Search Term: " Weather "
Natural solutions to halt mosquitoes
August 17, 2018 03:53 PM
Summer is here, and that means that mosquitoes are out and multiplying at full swing. Fortunately, there are some safe and natural ways to fend off these pesky insects while you're enjoying the warm weather. If you're going to be at a campsite, it is best to opt in for jeans as long as you don't think you'll overheat. Mosquitoes can't bite through thick denim like they can other materials, so this alone should prevent them from breaking through.
"This great invention is not only meant to be used when traveling. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of these nets for covering cribs, strollers, and baby carriers. Some even use it inside their own bedrooms. Mosquito nets not only keep mosquitoes out, but other pests and insects as well."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-07-04-natural-solutions-halt-mosquitoes.html
Why you need essential oils in your household for the fall and winter season
October 14, 2017 01:14 PM
Fall is coming and after that it will be winter. If you have ever wanted to try essential oils now will be a good time. This gives many reasons why this is a good time to use them. They can do a lot in the home. They can help with health, cleaning, ad more. Those who have tried them usually end up wishing they had done so much earlier because of all the benefits they reap.
"Some of the benefits of essential oils during this time are:
Natural (and naturally fragrant) cleansing of the indoor air Helps supports healthy immune function Uplifts mood, and supports emotional well-being Supports muscle and joint health Improves skin health Supports the respiratory system Supports digestive balance May help improves sleep"
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-10-09-why-you-need-essential-oils-in-your-household-for-the-fall-and-winter-season.html
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice: 7 Reasons to You Should Drink Aloe Vera Juice
August 31, 2017 09:14 AM
"Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice: 7 Reasons to You Should Drink Aloe Vera Juice", lets us know how important aloe vera juice can be in our everyday life. Helping your skin and hair are the simplest benefits of this plant. Heart health, weight loss and aiding your digestion are more ways aloe vera gives positive effects. Its detoxifying agents help cleanse your mouth and your colon two very important parts of your body that need to stay fresh. It's as simple as adding water to the juice from the plant.
"Since aloe vera juice is neither sugary nor acidic, it promotes oral health. It helps in curing gum disease, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also believed to treat mouth ulcers."
Read more: http://www.india.com/lifestyle/health-benefits-of-aloe-vera-juice-7-reasons-to-you-should-drink-aloe-vera-juice-2429040/
Full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, cabbage needs to be a regular in your kitchen
August 23, 2017 09:14 AM
For anyone interested in healthy eating, cabbage is a useful vegetable to have handy around the kitchen. Cabbages have anti-inflammatory properties, are packed full of antioxidants, and help to fortify the body against cancerous cells. They are versatile vegetables that can easily be prepared as part of a side dish, appetizer, or even the main course. Cabbage plants are low maintenance and can be grown easily from seed, so it is possible to always have a fresh and abundant supply on hand. Once the cabbage plant is harvested, it can be used to make Cabbage Crunch Salad or as an ingredient in numerous other nutritious recipes.
"With its high concentrations of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, cabbage is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/full-of-antioxidants-and-anti-inflammatory-compounds-cabbage-needs-to-be-a-regular-in-your-kitchen/
Miracle In A Glass: This Juice Fights Almost All Allergies!
June 26, 2017 05:14 AM
Allergies are a concern for many people, especially when spring and summer Weather rolls around. But, what would you say if you could drink a delicious juice and almost immediately end all those allergies and the painful symptoms that come with it ? The idea might not be so far-fetched, as there is a new juice that promises to do just that. Read this information and learn important information about this incredible juice that you should consume.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zoa38ts7iSQ&rel=0
"Allergies are actually reactions of the organism in people with weak immune system"
Medical News Today: Eight home remedies for treating a cold
March 13, 2017 03:59 PM
The common cold can really take its toll on an individual, but it is experienced by so many people when changes in Weather take place. Now you can beat the cold fair and square by using one of the cold remedies listed here. Are you ready to try these awesome cold-fighting remedies that really work?
"There is currently no cure for a cold but there are several home remedies that may reduce symptoms."
Eight foods to superpower your immune system
February 11, 2017 07:59 AM
There are eight foods out there that will superpower your immune system. Soup broth is one of these things. It's not only great for fighting a cold, it has many other benefits besides that. Also, yogurt is a food that will help boost your inner strength. Yogurt is a great source of probiotics.
"If you're feeling under the Weather, food might be the last thing on your mind."
Eight foods to boost immunity and fight the common cold
February 10, 2017 12:59 PM
The common cold is something only your own immune system can help with. This tells you eight foods to eat that will give it a fighting chance. The immune system is the body's defense so helping it along is always a good idea. It would be easy to add these foods into anyone's diet since they're common and are easily obtained.
"When you’re trying to fight off an illness, focus on consuming foods that are packed with nutrients."
3 Ways to Naturally Beat Wintertime Depression
January 14, 2017 10:59 AM
The winter Weather got you down? Here are 3 sure fire ways to help you get out of that funk. Featured in this article are 3 very easy ways to beat the wintertime blues. Even better news, they cost almost nothing. Very informative with real world examples from the author this post is a definite must read to trick our bodies from going into mental hibernation.
"If you suffer from wintertime depression, make sure you are eating two servings of vegetables and one fruit with each meal. Yes, this means two servings of vegetables even with your breakfast. If you can get your nine servings daily of vegetables and fruits hopefully you will be too full to even think about eating sugar or processed foods."
Top five health benefits of ginger
December 30, 2016 02:59 PM
The phenolic compounds in ginger are known to help relieve gastrointestinal irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production. Ginger helps in controlling nausea. Ginger helps in cold Weather to keep warm. As per a study involving 74 volunteers carried out at the University of Georgia, daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%.
"As per a study involving 74 volunteers carried out at the University of Georgia, daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%."
Fight your sickness by making your own DIY all-natural cough syrup
December 29, 2016 02:59 PM
Most people get sick during the winter months although it's not the cold Weather that actually makes you sick. People don't go out as much during the winter and are around others more which makes it easier for the bacteria and viruses to spread. Eating healthy, drinking enough filtered water and getting enough exercise are among some of the things you can do to keep your body healthy.
"Most germs that cause the common cold spread more quickly in cold, dry air. Furthermore, during the winter months, people spend more time indoors and closer to each other, which makes it easier for the bacteria and viruses to spread."
Protect yourself from flu season with these natural cold remedies
December 11, 2016 10:59 AM
The common cold is an infection of your nose and throat caused by viruses. We typically catch between two and four colds a year. There is some evidence suggesting that people with higher levels of vitamin D may have a reduced risk of catching the common cold. Astragalus root has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen immunity and prevent colds and flu. Studies have found that astragalus has antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system, although there have been no clinical trials examining the effectiveness of astragalus against colds in humans.
"For instance, elderberries have been used as medicine since the Stone Age, according to Melanie Grimes, scholar, academic, author and homeopathic expert."
Say NO to GMO in America
Coming from over 50 countries, countless millions of people have expressed their disapproval over attempted corporate ownership of plant seeds through GMO (genetically modified organisms). Having said that, the corporations involved have assured the public that GMO is safe and want us to believe that it's more efficient at feeding the world by giving higher yields and have greater resistance to extreme Weather conditions.
Safety of GMOAccording to a growing number of scientists such as world leading expert Dr Don Huber GMO expert, professor of plant pathology at Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana, USA, there has been NO peer reviewed evidence to support the idea that GMO crops are safe. On the contrary, a vast catalogue of scientific evidence has built up over the years showing that GMO is unsafe.
Public consumption of genetically modified crops have been accused of causing ill health in the form of allergies, cancer, birth defects and infertility. It also includes toxicity, reduced nutritional value, environmental damage and political unrest such as that with farmer's and consumer's disputes.
The Revolving Door EffectApproval bodies like the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) decide whether or not a food or drug is fit to go out on the market for consumption. GMO is not safe. Nor has it shown to produce higher yield, greater nutritional value or resist drought conditions better than non-GMO according to many experts such as Professor John Fagan, award-winning Geneticist, Maharishi University of Management, Iowa, USA.
Yes, of course we should say NO to GMO. It is spurred on by corporate greed and political self interest with more than its fair share of hidden ulterior motives. The technology is unimaginably potentially dangerous and could be perceived as one of the biggest threats to humanity if allowed to get out of control.
Hair Growth Vitamins - Are you going bald?
October 29, 2016 11:29 PM
There are many reasons why someone may be going bald ranging from stress to shortage of proper nutrition. Vitamins that help the hair grow is vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, Biotin, Inositol and Niacin among a few others. They contain protein and minerals to provide proper nourishment for the hair. Rubbing the scalp will help to stimulate and bring blood circulation to the follicles.
"There are a few prospects of unhealthy hair: brittleness, shedding, splitting, dryness or unnecessary oiliness, early graying, dandruff and so on. There can be several reasons for any of these issues, ranging from shortage of proper nourishment in the diet to stress to vitamin deficiency to menstrual issues to external Weather conditions to emotional disturbances to extended or grim illness."
Lavilin Deodorant reviews.
March 04, 2014 09:03 AM
There are many deodorants in the market but Lavilin is among the reputed deodorants. It is a gentle and effective deodorant.
Aluminium-some deodorants contains aluminium which causes breast cancer and Alzheimer. Most of the ingredients are from natural sources. This makes Lavilin a premier deodorants.
It is also free from Parabens, though most anti-perspirants uses Parabens to improve shelf life, Lavilin uses natural methods. Parabens are very dangerous to our bodies since they can damage central nervous system, cause birth defects and endocrine disruption.
It contains zero Propylene Glycol, Triclosan and Phthalates which are also very harmful to your health.
It is also free from alcohol which damages skin pores and also causes blisters. Deodorants which contains alcohol will cause blisters and users will get irritation when they take bath.
How it works.
It works by eliminating bacteria that causes odor smell in your armpits. It does not prevent you from sweating, sweating is a very health process and any product that hinders normal body processes is definitely not good at all.
Lavilin uses essential oils to eliminate bacteria and ensure your skin remains fresh and you have a good smell.
Direction of use.
This product should be used after taking shower. It has a good smell which will not work well if you have not taken bath.
You can also use it after shaving, it does not cause irritations, it is very friendly.
Upon it use, you will have fresh breath for more than 72 hours. It has a good smell and it will keep your skin fresh for more than 72 hours. It does not wear off easily even after taking a bath, it is promising product that will keep you confident for more than 4 days.
It is long lasting, upon wearing it, it will remain effective for more than 72 hours. You don’t need to use it daily.
It is not affected by water, the scent will remain after taking bath.
There is no strong smell, it scent is just friendly to you and other people. It is never shouty and only a person close to you will smell the scent.
It does not stain clothes or make your armpits white. You clothes will not be discolored by use of Lavilin nor will your armpit get white color.
You can use it after shaving, it does not cause blisters or irritations. It is very friendly.
It is also very use, it has few and easy few to follow instructions.
Lavilin does not seem to be effective to men. It can last for more than 4 days when worn by a lady but for a man it will last for only three days. This call for regular use.
Lavilin can be used by body builders or people taking strenuous exercise. It can also be used in nay Weather, sunny, rainy or high humidity, it effectiveness is not lessened by Weather condition.
Beta Glucan can Boost your Immune System in a great way
November 18, 2013 07:43 AM
What is Beta Glucan
If you are one of those people that always remain ill or if your body cannot adopt easily with Weather then it’s a sign of poor immunity and you need to improve the immunity system of your body. In order to do this you can take help of some medicines or you can consume some foods that naturally contain the Beta Glucan, which is a soluble fiber and it plays a key role in improvement of immunity system of your body.
Effects of Beta Glucan
If we talk about the effect of Beta Glucan on your immunity system it work on both the component of your immunity system that are acquired immune response and innate immune response system. In order to improve the immunity system f your body beta Glucan activate both of these component and as a result of this you get better immunity system.
How is Beta Glucan Works
In this process of immunity system improvement, First Beta Glucan combines itself with a specific type of white blood cell that is commonly known as Macrophage and as a result of this particular bonding, these white blood cells can detect and eliminate harmful foreign bodies in much better way. For this action of immunity system improvement innate immunity system is responsible.
Once your body gets the information about any kind external harmful bodies such as bacteria, virus or any other infection, acquired immune response system get activated and this is the system that fights with all these external bodies. Beta Glucan improve this system as well so your body can communicate about these intruders and can defense the body in much better manner.
Other than improvement of immunity system of your body, Beta Glucan, can help you to fight variety of other problems as well including high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer and a lot of other diseases as well.
The Benefits of White Tea!!
November 23, 2012 01:25 PM
White tea is a special variety of lightly oxidized tea which has undergone very little processing. It is originally native to China and in recent times it has been cultivated in Nepal, Thailand and Taiwan. White tea has been popular in China for over a thousand years and was the preferred drink of the rich elite of the nation. It came into prominence during the reign of the Soong dynasty. It was considered precious and was presented as tribute to the Emperor.
According to legend Emperor Hui Zong lost most of his kingdom in his pursuit for the perfect white tea. White tea is an integral part of Chinese history and was a part of many of their traditional ceremonies. The rest of the world has only recently adopted this exotic beverage.
How Is It Produced?
White tea is derived from the Cammelia senensis plant and takes lot of time and effort to produce properly. The leaves and buds of the plant are carefully steamed and subsequently dried. It is not processed or rolled extensively like black or green tea. This makes white tea lightly oxidized and this unprocessed quality may be the reason for its numerous health benefits. We look at some of the health benefits associated with white tea.
An Antioxidant And More!
White tea contains antioxidants which help in protecting the body from harmful free radicals. These free radicals accelerate aging and damage DNA. White tea has substances which are effective against malignant cells and can help treat stomach, colon and prostate cancers. Flavonoids are a special variety of antioxidants which restrict the growth and development of cancerous cells. White tea has been shown to help in lowering blood pressure and promoting arterial functioning. It causes a reduction in the consistency of the blood and promotes smooth blood circulation. It protects against stroke by promoting a healthy circulatory system.
Active Ingredient Catechins:
Catechins are another group of antioxidants, which can help regulate cholesterol levels in the body. These antioxidants reduce bad cholesterol and prevent the arteries from hardening. White tea drinkers are reported to have greater strength and bone density. Also drinking white tea has shown positive effects for people suffering from bone related disorders like osteoporosis and arthritis.
This tea provides natural defensive against viruses and bacteria. It is conducive for the health of the immune system and provides protection against a variety of immune disorders. White tea contains small amounts of fluoride compounds which help keep your teeth healthy and clean. It eliminates the bacteria responsible for bad breath, tooth decay and plaque. It removes free radicals from the tissue and reverses the effects of Weather, stress and poor dietary preferences to give you healthy glowing skin. White tea has many other health benefits to offer.
Its consumption is linked to increase in metabolism, weight loss and reduction in the symptoms associated with type-2 diabetes. White tea is a natural product free from excessive processing and harmful chemicals. It offers many health benefits and does not cause any harmful side effects. It is slowly gaining popularity as a health supplement among the global population.
What Is The Difference Between American Ginseng And Korean Ginseng?
December 28, 2011 07:52 AM
Ginseng is a perennial plant which belongs to the genus of Panax, specifically in the family of Araliaceae. It is native in many places such as in North America and East Asia. It can also be abundantly found in other areas of the world which have a cool climate. Ginseng is a broad genus of plant. It has many subtypes in which plant description as well as health benefits may have similarities and differences. Despite their variations, all ginseng plant contains the active ingredient which is called ginsenosides.
One type of ginseng is the Panax quinquefolius or commonly called American ginseng. Despite its name, this kind of ginseng is widely used in the Chinese traditional medicine. This kind of ginseng originated in Northern America. However, cultivation is more abundant in China. Like many other ginseng plant, this is a perennial herb which contains ginsenosides.
Another type of ginseng which is popularly used in many alternative medicines is the Korean ginseng, also known as Asian ginseng. This kind of ginseng has a similar chemical structure with American ginseng. Like the American ginseng, this kind of ginseng also has many health benefits to human body because of its ginsenosides content. The scientific name for Korean ginseng is Panax ginseng.
Clinical studies have revealed that American ginseng has been found to have an effect more on the immune system of the person. It effectively boosts the immune system thus protecting the body from harmful microorganisms which can cause diseases and infections. Other studies have shown that American ginseng can potentially have a therapeutic effect against inflammatory diseases. On the other hand, Korean ginseng is more on as a tonic herb. It significantly helps the nervous system relax and stabilize mood and behavior. In fact, ongoing studies are being conducted to help develop the brain and the other parts of the nervous system to its maximum.
Other differences of the two beneficial ginseng plants are that American ginseng has a cooling effect therefore; it is best used during humid Weather conditions. On the other hand, Korean ginseng is a little bit warm in nature. Hence, the latter is great in times of cool climates. Also, American ginseng is found to have a tranquilizing and sedative effect, while Korean ginseng has revitalizing and energizing properties.
Another difference is that, American ginseng is rich in a type of ginsenosides called Rb1 while Korean ginseng is abundant in Rg1 type of ginsenosides. The former is great for increasing the yin energy while the latter is effective in boosting the level of yang energy.
Ginseng herbs can be taken fresh. Many people prefer the roots while some like the leaves more. Nowadays, supplements are already formulated. It is available in the form of tablets, teas or extracts. Topical use is also common therefore ointments and creams are also manufactured. If you are planning to have ginseng supplements, it would be best that you should consult your doctor first. This would greatly help in the prevention of untoward effects of the supplement. Though ginseng is relatively safe, side effects may still occur. However, these effects are non – life threatening.
How Does Omega-3/6/9 Help My Cat And Dogs Hair Health?
September 23, 2011 12:50 PM
A man's best friend as we all know them, and yes, I do mean both dogs and cats, I know we would commonly refer to dogs when it comes to that saying but I can make an argument about cats being a man's best friend too. Although I won't get into details about that in this article, no room for that argument for the moment. Rather we are going to talk more about their health or Hair Health to be exact. We've all had that experience right? An owner of any of the two pets, may it be a new sofa, a new car or maybe a new bed, will experience hairs everywhere. Well one way to improve that situation and I'm not saying that it will cure it completely is to focus more on how to help enhance your pet's hair health.
How many times have you heard someone referring to a dog as a sick one due to poor fur conditions? A lot probably, because it is true, the fur is most definitely one of the ways to tell whether a pooch is healthy. I understand, you might be saying that hair loss among dogs is usual and in fact, they do have seasonal shedding. And I am not disputing that fact, like I said earlier we will not be able to stop shedding entirely because of that very reason, it is part of a dog's biological process. However, it does not mean we could not lessen it especially when it is not part of their seasonal shedding. But before we get there let's talk about the other half of this match made in heaven.
A little fur ball here and there, who hasn't seen that? Cats do shed hair and they do it all throughout the year. The amount of shedding is determined by a couple of things, its health, its nutrition and in some cases where it lives. Its environment does play a factor, like the Weather or whether it is an outdoor cat or an indoor cat. But we can influence a couple of those possible reasons for shedding.
Omega 3/6/9 and Hair Health
These omega fatty acids are one things that could help us with the hair shedding challenges that our adorable pets give us. Aside from usual regimens of brushing and other tips to improve hair health, supplementation of these omega fatty acids could be of great help to you. Here are some of the reasons why.
Omega 3 has Alpha Linolenic Acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These substances are essential in the optimum functioning of our pet's central nervous system and aids in the protection of skin from diseases.
Omega 6 also contains linolenic acid and arachidonic acid, and has anti - inflammatory properties and helps promote healthier skin, hair and nails.
Omega 9, also known as oleic acid is a precursor of the other essential fatty acids which is the primary reason for its importance.
Oil Skin Treatment
February 12, 2010 12:31 PM
Oily skin is the result of the sebaceous glands, which are the oil-secreting glands, produce more oil than is needed for proper lubrication of the skin. The excess oil is responsible for clogging pores and causing blemishes. Oily skin is most likely a result of heredity. However, it is known to be affected by factors such as diet, hormone levels, pregnancy, birth control pills, and the cosmetics that you use. Humidity and hot Weather stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. However, it can occur at any age. A lot of people have skin that is oily only in certain areas and dry or normal in others. This condition is known as combination skin. Generally, the forehead, nose, chin, and upper back tend to be the areas that are more oily than other areas.
Oily skin does have some positive aspects. This type of skin is slow to develop age spots and discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles. Often, it doesn’t freckle or turn red in the sun. It actually tans evenly and beautifully. On the negative side, oily skin is extremely prone to breakouts, even past adolescence. Oily skin also has a chronically shiny appearance, an oily or greasy feeling, and enlarged pores. The following nutrients are recommended for the prevention and maintenance of oily skin. The dosages recommended are for adults unless otherwise specified. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dosages should be reduced to three-quarters the recommended amount.
Flaxseed oil capsule or liquid in dosages of 1,000 mg daily or 1 tsp daily is helpful in supplying needed essential fatty acids. This nutrient is a good healer for most skin disorders. 25,000 IU of vitamin A for three months is necessary for healing and construction of new skin tissue. Vitamin B complex should be used as directed on the label as B vitamins are important for healthy skin tone. 1,000 to 1,500 mg of kelp should be taken daily. This nutrient is responsible for supplying balanced minerals that are needed for good skin tone.
Vitamin E should be taken in dosages of 200 IU daily or 400 IU every other day to protect against free radicals. 50 mg of zinc should be taken daily for tissue repair. This nutrient also enhances immune response. Grape seed extract should be taken as directed on the label, as it is a powerful antioxidant that protects skin cells. 500 mg of L-cysteine should be taken on an empty stomach, as it contains sulfur which is needed for healthy skin. 1 tsp of lecithin granules should be taken three times daily before meals. This nutrient is needed for better absorption of the essential fatty acids. SOD should be taken as directed on the label. It acts as a free radical destroyer. Tretinoin should be used as prescribed by a physician. This nutrient acts as a gradual chemical peel, unclogs pores, and speeds up sloughing off of top layers of skin. It helps to expose new, fresh skin.
Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: aloe vera, burdock root, chamomile, horsetail, oat straw, thyme, lavender, lemongrass, licorice root, rosebuds, and witch hazel. If you have a oily skin, washing the affected area two or three times daily will help keep the skin oil free and reduce acne along with a healthy diet low in sugar and vitamin supplements.
Pau d'arco Bark
November 10, 2009 11:23 AM
Pau d'arco is known in South America for its healing powers by the Callawaya tribe. These people called the herb taheebo and have been using it for over one thousand years. This herb was used anciently by the Inca civilization's medicine men. Pau d'arco was included in traditions that were passed down through the generations. Pau d'arco has been used to treat cancer and other illnesses since the 1970s in the Santo Andre Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This herb has become a well-known herb for healing and protecting the body from disease.
Pau d'arco is found growing in a tree high in the Andes and can Weather the worst storms because of its hard wood and deep roots. This herb is found in the inner bark of the red lapacho tree. Most of the trees surrounding this tree eventually become covered with spores, which lead to fungus, and this eventually kills the trees. However, the red lapacho seems to be able to resist the spores. This may be a contributor in pau d'arco's ability to heal the body and resist disease.
There seems to be some evidence of antitumor properties in pau d'arco. Many individuals have taken this herb when they are undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. Pau d'arco helps to strengthen the body and help prevent the side effects that are associated with cancer treatment. Additionally, this herb seems to be a powerful alterative and blood builder. It has the ability to increase the hemoglobin and red corpuscles that are found in the blood. It gives the body a greater vitality by increasing its resistance to disease. Pau d'arco seems to be responsible for giving the body energy and strength to defend itself and resist disease. The herb is also believed to help inhibit the growth of tumors and increase the growth of normal tissue. Furthermore, pau d'arco herb is used to aid in the assimilation of nutrients and the elimination of waste matter. It is often referred to as the “everything” herb due to its uses for many disorders. Pau d'arco has been used by many, along with other medications. There seem to be no problems that are associated with the combination. It is also used to help counteract the side effects of some medications and is believed to reduce the liver damage that is caused by some drugs. Many herbalists have used this herb to treat a variety of conditions. It is effective as an immune system enhancer. It can also aid in treating conditions such as cancer, leukemia, tumors, and blood disorders. Pau d'arco is also used to treat the pain of arthritis and also for diabetes, candidiasis, herpes, liver ailments, hypoglycemia, and assimilation of nutrients.
Studies have found that a component of pau d'arco, quinine lapachol, has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The herb also seems to have an antitumor effect without any toxic side effects. Additional components include beta-lapachone, hydroxyl-napthoquinone, alpha-lapachone, and xyloidone. These are effective against numerous viruses, bacteria, and fungi, including herpes, influenza, poliovirus, and many others. A researcher at the National University of Tucuman in Argentina, Dr. Theodoro Meyer, discovered the substance xyloidin. This substance is able to kill viruses. Xyloidin is also beneficial in inhibiting the causative agent of dysentery, tuberculosis, and anthrax.
Pau'd arco is available at your local or internet health food store at discount prices. Look for name brands like Solaray, Source Naturals, and Natures Plus to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Periwinkle - Vinpocetine
October 09, 2009 10:23 AM
Periwinkle can be found natively growing in North America, Europe, China, and India. The plant is a semi woody evergreen perennial. It is known by three names: Vinca, Periwinkle, and Myrtle. Typically, the plant is grown as an annual. It has a woody stem that can be found near the base and grows two to three feet tall and spreads out just as wide. The plant has a long life span of approximately twenty years. It also has a moderate growth rate. The plant has dark green foliage and bright blue flowers. The leaves are retained from year to year and are about two to three inches in length. This plant is very easy to grow, requiring little or no attention. Typically, it does best in poor, well drained soils. The flowers will suffer if the soils are too fertile. The periwinkle plant needs full sun or partial shade. It should be watered moderately during the growing season, but it is relatively drought resistant once it is established. The plant does not tolerate over watering. Fungus problems can occur in humid or wet Weather.
For centuries, periwinkle has been used in different areas of the world to treat a variety of conditions. This herb grows in temperate climates and is often grown as an ornamental plant. Periwinkle juice from the leaves of the plant is used in India and applied to bee stings and bug bites. The plant grows well in Hawaii. The extract has been applied to wounds to stop bleeding. This herb can be found growing in South America and has been used for a wide variety of medicinal purposes. Periwinkle was used by native healers in Madagascar for cancer. Vincristine sulfate and vinblastine sulfate, two anticancer drugs, were developed from the periwinkle plant after the herbal healers in Madagascar were studied.
Periwinkle is considered to be a good binder. It can be chewed to stop bleeding in both the nose and mouth. It has been used historically for female complaints including excessive menstrual bleeding and uterine discharge. It also helps in aiding blood coagulation in wounds. This herb is effective in treating colitis, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, headaches, migraines, nervous conditions, and diabetes.
Studies have found that periwinkle possesses anticancer attributes. Anticancer agents in periwinkle have been used to treat Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, and cancer of the lungs, liver, and kidneys, along with other types of cancer. Periwinkle can be found natively growing in North America, Europe, China, and India. The plant is a semi woody evergreen perennial. It is known by three names: Vinca, Periwinkle, and Myrtle. Typically, the plant is grown as an annual. It has a woody stem that can be found near the base and grows two to three feet tall and spreads out just as wide. The plant has a long life span of approximately twenty years. It also has a moderate growth rate. The plant has dark green foliage and bright blue flowers. The leaves are retained from year to year and are about two to three inches in length. This plant is very easy to grow, requiring little or no attention. Typically, it does best in poor, well-drained soils. The flowers will suffer if the soils are too fertile. The periwinkle plant needs full sun or partial shade. It should be watered moderately during the growing season, but it is relatively drought r
The entire periwinkle plant is used to provide antineoplastic, astringent, hemostatic, nervine, and sedative properties. Primarily, periwinkle is extremely beneficial in dealing with cancer, diabetes, hemorrhoids, nervousness, and ulcers. Vincamine is an alkaloid found in this plant has been studied and found to support cerebral blood flow, and oxygen and glucose utilization. It may also support cognitive function and enhance memory and concentration when taken regularly.
Additionally, the herb is very helpful in treating bleeding, congestion, chronic constipation, cramps, dandruff, chronic diarrhea, internal hemorrhages, leukemia, menstrual bleeding, excessive mucus, nightmares, skin disorders, sores, and toothache. 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 periwinkle, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Ginseng, Its Good For The Body
October 05, 2009 11:35 AM
Ginseng, one of the oldest and most beneficial herbs in the world, is probably the most popular herb used in traditional medicine. It was rated the highest and most potent of herbs in Shen-Nung’’s Pharmacopoeia in AD 206-220. People in northern China began using ginseng thousands of years ago. Early herbalists recognized the shape of ginseng as resembling a human figure, feeling this was a sign that the root was important for healing the entire body. Often, ginseng is referred to as the “man root” and is often the subject of many legends and fold history. The Chinese revered the ginseng root so highly that they even fought wars over the land used for growing this herb.
There are many different types of the ginseng plant that are grown throughout the world and used for traditional medicine. All of the most common species of plants known as ginseng have similar reactions in the body. Ginseng has often been referred to as an adaptogen herb, helping to normalize and adjust the body. This herb also restores and regulates natural immune response. Ginseng helps produce adjustments as needed in the body without side effects or harm. This herb has been used to help normalize blood pressure. This adaptogen helps to modify the effects of the environmental and internal stresses from various sources like chemical pollutants, radiation, some poisons, Weather, temperature changes, poor diet and exercise, and emotional stress. Used for many ailments, ginseng is thought of as a universal cure-all, promoting longevity in general.
A great variety of studies have been done in many countries to determine the effectiveness of ginseng. In some instances, incomplete results have occurred. However, there have been enough credible studies done to now determine that high-quality ginseng plants do contain active constituents that are very beneficial to the body. Research has even shown that the roots are effective against bronchitis and heart disease.
There has been a lot of interest in the alleged aphrodisiac effects of ginseng. Often marketed as a sexual stimulant, the results of most studies have been inconclusive. Ginseng does increase the sperm count. For thousands of years, ginseng has been used to strengthen the male reproductive system. It is highly recommended alone or in combinations for both male and female health.
Ginseng contains at least thirteen known triterpenoid saponins, which are referred to as ginsenosides. These are thought to be the most important active constituents. Many other minor components have been isolated as well. The age, location, species, and curing method of each plant effects the composition. Some of the plants tend toward stimulating and warming effects, while others have relaxing and cooling effects.
The root of the ginseng plant is used to provide adaptogen, alterative, aphrodisiac, stimulant, and stomachic properties. Primarily, ginseng is extremely beneficial in dealing with age spots, appetite loss, asthma, high blood pressure, and depression, lack of endurance, fatigue, fevers, hemorrhage, hormone imbalance, sexual stimulation, and stress.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating aging, anemia, bleeding, blood diseases, bronchitis, and cancer, lack of concentration, gastric disorders, indigestion, inflammation, impotence, insomnia, liver disorders, and lung disorders. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by ginseng, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
August 01, 2008 12:58 PM
It seems more and more common that people are looking at every possibility to wellness before they make a decision on the best form of treatment for them, with many taking their time to search for the best possible solution. Feverfew is a medicinal folk remedy, used abundantly in the past, and is currently being used because of its beneficial effects. For thousands of years, feverfew has been used as a medical treatment and is now becoming one of the most common herbal relievers of migraine pain. Scientific research has recently become available on the use of this herb in treatment of migraines and other forms of inflammation and pain, making interest in feverfew grow rapidly.
The feverfew plant is a member of the Asteracea or Compositae family, along with flowers such as the daisy, sunflower, black-eyed Susan, Echinacea, calendula, dandelion, burdock, and marigold. Feverfew is often referred to by other names including featherfew, featerfoil, febrifuge, wild quinine, and bachelor’s button. A busy perennial that grows from one to three feet in height, feverfew looks similar to the daisy plant with white rays and a yellow center but is smaller in size. The entire plant has a strong bitter smell which allows it to repel bees and other insects. Many people believe that the name feverfew came from the use of the flower to bring down fevers, while others believe that its name originated from the English version, featherfew, which describes the shape of the leaves on the feverfew plant.
For thousands of years, feverfew has been used for the treatment of an abundant amount of ailments. Although the exact origin of the first use is unknown, references to feverfew can be found all throughout history. In ancient times, feverfew was used in childbirth, to treat fevers, melancholy, and congestion of the lungs, as well as inflammation and swellings. Feverfew was also used for many female problems and strengthening the womb, also promoting menstrual flow. Another use of feverfew was for painful headaches, especially migraines. Feverfew is an extremely complex substance, containing several essential oils such as L-camphor, L-borneol, terpens, and esters. Another active ingredient of the feverfew plant is parthenolide. Parthenolides have been found to inhibit prostaglandins, which are found to be partially responsible for migraines as well as the inflammation process.
With headaches being a problem since the beginning of time, they are one of the most common medical complaints. Migraines are caused due to inflammation of blood vessels in the brain, which causes an intense headache pain. To determine if a headache can be classified as a migraine one should note the following: if only one side of the head is affected; whether flashing lights, blind spots, or feelings of irritability and depression occur immediately before the headache; stomach distress along with nausea and vommitting; and someone in the immediate family also suffering from migraines. The two main contributors to the problem of migraines are the trigeminal nerve system and serotonin, the nerve chemical.
Migraines involve excessive dilation or contraction of the blood vessels that are found in the brain and make up about 6% of the total number of headaches, with about 10% of the population suffering from migraines at any given time of the year, and the majority of these people being women. Migraines can be triggered by the following factors: stress, eating certain foods, alcohol, food additives such as sodium nitrate, changes in Weather, seasons, time zones, or altitude, disturbance in sleep patterns, disturbance in eating habits, hormonal fluctuations, pollution, loud noise, flickering lights, constipation, and low blood sugar.
In conclusion, an increase in some of the trigger factors previously listed is thought to be the cause for the fact that the number of individuals suffering from migraines continues to climb, with the occurrence of migraines increasing by almost 60% among all age groups during the past ten years. This may be due to pollutants and poor diets that lack essential fatty acids and plastics that mimic prostaglandins which regulate the inflammation pathways in the body. So if you are suffering from pain, specifically migraines, give feverfew a try.
10 Top Winter Cold & Flu Supplements
January 14, 2008 10:01 AM
As the winter Weather continues to keep people close together indoors, viruses causing influenza and the common cold are able to more easily multiply. However, there are ways to prevent these unwanted germs from invading your body. Here is a list of the top ten dietary supplements that help the immune system fight and repel cold and flu bugs.
Andrographis has long been used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine to boost the immune system. Actually, andrographis was first used during the Indian flu epidemic of 1919, where it was credited with stalling the spread of the disease. According to research, andrographis works better than a placebo for reducing the symptoms of respiratory infections and it may even prevent the infection in the first place. These studies used a proprietary andrographis product which combines the herb with a Siberian ginseng.
Beta glucan is a fiber-like complex sugar that can be found in oats, barley, and the cell walls of mushrooms. It provides a boost to the immune system which enhancing resistance to viruses and bacteria. In fact, beta glucan has been shown to boost the activity of phagocytes, special immune system cells which engulf and destroy germs.
Echinacea has a long history of traditional use; with it actually being one of the most widely used herbs in Native American medicine. Instead of having a direct germ-killing effect, Echinacea stimulates the body’s own immune defenses. Many studies go back as far as 1970 have shown that Echinacea boosts the immune system so that it can protect against infections invaders. A new study has found that Echinacea can reduce the odds of developing a cold by 58 percent and shortens the length of a cold to 1.4 days.
Elderberry was considered in Roman times to be a flu remedy. Recently, elderberry extract has been researched for its role in treating influenza infections, especially when it is taken with in the first 24 hours of developing symptoms. One recent study proved that individuals who were taking elderberry recovered four days sooner from influenza than those taking a placebo. Additionally, the use of other medications was less for those who used elderberry.
Garlic improves resistance to disease by boosting immune function. Many studies have found that garlic stimulates immunity because it increases the number of white blood cells and other immune system team members. A recent study proved that a group of individuals taking garlic caught significantly fewer colds and recovered more quickly from the colds they did come down with than the other group which was taking a placebo.
Ginseng boosts immune function in all of its forms. A study of adults who were taking American ginseng daily during the winter months found that those people, compared to those taking a placebo, caught fewer colds and needed less sick days. Additionally, Siberian ginseng and Asian ginseng can also build defenses against winter germs.
Propolis is created by bees when resins from plants are mixed with wax. This propolis coats the inside of the beehive with an antiseptic layer and it can have similar benefits when taken by humans. Propolis stimulates the body’s immune system. It has been proven in studies that taking propolis extract can protect against colds and other upper respiratory infections. Children who take propolis daily for three winter months have been proven to catch fewer colds than those kids who are taking a placebo.
Zinc lozenges, when they are taken within 24 hours of the first cold symptom, can keep cold viruses from taking ground in the respiratory tract. The use of a zinc lozenge every couple of hours also causes colds to resolve more quickly and symptoms to be less severe.
Our immune system is out first line of defense against the cold and flu, as well as the diseases we may come down with. Keeping our immune system in tip top shape is key to a happier and healthier life. The above herbs can help boost the immune system along with a dietary change and exercise plan one can reduce the length of or prevent sickness over a life time.
Food Additives May Be Linked To Kids’ Hyperactivity
October 31, 2007 12:14 PM
Some may deny it but recently discovered that other ingredients in foods can spur hyperactivity in children. We once thought that sugar alone was the problem but now a published report in Sept. 6th edition of The Lancet suggests that preservatives like sodium benzoate in soft drinks and artificial colorings can cause children to have a hyperactivity disorder.
The researchers gave drinks to children ages 3, 8, and 9 years of age either placebo drinks or drinks laced with these preservatives. The end result, the children who took the laced drinks experienced more restlessness and shorter attention span then those children who did not receive the laced drinks. This experiment was conducted of a six week period.
As a result there has been some negative feed back form various authorities like the Schneider Children’s Hospital in New York said that removing additives from the diet may not clear up hyperactivity. I would say state the facts and let the parents decide Weather to clean up their child’s diet or not.
Cleaning up the diet and moving to a more natural and organic lifestyle is what everybody needs especially our children. Better nutrition can promote a healthier child with fewer colds through out the year and boost learning. So what is keeping you from changing your child’s diet?
Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate
March 28, 2007 11:10 AM
Glucosamine Sulfate and Chondroitin Sulfate
Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent form of arthritis in the U.S., according to the Arthritis Foundation. One-third of all American adults have X-ray evidence of osteoarthritis of the hand, foot, knee, or hip. Osteoarthritis is responsible for more than 7 million physician visits per year and is second only to cardiovascular disease as the cause of chronic disability in adults. As Baby Boomers age, the number of people suffering from osteoarthritis is expected to rapidly increase in the next 10 years.
While osteoarthritis research ahs led to the development of promising new prescription and over-the-counter medications aimed at reducing pain, none has created the excitement of glucosamine sulfate (GS), which actually addresses the underlying joint destruction.
Q. What is osteoarthritis?
A. Osteoarthritis is a complex, metabolic disorder of the cartilage and bones of certain joints. However, to fully understand how osteoarthritis develops, we need to understand how joints work.
A joint is formed when two or more bones are brought together and held in place by muscles and tendons. Some joints have very little range of movement, such as the joints of the ribs, while others have much more range of movement. Hips, knees, elbows, writs, and thumbs are termed synovial joints, and have the greatest range of movement and mobility of human joints. To allow such mobility, synovial joints have a unique structure.
The bones that form synovial joints are covered with cartilage. Tough fibrous tissue encloses the area between the bone ends and is called the joint capsule. The joint cavity within the capsule is lined with an inner membrane, called synovial membrane. The membrane secretes synovial fluid, a thick, slippery fluid that fills the small space around and between the two bones. This fluid contains many substances that lubricate the joint and ease movement.
The cartilage of synovial joints serves two very important functions. First, it provides a remarkably smooth weight-bearing surface; synovial joints move easily. Secondly, synovial cartilage serves as a shock absorber, providing a soft, flexible foundation. Healthy cartilage absorbs the force of the energy, transmits the load to the bone, and distributes the mechanical stress created by joint movement.
Synovial joints function under almost continual mechanical stress. A joint’s ability to withstand or resist this stress is a reflection of its health. When the mechanical stress is too great or the joint’s ability to resist this stress is compromised, physical changes occur in the cartilage covering the bones.
Cartilage is a tough, elastic tissue, comprised mostly of water, collagen, and complex proteins called proteoglycans. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage starts to weaken, becomes frayed, and eventually breaks down. This exposes the bones of the joint, which then rub together. A gritty feeling and grinding sound may occur when an osteoarthritic joint is bent and flexed. As osteoarthritis progresses, bits of bone and cartilage often break off and float inside the joint space. The bones may enlarge, causing the joint to lose its normal shape. Tiny bone spurs may grow on the joints’ sides and edges. These physical changes in the diseased joint are responsible for progressive damage and continual pain.
People with osteoarthritis most frequently describe their pain as deep and aching. The pain not only is felt in the affected joint but may also be present in the surrounding and supporting muscles. Joint inflammation also may occur, increasing the already considerable discomfort. Joint stiffness is another unfortunate component of osteoarthritis. Exercising the joint most often results in increased pain; however, stiffness tends to follow periods of inactivity. Humid Weather often makes all osteoarthritis symptoms worse. As the disease progresses, the pain may occur even when the joint is at rest, creating sleepless nights and miserable days.
Q. What causes osteoarthritis?
A. Osteoarthritis’ exact cause remains unknown. Researchers know aging doesn’t appear to cause osteoarthritis. Cartilage in people with the disease show many destructive changes not seen in older persons without the disease. However, certain conditions do seem to trigger osteoarthritis or make it worse.
Some families seem to have a lot of osteoarthritis, pointing to a genetic factor. This is most commonly seen in people who have osteoarthritis of the hands. Repeated trauma can contribute to osteoarthritis, too. Athletes, extremely active people, and individuals who have physically demanding jobs often develop the disease. Persons who have certain bone disorders are more prone to osteoarthritis due to the continuous, uneven stress in their hips and knees.
Obesity also is a risk factor for the disease. In overweight women, osteoarthritis of the knee is fairly common. Excess pounds also may have a direct metabolic effect on cartilage beyond the effects of increased joint stress. Obese people also often have m ore dense bones. Research has shown dense bones may provide less shock-absorbing function than thinner bones, allowing more direct trauma to the cartilage.
Q. Can osteoarthritis be prevented?
A. While there is currently no sure way to prevent osteoarthritis or slow its progression, some lifestyle changes may reduce or delay symptoms. The Arthritis Foundation states that maintaining a healthy weight, losing weight if needed, and regular exercise are effective osteoarthritis prevention measures.
Optimal calcium intake in younger years is vital to ensure a healthy aging skeletal system. Vitamins A, C, D, and E have been studied for their role in osteoarthritis prevention. These vitamins also have shown benefit in individuals who have osteoarthritis.
Q. What treatments are available for osteoarthritis?
A. The goal of treatment is to reduce or relieve pain, maintain or improve movement, and minimize any potential permanent disability. Typically, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (pronounced “n-sayds”) such as aspirin and ibuprofen are used for pain and inflammation relief. These medications are effective in treating only the pain of osteoarthritis.
These medications have many side effects, some of which are serious. NSAID-induced gastrointestinal complications cause more than 100,000 hospitalizations and nearly 16,500 deaths annually in the U.S. Aspirin can cause an extremely annoying and continual ringing in the ears. NSAIDs frequently cause damage to the stomach lining, which can produce uncomfortable heartburn and abdominal pain. Continued NSAID use may lead to the development of stomach ulcers. NSAID-related ulcers can perforate the stomach lining and cause life-threatening bleeding. Most NSAIDs also interfere with blood clotting and may cause kidney damage. When older persons take NSAIDs, dizziness, drowsiness, memory loss, and decreased attention span may occur.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol and similar medications) is similar to aspirin and other NSAIDs in its pain-relief abilities. However, acetaminophen doesn’t reduce inflammation. And while acetaminophen doesn’t have the same side effects of aspirin and other NSAIDs, if large doses are taken, liver damage can occur.
Newer medications called COX-2 inhibitors provide both pain relief and reduce inflammation without the many side effects of acetaminophen, aspirin, and other NSAIDs. More recent research has indicated that, in certain situations. COX02 inhibitors also can cause stomach lining damage and bleeding. While aspirin, NSAIDs, and COX-2 inhibitors may reduce osteoarthritis pain, they do nothing to stop or slow down cartilage deterioration. In other words, these medications have no effect on the disease itself.
That is why many believe glucosamine sulfate (GS) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) are preferable to pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications in osteoarthritis treatment: they actually improve synovial joint health. And they do this without potentially life-threatening side effects.
Q. How do GS and CS work?
A. GS improves the health of joints affected by osteoarthritis. This supplement is so effective that even physicians who mostly rely on conventional medications routinely recommend it to their patients with osteoarthritis. In fact, GS is so good at treating osteoarthritis, many physicians use it for their own osteoarthritis joints.
There is even more good news. When glucosamine sulfate is combined with low-molecular weight CS, even greater benefits can be achieved. GS and CS are naturally occurring compounds found in human joints. The right GS/CS combination actually reverses damage in joints affected by osteoarthritis, in turn significantly reducing pain and stiffness.
Glucosamine occurs naturally in the body and is found in synovial fluid. Glucosamine is a basic building block for proteoglycans, is a basic building block for proteoglycans, one of the important compounds of synovial cartilage. It also is required for the formation of lubricants and protective agents for the joints.
In Europe, GS and CS have been used to treat osteoarthritis for more than 10 years. While persons with arthritis felt much better when they took GS and CS, no one really knew how these compounds worked. When European and American researchers first started to study glucosamine, they discovered GS can reduce synovial joint inflammation. This explains why people felt better after taking it.
Q. What has additional study of GS and CS revealed?
A. As the scientific study of GS progressed, researchers determined it can stimulate the growth of cartilage cells, inhibit proteoglycans breakdown, and rebuild cartilage damaged from osteoarthritis. In other words, GS does not simply make persons with osteoarthritis feel better; GS actually makes persons with osteoarthritis get better.
GS is the form of glucosamine used in research. It’s the sulfate salt of glucosamine and breaks down into glucosamine and sulfate ions in the body. The sulfate part of GS plays an important role in proteoglycans synthesis.
CS also provides cartilage strength and resilience. CS is an important component of the cartilage proteoglycans of synovial joints. Because CS helps the production of proteoglycans, researchers believe CS works in a similar nature to GS.
Q. Couldn’t GS and CS be taken on their own? Is there any benefit in taking them together?
A. Research has discovered GS and CS act synergistically (work well together) in improving joint health. Several studies have investigated this action and it’s recommended that GS and CD be taken together. However, there may be times when your healthcare practitioner may recommend using one or the other, but not both GS and CS together. Please follow their recommendations to obtain the best results for your own unique health concerns. Low-molecular weight chondroitin sulfate (CS) is the preferred CS form, and the form that has shown the most promise in studies.
Q. Why is it important to take low-molecular weight CS?
A. When CS was first studied, it was given to six healthy volunteers, six patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and six patients with osteoarthritis. Researchers then measured the levels of CS in all study subjects. They found no evidence of CS in any of the subjects. This single study led many physicians and scientists to believe CS can’t be absorbed, and was not an effective natural treatment.
However, several other studies in healthy volunteers have reported CS can be absorbed. The distinct difference for these findings is thought to be associated with the types of CS used in the studies. Some forms are much more absorbable that others. This was demonstrated in a recent study using CS with lower molecular weight. A higher absorption is observed for low-molecular weight CS.
This means CS products with a low molecular weight may be better absorbed, allowing the CS to get into the bloodstream and the synovial fluid of joints where it’s needed.
Q. Are there other supplements that can help osteoarthritis?
A. Several vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and natural supplements have benefits for individuals with osteoarthritis. Proteolytic enzymes effectively offer relief of the pain, stiffness, and swelling of osteoarthritis.
Folic acid and vitamin B can reduce the number of tender joints and increase joint mobility. Vitamins C, D, and E not only may prevent osteoarthritis, but inhibit the disease’s progression. Niacinamide improves joint function, range of motion, and muscle strength. Clinical studies using the herb Boswellia serrata have yielded good results in osteoarthritis.
Application of ointments on osteoarthritic joints may be helpful in reducing pain and stiffness. Menthol-based preparations can provide soothing relief to painful joints. Capsaicin ointments and gel made for cayenne pepper also are very beneficial. When applied to the skin, capsaicin first stimulates, then blocks, nerve fibers that transmit pain messages. Capsaicin depletes nerve fibers of a neurotransmitter called substance P. This neurotransmitter transmits pain messages and activates inflammation in osteoarthritis. Capsaicin ointment is very effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain in many individuals.
Q. Is there anything else I can do for joint pain and stiffness?
A. When osteoarthritis occurs in the hands, use of a paraffin dip can be very comforting. A licensed health care practitioner can provide information about how to safely use paraffin dips at home.
Exercise is an excellent way to keep joints mobile, decrease pain, and increase body strength, too. Water aerobics also can reduce the pressure and stress on joints.
The Arthritis Foundation strongly suggests making movement an integral part of your life. When you’re in less pain and have more energy, more range-of-motion, and a better outlook on life, you’ll reduce stress and be a much healthier person despite your osteoarthritis.
One important last thought
When we don’t feel well, we sometimes have a tendency to self-diagnose. If you haven’t been evaluated by a licensed health care practitioner for your joint pain and stiffness, you need to do so. These symptoms may be caused by other illnesses and may require much different treatment. Only licensed health care practitioner can provide a certain diagnosis of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis may be a part of life for many of us as we age; however, constant pain and stiffness need not be. GS combined with absorbable CS can actually improve damage in joints affected by osteoarthritis and significantly reduce pain and stiffness. And it can be an empowering way to improve your health.
Throat Releev Lozenges - Sing your heart out!
December 30, 2005 06:30 PM
Kal says: "Sing your Heart Out!"
Weather you're performing on stage or just singing in the shower, you want to be your best. Kal Throat Releev Lozenges have a wonderful slippery texture that can provide daily nutritive support for your throat. The formula is designed for soothing triple action with slippery Elm, Elderberry and Zinc in a great natural orange flavor.
Chloride: The Forgotten Essential Mineral
November 20, 2005 07:54 AM
Chloride: The Forgotten Essential Mineral
Chloride is an “essential” mineral for humans. It is abundant in ionic trace mineral preparations. It is a major mineral nutrient that occurs primarily in body fluids. Chloride is a prominent negatively charged ion of the blood, where it represents 70% of the body’s total negative ion content. On average, an adult human body contains approximately 115 grams of chloride, making up about 0.15% of total body weight.1 The suggested amount of chloride intake ranges from 750 to 900 milligrams per day, based on the fact that total obligatory loss of chloride in the average person is close to 530 milligrams per day. As the principle negatively charged ion in the body, chloride serves as one of the main electrolytes of the body. Chloride, in addition to potassium and sodium, assist in the conduction of electrical impulses when dissolved in bodily water. Potassium and sodium become positive ions as they lose an electron when dissolved and chloride becomes a negative ion as it gains an electron when dissolved. A positive ion is always accompanied by a negative ion, hence the close relationship between sodium, potassium and chloride. The electrolytes are distributed throughout all body fluids including the blood, lymph, and the fluid inside and outside cells.2 The negative charge of chloride balances against the positive charges of sodium and potassium ions in order to maintain serum osmolarity.
Pivotal Roles of Chloride in the Body
In addition to its functions as an electrolyte, chloride combines with hydrogen in the stomach to make hydrochloric acid, a powerful digestive enzyme that is responsible for the break down of proteins, absorption of other metallic minerals, and activation of intrinsic factor, which in turn absorbs vitamin B12. Chloride is specially transported into the gastric lumen, in exchange for another negatively charged electrolyte (bicarbonate), in order to maintain electrical neutrality across the stomach membrane. After utilization in hydrochloric acid, some chloride is reabsorbed by the intestine, back into the blood stream where it is required for maintenance of extracellular fluid volume. Chloride is both actively and passively absorbed by the body, depending on the current metabolic demands. A constant exchange of chloride and bicarbonate, between red blood cells and the plasma helps to govern the pH balance and transport of carbon dioxide, a waste product of respiration, from the body. With sodium and potassium, chloride works in the nervous system to aid in the transport of electrical impulses throughout the body, as movement of negatively charged chloride into the cell propagates the nervous electrical potential.
Deficiency of Chloride
Deficiency of chloride is rare. However, when it does occur, it results in a life threatening condition known as alkalosis, in which the blood becomes overly alkaline. A tedious balance between alkalinity and acidity is in constant flux, and must be vigilantly maintained throughout the entire body. Alkalosis may occur as a result of excessive loss of sodium, such as heavy sweating during endurance exercise, and in cases of prolonged vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms include muscle weakness, loss of appetite, irritability, dehydration, and profound lethargy. Hypochloremia may result from water overload, wasting conditions, and extensive bodily burns with sequestration of extracellular fluids. In a situation in which infants were inadvertently fed chloride-deficient formula, many experienced failure to thrive, anorexia, and weakness in their first year of life.3
Excessive intakes of dietary chloride only occur with the ingestion of large amounts of salt and potassium chloride. The toxic effects of such diets, such as fluid retention and high blood pressure, are attributed to the high sodium and potassium levels.4 Chloride toxicity has not been observed in humans except in the special case of impaired sodium chloride metabolism, e.g. in congestive heart failure.5 Healthy individuals can tolerate the intake of large quantities of chloride provided that there is a concomitant intake of fresh water. Other situations in which increased blood levels of chloride are seen include diseases of improper waste elimination that occur in kidney diseases. Excess chloride is normally excreted in the urine, sweat, and bowels. In fact, excess urinary excretion of chloride occurs in high salt diets. Excessive intakes of chloride can occur in a person with compromised health in addition to an unhealthy diet. However, those that follow a healthy diet and lead an active lifestyle may need to consider supplementing their diet with this important mineral.
Chloride vs. Chlorine
The mineral supplement chloride is very different from the gas chlorine. While elemental chlorine is a dangerous gas that does not exist in the free elemental state in nature because of its reactivity, although it is widely distributed in combination with other elements. Chloride is related to chlorine however, as one of the most common chlorine compounds is common salt, NaCl. Chloride is a by-product of the reaction between chlorine and an electrolyte, such as potassium, magnesium, or sodium, which are essential for human metabolism. Chloride salts are essential for sustaining human metabolism and have none of the effects of isolated chlorine gas.
Sources of Chloride
Chloride occurs naturally in foods at levels normally less than 0.36 milligrams per gram of food. The average intake of chloride during a salt-free diet is approximately 100 milligrams per day. Unfortunately, chloride is found commonly combined with undesirable dietary sources. The most common of these negative sources is table salt. Table salt is made from a combination of sodium and chloride ions. Other unhealthful sources include yeast extracts, processed lunchmeats, and cheeses. Healthier sources of chloride include kelp (seaweed), ionic trace minerals, olives, rye, tomatoes, lettuce, and celery, although not in large enough amounts to supply the needs of an active adult.6 In its original form, however, chloride is leached from various rocks into soil and water by years of Weathering processes. The chloride ion is highly mobile and is transported to closed basins, such as the Great Salt Lake, or oceans.7
Chloride is a highly important, vital mineral required for both human and animal life. Without chloride, the human body would be unable to maintain fluids in blood vessels, conduct nerve transmissions, move muscles, or maintain proper kidney function. As a major electrolyte mineral of the body, chloride performs many roles, and is rapidly excreted from the body. Active adults that eat a healthy diet devoid of salt and illnesses in which vomiting and/or diarrhea are profuse warrant the supplementation of additional chloride. Replacement of chloride is essential on a daily basis to maintain regular metabolic function. Chloride is safely utilized by the body, without negative health effects. Of the negative health effects that have been associated with diets high in chloride, these are mainly attributable to the accompanying sodium and potassium, two other electrolyte minerals to which chloride is often attached
1 Wesson LG. Physiology of the human kidney. New York, NY, Grune and Stratton, 1969: 591
2 Weast RC, ed. CRC handbook of chemistry and physics, 67th ed. Boca Raton, FL, CRC Press, 1986.
3 Kaleita TA. Neurologic/behavioral syndrome associated with ingestion of chloride-deficient infant formula. Pediatrics 1986 Oct;78(4):714-5
4 Beard TC. A salt-hypertension hypothesis. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 1990;16 Suppl 7:S35-8
5 Seelig M. Cardiovascular consequences of magnesium deficiency and loss: pathogenesis, prevalence and manifestations--magnesium and chloride loss in refractory potassium repletion. Am J Cardiol 1989 Apr 18;63(14):4G-21G
6 Altschul AM, Grommet JK. Food choices for lowering sodium intake. Hypertension 1982 Sep-Oct;4(5 Pt 2):III116-20
7 Gelb SB, Anderson MP. Sources of chloride and sulfate in ground water beneath an urbanized area in Southeastern Wisconsin (Report WIS01 NTIS). Chemical abstracts, 1981, 96(2):11366g.
Skin Eternal #1 Skin Care Line – Source Naturals
November 04, 2005 09:16 AM
Skin Eternal #1 Skin Care Line – Source Naturals
November is National Skin Health Month! It’s also a time of year when exposure to stormy winter Weather and overheated rooms can play havoc with skin. Source Naturals #1 Skin Eternal line can help nourish and recondition dry, chapped and irritated skin.
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Adverse Reactions to Foods and Dietary Supplements
August 27, 2005 08:27 AM
Adverse Reactions to Foods and Dietary Supplements
Answers to common Questions
The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that between 60,000 and 106,000 deaths per year in the United States are caused by prescription drugs. See JAMA, April 15, 1998 – Vol 279, No. 15. Fortunately, adverse reactions to foods and dietary supplements are far more rare than adverse reactions to drugs. However, we each consume a larger variety and quantity of foods than drugs. Because of this, and because each of us can react differently, an allergic or isolated reaction to a food or supplement is a possibility. Here’s helpful information about what to do if you or someone you care for has what appears to be an adverse reaction to a food or dietary supplement.
What types of reactions could I have?
The most common adverse reaction is an allergic reaction. In order to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction, carefully read all labels and buy products from reputable manufacturers who accurately disclose the ingredients in their products. If you need help finding these manufacturers, ask your local health food retailer for recommendations.
How do I know what caused my reaction?
Take time to carefully review what might have caused the reactions. Doctors and experts in toxicology look at several different factors in trying to determine the cause of a particular reaction.
1. Is this reaction a side effect of drugs I am taking?
Asking your self these questions can help limit the number of possible causes and may lead you to an answer more quickly.
What should I do if I have an adverse reaction?
Weather or not you know the potential cause of the reaction, follow these steps:
How can I reach the FDA or another government agency about my concerns?
Various state and federal agencies employ personnel who can help respond to concerns or questions about adverse reactions. Following is contact information for some of the agencies:
How can I report an adverse event?
FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) has an Adverse Event Reporting System (CAERS) that can be contacted in any of the following ways:
You can contact FDA’s MedWatch Program in any of the following ways:
For Non-emergencies related to products purchased via internet, fill out an online form on FDA’s website at vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/qa-top.html (see link to “form to report unlawful sales”)
You may also contact any local poison control center, local or state health agencies, the department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Trake Commision, the Consumer Products safety Commission, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and t hey will forward your report to the FDA.
Put a spring in your step with these energizing tips
August 02, 2005 10:03 AM
Put a spring in your step with these energizing tips
Stress, illness and even our everyday routines can all affect our energy levels and our ability to do daily tasks. Perpetual fatigue not only keeps us from doing what we would like to do but also what we have to do. Below are some tips for easy ways to boost your energy and increase your enjoyment of life: FIGHT AND WIN THE Allergy WAR
DECREASE YOUR INTAKE of white flour and sugar, processed foods, red meat and fatty foods. Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and soy products.
ENERGY LEVELS CAN be affected by digestive problems, such as sluggish bowel. Try a juice fast followed by a diet of whole, raw foods to help cleanse your body and recharge your immunity.
INSTEAD OF RELYING ON caffeinated soft drinks to get you through the day, try an iced ginseng or peppermint herbal tea. Ginseng is a particularly energizing herb that is good with honey.
FATIGUE CAN ALSO BE a result of a vitamin deficiency. B vitamins in particular are important for our energy levels and our ability to handle stress. Consider getting a B12 shot.
IF YOU ALWAYS feel tired and rarely sleep well, consider taking L-tryptophan supplements. With the right dosage, you should feel a big difference in your anxiety levels and how rested you feel.
IF YOU ARE SUFFERING from hidden food allergies, you are overworking your immune system. This situation can cause fatigue. Keep a food diary to help you eliminate the guilty foods.
CONSIDER A FISH, flaxseed or evening primrose oil supplement for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The typical American diet is deficient in essential fatty acids, which affect every body system.
Get energized—try these natural energy-enhancing tips
PHYSICAL INACTIVITY or sleeping too much can also lead to a general lack of energy. Even if a gym is not for you, walking or stretching for 45 minutes, three times a week is suggested.
SOMETIMES FATIGUE IS DUE to a problem with the thyroid gland, especially if you are pregnant. Consider talking to your health-care professional about thyroid testing. Adding kelp to your diet is also helpful because of its iodine content—an iodine deficiency is sometimes responsible for thyroid disorders.
DEPRESSION, NERVOUS TENSION AND emotional or physical stress can tax the body, and if experienced daily, they can lead to a chronic lack of energy. Research suggests that daily journal writing is effective for dealing with depression and stress. Daily meditation is also helpful.
MAKE AN HERBAL JUICE by mixing sage, rosemary and oat juice (from the green plant), and take 1 tablespoon each day. This juice will help counteract nervous tension and irritability, as well as exhaustion. It is also good for insomnia if taken before bed.
COENZYME Q10 IS A useful supplement that increases the supply of oxygen to your body tissues, thereby boosting your energy and performance levels. This supplement should be easy to find at any pharmacy or health store.
LONG-TERM FATIGUE can be a symptom of low blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, cancer or liver problems. If you are concerned, see your health care professional.
CONSIDER GETTING TESTED FOR weak adrenals or low iron in the blood. If you are suffering from either of these problems, you are likely to feel a general lack of energy. DHEA, a precursor hormone, can help with adrenal problems, and low iron can be remedied with a simple mineral supplement fortified with iron.
MAKE AN EFFORT to unwind before bedtime. By reading, going for a short walk or taking a bath before you go to sleep, you have a chance to release tension and stress that will affect how well you sleep each night. Also, try not to eat right before retiring to bed.
CONSIDER ADDING TWO OR MORE yoga positions to your daily routine. There are a number of books on how yoga increases well-being and fights fatigue.
THE PRESENCE OF A yeast infection in the body can also decrease energy levels by overtaxing the immune system. These infections can be brought on by antibiotics, birth control and environmental stress. Acidophilus and a cleansing diet are helpful for dealing with yeast infections. Serious infections may require medication.
THE PRESENCE OF PARASITES in the body can also compromise your immune system and lead to chronic fatigue or lack of energy. Goldenseal, echinacea, grapefruit seed extract, zinc and vitamin C can all help fight microbes and support healthy immune function.
ESPECIALLY DURING THE spring and summer months, when the Weather is getting warmer, you should be drinking plenty of water. Also, consider trying this energy booster: 3 cups pineapple juice, 1 cup water, 1 cup alfalfa sprouts and 10 almonds, all blended until smooth.
ONE OF THE MOST substantial problems of the typical American diet is a lack of fiber. Aim for 25–35 grams of dietary fiber each day by including beans, fruits (like apples, skin included) and whole grains to the diet. Fiber is essential for proper digestion and elimination, both of which affect all other body systems.
BOOSTING THE IMMUNE SYSTEM is especially important for enhancing your energy levels, especially if you have been ill. Consider adding vitamin C, bee products and green foods to your daily diet to fight infection and fatigue.
Wellness Herbal Kids Liquid - Immune Support for Children–Ages 2 & Up
June 29, 2005 12:45 PM
For parents, nothing is more important than ensuring the wellbeing of our children. That’s why Source Naturals developed WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS.
WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS is the only herbal liquid for children with the Wellness name behind it. This unique and powerful cold Weather blend features the prime immune herbs, echinacea and goldenseal. Unlike typical formulas, WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS also contains the famed Yin Chiao Chinese herbal complex, plus uncommon winter botanicals from around the world. And WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS is alcohol-free, with a great kidapproved taste. Source NaturalsWELLNESS HERBAL KIDS: because nothing is too good for your child.
Echinacea & Goldenseal: Botanical Immune Support
Echinacea, one of the most popular herbs in the United States, has been used to support natural defenses for more than 5,000 years. A highly valued Native American botanical, it has been shown in modern research to support immune function, specifically the activity of macrophages. Echinacea’s beneficial activity is due to a number of constituents, including polysaccharides and echinacosides, a group of compounds found only in echinacea. WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS features a standardized extract of Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia. Goldenseal, another Native American botanical, has been used for centuries to soothe sensitive mucous membranes, including those in the respiratory, digestive and genitourinary systems. Its beneficial properties are attributed to its alkaloids, especially berberine.
According to traditional Chinese herbalism, Yin Chiao is best taken at the first signs of internal imbalance. Yin Chiao features herbs like lonicera (honeysuckle), forsythia, peppermint, and licorice.
WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS includes other traditional botanicals. Elderberry has been used for winter health for centuries. It is a rich source of nutrients, especially bioflavonoids and anthocyanins. The phytonutrients in elderberry positively influence cell function and protection, and support the immune system. Isatis contains glycosides that help support your body’s innate defenses; it is valued by herbalists as a complement to echinacea and goldsenseal. The formula also includes the traditional Native American botanicals boneset and horehound, warming ginger, the renowned adaptogen Eleutherococcus senticosus, and bayberry.
The Wellness Family™:
Comprehensive Winter Support WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS, an important member of Source Naturals’ Wellness Family of natural immune system products, is available in 2, 4 and 8 fl oz bottles. You can also try Source Naturals’ other fine Wellness products. Look for WELLNESS EARACHE™ homeopathic kids’ formula, WELLNESS COLD & FLU™, WELLNESS COUGH SYRUP, WELLNESS ZINC™ Lozenges and Throat Spray, WELLNESS ELDERBERRY™ and lots more—including, of course, original WELLNESS FORMULA®.
WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS: Part of the Wellness Revolution
There is a revolution underway in natural health consciousness, and health food stores are in the forefront. You can benefit right now—long before word spreads to the general public—with the innovative child nutrition of WELLNESS HERBAL KIDS.
GINSENG and Stress
June 25, 2005 01:04 PM
Re s e a rchers became interested in studying the Siberian ginseng after finding beneficial activity in the Panax ginseng. It was first found to contain adaptogenic properties. One study conducted during the 1960s in the former Soviet Union consisted of 2,100 adults, some normal and some considered to be under high stress. No adverse side effects were found and the results were positive with improvement in the stressed individuals.25 Stress is a condition that causes a disturbance in the body, whether it is from a physical or mental source.
Asian ginseng helps to modify the effects of environmental and internal stresses from different forms such as chemical pollutants, toxins, radiation, Weather, temperature changes, poor diet, physical trauma, exercise and emotional stress. Because of its adaptogenic properties, ginseng is able to adjust and balance the body functions when under stress.26 Ginseng can help to balance the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis by normalizing the metabolic systems in the body when stress occurs.27
June 25, 2005 01:02 PM
Research on the Panax ginseng was first done to determine the adaptogen properties. Siberian ginseng does possess adaptogenic qualities, but its action is thought to be milder than Asian ginseng. The American ginseng has not been well studied or documented as to its adaptogenic properties, but it is known to have adaptogenic activity. Each of the ginseng varieties are thought to work as a general tonic on the body, increase energy and increase mental and physical abilities. Ginseng has often been referred to as an adaptogenic herb. When taken for extended periods of time, it helps the body adapt to stress and brings the body into balance.
It helps normalize and adjust the body’s restoring and regulating natural immune response.14 The word adaptogen is derived from the Greek work adapto, to adjust, and the suffix gen, producing. It helps to produce adjustments as needed in the body. This function is done without side effects or harm to the body.15 Ginseng, as an adaptogen, has been used to help normalize blood pressure whether high or low. It helps to increase or slow output to restore equilibrium. Adaptogens help to modify the effects of environmental and internal stresses from different forms such as chemical pollutants, radiation, Weather, temperature changes, poor diet, exercise and emotional stress. It is used for many ailments in the body and even thought of as a universal cure-all.
Are Standardized Herbs Better?
June 17, 2005 12:34 PM
Are Standardized Herbs Better?
Standardized is a term to mean that there is a guaranteed amount of a certain botanical constituent. For example St. John's Wort can be standardized to contain hypercin, Gingko can be standardized to contain flavones, Mahuang for ephedrine, and Milk Thistle for its silymarin content. Standardized does not necessarily mean stronger or better. Chemical solvents such as hexane benzene, acetone, and methyl chloride are typically used in standardized extracts. Residues of the chemicals are found in the finished product. Furthermore they may be hazardous to the environment.
The problem with obtaining an amount of a standard constituent is, a plant can contain hundreds of active constituents. By concentrating on one component, we may lose synergistic compounds, which may improve effectiveness and lessen adverse reactions. Often scientists do not fully understand which constituents are beneficial for the clinical results of an herb. For example scientists are unclear whether or not hypercerin, hyperiform, or the interaction of several constituents, that have antidepressant properties in St. John's Wort. Once it was thought that the immune effects of Echinacea were due to echinosides; now it is thought that polysaccharides and proteins may also be immune supporting. In the case of ginseng, ginsenosides are found in ginseng leaves and roots, however ginseng leaves do not have same properties as the roots. In the South Pacific, locals all use Kava Kava roots, however German pharmaceutical companies use the stems to make standardized Kava Kava. Another drawback of standardized herbs is the chemicals used to manufacture them.
Advocates of standardized herbs are usually academics with little clinical experience with herbs, or researchers whose work is funded by companies that manufacture standardized products. Traditional herbalists seldom used standardized products for a variety of reasons. One, standardized extracts tend to be more expensive. Two, there is little evidence that they are more effective than the whole herb. For example, I have never seen studies comparing Gingko tea to standardized Gingko extracts; Ginseng standardized extracts have not been shown superior to whole ginseng root. Finally, many herbalists reject the pharmaceutical model of healthcare, which involves costly production techniques and capital investment to make a standardized extract.
Standardized herbs play a role in the drug model of herbal medicine, however traditional herbalists will continue to recommend herbs in more natural state which may include water and alcohol extracts, teas and pills that have not been standardized. (Factors that influence products quality include Weather, soil, the time of year the plant is harvested, the age of the plant, the part of the plant being used, and the DNA of the plant, storage and processing.) You can also blend various batches of herbs to achieve a consistent potency; this is commonly done in the wine making industry. Finally you can add an active compound (synthesized) to an herbal product and the DNA of the plant, storage and processing.) The purpose of this article is not to condemn standardized herbs. It may be a good idea to remember that this form of herbal preparation is just one of many forms.
Catch Your Breath
June 14, 2005 05:56 PM
Catch Your Breath
by Carl Lowe Energy Times, October 10, 2004
Asthma is on the rise. This serious breathing problem already afflicts 300 million people around the world and is expected to hinder the lung function of 400 million people in 20 years (Annual World Asthma Meeting, 2/17/04).
In the US, asthma continues to strike our kids. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (2/24/03), the rate at which kids developed asthma doubled between 1980 and 1995. By 2001, 6.3 million American kids had asthma. The cost of treating all these kids: more than $3 billion a year.
Few researchers are prepared to state definitively why asthma rates have continued to climb during the past two decades. However, many investigators point to factors that seem inextricably linked to this disorder, which is marked by wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing spells.
A report from the American Public Health Association and researchers at Harvard puts a lot of the blame for the high rate of asthma on global warming, smog and the atmosphere's growing burden of carbon dioxide. These are linked to industries and car exhaust that release pollution.
In this increasing burden of toxins released into the atmosphere, the rate of asthma among toddlers has grown to be particularly worrisome. Their rate of asthma has climbed more than twice the national average: by 160% between 1980 and 1994. According to these researchers (Inside the Greenhouse: The Impacts of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and Climate Change on Public Health in the Inner City), global warming-which involves large increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide released by internal combustion engines and and industrial processes-has fomented the asthma epidemic in several ways:
• Extra heat in the atmosphere has stimulated rapid plant growth that results in more fungus, pollen and spores; this causes allergies that often lead to asthma. Weeds like ragweed, which release allergenic particles, have greatly increased during the past few years. • Extreme Weather has caused more floods and damp houses, leading to more indoor air pollution from molds. • Diesel pollutants are now combining with pollen and mold to irritate lungs, causing troublesome allergic reactions.
Bus Fume Hazards
The report notes that in neighborhoods like Harlem, in New York City, 25% of all children suffer asthma. Rates are particularly high in children who live in apartments that are located along bus routes.
A finding that surprised the scientists is the fact that carbon dioxide released by city traffic and the burning of coal and natural gas persists over urban areas, causing a dome of CO2 pollution.
Research on air quality in New York City, Phoenix and Baltimore shows that these lingering CO2 domes contain from 400 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide to 600 ppm. Those levels are significantly above the global average of 379 ppm. Over the course of the earth's history, going back more than 400,000 years before the Industrial Age, research shows the atmosphere has averaged only 180 to 280 ppm.
Breathing difficulties that increase at night can point to asthma, according to Robert Fink, MD: "Asthma can be a nocturnal disease, at its worst between 10 pm and 4 am, when cortisol [a hormone that regulates many bodily functions] levels are lowest" (Pediatric Asthma: Diagnosis and Treatment Goals, Medscape).
Dr. Fink says that if problems with breathing are bad enough to interfere with sleep, a health practitioner should be consulted to analyze the difficulty.
Diet and Asthma
Although nobody can guarantee protection against asthma, research suggests that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce your risk. For instance, a study in Australia found that people who ate the most apples and pears reduced their chances of suffering from this breath-robbing disorder.
In research involving about 1,600 people, aged 20 to 44, they found that those who consumed the largest quantity of these fruits enjoyed the lowest rate of asthma (AJCN 2003; 78:414).
This is the latest study to confirm the fact that apples and other fruits help to keep lungs healthy. " There is extensive evidence from studies over the last 10 to 15 years that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is beneficial to lung health," observes Carol Trenga, PhD, a research scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle. "The most compelling evidence is linked to fruits high in vitamin C, which are associated with improved lung function in the general population of adults and children."
Produce for Smokers
Quitting smoking represents one of the best ways to reduce lung disease. But even if you smoke, research on smokers has found that those who ate a moderate amount of fruits and vegetables have fewer lung problems (American Thoracic Society 97th International Conference 5/2001).
And you don't have to change your diet very much to make a difference: In that research, merely eating one and half pieces of fruit a day or eating about a tablespoon of vegetables daily significantly dropped smokers' chances of serious lung disease.
Fruits and Veggies to the Rescue
In a study at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, scientists looking at the diets of more than 2,500 people found that eating five or more apples or three tomatoes a week increased lung function. Eating apples and tomatoes also reduced the risk of wheezing.
" The likelihood is that any effect is due to the concerted action of all the nutrients in apples and tomatoes, especially the antioxidants that are particularly rich in the peel of apples and contribute to the coloring of tomatoes," says researcher Sarah Lewis, PhD.
" Antioxidants may work by protecting the airways against the insult of tobacco smoke and other atmospheric pollutants," she adds. Dr. Trenga recommends that everyone eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. She also notes, "[I]t is reasonable to suggest modest supplementation with for example, vitamin C (250-500 mg twice/day) and vitamin E (up to 400 IU per day), in at-risk populations as a complementary therapy after considering the specific needs of the individual...These levels are very safe and have other health benefits (such as vitamin E and heart disease) in addition to potentially improving lung health."
Since asthma is linked to allergies, herbs that help to quell respiratory allergies can possibly lower your risk of asthma. A blend of standardized herbal extracts that contains Phyllanthus emblica (Indian gooseberry or amla), Terminalia chebula (Harda or Haritaki), Terminalia bellerica (bedda nut tree), Albizia lebbeck (Indian walnut), Zingiber officinale (ginger root), Piper longum (Indian long pepper), and Piper nigrum (black pepper) has been found to improve breathing and reduce the effect of allergies (FASEB J 2004; Vol II:A912, Abs. 600.8). Other studies have shown that these herbs can relieve nasal congestion, ease sneezing and clear bothersome mucus (J Am Coll Nutr 22(5): Abs 46, 2003).
Avoiding antibiotics may also lower the risk of asthma. " Over the past four decades there has been an explosive increase in allergy and asthma in westernized countries, says Mairi Noverr, PhD, a researcher who has looked at the lin between antibiotic use with asthma and allergies. " We propose that the link between antibiotic use and dysregulated pulmonary immunity is through antibiotic-induced long term alterations in the bacterial and fungal GI microflora."
In other words, Dr. Noverr's research shows that beneficial bacteria in people's intestines, which take part in strengthening immunity and regulating the immune response to pollen, may have been harmed by the overprescription of antibiotics by physicians. Dr. Noverr and his fellow researchers gave lab animals antibiotics before exposing them to candida albicans (a yeast infection). They then exposed the animals to mold spores. The result: a greater sensitivity to inhaling the spores and breathing problems similar to what people experience during hay fever season (104th General Meeting American Society of Microbiology).
" The studies presented here are the first direct demonstration that antibiotic therapy can promote the development of an allergic airway response," says Dr. Noverr. On a global scale, the outlook for asthma is worrisome. As other countries continue their industrial growth, the burden on the earth's atmosphere will grow. Meanwhile, few serious measures are being taken to reduce global warming, and the national diet frequently neglects lung-friendly vegetables and fruits. But within that uncertain scenario, you can boost your chances of healthy lungs: Eat more apples. Stay away from smoky buses. Hope for clear skies.
Snack Attack - we munch on about 125,000 pounds of pretzels, chips, popcorn and nuts a min
June 12, 2005 02:33 PM
Snack Attack by Chrystle Fiedler Energy Times, August 5, 2003
Americans are snackers. For instance, during the Superbowl, we munch on about 125,000 pounds of pretzels, chips, popcorn and nuts a minute; 30 million pounds by the end of the game. At work about half of us snack two or three times a day. By the end of today, as a group, we'll have eaten $22 million worth of candy-almost a million dollars an hour for every hour of every day.
If you snack unwisely, these munchies can expand your waistline and sabotage your health. But if you snack wisely, you can keep your taste buds fulfilled, your brain working at top capacity and your body satisfied.
When searching for snack satisfaction, think protein. Protein bars and protein shakes keep you feeling fuller longer on fewer calories than sweets.
Second to protein, think fiber, as in fresh fruit, dried fruit, or whole grain breads and crackers.
Unlike carbohydrates that break down into sugars and may be quickly stored as body fat, protein-rich snacks release sugar into your bloodstream at a slow, steady and healthy pace. That keeps you satisfied longer on fewer calories.
"Protein is an important building block (for the body)," says Alicia Gonzalez, ND, a teaching fellow at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington. "It breaks down into amino acids as precursors to things like neurotransmitters, hormones and muscle."
Besides eating protein-rich snacks, eat protein with every meal and eat it first. "It will help your body absorb sugar at a slower rate."
"Protein and fiber are the best at helping the body absorb sugar at an optimal rate," says Jon Gordon, author of Become an Energy Addict (Longstreet Press).
"Protein bars release sugar at a slower rate, resulting in more balanced blood sugar levels and greater overall energy," Gordon says. "You'll crave sugar less and will have a more sustained source of energy all day long."
Protein Bars' Power
"The biggest advantage of protein bars, besides their convenience, is the fact that they do have considerably more protein, say 10 grams, than candy bars, which can contain as little as 2 grams," says Dr. Gonzalez. Total fat tends to be much less in a protein bar, too.
When choosing a protein bar, Dr. Gonzalez says, "Look for total protein content, say, between 10 and 12 grams and total fat, no more than 5 grams, and be careful with high sodium content."
"Choose a protein bar closest to nature," says Gordon. "Like one with almonds and cashews. Nuts are full of nutrients and minerals. Nuts are also a source of fiber."
If you exercise, protein bars with whey or soy protein make for quick replacement of necessary nutrients. "Eating a protein bar an hour before exercising helps to maintain that energy boost you need and replenishes minerals you lose when working out," says Dr. Gonzalez.
Some protein bars, though, do a bait n' switch with saturated fats and trans fatty acids, says Dawn Weatherwax, RD, author of The Official Snack Guide for Beleaguered Sports Parents (WellCentered Books). "If the label says hydrolyzed or hydrogenated palm oil, that's as bad as saturated fat. People think they're doing the healthy thing by eating a protein bar but they end up getting the wrong type of fat."
Besides protein bars, other healthy and healthful snacks include whole grain bread with peanut butter and cheese on whole grain, high-fiber crackers. "Mixing fiber and protein will help you sustain your energy," says Gordon. "Yogurt is also very good."
"Smoothies are also wonderful (snacks)," says Weatherwax. "Add protein powder, silken tofu and fruit to them and you can have them as a meal replacement."
"Nuts like cashews, almonds, seeds and dried berries are some of the best snacks that you can eat because you're not getting all that sugar," says Dr. Gonzalez. "Nuts have a good balance of good fat versus bad fat, including essential fatty acids, which are really important for cellular health and overall well-being. A combination of nuts, seeds and dried berries provides you with a good mix of all the vitamins and minerals along with the good fats that you need to be healthy."
When snacking, think about variety. "Mix it up, have a protein bar one day, a protein shake the next," says Gordon. "Combine protein with a healthy carbohydrate and you'll have much more sustained energy throughout the day."
Fuel for Your Fire
"We're like a train, we need to keep the furnace stoked," says Weatherwax, a consulting dietitian for the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. "The goal is to eat every three or four hours. You have breakfast and lunch and you need an afternoon snack. That's the hardest one to get. Most people don't want to eat another sandwich; they want snack food. So a protein bar with a carb like a piece of fruit, an apple, orange or banana...is a great combination." "Studies show if you have moderate-size meals plus small between-meal snacks you increase your levels of energy and alertness," says Gordon. "It also optimizes your memory and performance and gives you a steady flow of energy rather than the rises and falls. Without healthy snacks your blood sugar falls and you experience fatigue and tension. Just as we need to constantly feed a fire with moderate-sized pieces of wood, we also need to continually supply our internal furnace with food that can be turned into fuel. This keeps our metabolism going strong and steady."
"You want to stay between one-third and two-thirds full," adds Weatherwax.
"Eating less in an effort to lose weight is actually deleterious in the long run," says Dr. Gonzalez. "When we don't eat our body gets mixed signals; it isn't sure when it's going to get its next meal. This makes the body want to store fat and sugar to save it just in case. On the other hand, if your body becomes accustomed to eating more often, the cells will be more inclined to use the fat up, knowing there is more food on the way."
To program your body this way, don't skip meals. Have protein-filled breakfast like a protein smoothie and eggs. Follow up with healthy snacks like a protein bar or shake and regular meals.
"Ideally, it's best to combine the macronutrients, the protein, carbs and healthy fats," says Weatherwax. "By mixing all three you actually burn more energy. One study shows that you burn an extra 35 calories."
Nibbling on refined sweets can give you the snack blues. So let smart-snack strategies. Shift your mental outlook into high gear and use snacks wisely.
Snacking and Exercising
When you incorporate snacks into a consistent exercise program, you boost your chances of maintaining a healthy weight.
To make a big difference in your day, Gordon says, get up a half an hour early to exercise. Next, eat a breakfast that includes protein and fiber, have a mid-morning snack, a healthy lunch, an afternoon snack and good dinner. Take a walk within 30 minutes of eating dinner and you'll give your body a double dose of get-up-and-go.
"It exponentially increases your energy production and fat burning," says Gordon. Do all these things and watch your energy soar. "You'll fuel your life with real sustained power sources rather than the quick fix like coffee that's going to give you the rise in energy and then fall."
You don't need to be told to keep on snacking. Just keep to the protein and fiber side of the snack street.
June 10, 2005 05:32 PM
Allergy Alleviation by Cal Orey , February 2, 2002
Allergy Alleviation By Cal Orey
Welcome to the stuffed up world of seasonal allergic rhinitis: the wheezing, sneezing "inhalant allergies" that torment 35 million Americans. Adding insult to sinus pain, other allergens attack year-round. Air pollution, dust mites (microscopic gremlins that infest bedding, upholstery and rugs) and animal dander trigger allergies-or other respiratory ailments-in any season. Urban air is full of rubber tire particles, a true blowout for those with latex sensitivity. Altogether, roughly 50 million Americans-about one in five-suffer from some form of allergy, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). Tired of cross-pollinating with plants or being bowled over by dust balls? Vitamins, herbs and other nutrients can help you nip allergy discomfort in the bud.
The Allergy Response
Your immune system triggers an allergic response when it overreacts to otherwise harmless substances or antigens (we're talking dust, pollen and mold).The alarmed immune system then launches a defensive chemical reaction, releasing potent chemicals (antibodies) supposed to destroy the "invaders." The antibodies, called IgE, carry the invading substances to special cells, which zap them with more biochemicals. Among these protective cells are mast cells: they release histamine, the substance that causes swelling and inflammation to the linings of the nose, sinuses and eyelids, resulting in sneezing, upper respiratory congestion and itchy, watery eyes.
Just Blame The Folks
Most allergies are determined by your genes. If your Mom or Dad sneeze and scratch, there's a good chance you will, too. "That is not to say that we directly inherit an allergy to any specific substance. Rather, it seems as if we might inherit some kind of immune system defect or weakness that leaves us more vulnerable to allergies," explain co-authors Glenn S. Rothfeld, MD, and Suzanne LeVert in their book Natural Medicine for Allergies: The Best Alternative Methods for Quick Relief (Rodale). For some people, allergies lurk in food, throwing the immune system into overdrive. "Many natural medicine practitioners believe that a diet high in animal fats will contribute to the development of allergy and asthma, as does a diet high in food additives, such as preservatives and dyes," says Gary McLain, PhD, in his book The Natural Way of Healing: Asthma and Allergies (Dell). Worse, allergies can up the risk of asthma, which afflicts 15 million Americans. Most people afflicted with asthma also suffer allergies: the two are linked, according to the AAAAI. Allergy triggers of asthma include pollen, mold spores and house dust mites. Remember Helen Hunt's asthmatic son in the movie As Good As It Gets? His character endured allergies to dust, and living in New York (and watching his mom date Jack Nicholson) didn't help his immune system. Coughs, ear infections, fevers and visits to hospital emergency rooms curtailed his social life (and limited his close-ups as well). That kind of routine happens in real life, too. (Well, maybe close encounters with Jack N. are not included for most.) But when we breathe substances such as molds, they can induce swelling and inflammation of the bronchial airways which narrow and restrict air flow. This, in turn, causes wheezing and shortness of breath and can trigger an asthma "attack," according to Andrew Engler, MD, who specializes in allergy and asthma in San Mateo, California.
The Nose Knows: Chemical Sensitivities
Imagine a picture-perfect, crisp, clear Saturday morning. You make a final stop on your weekly errand run to the dry cleaner, where you drop off your laundry and spend a moment chatting up the owner. Back in your car, your eyes tear and you feel a bit woozy. Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin, writing in The Road to Immunity: How To Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) sense that your reaction could be chemical sensitivity, a difficult to diagnose but, in their opinion, very real malady. (Of course, a clinician can test you for immune responses to certain chemicals.) Reactions to chemicals produce the typical allergic responses: puffy or red-rimmed eyes; swelling; aching or stiff joints and muscles; irritability or dizziness; respiratory inflammations; headaches and the like. Villains include aerosol sprays, tobacco smoke, glues, insecticides and herbicides, household chemicals and fragrances. Identification and avoidance are key, say the authors. Vitamin C, which binds with chemicals, is one of the best nutritional defenses.
Breathing Problems Expand
Americans now freely take lifesaving medicines such as antibiotics and insulin but, in some people, "they have the potential to alter the immune system, which is where allergies begin," says Dr. McLain. (Consult your pharmacist if you have questions about your prescription medication.) We, as a nation, are also eating more chemicals, from the pesticides drenched on plants to the preservatives poured on prepared foods. We're breathing polluted air, which can lead to or exacerbate asthma, and then we choke on recycled air in sealed buildings. And while a century ago you were likely to have spent much of your time close to home, you can now hop on a supersonic plane and be taken to the other side of the globe within a matter of hours. With travel comes exposure to even more exotic allergens that can drive your immune system to distraction.
The All-Natural Gesundheit
Certain allergy-relief nutrients and herbs can help make life more bearable. Here's how they work: n Vitamin C for the lungs. According to experts, when vitamin C is low, asthma is high. Vitamin C carries the major antioxidant load in the airways and therefore contributes mightily to the health of the lungs. A study in the Annals of Allergy (73(1994):89-96) reported that in seven of 11 clinical trials since 1973, vitamin C supplementation provided "significant improvements" in respiratory function and asthma symptoms. n Vitamin E and carotene to suppress allergic reactions. These antioxidants may also help protect the respiratory tract from caustic pollutants. Vitamin E is reputed to be one of the most important nutrients for antioxidant protection in the lungs. In addition, these two substances decrease production of allergy-related compounds called leukotrienes. n Zinc for the immune system. Research shows that a deficiency in this trace mineral can weaken your immune system, setting you up as a target for allergies and infections. (Some vegetarians may not store sufficient amounts of this mineral and should take supplements.) Zinc comes to the body's rescue by taking part in the production of IgA, the gastrointestinal antibody that lines the digestive tract. "When IgA binds to an allergen, it keeps it from being absorbed into the bloodstream and thus from causing an allergic reaction," report Rothfeld and Levert. Also, zinc protects mucous membranes and helps convert beta carotene to vitamin A, another anti-allergy, immune-boosting nutrient. In a study of 100 participants at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, half took a zinc-based lozenge, while the other half received a dummy preparation. The participants taking zinc experienced a 42% reduction in the duration and severity of their common colds (Annals of Internal Medicine, 7/96). n Quercetin as an antihistamine. A valuable, anti-allergic flavonoid (plant coloring agent that is a powerful antioxidant), quercetin shines as a potent weapon against allergies and asthma. Believed to inhibit histamine release from mast cells and slow the production of other allergy-related compounds, it stabilizes mast cell membranes. Other flavonoid-rich extracts include grape seed, pine bark, green tea and Ginkgo biloba. n Additional helpful nutrients: Vitamin B-12, particularly to combat sensitivity to sulfites (The Nutrition Desk Reference [Keats]); selenium, an antioxidant that breaks down leukotrienes (Clinical Science 77, 1989: 495-500); and magnesium to relax bronchial tissues (Journal of the American Medical Association, 262 : 1210-3).
Herbal Remedies To The Rescue
n Nettles for hay fever relief. Research at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, showed that 40 of 69 folks suffering from hay fever found moderate to extreme relief from taking freeze-dried stinging nettles (Planta Medica,  44-47). "It is nontoxic, cheap and preferable to antihistamines, which I think are significantly toxic," reports Andrew Weil, MD, in his book Natural Health, Natural Medicine: A Comprehensive Manual for Wellness and Self-Care (Houghton Mifflin). n Cayenne to reduce inflammation. Cayenne, known as hot red pepper, is rich in capsaicin, a potent flavonoid "counter-irritant" that dilates and soothes inflamed nasal and bronchial tissues, according to experts. A bonus: Cayenne also contains a rich amount of antioxidant vitamin C, which can help enhance your immune system. n Echinacea for allergy prevention. This popular Native American herb provides cold and allergy protection, particularly when you take it before encountering allergens. Studies reveal that echinacea aids your body's tissues and protects you from germs and allergens. In fact, German studies have found it possesses valuable antiviral, antibacterial and immunity-boosting properties.
Make Your World Allergy-Free
For the most effective allergy relief, make sure you stay clear of allergens that wreak allergy havoc. Visit an allergy-savvy health practitioner and get tested to find out which substances rock your respiratory world. Plus, allergy experts recommend: n Banish dust mites: sweep out clutter and have your house power-vacuumed, if necessary; wash bedding and linens in very hot water. n De-pollinate your environment: flip on the air conditioner to sift out pollen (keep its filter and any forced air registers clean); exercise indoors; machine dry, rather than line dry, your clothes. n Buy a home air filter, especially if you experience dust, pollen or pet dander allergies. n Avoid allergy triggers that dog your days: cats and canines (or consider the hairless or shed-less breeds), mold and tobacco smoke. No matter what you do or actions you take, allergies may always remain an annoyance in your life. But attention to the foods you eat, the places where you exercise and the right combination of anti-allergy nutrients can limit your discomfort.
Leveling The Leukotrine Playing Field
On a microscopic level, a series of biochemicals implicated in allergic reactions are leukotrienes, substances that may constrict the bronchial tubes (breathing passages). In some people, consuming the food additive tartrazine can cause severe asthmatic breathing difficulties by boosting leukotrine release. In turn, this can interfere with the body's use of vitamin B-6. The process in which lack of B-6 or "errors" in how your body uses B-6 causes allergic reactions and is complex. According to Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND in the revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), breathing problems may begin when the metabolism of tryptophan (an amino acid) goes awry: "Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, a compound that, among other things, can cause the airways of asthmatics to constrict...Vitamin B-6 is required for the proper metabolism of tryptophan." Accordingly, a study of vitamin B-6, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that people with compromised breathing may possess less B-6 in their blood than others who breathe normally. When people with asthma were given B-6, their wheezing and asthmatic attacks dropped.
Fat Fix For Allergies
The fat in your diet or supplements can also influence your susceptibility to allergies and asthma linked to allergies. Epidemiologists have found that countries where children eat fish at least four times a month cut their risk of asthma by 67% compared to other parts of the world where they consume fewer fish. Research on omega-3 fatty acids, the kind of fat found in fish, flax and hemp oil, demonstrates that some of these substances can improve breathing. In particular, fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can help open up bronchial tubes. Studies in the American Review of Respiratory Disease and the International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology show that breathing passageways may not react so negatively to the presence of allergens when you eat more fish or take supplements containing these types of fats. Many of the scientists who study the kinds of fats we eat believe that the increase in allergies and asthma in the US during the twentieth century may be due to both increasing air pollution (which irritates our lungs) plus a simultaneous increase in our consumption of what are called omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 oils are contained in most of the vegetable oils Americans eat, including sunflower and peanut oils. While experts believe that we would be better off consuming a diet containing about five times as many omega-6 fatty acids as omega-3s, today we eat about 40 times as much omega-6s. The chemistry of how these fats influence our allergy susceptibility is complex. It begins in our cell membranes which consist mostly of fat. When we consume omega-3 fatty acids, in our diet or in supplements, and these fats enter cell membranes, the change in structure cuts the availability of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid your body can make and which is found in meat, eggs and dairy products. Eventually, it is thought that this change in cellular metabolism and reduction in arachidonic acid forces the body to make less 4-series leukotrienes, substances which are quite prone to provoking allergic inflammation and, instead, produce 5-series leukotrienes, leukotrienes which don't cause nearly as much trouble. This process requires patience. According to Pizzorno and Murray. "It may take as long as one year before the benefits are apparent, as it appears to take time to turn over cellular membranes in favor of the omega-3 fatty acids."
Chinese Medicine Versus Allergies
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views allergies as an imbalance of the liver, says Jason Elias, co-author with Katherine Ketcham of The Five Elements of Self-Healing (Harmony Books). "The average American's (liver) deals with about fourteen pounds of chemicals a year. What would normally be a minor irritant becomes major because the liver can't process them anymore," explains Elias. Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has traditionally been used to fight allergies since this herb battles inflammation as evidenced by Japanese research and a study published in the journal Allergy. Much of this anti-allergy action is thought to proceed from licorice's interaction with a biochemical called cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol (along with epinephrine, another adrenal hormone) relaxes the muscles controlling airways. By slowing the liver's breakdown of cortisol, licorice prolongs circulation of this hormone which, in turn, can help breathing passages stay clear. In addition, glycyrrhetinic acid, a compound in licorice, slows the body's manufacture of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, substances which exacerbate allergic inflammatory reactions. Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) has been employed for thousands of years to aid breathing since chemicals in this plant widen breathing passages.
Homeopathic Remedies for Allergy
Homeopathic treatments consist of highly diluted substances designed to coax the body into healing itself. The effectiveness of homeopathy for hayfever has been demonstrated by research published in Lancet performed at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. There, scientists showed that homeopathically-prepared medicines produced statistically significant improvements in allergy sufferers. The appropriate homeopathic remedy for any illness depends on the personality type of the person suffering an allergy. These treatments are among those recommended by Dana Ullman: n Allium cepa: appropriate for burning nasal discharge that grows worse in warm rooms and improves outdoors. Relieves non-burning tearing from eyes, raw feeling in the nose with tingling sensation and violent sneezing. n Nux vomica: used when feeling irritable and chilled, with daytime fluent nasal discharge and night congestion that grows worse indoors. Also for those sensitive to cold and to being uncovered. n Pulsatilla: best for women and children with daytime nasal discharge and night congestion who are gentle, yielding, mild, impressionable and emotional. Used when congestion is worse in warm rooms, hot Weather or while lying down.
Food Allergy Conundrum Food allergies can prove to be the toughest allergies to identify and eliminate. Jason Elias believes that people may develop food sensitivities from eating the same foods too often. "If someone has an allergy, I might say 'Let's get you off dairy for three weeks,'" he says, noting that some people have limited their hay fever problems by ceasing to consume dairy products. Many have also found relief by maintaining a food diary, keeping track of which foods are associated with allergy attacks and then eliminating those foods. So the next time you sneeze, don't just reach for your hanky, think back to the meal that you just ate. Your allergy problem may be sitting in your stomach as well as making you sneeze and stuffing your sinuses. Taking these kinds of anti-allergy preventive measures can provide life-enhancing relief that feels like a godsend. That lets you attain your healthy best.
This article included reporting by Judy Pokras.
The Science of Healthy Hair
June 10, 2005 03:44 PM
The Science of Healthy Hair
by Susan Weiner Energy Times, January 5, 2002
From the strength-giving mane of Sampson to the magically long locks of Rapunzel, hair has had the power to captivate since biblical times. Today, its lure is just as compelling and hair remains an important form of self-expression and self-image. A healthy head of hair is more than an asset to your appearance. A hairstyle can reflect a mood, an attitude or a personal style, while unkempt hair may reveal the status of one's emotional or physical health. Even a "good" hair day vs. a "bad" hair day can significantly determine how your frame of mind takes shape. We can't always control the frizz factor or the humid Weather that makes our curls fall flat, but many natural approaches are available to allow us to put our best looking follicle forward. Whether your hair is sleek and stylish, long and slinky, spiky punk rock-hip or wash-and-wear, botanical-based products and proper nutrition can bring out the very best in your locks.
Don't Fool Mother Nature
No matter how often you cut, dye, perm or blow-dry your hair, Mother Nature, with the help of your DNA, has blessed you with a quite specific quality and quantity of hair. Styling may work to change the appearance of your hair, but nothing can change your genetics. Every hair on your body, from the soft down on your arms to the coarser, longer hairs on your head, grows from a cell-lined indentation called a follicle. The hair follicle consists of three cylinders; the central cylinder determines whether your hair is straight, wavy or curly. Each hair shaft alternately grows or goes into a dormant phase. "At any one time, approximately fifteen percent of the one hundred thousand or so hairs on the head are resting, while the rest are growing or lengthening," say Arthur Balin, MD, PhD, and Loretta Pratt Balin, MD (The Life of the Skin: What It Hides, What It Reveals, and How It Communicates, Bantam). Hair constantly comes and goes, falling out consistently even when it is healthy. Consequently, a normal head can shed up to one hundred resting-phase hairs a day. When hair is subjected to harsh chemicals and treatment, even more may fall out. If you're concerned with hair loss, gently pull on a small section of hair; if fewer than five hairs come out, hair loss is within normal range.
What's Your Type?
Normal hair is an elusive commodity in these stressed-out days of over-washed, over-dried and chemically treated hair. If your tresses look frizzy, tangle easily or generally lack moisture, they're probably dry. Dry hair lacks the proper oil content to maintain an ample sheen and is usually dull-looking. To gain back a natural shine, cut back on shampooing and use a natural conditioner formulated for dry hair. Look for essential oils such as jojoba, evening primrose, blue chamomile, and white camellia, and B vitamins (such as panthenol) and aloe vera, suggests Aubrey Hampton, founder of Aubrey Organics. Drinking plenty of water, eating a diet that's not ultra-low in fats and using a humidifier may also help improve dull-looking dry hair, points out David E. Bank, MD (Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age, Adams Media). (Excessively dry hair may be a significant sign of metabolic disease. If you don't notice a marked improvement in your scalp after taking measures to improve dry hair, or your hair is abnormally dry, consult your health practitioner to see if stronger cures should be implemented.)
Too Much Oil
Hair that appears greasy within 24 hours after shampooing is oily. In that case, try gentle shampoos and herbal rinses with essential oils including quillaya bark, amino acids mixed with saponins, non-coloring henna and peppermint. For an oily scalp and dry ends, condition only the ends. Styling products should be oil-free. For thin or flyaway hair, products with natural thickening agents such as panthenol can help pump up the volume. Color treated and damaged hair can benefit from sulfur-containing amino acids; check your natural foods store for hair care products that contain horsetail, coltsfoot and cysteine. Tea tree oil products are effective when you are trying to control dandruff and a problem scalp.
If the label lists sodium lauryl sulfate, steer clear, warns Hampton. And, says Dr. Bank, sodium C-14-16 olefin sulfonate, a harsh chemical found in cheap shampoos, is the worst of the worst when it comes to offensive hair care ingredients. "You also need to watch out for sodium chloride-table salt-in the ingredient list. It's a cheap ingredient to thicken shampoo and strips the hair of oils."
Feed Your Head
To optimize shine and fullness, improve your nutrition, says Bruce Miller, MD, author of The Nutrition Guarantee (Summit Publishing Group). "Good nutrition is as essential to healthy, attractive hair as it is to clear, glowing skin," notes Dr. Miller. "Your hair directly reflects your care and feeding of it." Your hair consists of about 97% protein, containing nineteen of the twenty-two amino acids that form protein, explains Dr. Miller. If you skimp on quality protein, your hair may reflect this amino acid imbalance by breaking, cracking and splitting. Hair follicles pass on the nutrients you consume, nourishing the new cells that form the growing hair shaft. As the hair gradually pushes upward, the shaft is continually lubricated by the busy sebaceous glands. For a smoother transition through the shaft and undamaged hair, lecithin provides a welcome dose of lubrication, as well as the important B vitamins choline and inositol, vital to healthy hair. In fact, the B vitamins are crucial to the growth of full bodied, healthy hair. The B complex strengthens, forms and smoothes the hair shafts, and helps maintain an even hair color, even warding off the beginning of gray hair. For thick and shiny hair, vitamin A works in conjunction with the B vitamins. Zinc can strengthen the hair shafts by thickening them. Thicker and stronger hair shafts increase your chances of holding on to your hair and suffering fewer lost hairs. When it comes to hair retention, genetics count. The more hair your parents retained, the greater your chance of keeping yours.
If you're interested in optimal hair health, think nutrition. Eating for the sake of your curls is a lot like eating for overall health: plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy grains and lean sources of protein, including tofu and other soy-based foodstuffs. To support healthy hair, some experts advocate foods high in biotin, including brown rice, brewer's yeast, bulgur, green peas, lentils, oats, soybeans, sunflower seeds and walnuts. The natural phytochemicals in green tea may aid hair, while ginkgo biloba improves circulation to the scalp. Don't forget your daily vitamins and be sure to take an iron and B12 supplement.
Herbs from China show great promise for helping hair. He Shou Wu, made from Polygoni multiflori (the eastern wild rose), is reputed by devotees to restore color, slow hair loss, and help hair grow back. In Chinese medicine, this botanical has been used as an adaptogen to boost overall health and longevity. Within the context of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), He Shou Wu is supposed to strengthen the liver and kidney meridians and support healthy blood. Many Asians use the herb to promote higher levels of qi, the TCM concept that encompasses your life's overall energy.
Show a Little Tenderness
Long-term exposure to sunlight and seawater can damage hair, as can combing or brushing wet hair. Treat your hair with kid gloves, use natural products that are gentle on hair, and avoid chemical treatments. If you're looking to lose weight, avoid crash diets; a sudden drop in nutrition can cause deficiencies and lead to hair damage and loss. Keeping a wonderful head of hair means staying ahead of the curve with proper nutrition, the right supplements and a continuous program of TLC. In that way, you can maintain the crowning head of hair you've always coveted.
ButterBur for Irritable Bladder and Urinary tract spasms ...
May 23, 2005 08:56 AM
Monograph. Petasites hybridus. Anonymous Alternative medicine review : a journal of clinical therapeutic (2001 Apr), 6(2), 207-9. Journal code: 9705340. ISSN:1089-5159. United States. Journal; Article; (JOURNAL ARTICLE) written in English. PubMed ID 11302783 AN 2001287848 MEDLINE
Petasides hybridus (butterbur) is a perennial shrub, found throughout Europe as well as parts of Asia and North America, that has been used medicinally for centuries. During the Middle Ages butterbur was used to treat plague and fever; in the 17th century its use was noted in treating cough, asthma, and skin wounds. The plant can grow to a height of three feet and is usually found in wet, marshy ground, in damp forests, and adjacent to rivers or streams. Its downy leaves can attain a diameter of three feet, making it the largest of all indigenous floras, and their unique characteristics are responsible for the plant's botanical and common names. The genus name, Petasites, is derived from the Greek word petasos, which is the felt hat worn by shepherds. The common name of butterbur is attributed to the large leaves being used to wrap butter during warm Weather. Other common names include pestwurz (German), blatterdock, bog rhubarb, and butter-dock. Currently, the primary therapeutic uses for butterbur are for prophylactic treatment of migraines, and as an anti-spasmodic agent for chronic cough or asthma. It has also been used successfully in preventing gastric ulcers, and in treating patients with irritable bladder and urinary tract spasms.
Try Butterbur for the above symptoms for relief of chronic cough, migraines, bladder, and urinary tract problems.