Search Term: " Cavity "
Dental Benefits of Xylitol; Protect your teeth against decay.
October 07, 2014 08:34 PM
Things to Know Before Using Arnica Cream for Pain Relief or Bruise Treatment
April 26, 2014 09:36 PM
Arnica medicinal qualities
The medicinal qualities of Arnica, or scientifically Arnica Montana, are known since long. This is a plant indigenous to Northern Europe. This herbal medicine is widely used as pain reliever. Rich in antioxidants. Arnica contains high amount of flavonoids such as carotenoids, tannins and inulin. It helps to alleviate pains of arthritis, bruises and injuries in short period of time. Since it has some dominant side effects, it is recommended that arnica should be taken under prescription of medics. However, arnica cream is available for common usage.
Healing qualities of arnica ointment:
Uses of Arnica
Things to Consider
Can Serrapeptase Help Sinus Problems?
December 01, 2012 11:11 AM
Natural Anti-Inflammatory EnzymeSerrapeptase is a natural enzyme derived from silkworm and it is used as treatment for various diseases. Actually, it is prepared from fermented enzymes gotten from worms. This enzyme known as Serrapeptase has many health benefits especially for treating inflammatory diseases like Sinusitis.
Aids In Relieving Sinusitis
As you already know, Sinusitis is a medical condition that is caused by the inflammation of the sinuses due to bacteria, viral infection or fungal. However, Serrapeptase has proved to be one of the best treatments for sinus infections. It works by breaking down the mucus found in the nasal Cavity which makes it thinner to be remove from the body. Various researches that were carried out in the past showed how effective Serrapeptase is. In fact, about 97.3 percent of sinusitis patients who took part in a clinical trial in Italy experienced positive changes and were relieved of severe pains.Serrapeptase is an anti-inflammatory agent and it has the power to cure various inflammatory diseases like sinusitis, osteoporosis, viral pneumonia and rheumatoid arthritis.
History And Uses Of Xylitol
February 07, 2012 07:50 AM
Xylitol is the 5-carbon sugar which is found within the birch tree sap and it's naturally found in the fibers of various vegetables and fruits. This is a sugar-alcohol sweetener commonly used as the sugar substitute.
History of xylitol
Although discovered in the 19th century during the Second World War, Xylitol has been recognized ever since the tardy 1800s. The researchers from Germany and France were the first individuals to try to produce this product approximately 100 years ago, but ended up creating syrup-like consistency mixture. This product became commercially available in the 1960s and the commercial process is still the same as it was during the 1960s.
Before 1943, the scientists' categorized this sugar with various sugary carbohydrates (polyols) and it lingered so till the beginning of the war-associated deficiency of sugar which initiated the call for an alternate sugar. This initiated further research in to the xylitols insulin-independent properties, this resulted in discovery of its other biological benefits. In 1962 this chemical was introduced in the infusion therapy demonstrating that it can be introduced to ill individuals.
The commercial production process involves extraction of Polysaccharides rich in Xylose from various agricultural by-products and hardwoods. These are hydrolyzed with various intense acidic treatments and then it is purified before hydrogenation is done. This process needs a lot of harsh chemicals and is quite expensive and inefficient.
It was until 1970 that the odontological benefit of xylitol was ascertained in Finland, Turku. The initial study of the effects of this sugar on the dental plaque began during the same year. This resulted in large scale production of xylitol, in 1974 by the Finnish sugar company. Sugar-free dental product was first launched in Finland which was a xylitol chewing-gum.
How xylitol works
This sugar can prevent Cavity in various ways by actually blocking the tooth decaying process. The bacteria causing decay cannot ferment this sugar into acids as it does with other sugars including dextrose, fructose, glucose and sucrose. This results in production of less acidic by-product thus interfering with the dental plaque environment which favors decaying. This results in prevention of tooth demineralization.
The high pH condition caused by xylitol sugar is not favorable for the cariogenic bacteria which are responsible for decaying. This results in fewer bacteria in the plaques and long-term exposure has an effect on which type of bacteria will prevail within the plaque. This also inhibits the growth of specific xylitol-sensitive bacteria strain. Since they cannot breakdown this sugar, they end up not reproducing and growing in population. The lack of fermentable sugars results in creation of anti-Cavity effect.
The starvation effect created by this sugar prevents accumulation of cariogenic bacteria in the plaques. Long term xylitol exposure results in change of predominant cariogenic bacteria to xylitol-resistant strains from xylitol-sensitive. This xylitol-sensitive strain of bacteria cannot colonize the plaque since they have less adhering capabilities.
The less acidic condition in the dental plaque interface created by this sugar can initiate demineralization. Demineralization occurs when the plaque interface is at a pH of 5.5 or below since fewer bacteria live in the plaques. Studies have showed that demineralized tooth samples immersed in a solution containing 20% xylitol experienced a great remineralization degree. This is noted in the deep and middle tooth layers.
Reduce Inflammation, Nasal Drip, And Respiratory Infection With Natural Andrographis
August 11, 2011 01:02 PM
Can Andrographis Help Improve Respiratory Health?
Andrographis is an herb noted for its health effects on the respiratory tract. It has been recognized as an effective treatment for the common cold in several countries all over the world, though it is most popular in China and India. Practitioners of natural remedies have ascribed a number of medicinal properties to andrographolide, which is the major phytochemical constituent of this herbaceous plant.
Andrographis paniculata is a plant species that belongs to the family of plants native to the tropical regions of the Old World. It is found in large concentrations in Southern Asia, but it is also cultivated in the Americas. It grows up to 40 inches in height. It prefers shady places that retain a fair amount of moisture, but survives in open spaces, such as hills, farms, roadsides, wastelands, and even coastlines.
Alleviates Nasal Secretions
Rhinitis is a medical term that refers to the irritation of the nasal Cavity. Otherwise known as stuffy nose, it often leads to uncontrolled nasal dripping. Excessive release of mucus characteristic of a congested nose or runny nose stems from the irritation caused by infections, or allergens in the case of allergic rhinitis. It is one of the most visible symptoms of hay fever and cold infections.
Andrographis has been utilized as an all natural remedy for excessive nasal secretions for centuries. In particular, it is an essential ingredient in herbal preparations associated with Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Recent studies have shown that it produces a drying effect on the nose of participants suffering from colds after they took extracts of the plants in less than a week’s time.
Inhibits Inflammatory Mediators
Nasal dripping is tied to inflammatory responses in the employ of the immune system. Pathogenic microbes, such as viruses, bacteria, or even allergens, trigger immune responses that make use of endogenous chemicals known as inflammatory mediators. The process of inflammation attempts to contain infection, alerting immune cells. Production of mucus increases in the process.
The bitter taste of andrographis has been attributed to an organic compound called andrographolide, which is a natural diterpenoid now under investigation due to its pharmacological activity in vitro. It has been reported to exhibit anti-inflammatory action that even works as an antipyretic. It suppresses mediators of inflammation in the respiratory tract and allays fever tied to flu.
Combats Respiratory Infections
Modern herbalists have dubbed andrographis an immune booster. Indeed laboratory studies have documented that the organic compounds found in this plant prompt immune responses and modulate the disease fighting capacity of immune cells. Due to promising results of preliminary studies, it has often been linked to the amelioration of infections of the upper respiratory tract.
Andrographis is now becoming increasingly popular as an alternative treatment for sinusitis, cough, colds, and even flu. While it has been in use throughout the centuries, its efficacy remains under scrutiny. On the other hand, it is generally considered safe, and no side effects have been noted so far.
Grab some andrographis today and feel the difference!
How Does Grapefruit Seed Extract Help Fight Candida Yeast Infections?
August 08, 2011 06:51 PM
Grapefruit seed extract is processed from the seeds, pulp, and vesicles of the sour citrus fruit known as grapefruit. Nutrition experts have attributed several medicinal properties to the plant. In addition, practitioners of herbal medicine make use of the seeds and membranes of the fruit in health tonics. It has long been linked to the treatment of earache, sore throat, digestive problems, and yeast infections.
Citrus x paradisi is a hybrid species of pomelo and orange. Its fruits are much larger than oranges but smaller than pomelos, growing up to 15 centimeters in diameter on average. It is widely known as a naturally occurring hybrid, like sweet orange. The juice of popular varieties of the fruit comes in colors red and pink in respect to its ripeness. Some cultivars are sweet, but most are sour at the same time.
Many organic compounds isolated from grapefruit have long been observed to show pharmacological activity. For one, consumptions of the fruit itself have been reported to interact with numerous drugs. It either enhances the potency of drugs or inhibits their pharmacological activities. Researchers have enumerated a long list of drugs whose bioavailability increase in the presence of grapefruit extracts.
Proponents of grapefruit seed extract believe that it possesses antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. They began promoting its medicinal uses at the turn of the 20th century. At that time, physicians took note of the many benefits tied to grapefruit in the earlier century. Furthermore, they produced the first extracts from the seeds and white membranes of the fruit mixed with glycerin.
Grapefruit seed extract is an all natural remedy for Candidiasis. As its name suggests, Candida yeast infections are caused by different species of fungi that belong to the genus Candida. These fungi are part of the normal flora of the human body that comprises bacteria and other microorganism. While they are not harmful in general, they are capable of producing harm and spurring inflammation.
Oral thrush is one form of Candidiasis that infects mucus membranes located in the mouth Cavity. Populations of yeast build up in the surface of the mouth and bring on inflammatory responses. The infection often appears as cream-colored deposits or slightly raised red patches. Candidiasis of the skin, sex organs, and other parts of the body look similar as they are all inflammatory in nature.
The effectiveness of grapefruit seed extract in the treatment of Candidiasis yeast infections has been compared to conventional medications. Its use is supported by anecdotal evidence that is largely positive. While the results of studies are conflicting at best, researchers have compared the extract to benzethonium chloride, a chemical compound that displays strong antibacterial and antifungal activity.
Grapefruit seed extract is a viable remedy for Candidiasis yeast infections. In fact, it may be used as a therapeutic prophylactic for infections caused not only by fungi but also viruses and bacteria. Due to its putative effect, it is added as an active ingredient to many personal care products.
Why is Xylitol So Good for You
May 23, 2011 01:01 PM
Xylitol and Its Health Benefits.
Xylitol is fruit sugar that occurs naturally in fiber-rich plan-based foods, such as berries, oats, and mushrooms. Its sweetness has been compared to table sugar, the disaccharide sucrose to be specific. Unlike simple sugars and most other carbohydrates, it contains much less calories, making it one of the best natural sweeteners. More importantly, it has been associated with numerous health benefits.
The medicinal properties of xylitol were first noted in the second half of the 19th century, when it was introduced as a sugar substitute primarily for individuals afflicted with insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus. It is in fact a hydrogenated form of carbohydrate, which is also referred to as sugar alcohol. That being said, it does not impact insulin levels but rather contributes to healthy blood sugar.
Prevents Dental Carries
One of the earliest documented health benefits of xylitol is its role in preventing the formation of dental carries. Also known as tooth decay, dental carries result from the breakdown of hard tooth structure in the presence of bacteria. It is believed that over 90 per\cent of the global population experience caries at least once in a lifetime, with children being more susceptible.
It should be noted that bacteria taking up residence in the mouth Cavity rely on fermentable carbohydrates for nutrition. The products of fermentation are acids that are capable of denaturing the mineral content of teeth, leading to rampant dental carries over time. The use of xylitol has been advocated for over a century since it is not fermentable, unlike glucose, sucrose, and fructose, which are almost always found in the human diet.
Fights off Infections
Xylitol has been observed to display disease-fighting properties. In fact, it has been utilized in the treatment of several bacterial and fungal infections. This sugar alcohol has long been reported to produce metabolites upon exposure to saliva. These metabolites are organic compounds that interfere with the ability of bacteria to adhere to the tissues of the oral and nasal cavities.
More importantly, xylitol appears to enhance the effectiveness of mucus, antibacterial compounds, neutrophil granulocytes, and various enzymes that often get in contact with pathogens first. Regular intake of xylitol has been effective against oral infections of Candida yeast. It has also been cited in the treatment of ear infections, such as acute otitis media. Not surprisingly, it relieves sore throat.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Xylitol is one of the oldest recommended substitutes to sugar. It has a very low glycemic index, which makes that sugar levels in the blood rise gradually and steadily throughout the day. By so doing, it does not cause an insulin spike or impact blood sugar levels. Xylitol is an ideal source of energy for those who are suffering from metabolic syndrome and those who are following a low-carbohydrate diet.
If you haven’t started xylitol, isn’t it time too?
Is There Any Benefit to Taking Grape Seed Extract?
April 15, 2011 02:12 PM
Grape Seed Extract And Your Health!Grape seed extract has been linked to many health benefits. It is entirely derived from grape products, but contains higher concentrations of organic compounds naturally occurring in grape seeds. It has long been known that grapes are excellent sources of bioactive compounds while grape seeds have more phytochemicals. In addition to their long list of all-natural antioxidants, such as tocopherols, flavonoids, and oligomeric proanthocyanidins, grape seed extracts contain the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, the reason why they are exceptionally good for the skin.
Accelerates Wound Healing
The circulatory system is the best venue for nutrient distribution throughout the body. The tissues that have direct access to the blood vessels are more likely to receive nourishment and heal faster in the process. Grape seed extracts induce the productions of proteins called vascular endothelial growth factor, which stimulates the growth of healthy blood vessels, thereby accelerating wound healing in any part of the body.
Improves Bone Density
Grape seed extracts have been noted to increase bone mass and strength. The bones are the primary storage of inorganic minerals in the human body, like elemental calcium. As such, they undergo a lifetime cycle of resorption and reabsorption to respond to the mineral needs of other body parts. Any imbalance in the process may result in bone porosity. It is postulated that the phytochemical content of grape seed extracts inhibits bone resorption.
Promotes Integumentary Health
Oligomeric proanthocyanidins, or OPCs, are of special note for their unique antioxidant activities. They are capable of scavenging free radicals and preventing cellular damage. At the same time, they protect the skin, the scalp, and the rest of the integumentary system from the harmful oxidative effects of ultraviolet rays. Grape seed extracts are particularly rich in OPCs, which have been tied to impede skin tumor growth.
Shows Cardioprotective Effects
Grape seed extracts contain an abundance of organic compounds that promote cardiovascular health. First, it has shown to be effective in lowering low-density lipoproteins, also known as bad cholesterol. Second, its antioxidant properties prevent the oxidation of bad cholesterol, which results in the formation of arterial plaques if subjected to oxidative stress. Third, grape seed extracts reduce complications of preexisting cardiovascular disorders.
Eases Digestive Problems
Grapes have long been reputed as a digestive in many cultures. Grape seed extracts, having flavonoids with bioactive properties, serve as a cleanser of the alimentary canal. They aid digestion and modulate the effects of enzymes on food. The same organic compounds limit the growth of microorganisms that populate the colon, which is the cause of many disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
Prevents Tooth Decay
Grape seed extracts contain phenolics that interfere with the metabolism of sugars in the oral Cavity. The bacteria that take up residence in the mouth rely on the availability of saccharine compounds, and they thrive well in the presence of simple sugars, such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose. Dental carries result from an abundance of these sugars and a growing bacterial population. Grape seed extracts impact both.
As you can see, grape seed extract has many health benefits. All who want to keep their body’s working in tip top shape should be taking grape seed extract daily!
Why Should I be Using a Natural Mouth Wash?
March 18, 2011 04:51 PM
Natural Mouth Wash, Should you Switch?
Natural mouth washes have been around since time immemorial. Earliest accounts point to their use in treatment of gingivitis, but only recently have they played an important role in oral hygiene. The discovery of antiseptic compounds, such as chlorhexidine, has brought mouth washes into mainstream popularity. Their commercial value remains strong although new studies seem to favor the use of natural mouth washes.
Provides Excellent Antiseptic Properties
Salt solution is among the earliest of all natural mouth washes. It is easy to prepare and proven to aid against mouth infections. In Greek and Roman antiquity, physicians recommended a mixture of salt and vinegar, which does kill certain microorganisms in the mouth Cavity known to cause dental carries. This has also been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine in allaying mouth pains and promoting periodontal health.
The ancient text of Jews, the Talmud, records the use of olive oil for gum problems. Today plant-based oils are widely accepted to display excellent antiseptic properties, and there is scientific consensus that most essential oils are potent enough to denature pathogenic microorganisms. Aloe vera, cinnamon, fennel, tea tree, myrrh, and peppermint are becoming increasingly popular as ingredients for natural mouth washes largely owing to their desirable scents in addition to being potent bactericides.
Avoids Bad Effects of Synthetic Compounds
The appeal of natural mouth washes lies in the absence of chemical compounds suspected to be harmful to the oral mucosa and the entire mouth Cavity. Parabens are a group of chemicals that are commonplace in the cosmetic industry. Among all chemicals present in mouth washes, they are the most controversial in that studies have associated them to carcinogenic effects and estrogenic properties.
It is a well-established fact that sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, a chemical derived from lauryl alcohol and sulfate trioxide, is an irritant whether consumed or topically applied to body surfaces. Moreover, their presence in toothpastes and mouth washes has been linked to higher incidence of aphthous ulcers, or what we refer to as canker sores. Natural mouth washes do not contain SLS, but are known to mimic the antimicrobial properties of SLS to teeth and gums.
Synthetic dyes have long been recognized as irritants to the endothelium that line the mouth, and a few are known carcinogens in animals. Triclosan, an antifungal and antimicrobial agent widely used in many types of disinfectants, is now tied to disturbances in the endocrine system. Natural mouth washes are products that can be replicated at home, with the use of ingredients that are all-natural and at the same time devoid of identified irritants.
Relieves Inflammatory Oral Problems
Natural mouth washes are just as effective as those that contain compounds derived from reactions of organic compounds. In the past few decades synthetic compounds have been commercially touted to be effective against inflammation, but there is also a resurgence of interest in naturally occurring compounds, which are equally helpful in inhibiting inflammatory mediators present in the mouth.
If you are using a commercial mouth wash, changing to a natural mouth wash can free you from consuming chemicals that might cause cancer.
Do the switch today!
OralBiotic for Ear, Nose, and Throat Health
May 28, 2010 01:29 PM
OralBiotic™ For Ear, Nose & Throat Health
NEW IN JUNE 2010
Many people, even some of the most nutritionally well-versed health enthusiasts, are unaware that the body’s immune system activity actually begins in the mouth. In addition to Amylase, saliva contains an important enzyme, called lysozyme, which functions as a first line of defense against potentially harmful constituents. This simple aspect of human health speaks volumes about what’s happening inside our mouths. The short version is that the mouth offers a near perfect environment for the growth and fortitude of various bacteria; some good, and some clearly not so good. No one is immune to this, including those who are meticulous in their oral care practices.
The food we eat, the environmental particles we inadvertently inhale, and a wide range of additional factors can all contribute to the residual presence of undesirable oral bacteria. For the most part, these particles are harmless and can be washed away by saliva or enzyme activity. Some bacterium, however, can lead to acute halitosis (bad breath) when left behind, as well as a potentially-increased affinity towards various infections resulting from bacterial imbalance. For individuals striving to support on a head-to-toe good health, it is important to take this into consideration when developing or augmenting one’s nutritional program. NOW® Foods new OralBiotic™ is a completely innovative natural supplement developed specifically to help promote healthy oral bacteria, and therefore, a desirable state of overall health and wellness.
OralBiotic™ contains the naturally-occurring probiotic organism Streptococcus salivarius BLIS K12®, which has been shown in clinical studies to support both oral and throat health. OralBiotic™ BLIS K12® is not an antibiotic, but it can successfully colonize the oral Cavity at the expense of other bacteria, thereby encouraging oral health.1 For greater support, we’ve included Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a prebiotic that provides nutritional support for the growth and preservation of S. salivarius. OralBiotic™ can also promote fresh breath when used in conjunction with proper oral hygiene, such as NOW® XyliWhite™ products. To help your customers get the most out of this exciting new formula, we recommend taking it in conjunction with one of
NOW® Foods’ various high-potency natural Probiotic supplements.*
BLIS K12® Advantages:
• The strength of the scientific and clinical data behind BLIS K12®
• A unique probiotic clinically-demonstrated to benefit the mouth and throat*
• Strong IP position (13 patents granted worldwide and 15 patent applications pending)
• Stability/shelf life (Two years shelf life at ambient temperatures)
• Demonstrated efficacy of various delivery formats
• An extensive safety record and comprehensive safety data
† Used with permission from the BLIS K12® website
Herbs, Serrapeptase, and your Sinus
February 18, 2010 04:26 PM
Sinusitis occurs when the nasal sinuses become inflamed. There are sinuses that are located above the eyes (frontal sinuses), inside the cheekbones (maxillary sinuses), behind the bridge of the nose (sphenoid sinuses), and in the upper nose (ethmoid sinuses). Sinuses are air-filled pockets in the skull that are connected to the nose and throat by passages designed to drain away mucous. The sinuses are the first line of defense to protect the lungs from infection. The majority of sinusitis cases affect the frontal and/or maxillary sinuses. However, any or all of the sinuses may be involved, with each individual tending to have problems with a particular set of sinuses. If the sinuses are too small or happen to be poorly position to handle the volume of mucous produced, they can become clogged. This causes pressure in the sinuses to increase, which causes pain. Those sinuses that are clogged for a long time are extremely prone to infection.
Sinusitis can be either acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis is usually caused by bacterial or viral infections of the nose, throat, and upper respiratory tract, like the common cold. Over 50 percent of all cases of sinusitis are caused by bacteria. Air travel can also lead to acute inflammation of the sinuses, due to the changes in air pressure. Chronic sinusitis problems, on the other hand, may be caused by small growths in the nose, injury of the nasal bones, air pollution, dental complications, emotional stress, smoking, and exposure to irritant fumes and smells. Allergic sinusitis may be the result of hay fever of food allergies, especially those allergies to milk and dairy products. People who have compromised immune systems are susceptible to fungal sinusitis, which is a potentially dangerous condition that requires aggressive treatment.
Sinusitis is characterized by symptoms such as fever which is usually low-grade but can be higher in some cases, cough, headache, earache, toothache, facial pain, cranial pressure, difficulty breathing through the nose, loss of the sense of smell, and tenderness over the forehead and cheekbones. If pain results from tapping the forehead just over the eyes, the cheekbones, or the area around the bridge of the nose, the sinuses may be infected. Sinusitis occasionally produces facial swelling which can be followed by a stuffy nose and a thick discharge of mucous. Those who suffer from sinusitis can have other unpleasant symptoms as a result of previous symptoms. Postnasal drip can cause a sore throat, nausea, and bad breath, while difficulty breathing can cause snoring and loss of sleep.
The following nutrients are considered to be helpful in dealing with and preventing sinusitis: acidophilus, bee pollen, flaxseed oil, a multivitamin and mineral complex, Quercetin, raw thymus glandular, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, vitamin B complex, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, colloidal silver, DMSO, garlic, MSM, proteolytic enzymes, Pycnogenol, sea mussel, serrapeptase, and zinc lozenges.
Additionally, the following herbs may be helpful in preventing and treating sinusitis: anise, fenugreek, marshmallow, red clover, bayberry, bitter orange oil, cat’s claw, ginger root, goldenseal, horehound, mullein, nettle, olive leaf extract, and rose hips. Serrapeptase is an enzyme that is able to help keep sinus fluid thin and flowing properly. Serrapeptase also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce sinus inflammation which will ease pain and speed healing of the sinus Cavity.
August 21, 2009 12:08 PM
The birch species are generally small to medium-size trees or shrubs. They are mostly found in northern temperate climates. The leaves are simple and may be toothed or pointed. The fruit is a small samara, although the wings may be obscure in some species. The bark of all birches is characteristically marked with long historical lenticels and often separates into thin papery plates. The plant is practically imperishable because of the resinous oil that it contains. Its decided color gives the plant the common names Red, White, Black, Silver, and Yellow to different species. The buds of the tree form early and are full grown by midsummer. The branch is prolonged by the upper bud. The wood of all the species is close-grained and has a satiny texture that is capable of taking a fine polish. The leaves of the different species vary little.
The flowers of the birch plant are monoecious, and open with or before the leaves. They are borne on three-flowered clusters. The staminate aments are pendulous, and clustered or solitary in the axils of the last leaves of the branch of the year. They form in early autumn and remain rigid during the winter. The scales of the staminate aments are broadly ovate, rounded, and yellow or orange in color when mature. Each scale has two bractlets and three sterile flowers. These scales bear two or three fertile flowers. Each flower consists of a bare ovary. The ovary is compresed, two-celled, and grouped with two slender styles. The ovule is solitary. The ripenened pistillate ament bears tiny winged nuts, packed in the protecting curve of each brown and woody scale. These nuts are pale chestnut brown and compressed. The seed fills the Cavity of the nut. All of the birch species are easily grown from seed.
Birch bark tea was used by Native Americans to relieve headaches. Some people also used this tea, which was made from the leaves and bark, for fevers and abdominal cramps.
The properties that birch bark possesses allow it to help to heal burns and wound. It also is able to cleanse the blood. Birch bark also contains a glycoside that decomposes to methyl salicylate. This is a remedy for rheumatism that is used both in Canada and in the United States. A decoction of birch leaves is also recommended for baldness. Additionally, this herb works as a mild sedative for insomnia.
The bark and leaves of the birch plant are used to provide anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, astringent, blood purifier, diaphoretic, diuretic, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, chlorine, copper, fluoride, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, and vitamins A, C, E, B1, and B2. Primarily, birch is extremely beneficial in dealing with blood impurities, eczema, pain, rheumatism, and urinary problems.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating canker sores, cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, edema, fevers, gout, and bleeding gums. One should consult their health care provider before considering supplementing with any medications. This will insure that a person obtains the best results possible. For more information on the many benefits provided by birch, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with more questions.
May 22, 2009 11:44 AM
Bitter melon, which is also referred to as bitter gourd, is the fruit of the Momordica charantia plant. This plant is a climbing vine that originated in Asia, Africa, and Australia. Now, it is grown in warm climates all over the world. The fruit is one of the bitterest fruits of all plant foods. The oblong shaped bitter melon has warty appearance, making it quite easy to distinguish. The bitter melon fruit is hollow in cross-section with a thin layer of flesh that surrounds the central seed Cavity. This Cavity is filled with large flat seeds and pith which appear white in unripe fruits and red in those that are ripe.
The seeds and pith are not intensely bitter and can be removed before cooking. The pith will become sweet when the fruit is fully ripe. The pith can be eaten uncooked in this state, but the flesh is far too tough to be eaten anymore. The flesh of this fruit is crunchy and watery in texture, similar to that of cucumber, chayote, or a green bell pepper. The skin is tender and edible. Most often, the fruit is often eaten green, but it can be eaten when it has started to ripen and turn yellowish. However, it grows more bitter as it ripens.
Bitter melon has a history of being used in fold medicine all over the world. It is though to be natural insulin in Ayurvedic tradition, making it highly recommended for the treatment of diabetes. Bitter melon is also one of the main components of the Okinawa diet. These people have the highest percentage of centenarians in the world, the longest healthy life expectancy, and a very low incidence of heart disease. This fruit has often been used for the treatment of tumors, asthma, skin infections, gastrointestinal ailments, and high blood pressure. Bitter melon has been a traditional remedy in Africa, China, India, and the southeastern portion of the United States.
Currently, bitter melon is being researched as a remedy for diabetes, AIDS, and some kinds of cancer. It can be used to help regulate blood sugar by reducing blood glucose and improving glucose tolerance. However, no studies have established a safe and effective dose. The plant’s roots and leaf extracts have shown antibiotic properties. Some studies suggest the possibility that an element in bitter melon may prevent the HIV virus from infecting human cells. Laboratory research shows that one component of the plant may even help to inhibit the growth of some cancers. In some studies, those people who take bitter melon developed headaches. It should be noted that expectant mothers should not use bitter melon.
The fruit, leaves, seeds, and seed oil of the bitter melon fruit are used to provide abortifacient, antifertility, antimicrobial, and hypoglycemia properties. The primary nutrients found in this fruit are ascorbic acid, glycosides, iron, niacin, riboflavin, sodium, and thiamine. Primarily, the bitter melon fruit is extremely beneficial in treating asthma, cancer, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, HIV/AIDS, hypertension, skin infections, and tumors.
Bitter melon is available in capsule or tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. For more information on the beneficial effects provided by the bitter melon fruit, please contact a representative from your local health food store. *Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Bitter melon and magnesium is 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.
Psyllium Husk Fiber
March 18, 2009 12:01 PM
Hemorrhoids occur when veins in the anus and in the rectum swell and may protrude from the anus. The word hemorrhoid comes from the word hemo which means blood and rrhoids which means discharging. Hemorrhoids are also known as piles, which comes from the Latin word pila, meaning ball. Hemorrhoids are a lot like varicose veins, as they enlarge and lose their elasticity. This results in a saclike protrusion into the anal canal. Hemorrhoids are not tumors growths. Instead, they can be caused and aggravated by sitting or standing for prolonged periods, violent coughing, lifting heavy objects, and straining at bowel movements. This occurs especially when constipated.
However, bouts of diarrhea accompanied by involuntary spasms can further the problem. Other factors that contribute to the formation of hemorrhoids include obesity, lack of exercise, liver damage, food allergies, and insufficient consumption of dietary fiber. Hemorrhoids are extremely common during pregnancy and after childbirth, with hormonal changes and pressure exerted by the growing fetus are a huge being the main reason. About half of all Americans have had hemorrhoids by the age of fifty, with the incidence increasing with age until age seventy, and then decreasing again.
The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids include itching, burning, pain, inflammation, swelling, irritation, seepage, and bleeding. The bleeding can be startling or even frightening, as it is usually bright red during bowel movements. Although it does signal that something is slightly off in the digestive system, rectal bleeding is not necessarily an indication of a serious disease.
There are three different kinds of hemorrhoids, which are categorized depending on their location, severity, and the amount of pain, discomfort, or aggravation that they cause. These three types include external, internal, and prolapsed.
External hemorrhoids develop under the skin at the opening of the anal Cavity. They may form a hard lump and cause painful swelling if a blood clot forms. When an external hemorrhoid swells, the tissue in the area becomes firm but sensitive and often turns blue or purple in color. Most often, this type of hemorrhoid affects younger people and can be extremely painful.
Internal hemorrhoids, which are located inside the rectum, are usually painless, especially if they are located above the anorectal line. This is because rectal tissues lack nerve fibers. However, internal hemorrhoids tend to bleed, with blood appearing to be bright red.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids are internal hemorrhoids that collapse and protrude outside the anus. These are often accompanied by a mucous discharge and heavy bleeding. Prolapsed hemorrhoids often become thrombosed, forming clots within that prevent their receding. Thrombosed hemorrhoids can also be extremely painful.
To our knowledge, hemorrhoids are unique to human beings, with no other creature developing this problem. This can be taken as an indication that our dietary and nutritional habits play a greater role in this disorder than anything else. About 50 to 75 percent of this country’s population develops hemorrhoids at one time or another, with many people being unaware of them. Hemorrhoids can occur at any age, but they tend to become more common as people grow older. Those younger people, pregnant women, and women who have had children seem to be most susceptible, with heredity also playing a part in the tendency to develop hemorrhoids. Although hemorrhoids can be quite painful, they usually are not a serious threat to our health.
The following nutrients can help prevent and treat hemorrhoids: calcium, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, vitamin E, vitamin B complex, coenzyme Q10, DMG, garlic, potassium, shark cartilage, vitamin A, and vitamin D3. Additionally, the following herbs are also beneficial: aloe vera gel, bayberry, goldenseal root, myrrh, white oak, comfrey root, elderberry, yarrow, witch hazel, buckthorn bark, collinsonia root, parsley, red grape vine leaves, and stone root.
Looking at that list one might think wow that could be expensive. Fortunately, the single most important factor to prevent hemorrhoids is fiber. Adding dietary fiber to ones diet can eliminate constipation and all the complications that follow with bowel problems. Fiber supplements can be an easy solution to the lack of fiber on ones diet. Psyllium husk is a natural fiber that can be taken daily to help alleviate constipation and is relatively inexpensive. Fiber supplements are available at your local or internet health food store.
Fight Osteoporosis With Minerals To Build Bones And Improve Quality Of Life
April 02, 2008 11:06 AM
Bone consists predominantly of collagen and calcium phosphate. The collagen provides the connective framework for bone that is hardened by the calcium phosphate, and without healthy bones, your quality of life would be significantly reduced due to bone breakage. That is why it is essential to supplement this framework with the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a good bone density at those periods in your life when bone density is liable to deteriorate.
This begins to happen between the ages of 30 and 35 and in women and accelerates during the menopause, when your ovaries stop producing the hormone estrogen that is necessary for the maintenance of healthy bones. Through time, your bone mass drops creating first a condition known as osteopenia, or reduced bone mass, and then osteoporosis, when your bones become brittle, porous and very prone to fractures.
Before we look at what can be done to reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis, lets have a close look at how bone develop so that it will be easier to understand the remedial action that can be taken.
Calcium is the most common mineral in the body, and the vast majority is in the bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also essential for healthy bones because as stated earlier, the bone consists of collagen that is hardened by calcium phosphate. The two main uses of phosphorus are in bone structure and animal metabolism, since phosphates are also essential for the vast majority of the energy-production chemical reactions within your body.
Calcium has other functions within the body other than bone, however, including exchange of fluids within and between cells, the maintenance of your heartbeat and in blood clotting. Vitamin D is necessary to help calcium be absorbed from your diet, through the membranes of the duodenum. More calcium is absorbed there than in the small intestine, and the calcium is also most available to the body when it is in a water-soluble form.
In fact, the reason that stones form in your kidney for example, is that the calcium is rendered insoluble through the formation of calcium oxalate from the oxalic acid in foods such as rhubarb and soy. High fat diets can also slow down the absorption of calcium.
Estrogen plays a significant part in bone physiology, and is an important factor in the maintenance of bone density in women. Bone is living tissue, and is constantly being absorbed and remodeled throughout life. The part played by estrogen is to maintain a proper balance between the osteoclasts, the cells that reabsorb bone tissue, and osteoblasts, the cells that form new bone tissue.
When estrogen is deficient, this balance is lost and rather than bone formation and resorption occurring constantly, they take place in spurts so that first an area of new bone will be formed, then resorption will occur some weeks later, resulting in a structure where there are cavities between areas of bone. With time, these cavities will increase and weaken the integrity of the bone structure.
However, that is not the whole story. The effect of estrogen is to limit the active period of osteoclasts so that the areas of bone resorbed into the body are relatively small so that the removed bone Cavity can easily fill up with new bone by the osteoblasts, which are invigorated by estrogen. When estrogen is deficient, not only is the activity of the bone-forming osteoblasts reduced, but the bone-absorbing osteoclasts activity is not regulated, and they form deeper holes in the bone structure than the osteoblasts are able to fill.
The net result is bone loss, with more bone being reabsorbed than is being formed. The end result of all this is spongy bone tissue with many tiny hole and also with larger areas of missing bone. Eventually this passes a critical point and the bone fractures during normal use. A simple jump from one step to another can fracture a bone at its weakest point, such as at the hip joint where the neck of bone is thinner.
Not everybody is at the same risk, and there are certain risk factors that you should be aware of, each of which could increase the chances of you developing weak bones. The condition particular affects white or Asian women, and those who have a small frame. If you smoke and drink an excessive amount of alcohol, you will also be more prone to osteoporosis, although exercise can help you to avoid it. An inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D will also contribute, and magnesium is an essential part of strong bone development.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has carried out surveys that indicate American women to be taking only 50% of the calcium recommended to maintain a healthy bone density. However, it is not only dietary calcium that is needed for the formation of bone, but also magnesium and boron, and vitamin D also helps with the absorption of calcium in the gut.
If you are on steroids then they can render you more prone to brittle bone disease. Unfortunately the symptoms of osteoporosis do not become evident until there has been a significant amount of bone loss, which is why post menopausal women, and those over 65, should have a bone density scan (DXA test). It is important to understand that osteoporosis is not a disease as such: you cannot ‘catch’ it, but it develops as the result of a gradual reduction in the minerals that maintain the density of your bone structure.
Your diet is important in helping you prevent bone loss and osteoporosis later in life, and your lifestyle is also important. Reducing your daily alcohol intake will certainly help, and cigarette smoking further retards the activity of the bone-creating cells. Calcium and vitamin D supplements will help, but do not restrict yourself only to these.
If you want to maintain proper bone density through and beyond the menopause stage of life, you should take a balanced supplement that contains a combination of vitamins and minerals needed to maintain a healthy balance between natural bone loss and regeneration. There is more to it that only calcium and vitamin D, and a balanced supplement takes this out of your hands. You can rest in the knowledge that you are doing the best for your body and its bone density.
Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate
March 28, 2007 11:10 AM
Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis in the U.S., according to the Arthritis Foundation. One-third of all American adults have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis of the hand, foot, knee, or hip. Osteoarthritis is responsible for more than 7 million physician visits per year and is second only to cardiovascular disease as the cause of chronic disability in adults. As Baby Boomers age, the number of people suffering from osteoarthritis is expected to rapidly increase in the next 10 years.
While osteoarthritis research ahs led to the development of promising new prescription and over-the-counter medications aimed at reducing pain, none has created the excitement of glucosamine sulfate (GS), which actually addresses the underlying joint destruction.
Q. What is osteoarthritis?
A. Osteoarthritis is a complex, metabolic disorder of the cartilage and bones of certain joints. However, to fully understand how osteoarthritis develops, we need to understand how joints work.
A joint is formed when two or more bones are brought together and held in place by muscles and tendons. Some joints have very little range of movement, such as the joints of the ribs, while others have much more range of movement. Hips, knees, elbows, writs, and thumbs are termed synovial joints, and have the greatest range of movement and mobility of human joints. To allow such mobility, synovial joints have a unique structure.
The bones that form synovial joints are covered with cartilage. Tough fibrous tissue encloses the area between the bone ends and is called the joint capsule. The joint Cavity within the capsule is lined with an inner membrane, called synovial membrane. The membrane secretes synovial fluid, a thick, slippery fluid that fills the small space around and between the two bones. This fluid contains many substances that lubricate the joint and ease movement.
The cartilage of synovial joints serves two very important functions. First, it provides a remarkably smooth weight-bearing surface; synovial joints move easily. Secondly, synovial cartilage serves as a shock absorber, providing a soft, flexible foundation. Healthy cartilage absorbs the force of the energy, transmits the load to the bone, and distributes the mechanical stress created by joint movement.
Synovial joints function under almost continual mechanical stress. A joint’s ability to withstand or resist this stress is a reflection of its health. When the mechanical stress is too great or the joint’s ability to resist this stress is compromised, physical changes occur in the cartilage covering the bones.
Cartilage is a tough, elastic tissue, comprised mostly of water, collagen, and complex proteins called proteoglycans. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage starts to weaken, becomes frayed, and eventually breaks down. This exposes the bones of the joint, which then rub together. A gritty feeling and grinding sound may occur when an osteoarthritic joint is bent and flexed. As osteoarthritis progresses, bits of bone and cartilage often break off and float inside the joint space. The bones may enlarge, causing the joint to lose its normal shape. Tiny bone spurs may grow on the joints’ sides and edges. These physical changes in the diseased joint are responsible for progressive damage and continual pain.
People with osteoarthritis most frequently describe their pain as deep and aching. The pain not only is felt in the affected joint but may also be present in the surrounding and supporting muscles. Joint inflammation also may occur, increasing the already considerable discomfort. Joint stiffness is another unfortunate component of osteoarthritis. Exercising the joint most often results in increased pain; however, stiffness tends to follow periods of inactivity. Humid weather often makes all osteoarthritis symptoms worse. As the disease progresses, the pain may occur even when the joint is at rest, creating sleepless nights and miserable days.
Q. What causes osteoarthritis?
A. Osteoarthritis’ exact cause remains unknown. Researchers know aging doesn’t appear to cause osteoarthritis. Cartilage in people with the disease show many destructive changes not seen in older persons without the disease. However, certain conditions do seem to trigger osteoarthritis or make it worse.
Some families seem to have a lot of osteoarthritis, pointing to a genetic factor. This is most commonly seen in people who have osteoarthritis of the hands. Repeated trauma can contribute to osteoarthritis, too. Athletes, extremely active people, and individuals who have physically demanding jobs often develop the disease. Persons who have certain bone disorders are more prone to osteoarthritis due to the continuous, uneven stress in their hips and knees.
Obesity also is a risk factor for the disease. In overweight women, osteoarthritis of the knee is fairly common. Excess pounds also may have a direct metabolic effect on cartilage beyond the effects of increased joint stress. Obese people also often have m ore dense bones. Research has shown dense bones may provide less shock-absorbing function than thinner bones, allowing more direct trauma to the cartilage.
Q. Can osteoarthritis be prevented?
A. While there is currently no sure way to prevent osteoarthritis or slow its progression, some lifestyle changes may reduce or delay symptoms. The Arthritis Foundation states that maintaining a healthy weight, losing weight if needed, and regular exercise are effective osteoarthritis prevention measures.
Optimal calcium intake in younger years is vital to ensure a healthy aging skeletal system. Vitamins A, C, D, and E have been studied for their role in osteoarthritis prevention. These vitamins also have shown benefit in individuals who have osteoarthritis.
Q. What treatments are available for osteoarthritis?
A. The goal of treatment is to reduce or relieve pain, maintain or improve movement, and minimize any potential permanent disability. Typically, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (pronounced “n-sayds”) such as aspirin and ibuprofen are used for pain and inflammation relief. These medications are effective in treating only the pain of osteoarthritis.
These medications have many side effects, some of which are serious. NSAID-induced gastrointestinal complications cause more than 100,000 hospitalizations and nearly 16,500 deaths annually in the U.S. Aspirin can cause an extremely annoying and continual ringing in the ears. NSAIDs frequently cause damage to the stomach lining, which can produce uncomfortable heartburn and abdominal pain. Continued NSAID use may lead to the development of stomach ulcers. NSAID-related ulcers can perforate the stomach lining and cause life-threatening bleeding. Most NSAIDs also interfere with blood clotting and may cause kidney damage. When older persons take NSAIDs, dizziness, drowsiness, memory loss, and decreased attention span may occur.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol and similar medications) is similar to aspirin and other NSAIDs in its pain-relief abilities. However, acetaminophen doesn’t reduce inflammation. And while acetaminophen doesn’t have the same side effects of aspirin and other NSAIDs, if large doses are taken, liver damage can occur.
Newer medications called COX-2 inhibitors provide both pain relief and reduce inflammation without the many side effects of acetaminophen, aspirin, and other NSAIDs. More recent research has indicated that, in certain situations. COX02 inhibitors also can cause stomach lining damage and bleeding. While aspirin, NSAIDs, and COX-2 inhibitors may reduce osteoarthritis pain, they do nothing to stop or slow down cartilage deterioration. In other words, these medications have no effect on the disease itself.
That is why many believe glucosamine sulfate (GS) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) are preferable to pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications in osteoarthritis treatment: they actually improve synovial joint health. And they do this without potentially life-threatening side effects.
Q. How do GS and CS work?
A. GS improves the health of joints affected by osteoarthritis. This supplement is so effective that even physicians who mostly rely on conventional medications routinely recommend it to their patients with osteoarthritis. In fact, GS is so good at treating osteoarthritis, many physicians use it for their own osteoarthritis joints.
There is even more good news. When glucosamine sulfate is combined with low-molecular weight CS, even greater benefits can be achieved. GS and CS are naturally occurring compounds found in human joints. The right GS/CS combination actually reverses damage in joints affected by osteoarthritis, in turn significantly reducing pain and stiffness.
Glucosamine occurs naturally in the body and is found in synovial fluid. Glucosamine is a basic building block for proteoglycans, is a basic building block for proteoglycans, one of the important compounds of synovial cartilage. It also is required for the formation of lubricants and protective agents for the joints.
In Europe, GS and CS have been used to treat osteoarthritis for more than 10 years. While persons with arthritis felt much better when they took GS and CS, no one really knew how these compounds worked. When European and American researchers first started to study glucosamine, they discovered GS can reduce synovial joint inflammation. This explains why people felt better after taking it.
Q. What has additional study of GS and CS revealed?
A. As the scientific study of GS progressed, researchers determined it can stimulate the growth of cartilage cells, inhibit proteoglycans breakdown, and rebuild cartilage damaged from osteoarthritis. In other words, GS does not simply make persons with osteoarthritis feel better; GS actually makes persons with osteoarthritis get better.
GS is the form of glucosamine used in research. It’s the sulfate salt of glucosamine and breaks down into glucosamine and sulfate ions in the body. The sulfate part of GS plays an important role in proteoglycans synthesis.
CS also provides cartilage strength and resilience. CS is an important component of the cartilage proteoglycans of synovial joints. Because CS helps the production of proteoglycans, researchers believe CS works in a similar nature to GS.
Q. Couldn’t GS and CS be taken on their own? Is there any benefit in taking them together?
A. Research has discovered GS and CS act synergistically (work well together) in improving joint health. Several studies have investigated this action and it’s recommended that GS and CD be taken together. However, there may be times when your healthcare practitioner may recommend using one or the other, but not both GS and CS together. Please follow their recommendations to obtain the best results for your own unique health concerns. Low-molecular weight chondroitin sulfate (CS) is the preferred CS form, and the form that has shown the most promise in studies.
Q. Why is it important to take low-molecular weight CS?
A. When CS was first studied, it was given to six healthy volunteers, six patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and six patients with osteoarthritis. Researchers then measured the levels of CS in all study subjects. They found no evidence of CS in any of the subjects. This single study led many physicians and scientists to believe CS can’t be absorbed, and was not an effective natural treatment.
However, several other studies in healthy volunteers have reported CS can be absorbed. The distinct difference for these findings is thought to be associated with the types of CS used in the studies. Some forms are much more absorbable that others. This was demonstrated in a recent study using CS with lower molecular weight. A higher absorption is observed for low-molecular weight CS.
This means CS products with a low molecular weight may be better absorbed, allowing the CS to get into the bloodstream and the synovial fluid of joints where it’s needed.
Q. Are there other supplements that can help osteoarthritis?
A. Several vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and natural supplements have benefits for individuals with osteoarthritis. Proteolytic enzymes effectively offer relief of the pain, stiffness, and swelling of osteoarthritis.
Folic acid and vitamin B can reduce the number of tender joints and increase joint mobility. Vitamins C, D, and E not only may prevent osteoarthritis, but inhibit the disease’s progression. Niacinamide improves joint function, range of motion, and muscle strength. Clinical studies using the herb Boswellia serrata have yielded good results in osteoarthritis.
Application of ointments on osteoarthritic joints may be helpful in reducing pain and stiffness. Menthol-based preparations can provide soothing relief to painful joints. Capsaicin ointments and gel made for cayenne pepper also are very beneficial. When applied to the skin, capsaicin first stimulates, then blocks, nerve fibers that transmit pain messages. Capsaicin depletes nerve fibers of a neurotransmitter called substance P. This neurotransmitter transmits pain messages and activates inflammation in osteoarthritis. Capsaicin ointment is very effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain in many individuals.
Q. Is there anything else I can do for joint pain and stiffness?
A. When osteoarthritis occurs in the hands, use of a paraffin dip can be very comforting. A licensed health care practitioner can provide information about how to safely use paraffin dips at home.
Exercise is an excellent way to keep joints mobile, decrease pain, and increase body strength, too. Water aerobics also can reduce the pressure and stress on joints.
The Arthritis Foundation strongly suggests making movement an integral part of your life. When you’re in less pain and have more energy, more range-of-motion, and a better outlook on life, you’ll reduce stress and be a much healthier person despite your osteoarthritis.
One important last thought
When we don’t feel well, we sometimes have a tendency to self-diagnose. If you haven’t been evaluated by a licensed health care practitioner for your joint pain and stiffness, you need to do so. These symptoms may be caused by other illnesses and may require much different treatment. Only licensed health care practitioner can provide a certain diagnosis of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis may be a part of life for many of us as we age; however, constant pain and stiffness need not be. GS combined with absorbable CS can actually improve damage in joints affected by osteoarthritis and significantly reduce pain and stiffness. And it can be an empowering way to improve your health.
A toxic by-product of industrial waste.
April 21, 2006 04:34 PM
Imagine a government permitting industry to dump toxic waste products into the drinking water supply, denying the public the right to make an informed choice by censoring the press and dissenting experts. Meanwhile, influential leaders disseminate misinformation and hoodwinked people demand community acess to the dangerous chemical.
Although it might seem like science fiction, this scenario has been playing in America since 1940’s. the toxic chemical? Fluoride. Today, 170 million Americans, approximately two thirds of the population, have fluoridated drinking water issuing from their taps.
A 1998 Gallup poll showed that the majority of Americans—a whopping 70% --support water fluoridation. Dissenters are seen as crackpots and conspiracy theorists.
EPA Unions Call for a Moratorium
In august 2005, eleven Environmental Protection Agency employee unions under the umbrella of NTEU Chapter 280, primarily scientists, researchers, doctors, submitted a request to Congress for a moratorium on drinking water fluoridation, based on scientific evidence that fluoride is a proven carcinogen.
Dr. William Hirzy, Vice President of Chapter 280, explains that the biggest misperceptions about fluoridated water are “that its safe and effective, that basically there are no adverse effects, and that it does this magic of lowering dental decay rates.”
A Profitable By-Product
Although the American Dental Association explains that fluoride is a naturally occurring compound, the form used in drinking water, hydrofluorosilicic acid is, in fact, a product of man.
Today’s fluoride is a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry. Air filtration vents, called “Wet-Scrubbers,” trap fluoride, which is a gaseous by-product of manufacturing. For many years, the gas was vented into the sky, where it caused lawsuits by farmers for burnt crops and sickened animals. Now, the fluoride is sold to American communities as well as developing countries, Dr. Hirzy calculates the fertilizer industry makes about 100 million a year from their toxic by-product.
Fluoride’s Tainted History
Fluoride’s effect upon teeth was first observed in children who were overexposed to ingested fluoride. Their teeth turned pitted and brown, a condition recognized as dental fluorosis. According to the American Dental Association, fluoride damages only the body’s tooth-forming cells, buy many scientists are concerned that other cells are damaged as well.
According to Phyllis Mullenix, Ph.D., a prominent toxicologist, animal research shows that fluoride crosses the blood-brain barrier, causing defects in the brain region devoted to memory and learning. In humans, the behavior evidenced in rats would qualify as motor dysfunction, deficits or learning disabilities.
Is Fluoride Good for Poor People?
Many argue that fluoridation is needed by economically disadvantaged populations with inadequate access to dental care. In fact, these are the people at greatest risk from fluoride, which wreaks its most hazardous effects on those who are malnourished. Calcium deficiency, in particular, is linked with fluorosis.
Is It Good For Anything?
Ironically, many dental authorities acknowledge that ingested fluoride has little to no effect on preventing cavities in the pits and fissures of the teeth, where most cavities occur. Many researchers acknowledge that only topical fluoride can stop cavities. The largest nation wide study, conducted in 1989 by the national institute of Dental Research, showed that children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities have approximately the same Cavity rate.
Fluoridation and the Wellness Revolution
The Fluoridation controversy is another example of our health care system’s approach of throwing chemicals at problems, rather than solving them through improved public hygiene and better nutrition. In addition, calcium and vitamin D supplementation can help build strong teeth, while vitamin C is essential for healthy gums.
Source: www. Fluoridealert .org, www. Fluoridedebate .org, www. Nteu280 .org/issues/fluoride/fluoridesummary.htm
Pregnant and eating for two...
October 21, 2005 01:36 PM
Not - Quite - Dual - Nutrition
It’s time to ditch a dietary cliché often foisted on expectant moms. “try to keep in mind that you are not eating for two, you are carefully eating for one,” write Catherine Jones and prenatal nutrition expert Rose Ann Hudson in Eating for Pregnancy (Marlowe & Company), who add that pregnancy “is not a time to skip meal, eat junk food or lad up on empty calories for quick energy.” The idea is to eat a nutritious diet that allows you to gain weight gradually as your baby grows.
It helps to be at a healthy weight when starting a family. Being overweight makes conception more difficult, and at least one study ahs found a link between excess maternal weight and the risk of a birth defect called cleft palate (in which the roof of the mouth is split from behind the teeth to the nasal Cavity). However, dieting during pregnancy may actually program a child for obesity by rewiring the developing brain, so try to lose weight before you try to conceive.
How much should you expect to gain over the course of nine months? “A lot depends on your unique circumstances and the advice of your health care provider, but in general you can anticipate adding from two to five pounds a month for the first 14 weeks and roughly a pound a week thereafter until your due date-between 25 and 35 pounds in total. That translates into roughly and extra 300 calories a day; Jones and Hudson say that more nourishment may be necessary if you are breastfeeding, extremely active or carrying more than one child. Since stress and anxiety often lead to out-of-control eating (and gaining), be sure to tend to your own emotional needs during what can be a very exhilarating, yet sometimes overwhelming, time of life.
For maximum nutrition try to eat a variety of foods while avoiding anything that provokes morning sickness. Whole grains provide both steady energy (unlike sugar-fueled spikes and crashes) and B vitamins to boot. Do not scrimp on fat-your baby’s developing nervous system depends on it-but “don’t use your pregnancy as an excuse to pig out, either,” warn Jones and Hudson. Stick with such unsaturated fats as olive oil along with rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids like flax seed oil. You definitely want to indulge in those omega-3s, which appear to boost infant intellectual development. Fish is a fine source of both omega-3 and the high-quality protein needed to build your baby’s tissues, but beware: Some species such as fresh tuna, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel, can be contaminated with mercury. Your best low-mercury bets are catfish, pollock, salmon, and shrimp. (Other good protein sources include chicken, cottage cheese, lean red meat, yogurt and milk, all organically sourced whenever possible.)
Supplemental fish oil is another omega-3 possibility because “mercury is found in the muscle of fish and not in the oil,” according to OSU’s Jane Higdon, who suggests consulting your health care practitioner for advice. “If I was going to take a fish oil supplement, I’d look for one that the manufacturer is testing for PCBs (an industrial pollutant),” such as products that meet California’s Proposition 65 standards.
Don’t forget to stock the fridge with fresh produce. Fruits and veggies are richly endowed with vitamins and minerals; for example, making like Popeye and downing your spinach helps ensure you get plenty of folic acid and iron.
These superfoods also supply phytonutrients, substances that may actually help protect your baby against cancer even as they enhance your own well-being. Studies on the link between maternal diet and childhood cancer protection are in the early stages according to Dr. David Williams, a researcher at the Linus Pauling Institute, but he says that shouldn’t stop you from loading up on cancer-fighting green stuff. “Certainly among the vegetables the cruciferous ones (the broccoli family) are particularly valuable in protecting against cancer,” he says. “These vegetables are also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.”
An old Indian remedy gives your teeth a new gleam - NEEM
July 27, 2005 04:23 PM
Keen on Neem
An old Indian remedy gives your teeth a new gleam.
The search for clean teeth, healthy gums and fresh breath is not just a modern obsession, but an age-old fixation. Dental historians believe that ancient Cavity rates ranged from 1% among Eskimos, with their highly carnivorous diet, to 80% among members of Egypt’s royalty, who feasted on dainties that included many high-carb delights. So it’s no surprise that most ancient cultures had their favorite oral hygiene therapies.
In Indian, the tooth scrubber of popular choice was twigs taken from the neem tree. Small wonder: This tropical evergreen’s therapeutic versatility sports and impressive 4,000-year-old track record, earning it the nickname of “village pharmacy.” Indians who went abroad carried neem with them, and they put the entire tree-bark, fruit, leaf, root, seed-to health-enhancing use. One famous Indian emigrant, Mahatma Gandhi, was a keen neem enthusiast; after returning to his native land, Gandhi held prayer meetings under a neem tree.
Today, neem’s beautiful branches grace a vast swath of the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia (which may become the biggest neem-producing nation over the coming decades), Fiji, sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean. This remarkable plant’s Sanskrit name, arista, says it all-“perfect, complete and imperishable.”
Keeping Teeth Intact
Your dentist is actually the second one to drill your pearly whites. The first drillers are the germs that reside in your mouth-or, to be more accurate, the acids these wee beasties produce. Their handiwork: dental caries, or just plain cavities. These bacteria are also responsible for gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss if unchecked. What’s even worse, low-level inflammation caused by disordered gums may create the kind of blood-vessel havoc associated with heart problems.
Neem extracts act against a variety of detrimental microbes, which may explain its time-tested success in helping to keep teeth whole. Scientists at India’s Zydus Research Centre found that individuals who used a neem dental gel twice a day for six weeks enjoyed significant reductions in both plaque-the gummy, bacteria-harboring stuff that accumulates on teeth-and gum disease (International Dental Journal 8/04).
Neem’s fame is spreading among Northern Hemisphere consumers. It is becoming an herbally aware toothpaste ingredient valued for the fresh feeling its cool astringency imparts to the mouth. Neem is also a prized component of other health and beauty products, such as bath powders, lotions, shampoos and soaps.
In India, neem is a vital weapon in the arsenal of Ayurveda, that country’s system of traditional medicine. Practitioners there mash the leaves into a paste to alleviate chickenpox and warts, and brew them into tea to break malaria’s feverish grip. The leaves also make a soothing soak for fungus-infected feet.
Indian scientists are also hard at work studying neem. They’ve distilled the substances that account for neem’s ability to fight bacteria, fungi and parasites (including the pests that infest pets). Researchers have explored neem’s other traditional usages; in one study, a bark extract was able to ease ulcers (Life Sciences 10/29/04). What’s more, neem is esteemed for its contributions to Indian agriculture; the seedcake makes a nutritious feed supplement and bees that feed on neem are free of wax moths.
If you value keeping your teeth in gleaming condition, consider neem.