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Healthy Skin Needs Natural Mineral Makeup
March 25, 2008 11:47 AM
For those of you women who want healthy skin but can’t seem to go without a little blush and eye shadow, there’s makeup made from pure minerals that can present your face a natural alternative to the drugstore cosmetics. This mineral makeup opens up a world of makeup that is both natural and stylish. There are five main reasons to begin using mineral makeup immediately.
First of all, mineral makeup lets your skin breathe. Regular makeup can lead to ugly breakouts for a lot of women. This is because a woman’s skin can be very picky about what is put on it. Anything that is too heavy will block pores and potentially lead to pimple development. Mineral makeup is extremely light, which makes it a popular option among women with sensitive skin. This lightness also means that you can occasionally wear the makeup to bed without paying the price the following morning. However, it is not suggested that you wear the makeup to bed.
Mineral makeup feels better than regular makeup. Some makeup formulations can leave you feeling extremely oily. A lot of women who use mineral makeup are finding that the uncomfortable mask-like greasy feel of traditional makeup is not there. Without the mineral oils, talc, and other weighty ingredients that are found in traditional makeup products, mineral makeup is a lot more comfortable. If your complexion is oily to begin with, mineral-based products are especially helpful.
Thirdly, mineral makeup is better for your health. Although your skin is a great barrier to the outside world, it isn’t totally immune from impurities. You can and do absorb a good amount of stuff through your skin, including the chemical ingredients that are found in regular makeup such as alcohol, dyes, fragrances, and fillers. Mineral makeup is made up of mostly finely pulverized minerals and natural coloring agents. Zinc is a common ingredient, as it soothes red, inflamed skin, and provides protection against the sun’s UV rays.
Mineral makeup also helps you to avoid infections. This is a lesser known, but definitely appealing fact. Regular makeup can become a Petri dish for microorganisms such as bacteria, mold, and yeast. By nature, minerals are inorganic and therefore, are a lot less likely to breed these microorganisms. However, that assumes that you follow beauty hygiene basics like washing your hands before working on your face, using clean brushes, and maintaining a reasonably sanitary area to store your cosmetics.
Lastly, mineral makeup allows you to look your best. Most of you are probably thinking that it is nice that mineral makeup won’t ruin your skin, but will it really do what it’s suppose to do in the first place as a makeup. The answer is yes. Minerals refract light, which gives your face a glow while still making crow’s feet, fine lines, and wrinkles less noticeable. Many brands also supply a complete line of products, which include blush, bronzer, concealer, eye color, and foundation. This allows you to achieve a full range of skin effects. To use mineral makeup, it is best to apply it in very Sheer layers. To learn more about mineral makeup, contact your local health food store.
Safe Solutions for Chronic Pain
March 30, 2007 12:09 PM
Safe Solutions for Chronic Pain
One of the biggest challenged in healthcare today is the problem of pain. There are simply too many people living each and every day with ongoing, unremitting chronic pain. And there are far too many healthcare providers who – for a variety of reasons – are failing to adequately address this serious problem.
Recently, 368 doctors who routinely care for patients with chronic pain agreed to take part in a unique study. The doctors were surveyed about the pain medicines hey prescribe, what kind of treatment goals they hope to achieve, and how they felt about their ability to help their patients. They were also presented with four chronic pain vignettes or mock case studies and asked to select the best treatment for each scenario from multiple choice answers.
Sadly, many doctors chose the worst treatment options in the case studies. The medications they reported using in their practices did not reflect current pain treatment standards. They tended to set low treatment goals 0 instead of aiming for a least a 75% reduction of pain for their patients, they settled for 10% to 20% reductions. And many of the doctors admitted they lacked confidence in their ability to relieve their patients’ pain and suffering.
Adding to the challenge are the almost daily news announcements about dangerous side effects in certain pain medications. Synthetic prescription COX-2 inhibitors, once hailed as the safest of drugs, have been linked to heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and intestinal bleeding. The over-the counter (OTC) drugs aspirin and ibuprofen kill over 16,000 people each year. And acetaminophen, the most widely used pain reducer in the
As a doctor specializing in chronic pain disorders, I know that optimal pain management can be a real challenge. However, I also know:
-You do not have to live in chronic pain.
-Your chronic pain, no matter what the cause, can be reduced, and usually
-Chronic pain can be relived both effectively and safely with powerful all-natural
Q. What is chronic pain?
A. Sudden, or acute, pain occurs when pain signals immediately fire in your nervous system alerting you to an injury, like a broken ankle, or an illness, such as appendicitis. Once the injury heals or the illness is cured, the transmission of pain signals stop.
Ongoing – or chronic pain – is much different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial injury, such as sprained back muscles, or an initial illness, such as a serious infection. There might be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis, cancer, or fibromyalgia. Chronic pain also occurs without any past injury or evidence of body damage.
The most common kinds of chronic pain are headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, and neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to nerves or to the nervous system itself). While chronic pain differs in its origin and where it occurs, it is generally your body’s way of saying that something urgently needs attention, and will not o away unless its underlying causes are addressed.
These causes can usually be determined if you remember the acronym “SHIN”. This stands for Sleep, Hormonal deficiencies, Infections/Inflammation/Impingement, and Nutritional deficiencies. When these are treated, pain often resolves.
Q. Why is it so hard to effectively reduce chronic pain?
A. Unfortunately, many physicians’ entire education in pain management consists of “giving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (pronounced en-sayds), COX-2 inhibitors, or acetaminophen and considering narcotics if the patient has cancer.
Some NSAIDs, like aspirin and ibuprofen, are available over-the-counter, while others, like the synthetic COX-2 inhibitors are only available with a doctor’s prescription. These mediations are usually inadequate and often toxic when used for chronic pain. And they do not address the problem(s) that the pain is trying to alert you to.
Q. What exactly are COX-2 inhibitors?
A. COX-2 inhibitors do pretty much what their name implies – they inhibit a natural enzyme in our body called the clclooxygenase-2, or COX-2, enzyme. There are two COX enzymes – COX-1 and COX-2 and both complete several actions in our bodies. One very important action that both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes share is the speeding up of our body’s production of prostaglandins. These hormone-like substances are made by the cells of the body and have several important functions.
Some of the most powerful prostaglandins cause inflammation, pain, and fever when we are sick or injured. Prostaglandins also protect the lining of the stomach from the damaging effects of acid. Other prostaglandins make sure our platelets (important blood cells) make blood clots when needed. Still others help our kidneys get rid of unwanted salt and water. And researchers have just recently recognized the importance of still another prostaglandin that protects our heart and blood vessels.
The NSAIDs reduce pain by reducing prostaglandin production by blocking or inhibiting the COX enzymes. In theory – less prostaglandins, less pain and welling seems reasonable. But if you really stop and think about it, it’s pretty easy to understand why this method of pain relief might result in significant consequences.
Pain and inflammation are often needed for healing. And just as needed is the protection of our stomach lining, blood clotting ability, assisting kidney function, and keeping our blood vessels healthy. And scientists are beginning to understand if you interfere with one natural response, you may be disrupting the body’s ability to prevent extremes and imbalances.
That’s why using aspirin and ibuprofen can result in stomach ulcers, kidney problems, and internal bleeding. And that’s why using synthetic COX-2 inhibitors can result in high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.
Q. Why are we just now learning about the dangers of COX-2 inhibitors and other NSAIDs?
A. That’s a good question!
Many people over the age of 65 have chronic pain conditions and are frequent users of OTC and prescription NSAIDs. This age group also experiences heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease in greater numbers. So, if a 70 year old woman who’s been using Celebrex for the past two years for arthritis in her knees suddenly has a heart attack one morning, it would not be entirely unexpected.
For the past five or six years, researchers have been studying the possibility that NSAIDs may prevent certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and other health problems. The ongoing, close scrutiny of large group of people taking these medications by scientists who were conducting these studies has resulted in the discovery of these dangers.
Q. What kind of natural compounds relieve chronic pain?
A. There are many – glucosamine, Omega-3 fatty acids, the B vitamins – the list goes on and on. Instead of disrupting normal bodily responses, these natural compounds work in harmony with our body to eliminate chronic pain. Three very powerful and very effective all natural plant compound pain and inflammation relievers are Sweet Cherry, Boswellia serrata, and White Willow Bark.
For many years there have been anecdotal or personal reports that claimed eating Sweet Cherries, specifically Prunus avium, wipes out back pain, arthritis, and gout. While anecdotal reports generally don’t account for much in the world of science, he Sheer numbers of testimonials proclaiming the Sweet Cherry’s amazing ability to reduce pain made researchers sit up and take notice.
When Sweet Cherries were examined in the lab, it was easy for scientists to understand how this natural fruit is able to relieve pain. It seems Sweet Cherry’s bright red color is the key. Like many deeply colored fruits, Sweet Cherries are full of flavonoids called anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins.
These powerful plant compounds scavenge and destroy altered oxygen compounds called free radicals. Many degenerative, chronic diseases have been associated with the tissue damage caused by free radicals, including arthritis, heart disease, peripheral artery disease, and cancer. Cherry fruit extract is a natural anti-inflammatory compound, making it an excellent treatment for arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic pain and inflammation diseases.
A pain relieving plant compound that comes from the bark of a tree, Boswellia serrata has been used by Indian healers for hundreds of years to reduce painful inflammation. When 20th century researchers looked at extracts of Boswellia Gum Resin in the laboratory they discovered the presence of powerful plant compounds, called boswellic acids.
Researchers found Boswellic Acids reduce inflammation in several ways. They open constricted blood vessels, improving blood flow to joints. They balance levels of leukotrienes – specific chemicals in the body that cause inflammation. And Boswellic Acids block two inflammatory chemicals that increase in asthma and inflammation of the colon. In addition to being helpful in treating these 2 illnesses, Boswellia has also been clinically studied and found to be quite effective in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis without any evidence of ulcers or stomach irritation.
Another bark extract, White Willow Bark is one of the oldest and most effective pain relievers. For over 2,000 years extracts from the bark of the White Willow tree have been used to ease aches and pains and reduce fevers. It is the original source of aspirin, but when used as the entire plant medicine, White Willow Bark is much safer than aspirin and quite effective.
White Willow Bark’s active ingredient is salicin and the combination of other compounds in the bark significantly enhances its pain killing power. In two large clinical trials of patients with chronic low back pain. White Willow Bark was found to be not only safer and much more effective than standard prescription therapies, it was also 40 percent more cost effective.
Salicylic acid from White Willow Bark lowers the body’s levels of prostaglandins, easing both acute and chronic pain. White Willow Bark reduces the pain and swelling of arthritis, headache, back and neck pain, muscle aches, and menstrual cramps. But, unlike aspirin, it doesn’t cause stomach bleeding or other known adverse effects.
Q. Do Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White
A. They do indeed. Because they reduce both pain and inflammation by a broad combination of actions, these natural extracts have been proven to be excellent against arthritis, back pain, and pain from inflammatory intestinal diseases (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), and would be expected to be helpful in most kinds of pain.
Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark relieve inflammation without causing stomach irritation, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks, or strokes. That’s because these natural pain killers don’t disrupt the balance of enzymes or interfere with the body’s ability to prevent extremes and imbalances.
However, as with any pain therapy, Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark work best when they are used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to relieve the most common underlying causes of chronic pain or SHIN.
In addition, although these excellent natural remedies can often offer quick pain relief, natural remedies for severe chronic pains work best when they are given at maximum allowed doses and given 6 weeks to show their full effectiveness in combination with treating the pain’s underlying causes. The best chronic pain relief results when doctors and patients work together to meet the goals of treatment.
Some important last notes: Many causes of chronic pain are serious and life threatening. Everyone who is living with chronic pain must consult their doctor or other healthcare practitioner to determine the reason for their ongoing discomfort. In other words – make sure you know why you are having chronic pain and what’s causing the pain you want to relieve.
There are some types of chronic pain that only respond to opioids, or narcotic pain relievers. Morphine sulfate is an excellent pain medication and is used to relieve surgical pain, the pain of heart attacks, and pain from serious injuries. Morphine is also the very best drug for chronic cancer pain and non-malignant chronic pain. While many people fear opioids, these powerful pain killers can dramatically improve quality of life. If you are suffering with chronic cancer pain and you are hesitant to use morphine or another opioid, I urge you to discuss your concerns with your doctor other healthcare provider. No one with cancer should live with untreated or under-treated pain.
Even chronic pain can often be eliminated when SHIN is in combination with powerfully effective natural pain relievers. But, because some people may need to take pain relievers the rest of their lives, the medications they use must be safe as well as effective. The very safest come from natural plant compounds that have been studied for their ability to relieve chronic pain. You can become pain free and Sweet Cherries, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark can help.
July 15, 2005 09:16 AM
A recent study (August, 1996) exploring the effect of Hypericum perforatum on depression re vealed some fairly stunning results. The British Medical Jo u rn a l published the results of one major studies, which consisted of twenty - three randomized trials, including a total of 1757 outpatients with mainly mild or moderately seve re depressive disorders. Testing was conducted with single preparations and combinations of extracts of the plant, and with placebo and anther drug treatment. As just mentioned, the results were very promising. In all aspects of the study, Hypericum extracts were shown to be “significantly superior” to placebo and similarly effective as standard antidepressants. There were nearly twice the number, percentage-wise, of dropouts due to side effects from the standard drugs than those taking the Hypericum extracts. Side effects occurred in eighty-four patients using standard antidepressants, while only fifty patients taking the Hypericum extracts experienced side effects. And the scores on the Hamilton depression scale, which measures severity of one’s depression, showed those taking Hypericum treatments scored slightly higher than those taking the standard antidepressant and significantly higher than those taking the placebo. 9 This study provides some firm ground for St. John’s wort to stand on in the treatment of depression, both in Sheer numbers and its quality of treatment.
Another contemporary study, carried out in 1995 by Witte, et. al, showed the Linde study to be accurate in its findings. This particular study, carried out as a multicenter, placebo-controlled double-blind trial, used a highly concentrated Hypericum preparation to treat ninety-seven outpatients. The course of the illness was assessed with the Hamilton Depression Scale, the von Zerssen Depressivity Scale and the Clinical Global Impression Scale. The authors of the study noted this in their abstract:
Treatment resulted in an appreciable improvement in the symptoms of depression, and the seventy percent response rate (n=43) corresponded to that of chemical antidepressants. The preparation also showed an anxiolytic effect. The substance [hypericum] was extremely well tolerated, and no side effects were reported by any of the patients.10 Again, this study’s findings correlate that of the Linde and other studies in that treatment with Hypericum is at least as effective as standard synthetic antidepressants without producing near the number of side effects.
The Nursing Times also reported on recent findings dealing with Hypericum’s effect on depression. Stating that psychiatric medications are notorious for their undesirable side effects, and that the need for safer antidepressants is widely acknowledged, the blurb refers to a double-blind study, done by G. Harrer and H. Sommer (published in Phytomedicine, 1994 (1): 3-8), using St. John’s wort on 105 patients experiencing mild to moderate depression. They were aged twenty to sixty-four and had diagnoses of “neurotic depression or temporary depressive mood.” Patients were divided into two groups and monitored over four weeks, with one group receiving 300 mg of Hypericum extract three times daily and the other group receiving a placebo. All patients received psychiatric evaluations before the start of the study and after two and four weeks of treatment.11
The results of the study support the findings of other recent studies dealing with Hypericum and depression: 67 percent of the Hypericum group had responded positively to the treatment without any adverse side effects, whereas only 28 percent of the placebo group displayed any improvement. Harrer and Sommer state that the patients treated were experiencing strictly mild forms of depression; combining this with the study’s results and the results of other studies suggest that Hypericum treatment can be a very effective treatment for mild to moderate depression without severe side effects. The authors themselves even recommended that Hypericum should be considered as a remedy of choice. 12
These and other studies point to the strong possibility of using St. John’s wort, and specifically hypericin, on a wide scale to treat various forms of depression. Linde’s study suggests that St. John’s wort may have its most valuable asset in that of few or no side effects, something many sufferers of depression are very concerned about. The authors do note, however, that more research is necessary, especially in determining the severity and nature of depression, length of treatment, treatment dosage, preparation of Hypericum extracts, and occurrence of long-term side effects. Nevertheless, the results of this study and others are extremely promising for the millions of those who suffer from depression.
June 10, 2005 04:14 PM
Clean Living by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, December 3, 2003
Just as you wouldn't clean a closet by merely closing the closet door, you can't clean your body by closing your eyes to the toxins that assault our bodies every day. The modern world is filled with natural and manmade chemicals that can accumulate within and cause long-term health problems. So, in between bouts of housecleaning, an internal cleansing can keep your bodily systems feeling as clean as your sparkling household.
While modern life would be impossible without the chemicals that go into the gadgets and machines on which society thrives, these materials have a dark side: Each day we are exposed to hundreds of substances that have infiltrated our food, water and air. They lurk in our cleaning products, fabrics, personal care products, automobiles and even the building materials in our homes and offices.
"While our [bodies have] systems of detoxification to deal with and eliminate chemicals to which we are exposed, the Sheer volume of these chemicals can overwhelm these detoxification mechanisms, causing these non-lifegiving substances to stay in our bodies where they can damage our health," says Steven Horne, AHG, herbalist and natural health consultant in St. George, Utah.
Added to this chemical mix, indulgences in alcoholic drinks, cigarette smoke, caffeine and over-the-counter drugs can further challenge your body's cleansing systems.
Water, Water Everywhere and How Your Health Can Shrink
Substances in the beverages you consume every day may contribute to the collection of toxins in your body.
A growing water problem, for instance, flows from the medications excreted into sewer systems and groundwater.
These drugs have already affected the environment: Estrogen from contraceptives have contaminated lakes and rivers, and caused deformities in fish while impairing the fertility of water animals and the birds who feed upon them. A study released by scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that the fertility rate of adult male fish exposed to synthetic estrogen from contraceptive pills dropped by 50% (Envir Tox & Chem 6/03). Scientists believe these defective animals are like the proverbial canaries in coal mines, reflecting health problems that may also be harming human health in ways we don't yet understand.
And clean machines can cause unclean bodies: When scientists from Queen's University (Drug Metab Dispos 2003; 31:306) examined the seminal fluid of infertile men, they found extra amounts of the chemical trichloroethylene (TCE), a degreasing agent used in the automotive and metal industries. TCE is also found in adhesives, lubricants, paints, varnishes, paint strippers, pesticides, spot removers and rug cleaning fluids, and it has entered the drinking water in many places.
Detox for Metabolic Balance
"Detoxification is the missing link in Western nutrition and an important but unexplored medical therapy," says Elson M. Haas, MD, author of The Detox Diet (Celestial Arts). Dr. Haas believes that when the body accumulates wastes that are not properly eliminated, disease often results: "The key to maintaining metabolic balance is to maximize nutrition and eliminate toxins." Dr. Haas has seen improvement in cholesterol levels, blood pressure readings and pain levels after his patients have detoxed.
When your body accumulates toxins, cells can stagnate and suffocate. To offset these problems, the body uses its built-in system of detoxification to remove toxins and cellular waste products.
In protecting itself against toxins, the body can quickly eliminate water-soluble compounds before they cause harm, excreting them in the stool, sweat and urine. Fat-soluble compounds, which make up most of the chemical toxins we are exposed to every day, are not so easily dealt with. The body uses enzymes in the intestines and liver to chemically break down these toxins and convert them into a form that can be pushed out of the body.
Your body inherits its ability to cope with toxins. But you can help the body in its detox tasks by providing nutrients that aid cleansing.
Colorful Eating Boosts Detox
Many experts believe that alkaline foods (fruits and vegetables) help the body detoxify, while meats and acidic processed foods slow the process.
"The right balance of acid and alkaline foods for each of us is, of course, the key," notes Dr. Haas. Animal products, sugar, white flour, and alcoholic beverages are thought to leave acid residues in the body.
"Brightly colored foods contain powerful antioxidants that help the liver with the detoxification process," says Brenda Watson, CT, in her book Renew Your Life (Renew Life Press). "...[raw] fruits and vegetables...contain enzymes... [that are] destroyed by cooking."
These enzymes can help the body detoxify and eliminate undesirable substances. However, Watson cautions, "If the digestive system is weak...too much raw food [can] cause upset, so raw foods should be added to the diet at a pace the body can tolerate. Taking digestive plant enzymes with meals can also aid digestion."
While those foods in a normal diet can help control toxins, if you have moved toward "toxic overload," or if you want to eliminate candida-a yeast that can cause health problems-Watson recommends a detox diet:
Foods that are allowed include:
When preparing dishes in this diet, use plenty of garlic and green foods. "Other anti-candida agents which may be used liberally include ginger, cinnamon, thyme and rosemary."
According to Watson, following this diet is a first step toward detoxing. If you experience serious difficulties linked to environmental toxins, consult a health practitioner.
In a world filled with chemicals whose effects are unknown, attention must be paid to the toxins around us. As our machines grow more complex and widespread, our health difficulties linked to these mechanisms may also grow.