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Broccoli is a powerful anti-aging food that you should be eatingevery day Darrell Miller 5/17/19
The common causes of candida overgrowth Darrell Miller 1/22/19
Maitake Mushroom Benefits Blood Sugar, Cholesterol, Immunity & More Darrell Miller 8/7/18
Can Air Pollution Heighten Alzheimer's Risk? Darrell Miller 2/5/17
Caffeine Found to Reduce Age-Related Inflammation Darrell Miller 1/24/17
New antibiotics discovered by sifting through the human microbiome Darrell Miller 12/1/16
What Is Candida And How Do You Fight It? Darrell Miller 12/27/12
Cascara sagrada and constipation Darrell Miller 11/9/10
Tasty new treats by Now Foods, "Crunch Clusters snacks" Darrell Miller 12/11/09
Guarana Darrell Miller 10/26/09
Birch Darrell Miller 8/21/09
Oregon Grape Extract Darrell Miller 8/11/09
Black Walnut Darrell Miller 6/5/09
Caffeine Addiction Darrell Miller 12/20/08
Prostate – Frequently Asked Questions… Darrell Miller 10/25/05
THE GINSENG PLAN Darrell Miller 6/25/05
CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM Darrell Miller 6/23/05
Acupuncture nutrient Connection Darrell Miller 6/12/05



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Broccoli is a powerful anti-aging food that you should be eatingevery day
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Date: May 17, 2019 04:00 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Broccoli is a powerful anti-aging food that you should be eatingevery day





Broccoli is loaded with anti-aging ingredients such as antioxidants and collagen. Broccoli is known for its nutrition as it is packed with vitamins A and C as well as calcium and iron. The body uses vitamin C to produce collagen, which affects the outward appearance of people. The plant's antioxidants can work as an anti-inflammatory for the body, and they also get rid of free radicals which helps lessen the risks of oxidation in your cells and tissues.

Key Takeaways:

  • Broccoli is a superfood that contains antioxidant and collagen to prevent aging.
  • Collagen maintains your hair, skin, and nails and requires a lot of Vitamin C, which is one of the main nutrients in broccoli.
  • For the maximum amount of Vitamin C, you should eat raw broccoli, or steam cook it if you want it hot.

"A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, broccoli is completely edible from the crowded clusters of dark green florets at its top to the very tip of its stem. It provides a lot of nutrition, being filled with vitamin A and vitamin C, and containing large amounts of calcium and iron."

Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-04-15-broccoli-is-a-powerful-anti-aging-food-that-you-should-be-eating-every-day.html

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The common causes of candida overgrowth
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Date: January 22, 2019 04:39 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: The common causes of candida overgrowth





Candida albicans is a form of yeast that is present in small colonies across the human body. Unfortunately, when these clusters grow to an abnormal size, the heightened populations can cause some serious health concerns such as mouth ulcers, gastrointestinal issues, and even psychological symptoms. Researchers are now finding links between the overgrowth of Candida albicans and potential triggers such as: fermented foods like pickles, contraceptives, the overuse of antibiotics, and several other contributing factors.

Key Takeaways:

  • Candida albicans is common in the human body but common signs of candidiasis or candida overgrowth include bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, flatulence, and joint pain.
  • Contraceptives or birth control pills, and intrauterine devices can kill good bacteria and encourage the growth of yeast in the human body.
  • Although fermented foods like kimchi, pickles and sauerkraut, are good for the gut bacteria, they can also encourage candida overgrowth so it is wise to eliminate them.

"However, when candida populations swell into an overgrowth, you can develop severe health problems."

Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-25-the-common-causes-of-candida-overgrowth.html

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Maitake Mushroom Benefits Blood Sugar, Cholesterol, Immunity & More
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Date: August 07, 2018 09:53 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Maitake Mushroom Benefits Blood Sugar, Cholesterol, Immunity & More





Maitake Mushroom Benefits Blood Sugar, Cholesterol, Immunity & More

The Maitake Mushroom (Grifola Frondosa) are an edible fungi that grows in East Asia and the US, usually clustered around the base of deciduous trees like oak and maple. Their rich taste and texture can be used in many different dishes, and the Maitake’s popularity is rapidly expanding outside of Japanese cuisine. Maitakes are adaptogenic, meaning they can help the body maintain its balance and recover from harm. This includes helping to balance blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Maitakes make a great addition to stir fry, pasta and other dishes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Maitake mushrooms are found in East Asia and North America, most often in clusters at the bases of oak or maple trees.
  • Maitake mushrooms are often used in stir fry, pasta or other dishes for their delicate flavor and unique texture.
  • Maitake mushrooms have a wide variety of health benefits, including keeping blood sugar and cholesterol under control, and are very nutritious.

"The maitake mushroom is no exception; not only is it delicious and full of nutrients, but it also boasts some pretty amazing health benefits."

Read more: https://draxe.com/maitake-mushroom/

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Can Air Pollution Heighten Alzheimer's Risk?
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Date: February 05, 2017 04:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Can Air Pollution Heighten Alzheimer's Risk?





Recent research studies indicate a link between high levels of air pollution and an increased risk of Alzheimer's Disease. Studies tested mice exposed to air pollution and found that it led to an increase of the protein Clusters associated with dementia and Alzheimer's. Another study found that elderly women in areas with above average pollution were also at a greater risk.

Can Air Pollution Heighten Alzheimer's Risk?

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Caffeine Found to Reduce Age-Related Inflammation
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Date: January 24, 2017 12:59 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Caffeine Found to Reduce Age-Related Inflammation





A study has published that caffeine could reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors. So caffeine may actually be more beneficial to you then you thought. In their studies researchers found that the metabolites boosted activity in one of the inflammatory gene Clusters. That, in turn, caused the immune cells to produce more IL-1ß. When injected into mice, the substances triggered widespread inflammation and hypertension.

Key Takeaways:

  • Caffeine may help reduce the type of inflammation that's linked to cardiovascular disease risk factors,
  • David Furman, Ph.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues studied data on healthy participants ages 20 to 30 and another group older than 60.
  • "Our results show an overall up-regulation of specific inflammasome genes in older humans and identify two distinct immune states corresponding to chronically inflamed individuals with dysregulated nucleotide metabolism, high levels of oxidative stress,

"Caffeine may help reduce the type of inflammation that's linked to cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to a study published online Jan. 16 in Nature Medicine."



Reference:

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=//www.doctorslounge.com/index.php/news/pb/69298&ct=ga&cd=CAIyGmZmMDFkMTU2YWMzMmQ5OTU6Y29tOmVuOlVT&usg=AFQjCNFDdT9sZaJZ1owK89gxvIfdRbR7BQ

(https://vitanetonline.com:443/forums/Index.cfm?CFApp=1&Message_ID=3823)


New antibiotics discovered by sifting through the human microbiome
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Date: December 01, 2016 08:59 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (support@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: New antibiotics discovered by sifting through the human microbiome





For Computer software to help discover new antibiotics is incredible. It's fascinating how far we have come with technology. Synthesizing is such an interesting concept. The experiments that suggested that the humimycins worked by inhibiting an enzyme that bacteria use to build their cell walls - and once that cell-wall building pathway is interrupted, the bacteria died. Wow, such a wonderful discovery.

Key Takeaways:

  • Most antibiotics in use today are based on natural molecules produced by bacteria -- and given the rise of antibiotic resistance, there's an urgent need to find more of them.
  • "It's like taking a hose and pinching it in two spots," he says. Even if neither kink halts the flow altogether on its own, "eventually, no more water comes through."
  • They also used the software to predict the chemical structures of the molecules that the gene Clusters ought to produce.

"The software initially identified 57 potentially useful gene Clusters, which the researchers winnowed down to 30."



Reference:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161116103642.htm

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What Is Candida And How Do You Fight It?
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Date: December 27, 2012 03:29 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: What Is Candida And How Do You Fight It?

Candida - or even more correctly known as Candida albicans - is now generally acknowledged as the specific kind of microscopic yeast which causes yeast infection or even thrush in humans -- known as Candidiasis.

Candida is a single cell living organism that grows into hives of many cells and can be observed physically at this stage when it infects body areas as white patches or Clusters. This is how you might see it in the vagina, the throat or in the intestinal tract when a micro-camera is sent inside to investigate! Normally Candida's growth is stalled by other small micro-organisms known as good bacteria.

The Good Bacteria

The good bacteria do not have a tendency to cause any adverse symptoms in the body, and their actions really provide the body with many benefits. Acidophilus and bifidus are considered good bacteria. Normally, lower levels of Candida are good for the body and is not particularly a difficulty; in some respects it even provides some specific benefits to the body. Candida acts as a type of natural waste digester and ferments waste sugar in the body. But the problem actually starts when its growth goes beyond control.

What causes candida? - Answer: Anti-biotics

Antibiotics are one of the commonest causes that lead to candida condition. Antibiotics, while they might help cure infection in the body, disturb the balance of bacteria in the body by killing both good and the bad bacteria.

Weakened Immunological systems

Candida is generally kept under control naturally by your immunological system and good bacteria. Nonetheless when you are sick, it can grow out of control and induce infection and other problems.

Unhealthy Diet

Candida feeds on sugar. If you have got a diet loaded within junk food and sugary treats you are providing it with a feeding ground. An unhealthy diet also weakens your immune system.

Combating The issue

A good diet is the easiest way to prevent this problem. Steer clear of foods high in sugar as well as foods that have starchy carbs. After you shower, sweat or swim, ensure that you dry out any susceptible areas. Regular diaper changes also help stop Candida infections in babies. If you think that you may be suffering with candidiasis, visit your doctor first for the kind of diagnosis that is required. They'll likely prescribe a good anti-fungal medication. This treatment typically works well for an occasional yeast-related infection.

However, if you suffer from protracted infections then consider treating the core issue instead of the signs and symptoms of the disease. Frequent Candida infections are likely to occur due to an imbalance associated with bacteria, too much sugar in your body or a weakened immunity system. If you can prevent Candida overgrowth in your body you'll be able to avoid the infections associated with it. Some of the finest natural remedies for candida Shark liver It's a well known fact that shark liver oil can do wonders for the body with regards to improving the condition of the defense mechanisms.

This is important for sufferers of Candida since the best weapon everybody has against Candida running crazy in our bodies is our own immune system. Grape seed extract Another popular natural cure for Candida is grape fruit seed extract. Grapefruit extract can work as an anti-fungal solution that can help raise the body's pH to a degree where it is too acidic for the Candida to reside. Helping to restore the body's pH level back to healthy levels is a useful way of treating Candida.

Garlic pills Garlic pills are another common, all-natural way to deal with Candida. It's assumed that garlic can restrain the growth associated with Candida in the body since it does have some anti-microbial properties. Tea tree oils Studies have showed that tea tree oil is capable of destabilizing the cell walls of the yeast, making them easier for the body's immune response to kill them off. Because Candida is a comparatively new condition and is still so arguable, there's actually is no medical opinion accept antibiotics which cause the condition our best option is to treat it herbally. The best choice for any person looking to treat their Candida is to consult with a doctor, or at the least a qualified dietitian about the treatment they should follow.

You can also try the following natural remedies:

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Cascara sagrada and constipation
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Date: November 09, 2010 05:27 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Cascara sagrada and constipation

bark of cascaraCascara Sagrada is a large deciduous herbal tree. It is found in the specific area of the western coastal regions of the North America, mainly along the bottomlands in the valleys, along canyons and forested mountain slopes. It is also found growing along the Pacific Northwest from the Canadian province of British Columbia down to the northern parts of the California state. It reaches to the height of twenty to thirty feet and circumference of one and a half feet in diameter at maturity. With slender branches having many leaves, the bark of the tree is reddish brown is colour.

The leaves are green and yellow in colour and elliptical in shape with finely toothed edge, rounded base and sharp or blunt tips. Along the slender branches, the foliage tends to be guided by the crowding of the leaves at the tips of the branch lets. During the months of May to June, it bears greenish white flowers which are borne in Clusters along the axils of the leaves. The flowers by the month of September gives rounded black fruits, which bear two or three smooth seeds. The various parts of the tree were used by the Native Americans in their traditional folk medicine.

The Spanish on observing this named the tree as Cascara Sagrada, meaning the “Sacred bark”. In the traditional Indian medicine it was used in preparing various herbal medicines. In the autumn season the bark of the tree would be stripped, dried and then be left to a slow aging process at least for a year. The prepared bark was then kept in water and boiled to the steep. The boiled water was cooled and drunk as a potent herbal medicine to alleviate the symptoms of constipation in affected patients.

plant of cascaraIn the year 1877 the American physicians recognized and accepted its many medicinal benefits. From the year 1894 they started listing Cascara Sagrada in the books U.S. Pharmacopeia for the significant medical benefits it provided. It is believed to be one of the world’s most naturally available laxatives and is still marketed as a natural plant based laxative. The wave like contractions it causes along the musculature in the walls of the intestine for alleviating constipation is the ultimate medicinal ability It possess which no other modern medicine has.

It is known for the peristalsis forces that it creates to tone the relaxed intestinal muscles of the affected patients. It shows great results by irritating the intestinal tissues. In old and weakened people is shows potent laxative action when properly diluted, providing great relief. The honey made from the flowers of this tree also show laxative action but is mild in nature. It is believed that the milder laxative action produced by the combination two related European species of Cascara is safe and beneficial to patients.

This herbal tree is widely used in patients with chronic constipation. Many commercial laxatives contain the bark of this herbal tree as the key ingredient of the product. If you suffer from constipation please contact your health care provider. Laxatives are a temporary fix for constipation and should not be taken for long periods of time. Lack of bowel movement is usually due to low fiber diets. Adding additional fiber to ones diet can boost bowel function and reduce constipation.

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Tasty new treats by Now Foods, "Crunch Clusters snacks"
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Date: December 11, 2009 02:49 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Tasty new treats by Now Foods, "Crunch Clusters snacks"


Crunch Clusters 9 oz bags Whoever said that health food had to taste bad never tried NOW® Crunchy Clusters. Our three popular varieties of these tasty bite-sized snacks have become such a big hit with consumers, we simply couldn't limit them to a 5 oz can. That's why we're super excited to introduce these new, more economical 9 oz Crunchy Cluster bags. Now you can enjoy even more of these great tasting, nutritious snacks. Best of all, they can be taken anywhere. They're perfect for the office, after workouts, in-between meals, or anywhere an extra boost of nutritious energy is needed.

If you're going to snack on something throughout the day, why not make it something that tastes amazing? NOW® Crunchy Clusters are the perfect solution. Each scrumptious variety is made with natural ingredients, and guaranteed to be free of artificial preservatives, flavor enhancers, or colors.

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Guarana
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Date: October 26, 2009 12:34 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Guarana

guarana seedsGuarana is a climbing plant that is part of the maple family, Sapindaceae. Native to the Amazon basin, this plant can especially be found in Brazil. Guarana has large leaves and Clusters of flowers and is best known for its fruit. The fruit of this plant is about the size of a coffee berry. As a dietary supplement, guarana is an effective energy booster, containing about twice the caffeine found in coffee beans. Similar to other plants producing caffeine, the high concentration of caffeine is a defensive toxin that repels pathogens from the berry and its seeds. The fruit of the guarana plant ranges in color from brown to red and contains black seeds that are partially covered by white arils. The contrast in color when the fruit has been opened is similar to that of eyeballs.

Guarana plays a key role in Tupi and Guarani Brazilian culture. A myth of one of the tribe’s claims that guarana’s domestication began with a diet killing a beloved village child. To console the villagers, a god plucked the left eye from the child and planted it in the forest, which resulted in the wild variety of guarana. Then, the other eye of the child was plucked by the god and planted in the village, giving rise to the domesticated guarana. The guaranais would make tea by shelling and washing the seeds and pounding them into a fine powder. Then, this powder was kneaded into a dough and shaped into cylinders. This product could then be grated and immersed into hot water along with sugar. In the seventeenth century, guarana was introduced into western cavitations and commercialized by 1958.

Guarana was used by some Native American tribes as an energy source when traveling for long periods of time and distances. A South American legend explains the use of guarana by the Incas, hundreds of years before the Europeans colonized. Guarana was an extremely important part of the social life of the Amazon guarana seedsIndians, as they used this herb for energy, as an aphrodisiac, and to treat conditions such as malaria and dysentery. Some Japanese soldiers chewed guarana during World War II to increase stamina and alertness.

This herb is most known for its caffeine content. It is a stimulant on the nervous system. One of the richest sources of caffeine, guarana contains between three and five percent by dry weight. Because of this, it should be used with caution, as caffeine can be harmful and addictive. Guarana causes stimulation to the heart and increased blood flow.

Guarana is often used to lose weight, as the caffeine content is thought to work as an appetite suppressant. This herb may be found in combination with other herbs in weight-loss formulas. It should again be noted that this herb should be used with caution.

The seeds of the guarana plant are used to provide anorectic, astringent, febrifuge, narcotic, nervine, nutritive, and stimulant properties. Primarily, guarana is extremely beneficial in dealing with lack of alertness, lack of energy, lack of stamina, and weight conditions. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by this herb, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.

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Birch
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Date: August 21, 2009 12:08 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Birch

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.

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Oregon Grape Extract
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Date: August 11, 2009 01:21 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Oregon Grape Extract

Oregon grape is an evergreen shrub that is related to the barberry plant. The Oregon grape is not closely related to grapes, but it gets its name from the purple Clusters of berries. The color and slightly duster appearance is similar to that of grapes. Often, it is referred to as the “tall Oregon grape” in order to distinguish it from the “creeping Oregon grape” and “dwarf Oregon grape.” The Oregon grape grows approximately one to five meters tall. It has leathery leaves that resemble holly and stems and twigs that have a thick, corky appearance. The flowers, which grow in late spring, are a bright yellow color. This plant is often used in landscaping similarly to barberry. The plant is suited for low-maintenance plantings and loose hedges. This plant is resistant to summer drought, tolerates poor soils, and does not create excessive leaf litter. The berries of the Oregon grape attract birds.

The purplish-black fruits found on the Oregon grape plant are quite tart and contain large seeds. Sometimes, they are used locally and mixed with Salal to make jelly. The fruit is bitter and generally not eaten unless it is sweetened first. The leaves of the Oregon grape are holly-like and resist wilting. For this reason, the foliage is often used by florists for greenery. Additionally, the inner bark of the larger stems and roots yield a yellow dye.

The Oregon grape plant grows natively on the North American west coast from British Columbia to northern California. It is also the state flower of Oregon. In some areas outside of its native range, this plant has been classified as an invasive exotic species that may displace native vegetation. Oregon grape tonics were first introduced as a medicinal remedy in the late nineteenth century. The herb was marketed as a blood purifier.

Oregon grape is well known for the treatment of skin diseases that are caused by toxins in the blood. This is because it stimulates the action of the liver. It is also one of the best blood cleansers. This herb is also mildly stimulates thyroid function. This herb aids in the assimilation of nutrients, promotes digestions, and is a tonic for all glands. The rhizome and root of the Oregon grape plant are used to provide alterative, antiseptic, blood purifier, cholagogue, hepatic, nephritis, nutritive, and mild purgative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are copper, manganese, silicon, sodium, vitamin C, and zinc. Primarily, Oregon grape is extremely beneficial in treating acne, blood conditions, blood impurities, eczema, jaundice, liver disorders, psoriasis, and staph infections. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, bronchitis, chronic constipation, hepatitis, herpes, intestinal problems, kidney problems, leucorrhea, lymphatic problems, rheumatism, lack of strength, syphilis, uterine problems, and vaginitis.

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 Oregon grape, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.

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Black Walnut
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Date: June 05, 2009 10:13 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Black Walnut

Black walnut is a species of flowering tree in the hickory family. This plant grows mostly from southern Ontario, west to southeast South Dakota, south to Georgia, northern Florida, and southwest to central Texas. The black walnut is large tree that reaches heights of 30 to 40 feet. The bark is grey-black and deeply furrowed. The leaves are alternate are about 30-60 centimeters in length. The male flowers droop to about eight to ten centimeters long, while the female flowers are terminal and can be found in Clusters of two to five. These flowers ripen during the autumn into a fruit that has a brownish-green, semi-fleshy hush, and brown nut. The whole fruit falls in October. Although native to the Midwest and east central United States, the black walnut tree was introduced into Europe in 1629. Black walnut is more resistant to frost than the English walnut, but it thrives best in the warmer regions of fertile, lowland soils with a high water table. The nuts are harvested by hand from wild trees, with about 65% of the annual wild harvest coming from the U.S. state of Missouri.

For centuries, black walnut has been used in Europe to treat skin ailments and constipation. Recent research has led to findings that support its use for skin problems like boils, eczema, herpes, and ringworm. Additionally, it has many benefits for the stomach that are well represented. Black walnut was used by Native Americans as a laxative. Additionally, black walnut was used as a remedy for diarrhea and dysentery during the Civil War.

Black walnut has also been used for syphilis, TB, varicose veins, chronic infections of the intestines, and urogenital problems. Black walnut is considered to be very useful for killing parasites, tapeworms, and ringworm by herbalists. This nutrient causes oxygenation of the blood, which kills parasites. This fact has been proven through recent research. The brown stain that is found in the green husk of the black walnut is known to contain organic iodine, which has both antiseptic and healing properties.

It has been determined by scientific research that black walnut contains astringent properties that are healing to the skin and mucous membranes of the body. Black walnut can be gargled to clean stains on the teeth as well.

The hulls and leaves of the black walnut plant are used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, antigalactagogue, antineoplastic, antiseptic, astringent, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in black walnut are calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, organic iodine, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, selenium, vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, B15, C, P, and bioflavonoids. Primarily, black walnut is extremely beneficial in treating athlete’s foot, Candidiasis, canker sores, cold sores, dandruff, fungus, gum disease, herpes, infection, malaria, parasites, rashes, ringworm, and tapeworm.

Additionally, this herb is also extremely helpful in dealing with abscesses, acne, asthma, body odor, boils, cancer, colitis, diarrhea, diphtheria, dysentery, eczema, eye diseases, fevers, hemorrhoids, liver disorders, lupus, poison ivy, skin diseases, tonsillitis, primary tuberculosis, tumors, ulcers, varicose veins, and wounds. For more information on the many beneficial effects of black walnut, please contact a representative from your local health food store with questions. Black walnut is available in capsule and tablet forms at your local or internet health food store.

*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Black walnut 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.

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Caffeine Addiction
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Date: December 20, 2008 11:16 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Caffeine Addiction

If starting your day with a cup or coffee or two, having another while you’re on the road, another after arriving at work, and another to get through the afternoon slump, and perhaps a can of pop or a candy bar after work followed by an ice tea and ice cream after dinner, you may have a serious caffeine addiction.

Many people often feel irritable as the next day’s events are closing in on them at bed time and are restless about the next day’s problems race through their mind. It’s been like this for years for many of us, with an estimated 80 percent of adult Americans being regular coffee drinkers and each adult coffee drinker averaging 3.3 cups of coffee per day, without taking into account other sources of caffeine.

Caffeine can be found in tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and medicines, but is most often consumed in coffee. Coffee is somewhat popular because of the stimulating effect of its caffeine constituent, but it can contribute to irritability, depression, diarrhea, insomnia, and other disorders. The number one legal mind-altering drug in the world, caffeine is odorless, slightly bitter and can be found in coffee, tea, kola nuts, ilex plants, mate, and cocoa. You may know and accept that you have a caffeine habit, but many people are convinced that they need a pick-me-up from time to time in order to get through the day. What is important is that caffeine is not actually giving you the burst of energy, but instead negative moods and emotions.

The coffee tree, which is a small evergreen, has smooth leaves and Clusters of fragrant white flowers that mature into red fruits that are about half of an inch long. The fruit contains two seeds usually, which become raw coffee beans when dried. After roasting, coffee contains more than 700 volatile substances including acids, alcohols, and even residues of cancer-causing pesticides. In all fairness, caffeine does act as a mild stimulant to the nervous system when used in moderation, which results in a feeling of well-being and alertness. It increases the heart rate, urination, and stimulates the secretion of stomach acid.

Although a little caffeine may wake us up and give us a sense of energy, too much caffeine actually hurts our moods and overall well being. Two cups of caffeine per day seems to have a positive effect, but research shows that even one cup a day is enough to cause dependence. Caffeine may temporarily improve your mood and give a sense of vitality, it wears off and your mood and energy levels crash to levels even lower than before. Additionally, our bodies adjust, causing us to need more caffeine to give us the same desired effect. Caffeine does not provide any energy or increase our alertness. Instead, it stimulates our bodies.

Excessive intake of coffee can lead to restlessness, insomnia, and heart irregularities. Those people who drink a lot of coffee often complain of jittery nerves, chronic anxiety, frequent bouts of diarrhea or loose stools, and restless nights. Coffee can also cause stomach and intestinal problems, as well as coronary diseases. An occasional cup of coffee is one thing, but depending on a cup to keep you awake is something entirely different.

Harsh symptoms of withdrawal such as headache, fatigue, and depression are common among regular caffeine users. Caffeine also causes the body to expel vital nutrients like b vitamins from the body that we need to function. If you consume more than two cups of coffee each day then a multi-vitamin should be taken once daily to help replenish was is lost by the diuretic effects of caffeine in the body.

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Prostate – Frequently Asked Questions…
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Date: October 25, 2005 09:57 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Prostate – Frequently Asked Questions…

Prostate – Frequently Asked Questions…

What’s a PSA test?

PSA stands for Prostate-Specific Antigen, a protein made by the prostate gland. It’s a simple blood sample that measures the level of the protein. In general, a PSA under 4 ng/ml (Nanograms per milliliter) is considered low, 4 to 10 is moderately elevated, and over 10 is considered high. Keep in mind, though, that prostate cancer isn’t the only thing or even the most likely thing that can cause PSA levels to rise. An enlarged prostate can also boost scores. Its important to have a digital rectal exam along with the PSA.

What’s a digital rectal exam like?

According to Tom Sansone, M.D. urologist at Bryn Mawr Hospital, says, “For a really vigorous exam, go to a urologist. Family practitioners tend to be more gentle and superficial.” An urologist will manipulate the gland for a full minute, exerting pressure in order to feel for nodules, areas of hardness, changes of consistency and symmetry. A normal prostate should have two symmetrical lobes and the consistency of a rubber ball. If it’s so hard that the doctor can’t indent it with this thumb, then he knows there’s a problem.

Can I still have sex with an enlarged prostate?

Yes, in fact, the more sex the better! Regular sex, or at least ejaculation, is beneficial since it gets the juices flowing and clears our the ducts.

If I have an enlarged prostate will I develop prostate cancer?

Not necessarily. According to Ronald L. Hoffman, M.D., medical director of the hoffman center in NYC and host of the “Health Talk”, a syndicated radio program, “It is very common to have prostate enlargement without cancer. In fact, prostate enlargement is virtually universal among north American men, while prostate cancer is not. Nevertheless, its estimated that the vast majority of men may have ‘microfoci’ of cancer: tiny Clusters of cancer cells that are normally of very little consequence because they are slow growing. But some of them can develop down the line.” (Conscious Choice, June 1999)



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THE GINSENG PLAN
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Date: June 25, 2005 01:00 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: THE GINSENG PLAN

THE GINSENG PLAN

The Asian ginseng grows to approximately two feet in height. It has five foliate leaves with small Clusters of green-white flowers that are followed by bright red berries. The plant usually flowers during its fourth year of growth. The roots can grow up to 3-4 milliliters in diameter and to 10 centimeters in length. The older roots are the most valued. As the root ages, it takes on a two legged shape. The wild plant roots can grow much larger but are rare because of overzealous harvesting for commercial gain. It originally grew naturally in the wild damp fertile woodlands of northern China and Korea.

The American ginseng is found growing in shaded, wooded areas of the Northeast. Its natural habitat was under beech and maple trees, though those sources have been depleted and are now rare. The American ginseng plant grows from eight to fifteen inches. The plant consists of three large leaves and two small leaves originating from the same stem. It contains a cluster of yellow-green flowers, and red, edible berries follow. The root is usually two to three inches long and about an inch thick. The older roots take on a two-legged appearance.

The Siberian variety is found in Russia, China, Korea and Japan. It is not a “true ginseng” but does contain similar adaptogenic properties. It grows in high elevations, up to 2500 feet, and in forest areas in lower elevations. Thorns cover the stems and its flowers are yellow (female) and violet (male). The flowers are followed by black berries. The roots of the Siberian ginseng are really underground stems.11

The age of the root is thought to be essential. The older roots are thought to contain more healing properties and are highly valued and sought after. Folklore suggests that the very old roots glow in the dark, revealing an inner light.12

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CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
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Date: June 23, 2005 11:20 AM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM

CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM

Capsicum is a remarkable whole body stimulant that can boost blood flow, tone the nervous system, relieve indigestion, promote sweating, help to cauterize and heal ulcers, ease persistent pain and fight off infection. One very authoritative work on African plants suggests that Capsicum’s “regular ingestion is highly beneficial in hemorrhoids, varicose veins, anorexia, liver congestion and vascular conditions . . .the indigenous inhabitants of Africa and of the Antilles are remarkably free form all of these conditions as they use Capsicum fruit in their diet.”10 Most of the therapeutic actions of Capsicum are attributed to the alkaloid or glucoside content of the herb.11 The latest scientific studies conducted with Capsicum will be discussed in subsequent sections.

Herbal Catalyst

Because Capsicum boosts peripheral circulation and stimulates organ secretion, it expedites the therapeutic delivery and action of other herbs. In other words, the medicinal benefits of these herbs reach infected or inflamed tissue more rapidly due to enhanced blood flow.12 Consider the following statement: “Cayenne will insure the rapid and even distribution of the active principles of the rest of the herbs to critical function - al centers of the body, including those involved in cellular respiration, metabolism, data transmission, and neural-hormonal activation. Cayenne is included in several other blends for this reason. In extremely small quantities it can dramatically increase the efficiency of most other herbs.”13 Many health practitioners believe that the key to healing is CAPSICUM stimulation. Capsicum stimulates eve rything from blood flow to peristaltic action in the stomach, to intestinal transit time. The re m a rkable ability of Capsicum to stimulate organ secretion and even heart action makes it one of the strongest natural stimulants known. Se veral different kinds of herbal blends targeting various body systems will utilize Capsicum to boost the formula’s efficacy.

Cardiovascular Tonic

Capsicum is said to be unequaled for its ability to boost circulation and increase heart action. Interestingly, cultures who consume significant amounts of cayenne pepper in their diet have much lower rates of cardiovascular disease.14 Capsicum exerts a variety of desirable actions on the entire card i ovascular system. It has the extraordinary ability to enhance cardiovascular performance while actually lowering blood pressure.15 A quote taken from a card i ovascular publication re a d s , “Capsaicin has also been shown to prolong cardiac action potential in atrial muscle . . .”16 Michael T. Murray, N.D., has stated, “ Cayenne pepper [Capsicum] should be recommended as a food for its beneficial antioxidant and cardiovascular effects.”17 Herbalists have considered Capsicum as a superior “f o o d” for the heart. In fact, in cases where a heart attack is suspected administering capsicum in hot water has been thought to help lessen the severity of the attack. Capsicum can also be placed on or under the tongue in emergencies involving heart attack, stroke or hemorrhaging. 18 Note: Using Capsicum for any heart-related problem, especially a suspected heart attack should never take the place of medical attention or a physician’s care.

CAPSICUM Blood Cholesterol Reducer

Various studies have conclusively demonstrated that Capsicum reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the a rteries) by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels .19 Additional clinical studies conducted in India found that when cayenne was ingested along with dietary cholesterol, the typical rise in liver and blood serum cholesterol levels was significantly inhibited. In addition, bile acids and free cholesterol were subsequently eliminated from the body through the stool.20 Interestingly, these tests revealed that using Capsicum was actually more effective in reducing cholesterol that capsaicin alone.2 1 Daniel Mowrey, Ph.D., emphatically points out that this is just one of many examples of the superiority of whole botanicals as opposed to their isolated components.22 Note: Using Capsicum in combination with Hawthorn is a particularly good cardiovascular tonic.

Blood Pressure Equalizer

While an added bonus of Capsicum’s capability to lower blood serum cholesterol is a decrease in blood pressure, additional evidence strongly suggests that the herb initiates other mechanisms that fight hypertension .23 “Cayenne, according to another study, also reduces the blood pressure in an even more direct manner: a number of years ago, a team of researchers discove red that capsaicin acts in a reflexive manner to reduce systemic blood pressure, a kind of coronary chemoreflex.”24 Adding Garlic to Capsicum creates an even better therapeutic blend for treating hypertension.

Blood Detoxification CAPSICUM

“Cayenne is a kind of catalyst in the blood purification process . . . it acts as a diaphoretic, stimulating the excretion of wastes in the swe a t . ”25 Because Capsicum stimulates organ secretion and boosts peripheral blood flow, it would only stand to reason that it would also facilitate the faster removal of toxins from the bloodstream and lymphatic system. You may have already noticed that Capsicum is frequently added to blood-purifying herbal combinations. Circulatory Booster Researchers have found that the simulating action of Capsicum on surface capillaries can help to pre vent cold hands and feet.2 6 For this reason, it may be helpful for Reynaud’s Syndrome. Old remedies using Capsicum have even recommended placing it in socks to warm the feet and to help prevent frostbite. An old folk cure for a chilled body was a steaming hot cup of Capsicum tea. Free Radical Scavenger The rich flavonoid content of Capsicum gives it significant antioxidant capabilities. A recent study conducted in 1995 showed that Capsicum has a higher ascorbic acid content than chiles from the jalapeno or serrano varieties .27 Vitamin C and bioflavonoids can scavenge for dangerous free radicals which cause tissue damage and can predispose organs to degenerative diseases. Free radicals are found everywhere and are created as by-products of metabolic p rocesses including the act of breathing itself. Pollutants can expose the body to free radicals. An interesting study done in Mexico City and published in 1993 found that Capsicum extract was able to modulate the mutagenic activity of urban air samples.28 In other words, these potentially dangerous nitro - a romatic compounds found in polluted air were kept from mutating by red chile extract.29 Chemical breakdowns of Capsicum have also found that CAPSICUM the pepper is high in Provitamin A, which significantly contributes to its healing ability and immune fortification.30 Anti-Carcinogenic Compound Anti-cancer research recently tested Capsicum on laboratory rats and found that it does indeed demonstrate anti-cancer properties by inhibiting certain enzymes which can initiate the mutation of cells.31 What this implies is that taking Capsicum can afford the body some protection against the cellular mutation which occurs in malignant growths. Capsicum actually inhibited the formation of dangerous metabolites under laboratory conditions where they should have normally been activa t e d .3 2 This study implies that Capsicum may have many more sophisticated bio-chemical actions than previously thought.

An Impressive Pain Killer

Capsaicin has recently emerged as a remarkably effective pain reliever and has become the subject of recent clinical research . Applying capsaicin in cream or ointment form to painful joints, scar tissue or other painful conditions involving peripheral nerves confuses pain transmitters. In other worlds, capsaicin temporarily disrupts sensory nerve cell biochemistry there by impeding the relay of pain sensations from the skin surface. It does this by inhibiting a neurotransmitter called substance P. This specific compound is thought to be the main mediator of pain impulses from peripheral nerve endings.33 Substance P has also demonstrated its ability to inhibit inflammatory pain generated in arthritic joints in much the same way.34 Today, several over-the-counter topical preparations utilize capsaicin for the pain of arthritic joints. The ability of Capsicum to control severe and unresponsive pain is significant, to say the least. Modern clinical utilization of topical capsaicin may offer signifi-cant relief for a number of painful conditions including: diabetic neuropathy, cluster headaches, post-amputation pain, post-mastectomy pain, shingles and painful scar tissue.35

POST-SURGICAL PAIN

In the early spring of 1996, prime time national news show s reported that scientists had found that individuals who had suffered from chronic pain in post-surgical scars (heart bypass, arterial grafts, etc.) were successfully treated with topical preparations containing capsaicin. While this may have been news to many of us, clinical studies had been already published for several years that capsaicin held profound value for various kinds of pain which did not respond to established medical treatments. Typically surgical scars and regions around them can produce persistent pain or can be very sensitive to the touch even when completely healed. This type of pain phenomenon seems to respond well to capsaicin ointments and creams.

POST-MASTECTOMY PAIN

When capsaicin preparations were applied following mastectomy or breast reconstruction, pain was significantly relieved. Se veral double blind studies found that using capsaicin creams four times daily for 4 to 6 weeks resulted in much less frequent occurrence of sharp, jabbing pain.3 6 All thirteen patients studied had a 50 percent or greater improve m e n t .3 7 Various unpleasant sensations other than pain also improved with topical applications of capsaicin creams.38

MOUTH SORES FROM RADIATION OR CHEMOTHERAPY

A fascinating study conducted at the Yale Pain Management Center discove red that capsaicin could ve ry significantly lessen pain caused by mouth sores which frequently develop after chemotherapy or radiation.39 Apparently delivering the capsaicin in the form of soft candy (taffy) enabled the substance to be retained in the mouth long enough to desensitize the nerve endings causing the pain. Each one of the eleven case studies re p o rted that their pain had decreased and in two patients, it stopped entirely.40

DIABETIC NEUROPATHY

Diabetic neuropathy is a painful nerve condition which can develop in cases of prolonged diabetes. Several double-blind studies have supported the considerable value of capsaicin creams for relieving the pain associated with this disorder.41 The results of a controlled study using Capsicum for seve re cases of diabetic neuropathy which did not respond to conventional therapy were published in 1992. A cream containing Capsicum was applied to painful areas four time a day and pain was carefully e valuated for 8 weeks at two-week intervals. The results we re impressive, to say the least. In the 22 patients who used the Capsicum the following results we re re c o rded: “Capsaicin tre a tment was more beneficial than vehicle treatment in the overall clinical improvement of pain status, as measured by physician’s global evaluation and by a categorical pain severity scale . . . In a follow-up study, approximately 50 percent of the subjects reported improved pain control or were cured . . .”42 No t e : While there was a burning sensation when the Capsicum c ream was first applied, some subjects found that its magnitude and duration lessened with continued application.43

SHINGLES

The FDA has approved capsaicin-based ointments for the treatment of pain that results from diseases like shingles. Again, numerous studies have documented the value of capsaicin for decreasing the miserable nerve-related pain associated with shingles. The general consensus derived from these tests were that approximately 50 p e rcent of people suffering from shingles responded well to capsaicin creams, some even after 10 to 12 months.44

Note: If blisters accompany a shingles outbreak, it is better to wait until they have healed before using any capsaicin-based ointments or creams.

RELIEF FOR BURNING FEET

Frequently an uncomfortable “burning” sensation in the feet will occur in many people, particularly in diabetics. As ironic as it may seem, using capsaicin creams may actually alleviate this burning. “In various studies, diabetics who treated their burning feet with capsaicin got greater improvement and we re able to walk more easily than those not using the cream.”45 In addition, using topical applications of capsaicin as opposed to strong, oral drugs is much more preferable.

ARTHRITIS PAIN

Clinical tests have confirmed that topical capsaicin ointments substantially alleviate the miserable pain that characterizes osteoand rheumatoid arthritis.46 These studies revealed that using 0.075 capsaicin cream reduced tenderness and pain.47 Dr. Michael T. Murray writes: “ . . . seventy patients with osteoarthritis and thirty - one with rheumatoid arthritis received capsaicin or placebo for 4 weeks. The patients were instructed to apply 0.025 percent capsaicin cream or its placebo to painful knees four times daily. Significantly more relief of pain was reported by the capsaicin-treated patients than by the placebo patients throughout the study . . .”48 Anyone suffering from osteo or rheumatoid arthritis should evaluate the effectiveness of capsaicin ointments for joint pain. Ester Lipstein-Kresch, M.D., has studied the effectiveness of capsaicin creams for arthritis and has stated: “You need to apply it three or four times a day on the affected area for at least two weeks before you’ll see any improvement. An initial burning sensation at the site is not unusual for the first few days, but this goes away with continued application.”49 Note: Capsaicin is also useful for tennis elbow due to its ability to block the transmission of pain.

MIGRAINE HEADACHES (CLUSTER TYPE)

Topical applications of capsaicin ointments intranasally may also help to relieve the pain of a specific kind of migraine headache called cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are characterized by s e ve re pain which typically radiates around one eye. The term “cluster” refers to the fact that these headaches tend to occur in Clusters of one to three per day and can recur at intervals. Headache pain and severity we re reducing in groups using intranasal capsaicin.5 0 This type of capsaicin treatment should be done under a physician’s care. There is some speculation that capsaicin may be more effective in pre venting migraines before they develop into a full blown attack.51

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Acupuncture nutrient Connection
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Date: June 12, 2005 05:53 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (dm@vitanetonline.com)
Subject: Acupuncture nutrient Connection

Acupuncture nutrient Connection by Robert Gluck Energy Times, November 1, 1998

The theory behind the practice of acupuncture confounds western science. This therapy, originating in Asia, is based on the concept that currents of energy called meridians flow through your body. However, no one has ever been able to conclusively demonstrate the existence of these meridians.

Despite the evasiveness of these energy streams, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) holds that alterations in these energy flows can disrupt health and cause pain. Consequently, an acupuncturist punctures your skin with specialized needles to redirect the body's vital energy.

Alleviating Illness

Despite the fact that western scientists have not been able to find satisfactory evidence of the existence of these energetic meridians, studies show that acupuncture works and is especially effective at relieving pain. This therapy has been used to alleviate a variety of conditions including chronic pain, nausea and even mental illness. In addition, some practitioners apply it to those trying to shake off the chains of drug addiction. (More recently, many practitioners now also successfully use acupuncture to relieve physical problems in animals.)

Of course, no matter what your perspective on this therapy, acupuncture's no panacea. While you might use acupuncture to relieve the discomforts of chemotherapy, you wouldn't use this technique as your primary weapon against a dangerous disease like cancer. Still, this reliable therapy occupies a welcome spot as an adjunct to many mainstream therapies. Consequently, many mainstream practitioners accept the validity of using acupuncture and many managed care companies reimburse this therapy. Some HMOs even keep a list of approved acupuncturists that they make available to enrollees.

Acupuncture East and West

The practice of acupuncture dates back at least 2200 years ago in Asia. Only during the last forty years has it become well-known and widely available in the United States. Today, 29 accredited acupuncture schools train practitioners in North America. In addition, traditional healers in Belize (south of Mexico) have been found to use a form of acupuncture derived from traditional Mayan medicine.

Is the use of acupuncture by Mayan shamans coincidence? Or further evidence that acupuncture meridians really exist? No one knows for sure, although some experts believe the Mayan use of this therapy supports the notion that the original ancestors of the Mayans migrated from Asia.

Needle Relief

Acupuncturists insert needles into the body to relieve pain or enhance bodily functions. TCM holds that acupuncture, and the manipulation of these tiny needles, moves and manipulates qi (pronounced chee), the body's energy force.

"Acupuncture is a method of balancing the body's energy," says Carol Alexander, an acupuncturist at the North Jersey Health and Pain Relief Center in Hackettstown, New Jersey. "Disease occurs because of an imbalance...Insertion of the acupuncture needles into meridians will bring about the balance of qi." Alexander has practiced acupuncture for 10 years and studied at the Tri-State School of Traditional Acupuncture in Stanford Connecticut.

Alexander says patients sometimes suffer a blockage of qi or display too much or too little qi. The manipulation and placement of the acupuncture needles vary according to the need for adjusting meridian energy flow.

Acupuncture can be used to prevent disease and, if disease is already rampant, it can be used to help the body correct the problem.

In conjunction with her use of acupuncture needles, Alexander rarely prescribes single herbs but uses combinations of whole herbs that are very specific for different diseases and disease patterns. "Certain herbs, such as ginseng, are very prized in Chinese medicine," Alexander notes.

"Astragalus is an herb used in China and around the world to tonify the qi and increase qi energy as well as stimulate the immune system."

Licorice Root

Alexander uses licorice root for assisting digestion and for helping women with menopausal discomforts. On the other hand, she recommends whole food concentrates like bee pollen granules for enhancing the immune system, peppermint for treating gastro-intestinal problems plus fiber supplements as well as the antioxidant/antihistamine quercetin, coenzyme Q10 and melatonin.

"In terms of classes of nutrients, I use a lot of whole food concentrates: the green concentrates like barley greens, wheat grass powder, spirulina and blue-green algae," Alexander says. "These are high in minerals, antioxidants, nutrients and fatty acids. I also use some soy products because the isoflavone concentrates are very much anti-cancer."

The Fine Points of Acupuncture

Acupuncture needles are very fine, as thin as hairs. They are available in a variety of diameters and lengths. When an acupuncturist inserts these needles, the sensation is that of mild pinpricks. (The needles enter the body at depths of only 1/8th inch to two inches.) In many cases people experience mild pleasure during needle manipulation.

"From a Western point of view it's important to explain that there is a distinct function of acupuncture treatment and that is to increase circulation," Alexander says. "We do stimulate nerves and we know that with the stimulation of nerves many neurochemicals and neurotransmitters are released. They move through the nerves and find receptor sights, some in the brain, some in other parts of the body."

By stimulating nerves, acupuncturists can calm inflammation and deaden pain. These effects are believed to be linked to the release of endorphins and dinorphins, powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories that the body produces for itself. Most acupuncturists use this therapy as part of an overall, multi-faceted treatment plan.

Unique Energy

"Qi is what makes you different from a sack of chemicals," points out David Molony, an acupuncturist at the Lehigh Valley Acupuncture Center in Catasaqua, Pennsylvania who studied at the Nanjing Traditional Medicine Hospital in China and has lectured at Cornell University.

What You Need

"You can manipulate qi with acupuncture, herbs and diet. Because people's bodies work differently, there are different approaches. When you ask the question what nutrients and herbs are effective at enhancing acupuncture, it depends on what the person needs, according to an Oriental Medicine diagnosis."

An Oriental Medical examination, Molony says, begins with a long list of health questions designed to reveal factors that contribute to disease. A practitioner measures your pulse in several different places along your arm, inspects your tongue, may press on your stomach, sniff your general odor and closely examine your nails and skin for signs of problems.

"You take in everything you can," adds Molony, a board member of the Acupuncture Society of Pennsylvania and former board member of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. "This gives you clues that you need in order to make your diagnosis."

Acupuncturists use nutrients and herbs that complement the treatment, as well as dietary and lifestyle counseling. Some acupuncturists don't specialize in herbal remedies, so these practitioners might go to a specialist like David Winston for advice. Winston, an herb expert skilled in Cherokee, Chinese and Western eclectic herbal medicine, works as an instructor, lecturer and consultant.

"In China, acupuncture is considered a complementary therapy; you generally don't go for treatment and get purely acupuncture," says Winston who is working on a book about saw palmetto. "Herbal medicine, diet and qi gong are important therapies in their own right and acupuncture is one of those therapies. Qi gong is a form of martial arts that focuses on unique breathing and visualization methods. Qi is not exactly energy, it's energy in movement; it's what makes the blood move."

Open Blockages

Acupuncture is used to open blockages that sometimes build up in what TCM practitioners characterize as excessive heat or cold. These hot and cold spots do not always literally refer to the temperature of the body but are meant to depict changes in the character of the body's vital energy.

Chinese acupuncturists don't necessarily treat diseases, but target Clusters of physical discomforts. Winston says, "Herbal formulas change depending on the 'symptom pictures.' Somebody could have acute appendicitis but the symptom picture could vary. Usually Chinese acupuncturists use herbs like isatis (a very cold, drying herb that's a powerful anti-bacterial agent) and coptis (a powerful anti-bacterial herb)."

Americans often visit acupuncturists complaining of back pain or some type of musculoskeletal problem-a wrenched knee, a ligament that hasn't healed properly or perhaps a torn rotator cuff. "If the injury is hot to the touch, it's red, it's inflammatory-that's a condition where there's excessive heat and in that condition the acupuncturist would give herbs that are cooling and anti-inflammatory such as the root of large leaf gentian."

Pain that Moves

If someone suffers pain that moves, pain that is sometimes exacerbated by damp or humid conditions, acupuncturists often prescribe clematis root, a wild variety of the garden plant that is an anti-spasmodic, or acanthopanax, a relative of Siberian ginseng used for damp pain.

"If there's pain with excessive dampness," Winston says, "acupuncturists might use duhuo, a drying herb that opens the meridians."

Molony agrees with Winston that when it comes to choosing herbs to enhance acupuncture, accurate analysis of the root cause of the health problem is paramount to making the right decisions. For example, if a person is qi deficient and her tongue is thickly coated, she may not be processing her energy properly. Phlegm builds up, decreasing energy. "What you want to do is give them herbs that move phlegm, like citrus peel, and combine that with acupuncture points that move phlegm also," Molony says.

For stimulating metabolism, Molony uses lactoferin-processed colostrum from cows. He uses ginseng and atractylodes as qi tonics and he adds herbs like magnolia bark or atractylodes alba.

Helpful Antioxidants

He believes antioxidants are helpful too, as preventive medicines, including vitamins C and E. These valuable nutrients disarm the harm that reactive molecules can wreak within the body.

So how important are herbs and nutrition to enhance acupuncture's effectiveness? Acupuncturists seem to agree that healthy doses of antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E plus antioxidants from grapeseed extract) as well as specialized herbs, turn this therapy into a highly effective healing tool. Those wanting to benefit from this penetrating technique should stock up on nutrients. Then sit back, relax, kick off your shoes and let the acupuncturist do her stuff.



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