Search Term: " Vaginal "
Study confirms the effectiveness of fennel for reducingpostmenopausal symptoms
March 08, 2019 01:43 PM
A study involving 79 Iranian women ranging in the ages of 45-60 were given 100 milligrams of fennel inside soft capsules over an eight-week time span. The findings showed that the women who had previously faces menopausal symptoms found that their symptoms minimized when they were actively taking the fennel each day. These results are surprising, as researchers were only partially aware of the impact fennel had on post-menopausal women, due to data mostly focusing on how it treats digestive issues.
"According to the press release of the NAMS study, fennel is also an effective remedy that can also be used to manage postmenopause symptoms that include anxiety, hot flashes, sleeplessness, and vaginal dryness without any serious side effects."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-22-fennel-reduces-postmenopausal-symptoms.html
Here's Why Probiotics For Women Are So Important
October 10, 2018 03:27 PM
Probiotics are extremely important for health, especially the health of women. They promote gut health by increasing the bacteria in your digestive tract. Chronic stress can hurt your microbiota, so probiotics are a way to combat this problem. Probiotic supplements may also help with mental health issues including depression and anxiety. They can also help with urogenital infections including UTIs and yeast infections. If you are considering probiotic supplements, it is recommended to eat a diet including things such as kimchi or kefir instead of taking pills.
"And for women in particular, keeping this balance of bacteria happy is also important in vaginal health, managing digestion issues that tend to affect women more often than men, and more."
Read more: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/probiotics-for-women?mbg_p=home&mbg_ref=featured
7 Reasons Probiotics Should Be Part of Your Diet
July 14, 2017 04:14 PM
There are seven reasons why probiotics should be a crucial part of your overall diet. Probiotics are especially beneficial to women. Probiotics are living microorganisms and they are similar to the living microorganisms found in the human gut. These are very useful bacteria in that they help us digest our food. They also help to digest food and destroy bad microorganisms that might cause disease in people. When the good and bad bacteria is balanced, then we are healthy.
"Recent research shows that, whether applied topically or taken orally, probiotics might also help with with acne, rosacea, and eczema too."
Read more: http://www.womansday.com/health-fitness/nutrition/g3096/probiotics-for-women/
Fennel Reduces Postmenopause Symptoms
July 07, 2017 04:14 PM
Fennel apparently reduces Postmenopausal symptoms. A very recent study has confirmed that fennel helps to make postmenopausal symptoms a lot better. If you cannot sleep and you have hot flashes and anxiety, then fennel will help you out a great deal. Fennel is actually an herb that people use in their cooking. It has an anise flavor that a lot of people enjoy. It offers an array of benefits for women and it can assist with digestive problems too.
"Study confirms the benefits of fennel in reducing postmenopause symptoms such as sleeplessness, hot flashses, vaginal dryness, and anxiety."
Read more: https://www.worldhealth.net/news/fennel-reduce-postmenopause-symptoms-benefits/
Healing Salad - Cure For Vaginal Infections and Candida!
May 27, 2017 05:14 AM
Any woman who has ever had a Vaginal infection knows how uncomfortable it is. It can come with itching, burning and an unpleasant discharge and odor. You obviously want this gone as soon as possible. This gives you a great home remedy which can double as a salad. If you can't get to the doctor you could try this first. You might also just want to avoid meds. Some use home remedies for that reason.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7_aLCUyVEk&rel=0
"Consume this salad as often as possible, there is no quantity limit, and every bite is a real gift for the organism."
Kick Out Candida Naturally
November 13, 2016 05:09 PM
All of us have a good amount of yeast in our systems, but when there is an overgrowth of it in the body, it can cause lots of trouble for men and women and can even lead to serious medical conditions if left unchecked for too long. Use of concentrated plant oils like Thyme, Eucalyptus and Clove can really help get our yeast counts back under control.
"When you hear about a yeast infection, the first thought might be that it is a woman’s problem, usually causing Vaginal itching and discomfort."
Black Cohosh : Herbal Remedy For Menopause
Black Cohosh is a herb native to Eastern North America which has been popular in relieving the symptoms of menopause. The root of the herb has proven to be a effective remedy for menstrual cramps,Vaginal dryness, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and period pains. Studies have shown it to be effcetive against menopause symptoms like irritability, mood wings and sleep deprivations.
Black Cohosh has been considered an effective safe alternative for estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) for someone who don't want to take prescription estrogen.
The anti inflammatory property has also made it a popular against inflammation caused by arthritis and neuralgia. Dosage should be taken properly or it may cause side effects like upset stomach.
Note: Black cohosh contains property similar to that of estrogen and since effect of estrogen varies according to person and age, hence its results may vary person to person.
If you are looking for PMS and menopausal relief, look no further, give black cohosh a try!
What Causes Candida?
A yeast infection is brought about due to yeast overgrowth. Candidiasis is the most common kind of yeast infection. Usually, there are more than twenty species of candida with the most common or popular being Candida albicans. Under suitable conditions, particularly in moist and warm areas these fungi become numerous and cause infections. Some of these infections like Vaginal yeast infections.
What causes candida?
Unhealthy feeding habits leads to candida overgrowth. Consumption of foods high in sugar contents raises the risk of developing candida. Some of these common foods include juice, honey, ice cream, maple syrup, soda and chocolates among others.
These class of drugs upsets the inner bowel ecology and affects body immune system since they are unnatural, artificial and man-made. Usually, antibiotics are designed for short time use. Using antibiotics for longer periods leads to accumulation of their negative side effects that bring about life threatening diseases including candida.
Stress affects the bowel movement and body immune system resulting in candida overgrowth. Mental stress and emotional nervousness cause nausea, chronic fatigue, diarrhea, ulcers, high blood pressure and many related health problems.
Excessive alcohol consumption kills off friendly bacteria which increases liver toxicity and promotes candida overgrowth dysbiosis. Usually, alcohol is a by-product of yeast escalating the possible hazard.
For instance, mercury weakens body immune system causing candida among other health problems. Silver amalgam fillings comprises more than 50% mercury which is continuously released in vapor and particle form during grinding, chewing and brushing teeth.
Diabetes, especially among women, causes a yeast infection. An increased blood sugar level nourishes the candida yeast, boosting its growth and dominance of the other microorganisms in the gut.
Conditions that weaken the body immune system like cancer, aids, hepatitis, herpes and others causes fungal infections. According to scientific research, most individuals suffering from serious illness are victims of Candida Albicans/ yeast infections.
Why Should We Take A Multi-Strain Probiotic?
Most people taking a probiotic supplement or drink do so for the purpose of supporting digestive health. Probiotics increase the colonization of beneficial bacteria in the intestines and limit the proliferation of pathogenic or disease-causing bacteria. A healthy intestinal microflora is believed to not only enhance digestion, but also promote general health and boost immunity.
Probiotics Offer More than Digestive Health Support
Probiotics offer medical advantages that go past the extent of supporting digestive wellbeing. Recent studies demonstrate that particular strains of probiotics may be utilized to treat particular conditions. Here's a rundown of advantages of taking probiotics supplement or drink:
Blend of Probiotics with Other Ingredients
Products that contain probiotics and a blend of different fixings are picking up prevalence since they offer more extensive advantages for wellbeing.
The symbiotic blend of probiotics with prebiotics multiplies the development of solid microflora. Prebiotics are insoluble fiber, for example, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin, which achieve the colon in a genuinely undigested state. It is in the colon that probiotics feast upon prebiotics through a maturation prepare that happens in the colon. Amid this procedure, by-items called transient unsaturated fats (SFA) are delivered. SFAs help to keep up fundamental elements of the body and produce certain B vitamins.
Probiotics can be consolidated with proteins that help separate sustenance substances into easier structures to improve supplement absorption.
Consolidating probiotics with a multi-vitamin is famous yet stances challenges in assembling because of the touchy way of probiotics. Probiotics are delicate to light, dampness, heat, oxygen.
How Probiotics Manufacturers Can Provide Retailers with Reliable Probiotics Supplements
The greatest test that probiotics producers face is keeping the microorganisms alive amid the mixing procedure while guaranteeing strength amid timeframe of realistic usability. At the point when joined with different fixings that are similarly touchy, for example, proteins, compelling consideration ought to be taken to guarantee that the assembling and bundling procedure happen in a dry situation. Any dampness may initiate the proteins and wreck the probiotics.
Microencapsulation is a genuinely late innovation that guarantees the survival of probiotics amid surrounding so as to assemble and stockpiling it with an external covering. Microencapsulating shields probiotics from ecological defilement and forestalls unplanned blending of probiotics with different fixings in the recipe that may bargain its solidness.
Guaranteeing the Right Strain and Count
The wellbeing presenting advantages of probiotics are strain-particular. Diverse strains have particular capacities in the body and not all strains are valuable to wellbeing. Probiotic formulators must be knowledgeable in probiotic strains and the utilization of proper strains for the sought condition-particular capacities. Slight variety in the hereditary profile of strains could create undesirable results.
BENEFITS OF RASPBERRY LEAVES TO WOMEN.
July 09, 2014 02:46 PM
Benefits of raspberry leaves to women
Progesterone cream can Help Wtih PMS And Menopause
March 13, 2014 04:35 PM
PMS on women
Imbalance of hormone is one of the most common problems among many women. These problems can include, increasing of weight, headache, sickness, emotional imbalance and so many other health issues. Because of this hormonal imbalance many of these women go to various health centers for this. However, if they have the problems of menopause or PMS issue due to hormonal imbalance, then progesterone cream can also help women’s greatly in these kind of situations.
Since, progesterone hormone is also known as the regulator of all the hormones, so progesterone cream can help in regulation of all hormones in body. This hormone not only balances the estrogen in a woman’s body, but it also regulates other hormones as well that are essential for proper functioning of the body. These addition hormones include thyroid and estrogen that help you regulate various function of your body along with your mood swing, headache, breast soreness, water retention, weight gain and much more.
Bergamot Oil: Uses and Health Benefits
February 13, 2014 05:55 AM
What is bergamot
Bergamot citrus or the bergamot orange is the fruit from which bergamot oil is derived. Taken from the peel of the fruit, the oil is pressed out of the rind through cold compression. The citrus originally came from tropical Asia but is now grown in Europe, mainly the southern part of Italy, but also in Morocco and the Ivory Coast. It takes name from an Italian city in Lombardy called Bergamot.
This oil has a long history of use as a food flavoring and perfume fragrance, but it also has several other less commonly known uses due to its therapeutic properties. The oil has been utilized as an analgesic, a stimulant, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibiotic, disinfectant, and as a circulatory and digestive aid.
By stimulating the production of hormones, bergamot oil deadens the nerves to pain. It is very effective for headaches, muscle pain and other pain ailments. Use of the oil can lower the need for over-the-counter (OTC) medications, therefore reducing a person's chance of liver damage or gastric upset caused by many OTC pain relievers. The oil also known to lower the body temperature, making it an excellent anti-febrile agent.
Produce both soothing and stimulating effects in the body, bergamot oil has been used as an anti-depressant and a metabolic stimulant. Components of the oil calm the nerves by increasing blood flow thereby creating pleasant feelings. By inducing secretion of certain hormones, bergamot oil helps the body to maintain a proper metabolic rate. It is also used in aromatherapy, specifically to calm anxiety during radiation treatments.
A natural antibacterial and anti-fungal agent, bergamot oil has long been used in the treatment of infections, including certain skin conditions such as acne and mycosis fungoides, a fungal infection that causes tumors on the skin. It has also been used to treat unitary tract, colon, respiratory and kidney infections as well as Vaginal yeast infections cause by Candida albicans. Its antibiotic and disinfectant properties make this oil a perfect antiseptic for treating wounds, rashes and other topical conditions which could result in a nasty infection.
Using the oil will assist in the secretion of digestive enzymes and acid, therefore aiding in digestion and reducing gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, gas and bloating
By inhibiting the enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase, bergamot oil helps reduce the amount of "bad" cholesterol, LDL in the body and also dilates the blood vessels which assists in lowering blood pressure.
Health Benefits of Vitex
December 20, 2013 09:04 AM
Health Benefits of Vitex
Taken from a mediterrenian tree, vitex has numerous health benefits in human life especially to women. Taken as alternative medicine, the herb can affect human body in various ways leading to diverse health benefits.
These benefits include;
Health Benefits of Pure Organic Unrefined Sesame Oil
December 22, 2012 10:51 AM
Pure organic unrefined sesame oil also known as til oil has got very many health benefits. This product is considered to be very effective in lowering the level of blood pressure and it is used for hair and skin care. If you want to be conversant with more health benefits that this product normally carries, then this write up is for you.
Sesame oil is a product that contains very many nutrients that promote good health. The two of its most essential nutrients are polyunsaturated fats and vitamin E let us now have a look at some of the benefits you are likely to leap from using this product.
Health Benefits of Pure Organic Unrefined Sesame Oil
Last but not the least; it is my sincere hope that you will make use of sesame oil in order to experience its effectiveness. Thank you.
Benefits of wild yam to women
December 21, 2012 11:17 AM
Wild yam which is also known as Dioscorea villosa has been used for a very long time to help women deal with various health issues especially those associated with menstrual cycles. There are various forms in which this herb can be taken for example capsules and creams. Wild yam is so popular among women due to the progesterone properties that it carries. This herb contains an ingredient diosgenin which is converted in the body to produce progesterone.
Progesterone plays a very crucial role in a woman's body. Some of the roles include;
This hormone is known to produce mucus which protects the Vaginal area from infections. When there are higher levels of progesterone in the blood, women will experience a spike in their libido. Supplementing with progesterone is mostly beneficial after menopause when most women experience reduced intimate desires. Progesterone plays a major role during menstruation. It prepares the endothelium for fertilization. If fertilization does not happen, the levels of progesterone will fall down resulting in menstrual periods.
Wild yam can help easy PMS
Women who experience painful cramps after menstruation could really benefit from progesterone supplements. With its antispasmotic properties, the progesterone may help to relax the muscles hence reducing the amount of pain experienced. Progesterone may also help to ease labor pains.
Wild Yam Is A Natural Progesterone
Women who are undergoing menopause may also want to use wild yam. This herb helps to restore hormonal balance thus ensuring that a woman does not face the usual hot flashes and sweating at night. Having hormonal imbalances could really deny you the comfort in life. Hormones such as progesterone which are very crucial for a woman's body processes should always be checked. Progesterone supplements are most appropriate when you are experiencing progesterone deficit. Wild yam supplement comes in the form of capsules or creams. If it comes combined with other ingredients, ensure that all the ingredients are safe for your body.
Acidophilus: The magic substance
November 21, 2012 04:43 PM
Goat's milk can be considered as the king of lactic drinks. The acidophilus in goat's milk is a magic substance which has umpteen numbers of nutritional values. This naturally occurring probiotc is also available in capsule and powdered form. Acidophilic milk is basically a drinkable yogurt and is widely used a health supplement for various conditions. The health benefits of acidophilus ranges from digestive benefits to Vaginal cleansing.
Health benefits of acidophilus: Acidophilus intake will help you in many ways.
The prominent health benefits are:
1) Digestive well being:
Our digestive tract is filled with both good and bad bacteria. Acidophilus intake will increase the count of good bacteria in the intestinal tract. It will also hinder the growth of antagonistic bacteria like E Coli and Staphylococcus which are the major culprits behind diarrhea and food poisoning.
2) Vaginal well being:
This is another health benefit you can attain by acidophilus intake. Acidophilus prevents the growth of antagonistic bacteria in the vagina and the cervix. This will prevent the occurrence of bacterial vaginosis and other Vaginal infections. Acidophilus intake also cleanses the lining of vagina and cervix, and the walls will remain free from pathogenic germs.
3) Nutritional Value:
Milk products containing acidophilus gives you awesome nutritional benefits. Acidophilus is rich in Vitamin K and lactase, and it improves the overall immunity of your body. Regular acidophilus intake will prevent bacterial attacks and infections.
4) Respiratory benefits:
Some recent studies proved that acidophilus can act as an allergic buster. Regular intake of acidophilus reduces the risk of an asthma attack. Certain experts believes that acidophilus reduces the chance of an allergic trigger. Acidophilus is a magic substance which plays a vital role in your overall well being. You can obtain acidophilus from fermented milk products (goat's milk) and from other supplements. 'Take acidophilus regularly and lead a healthy life'.
Why Is DDS Acidophilus A Better Form Of Friendly Bacteria?
April 03, 2012 10:34 PM
Every day, there is constant battle going on between the healthy bacteria who try to create a healthy environment in the digestive tract and the bad bacteria who try to establish dominance. Along with healthy, beneficial bacteria, your gastro-intestinal tract is susceptible to many harmful bacteria that can enter the body through food and water. And if these bad bacteria keep on multiplying unchecked, they create a bacterial imbalance that can affect your digestive health and lead to problems such as bloating, gas pain, constipation, belching or diarrhea. These harmful bacteria cannot be completely eliminated from the digestive system, but healthy bacteria can be added to the environment of your digestive tract that can counteract the action of bad bacteria. These healthy bacteria also known as probiotics give relief from many types of digestive discomfort, defend your GI tract from free radicals and thus support your immune system function.
Many Bacterial Strains
There are many strains of healthy bacteria such as lactobacillus DDS, lactobacillus fermentum, Bifidobacteria bifidum etc. which boost your digestive health. DDS Acdiophilus is by far the most popular strain commonly used due to its multiple benefits in promoting the digestive health. Researched by Metchnikoff and Dr. Shahani's, L. acidophilus DDS is grown and produced under specific conditions and has properties of great significance for digestion and nutrition as well as other physiological conditions like health and prophylaxis. Till now, this strain is well studied to find its beneficial role in achieving optimal digestive health. It works as a prophylactic, nutrient and antibiotic.
Beneficial Properties Of DDS
The beneficial properties of DDS acidophilus, based on proper research and documentation are:
1. Lactobacillus DDS helps in production of enzymes such as proteases and lipases which help in digestion of proteins and fats.
2. It helps in production vitamin B (and folic acid), which plays the role of biocatalyst in digestion of food.
3. DDS acidophilus produces natural antibiotics such as acidophilin that protect digestive gut from harmful bacteria.
4. It helps in maintaining the integrity of intestinal walls so that maximum absorption of nutrients can occur.
5. It aids digestion and helps you prevent digestion related problems. Lacyobacillus DDS inhibits the growth of toxic producing microorganism in the body, such as yeast and hence inhibits recurrent yeast infections.
6. L. acidophilus DDS helps in alleviating the symptoms of lactose
7. Intolerance by producing large quantities of lactase enzyme, which help in digestion of milk based products.
8. Studies have shown that DDS acidophilus contain antitumor and anti-carcinogenic properties.
9. Due to their antibiotic properties, lactobacillus inhibits several gastrointestinal and uropathogens, thereby preventing many urinary, digestive and Vaginal infections.
It helps in metabolism of calcium and reduction of serum cholesterol levels. Hence lactobacillus supplementation helps in preventing as well as curing osteoporosis.
The benefits of DDS acidophilus are not only limited to digestive system but this exceptionally powerful strain of probiotic bacteria helps in supporting your immune system, energy levels and overall well-being. Lactobacillus is widely researched than any other strain of healthy bacteria that promote optimal digestion.
DDS acidophilus strain is available in supplement form that can be taken to enhance digestive health.
Omega-3 Oil- Learn Why it is So Important for Your Health
February 13, 2012 09:24 PM
Omega-3 fatty acids are good polyunsaturated fats that are so essential for maintaining excellent health and for our well-being, but unfortunately 8 out of 10 people do not get enough!
There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, DHA, and ALA. You can get ALA from walnuts and canola oil whereas other two are there in oily fish. Of these three, the best ones are only available from the oily fish. In case of ALA, you would need tons of it to get any desired benefits. Another thing to know about them is that they are essential fats that are not produced within the body, so they have to come from outside source.
Lets have a close look at various health benefits of Omega-3 fish oil for you and your family:
1. Cancer prevention-Many studies have revealed that adequate intake of Omega-3 can reduce instances of colon, testicular, ovarian and breast cancer.
2. About thirty percent of brain is actually DHA fat, and when Omega-3 is consumed on regular basis, one can see amazing improvement in concentration and memory.
3 Reverse Heart Disease-Omega-3 helps in reducing instances of plaque build up in arteries. People usually suffer strokes due to atherosclerosis (plaque build up), which get clogged over a period of time in the same way as drains get clogged due to their regular usage.
4. Boosts Immune System- The immune system of body is controlled by essential fatty acids in the regulatory system. Any shortage of Omega-3 fatty acids can lead to the breakdown of immune system. You can reduce various immune disorders by bringing about a balance in the intake of Omega-6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.
5. Fights Various Degenerative Diseases-In degenerative diseases, the structure or function of affected tissues deteriorate over a period of time. You can reduce this process by increasing the consumption of Omega-3 fish oil supplements. They are very beneficial for older people.
6. Increases Fertility-The main reason for infertility in females is the thickening of cervical mucus that impedes the movement of sperms. Aside from that, many Vaginal secretions also act as spermicides. In both these cases, deficiency of fatty acids contributes to the problem.
Even in males, healthy reproductive and sexual functioning of sex glands is possible only with good concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids in sex glands.
7. Promotes Healthy Skin-Omega-3 fatty acids are important for your skin health. Each skin cell is wrapped up in membrane that consists of substances derived from Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Where to get omega-3
You can get Omega-3 from fish oils. You will have to take at lest two servings of fatty fish for required quantities of Omega 3 fish oil. With issues such as toxin and mercury contamination in fish, Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are better alternatives.
Why omega-3 fish oil supplements?
The best Omega-3 fish oil pills contain purified and concentrated oil without any risk of toxin or mercury contamination.
Many reputable manufacturers now provide fish oil capsules with high concentration of EPA and DHA fatty acids with low levels of mercury. You should definitely include Omega-3 fish oil caps in your daily diet to get all the health benefits that your body deserves.
What Is The Effect Antibiotics Have On Babies And How Does Acidophilus Help?
October 11, 2011 12:21 PM
Normally, the human body has its own collection of microorganisms which help protect the body from harm microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and the like. The “friendly” or “good” bacteria in the body may be situated on the skin, mucous membranes, digestive tract, reproductive tract and other parts of the body which need a normal flora of good bacteria for protection and enzyme production.
However, these normal floras of microorganisms may become depleted under certain condition such as extreme exposure to stress, poor diet and antibiotic therapy. When babies are infected with harmful microorganisms, antibiotics may be of great help to destroy the invading microorganisms. However, when a person is under antibiotic therapy, it is not only the bad bacteria that are killed but also the good bacteria naturally inhabiting in the human body. The normal floras of the intestines, mouth, and Vaginal tract and even on the skin are destroyed as well.
The intention of antibiotic therapy is good. However, it is inevitable that the good microorganisms which are normally residing in the body will be destroyed as well. Among babies, when antibiotics are given and the good bacteria of the body are destroyed, the body has an increased susceptibility to allow the overgrowth of yeast which can lead the baby to suffer from diarrhea and anal or oral thrushes.
Indeed, the normal flora of microorganism may be depleted due to antibiotic therapy. Good thing is that there are available supplements formulated to increase the population of these good bacteria inside the body. These are called probiotics. One most common and useful probiotic is Lactobacillus acidophilus. This is a good strain of bacteria which helps in improving intestinal health by enhancing the growth of intestinal flora. Babies are usually given with Lactobacillus acidophilus supplement to help the baby’s body repopulate the normal flora of good microorganisms, thus helping in the prevention of yeast overgrowth and infections.
Lactobacillus acidophilus can be acquired from fermented products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and kefir. And with its great benefit to human health, Lactobacillus acidophilus is now made available in the form of supplements. You can purchase Lactobacillus acidophilus supplements in powder form for infants. The powder may be applied on the nipples of breastfeeding mothers before every nursing session. The baby will then consume the Lactobacillus acidophilus together with the breast milk. For working mothers who just leave breast milk at home or use formula milk for feeding, Lactobacillus acidophilus may be mixed with the expressed breast milk or formula milk making the probiotic available for the baby. Usually, one teaspoon of Lactobacillus acidophilus powder is mixed into an 8 ounce of milk. For babies who can already eat solid foods, they may consume unflavored and unsweetened yogurt which is rich in live and active Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Doctors and many health experts highly recommend that it is practical to administer antibiotic medications one to two hours before giving the baby probiotic food or supplements. This is to avoid killing of the probiotics given and allowing the body to get the maximum benefit of the probiotic.
The Benefits of GLA to Women
June 15, 2011 11:10 AM
GLA, otherwise known as gamma linolenic acid or Omega-6 fatty acid, has been found to benefit women's health in a number of ways. For example, supplements of GLA have been found to reduce many symptoms of PMS, such as irritability, depression and breast pain. The reason for this may be due to the fact that at this time the metabolism of women is less able to convert dietary linoleic acid to GLA, the normal biochemical pathway for its production.
GLA is also of benefit to menopausal women, for whom it has been found to reduce the number of night flushes. GLA also helps to maintain fetal development in terms of new tissue grown and organ development, and in fact fetus development involves fairly high essential fatty acid consumption. Many women take one or two capsules of evening primrose oil intraVaginally to soften the cervix in preparation for childbirth.
However, a small number of sources state that taking GLA in the latter stages of pregnancy should be avoided, so you should seek the advice of your doctor or physician on this question.
Essential fatty acids are essential for proper hormone production in women and men.
Make sure you are getting enough essential fatty acids daily!
Red Clover Blossom
August 29, 2009 01:51 PM
Red clover is also commonly referred to as wild clover, purple clover, meadow clover, honeysuckle clover, or cow grass. This herb is a member of the pea family. It is commonly found in pastures, lawns, along roadsides, and in meadows. Many consider this herb to be a nuisance and, thus, they try to eliminate it from their lawns. However, this is not easily accomplished due to red clover’s hearty nature.
The use of red clover most likely originated in Europe. There, it was used as an expectorant and a diuretic. Additionally, it was burned as incense to invoke the spirits of the deceased. Some people even wore the leaves of red clover as charms against evil. The red clover was revered by early Christians because they associated its three leaves with the Trinity. The flowers of this plant were dried by the ancient Chinese and then put in pillows to help relax both the body and mind. The Native Americans used red clover as an infusion gargle for sore throats, whooping cough, and asthma. Additionally, they used it on children because it was a milder, safer way to fight debilitating childhood diseases.
This herb has been used for treating cancer, bronchitis, nervous conditions, spasms, and toxins in the body. It is considered by herbalists to be a blood cleanser. Herbalists also recommend this mild herb in formulas when using a cleansing program. Red clover is often mixed with honey and water to make a cough syrup and act as an expectorant. The herb is a mild sedative and is useful for spasmodic conditions, bronchitis, wheezing, and fatigue. Because red clover is mild, it can often be used by children.
Research has determined that red clover contains some antibiotic properties that are beneficial in fighting several kinds of bacteria. Among these types of bacteria is the one that causes tuberculosis. Additionally, red clover has a long history of use in treating cancer. Scientists at the National Cancer Institute have uncovered some anticancer activity in red clover, including daidzein and genistein activity. Even though the findings are preliminary and the use of red clover as a cancer treatment has not yet been validated, research is continuing to show promising results.
Externally, red clover has been used to treat skin problems such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, and even Vaginal irritation. It can also be applied topically to burns, boils, sores, and ulcers. Red clover has also been documented for use in treating AIDS, syphilis, and leprosy. This herb can be applied externally to help soothe lymphatic swelling and as an eyewash.
In short, the flowers of red clover are used to provide alterative, antibiotic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, nutritive, sedative, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in red clover are calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, nickel, selenium, sodium, tin, and vitamins A, C, B-complex, F, and P. Primarily, red clover is extremely beneficial in dealing with acne, AIDS/HIV, athlete’s foot, blood impurities, bronchitis, cancer, eczema, leukemia, liver disorders, nervous disorders, psoriasis, skin disorders, spasms, and the effects of toxins.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating arthritis, asthma, boils, burns, childhood diseases, colds, constipation, coughs, muscle cramps, fatigue, flu, gallbladder, gastric disorders, indigestion, leprosy, lymphatic irritations, rheumatism, sores, syphilis, sore throat, tuberculosis, ulcers, urinary infections, Vaginal irritations, whooping cough, and wounds.
For more information on red clover, look for this wonderful herb at your local heath food store. Remember to always look for name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Slippery Elm Bark
July 23, 2009 10:35 AM
The slippery elm plant can be found natively growing in eastern North America. It is similar to the American elm in general appearance, but it is more closely related to European Wych Elm. Other common names for this plant are Red Elm, Gray Elm, Soft Elm, Moose Elm, and Indian Elm.
The Greek physician Dioscorides used slippery elm in ancient times to help speed up the healing of broken bones. A seventeenth-century herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, also recommended this herb for healing broken bones, balding, and burns. This herb was known as a survival food by Native Americans and early colonists. These people considered this herb to be extremely valuable. They used the inner bark of slippery elm as a salve and applied externally for burns and wounds. Slippery elm bark was also used for colds, coughs, sore throats, wounds, as a poultice to bring boils to a head, and also for bowel complaints. This herb was considered to be one of the most valuable remedies in herbal practice by Dr. Edward Shook.
This herb contains about the same amount of nutrition as oatmeal. It is responsible for providing a wholesome and sustaining food for those people for young children and invalids. Slippery elm is mainly used to treat gastrointestinal problems. Like stomach and intestinal ulcers, soothing the stomach and colon, indigestion, acidity, and to lubricate the bowels. The mucilage content that is found in this herb is believed to help in healing ulcers and ulcerated colons. The herb has also been used for asthma, bronchitis, colitis, colon problems, and all lung problems. Slippery elm is also a mild purgative, which helps to assist with elimination.
Research done on slippery elm has found that it is an excellent demulcent. It is also beneficial for diarrhea, coughs, stomach problems, colitis, and lung problems. The bark of slippery elm contains mucilage which is responsible for swelling in water. This swelled mixture can then be applied to wounds or taken internally to soothe and heal. Some lozenges for throat irritations have powdered bark included in them to help soothe the throat and promote healing.
In short, the inner bark of the slippery elm plant is used to provide antacid, antineoplastic, astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, mucilant, and nutritive properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, copper, iodine, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, vitamins A, F, K, and P, and zinc. Primarily, slippery elm is extremely beneficial in treating abscesses, asthma, bronchitis, burns, colitis, colon problems, constipation, coughs, diaper rash, diarrhea, gastric disorders, and lung problems.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with appendicitis, bladder problems, boils, cancer, croup, diphtheria, dysentery, eczema, eye ailments, fevers, flu, hemorrhoids, herpes, inflammation, kidney problems, pain, phlegm, pneumonia, sores, syphilis, sore throat, tuberculosis, tumors, ulcers, uterine problems, Vaginal irritations, warts, worms, wounds, and whooping cough. In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by slippery elm, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
June 07, 2009 04:16 PM
Blue cohosh is one of the oldest indigenous plants that can be found in America. Blue cohosh is a woodland herb that is slowly becoming endangered because of over harvesting. A small plant that rarely grows more than two and a half feet in height, it can be found blooming in early April on wooded slopes. It was used by Native Americans to treat rheumatism, colic, cramps, epilepsy, and fevers. This herb also aided in childbirth and acted as a contraceptive. Blue cohosh was adopted by early settlers for both delivery and to help reduce fevers. The dried root was considered to be an official herb, found in the United States Pharmacopoeia from 1882 to 1905, where it was recognized for its abilities to induce labor and menstruation.
Blue cohosh is also known as Caulophyllum thalictroides, blue ginseng, papoose root, yellow ginseng, blueberry root, and beech drops. This herb has been used to stimulate menstrual flow, induce labor, and for rheumatism, cramps, and epilepsy.
The chemical caulosaponin is found in blue cohosh. It is this chemical that induces uterine contractions and should be used only under medical supervision. Additionally, a study that was published in the Journal of Reproduction and Fertility found that blue cohosh is responsible for inhibiting ovulation in animals.
Blue cohosh is recommended by herbalists for irregular menstrual cycles, inflammation of the uterus, and to stop false labor pains. This herb has also been used as an antispasmodic and to relieve muscle cramps. Scientific studies have validated these uses, especially the herb’s estrogenic and antispasmodic properties. The hormone and menses-regulating powers have been shown to work best when the herb is combined with pennyroyal. Some studies have found that blue cohosh may also stimulate the immune system. This herb helps with cases of toxemia and has also been found useful in reducing emotional and nervous tension.
In short, the rhizome of blue cohosh is used to provide alterative, anthelmintic, antispasmodid, diuretic, emmenagogue, estrogenic, expectorant, and oxytocic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and E, and zinc. Primarily, blue cohosh is very beneficial in dealing with pain in childbirth, cramps, epilepsy, and estrogen deficiency, absence of menstruation, urinary problems, and uterine problems. Additionally, this herb has been shown to be extremely helpful in treating high blood pressure, bronchitis, colic, convulsions, cystitis, diabetes, edema, heart palpitations, excessive mucus, neuralgia, spasms, vaginitis, Vaginal discharge, and whooping cough. For more information on the many beneficial effects of blue cohosh, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Blue cohosh’s use in cultural and traditional settings is somewhat different from the concepts that are accepted by current Western medicine. It is advisable to consult with a primary health care professional when considering the use of herbal supplements. It may also be advantageous to consult with a practitioner that is trained in the uses of herbal supplements. It is important to note that one should always purchase herbal supplements from a reliable source in order to guarantee safety and efficiency.
Blue Cohosh is available in capsule or tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. Look for blue Cohosh in name brands like Natures Answer and Solaray to ensure that you receive a quality product that is pure.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Blue Cohosh is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
May 28, 2008 01:36 PM
Eleutherococcus, better known as Siberian Ginseng, is best known for increasing endurance and stamina in people who use it on a regular basis. It is also known for its properties that aid the body in fighting fatigue and stress. Keeping both of these physical stressors under control will improve the body’s ability to optimize physical and mental performance.
Eleutherococcus is an adaptogen. This means that it will help the body maintain a normal adrenal function in order to reduce stress and combat disease. This species of ginseng is generally used for boosting and maintaining the immune system. It plays a major role in increasing resistance to mild infections and colds.
How to Use Eleutherococcus
This herbal product should be taken by mouth. The dosage will depend on the source of the herb and the purpose of its use. As with any species of ginseng, Eleutherococcus may cause sleep difficulties. It is; therefore, wise to avoid taking the product near your usual bedtime. It is also recommended that you do not take Eleutherococcus for more than three weeks at a time continual use will reduce its effectiveness.
What Does it Work for?
* Fatigue (physical and psychological). Fatigue is one of the most common complaints of people in the general population. It often poses a problem for the patient, as well as the physician trying to treat them. It is usually caused by endocrine dysfunction of the thyroid and/or adrenal glands.
* Hypothyroidism. This is caused when there is low thyroid hormone function. The result is less energy production at the cellular level. This causes the metabolic rate of the body to plummet. The thyroid also controls growth, transcription of genes, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, heart rate, blood volume heartbeat, muscle contraction, digestion, gastrointestinal function and endocrine hormones.
* Low adrenal function. The adrenal glands secrete steroid hormones including cortisol, aldosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). An imbalance in these hormones can cause a wealth of other health problems. It can also activate a regular stress response in the body, which takes its toll on overall healthy function of the body and mind.
Common side effects of using Siberian Ginseng may include agitation, headache, nervousness and trouble sleeping. If you experience diarrhea, fast or irregular heartbeat, skin rash or unusual Vaginal bleeding, discontinue use and contact your pharmacist or physician immediately.
Who Should Not Use Eleutherococcus
If you suffer from any of the following health problems, you should consult a physician before using Eleutherococcus:
* Cancer * Fever * High blood pressure * Low blood pressure * Diabetes * Heart problems * Allergies
If you have allergy issues with any species of ginseng, you should avoid all of them. Ginseng may lower blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients should carefully monitor their blood levels while taking this product. Liquid forms of this product may contain sugar and/or alcohol. If you suffer from diabetes, alcoholism or liver disease, use extreme caution. This product is not recommended for use by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
It is important to consult your pharmacist or someone you know is trained and educated in the use of Eleutherococcus. Some products have been found to contain additives and impurities that may be harmful to the consumer. Only use the purest forms of Siberian Ginseng that are available to you.
Aside from the specific conditions listed, Eleutherococcus can play an important role in the overall health of the mind and body. Every aspect of our physical health relies on the health and normal function of all of our internal systems. Our psychological health also relies on these systems all working in unison with each other. A healthy and balanced mental state requires an ever-present inner harmony.
Cranactin - Cranberry Extract
May 21, 2008 10:24 AM
Cranberry is a fruit native to North America. It typically grows in bogs, and commercial production is mainly performed in Massachusetts and Wisconsin.
For ages, cranberry has been used for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections. Research suggests that it prevents bacteria from adhering to host cell surface membranes. It was used by Native Americans to treat ailments of the bladder and kidneys. The cranberry was documented in the 17th century as a treatment for several ailments, including:
* Blood disorders * Liver problems, vomiting and stomach ailments * Loss of appetite * Scurvy *Cancer
Cranberry was used as an effective treatment for urinary tract infections long before antibiotics were invented. It is still recommended by physicians to be used in conjunction with a prescribed round of antibiotics for treating bladder infections.
Statistically, one in every five women in the United States suffers from bladder infections in her lifetime. Three percent of these women suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). Approximately 11 million women each year receive medications to treat UTIs. Studies show that women with a history of bladder infections can reduce the frequency of those infections by regularly drinking cranberry juice.
There have been no significant reactions discovered between cranberry and prescription drugs. Drinking cranberry juice a minimum of three times per day during treatment of a bladder infection will increase the need to urinate. This helps your body to rid itself of the infection through ingestion and expulsion of fluids.
Pharmacology of Cranberry
The use of cranberry for medicinal purposes has been the subject of many scientific discussions. At first, it was thought that acidification of the urine assisted in creating an antibacterial effect. However, the primary reason that cranberry works so well for treating bladder infections is its prevention of bacterial adhesion to cell walls. It also prevents adherence by other gram-negative uropathogens that cause infection. Cranberry's ability to inhibit the adherence of bacteria has been shown through in vitro research.
One study showed that the same property in cranberry juice that prevents bladder infections also aids in dental plaque prevention. Additionally, cranberry has been discovered to be a recommended treatment for Candida (yeast) infections.
Further in vitro studies show that cranberry has an inhibiting effect on certain types of fungi. However, there are no human trials that indicate its effectiveness in treating fungal infections when used alone.
Symptoms of a Bladder Infection
The most common symptom of an oncoming bladder infection is feeling a constant, urgent need to empty the bladder. This feeling is present even when there is little or no fluid in the bladder. Other symptoms may include:
* Frequent urination * Dysuria (burning or painful urination) * Bladder spasms * Cloudy urine * Bloody urine * Foul-smelling urine * Mild fever
A bladder infection that has gone untreated for an extended period of time could turn into a kidney infection. This brings with it much more serious symptoms which may include fever, chills and nausea. You may also experience cloudy or bloody urine, painful urination and abdominal pain. A common telltale sign of kidney infection is back pain just above the waist.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is wise to contact your physician. Bladder infection symptoms will not go away by themselves. They will continue to worsen, and your infection will become much more serious. Treatment for bladder infections is quick and easy. The sooner you begin the better.
If you suspect that you are about to experience a bladder infection, begin a regimen of drinking cranberry juice or supplement at least three times a day and make an appointment with your doctor.
Preventing Bladder Infections
There are several precautions you can take to prevent bladder infections. Some may seem obvious or silly, but after your first infection you will think very differently. Some of these precautions include:
* Wipe from front to back after urination or a bowel movement. This prevents the spread of bacteria.
* Go to the bathroom frequently. Holding urine in the bladder for long periods of time invites an infection.
* Keep the genital area clean and dry. Avoid prolonged moisture in the area.
* Avoid frequent bubble baths. They can cause Vaginal irritation.
* Try to urinate soon after sexual activity. If lubricants are used, use only those that are water-soluble.
* Underwear with a cotton crotch will aid in infection prevention as well.
Drink a lot of water throughout the day. Also, drink cranberry juice or cranberry supplement to keep the urine acidic. This will prevent natural bacteria from multiplying as frequently, thus avoiding bladder infection.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
May 06, 2008 05:14 PM
Grapefruit seed extract is regarded as being natural antibiotic that is effective against a broad range of bacterial infections. It has also been used to treat parasitic infections and a range of viral infections as well as having found uses for a wide variety of medical conditions.
So what is it about grapefruit seed that is so special? Most people are acquainted with grapefruit, which as a member of the citrus family of fruits, and not to be confused with grapes which are a totally different type of plant. Grape seed extract is also a useful natural medication, but used for totally different conditions.
Because of its efficacy against parasitic and viral infections, grapefruit seed extract is very useful in treating various forms of food poisoning. But, how was this remarkable property of the simple grapefruit seed noticed? The answer to that depends very much upon what version of the story of Einstein Laureate physicist and immunologist Dr. Jacob Harich you believe.
Dr. Harich was not only a scientist but a hobby gardener in Florida, and the two versions of his story tell either that he decided to investigate why grapefruit seeds tasted so bitter, or why the grapefruit seeds in his compost heap failed to compost, or rot. Whichever story is correct, and perhaps both are, the result was the discovery that grapefruit seeds appeared to be a very effective antibiotic.
In fact it has been shown to be effective against over 800 strains of bacteria and viruses and also effective against many fungi that lead to illness in humans. Because of this it is used in cased of food poisoning that involve bacterial infection of the gastrointestinal tract. In fact during the latter part of the 1980s, grapefruit seed extract was tested against a number of known antibiotics and found to be as effective as any of them. Similar results obtained in a number of tests in the USA and elsewhere in the world, and it appears that it is an excellent treatment for the symptoms of food poisoning.
Not only that, but it has been found effective in the treatment of some immunodeficiency diseases, presumably because its antimicrobial properties does much of the work that the immune system would normally do, and so relieves it of much of its hard work. This allows the immune system to concentrate on conditions which are exacerbated by deficiencies in its operation.
Bifidobacteria and Loactobacilli are bacteria that are beneficial to the digestive system. The measure of a good broad spectrum antibiotic is that it does not affect the beneficial bacteria, and grapefruit seed extract has no effect on the former and only a mildly inhibiting effect on the latter. It is also non toxic to humans, which is another measure of a good antibiotic. You would have to drink about two pints of the extract, around 4000 time the normal dose, for the treatment to be potentially fatal.
Among the many uses of the extract are not only in controlling gastrointestinal infections, but also general fungal conditions of the skin, Vaginal infections and yeast infections, and also colds and sore throats. It is also believed to support the immune system, not only by its antimicrobial properties but through its effect on intestinal health upon which much of our immune system is dependent. It can also protect patients with symptoms of AIDs and other immunodeficiency conditions from infection.
Its effect on yeast infections around the nether regions of small children has been documented, and it has also been found to be very safe to young children. In fact many mothers have it as a permanent addition to their medicine cabinet.
It is not that long ago when doctors believed all diseases to be due to bacteria or viruses. It is now becoming clear that a large proportion is actually due to fungal infections and parasites. Many conditions such as allergies, circulatory disease and some forms of arthritis have been shown to be due to fungal infections that weaken the immune system. Grapefruit seed extract has been found to be effective in treating many types of fungal disease.
In using the extract in this way, and to treat bacterial infections, it is best to start with a low dose and gradually increase it. This is because when fungi and bacteria are destroyed they release toxins, and too high a dose could result in too much toxin being produced for your body to handle. If you take it gradually you will get the same result, but without the risk of the nausea and diarrhea which the toxins can cause.
Despite all of these benefits, grapefruit extract has not been given the credit it deserves, and much research has still to be done to establish the constituents of the seed that confer these properties. Among these are known to be proanthocyanadins, a class of flavanols with strong antioxidant properties, and a diphenol hydroxybenzene complex that destroys bacteria through the cytoplasmic membrane to prevent the uptake of amino acids and cause leakage of the cell contents. Other active components are Vitamins C and E, tocopherols, limonoids and sterols, in addition to a number of important minerals.
However, there is still much work to be done, although the extract will continue to be used by many devotees for the treatment, not only of food poisoning symptoms, but also of conditions such as acne, athlete’s foot, gingivitis, cold sores, sinusitis and parasitic infections. It appears to be practically a cure-all.
There appear to be no drug interactions, although some medications do react with grapefruit juice, such as some treatments for high blood pressure. If your treatment advises you not to take grapefruit juice, then do not take grapefruit seed extract. Another factor to be aware of is that since the extract is an effective bactericide, then it could deplete the digestive tract of friendly bacteria essential for digestion. You are advised, therefore, to take a supplement of acidophilus, which is easily taken in the form of yoghurt type drinks specifically formulated or dietary supplement for the purpose.
Boost digestion with Bifidus Longum and Acidophilus Probiotics
March 21, 2008 12:19 PM
Prior to discussing how you can boost digestion with bifidus longum probiotics, let's first have a look at probiotics in general and why they are so beneficial to us.
Probiotics are also known as microflora, and are beneficial organisms that live in your digestive tract. Not all microorganisms are bad news, and many are essential for good health. Included in these organisms are various types of bacteria and yeasts, each of which has a specific part to play in the proper functioning of your body. Because of this they are found in foods all over the world, including yoghurt and fermented vegetables such as German sauerkraut and Korean kimchi.
Among their major benefits to health are that they help to support your immune system, they aid the digestion and absorption of food, they provide increased energy by improving the metabolic conversion of blood glucose to energy, and they can also help to delay aging. However, you should be aware that not all probiotics are the same, and when used properly some can have the same effect as antibiotics.
They are used to cure many digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea, and can also help to relieve heartburn and acid reflux. In fact your lower intestine should contain a minimum of 85% friendly bacteria, and 15% at most of unfriendly bacteria that can cause disease if they over-colonize your colon. It might surprise you to learn that you have around twenty times more bacteria in your body than body cells.
One of the best known of the probiotics are members of the lactobacillus family that are contained in yoghurt and curds and whey, so Little Miss Muffet had the right idea. However, you might not have the right idea in eating commercial yoghurt because, while raw yoghurt does contain these helpful bacteria, the type that you buy in pots in the supermarkets has likely been pasteurized - a process that kills off the bacteria. Unless the product has been seeded with live bacteria after pasteurization, then there will likely be none in your yoghurt! Make your own!
So what are the probiotics that do you most good, and in what form should you consume them? The common friendly bacteria are the already mentioned lactobaccilus, and then lactococcus, streptococcus thermophilus, enterococcus, bifidobacterium and others. Bacteria are easily killed off by the acidic conditions in your stomach, and since they must be taken live they should be consumed in a form that can resist the stomach acid.
There are many ways in which they benefit you, the main ones that are currently understood being:
Lactic acid production: the presence of lactic acid in the gut prevents stops or slows the growth of harmful bacteria by increasing the acidity. Some probiotics, known as lactic acid bacteria (LAB) can do this. Most bacteria do not like acidic conditions.
Supporting the immune system: LAB bacteria have been shown to increase the production of cytokines that stimulate the activity of the macrophages that attack foreign viruses and pathogenic bacteria. The LAB also promotes the formation of NK-cells (natural killer cells) that destroy cells that have been infected by viruses.
Adhesion site blockage: bacteria attach themselves to your intestinal walls at specific adhesion sites. Friendly bacteria can colonize these sites and so prevent the pathogens from adhering.
Effect on the Intestinal wall: the intestinal wall has a natural mucous barrier that helps to prevent the passage of allergens and pathogens into the bloodstream through the intestine. Probiotics can strengthen this barrier, and also alter the nature of the mucous to render it less liable to penetration by these unwelcome visitors.
So where does bifidobacteria come into this? There is a number of strains of this bacterium living in the human body, but Bifidus longum is the most common or most abundant of these. Although it is the most common bacterium found in commercially available probiotic products, high numbers have to be consumed for the proper health benefits. However, commercial yoghurts contain very little of this bacterium, or even none at all. This is largely due to the pasteurization previously discussed, that kills the bacteria at high temperatures. Unfortunately this process is not selective, and in ridding the products of bacteria that could make you seriously ill, the beneficial bacteria are also destroyed.
This is a shame because Bifidus longum has been shown to inhibit E.Coli that can cause serious conditions of the digestive system. Among these are severe diarrhea and an inflammatory condition in the colon as the immune system tries to expel these nasty bacteria. This bacterium is particularly dangerous to the weak, such as the aged, children and people already weakened by illness.
It also helps to counteract yeast and other Vaginal infections and when taken with other probiotics is believed to help in colon cancer cases. Among its other benefits are its part in the biosynthesis of thiamine, riboflavin and other vitamin B forms in your intestine, and also the absorption and assimilation of these vitamins by your body. It is also believed that it might help to reduce the cholesterol level in your body through its uptake of bile salts from the colon.
The major destructive elements of Bifidus longus are antibiotics of any kind, whether they be penicillin variants or tetracycline, and although the latter is used mainly for infections of the respiratory tract, it is ingested by the gut and effectively reduces the population of the bacteria that are needed for optimum health. That is one of the reasons why antibiotic use should be restricted to only what is necessary, and not use indiscriminately for all infections. Unless administered intravenously or site targeted, antibiotics kill off the good with the bad!
The other activities of Bifidus longus, such as removing the by-products of our metabolism that could be toxic if left to roam our bodies, render this bacterium as useful to your body as any vitamin or mineral supplement you could take. It is a supplement that many either overlook or are not even aware of, yet one that can make a significant difference, not only to your digestive and intestinal health, but also to you general overall wellbeing.
Natural Hormone Balance for Women
December 25, 2007 11:18 AM
The majority of women are affected by moderate-to-severe menopausal symptoms and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) at some point in their life. PMS that is clinically diagnosed consists of symptoms that are so severe and pervasive that careers, social interactions, and family lives are negatively affected. This occurs in eight to twenty percent of women in the Western world. Menopause and PMS are both characterized by a severe fluctuation or major falling of the female hormones estrogen, progesterone, and prolactin. Since many examples of women who are barely affected by natural changes exist, it can be logically inferred that female hormones are capable of remaining close to balanced, while others experience hormones that swing abruptly from one extreme to the next, causing severe mood swings. Although changes in hormone levels are the reason menopause and PMS occur, women do have some control over the severity of their symptoms.
There are many natural approaches to hormone balance along with other medical interventions that can be used either separate or together. However, one must remember that women are biologically programmed to have multiple children, which therefore, would limit the number of menstrual cycles in a lifetime. Additionally, women are now living thirty years past menopause, an experience that is relatively new. Also, a lot of the pain and anguish that is associated with menopause and PMS is actually related to obesity, high-calorie eating habits, and inactivity. Normal body weight and regular exercise often leads to mild or inconsequential PMS.
In 2002, estrogen and progesterone hormone replacement therapy, which is the standard treatment for menopausal symptoms, came under scrutiny after the publication of research that found that supplementation of estrogen significantly increases the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Supplementing estrogen also does not protect against cardiovascular disease. As a result, US-dispensed prescriptions for estrogen declined from ninety-one million in 2001 to fifty-seven million in 2003. It has been found that a lot of the excess risk for breast and ovarian cancer was due to prescriptions being refilled indefinitely instead of hormone replacement therapy only being used at the onset of menopause. Additionally, supplemental estrogen was not paired and balanced with progesterone, causing a greater risk. Either way, the door to natural alternatives was opened wide, especially for those patients who have a family history of reproductive cancer. Natural therapy for menopause and PMS is based upon phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that contain chemical structures which resemble estrogen. These plant compounds can exert weak estrogenic or antiestrogenic effects. Isoflavones from legumes such as soybean, red clover, licorice, as well as lignans like flaxseed and milk thistle are the most common and familiar phytoestrogens. Black cohosh has been shown to have antiestrogenic effects only. Phytoestrogens have been proven to reduce the risk for estrogen-dependent breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers as well as hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances. Although phytoestrogens do a good job at protecting women from symptoms of excess estrogen, phytoestrogens cannot replace estrogen when there isn’t enough. They don’t help with Vaginal wall atrophy and dryness, thinning hair, lack of sexual desire, menopause-related urogenital itching, or infertility. For the best results, supplements of soy and red clover isoflavone should be taken 2-3 times daily. Although there are no herbal alternatives that actually raise levels of estrogen, natural medicine such as dong quai, licorice, milk thistle, ginseng, pycnogenol, and pollen for menopause and calcium, magnesium, B6, chastre tree, dong quai, and ginseng for PMS can balance existing female hormones and provide relief from symptoms.
Maca is an Adaptogen used for Centuries
November 10, 2007 02:35 PM
Maca has been used for centuries in South American and studied for years by a Dr. Hans Seyle, a Nobel Prize winner on General Adaptation syndrome. The highlanders who live in the Andes Mountains use maca to help them survive and thrive at 14000 to 18000 feet above sea level. Oxygen levels are low at this altitude and maca helps oxygenate the blood. Maca has over 60 phytonutrients to help the body adapt to stress. The unique alkaloids increase the body’s endocrine and immune function.
Maca contains biological active components that spur an aphrodisiac and libido enhancing effect on the body for both men and women. Today’s herbalists suggest maca for a wide range of usages such as hormonal imbalances, PMS, hot flashes, depression and night sweats, and Vaginal dryness. Some herbalists recommend maca for chronic fatigue syndrome, adrenal dysfunction, anemia, tuberculosis, and stomach cancer. All would agree that maca extract can be used as an endocrine balancer and aid in mental clarity.
With all the benefits of maca being discovered, why not give maca a try for your self?
Take Charge Of Your Health With Herbal Bio-Identical hormones
November 04, 2007 03:17 PM
Bioidentical hormones assist women in overcoming acute menopausal symptoms, while improving skin. They help by strengthening bones, keeping the mind sharp, promoting energy and well-being, and helping to preserve Vaginal tone and resist Vaginal dryness. In men, these hormones add energy and vitality, while improving muscle tones and mental sharpness. Bioidentical hormones (BHRT) are exact duplicates of the hormones that are produced by the body. However, they are much more easily metabolized by the body into safe forms of estrogen than their counterparts, which stimulate toxic metabolites. When they are used in physiologic amounts, bioidenticals carry much fewer risks than synthetic hormones. However, despite the fact that research supports their use and proves them safe alternatives to prescription drugs, few physicians are actually using these hormones in their practices.
Those patients, who wish to address menopausal and andropause symptoms, or to achieve lifelong hormonal balance in order to prevent illness, often do not know where to go to find a comprehensive bioidentical hormone replacement program. Instead, they read whatever they can to formulate a plan and purchase various products that are available over the counter, often spending precious time and money on programs and products that don’t do what they’re expected to do. One of the most common errors among people is putting together a program based solely on symptoms instead of first checking hormone levels. Symptoms may overlap from one hormone pattern to another. If you try to replace or augment specific hormones without having an accurate test of the levels first, your results will seldom be good.
If your doctor is prescribing transdermal hormones, make sure to do a saliva self-test to measure your hormones levels as it is much more accurate and revealing than other types of tests. You can submit your samples to Mead Labs, where you will actually receive a telephone consultation from a health professional to interpret your results followed by a program of products prescribed especially for you from one of their medical professionals. With your own results, you can learn a lot about the exact state of your hormones instead of blindly guessing from symptoms which may be similar. For example, men may not need testosterone shots or transdermal patches, as the results may show estrogen dominance. The answer for this is not adding more testosterone, because the man could be converting testosterone into estrogen, but instead a program including special herbs and nutrients may be much more beneficial. No matter your gender, your health professional at Mead Labs will design a safe and effective program based solely on bioidentical hormones, herbs, and nutrients first. In the past years, when prescription, non-bioidentical HRT was used by any women with menopausal symptoms, there was no testing to find out what kind of imbalance was actually occurring. Proponents of BHRT are trying to ensure that this method of prescribing the same combination and amounts of medications to everyone is not used with natural hormones. Because hormone profiles and levels can vary significantly from person to person, even those people in the same gender, testing hormones levels and obtaining recommendations from a medical professional who is experienced in BHRT are the key points to ensure you benefit from this therapy.
Selecting the Right Probiotic is the Key to proper digestion
May 05, 2007 01:16 PM
Selecting the Right Probiotic is the Key
Do you ever think about what goes into your body each day? You should. One of the key to feeling good and being healthy s eating nutritious food and making sure our gastrointestinal (GI) tract has the tools it needs to optimally digest and absorb nutrients. The GI tract includes the stomach and intestines, which work to digest foods and eliminate waste.
A variety of “good” intestinal bacteria helps to keep the digestive system running. These “good” bacteria are called probiotic bacteria, or probiotics. Probiotics digest food, process waste, and keep the “bad” bacteria – which have the potential to cause disease and illness – in check.
This issue of Ask the Doctor will look at the probiotic bacteria that play an important role in maintaining our health and wellness: we need them, what they can do for us, and how to make sure we are getting enough. Also, we will talk about an exciting process that truly delivers probiotic bacteria taken in nutritional supplements. Encapsulated in a pearl-like sphere, they survive transport to the intestines, set up house, and exert their beneficial effects. As we will see, probiotic supplementation can help prevent and treat many different illnesses, unless the beneficial bacteria reach the intestines alive and active, the supplement is worthless.
Q. I thought bacteria were bad. How can bacteria be good for us?
A. Some kinds of bacteria do cause illnesses and disease in humans. “Strep” throat is an example of an illness caused by bacteria.
However, the majority of bacteria do not cause disease. In fact, there are types of bacteria that are actually beneficial. “Good” bacteria, known as probiotic bacteria, are used in the manufacturing of food and beverages. Some examples of foods that have probiotic food ingredients are buttermilk, yogurt, cheese, sausage, and acidophilus milk.
These same kinds of probiotic bacteria are present in our intestines and help to keep the digestive system running by digesting food and processing waste.
Q. What are probiotics?
A. Probiotics are live bacteria that are non-toxic and do not cause disease (non-pathogenic).
Some of the best-understood probiotic bacteria include members of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium groups. Because of the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium’s ability to break down lactose, these probiotic bacteria are also known as lactic acid bacteria. Both of these types of probiotic bacteria are well studied and are available in both food and dietary supplements.
Q. Is there a difference between the probiotic bacteria that is found in yogurt, and in nutritional supplements?
A. Actually, the bacteria that are in yogurt, our intestine, and most natural supplements are the same types of probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacteria longum. Because of this, these bacteria are referred in a generic sense as probiotics. So, the term probiotics may refer to the “good” bacteria that are present in food or that live in our intestine, or that are part of a natural supplement.
Q. Where do these probiotic bacteria come from?
A. As recently as the middle of the last century, bacteria found naturally in food ingredients were used to make a fermented food product. For example, the example, the lactic acid bacteria found naturally in milk were used to make cheese. This was known as wild fermentation.
Wild fermentations are no longer used. Today, the probiotic bacteria used in food and natural supplements are harvested via a highly controlled fermentation process. This process results in high numbers of bacteria and ensures quality and purity of the bacteria.
A. Normal microflora (the term commonly used for intestinal bacteria) is associated with good health. An imbalance in this natural microflora (when the beneficial probiotics are outnumbered by the harmful bacteria) is frequently associated with various disease states such as yeast infections and colon cancer.
Eating foods or taking a nutritional supplement containing probiotic bacteria can help support and modify the composition of the large intestine microflora. Microflora of the large intestine assist digestion through fermentation (by making the intestines more inhospitable to invading bacteria species), protection against disease-causing bacteria, and stimulation of the immune system.
The probiotics, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, occupy a central role in the intestinal and provide health benefits.
Q. How do probiotic bacteria help with digestion?
A. Lactose is an important sugar that is converted to lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria. Lactose intolerance results from an inability to digest lactose, due to the failure of small intestine mucosal cells to produce lactase, an enzyme needed to digest lactose. This often results because of genetics, gastrointestinal disease, or because of the decline in the amount of intestinal lactase levels associated with aging. Lactase deficient people accumulate non-absorbed lactose in the gastrointestinal tract, which draws water and electrolytes into the gut and speeds waste through the intestines, leading to bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.
Approximately 50 million people in the
Lactic acid bacteria have been shown to help the breakdown of lactose, specifically by enhancing the activity of lactase (beta galactosidase), which improves lactose digestion and tolerance. Furthermore, in a randomized, controlled clinical trial, Bifidobacteria longum was shown to assist in the breakdown of lactose and relieve the symptoms of lactose intolerance (flatulence) in people with lactose intolerance.
Q. What is the difference between digestive enzymes and probiotics? Can they be taken together?
A. Digestive enzymes, such as protease, amalyse, and lipase, act upon food, breaking it down into simpler components that can be used by the body for energy. Without enzymes, digestion could not take place. Therefore, the food that we eat could not be absorbed and utilized by our bodies.
Probiotics help the enzymes to digest food and process waste. In essence, probiotic bacteria and enzymes work together to ensure that the digestive tract is running smoothly. When taken together, enzymes assure greater levels of digestion absorption of your food, and probiotic bacteria aid the enzymes in digestion and keep problems in check.
Q. Is helping to ensure a healthy digestive system the only use for probiotics?
A. Absolutely not! Probiotic bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been found to help prevent Vaginal yeast infections in women that suffer from these reoccurring infections.
Approximately 35% of Vaginal infections are caused by the yeast. Candida albicans, Candida, is a fungus that is a component of the normal gastrointestinal microflora. However, Candida must not be allowed to increase in numbers. An overgrowth is associated with adverse health effects like Vaginal infections, oral thrush, or even serious systematic yeast infections. Probiotics have been shown to keep levels of Candida in check.
Probiotic bacteria have also been demonstrated to have anti-cancer properties. In baa clinical study, colon cancer patients given Lactobacillus acidophilus fermented milk showed a significant increase in numbers of intestinal Lactobacilli and a decrease in risk factors associated with colon cancer.
Patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can benefit from probiotic bacteria supplementation. Studies have shown that probiotic bacteria assist in maintaining remission in ulcerative colitis and preventing reoccurrence of Crohn’s disease. Manipulating the intestinal flora may prove to be more effective and better tolerated than the drugs that are conventionally given to treat these diseases. I one study, Lactobacillus acidophilus was found to improve the intestinal barrier and clinical status in children suffering from Crohn’s disease.
Probiotics supplementation can also improve and prevent skin disease, such as eczema. Studies have shown that probiotic bacteria can actually control inflammation associated with skin conditions. In one study, infants with eczema who were given probiotic-supplemented formulas showed a significant improvement in skin condition.
The chart below summarizes some of the diseases and conditions that probiotic bacteria can help prevent and/or improve.
Q. How often should probiotics be taken to ensure optimal support of the digestion system?
A. Probiotic bacteria do not permanently colonize in the body. They need to be replenished by the consumption of foods containing probiotic bacteria or by taking a probiotic natural supplement. Whatever form you choose to replenish the intestinal probiotics, they need to be ingested daily for their health-promoting effects to continue.
Q. If I take a probiotic nutritional supplement, how many bacteria should a good quality supplement contain?
A. The critical factor is not how many bacteria that a supplement contains, but rather how many bacteria reach the intestines healthy, vigorous, and ready to work.
A good quality supplement will deliver at least 3 billion living, healthy probiotic bacteria per dose to your intestines. The bacteria in the probiotic natural supplement should be a mixture of both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
Again, the critical key to a good quality probiotic supplement is that the bacteria must be alive to work. Only living probiotic bacteria can colonize in the intestines. A good quality probiotic nutritional supplement will have GUARANTEED levels of live bacteria at the point of consumption. Inferior brands will merely state levels of live bacteria at the point of manufacture.
Recently, a private laboratory tested various probiotic nutritional supplements in the marketplace, including one utilizing a new process that encapsulates the bacteria in a spherical, pearl-like coating. Each of these supplements were best-selling brands, two of them were enteric coated, and all had label guarantees about potency. The lab counted the levels claimed by each manufacturer.
Q. Then how do I know I am getting what I pay for?
A. First, look for a product that has a “use by” date or an “expiration” date clearly stated on the package.
It is also important to look for a probiotic supplement that does not require refrigeration. Probiotic supplements that require refrigeration often have been subjected to warm temperatures during shipment and storage that will inevitably kill off some or all of the bacteria.
It is also important that the product label guarantees live bacteria at the time of purchase, not at the time of shipment or manufacturing. However, from the laboratory test discussed, we see that sometimes these written guarantees are not worth the paper they are written on. There is one scientifically validated process that truly delivers live and vigorous bacteria to the intestine. This process suspends the probiotic bacteria in a moist paste and immediately seals the bacteria in a perfectly seamless, spherical, gelatin ball. This bacterial paste is completely protected from air and dryness so the bacteria are alive until the specialized gelatin dissolves – in the intestines.
Q. Why is it important to dissolve only in the intestine?
A. Lactic acid bacteria are not very resistant to the acids of the stomach. The harsh environment of the stomach destroys the majority of these bacteria.
This pearly-like coating technology protects bacteria from the stomach acid. The sphere is specially developed to only dissolve in the intestines. Enteric coating is not enough as it does nothing to protect the bacteria while they wait for purchase on the shelf.
Q. What does this proprietary coating technology mean to me?
A. This specialized process is an expensive processing step, but it has many advantages to you.
The pearl-shaped spheres actually “seal” the bacteria in the capsule, which protects them from air. Probiotic bacteria are anaerobic, meaning they do not require oxygen to live. In fact, the presence of oxygen can actually injure or kill probiotic bacteria. In addition, the special coating’s ability to seal the bacteria in the capsule stimulates the need for the nutritional supplement to be refrigerated – though they can be kept in the refrigerator, if desired.
By protecting the bacteria on the shelf and in the stomach, the probiotic bacteria successfully reach the intestine. As a result, there will be a greater number of healthy, intact bacteria that can colonize in the intestine.
Many health care practitioners believe all health issues are related in some way to the process of digestion. Probiotics play a crucial role in improving our digestive health, which, in turn, is interconnected to every single function in our bodies.
Taking a probiotic supplement is an excellent way to replenish the good bacteria in your intestinal microflora. A quality probiotic product contains two different types of bacteria from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species with at least one billion live bacteria per dose.
But how do you know the bacteria re still alive? Look at the package. If there is no fate stamp, put it down. If it says the company guarantees there was a certain number alive at the time of manufacture, put it down. Tat means that the company is not willing to claim the bacteria are alive when delivered to the target site, the intestine. If the product must be constantly refrigerated, put it down. How do you know it didn’t sit in a truck for two days, or was in a warehouse before it was shipped to the health food store?
Find a probiotic that says the bacteria are guaranteed to be alive in the numbers stated on the label until the printed on the package. Find a product using unique, cutting edge science to deliver the probiotic bacteria in a form that uses spherical, sealed, triple coating to protect the bacteria. That company has gone to extra time and expense to make sure you reap the benefits that probiotics can offer.
Scratching the Surface
September 19, 2006 09:12 AM
Persistent yeast infections may indicate a body out of balance.
Say the words “yeast infection” to the average woman and she’ll probably start to squirm. The burning, the itching we’ve all been there. Yeast’s miseries drive millions of desperate woman to seek relief each year.
Yeast infections (also known as yeast vaginitis) start when candida albicans, a naturally occurring fungus, starts growing excessively, producing itchy discomfort and a whitish discharge. Most every woman will endure a Vaginal infection at least once during her lifetime, and many of these episodes will be caused by candida. (Bacteria or Trichomonas Vaginalis may also be to blame; to be sure have the necessary testing done.)
When yeast strikes repeatedly you should look for an underlying cause. One of the biggest is the extended use of certain prescription drugs, particularly antibiotics, birth control pills or steroids. Another is the presence of undiagnosed diabetes. If you’ve been on meds, or have other diabetes symptoms such as excessive thirst or fatigue, see your practitioner.
A number of alternative health authorities—though by no means all-see recurring yeast vaginitis as part of a systemic candida infection, also called candidiasis. They believe it occurs when intestinal yeast over-growth causes the bowel wall to “leak” partially digested food and toxins into the blood, causing such symptoms as depression, digestive woes, fatigue, irritability and rashes even weight gain. The solution lies in a diet that tightly restricts sugar and other carbohydrates. To learn more www.yeastconnection.com.
Ditching the itch
In addition to addressing the underlying causes of persistent yeast infection you should also tame the beast where it lives. Fortunately, there are safe, natural therapies that can make life a lot more comfortable. Tea tree oil, a natural antiseptic available in both liquid and suppository form, may help, and aloe Vera gel can provide welcome itch relief. To bolster the effects of these topical treatments, some herbalists suggest taking cinnamon or the rainforest herb pau d’arco in supplemental form. Garlic, known for its antifungal properties, is another time-tested option.
After disposing of the harmful critters, replace them with helpful organisms. Organic plain yogurt, both eaten and applied directly, is a good source of these beneficial bacteria, especially when you add acidophilus or other probiotic supplements. Cutting down on your sugar consumption is always a good idea no matter what, as is upping your fiber intake (Oat bran is a good source).
To help keep things cool and airy, a little wardrobe management may be in order. Avoid tight, synthetic fabrics (sorry, but those cute spandex pants have just got to go) in favor of looser garments made with natural fibers, especially white cotton underwear. If swimming’s your thing, don’t spend to much time sitting around in a damp suit—change into something dry as soon as possible.
If you have got an itch that won’t go away, don’t just scratch. Learning what’s really going on is the better way to experience sustained relief. –Lisa James.
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More Benefits of Natural Progesterone - PROGESTERONE AND CANCER
July 25, 2005 10:22 PM
More Benefits of Natural Progesterone
PROGESTERONE AND CANCER
The two types of cancer that are hormonally related include breast and uterine cancer due to the fact that the tissue which make up these areas are much more sensitive to hormone levels. It is a well known fact that an excess of estrogen can increase the risk of developing uterine cancer and certain types of estrogen have been linked to the formation of malignant breast tumors.25 Any woman who continually suffers from insufficient progesterone can also increase her chances of developing certain types of cancer. A prolonged lack of progesterone can cause uterine changes which eventually result in the impaired shedding of the uterine lining. When this occurs month after month, endometrial hyperplasia can result, which is the abnormal thickening of the uterine lining. This buildup can lead to the development of uterine cancer. Progesterone can actually reduce the risk of developing uterine cancer which can develop from using estrogen therapy. 26 In addition, for women who have survived uterine cancer and have undergone hysterectomies, natural progesterone can be invaluable.
Because these women are advised to forgo hormonal treatments of any kind, they often suffer with osteoporosis or other symptoms typical of menopause. Taking natural progesterone poses no health risks and can help to prevent or treat these disorders. Concerning this group of women Dr. Lee writes:
These are the women for whom I first began using natural progesterone therapy. Not only did progesterone reverse their osteoporosis and, in many, it corrected their Vaginal atrophy, but none, to my knowledge, have ever developed cancer of any sort . . . The evidence is overwhelming that natural progesterone is safe and only estradiol, estrone and the various synthetic estrogens and progestins are to be avoided to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.27
In the case of breast cancer, studies strongly suggest that this type of malignancy is more likely to occur in premenopausal women who have normal or high estrogen levels and low progesterone levels.28Women over 35 who continue to have periods but no longer ovulate and women who are taking synthetic estrogen without progesterone during and after menopause may find themselves in this higher risk group. One of the most interesting studies on progesterone was conducted at Johns Hopkins University in 1981, where physicians studied 1083 women for between 13 to 33 years in assessing the incidence of breast cancer. They found that those women who had a progesterone deficiency were over 5 times more at risk of developing breast cancer than those women who had adequate progesterone levels.29 Moreover, the study found that women who suffered from a lack of progesterone also had ten times more cancer-related death from all types of malignancies than those who did not.30 These statistics are dramatic, to say the least. Consider the following quote:
. . . the evidence is strong that unopposed estradiol and estrone [two forms of estrogen] are carcinogenic for the breasts, and both progesterone and estri-ol, the two major hormones throughout pregnancy, are protective against breast cancer. One is left to wonder why supplementation with these two beneficial and safe hormones are not the ones used routinely for women whenever hormone supplementation seems indicated . . . both hormones are available and are relatively inexpensive. Why have these two hormones been neglected by contemporary medical practice in favor of synthetic substitutes. 31
Natural Progesterone and PMS
July 25, 2005 10:02 PM
Natural Progesterone and PMS
When a woman’s body experiences an imbalance of progesterone resulting in estrogen dominance, a variety of pre-menstrual symptoms can result. Estrogen dominance can occur when a progesterone deficiency is present. PMS refers to a whole host of symptoms which can vary from woman to woman. Conventional therapies for PMS involves the use of antidepressants, diuretics, counseling, nutritional regimens and synthetic hormones. Interestingly, most symptoms which commonly characterize PMS are also typical of estrogen dominance. Due to this observation, Dr. John R. Lee gave natural progesterone to his patients with PMS and obtained some impressive results. “The majority (but not all) of such patients reported remarkable improvement in their symptoms-complex, including the elimination of their premenstrual water retention and weight gain.”10 Let’s quickly review the hormonal flux which characterizes the menstrual cycle. During the week following the end of the menstrual period, estrogen is the dominating hormone which initiates the buildup of the uterine lining once again. At the same time, eggs in the ovary begin to mature. Estrogen levels also contribute to the secretion of more Vaginal mucous at this time making the tissue environment more conducive to sperm survival and motility. From ten to twelve days after the beginning of the last period, estrogen levels will crest and then begin to taper just prior to ovulation and when the egg (corpus luteum) has matured enough to produce progesterone.
Consequently, progesterone will dominate during the second half of the cycle. Increased levels of progesterone cause the body temperature to rise, the continued development of the uterine blood-filled lining, and the thinning of cervical secretions. All of these events occur in anticipation of the presence of a fertilized egg. If pregnancy does not occur within 10 to 12 days after ovulation, both estrogen and progesterone levels rapidly fall, which initiates the shedding of the uterine lining (menstruation) and a new cycle begins again. If a woman becomes pregnant, progesterone levels continue to rise and the uterine lining remains intact to receive and nourish the fertilized egg.
Eventually the placenta will produce much higher than normal amounts of progesterone throughout the remainder of the pregnancy. It’s rather easy to see that a woman’s monthly cycle is regulated by the rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone. This perfectly natural fluctuation of hormones can wreak havoc with the health of a woman when imbalances occur. More often than not, a hormonal imbalance consists of a progesterone deficiency. Progesterone was designed by nature to inhibit many of the negative effects of estrogen. If progesterone levels do not balance out estrogen during the last two weeks of the cycle, PMS can become a problem. Dr. Lee illustrates this, saying: “A surplus of estrogen or a deficiency of progesterone during these two weeks allows for an abnormal month-long exposure to estrogen dominance, setting the stage for the symptoms of estrogen side effects.”11
Clearly, natural progesterone may be one of the most, if not the most effective, therapies to deal with PMS miseries. Unfortunately, many women are completely unaware of its action or availability.
WHY TOPICAL APPLICATION OF NATURAL PROGESTERONE?
July 25, 2005 10:00 PM
WHY TOPICAL APPLICATION OF NATURAL PROGESTERONE?
Progesterone is a fat soluble compound which maintains its integrity much more readily when absorbed transdermally (through the skin) than when taken my mouth. When progesterone is ingested orally, it is subject to rapid breakdown (metabolism) in the liver, making it considerably less effective. Medical practitioners have used synthetic progesterone in a variety of forms ranging from capsules to injections to Vaginal and rectal suppositories. Originally, orally administered progesterone or progestins were not efficiently absorbed through the intestinal wall and had to pass through liver tissue before entering the bloodstream. Consequently, much of the absorbed progestins were metabolized by the liver into inactive compounds. Up to 80 percent of the effectiveness of progesterone can be lost when taken orally.6 By contrast, progesterone is very nicely absorbed transdermally (through the skin) and much more of its biochemical activity is retained. I believe that natural progesterone cream derived from wild yam extract should be used by almost every mature adult . . . I believe that progesterone cream could do more to preserve health and well-being in elderly people than all the drugs in the world.7
Dr. Lee reiterates that “. . . natural progesterone is efficiently absorbed transdermally, a fact that enhances patient’s acceptance of its use and greatly reduces the cost of therapy.”8
Salivary hormonal lab tests are becoming more common and have further supported the effectiveness of natural progesterone absorption through the skin by monitoring levels.9 These tests have proven that progesterone levels rise when wild yam extracts are applied to the skin.
HERBAL FIRST AID KIT
July 11, 2005 09:44 PM
HERBAL FIRST AID KIT
It is important to know the area where you will be going to determine plants that will be available in case they are needed and access to emergency help if necessary. The herbal first aid kit is meant to be used for minor conditions that may occur while traveling. Any serious condition should be seen by a health care professional. Gathering herbs along the trail can be fun as well as useful. Simple plant remedies can be brought along in the first aid kit. Major injuries require immediate medical attention by a professional. Minor problems can often be taken care of with simple herbal remedies. Supplies can be obtained from the local health food store or by collecting plants locally.
Along with the herbs, a few supplies should be part of the kit available at the local drugstore or market.
ALOE VERA: Aloe is great for minor skin abrasions, burns and as a natural laxative. It is excellent to soothe and repair damage from a sunburn. Aloe can be applied to stings and bites to soothe and heal.
TEA TREE OIL: Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and contains many antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It helps to speed the healing process and is excellent to apply externally on wounds to promote healing and prevent infection. It is also a natural bug repellent and can soothe and promote healing after bites and stings.
ECHINACEA: One of the most often used herbs, echinacea is useful for pre venting infection by stimulating the immune function. It can be found in herbal salve preparations and applied directly to the wound. A salve can also be applied to skin irritations from contact with poison ivy or oak. LAVENDER: Lavender is a natural bug repellent and can be applied topically to bites and stings.
GINGER: Ginger root is excellent for an upset stomach. It is effective when used to combat motion and altitude sickness. Studies have found ginger to be just as effective when treating motion sickness due to riding in the car, boating or flying in and airplane, as over the counter remedies which often have side effects such as drowsiness. Ginger can be made into a tea or taken in capsule form. ARNICA: Arnica can be applied externally to areas of bruising and swelling, but not to broken skin. It can help to reduce inflammation.
PLANTAIN: A poultice of plantain can help reduce inflammation when applied to the affected area. It can also help with bites, stings, scratches and cuts. GARLIC: Along with being a natural antibiotic to help prevent infection, garlic also helps to keep mosquitoes away. They don’t seem to like the scent of garlic. Capsules or pills should be taken internally.
CAYENNE (CAPSICUM): This is effective for both internal and external bleeding. Externally, apply pressure and raise affected area. Sprinkle cayenne powder over the wound. MINT: Mint leaves, often found growing in the wild, can be made into a tea to help with digestion and calm the nerves. Some members of the mint family include peppermint, spearmint, catnip and horsemint.
FEVERFEW: This daisy like plant found growing in the wild, can help with migraine headaches and inflammation.
Chew the leaves, make into a tea or take in capsule form. Some have developed mouth irritations from chewing the leaves.
Tea Tree Oil Fights Staph Infection
There is much concern regarding the overuse of antibiotics leading to drug resistant strains of bacteria. Some forms of bacteria are difficult to control as they change form. Tea tree oil holds promise as an effective treatment for inactivating Staphylococcus aureus.
A study reported in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, (1995; 35: 421-45), and lead by Dr. C. F. Carson, researched tea tree oil at the University of Western Australia. The results were significant. Tea tree oil successfully inactivated the staph bacteria which was resistant to methicillin, a salt of penicillin. It is a versatile substance with a broad spectrum of capabilities. It is generally used topically.
Blueberries for Health
Blueberries are packed full of nutritional value. A study published in the Food and Nutrition Re s e a rch Br i e f s , January, 1997, found that two-thirds of a cup of blueberries had more antioxidants than the recommended daily amounts of vitamins E and C. Blueberries were followed by Concord grape juice, strawberries, kale and spinach in their antioxidant content.
Antioxidants are an important part of optimal health. They protect the body from free radical damage which can lead to a variety of conditions such as aging, cancer, heart disease and other diseases. Adding blueberries could aid in p rotecting the body and strengthening the immune response.
Worldwide Concern About Antibiotic Overuse
A recent report called for doctors throughout the world to be careful in administering antibiotics needlessly. Overuse of antibiotics has lead to germ mutations resistant and untreatable with current antibiotics. Pediatricians in the United States have received a brochure from the American Academy of Pediatrics urging them to take precautions before prescribing. Antibiotics are not always the answer as they do not work on viral infections which cause the common cold, sore throats and some ear infections. Staphylococcus aureus is one example of an antibiotic resistant strain. Over 90 percent of this staph strain are resistant to penicillin and other antibiotics. And other bacteria are also developing a resistance to antibiotic therapy. Save antibiotics for conditions that require their use.
Aloe Vera, Woodland Health Series
Aloe vera is one of the most widely used plants for medicinal purposes. It has been used for over 4,000 year for its therapeutic benefits. Aloe Vera, a pamphlet written by Deanne Tenney, offers valuable information and up to date research on the aloe vera plant.
The benefits of the aloe plant are truly amazing. It has been used to treat burns, radiation burns, skin disorders, wounds, scratches, sunburn, dermatitis, constipation, digestion, ulcer, kidney stones, bacterial and viral infections, and to relieve pain. It is widely used for skin disorders, but its benefits go far beyond the skin.
As a natural home remedy, there are few plants more valuable than the aloe. It is a simple and easy way to treat minor injuries. The plant contains antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, anesthetic and tissue healing properties. The Aloe Vera pamphlet offers historical as well as modern uses for this ancient plant. Aloe Vera is available through Woodland Publishing.
Tea Tree Oil, Woodland Health Series
Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, a shrub-like tree found in Australia. It contains significant medicinal value and beneficial properties. Another pamphlet in the Woodland Publishing Health Series, Tea Tree Oil offers historical uses as well as current scientific information.
The essential oil of the tea tree leaves is one of the most powerful essential oils. It is used extensively in Australia, and popularity is growing throughout the world. It contains antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties helping to prevent and heal infection.
Tea tree oil has been used successfully for many conditions such as athlete’s foot, acne, burns, warts, Vaginal yeast infections, ringworm, skin rashes, herpes, cold sores, canker sores, insect bites and in preventing infection to name a few. Tea tree oil is a natural alternative that can be used effectively for extended periods of time without.
TEA TREE OIL (Meleleuca alternifolia)
July 11, 2005 09:32 PM
TEA TREE OIL (Meleleuca alternifolia)
Another important component of the first aid kit is tea tree oil. It can help with many minor conditions that commonly occur. Some include athlete’s foot, acne, boils, burns, warts, Vaginal infections, tonsillitis, sinus infections, ringworm, skin rashes, impetigo, herpes, corns, head lice, cold sores, canker sores, insect bites, insect repellent and fungal infections. It is truly a remarkable oil with valuable properties for healing and to prevent infection. Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia which is a shrub like tree found in the northeast t ropical coastal region of New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. There are over 300 different varieties of tea tree but only a few are known to produce the valuable, medicinal oil.
Tea tree oil contains at least 48 different organic compounds. The compounds work together to produce the healing abilities found in the oil. Research done in the 1950s and early 1960s found that tea tree oil is a germicide and fungicide with additional characteristics of dissolving pus and debris.1 Recent studies have found it effective for thrush, Vaginal infections of candida albicans, staph infections, athlete’s foot, hair and scalp problems, mouth sores, muscle and joint pain, pain, and boils.2
Tea tree oil is a valuable antiseptic for skin infections. It is able to penetrate the epidermis to heal from within. Clinical studies have found that tea tree oil can heal quickly and with less scarring than other treatments. The oil is even effective against Staphylococcus aureus, which is often difficult to treat and is becoming resistant to antibiotic therapy. The oil can be applied two to three times a day with full strength or diluted. If an irritation occurs, a diluted solution can be tried. Even highly diluted concentrations have been found to heal in clinical studies.
Organisms against which tea tree oil has been shown to be effective include aspergillus, baceroides, Candida, clostridium, cryptosporidium, diptheroids, E. Coli, enter-obacter, epidermophyton, fusobacterium, gonococcus, hemophilus, herpes viruses, meningococcus. microsporium, petococcus, proteus, pseudomonas, spirochetes, staph, strep, trichinosis, and trichophyton3
Tea tree oil is an effective bactericide. It is safe for healthy tissue. It is a strong organic solvent and will help heal and disperse pus in pimples and wounds. It has been used to neutralize the venom of minor insect bites. It is able to kill bacteria by penetrating the skin layers and reaching deep into abscesses in the gums and even beneath the fingernails. It has been found to have some of the strongest antimicrobial properties ever discovered in a plant.4 Tea tree oil can help with fungal infections such as candida. Dr. Eduardo F. Pena, M.D. has studied Melaleuca alternifolia oil for its value in treating vaginitis and candida albicans.5 In studying candida researchers have gone to the extreme of infecting healthy volunteers with the organism. The yeasts proceeded to invade the bloodstream and internal organs. Then they were cultured from these regions. However, within a matter of hours yeasts could no longer be cultured, indicating that the immune systems of these individuals efficiently cleared the organisms from the tissues. Unfortunately, in today’s era a great many people are afflicted with compromised immune function.6
Tea tree oil acts as a mild anesthetic when applied to painful areas and to soothe cuts, burns, and mouth sores. It can help heal as well as reduce scarring. Burn victims in Australia are often treated with tea tree oil to help prevent infection, relieve pain and speed healing.
Tea tree oil can help prevent and heal acne. Tea tree oil has a reputation of being gentle on the skin. It does not produce the side effects of some medications such as dry skin, stinging, burning and slight redness after application. Tea tree oil can help to heal and prevent infections from occurring. A minor scrape or scratch can sometimes result in infection. Tea tree oil applied to the area can help prevent infection. The oil is effective in healing many types of bacteria but the most amazing thing is that is does not damage the skin tissue. Many of the recommended treatments can actually do damage to the skin resulting in scarring and sensitivity.
Tea tree oil can be used to prevent bites and stings. Bugs don’t like the scent and may stay away. There is no way to entirely void coming into contact with insects. Anyone who likes to be outdoors is vulnerable. Whether you live in the city or the country or anywhere in between, bugs abound. Tea tree oil or lotions and creams containing the oil can also be used to prevent bites. Insects don’t like the scent of the oil and are actually repelled by it. The Australian tea tree oil has been found to be highly effective in treating infections and destroying microbes while not irritating the skin. Many antiseptics can cause skin irritation, but tea tree oil seems to cause no harm to skin tissue.
Tea tree oil is an antiseptic and generally not taken internally. Some evidence has suggested mild organ damage from internal use. The oil when absorbed through the skin is non-toxic. Tea tree oil is most often recommended for exposed surfaces of the body such as the skin tissue and the mucous membranes. It should be noted that the original Australian aborigines made tea from the leaves without adverse affects. And the early settlers followed their exam - ple with positive results. But the tea was a very diluted form and the distilled oil is much stronger.
YEAST INFECTIONS AND GARLIC
June 25, 2005 10:13 AM
YEAST INFECTIONS AND GARLIC
Garlic has proven over and over that it is an effective antifungal agent. For anyone suffering from recurring yeast infections, garlic should be added to the diet. Its compounds are ve ry active against candida albicans which causes yeast infections. Some studies h a ve shown that garlic is more potent in treating yeast infections than nystatin, gentian violet and six other reputable antifungal agents.3 6
Yeast infections plague millions of Americans and can cause conditions such as thrush, Vaginal yeast infections and intestinal yeast disorders. Candida albicans has been linked to a wide variety of symptoms including chronic fatigue, depression, infertility and allergies.
Much of the scientific research done on garlic has centered around its antimicrobial activity, especially against infectious fungi like C. albicans which causes yeast infections. Chicks that were inoculated with the C. albicans organism were cured after ten days of ingesting garlic.37
A study reported in Mycologia in 1977 concluded that garlic significantly inhibited all isolates of yeast-like fungi that were tested. Once again, it is important that the allicin component of garlic is present in order to receive the antifungal effect. Some research has suggested that raw garlic was not effective against yeast infections, while aged extracts were very good. An added bonus of using garlic to treat yeast infections is that no clinical stains of C. albicans have been known to become resistant to garlic therapy.
Because high blood sugar is also related to a higher risk of yeast infections, garlic therapy has an additional advantage. Garlic compounds have demonstrated their ability to lower blood glucose levels which would help to decrease one’s risk of developing a yeast infection.
Probiotics - Our Friendly Bacteria
June 16, 2005 10:51 AM
An estimated 10 quadrillion bacteria make their home in the average digestive system. Fortunately, less than one percent of the 400 different species found in the intestine are potentially harmful. The majority of intestinal flora are friendly bacteria, otherwise known as probiotics. These probiotic bacteria support good health by limiting the growth of harmful bacteria, promoting good digestion and increasing resistance to infection.*1
Probiotic bacteria are completely non-toxic. In fact, friendly bacteria have been used safely and effectively for more than 8,000 years, proving their value to human health.*2 Most often, probiotics have been consumed as part of cultured foods, such as acidophilus milk, yogurt, soy tempeh, and idli (cultured wheat). The friendly bacteria in these foods, specifically Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum, multiply in the warm, moist environment of the human body by feeding on the carbohydrates and protein in the digestive tract, then establish colonies along the intestinal wall.
Beneficial Roles of Probiotics
Lactobacillus acidophilus and other friendly bacteria play many important roles in maintaining good health.* According to experts, regular consumption of probiotics is the best way to maintain healthy intestinal flora.*3, 4 Lactobacilli species do not survive very long in the colon, so bacteria colonies need to be routinely replenished.*
In addition to producing numerous vitamins, probiotics support healthy digestion.* Part of the reason fermented foods are healthful is that some of the proteins, fats and carbohydrates are partially digested by the bacteria, which increases overall digestibility and nutritional value of the food.*5, 6
Lactose intolerant individuals may gain even more benefits from probiotics. Lactobacilli bacteria ferment as much as half of the lactose in milk—the part of milk that results in the symptoms of bloating, cramps and gas in lactose intolerant individuals—by converting it to lactic acid. Consequently, people with lactose intolerance report fewer digestive problems with cultured dairy foods compared to fresh milk.*5, 7
The nutritional profile of foods is improved after being cultured with probiotics. Levels of several B vitamins, including vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12, niacin, folic acid and pantothenic acid are higher in fermented foods, such as yogurt, cheese, kefir and buttermilk.*5 Fermentation also boosts the digestibility of soy foods.*8
Inhibiting bacterial growth:
Probiotics act as natural antibiotics, slowing the growth of harmful bacteria.*5, 6 These friendly bacteria produce substances, including lactic acid, acetic acid, benzoic acid, hydrogen peroxide and natural antibiotics, which limit the reproduction of certain disease-causing bacteria.*9
Another way that probiotic bacteria maintain a healthy digestive tract is by competing with harmful bacteria in the intestine. When the intestine is full of large colonies of beneficial bacteria, disease-causing bacteria are simply not able to multiply into harmful numbers because there are no available attachment sites on the intestinal wall.* This is one of the ways L. acidophilus inhibits the growth of Candida albicans, coliform (e. coli) bacteria and salmonella.*3, 4, 10, 11
Diarrhea can have many causes, but it always has the same result for the bacteria living in the intestine—it flushes them out, leaving the body vulnerable to the growth of opportunistic bacteria. It is important to replenish the body with probiotics during and after a bout of diarrhea.* Probiotic bacteria can also help keep the colon healthy when traveling.*4
Lactobacilli are one of the primary bacteria found in normal Vaginal flora, and their presence is believed to inhibit the overgrowth of harmful bacteria, such as Candida. Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures are a popular folk remedy for Vaginal health.*4, 10
Recolonization After Antibiotic Use:
Antibiotics, given to treat bacterial infections, ironically can contribute to unhealthy bacteria growth. Antibiotics destroy bacteria, the good along with the bad, leaving the intestine without its normal, healthful flora. In this compromised state, disease-causing bacteria can multiply unchecked by friendly bacteria.*12 When ingested during and following antibiotic usage, L. acidophilus rapidly restores normal flora, shortening the time that undesirable organisms remain in the gut.*3, 12 Bifidobacterium bifidum can also help normalize the intestinal flora after using antibiotics.*10
Producing the Best Probiotics
Fermenting foods with lactobacilli has been a time-honored method for both preserving and enhancing foods. Before refrigeration, fermentation was a valuable way to preserve food safety, and it remains in common usage today.
Nature’s Life uses the same basic principles developed and perfected by prehistoric nomadic peoples to produce Lactobacillus acidophilus products; with the exception that we use modern, high-volume equipment. These improvements, along with trained personnel, scientific methods and quality assurance practices, ensures that every batch meets our high standards of quality.
Our lactobacilli are cultured on nutrient-dense food concentrates, such as soy protein, green peas or non-fat milk. We add natural apple juice, pasteurized clover honey, strawberries, carrot juice or maltodextrin for flavor and to provide carbohydrates for the micro-organisms, plus we use only pasteurized water.
Our growth medium has a broad range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, essential fatty acids, organic acids and naturally occurring plant phytonutrients such as flavonoids and carotenoids with beneficial antioxidant properties. The temperature and moisture are carefully controlled during the several days needed for the bacteria to multiply to peak potency.
At the peak of potency, Nature’s Life Liquid Acidophilus culture is poured directly into sanitized 16 oz. glass bottles and immediately refrigerated at 36°F to maintain peak potency. These liquid products are the most bioactive of all forms of acidophilus because they are dormant, rather than frozen.
For our freeze-dried powders and capsules, the warm liquid culture is immediately poured into containers, sealed and refrigerated. After cooling, the liquid is poured into trays and instantly freeze-dried. The frozen lactobacillus is then processed through a vacuum freezer to lower the moisture level to an absolute minimum. This freeze-dried product is packaged as either powder or capsules. When swallowed, the microorganisms will rehydrate and begin colonizing the gastrointestinal tract with friendly bacteria.
Nature’s Life acidophilus is not filtered, centrifuged or otherwise concentrated or separated from its growth medium to artificially obtain higher concentrations of bacteria per gram or capsule. Centrifuging may damage the lactobacillus by altering the natural clumping, chaining and branching of bacteria cells.*
Nature’s Life probiotic products retain all the benefits of the nutrient-rich growth medium. All the valuable by-products of the bacteria’s metabolism remain in the final product, including B-vitamins, enzymes, organic acids, antibodies and even naturally occurring antibiotics. The conclusion of experts is that products which are centrifuged or filtered are incomplete.13 14
Quality You Can Trust
Nature’s Life invests significant resources in perfecting the production of high quality Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures. You benefit from our knowledge and experience every time you choose our supplements.
Nature’s Life lactobacillus cultures are manufactured with rigorous specifications using state-of-the-art equipment. All equipment and containers are sanitized to ensure that no contaminants or unfriendly pathogenic bacteria corrupt the quality of the L. acidophilus. The large capacity fermentation tanks and freeze dryers maintain consistency in each batch.
Nature’s Life Lactobacillus acidophilus meets or exceeds all standards developed by industry associations and government regulations. These standards, established to determine the quality of the finished product, are:
All of Nature’s Life Lactobacillus acidophilus products meet the acid test for effectiveness:
Using Nature’s Life Probiotics
Nature’s Life probiotics, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, can survive in the stomach for at least an hour.*15 Nature’s Life recommends taking probiotics either on an empty stomach or with food, however the presence of food can help the organisms stay alive longer.16
Liquid acidophilus should be treated as a perishable product, since it contains live, active organisms. Like yogurt or milk, acidophilus should be refrigerated and used within a short period of time. Contact Nature’s Life for a recipe on how to make your own soy-based, milk-free yogurt.
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
June 13, 2005 03:44 PM
Menopause: Disease or Condition?
by Mary Ann Mayo & Joseph L. Mayo, MD Energy Times, September 4, 1999
It's front-page news. It's politically correct and socially acceptable. Talking about menopause is in. Suddenly it's cool to have hot flashes. Millions of women turning 50 in the next few years have catapulted the subject of menopause into high-definition prominence.
It's about time. Rarely discussed openly by women (what did your mother ever advise you?), meno-pause until recently was dismissed as "a shutting down experience characterized by hot flashes and the end of periods." Disparaging and depressing words like shrivel, atrophy, mood swings and melancholia peppered the scant scientific menopausal literature.
What a difference a few years and a very vocal, informed and assertive group of Baby Boomers make. Staggered by the burgeoning numbers of newly confrontational women who will not accept a scribbled prescription and a pat on the head as adequate treatment, health practitioners and researchers have been challenged to unravel, explain and deal with the challenges of menopause.
Not An Overnight Sensation
Menopause, researchers have discovered, is no simple, clear cut event in a woman's life. The "change of life" does not occur overnight. A woman's body may begin the transition toward menopause in her early 40s, even though her last period typically occurs around age 51. This evolutionary time before the final egg is released is called the perimenopause. Erratic monthly hormone levels produce unexpected and sometimes annoying sensations.
Even as their bodies adjust to lower levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, some women don't experience typical signs of menopause until after the final period. A fortunate one-third have few or no discomforts.
According to What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause (Warner Books) by John R. Lee, MD, Jesse Hanley, MD, and Virginia Hopkins, "The steroid hormones are intimately related to each other, each one being made from another or turned back into another depending on the needs of the body...But the hormones themselves are just part of the picture. It takes very specific combinations of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to cause the transformation of one hormone into another and then help the cell carry out the hormone's message. If you are deficient in one of the important hormone-transforming substances such as vitamin B6 or magnesium, for example, that too can throw your hormones out of balance. Thyroid and insulin problems, toxins, bad food and environmental factors, medication and liver function affect nutrient and hormone balance."
The most important reproductive hormones include:
Estrogen: the female hormone produced by the ovaries from puberty through menopause to regulate the menstrual cycle and prepare the uterus for pregnancy. Manufacture drops significantly during menopause. Estradiol is a chemically active and efficient form of estrogen that binds to many tissues including the uterus, breasts, ovaries, brain and heart through specific estrogen receptors that allow it to enter those cells, stimulating many chemical reactions. Estriol and estrone are additional forms of estrogen.
Progesterone: also produced by the ovaries, it causes tissues to grow and thicken, particularly during pregnancy, when it protects and nurtures the fetus. Secretion ceases during menopause.
Testosterone: Women produce about one-twentieth of what men do, but require it to support sex drive. About half of all women quit secreting testosterone during menopause.
Estrogen's Wide Reach
Since estrogen alone influences more than 400 actions on the body, chiefly stimulating cell growth, the effects of its fluctuations can be far-reaching and extremely varied: hot (and cold) flashes, erratic periods, dry skin (including the Vaginal area), unpredictable moods, fuzzy thinking, forgetfulness, fatigue, low libido, insomnia and joint and muscle pain.
Young women may experience premature menopause, which can occur gradually, as a matter of course, or abruptly with hysterectomy (even when the ovaries remain) or as a result of chemotherapy. Under such conditions symptoms can be severe.
In the 1940s doctors reasoned that if most discomforts were caused by diminishing estrogen (its interactive role with progesterone and testosterone were underestimated), replacing it would provide relief. When unchecked estrogen use resulted in high rates of uterine cancer, physicians quickly began adding progesterone to their estrogen regimens and the problem appeared solved.
For the average woman, however, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) became suspect and controversial, especially when a link appeared between extended use of HRT (from five to 10 years) and an increase in breast and endometrial cancers (Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 37, 1997). The result: Women have drawn a line in the sand between themselves and their doctors.
Resolving The Impasse
Since hormone replacement reduces the risk of major maladies like heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, colon cancer and diabetes that would otherwise significantly rise as reproductive hormone levels decrease, most doctors recommend hormone replacement shortly before or as soon as periods stop. Hormone replacement also alleviates the discomforts of menopause.
But only half of all women fill their HRT prescriptions and, of those who do, half quit within a year. Some are simply indifferent to their heightened medical risks. Some are indeed aware but remain unconvinced of the safety of HRT. Others complain of side effects such as bloating, headaches or drowsiness.
Women's resistance to wholesale HRT has challenged researchers to provide more secure protection from the diseases to which they become vulnerable during menopause, as well as its discomforts. If the conventional medical practitioners do not hear exactly what modern women want, the complementary medicine community does. Turning to centuries-old botanicals, they have validated and compounded them with new technology. Their effectiveness depends on various factors including the synergistic interaction of several herbs, specific preparation, the correct plant part and dosage, harvesting and manufacturing techniques.
Research demonstrates that plant hormones (phytoestrogens) protect against stronger potentially carcinogenic forms of estrogen while safely providing a hormone effect. Other herbs act more like tonics, zipping up the body's overall function.
Help From Herbs
Clinical trials and scientific processing techniques have resulted in plant-based supplements like soy and other botanicals that replicate the form and function of a woman's own estrogen.
The complementary community also can take credit for pushing the conventional medical community to look beyond estrogen to progesterone in postmenopausal health.
Natural soy or Mexican yam derived progesterone is formulated by pharmacologists in creams or gels that prevent estrogen-induced overgrowth of the uterine lining (a factor in uterine cancer), protect against heart disease and osteoporosis and reduce hot flashes (Fertility and Sterility 69, 1998: 96-101).
A quarter of the women who take the popularly prescribed synthetic progesterone report increased tension, fatigue and anxiety; natural versions have fewer side effects.
These "quasi-medicines," as Tori Hudson, a leading naturopathic doctor and professor at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, Portland, Oregon, calls them, are considered "stronger than a botanical but weaker than a medicine." (Hudson is author of Gynecology and Naturopathic Medicine: A Treatment Manual.)
According to Hudson, the amount of estrogen and progesterone in these supplements is much less than medical hormone replacement but equally efficacious in relieving menopausal problems and protecting the heart and bones.
According to a study led by Harry K. Genant, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, "low-dose" plant estrogen derived from soy and yam, supplemented with calcium, prevents bone loss without such side effects as increased Vaginal bleeding and endometrial hypoplasia, abnormal uterine cell growth that could be a precursor to endometrial cancer (Archives of Internal Medicine 157, 1997: 2609-2615).
These herbal products, including natural progesterone and estrogen in the form of the weaker estriol or estrone, may block the effect of the stronger and potentially DNA-damaging estradiol.
Soy in its myriad dietary and supplemental forms provides a rich source of isoflavones and phytosterols, both known to supply a mild estrogenic effect that can stimulate repair of the Vaginal walls (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 83, 1991: 541-46).
To enhance Vaginal moisture, try the herb cimicifuga racemosa, the extract of black cohosh that, in capsule form, builds up Vaginal mucosa (Therapeuticum 1, 1987: 23-31). Traditional Chinese herbal formulas containing roots of rehmannia and dong quai have long been reputed to promote Vaginal moisture.
Clinical research in Germany also confirms the usefulness of black cohosh in preventing hot flashes and sweating, as well as relieving nervousness, achiness and depressed moods caused by suppressed hormone levels. It works on the hypothalamus (the body's thermostat, appetite and blood pressure monitor), pituitary gland and estrogen receptors. Green tea is steeped with polyphenols, mainly flavonoids, that exert a massive antioxidant influence against allergens, viruses and carcinogens. The risks of estrogen-related cancers such as breast cancer are particularly lowered by these flavonoids, as these substances head directly to the breast's estrogen receptors. About three cups a day exert an impressive anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antiviral and anticarcinogenic effect.
Other phytoestrogen-rich botanicals, according to Susun Weed's Menopausal Years: The Wise Woman Way (Ash Tree Publishing), include motherwort and lactobacillus acidophilus to combat Vaginal dryness; hops and nettles for sleep disturbances; witch hazel and shepherd's purse for heavy bleeding; motherwort and chasteberry for mood swings; dandelion and red clover for hot flashes.
Our Need For Supplements
Adding micronutrients at midlife to correct and counter a lifetime of poor diet and other habits is a step toward preventing the further development of the degenerative diseases to which we become vulnerable. At the very minimum, you should take:
a multivitamin/mineral supplement vitamin E calcium
Your multivitamin/mineral should contain vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Look for a wide variety of antioxidants that safeguard you from free radical damage, believed to promote heart disease and cancer, as well as contribute to the aging process.
Also on the list: mixed carotenoids such as lycopene, alpha carotene and vitamin C; and folic acid to help regulate cell division and support the health of gums, red blood cells, the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system.
Studies indicate a deficiency of folic acid (folate) in 30% of coronary heart disease, blood vessel disease and strokes; lack of folate is thought to be a serious risk factor for heart disease (OB.GYN News, July 15, 1997, page 28).
Extra vitamin E is believed to protect against breast cancer and bolster immune strength in people 65 and older (Journal of the American Medical Association 277, 1997: 1380-86). It helps relieve Vaginal dryness, breast cysts and thyroid problems and, more recently, hit the headlines as an aid in reducing the effects of Alzheimer's and heart disease. It is suspected to reduce the thickening of the carotid arterial walls and may prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which contributes to the formation of plaque in arteries.
Selenium also has been identified as an assistant in halting cancer (JAMA 276, 1996: 1957-63).
The Omegas To The Rescue
Essential fatty acids found in cold water fish, flaxseed, primrose and borage oils and many nuts and seeds are essential for the body's production of prostaglandin, biochemicals which regulate hormone synthesis, and numerous physiological responses including muscle contraction, vascular dilation and the shedding of the uterine lining. They influence hormonal balance, reduce dryness and relieve hot flashes.
In addition, the lignans in whole flaxseed behave like estrogen and act aggressively against breast cancer, according to rat and human studies at the University of Toronto (Nutr Cancer 26, 1996: 159-65).
Research has demonstrated that these omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can reverse the cancer-causing effects of radiation and other carcinogens (Journal of the National Cancer Institute 74, 1985: 1145-50). Deficiencies may cause swelling, increased blood clotting, breast pain, hot flashes, uterine and menstrual cramps and constipation. Fatigue, lack of endurance dry skin and hair and frequent colds may signal EFA shortage. Plus, fatty fish oils, along with vitamin D and lactose, help absorption of calcium, so vital for maintaining bone mass.
In addition, studies show that the natural substance Coenzyme A may help menopausal women reduce cholesterol and increase fat utilization (Med Hyp 1995; 44, 403, 405). Some researchers belive Coenzyme A plays a major role in helping women deal with stress while strengthening immunity.
Can't shake those menopausal woes? Menopause imposters may be imposing on you: The risk of thyroid disease, unrelenting stress, PMS, adrenal burnout, poor gastrointestinal health and hypoglycemia all increase at midlife. Menopause is a handy hook on which to hang every misery, ache and pain but it may only mimic the distress of other ailments. For this reason every midlife woman should have a good medical exam with appropriate tests to determine her baseline state of health. Only with proper analysis can you and your health practitioner hit on an accurate diagnosis and satisfying course of therapy.
And if menopause is truly the issue, you have plenty of company. No woman escapes it. No woman dies from it. It is not a disease but a reminder that one-third of life remains to be lived. Menopausal Baby Boomers can anticipate tapping into creative energy apart from procreation. If not new careers, new interests await. An altered internal balance empowers a menopausal woman to direct, perhaps for the first time, her experience of life. She has come of age-yet again. Gone is the confusion, uncertainty, or dictates of a hormone driven life: This time wisdom and experience direct her. There is no need to yearn for youth or cower at the conventional covenant of old age. Menopause is the clarion call to reframe, reevaluate and reclaim.
Mary Ann Mayo and Joseph L. Mayo, MD, are authors of The Menopause Manager (Revell) and executive editors of Health Opportunities for Women (HOW). Telephone number 877-547-5499 for more information.
June 10, 2005 04:08 PM
Basic Detox by Harriet Epstein , February 4, 2002
Basic Detox By Harriet Epstein Trying to stay healthy and clean in a dirty world can prove a difficult task. The rise of modern industry and agriculture has meant the widespread accumulation of toxins in our environment that can cause health problems.
As Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin point out in their book The Road to Immunity (Pocket), "Fat soluble chemicals are readily absorbed by the body but are difficult to excrete. To be excreted, they must first be enzymatically converted into water-soluble substances. Some of them can't be converted at all."
Bock and Sabin point out that a 1990 survey by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that looked at people's tissues found that everyone the agency examined had styrene (a chemical used to make plastic) and xylene (a paint and gasoline solvent) stored in their bodyfat.
The toxins that you encounter every day are not only present in air and water, but also may be found in food and medicines. If we eat beef that's been exposed to pesticides, those chemicals may be shunted into our bodyfat. Pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables may end up in a similar place.
To cope with chemicals, the human body has evolved methods for detoxifying. When we breathe out we often release inhaled toxins. Other toxins are purged through urine, feces and sweat.
One of the chief organs responsible for cleansing the body is the liver. This organ utilizes a pair of chemical pathways for breaking down and eliminating toxins. In our hectic, industrialized world, this flow of toxins can overwhelm the liver's ability to detoxify. In addition, the dual processes the liver uses to eliminate noxious substances may become unbalanced, allowing toxins produced by one pathway to build up to dangerous proportions.
Once liver function falters, toxic havoc ensues. Toxins may remain in the body, often stored indefinitely in bodyfat. The body's detoxifying systems may be swamped with toxins.
In protecting the liver and enhancing its detox functions, many naturopathic practitioners recommend the herb milk thistle (silybum marianum). According to Steven Bratman, MD, and David Kroll, PhD, authors of the Natural Health Bible (Prima), milk thistle helps the liver cope with its toxic load. Consequently, milk thistle is frequently used in Europe for liver problems like jaundice.
Bratman and Kroll point out that milk thistle "is one of the few herbs that have no real equivalent in the world of conventional medicine." As Lise Alschuler, ND, medical director at the Bastyr Natural Health Clinic, told Natural Digest, "Milk thistle protects the liver against toxic damage (and) helps prevent damage to the rest of the body."
The compounds in milk thistle that help zap toxins, known as silymarin, protect the liver by binding with substances that would otherwise interact with the liver and slow its function. They also help the liver repair itself and regenerate new liver cells.
As an extra bonus, silymarin acts as an antioxidant, protecting liver cell membranes from oxidative damage.
Dandelion has a place as another traditional treatment for toning the liver and boosting the body's filtration system. The leaves are a cornucopia of antioxidants and nutrients including B vitamins, vitamins A, C and D, plus boron, silicon, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They help detoxify by acting as a mild diuretic: they cause the body to eliminate excess fluid.
But herbalists worldwide have found the compounds in dandelion root most useful for helping alleviate liver and gall bladder malfunction. (If you think you suffer these difficulties, consult your health practitioner.) Two unique and helpful natural substances found in dandelion root are chemicals called germacranolide and eudesmanolide. The root, according to the Natural Health Bible, has traditionally been used to speed up a sluggish or congested liver as well as detoxing the body by eliminating constipation. Research indicates dandelion root may stimulate bile flow (Arzneimittel -forschung 9, 1959: 376-378).
Juniper berries (Juniperus communis), may also be taken with dandelion as a diuretic. This botanical, often used to combat urinary tract problems, is also an anti-inflammatory (Phyto Res 1, 1997: 28-31).
Heavy metals rank as dangerous toxins unleashed by modern industry. As Michael Murray, ND, and Joseph Pizzorno, ND, explain in the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), metals like lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel and aluminum can "accumulate within the (body) where they can severely disrupt normal function."
Public health experts estimate at least one in five Americans has been a victim of heavy metal poisoning. Lead may be the most common villain. In your everyday life, you may be ingesting metals from your cookware, from pesticides, cigarette smoke, dental fillings, polluted fish, and chipping house paint.
Signs that you may suffer from toxicity linked to heavy metals: Unusual fatigue, Persistent headaches, Unexplained muscle pains, Anemia, Ringing in the ears or dizziness and Tremors.
Of course, if you think you suffer from heavy metal poisoning, you should see a knowledgeable health practitioner as soon as possible. Murray and Pizzorno recommend an array of precautions to protect yourself against heavy metals in the environment:
Take a daily multivitamin and mineral.
Take extra amounts of vitamin C and B-complex.
Take amino acids that contain sulfur (taurine, cysteine and methionine) and high sulfur foods like onions and garlic (or supplements). (Consult your pharmacist of health practitioner before taking individual amino acids.)
In addition, Leo Galland, MD, in his book The Four Pillars of Healing (Random House) offers these tips for keeping your digestive tract functioning at top capacity:
Take supplements of lactobacil-lus acidophilus and lactobacillus plantarum, friendly bacteria that in-habit the large intestine. These microorganisms can help break down toxins and eliminate them.
Use aspirin and ibuprofen as little as possible. They increase the permeability of the digestive system, allowing allergens and other problematic substances to enter the body.
Do not use antacids. The stomach's acidic environment is designed to kill ingested bacteria and parasites.
To fight digestive problems or heartburn, cut back on saturated fat; eat smaller meals. Chewing on calcium tablets after meals may help. Foods that can exacerbate heartburn include coffee, alcoholic beverages and very spicy foods.
Dr. Galland also recommends not eating for four hours before bed.
Environmental Free Radicals
Detoxing the body may also require taking antioxidant nutrients to fight off what are called free radicals.
Free radicals are caustic molecues thought to be involved in causing many chronic problems such as cancer and heart disease. Free radicals are created within the body and its cells every time a metabolic activity takes place. While the human body has developed its own mechanisms for defending itself against these byproducts of metabolism, exposure to pollution, radiation and other toxins may overburden the body's free radical burden. Scientists believe that taking extra antioxidant nutrients like vitamins C and E and carotenoids (natural substances found in many vegetarian foods) may help prevent damage by free radicals.
Environmental oxidizing agents include ionizing radiation (from industry, sun, cosmic rays, x-rays) ozone and nitrous oxide (from auto exhaust) heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead) and cigarette smoke, along with other chemical and compounds from food, water and air. Free radicals are believed to play a role in more than sixty different health conditions, including the aging process, cancer and arteriosclerosis. (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1993;90:7915-7922).
The good news? Reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing intake of antioxidant nutrients can shrink the risk of these health problems.
"Antioxidants can't get rid of heavy metals and solvents," says Dr. Glidden, "but they do cut down on the damage they do while they're there. As toxins wander through your body, they generate metabolic reactions, resulting in free radicals. And anti-oxidants mop them up." The liver is the last line of defense in handling toxins; supplements help it regenerate itself.
The body itself does produce enzymes like Superoxide dismutase (SOD) catalase, and glutathione peroxidase which can defend against and defuse many types of free radicals.
Supplements of these compounds are also available to augment the body's supply.
These building block nutrients include the minerals manganese, zinc, and copper for SOD and selenium for glutathione peroxidase. Many vitamins and minerals act as antioxidants. Dr. Crinnion recommends a multivitamin with "a lot of B, especially magnesium."
Since chlorinated pesticides like DDT "rob the body" of B1 and Vitamin A, he says, it's a good idea to supplement these as well.
In addition, acidophilus, a beneficial bacteria that grows in the digestive tract (and found in yogurt) may restore immunity hurt by pollutants. A study on women with recurrent Vaginal candidiasis found that acidophilus cut their infections by 300% (Annals Int Med 1992; 116:353-357.)
Another immunity enhancer, colostrum, a natural immune enhancer that promotes cellular repair (Food Res Intl. 1995, 28(1):9-16) can also help the immune system battle pollution.
Vitamin C vs Pollution
A study of vitamin's C's antioxidant properties, conducted by University of Buffalo epidemiologists, and presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Epidemiologic Research, revealed that people with higher levels of vitamin C in their blood serum have lower levels of a marker of oxidative stress.
"It is well known that oxidative stress (cell damage caused by free radicals) plays a role in arteriosclerosis, cancer, pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions," said Holger Schunemann, M.D. a research assistant professor of social and preventive medicine at the University of Buffalo and lead author on the study.
"In this population, vitamin C was negatively associated with oxidative stress, suggesting it may play a role in protecting against these diseases." Vitamin C is the "greatest antioxidant," says Dr. Crinnion. "It has even been shown to clear lead from the blood."
A powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, Vitamin E scavenges free radicals protecting cells from oxidative damage. Vitamin E, "reverses toxicity of various toxic chemicals," says Dr. Walter Crinnion, "it is also a stabilizer of membranes." A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition regarding antioxidant vitamin supplementation and lipid peroxidation in smokers even indicates that an antioxidant-supplemented drink can reduce lipid peroxidation and susceptibility of LDL to oxidation in smokers and may ameliorate the oxidative stress of cigarette smoke.
Dr. Glidden recommends E preferably in the form of mixed tocopherols )If you take blood thinners, check with your health practitioner.)
Unfortunately, completely avoiding toxins in today's world is probably impossible. Civilization and toxic chemicals accompany each other hand in rubber-glove-encased hand. Still, with proper attention to nutrition and supplements to keep our bodies detoxifying, we can probably minimize health difficulties linked to these undesirables.
June 10, 2005 04:01 PM
Real Solutions by Susan Risoli Energy Times, November 1, 1997
The alarm sounds, you stumble out of bed and head to the bathroom. Suddenly, a burning sting wakes you with a jolt as you begin to urinate. One doctor visit later, you're on a strict antibiotic regimen to treat your urinary problem.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) affect 8 million to 10 million Americans, mostly women, each year. The culprit: the bacteria E. coli. Neglect may allow a UTI to spread to the bladder (where it causes cystitis), or kidneys: possibly life-threatening.
The good news: medical experts recognize that a diet change and avoiding certain risk factors may help fight off UTIs.
According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, about 20% of women experience UTI at least once, and many suffer recurrences. Sexually active women tend to incur more UTIs because of anatomical vagaries: the bladder sits just above the vagina, while the urethra, a structure from the bladder to the outside, protrudes in a tubelike ridge down the top part of the vagina to just above the Vaginal opening. This structure allows sexual intercourse to push infecting bacteria into the urethra. Women's vulnerability to UTI also derives from their short urethras which are located near the rectum, a main source of UTI germs. These tubes provide an easy path to a bacterial home in the bladder.
Another risk booster: pelvic exams which may increase chances of UTI. A 1996 study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago and reported in the Archives of Family Medicine (1996;5:357-360) found that 43% of women with UTIs had received a pelvic examination within the two months preceding infection. Only 16% of the uninfected had been examined.
Bladder infections can occur frequently in postmenopausal women due to thinning and drying of the Vaginal lining. And mid-life women are not immune. "With the loss of estrogen support, the urethra becomes less flexible and elastic and, like the vagina, it can become easily irritated after sexual intercourse and, thus, much more prone to infection," reports Susan Lark, MD, in her book, Women's Health Companion: Self Help Nutrition Guide and Cookbook (Celestial Arts). "As women age, the lower urinary tract also stops manufacturing anti-adherence factors, which help to prevent bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall."
Every woman should keep her own "female" botanicals on hand to help boost her immune system when she is at high risk of developing a bladder infection. These include:
Cranberry: This immune-boosting, vitamin C-rich berry prevents germs from invading the lining of the urinary tract. A 1994 study of 153 elderly women conducted by researchers at the Harvard Medical School and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (1994:271: 751-4) showed that cranberry juice may keep harmful bacteria at reduced levels. More recently, a study by Amy B. Howell, PhD, and a team at Rutgers University found that cranberries contain a type of condensed tannin, a chemical compound called proanthocyanidins, that seemed to stunt the growth of E. coli, preventing it from adhering to the walls of the bladder and kidneys.
"However, once you have an infection, cranberry juice cannot eradicate the bacteria. So drinking cranberry juice may be helpful in preventing an infection, but not in treating an existing one," according to Larrian Gillespie, MD, in her book You Don't have to Live with Cystitis (Avon Books).
Drinking two glasses of juice a day can help if you're UTI-prone. To avoid the sugar added to cranberry juice, concentrated cranberries are available in a gel-cap form.
Echinacea: This North American herb bolsters immune function and is believed to possess antiseptic and antiviral properties which may rev up the white blood cells that fight infection, reports John Cammarta, MD, in his book A Physician's Guide To Herbal Wellness (Chicago Review Press).
While cranberry is most commonly recommended for prevention, other herbs can also kill bacteria and are diuretic. These include:
Barberry: "The chemical berberine found in this herb is an impressive infection fighter. Studies show it kills the bacteria responsible for urinary tract infections," says author Jim O'Brien in his book Herbal Cures for Common Ailments (Globe).
O'Brien recommends making a tea with one half teaspoon of powdered root bark, then put it on low boil for 30 minutes. "The taste is unpleasant, so you may wish to add natural sweeteners and flavorings."
Uva-ursi: contains the ingredient arbutin, which fights germs in the urinary tract. "In addition," adds O'Brien, "the herb contains several diuretics that help flush the urinary tract, leading to faster healing. It also has several tannins, which act as powerful astringents drying out swollen, infected tissue. A third property of uva-ursi is allantoin, which promotes the growth of new cells."
"For this herb to be effective you must not eat or drink anything of acidic nature, such as citrus fruits or juices. Don't even take vitamin C supplements while using it," cautions O'Brien.
Coping With Pain
In her book Herbal Remedies for Women (Prima), medical herbalist Amanda McQuade Crawford offers an herbal recipe to help restore the urinary tract's normal pH. Herbal Formula I calls for 4 ounces of uva-ursi leaf, three ounces of marshmallow leaf, two ounces of yarrow flower (omit during pregnancy) and one ounce (or to taste) cinnamon bark. Steep the herbs for 10 to 20 minutes, then strain through bamboo or wire mesh. Drink 2 to 5 cups daily for 10 days. Crawford advocates drinking one to two cups per day for a week to 10 days after all symptoms have disappeared.
Urologist Gillespie has found that women with cystitis may notice certain foods and beverages (such as alcohol and acidic foods) exacerbate problems of pain and burning. Gillespie recommends cystitis sufferers avoid foods like apple juice, apples, apricots, melon, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, citrus fruits, coffee, ginger, grapes, guava, lemon juice, peaches, pineapple, plums, rhubarb, strawberries, tea, tomatoes and vinegar.
Limit refined sugar: this nutrient may stunt immune reactions. Most importantly, you can lower the risk of UTIs by drinking liquids. Water helps flush bacteria from the body so drink at least 6 to 8 eight-ounce glasses of filtered water daily.
Menopause Multiple - Eternal Woman
June 03, 2005 05:54 PM
Menopause happens to all women, but affects each woman uniquely. For some, the end of fertility (and the end of concerns about contraception) brings a sense of freedom. For others, it is a time of troublesome symptoms or perhaps the need for certain lifestyle adjustments. Menopause is a bridge to a point in life when many women report feeling more confident, empowered and energized than in their younger years. MENOPAUSE MULTIPLE is a Bio-Aligned Formula™ that helps bring alignment to a range of interrelated body systems: hormonal regulation, bone metabolism, cardiovascular health, energy generation and circulation.
After menopause, the ovaries no longer secrete two critical steroid hormones in the amount or pattern characteristic of a regular menstrual cycle. These two hormones are estrogen and progesterone. The transition from regular ovarian function to its absence is often called the perimenopause or perimenopausal transition. The time involved can range from one to 10 years. More than one third of the women in the United States, about 36 million, have been through menopause. With a life expectancy of 81 years, a 50-year-old woman can expect to live more than one third of her life after menopause. Low estrogen levels are linked to some uncomfortable symptoms in many women. The most common and easy to recognize symptom is hot flashes -- sudden intense waves of heat and sweating. Some women find that these hot flashes disrupt their sleep, and others report mood changes. Other symptoms may include irregular periods, Vaginal or urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence (leakage of urine or inability to control urine flow), and inflammation of the vagina. Because of the changes in the urinary tract and vagina, some women may have discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse. Many women also notice changes in their skin, digestive tract, and hair during menopause. Because the menopausal years place unique nutritional demands on a woman’s body, Source Naturals created MENOPAUSEMULTIPLE. This comprehensive formula brings together optimal amounts of the finest phytonutrients and herbs--including genistein, black cohosh, and chaste berry--plus vitamins and minerals known to support the biochemistry of mature women.
MENOPAUSE MULTIPLE is a comprehensive herbal-nutrient formula that supports the multiple, interconnected systems involved with female hormone function.
Hot flashes are related to hormone levels. As estrogen declines, FSH and LH (folliclestimulating and luteinizing hormones) increase, causing blood capillaries to dilate. This brings more blood and higher temperatures to the skin. Soy isoflavones and other herbs can mimic the effects of estrogen. Support for the adrenal glands is important since they account for most estrogen production after menopause.
During and after menopause, a woman’s hormonal balance and biochemistry change. Lower estrogen levels may affect bone density. Phytonutrients and calcium are important to maintain healthy bones in postmenopausal women. Calcium and magnesium work together in the metabolism of bone.
Heart & Circulation
Menopause increases concern for the health of the heart and circulatory system. Soy isoflavones and other ingredients may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. To regulate homocysteine levels for cardiovascular health, vitamins B-6, B-12, and folic acid are critical.
Among its many functions, the liver has the important job of promoting hormonal balance by processing excess levels of hormones. The powerful antioxidant, N-acetyl cysteine, helps the liver detoxify chemicals and milk thistle is a liver protectant.
The fatigue that is common during menopause makes nutritional support for energy and metabolism especially important. Metabolism can influence weight, energy levels, and mood. MENOPAUSE MULTIPLE contains ingredients that support energy generation, including the advanced nutrients CoQ10 and lipoic acid and ginkgo biloba.
Antioxidants help protect the circulatory system, which is important as estrogen declines. Antioxidants also defend tissues and cell membranes in all your body systems from free radicals, which are formed during normal cellular metabolism. Some important antioxidants: vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, zinc, and manganese all have strong antioxidant powers.
Lifestyle Tips for a Healthy Transition
Get Moving. Exercise is a powerful remedy for many menopause complaints and may help prevent future menopause-related diseases. It promotes better, more restorative sleep, and it stimulates production of endorphins, or “feel good” brain chemistry. Some women report having fewer hot flashes when they exercise regularly. Eat Well. A balanced diet low in saturated fat and high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, with adequate water, vitamins and minerals contributes to good health. Women at perimenopause and beyond have special dietary concerns, because both heart disease and osteoporosis are greatly affected by diet. A balanced diet is also important for bone development and maintaining bone strength. Some women – especially those who are elderly and have reduced appetites, who diet frequently, who don’t consume diary products, or who have eating disorders – may not consume adequate vitamins and minerals to maintain optimal bone mass. There is evidence that the natural, estrogenlike compounds in soybeans and many other plant foods used in MENOPAUSE MULTIPLE may reduce hot flashes and Vaginal dryness and increase bone density in women after menopause. Studies suggest that body cells respond to plant estrogens as if they were weaker versions of the human hormone. So consuming more of these estrogen-mimicking compounds may help compensate for the loss of estrogen naturally as women age. Prevent Bone Loss. Osteoporosis is one of the most preventable of bone diseases. Exercise maintains the strength of bones through aerobics, stair climbing, hiking, or walking. Prevention focuses on nutrition for bones, including a sufficient calcium intake of 1000 to 1500 mg/day.
Musculoskeletal System: Black Cohosh, Dong Quai, Licorice, Soy Isoflavones, Boron, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Vitamins A, B-6, B-12, C, D & E, Folic Acid
Heart and Circulation: Black Cohosh, Coenzyme Q10, Dong Quai, Licorice, Soy Isoflavones, Magnesium, Vitamins B-6, B-12, & E, Folic Acid
Hormonal Regulation: Black Cohosh, Dong Quai, Licorice, Soy Isoflavones, Vitex, Vitamins B-5 & C
Liver Support: Coenzyme Q10, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Dandelion, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Silymarin, Selenium, Vitamin C, Biotin
Antioxidant Defense: Coenzyme Q10, N-Acetyl Cysteine, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Silymarin, Selenium, Zinc, Vitamins A, C & E
Energy Generation: alpha-Lipoic Acid, Coenzyme Q10, Magnesium, Manganese, Zinc, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, & B-6, Niacinamide
Acidophilus: Nature’s Antibiotic
May 18, 2005 05:51 PM
Acidophilus: Nature’s Antibiotic
Lactobacillus acidophilus has been found to contain antibiotic properties. According to Dr. Khem Shahani, a professor of food science at the Un i versity of Nebraska, milk fermented by Lactobacillus acidophilus contains an antibiotic he calls “acidophilin.” It is a powerful antibiotic with similar abilities as penicillin, streptomycin and terramycin. He actually believes that it is more powerful than the antibiotics mentioned.7 Detrimental bacteria invade our bodies on a daily basis. Supplementing with either yogurt containing live cultures or a freeze dried capsule may be necessary to protect the body. Lactobacillus acidophilus can protect the digestive system from microorganisms causing infection and disease. It is a supplement that can help protect the body and work as “nature’s antibiotic.”
Plain yogurt is basically a combination of milk and Lactobacillus acidophilus, the friendly bacteria. This is the bacteria that produces lactase which aids in the process of curdling the milk and giving yogurt its tart flavor. Yogurt containing live cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus have been found effective in treating Vaginal yeast infections, infant diarrhea, food poisoning,and in preventing flu infections.8 Yogurt must contain the live, active cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus to be beneficial. The intestinal flora can be disrupted by conditions such as antibiotic therapy, stress, a poor diet, excess sugar consumption, and oral contraceptives. This friendly bacteria is not destroyed by the acidic gastric juices in the stomach and protects the body by adhering to the intestinal wall. Yogurt is a great way to add the beneficial bacteria often needed in the body. Some physicians recommend plain yogurt to patients undergoing antibiotic therapy to counteract the negative effects of the antibiotic. Many of the commercial brands of yogurt found in the neighborhood grocery store do not contain live, active cultures. Check carefully to assure the best quality available. Most health food stores have specialty brands with live cultures.
Acidophilus Probiotic 4 - 250ct
Acidophilus Probiotic 4 - 100ct
Acidophilus Probiotic 5 - 60ct
Composition and Method of increasing Testonsterone...
May 17, 2005 04:01 PM
Composition and method for increasing testosterone levels
Abstract This invention provides compositions and methods related to the administration of deer antler, one or more nor-testosterone precursors, and one or more testosterone precursors, to increase testosterone levels, treat sexual dysfunction, improve sexual function, improve energy, enhance feelings of well-being and increase muscle mass in males. This invention also provides for inhibitors of the enzymes aromatase and/or 5-alpha reductase, to support testosterone levels and avoid undesirable metabolites.
May reduce DHT:
By using velvet deer antler along with the testosterone and nor-testosterone precursors, the antler promotes youth film testosterone levels while balancing and ameliorating dangerous spikes in these levels. Another embodiment of the invention includes herbs that inhibits 5-alpha-reductase reducing undesirable levels of dihyrotestosterone. Another embodiment includes chrysin, which inhibits aromatase and the production of estrogenic steroids.
Deer antler (called Rokujo in Ancient Chinese Medicine) is used for its sexual-reinforcing and anti-aging actions. Wang et al., 36(7) CHEM. PHARM. BULL. 2587-92 (1988). Velvet antler is living tissue that grows at a rate of up to 2 cm/day in some species. Cartilage, bone and support tissues such as nerves, blood vessels and hair follicles of the antler also evidence accelerated growth. Antler is the only mammalian organ that regenerates. These features, responsible for the accelerate growth of velvet antler are likely to be caused by either unique regulatory substances or substances found in other tissues but at lower levels. It is believed that factors actually responsible for the rapid regeneration of the velvet antler can explain the powerful health benefits of the product. Specifically, velvet deer antler regulates the adrenal cortex and energy metabolism, promotes sexual function and growth, and strengthens resistance. Its functions fall into the major categories of general body strengthening, healing, promoting blood cell growth and improving immune and cardiovascular function.
Some of velvet deer antler's key ingredients include lysophosphatidyl choline, with hypotensive activity, phosphatidyl ethanolamines, sphingomyelin, phosphatidyl choline hypothanthene and uridene, with monoamine oxidase (MAO)-inhibiting and anti-aging effects; polyamines spermine, spermidine and putrescine, with RNA polymerase stimulating effects; gangliosides that may promote memory and learning; and anti-inflammatory amino acids. A wide variety of growth factors are also found in velvet, and may be associated with its growth-promoting activity. Tsujibo et al., 35(2) CHEM. PHARM. BULL. 654-59 (1987).
As taught by ancient Chinese medicine, deer antler tonifies the yang, primarily deficient yang of the kidneys, spleen and heart. Because kidneys are the seat of the basal yang, the most important use of this class of herbs is to tonify the kidney yang, whose principal manifestation of deficiency is systemic exhaustion. Yang deficiency causes impotence, spermatorrhea, watery Vaginal discharge, infertility, enuresis, polyuria, wheezing and daybreak diarrhea. Patients with deficient kidney yang very often have decreased plasma thyroid hormone binding proteins, 24-hour urinary 17-ketosteroids, and decreased rate of glycolysis. When treated with tonifiers such as deer antler, these measurements return to normal ranges. BENSKY ET AL., CHINESE HERBAL MEDICINE, MATERIA MEDICA, REVISED EDITION Eastland Press, Seattle, Wash. (1993).
Deer Antler Velvet Full Spectrum Planetary Formulas 30Ct
Deer Antler Velvet Full Spectrum 60ct