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The Miracle of High Dose Vitamin D: How Adding This Crucial Hormone to Your Diet Can Protect You Against Disease
May 18, 2022 04:06 PM
You probably know that vitamin D is important for strong bones and teeth. But what you may not know is that this crucial hormone is also indispensable to health and well-being. By adding vitamin D to your diet, you can protect yourself against a wide range of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammatory illnesses, infectious conditions, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, the flu and depression.
What is vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a nutrient that is essential for human health. It is found in food and can also be made in the body when skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, which is needed for strong bones and teeth. It also helps to regulate cell growth and protect against infection. A lack of vitamin D can lead to serious health problems, such as osteoporosis and rickets. In recent years, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. While most people can get the vitamin D they need from their diet or by spending time outdoors, some people may require supplements. Your healthcare provider can test your vitamin D levels and determine if you need to take supplements.
The benefits of high dose vitamin D
Although vitamin D is commonly associated with bone health, this nutrient actually offers a wide range of benefits. Vitamin D helps to regulate the immune system and plays a role in cell growth and communication. Additionally, this vitamin helps to keep blood sugar levels in check and supports cardiovascular health. A growing body of evidence suggests that vitamin D may also help to protect against cancer. Given all of these potential benefits, it's no surprise that vitamin D deficiency is linked with a variety of health problems. Supplementing with high doses of vitamin D can help to correct a deficiency and improve overall health.
How to get enough vitamin D in your diet
Some people may get enough vitamin D through sun exposure, this can actually increase the risk of skin cancer. The best way to ensure adequate vitamin D levels is through diet and vitamin supplementation. Foods that are rich in vitamin D include fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified milk. In addition, many people take a daily vitamin D supplement to help meet their needs. While sun exposure is the best way to produce vitamin D, it is important to limit exposure to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Supplements that can help you get enough vitamin D
While the best way to get vitamins and minerals is through a healthy diet, sometimes that is not possible or sufficient. If you feel like you are not getting enough vitamin D, there are supplements you can take to ensure you are getting enough. Solaray and Now Foods both offer high-quality supplements that can help you get the vitamin D your body needs. Solaray's Vitamin D3 is perfect for those who want an easy way to take their supplement, as it comes in a convenient pill form. Now Foods' Vitamin D3 comes in pills and Liquid. Liquid is ideal for those who prefer a liquid supplement or who have trouble swallowing pills. No matter what your preference, these two companies offer great options for getting the vitamin D your body needs.
The Best Natural Over-the-Counter Sinus Remedies: Effective Solutions for Your Sinus Problems
April 30, 2022 11:04 AM
Sinus problems are a common occurrence during the winter months. Cold weather, dry air, and allergens can all contribute to sinus congestion and inflammation. If you are looking for an over-the-counter sinus remedy that will provide relief from your symptoms, you have come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most effective over-the-counter sinus remedies on the market. We will also provide tips on how to choose the right one for you. So don't suffer any longer - read on for information on the best over-the-counter sinus remedies available today!
What are the most common symptoms of sinus problems?
Sinus problems are very common, and the symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the issue. One of the most common symptoms is a feeling of congestion or fullness in the sinuses. This can be accompanied by pain and pressure in the forehead, cheeks, or around the eyes. Other common symptoms include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, and fatigue. In some cases,sinus problems can also lead to fever and difficulty breathing. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor so that you can get proper treatment.
What are the causes of sinus problems?
Sinus problems are a common and often frustrating issue, with a wide range of underlying causes. From environmental irritants like pollen and dust to infectious agents like bacteria and viruses, there are an almost limitless number of possible culprits behind sinus troubles. Additionally, certain foods, medications, or other habits can also affect the delicate balance of mucus in the sinuses. Ultimately, understanding the various factors that influence a person's susceptibility to sinus problems is the key to effectively managing these conditions. By identifying any triggers or risk factors one can minimize the impact of sinus issues on everyday life.
What are the best natural over-the-counter sinus remedies available today?
Sinusitis is a condition that affects the sinuses, the small, air-filled cavities located around the nose and eyes. It occurs when these cavities become inflamed, often due to a viral infection. Sinusitis can be extremely painful, causing congestion, headaches, and facial pain. While there are many over-the-counter medications available to treat sinusitis, some people prefer to use natural remedies. One popular natural remedy is steam inhalation. This involves inhaling steam from a pot of boiling water or from a humidifier. The steam can help to loosen mucus and reduce inflammation. Another popular option is saltwater irrigation, which involves using a neti pot or nasal sprayer to rinse the sinuses with warm saltwater. This can help to flush out irritants and ease congestion. Natural remedies are often safe and effective, making them a good option for treating sinusitis.
Luckily, there are a number of effective natural over-the-counter remedies that can help to alleviate symptoms like congestion and inflammation. For example, nettle leaf is a popular herb with a long history of use in naturopathic medicine. Rich in minerals and anti-inflammatory compounds, it can help to clear out toxins from the sinuses while also soothing swelling and reducing pain. Other possible remedies include quercetin, an antioxidant found in many fruits and vegetables that has been shown to have antihistamine effects, and anti-histamine formulas containing herbs or plant oils that naturally regulate histamine levels. Ultimately, the best remedy for your individual sinus issues will depend on your specific symptoms and preferences.
Nettle leaf to relieve sinus allergy symptoms.
As we have said, allergies are a common problem, affecting millions of people worldwide. They can cause a range of symptoms, from mild sniffling and sneezing to severe congestion and difficulty breathing. Many people rely on over-the-counter medications to alleviate their allergy symptoms, but these drugs can have undesirable side effects. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives that can be just as effective in relieving allergy symptoms. One such remedy is nettle leaf. Nettle leaf has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including allergies. It works by inhibiting the release of histamine, which is one of the main compounds that triggers allergy symptoms. In addition, nettle leaf has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce congestion and swelling. If you're looking for a natural way to relieve your allergy symptoms, nettle leaf may be worth trying.
Quercetin and allergies
Quercetin is a potent antioxidant that has been found to be effective in preventing and treating a variety of health conditions, including allergies. Many people are familiar with quercetin as an antihistamine, an effect that is due to its ability to inhibit the production of "histamines" in the body. Histamines are the chemicals responsible for triggering allergic reactions such as watery eyes, runny nose, itching, and sneezing. By blocking their production, quercetin can effectively reduce or even eliminate these symptoms. Furthermore, quercetin has also been found to strengthen lung function by reducing inflammation in the airways and protecting against oxidative damage. Overall, quercetin may be an ideal natural remedy for alleviating allergy symptoms.
Cayenne and Allergies
Cayenne is a popular spice that is prized for its pungent, spicy flavor. In addition to being used in cooking, however, cayenne has also been shown to be an effective remedy for certain allergies. Studies have found that the active ingredient in cayenne, capsaicin, can help to block inflammatory responses in the body and neutralize histamine, the chemical that triggers allergic reactions such as sneezing and watery eyes. As a result, regular consumption of cayenne may help to reduce allergic symptoms and improve overall quality of life for those affected by allergies. Whether through fresh peppers or cayenne powder or supplements, incorporating this powerful spice into your diet may be a great way to treat your seasonal allergies naturally.
Is there a supplement that combines them all? Yes, Solaray Sinus Source?
Yes, there is a supplement that combines all the key ingredients typically found in nature-based sinus cleansers and decongestants. This supplement is called Solaray Sinus Source, and it contains a combination of three active ingredients: nettle leaf, quercetin, and cayenne pepper. Each of these ingredients has been shown to provide natural relief from sinus problems, helping to reduce inflammation, congestion, and other unwanted symptoms. By combining these powerful botanicals into one convenient formula, Solaray Sinus Source provides a safe and effective way to support healthy sinuses. So if you're looking for a natural solution to your sinus woes, look no further than this powerful blend!
Can reishi mushrooms help prevent cancer and other life-threateningdiseases?
May 03, 2019 03:59 PM
Reishi mushrooms and reishi extract have substantial health benefits, especially for boosting your immune system. Reishi mushrooms include a diverse array of bioactive compounds that, collectively, may boost cellular metabolism and restore the efficiency that the immune system tends to lose over time. Studies also indicate that reishi mushroom compounds may help induce immune cells to target cancer cells more aggressively, and boost the cancer-fighting functions of the spleen and thymus. Reishi mushrooms extracts may also help boost your overall immune system response against viruses and other pathogens.
"Reishi mushroom extracts can block the human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, and other infectious microbes from compromising the health of the targeted organs."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-03-28-can-reishi-mushrooms-help-prevent-cancer-and-other-life-threatening-diseases.html
Zinc lozenges proven to greatly speed recovery from colds and flu by 300%
May 26, 2017 04:14 PM
According to a recent study, zinc acetate lozenges are an effective treatment for the common cold, causing significant increases in the speed of recovery in several trials. Other unrelated research has supported this conclusion, acknowledging zinc's effectiveness in relieving congestion and muscle pain, among other symptoms. The original study, done by experts from the University of Helsinki, concluded that it would be recommendable to take zinc acetate supplements as a means of treatment for the common cold.
"Zinc acetate lozenges were found to effectively accelerate recovery from common colds, according to a recent analysis published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-05-22-zinc-lozenges-proven-to-greatly-speed-recovery-from-colds-and-flu-by-300.html
Fat discovery could ease inflammation for diabetics
February 20, 2017 02:59 PM
It turns out that fat discovery could ease inflammation for diabetics. Inflammation is a reason many diabetic people experience things like heart attacks and strokes. A possible trigger has been identified though. Over the last 20 years the amount of people with diabetes has gotten very high. There is progress being made to help these people.
"The researchers also plan to take a look at existing drug compounds that change the lipid composition in cells."
Avoid These 10 Foods Strictly To Prevent Chronic Inflammation
December 28, 2016 10:59 AM
Inflammation is supposed to protect us from infectious disease, but can flare up in response to some foods and cause needless discomfort. To minimize inflammation, try avoiding fatty foods, fried foods, oily foods, and foods that contain MSG. Also, sugary foods, sodas, and refined carbohydrates should be avoided. Finally, stay away from dairy, processed meats, and alcohol: these can all trigger inflammation.
"Inflammation is a natural process to protect the body from bacteria and virus and other harmful agents that affect the body negatively."
A Handful of Nuts Is Good for Your Health
December 13, 2016 08:59 AM
Nuts can reduce the risk of heart disease and other issues. The percentage reduction of heart-related issues ranges anywhere from 24 to 72 percent. The people that took part in the study received these positive health benefits by eating one ounce of nuts per day. They also produce very little health risk, unless a person is allergic to them.
"A handful of nuts a day may be enough to reduce the risk for death from heart disease and other ills."
Why Americans remain vulnerable to infectious diseases
December 08, 2016 02:59 PM
There is uncertainty in the impact of vector-borne diseases in the US. The effect of changing climate may alter which geographic areas are at risk from vector-transmitted infections. Drug resistance is a growing problem and requires urgent action to tackle it. Antibiotics are a key weapon in the battle against bacterial infections, but we must use those tools carefully to make sure they stay effective.
"By analyzing trends in US mortality between 1980 and 2014, scientists found that infections were responsible for 5.4% of all deaths, with the majority caused by influenza and pneumonia."
Five ways to avoid germs while traveling
December 06, 2016 07:59 AM
Different areas of the world have different germs and it is easy to pick up a germ you are not resistant to already. No one wants to get sick when they travel and ruin their vacation or business trip. This article will explain five different ways to avoid picking up new germs while you travel.
"Gendreau studies germiness while traveling, and he knows just how infectious travel can be."
What Exactly Do Friendly Bacteria Do In The Intestinal Tract?
December 07, 2015 01:04 AM
Contrary to the popular belief that all bacteria are bad for your health, there are friendly bacteria that are very beneficial to your health. The friendly bacteria are mainly found in the colon, which is also known as the large intestine. The small intestine also has friendly bacteria. The first section of the intestine, the esophagus and the stomach are mostly bacteria-free due to the deterrent effect caused by the strong stomach acid as well as the high level of digestive enzymes in this areas.
The friendly bacteria that are found in the intestinal tract are very important to the human digestive system. They are responsible for producing enzymes that digest polysaccharides in plant cell walls. Some of the plant materials that you eat on a daily basis contribute to the fiber in your diet. The fiber is very important for a healthy colon. The enzymes that are released by the friendly bacteria usually make sure that most of the nutritional value of the plant materials that you eat does not go to waste.
Some bacteria in the intestinal tract usually make vitamin K, which is necessary for the formation of new bone and blood clotting. They also make the vitamins from the B group. These types of vitamins are very difficult to get from the food that you eat every day. Attempts of humans to manufacture them have not been fruitful so far. The beneficial bacteria are also very helpful in stimulating the immune system and maintaining optimum pH. They may also help in digesting or breaking down hormones that are not required anymore, drugs, and environmental substances that carry the risk of causing cancer.
Friendly bacteria also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the intestinal tract. When an ideal pH of the colon is maintained (which should be between 6.7 and 6.9), the growth of harmful bacteria such as shigella which causes diarrhea, salmonella which causes food poisoning, and e.coli which can cause kidney failure and intestinal disease is inhibited. The beneficial bacteria also produce volatile fatty acid which works together with other acids in the intestinal tract to suppress the survival of yeast (candida) and fungus.
Normalizing bowel movements is another function that the friendly bacteria play in the intestinal tract. They do this by decreasing the time that waste products usually take to move through the digestive system. They also aid in correcting diarrhea and stopping constipation. Good bacteria also stimulate the formation of antibodies that protect your body against infectious diseases. They make your immunity strong.
Another important thing that good bacteria do in the digestive system is removing toxic elements. They deactivate various organisms that are in food or produced by other organisms. This is mainly done by a bacterium called Lactobacillus acidophilus. The friendly bacteria are also instruments in reducing cholesterol, improving fat digestion by providing mobile acids, and protecting against cancer.
Gas problems are also eliminated by the good bacteria. They also sweeten your breath, which would be a foul-smelling waste if bad bacteria take over the intestinal tract. Production of lactase enzyme is another thing that good bacteria do. This enzyme is necessary for digesting milk and milk products when they get to the digestive system. Without it, allergies will be a sure thing.
How Do Probiotics Boost Your Immune System?
August 28, 2015 10:21 PM
An average person carries thousands of microorganisms. Among these microorganisms are bacteria. For most of us, the word bacteria usually comes with a negative connotation. It's no wonder that for many years, we have looked for ways to kill bugs.
While some of the bacteria we carry can cause diseases, some are “good” and useful. "Good" bacteria helps us break down the nutrients in food, educate the body's immune system to recognize enemies, fight off food poisoning, metabolize drugs and produce moods' determining chemicals.
Unfortunately, some of our activities can significantly reduce the number of healthy bacteria. To replenish the lost bacteria, you can take harmless live bacteria and yeasts commonly called probiotics. Probiotics occur naturally in our bodies, but you can also get them in certain foods and supplements.
How Probiotics Work
Probiotics are essential in food digestion and absorption process. They help move food through the gut. It's for this reason that probiotics can help manage conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, infectious diarrhea, and antibiotic-related diarrhea. The absorption of adequate nutrients leads to a stronger immune system.
Good bacteria are essential for gut health. Modern medicine has found a great link between gut health and the body's immune system. Unfortunately, necessary antibiotics kill bacteria indiscriminately. Probiotics can boost our disease fighting capabilities by replacing lost helpful bacteria.
Probiotics can also boost the body's immunity by offering us protection from “bad” bacteria. They protect us by lowering the number of disease-causing bacteria in the system.
Probiotics also help balance "good" and "bad" bacteria. Balance is essential for optimal body performance. Numerous medical studies have for instance shown that cesarean babies are more prone to allergies and eczema because they have lower levels of helpful bacteria and chemical imbalances in their immune systems.
Beneficial bacteria are not created equal. Our personal gut bacteria depends on the food and supplements we take. Research has shown that some species can produce immune-boosting chemicals. Some bacteria, for instance, can produce chemicals that are great for heart and gut lining health.
Can Low Selenium Affect Thyroid Functions?
August 08, 2014 10:01 PM
What is thyroid glands
Human thyroid glands are small glands with a very important function. The major function of thyroid glands is to regulate body metabolism.
There are two main hormones produced by thyroid glands; thyroxin (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The secretion of these 2 hormones is based on the feedback mechanism of hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These hormones influence every body cells- they control the rate at which your body accumulates and uses fat, help to regulate body temperature and also heart rate. In addition, thyroid glands produce calcitonin, a very important hormone that regulates the amount of calcium in the body. There are the major types of thyroid diseases, Thyroid cancer, Hyperthyroidism, Hypothyroidism and Benign disease. But what is the role of selenium in thyroid functions?
Selenium deficiency is not common in healthy adults, but it is common in people with digestive disorders causing low absorption, or those with severe inflammation arising from chronic infection. Research shows that low selenium does not cause illness by itself, but due to its role in immune functions, it makes a body susceptible to biochemical, nutritional and infectious diseases.
But this does not mean that selenium has no direct influence on thyroid functions. Adequate selenium supports the production of thyroid hormones, protects thyroid glands from the adverse effects of excess iodine in the body, and will also improve body metabolism.
Importance of selenium
Selenium is very important and it is always healthy to ensure your normal selenium level. For example, selenium supplements are used to treat autoimmune thyroid condition. Studies have found that selenium supplementation lowers thyroid inflammation. These findings are backed by the fact that selenium increases thioredoxin reductase and glutathione peroxidase activity, and also lowers the toxic concentration of lipid hydro peroxides and hydrogen peroxides which results from the production of thyroid hormones.
Selenium prevents thyroid tissue damage. Selenium is very important because it lowers the level of thyroid peroxides in the blood. In addition, selenium is vital for conversion of T4 to T3. T3 is the active form of thyroid hormones. Low T3 causes hypothyroidism.
How to obtain selenium?
If you think your body is deficient of selenium, it is good to seek medical care immediately. Thyroid glands are very important for the body functions. Selenium supplement is a good solution to thyroid function. But long term use of selenium supplement would cause other complications such as white blotchy nails, hair loss, gastrointestinal upsets, fatigue, irritability, garlic breath odor, and mild nerve damage. In addition, very high selenium in the body may cause hyperthyroidism. In addition, clinical test for use of selenium supplements has found that it predisposes users to the risk of prostate cancer. Though this has not yet been proven. This makes selenium rich foods the best way to increase the level of selenium in the body. Some of the food rich in selenium includes; crimini mushrooms, shrimp, tuna, cod, scallops, chicken, halibut, salmon, shiitake mushrooms, brazil nuts, lamb eggs, and turkey. Brazil nut is particularly very rich in selenium, taking one or two in a day will significantly improve the selenium level and also boost your immune system.
Is selenium important for thyroid function?
Yes, selenium level is very important and low selenium.
February 26, 2014 08:51 AM
What is thyme
Thyme is delicate herb with a highly penetrating fragrance. It has very many varied importance in culinary, medicinal and ornamental purposes. Thyme is an ancient herb that was used for medical purposes by Greeks and Egyptians. It has a sweet yet strong herbal smell and is reddish-brown to amber in color. Thyme essential oil is carefully extracted through distillation from Thymus Vulgaris that belongs to the Labiatae plant family. This oil is considered to have very many health benefits that range from curing some ailments to preventing as well as improving the general body health.
Benefits of thyme
To begin with, it is an excellent disinfectant that is highly regarded particularly in aromatherapy for the protection against infectious diseases. Thyme oil is an antiseptic as well as an expectorant. When diffused into the atmosphere, it can be really beneficial in the treatment and as well as revealing the symptoms of bronchitis, sinusitis, pneumonia, coughs, cold and flu.
The components in this volatile oil have also been proven to expel antimicrobial activity against a host of different bacteria and fungi. For thousands of years, this essential oil has been used to preserve foods; protecting them from microbial contamination. In this way, using the oil helps people avoid various health issue associated with contaminated food.
Thyme oil is also crucial in stimulating the formation of white blood cells as well as aiding in the oxygenation of cellular tissues; which helps in the removal of toxic wastes during illness. Thyme oil generally boosts your lymphatic system and builds your self-esteem and confidence in your ability to make quick recovery during illness.
For a vitamin or supplement, thyme oil taken by mouth and can be very helpful in curing arthritis, stomach pain and a sore throat. It has also been used to treat skin disorders, movement disorders (dyspraxia) as well as parasitic worm infections. This oil can also be applied directly to the skin for swollen tonsils, hoarseness and sore mouth.
I would like to caution you. Please note that there are lots of cheap, synthetic copies of essential oils. You, therefore, need to be careful when purchasing thyme oil and ensure that you get it from a trusted supplier to avoid getting a counterfeit product that may not give you the expected results.
What Is Patchouli Oil?
February 22, 2014 08:12 AM
What is patchouli
Patchouli oil is normally distilled from the flowers and leaves of a plant known as Patchouli, a bushy herb which is native in Asian. It is famous for its beautiful scent and has been used in perfumes for centuries. It is recently used as an alternative herbal medication for chronic diseases as well as an insect repellent.
Health benefits of patchouli
Patchouli oil offers several health benefits including treating digestive conditions such as diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, prevention of wrinkles, speeding healing of wounds and disappearance of bruises, fighting infection and healing snake bites. Elements of patchouli oil are found in many beauty and skin care products. Patchouli oil is very ornamental in preventing anxiety as well as a wide variety of allergies. It is used in herbal curing of hypertension, haemorrhoids, fluid retention and weight reduction. It is one of the major ingredients for treatment of depression.
When patchouli oil is applied undiluted on the skin, it can improve the skin condition by smoothening sagging and chapped skin. It clears dandruffs on the head and deals with skin undesirable conditions such as acne, dermatitis and eczema. The oil is also used to reduce stress in therapeutic and aroma therapeutic healing. It contains several desirable properties including being anti- inflammatory, antifungal, relaxant, stimulant and insecticidal, a digestive aid, diuretic, tonic, decongestant, deodorant, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antimicrobial and antitoxic. It is one of the most widely used products in medicine development.
Patchouli oil is naturally sweet and attractive to use. It offers an inspiring scent that feels very sweet. Its influence is known to relax both the body and the mind. It has been used in spiritual healing for hundreds of years. It is used to align the heart chakra with the sacral and root chakras. In meditational healing, it helps people release insecurities, obsessions, and jealousness while enhancing one’s desire for a satisfying and fuller life.
July 16, 2012 08:39 AM
Caring for your hair can be quite tricky sometimes, especially if you happen to own a little longer strands than average. The joy of keeping hair is seeing it shinny, silky, strong, consistent and admirable luster that it comes with. However, archiving these properties is next to impossible if there happen to be one to two hair disorders or diseases interacting with your hair.
The commonest and perhaps most frustrating of the hair disorders is hair loss, whichever the cause, the results are nowhere near to pleasing. Other disorders and diseases that make our hair loss its admirable beauty and luster include; trichodystrophy, alopecia areata, Telogen effluvium, Androgenetic alopecia, Infectious folliculitis, Lichen planus, Lupus erythematosus, Ringworms just to name but a few.
You must have noted that a lot of hair shampoos, conditioners and “hair food” gels use a lot of herbal additives nowadays for improvinng hair health. Use of herbs is a natural way that can restore dry damaged or diseased hair and stimulate faster growth of stronger hair strands. You may apply hair herbal solutions directly to your hair and scalp or you may consume them for shiny and healthy hair depending on the formulation. Herbs can also go as far as treating dandruff, hair loss and restoring your luscious locks.
Are hair herbal products safe?
Herbs are a natural and safe way of treating and restoring hair health unlike their synthetic counterparts, this does not however mean that they are completely safe for everyone. Some people may have allergic reactions from use of some herbs so if you suspect any possibility of an allergic reaction you may want to perform a little test before using the herbs. You can apply a small amount on your wrist and check after two days to see if there is any reaction before proceeding to use the particular herb. Be sure to consult with your physician especially if you are pregnant.
Common herbs used to restore hair health
Rosemary: according to experts, rosemary helps fight dandruff, stimulate rapid and strong hair growth, and bring back luster to your hair. To get the above benefits from this herb, you can add rosemary in foods, or formulate rosemary water through socking the foliage in a cub of warm water for some times. You can then use the resulting water to rinse your hair.
Horsetail: this herb is an excellent source of silica. Silica is good at strengthening the hair from its core while restoring the shine. Horsetail herb can be used through deriving a shampoo from its foliage. Add 2-3 table spoons of crashed horsetail leaves into ½ cup of hot water. The mixture is the added to baby shampoo. Use this to shampoo your hair regularly.
Aloe Vera: aloe Vera gel extract is known for its numerous medicinal properties such calming irritated skin in addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. When the gel is massaged into the scalp, it has the ability to restore the hair's PH balance while sealing in the hair moisture content and consequently acting as a perfect natural conditioner. Additionally, aloe Vera also stimulates hair growth and therefore used for Alopecia treatment.
Ginkgo Biloba: this is a well known herbal remedy for quite a number of health issues including improving blood circulation to the skin and brain. Due to this medicinal property, Ginkgo Biloba helps in delivering of extra nutrients to the hair follicles and promotes hair growth. It's therefore recommended by most health practitioners for hair loss treatment. Stinging nettle-this herb stops conversion of testosterone to DHT which is the major contributor of hair lose in men. Stinging nettle extracts and powders are available commercially and are most effective when used together with pygeum or palmetto. You can also make green tea from the dried and ground powder of its leaves.
Other similarly useful herbs for restoring your health include marigold, licorice, chamomile, parsley, birch and burdock.
What are the Health Benefits of Andrographis?
June 20, 2012 08:30 AM
Being highly cultivated in the Southern parts of Asia, Andrographis is a herb which is widely used in the treatment of a wide range of diseases and infections as well. It was what was used as an antibiotic before the real drugs were created. The main parts which are used are the leaves and roots. All parts of this plant taste bitter.
In ancient times, the herb was vastly used to treat the flu, common cold, upper respiratory infections and a number of diseases which were highly infectious. Traditionally, it is used to treat a number of ailments like diarrhoea, cholera, pneumonia, leprosy, sore throats, ear infections and even chicken pox among many others. Andrographis has also replaced quinine and is mostly used to treat malaria.
This herb has proved advantageous as it poses immunity fighting capabilities as it stimulates a person's immune system. Scientific research has recently shown that the herb has the ability to hinder the multiplication of cancerous cells in a person's body.
Apart from all those, this medicinal plant has more health benefits to the human body. First of all, its action is mainly based on the andrographolides contained in it which help in backing up the immune system. It does so in a number of ways including; production of the white blood cells which fight against disease causing organisms, it plays a big part in the release of interferon and it also enhances a healthy lymphatic system which functions to the maximum.
The herb is also believed to aid in the fight of HIV and Aids as it supports a person's immune system which is often weaken by the disease.
Andrographis has an anti-inflammatory quality and is therefore used in the treatment of associated symptoms as well as a pain reliever. Swollen lymph nodes, muscular pain and medical conditions like arthritis, rheumatism and many others which result to intense pain can be treated by this herb.
Treats Liver issues
With this herb, you can benefit from effective treatment of liver problems such as jaundice, hepatitis and also conditions caused as a result of drug abuse by an individual. This is because it has been noted to act as silymarin which helps in the protection of the liver.
Currently, scientific studies have also shown that Andrographis helps to stop the formation of blood clots and thus it can be used to treat diseases like atherosclerosis and prevent heart attacks. It also helps in the prevention of conditions like re-clogging which could lead to the congestion of arteries after treatment.
Diabetic individuals may also benefit vastly from this herb as it poses antioxidant properties which aid in blood sugar regulation. It does this by reducing the concentration of a person's blood sugar.
There are supplements of this herb available in the market today. If you want to experience the benefits yourself, you can start by purchasing them and take them as directed. Andrographis is surely a good way to lead a healthy life free from a variety of common and complicated diseases.
What are the Health Benefits of Oligonol?
March 23, 2012 08:12 AM
Oligonol is one of the few existing products in the market that has helped so many people so when one is asked what are the health benefits of Oligonol it's guaranteed that they won't fall short of words to say. This health supplement has anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties that help you achieve the best possible state of wellbeing. The following are some of the health benefits that you can get from using this natural supplement;
Improves blood circulation:Oligonol helps in improving blood circulation because it contains anti-oxidant elements that help in enhancing blood flow to the vital organs of the body.
Helps boost immunity: this health supplement fights against infectious bacteria and its agents and this is because it contains the lychee fruit which is a good source of vitamin C.
Helps reduce fatigue: in the research to find out what are the health benefits of Oligonol it was found that it helps speed up the body's recovery from fatigue after a period of physical exercises.
High energy levels: Helps increase energy levels in the body due to the fact that it helps facilitate the body's metabolic processes which in turn improves digestion.
Protects the body against cardiovascular diseases: when medical practitioners did a research on what are the health benefits of Oligonol, they found out that it contains minerals that include copper and potassium. These two minerals come from the lychee fruit. Potassium helps control a body's blood pressure and heart rate and for this reason protecting it from against diseases like strokes. On the other hand, Copper is important for the production of red blood cells in the human body. These blood cells are used to deliver oxygen to the body organs, tissues and muscles and without them the body would fail to function.
Reduces calorie levels and visceral fat production: use of oligonol health supplements helps reduce heart diseases risk that are brought about by visceral fat. Oligonol also contains elements that are rich in dietary fiber content and this helps control excess body weight.
Boosts memory: when asked what are the health benefits of Oligonol persons who had previously used the health supplement said it helped them remember stuff more easily than they did before they started using it.
Reduces stress levels: use of oligonol has proven to reduce peoples stress levels and it has been used as a remedy for depression as an added point to the research on what are the health benefits of Oligonol.
Inhibits production of influenza virus: previous studies gave sufficient proof that oligonol inhibits the production of the influenza virus by blocking the attachment of the virus to the body cells.
Improves skin: oligonol helps improve the skin appearance by reducing wrinkles and helping get rid of freckles on people's faces.
In addition, the oligonol health supplement is safe. This is because it is made from pure natural ingredients, and has no negative interactions therefore it can be used by all who would like to find out what are the health benefits of Oligonol and in turn benefit from it.
Can Olive Leaf Boost My Immune System - answer is Yes
April 06, 2011 03:01 PM
Olive Leaf And Your Health
Olive leaf is highly prized for its antimicrobial properties in booth food and supplement industries. For centuries, the leaf of the olive tree has been utilized as a natural antibiotic. It has become the subject of modern day scientific research in the past few years, and preliminary studies appear to be in favor of its age-old claims. In addition, it is now known to modulate immune responses and display potent antioxidant activities.
Olea europaea may be best known for its long association with Mediterranean cuisines although cultures around the world have also used various parts of the plant as flavor enhancers. Its medicinal value continues to gain prominence as recent studies point to the health benefits of the organic compounds it contains. Olive leaf is identified to be an excellent source of the phytochemicals hydroxytyrosol, oleuropein, and oleocanthal, all of which are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, fresh olive leaves are widely accepted to have an antioxidant content that is 400 per cent higher than vitamin C, that’s double the antioxidant capacity of green teas.
Fights Bacterial and Viral Infections
Olive leaf is antiseptic in nature. It was an important ingredient in poultices used to treat war wounds in the ancient world. Elenolic acid is an organic compound naturally occurring in olive leaf, which is under scrutiny for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. This compound is described to be both bactericidal and bacteriostatic, which means it is directly involved in killing bacterial strains and at the same time interferes with bacterial cellular metabolism. In addition, the antiviral properties ascribed to olive leaf are attributable to its ability to viral protein synthesis necessary for viral replication. This explains why it is effective in the treatment of many known infections, such as candidiasis, shingles, herpes, and Epstein-Barr virus infectious mononucleosis. It has also been reported to reduce the symptoms of colds and flu and shorten their duration.
Scavenges Reactive Oxygen Species
The natural antioxidants found in olive leaf are believed to be the most powerful antioxidants in the market, and as such often marketed as anti-aging. Antioxidants are indispensable in the prevention of the tissue damage caused by reactive oxygen species, or ROS. Free radicals, the best known ROS, are among the group of by-products of oxygen metabolism in the human body. They are also deployed by cells in response to invasive pathogens. Each cell does have its own antioxidant defense, but an imbalance between endogenous antioxidants and ROS is quite common. Chronic stress and physical fatigue are thought to compromise the antioxidant defense of the body, which is restored by antioxidants found in the diet.
Boosts the Innate Immune System
Furthermore, olive leaf strengthens the innate immune system. Its proponents believe that regular intake contributes to the non-specific responses of the immune system, such as the production of neutrophils during inflammation. This type of white blood cells is often the first to engage with pathogens. By speeding up their releases, olive leaf prepares the body against infections.
If you want an Immune Boost, Give olive leaf a try!
How Does L-Lysine Help with Herpes?
February 08, 2011 01:36 PM
L-lysine has been proven effective in the reduction of herpes outbreaks. The viruses that cause herpes simplex successfully multiply at an exponential rate during symptomatic shedding, but their capacity to sustain replication is challenged in the presence of L-lysine, which at very high concentrations has shown to damage progeny of herpes virus. Hence, the severity and duration of outbreaks are curbed.
One of the limiting resources of protein synthesis in human beings and most other vertebrates is the availability of L-lysine in the body. Some of the amino acids implicated in protein synthesis can be manufactured inside the body from their substrates, but this amino acid does not belong to this group. The amounts of L-lysine in our body systems are completely dependent on its presence in our diet, thus dubbed essential amino acid.
Limiting Factor to Growth
L-lysine plays a variety of important roles in the human body, and a shortfall of this amino acid has been reported to limit growth, resulting in malabsorption or even malnutrition. It is a building block of all types of proteins in humans, including the visible mass that makes up a muscular physique. It is central to the absorption of calcium, the production of enzymes, and the regulation of hormones. In addition, it is greatly involved in functions that lead to recovery following physical trauma or surgery.
More importantly, L-lysine is a focal constituent in the manufacture of immunoglobulins, the front-liners against diseases. Immunoglobulins are a class of proteins in the blood that we commonly refer to as antibodies, which neutralize pathogenic microbes invading the cells and tissues of the body. In fact, L-lysine is one of the protein bases in use to monitor the activities of antibodies, detecting abnormalities at the molecular level and paving the way for future developments of drugs with medicinal potential.
Boosting the Body’s Defenses
While L-lysine is important to the overall production of antibodies, it has also been observed that very low levels of this essential amino acid in the body compromises the ability of the immune system to fight off infectious diseases. The incidence of symptomatic herpes in individuals known to consume L-lysine supplements are relatively low than those who don’t. Symptomatic herpes manifest in the form of painful skin lesions called fever blisters, also known as cold sores, around the mouth, but may appear and spread anywhere in the body, such as the eyes, the fingers, and the genitals.
When taken at recommended dosages, L-lysine in itself combats the replication process of herpes virus in the body, not only ending outbreaks promptly but also speeding up the healing process in the area of damaged tissues with very little scarring. Herpes virus has been noted to feed on another amino acid identified as L-arginine, and consumptions of sources of this amino acid like nuts and chocolates have been reported to give rise to symptomatic herpes. This is one of the things taken care of by L-lysine, since it out competes the effects of L-arginine to herpes viruses.
L-lysine is available in capsule, tablet, and powder forms at your local or internet vitamin store. Always choose name brands like Source Naturals to ensure quality and purity of the product you by for better health.
Skin Infections - Abscess
April 26, 2010 03:21 PM
When puss accumulates in a tissue, organ, or confined space in the body due to infection, an abscess can be formed. Abscesses may be located either externally or internally, and can often result from an injury or a lowered resistance to infection. An abscess can form in the brain, lungs, teeth, gums, underarms, abdominal wall, gastrointestinal tract, ears, tonsils, sinuses, bones, breasts, kidneys, prostate gland, rectum, scrotum, or almost any other body part. Infections are the most common disorders found in humans and they can be produced by bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. A boil is an external abscess.
The affected area can become swollen, inflamed, hot, red, and tender. The individual may also experience fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, and alternating bouts of fever and chills. In some severe cases, blood infection and/or rupture of the abscess can occur. The material that is found inside of an abscess consists of living and dead white blood cells, dead tissue, bacteria, and/or toxins. All of which must be discarded from the body. An abscess that suddenly appears is often referred to as acute, while those that are present for a period of days or weeks is often termed to be chronic. A chronic abscess is more resistant to treatment because of the damage being more severe and widespread. On the other hand, acute abscesses are less extensive and generally respond to treatment within a matter of days.
An abscess that is treated should usually begin to heal in a few days, with complete healing resulting in a week or two. An abscess that does not show any signs of healing within this amount of time can be an indication of problems in the immune system. Although complications are rare, they can include bleeding or recurrence of the abscess. An abscess is basically a sign that the body is trying to rid itself of impurities. These impurities can consist of cells that are deficient in nutrients, which often stems from poor diet and exposure to environmental pollutants, chemicals, and other harmful substances. Eating junk food cluters the system with foods that lack nutrients and prevents cellular wastes from being eliminated efficiently, as it causes problems like constipation and sluggish liver, spleen, and kidney function.
The following herbs are beneficial for healing abscesses and cleansing the blood: burdock root, cayenne, dandelion root, red clover, and yellow dock root. Chamomile tea is also good for treating dental abscesses and consuming distilled water with fresh lemon juice along with three cups of Echinacea, goldenseal, and astragalus or suma tea is also helpful. An Echinacea tea of extract in warm water can be used as a mouthwash for dental abscesses. Also, a poultice that combines lobelia and slippery elm bark is a great soothing way to fight infections. Milk thistle, when taken in the capsule form, is good for the liver and aids in the cleansing of the bloodstream. Also, tea tree oil, applied externally, is a potent natural antiseptic that kills infectious organisms without harming healthy cells. This solution will destroy the bacteria, hasten healing, and prevent the infection from spreading.
Herbs like the above mentioned ones are available at your local or internet health food store. Always choose name brands to ensure quality and purity of the herbal supplement you purchase for consumption.
Vitamins and Herbs to Fight Sunburns, and Sunblock to Prevent it
February 25, 2010 09:47 AM
Sunburn is the result of excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. The amount of exposure that is required to cause a burn is unique to each individual, the geographical location, the time, and the atmospheric conditions. There are two types of ultraviolet rays, which are designated as ultraviolet-A (UVA) and ultraviolet-B (UVB). Both types of ultraviolet rays are dangerous. UVB rays attack the skin’s outer layers, while UVA rays attack the underlying layers of the skin.
The majority of sunburns are first-degree burns that cause the skin to become red, warm, and tender to the touch. Depending on the severity of the burn and the individual’s skin type, the burn may subsequently “cool” into a suntan or thin layers of skin may peel off. More serious sunburn can be categorized as a second-degree burn. A second-degree burn consists of extreme reddening, swelling, pain, and even blisters. This is a sign that the burn has gone deeper than just the surface layer of the skin and has caused damage and the release of fluids from cells in the lower layers of the skin. The result of this is eruptions and breaks in the skin where bacteria and other infectious organisms can enter. In the most severe cases, a burn can be accompanied by chills, fever, nausea, and/or delirium. These types of sunburns are extremely painful and are extremely dangerous for children. Sunburn can often be accompanied by dehydration.
Those people who are fair-skinned are more prone to sunburn than those darker-skinned individuals. However, no matter what your skin color, you will burn if you get enough exposure. Symptoms do not always appear while you are in the sun, as they may begin from one hour to twenty-four hours after sun exposure and they usually reach their peak in two to three days.
The effects of sun exposure are becoming an increasing concern today due to the decline in the earth’s ozone layer. The ozone layer is responsible for screening out the most harmful ultraviolet rays, but it is becoming increasingly thinner all over the world. Holes that fluctuate in size have even developed in various places. Additionally, the incidence of skin cancer is growing at an alarming rate. It has been found that having two or more bad episodes of sunburn as a child can make you much more likely to develop skin cancer as an adult.
The following nutrients are recommended for prevention and treatment of sunburn: coenzyme Q10, colloidal silver, DMB, a free-form amino acid complex, L-cysteine, a multivitamin and mineral complex, potassium, Pycnogenol, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, vitamin C with bioflavonoids, an all-purpose bactericide spray, calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids, silica, a vitamin B complex, vitamin E oil, and zinc.
Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial in treating sunburn. Aloe vera gel has been noted to be remarkably effective in treating any kind of burn. It is responsible for relieving discomfort, speeding healing, and also helping to moisturize the skin and relieve dryness. A salve of calendula flowers and St. John’s wort can act as painkiller for burns and promote healing of skin wounds because these herbs have antiseptic properties.
Also, Lavender oil or chamomile oil used in a herbal bath can help to minimize the stinging and pain of sunburn. Comfrey and gotu kola tea can be made it to a compress for the affected area. Horsetail is good for tissue repair, while tea tree oil can help to heal sunburn and other skin irritation. Apple cider vinegar diluted with water is a great wash for sunburned areas.
To prevent sunburns, apply sunblock on any exposed skin before going out side to prevent skin damage before it starts.
September 21, 2009 11:12 AM
Horehound has been around for thousands of years. The Romans used this herb in a combination as an antidote for poison. The horehound plant is a bushy plant that produces numerous annual branching stems. The plant is a foot or more in height and has whitish flowers. The leaves are much wrinkled, opposite, petiolate, and about an inch long. They are covered with white, felted hairs that give them a wooly appearance. The leaves have a strange, musky smell that can be diminished by drying the plant. Horehound is known to flower between June and September.
An ancient Greek physician by the name of Galen first recommended horehound for use in treating respiratory conditions. Early European physicians also used horehound to treat respiratory ailments. Early settlers in North America brought horehound with them to treat coughs, colds, and tuberculosis. The herb was also used to treat hepatitis, malaria, and intestinal worms. Horehound was also used to promote menstruation and sweating. Most commonly, the herb is used to treat colds and coughs, to soothe the throat and loosen mucus in the chest. Horehound is a well-known lung and throat remedy.
Warm infusions of horehound are able to relieve congestion and hyperemic conditions of the lungs. They do this by promoting an outward flow of blood. In large doses, horehound will work as a mild laxative. Applying the dried herb topically is a great way to treat herpes simplex, eruptions, eczema, and shingles.
The Romans praised horehound because of its medicinal purposes. Its Latin name Marrubium is derived from the word Maria urbs, which is an ancient town of Italy. The plant was called the ‘Seed of Horus” or the ‘Bull’s Blood,’ and the ‘Eye of the Star’ by the Egyptian Priests. Horehound was a main ingredient in Caesar’s antidote for vegetable poisons. It was recommended, in addition to its uses in coughs and colds, for those that had drunk poison or had been bitten by serpents. Horehound was once thought of as an anti-magical herb. Additionally, horehound is a serviceable remedy against cankerworm in trees. Some believed that if it is put into new milk and set in a place where there are a lot of flies, it will quickly kill all of them.
The marrubiin content of horehound is believed to be the responsible component, giving it its ability to stimulate bronchial mucosa secretions. This information was obtained by German research done in 1959. Horehound can be used as a safe and effective expectorant.
The entire horehound plant should be used to provide alterative, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, aromatic, bitter, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, mild purgative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are iron, potassium, sulfur, and vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, and F. Primarily, horehound is extremely helpful in dealing with asthma, colds, coughs, croup, lung ailments, excessive mucus, phlegm, and respiratory problems.
Additionally, this herb is beneficial in treating bronchitis, infectious diseases, earaches, external eczema, fevers, glandular problems, jaundice, absent menstruation, and external shingles. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by horehound, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store.
September 03, 2009 12:33 PM
The hyssop plant is a genus of about ten to twelve species of herbaceous or semi-woody plants in the Lamiaceae family. These plants are native to the east Mediterranean and to central Asia. They are aromatic and have erect branched stems up to 60 centimeters in length and covered with fine hairs at the tips. The leaves are about two to five centimeters long. The plant possesses small blue flowers that grow on the upper part of the branches during the summer.
Hyssop tea was used in ancient Babylon to reduce fever and for sore throats, colds, lung infections, and eye infections. Hyssop was recommended by Hippocrates for pleurisy. The word hyssop is of Greek origin, and means “holy herb.” The Bible even contains references to hyssop, but the actual identity of the plant is in question. More than two thousand years ago, Jewish priests used hyssop to cleanse the temple. Hyssop was also used to reduce perspiration and to treat dropsy and jaundice during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Colonists brought hyssop to the New World, using it to treat colds and chest congestion.
This herb is most often used for lung ailments and fevers. Hyssop is extremely useful in lung disorders. Among these include bronchitis, chest congestion, hay fever, tuberculosis, and asthma. The herb also helps relax and expel phlegm from the lungs and relieve coughing. Hyssop helps promote sweating, which expels toxins through the skin. The leaves of the plant grow a mold which produces penicillin and may contribute to the herb’s healing abilities. Hyssop also contains essential oils that can help build resistance to infectious disease. The leaves of hyssop can be applied directly to a wound to stop infection and promote healing. Hyssop is generally found in a combination with other herbs.
This herb is a member of the mint family. It is believed to aid in digestion and also help relieve gas. History has a long history of use as a body purifier. The herb is able to strengthen the immune system. It also works as a blood pressure regulator. Some of the volatile oils that are found in hyssop may actually be responsible for its use in treating sore throats and also as an expectorant. Hyssop is thought to be effective for mild irritations. The herb has also been studied for the treatment of herpes simplex virus. It has been found to inhibit the growth of the virus. This can be attributed most likely to the tannin content.
The entire hyssop herb is used to provide carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge, galactagogue, pectoral, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are Diosmine, flavonoids, marrubin, and tannins. Primarily, hyssop is extremely beneficial in dealing with congestion, coughs, hay fever, absent lactation, lung ailments, excessive mucus, phlegm, wheezing, and worms.
Additionally, this herb is very helpful in treating asthma, high blood pressure, bronchitis, bruises, intestinal catarrh, cuts, ear ailments, edema, epilepsy, fevers, hoarseness, jaundice, kidney problems, lice, sore throat, and spleen ailments. In order to obtain additional information on the many beneficial effects provided by hyssop, please feel free to contact a representative from your local health food store with questions.
August 27, 2009 02:40 PM
Garlic is very popular because of its health benefits. A perennial plant and member of the lily family, the bulb of the garlic plant is used for many medicinal purposes. Garlic was used by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, Chinese, and Egyptians. The Chinese used this herb at least three thousand years ago to treat various ailments. The Egyptians ate garlic while building pyramids to increase their strength and endurance. Hippocrates suggested that this herb be used for treatment of uterine cancer. Native Americans used garlic to fight abdominal cancer, while the Europeans used this herb during the plague years to provide immunity. The main historical uses of garlic were to treat colds, coughs, toothaches, earaches, diarrhea, infection, arteriosclerosis, headaches, dandruff, tumors, worms, and hypertension.
Garlic is nature’s antibiotic. This herb is very effective in fighting bacteria which may be resistant to other antibiotics. The herb stimulates the lymphatic system in order to throw off waste material. Garlic is different from other antibiotics in the fact that it has the ability to stimulate cell growth and activity. This herb rejuvenates all body functions. Garlic opens up blood vessels, reducing hypertension. It is known as a health-building and disease-preventing herb.
Several studies have linked garlic to a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease. This herb has been found to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, while lowering blood pressure, increasing immunity, and reducing the blood’s clotting ability. Research suggests that eating the equivalent of one-half to one clove of garlic daily can decrease total serum cholesterol levels by about nine percent. Anticoagulant capabilities have also been found in garlic by German researchers. Garlic is able to benefit those individuals who are suffering from peripheral arterial occlusive disease, which is better known as blood clots in the legs.
Garlic also contains antitumor properties, with studies showing it having the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer-causing nitrosamine. The National Cancer Institute even recommends adding more garlic, onions, and other similar vegetables to the diet. This would lower the risk of developing stomach cancer. Results from one study showed that garlic may be toxic to some cancer cells. It may encourage the immune system to spot the invaders and destroy them, allowing a natural immune process to destroy tumor cells.
Garlic is believed to stimulate the lymphatic system by ridding itself of toxins. The Russians consider garlic to be a natural antibiotic, which is why they consume it regularly. This herb is often used to prevent disease and heal the body. It is nourishing for the entire body, especially the heart, circulation, stomach, spleen, and lungs. Additionally, it has been used to stimulate circulation and to help the immune system function more effectively. Some believe that this herb may help prevent some forms of cancer, heart disease, strokes, and infections.
In summary, the bulb of the garlic plant is used to provide adaptogen, alterative, antibiotic, anticoagulant, antifungal, antineoplastic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, blood purifier, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, febrifuge, rubefacient, stimulant, and vulnerary properties. Primarily, garlic is extremely beneficial in dealing with asthma, blood impurities, high blood pressure, bronchitis, cancer, candidiasis, poor circulation, colds, colitis, coughs, infectious diseases, ear infections, fevers, flu, fungus, gastric disorders, heart disease, indigestion, infection, liver disorders, lung disorders, parasites, blood poisoning, prostate problems, respiratory problems, and staph/strep infections.
This herb is also good for treating acne, allergies, arthritis, childhood diseases, diabetes, diarrhea, edema, emphysema, gallbladder problems, hypoglycemia, insomnia, kidney ailments, pneumonia, rheumatism, sinus problems, ulcers, warts, and worms.
Garlic is a wonderful all purpose herb that can be found at your local or internet health food store. Always look for name brands when buying garlic to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
August 04, 2009 12:50 PM
The schizandra plant belongs to the family of the Magnoliaceae family. The herb is a creeping woody vine that is native to both China and Japan. The fruit of the schizandra plant has a sweet, salty, bitter, hot, and sour taste. This explains the Chinese name for it, wu wei zi, which means five taste fruit. The seeds of the schizandra plant are both bitter and pungent. Along with the phytochemicals, schizandra is also rich in minerals, vitamins, and essential oils. Schizandra fruit can be found growing wildly in northern China. There, it has been used as a natural medicine for thousands of years. It is often prescribed by physicians in that region. The herb was listed in a book on pharmacy written in the sixteen century by Li Schizheng. Schizandra is used to increase energy; replenish and nourish the viscera, which are the internal abdominal organs; improve vision; boost muscular activity; and soothe both coughs and digestive upsets. In short, schizandra is an adaptogenic, Asian herb that is gaining popularity throughout the world.
This herb helps the body to heal itself. It can help increase energy in the cells of the brain, muscles, liver, kidney, glands, nerves, and the entire body. Schizandra good for adrenals and stimulates the immune system and protects against free-radical damage, radiation, and the effects of sugar, as well as boosting stamina, normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure, and protecting against infections. This herb has a tonic action on the immune system, as well as other body system. For this reason, it can be taken regularly. Schizandra is able to help protect the body from both viral and bacterial infections.
Scientific research has determined that schizandra is antibacterial, stimulant, and protects the liver against toxins. Problems with the liver can lead to immune disorders because of the buildup of toxins. This herb has also been found to help allergies, depression, and fatigue in mice. The herb has been found to protect against the effects of alcohol in laboratory mice. Additional studies have determined that this herb has a mild regenerative effect on the liver. The herb has been used effectively in China to treat infectious hepatitis. Schizandra seems to have a liver-protective effect that is similar to that of milk thistle extracts.
In short, the berries of the schizandra plant are used to provide alterative, antibacterial, astringent, and sedative properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, and vitamin C. Primarily, schizandra is extremely beneficial in treating diabetes, lack of energy, fatigue, impotence, lack of mental alertness, nervous disorders, and stress. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with aging, anxiety, arteriosclerosis, asthma, high blood pressure, coughs, diarrhea, edema, gastritis, heart palpitations, hepatitis, indigestion, infections, insomnia, kidney disorders, lung disorders, motion sickness, effects of radiation, uterine problems, and poor vision.
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 schizandra, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
Schizandra is available at your local or internet health food store in capsule or tablet forms. Always look for name brands of schizandra to ensure that you purchase a product that is high quality and pure.
Colostrum, Vitamin C, Echinacea, Goldenseal, Pau D'arco, Garlic, Astragalus
June 19, 2009 11:05 AM
There are many supplements and herbs that compliment the supplementation of colostrum. Among these are Echinacea, vitamin C, garlic, goldenseal, pau d’arco, astragalus, and beta carotene (vitamin A).
Echinacea is one of the most well-known and respected herbal supplements when it comes to the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Various Echinacea species have yielded an impressive variety of chemical constituents which possess pharmacological properties. This suggests that there is some form of synergistic action that occurs between the compounds in order to achieve therapeutic benefits. The main therapeutic properties are found in polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyacetylenes, and alkylamides. These constituents are responsible for a large number of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea has several effects on the immune system, including the alternate complement pathway, which enhances the movement of white blood cells into the areas of infection. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. The aerial portion of Echinacea is known to be effective in warding off viruses such as influenza, herpes, and vesicular stomatitis, by blocking virus receptors on the cell surface. Echinacea is also able to indirectly kill viruses by encouraging the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that is capable of blocking viral RNA.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for promoting basic immune functions, with its benefits being known for many years. It is effective in reducing the severity and duration of colds and flu. Also, it has the ability to act as an immuno-stimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promoting the secretion of thymic hormones, and improving connective tissue. Vitamin C can be found abundantly in various fruits in vegetables, which means that it can often be consumed in acceptable amounts without supplementation through broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts, just to name a few.
Garlic is one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs, as it is found throughout the world and has been employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. Commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine and ayurvedic medicine, it has recently received much attention in the US media as well as other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses some powerful capabilities when it comes to the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic produces antiviral and antibacterial capabilities that stimulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Additionally, garlic kills viruses and protects the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Goldenseal is native to North America, where it helps with a wider variety of ailments, including infection. Goldenseal is effective in combating invasion of colds and flu by stimulating the immune system and the activity of macrophages, which are one of the body’s defense mechanisms against viruses, bacteria, cancer cells, and other invaders.
Pau d’arco is also known for its powerful antiviral, antibiotic, and immune system enhancing capabilities. It has been shown to actively inhibit the activity of several viruses such as: both herpes viruses, the influenza viruses, polioviruses, and vesicular stomatitis virus.
Astragalus, which is extremely popular in Chinese herbal medicine, is an immune system enhancer. It has the ability to reduce the severity and length of the common cold through its application. Vitamin A, which has long been known to be effective in fighting infectious diseases, has antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Vitamin A deficiencies can manifest themselves through increased infection by cold and flu viruses.
Along with the above, it is also important to eat healthful foods (fruits and vegetables), drink plenty of fluids, exercise, avoid smoking, avoid consuming alcohol, get plenty of rest, and reduce stress in order to increase the benefits that colostrum supplementation provides. Natural supplements can help boost the immune system and help one live a healthier longer life.
May 19, 2009 01:10 PM
Even though bayberry is known best for the candle wax that is made from its fragrant berries, the dried root bark is used very often for its medicinal properties. Bayberry has been long used as a tonic to treat both diarrhea and external wounds. This herb has also been used as stimulant. Some Native American tribes even use bayberry to help reduce fevers. Bayberry is recommended as a tonic for its ability to stimulate the system and increase immune function. It is also recommended as a gargle to help treat tonsillitis and sore throat. It has also been considered that the astringent value of this plant may make it a great candidate for healing wounds.
The root, bark, and leaves of bayberry are used to provide alterative, antibacterial, antiseptic, astringent, emetic, febrifuge, insecticide, sialagogue, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in this herb include calcium, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, vitamins B1, B2, C, and zinc. Primarily, bayberry is used for its beneficial effects in treating cholera, colds, congestion, diarrhea, dysentery, fevers, flu, glandular problems, goiters, uterine hemorrhage, indigestion, jaundice, excessive menstruation, and primary tuberculosis. Additionally, this has been shown to be extremely helpful in dealing with bleeding, colitis, bleeding gums, liver disorders, excessive mucus, scurvy, sore and ulcerated throat, thyroid problems, ulcers, prolapsed of the uterus, and varicose veins. For more information of the many beneficial effects of bayberry, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Bayberry was initially only used in the south of the United States, where the Choctaw Indians boiled the leaves and drank the decoction as a treatment for fever. Later, Louisiana settlers drank bayberry wax in hot water as a treatment for the most violent cases of dysentery. Bayberry was popularized by Samuel A. Thomas, a New England herbalist, in the early 19th century, for its ability to produce “heat” within the body. He recommended this herb be used for colds, flu, and other infectious diseases, in addition to using it for the treatment of diarrhea and fever.
Since then, other herbalists recommend bayberry as it is an excellent emetic after narcotic poisoning of any king. This herb is also valuable when it is taken daily for all kinds of hemorrhages. Bayberry has an excellent general effect on the female organs as it is excellent in helping the uterus during pregnancy. Additionally, it makes a great douche for women. Excellent results have also been demonstrated after bayberry’s use in goiter. Bayberry tea should be used as an enema in treating diarrhea and dysentery.
To treat sores, boils, or carbuncles, the herb should be used as a wash or poultice, or can be applied to the infection as a powder. Bayberry tea is also an excellent wash for both spongy and bleeding gums. When the tea is taken internally, it is useful in jaundice, scrofula, and canker sores in both the throat and mouth. When the tea is taken warm, it promotes perspiration, improves the whole circulation, and tones up tissues. If bayberry is combined with yarrow, catnip, sage, or peppermint, it provides an incomparable remedy for colds.
As you can see bayberry is an herb that is good for many different ailments. Look for this wonderful herb in capsule or tablet forms at your local or internet health food store. Always purchase name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Cold And Flue Remedies
March 16, 2009 03:42 PM
Echinacea, zinc, vitamin C, and garlic are all the most well-known and respected supplements concerning the maintenance and strengthening of the immune system. Echinacea contains polysaccharides, flavonoids, caffeic acid derivatives, essential oils, polyacetylenes, and alkylamides, which contribute to the herb’s therapeutic benefits. These constituents are responsible for a variety of immuno-stimulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.
Echinacea possesses the ability to enhance the movement of white blood cells into infected areas of the body. Echinacea also affects many of the immune system’s cells that are responsible for slowing viral and bacterial infection. Additionally, this herb enhances the performance of macrophages in the immune system, which are responsible for engulfing foreign material like bacteria, viruses, and dead cellular matter. Echinacea also has the ability to kill viruses that indirectly encourage the production and release of interferon, which is a substance that potentially blocks the transcription of viral RNA.
Zinc has been recognized for an extended amount of time as a protection against colds. It is well known that zinc deficiencies are linked to immune system-related disorders as well as the increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Zinc throat lozenges have become very popular in treating colds over the last few years. One recent study found that zinc is not only beneficial to the immune system, but also necessary for its optimal function.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known nutrients for battling the effects of colds and flu. Its benefits have been known for years, with a large body of research indicating its effectiveness in reducing the severity and duration of colds an flu. Additionally, vitamin C acts as an immunostimulant by enhancing white blood cell production, increasing interferon levels and antibody responses, promotes secretion of thymic hormones, and improves connective tissue.
There is conflicting information on how much vitamin C one should take, but most experts agree that the FDA’s recommended dietary intake is not sufficient. Many doctors suggest taking large doses, as much as 10,000 mg when suffering from a cold or flu. One of the great things about vitamin C is that it can be found abundantly in many fruits and vegetables. The best food sources include broccoli, sweet peppers, collards, cabbage, spinach, kale, parsley, melons, potatoes, tangerines, and Brussels sprouts.
Garlic, which is extremely well known as a culinary additive, is actually one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs as it is found throughout the world and employed for various therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. It is common in Chinese herbal medicine and has recently received a great deal of attention in the U.S. and other Western countries. Recent research has found that garlic possesses powerful capabilities relating the immune system and the body’s ability to fight infection. Garlic possesses antiviral and antibacterial capabilities and has been shown repeatedly to simulate and improve performance by the body’s immune systems. Studies on garlic have shown that it has the ability to actually kill flu and cold viruses. Garlic also can protect the body from invading virus cells by enhancing the body’s immune functions.
Additional herbs and natural supplements that are useful in fighting cold and flu viruses include goldenseal, pau d’arco, astragalus, licorice, peppermint, and beta carotene. No matter what you choose to do by way of a doctor or natural alternative, supplements such as these discussed have zero side effects if taken as recommended on the bottles label. Natural vitamins and herbs can be found at your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
February 23, 2009 11:54 AM
Mononucleosis is an infectious viral disease that is most often caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. More rarely, it can be caused by cytomegalovirus. Both of these viruses are members of the herpes family. Once the virus enters the body, it multiplies in lymphocytes. Mono then affects the respiratory system, the lymphatic tissues, and glands in the neck, groin, armpits, bronchial tubes, spleen, and liver.
Symptoms of mono include depression, extreme fatigue, fever, generalized aching, headache, jaundice, and loss of appetite, sore throat, pain on the upper left side of the abdomen, puffy eyelids, swollen glands, and sometimes, a bumpy, red rash. Additionally, the spleen may become enlarged and liver function may be affected. Meningitis, encephalitis, and rupturing of the spleen are very rare complications that may develop as a result of mono.
The virus’s associated with mono are extremely contagious, often being transmitted from person to person by close contact such as kissing, which explains why mono is often referred to as the “kissing disease.” The disease can also be spread by sharing food or utensils, as well as through sexual contact or through respiratory droplets. The incubation period for mono is about ten days in children and thirty to fifty days in adults. A lot of mononucleosis cases occur in the military and in colleges, as living conditions are crowded and sleeping patterns are inadequate. High school students also have a high incidence of this disease. Mono is most common among children and adolescents, as about 90 percent of people over age thirty-five have mono antibodies in their blood, which means that they had the disease at some point in their lives, although many do not even know they had it.
The symptoms of mononucleosis are very similar to those of influenza, which often results in mono often being mistaken for it. However, with mono, the symptoms tend to be more persistent, with acute symptoms usually lasting from two to four weeks, and fatigue persisting for three to eight weeks after the other symptoms disappear. The disease can even linger for a year or more in some individuals. It can also produce recurring, but successively milder, attacks. If the immune system has been compromised by an organ transplant, HIV/AIDS, or other viruses, the mono symptoms can be extremely serious and chronic.
Mononucleosis is diagnosed through a blood test called a spot test. This test reveals the presence of specific viral antibodies and also confirms the presence of mono. Additionally, a liver function test can assist in the diagnosis.
The following nutrients are considered to be extremely important in dealing with mononucleosis: acidophilus, proteolytic enzymes, vitamin A with mixed carotenoids, and vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Other nutrients that have proven to be both important and helpful include: DMG, a free-form amino acid complex, garlic, vitamin B complex, zinc lozenges, maitake extract, reishi extract, shiitake extract, a multivitamin and mineral complex, and raw thymus glandular.
Astragalus and Echinacea are also beneficial in boosting the immune system, while cat’s claw has immune-enhancing properties that act against viral infections. Dandelion and milk thistle are beneficial in protecting the liver. Goldenseal helps to fight infection, while olive leaf extract helps to inhibit the growth of viruses that cause mono. Pau d’arco balances the bacteria in the colon and spirulina contains phytonutrients that are helpful in boosting the immune system.
Whether you want to combat mono symptoms naturally or use prescription drugs, always consult your family physician before taking matters into your own hands. A correct diagnosis is important to how one might want to combat sickness in general. Natural vitamins like the ones listed above are available at your internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Vitamins and herbs are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
September 24, 2008 09:17 AM
Balance is crucial for a healthy immune system. A variety of stressors such as bacteria, parasites, pollutants, strong emotions, and improper diet, can cause the immune system to become imbalanced. If the immune system is weakened then it is less able to fight against invading antigens. Disorders and reactions such as allergies, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, Crohn’s disease and diabetes can also occur if the immune system is overactive and begins to fight against itself. However, if the immune system is healthy and balanced, the body will be protected and healed from foreign invaders. But if the immune system is under active or non-responsive, it is susceptible to infection, illness, and emotional distress. By supplementing with natural immune modulators, the immune system can achieve and maintain optimum balance.
Cytokines consist of a variety of multifunctional molecules which work to regulate and control the body’s defense system. These biomolecules are crucial for optimal immune function as they play a key role in immunity, infectious disease, blood production, tissue repair, and cellular development and growth. Cytokines actually play an important role in a variety of body functions, ranging from general maintenance and the regulation of inflammatory responses to the direct interference of invading pathogens.
Cytokines are also important messengers that are used by the immune system to inform the rest of the body that an infection has been discovered. Any immune system imbalance can lead to interference between cytokines and proper body function. Different cytokines have different actions on the same cell. However, there is a large degree of overlap between the actions of one cytokine and another. Cytokines have been given a variety of names throughout the years including chemokines, monokines, interferons, interleukins, lymphotoxins, lymphokines, and leukokines. Cytokines are part of large signaling network that have additive, inhibitory, and synergistic effects.
The most important immune functions are carried out by groups of cytokines that are known as interleukin 1 and 2, interferons, and tumor necrosis factor. They help to modulate the immune system when the tissue is being threatened or damaged. Interleukin 1 helps to protect against the effects of radiation and encourage the growth of immune cells, while tumor necrosis factor is produced in response to bacteria and other disease-causing agents. Additionally, tumor necrosis factor also promotes the production of more cytokines. Tumor necrosis factor also has anti-tumor properties which increases the activity of other cells that fight tumors and also affects the blood system in tumors. It also effectively helps to slow down or reverse tumor growth by starving cancer cells of the nutrients they need and reducing blood flow.
Researchers are currently looking at treating various disorders with cytokines because it is clear that cytokines link the immune system to other physiological systems. Because of the intricate network of the cytokine processes, many researchers believe that the treatment of various immune disorders could potentially require a combination of immuno-regulatory factors. Many scientists are trying to recombining cytokines; however it is extremely limited because they are extremely expensive; they may be toxic and cause symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and fatigue; and they may create imbalances in the patient that would not benefit them.
As a result of these facts, researchers are turning their attention to a natural immune modulator such as hyperimmune egg and colostrum. Hyperimmune egg and colostrum can stimulate the production and activities of powerful immune agents and jump-start the body’s own defense system, instead of having to rely on drugs to fight invading pathogens.
August 14, 2008 09:35 AM
Antioxidants are the body’s main defense against free radicals as they work against the substances that create oxidants and the reactive substances that result from oxidation and reduction. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by supplying the missing electron so that the molecule may be stabilized. There are many different types of antioxidants ranging from dietary antioxidants to those that the body produces itself. The four major antioxidant nutrients are vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.
Vitamin A, the first vitamin to ever be isolated, is essential for the proper function of the eyes and maintenance of the skin. It is found in the retina of all mammals as well as the liver. Vitamin A works to increase our resistance to infections by keeping all the linings in the body healthy. It is necessary for the health and moisture of the skin and the specialized cells lining the eyes, nose, mouth, throat, lungs, esophagus, stomach intestines, and urinary tract. When these cells don’t have sufficient vitamin A, they thicken and harden, which is extremely detrimental to health and makes us more susceptible to infection. Vitamin A also protects the body from cardiovascular disease and cancer, and is necessary for new cell growth, something that is extremely important in slowing the aging process.
Beta carotene is the best known of the two carotenoids that form vitamin A, being composed of two vitamin A molecules that are split apart by liver enzymes when the body is low in vitamin A. If body levels are sufficient, the enzymes remain inactive and beta carotene does not divide, making it a safe source of vitamin A, without producing the toxic effects that come with high levels of vitamin A itself. If excess beta carotene is consumed it is stored in fat tissue or circulated in the blood. Beta carotene is one of the most powerful antioxidant nutrients as it can prevent free radical formation and inactivate existing free radicals. Once free radicals have been formed, it traps them and breaks the chain reaction that occurs.
Vitamin C holds a crucial role in many body processes that are necessary for life, among these being its role in collagen formation. Collagen is important in the every structure of the body, as it works like glue to bind cells together to form tissues. The integrity of collagen depends on vitamin C. Vitamin C also functions as one of the most powerful free radicals to prevent the damage that contributes to aging and age-related diseases.
It also works against pollution and toxins that damage cells and cause mutations, possibly even reducing some food carcinogens and protecting lung lining fluids against damage by air pollution. Vitamin C is important in the immune system and it also increases immunity to infectious diseases, lowers total cholesterol, enhances the effect of vitamin E, promotes wound healing, growth, tissue repair, and helps with the utilization of iron.
Vitamin E prevents aging by prolonging the useful life of cells found in the body. It also works to protect vitamin C and vitamin A from free radical activity so that they may remain potent. Vitamin E has the ability to stop a free radical chain reaction as it is happening and plays an extremely important role in preventing the per-oxidation of lipids (cholesterol). It protects the cell membrane, which in turn causes it to help protect the body from disease.
Selenium, one of the ten essential trace minerals, can be found in all tissues of the body. It is best known for its antioxidant role and its function in fighting cancer. It protects the liver from damage and works to stop lipid per-oxidation. Selenium is vital in maintaining the elasticity of body tissues and preventing the oxidation of fatty tissue, in turn combating the effects of aging. Selenium causes the skin to be healthier, muscle mass and tone are more easily maintained, and the heart is strengthened. Selenium works along with vitamin E, enhancing the effects of each other. It is important to get our vitamins and minerals on a daily basis to maintain a health happier life.
August 06, 2008 11:21 AM
Traditionally, Cat's Claw has been used to treat arthritis, gastritis, tumors, dysentery, and female hormonal imbalances. Today, the plant has shown the ability to treat viral infections, minimize inflammation, and provide therapeutic action for stomach and bowel disorders including arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, ulcers, gastritis, parasites, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, several types of cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, herpes, allergies, lupus, diabetes, PMS, yeast infections, hypoglycemia, prostatitis, bursitis, and rheumatism. European studies are currently looking at Cat's Claw for its ability to treat AIDS and cancer. Additionally, the herb has been used for Athlete’s Foot, Ear infections, back pain, TMJ syndrome, fibromyalgia, canker sores, sinus infections, and asthma.
Peruvians have trusted the anti-inflammatory abilities of Cat’s Claw for many generations, as it was traditionally used for any type of rheumatism or arthritic joint condition. Many studies on the plant metabolites found in Cat’s Claw have found that it does inhibit inflammatory response for a fact. The plant sterols that are found in Cat’s Claw have the ability to reduce artificially induced swelling. After extensive research, scientists have found that the strong anti-inflammatory activity is due to the presence of all the compounds together. These same compounds have an intrinsic anti-inflammatory effect as well.
These findings confirm what herbalists have advocated for many generations: the fact that plants are designed to be used in their whole form in order to be biochemically effective. Pharmaceutical synthetic versions of herbal medication shave so many bad side effects because they have been chemically extricated and isolated, which eliminates the very crucial role of other compounds that are vital to the function of the plant.
Natural botanical remedies, on the other hand, have been designed by nature to work together. Natural anti-inflammatories are extremely important for treating diseases such as allergies and arthritis because they have a lot less side effects than the prescription NSAIDs that are currently being used by thousands of individuals. Back pain, joint pain, inflammation caused by histamine release, and a whole lot of other maladies have resulted in millions of dollars worth of anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to be purchased.
Diseases such as AIDS and flesh-eating viruses have received a good amount of press coverage over the last several years. Although a lot of us may not feel immediately threatened by these viruses, we may not be as strong as we could be immunologically. Most of us are battling a never-ending list of ailments such as colds, flu, sore throats, earaches, athlete’s foot, yeast infections, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and colitis.
With heart disease, cancer, and diabetes being responsible for thousands of deaths each year, our country as a whole is in poor health. Our immune systems, which are our build-in defense mechanisms, need to be kept in optimal working condition as infectious microorganisms and carcinogens constantly surround us. A healthy immune system has a great ability to fight off disease or at least minimize its stay in our body. By fortifying our defenses with certain herbs, vitamins, and antioxidants, we can greatly promote wellness in our bodies.
June 04, 2008 02:39 PM
Every year people get bogged down with stuffy noses, watery eyes, congestion, sore throats, headaches and sneezing. The common cold rears its ugly head when the snow finally melts away and the trees get their tiny buds. Spring is normally a time when a lot of colds and viruses are passed around. It is inconvenient not only because of the annoying symptoms; it also makes us miss days of work or school. It interrupts our lives for days at a time. Few people can afford the luxury of taking off from everything they are expected to do for that period of time.
The springtime cold season doesn’t have to be a problem for you, though. You can boost your immunity to cold and flu symptoms with echinacea. This herb can reduce the time you spend nursing a cold and get you back on your feet much faster than waiting it out or taking prescription drugs.
What is Echinacea?
Echinacea is a flowering plant, also known as the purple coneflower, found in the North American plains. This powerful plant has long been used as a medical alternative to stimulate the immune system and protect the body from infection and disease. Echinacea is most commonly found in herbal teas and in extract form and is used as a home remedy for the spring time cold season.
How Echinacea Boosts Immunity
Echinacea works like a natural antibiotic. It attacks toxins in the blood to fight off disease and strengthen the immune system. It also reduces inflammation in the body. Typically, it is more effective if you start taking it at the first sign of a cold. The most popular use for echinacea is to reduce the duration and severity of colds, respiratory infections and sinus problems.
Inconclusive Data and Controversy about Echinacea
There are a large number of studies that have been done of the echinacea herb to determine if it is actually helpful in reducing the common cold. The problem is the results are not consistent. Part of this is because different parts of the flower have been used in different studies. Some report that echinacea is effective at boosting immunity and speeding up recovery from the springtime cold. Others say there is not a significant difference in the duration of a cold when using Echinacea.
One thing to consider about the herb is the possible side effects. No major side effects have been cited regarding the use of echinacea; however, it could cause an allergic reaction. It is also possible to develop rash or asthma from taking echinacea.
Recently, researchers have started to look at the collective data on echinacea to determine if it is truly effective at treating colds and preventing diseases. According to a review in The Lancet Infection Diseases, "published evidence supports echinacea’s benefit in decreasing the incidence and duration of the common cold." The review went on to state: "Echinacea decreased the odds of developing the common cold by 58 percent and the duration of a cold by 1.4 days."
This is promising news, which confirms the use of Echinacea can reduce the severity of a cold and speed the recovery process along so you can get back to your regular routine that much faster.
Cherry Fruit Extract
April 28, 2008 02:45 PM
Cherry fruit extract contains organic compounds known as flavanoids, which is a form of phytochemical frequently found in highly colored fruits and vegetables. If you eat a fruit such as pomegranate, blueberry, blackberry or cherry, or if you eat red peppers, aubergines and broccoli, you are eating foods that are rich in flavanoids.
Such foods provide you with remarkable health benefits that your ancestors knew about but did not understand. They ate these highly colored foods because they knew they helped prevent certain medical conditions, and to help others get well faster. They knew nothing about phytochemicals – chemicals contained in plants – or flavanoids, but knew about the results of eating them.
In fact, flavanoids are very powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, and each of these require more detailed explanation since between them, oxidants and inflammation are responsible for most of the non-infectious common ailments of the human body. First, let’s have a look at antioxidants.
In chemical terms oxidation is the removal of an electron from an atom or molecule. There are species within your body known as free radicals whose sole purpose in their short life is to steal an electron from the nearest molecule to them. This is almost instantaneous, and most free radicals are very short lived. The concept of free radicals roaming your body and your bloodstream waiting to pounce on the first unwary molecule is a fairy tale. In fact the vast majority react as soon as they are formed.
When they do react, they remove an electron from a stable molecule, render it unstable and thus destroy it. If that molecule is part of a cell, and enough of them are robbed of their electrons, then the cell is destroyed. One result in visible terms is wrinkling of your skin, as your skin cells become destroyed, and hence you age quicker. In terms that you are not immediately aware of, oxidation can lead to many unwanted changes in your body.
For example, the low density lipids, that carry the cholesterol in your blood to areas of the body where it is needed, are oxidized by free radicals which causes the LDL to deposit along with their cholesterol on the walls of your arteries as a layer of plaque. Eventually that will build up to constrict the artery and cause a condition known as atherosclerosis – the arteries become blocked, and you can suffer from heart attacks and strokes.
These free radicals are formed by the normal metabolism of the body when energy is created in the cell mitochondria, by pollutants such as pesticides, cigarette smoke and traffic fumes, and by radiation such as excessive exposure to the UV radiation in sunlight.
Flavanoids, contained in cherry fruit extract, are antioxidants, which prevent this oxidation of body cells from taking place. They do so by being in the right place at the right time. If a flavanoid molecule is close to a free radical when it is generated, then the antioxidant will reduce the free radical and neutralize it.
If you eat a lot of cherries, or drink cherry fruit extract, you will be consuming a massive amount of flavanoids molecules that are ready and willing to destroy these free radicals. However, that is not all that flavanoids do. They are also, as has already been stated, anti-inflammatories.
The inflammatory response is the reaction of the body to a foreign presence such as bacteria. The tissues around the infected area receive an increased blood supply, and the cell walls produce gaps allowing the large immune system blood cells, or macrophages, to pass through. The temperature around the area increases due to the concentration of blood, and this itself is controlled by the body since bacteria die off after a certain body temperature has been reached, hence the reason for fever in the immune response.
The area swells up due to the concentration of fluid and protein, and becomes painful due to pressure on nerve endings. Anti-inflammatories, such as the flavanoids, work to relieve the symptoms of inflammation without interfering with the way the immune system deals with infection.
Many inflammatory conditions occur without any apparent reason, and while anti-inflammatories might not be used to suppress the immune system, it is used in such conditions as rheumatoid arthritis where the inflammation is a mis-firing of the immune system. Cherry fruit extract can be used to alleviate many similar conditions such as gout, and osteoarthritis where its use is well known and recorded.
It can also be used to help reduce the effects of atherosclerosis through its anti-oxidant properties, and cherries contain, not only a good supply of flavanoids, but also anthocyanins, another group of powerful antioxidants. They also contain vitamin C which is also a strong antioxidant.
Another property of flavanoids is their collagen strengthening properties, which they achieve by cross-linking the fibers to form a string fibrous network. That can be used to strengthen the walls of veins, and render them less liable to stretch or expand, thus providing them with the rigidity needed to prevent varicose veins caused by the puddling of blood below weak valves. They have the same effect on arteries, providing increased strength and a reduction in the blood pressure needed to pump blood round the body.
A good intake of cherry fruit in your diet will help to improve the condition of your cartilage and other connective tissue in addition to your veins and arteries, and is particularly appropriate for athletes who place great stresses on connective tissues such as the tendons that transfer muscular energy to the levers – the long bones.
In summary, then, cherry fruit extract and the flavanoids and anthocyanins it contains, posses properties to help relieve the symptoms of gout, and various forms of arthritis, to reduce the likelihood of cholesterol oxidation that leads to heart disease and strokes, to help strengthen the walls of veins and arteries and to improve the strength of connective tissue such as cartilage and tendons.
In other words, to improve the quality of life of the majority of the population that suffers from one or more of these conditions. After learning about the health benefits of cherries and all the mounting evidence in research, my question to you is why did the FDA make cherry farmers pull the health benefits of cherries from their websites with threats of legal action if not removed? Makes a person wonder who is on our side and who isn’t?
Una de Gato (Cat’s Claw)
April 26, 2008 09:36 AM
Una de Gato, otherwise known as cat’s claw, is properly Unicaria tomentosa. It has been used as an herbal medicine for at least two thousand years by the people of Central and South America who gave it the name vilcacora.
It grows in jungle areas and rainforest in South America and Asia, and gets its name from the small claw-like thorns at the base of the leaves. One of the environmental benefits of the Una de Gato is that when it is harvested at three feet above the ground, it grows back to its full size of up to 100 feet within a few years when it can be harvested again to three feet. Cat’s claw has been given dietary supplement status by the FDA.
The Peruvian Asháninka tribe has used the plant as a contraceptive and for the treatment of rheumatic conditions, diabetes, acne, diarrhea, cancer, urinary tract diseases and as an anti-inflammatory, and many of the studies of cat’s claw have centered on this tribe. The studies quickly showed the active ingredients to be alkaloids, both tertracyclic oxindole alkaloids and pentacyclic alkaloids that have been found both in the bark and in the root.
The extract is obtained by boiling both the inner part of the bark and the root, each of which differs in concentration of the various alkaloids. The root is believed to better for its anti-inflammatory powers due to the quinovic acid glycoside it contains, although the relative concentrations of the various alkaloids can vary according to the time of year and to the chemotype of the plant.
Cat’s Claw comes in two chemotypes, each of which differs in the relative concentrations of the two different alkaloid types. One predominates in the pentacyclic alkaloids that strengthen the immune system, and the other chemotype in the tetracyclic alkaloids that counter that effect and reduce the speed and strength of the contractions of the heart. It is not possible to tell which chemotype a particular plant is until it has been chemically tested. They look exactly the same and it is possible for both to grow sided by side. However, the root is generally richer in alkaloids, and sells at about twice the price of the bark. Alkaloids are not the only active ingredients in Una de Gato, and it also contains tannins and phytochemicals that have an antioxidant effect and are useful free radical scavengers. They have been studied for their effects in the treatment of HIV and cancer, though mainly due to the glycoside content that will be discussed shortly. The National cancer Institute has confirmed some anti-cancer properties of quinovic glycosides derived from cat’s claw.
The four pentacyclic alkaloids have been found to have a boosting effect on the human immune system, which it does by enhancing the ability of the white blood cells and macrophages to digest and kill off foreign organisms and debris in tissue and the bloodstream. The inference is that the herb is able to be used to treat a wide variety of infectious diseases, including many immune and autoimmune conditions including AIDS. The results with AIDs are inconclusive, although one particular study showed that cat’s claw produced accelerated healing of cold sores and genital herpes (herpes simplex virus) and shingles (caused by herpes zoster virus). Although the evidence is slight, there are indications of its possible use in treating viral conditions.
It is used in homeopathy for the treatment of a number of digestive ailments, such as Crohn’s disease, leaky bowel syndrome, colitis, gastritis and gastric ulcers among others. It is also used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism and some conditions of the prostate gland.
The tertracyclic indole alkaloids that appear to counter the immune-boosting properties of their pentacyclic cousins include rhynchophylline, hirsutine, and mitraphylline. Rhynchophylline prevents blood clots in the veins and arteries by reducing the formation of platelets, and can dilate the peripheral blood vessels of the hands and feet. It can also lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the heart rate. Due to this effect on blood vessels, it is though to be able to improve the circulation in the brain and be a useful treatment for Alzheimer’s sufferers. Hirsutine inhibits contractions of the smooth muscle of the bladder, and so finds uses in the treatment of urinary incontinence.
The pentacyclic alkaloids pteropodine and isopteropodine are believed to have important properties beyond their phagocytosis effect on the immune system. It has been reported that they have an effect on the 5-HT(2) receptors in the brain. These neurotransmitters are used as targets for many drugs used to treat a variety of conditions such as depression, eating disorders and anxiety, and such alkaloids have a positive modulating effect on them.
The anti-inflammatory properties of cat’s claw are largely due to the very potent quinovic acid glycosides previously referred to. These have been known about only recently, and they are thought to work synergistically to reduce the tissue swelling (edema) associated with the immune system’s inflammatory reaction. Although this is believed to be largely due to the glycosides, three of the alkaloids also possess anti-inflammatory properties. This property provides the scientific background for the traditional use of Una de Gato for rheumatism and arthritis, both inflammatory conditions. Many of the digestive conditions for which the plant has traditionally used are also inflammatory in nature.
A threat to cat’s claw is the destruction of the Peruvian rainforest, although not as much as a threat as the destruction of the plant itself. Cat’s claw has reached levels of popularity so high that it is in danger of extinction due to improper harvesting. New laws being enacted by the Peruvian government should help to protect the plant, and to promote its harvesting over cocoa.
When buying cat’s claw, make sure that it is the Uncaria tomentosa form you are purchasing since there is another type, Uncaria Guianensis that contains different alkaloids and is not as potent as the real Una de Gato. Also beware of a shrub known as cat’s claw acacia, grown in Mexico and the southwest USA, since it contains cyanide derivatives and could be very dangerous if taken by mouth.
On Tuesday, April 8, the Natural Products Association - 11th Annual Natural Products Day
April 10, 2008 04:46 PM
On Tuesday, April 8, the Natural Products Association and our sponsors will be hosting the 11th Annual Natural Products Day in Washington, D.C. This day is an important way for natural products advocates to reach out to Congress and discuss the issues that matter. For more information on Natural Products Day or to register, please visit www.NaturalProductsAssoc.org/npd08.
Among the many healthy policies we’ll be asking members to promote on Capitol Hill, bill S. 770, Food Stamp Vitamin and Mineral Improvement Act, will be at the top of our list.
S. 770 would give needy food stamp recipients the choice of purchasing certain vitamin and mineral supplements with their benefits, in the same way they are free to make other dietary choices. If the stamps can be used to buy a soda or snack cake, why not use them to buy a supplement to improve your health? These select supplements could improve appetite and growth rates in poor children; decrease infectious disease in the elderly; prevent neural tube birth defects; protect against heart disease and stroke; protect against some cancers; maintain cognitive function in the elderly; and build bone mass in the young and decrease bone loss in the old.
But, you don’t have to go to the Hill to make a difference! If you can’t join us in Washington, D.C., you can still e-maiL your elected officials and tell them to support S. 770! Don’t miss this chance to put your stamp of approval on this important bill! Take Action Now!
Click here to e-mail your elected officials
Natural Bar Soaps for the Kitchen and Bathroom
January 23, 2008 11:59 AM
Good natural bar soaps that contain only substances that are good for your skin are available, although most people pay little attention to them. Many people might be unaware of the fact but the skin is the largest organ of the body. As such, the skin needs taken care of just as much as any other major organ, yet few people pay much attention to what they bring into contact with it. Although a lot of money is spent on body products, do you really know what your skin needs for optimum health and what substances can do it harm?
Your skin carries out many functions other than keeping the bits inside that should be kept inside. It is a natural thermostat, containing the sweat glands that dampens it and allows evaporation to cool you down. It contains hairs and subcutaneous fat, both of which help you to remain warm when the external temperature is low. Your skin is designed to remain supple, and so allow free movement of the various parts of your body.
It is an ideal waterproof covering for your body that also protects you from infection. Although infection can set in if the skin is ruptured through cuts or grazes, the skin itself rarely suffers from surface infections when related to the number of infectious agents it is constantly in contact with.
The health of your skin is very important, especially in view of the fact that it regularly comes into contact with some very hazardous substances. What may not have occurred to you is that one of the many functions of your skin is to eliminate some of the body’s waste products. It does this when you sweat and the toxins that are emitted can harm it. Although not often infected, it does suffer from complaints such as psoriasis, eczema and acne that are not primarily caused by bacterial agents or viruses, and hence not true infections.
These conditions, however, are caused largely through the emission of toxic agents through the sweat glands. Acne for instance is caused by excessive emission of sebum that combines with dead skin cells to form acne which can also become infected with bacteria. Psoriasis is the excessive formation of skin cells at too rapid a rate, the true causes of which are as yet unknown. Skin cells can become cancerous due to excessive exposure to sunlight or ultra violet radiation, and skin cancer is the most common type of cancer that your doctor is liable to come across.
If you suffer from any specific skin condition, such as acne, or even dry skin that can be caused through excessive exposure to degreasing agents or dry winds, then your skin will need special care. The soap you use is very important in the way you care for your skin, and many people will use soaps that contain many ingredients that they cannot pronounce let alone understand.
Your skin needs cleansed regularly since it comes into contact with many dangerous and toxic substances. Apart from the everyday pollution of traffic fumes and factory emissions, there are also the substances that contaminate your skin at work and at home. At home specially, domestic cleaners can be very harsh on your skin, consisting of substances that are intended to clean away greases and oils, the very types of substance that protect your skin from the elements. When you clean your oven or your sink without gloves, you also clean off the protective oily layer on your skin and leave it open to bacterial attack.
Your skin can also become sensitized to many substances, so that whenever it comes into contact with them it promotes an allergic reaction that can cause irritations so severe that your life can become very miserable. Many people are allergic to various types of soap or detergent because they have become sensitized to them, and are unable to use that type of cleanser after sensitization.
Many soaps contain active ingredients that are intended to carry out specific functions. Thus, some contain antibacterial agents to inhibit the growth of specific types of bacteria on your skin, while others contain detergents to improve their cleaning power. However, some detergents can be very harsh on your skin, and try to avoid bar soaps containing PEG-6 methyl ether or butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). These can be harmful to your skin. There are others, and if your skin is sensitive try to avoid soaps containing animal products or petroleum derivatives.
Take tetrasodium EDTA, which is present in common bar soaps. It enhances the penetration of substances through your skin, which means that it can also enhance the penetration of the lees welcome ingredients in the soap as well as the moisturizers. Substances as sodium etidronate that is a synthetic preservative that might cause irritation to your skin and mucus membranes. There are several other synthetic detergents that are ingredients in bar soaps, and many kitchen soaps contain the same ingredients as personal or bathroom soaps, the difference between them being only in their moisturizer and perfume content.
Other ingredients than can cause potential problems are limonene, linalool and camphor, all of which can give rise to unwelcome conditions such as irritation or respiratory problems. The first two of these are common in bar soaps, as are benzaldehyde and benzyl alcohol which are irritants. Alpha-pinene, found in some bar soaps, is a sensitizer than can damage your immune system. Unless you know what a specific ingredient is, don’t use the soap. Instead you should use pure natural bar soaps containing antioxidants that are good for your skin.
A pure soap should contain the fat or oil that it is made from, good examples being coconut or palm oils, water, a water softener to enable the soap to cleanse the skin properly, an example being one of the penetrates, a moisturizer such as glycerine or lanolin and possibly a perfume derived from natural sources. Salt is also frequently used, and is a good bactericide.
Wherever possibly, you should choose a natural soap containing antioxidants. Citrus soaps, for example, contain vitamin C although many soaps contain antioxidants such as beta carotenes, vitamin A and vitamin E. Since soap consists of both oils and water, you can have both oil and water soluble antioxidants in your soap. The antioxidants help to protect your skin from the ravages of pollution and the effects of the sun’s rays, both of which generate free radicals that can accelerate the aging and wrinkling of your skin.
A good antioxidant, moisturizer and wetting agent in your bar soap will help to protect your skin from the effects of atmospheric pollutants, the drying effect of the sun and wind and also effectively cleanse the skin surface and pores of everyday dirt. If this is associated with an absence of synthetic chemicals that can cause irritation then you will be giving your skin the best protection that you can. This is true of soaps intended either for the kitchen or the bathroom.
Back to School with Colloidal silver
December 02, 2007 06:11 PM
Although the basic school supplies and a nutritious lunch are necessities that most parents know children need, other tools for a good immune system are often overlooked. With so many supplements on the market, ranging from herbal immune boosters to vitamin and mineral regimens, it is hard for a parent to decide what to choose when it comes to helping their children stay healthy during the school year. There is one supplement, however, that stands above the rest when it comes to keeping children healthy: colloidal silver. This supplement is the one supplement that is capable of meeting all your child’s needs. Not only is it at the head of its class in immunity support, but it also works as an antimicrobial and has regenerative properties to aid the body in recuperating after an illness has already set in. In addition, it can be used as a health support aid along with other antimicrobials or pain relievers. The best part is that colloidal silver is a clear liquid that looks, tastes, feels, and smells like water, so it is an easy supplement to give your children.
The difference between those children who never seem to get sick and those who are constantly ill has to do with more than a matter of avoiding germs. All the preventative measures in the world can be taken to protect a child from illness, but if he or she does not have a strong immune system, the parent will be fighting a continuous battle to keep the child healthy. Unlike other immune supplements that are only geared for use at the beginning of a cold or flu, colloidal silver can be used every day to continuously support the immune system.
It was observed as far back as 1907 that silver increases the production of white blood cells. This observation has been recently confirmed in many studies. Researchers have also found that silver may help white blood cells to intercept immune threats effectively by increasing their ability to track, recognize, and survey incoming threats. All of these things cumulatively enhance the immune system, a factor that is very important in keeping children healthy for the long run. It has also been accepted for a long time that silver is effective in fighting a range of microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and fungus. This is contributed to silver ions rupturing the outer membrane of the infectious agent, thereby exposing the internal components to the immune system. When colloidal silver is applied to vulnerable areas such as the eyes, throat, and nose, it can act as a first line of defense in eliminating microbes before they can enter the body. By applying this in the morning before school, microbes that may come into contact with those areas can be eliminated. Silver can also be applied on cuts and scrapes to provide a healthy antiseptic support, as well as faster healing.
In order to decide which silver is right for your children, you must keep in mind that not all silver preparations are the same. A good colloidal silver should have small silver particles that are sub-nanometer in size. Remember that colloidal silver is a dietary supplement to support your health, not to cure diseases. If serious issues are occurring, be sure to contact your health care professional first.
Natural Remedies For Bumps, Bruises, Scrapes, and Insect Bites
November 10, 2007 09:52 AM
Whether you are a child or an adult you are as susceptible to the damage done to skin and soft tissue by hard activities as anybody else. So what can you look for if you decide have a day outdoors and face the dangers that you will come across that want to leave you bruised ,scratched, scraped, cut and itching from all the falls, knocks, stings and bites that most people experience when they are more used to spending their time indoors?
Bruises are caused by a knock, and can happen without you even being aware of it. The blood vessels get damaged and leak. If you notice it right away, you can lessen the degree of bruising by applying ice or cold water to constrict the capillaries and cut down the flow of blood leaking from them. Some people bruise easier than others, and excessive bruising for no apparent reason could be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition and you should see your doctor.
A bump, or lump, can appear for many reasons, but generally settles down after a while. It can simply be the body's reaction to a hard knock that did not damage the blood vessels, but prompted a natural swelling to protect the area. They can also be caused by insect bites. You don’t always see these little pests – they have lunch then zip off without you even being aware of it until the area begins to itch and swell. However, if you have a lump under the armpit, in your neck or behind your ears it could be a swollen gland and you should contact your physician.
Everybody gets minor scrapes now and again, and when you spend any time outside you can get bitten by insects such as mosquitoes, midges, blackflies, horse flies – you name it, they will lunch on you as on any other animals. You can also get stung by vegetable nasties, though if you do then look around for a remedy. Strangely, many stinging plants have another plant close by that can be used as a remedy. This is likely because, after being stung, people just rubbed whatever was handy on the area and eventually these remedies were discovered.
Thus, dock leaves are often found beside nettles, and touch-me-not beside poison ivy. These are good natural remedies for stings caused through contact with these particular plants, and there are many other natural remedies that can be used for the other everyday hurts that people receive just for carrying out normal activities outside in a natural environment. Let’s have a look at some of the natural remedies that people have used through the ages, and that are still used to this day, even in proprietary creams and salves.
Calendula, or marigold, is very effective in relieving skin irritations and inflammation. It can be applied topically to relieve the symptoms of bruises, cuts and scrapes, and also for the initial treatment of burns and scalds. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used on inflamed or infected cuts and skin lesions. These properties are believed to be due to the high level of flavonoids found in calendula that have anti-oxidant properties and help the immune function to do its work. Among these is the powerful Quercetin with its strong anti-histamine properties.
It also appears to possess anti-viral properties, though the reason for this is not clear and is still under investigation. Marigold also contains carotenoids and triterpene saponins, both of which will contribute to the medicinal effects. The dried flowers or leaves, or the fresh flowers, can be used and it is an old adage that pus will not form where marigold is used. It is also good for the treatment of insect bites and boils, where it appears to either prevent infection or clear up any that are there. It has also been proven to prevent the seeping of blood from the capillaries in scrapes, and to promote blood clotting.
Calendula was used during the First World War by British doctors to dress wounds and prevent infection. A dressing steeped in a mild solution of calendula extract was enough, and it likely saved many lives.
Another plant with similar properties is the alpine Arnica, which is useful to reduce the swelling and pain of bruises. It works simply by rubbing the leaves on the area when you have a fall or a hard knock. The active ingredients here are again flavonoids, and sesquiterpene lactones along with tannins, carotenoids and thymol. These, along with the flavonoids, stimulate the circulation and carry away any fluids trapped in bruises and swellings.
The sesquiterpene lactones act as anti-inflammatories and boost the immune system, helping to reduce swelling and pain. In fact terpenoid chemicals are common to many of the herbs and flowers that have found a use in the relief of pain in swelling and bruises. The same is true of Ledum, better known as Rosemary, traditionally used for the treatment of burns, ulcers dandruff, and dry skin and to get rid of lice among many other internal and topical applications.
The active ingredients of rosemary (ledum) include mono-, di- and triterpenes and also the ubiquitous flavonoids and camphor and linalool. If you wash down burns, grazes and cuts with a wash of ledum extract, then you will protect the patient from infection at the time when they are most vulnerable to infectious agents.
Hypericum has uses as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, and is therefore useful for exactly the same conditions as all of the above. It also has astringent properties, so that like Calendula, Hypericum can be used to prevent the capillary seepage that frequently leads to infections. The active ingredients here are apparently flavonoids again, with their antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Considering that they are among the most common antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in the plant world; it is no coincidence that flavonoids just happen to be contained in the vast majority of natural treatments for scratches, grazes and bruises. They reduce swelling, pain and inflammation, and also act as antiseptics by disrupting the cell walls of bacteria.
Hypericum is well known by its alternative name St. John’s Wort, where it is used in the treatment of depression. However, the active ingredients here are mainly hyperforin and hypericin, which have little to do with the topical benefits of the plant.
If you have suffered from insect bites and stings, then you would have been thankful had you brought some Apis Mellifica with you. Obtained from bees, this again contains terpenes among many other chemicals, and is used paradoxically in the treatment of bee stings and other insect stings and bites. It’s amazing how many of these old remedies contain terpenes of various types and also flavonoid chemicals. It is useful for most rashes that have raised puffy lumps, such as hives.
Finally, if you manage to stay out without getting any bruises, abrasions, scratches or bites, you will be very lucky. However, if you get sunburn through being out in the sun too long, just look around for some stinging nettle, or Urtica. The leaf contains polysaccharides and lectins that stop the production of prostaglandins in the body that cause inflammation. Your sunburn will ease and you be able to return home relatively symptom free from your day outdoors.
These natural remedies can be hard to find growing naturally due to many factors such as the time of year or your geographical location these herbs may grow in. Alternative sources are available at your local health food store where you can find all the above mentioned herbs in ointments and creams specifically formulated for your needs.
FDA proposes to allow irradiated foods to go label-free
July 30, 2007 10:05 AM
Since 1986, any food sold in the United States that has been irradiated must, by law, disclose that fact to the consumer, by bearing the international radura symbol as well as the words “treated by irradiation” or “Treated with radiation.” However, if the FDA has its way, all that could change. The agency put forth a proposal in April which would require that packaging only reveal a food has been irradiated if the process created a “material change” in the food, such as a change in color, texture, or taste outside of the normal variances for the food. Additionally, the FDA is proposing allowing food manufacturers to substitute the word “pasteurization” for irradiation,” which has a decidedly negative association in the American consumer’s mind.
Does irradiation = pasteurization?
The bit about swapping the term “pasteurization” for “irradiation” is not actually new. Food manufacturers have been allowed to do that since the passage of the 2002 farm bill, which broadened the legal definition of pasteurization to include “any safe process that is at least as protective as pasteurization and is reasonably certain to kill the most resistant pathogens likely to occur in food.” The California Almond Board, apparently inspired by that legislation, recently announced its decision to irradiate raw almonds and label them “pasteurized.” However, most people still understand the old definitions, whereby pasteurization means using heat to destroy pathogens and irradiation means using ionizing radiation to do so.
Consumers want to know
What is new about the current proposal is the suggestion to lift the requirement that irradiated foods be labeled as such. And that won’t go over so well among consumers. According to a 1997 poll commissioned by the American Association of Retired Persons and Center for Science in the Public Interest, 88.6 percent of Americans want irradiated foods to be labeled. Indeed, the last time the FDA made a move to allow irradiated foods to go label free, the agency received more than 5,000 comments on the issue.
What’s at stake?
According to the consumer group Center for Food Safety, irradiation can create potentially dangerous chemical byproducts, such as benzene and toluene; cause stunted growth in lab animals fed irradiated foods; and reduces foods’ nutrition value.
Noting irradiation’s unpopularity, the FDA stated that if foods treated with irradiation were not required to be labeled, more manufacturers would probably opt to use it. The agency is particularly concerned given the E.coli outbreak last November in fresh spinach.
Fortunately, even if the proposal becomes law, there will still be one surefire way to avoid irradiated foods: buying Organic.
References used in this article.
Civic leaders and public citizen tell wal-mart “Nebraskans won’t buy meat treated with irradiation” ! public citizen. May 27, 2007. //www.tradewatch.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=201
FDA may loosen labeling rules for irradiated foods. Center for infectious disease research & policy (CIDRAP). //www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/irradiation/news/apr1007irradiation.html
FDA proposes softening irradiated food labels. April 4, 2004. USA today. //www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-04-05-food-irradiation_N.htm
Food irradiation. The center for food safety. //www.centerforfoodsafety.org/food_irrad.cfm
Supplements for Children
June 26, 2007 09:51 PM
Supplements for Children
While most parents try hard to make nutritious meals for their family, most children find the appeal of refined, fast, and junk food simply overwhelming. And, sadly, increasingly easy to buy and consume, as well. From kindergarten through 12th grade, in both grade schools and high schools, vending machines offer calorie laden candy bars, sugar-filled soft drinks, and snack foods loaded with fat and salt. Many school cafeterias actually sell fast-food to children for lunch every day. In fact, it seems almost everywhere children go and gather, visually enticing but nutritionally lacking snacks and soft drinks are sure to be available.
Determined to counteract this disturbing trend, parents everywhere are urgently seeking solutions to help their children get the nutrition they need. One answer is supplemental multivitamins. There are certainly plenty of multivitamins formulated for children currently on the market. However, these products vary considerably in quality and content. Some lack certain vital nutrients. Some taste terrible. Still others are loaded with sugar and artificial flavorings. The good news is that there are superior multivitamins and exceptional immune boosting products formulated specifically for children that actually taste great. In this issue of Ask the Doctor, we will discuss childhood nutrition and how to help ensure your children’s health with high quality, 100% natural flavored nutritional supplements.
Q. Do children really benefit from vitamin supplements? Can’t I make sure they get the vitamins and minerals they need from meals?
A. Even the most nutritionally vigilant parent cannot be 100% certain what nutrients are in the food they serve their children. That’s because there’s so much variability in the food we prepare. For instance, fat-soluble vitamins can withstand normal cooking, but vitamins A and E are gradually destroyed by exposure to air. Water-soluble vitamins such as B1, B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid are destroyed by heat. Vitamin B2 is destroyed by light and heat, while light and air destroy vitamin C. Certain food preservatives and preparation methods also destroy the vitamins in food. To further complicate matters, some fruit and vegetables are grown and harvested in such a way that does not promote nutrient content – so even raw foods may be lacking.
Then there are those crazy food phases all children seemingly go through. While these phases are generally harmless in the long run, a recent alarming exception was in the news. A five-year old boy ate nothing but cheese pizza, Pop-tarts, biscuits, and water, refusing fruits, vegetables, juices and vitamins. He slowly developed limp, swollen gums, and small purple spots appeared on his skin. After five months of this extremely deficient diet, he was unable to walk or get out of bed because the pain was so severe. Doctors diagnosed the boy as having a severe vitamin C deficiency after ruling out other ailments such as leukemia. Within a week of getting vitamin C supplements, the boy’s pain and other symptoms were completely resolved. Obviously, this little boy’s story is unusual. However, even mild food phases (such as “If It’s Green It Must Be Yucky” or “The Only Good Crust Is A Cut-Off Crust”) can result in awfully lop-sided nutrition.
Q. Can multivitamins help my child’s performance in school?
A. Most teachers firmly believe that nutrition and learning go hand in hand. They are convinced that children who are well nourished possess the mental stamina that’s needed to learn and retain even difficult concepts. But can multivitamins help children become better students?
Two independent research teams recently conducted randomized trials to find the answer. The researchers followed 245 school-children aged 6 to 12 years for three months. They gave half of the children multivitamin tablets every day, and half of the children placebos. When the children were tested, the children in the multivitamins group showed an increase in their nonverbal intelligence scores. Nonverbal intelligence is closely associated with academic performance.
Q. I can’t get my children to take 100% natural flavored multivitamins because they don’t taste very appealing. Isn’t there some way to make a 100% natural multivitamin taste good enough for my children to willingly take?
A. Yes, there is! Because most children need chewable multivitamins, manufacturers need to contend with the truly terrible taste of certain minerals. Magnesium, iodine, copper, and iron are probably the worst tasting. Some solve this dilemma by skimping on the amounts of these minerals in their children’s formulas. Others cover up the bad taste with either massive amounts of sugar or artificial flavors, or both.
However, a select few multivitamin makers have discovered how to offer a natural flavored, great tasting children’s multivitamin that contains these vital minerals. The best children’s vitamins are prepared in a base of natural fruit that provides both antioxidants and other healthy phytonutrients. Children’s multivitamins made in such a fruit base have very low sugar content, as well, providing as little as four calories a day. Fructose – fruit sugar – is the preferred sweetening agent, in addition to the fruit content.
Q. What vitamins should be in a multivitamin for children?
A. There are several vitamins and minerals that children need to take each and every day. They include biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamins B12, B1, A, B6, C, D, E, and K. Let’s review a few. We’ll start with folate, one of the B vitamins. This vital vitamin helps the body use protein, helps make DNA, helps cells grow and divide, and keeps the nervous system healthy. In fact, folate is so important to children that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that folate must be added to many foods most children eat daily. Since 1998, cereal, enriched bread, flour corn meal, rice, and pasta have been folate-fortified with this B vitamin.
One of folate’s vital actions is the reduction of homocysteine levels in the blood. Homocysteine is an amino acid (the building block of protein) that is normally produced in the human body. Research has shown that high levels of homocysteine can irritate blood vessels, make blood clot more easily than it should, and cause blockages in arteries increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes .
However, study after study has proven that taking folate reduces harmful homocysteine levels. While most of this research has been in adults, a recent study looked at children’s homocysteine levels. Researchers examined over 3500 children and discovered that high homocysteine levels increased the risk for heart disease in these children, especially as they grow. The researchers leading this study reinforced how critical folate is for all children.
Other critical vitamins for children are the vitamins C and E. The rates of childhood asthma have increased significantly here in the
Q. Which minerals do children need?
A. It is absolutely crucial that children get calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc, and phosphorus every day. Sadly, however, the majority of our children are not getting the recommended amounts of many of these vital minerals. Children in
According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, only 13.5 percent of girls and 36.3 percent of boys age 12 to 19 in the
Lack of adequate calcium has immediate consequences for children, as well. The number of fractures among children and young adults has increased as a direct result of poor calcium intake. Pediatricians are also seeing children with rickets, a bone disease caused by low levels of vitamin D. Rickets became almost nonexistent after vitamin D was added to milk in the 1950s, but, due to lower milk consumption, is now appearing at greater rates around the country. And milk itself can be problematic for some children. Aside from alarming reports of hormones and herbicides in commercial dairy factory milk, even organic milk is not tolerated by all because of lactose intolerance and allergies.
Zinc is another mineral that’s vital for children. Because zinc is critical for normal growth and development, children need to take it every day. A study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, however, found more than half of US children ages two to 10 years fail to get the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for zinc. What’s even more troubling is that zinc is vitally connected to children’s ability to process information, pay attention, as well as remember and retain new information
Zinc does a lot to keep children healthy. More than 200 enzymes in our bodies rely on zinc. However, it’s zinc’s ability to connect with our immune systems to help fight infections that is crucial for children. While researchers are not certain how zinc precisely boosts a child’s immunity, they think that zinc might fight pneumonia and other infections by either enhancing the body’s immune status, preventing the infection from establishing itself, or improving the immune system’s ability to rid itself of the infecting organism. It’s possible that zinc does all three.
Q. No matter what I do, my children seem to come down with bad colds each year. Besides giving them a multivitamin, are there other nutritional supplements that can keep my children healthy?
A. Absolutely! In fact, there are 100% natural flavored children’s immune formula nutritional supplements that contain their good buddy zinc, vitamins B6, C, and A (as beta carotene), plus elderberry extract. Elderberry extract has been used as a traditional medicine for hundreds of years to treat colds and flu. And as it so often happens, scientific research has validated this use. In fact, scientists have discovered that elderberry keeps viruses from invading other cells and replicating. It also spurs important immune cells into action to fight invading germs.
While we previously discussed vitamin C’s ability to help children with asthma breathe easier, it also provides powerful immune protection. It speeds up the healing of wounds, such as those knee and elbow scrapes so common in childhood. However, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and can’t be stored in the body. It must be replenished every day. When children are under increased stress (like when they get sick with a cold or flu), their vitamin C levels are more rapidly depleted.
Vitamin B6 is also water-soluble and can only work in children’s bodies for eight hours. Then more B6 must be obtained. Vitamin B6 strengthens the immune system by helping white blood cells make antibodies. Vitamin A helps make lysozymes, important anti-infectious agents found in tears, saliva, and sweat. It also stimulates the thymus gland, an important immune organ, especially in children, to work better.
Q. Should children take an immune formula every day or only when they are sick?
A. It can be taken several ways. Some parents may want to give the formula when school first starts or other times that their children are exposed to lots of germs. For a child who suffers from asthma or seasonal allergies or just seems to get sick frequently, parents could provide the immune formula every day, increasing the dose when needed. And still others might feel it’s best to give their children the immune formula only whey they do catch a cold or have the flu.
No matter how it is given, the 100% all natural flavored, immune boosting nutritional supplement can provide powerful protection against all those disease-causing germs your children are exposed to every day.
The nutritional choices we make for our children today will have a profound effect on their health tomorrow. Recent research has revealed that diabetes, heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, and cancer in adults often result form nutritional deficiencies that occurred in childhood.
Thankfully, the reverse is just as true. This means that children who are well nourished with an optimal intake of minerals, vitamins, and helpful herbs can grow into healthy and happy adults. Providing high quality multivitamins and immune boosting nutritional supplements for our children can be an important part of that process.
Peppermint Oil for IBS
March 24, 2007 11:01 AM
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a painful and frequently frustrating disorder of the intestines that’s often difficult to treat. Fortunately, there are scientifically studied natural products that effectively reduce the distressing symptoms of IBS.
Q. What is IBS?
A. IBS causes crampy pain, gassiness, bloating, and alterations in bowel habits. IBS is termed a functional disorder, because when the colon is examined, there is no visible sign of disease. While IBS causes significant pain and distress, no actual damage is occurring in the intestines.
There is a wide variability in IBS. Symptoms may be mild and fairly well tolerated. Or, the pain, discomfort, and bowel dysfunction may be disabling, limiting social interactions, employment, or travel.
While some individuals with IBS have diarrhea (frequent, loose stools with an urgent need to move the bowels), others have constipation (hard, infrequent stools that are difficult to pass). And, still others may experience both. Individuals with IBS also may have painful abdominal cramps and feel an urgent need to move the bowels, but are unable to do so.
A. The small intestine receives digestive material from the stomach and delivers it to the large intestine (colon). About two quarts (2,000 ml) of digestive material enter the colon from the small intestine every day. The colon absorbs water and salts from the material, which is progressively moved through the colon. This progressive movement continues until most of the fluid and salts are absorbed into the body and stool is formed. The stool passes to the left side of the colon, where it is stored until a bowel movement occurs.
Because researchers haven’t been able to find actual damage in the colon, it once was suggested that individuals with IBS have emotional problems or are overly susceptible to stress. While stress may cause symptoms of IBS to intensify, it doesn’t cause the condition.
Recent study has determined the colon muscle of an individual with IBS spasms after only mild stimulation. It’s thought the symptoms of IBS are produced by hyperactivity of the intestines. In other words, the intestines of individuals with IBS are more reactive to stressors and diet than usual. Almost everyone has experienced abdominal queasiness in response to everyday stress or certain foods. This may result in a brief bout of diarrhea or an upset stomach. However, this response is exaggerated in individuals with IBS.
Q. How prevalent is IBS?
A. IBS is very common. In fact, it’s one of the most frequent problems seen by family physicians. It’s the most common disorder diagnosed by gastroenterologists (physicians specializing in the treatment of digestive disorders). The overall prevalence rates range from 10% to 20% of the general population in most industrialized countries. As a result, the pain and disabling symptoms associated with IBS result in significant socioeconomic costs, as wall as reduction in quality of life for many individuals.
A. Normal bowel function varies from person to person. Some people move their bowels daily, while others may only have two to three stools a week. A normal bowel movement is soft, formed, and is easily passed without cramping or pain.
IBS, however, causes abdominal cramps and pain, which are often severe and disabling. Bowel movements may be irregular and alternate between diarrhea and constipation. The diarrhea may be quite loose and watery. Mucous may be passed. There is often much straining, urgency, and feeling of incomplete evacuation (emptying). Abdominal bloating and passing of gas is common. Nausea, lack of appetite, heartburn, and belching may also be present. Sleep may be disrupted resulting in fatigue and lack of energy. Understandably, persons with IBS often feel anxious and depressed.
Diagnosis of IBS is usually based on the continuous presence or recurrence of these symptoms for at least three months. Other intestinal conditions must be ruled out. These include Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, inflammatory conditions of the stomach or pancreas, ulcers, infectious disease, or gastroesphageal reflux disease.
Q. Are there clinically demonstrated natural alternatives to the over-the-counter drugs prescribed by my doctor?
A. Yes, both enteric-coated peppermint oil and clown’s mustard (in combination with other herbs) have significant scientific research behind them. Both have been demonstrated to benefit individuals with IBS.
Q. What is clown’s mustard and what does it do?
A. The scientific name for clown’s mustard is Iberis amara. Other names for this herb are wild candytuft and bitter candytuft. Clown’s mustard is a white-flowering plant from Spain, where it grows in dry soil on hillsides and in cornfields. It is also grown in Britain, France, and the United States. Iberis amara is a member of the Brassicaceae family. Iberis refers to its place of origin, the Iberian Peninsula. Amara means bitter. The key components of clown’s mustard are glycosides and flavonoids that have specific actions on gastrointestinal tract tone.
Q. Is there scientific evidence that clown’s mustard benefits people with IBS?
A. There has been very impressive research on clown’s mustard (in combination with other herbs). And, it has been used with great success in Germany for many years to treat IBS and other gastrointestinal diseases.
In a study of an herbal combination containing clown’s mustard, 20 patients were given the herbal combination for three to 32 days. They all had been diagnosed with chronic functional disorders for at least one to 20 years. The symptoms the patients experienced included pressure and pain in the abdomen, belching, heartburn, vomiting, nausea, fullness, lack of appetite, constipation, and diarrhea. The patients have been treated for their problems with a variety of antacids, anti-spasmodic agents, and motility-inducing substances. For the purposes of the study, the patients stopped taking these medications and received treatment only with the herbal combination.
Abdominal pressure and pain in the abdomen was the most common of all the experienced symptoms, with 11 of the patients rating it as severe. After six days of treatment, only sic of the patients continued to rate their abdominal pain and pressure as severe. After two weeks, this symptom had completely resolved for 16 of the patients. Diarrhea had been rated as severe in five of the patients. By day 14, only one patient continued to have moderate diarrhea.
Medications prescribed and taken for cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases often cause gastrointestinal problems. Because these conditions are chronic, these medications must be taken for a long time, often for life. With long-term use, these medications can cause erosion of the stomach lining and actual ulcers. Many of these medication-caused symptoms are similar to IBS symptoms: pressure and pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, abdominal fullness, and lack of appetite. Most, if not all, of the individuals who have gastrointestinal problems caused from medications experience two or more of these IBS symptoms.
Forty patients who were taking medications for various types of cardiovascular disease and arthritis, and who are experiencing gastrointestinal problems related to their medications, were enrolled in a study. These symptoms included pressure and pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, abdominal fullness, and lack of appetite. Twenty patients received clown’s mustard combined with other herbs that support gastrointestinal motility. Three days after the trial started, a significant improvement of all s symptoms was noted in those taking this combination. By day 14, abdominal pressure and pain, nausea, and heartburn were completely eliminated in the herbal combination group. Several other clinical trials that were conducted in Germany report similar results.
Q. How does this herb compare to prescription drugs?
A. A study compared clown’s mustard (combined with other herbs) to Reglan (metoclopramide), which is frequently prescribed to reduce the symptoms of IBS. While metoclopramide is a very effective medication, it also has numerous side effects. Metoclopramide can cause fatigue, anxiety, agitation, jitteriness, insomnia, yellowing of the skin or eyes, changes in vision, hallucinations, and seizures. Because of these serious side effects, metoclopramide must not be taken longer than 12 weeks.
In comparison study, 77 subjects were randomized to receive treatment of either clown’s mustard in a combination with other herbs, or metoclopramide. All subjects had pain and pressure in the abdomen, cramping, abdominal fullness, nausea, heartburn, and lack of appetite. The subjects took 20 drops of their assigned treatment after meals three times daily. The duration of treatment was one to two weeks.
In both groups, a parallel improvement of all symptoms was observed. At no point in the study was a statistically significant difference in symptoms found. Both treatments significantly reduced pain and pressure in the abdomen, cramping, abdominal fullness, nausea, heartburn, and lack of appetite. In short, both metoclopramide and the clown’s mustard herbal combination worked well at reducing the symptoms of IBS.
However, side effects occurred more frequently and severely in the metoclopramide group. Given the lack of differences noted between the products at reducing symptoms of IBS, it would seem sensible to choose the treatment with the fewest reported side effects and no limits on duration of use.
A. Peppermint oil has been shown to relax intestinal smooth muscle. In Great Britain, peppermint oil is currently being prescribed for IBS by physicians and it has been used as a digestive aid and to soothe upset stomachs for generations.
Peppermint oil has also been studied for use in an important examination of the colon. A colonoscopy is a procedure of viewing the interior lining of the large intestine (colon) using a colonoscope, a slender, flexible, hollow, lighted tube about the thickness of a finger. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine supports the idea that even people who are not at risk for colon cancer should have this test. The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women at average risk of colon cancer should have a colonoscopy every 10 years, beginning at age 50.
During a colonoscopy, individuals are sedated and almost no discomfort is experienced. The insertion of the colonoscope into the rectum and up through the colon causes some spasming. This is a natural and expected event and the physician performing the exam administers medications that effectively reduce the spasms.
A recent study compared the use of peppermint oil and commonly used medications to reduce the colonic spasming in colonoscopy. The peppermint oil was introduced directly into the colon. Effective reduction of colon spasming was observed in 88% of the patients.
In a critical review and meta-analysis of peppermint oil for irritable bowel syndrome published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, eight randomized controlled trials were identified. The studies collectively showed peppermint oil is superior to placebo in improvement of the symptoms of IBS. Because of the good results of these trials, the authors of the review urged additional study of peppermint oil in IBS.
However, straight peppermint oil is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream from the stomach. In recent studies comparing enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules and non-enteric coated oil, both preparations provided effective symptom relief. However, the studies concluded the enteric-coated capsules delivered the benefit of the peppermint oil directly to the intestines. In the treatment of IBS, enteric-coated supplemental peppermint is most definitely preferred.
In fact, an enteric-coated peppermint oil capsule containing rosemary and thyme is extremely effective in the treatment of IBS. All three of these oils are classified as volatile oils, derivatives found in plants that impart taste and aroma. The combination of peppermint, thyme, and rosemary oils in enteric-coated capsules provides significant relief in IBS-related pain.
Q. Can clown’s mustard and other herbs be taken with enteric-coated peppermint oil?
A. Yes, peppermint oil capsules and clown’s mustard can be used together. However, depending on the symptoms, individuals with IBS may want to start with one supplement and then add the other if needed.
Q. How do consumers find these formulas?
A. Fortunately, herbal combinations containing clown’s mustard and enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules are both available at health food stores, natural product supermarkets, pharmacies, and from health professionals. Most knowledgeable sales personnel and health professionals can direct consumers to the most effective products.
Q. What should customers look for when purchasing peppermint oil?
A. As mentioned before, enteric coating of the peppermint oil is extremely important. The coating prevents the oil from being absorbed in the stomach. The enteric coated-capsule moves through the stomach to the small intestine and eventually to the colon, where it is released for maximum benefit.
Q. What is the dosage for peppermint oil?
A. The German Commission E approved peppermint oil for the treatment of irritable colon. In enteric-coated form, the Commission E recommends 0.6 ml per day. Enteric-coated peppermint capsules are available.
Q. Are there side effects or other contraindications?
A. Sometimes, the enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules may cause a transient burning sensation in the rectum when moving bowls. Reducing the dose will correct this.
Individuals who must refrain from alcohol should not take clown’s mustard in an herbal tincture, which may contain alcohol.
Q. What else can IBS patients do to feel better?
A. Food allergies or food intolerance may be associated with IBS. Dairy products and certain grains may trigger a painful episode of IBS. Determining those foods that initiate the problems and eliminating them from your diet can be very helpful.
Many people report their symptoms occur after a meal. Hyperactivity of the intestine of IBS is the response. Often, the strength of this response after a meal is in direct relation to the number of calories and he amount of fat in the meal. Reducing saturated fat, limiting calories, and increasing fiber intake may be helpful.
Stress also stimulates the intestinal hyperactivity. Relaxation training may reduce some IBS symptoms. Listening to therapeutic audiotapes, hypnosis, counseling, and biofeedback all have been shown to improve the healing response in persons with IBS.
IBS can be painful and frustrating, capable of causing much distress. While currently there is no cure for IBS, the symptoms can be managed. The pain, abdominal discomfort, and bowel problems of IBS all respond well to treatment with the use of key herbs, including clown’s mustard, and enteric-coated peppermint oil. These herbal combinations can be both effective and safe in treating IBS. Clown’s mustard and enteric-coated peppermint oil are both effective front-line natural alternatives for IBS treatment.
Scientific Research Backing Glyconutrition
October 15, 2006 04:26 PM
There are over 20,000 studies conducted annually on glycoforms alone. Researchers from universities and major pharmaceutical companies realize the importance of this new discovery. Breaking the “sugar-code” will mean a tremendous advancement in health and medicine.
Studies confirm that the eight essential biologically active sugars can accomplish amazing results. The following are just a few examples of the exciting possibilities of Glyconutrition:
NaturalCare Virus Induced Nasal Decongestant – Super Strength SinuFix
October 06, 2006 02:34 PM
Super strength SinuFix Nasal Decongestant Mist 90 percent of Germs, Viruses and Pollutants May enter your body through the nose! All of us breath in through our nose and are inundated daily with thousands of foreign micro particles. Super Strength SinuFix Mist is an innovative formula specifically designed to fight the virus induced nasal allergy/sinus/cold/flu-like symptoms that may result from exposure to germs and viruses in the air in any crowded, potentially germ-infested environment.
Germs in the Air Everywhere!
Indications: For temporary, soothing relief of virus induced nasal and sinus congestion and pressure, dry, irritated nasal membranes associated with a cold and sinusitis, irritated/swollen sinus passages, hay fever, overuse of decongestant sprays or drops, or other upper respiratory allergies (Allergic rhinitis). Helps cleanse nasal passages and promotes nasal and sinus drainage.
The Immune System and The Antigen Factor
September 19, 2006 05:46 PM
All cells, including infectious microorganisms, carry “ID Tags” called antigens on their surface. Each of these individual molecular signatures or “ID Tags” tells our immune generals whether the intruder is friend or foe. If foe, the antigens stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies to act against it. Amazingly, immune defense cells recognize and response to thousand of antigens. These “ID Tags” are written in glycoforms on the surface of the cells and use the sugar code to pass the information.
Here is a simple explanation of how this works. Immune cells roam throughout the body touching other cells and asking three questions:
1. are you me (part of this body) and are you okay? 2. are you me and are you not okay (do you need help)? 3. are you not me and need to be eliminated or destroyed?
These questions and their answers are translated through the sugar code found on each cell surface. Depending on the response obtained, immune cells:
1. leave the cell alone & move on; 2. send for help to repair or protect the cell; 3. call in the troops to kill off the foreign invader or cancer cell.
Having a ready supply of glyconutrients may help the body speed up the correct immune system response.
New antibiotics expected for resistant pneumonia bugs
October 10, 2005 11:52 AM
New antibiotics expected for resistant pneumonia bugs
Scientists recently announced the expected arrival of a new family of bacteria-killers on the horizon for pneumonia and other diseases. These new antibiotics should offer an alternative to standard antibiotics, many of which have lost their punch against increasingly resistant germs.
The standard treatment today for many bacterial infections that cause respiratory diseases are medicines called macrolides. These include well-known antiobiotics like penicillin and erythromycin. However, certain bacteria strains are growing resistant to them, as well as to the primary back-up medicines, known as quinolones.
The pharmaceutical industry's response to this problem is ketolides. Ketolides are derived from macrolides, but since they have a different chemical composition, they will kill bacteria that are resistant to macrolides. Researchers recently presented reports on two varieties of ketolides at an infectious diseases meeting sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology. Aventis Pharmaceuticals recently filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to gain permission to sell a new ketolide antibiotic, Ketek, or telithromycin. A similar drug made by Abbott Pharmaceuticals, code named ABT-773, is also in the early stages of human testing.
Researchers presented new Ketek studies involving 2,500 patients. These reports intended to show how the once-a-day Ketek is equally effective as other standard antibiotics in treating many bacterial diseases, including pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and sore throats. Scientist also say since the Ketek treatment lasts just five days, which is shorter than most antibiotic treatments, bacteria may be less likely to grow resistant to the new drug.
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
July 15, 2005 12:51 PM
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
For anyone who suffers from diabetes, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, obesity or chronic yeast infections, stevia is the ideal sweetener. It has all the benefits of artificial sweeteners and none of the drawbacks. Stevia can be added to a variety of foods to make them sweet without adding calories or impacting the pancreas or adrenal glands. It can help to satisfy carbohydrate cravings without interfering with blood sugar levels or adding extra pounds.
Using stevia to create treats for children is also another excellent way to avoid weight gain, tooth decay and possible hyperactivity. While it may take some getting used to initially, stevia products are becoming easier to measure and better tasting.
Stevia’s Unique Taste Sensation
When the whole leaf extract or powdered forms of stevia make contact with the tongue, the resulting taste can be described as a sweet flavor, with a slight licorice-like and transient bitter flavor. If stevia is used correctly with hot water or some other liquid, both those flavors will disappear. At this writing, researchers are working on a new extraction process that will preserve stevia’s sweetening potency while minimizing any aftertaste associated with the herb.
Additional Therapeutic Benefits
Consider the following quote: Stevia . . . is not only non-toxic, but has several traditional medicinal uses. The Indian tribes of South America have used it as a digestive aid, and have also applied it topically for years to heal wounds. Recent clinical studies have shown it can increase glucose tolerance and decrease blood sugar levels. Of the two sweeteners (aspartame and stevia), stevia wins hands down for safety. (Whitaker) Stevia has a long history of medicinal use in Paraguay and Brazil and while many of the therapeutic applications of stevia are anecdotal, they must be considered in that they have spanned generations. Experts who work with indigenous cultures frequently find that traditional applications of folk medicine can be verified with scientific data.
Stevia and Blood Sugar Levels
Clinical tests combined with consumer results indicate that stevia can actually help to normalize blood sugar. For this reason, the herb and its extracts are recommended in some countries as an actual medicine for people suffering from diabetes or hypoglycemia. Recent studies have indicated that stevia can increase glucose tolerance while decreasing blood sugar levels. Paraguayan natives have traditionally used stevia tea to regulate blood sugar. Stevia decoctions for diabetes are common and are usually prepared by boiling or steeping the leaves in water (Bonvie, 53). While scientific studies are certainly warranted, it is thought that disturbed blood sugar levels respond to stevia therapy while normal levels remain unaffected.
Stevia and Weight Loss
Stevia is an ideal dietary supplement for anyone who wants to lose or maintain their weight. Because it contains no calories, it can satisfy cravings for sweets without adding extra pounds. It is also thought that using stevia may decrease the desire to eat fatty foods as well. Appetite control is another factor affected by stevia supplementation. Some people have found that their hunger decreases if they take stevia drops 15 to 20 minutes before a meal. While scientific studies are lacking in this area, it is presumed that the glycosides in stevia help to reset the appestat mechanism found in the brain, thereby promoting a feeling of satiety or satisfaction. Much of our nation’s obesity epidemic is due to the over consumption of sugar-containing foods. Unfortunately, most sugary snacks are also loaded with fat, compounding the problem. When a sugar craving hits, anything will usually do. Doughnuts, candy bars, pies, pastries and cookies are considered high calorie, fattening foods. Using stevia to sweeten snacks and beverages can result making weight loss and management much easier.
High Blood Pressure
It is thought that taking stevia can result in lowering elevated blood pressure levels while not affecting normal levels. This particular application has not been researched, but its potential as a treatment for hypertension must be considered when assessing the value of herbal medicines for disease.
Stevia is thought to be able to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and other infectious organisms. Some people even claim that using stevia helps to prevent the onset of colds and flu. Tests have supported the antimicrobial properties of stevia against streptococcus mutans (Bonvie, 54). The fact that stevia has the ability to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria helps to explain its traditional use in treating wounds, sores and gum disease. It may also explain while the herb is advocated for anyone who is susceptible to yeast infections or reoccurring strep infections, two conditions that seem to be aggravated by white sugar consumption.
Stevia can be used as an oral tonic to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. Stevia extracts are sometimes added to toothpaste or mouthwashes to initiate this effect. Stevia is used in some Brazilian dental products with the assumption that the herb can actually help to prevent tooth decay and retard plaque deposits (Bonvie, 53). Stevia offers the perfect sweetener for oral products like toothpastes and mouthwash, enabling them to be more palatable without any of the drawbacks of other sweeteners.
Brazilians have used stevia to boost and facilitate better digestion (Bonvie, 53). Again, while this therapeutic application remains unresearched, the fact that stevia has a long history of use as a gastrointestinal tonic must be acknowledged. Plant glycosides can exert numerous therapeutic actions in the human body.
Stevia and Skin Care
Whole leaf stevia or its by-products have been used to soften and tone the skin and to ease wrinkles and lines. Facial masks can be made by adding liquid to the powder, and liquid elixirs can be used as facial toners to help tighten the skin. Stevia concentrate in the form of drops has also been used directly on sores or blemishes to promote healing. For this reason, some advocates of stevia use it on other skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or minor cuts or wounds. Stevia tea bags can be placed over the eyes to ease fatigue and to tone the skin. Stevia skin care products are available in clay bases, masks, and water-based creams. Liquid extracts can be directly applied to the skin.
July 15, 2005 09:52 AM
July 15, 2005 09:33 AM
With the increasing rates of several blood-carried diseases (like AIDS), blood transfusion and blood donation rates are declining. Ensuring that donated blood is not “contaminated” by disease dictates that fewer people can donate blood, while fear of being contaminated by blood tainted by blood usually dissuades physicians from requiring blood transfusions unless absolutely necessary. Finding some sort of treatment of tainted blood would not only save money and time, but also calm fears about the possibility of being infected with a potentially serious disease through a blood transfusion. Hypericum is showing great promise in being able to treat blood contaminated by viruses. A recent Transfusion study states, Since hypericin is devoid of adverse action in most blood components and blood analyses, it is investigated as an additive with potential to inactivate infective viruses in blood components intended for transfusion. . . . Complete inactivation of 10 (6) tissue culture-infective doses of human immunodeficiency virus was obtained in whole blood and in diluted packed red cells after illumination with fluorescent light for 1 hour. Loss of viral infectivity to cultured CEM cells has been monitored by use of a detection assay for human immunodeficiency virus p55 in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and cytopathic assays. In physiologic media, hypericin interacts with albumin and lipoproteins, retaining the virucidal activity in bound form. . . . The apparent transfusibility of hypericin, taken together with the efficacy of the virucidal activity, the broad range of enveloped viruses affected, and the absence of adverse effects on stored red cells, may render hypericin useful for inactivation of infectious viruses in red cells.24
ANTIVIRAL PROPERTIES OF ST. JOHN'S WORT
July 15, 2005 09:25 AM
ANTIVIRAL PROPERTIES OF ST. JOHN'S WORT
As stated previously, hypericin has recently gained much of the medical world’s respect as an antiviral agent, with activity against a broad range of enveloped viruses and retroviruses. The effective virucidal activity emanates from a com-bination of photodynamic and lipophilic properties. A recent article in the journal Transfusion details exactly how hypericin works in inhibiting viral activity among cells:
Hypericin binds cell membranes (and, by inference, virus membranes) and crosslinks virus capsid proteins. This action results in a loss of infectivity and an inability to retrieve the reverse transcriptase enzymatic activity from the virion.14 Another recent study, carried out in 1991, focused on hypericin’s ability to inhibit virus activity, more specifically, in the murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), Sindbis virus, and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The Sindbis virus was significantly more sensitive than the MCMV virus. The inactivated MCMV, when used to infect cells, was incapable of synthesizing early or late viral antigens. In addition to the direct virucidal effect, when hypericin was added to cells infected with viable MCMV, inhibition was also observed, particularly when the compound was added in the first two hours of infection. The researchers also indicated that the effect was aided significantly by visible light, pointing again to the plant’s photodynamic property.
The study states that hypericin appears to have two modes of antiviral activity: “. . . one directed at the virions, possibly on membrane components, and the other directed at virusinfected cells. Both activities are substantially enhanced by light.”15 And there are other viruses that fall under St. John’s wort’s antiviral blanket. Contemporary research points to the equine infectious anemia virus, the lentivirus, the Sindbid virus, the radiation leukemia virus, and most importantly, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).