Search Term: " Relaxant "
Delta-8 THC Shows Promise in Combating Myocarditis
April 29, 2022 12:41 PM
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, and myocarditis is one of the most common causes. Researchers are constantly looking for new ways to combat this deadly disease, and Delta-8 THC may be a promising treatment. A recent study found that Delta-8 was able to slow down heart rate and reduce inflammation in mice with myocarditis. While more research is needed, these findings suggest that Delta-8 could be a valuable tool in the fight against heart disease.
What is myocarditis and what are the symptoms?
Myocarditis is a term used to describe inflammation of the heart muscle. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including infection or injury, and it can cause a wide range of symptoms. Some of the most common signs of myocarditis include shortness of breath, chest pain, and chest tightness. Other possible symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, nausea, and weakness. If you experience any combination of these symptoms along with changes in your heart rate or blood pressure, it is important to seek immediate medical attention to determine whether you are suffering from myocarditis. Treatment will depend on the specific cause of your condition, but it typically involves anti-inflammatory medications and rest. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for preventing the progression of the disease and reducing the risk of cardiovascular complications.
What causes myocarditis and how is it diagnosed?
Myocarditis is a condition characterized by inflammation and swelling of the heart muscle. This can lead to a number of symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, increased heart rate, and cough. There are many possible causes of myocarditis, including infections, autoimmune disorders, metabolic or nutritional disorders, or exposure to toxins or other irritants. In order to diagnose myocarditis properly, doctors will typically perform several different tests. These may include blood tests, scans of the heart using ultrasound or MRI technology, and electrocardiograms to assess heart activity. Ultimately, the treatment for myocarditis will depend on its underlying cause and the severity of symptoms. With proper care, however, most people can recover fully from this condition.
How is myocarditis treated and what are the potential complications?
Myocarditis is a condition that occurs when the heart muscle becomes inflamed. This can be caused by a viral infection, an autoimmune reaction, or other factors. Treatment for myocarditis generally involves addressing the underlying cause, if possible. For example, if the inflammation is due to a viral infection, antiviral medications may be prescribed. Corticosteroids may also be used to reduce inflammation. In some cases, heart surgery may be necessary to repair damage to the heart muscle. Complications of myocarditis can include heart failure and arrhythmias. With prompt and appropriate treatment, however, most people with myocarditis recover fully.
What is Delta-8 THC and how does it work?
Delta-8 THC is a chemical compound that is found in the Hemp plant. Unlike other forms of THC, which produce psychoactive effects by binding to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, Delta-8 simply activates these receptors without producing any noticeable effects on cognition or perception. While the precise mechanism of action for this compound remains somewhat unclear, scientists believe that Delta-8 works by interacting with specific neuroreceptors in the brain and body, thereby triggering a series of responses that ultimately lead to changes in mood or behavior. Furthermore, research suggests thatDelta-8 may also have antioxidant properties and may be effective at reducing inflammation in certain tissues. Overall, while more research is needed to fully understand the pharmacological effects of this compound, it seems clear that Delta-8 has great potential as a therapeutic agent and may hold benefits for patients suffering from certain mood disorders or neurological conditions.
Delta-8, inflammation and relaxation
Delta-8 is a cannabinoid that is found in hemp plants. This compound has a similar structure to Delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. However, Delta-8 is much less potent than Delta-9 and does not produce the same psychoactive effects. Instead, Delta-8 provides a more mild physical response that is associated with relaxation and relief from anxiety and pain. Research suggests that Delta-8 may also be effective in reducing inflammation. This anti-inflammatory effect may be due to the ability of Delta-8 to bind to CB2 receptors, which are found in high numbers in the immune system. As a result,Delta-8 may offer a unique combination of anti-inflammatory and Relaxant effects.
What are the findings:
The results of recent studies suggest that delta-8, a type of cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, may play a role in reducing the symptoms of myocarditis. Myocarditis is a condition characterized by inflammation and damage to the heart muscle, which can lead to serious complications such as cardiac arrest if left untreated. Early research has shown that delta-8 may be able to help protect against this deterioration, as it was found to reduce levels of oxidative stress and inhibit pro-inflammatory signaling pathways. As more studies continue to explore the mechanisms underlying myocarditis, it is hoped that delta-8 will become an important tool for managing this deadly disease.
Learn how gotu kola reduces stress and anxiety
February 21, 2019 07:57 AM
Gotu Kola has been studied and found to increase calm and alertness by one hundred percent in human. After only 60 minutes post ingestion the effects are demonstrated and showed a noteworthy reduction in startle response. A starting dose is three cups of gotu kola tea per day. There are a broad range of other health benefits which include boosts in cognitive function. It was found just as effective as folic acid. Alzheimer patients have also seen an improvement in mood and memory via the compound called triterpenes. Gotu Kola improves circulation and inflammation as well as aiding in restful sleep.
"Gotu kola is a popular herbal remedy that has a long history of being used in Ayurvedic medicine due to its healing properties that can promote mental and emotional health."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-15-learn-how-gotu-kola-reduces-stress-and-anxiety.html
A Natural Pain Reliever And Anti-Inflammatory - Akuamma Seeds
Natural Pain Reliever And Anti-Inflammatory
The Akuamma seeds originate from the Akuamma tree also referred to as Picralima nitida. The seeds have an extremely bitter nature and was commonly used as a pain killer in West Africa, mainly in Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana.
The seeds were also used to treat malaria and diarrhea as it contains an anti diarrhea, anti inflammatory and muscle Relaxant properties.Traditionally the seeds were taken orally and were often crushed or powdered. A hospital in Ghana began manufacturing the powder in a standardized 250g capsules.
The drug prompted medical research as it was sold countrywide and was accepted as safe and effective pain killers.The seeds contain five alkaloids with akuammine, being the main alkaloid. Akuammine stimulates the uptake of glucose and was used to treat diabetes mellitus in Nigeria.
Soaked in boiling water, Pricalima nitada barks, have proven to be effective in the treatment of tryponosomiasis or chagas diseases. The roots of the Akuamma tree can also be boiled and cooked for management of intestinal problems and stomach aches.
This seed is a natural pain killer, it should not be mixed with prescription drugs, and only adults 18+.
Typical dosages: is
The Benefits of Anise.
Anise is a perennial herbal plant that grows to a height of about 0.3 to 0.6m above the ground. It is a native plant to Egypt and Greece and it has been in use for health ailments since seventh century. Moreover, anise has been in use as a fragrance and spice according to its history. The following are health benefits of anise.
Anise seed oil which is obtained by extraction has so many applications traditionally as a medicine to cure expectorant, anti-septic, stomachic, and anti-spasmodic as well as a stimulant agent.
Anise seed oil and anethol is also added to medicines such as lozenges and syrups because of its potent antioxidant action.
Anise oil is also very effective against conditions that are associated with convulsions, cramps, spasms, muscle pains and diarrhea due to its anti-spasmodic and Relaxant effects.
Anise oil also is use by individuals who have flu and cough usually get some relief when they administer the herb because of its expectorant and decongestant abilities.
What Is Patchouli Oil?
February 22, 2014 08:12 AM
What is patchouli
Patchouli oil is normally distilled from the flowers and leaves of a plant known as Patchouli, a bushy herb which is native in Asian. It is famous for its beautiful scent and has been used in perfumes for centuries. It is recently used as an alternative herbal medication for chronic diseases as well as an insect repellent.
Health benefits of patchouli
Patchouli oil offers several health benefits including treating digestive conditions such as diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, prevention of wrinkles, speeding healing of wounds and disappearance of bruises, fighting infection and healing snake bites. Elements of patchouli oil are found in many beauty and skin care products. Patchouli oil is very ornamental in preventing anxiety as well as a wide variety of allergies. It is used in herbal curing of hypertension, haemorrhoids, fluid retention and weight reduction. It is one of the major ingredients for treatment of depression.
When patchouli oil is applied undiluted on the skin, it can improve the skin condition by smoothening sagging and chapped skin. It clears dandruffs on the head and deals with skin undesirable conditions such as acne, dermatitis and eczema. The oil is also used to reduce stress in therapeutic and aroma therapeutic healing. It contains several desirable properties including being anti- inflammatory, antifungal, Relaxant, stimulant and insecticidal, a digestive aid, diuretic, tonic, decongestant, deodorant, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antimicrobial and antitoxic. It is one of the most widely used products in medicine development.
Patchouli oil is naturally sweet and attractive to use. It offers an inspiring scent that feels very sweet. Its influence is known to relax both the body and the mind. It has been used in spiritual healing for hundreds of years. It is used to align the heart chakra with the sacral and root chakras. In meditational healing, it helps people release insecurities, obsessions, and jealousness while enhancing one’s desire for a satisfying and fuller life.
The Lavender Oil : An Essential, Valuable and Useful Oil!
February 19, 2014 03:25 PM
What is lavander
Lavender is a herb that highly regarded for beauty, skin, usually used in shampoos and fragrances to help purify and watch our skin. It bruises, cleanse cuts, and skin irritations. You can have your own first aid kit by using lavender, it can calming, balancing, and relaxing. You can also get the "lavender oil" that is extracted from the lavender flowers, and this kind of oil has so many advantages.
You could get some treatments of health problems by using lavender oil such as :
Acne : This is a common problem for people skin, and lavender oil is one valuable oil for acne treatment. It would reduce scarring, inhibits the bacteria, and rebalancing the sebum that over secretion.
Hair loss : a research told that lavender oil is effective for alopecia areata problem, that is a condition when someone loss some part or all areas of their hair. And the person who suffered by that condition could growth their hair back by using that treatment.
Bug Repellent : This is a common use for this oil, the smell is essential for some bugs like midges, moths, and mosquitoes.
Relaxant : You could use this oil for tension relieving, stress reducing, and a treatment for headaches. Using this oil you could boost your mood, a sleep aid to get rid your insomnia problem, and increase your clarity of thought because its calming scent.
Pain Reliever : This is an excellent treatment for some types of pain, such as muscular aches, rheumatism, tense and sore muscles, sprains, lumbago and backache. You just need a lavender oil massage to ease away that pains and tension problems.
Improved Circulation : its used to improves blood circulation and an essential oil to decrease blood pressure. It also used to treat urinary disorders for hormone balance that could reduces inflammation of urinary bladder and promotes urine production.
Are There Herbs And Vitamins For Pain?
December 29, 2012 10:17 AM
Everyone at one point or the other suffers some pain which could be of different kinds. We usually go for prescription drugs or at times, over-the-counter pain relievers. These drugs, however, have many side effects and do cause numerous health damages if used for a long period of time. Thus, it is much better to turn to natural pain relievers, such as herbs and vitamins.
Most herbs and vitamins for pain are used as food; therefore, do not have any side effects. This is however not the case in painkillers which are made from synthetic hormones, chemicals, and so on.
Herbal pain relievers.
Turmeric: Turmeric is popularly used in Southeast India for cooking. Turmeric has curcumin, a very powerful ingredient which aid to fight against chronic inflammatory ailments. Thus, turmeric is usually employed with some other herbs to relieve pain.
Ginger Root: Ginger root is a commonly used herbal remedy since it contains warming properties and helps to enhance blood circulation. It is essential in treating arthritis associated pains, backache and menstrual cramps. It's also used to treat sore throat. It is both analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Valerian Root: This is used for chronic pain relief and as a skeletal Relaxant. It may be used also for the treatment of trauma, cramps, shingles, headaches, insomnia, neuralgia, and stress. It possesses antispasmodic properties and is also a sedative.
Arnica: This is a homeopathic pain reliever and is believed to be particularly essential in the treatment of bruising and soft tissue injuries. It helps to alleviate overall sprains and muscle pain. It may be applied externally as a preventive measure to avoid injury prior to racing or exercising. Thus, it is seen to be applied topically and care must be taken so as not to apply it on a broken or open skin.
Vitamins for Pain Relief
Vitamin D: This is a unique vitamin since its main source is being exposed to UV light. A deficiency in this nutrient is widespread and a popular cause of chronic pains. As a matter of fact, a vitamin D deficiency significantly raises the risk of common women's pains. In a study, vitamin D deficiency was shown to raise risk of chronic pain, particularly in women, by over 50%. Aside from sunlight, other sources of vitamin D are mushrooms, shellfish, fatty fish and fortified orange juice.
Vitamin E: This is a potent antioxidant which protects nerves and joints from damages which may cause pain. In a recent research, it was discovered that vitamin E supplements lower nerve pain. Vitamin E-rich diets are walnuts, peanuts, wheat germ, corn and kiwi.
B complex Vitamins: These include many water-soluble vitamins, such as riboflavin, thiamine and folic acid. In a chronic pain animal model, it was discovered that high amounts of B-complex vitamins reduced pain significantly. B-complex vitamin supplements can be found in a number of supplement stores. Dietary sources are vegetables, whole grains, fortified cereals and fruits.
Vitamin C: This is an antioxidant just like vitamin E and protects nerve cells from damage. A scientist known as Paul E. Zollinger discovered that vitamin C supplements helped in reducing pain in wrist fractured patients. Foods rich in Vitamin C are broccoli, bananas, mangoes and oranges.
How Does Passion Flower Help Me Relax ?
April 07, 2011 01:39 PM
Passion flower refers to a group of flowering plants that belongs to the genus Passiflora, comprising of up to 500 species. The commonly known plant species of Passiflora are climbing vines with a woody stem system although there are a few herbaceous shrubs. They are found across the globe with the exception of arctic and sub-Saharan regions and easily recognizable by their unique flower structure which often contains prominent styles and stamens. Passiflora incarnata, or more commonly known as Maypop in the vernacular, has a long association with folk medicine of American Indians, who use various parts of the plant as a Relaxant.
Different species of Passiflora are called different names, but the trivial name passion flower pertains to the corona that resembles the crown of thorns worn by Jesus. Moreover, the Christians have ascribed many symbolisms for the intricate parts of the flower. For example, the ovary is believed to represent the Holy Grail. Early European settlers in the Americas discovered the calming effects of teas made from Passiflora species through the Indians, and popularized its use against anxiety soon after in Europe.
Produces Tranquilizing Effects
Several studies have investigated the effects of passion flower on human health, with a few comparing it to the drug exazepam. Its mechanism of action is still under scrutiny, but scientists are convinced that its sedative effects are very similar to the herbs Valeriana officinalis and Piper methysticum. More often than not, it is used in combination with these two herbs. As a mild Relaxant with a slow onset of action, Passiflora incarnata, or Maypop, have been documented to benefit individuals suffering from irritability, insomnia, and agitation. In conjunction with a drug called clonidine, it also appears to relieve muscle tremors.
Increases Inhibitory Brain Chemicals
It has long been postulated that passion flower works on the principle of raising the levels of inhibitory neurotransmitters, such as gamma-aminobutryric acid, or GABA. Glutamic acid, the biological precursor of gamma-aminobutyric acid, has been linked to neuronal excitotoxicity that leads to many known diseases of the nervous system. By aiding the metabolic pathway responsible for converting glutamate into gamma-aminobutyric acid, passion flower not only increases the amounts of the chief inhibitory brain chemicals in the human brain and the rest of the central nervous system, but also lowers the levels of excitatory neurotransmitters. This results in a drop in neuronal activities and a reduced risk of excitotoxicity, which translated into a more relaxed feeling.
Alleviates Physical Fatigue
Passion flower is known to counter the harmful effects of stress. In addition to alleviating psychiatric symptoms of anxiety, Passiflora incarnata has also been tied to the treatment of muscle weakness characteristic of fibromyalgia. It is one of the herbal nervines used in combination with other herbal adaptogens in combating physical fatigue due to long hours at work and the consequent sleep deprivation. Fortunately, passion flower is generally considered safe and nontoxic, with dosages equivalent to food proportions in general.
Passion flower can be taken with valerian and skull cap to help calm the mind and body when under intense stress. Give it a try and See for yourself!
Can Magnesium Relax the Muscles?
March 04, 2011 04:27 PM
Magnesium The Miracle mineral
The biological role of magnesium is no longer the mystery it once was. Today we are well informed that the presence of minute quantities of magnesium in the human body is necessary for life. Moreover, a well balanced diet incorporating healthy levels of this trace element has been associated with lower susceptibility to fatigue, muscle weakness, and neurological conditions. Deficiency, on the other hand, brings on a long list of symptoms, including muscle spasms, insulin resistance, and even heart failure. It is an important factor of muscle health, and, not surprisingly, an effective muscle Relaxant.
Facilitates Muscle Recovery
In the past few years there was a health concern in connection with the high incidence of magnesium deficiency among the general population, spurring the government to be actively involved in promoting the availability of elemental magnesium in the foods that we eat. Today with many food products fortified with magnesium, it is now becoming common knowledge that this dietary element is indispensable. What the average guy may not know is how important it is to the overall health of the muscles. First off, a significant fraction of magnesium is present in the muscle cells. The energy that you feel during physical exertion, which of course involves the muscles, is generated at the cellular level in the presence of magnesium. However, even when magnesium levels are depleted, each muscle cell still has to endure with the continuing muscular contractions, resulting in a slower rate of recovery.
Prevents Muscle Fatigue
Do be aware that longer hours at work take a toll on your muscular system. Doing the same things for long periods of time entails the repetitive use of the same muscles, straining these muscles and literally pushing them to the limit. Cumulative trauma disorder, or sometimes called repetitive strain injury, is in fact more common among individuals with low levels of magnesium, the muscles being more susceptible to stress as the body uses up its magnesium reserves. The same is the case with staying up all night or engaging in activities with fewer rewards in that the nervous system plays a role in controlling your muscles. The role of magnesium in combating muscle fatigue transcends its presence in muscle tissues for it is also actively involved in keeping undesirable neurological responses in check.
Strengthens Muscle Cells
Magnesium is not an herbal remedy for muscle spasms, but a vital constituent of strong, healthy muscles. That being said, there are formulations that must be taken at recommended dosages to produce a relaxing effect on the muscles. This will of course relieve the symptoms associated with muscle problems, including pain, tremors, and stiffness. What must follow is the incorporation of this mineral to your diet or supplementation to ensure that your muscles are protected against their continued exposure to daily wear and tear. Keep in mind that supplying your body with magnesium translates to developing healthier muscles, whether you lead an active life or spend long hours at the workstation.
Have your had your magnesium today?
Hops And Good health
September 20, 2009 08:47 PM
Hops are the female flower cones, which are also known as strobiles, of the hop plant. The hop plant is part of the Cannabaceae family, which also includes hemp. Primarily, hops are used as a flavoring and stability agent in beer. The first documented use in beer is from the eleventh century. Today, hops are used extensively in brewing because of their many benefits. Among these are balancing the sweetness of the hops with bitterness. However, hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine.
Nicholas Culpeper, a seventeenth-century herbalist, suggested the use of hops to open obstructions of the liver and spleen, cleanse the blood, loosen the belly, cleanse the veins, and promote urination. Hops were used as food by the Romans. Gerard, a famous herbalist, recommended using the buds in salads. Native American tribes also found hops to be of value. The Mohicans used it as a sedative and also for toothaches, while the Menominee tribes used hops as a cure-all. The lupulin that is found in hops is described as both a sedative and hypnotic drug. It was recognized in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia from 1831 to 1916. Most often, hops are probably used in the production of beer.
Hops are best known for their sedative action. Also, they are used for their antibiotic properties. These properties are beneficial for sore throats, bronchitis, infections, high fevers, delirium, toothaches, earaches, and pain. Although hops are strong, they seem to be safe to use. Their main uses are to alleviate nervous tension and promote a restful sleep. They have been used to naturally relieve insomnia. For inflammation, boils, tumors, and swelling, a poultice of hops is recommended. Hops have been used as a stimulant to the glands and muscles of the stomach. They have also been used as a Relaxant on the gastric nerves. Hops have a relaxing influence on the liver and gall duct and a laxative effect on the bowels. Many studies indicate that hops have sedative properties. This herb is known to be fast-acting, soothing, and calming to the nervous system. Hops are often nervine herbs that aid in promoting sleep. Certain elements of the plant have been shown to possess hypnotic effects. Hops are also used for their antispasmodic effects. Additionally, hops contain antibacterial properties, which validates some of their historical uses.
The flower of the hops plant is used to provide alterative, anodyne, antibacterial, antibiotic, antineoplastic, carminative, cholagogue, galactagogue, nervine, sedative, stomachic, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are chlorine, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, sodium, vitamin B-complex, and zinc. Primarily, this herb is extremely beneficial in treating appetite loss, bronchitis, delirium, gastric disorders, headaches, hyperactivity, and indigestion, insomnia, absent lactation, nervousness, pain, and excessive sexual desire.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with alcoholism, anxiety, blood impurities, coughs, intestinal cramps, dizziness, earaches, fevers, gas, jaundice, kidney stones, liver disorders, menstrual symptoms, menopausal symptoms, neuralgia, restlessness, rheumatism, skin disorders, sleeplessness, toothache, ulcers, venereal diseases, water retention, whooping cough, and worms. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by hops, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Kava Kava Root
September 05, 2009 12:11 PM
Kava is an ancient crop of the western Pacific. The word kava refers to both the plant and the beverage that is produced from its roots. Kava is a tranquilizer that is primarily consumed to relax the body without disrupting mental clarity. The active ingredients found in this herb kavalactones. Kava extract is marketed as an herbal medicine in some parts of the Western world, fighting against stress, insomnia, and anxiety. It has been concluded that this herb is more effective than a placebo at treating short-term social anxiety. Safety concerns have been raised over liver toxicity, but research indicates that this may be largely due to use of stems and leaves in supplements, which were not indigenously used.
Kava is used by many island communities in the Pacific in their ceremonial drinks as a mild sedative and Relaxant. Among these include Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. This herb was used to relax the body and mind and to promote restful sleep. Kava is considered to be an important herb for pain relief. It is also helpful for insomnia and nervous conditions.
This herb is recommended to be used as a strong muscle Relaxant. It is considered to be one of the most powerful of all of the herbal muscle Relaxants. Kava is used as an analgesic sedative, for rheumatism, for insomnia, and to relax the body.
Studies have determined that kava contains anticonvulsant and muscle-relaxing properties. This may be extremely helpful to those people who have stress-related muscle tension or seizures. Those individuals who drink kava often relate the effects to a sense of tranquility and sociability. The herb helps to achieve a feeling of well-being and relaxation. Kava seems to have an advantage over other drugs that are prescribed for anxiety and insomnia because it does not seem to lose effectiveness over time. A variety of studies have shown that there is a significant benefit for individuals who are suffering from anxiety. This is extremely promising for those individuals who require long-term therapy for anxiety disorders. Kava is not addictive and is free of associated complications. This is different from many of the medications that are routinely prescribed.
Kava also provides benefits as an analgesic for pain relief. The chewed leaves of this herb cause numbness in the mouth. This anesthetic activity is similar to cocaine and it lasts longer than benzocaine.
The root of the kava plant is used to provide alterative, analgesic, anesthetic, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium and magnesium. Primarily, kava is extremely beneficial in dealing with insomnia and nervousness.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, pain, rheumatism, uterine infections, vaginitis, and venereal diseases. It is important to consult your health care provider before taking this herb so that you do not have any adverse reactions to medication which is associated with this herb. In order to obtain more information on the many beneficial effects provided by kava, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 26, 2009 01:19 PM
Used as a female regulator, cramp bark is considered to be a very valuable herb. It is also used to relieve cramps during menstruation. Early American practitioners used cramp bark to relieve cramps. This is where it got its name. This herb has been recommended by herbalists to help with pregnancy, after-pains cramps, and especially for the nervous discomforts of pregnancy.
Cramp bark is recognized as a uterine sedative. It is also an antispasmodic, used to relax the uterus and ovaries. This herb has been used to treat women when nervous afflictions could possibly cause a miscarriage. Cramp bark can also be used to treat cramps anywhere in the body.
Cramp bark also acts as a muscle Relaxant, affecting other organs including the intestine and skeletal muscles. This herb is considered to be the most potent uterine antispasmodic of the Viburnum species. This is because is contains more of the antispasmodic constituent scopoletin. Cramp bark also contains more antispasmodic volatile oils than other species. This herb typically works very quickly for simple menstrual cramps. If it fails to relieve symptoms, the discomfort is probably not due to uterine muscle spasm but to inflammation or irritation of the uterus or ovaries, endometrial infection, or cysts. Black haw, a close relative of cramp bark, is also useful for uterine cramps, congestion, and irritation in the uterus and ovaries with radiating pains. It may be better indicated for those types of complains. This herb has been used to stop contractions during premature labor.
Additionally, it has been used in the last trimester of pregnancy to build up uterine muscles and ensure an easy labor. However, it is important to consult with an experienced herbalist before taking any botanicals during pregnancy. Additionally, the antispasmodic constituents in cramp bark may lower blood pressure by relaxing vessel walls. If it is taken in large dosages of thirty drops or more every two to three hours, this herb may reduce leg cramps, muscle spasms, or pain from a stiff neck.
Fresh or dried berries from the cramp bark tree are used in Russia as a pulse regulator to treat high blood pressure, heart problems, coughs, colds, lung problems, kidney problems, and bleeding ulcers. A decoction of flowers can be used externally for eczema and other skin conditions.
The bark and berries of the cramp bark plant are used to provide alterative, antiabortive, antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, nervine, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins C and K. Primarily, cramp bark is extremely beneficial in treating asthma, convulsions, uterine cramps, leg cramps, heart palpitations, hypertension, nervousness, spasms, and urinary problems.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with after-pains of childbirth, colic, constipation, dysentery, epilepsy, fainting, gallstones, gas, jaundice, lockjaw, ovarian irritations, and rheumatism. It is important to consult a health care provider before considering taking this, or any supplement while on prescription drugs. For more information on the many benefits provided by cramp bark, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
July 20, 2009 11:51 AM
Valerian was used by ancient Greeks for digestion, nausea, and urinary tract disorders. A famous Greek physician, Galen, was known for prescribing valerian to be used as a decongestant. Herbalist John Gerard recommended valerian for chest congestion, convulsions, and bruises in 1597. Additionally, Native Americans traditionally used valerian for healing wounds. It was also accepted as a tranquilizer from 1820 to 1942 and was listed this way until 1950.
One of the most valuable properties of valerian is its ability to produce a deep, satisfying sleep. This herb acts as a Relaxant and is an effective remedy for fighting against insomnia. The active ingredients that are found in valerian root are also responsible for relaxing smooth muscle tissue and also depressing the central nervous system. It seems as if there is no single component of valerian that is entirely responsible for all of its sedative activity. Instead, several of the constituents of valerian are responsible for causing the sedative effect when combined together. Like other standard sleep aids that are often prescribed, valerian works in the same way. However, it possesses an advantage in the fact that it does not cause the morning grogginess that is often linked to prescription sleep medications.
There have been many different studies conducted which have all led to the belief that valerian possesses benefits for insomnia, anxiety, and stress. Valerian is also extremely useful for all kinds f sleep disorders, especially when those sleep disorders are related to anxiety, nervousness, headache pain, or even physical and mental exhaustion. Research has proven that valerian is not only effective in treating insomnia, but also in reducing sleep latency and night awakenings.
Valerian has been shown to be great for the heart, lungs, liver, stomach, and the nerves and the brain. It has also shown possibilities in helping with epilepsy, hysteria, migraines, and the elimination of worms. It does all of these things because it works to calm anxiety, muscle spasms, and nervous tension. In addition to the ability to relax and calm, valerian can help to improve mental acuity and coordination. One study even found that those individuals who were hyperactive were able to concentrate for longer periods of time with the assistance of valerian.
Valerian is rich in calcium, which gives it to the ability to strengthen the spine, nerves, and brain. This herb is also high in magnesium and manganese. Both of these minerals work with calcium in order to build healthy bones and nervous system. Valerian is high in selenium, which strengthens the body against immune related disorders. The niacin content that is found in valerian helps to prevent cholesterol build-up, irritability, depression, loss of memory, and weakness. This herb also contains potassium, iron, sodium, zinc, silicon, and vitamins A and C. There appear to be no contraindications to the use of valerian during pregnancy or lactation. Valerian is thought to be safe for almost everyone. Although safe, this herb is usually recommended for short-term use.
Great herbs like valerian are available in capsule, tablet, and liquid extract forms at your local or internet health food store. For more information about valerian and its benefits, contact your local health food retailer. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the valerian product you purchase.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Natural herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
July 14, 2009 02:23 PM
Kava kava has been traditionally in ceremonial drinks as a mild sedative and Relaxant used by many island communities in the Pacific such as Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. Today it is still used to relax the body and mind and promote a restful sleep. Kava kava is now generally considered an important herb for insomnia and other nervous conditions, as well as a beneficial reliever of pain. Drinking 100 to 150 ml of kava tea is enough to put most people into a deep sleep within thirty minutes. Unlike alcohol and other sedatives, the use of kava does not actually result in any morning hangover. The kava drinker usually awakens having fully recovered normal physical and mental capacities. Those people who drink smaller amounts of kava kava have been shown to express a sense of tranquility, sociability, and contentment.
Kava kava has the ability to function as an anesthetic, analgesic, anticonvulsive, antifungal, and sleep inducer. Studies preformed on animals have shown that kava kava possesses anti-convulsant and muscle-relaxing properties. The key components of kava kava, kavalactones, seem to act primarily on the limbic system, an ancient part of the brain that affects all other brain activities and is the main contributor to emotions. Kava seems to promote sleep and relaxation by altering the way the limbic system influences emotional processes.
Due to its amazing abilities, kava kava is considered to be one of the most powerful of the herbal muscle Relaxants. It is often recommended to treat rheumatism, insomnia, and to relax the body. Additionally, it possesses antiseptic properties that can help with bladder infections. Kava kava can also be applied directly to wounds.
A giant benefit of kava kava is that it does not seem to lose effectiveness over time, unlike other synthetic drugs that are often prescribed for anxiety and insomnia. Due to its ability to induce sleep, recent studies have showed kava kava to be a huge benefit for people that are suffering from anxiety. Another study looked into the effects of kava kava on women who are suffering from menopause. Forty women who had menopause-related symptoms were split into two groups of twenty women. These women were treated for eight weeks. One group was given kava kava three times daily, while the other group was given a placebo. After only one week into the study, the women who were taking kava kava demonstrated significant improvement. Stress and anxiety were reduces, along with the general mood of women being better and symptoms of menopause were much less notable. No side effects from this study were noted.
The beneficial effects of kava kava make it to be an excellent herb for the nervous system. In order to naturally promote a sense of well-being and contentment naturally, kava kava should be looked into. This ability is something that shouldn’t go unappreciated in the busy and stressful world that we live in today. In order to obtain more information on the beneficial effects of kava kava extract, try speaking with your local health food retailer.
August 30, 2008 09:43 AM
Bilberry is a part of the herb world that has recently begun re-emerging because of recent scientific discoveries linking the fruit to therapeutic properties in blood vessel-related disorders. If you happen to suffer from any disorder that is related to weaken blood vessels, then you should definitely think about bilberry as part of your treatment, as it can be safe and extremely effective. Bilberry is a rich source of anthocyanidins, which gives it the unique ability to stabilize and protect collagen stores. This helps to prevent capillary leakage and hemorrhage. Bilberry is currently being used to treat vascular and blood disorders, and is also a main ingredient in the treatment of many visual problems. It has even been proven effective for varicose veins, thrombosis, diabetes, macular degeneration, and angina.
Thanks to its rich amounts of anthocyanosides, bilberry is an extremely valuable treatment for a variety of disorders in which leaky veins cause tissue damage. Containing over 15 different anthocyanosides, bilberry protects the veins and arteries, as it boosts a great deal of physiological processes that results in the improved integrity of capillary walls. Additionally, anthocyanosides prevent platelets from sticking to the walls of vessels, which helps to prevent the formation of blood clots. Bilberry has shown healing properties including: analgesic, anti-arthritic, anti-clotting, antiulcer, anti-edemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-osteotic, cyclooxygenase inhibitor, inhibits collagenase, inhibits elastase, lipoxygena, smooth muscle Relaxant, lowers blood sugar, and vasodilator.
With more than 100 names from around the world, bilberry also can be known by: huckleberry, whortleberry, European blueberry, myrtle bilberry, myrtle blueberry, myrtle whortleberry, Rocky Mountain whortleberry, red whortleberry, black grouseberry, low bilberry, mountain blueberry, huckleberry, and blueberry. Bilberry is a perennial shrub that can be commonly found in many different climates around the world that are characterized by damp woodlands and moorlands in northern Europe, northern regions of America, and parts of Canada.
Bilberry grows as a small shrub with wiry, angular branches that do not usually grow over a foot high. The branches of bilberry bear waxy flowers and black berries that are covered with a grey bloom when they are ripe. The leather-like leaves of bilberry are initially rose color, but turn to a yellowish-green in the summer and a fiery red in the autumn.
Growing abundantly in areas of England and flourishing best on high ground in the north and west regions of Britain, bilberry possesses a round fruit or berry that has a flat top and is approximately the size of a black currant, with a taste that is slightly acidic. The berry bushes prefer filtered shade and moist, fertile soil that is acidic and non calcareous. The bilberry plant is related most closely to blueberries and currants, all of which belong to the genus Vaccinium. Bilberries are rich in carbohydrates, tannin, vitamin A, and vitamin C. It also contains glucoquinine, which is able to lower blood sugar.
Finally, bilberry is considered an astringent; it exhibits antibacterial properties in the intestines. Bilberry’s analgesic properties are often thought to come from chlorogenic-acid and ferulic-acid content. Bilberry contains copper, quercetin, linoleic-acid, magnesium, pantothenic acid, ursolic acid, and zinc. This herb is good for the parts of the body that contain small fragile blood vessels such as the eyes and this is why this herb is associated with promoting eye health.
June 03, 2008 01:11 PM
Mental disorders, including depression, affect more than 22 percent of adults in the United States according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The stressful way in which we live contributes to this percentage of unhappy people. People feel pressure on the job and are being rushed all the time. We eat fast food on the run due to time constraints and have less time to exercise. This combination of factors leads to moodiness and irritability. It also detracts from our overall happiness.
Whether you typically experience seasonal sadness or have been diagnosed with depression, there is help available. You don't have to accept feeling down as part of life. Nor do you have to deal with the unwanted side effects that come with taking a prescribed antidepressant or anxiety medication. All you need to take the edge off of life is natural albizzia flowers. This herb provides a natural way to reduce stress.
Albizzia Flowers as a Natural Remedy for Sadness
Albizzia flowers are herbs that have been used by the Chinese for more than 500 years to treat sadness. They also have been used by Korean and Japanese people as a natural remedy for life's stresses.
Taken from the silk tree, albizzia is often referred to as the happy tree. It can be used for a variety of emotional needs, from spiritual disorders to emotional imbalances. It is also known as the Mimosa tree.
Uses for Albizzia Flowers
Albizzia flowers can be used to treat the following:
In essence, this herbal flower provides a gentle calming effect. It works to relieve tension and bring a sense of peace over the body. The herb gives a sense of contentment and comfort, and relieves aches and pains associated with the symptoms above.
Albizzia is especially useful for those dealing with grief. Losing a loved one can feel devastating and overwhelming. Albizzia flowers help to relieve these feelings and can make coping with your loss a little easier.
Antidepressants vs. Natural Herbs to Relieve Depression
Using Albizzia flowers is much safer than taking a prescription antidepressant. Antidepressants are mind-altering drugs that have a list of unhealthy side effects. They can cause you to feel things like dry mouth to headaches. Drugs like Paxil can even increase the risk of suicide in some people. You can avoid these potentially dangerous side effects by using natural herbs to take the edge off of life.
Albizzia is a Relaxant and a sedative that works to calm the liver, kidneys and heart. It works to ease and calm the mind and body without the effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Starting with a low dose of 10 drops two to three times per day is recommended. As your body adjusts, you can work your way up to 30-60 drops several times per day.
Though it isn't a miracle herb, Albizzia is a helpful herb that can relax the body and aid mood disorders. It can be used in conjunction with prescription drugs or in place of them to minimize the effects of a stressful lifestyle.
How to Manage Migraines Naturally: Magnesium - Feverfew - Butterbur - Ginger
December 21, 2007 10:41 AM
Before you can understand how to manage migraines naturally, it is necessary to understand exactly what they are and how certain treatments could work. It is not generally known that the word ‘migraine’ means ‘half the head’ because it frequently hurts only on the right or the left of the head of sufferer. Some people with migraines do feel pain on both sides at once, although this is not generally the case.
A migraine occurs in stages which are activated by fluctuations in the hormone content of the blood. The ‘aura’, when you see spots and flashing lights in front of your eyes, is the first stage of a migraine attack, and during this time the blood vessels in your neck and head are contracting. You could also find it difficult to concentrate and your fingers could feel cold. At this point they do not have the headache that starts when the blood vessels begin to dilate.
Rather than the contracted blood vessels slowly returning to normal, your hormones have an excessively strong reaction, and cause them to dilate rapidly and become much wider than they should be leading to a severe headache due to pressure on the nerves. Different hormones can be involves with each attack, and the range of effective natural treatments reflect this fact. During this period, your brain could swell slightly, your muscles can tense up and other things can happen to the chemical and hormonal balance of your body. That is why some herbal treatments work for some but not for others, and different people find different treatments effective for them. What works for you might not work for somebody else if their migraine has a different cause. Basically, though, migraines occur in two phases, one being associated with an excess of hormones and the other with a shortage.
It is not easy to live with a migraine since it can be completely debilitating. Some just have a severe headache, while others are affected for days at a time. The headache can become before and after the onset of the shimmering lights and other optical effects that are generated by the brain. It would certainly be useful if those prone to migraines had one or more of the possible natural remedies to hand since there is rarely time to seek to seek professional medical help once the migraine begins, and through the use of natural remedies a potentially bad attack could be nipped in the bud, and at least its effect on you reduced.
Magnesium is common in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage, whole grains, nuts and seeds. It is an essential mineral for human biochemistry, and is also needed with calcium for healthy bone development and maintenance.
Magnesium is a muscle Relaxant, and relaxes the muscles of the blood vessels helping them to relax their dilatancy that cause the migraine pain. It is also useful to help the immune function, reduces blood pressure (by the same blood vessel relaxing mechanism) and also the rhythm of your heart. Magnesium therefore provides you with many health benefits, and though the western diet is not generally deficient in magnesium, some areas can be and a magnesium-containing supplement will not do you harm.
However, particularly high dose of magnesium can lead to nausea, diarrhea, low blood pressure and many other unpleasant side effects, so do not take more than the RDA (recommended daily allowance) in your supplement. Many studies have confirmed its effectiveness in reducing the symptoms of migraine, but not all studies have been successful. However, the condition is so debilitating to so many people, that it should be tried although not in excess. Make sure, however, that your doctor is informed since it could interfere with other medication you are taking for your migraine.
Riboflavin, vitamin B-2, is also believed to useful in reducing the duration and frequency of migraine attacks, working in much the same way as magnesium. It is known that there are many cases of people who suffer from vitamin B-2 deficiency also suffering from migraines, and a riboflavin supplement is also worth trying if you are a consistent victim of this condition.
Feverfew is the best known of the herbal remedies for migraine, and has been used for centuries in the treatment of fevers, headache, migraine and other painful conditions such as arthritis. The active ingredient is parthenolide, an anti-inflammatory that is also an anti-hyperalgesic, and that would explain its effect on reducing the pain. It also blocks lipolysaccharide-induced osteolysis by suppressing the activity of a eukaryotic transcription factor protein known as NF-kappaB that can cause a number of immune response problems, including inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, hence its use to relieve that condition.
Its effect on migraines could be explained by this activity in repressing the inflammatory response to certain stimuli that could be brought about by hormonal activity. Because it must be taken for a few weeks before the actual problem arises in order to be effective against it, feverfew is not effective to treat an existing attack, but to prevent future attacks. Double blind studies have proved its effectiveness in many tests, but not in all. However, if you take feverfew as a regular supplement in you diet, you might never have to try magnesium or vitamin B-2 supplements.
Some people swear by the leaves of feverfew, eating one per day which is easy way to take it. It is important, however, that you do so regularly, since it can take for up to 6 – 8 weeks for you to notice a reduction in your attacks. Don’t give up after 5 or 6 weeks, but continue, since the results will be well worth it. If you stop for a week or two you will have to start all over again. You might get a sore mouth and perhaps mouth ulcers to start with, but these will eventually go once your body is used to it.
You are probably best not to take if you are pregnant since it could cause you to abort. Otherwise, however, it has been shown to be effective in many severe cases. Feverfew is bitter, and can be used as a tea with other herbs, such as rosemary, lavender and sage. If you are taking warfarin, aspirin or other blood-thinning drugs, see your doctor first, and the same is true of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). If you are taking these for arthritis, the feverfew itself might be more effective!
If you are taking feverfew as a supplement using commercially available dried leaf then the recommended dosage is around 125mg of the dried leaf. It should contain at least 0.2% of parthenolide (0.25mg/daily), although other studies have indicated that a total of 0.7 mg parthenolide a day should be taken (100mg at 0.7%). Parthenolide is unstable so don’t take it after its sell by or best by date.
Butterbur is also useful in the treatment of migraines. The active ingredient here is petasin, a sesquiterpene ester that also has anti-inflammatory properties, all though it works in a different manner to feverfew. Here, it inhibits the activities of leukotriene generation in neutrophils and eosinophils, which indicates that it also possesses anti-allergenic properties that could help asthmatics that also suffer from migraines. It does not prevent the release of histamine, but does appear to reduce smooth muscle spasm.
You should never take the raw herb, only the extract, because it contains alkaloids that can harm you. The butterbur extract, however, is a perfectly safe supplement and found effective by many people in the treatment of migraine.
If your migraine is at the front of the head, then you should try ginger. Unlike feverfew, ginger works on a migraine as it is occurring, and improvement can be achieved for a bad migraine within half an hour. In fact if, like many people, you can feel a migraine coming on, half a teaspoon of freshly ground ginger can stop the pain before it starts.
Many herbal treatments for migraine include a combination of some of the above remedies, and many people swear by them. However, migraine treatment is very personal, and you should use what works best for you. If you are also taking other medical treatments however, please make sure that you refer to your physician before using any others, and that includes herbal remedies or supplements.
Astragalus Fact Sheet
December 07, 2005 01:15 PM
Astragalus Fact SheetNeil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA 02/10/05
LIKELY USERS: Everyone seeking a healthy immune system; Those lacking energy
KEY INGREDIENTS: Astragalus Root Extract Powder 70% polysaccharides (200 mg)
MAIN PRODUCT FEATURES: A Chinese “tonic herb” used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for night sweats, diarrhea and lack of energy. Tonic herbs are often known as “adaptogens”, helping the body adapt to stresses and modulating immune system responses. Some reports credit Astragalus with shortening colds and strengthening the heart.Astragalus additionally contains triterpene glycosides, also known as astragalosides.
ADDITIONAL PRODUCT INFORMATION: Vegetarian formula.May be useful to maintain the patient’s immunity in dialysis patients, those with liver problems and those who have suffered from strokes, according to Chinese studies (not as a treatment for those conditions!).
SERVING SIZE & HOW TO TAKE IT: For everyday use take one to five caps per day, either with meals or on an empty stomach.
COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS: Immune Renew, Inositol Hexaphosphate (IP-6), I3C, Pometrol, mixed carotenoids and other antioxidants.
CAUTIONS: Pregnant & lactating women, children and people using prescription drugs should consult their physician before taking any dietary supplement. Do not take with AIDS drugs or if you have an autoimmune disease, though there is some (not enough) evidence that Astragalus may balance immune function for at least one autoimmune disorder. This information is based on my own knowledge and these references, but should not be used as diagnosis, prescription or as specific product claims.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
REFERENCES: 1. Ooi VE, Liu F. Immunomodulation and anti-cancer activity of polysaccharide-protein complexes. Curr Med Chem. 2000 Jul;7(7):715-29.
8 Steps for Relieving Back Pain
August 02, 2005 02:02 PM
1. POSTURE. Don’t sit in the same position too long. Distribute your weight between your feet when standing. Always align your shoulders and head with your torso. Carry weight mostly with your legs and keep any held objects close to the body.
2. HERBAL RUBS. For muscle spasms, rub a mix of lobelia, myrrh and cramp bark extracts with a touch of cayenne into your back. They will act as muscle Relaxants and pain relievers. Rub into aching area as needed. This mixture stores for approximately two years.
3. DEEP BREATHING. When you experience pain, your breathing becomes shorter and your muscles are more tense. Breathing deeply allows more oxygen to arrive to the affected area, helping it heal more quickly. Lie on your back, close your eyes and slowly breathe in and out as deeply as you can. Visualize your body expanding and closing and the oxygen moving through your body to the muscles in pain. Continue this for 20–30 minutes.
4. MSM. MSM is a sulphur compound that can relieve pain associated with muscle cramps. It works by interrupting pain impulses heading to the brain. By taking 1,000 mg three times a day for one to six weeks, you should see marked improvement.
5. HEALTHY DIET. The food you eat affects every tissue cell in your body. Eat more fiber and drink more water. Limit your consumption of coffee, soda and other stimulants (they have an unnatural effect on the nervous system, which can lead to muscle disfunction). If you are overweight, you are adding extra strain on your back—a diet would be beneficial.
6. YOGA. Yoga is an excellent way to relieve muscle tension and promote strength and relaxation. Even trying two yoga poses daily should alleviate some back pain.
7. MAGNETS. A growing number of health professionals believe that magnets can help relieve back pain. Magnets reportedly encourage blood flow and reduce inflammation. In a recent study on the benefits of magnets on post-polio patients, magnets were found to reduce back pain by up to 75 percent.
8. MENTAL REFOCUSING. Often physical pain associated with the back is only part of the problem. Repressed emotions and stress, say some researchers, can trigger physical responses in the body. By focusing on the cause of your pain (i.e., daily stresses and problems, rather than the pain itself ), you can alleviate some of its symptoms.
Clearing the Air
June 13, 2005 10:34 AM
Clearing the Air by Robert Gluck Energy Times, August 1, 1999
One crisp winter morning in Vermont, Alan hoisted his skis over his shoulder and tracked through the dazzling snowpack to the lift about a quarter-mile away. He had trekked this gently uphill route many times and valued it as an invigorating warmup for a day on the ski trails. The path seemed to grow steeper, however, and the winter sun more blazing as Alan struggled for breath, sweat dampening his woolen cap. Weak and wheezing, he paused for what seemed like an eternity and finally turned back, plodding arduously through the ice.
Fit and athletic, the 42-year-old Alan heard the alarming news from his health care practitioner: asthma. The therapy: inhaled steroids.
The incidence of asthma-a chronic condition characterized by narrowing of the bronchial tubes, swelling of the bronchial tube lining and mucus secretion that can block the airway, making breathing difficult-has ballooned to alarming rates.
In the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of people reported to suffer from asthma increased from 10.4 million in 1990 to 15 million in 1995. In 1998, the epidemic cost about $11.3 billion.
Worldwide, experts estimate that the prevalence of asthma increased approximately 50% over the last 10 to 15 years. Nations with the highest rates are the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia; lowest are Indonesia, Albania, Romania and Georgia.
Deaths from asthma have doubled in the last decade and, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, asthma is the seventh most common chronic health condition in the United States. Children constitute the most disturbingly burgeoning segment of the asthma explosion, its sufferers numbering five to six million. The rate of asthma among children five to 14 years old increased 74% between 1980 and 1994; the rate for preschool kids skyrocketed 160%. Asthma is the number one chronic childhood illness and the third leading cause of hospitalization for children under age 15. More than 5000 Americans die from asthma annually; the fatality rate among children five to 14 years old more than doubled from 1979 to 1995, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.
Waging War on the Wheeze
Asthma is indeed chronic, but it can be prevented and controlled and its effects reversed. Mainstream MDs command an arsenal of pharmaceuticals, some of which are essential for severe or urgent conditions. Consult your health care practitioner about any breathing difficulties.
Because of its complexity, however, asthma requires a balanced therapeutic approach: careful attention to diet, exercise and stress reduction while taking supplemental nutrients and botanicals can help ease asthma's discomforts. Antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E, fruits and vegetables rich in phytochemicals plus herbs like echinacea and garlic, all possess the potential for helping the body fight asthma.
Induced by an array of inherent physiological vulnerabilities, some of which may not manifest until adulthood, as well as environmental factors, asthma benefits from extra sleuthing into its causes and planning for relief.
Triggers and Therapies
Asthma is derived from the Greek word meaning panting or breathing hard, which pretty much sums up the malady: Wheezing and shortness of breath typify the attack.
In bronchial asthma, the commonest variety, the passages that carry air from the throat to the lungs narrow as a result of muscle contraction, local inflammation or production of excess mucus. Breathing becomes difficult and wheezy as air is expelled.
"Asthma symptoms are triggered by various factors such as allergens, irritants, infections, pollutants, medications, and emotions," says Anthony Rooklin, author of Living with Asthma: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding and Controlling Asthma While Enjoying Your Life (Penguin). "Triggers are substances or situations that would be quite harmless to people with ordinary airways, but that bring on asthma symptoms in susceptible individuals."
According to Ellen W. Cutler, nutritionist, enzyme therapist, chiropractor and author of Winning the War Against Asthma & Allergies: A Drug-Free Cure For Asthma and Allergy Sufferers" (Delmar), asthma is an allergic disease that is always triggered by allergens. "These allergens include not only foods, pollens and environmental factors such as perfume, animal dander and chemicals but also bacteria, climactic conditions and emotions," says Cutler.
"When these allergies are active from birth, asthma can be diagnosed early in life, even in infancy," she adds.
Cutler believes every individual with asthma should be able to lead a normal, drug-free life.
"Most asthmatics have been told that asthma is a chronic problem they will have to contend with for the rest of their lives. Asthma can be cured, not miraculously and instantaneously, but inevitably and permanently, once the allergies that cause it have been eliminated," she adds.
Dilating on Nutrients
Although it is vitally important for folks with asthma to develop a treatment plan with a trusted health care provider, that plan, according to experts, may lend itself to a rich variety of complementary options, especially nutrients, phytochemicals, minerals and enzymes.
According to Ruth Winter, author of A Consumer's Guide to Medicines in Food: Nutraceuticals That Help Prevent and Treat Physical and Emotional Illnesses (Crown), researchers in Nottingham, England, linked magnesium and lung function.
"Magnesium is involved in a wide range of biological activities, including some that may protect against the development of asthma and chronic airflow obstruction," Winter says. "Dr. John Britton and his colleagues at Nottingham University measured the magnesium in the diets of 2,633 adults aged 18 to 70 and they found that low magnesium was associated with reduced lung function and wheezing" (The Lancet 344, 1994: 357-62).
Magnesium actually boasts a long history as a bronchial Relaxant, first demonstrated in 1912 on cows. Its potential was eclipsed, however, by pharmaceutical antihistamines and bronchodilators until its recent rediscovery.
Defending the Lungs
Antioxidants, with their ability to bolster the lungs' defense mechanisms by battling oxidizing free radicals that constrict bronchial tissue, wield tremendous force in the anti-asthma offensive. Michael T. Murray, ND, and Joseph E. Pizzorno, ND, in their Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), connect the steady decrease in dietary intake of antioxidants to the burgeoning incidence of asthma.
Among the top asthma-busting antioxidants:
Vitamin C. Murray and Pizzorno note that C is the major antioxidant present in the lining of the airway and cite generous evidence that when vitamin C is low, asthma incidence is high (Annals Allergy 73, 1994: 89-96). Vitamin C, taken over time, effectively suppresses histamine secretion by white blood cells.
Flavonoids. Also credited with reducing histamine production, flavonoids, notably quercetin and the extracts from grape seed, pine bark and ginkgo biloba, are key asthma-fighting antioxidants (J Allergy Clin Immunol 73, 1984; 769-74).
Carotenes. They limit production of allergy-related compounds (called leukotrienes) and bolster the lining of the respiratory tract (Biochem Biophys Acta 575, 1979: 439-45).
Vitamin E and selenium. Both reduce secretion of leukotrienes (Clinical Exp Allergy 26, 1996: 838-47).
Vitamin B12. Murray and Pizzorno cite the work of Jonathan Wright, MD, whose clinical trials with supplemental vitamin B12 proved strongly effective, especially for children with asthma.
A Bundle of Botanicals
Herbal remedies for asthma date back more than 5000 years to the Chinese emperor Shen-nung. The ancient Egyptians treated respiratory ailments with herbs as well; the Greeks favored mint, garlic, cloves and myrrh for pulmonary problems.
Today, the power of plants has been validated by clinical research and standardized for predictability. (Always consult a health care practitioner when seeking complementary therapies, and read the package labels carefully for dosages and cautions.)
In their book, Asthma: An Alternative Approach (Keats), Ron Roberts and Judy Sammut provide a concise guide to asthma-easing botanicals: Garlic: acts as antiviral, antibacterial and antihistamine; enhances immune response; contains the antioxidant selenium. Garlic also is an expectorant.
Echinacea: a traditional treatment for immune disorders and infections of the upper respiratory tract, known to shorten the duration of colds, coughs and flus.
Ginkgo biloba: inhibits the chemical responses that induce asthma discomfort (Br J Clin Pharmacol 29, 1990: 85-91).
Ginseng: stimulates immunity and the production of steroid-like hormones; helps chronic coughs.
Licorice: an expectorant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic that also inhibits leukotriene production (Acta Med Okayama 37, 1983: 385-91).
Tylophora asthmatica: an Ayurvedic treatment that many respected experts believe can act both as an antihistamine and antispasmodic (Planta Med 57, 1991: 409-13).
June 10, 2005 05:38 PM
Aromessentials by Joanne Gallo , February 3, 2002
Aromessentials By Joanne Gallo
But aromatherapy is more than just a '90s-style novelty. The practice of using aromatic essential oils for psychological and physical well-being dates back more than 4,000 years to medicinal practices in Egypt and India.
The term "aromatherapy" was coined in 1937 by French cosmetic chemist R.M. Gattefosse, who discovered the benefits of essential oil after burning his hand in a laboratory accident. Gattefosse immersed his hand into the nearest available cool liquid: a vat of lavender oil. The near miraculous soothing of his pain and rapid healing spurred him to dedicate his life to the study of aromatic plants and their therapeutic effects.
How it Works
For those who turn their noses up at this most seemingly-subtle of senses, keep in mind that the perception of smell is 10,000 times more sensitive than the sense of taste. "The sense of smell is the sense of the imagination," noted French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau; this emotional connection lies at the heart of aromatherapy.
Aromas are transmitted rapidly from olfactory cells in the nose to the limbic system in the brain which perceives and responds to emotion, pleasure and memory. Scents trigger the limbic system to release neurochemicals which influence mood. Well-known neurochemicals like endorphins and serotonin help create a sense of well-being.
When you inhale essential oils, some of the molecules travel to the lungs, where they proceed to enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
Oils applied to the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream as well. Because they are oil/fat soluble, essential oils are highly absorbed by the body, where they circulate for anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours and are eventually eliminated through sweat and other bodily secretions.
Essential oils are extremely potent and volatile: approximately 75 to 100 times more concentrated than dried herbs.
Most essential oils are steam distilled from herbs, flowers and plants. Others are cold expressed from the rind of the fruit, which produces the purest essential oils because no heat or chemical treatment is involved.
The components of various oils are beneficial for a wide variety of beauty and hygiene conditions. Some of the more indispensable essential oils include:
Chamomile (anthemis nobilis): soothing properties for sensitive and inflamed skin; calming, balancing and relaxing.
Clary Sage (salvia sclarea): warming, female balancing herb used for PMS; calms anxiety, tension and stress; also used as a muscle Relaxant for aches and pains.
Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus): antibacterial; fresh, herbal menthol aroma; widely used as an inhalant for colds, coughs and congestion; excellent for massaging tired or sore muscles.
Geranium (pelargonium graveolens): one of the best all-around tonic oils for mind and body; soothes nervous tension and mood swings; balances female hormones and PMS; gently astringent and antiseptic, it improves general tone and texture of skin.
Jasmine (jasminum grandiflorum): a warm, rich, sensual floral scent used historically as an aphrodisiac; moisturizing for dry/mature skin.
Lemon (citrus limonum): refreshing and invigorating; eases tension and depression; useful for oily skin and treatment of acne.
Peppermint (mentha piperita): cool, menthol, invigorating stimulant; cleans and purifies the skin.
Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis): stimulating and uplifting; purifying and cleansing for all skin types; warm and penetrating for massage to ease muscular aches and pains.
Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia): an antiseptic from the leaves of the Australian tea tree; antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral; excellent for skin irritations like cold sores, insect bites and acne.
Ylang Ylang (cananga odorata): enticing and sensual; helps alleviate anger, stress, insomnia and hypertension; helps balance the skin's sebaceous secretions.
Essential oils can be utilized in a variety of ways: in electric or candle-based diffusers, to spread the aroma through a room; in sachets and air fresheners; added to shampoos and lotions; or diluted and applied to pulse points like the temples, on neck or on wrists. Undiluted essential oils should never be applied to the skin. First mix them with carrier oils: pure vegetable oils such as sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil and apricot kernel oil. Use a general guideline of six to 18 drops of essential oil per one ounce of vegetable oil. Blended, diluted oils are also available which can be used directly on your skin.
Pond's Aromatherapy Capsules come in four scents: Happy, which is fruity and floral; Romantic,with musk and vanilla; Relaxing, a floral and woodsy aroma; and Energizing, with fresh citrus and bright floral scents.
Sarah Michaels offers four essential oil blends: Sensual Jasmine, Soothing Lavender, Refreshing Citrus and Invigorating Peppermint.
The San Francisco Soap Company's Simply Be Well Line features an essential oil light ring set, a diffuser that uses the heat of a light bulb to spread an aroma through your room.
One of the most popular and luxurious ways to enjoy aromatherapy is in a steaming hot bath. Numerous bath products formulated with plant essences can turn your tub time into a rejuvenating experience. Body & Earth features Body Wash, Foam Bath and Soap in five essences: Vanilla Serenity, Lavender Whisper, Playful Peach, Raspberry Rapture and Pear Essence.
The Healing Garden offers a full line of aromatherapy products; try their Tangerinetherapy Wake Up Call Body Cleanser, Gingerlily Therapy Upbeat Bath & Shower Gel; or Minttherapy Fresh Start Bath & Shower Gel.
Simply Be Well products take traditional aromatherapy one step further by combining essential oils with herbal extracts and natural nutrients.
The line includes Shower Gel and Bath Salts in four fragrances: Explore contains ginkgo, eucalyptus, lemon and vitamin B6; Share features dong quai, passionflower, ylang ylang and zinc; Unwind includes kava kava, geranium, lavender and vitamin E; and Celebrate contains ginseng, wild mint, hemp and vitamin C.
Yardley London Bar Soaps, formulated with botanicals and moisturizers, are available in five fragrances: soothing English Lavender, exfoliating Oatmeal and Almond, Aloe Vera for natural healing, skin-softening Chamomile Essence, and astringent Evening Primrose.
"Aromatherapy and the cosmetic use of essential oils have made a tremendous contribution to skin care," asserts Joni Loughran, author of Natural Skin Care: Alternative & Traditional Techniques (Frog, Ltd.). "Every type of skin (such as oily, dry, and normal) can benefit." Some of the natural products that can help balance your skin include these:
Kiss My Face Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal/Oily skin features citrus oils which act as antiseptics, marigold for healing, licorice root for toning, lavender to normalize oil production, plus the antioxidant green tea.
Kiss My Face's Gentle Face Cleaner for Normal/Dry skin includes essential oils plus organic, detoxifying herbs goldenseal and red clover, echinacea and rose hips with natural vitamin C.
Naturistics Almond Facial Moisture Cream contains almond, allantoin and calendula to smooth dry skin; Wild Chamomile Facial Lotion with rose hips and honeysuckle soothes and conditions rough skin.
Simply Be Well products, which use essential oils combined with herbal extracts like ginkgo and dong quai, are available in Body Lotion and Body Mist.
Wicks and Sticks
Perhaps the easiest way to get your aromatherapy fix is to light a candle and just sit back, relax and breathe.
The Healing Garden offers a wide variety of aromatic candles to suit your every mood; try their Green Teatherapy Meditation Candle; Jasminetherapy Embrace the Light Love Candle; or Lavendertherapy Peace & Tranquility Candle.
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