseases and conditions in detail, let's have a look at the chemicals the fruit has been established to contain. It is rich in dietary fiber, offering 100% of the Dietary Reference Intakes of the Institute of Medicine for each 100g serving, and also contains enough carbohydrate to meet 55% of you DTI needs. However, that is just the start.
The Noni pulp powder contains ten times the DRI of Vitamin C, and large quantities of Vitamin B3 niacin), potassium and iron. The Tahitian Noni juice itself contains few nutrients, and only the Vitamin C is retained to any useful level. It is therefore the pulp powder that offers the major nutritional benefit. In fact, because it has to be pasteurized at high temperature to meet regulations the for liquid product, Noni juice loses most of its nutritional content, and even the 31% Vitamin C content is surprising since that too is destroyed at high temperatures.
It is the high phytochemical content of Noni powder that renders it such an important supplement, and a scan down the following components will give you an idea of how the fruit got its reputation. The known Noni benefits are obtained from:
Lignans: these are phytoestrogens that have been reported to offer a reduced risk of ovarian and breast cancers, osteoporosis and also cardiovascular disease. They possess antioxidant properties and although reports as to their effectiveness are varied, they appear to have beneficial health effects.
Flavanoids: These are phenolics, including asperulodisic acid and rutin. The former is believed to be effective against certain cancers, while rutin, also contained in buckwheat, is a strong antioxidant that strengthens capillaries, and also helps to prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Catechin and epicatechin: strong antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancers. It also protects your skin against the harmful effects of the ultra-violet component of the sun's rays. Catechin is a form of flavanoid, and one of the more powerful of the antioxidants needed to destroy the free radicals that would otherwise ravage your body through the destruction of your body cells.
B-Sitosterol: a plant sterol that is believed to reduce the cholesterol in your blood, but still requires scientific proof, even though there is plenty of evidence to support its effect. Plant sterols are the basis of the cholesterol-lowering yoghurt drinks that you can but in your local supermarket.
This list is not exclusive, and there are several other phytochemicals found in Noni pulp powder that are believed to confer significant health benefits, but that are still seeking scientific support. The fact that such support has yet to be provided is not a reason to doubt their effectiveness, although the above benefits are sufficient to justify the reputation of this nutritional supplement that few have heard about.
There have been only around 110 reports on Noni research since the 1950s, so it is not surprising that the scientific proof is weak, although of these around 100 have appeared since the year 2000. Don't forget that there was no proof for the effectiveness of penicillin until it was discovered!
Even the biochemistry of the components of Tahitian Noni juice, such as the polysaccharides not mentioned in the above list, is in the early stages of research, and an increasing number of traditional remedies are being found to have a valid scientific and medical basis. These polysaccharides are a form of dietary fiber with probiotic properties that can be fermented by bacteria in the gut to form short chain fatty acids that possess many beneficial health properties.
Take the heterocyclic iridoids, for example. These are unknown to most people, yet they are found in many plants that have extensive medicinal properties, and might be responsible for many of them. They appear to possess anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antispasmodic properties, and support the cardiovascular system, the immune system and help to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. These are also contained in Noni pulp powder.
Another component of Noni fruit that most people have not heard of is damnacanthal. This inhibits certain tyrosine kinesis that basically have a controlling effect on the division of body cells. They particularly inhibit the Ras genes, responsible for some cancers due to uncontrolled cell division. Damnacanthal can prevent Ras genes from causing these cancers.
There are many more benefits that Tahitian Noni juice, or particularly the powdered Noni pulp, can confer, and it is recommended that it be taken as a supplement by anybody needing a general health tonic since it possesses such a wide variety of beneficial properties. The Noni benefits which those that use it enjoy area available to everyone, even though it is one of the lesser known of the beneficial health supplements.
September 12, 2008 09:43 AM
The ileocecal valve, which is made up of sphincter muscles that close the ileum, prevents toxins and other materials that are released by the appendix from entering into the small intestine. Additionally, the ileocecal valve helps to keep digested material in the small intestine until all of the nutrients have been absorbed. When the food residue is ready for elimination, the small intestine mixes bile, mucus, and other excretions with the food residue and releases it systematically through the ileocecal valve into the large intestine. This process prevents an overload of material in the intestine for the body to eliminate.
When the toxic material of the colon is able to enter back into the intestine, where it becomes rapidly reabsorbed, ileocecal valve syndrome occurs, which can lead to infection and disease. Symptoms of ileocecal valve syndrome include constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, irregular bowel movements, lower right bowel tenderness, acne, immune weakness, Migraines, and duodenal ulcers.
To avoid ileocecal valve syndrome one should eat a diet that is high in fiber and includes whole grains. These whole grains should be soaked and cooked in order to avoid irritating the valve. Foods that cause constipation such as diary products, meat, and bananas should be avoided. Raisins, figs, and stewed prunes should be eaten for breakfast. More fresh fruits and vegetables should be added to the diet. Softer raw vegetables such as leaf lettuce, spinach, avocados, sprouts, and tomatoes should be used first.
Additionally, one should reduce the amount of meat that they eat and take a fiber supplement in order to avoid constipation. Fasting on juices two or three days a week will help to speed the healing process of the digestive tracts. Grains that are thermos-cooked are healing on the digestive tract and rich in enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and protein. The slow cooking process protects the body from destruction of vital enzymes. Milet, buckwheat, and basmati brown rice can also be eaten for breakfast, as they are easy for the body to digest and extremely nourishing. Raw vegetables and fruits, steamed vegetables, yams, and avocados are all also extremely helpful in healing the digestive tract, so they are recommended.
Nutritional supplements that can assist with ileocecal valve syndrome include antioxidants, vitamin A, B-complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids, blue-green algae, acidophilus, and plant digestive enzymes. Also, aloe vera juice, cat’s claw, grape seed extract, pau d’arco, licorice, goldenseal, slippery elm, and comfrey are great herbal aids for helping for ileocecal valve syndrome.
Colon health is a lot more important than most people realize, as the digestive process is directly related to the health of the body, immune system function, and overall longevity. When any disease occurs, the colon should be the first thing looked to for treatment. By understanding what it means to have a healthy colon, adding fiber, nutritional supplements, herbal aids, and a change in diet, one can promote overall colon health. Eating habits should be changed slowly and unhealthy, nutrition robbing foods should be eliminated from the diet and replaced with whole grain foods, fruits, and vegetables.
August 03, 2008 07:49 AM
Feverfew is often used in the treatment of Migraines and fever, but it has also long been used as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is thought to be similar to aspirin in the way it reduces inflammation. Aspirin works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which cause inflammation in the body, among many other functions. Similar to aspiring and other anti-inflammatory drugs, feverfew works to inhibit the production of prostaglandins, which reduces inflammatory reactions that occur in the body. Not only may feverfew help with inflammation in cases of pain, but it also helps in cases of arthritis.
One of the oldest diseases known to man, arthritis involves one or more of the movable joints in the body. Arthritis is a general name for a variety of diseases that are characterized by joint pain and inflammation. Striking both the young and old, it is an extremely debilitating condition with symptoms ranging from mild aching to severe pain and deformity. Inflammation can often be found along with the pain, as well as morning stiffness, swelling, and tenderness being common in most cases. Arthritis has been shown to either appear suddenly, or come on slowly over an extended period of time. Diet has been found to be a primary factor in most cases, although some types of arthritis may be inherited or the result of a viral infection.
Conventional treatment of arthritis has involved the use of NSAIDs to help with inflammation and pain, but they do nothing to heal the problem. They may also inhibit the body’s own natural immune function as they temporarily eliminate symptoms. Some evidence has even shown that the use of anti-inflammatory medication for a long time may lead to further joint damage and serious side effects such as gastrointestinal, kidney, and liver problems. Because of this, many people are finding relief with natural healing. Although there are a variety of types of arthritis, the three most common forms are osteoarthritis, in which the joints wear out because of injury or normal wear and tear; rheumatoid arthritis, which is a condition that results from the immune system attacking the body tissue; and gout, which is painful inflammation that results because of excess uric acid in the blood. Rheumatoid arthritis has been found to benefit the most from the use of feverfew. Feverfew may be useful due to its ability to inhibit the formation of inflammation-promoting compounds, with properties similar to NSAIDs but with less potential complications and side effects.
Along with the treatment of arthritis, feverfew has many other possible uses. Included in these uses are: fever, high blood pressure, insect repellent, psoriasis and eczema, menstrual cramps, allergies, digestion, as a sedative to relax and induce sleep, and for its antimicrobial properties to inhibit the growth of staphylococcus aureus and other bacteria.
Because the parthenolide content of feverfew plants vary dramatically depending on the soil and location of cultivation, it is necessary to buy commercial products from reputable companies who have high quality control measures in place. The best preparations are ones using as little heat as possible, since parthenolide is highly unstable when in contact with high heat, such as freeze-drying. Freeze-dried capsules are extremely easy to use and can easily be found in many health food stores.
August 01, 2008 12:58 PM
It seems more and more common that people are looking at every possibility to wellness before they make a decision on the best form of treatment for them, with many taking their time to search for the best possible solution. Feverfew is a medicinal folk remedy, used abundantly in the past, and is currently being used because of its beneficial effects. For thousands of years, feverfew has been used as a medical treatment and is now becoming one of the most common herbal relievers of Migraine pain. Scientific research has recently become available on the use of this herb in treatment of Migraines and other forms of inflammation and pain, making interest in feverfew grow rapidly.
The feverfew plant is a member of the Asteracea or Compositae family, along with flowers such as the daisy, sunflower, black-eyed Susan, Echinacea, calendula, dandelion, burdock, and marigold. Feverfew is often referred to by other names including featherfew, featerfoil, febrifuge, wild quinine, and bachelor’s button. A busy perennial that grows from one to three feet in height, feverfew looks similar to the daisy plant with white rays and a yellow center but is smaller in size. The entire plant has a strong bitter smell which allows it to repel bees and other insects. Many people believe that the name feverfew came from the use of the flower to bring down fevers, while others believe that its name originated from the English version, featherfew, which describes the shape of the leaves on the feverfew plant.
For thousands of years, feverfew has been used for the treatment of an abundant amount of ailments. Although the exact origin of the first use is unknown, references to feverfew can be found all throughout history. In ancient times, feverfew was used in childbirth, to treat fevers, melancholy, and congestion of the lungs, as well as inflammation and swellings. Feverfew was also used for many female problems and strengthening the womb, also promoting menstrual flow. Another use of feverfew was for painful headaches, especially Migraines. Feverfew is an extremely complex substance, containing several essential oils such as L-camphor, L-borneol, terpens, and esters. Another active ingredient of the feverfew plant is parthenolide. Parthenolides have been found to inhibit prostaglandins, which are found to be partially responsible for Migraines as well as the inflammation process.
With headaches being a problem since the beginning of time, they are one of the most common medical complaints. Migraines are caused due to inflammation of blood vessels in the brain, which causes an intense headache pain. To determine if a headache can be classified as a Migraine one should note the following: if only one side of the head is affected; whether flashing lights, blind spots, or feelings of irritability and depression occur immediately before the headache; stomach distress along with nausea and vommitting; and someone in the immediate family also suffering from Migraines. The two main contributors to the problem of Migraines are the trigeminal nerve system and serotonin, the nerve chemical.
Migraines involve excessive dilation or contraction of the blood vessels that are found in the brain and make up about 6% of the total number of headaches, with about 10% of the population suffering from Migraines at any given time of the year, and the majority of these people being women. Migraines can be triggered by the following factors: stress, eating certain foods, alcohol, food additives such as sodium nitrate, changes in weather, seasons, time zones, or altitude, disturbance in sleep patterns, disturbance in eating habits, hormonal fluctuations, pollution, loud noise, flickering lights, constipation, and low blood sugar.
In conclusion, an increase in some of the trigger factors previously listed is thought to be the cause for the fact that the number of individuals suffering from Migraines continues to climb, with the occurrence of Migraines increasing by almost 60% among all age groups during the past ten years. This may be due to pollutants and poor diets that lack essential fatty acids and plastics that mimic prostaglandins which regulate the inflammation pathways in the body. So if you are suffering from pain, specifically Migraines, give feverfew a try.
July 31, 2008 02:46 PM
Feverfew is most commonly used in the treatment and prevention of Migraine headaches. Migraines are extremely common and can be very difficult to treat. Other methods of relieving pain have been explored because, for many Migraine sufferers, conventional treatments have not been successful. Feverfew is one of the most successful forms of alternative treatments that have been found for treating Migraines. Many studies have been conducted which have validated the already existing knowledge of many herbalists: feverfew is a great tool for helping to prevent Migraines in many cases.
Although feverfew had long been used for treating headaches, its popularity declined with the advent of modern medicine. The herb has resurged into medical interest after the wife of a doctor who worked for the British National Coal Board had been suffering from Migraines and was told by a coal miner to trey chewing on two feverfew leaves a day. After trying the herb, the woman noticed improvement, with fewer and less severe Migraines. Her husband then urged a Migraine specialist in London, Dr. E. Stewart Johnson, to test feverfew, with the results of several studies now showing it to be effective.
Dr. Johnson agreed to try the herb because he had many patients who had been suffering from Migraine pain for years and had yet to find a successful treatment. Originally, he tried the herbal remedy on only ten of his patients. The results of this trial were so promising that it led to a study of another 270 of his patients, with seventy percent reporting that they received significant improvement when receiving feverfew for their headache pain.
Following this, a group of researchers in the City of London Migraine Clinic were led by Dr. Johnson to conduct a study, which was reported in the British Medical Journal, investigating seventeen patients who had already been using feverfew for at least three months. All were asked to discontinue use of their original method of treating with feverfew. Eight patients were given a capsule of feverfew, while the other nine were given a placebo.
Those that were given a placebo had an increase in frequency and severity of headaches, nausea, and vomiting, while those that were given feverfew capsules had no increase in frequency or severity of their Migraines. This research has led to the belief that feverfew is advantageous in the prevention of Migraines. Many other studies have been done to further test the effects of feverfew. It has been concluded that feverfew treatment is effective and there were always definite improvements in the group that used feverfew. Additionally, there were no serious side-effects that appeared to exist.
Feverfew seems to have similar properties as NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Also, the parthenolide that is found in feverfew is the main inhibitor for the formation of compounds that promote inflammation. Parthenolide reduces the secretory activity of blood platelets and white blood cells. This is important because Migraines are thought to be associated with abnormal platelet behavior, as they are responsible for the release of serotonin, which constricts blood vessels and leads to Migraine pain.
Feverfew is now recognized by the British and Canadian governments as a Migraine treatment and is often prescribed by doctors. Many physicians and pharmacists have recent began to take more interest in the use of herbal remedies, especially since patients are beginning to become more interested in natural methods of healing.
April 29, 2008 10:49 AM
Butterbur extract is taken mainly from the rhizome, root and leaves of the butterbur, a member of the daisy family. They are very hardy and have creeping underground rhizomes and large leaves like those of rhubarb. Another name given to it is the sweet Coltsfoot, and they generally grow in the temperate climates of Europe, North Africa and South west Asia. They like damp conditions, specifically marshes and ditches, and also riverbanks where there are always plentiful supplies of moisture.
It has been used by Native Americans for headaches and inflammation, and has been shown to be an effective remedy for hay fever and to provide relief from painful menstrual cramps. Butterbur has also been used throughout the middle Ages to treat fever and the plague, and has been recorded in the seventeenth century as being used for asthma, wounds and coughs. However, one of its most important applications is in restore bladder function in the incontinent and semi-incontinent.
Urinary incontinence is typified by an unusually high frequency of urination – more than 8 times a day, an immediate strong urge to pass water or leaking and involuntary urination. Any two of these three indicates urinary incontinence. As people age their bladders become smaller, and by definition the periods between urination will reduce. This does not, however, suggest that bladder size is the cause of urinary incontinence.
Urination is caused by the contraction of the smooth layered muscle that surrounds the bladder, called the detrusor, a contraction in turn caused by neurons both in the brain and in the detrusor itself. This naturally contracts and expands according to the volume of urine in the bladder, and once the bladder is about half full the brain will tell you that the detrusor is ready to contract to expel the urine. However, if the time is not convenient, the cortex will suppress this desire until a more convenient time.
In incontinence, the desire is suppressed but the neurons still fire to contract the detrusor, expelling urine at inconvenient moments. Butterbur contains the sesquiterpenes petasin and isopetasin, which are known to reduce spasms in smooth muscle tissue and in vascular walls. It can therefore be used to control the involuntary spasms that cause urine leakage or expulsion against the patient’s wishes. These sesquiterpenes are at highest concentration in the roots of the plant.
The effect that the sesquiterpenes have in inhibiting the synthesis of leukotriene in leukocytes tends to support this effect, since leukotrienes can cause contraction of vascular and smooth muscle tissue. Not only this, but the spasmolytic effect could also be explained by the inhibition of cellular calcium caused by the petasin isomers.
Many studies have indicated that the effectiveness of butterbur extract is also useful in the prevention of Migraines. There has been a lot of research carried out on the use of butterbur extract on Migraine sufferers, and the effective dose appears to about 75 mg twice daily. There is little evidence of it being a cure but as a prophylactic there appears no doubt of its efficacy: there have been too many positive results against placebos for its effect to be deniable.
It is significant that leukotriene can cause constriction of the small blood vessels in the veins, and so affect the flow of blood. Butterbur, in inhibiting its biochemical production, helps to keep these blood vessels open. Lekotrienes are also important components of inflammation, and altogether it appears that whatever the real cause of Migraine, the petasin isomers in butterbur have an effect in inhibiting its initiation. Add to that the potential reduction in calcium content that can cause blood vessels to become less flexible, and the argument for its effectiveness is both irrefutable and well explained.
In one example of such a double blind study that is representative of many, a group of patients given 50 mg butterbur extract twice a day for twelve weeks experienced a 60% reduction in the frequency of attacks, a reduction in the severity of the attacks they did have, and a reduction in the length of the attacks. Although the vascular theory of the cause of Migraine is no longer supported, maintenance of the vascular system appears to at least reduce the likelihood of attacks.
The effect of butterbur on asthma and other allergic reactions is also well documented. This again is due to its anti-spasmodic properties and inhibitory effect on the inflammatory immune response through the inhibition of leukotriene synthesis and the consequent positive effect on the metabolism of prostaglandin. Prostaglandins also constrict vascular smooth muscle cells, regulate the mediation of the inflammatory response and constrict general smooth muscle cells. All of these can lead a to a variety of disorders cause by smooth muscle spasms in additional to urinary incontinence, such as menstrual cramps, liver and gastrointestinal disorders and asthmatic conditions.
In one study of allergic rhinitis, administration of butterbur extract appeared to result in a reduction in the histamine and leukotriene content of nasal fluids and no difference was noticed between this treatment and histamine treatment. This was a useful study because histamines causes drowsiness and butterbur can be used as a substitute for histamine without the sedative effect. A study in Germany in 1993 has shown that the stomach ulceration caused by the anti-inflammatory medications for arthritis was reduced by the administration of butterbur extract
Cetirizine is a commonly prescribed prescription treatment for allergic conditions, and studies comparing that with butterbur demonstrated them to be equally effecting in reducing the symptoms typical of allergic reactions such as sneezing, runny nose and nasal congestion. 50% of the patients in the group took each and there was no difference in results. Again it was explained by the petasin limiting the production of leukotriene and histamine, both of which are produced by the immune response and promote mucous secretions and inflammation. They also constrict airways that can be serious to asthma sufferers
These studies are simply providing scientific evidence and explanations for the tradition use of this plant for such conditions. Butterbur has been used for centuries to treat such conditions all over Western Europe, and once again the use of traditional medicine has been supported by modern investigative techniques.
Fight Stress With Magnesium Supplements
April 17, 2008 04:16 PM
When stress hormones are released into the body due to a stressful situation, several things may happen. Your metabolic rate can increase, heart rate jumps, blood vessels contract and get tighter, the rate at which one breaths gets more frequent and shorter, muscles contract in response to stress among other things.
At the cellular level a significant inflow of calcium decrease cellular magnesium to calcium ratios which stimulates cellular function such as secrete fluids, contract, go into active mode. The muscles prepare to contract this includes the lungs, heart, and blood vessels. Nerves start to fire more frequent, the blood gets ready to clot, and secondary stress hormones are released. Normally when the stress crisis is over, magnesium moves back into the cells at the cellular level forcing calcium out relaxing the cells, this allows the body to slow down and relax, the nerves calm down and blood flow slows.
Magnesium plays a vital role to relax the body, once the stressful situation is over. The demand for magnesium goes up with stress. If there are inadequate amounts of magnesium in the body, this magnesium deficiency can in itself sustain a stress response. A magnesium deficiency itself can initiate and maintain a stress response without a trigger to cause the stress in the first place. Low magnesium states can prevent the body from relaxing and cause muscle cramping. After a stressful situation, adequate magnesium is needed to help the body shift over to a relaxed state.
Boarder-line magnesium individuals can have a mental, emotional, environmental or physical state of continuous stress where their bodies never come down out of the stress state. This can be detrimental to health and wellness. Drinking coffee, alcohol, and eating lots of sugary foods will cause the body to become depleted. Today’s diets high in over processed foods are lacking magnesium; one should supplement by either changing ones diet or adding magnesium to their diet in mineral supplement form.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include signs such as, muscle cramps or twitches, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, anxiety, nervousness, autism, ADHD, heart palpitations, angina, constipation, spasms in the muscles, headaches, Migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, asthma and kidney stones (typically caused by a calcium-magnesium imbalance), diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, irritable bladder, irritable bowel, acid reflux, and premenstrual syndrome, depression, low energy, weakness in the muscles, weakening bones (bone density loss), and calcification of organs.
Women who consume high amounts of calcium can actually create a greater deficiency in magnesium leading to greater bone mineral density lost then if no calcium was consumed at all. Foods today that are being fortified with calcium are actually helping women loose more bone density because magnesium is not in the right proportions.
To word off the negative effects of a prolonged or over-reaction to stress including a shortened lifespan, one needs to balance out their magnesium to calcium ratios by adding adequate amounts of both magnesium and calcium to their diet. Supplementing with 400 mgs to 800 mgs of elemental magnesium is critical for one looking to live a healthier longer life that is free from stress.
Keywords: Magnesium Deficiency, Fight Stress, Magnesium, Calcium, Fight High Blood Pressure
Description: Are you feeling tired, sick or maybe you feel like something is wrong but not quite sure what it is? Would you know if you had a magnesium deficiency? Magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic functions in the body; learn how it can help you!
Did You Know There Is One Mineral That Could Change Your Life Forever?
March 05, 2008 04:05 PM
Did you know there is one mineral that could affect the way you feel and change the way you live life forever? Yes that’s correct – forever - magnesium is that mineral! More than 50% of all Americans consume less then the required amounts of magnesium to stay healthy.
You might be wondering how you would know if you are deficient in magnesium and where you can get a test. Unfortunately it is not that simple. A magnesium test is available from your doctor, but when most people take this test, the results normally come back as normal, so we think everything is fine. This test only measures blood serum levels and not cellular magnesium. One needs to have their red blood cells tested to accurately measure the uptake of magnesium and at this time. This kind of testing needed is not readily available.
You might ask, “how can I tell whether I have a deficiency or not?” It is simple, look at your medical history. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include signs such as, muscle cramps or twitches, insomnia, irritability, sensitivity to loud noises, anxiety, nervousness, autism, ADHD, heart palpitations, angina, constipation, spasms in the muscles, headaches, Migraines, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, asthma and kidney stones (typically caused by a calcium-magnesium imbalance), diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, irritable bladder, irritable bowel, acid reflux, and premenstrual syndrome, depression, low energy, weakness in the muscles, weakening bones, and calcification of organs.
If you did not notice, this is an extensive list of symptoms that may be attributed to a deficiency in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for cardiac function in stabilizing cardiac membranes preventing arrhythmias. This mineral helps the cardiovascular system relax aiding in the relief of angina symptoms. Millions of Americans are diagnosed with heart disease yearly, a magnesium deficiency may be the cause.
The reason we are deficient in magnesium is mostly due to the fact that we eat refined, over-processed foods with white flour that have absolutely zero magnesium. The consumption of foods not rich in magnesium will rob our bodies of the little we still have in our bones and organs. Drinking coffee, alcohol, eating lots of sugary foods and stress will cause the body to become depleted.
If you are experiencing one of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect you have a magnesium deficiency, changing they way you eat can help. Pick up a nutritional almanac and find foods high in magnesium like nuts, sea vegetables, dark leaf vegetables and beans to start. Also, kelp, wheat bran, wheat germ, buckwheat, millet, brown rice, rye, tofu, soybeans, brown rice, figs, dates, avocados, parsley, barley, dandelion greens and garlic all contains high amounts of magnesium. Adding a magnesium supplement to your diet which provides 200 to 400 milligrams per day will help. One should limit the intake of coffee, alcohol, colas, salt, and sugar. Actually, many medications can deplete the body of magnesium such as water pills (diuretics) and antibiotics to name two.
So now you know what to do, you might be thinking that a magnesium supplement would be the fastest way to boost magnesium in the body for the time being. What form of magnesium is best? The recommended form of magnesium is magnesium citrate, because of its digestibility and absorbability in the body. Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, and oxide if at all possible for these forms of magnesium are harder to digest and will result in smaller amounts being absorbed by the body. Now what are you waiting for, give magnesium a try and see how good you can feel from it!
How to Manage Migraines Naturally: Magnesium - Feverfew - Butterbur - Ginger
December 21, 2007 10:41 AM
Before you can understand how to manage Migraines naturally, it is necessary to understand exactly what they are and how certain treatments could work. It is not generally known that the word ‘Migraine’ means ‘half the head’ because it frequently hurts only on the right or the left of the head of sufferer. Some people with Migraines do feel pain on both sides at once, although this is not generally the case.
A Migraine occurs in stages which are activated by fluctuations in the hormone content of the blood. The ‘aura’, when you see spots and flashing lights in front of your eyes, is the first stage of a Migraine attack, and during this time the blood vessels in your neck and head are contracting. You could also find it difficult to concentrate and your fingers could feel cold. At this point they do not have the headache that starts when the blood vessels begin to dilate.
Rather than the contracted blood vessels slowly returning to normal, your hormones have an excessively strong reaction, and cause them to dilate rapidly and become much wider than they should be leading to a severe headache due to pressure on the nerves. Different hormones can be involves with each attack, and the range of effective natural treatments reflect this fact. During this period, your brain could swell slightly, your muscles can tense up and other things can happen to the chemical and hormonal balance of your body. That is why some herbal treatments work for some but not for others, and different people find different treatments effective for them. What works for you might not work for somebody else if their Migraine has a different cause. Basically, though, Migraines occur in two phases, one being associated with an excess of hormones and the other with a shortage.
It is not easy to live with a Migraine since it can be completely debilitating. Some just have a severe headache, while others are affected for days at a time. The headache can become before and after the onset of the shimmering lights and other optical effects that are generated by the brain. It would certainly be useful if those prone to Migraines had one or more of the possible natural remedies to hand since there is rarely time to seek to seek professional medical help once the Migraine begins, and through the use of natural remedies a potentially bad attack could be nipped in the bud, and at least its effect on you reduced.
Magnesium is common in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage, whole grains, nuts and seeds. It is an essential mineral for human biochemistry, and is also needed with calcium for healthy bone development and maintenance.
Magnesium is a muscle relaxant, and relaxes the muscles of the blood vessels helping them to relax their dilatancy that cause the Migraine pain. It is also useful to help the immune function, reduces blood pressure (by the same blood vessel relaxing mechanism) and also the rhythm of your heart. Magnesium therefore provides you with many health benefits, and though the western diet is not generally deficient in magnesium, some areas can be and a magnesium-containing supplement will not do you harm.
However, particularly high dose of magnesium can lead to nausea, diarrhea, low blood pressure and many other unpleasant side effects, so do not take more than the RDA (recommended daily allowance) in your supplement. Many studies have confirmed its effectiveness in reducing the symptoms of Migraine, but not all studies have been successful. However, the condition is so debilitating to so many people, that it should be tried although not in excess. Make sure, however, that your doctor is informed since it could interfere with other medication you are taking for your Migraine.
Riboflavin, vitamin B-2, is also believed to useful in reducing the duration and frequency of Migraine attacks, working in much the same way as magnesium. It is known that there are many cases of people who suffer from vitamin B-2 deficiency also suffering from Migraines, and a riboflavin supplement is also worth trying if you are a consistent victim of this condition.
Feverfew is the best known of the herbal remedies for Migraine, and has been used for centuries in the treatment of fevers, headache, Migraine and other painful conditions such as arthritis. The active ingredient is parthenolide, an anti-inflammatory that is also an anti-hyperalgesic, and that would explain its effect on reducing the pain. It also blocks lipolysaccharide-induced osteolysis by suppressing the activity of a eukaryotic transcription factor protein known as NF-kappaB that can cause a number of immune response problems, including inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, hence its use to relieve that condition.
Its effect on Migraines could be explained by this activity in repressing the inflammatory response to certain stimuli that could be brought about by hormonal activity. Because it must be taken for a few weeks before the actual problem arises in order to be effective against it, feverfew is not effective to treat an existing attack, but to prevent future attacks. Double blind studies have proved its effectiveness in many tests, but not in all. However, if you take feverfew as a regular supplement in you diet, you might never have to try magnesium or vitamin B-2 supplements.
Some people swear by the leaves of feverfew, eating one per day which is easy way to take it. It is important, however, that you do so regularly, since it can take for up to 6 – 8 weeks for you to notice a reduction in your attacks. Don’t give up after 5 or 6 weeks, but continue, since the results will be well worth it. If you stop for a week or two you will have to start all over again. You might get a sore mouth and perhaps mouth ulcers to start with, but these will eventually go once your body is used to it.
You are probably best not to take if you are pregnant since it could cause you to abort. Otherwise, however, it has been shown to be effective in many severe cases. Feverfew is bitter, and can be used as a tea with other herbs, such as rosemary, lavender and sage. If you are taking warfarin, aspirin or other blood-thinning drugs, see your doctor first, and the same is true of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If you are taking these for arthritis, the feverfew itself might be more effective!
If you are taking feverfew as a supplement using commercially available dried leaf then the recommended dosage is around 125mg of the dried leaf. It should contain at least 0.2% of parthenolide (0.25mg/daily), although other studies have indicated that a total of 0.7 mg parthenolide a day should be taken (100mg at 0.7%). Parthenolide is unstable so don’t take it after its sell by or best by date.
Butterbur is also useful in the treatment of Migraines. The active ingredient here is petasin, a sesquiterpene ester that also has anti-inflammatory properties, all though it works in a different manner to feverfew. Here, it inhibits the activities of leukotriene generation in neutrophils and eosinophils, which indicates that it also possesses anti-allergenic properties that could help asthmatics that also suffer from Migraines. It does not prevent the release of histamine, but does appear to reduce smooth muscle spasm.
You should never take the raw herb, only the extract, because it contains alkaloids that can harm you. The butterbur extract, however, is a perfectly safe supplement and found effective by many people in the treatment of Migraine.
If your Migraine is at the front of the head, then you should try ginger. Unlike feverfew, ginger works on a Migraine as it is occurring, and improvement can be achieved for a bad Migraine within half an hour. In fact if, like many people, you can feel a Migraine coming on, half a teaspoon of freshly ground ginger can stop the pain before it starts.
Many herbal treatments for Migraine include a combination of some of the above remedies, and many people swear by them. However, Migraine treatment is very personal, and you should use what works best for you. If you are also taking other medical treatments however, please make sure that you refer to your physician before using any others, and that includes herbal remedies or supplements.
About George’s and Warren Laboratories
April 21, 2007 01:58 PM
George Warren, and independent research chemist in Houston Texas, developed the special processing method that prevents the spoilage with out diminishing the essential properties of the Aloe Vera Plant. This new method completely eliminates the aloins, which gives a bitter taste (and the greenish color) to Aloe Vera juice. He also successfully removed the starches and sugars from the polysaccharide molecular chain and thus George’s “Always Active” Aloe requires no refrigeration, will not spoil in its natural state. This method adds no water, no preservatives, no chemicals of any kind. The finished product looks and tastes like spring water.
In 1965 George Warren began analytical chemical separation studies that led to the development of a procedure for separating aloe vera juice into 34 component parts. At the time plants in a commercial aloe vera field were numbered. Eight leaves from each plant were harvested. Bagged and labeled. The leaves were then chemically analyzed under laboratory conditions. The results of this testing concluded that six distinct groups were found, and for field testing, were designated as aloe plants A, B, C, X, Y, and Z. this procedure was used to analyze over 2,000 aloe vera plants and it was determined that the aloe vera field contained six different types of aloe vera plants. The chemical make-up of each plant fell into one of six aloe plant groups designated. Aloe-X exerted a very pronounced and measurable effect upon the digestive system. The ability of the digestive system to convert food to energy was greatly improved, but only when Aloe-X juice was consumed daily. The other aloe groups (A, B, C, Y, and Z) did not exert this effect. The improved digestion typified only by group X seemed to occur regardless of the type of digestive system. Listed below are Warren’s findings by daily consumption of Aloe-X.
During these animal feed experiments it was noted that in the control group the digestive system was often swollen and the animal’s hide and carcass did not appear to be healthy. In the Aloe-X test group this was very noticeably not the case. In fact, the digestive system, meat, hide and hair all seemed very healthy.
During the seven years of working with the farm animals the Aloe-X plants originally harvested were growing and multiplying. The chemical analysis of each plant-X offspring revealed that they indeed were only Aloe-X plants.
Up to this point, investigators found that aloe vera did not seem to always work. They were hindered by trying to correlate chemical structure to clinical performance. The primary and reasonable deduction for aloe vera not performing consistently was the fact that only Aloe-X had the ability to cleanse the membranes in the digestive system. If Aloe-X was not present in sufficient concentrations then the aloe vera juice did not seem “active” and did not perform.
Also noted was the phenomenal ability of the plant to quickly reduce swelling and bruised, swollen tissue. Thus, it is further hypothesized that Aloe-X exerts a pronounced effect on the digestive system, rejuvenation the tissue system. By making the digestive system work properly the body appeared to be capable of repairing itself and reverting back to a healthy state. Consequently, it is the firm and un-contradicted belief of Warren that allergies, asthma, emphysema, Migraine headaches, and digestive problems are improved by Aloe-X through the membranes in the digestive system.
In the early stages of experimentally using Aloe-X, it was noted that other chemical compounds were present which should not be consumed on a regular basis. In fact, the work of the University of California Professor Bruce Ames clearly points out that all plants have their own toxin defense system against predators. Therefore, not all chemical compounds of plants are good for your health. With this thought in mind, standard conventional pharmaceutical chemical engineering principles were used to remove many undesirable components. Aloe vera by nature spoils easily requiring preservatives to be added to most commercial brands to extend the shelf life of the product. This short shelf life has consistently been a problem for the exploitation of the many benefits of this remarkable plant. Thus, in Warren’s products, starches and sugars of the mucopolysaccharide molecular chain have been removed. These starches and sugars act as an energy source for undesirable micro-organisms. Several other components which earlier testing revealed to be undesirable have also been removed. These substances are removed by a proprietary purification and filtering method. Consequently, preservatives are not required. The micro0organisms picked up in the processing and handling are removed immediately prior to packaging. Testing performed by Warren supports its finding that the purification system does not destroy the active components in the company’s aloe products. Such tests, as well as the votes of confidence (indicated by the thousands of humans and confirmed by testing on chickens, pigs, birds, cows, horses, fish, dogs and cats) confirm that findings. Warren has been successful in developing and proving a unique fractional distillation process that allows for capturing the therapeutic benefits of Aloe Vera.
Interview on symptoms of Fibromyalgia and one mans story
August 09, 2006 03:25 PM
Interview with Todd Williams from Source Naturals
Todd: Michael, many of us know someone with fibromyalgia, but many of us don’t know what FM is. Can you help explain the disease?
Michael: Yes. Fibromyalgia (pronounced Fie-bro-my-AL-ja) is a complex chronic pain illness that challenges patients and health care professionals alike. It is estimated that fibromyalgia affects 8 – 10 million women, men, and children in the U.S. alone. Symptoms include: extreme fatigue, sleep abnormalities, cognitive problems, difficulty speaking clearly, memory loss, brain fog, and so on. There’s also irritable bowel syndrome, restless legs, Migraine headaches, neurological symptoms, anxiety and environmental sensitivities. Ninety percent of those afflicted with fibromyalgia are women. Ten percent are men. What activates fibromyalgia within a person can be anything from a thyroid condition to an auto accident, or some type of trauma or emotional stress. There is often a compromised immune system, hormonal imbalance, and even a possible enzyme deficiency. Because the stomach and intestines are made up of muscles, fibromyalgia affects the entire digestive tract. The members in my fibromyalgia support group in Santa Monica all have stomach problems. One of the doctors believes that the fibromyalgia I have to battle with daily is a result of a thyroid problem. Thyroid problems run in my family and, not surprisingly, my brother, who lives on the other side of the country has fibromyalgia as well. We correspond and share with each other what does and doesn’t work. My ten-year career as a schoolteacher came to an end due to having fibromyalgia. I lost the energy I needed to work non-stop ten-hour days. I was forced by necessity to go into early retirement. As a result, I had to find a new manageable way to live. So I then went to Los Angeles to pursue a part time acting career. Now, regardless of whether a task is big or small, I just try to do my best, one day at a time.
Todd: Michael, how did you experience the onset of Fibromyalgia?
Michael: although I’ve really had fibromyalgia for fifteen years, I wasn’t actually diagnosed by my doctor until 1996. I was very energetic and athletic while growing up. During my twenties, I first went to University of Arizona in Tucson, and then to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and later to Point Loma University in San Diego, where I received a Master’s Degree in education. I followed that by moving to Florida to teach and to spend some time with my family. During summer breaks from teaching, I would go down to Florida Keys and visit Miami for fun. I had plenty of energy up until I was 28-30 years old, when I noticed a drastic drop in my energy level. At that time, when I would exercise, it was very difficult for my muscles to recover after a workout, even if it was a light workout. By the time I was thirty, the muscles in my feet became unbearably tight. It became very difficult to stand or even walk very far. I had my feet X-rayed, and the reports would say that nothing was wrong. When I was thiry-five, I took some antibiotics to get rid of a cold and I ended up with severe reaction to the antibiotic, erythromycin. My stomach swelled up like a balloon and felt unbearably tight. This was my first experience with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I could no longer digest my food. I developed severe food and chemical sensitivities. I could no longer digest vitamin B properly. I would be in excruciating pain for several hours after eating almost anything. I had to leave my teaching position and I ended up being mostly bedridden for two years due to exhaustion and the inability to digest food. During this time I went to twenty doctors. I had colonoscopys, endoscopies, barium x-rays and thyroid tests, but the results were always indicating a normal range. I knew that I was horribly sick but the doctors and the tests repeatedly said that nothing was wrong with me. nevertheless, the doctors did provide more prescription medicines, especially antibiotics. It’s strange that not one of these doctors mentioned or prescribed probiotics in any form for rebuilding the flora in my intestines that was destroyed by the long antibiotic regimen. Eventually I would end up spending a large sum of money and going to 40 more doctors, with each helping just a little. It was a relief when I was finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia, because it helped me narrow in on what was really going on. Which everything falling apart, it was a relief to know it wasn’t a rare foot disease, or a stomach parasite, or AIDS. I wanted to encourage men and women who are finally diagnosed with fibromyalgia to not see it as a death notice, but rather a step in recovery. In 2002, I tried something new. I went online and submitted my medical history to Dr. Teitelbaum’s Diagnosis Program, which you can find at www.vitality101.com. His incredible program spat out about 200 pages of very insightful information on what my body was deficient in. I began taking some of his recommended supplements and began to see some definite results. In spite of my poor track record with medical tests, he also recommended thyroid testing for fibromyalgia suffers, even though it is well known that thyroid tests are frequently wrong. Dr. Teitelbaum believes that many people who have fibromyalgia were actually having a thyroid problem, even though their thyroid tests come out in the normal range. I’ve had numerous thyroid tests over the years, and they’ve all been normal. I trekked back to my doctor and pleaded with him, even mentioning that there was a history of thyroid problems in my family. At first, he refused, simply because the tests said normal. I think doctors, fearing litigation, are reluctant to try a treatment path unsupported by test results. When you think about it, test ranges are really averages. What happens if your physiology falls outside the normal average? The tragic answer is: you can fall through the cracks! Finally, after much debate and arguing, I was able to get my doctor to provide a prescription for a small dosage of thyroid medicine. I began taking it immediately after two days I began to notice that the tight muscles in my stomach and legs began to loosen up. This seemed miraculous. Unfortunately, I also had some negative side effects from the medicine, so I stopped taking it. Nevertheless, I was amazed at how my body responded to such a small does of thyroid medicine. I think Dr. Teitelbaum is onto something. If you are fortunate enough to have an open minded doctor, perhaps that avenue is worth exploring. In Dr. Teitelbaum’s book, From Fatigue to Fantastic, he also advocates supplements for helping people with Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. I can verify that supplements have absolutely becomes part of my program and helped with restoring my systems to their natural balance. Some supplements that really helped me are: NADH, Glutathione, L-Carnitine, Acetyl L-Carnitine, revitalizing sleep formula, daily infusion powder and calcium D-Glucarate. Please feel free to check out the full list of supplements on my website. If you are fatigued, you should really read Dr. Teitelbaum’s book. To fibromyalgia sufferers, I highly recommend checking this list, visiting these doctors’ web pages, and trying their protocols. Thanks to these doctors and various regimens, including supplements, my health is much, much better. Most people would have never guessed I went through such an ordeal. I still have to pace myself, and not push the limits. Staying healthy and maintaining my energy is a priority, so I’ve learned not to over-extend myself. I’ve learned to say no to some projects and activities and not feel guilty about it.
Todd: Wow! That’s a lot to go through. Facing such huge obstacles, how did you keep your ship facing forward?
Michael: Well, living and healing are spiritual events. I am fortunate to have a degree in theology and I have a strong daily spiritual practice, which has helped me to survive and thrive with complications of fibromyalgia. That’s not to say there haven’t been some very dark days, but faith in God and the support of my spiritual network, including my wonderful family and friends have made all the difference. After arriving at LA, I had moved into a little apartment across the street from Warner brothers. My roommate and I had decided to start a little bible study. We invited our neighbors and we prayed for many things including for my health to improve. One of our requests was for a door to open at Warner Brothers. Within a short time, our Bible Study group grew and our home couldn’t contain all the people. A year later, the doors opened for me at Warner Brothers, and I was working on the West Wing.
Todd: that’s Great! Can we tell the folks about your new show?
Michael: My web page has a new category called, “Nutrition Show”, which will provide all the details.
Todd: Thanks Mike! For more about Mike and fibromyalgia, please visit his website at: www.captainhastings.com