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The Many Benefits of Chromium Amino Acid Chelate
November 08, 2022 11:58 AM
Though it may not be a household name, chromium is a essential trace mineral with a wide range of benefits. Perhaps most importantly, chromium helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Additionally, chromium supports cholesterol levels already in the normal range, and enhances the effectiveness of insulin. In other words, this essential mineral helps your body to burn glucose for fuel. With so many benefits, it's no wonder that chromium supplements are becoming increasingly popular. Read on to learn more about this essential mineral, and how it can improve your health.
What is Chromium?
As we mentioned above, chromium is a trace element, which means that our bodies require only very small amounts of it in order to function properly. Though we only need small amounts, chromium plays an important role in regulating blood sugar levels and supporting healthy cholesterol levels.
Chromium is found naturally in many foods, such as broccoli, grape juice, whole grains, potatoes, meat, and poultry. However, due to modern-day farming practices and processing methods, the level of chromium in these foods has decreased significantly over the years. This means that even if you're eating a healthy diet, you may not be getting enough chromium. And that's where supplements come in.
Benefits of Chromium Supplements
Chromium supplements are an easy and convenient way to make sure you're getting enough of this essential mineral. Chromium supplements have been shown to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes, as well as reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people with high cholesterol.
Additionally, chromium supplements can help with weight loss by reducing food cravings and increasing feelings of fullness after meals. If you're struggling to lose weight or control your blood sugar levels, adding a chromium supplement to your daily routine may be just what you need.
Chromium is an essential trace element with many important health benefits. If you're not getting enough chromium from your diet, consider taking a supplement. Chromium supplements can help to regulate blood sugar levels and support healthy cholesterol levels. Additionally, they may also help with weight loss by reducing food cravings and increasing feelings of fullness after meals. Talk to your doctor about whether or not achromium supplement is right for you.
The Differences Between Hemp Seed Oil and Hemp CBD Oil
April 29, 2019 02:49 PM
With the increasing popularity of legalizing marijuana and CBD, along with many sates’ hopes of doing so, it will be imperative for the general public to understand the differences between Hemp Seed Oil and CBD oil. Becky Garrison has compiled a short recap on why consumers need to pay attention to the letters CBD when shopping. Hemp as a general term is more focused on skin care routines, vitamin supplementation and household products, CBD would help more with medical ailments such as pain and anxiety.
"Due to this confusion in which "hemp seed oil" is often mistakenly called "hemp oil," consumers should check the label to ensure they are purchasing the correct product for their needs. If you're looking for CBD, hemp seed oil isn't what you want; and if you're looking for hemp-based products for their nutritional content, then you may be disappointed in a hemp oil CBD product."
Read more: https://www.civilized.life/articles/the-difference-between-hemp-seed-oil-and-hemp-cbd-oil/
Warm Apple Cider Vinegar Drinks For The Holiday Season
December 13, 2018 09:32 AM
As the holiday season comes around, people start to get excited to have the treats that generally come with it. Apple cider vinegar is one of those treats that is a household favorite and at least one person at the family Christmas party would love to have it. It is healthy and it tastes great. The ones that are warmed up are a treat to everyone, though some people might like it more than others. However, be creative in your preparation.
"This living probiotic food causes new beneficial bacteria to take up residence in your gut. These bacteria protect you from illness and play an important role in extracting nutrition from what you eat. This means that you can get more nutrients from less food, and your body becomes satisfied more quickly."
Read more: https://www.thealternativedaily.com/warm-apple-cider-vinegar-drinks-holiday-season/
Why medicinal mushrooms should be considered a staple in every household across America
October 30, 2017 10:14 AM
In a time when stress among people is at an all time high, many are trying to find new ways to reduce it. Medicinal mushroooms are being shown to be a remarkable healing plant that possess a wide array of nutrients that can help improve your daily life. They come in a variety of forms and can be consumed many different ways, including as a pill or poweder or in your tea or a smoothie. They promote almost all of your bodies systems like the immune system and digestive system working in a healthy way. Be wary of some from unknown sources, such as China, which can have heavy metal contamination that could wipe out all the health benefits.
"With unprecedented support for all the key functions of the body, it’s no surprise how medicinal mushrooms can have such an obvious impact"
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-10-23-why-medicinal-mushrooms-should-be-considered-a-staple-in-every-household-across-america.html
Homemade Natural Disinfectant With 2 Simple Ingredients
October 25, 2017 12:14 PM
This video is about cleaning agents that are made with dangerous chemicals. These cleaning products may cause skin irritation, breathing problems and or may pollute the air. When disinfectants are made with cheap household items one avoids the exposure of noxious chemicals and keep your home clean as well. Lemon peels, orange or tangerine peels are used to make a natural disinfectant in this video. These disinfectants are made to clean any surface. Saving the peels throughout the day is what is needed ti make this cleaning agent. it only takes a combination of rubbing alcohol, 4 lemons, and 300 milliliters of water.Disinfectant is ready and one has to shake it before use.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5U0vmTM9yQ&rel=0
"It's easy and the result is excellent: A naturally clean and good smelling house."
Why you need essential oils in your household for the fall and winter season
October 14, 2017 01:14 PM
Fall is coming and after that it will be winter. If you have ever wanted to try essential oils now will be a good time. This gives many reasons why this is a good time to use them. They can do a lot in the home. They can help with health, cleaning, ad more. Those who have tried them usually end up wishing they had done so much earlier because of all the benefits they reap.
"Some of the benefits of essential oils during this time are:
Natural (and naturally fragrant) cleansing of the indoor air Helps supports healthy immune function Uplifts mood, and supports emotional well-being Supports muscle and joint health Improves skin health Supports the respiratory system Supports digestive balance May help improves sleep"
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-10-09-why-you-need-essential-oils-in-your-household-for-the-fall-and-winter-season.html
5 Health Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
July 29, 2017 04:14 PM
Vinegar has been used for centuries as a cleanser and a food additive. In the form of apple cider vinegar it has multiple health benefits as well. Since it's made from apples, there are vitamins and minerals to be found in quality apple cider vinegar. It has anecdotal benefits like curing hiccoughs and also scientific ones like reducing blood sugar. Apple cider vinegar can be used as a mouth wash and applied topically also to help dandruff or other skin issues. It's a valuable ingredient that should be on everyone's pantry shelf.
"Apple cider vinegar has a lot of benefits like curing hiccups to alleviating cold symptoms, detoxification, helping the human body digest foods more easily etc. Read more about the health benefits here."
Read more: http://doctor.ndtv.com/living-healthy/benefits-of-apple-cider-vinegar-1728879
8 Reasons To Add Lime Juice To Your Water
June 16, 2017 07:14 PM
There are 8 reasons why you should add lime juice to your water. Household cleaners have lime in them because it helps kill all of the bad things. It also helps to lower inflammation in your own body. Keeping inflammation under control is vital to your overall health and well being. Limes may help protect against and even destroy cancer. Limes can also help to power up your metabolism. These are all very important things.
Read more: 8 Reasons To Add Lime Juice To Your Water
SAY GOODBYE TO HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND BAD CHOLESTEROL With This Traditional Medicine!
May 06, 2017 09:29 AM
If you use combine a few general household ingredients you can make a medicine that will help lower your high blood pressure and cholesterol. You will mix a teaspoon of honey, a tablespoon of cider, piece of grated ginger, one clove of chopped garlic, and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Once mixed with a blender, you'll refrigerate it for five days. You then can consume the medicine on an empty stomach before breakfast. It can be consumed up to three times a day and you should begin seeing the results in one week with regular use.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dj6e8dMF7XQ&rel=0
"In this video we present you the traditional medicine that will improve your immune system and that can be also used to treat many diseases. You have to try the mixture of these ingredients and their useful properties, especially if you suffer from high blood pressure or high cholesterol."
Environment's Effect on Health
April 27, 2017 10:44 PM
The environment can take a toll on a persons health. It can disturb a persons well being and cause health concerns. The World Health Organization defines environment, as it relates to health, as "all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person and all the related behaviors." The pollutants in the environment can contribute to heart disease and stroke. Some of the most dangerous pollutants are carbon monoxide, nitrates, sulfur dioxide, lead, and secondhand tobacco smoke. Things that you can do to limit your output of pollutants would be to walk to places instead of driving when possible, not buy bottled water and instead use a reusable one. You could also use fewer chemicals in household cleaning.
Read more: Environment's Effect on Health
7 Easy alternatives to toxic household cleaning products
March 31, 2017 10:44 AM
Household cleaning products keep the house looking immaculate, but sometimes that is at the expense of our health and our environment. If you are like millions of Americans and concerned about the effects of household cleaners, stop using them today and start choosing worthwhile alternatives. These alternatives minimize risks to your health and the environment, but still provide the same awesome cleaning power needed to love the home that you are in. Isn't it time to clean better?
Read more: 7 Easy alternatives to toxic household cleaning products
7 Surprising Beauty Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar| Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits For Skin and Hairs
February 12, 2017 10:19 AM
For centuries, vinegar has been used for various household and cooking purposes. It is also an ancient folk remedy, claimed to help with all sorts of health problems. The most popular vinegar in the natural health community is Apple Cider Vinegar. It is claimed to lead to all sorts of benefits, some of which are supported by science.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrFZbUdTYuI
"Apple Cider Vinegar is one of natures most powerful ingredients that offer health as well as beauty benefits."
Orange peel is effective for treating asthma-Expert
December 03, 2016 08:59 AM
The usefulness of oranges has been seriously underplayed. We usually eat the inside of the orange and discard the peel, but this tart covering may be even healthier than the pulp. A community health expert in Nigeria is urging residents to keep the peels from oranges. She says they are abundant in vitamins, minerals, pectins, and fibers that are great for our bodies. The amount of fiber is said to lower weight since it is also low in calories. It is also thought to help with bronchitis and asthma due to its histamine content.
"People dislike orange peel because of its bitter taste but this peel acts as an excellent weight loss aid, as it contains good amount of fibre and is low in calories."
Secondhand smoke linked to higher risk of stroke
November 03, 2016 03:59 PM
A new study from the John Hopkins School of Medicine has linked inhalation of secondhand smoke to an increase risk of stroke. The study concluded that people who had suffered a stroke but never smoked cigarettes were almost 50% more likely to have been exposed to secondhand smoke at home. In America nearly 25% of nonsmokers are still exposed regularly to secondhand smoke.
"Researchers found that those who had a stroke were nearly 50 percent more likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke at home than people who had never had a stroke."
Why hydrogen peroxide should be in every home
November 03, 2016 01:54 PM
David Gutierrez of Natural News presents an article on hydrogen peroxide is so vastly underused in households and has several more applications than just being a disinfectant for small cuts and scraps. He gives you the low down to how hydrogen peroxide can help prevent colds, fight athletes foot, and so on. It can also be put to use for various things around the house. Read the article for all the great tips.
"Hydrogen peroxide is so safe and effective that our own immune systems actually generate it as the first line of defense against microbes as diverse as bacteria, viruses, yeast and parasites."
If Inflammation is left un checked, it can turn into cancer
Chronic inflammation is caused by lifestyle choices:
Heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, depress, and cancer are all chronic inflammation diseases. Chronic inflammation can compromise your immune system, making it ineffective.
One simple herb can reduce inflammation, it is called curcumin. Not all Curcumin is alike, make sure yours has BCM-95.
why not take anti-inflammatory drugs?
5 Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
For centuries vinegar has been used for various household and cooking purposes. The most popular vinegar in the natural health community is the apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is made from fermenting apple cider which is a juice that is extracted for the pulp of pureed apples. Apple cider vinegar contains acid and bacteria that have vast array of health benefits. Below are health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
1. Improved digestion.
Apple cider vinegar contains an alkalizing substance that aids in digestion. This is very beneficial to people who do not produce enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach. However, in order for apple cider vinegar to be effective it needs to be taken before consuming any food. Besides aiding in digestion, apple cider vinegar is also used to help cure diarrhea and constipation. It contain pectin which is a soluble fiber that help to ease constipation.
2. Aids in weight loss.
Scientific result that was conducted by an independent institution found out that apple cider vinegar can help in weight loss. The acid and bacteria contained in this supplement can help to speed up your metabolism thus aiding in weight loss.
3. Provides relief for diabetes patients.
Apple cider vinegar has shown to help provide relief for patients suffering from diabetes. Scientific studies has shown that apple cider vinegar contain natural components that helps to slow and control the rise in blood sugar especially after meals. When combined with other diabetic diet, apple cider vinegar can help manage the symptoms of diabetes.
4. It brightens the skin.
If you are suffering from skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis, apple vinegar is the perfect supplement for you. It helps to reduce inflammation, a factor that helps to brighten the skin.
5. It removes stains from teeth.
Apple cider vinegar helps to remove stain from teeth. All that you need to do is to rub apple cider vinegar, leave for a while then rinse your mouth with water.
What Is Allium Cepa Good For?
July 01, 2014 08:50 PM
What is allium cepa?
Allium Cepa was originally native to central Asia; however, nowadays it has a global geographic range. It made its way to Egypt through trade, where it became an important food crop in the ancient world. Because the Allium cepa was a cheap food source, Egyptian slave workers, those who built the pyramids, ate them on a daily basis. Additionally, it was illustrated in the funerary images in tombs. Ancient Sumerians commonly cultivate and cooked Allium cepa 4,000 years ago.
Benefits of allium cepa
Allium Cepa is extremely valued for its healing qualities. It has been utilized as a food cure from time immemorial. Research illustrates that Allium Cepa may help protect against several chronic diseases. That is possible because the plant contains generous quantities of the flavonoid quercetin. Research has also shown that quercetin guards against cardiovascular disease, cancer and cataracts. Additionally, Allium Cepa contains various other naturally occurring chemicals called organic sulfur compounds, which have been associated with lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Even though the plant is seldom used specifically as a medicinal herb, it has a wide variety of helpful actions on the body and when regularly consumed (particularly raw), it will help the body’s health.When consumed frequently in the diet, Allium Cepa offsets tendencies towards arteriosclerosis, heart attack and angina. This is used mostly in the healing of individuals whose symptoms include running nose and eyes. Allium cepa’s ability to ease congestions particularly in the bronchial tract and lungs is hard to accept until you have truly seen the results. The drawing of congestion, infection and colds is also remarkable. The Allium Cepa will ease stomach upset as well as other gastrointestinal ailments and it will improve the appetite. The plant is found in every household and therefore is easily accessible. The purple-skinned plant tastes great. In addition, it has numerous health gains and is part of several beauty solutions and home remedies.
What Is Pine Oil?
February 23, 2014 08:07 AM
What is pine
Human beings have used the bark and roots of pine for many years for medicinal purposes. Pines also could be used for religious purposes in some communities. Most pine trees are found in Europe and Asia. There are approximately eighty species of pine trees and Norwegian and Scottish pine produces the greatest amount of pine oil.
The following are major benefits of pine oil.
Injuries: One of the characteristics of pine oil is being antiseptic. This makes it to be commonly used in treating boils, injuries and cuts. It is not only because of its antiseptic characteristics but also anti-fungal properties. The fungal infections are very difficult and dangerous conditions to treat especially when they become internal. Pine helps in clearing all these problems.Respiratory Problems: Pine oil can help greatly in curing respiratory problems and medical experts use it in making coughing and cold drugs. Pine oil is an expectorant and this enables it to loosen mucus and phlegm from respiratory tracts. When your body has little deposition, it becomes very easy and faster in fighting infections reducing the recovery period.
Reduce inflammation: pine oil reduces inflammation of the gall bladder and gallstones. Apart from medicinal purposes, pine oil has pleasant aroma and this makes it widely used when making most household products.
Eye Health: Pine oil has the ability to neutralize free radicals and has a positive health effect on human eye. Free radicals often cause cataracts, macular degeneration and many other vision related problems. Free radicals cause degradation of eye cells.
Pain: Pine oil has analgesic properties therefore making it the best in treating people suffering from rheumatic, joint pain and arthritis conditions. Apart from being analgesic, pine oil is also an anti-inflammatory agent. This means that it can as well reduce inflammation and some redness on areas affected, hence pain reduction.
WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT COCONUT OIL
February 06, 2014 07:56 AM
Introduction to coconut oil
Coconuts have come under close scrutiny by health experts and enthusiasts alike. The popular nut that is favored by the climates at the tropics is slowly cementing its place in household shelves worldwide. The white fleshy part has given us a healthy oil with a diverse resourcefulness.
Benefits of Coconut oil
Coconut oil's reputation had been blemished by inconclusive studies that had suggested that due to its 90 percent concentration of saturated fats, it couldn't pass for a healthy oil. High saturated fat content is usually associated with artery clogs and this, in the case of coconut couldn't be any further from the truth. Coconut oil is arguable the richest source of saturated fat. Contrary to popular belief, during digestion, the fatty acids in the oil are sent to the liver where they are converted to energy or into ketone bodies that help counter brain disorders such as Alzheimer's.
Coconut oil has also wound its way to the breakfast table as a spread. It beats butter hands down as the healthy alternative when taken on toast.
It adds a remarkable nutty flavor to your food when used as a cooking fat. The fact that it does not exhibit any signs of rancidity under high temperatures as most cooking oils do, only underpins its reliability. Whether you use it to fry an egg or make a fuller meal, the health benefits it brings to the table are unparalleled.
Coconut oil has also crept into the snack world. Movie theatres have pioneered this trade by using it to prepare popcorn. Australian snack producers have also incorporated it into some of their beloved treats such as chocolate crackers. Bakers are opting for it as they also caught in this healthy food revolution.
We have also seen coconut oil used in massages, as an anti-dandruff and also as skin moisturizer.
The comprehensiveness of this oil makes it the ultimate everyday supplement to you as an individual and even your home.
Neem Health Properties
December 19, 2012 02:53 PM
Neem is a large tree of the mahogany family Meliaceae and is native to both semi-tropical and tropical regions of Asia. The tree is tall and evergreen with a height ranging from 15 to 20 m. It is effective for treating various ailments to an extent of being referred to as Muarubaini within East Africa, meaning ‘a tree of the forty'; due to its capability of treating 40 diseases. Every part of the neem tree is endowed with a capacity to fight infections.
Here are some health benefits of neem.
It has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties which make it a first choice in several households, medicinal, cosmetic and agricultural products.
Can tea Tree Oil Kill Bugs?
September 26, 2011 11:26 AM
Tea tree oil is known as an essential oil which is light yellow in color with a camphoraceous scent. It is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia which originates from the northeast coast of Australia. The other name of tea tree oil is melaleuca oil.
Tea tree oil has been studied on its medicinal benefits. Such studies revealed that tea tree oil has a potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. In fact, since the olden times, tea tree oil can administered topically as an antiseptic agent. In addition, tea tree oil is also popularly used as one of the ingredients among many cosmetic products. Industrially, tea tree oil has been controversial whether it can be used to kill bugs or not.
Experiments on "concentrated" tea tree oil and bed bugs have shown that it can effectively kill bugs and other insects. However, it cannot be used at home because concentrated forms of tea tree oil have been found to be toxic to the human body. The commercial preparation of tea tree oil is diluted so that it cannot cause harmful effects to the body. Diluted tea tree oil, on the other hand, cannot kill bugs and insects. Health experts also further stipulated that it is significantly dangerous to use “concentrated” tea tree oil at home specifically at your bedroom. If tea tree oil in undiluted form is introduced inside the body either by ingestion or inhalation, it can have a negative effect on the liver so it is wise to always dilute this oil before ingesting.
If the room is exposed to “concentrated” tea tree oil, make sure to open the windows and provide adequate ventilation. Avoid entering the room for a short span of time because it the air is toxic. Eventually, if “concentrated” tea tree oil is smeared on the skin, it may cause inflammation as manifested by swelling and redness, blistering and itching. If swallowed, concentrated tea tree oil can cause significant diarrhea.
If diluted tea tree oil is employed for bed bugs, it can only make the bugs weak, not killed. The diluted form of tea tree oil is non – toxic to humans and is considered to be a cheaper remedy for the control of bed bug bites. Therefore, it can kill bugs but in concentrated form. However, concentrated tea tree oil must not be used as a household insect killer because of its toxicity. On the other hand, diluted form of tea tree oil is non – toxic but in cannot kill bugs and insects.
As mentioned earlier, tea tree oil is used as an ingredient of many cosmetic products such as facial creams, ointments, lotions, soaps, shampoos and even acne removing agents. Allergic reaction to tea tree oil is rare. However, if hypersensitivity occurs, manifestations include mild dermatitis, blister formation and rashes. It is important to remember that tea tree oil is for external use only. It must not be introduced inside the body even in very small amount because it can cause mild to severe adverse reactions. If untoward effects occur after use, consult your doctor.
Turmeric, Curcumin, And Good Health
November 11, 2010 03:48 PM
Turmeric and its historyTurmeric is not just an ancient Asian spice but also an effective traditional alternative medicine used worldwide. Turmeric is a spice that originates in India and has been long used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine. This spice comes from the herb Curcuma longa L. which is a member of the Curcuma botanical group, a part of the ginger family of herbs called Zingiberaceae. The root and rhizome (underground stem) of this plant is crushed and powdered into ground Turmeric. Ground Turmeric is used worldwide as a seasoning and the main ingredient in curry powders. Ground Turmeric is also the source of Curcumin, an extracted potent substance also used as alternative medicine nowadays.
Turmeric, because of its Curcumin content, has many health benefits to humans. Firstly, Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory property. Its active ingredient, Curcumin, has been proven to help reduce inflammation. Decade to decade, Turmeric has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat inflammations of the skin and muscles. Experiments done by researchers also revealed that this herb has been effective in decreasing post-surgical inflammation. This important health benefit of Turmeric is considered to be a result of the herb’s ability to slow down, if not to totally stop, Eicosanoid Biosynthesis, one of the processes the immune system undergoes during an inflammatory response.
Secondly, as a result of its anti-inflammatory characteristic, Turmeric also has an anti-arthritic property. It is widely used as an alternative medicine for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. In addition, this herb also has a natural painkiller effect. Studies show that it has similar actions to the commonly used medications such as COX-2 inhibitor and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs.
Thirdly, several studies have shown that Turmeric is also helpful in lowering the level of bad cholesterol in the blood known as the Low Density Lipoprotein or LDL and in increasing the body’s good cholesterol, High Density Lipoprotein or HDL. An increased level of LDL promotes cholesterol plaque deposits to the walls of blood vessels, most commonly in the arteries of heart. These plaques narrow the arterial diameter hence resulting to high blood pressure and even circulation blockage. An arterial block may cause poor circulation and oxygenation to heart muscles leading to cardiac injury then infarction. This is oftentimes the cause of heart attacks. It has also been discovered that Turmeric can promote excretion of dietary fats. Thus, controlling the intestinal uptake of fats, especially cholesterol.
Turmeric - Powerful AntioxidantLastly, Turmeric is also widely used because of its anti-oxidant property. Studies demonstrate that Turmeric is effective in eliminating free radicals in the body. These free radicals are harmful. It may cause cell mutations which can lead to tumor formation and, worse, cancer.
This herbal plant can be prepared in the household by pounding and pressing its roots to be able to extract the juice out. It is then mixed with water and may be used topically or by nasal inhalation. The root can also be lightly cooked and eaten. Turmeric is also helpful in earaches and to clear clogged sinuses thus easing breathing. This herb can also be purchased in bulk powder or standardized forms to ensure its beneficial properties are intact.
July 29, 2009 04:35 PM
Salvia is the Latin name for sage, meaning healthy. The sage plant was highly revered for its healing benefits in the Mediterranean. It also originated in the Mediterranean. The plant is a perennial herbaceous shrub that can be found growing up to heights of fifty meters. It prefers dry chalky soils in sunny areas, but it will thrive in a rich soil with good drainage. Although it can now be found growing in many areas throughout the world, it should not be confused with the brush sage that grows in the desert areas.
Often, dried sage leaves are used as culinary spices. Sage is, and has been, a staple in many households. Traditionally, it is used to prolong life. It is also used in lotions to help heal sores and other sin ailments. Fresh sage leaves are chewed in order to remedy infections of the mouth and throat. Gargling with sage can also be an effective way to help treat a sore throat. Additionally, sage helps with excessive mucus discharge, nasal drip, sores, and excessive saliva secretions. The herb has antipyretic qualities that have been known to help with fevers, night sweats, and related problems.
This herb is also beneficial for mental exhaustion and for increasing the ability to concentrate. Sage improves memory and has been used on some forms of mental illness. Also, it has been used to treat digestive disorders such as ulcers, nausea, and diarrhea. It is used topically as an antiseptic for sores, and sore gums. The herb is even used as a teeth cleaner or hair tonic.
Sage has been found in clinical studies to contain antioxidant properties. It is thought that the labiatic acid found within is the active constituent. Evidence has shown that there is some antimicrobial activity in this herb as well. Recent research using laboratory animals has found antispasmodic activity in sage extracts. This activity may account for its use as a digestive aid. It should be noted that those people with seizure disorders should only use sage under the supervision of a health-care provider.
The leaves of the sage plant are used to provide alterative, antigalactagogue, antihydrotic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, febrifuge, parasiticide, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, and vitamins A, B-complex, and C. Primarily, sage is extremely beneficial in dealing with coughs, diabetes, fevers, gastic disorders, sore gums, indigestion, infection, absent lactation, memory impairments, mental illnesses, mouth sores, nausea, nervous conditions, night sweats, sores, sore throat, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating snake bits, blood infections, colds, cystitis, diarrhea, dysentery, flu, hair loss, headaches, kidney stones, laryngitis, lung congestion, mucus discharge, nasal drip, palsy, parasites, phlegm, sinus congestion, skin disorders, tonsillitis, ulcers, and yeast infections. 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 sage, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Natural Sweeteners Vs. Artificial Sweeteners
April 30, 2009 10:16 AM
Artificial sweeteners are food additives intended to replace the sweetness of sugar without the calorie intake. There are also natural sweeteners that can replace sugar, so which should you choose? Natural sweeteners such as sugar, honey and grape juice are well known, although there are also the less well known, but much more effective, sucanat and stevia.
Sucanat is dried unrefined cane sugar, and unlike refined sugar retains the molasses. Stevia, on the other hand, is a shrub, native to Paraguay, the leaf of which contains a non-sucrose sweetener, 300 times the sweetness of sugar, and which is not absorbed by the body. It is a sweetener pure and simple, with no proven health issues. It is also Japan's most popular sugar substitute.
Artificial sweeteners have been known for many years, the first and best known being benzoic sulfanide, known to you as saccharin. The health risks of saccharin have been the subject of debate for over 100 years and have yet to be resolved. Studies had shown it to cause cancer in rats, and it was placed on a list of known or suspected carcinogens.
It has been banned for use in the USA, but that was lifted by the FDA in 1991, and in 2000 saccharin has no longer required a health warning label. The issue appears to have been resolved by rats metabolizing saccharin in a way not possible in humans. However, many are still suspicious of it, and if you don't trust a food additive then do not voluntarily consume it.
The top two artificial sweeteners in the USA are sucralose and aspartame. Sucralose, discovered in the UK in 1976, is the less emotive of the two, and is chemically the chlorocarbon trichlorogalactosucrose, produced by chlorination of sucrose and 600 times as sweet. It should be stressed that a chlorocarbon is totally different to a chlorinated hydrocarbon. It is generally considered safe to use, although it is very slow rate of degradation in waste water has raised concerns that concentrations could increase with increasing popularity of the sweetener.
According to' Sweet Deception', the book states sucralose to be discovered during the search for an insecticide, and is produced when sugar is treated with acetic anhydride, hydrogen chloride and trityl chloride among others in the presence of toluene, MIBK and dimethyl formamide among other solvents. Although marketed as coming from a natural source, it is anything but natural.
Aspartame was developed by G.D. Searle, and its approval by the FDA has been a matter of concern for many years. Promoted by Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of Searle, he "called in his markers" to have the substance approved, which was not one of the more glorious moments in America's history.
It is used in over 6,000 products, most household names, yet was based on "inconclusive and incompetent science" according to detractors. In 1981, on the day of his inauguration, Ronald Regan suspended the powers of the FDA on aspartame, and then a month later appointed a new FDA head, Arthur Hayes, who immediately licensed the substance. Donald Rumsfeld was on President Regan's team.
There is a strong body of evidence that aspartame is toxic to humans, although the official evidence has discredit such studies. Recent evidence that linked aspartame to cancer has been stated as irrelevant to humans. In spite of the concerns, the substance has been approved, not only in the USA but also by the European Union. This might call into question the relevance of studies to humans, but many still believe that commercial considerations are behind these decisions.
In fact, an extensive study carried out by the Italian European Ramazzini Foundation, showed that aspartame can cause a significant increase in cancers and leukemias in rats at well below the doses allowed by the EU or the US. This substance required further study by bodies with no vested interest in the outcome.
Those that believe so point to the stevia situation. This natural sweetener is banned for use as a food additive in the EU, and cannot be sold as sweetener due to the FDA not recognizing it as such. It has also been banned in Hong Kong, even though it is the sweetener of choice in Japan, with no apparent side-effects becoming endemic in that country. The USA might not approve stevia as a sweetener, but it is considering lifting its ban on cyclamate.
Cyclamate was banned by the FDA due to tests on rats indicating a possibly carcinogenic effect, but no more positive than those on aspartame. Cyclamate is permitted in Canada, where saccharin is not, and also in the UK, but not throughout the EU.
It is obvious, then, looking at the various claims and counter-claims, and the conflicting legislation between civilized countries, that the artificial sweetener industry is wrought with uncertainty. In the past, it is almost certain that commercial considerations have come before the health of the nation, and that does not engender confidence.
In fact, the only sane approach to take at this time would be to avoid artificial sweeteners altogether, and stay natural. That is not to claim that natural products are safe to eat - far from it! Many of the most virulent poisons are natural, but the well-used natural sweeteners appear to be safer at this time than any of those artificially manufactured.
There might be objections to this where diabetes is concerned, and Canada, while banning saccharin for normal use, still allows it for use by diabetics. This is the one of the two major bodies that promotes the use of artificial sweeteners: the diabetic lobby and the weight loss lobby.
It is difficult to question the obesity and weight problem that America has while at the same time arguing against the use of artificial sweeteners. However, don't forget that stevia is widely used in Japan with no reported health problems, and stevia is a natural sweetener that is permitted for use as a food additive, and that is not absorbed by the body.
However, there is also a recent 2005 study that has indicated that diet drinks containing artificial sweeteners might fool your body into believing that the sweet taste is promising energy, and when it doesn't materialize, you feel hungry and eat more. This has been supported by animal studies.
These have shown convincingly that the sensation of sweetness induces the production of insulin with resulting hypoglycemia because there is no actual increase in blood sugar. This induces increased food intake. This has been proved with rats, and also proved was the fact that the natural response of eating less at the next meal, after sugary food, was gradually diminished in animals fed non-calorific sweeteners.
The choice is yours, but it would seem advisable to stick to natural sweeteners for the time being, at least until the studies carried out are in concurrence as opposed to offering conflicting results depending upon who is doing the testing.
DIM For Estrogen Balance
July 10, 2008 03:26 PM
Diindolylmethane from broccoli can help with estrogen balance: There is plenty of evidence to suggest that, but before discussing the whys and wherefores, let's first have a look at the substance, where it comes from and why it should have any effect on estrogen or its balance.
Diindolylmethane is an indole contained in brassicas such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. It is a dimer of indole-3-carbinol, which is itself formed by the autolytic degradation of glucosinolate glucobrassicin which is found in brassicas. Both this and the dimeric diindolylmethane are currently being tested for their antioxidant, anticancer and antiatherogenic properties, although this type of research has been mainly made on animals. When the cell walls of brassicas are ruptured, the enzyme myrosinase is released, that breaks down the glucobrassicin.
Because diindolylmethane is oil soluble it is more bioavailable to the body in the presence of vitamin E and other lipophilic substances, and these are normally included in oral supplements. However, back to estrogen and its effects upon human estrogen balance. Estrogen is the name for a group of steroids that function substantially as the female sex hormone. They have many effects on the body, including regulation of the menstrual cycle, breast development and promote the formation of secondary female characteristics such as reduced height and muscle mass.
Estrogen is also present in the male, where it regulates several factors pertaining to the reproductive system. It does not, however, take part in the process that determines sexual desire. If all of these properties are considered it would seem logical to believe that estrogen levels could be used to control weight increase, although claims that it can be use to enhance sexual performance seem ill founded: based more on hope than on science!
What science appears to have found, however, is that estrogen dominance, due to an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone levels in the body, can give rise to increased weight, and even obesity, in women. It can also lead to uterine, ovarian and breast cancers, and cervical dysplasia which, while not cancer, can give rise to cervical cancer if not treated. Estrogen imbalance, therefore, is not good news and something to be avoided if it possibly can. So what can be done to avoid it?
The answer is to find a hormonal balance, and this is where diindolylmethane (DIM) comes in. The substance has been found to have a positive effect on the balance between estrogen and progesterone, although eating broccoli will not be sufficient to do the job properly. Insufficient DIM is released by breaking the cell walls of broccoli through chewing to have much effect on the balance, about a kilo of broccoli a day being needed to have any noticeable effect. It is the diindolylmethane supplements that are able to have the desired effect in restoring the hormone balance and eliminating the undesirable effects of estrogen imbalance.
But why should estrogen imbalance occur? What are the factors that cause this dangerous condition, and if it is so common how did our ancestors manage without today's science? The answer to the second question lies in that to the first, but before we discuss that don't go thinking that your ancestors managed through thick and thin. Perhaps yours did, but your life expectancy is significantly greater than that of your parents when they were born. In fact, you don't have to go too far up your family tree to when you would be doing well if you hit forty! So the argument about your ancestors doesn't wash.
In fact, an estrogen imbalance can be caused by several factors: a slow estrogen metabolism that leads to an excess of estrogen because it is not broken down quickly enough is common, but far more common is the effect of pollutants such as pesticides, car exhaust fumes, emulsifiers, household cleaners and even some soaps. They contain chemicals known as xenoestrogens that our body believes to be real estrogens. They can stick to estrogen receptors on healthy cells, and can also prevent true estrogen from binding to the cell it should bind to. This results in an increase in free estrogen that cannot bind to the estrogen receptors that it should. Your ancestors did not have these problems with such 'estrogen mimics' and so managed just fine.
There is also the fact that estrogen can be broken down in the liver by means of two different routes: one leads to a form of estrogen that metabolizes to provide many benefits, such as strong bones and a reduction in heart disease, while the other has the opposite effect of causing cancers, depression, osteoporosis and problems with your immune system. That is by no means the full list: you don't want to see that, believe me!
You might think that if estrogen is dominant over progesterone, then taking progesterone would resolve the problem. It would seem to be a good cure. In fact, it is not a good idea since progesterone can be metabolized into yet more estrogen, making the problem even worse. The real answer is to take a supplement containing the substance that solves the problem by changing the estrogen metabolism pathways in the liver: diindolylmethane. More of the so-called "good" estrogen metabolites are formed, and less of the bad. The actual estrogen levels are not changed, but the way in which the excess estrogen causes harm is changed. That way, it doesn't matter what the imbalance is, the estrogen cannot do ham to your body.
DIM possesses many potential positive benefits when used as a supplement. It can reduce your chances of getting breast, cervical and ovarian cancers, and also acts as a strong antioxidant, and helps to strengthen your immune system. It might help you to lose weight, but more studies are needed before this can be claimed conclusively. However, there is evidence at the moment that it has a weight reducing effect.
Its effect on sexual health is largely unfounded, but the effect of a placebo in this area can be astounding: that indicates how much psychology has to do with sexual performance. Nevertheless, the known and projected benefits of diindolylmethane are so significant that taking a supplement would seem a reasonable thing to do, and although your mom was right about you eating your broccoli, brassicas alone are not a rich enough source for a significant effect.
Activated Charcoal - Highly absorbent material to combat poisoning
April 24, 2008 02:44 PM
Activated charcoal has been treated by heat to open up millions of small spaces between the carbon atoms and turn it literally into an atomic sponge that adsorbs both organic and organic impurities.
This heat treatment is carried out in the absence of oxygen, so the charcoal cannot burn. Instead, what oxygen it did contain is driven off leaving behind all of these interstitial gaps that multiply the effective surface area by factors of ten. Since it is the surface area of the charcoal that determines its potency, then the greater this is the better.
Activated charcoal has a massive surface area, and just ten grams has the same surface area as nine American football pitches or 77 tennis courts. Ten grams is just marginally more than a third of an ounce. The term adsorb has a different meaning to absorb, and while a real sponge absorbs water by mopping it up through capillary action and suction, activation carbon adsorbs substances through a form of chemical attraction. You get rid of water from the sponge by squeezing it, but that doesn’t work with activated charcoal, since the substances are bound to it, not just physically constrained.
This huge surface area provides activated charcoal with innumerable bonding sites, and when chemicals that are attracted to carbon pass by they are attached to the surface. They cannot get free again, as water in a sponge can, but are bound to the surface of the carbon. Because the digestive system has no effect on charcoal then whatever is bound to it passes naturally through the body.
It is most effective at binding other carbon-based materials, and other substances with the right electronic arrangement, but others will just pass straight through. Because it is a chemical process, once all of the empty bonding sites have been taken up, the charcoal loses its effectiveness and has to be replaced. It is possible to regenerate it, but hardly worthwhile for you to do so because of the small quantities you use.
Because of the way it works, activated charcoal can help people to recover from some forms of food poisoning. It can adsorb gases in the intestine and help to relieve the pain of excessive gas in the gut. It has many additional uses that will be touched on later, but for now we will look at its effect on poisons because that is where activated charcoal is of greatest benefit to us.
It does not adsorb and neutralize all poisons, but is very effective with those that it can be sued for. Professor Touery proved a point when he drank a lethal dose of strychnine in front of colleagues at the French Academy of Medicine in 1831 and came through unscathed. He had mixed the strychnine with activated charcoal, and the fact that he lived after drinking a dose that would certainly have led to a very painful death within minutes testifies to the powerful effect of activated charcoal as an potential antidote for poisoning.
Ever medicine cabinet should have an emergency supply of activated carbon, especially those with young children in the household. However, this is not good news for the pharmaceutical companies who have reacted by refuting some of the claims made in its favor: they have claimed that it is not effective against arsenic. If that is so, then how did Michel Bertrand survive after swallowing 5 grams of arsenic trioxide – 150 times what is regarded as the lethal dose? He did this is 1813 after mixing it with activated charcoal, just as Professor Touery was to do 18 years later with ten times the lethal dose of strychnine.
It is true, however, that it does not have this degree of activity with all poisons, and it has no effect on cyanide, alcohols, antifreeze (glycols) and lithium. It also has no effect on corrosive poisons such as the strong alkalis used in oven clearers, or hydrocarbons such as kerosene. The way it works is adsorb the poison and prevent it being released into the body. For that to happen, the poison must have an affinity for carbon, and its adsorption site, and not all substances possess that property. Those that do however are permanently bound and therefore safe.
For charcoal to be effective in neutralizing a poison, it must be swallowed within an hour of taking the poison, or the poison will be too far advanced ion the digestive process for the charcoal to do any good. Keep in mind, though, that it is not selective, and activated charcoal can adsorb nutrients and other beneficial constituents of your body’s chemistry. It is important therefore that you take in only when necessary: you might need several doses if the poison was severe, but once it has done its job it is not meant to be used as a maintenance material to take ‘just in case’. Used like that, it can do harm.
If charcoal can adsorb poisons then it makes sense to believe that it can also adsorb some of the harmful agents that cause food poisoning. Not all food poisoning of course, but certainly those organisms that emit toxins that are attracted to carbon. And this is, in fact, the case. Food poisoning is caused by bacteria rather than viruses, and is not the presence of the bacteria that make you vomit and feel very ill.
As bacteria grow in your body they release toxins, or poisons, into your digestive system. These poisons are what make you ill. They can seriously affect the complete gastro-intestinal tract, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and inflammation and swelling of the small and large intestine. The latter can cause abdominal cramps and severe colic, and the severity of the symptoms depends very much upon the type of bacteria and the number of them in your body.
Many of these toxins are attracted to carbon since they are frequently organic based, and activated charcoal can be used to adsorb them. Once adsorbed they lose their potency, and since carbon is not digested by the body, they are passed harmlessly through the colon and eliminated in the faeces. It can also be used to eliminate many other foreign bodies from your gut, including viruses and fungi and might possibly reduce the concentration of uric acid, which can bring relief to gout sufferers.
Activated charcoal has many uses, and is normally available in capsule form. It can be dangerous to take too much, particularly if you suffer from intestinal problems that cause constipation, because the charcoal itself can have that effect. However, there is no better emergency treatment for accidental poisoning in the home, although, since it is not suitable for all poisons, you must still regard poisoning as an emergency and contact the emergency services.
Activated charcoal, or activated carbon as it is sometimes called, is also a good emergency treatment for vomiting and the other unpleasant effects of food poisoning. It deals with bacterial toxins in the same way as any other, though once again you must refer to your physician before or after using it – preferably the former.
Are You At Risk And What Can You Do About It?
April 23, 2008 04:54 PM
Did you know there are Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) that can have an endocrine disrupting ability? Meaning, these chemicals can have an estrogen like and anti-androgen effect on the body, disrupting the normal function of our endocrine system which can cause all sorts of health issues.
Back in the industrial boom directly following world war II these chemicals were widely used in plastics, cosmetics, personal care products, cleaning agents, clothing, household furnishings, and decorations, food and water, fertilizers, and pesticides and fungicides. These chemicals are being banned by the government but are not gone all together yet.
Endocrine disruptor chemicals are fat soluble which means when consumed they are stored by the body in our fat stores. This makes these chemicals a persistent pain in the butt for a very long time since fat soluble substances tend to be stored and slowly released; some claim the release can be years and years down the road.
These types of toxins can easily leach into water including juices and can vaporize into the air that we breathe in to our lungs. Once ingested, these chemicals can lead to reproductive, developmental, behavioral, neurological, endocrine, and immunologic adverse health effects that can last a lifetime.
Those men and women who want to have children may discover that one of both at have reproductive impairments due to POPs. Symptoms of toxicity are male infertility, gynecological problems, and accelerated puberty, developmental abnormalities of the reproductive tract, premature delivery, behavioral problems, abnormal thyroid function, cancer and heart disease. In cases of children, signs of toxicity are leukemia when fetal exposure is experienced.
The wide spread use of phthalates in industrial and consumer products has raised a lot of concerns. Phthalates are what keep plastics flexible. Dibutyl phthalate is used in PVC piping (in new homes the piping that supply water to faucets), various varnishes and lacquers, safety glass, nail polishes, paper coatings, dental materials, pharmaceuticals, children’s toys, and plastic food wrap. The heating of plastic containers either by microwave or a hot cup of tea can easily leach these phthalate’s in to food or drink exposing humans to high amounts of this toxin.
Also, Parabens are high on the watch list for those health minded. Parabens are a group of synthetic chemicals used as a preservative in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. The most common parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben. These three are used as a bacteriocidal and fungicidal agent in many products we use every day. The FDA does not require approval of cosmetic ingredients before they reach the market place so cosmetic manufactures are free to use what ever they want in their products.
Parabens have been shown to have a mild estrogenic affect on the body, and are in practically all personal care products on the market today. If you are applying a name brand cosmetic onto your skin daily, take a look at the label to see if Parabens are used.
For those looking to stay away form all the above listed toxins look for products packaged in glass, PETE or HDPE bottles and containers. Look for packets lined with saran, and can linings made of polyolefins. Use biodegradable household cleaning agents and avoid sprays and insecticides. Cleaning supplies are not required to list ingredients so it is always buyer beware unless the label states it is free from PCBs, Parabens, and POPs.
Finally, when buying furniture avoid furniture that contains flame retardant PBDEs and limit children to the exposure of such furniture. Exposure to PBDEs can lead to some of the above listed symptoms and cause health problems. Staying healthy is a tough task with all the environmental toxins we face. By buying organic foods and avoid the above listed chemicals one can live longer and maintain better health over a lifetime.
Passing on the Peptides: The Rise of Gluten-Free Diet And Fiber
January 02, 2008 03:22 PM
When going down the isles of any health food store, you'll find more and more cereals, breads, crackers, desserts, and supplements that claim to be gluten-free. Gluten refers to the peptides in wheat, rye, and barley that are problematic for gluten-sensitive individuals and cause great amounts of damage to the small intestine of those with celiac disease. About two million people in the US have celiac disease, and possibly more that have yet to be diagnosed. Gluten-free foods can help people with celiac disease, as well as many other conditions, feel better. There is currently no FDA regulation that defines the term "gluten-free" in labeling of foods, as long as the claim is not misleading.
Many companies currently provide an extensive selection of gluten-free supplements so that they can meet the needs of gluten-free living. For those consumers desiring a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement, there are large varieties available from many different manufacturers. Many manufacturers are trying to create a product that is able to support the digestion of gluten. They want the peptide to be broken down so that its individual amino acid will no longer damage the gut or create food sensitivities.
Supplemental digestive enzymes have been shown to give an increased advantaged to those who use a gluten-free diet along with enzymes. The Salba seed was recently introduced to those suffering from any level of gluten intolerance as a good source of fiber. It is the perfect solution because it is extremely high in fiber content for every serving and is a whole food source of fiber, which makes it better for you than a supplement that is manufactured solely to deliver fiber. Salba can be purchased as a seed and ground and pure cold-pressed oil. Because the vast majority of gluten-free foods that are available today are manufactured for great taste instead of nutrition, Salba is a great solution because it can be incorporated into gluten-free foods. Therefore, adding all the nutrition that is lacking in the products themselves, without adding any taste. Salba is also assimilated into the body easily because it is a whole food.
By not labeling the absence or presence of gluten on products, retailers and consumers are greatly challenged. Although wheat is one of the major gluten-containing grains, it’s important to remember that rye, barley, and other grains are also a source of gluten. Retailers are able to help consumers determine which supplements are gluten-free by being more knowledgeable about ingredients containing gluten that are included in dietary supplements. For example, grains are used in the processing of many ingredients, so it is often necessary to seek out the hidden gluten. Among those ingredients that should be avoided by consumers seeking gluten-free products are modified starch, vegetable gum, and caramel. Gluten-intolerant consumers often deal with the issue of managing their own health while being around those who do not have to handle gluten-intolerant issues. Due to Salba’s neutral taste and ease of use, it is the perfect solution of gluten-free and non gluten-free members who are found in the same household and eating the same foods. Salba can help the whole family to improve their health dramatically.
Increase Absorption Of Your Discount Vitamins With Bioperine
November 02, 2007 04:54 PM
In order to understand how you increase absorption of your discount vitamins with Bioperine, it is necessary to understand the metabolic process of thermogenesis. First, however, let’s have a look at what Bioperine is and where it comes from.
Bioperine is obtained from the fruit of Piper nigrum L (black pepper) or Piper longum L (long pepper) of which it is a patented standardized extract. These peppers contain the alkaloid piperine, and the extract contains 95% piperine. The plants are grown in the ideal damp soil in regions of Southern India where the earth is rich in nutrients. The barriers are harvested just before ripening, and then dried in the hot sun before the extraction process is started. Piperine has many uses from flavoring to fly killer, but people have been using it for centuries to heal wounds though this is apparently unconnected with the use to which the extract is put.
It has recently been found to help increase the absorption of a number of discount vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B, beta-carotene, and selenium, by increasing the thermogenic activity of the body. Thermogenesis is one of the metabolic processes of the body that takes place within our cells whereby glucose is converted to energy, but at an accelerated metabolic rate. It is the rise in the metabolic rate that is referred to as thermogenesis.
When you eat food, or take supplements, the metabolism increases above the normal rate, the amount of increase depending upon the type on nutrient taken. Fats will increase your metabolism at a lower rate than proteins will, for example, since more energy is needed to break down proteins than for fats. Another substance that stimulates thermogenesis is piperine. It does so by utilizing the biochemistry of the body so that the chemicals needed for thermogenesis are made available.
Piperine triggers the release of compounds known as catecholamines, hormones that in turn stimulate the thermogenetic process. However, this occurs over a short period of time, so the nutrients that are needed should be present in the gut as well since the window of absorption is very narrow. The substance also modifies the epithelial cell wall of the intestine to make it easier for the nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream, and it also gives amino acids a kick to get moving to the cells in which they are required.
Bioperine, then, not only sets off the metabolic changes that demand vitamins and other nutrients and enzymes, but also improves the conditions in your intestines so that these nutrients can more easily get to where they are needed. Basically, what Bioperine does is to cause the intestinal wall to become more permeable to nutrients, so that vitamins and drugs are not degraded when passing through the intestinal wall to the bloodstream. This improves digestion and absorption of minerals and vitamins, in addition to protein supplements frequently used in weight loss diets.
Bioperine starts by generating a need for nutrition and then increase the bioavailability of the nutrients provided to meet that need. However, due to the short window of absorption that piperine generates, the vitamins and minerals you want absorbed should be co-administered with the Bioperine so that they are in place ready to be absorbed at exactly the right time.
There have been several studies carried on the efficiency with which piperine achieves this. The absorption of three different types of nutrients has been measured with and without Bioperine. These were beta-carotene, a fat soluble vitamin, vitamin B-6, a water soluble vitamin, and also a mineral, selenium which was provided as selenomethionine. The absorption of these by the digestive system was measured by detecting them before and after in the blood, and were found to increase considerably when taken along with Bioperine, but not so with the control group without it.
Measured increases were a 60% increase in beta-carotene, similar to that of vitamin B-6, and was 30% in selenium. The tests used a 5 mg dose of the Bioperine. Other studies have indicated an increase in the absorption of Coenzyme Q-10 of between 30% - 200%. This is the only piperine based product that has been patented for its effect in increasing the absorption of nutrients into the body, and also the only piperine based product to undergo such tests in the U.S. to substantiate its claims and prove its safety for use.
The black pepper itself is a common household spice, and has been used in India for its medicinal properties for centuries. It is mentioned in the practice of Ayurveda and its concentration on the function of the digestive tract in human health. Many of its formulas contain black pepper amongst their ingredients. The bioavailability of nutrients is a significant factor in the health of any specific population, and the exponents of Ayurveda overcame this problem, by chance or design, six millennia ago. It has been demonstrated time and time again that diet is not the factor of importance in nutrition, but how much of that diet is absorbed through the intestines.
This is yet another example of the medicines of our ancestors being shown to have a solid scientific basis, and perhaps we should pay more attention to those others that are disregarded by modern science. It could be that we have only scratched the surface of understanding human metabolism and biochemistry, and that there is much left to learn. Ancient wisdom should never be disregarded.
Bioperine is also available in many supplement mixtures so that it is taken at the same time as the relevant vitamins and minerals. The recommended dosage is from 1 mg – 5 mg from 2 – 3 times daily. It takes around 2 – 5 mg of Bioperine to provide sufficient enhancement of absorption of the nutrients that are taken with it. Keep in mind that the nutrients are best taken at the same time, and that taking the extract itself will simple increase the absorption of any nutrients that are in the intestine at that time. Bioperine can be purchased at your local or internet vitamin store.
Bio-Allers – All Natural Allergy Relief
March 12, 2007 02:50 PM
VitaNet is pleased to offer you the bio-allers ling of homeopathic allergy remedies. For over 15 years, bioAllers advanced allergy medicine has provided relief to allergy sufferers everywhere.
Allergies have become a common condition for a growing number of adults and children, affecting an estimated 50 million people in the United States. Every year, approximately 5.4 million unattended school and work days are lost due to allergies. Everything from the air we breathe to the food we eat can cause an allergic reaction, resulting in a number of annoying and often debilitating symptoms.
Approximately 35 million people suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, which is triggered by such allergens as week, tree, and grass pollens. Approximately 16.7 million office visits to health care providers each year are attributed to allergic rhinitis.
In addition to seasonal allergies, a growing number of people suffer from household allergies, including mold spores, yeast and dust mites. Avoidance of these reaction-causing substances is the most effective treatment for these allergies. However, that is not always easy or possible to do.
In four double-blind clinical trials, homeopathic allergen preparations allersodes were shown to relieve symptoms and reduce allergic reactions. Treatment groups were shown to have from 33% to 83% greater symptoms improvement than the placebo group. The most recent study showed that those patients who had been taking the allersodes continued to show reduced allergy symptoms for up to five weeks after the last does was taken.
bioAllers is a leader in the research and development of allergy relief and is the #1 homeopathic allergy relief brand. bioAllers also delivers specific allersodes that work with the body to deliver targeted symptom relief. bioAllers relieves allergy symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, congestion and headache without side effects or drowsiness.
Janet zand, L.Ac., OMD, Allen N. Spreen, MD CNC, James B LaValle, RPH, ND, Smart Medicine for Healthier Living, 1999, P. 291-293.
Reilly D.T., Tylor M.A., McSharry C., Aitchisin T.C., Is Homeopathy a Placeby Response? Controlled Trial of Homeopathic Potency with Pollens in Hayfever as Model, The Lancet, October 18, 1986, 881-886.
Poitevin B., Review of Experimental Studies in Allergy, British Homeopathic Journal, April 1998, Vol. 87, PP. 89-99.
Fight Hay Fever - Help Your Sinus...
July 11, 2005 09:15 PM
The National Institute of Health’s branch of Allergy and Infectious Diseases re p o rt that 40 to 50 million Americans suffer from allergies in one form or another. Many experience food allergies that a re treated somewhat diff e rently from hay fever allergies. Hay fever comes from airborne allergens, generally from pollen or pollutants.
The symptoms of allergy occur when an immune system is overactive. The immune system often recognizes something as foreign and treats it as foreign by attacking it, when in fact it really isn’t a substance the body should be concern e d with. This over-activity of the immune system leads to the release of substances including histamine that cause the symptoms of hay fever.
The most common symptoms include a runny nose and itching eyes and scratchy throat. Sometimes, an allergy will precede a sinus infection by causing swelling in the nasal membranes preventing fluids f rom exiting the sinus passages. An infection then ensues. However, most people who feel pressure over their sinuses, never develop an infection and so can be adequately treated with the supplements mentioned here. Many people experience a tickle or a shallow cough that comes from the throat rather than the lungs. They may also experience a change in emotions, becoming quite irritable or moody.
These airborne allergies can often be g rouped by season. Those people sensitive to tree pollens usually have more severe allergies in the springtime. Those sensitive to grasses are often worse in mid-summer. Those allergic to weeds have their symptoms peak in the fall. There are some unfortunate people who have allergies all summer long who may be allergic to a few plants in each group. Those who have symptoms of allerg i e s all winter long probably are allergic to molds and mildew or household animals and dust mites. On occasion, it takes a real detective to determine from where the allergies come.
There are several methods used to diagnose a cause of an allergy. In a scratch test, drops of an allergen are put on small scratches on the arm or the back. Are action is considered positive if swelling or redness occur around the scratch. A blood sample can also be used to meas ure antibody response to certain allergens. It is often helpful to determine the allergen which cause the hayfever to reduce the symptoms. There are also practitioners who use kinesiology or electronic devices to determine the cause of allergies.
The most common treatment of allergies is with antihistamines. Their side effects include drowsiness and drying of the mucous membranes of the nose and mouth. Many of the newer prescription antihistamines don’t cause drying but often have serious drug interactions and the consumer must be very careful in combining the prescription antihistamines with antifungal drugs, and blood thinning as well as asthma medication. There are some natural products that can be taken to decrease allergy symptoms. They are often equally effective without the side effects of antihistamines.
One of the more popular is quercetin. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in red apples, red onions, brussels sprouts, kale, peas, bell peppers, pears and asparagus. It is also found in bee pollen and propolis, two plant materials found in the beehive. It is possible to consume a fair amount of quercetin through your diet. If you have allergies, however, diet is often not enough and you may need a supplement to get enough quercetin to ontrol your symptoms. It appears quercetin decreases allergic symptoms by stopping the release of histamine. If you start taking quercetin and other nutritional supplements I will mention below before an allergy attack, they are likely to be more effective. However, don’t let that discourage you from taking them even after the symptoms have started. A common dose is 300mg to 600mg per day.
Bromelain is a nutrient often extracted f rom pineapple. Found in many digestive formulas, it is an enzyme that helps absorption. If it is found in a combination formula, chances are, it is there to help with the absorption of the other nutrients such as quercetin. Bromelain also has an anti-inflammatory effect. When someone develops allergy symptoms, part of the reason is due to the inflammatory response to substances such as histamine that are released as the allergy takes hold. This causes inflammation in the tissues which then manifests with redness and swelling.
Vitamin C is useful in many conditions including hay fever. Higher doses are often required in the treatment of allergies: 2,000mg is beneficial and you can take up to 4,000mg or more during acute symptoms. It also stabilizes capillaries, reducing the swelling in the throat, nasal passages and around the eyes. If you are taking a multi-vitamin or a combination product that contains Vitamin C, I still recommend additional supplementation.
Stinging nettle is probably a plant many a re familiar with, especially if it has come into contact with your skin, but it also has an historical use in the treatment of allergy. In fact, in double blind studies it was shown to decrease the symptoms of allergy, specifically runny nose.
The active component of the ephedra herb is ephedrine, an alkaloid. It is used in OTC asthma medication. As a natural herb, ephedra in small doses can be v e ry useful in decreasing the symptoms of colds, asthma, cough and in this case, hay fever. It is in many Chinese and American formulas that I use and I feel v e ry comfortable using 100mg to 200mg of ephedra that contain small doses of 2.5mg to 8mg of ephedra alkaloids per day. I feel comfortable using dosages of up to 15mg of ephedra alkaloids .
Feverfew is another herb with a variety of uses. You will find it in headache formulas, in fever reducing formulas, and many hay fever formulas. Like bromelain, it has an anti-inflammatory effect and reduces the swelling that occurs during a hay fever attack.
Homeopathic formulas can also be useful to reduce hay fever. There is no re ason why the herbs I’ve mentioned cannot be combined with homeopathic formulas. You may want to take them at separate times of the day.
So, if you suffer from hay fever, don’t give up. You can use these nutrients singly or in combination. You can take a formula that contains all of them and then add to that additional vitamin C for instance, or additional nettle. It may require trial and error to find the right amounts in combination that will work for you.
Echinacea - Choosing The Ideal Immune Support
June 30, 2005 09:27 AM
Echinacea By Ellen J. Kamhi, Ph. D. with Dorie Greenblatt Echinacea, pronounced ek-i-NAY-see-a, is one herb that has become a “household” name in the 1990’s. Many refer to it as “Purple Cone Flower” because of its large purple daisy petals, which contain a hard and spiny center cone. These spines probably give the plant its name, since sea animals with spines are called “echinoderms”. Echinacea is indigenous to the U.S., and can be found both growing wild in many areas as well as in cultivated gardens. There are actually nine different species of the plant; two are most popular as remedies: Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea. Echinacea has a long history of use by Native Americans, who have utilized the herb for a wide variety of treatments ranging from stings, poisoning, toothaches and swollen glands to colds and sore throats. It has also been touted as an ideal natural remedy for snake bites. In particular, the benefit of Echinacea as a treatment for snake bites brought national attention to the herb in the last half of the 1800’s. Dr. H.F.C. Meyer of Pawnee City, Nebraska first tried to interest Eclectic Physicians (doctors who used natural medicines) to use Echinacea as an herbal remedy for snake bites by volunteering to be bitten by a rattlesnake to prove its effectiveness. Although his dramatic offer was rejected, his enthusiasm and concerted efforts led to renewed interest and investigative studies on Echinacea, resulting in the herb’s emergence as one of the most popular natural plant therapies by the turn of the century.
Extensive studies on Echinacea’s medicinal properties continue to mirror the earlier usages of the herb as experienced by indigenous people. In fact, Echinacea is part of the official materia medica listed in the German Commission E. Monographs, a universally recognized publication reputed to be the official information authority on herbal medicines. The Commission lists a number of medicinal applications for Echinacea as an ideal treatment for such conditions as colds, chronic infections of the respiratory tract and lower urinary tract ailments, as well as topically for chronic ulcerations and slow healing wounds.
Echinacea has been shown to be a potent immune system stimulant. Nature’s Answer® offers an outstanding Echinacea fluid herbal extract formula in a unique blend that contains both Echinacea angustifolia root and Echinacea purpurea whole plant. Fluid extracts that feature both whole plant and root parts in the formula insure that the highest levels of the whole herb’s active constituents are maintained. A further advantage to this kind of supplement lies in its delivery system– liquids are faster to absorb and easier to assimilate by the body than tablets or capsules. Nature’s Answer®’s Echinacea formulas are available in either alcohol-free or organic alcohol forms. In addition, the alcohol-free supplements are also offered in a tasty grape or tangy orange flavor.
Two popular blends featuring Echinacea with other supportive herbs are Immune Boost™ and Re-Zist™. Immune Boost™ combines Echinacea with Wild Indigo and Maitake Mushroom. Re-Zist™ contains Echinacea, Goldenseal, Wild Indigo, Cayenne and Myrrh for potent support.
Echinacea is also recognized for its ability to enhance the resistance of cells to viruses, especially when used after cells have been exposed to colds and flus. As a preventative, formulas such as Nature’s Answer®’s Echinacea/Goldenseal (alcohol-free, organic alcohol) are ideal. This is an excellent supplement for soothing sore throats and helping to shrink swollen glands. An added benefit to the formula is the presence to berberine, the active ingredient in Goldenseal, which provides further wellness enhancement.
Many studies have focused on Echinacea’s possible use for ailments such as psoriasis and early rheumatoid arthritis. The herb also acts as an overall anti-inflammatory tonic. Nature’s Answer®’s Blood Support™ (alcohol-free) combines Echinacea with Dandelion, Licorice and other herbs for an anti-inflammatory effect. Allertone™ (alcohol-free) blends Echinacea with Mullein Leaf to help support the respiratory and sinus areas.
Most herbal practitioners suggest using Echinacea for short-term periods. There has been evidence to suggest that the herb loses its effectiveness when used over longer periods of time. Also, in the case of autoimmune illnesses, some people believe Echinacea may OVER-stimulate the immune system, although there is no solid research to back this contention. Echinacea is probably most effective if used in frequent doses for 5-7 days at the early onset of symptoms. It may also serve as a preventative during periods after known exposure or during extra stress, taking it two to three times a day every other or every third day. The German Commission E lists no known drug interactions or side effects with Echinacea. It is indeed one of the safest and most effective herbs for natural immune support today.
Echinacea seems well suited to life in the 90’s with all the stresses upon our immune systems. Its importance and effectiveness as an immune stimulant is as true today as it was in 1927 when Dr. Liebstein stated:
“Nature has probably destined Echinacea to be used for remedial purposes only, as a sustainer of vitality, an organizer of the defensive powers of the system, to such an extent as to be justly crowned the greatest immunizing agent in the entire vegetable kingdom....” written in 1927 by Dr. A. M. Liebstein (Foster, 1991)
June 25, 2005 10:57 AM
Ginkgo has achieved unprecedented popularity within the last decade and has become a familiar household term. Because interest in treating diseases like Alzheimer’s has escalated over the last decade, the biochemical capabilities of ginkgo in regard to brain function have been investigated and are still being researched. Ginkgo is one of those herbs that has become intrinsically connected with notions of herbal elixirs capable of pre s e rving youth and promoting longevity.
Ginkgo comes from the oldest species of tree in the world dating back some 200 million years. Some ginkgo trees have been known to live well over an average of 1000 or more years. The ginkgo tree is also known as the “maidenhair tree” and would have probably become extinct if the trees had not been cultivated in Far Eastern temple gardens and nurtured by Oriental monks.
Ginkgo is a deciduous conifer with separate male and female types. It resembles the pau d’arco tree and like pau d’arco, possesses an unusual immunity to insects and diseases. Ginkgo’s remarkable hardiness enabled it to survive the atomic blast at Hiroshima. Because of its unprecedented longevity, ginkgo biloba has sometimes been referred to as a living fossil.
Ginkgo has been used in China for over 5000 years. The Chinese refer to the fruit of the ginkgo tree as pa-kwo. This fruit is sold in markets throughout China and resembles dried almonds. Ginkgo fruit is pleasant tasting when fresh, but can become quite disagreeable if allowed to get overly ripe. Asians have relied on extracts of the fan-shaped ginkgo leaf since 3,000 B.C. to heal a wide variety of ailments.
The Chinese have been acquainted with the curative powers of ginkgo for centuries and have typically used the herb for ailments related to aging, such as circulatory disorders, mental confusion and memory loss. In China, ginkgo seeds, called baigou, are considered lung and kidney tonics and are used in conjunction with acupuncture. Ginkgo seeds also help to tonify the urinary system, so they are used in cases of incontinence and excessive urination.1
Practitioners of Chinese medicine routinely use ginkgo leaves. Ginkgo was introduced into Eu rope in 1730 and was we l l received, not for its medicinal value, but for its ornamental appeal. It is used extensively in landscaping because of its lovely fern-like leaf. It was brought to America in 1784 to the garden of William Hamilton who lived in Pennsylvania.
Decades passed before the healing properties of ginkgo we re investigated. Consequently, it has been part of the herbal repertoire only since the 1980s. During this time, it became technically feasible to isolate the essential components of ginkgo. Pharmacologically, there are two groups of substances which are significant compounds found in ginkgo: the flavonoids, which give ginkgo its antioxidant action, and the terpenes, which help to inhibit the formation of blood clots. The majority of scientific interest has focused on Ginkgo’s ability to improve the circulation of blood. O ver the past twenty years, scientific testing on the plant has dramatically escalated. Ha rva rd professor Elias J. Core y, Ph . D , synthesized ginkgo’s active ingredient, ginkgolide B, for the first time in the laboratory. Consequently, stepped-up research in this country and in Eu rope resulted. Ginkgo has been the subject of over 300 scientific studies and continues to intrigue scientists. Much modern research has confirmed ancient applications of ginkgo as well as discovered new ones.
Ginkgolide, the active component of the herb, is what creates most of ginkgo’s biochemical attributes. Exactly how ginkgolide B functions is not yet known. One theory is that the compound somehow interferes with a chemical found in the body called PAF (platelet activating factor). PAF has been implicated in cases of graft rejection, asthma and other immune disorders. PAF antagonists have been identified from a variety of medicinal plants. These compounds help to explain the pharmacological basis of several traditional medicines and provide a valuable new class of therapeutic agents.
Particular attention has been paid to ginkgo’s powerful actions on the cardiovascular system. Thousands of Europeans use this herb for peripheral circulatory disorders. As a circulation booster, ginkgo has accumulated some impressive credentials. Because proper circulation is vital to each and every body function, virtually all body systems can benefit from ginkgo therapy.
Ginkgo’s relationship to brain function has also spawned considerable interest. In 1985, Rudolf Weiss said of ginkgo,
“ Significant improvement in mental states, emotional lability, memory, and the tendency to tire easily, have been reported.”
Ginkgo is currently planted in groves and used for a number of medicinal purposes. It is harvested in the summer and can be used in extract, tincture or infusion forms. The therapeutic properties of ginkgo seem endless. Continuing re s e a rch promises to further uncover additional health benefits of this remarkable botanical. Ginkgo extracts are among the leading prescription medications in France and Germany. Currently, millions of prescriptions for ginkgo are written by physicians worldwide.
SPA: Satisfying Personal Attention
June 14, 2005 10:32 AM
SPA: Satisfying Personal Attention by Sylvia Whitefeather Energy Times, October 12, 2004
Feeling stressed out? Looking for some time to relax and cool off, but just too busy to get away? Give yourself a spa treatment at home.
Creating your own home spa experience is easy and the benefits are many. With some common household items and a few essential oils, you can luxuriate in your own special spa experience while recharging and renewing mind, body and spirit. Indulge with a few close friends for a unique, shared experience.
Using concentrated plant oils derived from flowers and plants, aromatherapy offers an ancient healing art that has gained newfound respect in the modern world. Aroma chemicals transfer quickly into the body, and researchers are finding unique ways to employ this ancient technique, including medical applications.
Studies find that lemon balm or lavender oil reduces behavioral problems in older people with dementia (BMJ 2002; 325:1312-3). Rosemary has been found to improve memory and enhance mental functioning (Int J Neurosci 2003 Jan; 113(1):15-38).
Only a drop or two of an essential oil is needed to receive their unique healing benefits. (Always dilute essential oils; never use or apply them directly to your skin without watering them down.) Essential oils can help you relax, rejuvenate, improve your memory and increase your energy.
Some essential oils are reputed to reduce pain, kill bacteria, speed healing of injuries and help fight inflammation and infection (Natl Meeting, Amer Chem Soc, 8/02).
When you feel like you're ready to spa, take the phone off the hook, unplug the TV and set aside a special, unbothered time and day for your at-home spa experience. Next, turn your bathroom into your special place. Light fragrant candles, put on your favorite soft music and fill the tub.
When running the water you should select a water temperature that fits the effect you desire, according to Valerie Gennari Cooksley, RN, author of Healing Home Spa (Penguin). Water temperature that approximates your normal body temperature produces a sedative effect. On the other hand, hotter water-that which hovers around 100 degrees-induces sweating and helps cleanse and detoxify. In any case, limit your time in hot water to about 20 minutes. If you use cold water, only stay immersed for a few short minutes to rejuvenate and close the skin's pores.
Try adding about 10 drops of either lavender or ylang-ylang oil to a warm bath to aid in relaxation and to release tight muscles. Don't rush; soak for at least 20 minutes and let the fragrant water vaporize your cares. Dry off with a fluffy towel and wrap yourself in your favorite bathrobe.
Other bath enhancers you can add to your soak include oatmeal to soften the skin, seaweed for deep cleansing, Epsom salts to relieve aches, and baking soda to alkalize the body. Herbal sachets can be made by placing dried herbs in a muslin bag and dropping the bag into the water to release fragrances and healing chemicals.
The facial is a standard spa procedure. Hold your face over a steaming bowl of hot water that contains lemon juice or a few drops of lemon essential oil for about 15 minutes. Use a towel over your head to hold in the steam.
When your face is well moisturized, apply a facial mask. On dry skin, use either puréed, ripe avocado or a mask of honey and kelp. If your face is oily, apply either puréed, ripe bananas or a mask of peppermint oil and honey. If you are not sure of your skin type or have mixed skin, green clay can be used for a balanced facial. Green clay is rich in minerals while being antiseptic and healing, notes Valerie Ann Worwood, author of The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy (New World Library). With the addition of warm water, it creates an instant facial mask. (You can also use prepared facial masks; ask about them at your health food store.)
To apply the mask, begin at the forehead using upward strokes. Go easy around the eyes. Afterwards, put cucumber slices over your eyes and relax. Keep the mask on for about 15 minutes. Wash your face with warm water and then apply a moisturizer. Your skin should feel supple and look radiant.
Worwood recommends a few drops of rosemary oil and one tablespoon of baking soda in a basin of warm water to soothe your feet. Soaking your feet for about ten minutes softens the skin and nourishes the nails. After drying off, combine one-half cup sea salt with one-half cup of cooking oil, preferably olive, canola or sesame. Gently massage into each foot to stimulate reflex points and remove dead skin. Rinse and pat dry. Finish with a pedicure.
This salt scrub can be used on any part of the body to eliminate toxins, increase circulation, improve lymphatic movement and cleanse the pores. A popular European treatment, it is especially helpful for parts of the body that store water, such as the tummy and thighs. Rinse completely after the scrub and apply moisturizer to dry areas.
Since hands can age quickly, Worwood suggests using oils of rose, sandalwood and geranium for dry or neglected hands. You can also mix one-half cup of sugar with one-half cup cooking oil and a few drops of one of the above essential oils. Massage into each hand to moisturize and pamper your overworked hands. Rinse and apply your favorite lotion to seal in moisture. A gentle manicure adds the finishing touch.
Your special spa day wouldn't be complete without pampering your hair. Noted dermatologist David Bank, MD, suggests looking for shampoos that contain such gentle cleansers as avocado, borage oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil and wheat germ oil. Your shampoo should also contain moisturizing substances, such as aloe vera, to help give your locks shine and bounce.
Check your hair's condition. Oily hair-that which feels greasy within a day of washing-responds best to frequent washing with minimal conditioning. A bad case of the frizzy tangles is a sign of dry hair, which needs a moisturizer-rich shampoo.
Revive From the Inside With Green Drinks
During your spa day, sip green drinks. Green drinks made from aquatic plants such as spirulina, seaweed and kelp contain needed minerals to nourish skin, hair and nails; these plants have been used for centuries to promote health and longevity. In addition to being high in minerals, they are also low in fat, high in fiber and rich in protein.
The marine vegetables found in green drinks help detoxify the body, support the lymphatic system, alkalize the blood and tissues, and support a healthy thyroid. Many natural food stores carry green drink powders that can be added to juice or water. Sipping on a green drink can enhance the cleansing action of your home spa treatment, balance blood sugar levels and maintain your energy level during the day.
Throughout your home spa experience, drinking spring water with a touch of lemon or lime can facilitate the elimination of toxins and keep you hydrated. Indulge in plenty of high-fiber fruits and vegetables, and avoid processed sugars and high-fat foods. Eating lightly allows your body to eliminate toxins from the inside out while you work on the outside.
As Valerie Cooksley says, "...sound health occurs when the mind, body and spirit are in perfect harmony and balance." A home spa experience takes you a step closer to that harmony.
Best Bread ...
June 13, 2005 07:30 PM
Best Breads by Jane Lane Energy Times, December 9, 1999
Few of us can resist the seductions of freshly baked bread, warm and fragrant, poised on the edge of a steaming bowl of soup or painted with an aromatic swath of rosemary scented oil. Even those of us from the most culinary challenged households can recall the pleasures of the simple plump white dinner roll or flaky biscuit piled in a basket on the dinner table.
Bread has blossomed from sideshow status beside the dinner plate to a full-scale mealtime headliner, a scrumptious star enriched by nutritious grains, herbs, fruits and vegetables.
Contemporary cooks build meals around crunchy cornbread or chewy focaccia, presenting soups or salads as satisfying counterpoints. Want to jump into the bread baking basket or hone your skills? Two top vegetarian chefs shared with Energy Times their passion for bread and their expertise in baking. See if you don't find that ardor contagious.
Nancy Lazarus is a chef at the famed Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York, established in 1973 to serve up natural fare with a homecooked, vegetarian emphasis. The bill of fare changes daily at Moosewood, but there's one constant: a cup or bowl of soup, a salad and a thick slice of bread. Some loyal customers have ordered the daily special for 20 years.
That's why bread occupies a cherished spot at Moosewood. Nancy Lazarus tells why and offers some of Moosewood's favorite bread recipes: "Cooking is like art; baking is like science; bread is like magic. No matter how much science you apply, you'll never have complete control: It'll do its own thing on some level, which is part of its charm, if you're charmed by that sort of thing. Breads come out differently depending on heat and humidity, the heat of the oven; yeast is a variable that can be slower or faster acting.
"There are bread machines, of course, and they work. But they're not as satisfying as the real thing, the kneading, which can be almost therapeutic, and the control over the ingredients to your own specifications.
"Bread is not that difficult. Know your own oven, to begin: Good insulation is important and how the heat travels around inside. Convection ovens are a wonderful thing.
"There are difficult breads we recommend you buy at a good bakery: baguettes, Italian, French and Cuban that are crusty outside and soft inside.
"But focaccia is easy. It's a yeasted bread that's better to make at home than buy because it's so fresh and you can control the toppings. It only requires one slow and one quick rising but you have to be there for a while.
"Then there are quick breads that use baking soda or powder, like cornbread. If you want a good meal at home and can make only one thing, make a quick bread. They're satisfying and delicious warm from the oven; and the aroma of bread fills the house. A corn bread with tomato soup for supper is a nurturing meal good for vegans.
"Popovers are fast and simple, a middle American 50s treat, but you do need a hot oven and 45 minutes. Also easy to make: sweet breads- carrot, banana, zucchini-and biscuits.
"To reduce the fat in denser quickbreads and cakes, use applesauce. It gives body and moistness.
"The number of wheat-sensitive people is rising dramatically. A theory I think makes sense is that in the last 30 years the varieties of wheat grown has been reduced to 1 or 2 that are more easily cultivated and harvested with the machinery available. People are overloaded with one type of wheat.
"Gluten is the offending substance in wheat and some oats; try rice, tapioca and potato flours, which are denser and more fine and don't produce a good crust. Improve the crust by baking in a preheated cast iron skillet.
"Also investigate chickpea flour. You don't make a loaf of bread with it- use it for flatbreads like papadam, which is in Indian cookbooks. And it's good for batter for vegetables.
"Spelt is the closest to wheat flour in consistency but some people can be sensitive to it.
"Visit a natural food store to check out the flours. The mills sometimes print handouts with recipes and a lot of those are real good, especially for what works with their flour. Or you may run into a baker who will whet your appetite with ideas and recipes.
"Bread is the supreme comfort food. It can speak to us, and reassure us. The magic of bread and how it varies: There's something appealing in that. In today's world, food is predictable, and that's reassuring to some people. At Moosewood, things are always different, and that's good."
Claire Criscuolo puts an intensely personal spin on the eclectically ethnic style of cooking at her esteemed vegetarian restaurant, Claire's Corner Copia. That 25-year-old institution in New Haven, Connecticut, reflects her zest for the freshest ingredients, robust flavors and inspired combinations. Claire, a teacher and advocate for healthful cuisine, pours her passion into her breadmaking as well:
"Healthy bread is like anything else-it has healthy ingredients. We use the best organic unbleached flour and yeast, pure vanilla, whole eggs (not dried and powdered), whole milk and organic sour cream. You want to use good, fresh ingredients. It's the essence of healthy cooking. "I tell my staff, 'Don't use your soup pot as a garbage pail. Bread is the same. If the ingredients aren't at their freshest for serving, then they aren't right for other uses in the kitchen.
"Our bread is very important at Claire's. We make a country white and a honey wheat in a pinwheel loaf-400 a day-and challah for the morning French toast with sauteed bananas or as buns for veggie burgers. "It's not practical to bake bread every day. We let our bread rise several times, punching it down again and again. For the home cook, it's time consuming. Even I'm happy to buy a good loaf of bread. "But anybody can bake bread. Combine flour, water and yeast and watch it grow! It's delights all your senses. And it a gratifies and satisfies. I was kneading it all by hand until we got up to 12 loaves a day.
"I love a good oatmeal molasses bread; a whole wheat bread with walnuts, rosemary and finely chopped sweet onion sauteed in olive oil for a roasted vegetable sandwich; or an anadama bread with split pea soup.
"Bread is part of a meal. It requires time and effort, but I can't think of many things worthwhile that don't."
In the Clear - Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations
June 12, 2005 02:13 PM
In the Clear by Dianne Drucker Energy Times, August 3, 2003
Your skin needs protection even as it offers itself as your body's first line of defense against the outside world. Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations during its daily encounters with stray microorganisms, streams of ultraviolet light and a barrage of pollutants.
Tending to your skin, keeping a clear complexion while safeguarding your well-being, requires proper feeding, watering and tender, loving care.
Your skin not only has to protect you, it has to look good while doing it. Unfortunately, much can go wrong with skin. One of the most common skin irregularities is the acne that often arises when pores clog and inflammation creates unsightly blemishes.
While conventional medicine has long insisted that your chances of developing pimples are unrelated to what you feed your body and your skin, recent studies are calling that accepted wisdom into question.
Research in the Archives of Dermatology (12/02) argues that today's pimples are linked to what you ate yesterday. Skin scientists now suspect that the typical American diet, filled with refined foods, sugars and simple starches, causes the exaggerated release of insulin and related secretions that foment pimples and blemishes.
The evidence: When researchers spent two years combing through the rainforests of New Guinea and trekking to remote parts of Paraguay, they took a close look at indigenous people's faces and couldn't find a single pimple. The inhabitants of these isolated areas eat homegrown food and wild game. They've never eaten crackers or cookies from a box or slurped a milkshake through a straw. And they've never had to cope with embarrassing acne.
The researchers concluded that no refined foods meant no blemishes.
Refining the Pimple Process
According to this latest theory, pimples can start when your digestive tract quickly absorbs refined, starchy carbohydrates from white bread or potatoes or sugary soft drinks. These foods are ranked at or near the top of the so-called glycemic index. That means that these foodstuffs cause your blood sugar to climb rapidly, the process that the glycemic index measures.
That rise in blood sugar causes the release of insulin from your pancreas into your bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone-like substance, helps cells soak up the excess sugar circulating in your blood. However, along with insulin, another substance, is also released. These two chemicals boost the production of testosterone, the male hormone that, in turn, can cause the skin to overproduce sebum, an oily goo that plugs up pores and gives birth to acne. (Previous research has already established the causal relationship of testosterone to pimples.)
Lorain Cordain, PhD, a health professor at Colorado State University and lead researcher in this study, points out that more than 80% of the grains we eat are highly refined and cause significant blood sugar increases, a factor that makes skin break out. In addition, he says, teens are especially susceptible to pimples because they are growing rapidly and, as a result, tend to be insulin resistant. Insulin resistance means it takes more insulin to persuade cells to take sugar out of the blood. This condition consequently results in even larger amounts of insulin being released and more skin blemishes being created.
According to Dr. Cordain, eating low-glycemic foods like whole grains, vegetables, fish and lean meat should lower your risk of acne. These foods don't bump up blood sugar as much, to be released and, as a result, are kinder to your skin.
Aside from improving your skin condition by improving the food you eat, taking supplements to help the bacteria in your lower digestive tract may also clear up your undesirable dermatological developments. Eczema, a discomforting and embarrassing skin inflammation, is now believed to depend on the interaction between intestinal bacteria and your immune system.
According to research in Finland (The Lancet 2001; 357:1076), eczema may appear on your skin when your immune system, influenced by the gut's bacteria, misbehaves, using unnecessary inflammation to defend against a non-existent infection that it mistakenly believes threatens the skin.
Atopic eczema, a variety of eczema that often runs in families, has long been known to be linked to allergies and immune overreactions.
In looking into the fact that more and more people have been suffering eczema, scientists came to the disturbing conclusion that this increase may be at least partly attributed to our obsession with cleanliness.
When we are young, our immune systems learn the proper ways to fight off germs by interacting with the bacteria and viruses they encounter. But during the past ten years, so many of us (and our parents) have kept our houses so neurotically spic-and-span, according to the latest theory, that our immune systems are failing to develop the proper responses. So, like a bored, inexperienced security guard who imagines a threat when there is none, our immune defenses are going slightly haywire, causing the defensive inflammation of eczema even in the absence of real bacteriological invasions. The possible solution: Probiotic supplements of harmless bacteria like Lactobacillus GG. This bacteria, similar to the friendly bacteria that live in our large intestines, seems to calm immunity so that it is less likely to panic and start an unnecessary inflammation.
These supplements are so safe, medical researchers are now giving them to pregnant women and newborn babies. In the research in Finland, giving these probiotics to mothers and newborns cut the rate of infant atopic eczema in half. (Similar, live bacteria are also found in yogurt, although yogurt should not be fed to newborns.)
The skin on these children is benefiting for long periods of time. "Our findings show that the preventive effect of Lactobacillus GG on atopic eczema in at-risk children extends to the age of 4 years," notes Marko Kalliomäki, MD, author of the study.
Tea Tree Help
Further natural skin help can be had from Australia in the form of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). Long revered by the aborigines of this continent, tea tree oil was allegedly given its English name by British sea captain James Cook, who used the plant to make a tea that improved the flavor of beer.
But Australians have long used tea tree oil as an antiseptic. Its popularity increased during World War II, when, after it was used as a lubricant on heavy machinery, mechanics who got the oil on their hands noticed it fought skin infections. As pointed out in The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook (Three Rivers Press), "The essential oil of tea tree...contains a number of terpenes, of which terpinen-4-ol is believed to be responsible for its beneficial anti-infective activity." Terpenes are special, beneficial types of protein found in essential oils.
Tea tree is especially useful against skin outbreaks caused by fungus infections. Research in Australia shows that it can help quell athlete's foot (Austr Jrnl Derm 1992; 33:145) as effectively as some pharmaceutical preparations. Other research confirms that it can help quiet many different fungi that cause unsightly skin outbreaks (Skin Pharm 1996; 9:388). The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook recommends that "every household should keep some tea tree oil close at hand. It can be applied directly to skin irritations."
Revered by the pharaohs' healers in Egypt during the ancient age of the pyramids, and depended upon for centuries by the Greeks for a variety of medicinal purposes, chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is still employed for a range of skin problems. This botanical helps ease abscesses, bruises or sunburn, and is included in many massage oils. (But never apply chamomile's undiluted essential oil to the skin.)
In addition, creams and sprays with chamomile are used to calm the nerves and nourish the skin. As an element in aromatherapy, chamomile, whose odor has been compared to apples, is well-known for soothing and rejuvenating the spirit. Explaining exactly how chamomile heals and calms has not been easy for scientists. Essential oils like chamomile contain so many different natural chemicals that exploring their holistic effect on the human body requires detailed analysis. As an aromatherapeutic agent, researchers believe chamomile and other essential oils may interact with the brain, activating glands that stimulate healing systems within the body. But that has yet to be proven.
What has been proven is that herbs like chamomile and tea tree, and natural treatments like probiotics, can make a big difference in keeping your skin healthy and clear. With their help, you can present your best face to the world.
June 10, 2005 05:32 PM
Allergy Alleviation by Cal Orey , February 2, 2002
Allergy Alleviation By Cal Orey
Welcome to the stuffed up world of seasonal allergic rhinitis: the wheezing, sneezing "inhalant allergies" that torment 35 million Americans. Adding insult to sinus pain, other allergens attack year-round. Air pollution, dust mites (microscopic gremlins that infest bedding, upholstery and rugs) and animal dander trigger allergies-or other respiratory ailments-in any season. Urban air is full of rubber tire particles, a true blowout for those with latex sensitivity. Altogether, roughly 50 million Americans-about one in five-suffer from some form of allergy, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). Tired of cross-pollinating with plants or being bowled over by dust balls? Vitamins, herbs and other nutrients can help you nip allergy discomfort in the bud.
The Allergy Response
Your immune system triggers an allergic response when it overreacts to otherwise harmless substances or antigens (we're talking dust, pollen and mold).The alarmed immune system then launches a defensive chemical reaction, releasing potent chemicals (antibodies) supposed to destroy the "invaders." The antibodies, called IgE, carry the invading substances to special cells, which zap them with more biochemicals. Among these protective cells are mast cells: they release histamine, the substance that causes swelling and inflammation to the linings of the nose, sinuses and eyelids, resulting in sneezing, upper respiratory congestion and itchy, watery eyes.
Just Blame The Folks
Most allergies are determined by your genes. If your Mom or Dad sneeze and scratch, there's a good chance you will, too. "That is not to say that we directly inherit an allergy to any specific substance. Rather, it seems as if we might inherit some kind of immune system defect or weakness that leaves us more vulnerable to allergies," explain co-authors Glenn S. Rothfeld, MD, and Suzanne LeVert in their book Natural Medicine for Allergies: The Best Alternative Methods for Quick Relief (Rodale). For some people, allergies lurk in food, throwing the immune system into overdrive. "Many natural medicine practitioners believe that a diet high in animal fats will contribute to the development of allergy and asthma, as does a diet high in food additives, such as preservatives and dyes," says Gary McLain, PhD, in his book The Natural Way of Healing: Asthma and Allergies (Dell). Worse, allergies can up the risk of asthma, which afflicts 15 million Americans. Most people afflicted with asthma also suffer allergies: the two are linked, according to the AAAAI. Allergy triggers of asthma include pollen, mold spores and house dust mites. Remember Helen Hunt's asthmatic son in the movie As Good As It Gets? His character endured allergies to dust, and living in New York (and watching his mom date Jack Nicholson) didn't help his immune system. Coughs, ear infections, fevers and visits to hospital emergency rooms curtailed his social life (and limited his close-ups as well). That kind of routine happens in real life, too. (Well, maybe close encounters with Jack N. are not included for most.) But when we breathe substances such as molds, they can induce swelling and inflammation of the bronchial airways which narrow and restrict air flow. This, in turn, causes wheezing and shortness of breath and can trigger an asthma "attack," according to Andrew Engler, MD, who specializes in allergy and asthma in San Mateo, California.
The Nose Knows: Chemical Sensitivities
Imagine a picture-perfect, crisp, clear Saturday morning. You make a final stop on your weekly errand run to the dry cleaner, where you drop off your laundry and spend a moment chatting up the owner. Back in your car, your eyes tear and you feel a bit woozy. Kenneth Bock, MD, and Nellie Sabin, writing in The Road to Immunity: How To Survive and Thrive in a Toxic World (Pocket Books) sense that your reaction could be chemical sensitivity, a difficult to diagnose but, in their opinion, very real malady. (Of course, a clinician can test you for immune responses to certain chemicals.) Reactions to chemicals produce the typical allergic responses: puffy or red-rimmed eyes; swelling; aching or stiff joints and muscles; irritability or dizziness; respiratory inflammations; headaches and the like. Villains include aerosol sprays, tobacco smoke, glues, insecticides and herbicides, household chemicals and fragrances. Identification and avoidance are key, say the authors. Vitamin C, which binds with chemicals, is one of the best nutritional defenses.
Breathing Problems Expand
Americans now freely take lifesaving medicines such as antibiotics and insulin but, in some people, "they have the potential to alter the immune system, which is where allergies begin," says Dr. McLain. (Consult your pharmacist if you have questions about your prescription medication.) We, as a nation, are also eating more chemicals, from the pesticides drenched on plants to the preservatives poured on prepared foods. We're breathing polluted air, which can lead to or exacerbate asthma, and then we choke on recycled air in sealed buildings. And while a century ago you were likely to have spent much of your time close to home, you can now hop on a supersonic plane and be taken to the other side of the globe within a matter of hours. With travel comes exposure to even more exotic allergens that can drive your immune system to distraction.
The All-Natural Gesundheit
Certain allergy-relief nutrients and herbs can help make life more bearable. Here's how they work: n Vitamin C for the lungs. According to experts, when vitamin C is low, asthma is high. Vitamin C carries the major antioxidant load in the airways and therefore contributes mightily to the health of the lungs. A study in the Annals of Allergy (73(1994):89-96) reported that in seven of 11 clinical trials since 1973, vitamin C supplementation provided "significant improvements" in respiratory function and asthma symptoms. n Vitamin E and carotene to suppress allergic reactions. These antioxidants may also help protect the respiratory tract from caustic pollutants. Vitamin E is reputed to be one of the most important nutrients for antioxidant protection in the lungs. In addition, these two substances decrease production of allergy-related compounds called leukotrienes. n Zinc for the immune system. Research shows that a deficiency in this trace mineral can weaken your immune system, setting you up as a target for allergies and infections. (Some vegetarians may not store sufficient amounts of this mineral and should take supplements.) Zinc comes to the body's rescue by taking part in the production of IgA, the gastrointestinal antibody that lines the digestive tract. "When IgA binds to an allergen, it keeps it from being absorbed into the bloodstream and thus from causing an allergic reaction," report Rothfeld and Levert. Also, zinc protects mucous membranes and helps convert beta carotene to vitamin A, another anti-allergy, immune-boosting nutrient. In a study of 100 participants at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, half took a zinc-based lozenge, while the other half received a dummy preparation. The participants taking zinc experienced a 42% reduction in the duration and severity of their common colds (Annals of Internal Medicine, 7/96). n Quercetin as an antihistamine. A valuable, anti-allergic flavonoid (plant coloring agent that is a powerful antioxidant), quercetin shines as a potent weapon against allergies and asthma. Believed to inhibit histamine release from mast cells and slow the production of other allergy-related compounds, it stabilizes mast cell membranes. Other flavonoid-rich extracts include grape seed, pine bark, green tea and Ginkgo biloba. n Additional helpful nutrients: Vitamin B-12, particularly to combat sensitivity to sulfites (The Nutrition Desk Reference [Keats]); selenium, an antioxidant that breaks down leukotrienes (Clinical Science 77, 1989: 495-500); and magnesium to relax bronchial tissues (Journal of the American Medical Association, 262 : 1210-3).
Herbal Remedies To The Rescue
n Nettles for hay fever relief. Research at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, showed that 40 of 69 folks suffering from hay fever found moderate to extreme relief from taking freeze-dried stinging nettles (Planta Medica,  44-47). "It is nontoxic, cheap and preferable to antihistamines, which I think are significantly toxic," reports Andrew Weil, MD, in his book Natural Health, Natural Medicine: A Comprehensive Manual for Wellness and Self-Care (Houghton Mifflin). n Cayenne to reduce inflammation. Cayenne, known as hot red pepper, is rich in capsaicin, a potent flavonoid "counter-irritant" that dilates and soothes inflamed nasal and bronchial tissues, according to experts. A bonus: Cayenne also contains a rich amount of antioxidant vitamin C, which can help enhance your immune system. n Echinacea for allergy prevention. This popular Native American herb provides cold and allergy protection, particularly when you take it before encountering allergens. Studies reveal that echinacea aids your body's tissues and protects you from germs and allergens. In fact, German studies have found it possesses valuable antiviral, antibacterial and immunity-boosting properties.
Make Your World Allergy-Free
For the most effective allergy relief, make sure you stay clear of allergens that wreak allergy havoc. Visit an allergy-savvy health practitioner and get tested to find out which substances rock your respiratory world. Plus, allergy experts recommend: n Banish dust mites: sweep out clutter and have your house power-vacuumed, if necessary; wash bedding and linens in very hot water. n De-pollinate your environment: flip on the air conditioner to sift out pollen (keep its filter and any forced air registers clean); exercise indoors; machine dry, rather than line dry, your clothes. n Buy a home air filter, especially if you experience dust, pollen or pet dander allergies. n Avoid allergy triggers that dog your days: cats and canines (or consider the hairless or shed-less breeds), mold and tobacco smoke. No matter what you do or actions you take, allergies may always remain an annoyance in your life. But attention to the foods you eat, the places where you exercise and the right combination of anti-allergy nutrients can limit your discomfort.
Leveling The Leukotrine Playing Field
On a microscopic level, a series of biochemicals implicated in allergic reactions are leukotrienes, substances that may constrict the bronchial tubes (breathing passages). In some people, consuming the food additive tartrazine can cause severe asthmatic breathing difficulties by boosting leukotrine release. In turn, this can interfere with the body's use of vitamin B-6. The process in which lack of B-6 or "errors" in how your body uses B-6 causes allergic reactions and is complex. According to Michael Murray, ND and Joseph Pizzorno, ND in the revised edition of the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Prima), breathing problems may begin when the metabolism of tryptophan (an amino acid) goes awry: "Tryptophan is converted to serotonin, a compound that, among other things, can cause the airways of asthmatics to constrict...Vitamin B-6 is required for the proper metabolism of tryptophan." Accordingly, a study of vitamin B-6, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that people with compromised breathing may possess less B-6 in their blood than others who breathe normally. When people with asthma were given B-6, their wheezing and asthmatic attacks dropped.
Fat Fix For Allergies
The fat in your diet or supplements can also influence your susceptibility to allergies and asthma linked to allergies. Epidemiologists have found that countries where children eat fish at least four times a month cut their risk of asthma by 67% compared to other parts of the world where they consume fewer fish. Research on omega-3 fatty acids, the kind of fat found in fish, flax and hemp oil, demonstrates that some of these substances can improve breathing. In particular, fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can help open up bronchial tubes. Studies in the American Review of Respiratory Disease and the International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology show that breathing passageways may not react so negatively to the presence of allergens when you eat more fish or take supplements containing these types of fats. Many of the scientists who study the kinds of fats we eat believe that the increase in allergies and asthma in the US during the twentieth century may be due to both increasing air pollution (which irritates our lungs) plus a simultaneous increase in our consumption of what are called omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 oils are contained in most of the vegetable oils Americans eat, including sunflower and peanut oils. While experts believe that we would be better off consuming a diet containing about five times as many omega-6 fatty acids as omega-3s, today we eat about 40 times as much omega-6s. The chemistry of how these fats influence our allergy susceptibility is complex. It begins in our cell membranes which consist mostly of fat. When we consume omega-3 fatty acids, in our diet or in supplements, and these fats enter cell membranes, the change in structure cuts the availability of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid your body can make and which is found in meat, eggs and dairy products. Eventually, it is thought that this change in cellular metabolism and reduction in arachidonic acid forces the body to make less 4-series leukotrienes, substances which are quite prone to provoking allergic inflammation and, instead, produce 5-series leukotrienes, leukotrienes which don't cause nearly as much trouble. This process requires patience. According to Pizzorno and Murray. "It may take as long as one year before the benefits are apparent, as it appears to take time to turn over cellular membranes in favor of the omega-3 fatty acids."
Chinese Medicine Versus Allergies
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views allergies as an imbalance of the liver, says Jason Elias, co-author with Katherine Ketcham of The Five Elements of Self-Healing (Harmony Books). "The average American's (liver) deals with about fourteen pounds of chemicals a year. What would normally be a minor irritant becomes major because the liver can't process them anymore," explains Elias. Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has traditionally been used to fight allergies since this herb battles inflammation as evidenced by Japanese research and a study published in the journal Allergy. Much of this anti-allergy action is thought to proceed from licorice's interaction with a biochemical called cortisol, a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands. Cortisol (along with epinephrine, another adrenal hormone) relaxes the muscles controlling airways. By slowing the liver's breakdown of cortisol, licorice prolongs circulation of this hormone which, in turn, can help breathing passages stay clear. In addition, glycyrrhetinic acid, a compound in licorice, slows the body's manufacture of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, substances which exacerbate allergic inflammatory reactions. Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) has been employed for thousands of years to aid breathing since chemicals in this plant widen breathing passages.
Homeopathic Remedies for Allergy
Homeopathic treatments consist of highly diluted substances designed to coax the body into healing itself. The effectiveness of homeopathy for hayfever has been demonstrated by research published in Lancet performed at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. There, scientists showed that homeopathically-prepared medicines produced statistically significant improvements in allergy sufferers. The appropriate homeopathic remedy for any illness depends on the personality type of the person suffering an allergy. These treatments are among those recommended by Dana Ullman: n Allium cepa: appropriate for burning nasal discharge that grows worse in warm rooms and improves outdoors. Relieves non-burning tearing from eyes, raw feeling in the nose with tingling sensation and violent sneezing. n Nux vomica: used when feeling irritable and chilled, with daytime fluent nasal discharge and night congestion that grows worse indoors. Also for those sensitive to cold and to being uncovered. n Pulsatilla: best for women and children with daytime nasal discharge and night congestion who are gentle, yielding, mild, impressionable and emotional. Used when congestion is worse in warm rooms, hot weather or while lying down.
Food Allergy Conundrum Food allergies can prove to be the toughest allergies to identify and eliminate. Jason Elias believes that people may develop food sensitivities from eating the same foods too often. "If someone has an allergy, I might say 'Let's get you off dairy for three weeks,'" he says, noting that some people have limited their hay fever problems by ceasing to consume dairy products. Many have also found relief by maintaining a food diary, keeping track of which foods are associated with allergy attacks and then eliminating those foods. So the next time you sneeze, don't just reach for your hanky, think back to the meal that you just ate. Your allergy problem may be sitting in your stomach as well as making you sneeze and stuffing your sinuses. Taking these kinds of anti-allergy preventive measures can provide life-enhancing relief that feels like a godsend. That lets you attain your healthy best.
This article included reporting by Judy Pokras.
June 10, 2005 04:14 PM
Clean Living by Phyllis D. Light, RH Energy Times, December 3, 2003
Just as you wouldn't clean a closet by merely closing the closet door, you can't clean your body by closing your eyes to the toxins that assault our bodies every day. The modern world is filled with natural and manmade chemicals that can accumulate within and cause long-term health problems. So, in between bouts of housecleaning, an internal cleansing can keep your bodily systems feeling as clean as your sparkling household.
While modern life would be impossible without the chemicals that go into the gadgets and machines on which society thrives, these materials have a dark side: Each day we are exposed to hundreds of substances that have infiltrated our food, water and air. They lurk in our cleaning products, fabrics, personal care products, automobiles and even the building materials in our homes and offices.
"While our [bodies have] systems of detoxification to deal with and eliminate chemicals to which we are exposed, the sheer volume of these chemicals can overwhelm these detoxification mechanisms, causing these non-lifegiving substances to stay in our bodies where they can damage our health," says Steven Horne, AHG, herbalist and natural health consultant in St. George, Utah.
Added to this chemical mix, indulgences in alcoholic drinks, cigarette smoke, caffeine and over-the-counter drugs can further challenge your body's cleansing systems.
Water, Water Everywhere and How Your Health Can Shrink
Substances in the beverages you consume every day may contribute to the collection of toxins in your body.
A growing water problem, for instance, flows from the medications excreted into sewer systems and groundwater.
These drugs have already affected the environment: Estrogen from contraceptives have contaminated lakes and rivers, and caused deformities in fish while impairing the fertility of water animals and the birds who feed upon them. A study released by scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that the fertility rate of adult male fish exposed to synthetic estrogen from contraceptive pills dropped by 50% (Envir Tox & Chem 6/03). Scientists believe these defective animals are like the proverbial canaries in coal mines, reflecting health problems that may also be harming human health in ways we don't yet understand.
And clean machines can cause unclean bodies: When scientists from Queen's University (Drug Metab Dispos 2003; 31:306) examined the seminal fluid of infertile men, they found extra amounts of the chemical trichloroethylene (TCE), a degreasing agent used in the automotive and metal industries. TCE is also found in adhesives, lubricants, paints, varnishes, paint strippers, pesticides, spot removers and rug cleaning fluids, and it has entered the drinking water in many places.
Detox for Metabolic Balance
"Detoxification is the missing link in Western nutrition and an important but unexplored medical therapy," says Elson M. Haas, MD, author of The Detox Diet (Celestial Arts). Dr. Haas believes that when the body accumulates wastes that are not properly eliminated, disease often results: "The key to maintaining metabolic balance is to maximize nutrition and eliminate toxins." Dr. Haas has seen improvement in cholesterol levels, blood pressure readings and pain levels after his patients have detoxed.
When your body accumulates toxins, cells can stagnate and suffocate. To offset these problems, the body uses its built-in system of detoxification to remove toxins and cellular waste products.
In protecting itself against toxins, the body can quickly eliminate water-soluble compounds before they cause harm, excreting them in the stool, sweat and urine. Fat-soluble compounds, which make up most of the chemical toxins we are exposed to every day, are not so easily dealt with. The body uses enzymes in the intestines and liver to chemically break down these toxins and convert them into a form that can be pushed out of the body.
Your body inherits its ability to cope with toxins. But you can help the body in its detox tasks by providing nutrients that aid cleansing.
Colorful Eating Boosts Detox
Many experts believe that alkaline foods (fruits and vegetables) help the body detoxify, while meats and acidic processed foods slow the process.
"The right balance of acid and alkaline foods for each of us is, of course, the key," notes Dr. Haas. Animal products, sugar, white flour, and alcoholic beverages are thought to leave acid residues in the body.
"Brightly colored foods contain powerful antioxidants that help the liver with the detoxification process," says Brenda Watson, CT, in her book Renew Your Life (Renew Life Press). "...[raw] fruits and vegetables...contain enzymes... [that are] destroyed by cooking."
These enzymes can help the body detoxify and eliminate undesirable substances. However, Watson cautions, "If the digestive system is weak...too much raw food [can] cause upset, so raw foods should be added to the diet at a pace the body can tolerate. Taking digestive plant enzymes with meals can also aid digestion."
While those foods in a normal diet can help control toxins, if you have moved toward "toxic overload," or if you want to eliminate candida-a yeast that can cause health problems-Watson recommends a detox diet:
Foods that are allowed include:
When preparing dishes in this diet, use plenty of garlic and green foods. "Other anti-candida agents which may be used liberally include ginger, cinnamon, thyme and rosemary."
According to Watson, following this diet is a first step toward detoxing. If you experience serious difficulties linked to environmental toxins, consult a health practitioner.
In a world filled with chemicals whose effects are unknown, attention must be paid to the toxins around us. As our machines grow more complex and widespread, our health difficulties linked to these mechanisms may also grow.
Fighting Arthritis Naturally
June 10, 2005 02:16 PM
Fighting Arthritis Naturally
by Donna Lee Nardo Energy Times, January 8, 2002
The annoying pain of arthritis grows ever more annoying: one of every six Americans, 43 million people, suffer arthritis, the leading cause of disability in the US. No pharmaceutical can reliably cure arthritis or slow its progression without possibly causing side effects. But you can help heal your hurting joints with nutrients and other natural substances.
Every move you make hinges on healthy joints. The hinge joints in your fingers, knees and elbows swing back and forth. Ball and socket joints in our hips and shoulders twist and turn our arms and legs. But when arthritis attacks, joint function narrows, causing pain, stiffness, swelling and inflammation. While scientists search for the root cause of arthritis, they recognize that aging, injuries, allergies, a genetic tendency toward arthritis and being overweight all contribute to your risk. Researcher have identified more than 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), gout, lupus, scleroderma, vasculitis, myositis, infectious arthritis, degenerative joint disease and spondylitis. OA and RA represent two of the most common arthritis forms. OA generally attacks the finger joints and larger joints like the hips and knees. Cartilage lining the joint deteriorates, often as a by-product of aging, but this deterioration can happen at any age. Sprains, fractures and repetitive injuries can increase your chances of osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when joints become inflamed and your immune system apparently releases antibodies in response to allergens. This type of arthritis can destroy and immobilize joints. Traditionally, doctors have treated arthritis with acetaminophen, aspirin and other drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, NSAIDs often offer only short-term relief. They can cause bleeding problems and ulcers. And while they may slow inflammation and pain, they also do nothing to repair damaged joints. A 1995 Journal of Rheumatology article also warned that prolonged NSAID use actually furthers deterioration of the joints (Oct/95; 22 (10):1941-6).
Glucosamine at Work
Scientists believe that injuries and aging deplete the body's supply of glucosamine, a natural substance that forms, maintains and repairs joint cartilage. Glucosamine supplements are thought to replenish the supply and are prescribed for arthritis therapy in many countries. Several studies indicate that glucosamine tackles pain and inflammation as effectively as NSAIDs without the side effects. It also helps rebuild arthritic joints. Research supporting glucosamine's benefits abounds in Europe and Asia. One study suggests that glucosamine sulfate supplements relieve pain as well as the NSAID ibuprofen (Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 1994; 2 (1):61-9). A recent Belgian study testing the effectiveness of glucosamine on patients with OA of the knee captured the attention of the American medical profession. Results suggest that glucosamine promotes physical changes in joints that halt the progression of OA (Lancet 2001, Jan 27; 357 (9252):251-56). After analyzing data from scores of clinical trials, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) saw enough promise in glucosamine to launch its own multi-year study.
Scientists have been testing the orange-yellow herb turmeric and have found that it may ease arthritis discomfort. Long a staple in the medical practices of Asia, turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that reduce swelling and pain associated with arthritis. Researchers think this spice, used in such Indian cuisine as curry, may work more effectively than cortisone and other drugs that reduce inflammation. Ellen Kamhi, PhD, RN, and co-author of Arthritis: An Alternative Medicine Definitive Guide, considers turmeric an important therapy for arthritis. "Turmeric is quite effective, and it's much safer than conventional drug anti-inflammatories, with far fewer possible adverse effects," says Dr. Kamhi, clinical instructor at the State University of New York-Stony Brook Medical School. One study on people with RA demonstrated that the natural benefits of turmeric equaled those provided by a popular prescription drug known to cause side effects (Indian J Med Res 1980; 71:632-4). Another trial, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, found that turmeric possesses unique anti-inflammatory properties (1993; 38:113-119). A trial published in 1994 also found that turmeric acts as an antioxidant to help protect joints (J Pharm Pharmacol; 46:1013-16).
As we age, our bodies require more antioxidants to fight off damage caused by destructive molecules known as free radicals. Researchers believe that antioxidant nutrients can afford arthritis protection. A 10-year study evaluating the effect of vitamins C and E on the joints concluded that both nutrients protect against cartilage deterioration (Arthritis & Rheumatism 1996, April; 39 (4):648-56). According to Dr. Kamhi, "Arthritis is a lifestyle disease (and) no one remedy, either natural or pharmaceutical, will heal or reverse the arthritic process. Organic foods, exercise, stress reduction, and supplements can lead to a marked decrease in all arthritis symptoms with minimal side effects and enhanced overall health and wellness." While arthritis often makes sufferers limit their activity, experts agree that a sedentary lifestyle only exacerbates problem joints and that exercise maintains your range of motion. The type of activity recommended for each particular form of arthritis differs: for osteoarthritis, specific exercises like stretching and moving arthritic joints can help if more strenuous exercise forms are not possible. Rheumatoid sufferers need to use extra caution to prevent inflammatory flare-ups by balancing gentle exercise with rest. In any case, keep moving: performing household chores or spending time on your hobbies will profit painful joints.
In many cases of arthritis, maintaining an appropriate weight is critical. Surplus weight places extra stress on joints and accelerates cartilage deterioration. And don't be discouraged if your mainstream doctor pooh-poohs complementary arthritis control. "Any practitioner who categorically dismisses the use of all-natural therapies," advises Dr. Kamhi, "is not keeping up with reading current medical literature."