Asian American Women and Depression

You are an Asian American female who has it all together: you may have an advanced degree, you are a hard working professional, you have savings in the bank, perhaps even a house with a yard. Underneath the apparent success and achievement, are you really all that happy?

Research and statistics painted a surprising and bleak picture: Asian American women have the highest suicide rate among all women in the United States. These studies also shown that there are high numbers of Asian American women suffer from depression and have contemplated suicide. This doesn’t make a lot of sense, since Asian Americans are considered the “model minority” who has shown to be a highly successful group in the American society. Why are so many Asian American Women depressed and feeling suicidal?

Many researchers argue that Asian American culture is achievement oriented, that you are expected to succeed in all areas of life, and there is no room for failure. The pressure to be highly successful is often unrealistic and caused a lot of stress for Asian Americans regardless of gender. For the Asian American Women, however, there is additional stress caused by having to manage or deal with conflicting sexual stereotypes as well as being hyper-sexualized. Many experience confusion in having to adopt between identities of the strong and powerful “dragon lady”, and the passive, soft and submissive role. How can you be expected to be accomplished and outspoken at the same time being passive and modest? Other than these dualistic societal images, Asian American Women also face additional stress from their family expectations. All these factors may contribute to a limited sense of identity and self-worth, which also results in depression.

I have seen many of these issues come up in my therapy practice, again and again, despite of whether these women are born in US or are first generation immigrants. They work hard to be academically successful or have a well respected career. Some also struggle with dating or being in relationships, choosing an Asian or non Asian life partner, and between being independent or losing oneself within relationships. At some points in their lives, many of them experience high anxiety, depressed mood, confusion and inner conflicts that are so strong and unbearable that they become depressed, and have thought about ending their lives.

As an Asian American woman, I have also grappled with many of the same struggles and periods of depression. I encourage all of us Asian American Women out there to find your identity, find your place, be kind and accepting of different and creative ways of being in the world. And as a therapist, I urge those of you who experience depression to reach out for support, to your friends, to your community, to your spiritual guidance, or to a culturally sensitive therapist. You can end depression with some outside help. You don’t have to be alone.

You may be interested in learning more about this topic on the following links:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113114107

http://www.womensenews.org/story/mental-health/060918/asian-women-face-model-minority-pressures

Fear of Flying Tips – Learn to Love What You Hate

Visiting to other places is one of the most dreamed activities of everyone. Hence, the problem on fear of flying has been getting most of the attention and should be treated as soon as possible. Fear of flying is common to most individuals especially to those who have existing anxiety problems.

What other individuals should know about being scared to fly is that it may also be attributed to other phobias like falling, open and close spaces. All of these ailments can then have terrible impacts on the person’s life and thus influencing his way of life and his entire personality. There numerous reasons for why people suffer this type of phobia.

Other people experience this ailment because of the traumatic experiences they have from in the past. This fear can originate from lack of trust or the primary understanding and knowledge about flying and how aircraft work. There are individuals who feel stressed and act strange every time they hear stories about flying or anything related to airplanes.

It is imperative to learn some fear of flying tips and guidelines on how to cope with your phobia so you can learn to appreciate flying more than a thousand feet above the ground. As soon as you have successfully done these suggestions, you will notice the positive change it brought you.

Try to get to know yourself. It is the first step that you have to do so you can step up and trample anything that scares you. Discover the reasons behind the development of this disorder. You also have to accept the fact that you are scared of flying so you can free your mind from any bad thoughts. And identifying the factors that can trigger your fear is also a big help in your coping process.

A thorough research of the subject matter is very important. As soon as you have acknowledged and assessed your fear, you can easily answer all the questions hovering inside your head. Past issues can still haunt you but this time you can deal with them accordingly.

It pays to ask for assistance and look for other ways on how to deal with it. There are so many fear of flying tips you can read on the internet. You simply have to determine which one you think works best for you. But the most important ingredient to make the process effective is your determination and cooperation. If you are willing to be cured then everything follows.

Anxiety problems like this can greatly affect your lifestyle and thus treatment should definitely go on top of your priority.

Anxiety Attacks – Is Lack of Purpose Causing Your Anxiety?

Why do you have anxiety? Why are you prone to panic attacks? What’s wrong with you? Why are you worried so much? These are some of the questions that might be flashing through your mind if you suffer from generalized anxiety or panic attacks.

There are a lot of reasons that people experience anxiety at different points in their lives or as a sustained problem. Traumatic events, upheaval, financial, personal or emotional strain and longer term biological and behavioral factors may come into play. For some people, however, they experience anxiety because they lack meaning or purpose in their life. 

So many of us often ask the question, why are we here? What is our purpose? What were we meant to contribute? Some answers seem obvious; others are more elusive and leave us searching for answers. 

We all have a basic idea that we should strive to be good people, help others, give to those less fortunate and work hard with honesty and integrity. But so many of us wonder how to achieve our full potential, how to achieve great things, whatever that particular concept means to us as individuals, and live a complete life. 

So many people are bored, stymied, feel held back or incomplete because they haven´t achieved or accomplished what they think they are capable of. If you´re having this nagging feeling of not reaching your potential it can make you anxious. 

If you feel trapped in your job, your residence, your location, your family situation and your current life, it can contribute to anxiety, phobias or panic attacks. These attacks are simply manifestations of the fear you feel about being trapped in your current life situation. Fears are often a mirror through which we can view ourselves. 

Sometimes simply finding an outlet to give your life greater meaning or purpose can reduce your feelings of anxiety and panic. Monumental changes to your life are not usually necessary but finding a passion, exploring and developing it can be instrumental in providing you with a more positive outlook. 

Going back to school, changing your career, developing a talent or getting involved in your community can all be ways to find a more complete purpose in life. When we feel we are living up to our potential, using our talents and fulfilling our purpose we feel better about ourselves, others and our own lives. Feeling good is really the best tool in fighting anxiety, panic and fear. 

Regardless of your age, profession or life circumstances you can make small changes that have big mental impacts. Happiness isn´t measured in dollars; it´s really about being fulfilled. Some people find this feeling at church or with their own spirituality, while others find it through community involvement and outreach. 

Still others find satisfaction in pursuing hobbies, changing careers, learning a new occupation or developing a new talent. Contributions big and small are all important to the world and you need to find your little piece of happiness. 

Once you do, you will feel better, experience less anxiety and lead a generally more fulfilled life.  Start your search now. 

What is the Hyaluronic Acid Fibromyalgia Link?

Research into fibromyalgia and its causes is ongoing and there are a number of treatment options being studied. Now, a hyaluronic acid fibromyalgia has been suggested as a potential reliever and cure for this life altering, and increasingly common ailment.

What is fibromyalgia? The condition is diagnosed when a person suffers pain in the connective tissues of the body, especially in the joints and in musculoskeletal areas, along with other symptoms like fatigue, headaches and poor concentration. However, pain is the overwhelming symptom and can stop people from performing day to day tasks that non-fibromyalgia sufferers take for granted.

So, how does hyaluronic acid fit into the picture? Well hyaluronic acid is a naturally forming substance that is found in the synovial fluid surrounding our joints and can be found in almost all connecting tissues throughout the human body — like in the ligaments and in the tendon fibers of the areas inflicted with pain when there is fibromyalgia.

Recent research from a study of 35 people with fibromyalgia who were given hyaluronic acid over a period of 1 to 14 months resulted in a reduction of pain in most sufferers. Specifically 21 people had no pain after the treatment, 6 people experienced a 60% reduction in pain and just 8 sufferers reported no difference to their pain levels.

These are promising results given that in the United States alone, it is estimated that there are about three to five million Americans who are suffering from fibromyalgia. What is worse is that fibromyalgia is a chronic disease. Thus, a patient can experience its painful symptoms for years. These symptoms include joint pains, fatigue, insomnia, headaches and fever.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a type of special protein that is in gel-like form. Think of it like an oil that serves as a lubricant to the body’s joints. It is essential in making the joints and the adjacent connective tissues function better because it serves as a shock absorber.

When joints become inflamed the level of hyaluronic acid noticeably declines, as it does with age, which is why the number of people with osteoarthritis rise with age.

Hyaluronic acid can be found in the eyes, in the skin and connective tissues of humans and animals. It is also found to be present in the fluid that comes along with the umbilical cord when a mother gives birth to an infant.

Keep reading to find out the benefits of Hyaluronic acid and to sign up for the Free newsletter dedicated to bringing you natural ways to treat fibromyalgia symptoms.

When taking Hyluronic acid in supplement form it will normally come from animal sources to which some people can have an adverse reaction. However, modern pharmaceuticals have devised ways to synthesize the substance. Thus, there are synthetic versions of the acid that are produced using the fermentation process of a certain type of bacteria. This is available in drop form that you add to drinks.

Hyaluronic acid reduces pain by subduing nerve sensitivity linked to joint pain, calming inflammation, changing the behavior of immune cells, and increasing the body’s production of hyaluronic acid in cells found in the joint lining. It is also safe to take alongside glucosamine and chondroitin. Speak to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Although there are many fibromyalgia sufferers who have experienced significant relief from taking hyaluronic acid, fibromyalgia research is still ongoing to find more sophisticated treatments.

Got Ringworm?

Ringworm is a common fungal infestation that can affect people and animals.

Caused by organisms called dermatophytes, ringworm can infect the skin, hair, nails and feet. You will know that you have ringworm of the skin if you develop a rash that looks red and patchy then develops into multiple red rings that may be scaly or itchy. Ringworm of the scalp causes patchy hair loss (in animals as well as people,) and ringworm of the nails can cause thick, crumbling and discolored nails. Ringworm of the foot, also known as “athlete’s foot,” can cause scaly, itching skin on the feet, especially

between the toes.

To treat ringworm, there are several options available to you depending on the type of ringworm that you have.

Anti-fungal topical treatments are often the most widely used treatment for ringworm of the skin. Your doctor can prescribe such a cream, or you can

also find effective fungus fighting creams over the counter at your local pharmacy. Some common names for topical ringworm treatments that you may

see are:

Terbanafine

Miconazole

Tolnaftate

Undecylenic Acid

For ringworm of the scalp and nails, you will probably have to use an orally administered treatment prescribed by a medical professional. Beginning treatment as soon as the ringworm is noticed is important to prevent

permanent hair loss.

If your pet is infected with ringworm, they will need a different kind of medicine than people take, prescribed to them by a qualified veterinarian.

There are also various home remedies for ringworm.

Ringworm is a fungal infection caused by organisms called dermatophytes. Ringworm can affect the skin, hair, feet and nails. There are prescription and over the counter remedies available for the treatment of ringworm, but if you prefer using a more natural approach you can try the home remedies

listed below.

Iodine: Iodine can be used to help fight ringworm infection. Simply apply

iodine to the infected area up to three times daily.

Sea Salt: A mixture of sea salt and warm water applied to the skin can also

help eradicate ringworm and soothe discomfort.

Clear Nail Polish: A coat of clear nail polish applied to ringworm will

suffocate the ringworm and help eradicate the infection

Vinegar: Rubbing vinegar on the infected area can also help destroy ringworm.

Chewing Tobacco: Make a poultice with chewing tobacco and a little water. Apply to the infected area, cover with a clean bandage, and allow to set overnight.

Epsom Salt: Soaking in a hot bath filled with a generous amount of Epsom salts can help get rid of ringworm.

Green Walnuts: Break open the walnuts and rub the juice found within on any areas of ringworm.

Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is a common oil that can act as an astringent and help your ringworm infection heal. Apply regularly throughout the day

to the infected area.

Diaper Rash Ointment: Any basic diaper rash ointment can be applied to ringworm several times a day to aid healing.

If the above remedies fail to get rid of your ringworm infection, contact your doctor or try an over the counter cream.

Permanent Cure For Back Pain

Nowadays, lower back pain is on the list of common disorders. Back pain, especially the lower back ache is a chronic condition where the patient suffers from a persistent mild or sharp pain in their back. Besides, the pain may accompany stiffness, burning, tingling and numbness. If you are looking for the best cure for this pain, Ayurveda is the answer. Let’s take a look at the causes and treatment methods of the lower back pain in Ayurveda.

Causes

Mostly, backache is the result of the poor posture. With balanced posture, you can reduce strain on your back, as the right posture will keep the bones, muscles and other parts of the body in the natural position.

When you maintain an abnormal sitting position for several hours, your spinal curve may get hurt or you may end up with pulled muscles. This can cause muscle contraction that can cause pain.

Other disorders that can trigger back pain include spinal stenosis, scoliosis, and osteoporosis. Besides, straining or spraining of the ligaments or muscles in your back can also cause the pain.

If the tissues around your spine suffer from a prolonged stress, or the tissues get damaged due to a hard blow, you may get pain in your back. A sedentary lifestyle is another most common cause.

Treatment methods

The traditional treatment for the lower back pain involves the use of drugs and surgical operations. These treatments don’t work in all the cases because most people don’t have backache due to an injury. Instead, the pain is the response of the mind and body to an underlying condition.

According to Ayurveda, lower back pain occurs because of the vitiation of any of the 3 main doshas. The backache is an indicator of the weakness of bones/muscles and Vata aggravation.

Ayurvedic Treatments

In Ayurveda, the treatment of most diseases and conditions is to balance the three doshas. In Ayurveda hospitals, both internal and external treatments are used to help patients get rid of the backache. Herbal stuff, such as Asthavargam is given to the patients. Apart from this, daily purgation is also used to “fix” the vitiated doshas.

Abhyanga, which is an Ayurvedic Panchakarma way of treatment requires you to get an oil massage. Besides, Basti is really helpful for relief from the pain and fix abnormalities. If you want to use Ayurvedic herbal medicine, you can go for Mahanarayana tailam, Triphala Guggul, Lakshadiguggul and Yogarajagugul, just to name a few.

Yogasana for the Lower back pain

At times, the pain in the back occurs when you push yourself beyond your emotional or physical capacity. Your spine should be stable. For the stability of the spine, your mind should be steady.

You first step is to train your mind to relax, and then focus on the areas of the back that hurt. With a little bit of practice on a daily basis, you can easily redirect the energy of your mind to get relief from the pain.

As far as Yogasanas are concerned, you can try easy back-bends like Sunbird, Cat and Locust. You can also try Hero Pose to realign your spine.

Hypertension – Tips To Prevent Head Rushes

Depending on your own physical situation, your medication maybe giving you problems with head rushes. Head rushes are caused by a sudden change in blood pressure, they can make you feel dizzy and disoriented. While the head rush may only last a few seconds the actual feeling seems to feel much longer.

Head rushes normally do not inflict any pain on individuals. The problem with becoming dizzy or faint is it can cause you to become disoriented if you experience one in a local that is not familiar to you. Having to grab for a chair, table or anything to hold yourself up is an embarrassing moment that will have people wondering about your over all health.

Falling down from a head rush can cause severe damage and pain to your body. The fall itself can cause you to hit an object such as a table, chair, or any other nearby piece of furniture as you collapse uncontrollably to the floor. Hitting furniture as you fall can cause severe bruising and may possibly tear the skin and cause bleeding. While bruising and bleeding sound terrible the floor can cause the biggest injury. Many people have fallen and broken a bone in their arm or leg, hitting the floor from a head rush greatly increases the chance of breaking a hip.

Here are a couple tips to help you avoid having a head rush.

Getting out of bed

In the morning should take some time. Start by waking up and simply lying in bed for at least one minute. After the minute sit up in bed and slowly move your legs to the floor. Sit on the edge of your bed for half a minute to allow the changes in blood flow. When you stand up do not walk, just stand up. If you experience dizziness or feel faint simply sit back down, if not after standing for 10 – 30 seconds you should be good for walking.

Getting up from a chair

Most people tend to push a chair away from the table by shifting their weight forward. The shift in weight tends to make the head move forward and lower towards the knees. This action increases the blood pressure from bending over followed by a sudden release or drop in blood pressure when you stand up. This can be solved by not bending over and keeping your back upright when moving you chair away from the table. If that is not possible pause after moving the chair away from the table while sitting upright. This will allow your blood pressure to return to normal. When you do stand up, stand straight up and do not lean forward.

Regardless of your body position, break up your movements with a slight rest before getting to your feet. These rest stops will help you from having a dizziness or fainting spells.

My Dog Is Constipated – What Should I Do?

Just like their owners, just about all dogs will periodically suffer from constipation; some more than others. In most cases, simple precautions and home remedies work enough to help them. However, if the problem gets out of control, it could become serious, expensive and possibly fatal.

Owners of dogs on medications, inactive, older and senior dogs should pay extra attention when their dog goes about the business of eliminating. They are commonly known to be more prone to constipation difficulties.

Dogs with pica are also prime candidates. Pica is a disorder where by a dog routinely eats inappropriate, usually indigestible items. For example: bottle caps (metal or plastic) coins, balls, screws, nails, rocks, string, wood, concrete, clothes, pillow and toy stuffing and toys. These items can cause a blockage, preventing them from eliminating.

Forms of physical blockage due to health issues are: tumors, polyps, and intestinal intussesception. Intestinal intussesception occurs when one section of the intestines telescopes into another section causing an obstruction. These are serious conditions, requiring immediate veterinary attention!

Certain medications can cause eliminating problems. Know what the side effects are of all medications prescribed for your pet. If you are aware of the side effects, you may be able to prevent them.

Stress, thyroid problems, parasites, low fiber dog food, trauma, lack of exercise and dehydration are also on the list of possible sources of blockage.

Rawhides are a common cause of not only choking, but also blockage. Do your dog a favor. Play Mr. Wizard by cutting off a piece, put it in a glass of water overnight and watch it grow! Even a small chunk caught in their intestines could not only cause a blockage, but it could also possibly cause their intestines to rupture.

Most likely, your dog is telling you they need help. Watch for if they are straining when eliminating, vomiting, appear lethargic, have difficulty walking, have a mucus discharge when eliminating, scooting, have dry, hard stools, whine, are restless, display weight loss or abdominal bloating, appear stressed/uncomfortable and/or show no interest in food. You and your dog, may have a problem.

If the situation has not risen to the critical stage, a few home remedies may help them through this painful time. Here are a few proven suggestions:

Be prepared. You should keep on hand, milk, canned pumpkin (not the pie filling), Mylanta Gas, GasX, and Metamucil, bran or sugar-less bran cereal, chicken or beef broth, canine stool softeners, canned wet food, and olive or mineral oil. Some also recommend aloe juice.

Ways to help your dog include:

Water, water, everywhere! Have a number of water bowls strategically placed around the house and yard. Often, just finding a new water bowl somewhere is enough to entice them to take a few licks.

Ice cubes! Most dogs love ice cubes. It’s a good way for them to think they are getting a treat… and you know they are getting hydrated.

Soften their food. Adding water or broth to dry food and letting it soften and swell in the bowl, before feeding it to your dog, often makes it easier to digest and pass. It can also help avoid bloat.

Mylanta Gas, GasX, or Metamucil may help ease the discomfort before your dog actually becomes seriously obstructed. Sprinkle or mix a spoonful of Metamucil on or in their food. Make sure your dog drinks plenty of water after the Metamucil!

One or two spoons of plain canned pumpkin (not pie filling) mixed in their food not only adds nutrition, it has lots of fiber! This can be used as either a preventative measure or remedy.

A little olive oil, mineral oil or the oil from a can of tuna fish added to their food can help lubricate them. You can even give them a little treat by adding the tuna. It may inspire a dog that is not interested in eating take a few nibbles.

Canned salmon is high in Omega-3 oils. Mix a little in with their dry food as a surprise now and then. Most dogs love fish!

Don’t forget fruits and veggies! String beans, fresh or frozen, have loads of fiber. Add a fistful to their regular diet. Some dogs love carrots, watermelon, bananas and apples. A few small pieces can add needed fiber to their diet in a pleasant way. Do not give them grapes or raisins!

Smaller portions, more feedings. Instead of feeding your pet once or twice a day, feed them their regular amount, but in smaller portions spaced out every few hours.

For those fast eaters that don’t chew, never mind taste their food, there are specially designed bowls, with a large “ball” in the center. The dog has to work around the ball, so they don’t just inhale their food.

For larger dogs, about a half cup of milk can get the plumbing back on track. For the smaller guys a tablespoon or two should work. You can also add a bit of bran or high fiber sugar-free cereal to the milk. What a special treat!

Some dog owners add a spoon or two of plain yogurt or cottage cheese to their dog’s daily diet, to keep them regular. It also makes meals a bit more appealing than just plunking down a bowl of dry food.

Exercise, exercise, exercise! If your dog is a swimmer, great! It’s a wonderful way to exercise your pet. If not, a couple of short walks per day, can help get things moving. It won’t hurt you either! Three or four 20 minute walks, spaced out over the course of the day can help.

For older and senior dogs, get them food made especially for them. Typically, they contain more fiber. Watch for the grain content. Look for low-grain dog foods.

For puppies, a warm, damp towel sometimes helps. They don’t get constipated very often, but if they do, wet and warm a towel, place your puppy on their back and gently rub their belly from front to back. Normally, it only takes a few strokes. Their mom did this with her tongue, when they were in the litter, to stimulate them to urinate and defecate.

Now for the serious stuff! If your dog has been suffering from constipation for more than two days, get them to your veterinarian. They may be able to treat them with IVs, suppositories and/or enemas before it reaches the critical stage. Complications from constipation can include what is referred to as megacolon. That is the advanced stage where the stools are too hard and dry to pass. It will require surgery.

Obstipation, also known as intractable constipation, occurs when the blockage is so dangerous neither the gas nor the stools can pass. Again, this will most likely require surgery.

Gross as it may sound, dog owners should be knowledgeable of their dog’s “normal” bowel movements and habits. Not only does that set off an early warning signal, it can also help recognize when your dog is back to normal. Note: Diarrhea does not necessarily mean the problem has been solved. Loose bowel movements can squeeze by blockages.

Bottom line: It’s always wiser to prevent a situation, than to have to deal with it. A few precautions can help prevent your dog from discomfort and pain. The most important thing to know is when you can no longer help them; get them to your veterinarian before it’s too late.

Beating Ovarian Cancer: Knowing the Early Symptoms

The words ovarian cancer strike fear in women of all ages. It is known as a silent disease because early symptoms are often minor or ignored altogether. This cancer forms when irregular tumors are present on one or both of the ovaries. Unfortunately, doctors are still uncertain the exact cause of the disease; however, there are some factors that may heighten the risk.

It has been shown that cancer of the ovaries is genetic, and women with the BRCA1 mutation are at an increased risk. Breast cancer victims are more likely to develop the cancer. Women also become more susceptible as they age. Those who have given birth to at least one child lower the risk of the disease. The good news is that ovarian cancer is very treatable if caught in the early stages.

Although symptoms of ovarian cancer tend to be very mild, it is very important to listen to your body and consult with your doctor if something does not feel right. Catching the cancer early will increase your survival rate. Some of the most common symptoms include bowel and urinary changes. Women might feel the urge to use the restroom very frequently, but are only able to void a small amount. They often feel bloated after eating small meals, and find themselves easily gaining weight. Another very common symptom is pelvic pain, similar to that of an ovarian cyst. Since these symptoms are common to other illnesses, it is important to see your gynecologist for a checkup.

Only your doctor can properly diagnose ovarian cancer. Very often, the diagnosis comes during a routine pelvic exam, when a cyst is felt on the ovary. Using an ultrasound, the structure of the cyst is examined. Most of these cysts are benign and resolve spontaneously; however, some irregular cysts may need to be biopsied. If the cysts are shown to be malignant, then your doctor will discuss further treatment options. This entire process may be scary and stressful; however, most women experience ovarian cysts in their life, and only a handful are cancerous.

Remember, if caught early, the odds of beating ovarian cancer are very high. Over ninety percent of women diagnosed in the early stages will survive past five years. Taking care of your body, through both diet and exercise, can reduce the risk of cancer. It is very important for all women to have yearly exams. Never feel embarrassed to talk to your doctor about changes you might be feeling. They are there to help.

6 BIG Causes of Unexplained Infertility That You Don’t Know About

This may come as a shock to many people, but unexplained infertility does not exist. There is always a cause of infertility, you may not know what it is, but it does not mean that it is unexplained.

The most common reasons for unexplained infertility are listed below:

Cause for Unexplained Infertility #1 – Bisphenol A (BPA)

BPA causes a decreased sperm count in men and has powerful hormone disrupting effects on women. It has been banned in baby water bottles in Canada as of recently, but still lingers in plastic water bottles, plastic products and water cooler bottles.

Cause for Unexplained Infertility #2 – Aspartame (now called AminoSweet), Splenda, and other Artificial Sugars

All artificial sugars are carcinogens and must be avoided at all costs. It is extremely dangerous to your health and has been marketed as safe and “fat free”. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t know what to do with it and it can seriously damage your health.

Cause for Unexplained Infertility #3 -White Sugar

White sugar is highly acidic and extremely toxic to the body. Our Standard American Diets (SAD) are so rich in sugar, it is no wonder why so many people are obese and having serious health problems. Too much sugar in your body and in your diet can cause Candida and lead to infertility. Stop drinking coke, and avoid things such as candy, cookies, cake, donuts and more.

Cause for Unexplained Infertility #4 – Candidiasis

Candidiasis or Candida is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida Albicans in the human body. It can cause serious problems in the human body including infertility, and is most commonly known for causing vaginal yeast infections in women and thrush.

Cause for Unexplained Infertility #5 – Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is the name for people who have an intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein that is found in grains such as barley, Bulgar, couscous, durum, spelt, kamut, semolina, rye, seitan, wheat and more. Gluten sticks in the intestines and can interfere with nutrient absorption. Most people can actually benefit from a gluten-free diet. As of 2010, it has been linked to infertility problems in both men and women.

Cause for Unexplained Infertility #6 -Alcohol

While you are trying to conceive, it is extremely important that both partners stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol produces a toxic by-product called acetaldehyde that is extremely harmful to the body. You can see your alcoholic binge as temporary if you are having that much problem stopping drinking.

Heroin – Use and Abuse

Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive drug and the most rapidly acting of the opiates. Heroin is processed from morphine, a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seed pod of certain varieties of poppy plants.

Heroin is typically sold as a white or brownish powder or as the black sticky substance known on the streets as ‘black tar heroin’. Most street heroin is cut with other drugs or substances such as sugar, starch, powdered milk etc. Typically, in Malta heroin or as it is better know ‘smack’ is sold in paper packets, not more than a finger nail in size, at Lm10 each. Heroin abusers never know the actual strength of the drug and so are always at risk of overdose or death. Other problems stemming out of heroin use is the transmission of HIV and other diseases that occur from sharing needles

How is heroin used?

Heroin is usually injected, sniffed or smoked. A heroin addict may typically inject up to four times a day. Intravenous injections provide the greatest intensity and most rapid onset of euphoria, (7 to 8 seconds) while intramuscular injection provides a relatively slow onset of euphoria (5 to 8 minutes) Heroin that is sniffed or smoked does not produce a rush and its peak effects are usually felt within 10 to 15 minutes

(Adapted from the National Institute of Drug Abuse)

According to NIDA researchers all three forms of heroin administration are addictive. The short term and immediate effects of heroin use are the rush, depressed respiration, clouded mental functioning, nausea and vomiting and suppression of pain. (Parker, 2002a:15) After the injection or inhalation, heroin crosses the blood barrier and is converted to morphine in the brain. That is when abusers report a rush. “Take the best orgasm you’ve ever had. Multiply it by a thousand and you’re still nowhere near.” This quote taken from the book and film ‘Trainspotting’ by Irvine Welsh best describes the heroin induced bliss addicts feel. Heroin is particularly addictive as it enters the brain so rapidly. ‘The rush is then accompanied by a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth and a heavy feeling in the extremities which may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and severe itching. ‘(Parker, 2002b:15) The long term effects are addiction, infectious diseases for example, HIV and hepatitis B and C , collapsed veins, bacterial infections, abscesses, infection of heart lining and valves , arthritis and other rheumatologic problems. (Parker, 2002c: 16)

Addiction is the most detrimental long term effects of heroin. Addiction is chronic, relapsing disease, characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use and by neuro chemical and molecular changes in the brain. Like abusers of all other drugs, heroin users gradually spend more and more time and energy obtaining and using the drug. The heroin abusers’ primary purpose in life becomes seeking and using the drug.

‘Junk is not like alcohol or weed, a means to increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life.’ (Burroughs, 1953a)

Physical dependence develops with higher doses of the drug. Withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced or stopped abruptly. Symptoms of withdrawal include restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhoea, vomiting, cold flashes (where the term cold turkey comes from) and leg movements. Physical dependence and the emergence of withdrawal symptoms were once thought to be the key features of heroin addiction. But cravings and relapse can occur weeks and months after withdrawal symptoms are long gone. This may be because the patient in pain is simply seeking relief and not the rush sought by the addict.

The Socio- Psychological explanation of its use.

There is no characteristic personality style that can be called ‘the addictive personality’. However, there are common personality traits, symptoms, and psychodynamic factors that occur in clusters of addicted persons. Many psychologists have come up with theories to try to explain addiction.

Stanton et al.’s (1982) findings about symptom function in families of drug addicts, (heroin):

1. The regressive heroin euphoria, which is characterized by infantile fusion with the mother, permits the addict a symbolic reunification with the mother and family of childhood. The drug’s blunting effects permit the addict to feel distant from overwhelming fears of incorporation while maintaining an illusory intimacy. This is true of other depressant drugs.

2. Heroin produces a sense of power and omnipotence that may unleash aggression towards family members, especially parents. This rage enables the addict to feel temporarily autonomous and freed from family bonds. The addicts chosen life is also a defiant ‘quantum leap’ from that of the family.

3. The regressive, sexually equivalent heroin high, and the resultant ‘ripping and running’ lifestyle, prevent the male addict from developing lasting and intimate relationships particularly with women. In the latter stages of addiction, drug use eradicates the sex drive.

4. As a result of the first three factors as well as underlying narcissistic personality, addicts form only pseudo families of procreation.”(Kaufman, 1994a:10)

Milkman and Frosch (1973) found a difference between heroin addicts and amphetamine abusers who had abused both drugs and experienced a preference for one of the two. For those whose choice of drug was heroin suffer from depression and despair, and relived anxiety by withdrawal from others and repression of conflict through satiation by the drug. In a later work, Milkman and Frosch (1980) emphasized the heroin addicts’ need to relive sporadic rage with opiates. Khantazian (1979) noted the specific muting and stabilizing effects of narcotics on rage and aggression. In a study of 200 heroin addicts, he also found developmental deficiencies that led to outbursts of rage, poor impulse control and dysphoria. Heroin then moderated the threat their violent feelings posed to themselves and others. On opiates, they experienced a sensation of total physical relief, which they described as mellow and calm. (Kaufman, 1994b:26)

Heroin users usually belong to a sub culture. Both heavy heroin users and controlled heroin users are bound together in small isolated groups that develop idiosyncratic, rigid rituals and social sanctions. These groups are always very fragile and drug centered. Compulsive users and controlled users rituals are usually the same. In both groups, people squabble over who gets off first, belts are used as ties and so on. The addict’s ritual is an expression of wistful identification and the outlaw’s bold stance is attractive to them.

Media, films, music and stars have in the past few decades put the spotlight on heroin use and have in some way added to its glamour. In the mid 1990’s a waif looking, emaciated, drug addicted look was popular in the fashion world. Pale skin, dark circles underneath the eyes and jutting bones were seen on the runaway models showcasing the ‘heroin chic’ look. Calvin Klein ads featured these looks in 1997. Fashion designers, model Kate Moss and movies such as ‘Trainspotting’ and ‘Pulp Fiction’ were blamed for glamorizing the heroin chic look and life style. The heroin chic fashion provided much controversy. In 1997, Bill Clinton felt he had to voice his opinion on this. President Clinton decried ‘heroin chic’ fashion photography, for sending a message that using the once feared drug is ‘glamorous’ or ‘sexy’. Clinton speaking about US drug policy took note of recent admissions by magazine editors that the ‘wasted addict’ look in some fashion layouts had glamorized heroin use. He continued to say that the glorification of heroin was not creative but destructive. It was not about art. Clinton continued to say that while cocaine use had declined, heroin use had gone up and he said that part of the reason was ‘the images that are finding their way to young people’. David Sorrenti, a fashion photographer, who used these images, died aged 20 of a heroin overdose when Clinton made these remarks to the press.

Long before this 1997 incident, heroin has been the main protagonist of lyrics, books and deaths. The first book to be written on heroin was by Thomas De Quincy – Confessions of an Opium Eater in the 18th century. The Beat Generation, mostly William Burroughs, wrote very important books on the subject. The most famous is ‘Junky’, which is autobiographical. Through out the years, we have witnessed many fatal overdoses in the show business, both in the movie world like River Phoenix, a promising young actor and numerous other deaths in music bands.

If we analyze the lyrics of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground in the song with the self explanatory title, “Heroin”, we notice that like many authors writing on heroin, it is the centre and all of addict’s life.; ‘it’s my wife and it’s my life’, ‘ because when the smack begins to flow, I really don’t care anymore’ The calming effect and the pain relief that heroin produces to its users is crystal clear in these lyrics, from the way it effects the brain and blood and the immense effect on the person’s thoughts and sense of being. Many post- Woodstock artists have penned songs on heroin. Some songs written about heroin: Neil Young : The Needle and the Damage Done, Rolling Stones : Dead Flowers, Red Hot Chilli Peppers : Under The Bridge, Velvet Underground : Heroin, Guns N’ Roses : Mr Brownstone, The La’s: There She Goes, Dandy Warhols : Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth, Wolfsheim : Heroin, Velvet Underground : Waiting for the Man, The Ramones : Chinese Rock, Lou Reed : Perfect Day, Pink Floyd : Comfortably Numb, U2 : Heroin and The Stranglers : Golden Brown:

“Golden brown texture like sun

lays me down WITH my mind she runs

throughout the night

No need to fight

never a frown with golden brown”

The Social Correlates and Consequences

In Malta not only trafficking but also possession of illicit drugs is a criminal offence. All drug users, because of possession run the risk of criminal charges. In 2003 the drug squad made 597 arrests of 528 persons. 74% of these were only for possession whilst 22% where for possession and trafficking. These were mostly for heroin and cannabis. (The National Focal Point for Drugs and Drug Addiction)

30% of Malta’s prison population is charged or sentenced for drug law offences. All inmates are tested for drugs on admission. 50% tested positive for drugs. The main drug of use was heroin, with a staggering 81%. (2004 National Report: Malta Drug Situation)

Many heroin users suffer from dual diagnosis, where a person has both a drug problem as well as an emotional/psychiatric problem. To recover fully, the person needs treatment for both problems. The most common problems are depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and in some cases even the onset of schizophrenia and personality disorders. What develops first? Most times it is the psychiatric problem that develops first, in other episodes drug dependency is the main condition and then may develop into psychiatric conditions.

In 2003, there were approximately 1,200 persons with heroin problems, in treatment- 1,000 of these are problem users based on the criterion of daily heroin use. About 700, from this client population are in substitution treatment, taking methadone for a period of three months or longer. (2004 National Report: Malta Drug Situation)

The National Focal Point for Drugs and Drug Addiction believe that there are around 350 unknown injecting drug users. About 80% of heroin users inject. Syringe data indicates that approximately 220,000 syringes were distributed in 2003. The mean age of treatment clients with a heroin or cocaine problem is usually around five years older than those with a cannabis problem. Data from heroin clients treated for the first time in 2003 showed that they started taking heroin at around 19. The mean age in 2003 was 28 years. 86% were male clients. (2004 National Report: Malta Drug Situation)

Heroin clients are the most problematic. 71% are daily users, with 63% injecting. The majority of clients who use detox are heroin users, making up 85%.

Legal Aspect and punishment

The Dangerous Drugs Ordinance controls possession and dealing in narcotics, including equipment or material used for drug production. Part II of the law forbids importation and exportation of opium. It covers offences for manufacturing, selling or dealing or usage. The law also specifies dealing as including cultivation. Penalties for trafficking are severe especially if it occurs within 100 metres of a school, youth centre of if it supplied to a minor, pregnant woman or to a person undergoing rehabilitation. (Chapter 101 Dangerous Drugs Ordinance)

Punishment is set out in the said ordinance. The court of Magistrates is competent to try out all offences against the Ordinance. The Attorney General has a right to appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeal from any judgment given by the Court of Magistrates in respect of criminal proceedings arising out of the provisions of this Ordinance. The Criminal Court hands out from twelve months to ten years plus a fine not exceeding Lm10000 for possession. For selling and dealing, the Criminal Court may give a life sentence, the only exception being when the verdict is not unanimous and when the age of the offender, previous conducts, quantity and nature of drug or social circumstances ask for this measure. In this case court may give a sentence ranging from four to thirty years plus a fine between lm1000 and lm50000. When the case is tried in the Magistrates court, punishment is less severe. For possession one may get three to twelve month’s imprisonment or/plus a fine of not more than Lm1000. For selling and dealing one can be sentenced from six months to ten years plus a fine between Lm200 and Lm5000. For the crime of trafficking there is life imprisonment plus forfeiture of property. In the case of cultivation the court may confiscate property used for cultivation.

The punishment increases if the trafficking/selling occurred near a school or involved minors or pregnant women. Probation and suspended sentences are only rewarded in the case of possession. In the case of possession of drugs by foreigners, they are not persecuted if they surrender drugs to customs officials and it is obvious from quantity it was for their own use only.

Heroin addicts that are sentenced to Corradino Correctioal Facility can benefit from the rehabilitation programme offered by SATU (Substance Abuse Therapeutic Unit) which is at Mtahleb or Caritas which also has a prison inmate programme based at Bahar ic – Caghaq. In both cases, prisoners can avail themselves of these services in the last two years of their sentences

Treatment

No specific treatment is valid for all drugs addicts. It is important that treatment is matched to each individual’s particular problems and moods. Treatment has to meet the individual’s needs. To be effective it has to address the addict’s drug use which may be linked to medical, social, vocational or other problems.

(Adapted from NIDA concerning drug abuse treatment entitled ‘Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A research- based Guide)

Counselling (individual or group) and other behavioral therapies are critical components of effective treatment for addiction. In therapy, patients address issues of motivation, build skills to resist drug use, replace drug using activities with constructive and rewarding non drug using activities and improve problem solving abilities.

Medications are also an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counselling and other behavioral therapies. Methadone and levo-alpha-acetylmethdaol (LAAM) are very effective in helping individuals addicted to heroin to stabilize their lives and reduce their illicit drug use. (Parker, 2002d:168) In Malta, the majority of heroin abusing clients are seen at the Detox centre, while 29% in community services and 20% in rehabilitation programmes. (National Report-Malta Drug Situation 2004)

Medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long term drug use. There are many types of treatments available. There are out patient drug free treatments, long term residential treatments, short term residential treatment and medical detoxification. When treating criminal drug abusers and addicts there are two effective ways, prison based treatment and community based treatment. Research shows that combining criminal justice sanctions with drug treatment can be effective in decreasing drug use and related crime.

In Malta Caritas and Sedqa offer nearly identical services for heroin addicts. There is also Oasi in Gozo offering a residential rehabilitation service. Caritas and Sedqa both offer outreach and rehabilitation programmes. They also offer information for parents and children and counselling for all the family.

World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Vs International Taekwondo Federation (ITF)

WTF fighters are “sloppy”, “lack control”, “fight with their hands down”, “focus too much on the sport”, “never punch”, “unrealistic”, etc, etc, etc. Then what do you hear about ITF? Nothing! Is that because ITF is a perfect system? No, it’s because most World Taekwondo Federation practitioners haven’t seen an International Taekwondo Federation match. The ITF isn’t practiced as much as the WTF, thus not giving it the same exposure.

I can tell you the downsides to ITF, not because I’m pro WTF, but because I hold multiple Black Belts in both styles. I currently own 2 dojangs and they are WTF. I will reveal later why our school has chosen to be affiliated with the World Taekwondo Federation over the International Taekwondo Federation.

First and foremost, I am pro Taekwondo, not pro WTF. I read a blog comment somewhere and the gentleman said that it’s ALL Taekwondo anyhow. I believe it takes a mature mind to truly understand and believe that. The World Taekwondo Federation is essentially a mutated version of International Taekwondo Federation. If you recall, one was created from the other.

We all know of Gen. Hong Hi Choi. If you’re a WTF practitioner, chances are, you’ve never heard of him. The reason you may have never heard of him was because he was viewed as a traitor by the South Korean government. Korea adopted a new system of Taekwondo after Gen. Hong Hi Choi was excommunicated from the country which is why we have two large federations today- WTF & ITF. Interestingly enough, Gen. Choi is not mentioned by the WTF.

WTF or not, Gen. Choi is the father of Taekwondo and is responsible for helping coin the name Taekwondo, and should always be remembered for that. Why he was excommunicated is an entirely different subject and won’t be discussed in this article.

Most of the techniques that were created by Gen. Choi are practiced in all Taekwondo, whether it’s WTF, ITF, or even ATA. World Taekwondo Federation practitioners evolved into a mutated version, as I stated earlier. It’s important to understand that the WTF did not create what you see today. The competitors created it. Specific rules created it. The masters and grandmasters of the World Taekwondo Federation APPROVED of it, but they did not create what we see today.

The traditional roundhouse kick was no longer good enough. The powerful sidekick became ineffective in an Olympic style competition. Punching… well, that’s just plain frustrating to a lot of people, WTF or ITF. I’ll get back to that. Please, don’t say, “I could use an effective roundhouse kick or sidekick.” I thought the same thing as a point style fighter in the ITF. I decided that I wanted to take a shot at Olympic style competition (WTF). I was successful at a local level, when I competed in my first WTF tournament, so I went to the US National Championships.

I’ll admit, I had my opponent confused, but that didn’t last long. Here is what I found out quickly. WTF practitioners can cover several meters in a split second, in any direction. My kicks were too short, imagine that… I’m 6’3″, and I didn’t have the footwork or training to move across the mat fast enough to ever hit my opponent. Sure, I had fast roundhouse kicks and sidekicks. I could sit on my back leg and snap multiple kicks to the body and head like no other.

If you think about it, the ring in an official WTF match is 12 meters square. That is nearly 40 feet wide, and that ring does get used. Here I am, a highly successful point style fighter, winning first place in practically every tournament I competed in. Then, at nationals, in San Jose, California, I’m knocked out with a swift roundhouse kick to the ribs.

The WTF roundhouse kick has several variations to be more effective. Why raise your knee straight up and turn all the way over when you can cut your distance and time by going diagonal. The kick has less power this way, but it hits your opponent much quicker. The other plus is that it sets your opponent up for another kick in which you might turn your roundhouse kick all the way over. Other stylists view this practice as being sloppy. WTF practitioners deem it as being effective.

Think of WTF competition like boxing. It’s exactly the same, just with your feet. In the WTF, we throw many “Fast Kicks” or “Quick Kicks”. In the ITF, the closest version would be a “Skipping Roundhouse Kick”. It’s a very quick motion forward, usually generated from a skip, then followed immediately with a front leg roundhouse kick. These roundhouse kicks, and 45 degree kicks are similar to a boxers jab. They’re not meant to knockout the opponent, just meant to setup for another attack.

In the World Taekwondo Federation, you’ll find other variations of the roundhouse kick, like the bada chagi (counter roundhouse kick) or the ahp bal chagi (front leg kick- typically front leg roundhouse kick). Then there’s lateral bada chagi’s, and lateral ahp bal chagi’s. Then there’s double roundhouse kicks, and triples and “quads”. Most of these kicks make ITF practitioners want to vomit when they see them. I know, the first time I saw a double kick, I thought it was a joke.

The double kick is actually a highly powerful kick that requires strength, timing, and balance. Note- the WTF double is with alternating legs in a continuous fashion. It’s effective in competition, and that’s it! If I were attacked today, the double or triple kick is the last thing I’m going to do. Why practice it then? Are you ready for my answer? Because it’s FUN! People don’t do fencing competitions because they want to learn how to defend themselves. They do it because it’s an art form to master and it’s fun. I don’t know of any WTF competitor that does competition so they can become better at self defense.

I’ve been studying martial arts for over 30 years now and I’m to the point where I don’t need to pretend or convince myself or others that WTF competition is a great self defense practice. I’m also mature enough to know that any competition is not good self defense practice, and that includes the UFC.

Heck, punching should be in your arsenal if you were ever attacked on the street. In WTF competition, we don’t punch, and it’s not because we don’t know how. It’s because the dang judges won’t EVER score them. Why throw them, and waste energy? It’s unfortunate, but that is part of the game, and that’s what sparring is. Sparring is a game.

In ITF & WTF, a sparring match is nothing more than a game of tag, with kicks and punches. I do disagree that ITF is more realistic than WTF. For the record, they are both unrealistic, in competition, in their own ways. The WTF practitioners learns to feel what a devastating blow is like. The strikes are real and they hurt, and if you’re careless, you’ll be going home with severe injuries.

On the other hand, we typically keep our hands lower, and sometimes down. By the way, when your arms are down, your body is more relaxed and you can accelerate your body and kicks better. Instead of blocking with our arms, and risk having them break, we just use footwork to move away or jam our opponent.

In an ITF match, the practitioners will fight with more care and precision, usually because they aren’t wearing gear or have limited protection. A misplaced kick will jam your toe in a hurry. I liked how we alternated between kicking and punching in ITF competition. I also enjoyed the precision and control over my kicks that I gained.

On the other hand, the constant starting and stopping of the match to award the point would break the momentum of a match and wouldn’t allow for further strategies to be developed. It also allowed you and your opponent to catch their breath- not likely to happen in a real situation.

All competition stuff aside, the WTF and ITF are wonderful systems. They have great practitioners, masters, and grandmasters. The WTF is the most practiced style in the world, therefore, you’re going to find flaws in the character of athletes just from the sheer number of people competing. You’re going to find dojangs that have completely lost the meaning of Taekwondo and martial arts as a whole. I’ve seen dojangs that have lost 100% of their etiquette and respect to martial arts.

Bear in mind, I’ve also seen Karate schools and Kenpo schools that have lost the same elements. You rarely see it, because those styles are not in the Olympics and get less exposure.

So, why are we WTF and not ITF? Years ago, I became heavily involved in competition. I had a dream to one day go to the Olympics and the only way I was going to have a chance was to switch over to the WTF. I would like to think I came close. I made it to the quarter finals at the US National Championships. I lost to an outstanding fighter and individual, Michael Tang. Michael Tang was a US Team member at that time, and was basically my only obstacle from making it to the US Team Trials that year. The match was close, very close! On the other hand, Michael had a dream too!

I had started my competition career late as a WTF competitor, since I had been a part of the ITF for so long. It was essentially my one shot, before my priorities shifted to raising a family. I understand that it’s not the style of Taekwondo or style of martial arts you practice, but rather the experience you gain from it.

In our academy, we don’t train like Olympic Taekwondo competitors. We do teach students how to punch. We even teach our students how to box and grapple as well. We also teach them practical self defense maneuvers, as opposed to rehearsed 3 step fighting patterns.

Those students that are looking for competition, train separately in class geared to prepare them for Olympic style competition. I continue to stay affiliated with the WTF because of the opportunity it provides for athletes to dream, especially young athletes who have the opportunity to train for the Junior Olympics, an exciting event for kids.

WTF or ITF, it doesn’t matter. How the curriculum is presented as well as the additional insight to martial arts you’re providing to students is what’s important.

Scientifically Tested Olive Leaf Herb Is Known To Kill Every Virus And Germ Known To Man

What is the worst case scenario for the bird flu or just how bad could it get? A question I have always wanted the answer to. Well history is always the best teacher and we have an excellent historical teacher from 1918. The answer there is the bird flu of 1918, and that teacher is foreboding. Called the aquatic bird flu that actually started in China (sound familiar) then somehow got into Kansas not Europe. Isn’t that interesting? It started among US Cavalry horses then moved to American troopers assigned to those mounts, stationed in Kansas. These Cavalry soldiers were shipped to the battle fields of Europe to take part in the fighting. Some of those soldiers arrived infected with the virus. This flu circulated throughout the densely packed cities of Europe then made its way back to America and did the same there. In a little over a years time it had run its course and 40 to 50 million people were dead.

In 1918 the big cities like London had a million people. Today our mega cities have 10 plus million people and a very fast transport system. Any new bird flu virus can travel in infected people across the world in a matter of days.

Why can’t modern medicine help us?

Until the bird flu virus of today mutates to its human infecting form, no scientific steps can be taken to create a serum. Only then can science develop the serum and begin to make large batches. This takes considerable amounts of time and fertile chicken eggs and there are not many around. Under optimal conditions modern science takes at least 6 months, minimum. Remember I just said above, it only takes days to move the virus across the world. So even with all the pharmaceutical companies around the world creating this serum only a small part of the world’s population would be protected. I hate to make this sound worse, but the virus can also mutate into other human infecting forms and other serums must be developed.

The Herbal Solution to a Bird Flu Epidemic

You can see how bad it can get and how little modern medicine can do. There has really been little progress since 1918. So what can be done to protect yourself and your family? Here is the answer that has been around for ages. Olive leaf tincture is the answer to bird flu and all other germs and virus infections. But do not take my word for it, here is some of the history of this very powerful herb and what modern science found when they looked at it.

History of Olive Leaf as Herbal Medicine

I personally believe that God was referring to the olive tree in Ezekiel 47:12, God spoke of a tree: “The fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.”

The ancient Egyptians may have been the first to put the olive leaf to practical use. They regarded it as a symbol of heavenly power, and in keeping with that belief, they extracted its oil and used it to mummify their kings. The Egyptians and later cultures also found, and there is documentation, that the olive leaf was a great herbal medicine for the relief of fevers (sounds like viral infections to me).

The knowledge of the medicinal properties of the tree (Olea europaea) date back to the early 1800’s where it was used in liquid form as a very effective treatment for malarial infections. According to the 1854 Pharmaceutical Journal of Provincial Transactions, pages 353 and 354(a), the doctors at that time stated that the properties of the tree, Olea europaea, deserved more extensive investigation.

In the early 1900’s, a bitter compound was found in the leaves of certain olive trees called “Oleuropein.” This compound was determined to be part of the olive tree’s powerful disease resistant structure. In 1962, European researchers recorded that oleuropein had the ability to lower blood pressure in animals, increase blood flow in the coronary arteries, relieve arrhythmias and prevent intestinal muscle spasms. A Dutch researcher found the chemical responsible for olive leafs healing power was elenolic acid which has strong antiviral, bacterial and antiparasitic properties.

Modern Medicine Finds That Olive Leaf is a Powerful Medicine

In the late 60’s and early 70’s, The Upjohn Companies’ test studies were published by The American Society for Microbiology in regards to a new multifunctional monoterpene which they had isolated from various parts of the olive tree. The compound was called calcium elenolate, a crystalline salt form of elenolic acid. When they tested this compound it was found to be virucidal against all viruses for which it was tested. The compound acted effectively at low concentrations without any harmful influence on host cell mechanisms. It was also found to be extremely safe and nontoxic, even at high doses. While it worked extremely well in-vitro, it was unsuccessful in-vitro. When injected into the blood stream, the compound bound quickly to the blood serum protein and rendered itself ineffective. They were unable to overcome this problem and terminated their research. During this same period, other companies had interest in the compound and performed various tests, but also lost interest. Then in 1990, interest was renewed and the process of bringing the remarkable product Olive Leaf Extract to market began.

A safety study on calcium elenolate was laboratory tested with animals and published by The Upjohn Company in 1970. The study concluded that even in doses several hundred times higher than recommended, no toxic or other adverse side effects appeared..

Recent Australian studies show that liquid olive leaf extract made from fresh olive leaves has up to 40 times more antioxidants than even the very best extra virgin olive oils. This same fresh Olive Leaf Extract also has 5 times more antioxidant power than Vitamin C, 28 times more antioxidant power than Noni juices and 6 times more than Goji juices.

The Power of Olive Leaves

Effective against fever and helpful for nervous tension; great immune booster and viral/bacterial killer. Researchers credit a number of unique properties possessed by the olive leaf compound for the broad killing power: an ability to interfere with critical amino acid production essential for viruses, an ability to contain viral infection and/or spread by inactivating viruses or by preventing virus shedding, budding or assembly at the cell membrane, and the ability to directly penetrate infected cells and stop viral replication in the case of retroviruses. It is able to neutralize the production of reverse transcriptase and protease (an enzyme found in retroviruses that enable the virus to make DNA from viral RNA). These enzymes are essential for a retrovirus, such as HIV, to alter the RNA of a healthy cell. It can stimulate phagocytosis, an immune system response in which immune cells ingest harmful microorganisms and foreign matter.

Summary of conditions for which olive leaf extract acts as a microbial and anti-viral agent

AIDS Amoebiasis Anthrax Athlete’s Foot Bladder Infection Campylobacter Chicken Pox Chlamydia Cholera Common Cold Cold Sore (herpes simplex) Cryptosporidiosis Cytomegalovirus Diarrheal Disease Diphtheria Ear Infection Ebola Sudan Virus E. Coli Epstein-Barr Virus Flu (influenza) Gastric Ulcers (from H. Pylori) Genital Herpes/Warts Giardia Gonorrhea Group B Strep Hantavirus Hepatitis A, B, C Herpes Zoster (shingles) Lyme Disease Malaria Measles Meningitis (bacterial) Meningitis (viral) Mononucleosis Pinworms Pneumonia (bacterial) Pneumonia (viral) Polio Pork Tapeworm Rabies Rheumatic Fever Ringworm Retrovirus infection Roundworm Rotavirus Infection RSV Staphylococcal Food Poisoning Strep Throat Syphilis Tuberculosis Thrush Toxic Shock Syndrome Trichinosis Typhoid Fever Urinary Tract Infections Vaginal Yeast Infections

Die-Off Syndrome

There are no negative side effects with Olive leaf extract but it does have a healthy side effect called the Herxheimer or “Die-Off” effect. Here is what takes place during a die-off effect. In the body there are microbes or viruses that somehow manage to evade the body’s immune system. Upon exposure to olive leaf tincture these microbes and viruses are destroyed which is a good thing for the person. After the microbe virus death, their cell-wall proteins are absorbed through the weakened mucous membrane, which surrounds them. The body recognizes these as toxins and begins its natural processes to get rid of them. If present in too large of numbers for the eliminative system to handle, the individual may develop symptoms that include headaches, swelling in the mouth, throat, sinuses, and lymphatic’s, rashes, fatigue, diarrhea, muscle/joint achiness, or other flu-like symptoms. The severity will vary from person to person, depending on the extent of their condition, the state of their immune and eliminatory systems, and how much olive leaf extract is being consumed.

The die off effect is desirable as it indicates that the body is being cleared of these hazardous microbes and viruses. Anyone who experiences these unpleasant effects generally feels fabulously well afterwards many times better than ever before.

If you feel the effects and you would like to minimize them, there are some easy things you can do. Many physicians recommend that an individual consume plenty of water in between usages of the product. Water keeps the lymphatic system and the kidneys functioning properly and more capable of handling the excess toxins. Another way to reduce the effects is to cut back on the dose of tincture that you are taking or go off it completely for a day or two before slowly increasing the dose once again. It can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week to completely rid the body of the excess toxins.

Why Olive Leaf Tincture?

A good question, and the answer makes common sense. Tinctures are made from the ground herb combined with pure grain alcohol. The alcohol acts as a solvent extracting the active healing ingredients out of the herb. The alcohol is then pressed out of the herb, all the valuable active herbal ingredients are now in the alcohol, the herbal pulp is discarded. This process can be done with one or a combination of herbs. In an alcohol tincture form the herb(s) are easily assimilated by the body to immediately begin the healing process such as killing germs or viruses.

Dosage

There is no official dose for taking olive leaf tincture even though it has been around for thousands of years of use and testing. The most popular amount for a maintenance dose is 2 droppers full twice daily on an empty stomach before meals. For conditions such as the common cold, flu, sinus infections, and basic respiratory tract infections, the dose is 2 droppers full every 2 hours. For acute infections such as sore throat, swollen glands, fever, etc., the recommendation is 3 droppers full every 2 hours.

Safety of Olive Leaf Tincture

From all indications over the thousands of years of use by professional and nonprofessional people; Olive leaf tincture appears to be an extremely safe supplement that can effectively aid the body in improving immune function and fighting infection by various microbes and viruses. To my knowledge and through my research I have not found one single negative case involving the use of olive leaf tincture.

Shelf Life

Alcohol acts as a preservative and if stored in a cool, dark place, tinctures can last indefinitely. I have herbal tinctures that have lasted 15 years and were just as strong as when I first used them. As I said above, avoid heat, sunlight, and exposure to air, and your tinctures will keep their “just picked” freshness for as long as you own them.

Caution:

Don’t take olive leaf with antibiotics as they can be inactivated by olive leaf.

Don’t take olive leaf with Warfarin (Coumadin) this drug can cause internal bleeding.

Olive leaf naturally relaxes blood vessels and capillaries which could increase Coumadin’s side effect.

References:

The main reference for the information in this article was taken from Doctor Jack Ritchason’s Book “Olive Leaf Extract” Woodland publishing, Pleasant Grove, Utah. 1999

Nature’s multi-functional force against infections and cardiovascular disease? by Amanda Jackson Ph.D.

Positive Health Publications LTD 1994-2002

Handbook of Medicinal Herbs, by James A. Duke, Pub. CRP Second Edition 2007

A Cold Sore Treatment – Can Lysine Really Stop My Cold Sores?

Lysine, as a cold sore treatment, is a proven way to get rid of cold sores – and keep them gone. If you have a minute, let me give you the facts so you do not waste your money or suffer needlessly.

You may have heard about lysine as a weapon against the herpes simplex virus and the cold sores it creates. Perhaps you have even tried a lysine salve or lotion and been disappointed.

There is a lot of information out there about lysine – how and why it works so well. Some of the information I have seen is quite good but a lot of it is inaccurate. Let us take a look at what we know about Lysine today.

1. Lysine smothers cold sores much as water suffocates a fire.

Oxygen fuels a fire. Water starves the fire by removing the oxygen fuel it needs to survive. The amino acid lysine acts quite a bit the same way. The herpes virus cannot use it.

The replication process of the herpes simplex virus is the actual cause of your sores. Normally it is dormant and activates only when it senses an opportunity to create new virus clones.

The herpes virus cannot do this alone. This parasite virus enters your cells and forces them to create new copies. Then the original virus particle destroys the cell to release the virus, creating the visible ulcer-like sore.

2. Arginine, another amino acid, is the main fuel needed to create the herpes viruses.

Arginine, like lysine, is quite common in our diet. Arginine has many good uses in your body, such as reducing blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels. Weight lifters and cardiac patients often benefit by taking arginine supplements.

Unfortunately, if you are susceptible to these outbreaks, getting too much arginine will definitely bring them on.

Your cells store arginine and lysine in the same storage area within the cell. Space is limited so the more of one the less of the other can be stored.

By flooding your cells with lysine, and reducing arginine in your diet, you will effectively halt the herpes simplex virus because it will not have the fuel it needs to create a sore. Lysine forces out the stored arginine thus starving the cold sore fire.

3. Lysine will not work unless it actually gets through the cell membrane and into the cell storage area.

Lysine needs to get into your bloodstream and reach the interior of your cells. To accomplish this, you must take lysine orally, either in food or supplement form.

This is important to keep in mind because you will see cold sore treatment salves at the store that feature lysine as the main ingredient. It does very little good to put lysine directly on the sore. Your body and cells cannot easily absorb it in this form.

Most dairy products, especially from Wisconsin, are very high in lysine. Some fish is also an excellent source, particularly Flounder. In fact, Flounder is one of the richest lysine foods known – about 14 grams per 450 gram (1 lb.) serving.

Some folks report that eating one pound (454 grams) of Flounder in a single day wipes out their sores. If you like fish, this is a very clean and delicious choice anytime.

Lysine supplements (in 500-milligram capsules) are still the most convenient way of getting enough extra lysine. You can easily control dosage levels by the number of capsules you take. You may have to do a little experimenting until you find the right dosage for your individual success, but it surely is worth it.

People often find success taking four to six capsules daily while an outbreak is in progress. Between outbreaks, many folks take one or two capsules daily to help as a prevention measure.

Lysine is very safe but, as with any treatment, it is always best to start low and build up. It really does stand out as one of the top cold sore treatment methods today.

Keep in mind that lysine may not be the total answer for your individual situation. However, be sure to use it because it truly does work and will help. Lysine definitely should be a part of any cold sore treatment plan you create.

Indigestion? 9 Foods to Avoid

Indigestion can be painful, embarrassing, and if you have to keep buying over-the-counter remedies, it’s expensive. You already know that! Do you long for relief from disturbed nights, stomach cramps, wind, bloating, constipation – or alternatively diarrhoea? Of course you do!

Are you plagued with stomach pain? The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to relieve your pain, and as with most problems, prevention is better than cure.

However – a word of warning – it’s important to be sure you are actually suffering from indigestion before you attempt to “self-treat”. Indigestion symptoms can be similar to those you might get with heart disease.

If your indigestion problem occurs unexpectedly (i.e. with no real reason) and if you suffer more than occasional episodes, you should visit your MD so that he/she can rule out the possibility of heart problems.

Another problem of self-treating is that some over-the counter “remedies” may actually worsen your pain problems, for instance, by causing constipation. Check the side effects of any medication or supplements that you are taking – whether for indigestion or for any other problems – but obviously don’t change any prescribed medication without the consent of your physician.

Having satisfied yourself that your indigestion isn’t a symptom of anything more sinister, let’s look at some of the types of food that you can avoid, to improve your problems. Here are 9 categories of food and drink commonly known to cause indigestion:

  1. Avoid foods that cause wind, such as peas and beans. These are particularly difficult to digest
  2. Avoid fats and fried food because these delay digestion, prolonging the time food stays in your stomach.
  3. Coffee, tea, alcohol and colas should be avoided – these are acidic, and of course fizzy drinks will increase any gas build up
  4. Peppermint tea may actually worsen your indigestion. People often confuse this with ginger tea, which is soothing
  5. Symptoms often clear up when allergenic foods are avoided. Check for food intolerances. There’s a surprisingly long list of foods implicated in food intolerance, often including food you think of as healthy (dairy, eggs, wheat, soy to name just a few). It’s very much the case that one man’s meat is another’s poison. The best way to check which foods are causing problems for you is either to have a food intolerance test, or simply eliminate it from your diet one hundred percent for a couple of weeks and see if your indigestion improves.
  6. Avoid cows’ milk products
  7. Red meat can be difficult to digest
  8. Do not eat spicy foods
  9. Avoid refined carbohydrates (for instance ‘white’ products such as bread and cakes) – wholemeal is a better choice

You may not want, or need, to avoid all of the above permanently, but a trial exclusion period of at least a fortnight could prove whether something is causing your problems.

The above list of things to avoid sounds very negative, but in fact relieving the pain and discomfort of indigestion isn’t just about avoiding foods, there are many simple self-help tips you can follow and there is an enjoyable eating plan that the whole family will enjoy, which will bring you rapid relief.