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Top 13 Benefits Of Vitamin A For Health And Skin
May 22, 2017 08:44 AM
Vitamin A, found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and proteins, plays an important part in our everyday lives. Many people know of Vitamin A's existence, but are unaware of its host of benefits. These benefits include improving the immune system (raising lymphocytic responses, maintains moisture of mucus membranes, and improving white blood cell activity), maintaining eye health (through regulating light changes and moisture), keeping skin soft, strengthen teeth and bones (by forming dentin), prevent urinary stones (due to calcium phosphate formation), inhibit muscular dystrophy, may prevent acne and certain cancer, treat measles and cold sores, lower cholesterol, and protect from infection. And, as an added bonus, it's also an anti-aging agent, because of its wrinkle reducing properties! Just be careful that you don't take too much Vitamin A, and speak to a doctor before starting on supplementation.
"One of the most amazing benefits of vitamin A which ought to be mentioned first is improving your immune system"
Read more: http://vkool.com/benefits-of-vitamin-a/
Traditional Uses of Blessed Thistle
Uses, Dosage and Side effects of Antimonium Tartaricum.
July 03, 2014 08:02 AM
It is not safe for pregnant, breast feeding or for child below 10 years to use Antimonium tartaricum without doctor’s consent. If pain is persistent, seek medical care immediately.
What Makes Beta Carotene The Safer Vitamin A.
November 15, 2013 11:24 PM
What is the Main Source of Beta Carotene
Vitamins are essential ingredients for a healthy living. A good example of a very essential vitamin is Vitamin A, which consists of a group of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal, retinyl esters [1-3] and retinoic acid. The main sources of vitamin A, retinoids, that comes from animal products and Beta carotene, which comes from plants are essential for not only treating deficiency syndromes but also boosting the immune system.
What are the Importance of Vitamin A
The most important type of vitamin A, is in no doubt beta carotene, a type of carotenoid. The main source of beta carotene is carrots. Carotenoids act as anti-oxidants and anti-inflamatory nutrients. Beta carotene is considered a safe vitamin A source because its sources are vegetables, for instance carrots, meaning that it is low in fat content.
1. Most animal products are rich in cholesterol. Once inside your body, cholesterol molecules bind together forming plaques which then attach themselves on the walls of blood vessels. This restricts the flow of blood resulting to high blood pressure. Plant products, unlike animal products, have less cholesterol and, vitamin A (such as beta carotene), keeps the cholesterol molecules in your body from binding together. It also prevents it from attaching itself on the walls of the arteries.
2. It facilitates normal growth of healthy cells and cell division. A normal replication of DNA requires presence of vitamin A. This vitamin, therefore, inhibits multiplication of cancerous cells and slows tumor growth down. Abnormal cell devision, as found in cancer victims, is a sign that there is deficiency of vitamin A.
3. Studies show that levels of vitamin A are very low for people suffering from viral diseases. When these people receive additional levels os the vitamin, they are said to recover faster since the defences are now restored. This shows that vitamin A is very important in causing retreats of viruses for instance those that cause measles, respiratory viruses, and even HIV.
4. Stroke victims, on the other hand, are encouraged to take vegetables and fruits (they are very good sources of beta carotene). The reason for this is because vitamin A in stroke patients helps reduce chances of the victim suffering from disabilities or in some extreme cases, death.
4. Apart from being very helpful in improving eyesight in dim light, beta carotene helps relieve the dry-eye disorder. When the lubrications of the eyes reduces, mainly due to reduction in tear production, the eyes can be very uncomfortable. Vitamin A eyedrops improve the cell fuctions in your eyes and restores their moistness.
What Is Monolaurin And What Are Its Health Benefits?
December 29, 2012 10:38 AM
Get An Immune Boost:
Man has made a big leap as far as science and pharmacology are concerned, but there are still a lot of substances useful to human health that are waiting to be discovered. There are also those substances naturally occurring but whose pharmacological properties have not yet been explored. Monolaurin, for instance, is a naturally occurring substance whose use in human health has only been lately discovered.
Monolaurin, also called glycerol monolaurate and glyceryl laurate, is a 12-carbon fatty acid as well as a monoglyceride. Although it is a derivative of coconut oil, it is most commonly prepared as a lauric acid mono-ester. Aside from coconut milk, it is also present in human breast milk, which is known to function as an immune protection passed on from mother to child after childbirth. The potency of breast milk as an immune barrier is evidenced by the stunted growth and frequency of infections seen in infants deprived of breast milk. But, all this is old information.
What's new about monolaurin?
Known Uses of Monolaurin:
Before we get to new information, it's important to look into the discovery of monolaurin. Way back in the 1960's, then University of Detroit professor Jon Kabara made an important discovery - that the combination of lauric acid and glycerol can be used in fighting germs. First marketed as a dietary supplement called Lauricidin, it was soon marketed by other pharmaceutical companies, but Lauricidin remains its most potent and purest form.
Since its discovery, it has been used as symptomatic treatment (and prevention) for the common colds, flu, herpes, and many other infections.
Working similarly to breast milk, it helps protect the immune system from infections and other ailments. Some Lauricidin users also claim that the substance is useful against Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and even autism. As for viruses, it has proven to be a useful supplement against HIV, measles, Herpes Simplex, Epstein-Barr Virus, and Cytomegalovirus, to name a few.
Recent studies have shown its in vitro antibacterial and antimicrobial activity, at least as far as superficial skin infections are concerned. Carpo, Verallo-Rowell and Kabara (2007) demonstrated the effectiveness of monolaurin versus common antibiotics in battling both gram positive and gram negative infections such as Staphylococcus and Enterococcus. Older studies have explained Monolaurin's mechanism of action - it inserts itself into the cell membrane, disturbs the cell membrane integrity of Gram positive bacteria, and therefore blocks cell replication.
Aside from medicinal uses, it is also used for other purposes as well. It is a common ingredient in many deodorants, thanks to its antimicrobial activity; body odor, as you may know, is caused by the presence of certain bacteria. It is also present in other products such as shampoo, detergents, soap, and even in certain foods such as ice cream and margarine.
Side Effects and Drug Interactions
As far as side effects are concerned, there is still a lot to be known. Some users may experience the Herxheimer Reaction, a complicated term that indicates the presence of fatigue, body ache, irritability and fever that may worsen before the medication takes effect. Use during pregnancy and breast feeding is contraindicated, given that not enough is known about its potential effects during this period. Dosage ranges from 0.75 to 3 grams, 2 or 3 times a day, and is taken after meals.
What are the health Benefits of Cod Liver Oil
July 11, 2012 08:33 AM
Cod Liver Oil Benefits
This is a nutrient rich oil derived from Cod fish liver and can be in the form of capsules or oil. The Cod liver oil has been used for many generations to treat various health conditions and to boost the human's immune system. Otherwise, it is one of the recommended nutritional supplements especially when it comes to enriching your system with:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- DocoHexaenoic Acid (DHA),
- EicosaPentaenoic Acid (EPA)
All these nutrients are beneficial to the body in various ways and have proved to be great home remedies for conditions such as arthritis. So this is how all these nutrients will benefit the body.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant which helps protect the body from the development of free radicals and in the long run reduce the formation of cancer cells in the body. Therefore, your system will be protected from cancer and other diseases owing to the presence of beta carotene and alpha carotene. On the other hand, since Vitamin A is an immune booster it assists in treating measles, respiratory infections, viral infections, improves your eyesight, Inflammation Reducer, and cardiovascular performance.
One of the main benefits of Vitamin D is the fact that it helps the intestine absorb nutrients such as phosphorus and calcium which are vital for bone formation and strengthening. This is why Cod liver oil is an ideal home remedy for arthritis. It also prevents osteomalacia and weakening of muscles and rickets at the same time assist in regulation of blood pressure, reduces stress, tension, muscle aches and spasms and improves the general health of the skin.
EicosaPentaenoic Acid (EPA)
It it one of the main nutrients found in the Omega 3 fatty acids which normally assists in treating coronary heart disease, reduces formation of high triglycerides, controls high blood pressure and reduces inflammation. It also has a positive effect on depression, reduces formation of blood clots and improves the health of arteries. Actually, EPA is renowned for its positive effects on the health of the human heart.
DocoHexaenoic Acid (DHA)
DHA found in cod liver oil is a polyunsaturated fatty acid which is a main ingredient of the omega 3 fatty acids. Findings have it that DHA is an ideal component for controlling inflammatory disorders, arteriosclerosis, types of cancer, myocardial infection as well as thrombosis.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
The omega 3 fatty acids are mostly beneficial owing to the presence of DHA and EPA. However, findings indicate that the the omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for the enhancement cognitive functions especially when it comes to the memory. It is also an ideal remedy for children with ADHD considering the fatty acids assist in enhancing behavioral functions.
In other words, the cod liver oil is one of the recommendable nutritional supplements owing to its overall benefits to the immune, circulatory, cognitive and cardiovascular systems. This means that one teaspoon of the cod liver oil could save you from many health situations in comparison to not having it at all. It is also advised that you take at least 1-2 tablespoons everyday especially if you need such nutrients to boost your immune system.
October 29, 2009 12:56 PM
The pennyroyal herb is a member of the mint genus. It is an essential oil that is extracted and used in aromatherapy. Crushed pennyroyal leaves and foliage give off a very strong spearmint fragrance. Traditionally, pennyroyal is used as culinary herb, folk medicine, and abortifacient. This herb was commonly used by the Greeks and Romans as a cooking herb. The Greeks often flavored their wine with pennyroyal. Additionally, a large number of the recipes in the Roman cookbook of Apicius use pennyroyal along with herbs such as lovage, oregano, and coriander. Although it was still commonly used for cooking in the Middle Ages, it slowly fell out of use as a culinary herb. Today, it is seldom used. However, the essential oil of pennyroyal is extremely high in pulegone, which is toxic volatile organic compound, and is therefore poisonous to the liver and can stimulate uterine activity.
Pennyroyal was brought by European settlers to the New World. There, they found that Native Americans were using the American variety of pennyroyal for repelling insects, skin irritations, and many of the same illnesses that they were using their own variety for. Additionally, this herb was used to soothe the stomach and relieve cold symptoms. The pennyroyal that is found in America has similar properties to the herb that is found in Europe. However, the European variety is thought to be much more potent.
This herb possesses a volatile oil that works to remove gas from the stomach. It can be consumed as a tea of used as a footbath. If it is taken a few days before menstruation is due, it can help increase a suppressed flow. The pennyroyal tea is beneficial in relieving cold symptoms and also promoting perspiration. This herb has a strong, minty odor. It is used externally to repel insects like fleas, flies, and mosquitoes.
The oil of the pennyroyal plant is extremely concentrated and is often linked to toxic results. The oil is often associated with abortions and convulsions that result in death. It is believed that the oil irritates the uterus, which causes uterine contractions. The action is not predictable and is potentially dangerous. It is recommended that the oil be used only externally as a natural insect repellant. This herb is suggested for use as a decongestant for coughs and colds. Tea that is made from the pennyroyal herb is not associated with toxicity. In fact, it helps to relax the digestive tract and soothe the stomach.
In short, the entire pennyroyal plant is used to provide alterative, antispasmodic, antivenomous, aromatic, carminative, decongestant, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, nervine, oxytocic, parasiticide, sedative, stimulant, and stomachic properties. Primarily, pennyroyal is extremely beneficial in treating bronchitis, childbirth pain, colds, colic, uterine cramps, fevers, gas, lung infections, and absent menstruation. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with convulsions, coughs, abdominal cramps, delirium, earache, flu, gout, headaches, leprosy, measles, migraines, mucus, nausea, phlegm, pleurisy, pneumonia, smallpox, sunstroke, toothaches, tuberculosis, ulcers, uterine problems, and vertigo.
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 pennyroyal, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
September 24, 2009 10:50 AM
The pleurisy plant is a perennial herb that has several stems. It can be found growing three feet high, with branches at the top. The leaves are dark green on the upper surface and pale green on the underside. The flowers are richly colored orange and are found blooming from June through September. This plant is a member of the milkweed family. Monarchs, swallowtails, and other butterflies are especially attracted to the pleurisy plant when it is in flower. The plant prefers open, dry fields. It is often growing in abundance in the southern United States. Similar to other milkweeds, pleurisy root produces pods that reveal rows of silky reeds that drift in the wind in autumn. However, unlike most milkweeds, this species does not produce a milky sap.
This plant is native to North America. It was long used by Indians and pioneers. Often, it was spread onto sores after being powdered and mixed into a paste. Indians of several regions brewed a tea from the leaves to induce vomiting in certain rituals, while settlers and Indians alike made a tea from the root to induce perspiration and expectoration in severe respiratory conditions. Pleurisy was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopeia in the 19th century.
Pleurisy root developed its name because of its use for treating lung conditions. The name comes from the Greek root word pleura, which means “lung membranes.” This name implies that this herb is extremely valuable for treating pleurisy. This is because it relieves chest pain and eases breathing difficulties. Pleurisy was used by Native Americans. Then, they introduced it to the European settlers who were suffering from numerous respiratory problems.
This herb works primarily as an expectorant. Pleurisy helps to expel phlegm from bronchial and nasal passages. The herb is responsible for opening lung capillaries. This aids in the release of mucus, which thins discharge. This process helps to reduce lung congestion and improve breathing.
In addition to its uses for pulmonary problems, pleurisy root is also used as a gentle tonic. This tonic helps with stomach pain that is caused by gas, indigestion, and dysentery.
Additionally, pleurisy root is a powerful diaphoretic. It increases body temperature and opens pores to induce perspiration. It has also been used against poisoning and acute rheumatism. Unfortunately, this is not recommended for children.
The root of the pleurisy plant is used to provide alterative, anodyne, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, febrifuge, nervine, mild purgative, and stimulant properties. Primarily, pleurisy is extremely beneficial in treating spasmodic asthma, bronchitis, acute dysentery, emphysema, fevers, indigestion, lung disorders, pleurisy, and pneumonia. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with croup, contagious diseases, flu, gas, kidney problems, measles, and excessive mucus, absent perspiration, poisoning, acute rheumatism, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, and typhus.
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 while on prescription medications. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by pleurisy, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions.
July 28, 2009 11:32 AM
Saffron was used by the Greeks and Chinese as a royal dye because of its yellow color. Wealthy Romans used this herb to perfume their homes. In Europe, it was used medicinally between the fourth and eighteenth centuries. It was also being used in the kitchen to cook with.
In the book The Complete Herbal, Nicholas Culpeper recommended using saffron for the heart, brain, and lungs. The herb was also suggested for acute diseases like smallpox and measles. It was also recommended for hysteric depression. Dr. David Culbreth characterized the herb as a pain reliever and was said to promote perspiration and gas explosion and ease painful menstruation in the book Materia Medica and Pharmacology. Saffron was also said to relieve eye infections and encourage sore eruptions.
This herb is soothing to both the stomach and colon. It is responsible for acting as a blood purifier. Saffron helps stimulate circulation and regulate the spleen, heart, and liver. It is also helpful in reducing inflammation; treating arthritis, gout, bursitis, kidney stones, hypoglycemia, and chest congestion; improving circulation; and promoting energy. Small doses should be taken internally for coughs, gas, and colic and to stimulate appetite. The herb can also be applied externally in a salve for gout.
It has been shown that saffron may even help to reduce cholesterol levels. It neutralizes uric acid buildup in the system. Recent research determined that rabbits, which were fed crocetin, which is a component of saffron, had a significant reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Saffron is eaten daily in Valencia and Spain, resulting in little heart disease occurring among inhabitants. The evidence has shown that saffron increases oxygen diffusion from the red blood cells. Not only does it discourage uric acid buildup, it also inhibits the accumulation of lactic acid. Therefore, it may help prevent heart disease.
Other research done on saffron suggests that the crocetin ingredient may have the potential to act as an anticancer agent in studies done both in vitro and in animals. On study that was done using saffron extract in vitro found that tumor colony cell growth was limited by inhibiting the cellular nucleic acid synthesis. Additional research on cancer has found that saffron that was given orally helped in increasing the life span of mice with variety of laboratory-induced cancers.
The flowers of the saffron plant are used to provide alterative, anodyne, antineoplastic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, blood purifier, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, and stimulant. The primary nutrients found in this herb are calcium, lactic acid, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and vitamins A and B12. Primarily, saffron is extremely beneficial in treating fevers, gout, indigestion, liver disorders, measles, excessive perspiration, phlegm, psoriasis, rheumatism, scarlet fever, and stomach acid. Additionally, this herb is very helpful in dealing with appetite loss, arthritis, blood impurities, bronchitis, cancer, colds, conjunctivitis, coughs, fatigue, gas, headaches, heartburn, uterine hemorrhages, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, insomnia, jaundice, kidney stones, menstrual symptoms, skin disease, tuberculosis, ulcers, water retention, and whooping cough.
In order to obtain the best results when supplementing with this, or any herb, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by saffron, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions. Saffron is available at your local or internet health food store. Note: Saffron should not be consumed internally.
BoneSet For Fevers
June 09, 2009 12:15 PM
Boneset was used by Native Americans for a valuable remedy against colds, flu, and fevers. Other common names that boneset is identified by include: thoroughwort, vegetable antimony, feverwort, agueweed, Indian sage, sweating plant, eupatorium, crossword, thoroughstem, thoroughwax, and wild Isaac. In most cases, boneset has been used primarily to treat fevers. They introduced boneset to the settlers in the New World. From 1820 through 1916, boneset was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. This herb was also listed in the National Formulary from 1926 through 1950. Boneset has been used to restore strength in the stomach and spleen. It has also been used as a tonic for acute and chronic fevers. Dr. Edward E. Shook actually felt that boneset was beneficial for every kind of fever humans are subjected to. He also believed that it had never failed in overcoming influenza.
Recent research has found that boneset contains antiseptic properties that help to promote sweating. These properties also help in cases of colds and flu. Boneset has also been shown to contain antiviral properties and strengthen the immune system by enhancing the secretion of interferon. Additional studies have found that boneset is effective against minor viral and bacterial infections by stimulating white blood cells. Additionally, this herb has been used to treat indigestion and pain and may also contain some mild anti-inflammatory agents to help with conditions like arthritis.
Boneset is a perennial herb that has an erect stout and a hairy stem. It grows from two to four feet high, with branches at the top. The leaves of the boneset plant are large, opposite, united at the base, and lance-shaped. They grow anywhere between four to eight inches in length and taper into a sharp point. The edges of these leaves are finely toothed, with prominent veins. These leaves help to distinguish this plant species at first glance. The flower heads of the boneset plant are terminal and numerous, being large, and having anywhere from ten to twenty white florets. The plant possesses an aromatic odor, with an astringent and strongly bitter taste. This plant species varies considerably in size, hairiness, form of leaves, and inflorescence. It can typically be found flowering from July to September.
The entire herb is used to provide alterative, anti-inflamamtory, antiperiodic, antiviral, diaphoretic, emetic, febrifuge, purgative, nervine, and stimulant properties. The primary nutrients found in boneset include calcium, magnesium, PABA, potassium, and vitamins C and B-complex. Primarily, boneset has been shown to be extremely helpful in dealing with chills, colds, coughs, fever, flu, malaria, pain, rheumatism, typhoid fever, and yellow fever. Additionally, this herb is beneficial in treating bronchitis, catarrh, jaundice, liver disorders, measles, mumps, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, scarlet fever, sore throat, and worms. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by boneset, please contact a representative from your local health food store.
Although there is no recent clinical evidence that guides the dosage of boneset, traditional use of the herb suggests that a dose be about two grams of leaves and flowers. The internal use of this herb should be tempered by the occurrence of hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids in this plant. For those women who are pregnant or lactating, this herb should not be used, as there have been documented adverse effects on those women who are pregnant and/or lactating.
Boneset is available in capsule, tablet, and liquid extract forms at your local or internet health food store. Look for name brands to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
April 08, 2009 07:59 PM
There have been few herbs throughout history that have been valued as highly as the aloe vera plant. Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years because of its medicinal value and therapeutic benefits. Today, it is widely used and cultivated all over the world. The aloe vera plant is a member of the lily family. However, it looks much more like a cactus plant. This perennial produces yellow flowers and has tough, stiff, spiny, and triangular leaves. This plant may grow up to twenty inches long and five inches across, while the leaves grow in a rosette with three layers.
Historically, aloe has been used by many people. This includes the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, Chinese, Indians, Algerians, Moroccans, Tunisians, and Arabians. Records of folklore have indicated many medicinal uses of aloe, with recent research adding validity to the many beneficial uses of the aloe plant.
Traditionally, aloe vera has been used to treat wounds, frostbite, burns, radiation burns, and external pain. This herb also aids in digestion and combats constipation, inflammation, ulcers, kidney stones, and tissue damage from X-ray exposure and other forms of radiation. Aloe vera can prevent scarring and heal minor scars because it contains enzymes, saponins, hormones, and amino acids that can be absorbed into the skin. Aloe vera can also promote the growth of living cells. Aloe contains many substances that are referred to as uronic acids. These uronic acids are natural detoxicants which take part in the healing process by stripping toxic materials of their harmful effects.
Aloe vera is best known for its soothing and external healing effect on burns, wounds, and rashes. According to modern research, when aloe is applied externally, it can help speed healing and restore skin tissue. This is primarily because of the plant’s moisturizing effects. Aloe is easily absorbed into the skin, preventing the air from drying damaged skin tissue and helping to relieve the pain that is associated with both burns and wounds.
Many studies have found the positive effects that are linked to the use of aloe juice in the digestive process. Used in the digestive process, this herb can treat stomach disorders, ulcers, colitis, constipation, and other colon-related problems. Aloe can also help to soothe, reduce inflammation, and heal the digestive tract. One study found that ulcer patients can be completely healed with the use of aloe juice just as effectively as anti-ulcer drugs and without the chance of toxic side effects.
Aloe gel is made up of acemannan, which is a complex carbohydrate that possesses immune-stimulating and antiviral properties. The acemannan in aloe has shown antiviral activity against HIV-1, as it inhibits the reproduction of HIV-1. Aloe gel has also been found to be effective in fighting the spread of some viruses, like herpes, measles, and rhinotracheitis.
The primary applications of aloe vera are to treat insect bites, burns and scalds, hemorrhoids, body odor, gastric disorders, and scar tissues. However, aloe vera has also been shown to be extremely beneficial in dealing with abrasions, acne, anemia, constipation, heartburn, poison ivy/oak, psoriasis, ringworm, sores, sunburn, tapeworm, tuberculosis, wrinkles, leg ulcers, and peptic ulcers.
Aloe vera is available in capsule, tablet, liquid and powder forms. Always purchase a liquid form to ensure freshness. When looking to purchase this product, always stick to name brands that you can find in your local or internet health food store.
*Statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Aloe vera is not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult with your professional health care provider before changing any medication or adding Vitamins to medications.
February 27, 2009 02:34 PM
Mumps, a common viral illness mostly occurring during childhood, is caused by a type of virus that is known as a paramyxovirus that infects the parotid glands, which are the salivary glands that are located at the jaw angles below the ears. Symptoms include swelling of one or both glands plus headache, fever, chills, decreased appetite, sore throat, and pain when swallowing or chewing, especially when swallowing acidic substances such as citrus juices. A lot of times, one of the parotid glands will swell before the other, and as swelling in one gland subsides, the other begins to swell. Mumps travels from person to person by means of infected droplets of saliva or direct contact with contaminated materials. This illness can be contracted through sneezing, coughing, kissing, talking, breathing, drinking out of the same glass as an infected person, and sharing utensils. This virus has an incubation period that can vary from fourteen to twenty-four days, with the average period being about eighteen days. A person with mumps is contagious any time from forty-eight hours before the onset of symptoms to six days after the symptoms have started. Although this attack is not as contagious as measles or chickenpox, it is similar in that one attack usually gives lifetime immunity.
Mumps occurs most commonly in those children that range between the ages of three and ten. However, it can occur through teenage years and, rarely, in adulthood. If this illness does occur after puberty, the ovaries or testes may become involved and sterility may result. If the testicles are affected, they become swollen and painful, while abdominal pain will result if the ovaries or pancreas is affected. Other organs that can be affected by mumps in rare or severe cases include the brain, pancreas, and kidneys. All of these can potentially cause serious complications.
The following bacteria are beneficial in dealing with mumps. Unless otherwise specified, the dosages given are for adults. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dose should be reduced to three-quarters of the recommended amount. For children between six and twelve, one-half of the recommended doses should be used, while one-quarter of the amount should be used for children under the age of six. Bifidobacterium bifidus should be taken as directed on the label to provide friendly bacteria, which contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids helps to destroy the virus and eliminate toxins if taken in dosages of 500 mg every 2 hours until improvement is noted.
One 15 mg zinc lozenge should be taken every 4 to 6 hours to aid healing. Acidophilus should be taken as directed on the label, as it contains antibiotic substances that inhibit pathogenic organisms. A free-form amino acid complex should be taken as directed on the label, as it is important for tissue repair and healing. 50,000 IU of vitamin A with mixed carotenoids should be taken daily, as it potentates immune function. Kelp, which contains essential minerals, iodine, and vitamins, should be taken in dosages of 1,000-1,500 mg daily. Additionally, the following herbs are beneficial in dealing with mumps: catnip, chamomile, dandelion, Echinacea, elderflower, lobelia, mullein, peppermint tea, slippery elm bark, barley, and yarrow.
Vitamin supplements are great to help fight off colds, but with the mumps always consult your doctor, if left untreated further life threatening complications may occur which is not desirable by anybody. Vitamin and Herbs are available at your local or internet health food store.
First, the Painful Inflammation
April 03, 2008 12:43 PM
Inflammation occurs because of the reaction of your immune system to what it perceives as being the presence in your tissues of dangerous foreign particles. Your immune system generally reacts to particles. Typical particles are bacteria and viruses, pollen, smoke, your own body cells that are not doing what they should, moulds and fungi, and various other things that can circulate in your blood.
There are several reasons for the immune system being activated, some of them historical due to your body having an imprinted memory of previous bacteria and viruses that it has dealt with, and others the reaction to new invaders that it has never met before, and for which your immune system creates antibodies to destroy. Another is the recognition of abnormal body cells that have to be destroyed before they can proliferate, and yet another is when the immune system gets confused and itself damages your own tissues such as in rheumatoid arthritis.
Whatever the cause, inflammation is a common result of the immune system going to work, and can be extremely painful. It can cause damage to our own joints, vascular system and major organs, although treatment of the inflammation does not reduce the effectiveness of the immune response. You can safely treat the inflammation with anti-inflammatories and painkillers without the condition getting worse.
Common physical manifestations of inflammation are the swollen and painful joints of rheumatoid arthritis (osteoarthritis is not an immune response), the swelling in the airway of asthma, the spots and swellings of measles and chickenpox, the lesions of psoriasis and the swelling and pain of abrasions and cuts that have gone ‘septic’ or ‘poisoned’. The latter two are simply examples of the effect of phagocytes and leucocytes on bacterial infection – the white blood cells and their cohorts!
The reason that inflammation causes pain is that it affects nerve endings, and causes pressure against the damaged tissues that initiated the immune response. Although regular painkillers can control the pain of inflammation to an extent, they are generally not the ideal treatment. Herbal treatments are not necessarily always the ideal treatments either, but boswellia is one herb that has been proved to be effective in reducing the pain of inflammation.
Basics of the Immune System
June 10, 2005 03:01 PM
Basics of the Immune System
by Leonid G. Ber, MD Energy Times, September 1, 1998
In a world filled with pathogens and microbes, good health and resistance to disease is no accident. It requires a vigorous and vigilant immune system. The immune system should be viewed as an internal security force that is constantly checking the identity of everything entering and already existing in the body. A cell or substance may be recognized as "non-self" and a potential enemy if it does not have the right molecular make-up. A cell displaying molecules produced according to a different blueprint than the body's own code may be recognized as foreign. To eliminate alien material that may harm the body, the immune system must take swift action.
Recognizing entities that originate outside the self forms the key to overall immune system response. This key is carried in the body by cells called macrophages (ma-kro-fajs), a name derived from a Greek term meaning "big eater." Macrophages eat or engulf foreign cells and molecules. When a macrophage encounters something that it distinguishes as being "non-self" or abnormal, it can attack the enemy with a series of assault weapons, including free-radicals (reactive substances) and enzymes, that dissolve and weaken the intruder. In fact, an enzyme produced by macrophages called lysozyme is recognized as one of nature's most powerful anti-infective agents. These chemical defenses, along with engulfment and complete digestion by macrophages, can effectively stymie invasion by disease-causing pathogens.
Harmful invasion can originate in the body's own cells as well as begin from outside sources. While we are constantly exposed to bacteria, viruses, fungal cells and parasites, destructive cancerous growths often start within the body.
Every day, thousands of the body's cells mutate into possible cancers. Under most circumstances, the immune system keeps these cells under control. But when the immune "security" system slips up, these harmful growths multiply unrecognized.
The initial immune response that recognizes invaders is called a "non-specific defense mechanism" since this immune response is generally the same toward all invaders. This counter-attack entails battling every invader pretty much identically: a macrophage can engage, dissolve, weaken, engulf, digest, eliminate. However, if, despite the initial immune efforts, the problem persists, a macrophage can tag an invader and "introduce" it to the rest of the immune system, thus recruiting more specialized types of immune cells to enter the battle. This tagging function endows macrophages with the name "antigen-presenting cells." (Antigens are substances that can provoke specific responses by the immune system.)
Most antigens are proteins. Proteins are relatively large molecules made of smaller units called amino acids. The specific geometric organization of amino acids is what conveys uniqueness to each protein. (Your genetic code forms a blueprint for the production of your own, individual proteins.) Protein molecules produced by one human being can act as an antigen for another human being. That's why organs transplanted from one person to another can be rejected by the immune system. Unless organs are transplanted from one identical twin to another (who share the genetic blueprint for protein creation), doctors must use immune-suppressing drugs to curtail organ rejection. At the same time as these medicines prevent transplant rejection, they also make people more susceptible to infectious diseases and cancer.
After one set of immune cells chemically tags antigens (invaders) for recognition, other highly specialized parts of the immune system go into action: Cells called T cells or T lymphocytes acknowledge the invaders and can take the further action (second line of defense) that is necessary to render them harmless.
T cells get their name from the thymus (an organ located behind the sternum) where they originate. The thymus, most active when we're young, usually shrinks and apparently slows or shuts down its activity about the age of forty.
A wide variety of T cells inhabit lymph nodes (soft, usually round, pea- or nut-sized organs) and other body areas. For instance, natural killer cells, as their name implies, are a particularly aggressive type of T cell. Another type of T cell is called T helper (a cell that supports development of immune response). T suppressors halt immune response when infection ends.
In order to make all these different cells work in concert, cytokines or messenger molecules are produced that facilitate constant communications between all the parts of the immune system.
The B Team
Other organs of the immune system include:
*bone marrow: a powerful cell producing organ where the majority of immune cells are born;
*spleen: an abdominal organ that forms a reservoir for the production of immune cells.
Lymph nodes oversee particular segments of the body where they collect and recycle tissue fluids. Like an early warning system, lymph nodes react when an invader is detected in the part of the body that it controls.
Yet another step in the so-called immune cascade entails action by lymphocytes, called B cells, which originate in the bone marrow. These cells produce antibodies which are immune proteins (immunglobulins) that attack specific antigens.
While traveling in the blood, an antibody can bind to an antigen, curtailing its harmful action. This bound up molecule forms a complex easily recognized by scavenging macrophages which make a quick meal out of the unlucky invader.
After enemy cells are removed from the body, knowledge of this victory resides in the immunological memory prolonging your resistance toward specific disease pathogens indefinitely. That's why someone who has recovered from a disease like the measles may be impervious to reinfection.
Rules for Optimum Immunity
Even though the immune system consists of a complex team of hard-working cells, enhancing your immunity is relatively easy:
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avoid continuous stress and negative emotions or cope with them through exercise or meditation. Consistent, moderate exercise can boost the immune system. Massage can also help although extreme care must be taken when inflammation or disease is already present.
Sleep 7-8 hours a day. Sleep allows the body to recover and rebuild. Protein synthesis, vital for a healthy immune system, increases during the night.
Stick to a healthy diet. Your immune system consists of trillions of cells. Consequently, nutrients important for cell health boost the immune system. A balanced low-calorie diet rich in complex carbohydrates, "good" fats (including fish oils, olive oil and flaxseed oil) along with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrient antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables can fortify immune cells. Plus, drinking plenty of water helps improve circulation of lymph fluid.
These recommendations are not hard to meet once they become a part of your daily routine. However, extra immune security may be necessary during flu season, while traveling long distances (airplanes are notorious sources of pathogens) or when working extensive hours in front of a computer screen. In addition, exposure to x-rays, immunosuppressive chemicals, ultraviolet radiation (the sun) or simply aging may give your immune cells extra burdens.
Your "specific" immune system does not respond immediately to the challenge of invasion by an infectious organism. Instead, it may require about 2 weeks for an effective reaction after antigen recognition and alerting T cells. During this period, the macrophages' non-specific defense assumes a crucial role in keeping infection in check.
Enhanced activity by macrophages is especially important for recognizing and destroying cancer cells. The most dangerous cancers are those that can mimic normal cells and avoid the immune system's wrath. Few substances can activate macrophage function in the body (aloe vera contains substances that contribute to this process). The most powerful macrophage activator recognized by the scientific community is a sugar-like substance called beta-1,3-D-glucan. Beta-glucan, extracted from the cell walls of common Baker's yeast, when taken in certain small amounts, can prevent infection by making macrophages more active in recognizing and attacking infectious bacteria, fungi and certain viruses.
This kind of activation can encourage macrophages to attack previously unrecognized tumor cells. As a result, tumors may be eradicated as the immune system mobilizes and produces what may be known as "spontaneous healing."
When a macrophage works overtime fighting disease, its demand for nutrients and energy increases dramatically. Vitamin C, known for its immune supporting function, seems to be especially important for maintaining fully active macrophages. Vitamin C collects in macrophages, often reaching forty times the concentration found in surrounding blood. What are conventionally considered normal amounts of vitamin C in the body may be insufficient to keep macrophages well supplied with this antioxidant. Therefore, extra amounts of vitamin C can keep the immune system in fighting trim.
Scientists are only now beginning to uncover the secrets of the highly organized immune system. One thing's certain: The immunity security team depends on proper lifestyle, nutrition and supplements to maintain the critical defenses necessary for good health.
Dr. Ber received his doctorate in internal medicine from the Yaroslavle, State Medical Institute in Yaroslavle, Russia.