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Make an INFORMED decision: Everything you need to know about colloidal silver
June 22, 2018 05:54 PM
There is a rich history that goes back for centuries, associating the use of colloidal silver with the treatment of wounds and various illnesses. Today, the FDA does not acknowledge the use of colloidal silver as medicinal, calling assertions by practitioners and users as "unfounded."
Nonetheless, many practitioners and users have found the substance to be of high value, particularly in the treatment of wounds, burns, cuts and infections. Colloidal silver is deemed to be both antiseptic and antimicrobial. Neither is colloidal silver associated with any serious side effects, save one. Unfortunately, the 'one' is a doozy and responsible for much of the foot-dragging, when it comes to accepting colloidal silver.
It seems that it is possible to have the skin turn blue, a condition called, "argyria," with the taking in of too much colloidal silver. However, although the condition is real and not reversible, it is also highly unlikely, considering the normal dose users ingest of colloidal silver is one teaspoon and that dose would have to go up to 48 teaspoons every day, for an entire year to possibly have enough in the system to develop argyria.
"There are are a number of misconceptions about colloidal silver being spread around as “truth,” while the facts regarding its uses and benefits are being obscured — as is the case for so many alternative treatments these days."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-06-19-everything-you-need-to-know-about-colloidal-silver.html
HERE IS HOW TO DETOX YOUR BODY THROUGH YOUR FEET
March 19, 2018 01:18 PM
For many years, cultures have believed that there are zones in our feet that are connected to all the major organs in our bodies. If we were to detox our bodies by soaking our feet in a variety of foot baths, they believed that any health issue could be cured. One of the most common detox bath is using hot water and epsom salt. If you added a cup of sea salt to the mixture and soak your feet until the water is dark you have a simple method of detoxing your body.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMdfGJWV4VI&rel=0
Inflammation And Its Negative Effect On Our Health
January 07, 2018 03:59 PM
Chronic low-grade inflammation is something that we can experience but many of us don't think about. It is a condition where when our immune system detects a threat in our bodies and substances are released. When they are released and the condition is not cured the substances remain elevated and we then can get chronic inflammation. This can lead to an array of conditions including: cancer, depression, and bone disease, and many more. There are many symptoms of chronic low-grade inflammation and also a holistic way to treat it with functional medicine. Holistically, we can treat by finding the cause and treating that rather than suppressing the symptoms of conventional medicine.
"By reducing the pro-inflammatory aspects of our lifestyle, we will remain youthful and live better for longer."
Read more: http://www.longevitylive.com/anti-aging-beauty/90609/
How to beat stage 4 cancer: For one man, going vegan and quitting chemo saved his life
January 07, 2018 07:59 AM
Going vegan has many health benefits, but for this one man it turned out to save his life. He was diagnosed with stage 4, or highly advanced, colon cancer. His body was not reacting to chemo so he decided to take it into his own hands and go vegan. This turned out to be the savior he was looking for. This ties in well to recent recommendations showing that cured meats increase your chances of cancer, so switching to an all plant based diet does make sense when it comes to battling colon cancer.
"He started out vegetarian prior to his first chemotherapy, but with the looming treatments and the way it made him feel, he decided to be vegan “to save his life” and turned to raw superfoods."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-01-05-how-to-beat-stage-4-cancer-for-one-man-going-vegan-and-quitting-chemo-saved-his-life.html
Probiotic for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
October 04, 2017 10:14 AM
There is a probiotic that you can take for irritable bowel syndrome. Visbiome is the name of this new supplement. It is a very high potency. It has recently secured Health Canada approval and will help many people relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It also helps with gas and bloating as well. 5 million Canadians are affected by Irritable Bowel Syndrome, so this is a very important probiotic. The gastrointestinal tract of humans is very complex.
"IBS is characterized by a variety of symptoms, including diarrhea, bloating, cramps, constipation and general abnormal bowel function."
Read more: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170927005254/en/Health-Canada-Approves-Visbiome®-Probiotic-Irritable-Bowel
Boy Who Suffered 100 Seizures A Day Has Zero in 300 Days After Being Prescribed Cannabis Oil
September 11, 2017 09:14 AM
Billy, an 11 year old living in Northern Ireland, will be the first person to receive a medical marijuana prescription in the United Kingdom. Billy suffers from severe epilepsy, which prevented more traditional medical treatments. His doctor agreed to prescribe it in the wake of overwhelming evidence of the success of Cannabidiol in treating his condition. Where previously Billy would experience up to 100 seizures a days - Billy has not experienced a seizure since starting his treatment 300 days ago in the United States. His mother also notes that it has helped with Billy's Autism - making better eye contact when he plays and communicates. To celebrate this largely important decision, the family is hosting an event, that already has 600 RSVP's, in support of Billy.
"Before taking the CBD oil, Billy suffered from up to 100 seizures a day, which was severely damaging to his health, because one seizure could kill him."
Read more: https://www.civilized.life/articles/boy-who-suffered-100-seizures-a-day-completely-cured-with-cannabis-oil/
After Watching This Video, Say Goodbye To The Stones In The Kidney And Bladder!!
June 23, 2017 12:14 PM
Even bladder and kidney stones can be cured through herbal remedies! The first cure discussed is the bladder cherry. By simmering this fruit in water and drinking the resulting liquid one can prevent the formation of stones in the bladder and kidneys. Next, other cures are discussed using natural and readily available ingredients such as pomegranate, honey and blueberries. Several different recipes for cures are given, so you can choose which one is best suited for your unique situation.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeQwNE-ZTPM&rel=0
"Cherry bladder is incredibly effective in the treatment of kidney stones."
Digestive Enzymes Are The New Probiotics. Here's What You Need To Know.
June 16, 2017 04:14 PM
Digestive enzymes are the brand new probiotics and there are some things you need to know about them. Probiotics will always be important to us. There is a new word that has taken the public by storm though and it is the word enzymes. That is actually for a good reason. People with chronic conditions can benefit greatly from their use. Digestive enzymes play a very important role for your body and it is well worth learning about.
"It’s now thought that nutrition can only cure so much — digestion and absorption are absolutely crucial."
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/digestive-enzymes-are-the-new-probiotics-heres-what-you-need-to-know.html
How To Make Bittergourd Tea To Reverse Diabetes, Stop Gout Or Lower Blood Pressure!
May 31, 2017 12:14 PM
Diabetes is a disease that cannot be cured but can be maintained if taking the right medicines. People will often take insulin for diabetes to help regulate their blood sugar. However, this video says that Bittergourd tea can help to not only lessen the changes or diabetes but lower your blood pressure and stop gout as well. The tea's natural ingredients help to reduce the risk in these diseases because of its health benefits. People use this as a natural home remedy.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHnL4uOciZk&rel=0
"Fresh Bittergourd can help you as well, cut it into chunks and add it to your boiling water."
Scientists stunned as dried leaves achieve 100% CURE RATE among critically ill MALARIA patients after all pharma drugs failed
April 29, 2017 07:14 PM
Artemisia annua, or as it's commonly known as sweet wormwood, was used to treat patients in the Congo who suffered from medicine resistant malaria, and were cured. After the 18 patients failed to respond t0 intravenously administered artesunate, the wormwood leaves were dried, powdered and made into tablets that were given to the patients. This cure is not widely prescribed because big pharma companies spend money to prevent these botanical cures from being used. They care more about profit than patient's lives. There are other diseases that can respond to natural treatments as well and it's important to get the word out.
"When all pharma drugs failed to do anything for Congo patients infected with drug-resistant malaria, a courageous local doctor dared to prescribe the ground leaves of the Artemisia annua plant instead. The plant is commonly known as sweet wormwood or sweet annie."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-04-24-scientists-stunned-as-dried-leaves-achieve-100-cure-rate-among-critically-ill-malaria-patients-after-all-pharma-drugs-failed.html
Medical News Today: Inflammatory bowel disease: Causes, symptoms, and treatments
March 20, 2017 06:44 PM
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a blanket term for a number of diseases including Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. Symptoms of IBD vary, but may include diarrhea, fever, fatigue and stools containing blood, pus or mucus. Diagnosis of IBD is usually made before the age of 30, with those of Caucasian or Ashkenazi Jewish heritage most commonly afflicted. Tests to confirm an IBD diagnosis may include stool sample analysis, blood tests and endoscopic procedures. While it cannot be cured, IBD treatment focuses on symptoms and reduction of disease flare-ups. Such treatment can include medication, dietary changes, increasing intake of water and stress management. In rare instances, surgery may be needed.
Read more: Medical News Today: Inflammatory bowel disease: Causes, symptoms, and treatments
nasal polyps treatment miracle
March 16, 2017 11:59 AM
A mechanical voice presented an advertising video regarding a natural way to get rid of nasal polyps. The video is not a moving picture but just a drawing of a woman injecting something into her nose and an audio description of an offer to tell the viewer how to naturally get rid of the polyps with diet and exercise along with the undisclosed remedy. A link is included to order the briefly described remedy, along with a written testimonial from the vendor and other purchasers.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcqtadzoiu4&rel=0
"Firm believer of natural remedy and this guide will combat all painful ailment."
Research Proving Cannabis Kills Cancer Cells Safely has been Suppressed Since 1974
March 15, 2017 08:59 AM
In 1974 the NIH working with the DEA sponsored research to prove that cannabis caused destruction of brain cells and suppresses the immune system. The research was cancelled and documents were destroyed when it was found it actually enhanced the immune system as well as destroyed cancer cells. Studies are now being sponsored overseas with promising results. Cannabis, when vapors instead of smoked kills cancer cells and city's off blood supply to the cells. There us even a case if a baby cured if brain cancer without surgery or radiation. Standard oncology treatments kill healthy cells as well as cancer while cannabis kills only cancer cells. The research should be allowed in the US with federal funding.
"After several attempts to get cannabis oil allowed through the court system with many testimonials from those who had been helped, Rick realized this important harsh reality: The cancer industry does not want a cure for cancer."
Bad bug, no drugs: The real end of antibiotics?
March 04, 2017 10:59 AM
One of the biggest problems we face as a race is the super bug. There are bacterial infections that have become immune to any antibiotics. There is a major rise in hospitals of people coming in with infections that cannot be cured with antibiotics. This is becoming a major problem in the world.
"The Klebsiella bacteria that killed her had a powerful enzyme that breaks down antibiotics, known as New Dehli metallo-beta-lactamase (NDM), because it was first found in a patient who had travelled to that Indian city."
CBS News shocked to report local man cured his cancer with cannabis oil
February 16, 2017 10:59 AM
There are a lot of shocking stories in the news but CBS news may have topped all of them. CBS news appeared completely baffled while reporting on a story about a man whose cancer was cured through the use of cannabis oil. With more and more states pushing for cannabis to be legal in the United States more news has come out about its health benefits.
"The only reason that marijuana isn’t already legalized is that the federal government profits far too heavily from the alternatives."
Benefits and 5 uses of birch bark and leaves
Can Argan Oil Help My Skin Look Younger?
Argan oil has risen to become a very important component when it comes to skin care. The trick lies in its composition. Unlike other products in the same class, it has a very unique composition. This oil has sterols, polyphenols, carotenoids, natural antioxidants and not forgetting essential fatty acids.
Below are some of the skin problems that can be cured by Argan oil:
Sunburn refers to dry scaly skin condition as a result of being exposed to intense sunshine. Argan oil is high in vitamin E content which plays a very big role in curing this condition. It helps prevent sunburns due to its moisturizing ability. However, in cases where the sunburn has already occurred it can be used to treat the condition. Due to this particular quality; vitamin E has been linked to preventing skin cancer.
As people age, the skin tends to lose its elasticity quality and as such wrinkles begin to appear. However, this oil helps to prevent and/or cure this problem. It does this by rehydrating the skin, hence restoring the skin’s natural elasticity properties.
Psoriasis is a disease that affects the skin. Its main symptoms are appearance of red patches on the skin covered with scales. The compounds present in argan oil help alleviate the problem through nourishing it with essential nutrients. As a result it helps the skin retain moisture, effectively treating the condition.
Have you ever experienced rashes that arise due to after-shave? This condition is very common in men after shaving as well as women after shaving their legs and/or bikini lines. These bumps are very uncomfortable and unsightly. Argan oil has been proven to heal this condition.
Regular use of argan oil is not just for cosmetic purposes, but majorly for the general health of the skin. Its many unique natural compounds do not only preserve and soften the skin but also help in healing various skin conditions.
Echinacea Health Benefits
June 12, 2014 08:32 PM
What is an echinacea?
Echinacea is a herb that is local to North America, and develops common in the mid-west. It is named a famous restorative herb, with other normal names, for example, purple cone blossom, and American cone bloom. Battle microorganisms, infections and different contaminations, knew Echinacea. This herb utilized to empower the insusceptible framework to battle diseases, secure from the normal cool, and decrease the length of time of a frosty. Echinacea is additionally known to be compelling at treating moderate recuperating wounds and skin contaminations, by empowering new tissue development. This herb might be found in wellbeing nourishment stores or on the web.
Benefits of echinacea
The profits of Echinacea are surprising. It has turned into the most well known natural solution for colds and influenza. Its anti-toxin and resistant boosting properties make this herb a standout amongst the strongest recuperating herbs accessible. The properties of this plant respond with the cells in the body and quicken the mending methodology. The resistant boosting properties make Echinacea, especially supportive in battling upper respiratory diseases, for example, nasal clogging, sore throat, and many people more contaminations. It additionally profits the circulatory system by separating the blood and disposing of poisons, its known as one of the best blood purifiers in nature.
The bloom and base of the plant are in charge of the recuperating parts, and fortifies new tissue development for wound mending. Its calming impacts and topical operators serve to battle incendiary skin conditions. Numerous individuals have approached to say that they were cured of different skin issue, with topical requisitions of Echinacea treatment. It likewise has a cortisone sort element that assists with the mending of wounds, and control the incendiary responses to hypersensitivities. At the point when utilized topically Echinacea is against incendiary, disinfectant, and analgesic, to battle an assortment of creepy crawly nibbles, Eczema, and many people more skin aggravations. It can likewise be utilized as a mouthwash.
At the point, when utilized alongside other homegrown cures, for example, garlic or vitamin c, it can decrease the length of time of a sickness. It is accepted to work through transient incitement of the insusceptible framework. Studies have demonstrated that taking this herb regularly can decrease your shots of contracting a bug or influenza throughout the year. In the event that you have caught an icy you can harvest the profits of Echinacea even half path through the icy, yet it works best on the off chance that you take it when you first begin to contract any of the manifestations connected with a cool.
Much of the time, Echinacea does not result in any symptoms for clients. For a protected and common approach to guarantee your well being and fitting capacity of your invulnerable framework you cannot discover a more trusted item. The calming impacts and topical operators help to battle skin conditions. In case you're searching for a regular incitement of the insusceptible framework, a mitigating topical executor to help against skin issue, this herb will do the greater part of this and the sky is the limit from there. It has a fabulous security record, and is generally endured by most individuals, with no known danger.
6 Types of Depression
April 15, 2014 10:36 PM
Types of depression
Major / Clinical Depression
D Limonene Solvent - What Is It and How Does It Work
April 11, 2014 10:01 AM
What is a D Limonene
D Limonene is the essential part of oil concentrated from citrus skin. It has two essential utilization: as nourishment evaluation D Limonene to add citrus flavor to non-citrus sustenances, and as specialized evaluation D Limonene to include citrus fragrance or citrus cleaning force to a mixture of cleaners. The production of the recent happens when pressed skin is set in a steam extractor, which gathers the ensuing steam and makes an oil layer that buoys on water.
As a consequence of the regular living development, D Limonene use in business items has expanded drastically, especially cleaning results, where it might be utilized as an unadulterated dissolvable or a concentrated dissolvable that could be weakened. D Limonene is important as a supplanting for customary solvents, a number of which transmit Hazardous Air Pollutants (Haps) or exhaust from Volatile Organic Compounds (Vocs). Solvents that are regularly traded with D Limonene dissolvable incorporate methyl ethyl ketone, ch3)2co, toluene, glycol ethers, and various fluorinated and chlorinated solvents. In institutional settings, D Limonene dissolvable is commonly blended with a surfactant, preparing an answer holding 5-15 percent D Limonene.
From provincial cleaners found at retail chains to modern cleaners that oblige unique requesting, there is no deficiency of results holding D Limonene. Anyhow in the event that you require a modern adaptation of the dissolvable, discovering one that offers the same or better cleaning power as its dangerous partners might be troublesome. One case of a D Limonene dissolvable that helps is VORTEX citrus cleaner and overwhelming obligation degreaser, a natural semi-fluid dissolvable that serves as a parts cleaner and general mechanical cleaner. With a 100 percent natural plan, VORTEX is biodegradable however holds the ability to uproot oil, tar, oil, black-top, and natural saps in one stage. VORTEX's extra profits incorporate no risky materials or recorded solvents, no hurtful exhaust, and no petroleum distillates.
Can Rhodhiola Help Improve Mood?
April 10, 2014 12:15 AM
Health benefits of rhodiola
Rhodiola, renowned for amazing health benefits is a safe herb that can increase the energy level of body. It is one of the best-used herbs for the treatment in wide range of health issues like fatigue. Stress, a main cause of many nervous disorders can be easily cured with the help of rhodiola. It relaxes nerve cells and improves blood flow in body. This function of rhodiola can prevent a wide range of health issues like depression, stress and anxiety.
Today, rhodiola is one of the top recommended herbal cures to improve mood level. As per research, fatigue is found to be as a common health issue in today's busy life. Uncontrolled fatigue may negatively influence the daily life activities of person. This condition can be minimized by including rhodiola in daily diet. It stimulates blood circulation in body and minimizes the risk of health issues. Low immunity health is a main cause of many health problems.
How to boost our immunity health naturally?
This is a common question heard from people. Today, there are many herbal products available online to improve our immunity health. Rhodiola extract is one of the best-used herbs to improve the immunity health of body. Boosting up the functioning of brain cell is a highlighting function of rhodiola extract. It stimulates the blood flow in brain and enhances your memory capacity.
Reducing body weight is another main advantage of using rhodiola extract. Uncontrolled obesity can lead way to several health issues in life like heart failure and stroke. This condition can be minimized by including rhodiola extract in daily diet. Today, rhodiola is one among the key ingredients used for the preparation of products that can enhance your energy level and mood level. If you are in search of a safe herbal remedy to improve mood level, then never hesitate to include rhodiola extract in daily diet.
What Is Camphor Oil Good For
February 13, 2014 06:03 AM
What is camphor
Camphor oil is a medicinal substance extracted from the wood, leaves and roots of the camphor tree. Typically, the camphor tree is usually found in some parts of Southern Asia, South America and in various parts of the United States. Although the oil from camphor tree is harmful when ingested in excess amounts, it has various benefits if used topically. Basically, I did a decent research and got a lot of good information indicating how needful the oil is.
Camphor has been widely used to alleviate definitive skin medical conditions. The FDA has approved the oil extracted from camphor for the relief of any form of skin irritation or any other general pain related to skin issues. To provide pain relief for bruised areas, camphor oil is applied as a liniment on the affected skin part.
The oil is known to boost the functioning of the circulatory system and some metabolic activities of the body like digestion and excretion. Information on organicfacts.net reveals the importance of the oil in the treatment of ailments associated with improper circulation, sluggish or overactive metabolic rates and some other less common medical conditions.
Both the internal and external types of inflammation can be cured due to the cooling and penetrating effects of the oil. It can be mixed with bathing water to provide an extra sensation of coolness.
Respiratory conditions such as cold and coughing should worry you the less. Clear guideline indicate how the oil can be ingested in the form of tea, thus reducing congestion within the respiratory tract.
Camphor is a reasonably effective anesthetic that is widely used in local anesthesia. It increases the numbness of the sensory nerves at the area of application. Consequently the severity to develop nervous disorders or convulsions is greatly reduced.
Research studies shows that when camphor oil is applied, it numbs the nerve endings, then warms the painful area while stimulating the circulation to stiff muscles and limbs. Ultimately this makes camphor a favorite oil which can be effectively used to relieve muscular pain, back pain and arthritic pain.
How does 5-HTP Help the Brain?
May 28, 2012 08:17 AM
5-HTP is the abbreviation of 5-Hydroxytryptophan, an amino acid that converts tryptophan into serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps with the regulation of sleep, mood and appetite, and it is found in the stomach or the CNS. 5-HTP is mainly obtained from animal products especially red meats and eggs. Fish and dairy products are also rich in this amino acid. Vegetarians get this compound from pumpkin seeds, oats, potatoes, peanuts and dried dates. Due to its ability to regulate the amount of serotonin and melatonin in your body, 5-HTP regulates the functioning of your brain.
The following are the health benefits of this compound:
It fixes anxiety
Anxiety and panic disorders are some of the most popular mental disorders that can be cured using 5-HTP. These two illnesses occur when your body experiences a deficiency of serotonin. Therefore, taking supplements of this amino acid reduces your chances of developing any or both of these conditions.
It treats insomnia
Insomnia is a problem that affects the quality of your sleep. Sleep is normally regulated by your brain. Every night, your brain releases receptors that lead to the five stages of a sleep cycle. If your brain fails to release the appropriate receptors, you cannot enjoy a complete sleep cycle. In addition, Melatonin is the hormone that induces sleep and therefore its absence leads to poor sleep quality. The production of sufficient melatonin therefore boosts the quality of your sleep and helps with the treatment of insomnia.
It helps relieve the symptoms of depression
Your mood is controlled by the neurotransmitter serotonin. The absence of this neurotransmitter leads to the development of a depressed mood. However, the availability of 5-HTP in your body leads to the production of sufficient serotonin thus restoring your happiness.
It also treats eating disorders especially among young children Your brain controls your levels of appetite. Serotonin is specifically in charge of this function, and therefore its deficiency in your body leads to a disruption in your appetite mechanism. Most people who have this problem often tend to eat lots of sweet foods that are rich in empty calories, high carb and junk food. This often leads to obesity and overweight. However, taking 5-HTP supplements restores your appetite mechanism thus protecting you from eating disorders and subsequent complications such as obesity.
It is a natural pain killer
5-HTP enhances the production of endorphins, thus helping your body overcome pain and migraines. Chronic headache is often associated with low levels of serotonin, and this can be reversed by taking sufficient 5-HTP. Serotonin has a calming and soothing effect on the central nervous system, and therefore the sufficient release of this neurotransmitter helps ease pain on the head.
5-HTP helps relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is often accompanied by chronic pains and aches that can be relieved by taking sufficient supply of 5-HTP. This is because this amino acid helps with the secretion of serotonin, which helps ease such pains and aches.
It is therefore important for you to ensure that you have sufficient supply of 5-HTP in order to enhance the functioning of your brain.
What is the History and Health Benefits of Pycnogenol?
March 24, 2012 07:51 AM
What Are The Health Benefits Of Pycnogenol?
Pycnogenol is a name of a product which is prepared from a tree French Pine also known as French Maritime Pine. Pycnogenol is a trademark name sold as a nutritional supplement. This supplement is mainly used for asthma and a condition known as chronic venus insufficiency. It is a water extract of the bark of the French Pine found in the coastal south west of France. Pycnogenol contains unique flavonoid compounds in high concentration. These compounds at such high levels of concentration have proven to be useful and beneficial on inflammation, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, erectile dysfunction, aging and healing of wounds.
History and Discovery of Pycnogenol:
Pycnogenol is a very powerful antioxidant made from a combination of natural antioxidants and phytonutrients. Since it is biologically made it is technically a bioflavonoid. A French scientist by the name Professor Masquelier gave the name Pycnogenol which is a scientific name for the oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) as well as other bioflavonoids. Pycnogenol is an extract from the French Maritime Pine and grape seed extract. Professor Masquelier along with a Swiss broker Horphag made attempts to commercialize Pycnogenol. Horphag without the consent of Masquelier registered the name Pycnogenol as a patent in the year 1990 which came under the ownership of Horphag in the United States. This caused severe legal disputes in the US. Horphag made huge profits from the intellectual property of Masquelier. This wonderful antioxidant was discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1953. In his books Cartier mentioned about the benefits of pine and how it cured and healed chronic diseases. Professor Masquelier discovered Cartier's book and recognized the benefits of these medicines which were rich in bioflavonoids.
Health Benefits of Pycnogenol:
Pycnogenol is a very powerful antioxidant which helps in regulating certain types of acids that gets absorbed in the human body through chemicals and free radicals. Antioxidants help in improving heart health and prevent cancer. Brain diseases like Alzheimer's can also be prevented with the use of Pycnogenol. It prevents the body from absorbing the toxic elements which are responsible for the development of brain diseases. It works as a good preventive tool. Pycnogenol also helps people who suffer from heart disease, which is a very common disease worldwide. It reduces swelling due to heart disease and helps in regulating the blood pressure. Pycnogenol also assists in reducing blood sugar levels in type ll diabetes, administered along with the anti-diabetes drugs.
The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of Pycnogenol are beneficial in treating asthma. It also improved the tolerance to chemotherapy in cancer patients. Pycnogenol works well as an anti aging product along with Vitamin E, and reduces wrinkles.
Pycnogenol is available in the market in different supplement formulas containing about 20mg to 100mg of Pycnogenol. It is the most extensively researched product and has also passed a number of safety tests. Tests have proved that consuming Pycnogenol at higher dosage for longer periods is safe though there are a few minor side effects. These side effects are gastro intestinal discomfort, nausea, dizziness and headaches. If consumed with certain drugs it can cause major side effects due to drug interactions. Pycnogenol is a great antioxidant supplement which helps in protecting and healing the body from harmful chemicals. Before taking Pycnogenol daily as a supplement it is recommended to consult physicians who can advice on the ideal dosages.
What Are The Health Benefits Of L-Carnosine?
February 28, 2012 07:53 AM
Among the numerous natural compounds in the body, L-Carnosine is also one such beneficial compound that is naturally contained in the human body. Numerous health benefits are offered by this compound, and it plays an integral role in maintaining the wellness of an individual. However, as people begin growing old, are frequently stressed or have undergone some sort of a trauma, then the levels of this compound in the body are decreased.
What is L-Carnosine?
This compound is basically a dipeptide that comprises of alanine and histidine, which are two different types of amino acids. The brain, heart, kidneys, muscles, skin and the stomach are the organs where L-Carnosinecan be naturally found. Due to its potent antioxidant traits, this dipeptide is regarded as an effective anti-aging agent.
What Are The Health Benefits Of L-Carnosine?
As mentioned, Carnosine is an integral dipeptide in the body and quite an array of benefits are offered by it.
Due to the intense antioxidant qualities of L-Carnosine, the free radical damaged caused within the body is minimized. Free radicals are not good for the cells present in the body since they damage and kill cells, and can also alter DNA too. Thus, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, cancer and skin damage, are some of the health problems people can suffer from as a result of altered DNA, damaged and dead cells due to free radicals. In comparison to vitamin E, this compound can protect cell membranes from oxidation more effectively because it is water-soluble.
Other Carnosine Benefits
The compound also helps in healing wounds as well. The connective tissues in the body are effectively repaired thanks to the antioxidant qualities of Carnosine, and the skin is ideally healed. The compound also helps reducing the risk of wound infection too.
Cataracts and other eye conditions can also be relieved with the help of the health benefits offered by this compound. Even though this compound is naturally contained in the eye, however, as people get older, its amount lessens. Thus, primary and mature senile cataracts can be effectively cured with eye drops containing L-Carnosine.
Even the heart is kept healthy by this compound as well. The heart tissue muscle is strengthened by this compound and enzymes that enable the heart muscles to contract are also activated by it.
How to Increase the Level of L-Carnosine in the Body?
Those who want to increase the amount of this beneficial dipeptide in their body should eat a diet that essentially includes fish, meat and poultry. Dietary supplements can also supply the body with this compound. L-Carnosineis contained in certain multivitamin supplements, which contain various other amino acids, minerals, vitamins and other special nutrients. Thus, the overall positive effective of this compound in the body can be further enhanced by taking such supplements.
As long as the supplement being used contains nothing but natural ingredients, supplementing this compound in the body can help an individual avail many health benefits. L-Carnosine is, therefore, an important dipeptide and those who are growing old should consider supplementing it through diet or supplements.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Rhodiola Rosea?
February 26, 2012 07:02 PM
Rhodiola rosea is medicinal herb that has many beneficial health effects on humans. It grows in the cold regions of the world like Europe, Central Asia and Arctic region. The phytochemicals present in this medicinal plant are good antioxidants and they are quercetin, chlorogenic acid, gallic acid and proanthocyanidins. It also consists of essential polyphenols namely rosiridin, rhodioniside and rhodiolin in the extracts of Rhodiola. These substances are the active ingredients of this herb and helps in improving the overall health of the body. The extracts of this plant can be taken in the form of tea, pills or liquid form and must be taken after prescription by medicinal health expert.
Some of the health benefits of Rhodiola rosea plant are explained as follows
Stabilize the Nervous system: This nature gifted herb is very helpful to stabilize the levels of neurotransmitters in our brain and thereby increase the levels of tryptophan, dopamine and norenephrine in our body naturally. Thereby, improve the neuro-chemical reactions inside the body.A Good Anti-oxidant: It acts as a good antioxidant and also protects our nervous system. It helps to overcome the damage caused to nervous system by eliminating the free radicals present in our body.
Treat Depression: It is known though a scientific research that Rhodiola rosea gave good results to treat mild and moderate depression on people of age group from 18 years to 70 years. The prescribed dosage to get the complete health benefit is 340 mg to 680 mg per day. SHR-5, the extract of this plant enhances the mental performance and also helps the person to concentrate on healthier subjects. This medicinal herb can also be used along with other anti-depressant drugs as it has the synergistic effect. Regular intake of the plant's extract according to the prescribed dosage by expert doctor reduced the symptoms of fatigue and helped them improve their concentration power. This herb is being used in cold counties like Scandinavia and Russia to overcome the stressful life and chill climate. Improves the Overall Health: This medicinal herb is known to enhance the immune system of a person and also improve the overall health. It helps in preventing the side-effects of stress and improve the physical activity, enhance the mood, appetite, estrus cycle, reduce fatigue etc.
It also helps to overcome stress, anxiety, anemia, hormonal imbalance cardiovascular diseases, and neurological disorders of a person. It is also known to decrease the time needed for recovery after any strenuous muscular activity.
Treat Insomnia: It is also being used to treat Insomnia and has given good results. Sleeplessness can be cured effectively with this herb without any side effects. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should not take this medicinal herb as it has some side effects on them.
Always consult your medicinal health expert before taking the extracts of this herb and take the correct dosage.It is known to maintain creatine phosphate at high levels and this is especially useful for athletes to maintain their stamina levels. Rhodiola rosea is also used to overcome the side effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Where And What Sources Can I Get Probiotics From?
October 11, 2011 12:37 PM
Where Can I Get Probiotics From?
Probiotics are not uncommon to the ear ordinary individuals. You may have heard this term on TV and radio or have read this on a newspaper or internet article. Probiotics are considered to be live microorganisms which pose many benefits to human health especially to the digestive system. According to the World Health Organization, Probiotics: "live microorganisms which when consummed in adequate amounts have a health benefit to the host." Probiotics is a general term. The widely used types of Probiotics include Lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria and their different species and strains.
Another good Probiotic is not a bacteria but yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii. Though it may be a different microorganism, but still it offers positive health effects. These beneficial microorganisms are commonly supplied to the body by eating fermented food items such as yogurt and soy yogurt. There are also some fermented products which are specially added with live active good bacteria to improve the health of the gastric environment.
Probiotics are found to be beneficial to the body because of its ability to significantly improve the intestinal microbial balance. It acts by inhibiting harmful microorganisms and toxin - producing bacteria inside the gastrointestinal system from causing harm to the body. These microorganisms also aid the good bacteria which are naturally found inside the gastrointestinal system of the human body.
Probiotics can be acquired from food or dietary supplements. The food items which are considered to be great sources of Probiotics are yogurt, fermented milk, miso, tempeh, soy and soy products as well as certain juices. Other great sources of Probiotics include Aged cheese, Cottage cheese, beer, kefir, pickled ginger, brine– cured pickles, Sauerkraut and certain kinds of wine. Dairy products aside from fermented milk which are rich in Probiotics include acidophilus milk and buttermilk. These dairy products are also fermented and cultured with the potent Probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus and Streptococcus lactis, respectively. Dietary supplements of Probiotics may come in the form of capsules, tablets or powders. The good bacteria may have been naturally present from the raw material used or added during the formulation of such probiotic dietary supplement.
Keep in mind that Probiotics are different from Prebiotics (Inulin). The latter are indigestible food ingredients which can relatively stimulate the growth and activity of the normal bacterial flora of the intestines. When these two are combined, they form a symbiotic effect by working hand in hand with each other.
Good bacteria are normally present inside our gut system. However, with the effect of certain health conditions and poor lifestyle, these friendly and beneficial microorganisms may be depleted and not reinforced with new healthy ones immediately. This normal bacterial flora of the digestive system is important for maintaining the health of the digestive system thereby improving the general health of the person. These good bacteria are also helpful in inhibiting and regulating the growth of harmful microorganisms found in the digestive system. Instances which can significantly decrease the number of good bacteria in the gut include antibiotic therapy, food poisoning, alcohol intake, stress and poor diet.
Support the Adrenal Glands with Natural Vitamins and Feel the Difference
October 05, 2011 03:50 PM
Your Adrenal Glands, Energy Levels, And How You feel
Our body is a very complex system that needs to be well taken care of through adequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals. Living healthy and right will allow you to reap and experience a better and more comfortable life in the future.
The adrenal glands are one of the most important glands in the body. It can be found on top of your kidneys; however, these two glands that you have in your body are actually different from one another. The center of the gland also known as the adrenaline manufactures epinephrine and is governed by the autonomic nervous system. These vital glands perform special functions that are very essential for life and health. Any alteration in condition would surely have corresponding effects in the body.
For us to keep our adrenal glands healthy, it is very necessary to consume foods that are rich with the following:
B vitamins can help restore the adrenal glands when they are over worked from the stresses of life.
It is inevitable that vitamin C is one of the most useful vitamins for the body because of its capacity to strengthen the immune system hence, keeping you away from the threats of diseases and body disequilibrium. To be more specific, vitamin C is very crucial for adrenal function. The highest concentrations of vitamin C can be found in the brain tissues and in the adrenal glands because the secretion of the vitamin is at its peak during stress. To help your immune function, it is advisable that you will take 500 to 1000 mg of the said vitamin per day.
For optimal adrenal function, it is advisable to take about 100 to 150 mg of pantothenic acid daily because this vitamin B is noted to support and enhance adrenal function as well as correct adrenal deficiency.
Has the innate capacity to prevent adrenal hormones breakdown therefore maintaining optimal levels. Another vital function of licorice is its power to cure indigestion.
If you want to lessen the discomforts that you will feel during low blood sugar episodes, it is advisable for you to consume and take natural remedies and supplementation that are rich with chromium. The Adrenal Stress End has enough chromium content which is highly beneficial for the success of an enzymatic therapy. Experts would recommend taking one to two capsules per day for you to grasp its full effects.
To sum up everything, it is very important to take and engage in measures that could help us achieve optimum level of wellness because if not we will surely suffer from the consequences of being sick brought about by a disequilibrium in the body. Since we all know how important our adrenal glands are and the distinct function that it do for the body, we should do our very best to keep it healthy and well functioning. Vitamin C, licorice, Pantothenic acid, and chromium are just few of the important elements that you should provide your adrenal glands. Taking these would make you feel better and secured.
How Does Lithium Help with Memory and Mental Disorders?
July 04, 2011 08:42 AM
Lithium And The Brain
Lithium is a chemical element whose ions have been observed to display pharmacological effects. It is best known as a treatment for mania and remains to this day an approved drug for mood disorders in several countries, including the US. It has been associated with countless scientific studies since the latter half of the 19th century. It is one of the most extensively studied of all drugs that alter mood.
Depression is an ancient disease of the mind that was referred to as melancholia in the ancient world. It has been noted in religious writings over the centuries. High energy levels and mental hyperactivity characteristic of bipolar disorder were once associated with supernatural causes. Religious beliefs have historically considered mental disorders as the work of the devil, and melancholia is not an exception.
Melancholia and mania were two separate mental conditions. The former was always tied to evil forces whereas the latter were thought to be triggered by other supernatural causes. Early Greek and Roman physicians noted that active behavior deemed to be pathological could be cured by drinking spring waters. Research have studied and reported that these spring waters actually contained lithium salts.
Manic depression was first posited in the 1950s to be a mental illness distinct from both melancholia and mania. It was in France when two psychiatrists independently observed the type of insanity that oscillates from between bouts of depression and mania. It was later categorized as a specific type of psychosis in that the condition was acute, and thus the patient functions normally after recovery.
Lithium was introduced as a treatment for manic depressive disorder in the form of lithium carbonate in the first half of the 20th century. Its use was discovered when lithium urate produced tranquilizing effects on animal subjects. Lithium salts were used as tranquilizers shortly after. Human experiments have proven to be effective in controlling patients chronically suffering from bouts of manic disorders.
Bipolar disorder is now the widely used term in psychiatry, though manic depression is still preferred by many medical professionals. It was first used in the 1950s to describe oscillations between two polar behaviors: mania and depression. It is a subtype of depression, the other one being major depression or unipolar depression. Lithium remains a drug for mania amid its changing descriptions.
Medicinal concentrations of lithium are generally considered safe in that they produce no apparent psychoactive effects. Instead, they work as a therapeutic treatment. It has been widely established that lithium possesses properties that stabilize mood, though its mechanism of action is still a matter of controversy. It is believed that lithium rebalances brain chemicals and alters gene expression.
Lithium appears to have an impact on several neurotransmitters present in the central nervous system, such as glutamate and serotonin Inasmuch as these neurotransmitters are noted for their role in mood and memory, some sources have ascribed nootropic effects to regular intake of lithium supplements.
Lithium is a wonderful supplement available over the counter. Try some Lithium today and feel the difference!
Fight Free Radical Damage From Toxins With Vitamins And Herbs
July 28, 2010 11:34 AM
There are many things that destroy the immune system. Each day we are bombarded with them in many forms. The following are some of the most common ones that are encountered.
Agene, also known as Nitrogen Trichloride, is used to bleach flour and give it a white appearance. Unfortunately, it can cause epileptic-like fits along with failure of muscle coordination. Excessive use of alcohol also severely impairs the immune system. It increases susceptibility to infection and weakens the central nervous system. Alcohol promotes chronic lung disease, malignancies of the neck and head, intestinal problems, hypoglycemia, diabetes, liver disease, and a whole variety of other problems. B vitamins, folic acid, niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, and protein are depleted by alcohol. All of these nutrients play a huge role in immune health. Aspartame breaks down in the digestive tract into a toxic material known as methanol. In order to prevent methanol from metabolizing into formaldehyde, a poison, a person needs to take another poison, ethanol.
Glutamic acid is a substance that is found in monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer. It affects the central nervous system and can trigger depression, gloomy fantasies, and rage for as long as two weeks following the ingestion of monosodium glutamate. High-diet fat intake increases the levels of bile acids in the colon. This breaks down into deoxycholic and lithocholic acids, both of which are cancer-causing elements. This can cause cancer of both the colon and the rectum. A diet that is high in animal protein and fat can cause cancer of the pancreas, breast, gallbladder, ovaries, uterus, prostate, and leukemia. Junk food such as sweets, white flour, and white sugar products, put a double amount of stress on the body. When too much junk food is eaten, the appetite for good, wholesome food is dulled.
Caffeine decreases immunity in the body, with fibrocystic breast disease being connected with the consumption of foods that contain caffeine. It is often caused by the chemicals methylxanthine, theophylline, and theobromine, which are found in coffee, black tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and other soft drinks. These elements act on hormones that cause breast tissue to develop fibrocystic lumps. Caffeine takes away the body’s own use of iron and inositol, and is often suspected of causing cancer in the pancreas.
Food dyes and flavorings are the culprits in behavioral problems that occur in children and adults, with some of these problems being learning disabilities and hyperactivity. Sodium nitrate is a preservative that is often found in cured meats like hot dogs, bologna, and ham. It has the potential to produce permanent epileptic changes in brain activity and damage the central nervous system.
High protein diets can deplete calcium in the body, especially when the source of protein is an animal product. There are concentrated doses of hormones and antibiotics that are found in beef which suppress the immune system and promote tumor growth. Poly-unsaturated fats undergo a process that produces rancidity in oils. This process releases dangerous free radicals, which eventually lead to cancer.
Heavy metals like lead and mercury can cause serious damage to the nervous system, with even small amounts being considered toxic. Lastly, the wide use of vaccinations and antibiotics is considered to be one of the main causes of immune system disorders.
Our bodies are under constant attack by our toxic environment. Fortunately, with regular vitamin and herb use, one can help the body restore its immune system to proper function so we can live a happier healthier life.
Pine Bark Extract
October 07, 2009 11:25 AM
Many Native American tribes relied on the bark of pine trees for its ability to treat a number of disorders. The Annedda pine was called the “tree of life” due to its marvelous healing benefits. Jacques Cartier, a noted explorer in 1535, wrote in his diaries about the early medicinal uses for pine tree bark. Cartier and his crew came down with scurvy after being caught in the bitter snows of Quebec and living on hard biscuits and cured meat. Multiple men died before Quebec Indians approached them and made a tea from the bark of a pine tree. After drinking the tea and applying poultices to their wounds, they were soon healed. The miraculous recovery is actually a result of the vitamin C and bioflavonoids in the bark. A French professor discovered Cartier’s account and became intrigued with studying pine tree bark. He isolated a certain kind of proanthocyanidin flavonoids from the extract and later found it to have antioxidant attributes.
Pine bark extract has become an important herbal remedy due to its antioxidant power. It is responsible for binding with collagen fibers and helping to restore elasticity in the skin. It also protects the body from free-radical damage, which prevents excess and premature wrinkles. Pine tree bark also protects capillaries from free-radical damage that can cause phlebitis, varicose veins, and bruising. Those people who are suffering from skin conditions like psoriasis can also be benefited from pine bark extract. Along with being an antioxidant, pine bark is a natural anti-inflammatory. It helps heal joint pain that is associated with things such as arthritis and sports injuries. This herb helps to control and prevent edema and bursitis. Pine bark extract also helps with eyesight. It is responsible for reducing the risk of and treating diabetic retinopathy. Multiple studies have concluded that it is beneficial in improving night vision. One study even found marked improvement in visual performance in the proanthocyanidin group over a placebo group.
Additionally, pine bark extract may also help in inhibiting cellular mutations like tumors. Reports have found that this herb can help to prevent cellular deterioration in breast tumors and cardiovascular disease. There is also evidence that this herb possesses antiulcer properties that may help prevent the formation of undesirable chemicals in the stomach.
Pine bark can also benefit other conditions with its proanthocyanidin therapy. Among these are autoimmune disorders such as lupus, neural problems such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, and vascular problems like heart disease, atherosclerosis, and stokes. Pine bark extract can also treat common complaints such as insomnia, flu, and even the common cold. This herb is very helpful in improving memory, longevity, and the prostate.
Additionally, its stimulant properties are responsible for decreasing the production of histamines in allergic reactions like hay fever. 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 pine bark extract, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
October 01, 2009 11:57 AM
In the past decade, ginkgo has received much attention. It has been revered throughout China and other areas of Asia for thousands of years. However, its popularity increased in Western countries. An increase in sales can be attributed to interest in the benefits of ginkgo on conditions that are associated with aging like Alzheimer’s, memory loss, dementia, and circulatory disorders. Often, gingko is used to increase the blood flow to the brain, which improves memory problems like Alzheimer’s, to prevent strokes, and to increase blood circulation through vasodialation. The improved circulation is also thought to improve ear conditions, help blood flow to the retina, aid in preventing muscular degeneration, reduce frequency of asthma attacks, and help transplant recipients avoid rejection.
The ability of ginkgo to boost brain function has been studied extensively. Most importantly, ginkgo increases oxygen supply to brain cells, as the brain is the body’s most sensitive organ to oxygen deprivation. Additionally, ginkgo has been used to improve electrical transmission in nerves and supply more oxygen and nutrients to brain cells. The effect that ginkgo has on the brain and circulatory system disorders seems to be extremely promising for a variety of conditions. Ginkgo has also been found to be effective in treating migraine headaches. In one study that took place in 1975, ginkgo extract was given to individuals who were suffering from migraines. Results concluded that eighty percent of the patients showed improvement or were cured of the condition.
Ginkgo extract has also helped dementia that results from poor blood flow to the brain. Senile dementia is often recognized by depression, unusual fatigue, and memory problems. Ginkgo has the ability to help improve circulation to the brain tissue, which in turn improves brain function.
Blood platelet aggregation, or clotting, can cause serious problems in the body. Among these are strokes, heart attacks, and coronary thrombosis. It has been found that ginkgo can reduce the tendency for platelets to stick together and prevent them from forming clots in the arteries and veins.
The brain and nervous system are extremely sensitive to free-radical damage because of the high percentage of unsaturated fatty acids. It has been found that ginkgo’s antioxidant activity is particularly powerful in these areas, along with the eye and retina. This is extremely helpful in conditions like retinopathy, cataracts and macular degeneration. The central nervous system possesses fat lipids in the cell membranes that are typically attracted by free radicals. Ginkgo can help protect these cell membranes and prevent condition which can occur in the brain and nervous system that are often associated with aging, like memory loss.
The leaves of the ginkgo plant are used to provide adaptogen, alterative, antioxidant, antiseptic, and stimulant properties. Primarily, ginkgo is extremely helpful in treating ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, lack of attention span, blood clots, cardiovascular disorders, poor circulation, dementia, dizziness, edema, impotence, inflammation, ischemia, memory loss, lack of mental clarity, multiple sclerosis, muscular degeneration, PMS, Raynaud’s disease, senility, stress, stroke, and tinnitus.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with allergies, angina, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, cancer, carpal tunnel syndrome, coughs, depression, lack of equilibrium, eye problems, hearing problems, hemorrhoids, lung disorders, migraines, mood swings, toxic shock syndrome, transplant rejection, varicose veins, vascular problems, and vertigo.
Vitamin B Complex
November 24, 2008 04:45 PM
The connection between B vitamin complex and stress is well known; although why a good B vitamin complex can reduce stress is less well known. Before discussing the reason why a Vitamin B formula can reduce stress, we shall first have a look at stress and what causes it. The term means different things to different people, and a stressful situation to one person might not be such to another.
The biochemistry of stress is fairly complex, although involves the production and release of hormones into your bloodstream. When an event occurs that causes stress, the hypothalamus portion of your brain becomes involved. It releases cotocotropin releasing factor (CRF), a hormone that protects you from stress by raising your spirits. CRF sends signals to the pituitary gland causing the release of ACHT (Adrenocorticotropic hormone corticotropin) that causes cortisol to be released into the bloodstream by the adrenal glands. Cortisol speeds up the metabolism.
Coincidentally, the cells of the brain stem and spinal cord send a message that stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete epinephrine that increases the heart rate, breathing and alertness, ready for fight or flight. Both of these mechanisms then lead back to the pituitary gland and your new stress level can repeat the process or stop it, should your stress be reduced. If this cycle continues over an extended period of time it can have serious repercussions on your mental and physical health.
The B vitamins can help to regulate this biochemical function, and in doing so can reduce stress, and with it the associated anxiety and depression. In fact many of the symptoms of vitamin B deficiency are those that are also associated with stress: anxiety, nervousness, depression irritability and so on. There is no one specific form of Vitamin B that helps with stress, and there are eight in total. However, in saying that, the three members of the B vitamin complex that have most effect on stress are vitamins B 3, 6 and 12.
Every one of the B vitamins is involved in cell metabolism. Because they are soluble in water, they are quickly leached from the body so have to be replaced on a regular basis. The various B vitamins are needed by your body for specific purposes, such as Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is essential for the correct function of your nerves, brain and muscles. Although others have their own particular areas of responsibility, they are generally lumped together, not only because they are all soluble in water, but also because they each have a profound effect on the metabolism of your body.
Those mostly connected with the nervous system are Vitamins B3, B6 and B12. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) helps to maintain the proper health of your digestive system, skin and nerves, and B12 (cobalamin) is also needed for a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) along with vitamin B12 are the two principal members of the B complex that have an effect on stress, and a deficiency of these can make you more prone to this frequently debilitating condition. In fact many people that are suffering from a general Vitamin B deficiency have various forms of mental problems.
Because Vitamin B12 is available only from animal sources, deficiencies are common in vegetarians, and even more common in vegans who are advised to take a Vitamin B12 supplement. However, in general you are best to take a Vitamin B complex as opposed to a supplement of any specific member of the B family. This is because a surplus of any one could lead to a depletion of others.
It is thought that much of today's stress is caused by an inadequate diet, and a diet deficient in various forms of Vitamin B is believed to render the subject particularly prone to stress and anxiety. People that have been suffering undue levels of stress over a protracted period of time can be helped by a regular treatment of B vitamins. In taking such supplements, however, you should also be aware of the various possible effects on your body that the causes of your stress can have. These are frequently neither understood nor recognized when they occur.
For example, if you are under stress due to a poor diet, or conversely, are eating a poor diet due to your high stress levels, you might be building up fatty deposits in your liver. Because of this your general health could be at serious risk in addition to your mental health. It is important, therefore, that you don't just restrict yourself to a B vitamin complex, but also take a supplement containing inositol and choline bitartrate.
These can reduce the fatty deposit that a poor diet can cause to build up in your liver with consequent risk to life. Such deposits affect the ability of your liver to destroy the environmental toxins to which become exposed as part of your daily life, and which can be directly related to your ability to counter high stress levels.
In general, however, if you are prone to stress and get nervous and worried about the slightest thing that doesn't go to plan, a B vitamin complex can help: vitamin B can reduce stress, although if your stress is sever you would be better advised consulting a physician than a health store.
Stress is a serious condition, and not one that should be treated lightly. It is possible to treat some stress conditions by using a good B vitamin complex, although should the stress be serious then you should consult your physician. Frequently the stress is not diet related, but due to personal circumstances that cannot be cured by any form of supplement.
However, there are few doubts that a course of Vitamin B supplements can help to overcome many of the metabolic causes of stress, and make up for any deficiency in these vitamins that leave your body almost as quickly as they enter it. Vitamin B can reduce stress, but only if your stress is due to a deficiency: and this is more common that most people are aware.
Ginkgo Biloba Extract
September 19, 2008 09:25 AM
Ginkgo biloba, also known as the maidenhair tree, grows naturally in two small areas of Eastern China. It is believed that even these sources are artificial, and planted and maintained by monks over many centuries, and that there are no true natural sources of the tree left. Other than these, all living ginkgo trees are now artificially farmed.
The ginkgo seeds contain nuts that are a traditional food in China, served at Chinese New Year, and on other special occasions such as weddings, and is also used in traditional Chinese medicine. The seeds have been used in the treatment of coughs and asthma, and during the late 1970s and 80s, the uses of ginkgo biloba in medicine was extensively investigated with a view to determine the range of conditions that the tree could be used to treat. Given that many ancient Chinese remedies have found to be effective, and with a relevant scientific basis, this was a logical step.
It has been established that ginkgo biloba could have three possible effects on the body. These are:
* Improvement in circulation including that in the small capillaries.
The last of these has been responsible for many cardiovascular conditions, and disorders of the kidneys, lungs and central nervous system, and is due to the effect of the platelet-activating factor (PAF) that ginkgo appears to inhibit.
Before delving deeper into the possible beneficial effects of Ginkgo, let us first examine the active ingredients believed to be involved in the perceived beneficial effects.
Ginkgo leaf extract contains terpenoids (bilobalides and ginkgolides) and flavonoid glycosides. Flavones can reduce the fragility of capillaries, and protect the body from blood loss through damaged capillaries, particularly in the brain. The Ginkgolides, particularly ginkgolide B, inhibit the platelet-activating factor and so increase the fluidity of the blood that improves circulation, again particularly in the micro-capillaries of the brain. This is also why it is believed to reduce the incidence of cerebral thrombosis and resultant strokes.
The antioxidant effect of ginkgo biloba extract (GBE) has been widely studied, and by scavenging free radicals the extract can help to prevent cell membrane damage, and so prevent cells from being destroyed. It has been established that pretreatment of cells with GBE can prevent such damage in rats.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginkgo biloba, as seen in some asthma patients for example, is thought to be due to the inhibition of the platelet-activating factor (PAF) by ginkgolide B, PAF playing a significant part in the inflammatory response to allergens, and PAF is now believed to be responsible for conditions such as asthma, renal diseases, central nervous system disorders and ischemia, a restriction in the blood supply, particularly to the brain.
It follows, therefore, that the effect of GBE on these conditions is likely to be due to PAF inhibition, and a reduction in the inflammatory response to a number of conditions. What evidence is there for this? In fact, results of the trials carried out have been inconclusive one way or the other.
Hence, a trial published by the Journal of the American Medical Association reported no effects after a 6 week trial of Ginkgo on Alzheimer’s and memory disorders. However, other trials have indicated positive effects after 6 weeks, and it could be that the GBE has to be taken for more than 6 weeks for any effects to be noticed. It is certainly believed to be a longer term treatment rather than have instant results, although some tests have shown improvement in concentration for up to 2.5 hours after treatment. The bulk of the evidence is favorable on the effect of GBE on memory disorders.
Test on rats, in which the blood flow to the brain was mechanically blocked by carotid compression, indicated that ginkgo biloba promoted an increase in the glucose and ATP levels in the brain neurons. Other trials have indicated that neurological damage in mice subjected to neurotoxins was reduced by the administration of GBE, and while not conclusive with respect to humans, the effect of GBE on the brain appears to be more than just opinion.
To sum up, ginkgo biloba is believed to be effective in treating the following disorders by virtue of its effect in improving the fluidity of the blood, protecting fragile capillaries from damage, exerting an antioxidant effect on free radices, and so prevent damage to cell membranes, and its inhibiting effect on platelet-activating factor:
Circulation problems in the arteries can lead to blood clots that in turn cause strokes and cardiac problems. By preventing blood clots through the inhibition of PAF, ginkgolide B can help to maintain a healthy circulation system that also help to maintain circulation in the very small capillaries that feed the brain.
This is caused by hardening and blockage of the arteries, and one of the effects of ginkgo biloba is to soften the arteries, help to unblock them and to prevent plaque formation by its antioxidant effect on the free radicals that cause the plaque by oxidation of LDL lipids. This is particularly true of the cerebral arteries.
The increased blood flow to the brain that GBE promotes can help to improve memory, although test are indicating that treatment has to continue for 6 weeks or more for it to be effective. Reduced blood flow to the brain is a common cause of memory impairment.
Ginkgo biloba has been used in the treatment of the symptoms of this condition, although it cannot be cured. It is thought that the improved circulation in the brain makes best use of the unaffected brain cells, improving memory and cognitive thought.
This is a condition where the extremities fail to warm up after being exposed to cold, and is caused by poor circulation in the small capillaries in which the blood pressure is very low. They symptoms are numbness and pins and needles, and GBE helps to overcome this condition due to improvement in the circulation and protection of the capillaries by rendering them less fragile.
GBE can help to reduce the symptoms of vertigo such as nausea and dizziness. This is believed, once again, to be due to an improvement in blood circulation.
There are few doubts that ginkgo biloba extract improves the circulation, particularly in the micro-capillaries in the brain and extremities of the body, and also possesses antioxidant properties, both of which help to maintain and improve the memory, and that combined with its effect on the platelet-activating factor, most of the properties of GBE is due to its capacity to maintain and improve circulation, particularly through those blood vessels closest to the blood-brain barrier.
Fight Acne by Eating Right to Lower Blood Sugar Levels
December 24, 2007 02:11 PM
If you are a teenager a cure for acne will likely be first on your list after finding a boyfriend or girlfriend, and most of us who have been teenagers can probably remember the misery that our perception of our looks gave us.
There have been many theories as to the cause of acne, and it is highly likely that there is more than one. The basic reason for the appearance of acne is that oils, dead skin cells and bacteria block the pores of the skin to form a variety of different types of pimples or spots, such as whiteheads, blackheads and pustules than can be irritating or painful. They can also be very unsightly, affecting the face, neck and sometimes the chest and back.
Studies have indicated that acne is caused by the over-production of sebum, a fatty oily substance secreted by the sebaceous glands of the skin to keep it supple and lubricated. If this is excessive, the sebum can block the pores causing blackheads, and become infected causing acne. So what causes this excess production of sebum? There are theories that it could be due to high insulin levels in the blood.
High insulin levels are promoted by high blood glucose levels the more blood glucose in your blood then the more insulin your pancreas produces to help covert it into energy. Higher insulin levels are also associated with high levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). The result of this is an increase in androgens (male hormones), specifically dihydrotestosterone (DHT), metabolized from testosterone. This in turn causes an increased production of sebum leading to acne.
The complete chain, therefore, begins with increased levels of glucose in your blood and ends in acne. In order to prevent acne you would have to break this chain anywhere in its sequence, and the only viable place to do this is at the beginning reduce your blood glucose level. In order to achieve this you would have to determine what foods you are eating that could cause an excessively high level of glucose in your blood.
Glucose is metabolized from carbohydrates, ranging from complex carbohydrates to refined sugar. However, those that you should try to avoid are the refined carbohydrates such as pasta, white bread, rice and sugar. These are what are known as the high glycemic index foods that can cause a sharp rise in your blood glucose levels when consumed. The complex carbohydrates take longer to be metabolized and are not so prone to producing sudden increases in your sugar levels. These lead to more sustained and gradual increases in blood glucose that demand a steady insulin supply, rather than the sudden increase that can lead to acne. Such foods include high fiber whole grains, oats and the like.
Studies have indicated that twelve weeks on a diet of low glycemic index foods resulted in a significant reduction in acne symptoms when compared to a control that did not change their diet. It therefore seems likely that your nutrition can affect your acne, and that changes in your diet could lead to a significant long-term reduction in acne symptoms such as pimples, pustules and other types of lesion.
The same studies also proved a reduction in the androgen levels of those on the complex hydrocarbon diet compared to the controls, and also greater sensitivity to insulin. However, the test group also experienced a significant weight loss, and it was not conclusively proved whether the reduction in acne symptoms was due to the reduction in blood glucose levels or to the weight loss.
However, the result is in accordance with the insulin and androgen theory, and it is known that diabetes is connected with obesity, so the two might in any case be related. Acne, diabetes, and weight are all related to your blood sugar level, which is in turn related to diet and carbohydrate intake.
Although a low glycemic index diet is suggested, such a diet is not easy to apply properly, and a dietician could help you here. Persistence is the name of the game, and you will not see instant results. Note that the tests referred to above were over twelve weeks, and this is likely the minimum period you will need to stick to your diet. However, the minute you break it, and revert back to simple carbohydrates, your problem will return. There is no sudden cure, rather a continual dietary approach to the prevention of the condition. Acne is not a disease that you can catch and cure. It is a condition created by lifestyle and diet, and can only be controlled rather than cured until you grow out of it in your late teens or early twenties, although many people suffer from acne until later in life.
Your diet should include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and cereals, brown rice, fish, eggs and lean meats. You should avoid saturated and trans fats, and eat unsaturated fats and oils, with plenty of omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals for a good skin and good health. Exercise will help by improving the blood flow to your skin.
You can also help your condition by taking some specific supplements. Saw palmetto and zinc will help to reduce the levels of testosterone in your blood, and vitamins E and B6 are also believed to help. Selenium, pantothenic acid and essential fatty acids are other supplements that can help with acne, but your best bet is to discuss your condition with a naturopath or somebody trained in the use of natural remedies and supplements with your condition.
Many swear by tea tree oil, although treatment has to be prolonged over a length period before it becomes effective, but you might prefer this to one of the chemical testosterone blockers that can be prescribed for acne in certain cases.
Overall, acne is not a serious condition but can be disfiguring. Although you can seek medical help in the event of serious attacks, your recommended treatment initially is to eat plenty of healthy foods low in simple carbohydrates, to take the appropriate supplements and nutrients to keep you healthy and to take plenty of exercise to maintain a good blood supply to your face.
In these ways you can reduce the number, depth and lasting effects of acne pustules, and in many cases clear the condition altogether.
Is Drugging Our Children The Answer Or Could A Natural Supplement Magnesium Help?
December 05, 2007 11:02 AM
ttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has been a commonly diagnosed illness occurring in children since the 1980s. Many people argue that ADHD should not be categorized as a disorder, but rather a set of problems that are normal to childhood. Either way, ADHD’s symptoms consist of wandering attention, nervousness, and hyperactivity. These symptoms can be extremely troubling for the parents and teachers that have to work with children suffering from ADHD. Drugs like Ritalin have been promoted ADHD treatments for many years, but have been found to have highly dangerous side effects and not be a solution to everything. Meanwhile, many nutritionists have discovered that many of the answers to ADHD can be found in a child’s diet in the form of food additives, sugar, and the missing essential nutrients.
One child who was horribly hyperactive, out of control, and diagnosed with ADHD by a school psychologist was taken off any foods that contained a particular red dye. Almost immediately, the child’s hyperactivity ceased and he began paying attention and living the life of a normal child. A study recently completed at Yale University School of Medicine supported this result, showing a direct connection between food additives and hyperactivity. This study consisted of 297 children who were given drinks that contained common artificial food colorings and additives that are usually found in food and candy. Meanwhile, a control group was given drinks without additives. The children who drank the additive-enhanced drinks showed a significantly greater amount of hyperactivity and had shorter attention spans.
Another common cause of ADHD symptoms in children is overdosing of sugar. With all the snack-like breakfast cereals available and the high sugar-constant treats, hyperactivity should be expected. Once a child consumes a large quantity of sugar, he will hit a high of out-of-control hyperactivity and then quickly become grouchy and prone to tantrums. This is often called a “sugar rush” and can easily be solved by taking children off sugar.
After removing chemical additives and processed sugar from the diet, ADHD symptoms have also been traced to a lack of mineral magnesium. This nutrient is essential and often missing from most diets today. Kids who drink a lot of soda or fruit juices are getting high amounts of sugar but not magnesium. Those children without magnesium often suffer from irritability, insomnia, and constipation. These symptoms, which are commonly diagnosed as ADHD, can be cleared up quickly by putting your child on a magnesium supplement. Most nutritionists agree, believing that many ADHD symptoms come from a high sugar diet and a magnesium deficiency. Sugar and over-stimulation, such as stress, actually exhausts a child’s nervous system. This can be cured with a magnesium supplement which allows the nervous system to rebuild. In addition, this supplement will assist the child in relaxing. Since children are the future for our society, helping them to survive in the best way possible, naturally, is something each and every one of us should take much more responsibility for.
Omega-3 Relieves Depression in Some Individuals
November 02, 2007 03:27 PM
Omega-3 oils contain fatty acids that are known as essential fatty acids because they cannot be manufactured in your body but have to be taken in your diet. They provide many benefits to your body, and are also believed to relieve depression in some individuals. First, however, an overview of the more conventional benefits of omega-3 oils.
Obtainable in your diet from oily fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon and the like, omega-3 fatty acids play an important part in your normal growth and development, and are also crucial to normal brain function. They can reduce inflammation and protect you from heart disease and some cancers. Studies have shown the fatty acids to be particularly concentrated in the brain and to be important for cognitive processes and memory.
The effects of omega 3 fish oils on the brain are well documented, and they are known to be effective treatments in some cases of bipolar and schizophrenia. It is believed that they could also be used as a treatment in other disorders such as attention deficit disorder and dyslexia, but there is as yet no evidence that this is the case.
Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the so-called ‘bad’ low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels and increase the high density lipoproteins (HDL) that take the cholesterol back to the liver for destruction. The end result is a reduction in the cholesterol content of the blood that can be deposited on the artery walls and promote atherosclerosis. Diets high in omega-3 fatty acids appear to lower blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension, and so reduce their chances of heart attacks and strokes.
Omega 3 oils are also natural inflammatories, and help prevent conditions involving inflammation such as arthritis, asthma and menstrual cramps. They appear to help the immune system to fight these conditions and reduce the inflammation and its causes.
They are also important in the formation of prostaglandins that are responsible for the regulation of important functions such as blood pressure, blood clotting and immune response. They are hormone-like substances and also control the synthesis in the body of other hormones. If the balance of fatty acids in the diet is not right, then the subsequent imbalance in prostaglandin and hormone production can lead to disease.
It is in its effect on depression and mood, however, that has surprised many in the medical, profession. Ethyl-eicosapentaenoate, known as ethyl EPA, is a constituent of omega-3 fish oil and many studies have demonstrated that this substance helps cases of depression and related disorders. However, are people justified in turning to ethyl EPA to help them be cured of this condition?
In one study involving 20 people, six out of ten people given the supplement displayed significantly reduced symptoms of depression after four weeks. The effects were noticed as early as two weeks and many of the depression symptoms, such as worthlessness and insomnia, had improved after three weeks. This conformed with the results of many other studies that have been carried out world wide. In Scotland, a number of patients were studied who had failed to respond to traditional antidepressant drugs. Of the seventy patients involved in the trial, all of the patients who were treated with EPA displayed significant improvements in all the symptoms of their depression after four weeks whereas those with the placebo showed no improvement.
Of the two main components of omega-3 fish oil, EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), only the EPA has this property, and the EPA works best alone when the DHA has been extracted. Studies and tests have indicated that the DHA appears to be important for the brain’s structure, but the EPA for its function, hence the reason for the ineffectiveness of the former in relieving depression which is a function of the brain rather connected to its structure. In fact, depressed people have been found to be deficient in EPA in comparison to those not suffering from the condition. The original idea for this originated with the late Dr. Horribin who was pioneer in researching the effects of lipids on the biochemistry of the brain as far back as the 1970s. Since then the world-wide research has confirmed his theory. However, the reason why this theory works in practice is not yet understood. It has been established that a diet rich in trans fats can unfavorably affect the hormones in the brain that stabilize mood, possibly due to the fats slowing down the system of messaging within the brain. This kind of effect can cause depression.
This is likely due to the slowing down of the messages passing between the synapses. Brain cells communicate by means of chemicals that cross the synapses, or small gaps between the individual cells. They are not directly connected like normal electrical circuits. It has been theorized that the EPA speeds up the passage of these messages between neurotransmitters and neuroreceptors. Other theories have also been promoted, such as that the EPA has properties of its own that cure depression by another route altogether.
A possible clue could be in the findings of one study on a man aged 21 years old whose brain was scanned before and after EPA treatment. The result showed in increase in the mass of brain cells after the treatment. This was contrary to the belief that brain cells could neither be generated nor grown once a person reaches maturity.
An individual suffering depression who would like to treat themselves with EPA would have to buy a lot of oily fish since high doses are needed for this level of therapy. However, it is found in high concentrations in a few supplements available on the market, and when choosing you must use the highest grade of EPA you can get, with as low a DHA content as you can find.
There is little doubt now; however, that the EPA content of omega-3 relieves depression in some individuals, although more work is needed to prove without doubt that it is effective with all forms of depression.
Coconut Oil May Help Promote Healthy Thyroid and Digestive Function
November 01, 2007 09:49 AM
Coconut is extracted from coconuts, the coconut palm often being called the tree of life and for good reason. However, its benefits were lost to America for many years due to the politics of the vegetable oil industry claiming that all saturated fats are bad. This is not based on scientific or medical fact, and coconut oil was recently rediscovered in the USA, and the health benefits enjoyed by the rest of the world are once again available to Americans.
Coconut palms grow in most tropical climates such as Southern California and Florida, the Philippines and the Caribbean. Refined coconuts oils are mass produced and much of the beneficial nutrients are lost by the refining process. Virgin coconut oil is by far the better form, though is a slower process. It is generally obtained by shredding and dry milling the meat, and then cold pressing to produce the milk. The milk is fermented for a day or so and the separated oil collected.
Such oils are analyzed to contain over 50% lauric acid and high levels of phenolic antioxidants. Much higher than from refined oils. It is said to be the healthiest oil on earth. So why did the American authorities legislate against its use? It is because of the bad press received by saturated fats and oils.
You can have saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The majority of the fats and oils in our diet are composed of long chain fats and oils. The chain length refers to the length of the hydrocarbon chain, whether saturated or unsaturated. It is long chain saturated acids that are bad for your cardiovascular system, and that should be avoided. However, there are also short chain and medium chain fatty acids that are more easily metabolized by the body. Coconut oil consists predominantly of medium chain fatty acids that help to protect against heart disease and cholesterol rather than promote it.
The highest levels of medium chain fatty acids are found in coconut oils and palm kernel oils, and these are far more nutritious than the saturated long chain fatty acids found in animal fats and just about all vegetable fats. The main MCFA in coconut oil is lauric acid.
Lauric acid is generally regarded as being responsible for the vast majority of the health benefits of coconut oil. The only other source of this fatty acid other than coconut oil is in human breast milk. After absorption, lauric acid is metabolized into monolaurin that is the monoglyceride used by the human body to destroy viruses and microbes, and attack the fat coated viruses that cause such diseases as HIV. It destroys flu viruses, a number of dangerous bacteria and protozoa such as giardia lamblia.
However, let’s have a look at some of the lesser known effects of coconut oil, such as its effects on the thyroid. Anything that blocks the efficient operation of the thyroid and secretion of the thyroid hormones can lead to excess estrogen in the body that can contribute to excessive blood cholesterol. There is a body of evidence that polyunsaturated fats and oils, such as soy, can have this effect is many people. When coconut oil is used instead, the medium chain fatty acids do not have the same effect, and those that are affected frequently find that their thyroid problem is cured and their blood cholesterol reduces.
This is not to infer that all hypothyroidism can be cured through the use of coconut oil, only those cases caused by consumption of excessive amounts of polyunsaturated fats. Although this is refuted by some medical practitioners that are against the use of supplements in general, it has been supported by medical evidence.
Coconut oil is also good for the digestion, and helps the cure of many digestive problems including Crohn’s Disease. It helps to build lipoproteins, fats and bile in the liver, the latter being essential for digestion. It helps to create a much healthier digestive tract that makes for generally better digestion and more efficient use of the foods you eat. Absorption of the nutrients is maximized and you feel altogether better in yourself when you take a small amount of coconut oil daily.
You can have sugar cravings for a number of reasons, and taking coconut oil can reduce these quickly and effectively, irrespective of their cause. The medium chain fatty acid breaks down and is rapidly metabolized to glucose thus providing a source of the energy your craving is telling you that you lack. It is very useful in reducing sugar cravings without you having to eat excess sugar that can create yeast problems.
If you replace the fats you are currently eating with coconut oil, it will not only act as an appetite suppressant but can also help you to lose weight. The fatty acids in coconut are absorbed immediately and converted to energy thus reducing your immediate need for food and hence your appetite. If you eat the saturated fat in coconut oil rather than the polyunsaturated fats in vegetable oils, then you can lose weight.
Many of the benefits of coconut oil are due to the speed with which the lauric acid is absorbed and metabolized in comparison to the long chain polyunsaturated fats. It is the chain length of the hydrocarbon tail that is important here rather than the number of double bonds in that chain that determines the degree of unsaturation.
Make sure that it is virgin coconut that you use since that is the most nutritious form. Do not be misled by labels claiming the contents to be extra virgin oil, since that is a term borrowed from the olive oil industry, and there is no such thing as extra virgin in relation to coconut oil. Never use refined coconut oil since that will just as bad for you as other saturated oils. Not even ‘Extra Virgin Refined Coconut Oil’ in the mistaken belief that such a label must indicate that the oil is extra good. It does not – it simply indicates that the supplier is a charlatan deliberately trying to mislead you into paying a premium price for a useless product.
Coconut oil may promote a healthy thyroid and digestive function, and all the medical tests indicate that it does. People that use it regularly swear by it and if you have a problem that virgin coconut oil might help, then one thing is sure: it will certainly do you no harm, and all indications are that it will do you a lot of good.
Prevent Disease With Discount Vitamins
October 24, 2007 09:33 AM
You can prevent disease with discount vitamin just as easy as with those you pay top dollar for on the High Street. Vitamins are vitamins, and they do not lose quality for price as long as you know what to look for and stick with name brands. They are the most purchased supplement in the western world, and there are ways of getting them for less than the normal price.
First, though, a definition of what a vitamin is since an astounding number of people have no idea of what actually constitutes a vitamin even though they can recite all the letters. In fact, a vitamin is a molecule, obtained from an organic animal or vegetable source that is essential for life. Without it there can be no animal life and vitamins generally catalyze or act as coenzymes in the biochemistry that makes up all of the chemical reactions of the body. A catalyst allows a reaction to occur without changing itself, and a coenzyme allows enzymes to do their jobs.
Let’s have a look at one or two vitamins to provide examples of these statements. In bygone days when sailors used sail to cross the oceans in open boats powered only by sail and oar, a trip that takes us a week in a cruise liner these days could take sailors several months. It was not only the fact that they relied on favorable winds, but also that they did not always know where they were going, and were frequently unable to store up for a whole voyage. They depended on landing at islands on the way to replenish supplies. Disease due to lack of nutrition was common and one of these was scurvy.
This condition is not strictly a disease and is due to a lack of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. In fact the name ‘ascorbic’ comes from the Latin for ‘without scurvy’. The symptoms are liverish spots over the body, spongy gums that cause the teeth to fall out and bleeding from the mucus membranes. Healed scars will open up, and cured and knitted bone fractures will separate. Ultimately it causes death. The first person is used since scurvy still exists.
It is due to a breakdown in the synthesis of collagen which heals scars, keeps joints held together, and forms the outside part of cells, and also some inner cell structures. Collagen synthesis is dependent on the amino acids proline and lysine that are hydroxylated by the enzymes lysyl and prolyl hydroxylase. The problem is that these enzymes need ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to do their work. Without it, collagen cannot be made.
Although the chemistry was unknown, early sailors soon found that citrus fruits such as lemons and limes prevented this horrible condition. The English used to stock up their ships with fresh limes at any port of call that had them, and this is why the English are frequently referred to a ‘Limeys’. It got them a nickname, but it saved their lives. Scurvy is now rare, but it is not a disease as such that can be eradicated. It occurs now and again in teenagers with poor diets that do not include fresh fruit and vegetables.
Vitamin C supplements are now available, and it is one of the most common of the discount vitamins on the market. The same is true of vitamin A that is essential for good eyesight. It has many other uses, as has vitamin C, but without it we could not survive. Without it we will eventually become blind, although the first symptom is night blindness. However, an excess can lead to hypovitaminosis A, a condition common in the developed world. Its absence can kill us, and vitamin A deficiency is one of the more common conditions of the developing world. Vitamins are contrary creatures, and can do us harm as well as good.
How about vitamin D, the sunlight vitamin? We don’t think of it, yet it is responsible for the strength of your skeleton and the regulation of calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood. Without it our bones become soft, our children get rickets and we eventually die – frequently through cancer.
1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol is the chemical name for calcitriol, which is the form of vitamin D found in the body, known as vitamin D3. This has been found to kill some cancer cells in the laboratory, and it is thought that supplements of vitamin D might help to prevent some types of cancer. The reults of a four year cancer study were released in June, 2007, that showed a reduction of 60% in cancers where patients were given a aupplement of 1100 inernational units daily. This rose to 77% where the cancers had been diagnosed in their first year.
The effect of vitamin D was emphasized by the reults of a study of more than 4 million cancer patients that showed a marked difference in the risk of cancer according to whether they lived in sunny or less sunny climates.
So these are the benefits of some discount vitamin supplements. How, then, do you find vitamins at discount prices? The easiest way is to purchase in bulk. There are those that form online clubs for vitamins and pay a weekly or monthly fee to join. When offers come online for specific supplements at low prices, they are purchased by the groups and distributed. You could do the same yourself with some friends, since it is generally cheaper to purchase 5 Kg of a vitamin that 500g. Your local health food store could also help you out since they are likely to be able to procure discount bulk prices from their supplier.
Another way is to wait until your local store makes special offers, or seek offers in the press. These can often be found, but if you are concerned mainly with the common vitamins A, B complex, C, D and E then a large proportion of the population are interested in these and you should not find it difficult to sell several kilos of these. You will not only get yours free, but will a sizeable profit into the bargain.
Anything between that and the normal price is an advantage for chemicals that are essential for life. One thing to always remember, buy reputable name brand vitamins because if the vitamins seem to cheap than you’re probably right. Name brand vitamins have quality and can be purchased at discount prices if you look long enough.
Better Diet, Easier Breathing for Men?
May 22, 2007 02:58 PM
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reported that men who followed a diet rich in plant-based foods, whole grains and fish – a “Mediterranean” diet – were half as likely as their peers eating the most “western” style diet to develop chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Subjects eating significant amounts of refined grains, cured and red meat, desserts and sweets were at a 4.55 times greater risk of COPD. The researchers followed 42,917 men for over 12 years; 111 men in the group reported new diagnoses of COPD. Top-tier subjects with the healthier diet pattern were half as likely to have developed lung disease as bottom-tier subjects. The researchers stated that fruit and fish have both been tired to better lung function and lower risk of COPD, and noted that fruit and vegetables are good sources of antioxidant vitamins such as C and E, which have been tied to better lung function; omega-3 fatty acids in fish may also contribute to lung health. (Thorax, May 2007 Published online)… Natural Products Association.
Memory And Focus
May 08, 2007 02:05 PM
Memory & Focus
Some people think getting older often means getting slower. It’s true that as we age, we may find we can’t walk quite as fast, climb as many flights of stairs, or play sports as hard as we could when we were twenty. However, we k now that a healthy diet, regular exercise, and the right dietary supplements can make a huge difference in our health, strength, and mobility as we age.
This is true for our mental abilities as well. We may not think as quickly as we used to, might misplace our keys more often, and experience more “tip-of-my-tongue” word searches. These so-called “middle-aged moments” most often have minor consequences: a missed appointment or the forgotten name of an acquaintance. However, in a small number of cases, these mental slips can also be the first sign of serious diseases of aging, such as Alzheimer’s disease of other dementias.
The good news is, just like our physical health, we can improve how we function mentally. Eating healthy foods, taking the right supplements, and participating in regular mental exercise can significantly increase our mental endurance, improve our memory, and optimize our ability to focus.
In fact, groundbreaking and ongoing research has discovered that specific herbs and vitamins, particularly Ginkgo Biloba, Bacopa monnieri, folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12, and the important co-enzyme and antioxidant, alpha lipoic acid, all have powerful effects on memory and focus. These nutritional supplements have been scientifically shown to quickly reduce mild age-related memory chances, as well as greatly reducing the risk of developing more serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other brain diseases later on in life.
Q. What is the difference between age related memory decline and dementia?
A. As we get older, our nerve cells need more time to spark and connect, slowing the process of bringing memories and events to mind. Another theory is that, as we age, we accumulate more knowledge and memories. The mind then has to sort through much more data to reference a memory. Almost everyone middle-aged and older notices this slowdown. Memory decline and problems with mental focus are a normal part of aging.
While it’s true that the older we get, our chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease increase, this illness is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive dementia that slowly kills nerve cells in areas of the brain where memory, learning, though, and language take place. Often first appearing as people begin retirement, Alzheimer’s disease makes the “golden years” a time of loss and devastation. Memories vanish, relationships are erased, and independence is gradually lost.
After Alzheimer’s disease, the second most common cause of dementia in older people is multi-infarct dementia. Caused by a series of mini-strokes that damage or destroy brain tissue over time, multi-infarct dementia usually affects people between the ages of 60 and 75. Men are slightly more at risk. High blood pressure is the most significant risk factor for multi-infarct dementia.
Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, Huntington’s disease, Creutzfelt-Jakob disease, and alcoholism can also cause progressive and irreversible dementia.
While normal age-related memory and focus loss may mean we can’t remember where we put our car keys, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia may mean we can’t remember what our car keys are used for.
Q. Are any types of memory and focus loss reversible?
A. Yes. As women enter menopause, they frequently experience trouble remembering. This memory interference is caused by hormone fluctuations and can affect speech, thinking, and attention. Symptoms of menopause-related memory loss and poor focus include recognizing faces less well than in the past, missing scheduled appointments, and misplacing articles. Once a woman passes through menopause, her ability to remember and focus most often improves.
Certain medications, such as the heavily prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs called stains, can temporarily interfere with memory. Low vitamin B levels, artherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and thyroid disease can cause disruption of mental focus and memory loss. These problems usually resolve with treatment of the underlying disorder.
A certain type of stoke, called a transient ischemic attack (TIA) can cause memory loss that may be reversible. A TIA is a brief episode of stroke symptoms that come on quickly. Sometimes referred to as a “mini-stroke” or “warning stroke,” a TIA is caused by a temporary interruption in the blood supply to the brain. But, unlike a stroke, a TIA does not lead to permanent brain damage. While a TIA is usually short-lived, it is likely to occur again if not properly managed and can be a warning of future stroke.
Q. I seem to forget a lot of things. How can I be sure I don’t have Alzheimer’s disease or some other dementia?
A. If you, or other around you, are concerned about your memory, you should be examined by your health care practitioner. Once the cause of your memory and focus problem is diagnosed, treatment can begin. All causes of memory loss and mental focus disruption can be treated, even Alzheimer’s disease. While presently irreversible dementias cannot be cured, the progression of the disease may be slowed, and in some cases, stopped..
Research on memory loss and mental focus disruption has increased dramatically in the past few years. Discoveries regarding Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as age-related loss of memory and focus have recently been made. Most importantly, many new treatment options, including the use of nutritional supplements, have been developed.
Q. How can nutritional supplements improve memory and focus?
A. Several herbs and vitamins have been demonstrated to improve memory and mental focus. While some nutritional supplements work now to improve memory and focus, others work to prevent problems we might develop later.
One of the most researched herbs, Ginkgo biloba, has been found to be effective in improving currently experienced memory and focus loss; in other words, problems we are having now. Ginkgo has been studied in individuals who have age-related memory loss, as well as in those with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. It seems that ginkgo can improve many brain functions, such as speeding up memory recall, protecting brain cells from chemical changes and free radical damage, improving blood flow to the brain, and helping nerve cells communicate with each other better.
Several studies examined ginkgo’s effect in healthy people who were experiencing normal age-related memory and focus problems. They determined that ginkgo improved memory, attention, and clarity of thinking. Ginkgo can also help restore memories that may be lost in TIAs, those mini-strokes that were discussed earlier.
In studies of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, the results showed that ginkgo slowed down the disease in those severely afflicted and actually improved those with very mild or moderate disease. In one of these studies, ginkgo was compared to four prescription cholinesterase inhibitors, medications commonly used to treat individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. Using written mental tests, the researchers found that ginkgo worked just as effectively as the prescription drugs. While those taking one of the cholinesterase inhibitors dropped out of the study because of disturbing side effects, ginkgo had no side effects and improved symptoms equally as well.
Q. Hoe does Bacopa monnieri help memory and focus?
A. Like ginkgo, bacopa works on the memory and focus problems we are experiencing now. Bacopa grows in
Q. How does alpha lipoic acid help memory and focus?
A. Alpha lipoic acid (
Researchers have discovered unmistakable free radical damage in Alzheimer’s disease. Accordingly,
In a recent study, people with Alzheimer’s disease were given tests that measured through and memory. They were then given
Q. How do vitamins B12 and B6 help memory and focus?
A. Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient in the regulation of nerve transmissions. It is required by the nervous system for normal brain function, and it may also help with mood.
Researchers have learned that people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias (including Parkinson’s disease) have elevated homocysteine levels. IN fact, t he amount of homocysteine in the blood corresponds to the severity of the disease. Most people with a high homocysteine level don’t have enough folate, vitamin B5 or vitamin B12 in their diet. Replacing these vitamins helps return the homocysteine level to normal.
Reducing homocysteine levels may prevent the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease, or other brain diseases, and improve the symptoms of those already afflicted.
Q. What about folic acid?
A. Folic acid has long been recognized as a vital nutrient for the brain and spinal cord. Recent research has demonstrated that folic acid has significant importance in Alzheimer’s disease.
An ongoing study of Alzheimer’s disease that began in 1986 has been studying 678 members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in the hopes of learning how the disease develops, how it might be prevented, and how to treat it. Data collected in the study includes biographies the sisters wrote upon entrance to the order, blood samples from the sisters while they are living, and information gained from the voluntary donation of their brains after death.
Aptly named the “Nun Study,” ground breaking discoveries have already been made. It seems that diet and nutrition have a dramatic influence in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Sisters who had high levels of folic acid showed little evidence of Alzheimer’s-type damage in their brains after death. And, those nuns who had Alzheimer’s disease in spite of high folic acid levels had profoundly less brain damage from the disease. In fact, some sisters who had no outward evidence of Alzheimer’s disease while they were living had surprisingly extensive damage in their brains after death.
Q. Besides taking ginkgo, bacopa, B vitamins, folic acid, and ALA, is there other things I can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
A. You may not know if you have a serious B-vitamin deficiency. Routine lab work does not measure the amount of B vitamins in your blood. You might want to ask your health care practitioner to have your B vitamin level in your blood measured, especially if you are having memory and focus problems. Keep in mind that this type of lab work is fairly expensive, however.
Supplements do not replace the need for a healthy diet, especially a diet with high levels of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids. Keeping your body healthy helps keep your brain healthy as well.
It also seems that the use-it-or-lose-it theory applies to our brain as well as our body. Research has shown that people who seek opportunities to keep mentally active, such as reading books, newspapers, and magazines, solving crossword puzzles, playing card games, and visiting museums, lower their risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dealing with age-related memory loss may be both frustrating and frightening. As the population of
In fact, more and more research shows prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is a reality. And age-related memory loss can successfully be improved as well. Taking the scientifically validated nutritional supplements ginkgo, bacopa, vitamins B6 and B12, folic acid, and
Safe Solutions for Chronic Pain
March 30, 2007 12:09 PM
Safe Solutions for Chronic Pain
One of the biggest challenged in healthcare today is the problem of pain. There are simply too many people living each and every day with ongoing, unremitting chronic pain. And there are far too many healthcare providers who – for a variety of reasons – are failing to adequately address this serious problem.
Recently, 368 doctors who routinely care for patients with chronic pain agreed to take part in a unique study. The doctors were surveyed about the pain medicines hey prescribe, what kind of treatment goals they hope to achieve, and how they felt about their ability to help their patients. They were also presented with four chronic pain vignettes or mock case studies and asked to select the best treatment for each scenario from multiple choice answers.
Sadly, many doctors chose the worst treatment options in the case studies. The medications they reported using in their practices did not reflect current pain treatment standards. They tended to set low treatment goals 0 instead of aiming for a least a 75% reduction of pain for their patients, they settled for 10% to 20% reductions. And many of the doctors admitted they lacked confidence in their ability to relieve their patients’ pain and suffering.
Adding to the challenge are the almost daily news announcements about dangerous side effects in certain pain medications. Synthetic prescription COX-2 inhibitors, once hailed as the safest of drugs, have been linked to heart attacks, strokes, blood clots, and intestinal bleeding. The over-the counter (OTC) drugs aspirin and ibuprofen kill over 16,000 people each year. And acetaminophen, the most widely used pain reducer in the
As a doctor specializing in chronic pain disorders, I know that optimal pain management can be a real challenge. However, I also know:
-You do not have to live in chronic pain.
-Your chronic pain, no matter what the cause, can be reduced, and usually
-Chronic pain can be relived both effectively and safely with powerful all-natural
Q. What is chronic pain?
A. Sudden, or acute, pain occurs when pain signals immediately fire in your nervous system alerting you to an injury, like a broken ankle, or an illness, such as appendicitis. Once the injury heals or the illness is cured, the transmission of pain signals stop.
Ongoing – or chronic pain – is much different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial injury, such as sprained back muscles, or an initial illness, such as a serious infection. There might be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis, cancer, or fibromyalgia. Chronic pain also occurs without any past injury or evidence of body damage.
The most common kinds of chronic pain are headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, and neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to nerves or to the nervous system itself). While chronic pain differs in its origin and where it occurs, it is generally your body’s way of saying that something urgently needs attention, and will not o away unless its underlying causes are addressed.
These causes can usually be determined if you remember the acronym “SHIN”. This stands for Sleep, Hormonal deficiencies, Infections/Inflammation/Impingement, and Nutritional deficiencies. When these are treated, pain often resolves.
Q. Why is it so hard to effectively reduce chronic pain?
A. Unfortunately, many physicians’ entire education in pain management consists of “giving nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (pronounced en-sayds), COX-2 inhibitors, or acetaminophen and considering narcotics if the patient has cancer.
Some NSAIDs, like aspirin and ibuprofen, are available over-the-counter, while others, like the synthetic COX-2 inhibitors are only available with a doctor’s prescription. These mediations are usually inadequate and often toxic when used for chronic pain. And they do not address the problem(s) that the pain is trying to alert you to.
Q. What exactly are COX-2 inhibitors?
A. COX-2 inhibitors do pretty much what their name implies – they inhibit a natural enzyme in our body called the clclooxygenase-2, or COX-2, enzyme. There are two COX enzymes – COX-1 and COX-2 and both complete several actions in our bodies. One very important action that both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes share is the speeding up of our body’s production of prostaglandins. These hormone-like substances are made by the cells of the body and have several important functions.
Some of the most powerful prostaglandins cause inflammation, pain, and fever when we are sick or injured. Prostaglandins also protect the lining of the stomach from the damaging effects of acid. Other prostaglandins make sure our platelets (important blood cells) make blood clots when needed. Still others help our kidneys get rid of unwanted salt and water. And researchers have just recently recognized the importance of still another prostaglandin that protects our heart and blood vessels.
The NSAIDs reduce pain by reducing prostaglandin production by blocking or inhibiting the COX enzymes. In theory – less prostaglandins, less pain and welling seems reasonable. But if you really stop and think about it, it’s pretty easy to understand why this method of pain relief might result in significant consequences.
Pain and inflammation are often needed for healing. And just as needed is the protection of our stomach lining, blood clotting ability, assisting kidney function, and keeping our blood vessels healthy. And scientists are beginning to understand if you interfere with one natural response, you may be disrupting the body’s ability to prevent extremes and imbalances.
That’s why using aspirin and ibuprofen can result in stomach ulcers, kidney problems, and internal bleeding. And that’s why using synthetic COX-2 inhibitors can result in high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes.
Q. Why are we just now learning about the dangers of COX-2 inhibitors and other NSAIDs?
A. That’s a good question!
Many people over the age of 65 have chronic pain conditions and are frequent users of OTC and prescription NSAIDs. This age group also experiences heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease in greater numbers. So, if a 70 year old woman who’s been using Celebrex for the past two years for arthritis in her knees suddenly has a heart attack one morning, it would not be entirely unexpected.
For the past five or six years, researchers have been studying the possibility that NSAIDs may prevent certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, and other health problems. The ongoing, close scrutiny of large group of people taking these medications by scientists who were conducting these studies has resulted in the discovery of these dangers.
Q. What kind of natural compounds relieve chronic pain?
A. There are many – glucosamine, Omega-3 fatty acids, the B vitamins – the list goes on and on. Instead of disrupting normal bodily responses, these natural compounds work in harmony with our body to eliminate chronic pain. Three very powerful and very effective all natural plant compound pain and inflammation relievers are Sweet Cherry, Boswellia serrata, and White Willow Bark.
For many years there have been anecdotal or personal reports that claimed eating Sweet Cherries, specifically Prunus avium, wipes out back pain, arthritis, and gout. While anecdotal reports generally don’t account for much in the world of science, he sheer numbers of testimonials proclaiming the Sweet Cherry’s amazing ability to reduce pain made researchers sit up and take notice.
When Sweet Cherries were examined in the lab, it was easy for scientists to understand how this natural fruit is able to relieve pain. It seems Sweet Cherry’s bright red color is the key. Like many deeply colored fruits, Sweet Cherries are full of flavonoids called anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins.
These powerful plant compounds scavenge and destroy altered oxygen compounds called free radicals. Many degenerative, chronic diseases have been associated with the tissue damage caused by free radicals, including arthritis, heart disease, peripheral artery disease, and cancer. Cherry fruit extract is a natural anti-inflammatory compound, making it an excellent treatment for arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic pain and inflammation diseases.
A pain relieving plant compound that comes from the bark of a tree, Boswellia serrata has been used by Indian healers for hundreds of years to reduce painful inflammation. When 20th century researchers looked at extracts of Boswellia Gum Resin in the laboratory they discovered the presence of powerful plant compounds, called boswellic acids.
Researchers found Boswellic Acids reduce inflammation in several ways. They open constricted blood vessels, improving blood flow to joints. They balance levels of leukotrienes – specific chemicals in the body that cause inflammation. And Boswellic Acids block two inflammatory chemicals that increase in asthma and inflammation of the colon. In addition to being helpful in treating these 2 illnesses, Boswellia has also been clinically studied and found to be quite effective in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis without any evidence of ulcers or stomach irritation.
Another bark extract, White Willow Bark is one of the oldest and most effective pain relievers. For over 2,000 years extracts from the bark of the White Willow tree have been used to ease aches and pains and reduce fevers. It is the original source of aspirin, but when used as the entire plant medicine, White Willow Bark is much safer than aspirin and quite effective.
White Willow Bark’s active ingredient is salicin and the combination of other compounds in the bark significantly enhances its pain killing power. In two large clinical trials of patients with chronic low back pain. White Willow Bark was found to be not only safer and much more effective than standard prescription therapies, it was also 40 percent more cost effective.
Salicylic acid from White Willow Bark lowers the body’s levels of prostaglandins, easing both acute and chronic pain. White Willow Bark reduces the pain and swelling of arthritis, headache, back and neck pain, muscle aches, and menstrual cramps. But, unlike aspirin, it doesn’t cause stomach bleeding or other known adverse effects.
Q. Do Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White
A. They do indeed. Because they reduce both pain and inflammation by a broad combination of actions, these natural extracts have been proven to be excellent against arthritis, back pain, and pain from inflammatory intestinal diseases (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), and would be expected to be helpful in most kinds of pain.
Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark relieve inflammation without causing stomach irritation, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, blood clots, heart attacks, or strokes. That’s because these natural pain killers don’t disrupt the balance of enzymes or interfere with the body’s ability to prevent extremes and imbalances.
However, as with any pain therapy, Sweet Cherry, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark work best when they are used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to relieve the most common underlying causes of chronic pain or SHIN.
In addition, although these excellent natural remedies can often offer quick pain relief, natural remedies for severe chronic pains work best when they are given at maximum allowed doses and given 6 weeks to show their full effectiveness in combination with treating the pain’s underlying causes. The best chronic pain relief results when doctors and patients work together to meet the goals of treatment.
Some important last notes: Many causes of chronic pain are serious and life threatening. Everyone who is living with chronic pain must consult their doctor or other healthcare practitioner to determine the reason for their ongoing discomfort. In other words – make sure you know why you are having chronic pain and what’s causing the pain you want to relieve.
There are some types of chronic pain that only respond to opioids, or narcotic pain relievers. Morphine sulfate is an excellent pain medication and is used to relieve surgical pain, the pain of heart attacks, and pain from serious injuries. Morphine is also the very best drug for chronic cancer pain and non-malignant chronic pain. While many people fear opioids, these powerful pain killers can dramatically improve quality of life. If you are suffering with chronic cancer pain and you are hesitant to use morphine or another opioid, I urge you to discuss your concerns with your doctor other healthcare provider. No one with cancer should live with untreated or under-treated pain.
Even chronic pain can often be eliminated when SHIN is in combination with powerfully effective natural pain relievers. But, because some people may need to take pain relievers the rest of their lives, the medications they use must be safe as well as effective. The very safest come from natural plant compounds that have been studied for their ability to relieve chronic pain. You can become pain free and Sweet Cherries, Boswellic Acids, and White Willow Bark can help.
Olive, With a Twist – The Leaves of the Olive Tree are as beneficial to our health as the
October 07, 2006 02:59 PM
Olive, With a Twist – The Leaves of the Olive Tree are as beneficial to our health as the famous oil.
Okay class, its time for a beneficial botanicals pop quiz. Raise your hands—how many people here know that olive oil is good for you? The whole room not surprising. Now, how many know that olive leaf is also good for you? There are not quite so many hands up this time. Let the lesson begin.
The olive tree occupies a prominent place in ancient history and no wonder: olives and the oil hey contain were (and are) dietary staples in the Mediterranean world. (The Greeks were so enamored of the olive tree that they ascribed its creation to the goddess Athena.) But the leaf of this venerable tree has also made historical appearances, generally as a folk remedy for bringing down fevers. The mechanism behind that action didn’t come to light until scientists were able to isolate a substance called oleuropein, responsible for both the bitter taste of uncured olives and the tree’s hardy nature and resistance to bugs and bacteria.
In the laboratory oleuropein extract has been as tough on many of the bacteria and viruses that plague human beings as it is on the olive tree’s natural enemies, a finding which helps explain why olive leaf has traditionally worked as well in fighting fevers (a sign of infection). Various types of rhinovirus (common cold), influenza and herpes virus have been numbered among oleuropein’s victims, along with the bacterial bad guys Escherichia coli (a strain of which can cause food poisoning) and staphylococcus aureus (the prime suspect in many hospital acquired infections).
Viruses are especially difficult to vanquish—antibiotics, as anyone suffering from the flu can tell you, don’t touch these tiny marauders. Olive leaf’s power lies in its ability to thwart viruses from replicating; now replication means no new viruses, which means no spread of infection. Olive extract can also incite immune system cells into gobbling up harmful micro-organisms.
In addition to thwarting microbes, olive leaf promotes better circulatory health. The white-coat crowd has discovered that oleuropein extract relaxes constricted arteries, which results in reduced blood pressure. And olive not only reduces blood sugar (glucose) levels but also serves as an antioxidant, a substance that can mop up harmful molecules known as free radicals. Given that oxidation plays a key role in the development of diabetic complications, both actions make olive leaf an intriguing option for people with diabetes. What’s more, oxidation also affects LDL cholesterol, turning it into the bad stuff that clogs arteries; olive leaf appears to interfere with this insidious process. This triple action-the ability to reduce blood pressure, glucose and LDL oxidation—may give olive leaf an important role in fighting metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health woes that helps fuel the worlds epidemic of cardiovascular disease.
The latest news from the olive grove: what boosts your blood may also benefit your bones. French researchers, intrigued by the low occurrence of osteoporosis among people who consume olive-heavy Mediterranean diets, found that female rats who received oleuropein showed less inflammation-induced bone loss than those fed standard rat chow (Clinical Nutrition 2006 online).
Surprised to learn that the olive trees leaf is just as valuable as its fruits? It’s true-and olive leaf deserves to go straight to the head of the class. --Lisa James.
What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?
December 10, 2005 02:50 PM
A. There are many causes that can trigger CFS. Current research is looking at the roles of neuroendocrine dysfunction, viruses, environmental toxins, genetic predisposition, food sensitivities, yeast overgrowth, faculty digestion, or a combination of these factors.
For many people, CFS is triggered by a bout with a viral illness (like a cold or the flu), or even a stressful event. CFS is usually a mix of underlying causes. It is like a domino effect in that each problem can trigger another problem, and so on. For example, fatigue and poor sleep can trigger a weakened immune system, which can, in turn, trigger yeast or bacterial infections.
Curcumin - Turmeric Extract
August 19, 2005 12:47 PM
Turmeric- History and Traditional Usage
Native to Southeast Asia, Curcuma longa is a tall
In addition to its
Turmeric is named in
Protects cells and tissues by fighting free radicals.*
Supports joint function*
The numerous beneficial
Animal studies- In vivo protective effects
Through its free radical scavenging
Curcumin exhibits free-radical scavenging ability when
Bioperine-Nature’s Absorption Enhancer
Traditional Ayurvedic herbal
Curcumin is poorly absorbed in the intestinal
*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
THE ORIGINS OF PYCNOGENOL
July 13, 2005 09:48 AM
THE ORIGINS OF PYCNOGENOL
For generations, certain tribes of North American Indians used bioflavonoids extracted from the bark of pine trees for a variety of disorders. Because of its marvelous healing properties, they called this pine the Annedda, or “tree of life.”
PINE BARK: GIVER OF LIFE
These native Americans, who routinely ate deer as their primary source of nutrition, when confronted with a scarcity of meat asked themselves ... where does the deer get its strength? They discovered that deer stripped away pine tree bark and we re able to derive life-giving nutrients from its organic composition. It was also observed that devastating diseases such as scurvy did not afflict those who ate the bark, leaves or needles of this pine tree.
CARTIER’S ENCOUNTER WITH ANNEDDA TEA
In 1535, Jacques Cartier learned of the medicinal value of the bark, which remained relatively unknown until 20 or 30 years ago, when scientists reviewed his notes and commenced research. Cartier became caught in the bitter snows of Quebec, while attempting to navigate the St. Lawrence River. Cartier and his crew subsisted on hard biscuits and cured meat and eventually came down with what was believed to be scurvy. Scurvy is an abhorrent disease which causes a very slow and agonizing death. Several of Cartier’s men died before they were approached by the Quebec Indians who prepared a tea they called “Annedda” from the bark of a certain native pine tree. The men took the tea and used its leaves as poultices. Their recovery was almost immediate. What must have seemed like a miraculous substance was technically, nothing more than vitamin C with bioflavonoids naturally inherent to the pine tree.
MASQUELIER’S SUBSEQUENT DISCOVERY OF PYCNOGENOL
Cartier was resourceful enough to document the incident. Over 400 years later, a French professor, Jacques Masquelier, assigned to the University of Quebec discove red Cartier’s account. Because he was already involved in bioflavonoid research, he became greatly intrigued by pine tree extract. Dr. Masquelier isolated a bio-active substance known as proanthocyanidin.
THE EMERGENCE OF PROANTHOCYANIDIN
After returning to France, Professor Masquelier found that this compound could be extracted from the bark of the French Maritime Pine pinus maritima found in abundance in southern France. Intensive research by Dr. Masquelier led to the discovery of Pycnogenol, which is another name for the group of bioflavonoids known as the proanthocyanidins. Subsequent in-depth testing revealed that these compounds are a nutrient treasure far more valuable that anyone originally thought. In time, the grape seed was found to contain the same compound and today, is considered an excellent source of Pycnogenol in France.
YEAST INFECTIONS AND GARLIC
June 25, 2005 10:13 AM
YEAST INFECTIONS AND GARLIC
Garlic has proven over and over that it is an effective antifungal agent. For anyone suffering from recurring yeast infections, garlic should be added to the diet. Its compounds are ve ry active against candida albicans which causes yeast infections. Some studies h a ve shown that garlic is more potent in treating yeast infections than nystatin, gentian violet and six other reputable antifungal agents.3 6
Yeast infections plague millions of Americans and can cause conditions such as thrush, vaginal yeast infections and intestinal yeast disorders. Candida albicans has been linked to a wide variety of symptoms including chronic fatigue, depression, infertility and allergies.
Much of the scientific research done on garlic has centered around its antimicrobial activity, especially against infectious fungi like C. albicans which causes yeast infections. Chicks that were inoculated with the C. albicans organism were cured after ten days of ingesting garlic.37
A study reported in Mycologia in 1977 concluded that garlic significantly inhibited all isolates of yeast-like fungi that were tested. Once again, it is important that the allicin component of garlic is present in order to receive the antifungal effect. Some research has suggested that raw garlic was not effective against yeast infections, while aged extracts were very good. An added bonus of using garlic to treat yeast infections is that no clinical stains of C. albicans have been known to become resistant to garlic therapy.
Because high blood sugar is also related to a higher risk of yeast infections, garlic therapy has an additional advantage. Garlic compounds have demonstrated their ability to lower blood glucose levels which would help to decrease one’s risk of developing a yeast infection.
CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
June 23, 2005 11:20 AM
CLINICAL APPLICATIONS OF CAPSICUM
Capsicum is a remarkable whole body stimulant that can boost blood flow, tone the nervous system, relieve indigestion, promote sweating, help to cauterize and heal ulcers, ease persistent pain and fight off infection. One very authoritative work on African plants suggests that Capsicum’s “regular ingestion is highly beneficial in hemorrhoids, varicose veins, anorexia, liver congestion and vascular conditions . . .the indigenous inhabitants of Africa and of the Antilles are remarkably free form all of these conditions as they use Capsicum fruit in their diet.”10 Most of the therapeutic actions of Capsicum are attributed to the alkaloid or glucoside content of the herb.11 The latest scientific studies conducted with Capsicum will be discussed in subsequent sections.
Because Capsicum boosts peripheral circulation and stimulates organ secretion, it expedites the therapeutic delivery and action of other herbs. In other words, the medicinal benefits of these herbs reach infected or inflamed tissue more rapidly due to enhanced blood flow.12 Consider the following statement: “Cayenne will insure the rapid and even distribution of the active principles of the rest of the herbs to critical function - al centers of the body, including those involved in cellular respiration, metabolism, data transmission, and neural-hormonal activation. Cayenne is included in several other blends for this reason. In extremely small quantities it can dramatically increase the efficiency of most other herbs.”13 Many health practitioners believe that the key to healing is CAPSICUM stimulation. Capsicum stimulates eve rything from blood flow to peristaltic action in the stomach, to intestinal transit time. The re m a rkable ability of Capsicum to stimulate organ secretion and even heart action makes it one of the strongest natural stimulants known. Se veral different kinds of herbal blends targeting various body systems will utilize Capsicum to boost the formula’s efficacy.
Capsicum is said to be unequaled for its ability to boost circulation and increase heart action. Interestingly, cultures who consume significant amounts of cayenne pepper in their diet have much lower rates of cardiovascular disease.14 Capsicum exerts a variety of desirable actions on the entire card i ovascular system. It has the extraordinary ability to enhance cardiovascular performance while actually lowering blood pressure.15 A quote taken from a card i ovascular publication re a d s , “Capsaicin has also been shown to prolong cardiac action potential in atrial muscle . . .”16 Michael T. Murray, N.D., has stated, “ Cayenne pepper [Capsicum] should be recommended as a food for its beneficial antioxidant and cardiovascular effects.”17 Herbalists have considered Capsicum as a superior “f o o d” for the heart. In fact, in cases where a heart attack is suspected administering capsicum in hot water has been thought to help lessen the severity of the attack. Capsicum can also be placed on or under the tongue in emergencies involving heart attack, stroke or hemorrhaging. 18 Note: Using Capsicum for any heart-related problem, especially a suspected heart attack should never take the place of medical attention or a physician’s care.
CAPSICUM Blood Cholesterol Reducer
Various studies have conclusively demonstrated that Capsicum reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening of the a rteries) by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels .19 Additional clinical studies conducted in India found that when cayenne was ingested along with dietary cholesterol, the typical rise in liver and blood serum cholesterol levels was significantly inhibited. In addition, bile acids and free cholesterol were subsequently eliminated from the body through the stool.20 Interestingly, these tests revealed that using Capsicum was actually more effective in reducing cholesterol that capsaicin alone.2 1 Daniel Mowrey, Ph.D., emphatically points out that this is just one of many examples of the superiority of whole botanicals as opposed to their isolated components.22 Note: Using Capsicum in combination with Hawthorn is a particularly good cardiovascular tonic.
Blood Pressure Equalizer
While an added bonus of Capsicum’s capability to lower blood serum cholesterol is a decrease in blood pressure, additional evidence strongly suggests that the herb initiates other mechanisms that fight hypertension .23 “Cayenne, according to another study, also reduces the blood pressure in an even more direct manner: a number of years ago, a team of researchers discove red that capsaicin acts in a reflexive manner to reduce systemic blood pressure, a kind of coronary chemoreflex.”24 Adding Garlic to Capsicum creates an even better therapeutic blend for treating hypertension.
Blood Detoxification CAPSICUM
“Cayenne is a kind of catalyst in the blood purification process . . . it acts as a diaphoretic, stimulating the excretion of wastes in the swe a t . ”25 Because Capsicum stimulates organ secretion and boosts peripheral blood flow, it would only stand to reason that it would also facilitate the faster removal of toxins from the bloodstream and lymphatic system. You may have already noticed that Capsicum is frequently added to blood-purifying herbal combinations. Circulatory Booster Researchers have found that the simulating action of Capsicum on surface capillaries can help to pre vent cold hands and feet.2 6 For this reason, it may be helpful for Reynaud’s Syndrome. Old remedies using Capsicum have even recommended placing it in socks to warm the feet and to help prevent frostbite. An old folk cure for a chilled body was a steaming hot cup of Capsicum tea. Free Radical Scavenger The rich flavonoid content of Capsicum gives it significant antioxidant capabilities. A recent study conducted in 1995 showed that Capsicum has a higher ascorbic acid content than chiles from the jalapeno or serrano varieties .27 Vitamin C and bioflavonoids can scavenge for dangerous free radicals which cause tissue damage and can predispose organs to degenerative diseases. Free radicals are found everywhere and are created as by-products of metabolic p rocesses including the act of breathing itself. Pollutants can expose the body to free radicals. An interesting study done in Mexico City and published in 1993 found that Capsicum extract was able to modulate the mutagenic activity of urban air samples.28 In other words, these potentially dangerous nitro - a romatic compounds found in polluted air were kept from mutating by red chile extract.29 Chemical breakdowns of Capsicum have also found that CAPSICUM the pepper is high in Provitamin A, which significantly contributes to its healing ability and immune fortification.30 Anti-Carcinogenic Compound Anti-cancer research recently tested Capsicum on laboratory rats and found that it does indeed demonstrate anti-cancer properties by inhibiting certain enzymes which can initiate the mutation of cells.31 What this implies is that taking Capsicum can afford the body some protection against the cellular mutation which occurs in malignant growths. Capsicum actually inhibited the formation of dangerous metabolites under laboratory conditions where they should have normally been activa t e d .3 2 This study implies that Capsicum may have many more sophisticated bio-chemical actions than previously thought.
An Impressive Pain Killer
Capsaicin has recently emerged as a remarkably effective pain reliever and has become the subject of recent clinical research . Applying capsaicin in cream or ointment form to painful joints, scar tissue or other painful conditions involving peripheral nerves confuses pain transmitters. In other worlds, capsaicin temporarily disrupts sensory nerve cell biochemistry there by impeding the relay of pain sensations from the skin surface. It does this by inhibiting a neurotransmitter called substance P. This specific compound is thought to be the main mediator of pain impulses from peripheral nerve endings.33 Substance P has also demonstrated its ability to inhibit inflammatory pain generated in arthritic joints in much the same way.34 Today, several over-the-counter topical preparations utilize capsaicin for the pain of arthritic joints. The ability of Capsicum to control severe and unresponsive pain is significant, to say the least. Modern clinical utilization of topical capsaicin may offer signifi-cant relief for a number of painful conditions including: diabetic neuropathy, cluster headaches, post-amputation pain, post-mastectomy pain, shingles and painful scar tissue.35
In the early spring of 1996, prime time national news show s reported that scientists had found that individuals who had suffered from chronic pain in post-surgical scars (heart bypass, arterial grafts, etc.) were successfully treated with topical preparations containing capsaicin. While this may have been news to many of us, clinical studies had been already published for several years that capsaicin held profound value for various kinds of pain which did not respond to established medical treatments. Typically surgical scars and regions around them can produce persistent pain or can be very sensitive to the touch even when completely healed. This type of pain phenomenon seems to respond well to capsaicin ointments and creams.
When capsaicin preparations were applied following mastectomy or breast reconstruction, pain was significantly relieved. Se veral double blind studies found that using capsaicin creams four times daily for 4 to 6 weeks resulted in much less frequent occurrence of sharp, jabbing pain.3 6 All thirteen patients studied had a 50 percent or greater improve m e n t .3 7 Various unpleasant sensations other than pain also improved with topical applications of capsaicin creams.38
MOUTH SORES FROM RADIATION OR CHEMOTHERAPY
A fascinating study conducted at the Yale Pain Management Center discove red that capsaicin could ve ry significantly lessen pain caused by mouth sores which frequently develop after chemotherapy or radiation.39 Apparently delivering the capsaicin in the form of soft candy (taffy) enabled the substance to be retained in the mouth long enough to desensitize the nerve endings causing the pain. Each one of the eleven case studies re p o rted that their pain had decreased and in two patients, it stopped entirely.40
Diabetic neuropathy is a painful nerve condition which can develop in cases of prolonged diabetes. Several double-blind studies have supported the considerable value of capsaicin creams for relieving the pain associated with this disorder.41 The results of a controlled study using Capsicum for seve re cases of diabetic neuropathy which did not respond to conventional therapy were published in 1992. A cream containing Capsicum was applied to painful areas four time a day and pain was carefully e valuated for 8 weeks at two-week intervals. The results we re impressive, to say the least. In the 22 patients who used the Capsicum the following results we re re c o rded: “Capsaicin tre a tment was more beneficial than vehicle treatment in the overall clinical improvement of pain status, as measured by physician’s global evaluation and by a categorical pain severity scale . . . In a follow-up study, approximately 50 percent of the subjects reported improved pain control or were cured . . .”42 No t e : While there was a burning sensation when the Capsicum c ream was first applied, some subjects found that its magnitude and duration lessened with continued application.43
The FDA has approved capsaicin-based ointments for the treatment of pain that results from diseases like shingles. Again, numerous studies have documented the value of capsaicin for decreasing the miserable nerve-related pain associated with shingles. The general consensus derived from these tests were that approximately 50 p e rcent of people suffering from shingles responded well to capsaicin creams, some even after 10 to 12 months.44
Note: If blisters accompany a shingles outbreak, it is better to wait until they have healed before using any capsaicin-based ointments or creams.
RELIEF FOR BURNING FEET
Frequently an uncomfortable “burning” sensation in the feet will occur in many people, particularly in diabetics. As ironic as it may seem, using capsaicin creams may actually alleviate this burning. “In various studies, diabetics who treated their burning feet with capsaicin got greater improvement and we re able to walk more easily than those not using the cream.”45 In addition, using topical applications of capsaicin as opposed to strong, oral drugs is much more preferable.
Clinical tests have confirmed that topical capsaicin ointments substantially alleviate the miserable pain that characterizes osteoand rheumatoid arthritis.46 These studies revealed that using 0.075 capsaicin cream reduced tenderness and pain.47 Dr. Michael T. Murray writes: “ . . . seventy patients with osteoarthritis and thirty - one with rheumatoid arthritis received capsaicin or placebo for 4 weeks. The patients were instructed to apply 0.025 percent capsaicin cream or its placebo to painful knees four times daily. Significantly more relief of pain was reported by the capsaicin-treated patients than by the placebo patients throughout the study . . .”48 Anyone suffering from osteo or rheumatoid arthritis should evaluate the effectiveness of capsaicin ointments for joint pain. Ester Lipstein-Kresch, M.D., has studied the effectiveness of capsaicin creams for arthritis and has stated: “You need to apply it three or four times a day on the affected area for at least two weeks before you’ll see any improvement. An initial burning sensation at the site is not unusual for the first few days, but this goes away with continued application.”49 Note: Capsaicin is also useful for tennis elbow due to its ability to block the transmission of pain.
MIGRAINE HEADACHES (CLUSTER TYPE)
Topical applications of capsaicin ointments intranasally may also help to relieve the pain of a specific kind of migraine headache called cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are characterized by s e ve re pain which typically radiates around one eye. The term “cluster” refers to the fact that these headaches tend to occur in clusters of one to three per day and can recur at intervals. Headache pain and severity we re reducing in groups using intranasal capsaicin.5 0 This type of capsaicin treatment should be done under a physician’s care. There is some speculation that capsaicin may be more effective in pre venting migraines before they develop into a full blown attack.51
What is the difference between the types of Ginseng?
June 17, 2005 12:45 PM
What is the difference between the types of Ginseng?
Ginseng has been used for thousands of years by the Chinese and Native Americans. The Chinese name, Ren Shen means "Man-Root" because it is shaped like a human. There have been over 3,000 scientific studies published on Ginseng. Studies have examined the anti-tumor, anti-infective, nervous system, lipid lowering, and anti-fatigue activity of ginseng. Experimental research indicates that Ginseng helps the body adapt to stress, protects the body against radiation, and increases sperm count, and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
Ginseng can differ depending upon the species, the way it is prepared, and of course the dose administered. There are two main kinds of Ginseng: American and Asian. American Ginseng, Panax quinquefolium, grows wild in many states although it is cultivated mainly in Wisconsin. American Ginseng generates body fluids and is said to clear heat. Those who can benefit most from American Ginseng are individuals that are under stress, athletes, and people who feel hot and thirsty. They may also have coughing, or coughing up blood, which indicates heat according to traditional Chinese Medicine.
Asian Ginseng, Panax Ginseng, is usually imported to the US from either China or Korea. It is traditionally used to treat cold syndromes, which include cold limbs, weak pulse, exhaustion, and shortness of breath. White Ginseng usually refers to untreated ginseng, and is said to be less warm than red Ginseng. Typically red Ginseng is steamed and cured with other herbs giving it a dark red appearance; most Korean Ginseng is red.
A common substitute for Ginseng in the US and China is Codonopsis, known botanically as Codonopsis pilosula. It has similar effects to Asian Ginseng: it is not as strong and not nearly as expensive. Eleuthero Ginseng, sometimes referred to as Siberian Ginseng, is really not ginseng at all but is in fact a distant cousin. It belongs in a different botanical species: Eleutherococcus Senticosus. Eleuthero Ginseng grows in northern China and Russia. Although it is used to help the body adapt to stress, it is less specific as a medicinal herb than Asian or American Ginseng.
Traditional herbalists rarely use ginseng by itself. Herbs are usually combined with other ingredients in order to increase clinical benefits and reduce negative reactions. For example, Generate Pulse Powder (Sheng Mai San) is a traditional combination, which often combines America Ginseng with herbs to moisten the lungs; therefore it can be used for chronic cough that is difficult to expectorate, and shortness of breathe. Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan is an ancient formula that has been used for at least one thousand years to treat patients who are exhausted, feel cold, and may have weak limbs and/or chronic loose stools. In this ancient formula, Ginseng is combined with Astragalus and other harmonizing herbs, which help the body assimilate ginseng. Modern formulas with Ginseng or Codonopsis, have been used to help people overcome serious conditions such as impotence, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and fibromyalgia. Modern Ginseng formulas have also been used in conjunction with western medical approaches to treating patients with HIV, and patients undergoing chemo and radiotherapy.
Asian Ginseng is considered a "big gun" and should not be indiscriminately used especially by itself. Headache, elevated body temperature, digestive upset, rash, fever, irritability, and insomnia are possible signs that Ginseng is not appropriate. It should not be taken at the same time as caffeine or other stimulants. Good quality Ginseng is expensive. Superior grade Ginseng can run several thousand dollars per pound. For this reason, it makes no sense to shop for the cheapest Ginseng or Ginseng products.
Say Goodbye to Headaches
June 13, 2005 07:25 PM
Say Goodbye to Headaches by Susan Weiner Energy Times, December 8, 1999
What's in a name? A headache by any other name hurts just as much. But categorizing your headache can be as overwhelming as finding an obscure breakfast cereal at the supermarket. Medical folks pigeonhole headaches as tension headaches, allergy headaches, morning headaches and sinus headaches, plus the organic, migraine, cluster, trauma, TMJ, eyestrain, rebound, exertion, hormonal and muscle tension varieties. You may also suffer the self-induced hangover and toxicity headaches.
Americans are no strangers to self-medication, and as a society we battle these headaches by consuming nearly 80 billion tablets of aspirin each year, about 20 million aspirins a day, according to Burton Goldberg, co-author of An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide to Headaches (Future Medicine Publishing). And while we drown ourselves in over-the-counter and powerful prescription products, our tolerance, just like a drug addict's, grows. So what begins as a twodose headache slowly evolves into three, four or five doses, until you realize that no dosage can make your headache go away.
Unless you're fond of medieval practices such as ritualistic healings and bloodletting, drugs seem the only answer to headache misery. But even modern medicine has been unable to solve headaches. Rather than a cure, medications provide only temporary relief, and even that isn't guaranteed. Additionally, over-reliance on medications can lead to chronic head pain. According to Goldberg, rebound headaches often result from the consumption and withdrawal of drugs.
Halt Your Headaches
Rather than strive to simply eliminate headache pain, why not identify the underlying cause and prevent the headache? Almost always, every type of headache results from a health or lifestyle-related activity. In an ideal world, the best approach would be to eliminate the tensions, stress, frustrations, anger, insufficient sleep, excessive drinking and poor diet that contribute to your headaches. For better or for worse, however, you can't always: a. quit your job; b. ask your spouse to leave; c. sit on the beach all day; or d. all of the above. But you can make appropriate lifestyle changes and learn to express suppressed feelings.
This approach, lifestyle modification, is a treatment program based on a Loma Linda University study, originally published in Medical Hypothesis and the Journal of Women's Health and Gender-Based Medicine and later explained in No More Headaches, No More Migraines: A Proven Approach to Preventing Headaches and Migraines by Zuzana Bic, DrPH and L. Francis Bic, PhD (Avery). The program, conducted on a group diagnosed with chronic migraines, dramatically decreased the frequency, intensity and duration of headaches in nine of 10 headache sufferers. Rather than demand radical life changes, the lifestyle modification program introduces gradual changes in three specific areas: nutrition, exercise and understanding stress. The study doesn't expect you to change your entire diet, join a gym and eliminate everything that triggers stress, but teaches techniques to make subtle lifestyle changes and reduce the impact of daily stress. These same techniques can also improve sleep patterns, a factor known to affect headaches. The lifestyle modification approach clarifies that while very few headaches directly result from existing acute conditions, recurring headaches often derive from a larger lifestyle factor. If these issues are ignored, the body's natural defense mechanisms may kick into overdrive and become exhausted, leaving you susceptible to other chronic diseases. By finding and eliminating the cause of your headaches, you may be saving yourself from other eventual illnesses.
Willing to make some lifestyle changes and step away from medications? Try these remedies, courtesy of Nature's Pharmacy by Lynn Paige Walker, PharmD and Ellen Hodgson Brown, JD (Prentice-Hall).
For simple headaches, start with relaxation and neck stretches. Or try rubbing your forehead with peppermint oil, a natural antispasmodic and diuretic shown in German research to be as effective as acetaminophen in easing tension headaches.
Never underestimate the old-fashioned ice pack to the forehead as an effective treatment that works by constricting the swollen blood vessels that cause your head to ache. If the ice pack isn't enough, try putting your arms in icy water up to your elbows to constrict additional blood vessels. But if it's a sinus headache you're fighting, take the opposite approach and try hot compresses.
The herbal, and original, form of aspirin is white willow bark. Used by Chinese practitioners 2,500 years ago, it contains salicin, nearly the same pain reliever found in aspirin. Other herbal aspirins include meadowsweet tea, just as effective as aspirin with few side effects. For migraines, Walker and Brown recommend feverfew and magnesium supplements, which reduce nerve excitability and migraine susceptibility. In fact, individuals with frequent headaches have been found to have low brain and tissue magnesium, says Julian Whitaker, MD, author of Julian Whitaker's Guide to Natural Healing (Prima). For all headaches, Goldberg suggests essential fatty acid supplementation with evening primrose oil (EPO), which improves circulation, helps regulate inflammation and relieves pain.
The Curse of the Migraine
Migraines, a debilitating headache distinguished by a throbbing pain, may be humanity's oldest malady. The name is derived from the word the Greek physician Galen used to describe the disorder in 200 A.D. Six-thousand-year-old Sumerian writings refer to the ravages of migraines, and prehistoric skeletons bear testimony to a crude form of trephination-holes chiseled in skulls to allow the escape of pain-creating demons, according to Lifetime Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies by Myra Cameron (Parker Publishing).
In the common migraine, throbbing pain develops gradually from distended veins around the brain and may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. These miseries can be preceded by 15 to 90 minutes of an "aura," which includes visual disturbances, distorted perception, hallucinations, flashes of light and temporary loss of sight or hearing. In fact, skeptical historians attribute some of the religious visions of the Middle Ages to the visual effects of migraine aura, according to Cameron.
Snacking on high fiber foods between three light meals each day helps stabilize blood sugar and prevent migraines. And while some doctors summarily attribute migraines to diet, other experts attribute at least half of all migraines to food sensitivities. The most common edible villains are aged cheeses, yeast breads, chocolate, cured meats, citrus fruits, eggs, fermented foods, wheat, milk, milk products, alcoholic drinks and food additives, including nitrates and MSG.
Suggested daily supplements for migraine-susceptible individuals include a multivitamin, one capsule of B complex to help maintain normal vascular control, 3,000 to 6,000 milligrams in divided doses of vitamin C with bioflavonoids to assist the production of anti-stress hormones, and 500 to 1,000 milligrams of magnesium to reduce nerve excitability and pain. At the onset of a migraine, says Cameron, try homeopathic remedies, dilutions of natural substances from plants, minerals and animals. For throbbing pain, take natrum muriaticum according to package directions. Other homeopathic options to explore include iris versicolar, lac defloratum and sanguinaria.
Take Charge of Your Headaches
Headache management involves managing your life. Practice relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Calmly discuss your feelings. Take a leisurely stroll at lunch. Walk your dog, or a neighbor's dog, after dinner. Keep a food diary. Sit and stand tall. Skip the fast food tonight. Join a yoga class. Take vitamins and supplements. Get a two-hour massage. Turn the television off earlier and sleep in a little later.
Taking the time to care may take effort, but it will soon become second nature. Invest in yourself. It's your most precious possession.