Home Heartburn Remedies – 14 Heartburn Cures That Will Cost You Less Than Two Tall Lattes

Home heartburn remedies can be a great alternative to alleviate your heartburn or acid reflux discomfort instead of shelling out cash for medical treatments. If you’re not sure what to do for heartburn I’ve provided 14 of the best home heartburn remedies you can purchase for under $10 for heartburn relief.

  1. Apples – An apple a day keeps the heartburn away. Some experts say that Granny Smith and Braeburn apples work wonders for neutralizing stomach acid. Apples contain malic and tartaric acids which are known to naturally neutralize the acid produced in your stomach. This also reduces stomach pressure, which decreases the likelihood of heartburn. The best part is since apples are natural you can eat them to your heart’s content without worrying about adverse effects.
  2. Drink Aloe Vera Juice – The juice from the aloe vera plant is another natural home remedy that is used to soothe an irritated esophagus. Although there isn’t any scientific evidence that it might help, aloe vera juice has a long history of use in Europe as a natural home remedy to relive heartburn. It is suggested to drink approximately cup of aloe vera juice 20 minutes before a meal.
  3. Vinegar – Vinegar for heartburn is actually a popular home remedy, especially apple cider vinegar. You can swallow a couple of teaspoonful of this vinegar in a cup of water or in applesauce to experience an immediate healing effect. Using vinegar for heartburn adds to the bulk of the acid in the digestive system and aids in the digestion process.
  4. Honey – Consuming a spoonful of honey is helpful for any form of indigestion – regardless of if it’s stomach problems, acidity or heartburn.
  5. Lemon Juice – To prevent acidic indigestion mix a tablespoon of lemon juice or cider vinegar into a cup of hot water and have it before your meal.
  6. Pineapples – Eat a small amount of fresh pineapples after meals. Pineapples have a natural enzyme that will help break down the acid causing your heartburn, thus relieving your symptoms.
  7. Herbal Teas – You can receive heartburn relief by drinking hot tea – however, it is important to drink the right kind. Caffeine stimulates acid production and therefore encourages acid reflux which causes heartburn. Drink decaffeinated teas or caffeine-free herbal teas to relieve or prevent symptoms. Some of these teas get rid of heartburn and also promote normal digestion to avoid stomach acid buildup. The added benefit is that herbal teas may even relieve anxiety, which often contributes to heartburn.
  8. Cloves – After eating a meal, grab one piece of clove and suck on it slowly. This not only can provide instantaneous relief to some heartburn sufferers, but it also helps in reducing the onslaught of diseases that can arise out of acidity.
  9. Bananas – Eating a banana daily can help with heartburn because they serve as a natural antacid to neutralize stomach acid.
  10. Gum – If you’re not sure what to do for heartburn, chewing gum or sucking on a lozenge for 30 minutes after meals increases the production of saliva which can help neutralize the acid. Saliva can also relieve heartburn by bathing the esophagus and lessening the effects of acid refluxed into the esophagus by washing it back down to the stomach.
  11. Potatoes – I know this is a head scratcher… but some people swear by this heartburn home remedy. Take some raw potatoes and extract juice by putting it in a grinder. Don’t peel the potatoes – grind them and add them in some other juice for taste. Drink the mixture once you have the first signs of heartburn. Potatoes have soothing qualities and can help you treat esophageal ulcers and alleviate burning sensations in your esophagus. Drink the juice made from potatoes at least twice a day.
  12. Marshmallow – We’re not talking about your sit- around-the-campfire marshmallows. This is referring to the herb marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) which contains mucilage, and is thought to coat and soothe the lining of the esophagus. Herbalists recommend marshmallow root tea which is made by adding one tablespoon of the dried root to a cup of boiling water, steeping it covered for at least 10 minutes, and then straining. It’s suggested to drink 3 cups of this a day.
  13. Slippery Elm – If you have constant heartburn a daily mixture of nutmeg, mace and slippery elm reduces indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux, stomach gas, and vomiting.
  14. Romaine Lettuce – I saved the oddest heartburn home remedy for last! Romaine lettuce can be used to eliminate acid reflux or heartburn conditions. This lettuce is high in minerals and is highly alkaline. So here’s what you do – (a) Buy an organic romaine lettuce head (b) Wash it in distilled water (c) Cut up the leaves and place them in a blender (d) Add cold distilled water to make a slurry (e) Add a slight amount of honey to give it taste.

Forbidden Foods To Eat With Acid Reflux

Together with many acid reflux sufferers, you may have questions about specific nutrition that cuts out foods that degenerate GERD and let you beat your medical condition. Is there any nutrition that will relieve symptoms of acid reflux?

Let’s make a quick review of the basic physiological causes behind acid reflux, also known as GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease, before discussing nutritional programs that can help with acid reflux symptoms.

When food moves from the esophagus into the stomach, a muscle is momentarily relaxed to allow the passage of the food. This muscle is the LES or lower esophageal sphincter, a valve-like muscle situated at the junction of the esophagus and the stomach. After passage of the food into the stomach, the LES shuts once more, to retain the acids and juices inside the stomach. If the LES fails to shut properly (owing to different external or internal problems), stomach acid splashes back into the esophagus, causing corrosion and inflammation of the lining, which then makes for the disagreeable pain and burning feeling which we call heartburn.

Doctors tell us that, above all, in patients over 60, one of the causes of esophageal cancer is in fact gastro esophageal reflux disease. Ignoring or postponing treatment of a GERD problem can mean that scar tissue, generated after corrosion and inflammation, can narrow the esophagus. Afterwards, bleeding or ulcers of the esophagus can happen.

Combining nutrition recommendations with additional diet guidelines can have a positive influence on your acid reflux symptoms and on your general well being and health. Doctors and paraprofessionals together have the belief that certain alterations in lifestyle, comprising the addition of certain foods to one’s dietary plan and the abolition of others, can bring benefits to GERD victims:

1. Intake of high-fiber foods (vegetables, whole grains, fruits, among others) can benefit your digestion, halt ulcers and remove toxins to reduce your susceptibility to gastro esophageal reflux disease.

2. Fish and fish oil, which have effective anti-inflammatory agents in their omega-3 fatty acids, can therefore beneficially intervene for acid reflux.

3. Eating snacks and smaller meals more frequently to improve the way that the digestive system works, as larger meals are more difficult to digest.

4. Less fatty foods reduces intestinal cell lining inflammation. Removal of fatty and high calorie foods taking longer to digest and to eliminate from your body, decreases the risk that acid will splash back up into your esophagus.

5. Limiting your consumption of coffee, chocolate, alcohol and tomatoes which tend to weaken the esophageal sphincter and therefore aggravate e phenomenon of acid reflux.

The only permanent solution for healing and halting gastro esophageal reflux disease recurrence is to resolve all factors whether internal or external that contribute to acid reflux by using a holistic strategy. The afore-mentioned dietary principles and others can bring important benefits to sufferers of GERD if followed the right way, yet they are only a lesser part of the overall all-natural method that targets the basic causes of gastro esophageal reflux disease.

Following a holistic program together with a food strategy for the right nutrition for GERD will let you to halt its symptoms and prevent its return permanently. You now know that your wearisome, distressing acid reflux condition can be eradicated forever by adhering to an overall holistic treatment.

Commonly Known and Lesser Known Hypothyroid Symptoms

When hypothyroidism begins, several things happen, usually gradually. The first is lack of energy and ambition. You just seem to lose desire for activities you’ve enjoyed in the past. You feel unusually tired and apathetic, but can’t figure out why. You begin to crave carbs and begin to snack regularly. This is your body’s way of trying to stay awake. You’ll try not to give into it, and when you can’t fight the cravings, you set yourself up for horrible eating habits and weight gain that are difficult to reverse. You might already be taking some thyroid supplements, but they’re obviously not enough. Warning: if you are taking prescribed thyroid medication for underactive thyroid, do not add kelp as it will raise your blood pressure to frightening and dangerous levels. I learned this the hard way.

I have been a hypothyroid sufferer for 30 years. I was originally diagnosed by an old-fashioned European doctor. He was a gem. Then I had to switch to a modern, young South African doctor with a large and fragile ego, who knew nothing about thyroid glands but based everything on blood tests, which he didn’t really understand. As a person with hypothyroidism, it is hard to get any respect from the medical community. General practitioners and endocrinologists alike seem to know and care little about people suffering from hypothyroidism. Their “gold standard” is the TSH test, and most of them use the old standards of readings between .6 and 6 instead of the new readings of .3 and 3 that the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists adopted in 2003. These new readings allow more people (it’s mostly women, particularly those who are middle-aged, who suffer from hypothyroidism) to be diagnosed and treated. Too bad the professionals that we trust to look after our health don’t seem to know or care that the standards have changed. Endocrinologists, by and large, specialize in diabetes. This is where their primary interest seems to lie. The first endocrinologist I was referred to told me that she doubted I’d ever been hypothyroid and that my thyroid gland was habituated to being overstimulated. She was so wrong! Then I was referred to another endocrinologist who misdiagnosed my thyroid virus for Grave’s Disease (overactive thyroid.) The medication she prescribed raised my TSH to about 22. When I stopped taking that medication, my TSH dropped to 4.7. She told me my 4.7 TSH reading was now normal. It clearly wasn’t normal for me because I still had hypothyroid symptoms. Consider that normal or average clothing sizes could be between 6 and 14, and that you fall into this category. How many of these sizes will fit? If a size 10 fits you, why would you wear a size 14? TSH is much like that. You have to find the number that fits YOU. When you have been told for the nth time that your TSH is in the normal range, read these symptoms, most of which are commonly known, but some of which aren’t.

1. Fatigue. This is not the same as tired. This refers to falling asleep at work, during conversations, as soon as you get into a vehicle. You can’t stay awake. You need at least 10 hours sleep at night, but within a couple of hours of waking up, you begin to battle to stay awake. You nod off during conversations, which you can’t focus on anyway. You avoid socializing in the evening because you can’t stay awake.

2. Sluggishness. You move slowly physically, but even your brain is slow. Your thought processes don’t work properly.

3. Increased sensitivity to cold. Summer’s not too bad, but in the winter, there is no way to get warm or stay warm. You wear extra layers and surround yourself with space heaters. It helps, but you’re still cold.

4. Constipation. You drink lots of water and eat next to nothing, but your body processes everything slowly. Constipation follows.

5. Pale, dry skin. Skin color is pasty-looking, and skin is always dry, no matter what kind of lotion you use. My heels were so rough that every day they chewed through my socks even though I filed the roughness away daily and used foot balm.

6. A puffy face.

7. Hoarse voice. Your voice takes on a gravel-like quality at times.

8. Elevated cholesterol level.

9. Weight gain that makes no sense. You’re too tired to eat, but gain weight anyway.

10. Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness. Flexibility and mobility are gone. You move like a lead weight. If you crouch or kneel, you can hardly get up again, and it hurts to crouch or kneel anyway. Even bending down is difficult and painful, for instance, trying to reach for something you dropped under a desk.

11. Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints. Or all of them. Any sprain you’ve had begins to hurt again. Hips, fingers, ankles ache and don’t bend properly and contribute to your moving like a lead weight.

12. Muscle weakness. You can barely walk. Walking is slow and tiring. When I brushed my teeth, I had to put my arm down and rest at least 2 to 3 times to finish brushing my teeth. You fall into chairs as opposed to sitting down, and it’s a struggle to get back into a standing position from sitting. Getting out of a car is difficult, and getting into a pickup truck a little higher off the ground is equally difficult.

13. Heavier than normal menstrual periods. By now I don’t have those any more, but when I did, I all but hemorrhaged for at least four days out of the seven or eight that my period lasted. I had to put plastic on my mattress because I would wake up during the night having bled through and past the tampon, and leave a blood trail down the hall to the bathroom. Wasn’t fun.

14. Brittle fingernails and hair. Hair is dry, brittle and unhealthy looking. Nails can’t be grown long without breaking.

15. Depression. No need to elaborate.

16. Muscle cramps. You develop cramps in muscles from head to foot. Fingers, forearms, back, abdomen, legs. These cramps happen numerous times during the day and for no logical reason. My arms, hands and fingers cramped up when I cut up meat to eat.

17. Hair loss. It’s not just the hair on your head, although that thins out a lot. It also affects pubic hair and underarm hair. That can all but vanish. Eyebrows also fall out, particularly the outside corners.

18. Sinus infections. You have recurring sinus infections even though you have never had a history of sinus problems.

19. Snoring. You begin to snore even though you’ve never had a snoring problem in the past.

20. Craving for carbohydrates. You begin to crave chips, chocolate, candy, baked goods and anything with sugar. Your body is trying to stay awake and carbohydrates provide quick energy. Doesn’t help with keeping the weight down either.

21. Irritability. Little things set you off and enrage you. Everything becomes personal and you get angry enough to want to physically harm the offender.

22. Edema. You retain water. You look puffy and blubbery, particularly in the abdominal area. Makes you short of breath when you exert yourself – even going for a walk can leave you breathless.

23. Forgetfulness. You become sharp as a bowling ball. You try to commit something to memory, but your brain is a sieve.

24. Slow heart rate. Your resting pulse can drop below 60 beats per minute.

25. Low body temperature. My temperature was consistently between 35.8 to 36.2 C, which also explains why you feel cold.

26. Painful intercourse. Having sex hurts, and add to that, you wind up with muscle cramps from the waist down.

27. Light sensitivity. Your eyes can become unusually sensitive to sunlight.

My advice? Shop around for a doctor who is willing to learn together with you about thyroid problems. General Practitioners are generally more reasonable to deal with because they have no learned bias where thyroid is concerned. My GP told me the 4.7 was too high and told me to take 50 mcg of thyroid supplement. I took 100 mcg. My TSH dropped to 1.9. She was happy with that but I wasn’t. I still didn’t feel right, and remember that only YOU know how you should feel. Remember what I said about the clothing sizes? I took another 25 mcg and the TSH dropped to .5. She used the standard of .4 to 4, so she was still happy and I was too. I finally felt normal again. Don’t let doctors bully you into believing that diet, exercise and/or antidepressants will cure what ails you when you know that isn’t the problem. Shop around for a doctor who will listen to you and work with you. Google “Mary Shomon”. She is a great source of good and useful information and advice on thyroid issues. There is hope and there is help. It’s just a matter of finding them.

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) – Pathology And Clinical Manifestation

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) is the commonest congenital heart conditions which may be an isolated VSD or as part of a complex heart condition which may be a complete endocardial cushion defect, tetralogy of fallot or truncus arteriosus. It is also referred to as ‘hole in the heart’. The defect is seen in the septum that separates the right and left ventricles.

It is a disease complex that affects both boys and girls and because of this defect there is a left to right shunting of blood i.e movement of blood from the left part of the heart to the right part.

PATHOLOGY

This defect can occur any where along the septum and most commonly at the membranous part of the septum. It may also be seen at the muscular part and often not are usually multiple and tiny leading to what is referred as ‘Swiss cheese appearance’. In the normal dynamic of blood flow in the heart, the pressure in the left side of the heart is higher than the right and thus blood initially flows from the left side of the heart to the right side which will lead to flooding of the lungs and a reduction in the cardiac output which is the amount of blood pumped from the heart into the systemic circulation.

CLINICAL MANIFESTATION

Depends on the size of the defect and the level of left to right shunting. In small sized VSD, these children are usually asymptomatic and such defect is detected during routine medical check up Medium and large VSD tend to present early in childhood where the child will get fatigue easily as seen in pausing while breast feeding, excessive sweating, poor weight gain, recurrent chest infection, early onset congestive heart failure. Signs may include tachycardia(fast heart beat), tachypnea(fast breathing), tender hepatomegaly(liver), precordium bulge in long standing heart failure, enlarged heart, a murmur which is an abnormal sound heard with the aid of the stethoscope is heard which is usually a systolic regurgitant murmur of grade ll to V heard best at the lower left sternal border. When pulmonary hypertension sets in, a loud P2 may be heard and a diastolic rumble is also heard at the apex of the heart when there is excessive left to right shunt.

VSD is a treatable condition treated by both medical or surgical modalities. With the availability of sophisticated imaging tools like electrocardiography and MRI the type and location of the defect can be made with ease and treated thereafter. It is worth mentioning that smaller VSD then to close up spontaneously before the age of 4 and even larger ones tend to reduce in size.

Complications of Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) And How to Fix It

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a multi-systemic, multi-organ disease that points to a deeper problem in your overall health. In fact, hypertension shows that the body is in a hyper alarm state–like a warning sign that somethings are wrong in the body that needs fixing. However, people don’t listen to their body. And to make matters worst, hypertension does not give symptoms in half the victims. That’s why high blood pressure is called the silent killer. Hypertension is a form of chronic low-grade inflammation in the body’s internal organs and systems not just a cardio-vascular embarrassment. Call hypertension a multi-organ disease if you may.

The organs involved in regulating hypertension include the brain, the liver, the kidneys, the adrenals, the thyroid gland, heart, arteries, the enzymes and endocrine system. Imbalance in any of these synergistic organs and systems can raise blood pressure and complicate overall health.

Here are the main complications of high blood pressure:

  • Hypertension increases the risk of coronary heart disease by three-fold. Atherosclerotic heart disease is the number one killer disease in Western Countries. High blood pressure is the number one cause of sudden collapse and sudden death.
  • Hypertension causes a six-fold increase in the risk of developing congestive cardiac failure.
  • Hypertension increases the risk of stroke (brain attack) by seven-fold. Stroke could be thrombotic, embolic or haemorrhagic stroke.
  • Hypertension is the second leading cause of end-state renal failure. It is only second to diabetes in this regard.
  • Hypertension at least doubles the risk of developing tumors, aneurysms and cancers of various kinds.
  • Hypertensive medications (synthetic pharmaceutical drug complications) aggravate the risk of type II diabetes by eleven-fold.
  • Hypertension (hypertensive retinopathy) is also a major cause of visual loss like retinal detachment, macular degeneration and cataract.

To eliminate the complications, the underlying cause of high blood pressure must be treated. These include lifestyle changes like smoking cessation, avoiding coffee, alcohol, weight loss and stress management. Exercise is encouraged, salt restriction, avoiding packaged foods and eating organic fresh farm foods. Supplements are necessary to supply more nutrients to the body which processed food lack. Nutrients are the real natural healers.

Ear Infections and Homeopathy

As I am sitting at my desk, writing this very article, the phone rings. I had just finished referencing some recent medical journal articles (see below) which conclude the worthlessness of, and harm from, treating most childhood ear infections with antibiotics. There is a man on the line inquiring if I can help with his child’s ear infections. It seems his 14 month old daughter gets an ear infection about once per month. She has received multiple courses of antibiotics, all to no avail, and now their pediatrician wants to put her on a six month course! “This can’t be good for her,” he says to me. “So I am trying to find out if there is something else we can do.” These calls come all to often, usually after yet another failed antibiotic prescription or just after being told by the pediatrician that “If this doesn’t clear up soon we’ll need to do surgery to put tubes in Johnny’s ear.” Sound familiar? If not, yours is a very unusual child indeed. Earache is the single most common reason for bringing a child to a pediatrician. Three quarters of all children will have had at least one earache by the time they’re three years of age, and about a third will have had more than three episodes. Over the past 20 years the incidence of childhood ear infection has increased, occurring both more frequently and beginning at an earlier age.

Ear infections, or otitis (oto=ear, -itis=inflammation) can involve any part of the ear. Most commonly are infections of the outer ear or the ear canal called otitis externa, and the middle ear and ear drum, called otitis media. Of the two, otitis media is the more serious and the one most often referred to when your doctor diagnoses an “ear infection.” How the middle ear becomes infected is fairly straightforward. Why is not always so. There is a small tube, called the eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear and the throat. It’s purpose is twofold. One is to open and close to allow fluid produced in the ear to drain out and into the throat and prevent other fluids from backing up into the ear. It’s second function is also to open and close for the purpose of normalizing air pressure. When we travel to a higher altitude and our ears “clog.” Swallowing causes them to “pop” because that action opens the eustachian tube allowing the pressure inside and out to equalize. Ear infections may develop when the eustachian tube does not open and close properly, allowing germ-laden fluids from the throat, along with secretions produced in the nose, to back up into the middle ear and not drain out. Colds and allergies may produce inflammation in the area and can be another cause for the eustachian tube to not function properly. As the immune system does it’s job to fight the infection, dead bacteria and white blood cells form pus which puts pressure on the eardrum as it builds up. The eardrum, or tympanic membrane, bulges outward under this build up, becoming painful as it is stretched. An older child will be able to tell you that there is something going on with their ear. With younger children you may notice them tugging at the ear or behaving differently, becoming either particularly irritable or perhaps very clingy. Fever may or may not accompany an ear infection and can be low or quite high. Occasionally the thin tympanic membrane tears, producing an alternative route for the pus to drain out. If this happens you may notice a discharge coming out of the ear. Don’t become alarmed if this happens. The body has rid itself of unwanted infected material and a torn eardrum will usually heal by itself rather quickly.

But why do some children seem to have one ear infection after another and others not. As mentioned above, the inflammation produced by a cold may ultimately lead to an ear infection. The more colds a child gets the higher the risk of frequent ear infections. Allergic reactions, especially to certain foods, are also associated with an increased incidence of ear infections. The top offender seems to be milk, and dairy products in general. In addition to being a very common allergen, dairy also increases mucous production, making bodily secretions thicker and harder to drain away. Other commonly associated allergens are wheat, as well as other gluten-containing grains such as rye, oats and barley. Eggs, corn, oranges and nuts may also be suspect. Diets high in sugar and fruit juices should also be looked at.

Two interesting studies have implicated both pacifiers and second hand smoke. A Finnish study published in the September, 2000 issue of the journal Pediatrics implicated pacifier use with an increased risk of ear infection in infants, as well as higher rates of tooth decay and thrush. The study found that children who used pacifiers continuously had 33% more ear infections than did those who never used them or used them only when falling asleep. A report on a Canadian study in the February, 1998 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine showed that children residing with two smoking parents were 85% more likely to suffer from frequent ear infections than those who lived in smoke-free homes.

Another possible influence are childhood vaccinations. Although there is much controversy as to whether or not there is a direct relationship, a significant body of evidence suggests that there may be. From a homeopathic point of view, though, there are certain categories (called constitutional types) of people who, due to inherited influences, are more susceptible to vaccine reactions.

Serious complications of middle ear infections are rare but can and do occur. These include mastoiditis, an infection of the part of the skull bone just behind the ear, and meningitis, an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of mastoiditis may include swelling, redness, pain and tenderness in the bony area behind the ear. Symptoms of meningitis are severe headache and stiff neck. Vomiting, mental dullness and mood changes may also be involved. If evidence of either of these two complications are seen, a doctor should be consulted immediately. By far the most common complication of middle ear infections are the chronic ear problems that often follow. Serous otitis media, commonly known as “glue ear,” is an accumulation of non-infectious fluid in the middle ear. It can cause problems with hearing as the fluid interferes with normal motion of the eardrum.

So now that we know what it is and how it got there, what should be done about it? As is evident from the opening paragraph of this article, conventional western medicine treats this problem with antibiotics. And shouldn’t they? This is an infection, right? And infections have to be treated with antibiotics, don’t they? If not, who knows what could happen! This couldn’t be further from the truth. The purpose of this article is not to debate the pros and cons of antibiotics. No one argues that, used appropriately, they can save lives. But they have not been used properly. They have been over-prescribed and wrongly prescribed. So much so that an article in the New York Times on June 13, 2000, reported that “The World Health Organization, taking its first comprehensive look at drug-resistant diseases, concluded in a report released today that the effectiveness of antibiotics had been so eroded globally that some diseases that were once easily treatable are now often incurable. Misuse of antibiotics, including over prescribing, and their use to increase animal growth have made treating illnesses as diverse as ear infections, tuberculosis and malaria much more difficult, said the report from the health agency, part of the United Nations.”

A paper published in the July 23, 1997 issue of the British Medical Journal reproached doctors for prescribing antibiotics routinely for ear infections in their pediatric patients. It reported on an analysis of existing studies relating to such treatment and concluded that not only is the practice a waste of time and money, it appears to be harmful. Antibiotics don’t speed recovery (in fact, at least one previous study suggests that they lead to more recurrences) and promotes proliferation of stronger, drug-resistant bacteria. The British researchers estimate that 97 percent of physicians routinely prescribe antibiotics for ear infections. An editorial in the November 26, 1997 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the largest medical journal in the world, citing this same study, encouraged physicians to stop all antibiotic use (except in very severe and recurrent cases) for this most commonly treated infection in childhood.

The RAND corporation’s Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC), conducting research for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, discovered some interesting facts regarding the management of acute ear infections. They found that nearly two-thirds of children with uncomplicated ear infections are free of pain and fever within 24 hours of diagnosis without antibiotic treatment, and that over 80% recover completely within 1 to 7 days. 93% of children treated with antibiotics recover within that same 1 to 7 days. The researchers also found that the newer and more costly antibiotics, such as cefaclor, cefixime, azithromycin, or clarithromycin, provided no additional benefit to children than amoxicillin. Amoxicillin caused fewer side effects than the other antibiotics as well. The EPC also found no evidence that short-duration (5 days or less) versus long-duration therapy (7-10 days) made a difference in the clinical outcome for children over 2 years of age. More than 5 million cases of acute ear infections occur annually, costing about $3 billion. The report points out that in other countries otitis media is not treated with drugs at the first sign of infection. Rather, in children over the age of 2 years, the norm is to watch and see how the infection progresses over the course of a few days. The report notes that in the Netherlands the rate of bacterial resistance is only about 1%, compared with the US average of around 25%.

The conventional western medical treatment for children who develop chronic otitis media is a surgical procedure called a tympanostomy. This involves the insertion of small tubes into the ear drum to drain away the fluid build up. The rationale behind this approach is that the reduced hearing caused by the condition may lead to long-term speech and hearing problems, and even behavioral and intellectual impairments. What I often hear from parents is that they have been told their child will go deaf if the procedure is not performed. Again, the current research does not bear this out. A study published this year (April 19, 2001) in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that children with persistent otitis media who get the tubes inserted immediately do not show measurable improvements in developmental outcomes. And this procedure is, by no stretch of the imagination, without it’s risks. The editorial which accompanied the NEJM article stated that “The tubes often lead to long-term anatomical changes in the tympanic membrane, especially tympanosclerosis [hardening of the ear drum,] retraction, and changes in mobility. What happens, for example, to hearing and the mobility of the tympanic membrane in middle-aged persons who had tubes inserted in childhood?” Not to mention that in any procedure requiring anesthesia, there is always the possibility of death!

Now that we have an understanding of what causes this all too common problem and know how not to treat it, let’s talk about what to do. As with any illness, first and foremost is prevention. And the best preventative for any infection is a strong immune system. For infants and small children, the best way to build their immune system is breast feeding. Breast milk is by far the most nutritious food for your child. For a more detailed discussion of this, and for alternatives for women who cannot or will not nurse, I refer the reader to Sally Fallon’s wonderful book, Nourishing Traditions, 1999, New Trends Publishing, Washington, D.C. Of course, prevention also means avoiding the various risk factors already discussed, such as providing your child with a smoke-free living environment, limiting the use of pacifiers, identifying and eliminating food allergies, limiting or removing sugar and fruit juices from the diet. If your child has already taken antibiotics, the use of probiotics, or “friendly bacteria,” is essential. Antibiotics destroy not only the “bad germs,” but also the good ones which reside in our gut. These bacteria are an important part of our body’s natural defense. A study published in the January, 2001 issue of the British Medical Journal showed that the addition of probiotics reduced both the number of recurrences of, and complications from, otitis media.

Now, to the active treatment of acute otitis media. A well known alternative medicine practitioner and columnist, Dr. Joseph Mercola, advocates putting a few drops of breast milk (your own or, if you’re not lactating, someone else’s) into the ear every few hours. He claims that this will clear up most ear infections within 24-48 hours. While the thought of clearing up a case of otitis media in one to two days using only breast milk may sound great, for me this is still way too long for a child to suffer. The well selected homeopathic remedy will act gently and very quickly, often within minutes (see cases below.) But there are so many homeopathic remedies that are useful in treating ear infections. In fact, a search in my repertory (the book homeopaths use which list all symptoms and which remedies are associated with them) under ear pain shows 326 remedies, 114 specifically under middle ear pain and another 65 under inflammation of the middle ear. Obviously then, different remedies are needed to treat the same symptoms in different people. For the average person, choosing the right remedy from this list can seem a daunting task. An important point to understand is that homeopathic remedies should be taken one at a time. Taking several remedies at once (as is found in combination remedies sold in stores for this ailment or that) can be confusing to the body and is not recommended. If you don’t know what remedy to take it is better to consult with an experienced homeopath, who will know how to elicit the necessary information in order to make an appropriate remedy choice. If your child has already been prescribed a constitutional remedy (a remedy which covers your general constitution and not just the symptoms of a particular illness) that will be you first and best remedy choice in any acute situation, earache or otherwise. For chronic problems, including chronic otitis, a constitutional remedy becomes a necessity. However, it has been my experience that for most cases of acute, uncomplicated middle ear infections, just remember “ABC.” “ABC” stands for the homeopathic remedies aconitum, belladonna and chamomilla. Following is a brief description of each.

Fear and anxiety are the main feature of aconitum. The aconitum earache is notable for it’s sudden onset, often being brought on by exposure to the elements, especially a cold, dry wind. The pain is intense and there may be a high fever. The child will be restless and thirsty, and the ear may appear bright red.

The belladonna earache has severe pain. The ear will be red, hot and throbbing, as will be the eardrum, as seen with an otoscope. More often than not, the belladonna earache will be right-sided and worse at night. These may be brought on by changes in temperature, with the child getting chilled or becoming overheated.

With the chamomilla type earache, the pain seems unbearable in a child who is already the oversensitive type, especially to pain. The child who will respond well to chamomilla will be quite irritable and seemingly inconsolable, except when held or carried.

D.W., a 2 year old girl, could be heard screaming in the background of the message her mother left on my answering machine. “She’s got a terrible ear ache. She keeps tugging at her ear. I don’t know what to give her.” (The mother, a patient of mine, had a well supplied homeopathic medicine kit.) “Oh, we’re supposed to leave for vacation in 15 minutes.” When I returned the call a few minutes later I got their machine. Hoping they hadn’t left yet I asked several questions. A few minutes later there was another message back with the answers. “Right ear, red and hot to the touch.” I called back, only to get the answering machine again. A very frustrating game of phone tag. “Belladonna,” I said. About an hour later I received a call, this time from the car phone. There was silence in the background. “I gave her the belladonna just before we got into the car. Within five minutes she stopped crying and the redness and heat left her ear. She’s been sleeping ever since.”

A.B., a 3 year old boy was brought in by his parents. He had a persistent ear infection in both ears. He had already been on three different antibiotics. A ear specialist put him on steroids, but still the tympanogram ( a devise that measures the mobility of the ear drum) showed little improvement. The specialist suggested “the tubes.” On examination his left ear drum was looking not too bad, the right was red and bulging from behind with fluid. A homeopathic consultation with a child this young not only requires finding out as much as possible about the child, but also about the parents. I prescribed chamomilla ( which seemed to be his constitutional type) in a liquid potency to be given on a daily basis, along with some probiotic products. I also performed a special cranial procedure to open the eustachian tubes and help the built up fluid to drain out of the middle ear. He was symptom free by the next morning. When I saw him five days later both ears were perfectly clear, with no redness or sign of fluid at all. A follow-up tympanogram by the specialist a few days later was normal.

Homeopathy and Childhood Ear Infections

Think “ABC”

by Stuart H. Garber, D.C., Ph.D.

3 Natural Methods to Thicken Fine Hair

For those of us who suffer from thin hair or fine strands, we’re constantly on the look-out for products to thicken our hair quickly and permanently. We become suckers for voluminous shampoos, conditioners and hair sprays: spending hundreds on products that don’t work.

Today, I have our solution. Three in fact. They’re natural products that will stimulate thicker, faster hair growth.

Lawsomia Inermis, aka: Henna

Henna is a magical hair product for so many reasons. Henna:

  • Conditions hair.
  • Makes hair heavier and fuller.
  • Creates movement and bounce.
  • Defines curl patterns

As a result, henna is a natural hair thickener that creates an overall health and shine you rarely find among name brand “hair thickeners”.

There is only one “real” henna, which is called lawsomia inermis, which is also called Red Henna. Anything else is fake and a waste of money, excluding Cassia (neutral henna) and indigofera tinctoria (black/indigo henna). Cassia and Indigo aren’t considered true henna (by everyone’s standards), but have the ability to thicken, shine and condition hair. Red Henna, however, is the most potent.

Note: The more you use henna, the better it works. Just keep in mind that it will dry out your hair, so always follow up with a deep conditioning treatment.

The Shea Butter Wash

I recently wrote an article called Thicker Hair with Organic Shea Butter Wash which is similar to an oil rinse, but with butter. You can apply raw shea butter with olive oil, or a mixture of shea butter and thickening oils. I use mine from Angies Heavenly Treats because the ingredients, combined with the shea butter, creates healthier and more voluminous hair.

The shea butter wash entails exactly what the name states: a wash with shea butter instead of shampoo. Leave the shea mix in for 5-10 minutes. After that, don’t follow up with a conditioner. This may reverse the effects.

My Results: After two weeks, my new growth was thicker and my hair was bouncier and fuller. With time, the hair will gradually improve.

Most people will see changes around two weeks, and very noticeable changes within one-two months. The trick here is consistency. I do the Shea butter wash once every week.

Castor Oil Rinse

Although there’s no scientific proof that castor oil thickens hair, many users swear by it. One user massaged castor oil to her balding edges every night for a month and watched as her edges grew in. The user then went on a hair care forum and called castor oil the “miracle oil”.

Her testimonial and that of other users may not be scientific, but it is proof that castor oil thickens hair. Angela Hood of Angie’s Heavenly Treats puts castor oil in all of her hair products. From her experience, castor oil does have thickening products. But castor oil has other benefits.

“Due to the castor oil in my products, it helps to coat and moisturize hair, giving it a shine,” Hood said.

So again, while there’s no scientific proof, there’s proof in the pudding. By coating your hair with warm castor oil once or twice a week, and then let it saturate into your strands with a shower cap, you’ll notice that your roots and the length of your hair will thicken over time.

Add These Methods into Your Hair Regimen

If you do all three of these natural hair thickening methods, then thin/fine hair will be a thing of the past.

Dog Bladder Problems – 5 Reasons Why Your Dog Stops Urinating

Are you concerned that your dog is having difficulty urinating, or isn’t producing any urine at all? Whether he is a young or old dog, difficulty urinating is a sign of serious trouble that needs to be dealt with right away. If you fail to treat the problem, your dog could die. Take him to the vet so that the cause of the problem can be properly diagnosed. These are the five most common reasons for a dog not urinating:

Five Common Causes of a Dog Not Urinating

1. Canine UTI;

2. Blockage from urinary stones;

3. Unneutered older male dog with enlarged prostate;

4. Urinary tract tumor;

5. Weak bladder muscles

In a young or old dog, difficulty urinating can result from a urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI may cause painful spasms in the urethra, which can shrink the urethral opening and make it difficult for your dog to pass urine. A homeopathic remedy provides effective prevention and treatment for canine UTIs. Homeopathic remedies are free of side effects and provide a gentle way to combat the bacteria that cause infection.

Urinary stones are another possible cause of a dog’s urinary difficulties. They can block the flow of urine, and are much more common in male dogs, since male dogs have a narrower urethra than female dogs. One reason why your dog may develop urinary stones is lack of adequate hydration, so be sure to keep a supply of clean, filtered water available to him.

Urinary stones are composed of magnesium, so you can also help prevent urinary stones by giving him plenty of low magnesium, unprocessed raw food. Homeopathic remedies can also help prevent urinary stones, and can keep his bladder and urinary tract healthy and functioning properly.

Is your dog an unneutered male? Especially for an old dog, difficulty urinating can arise as a result of an enlarged prostate gland. An enlarged prostate compresses the urethra, making it difficult or impossible for your dog to urinate. Another possible cause of a dog’s urinary troubles is a prostate gland infection, which can cause the gland to swell and slow or stop the flow of urine.

Another serious cause of a dog’s inability to urinate is a urinary tract tumor. While this condition is rare, it’s important to have your dog seen by a vet right away if he isn’t urinating. Your vet can run the proper tests and examine your dog to see if a tumor might be causing your dog’s urinary troubles.

In an old dog, difficulty urinating can also be caused by weak bladder muscles. Muscle weakness can make it a challenge for an old dog to urinate.

These are the five most common causes of a dog’s failure to urinate. To diagnose the problem, it’s important to get your dog to the vet for testing. Your vet will recommend a course of treatment, but if you are seeking a natural, gentle remedy, discuss homeopathic treatments with your vet. Homeopathic remedies have a proven safety record and are gentle on your dog’s system.

In a young or old dog, difficulty urinating should not go untreated. If you opt for conventional treatment, a homeopathic remedy can function as an adjunct to the medication for more effective healing and for preventing recurrence of the problem. In contrast to steroids and antibiotics, homeopathic remedies can safely be used long term to strengthen your dog’s urinary system and prevent a relapse of your dog not urinating.

Dangers of Leukemia and Other Forms of Blood Cancers

People suffering from leukemia suffer from one of the deadliest types of blood cancers. It is specifically, a form of cancer of the white blood cells.

In modern-day practice, leukemia can also refer to malignancy in the blood or any cellular element in the bone marrow, wherein, the white blood cells multiply uncontrollably. This results to more white blood cells in the bloodstream. This type of blood cancer usually occurs in children with ages between 3 to 7 years while in adults, it occurs between ages 50 to 60 years old.

The specific cause of leukemia is unknown but inheritance plays a big role in becoming susceptible to this condition. People with leukemia experience bone pain, easy bleeding, pale skin and fatigue as well as abdominal pain, easy bruising and lymph gland swelling. Treatment of leukemia includes radiation therapy, chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant.

Since blood cancers obviously involve the blood, it is more deadly and most dreaded. The infected blood can imminently spread to other parts of the body through the blood stream. Leukemia starts in the bone marrow – the spongy, soft material inside the bones where blood cells are produced from stem cells. As mentioned above, leukemia mostly affects the white blood cells which protect the body against infection. Then, cancer commences when abnormal white blood cells are created as a result when the development of stem cells into white blood cells goes uncontrollably wrong. With blood cancers, the abnormal white cells take over other types of blood cells, including the red blood cells (the ones that transport oxygen to the body tissues) and the platelets which make blood clotting possible. Therefore, leukemia is the intervention of the blood’s ability in carrying oxygen and in clotting.

Without the presence of leukemia, the white blood cells can readily function in fighting disease-producing germs or pathogens. However, when it becomes dysfunctional, it can weaken the patient’s immune system. The body won’t be able to fight even the simplest of infections. Pathogens can start attacking various other bodily cells. Since blood cancers destroy the immune system’s normal function, some patients can experience frequent infections ranging from infected tonsils, diarrhea or sores in the mouth to opportunistic infections and life-threatening pneumonia.

Studies are still ongoing as to determine the exact causes of leukemia. Medical experts think that exposure to ionizing radiations and hazardous chemicals can trigger the development of these blood cancers. Irrespective of the age, survival rate is very low. This enlists leukemia as one of the most fatal of all cancers.

Leukemia patients have a 43% survival rate of 5 years. It is also noted that leukemia is hereditary or it can be traced to the family’s history. However, this should not hinder you from living a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and nutritious diet to prevent it. Diet should contain vegetable juices, lots of water, unrefined sea salt and foods that can heal like Aloe Vera, lemon, olive oil, green tea, tomato and more. For some people, fish, oranges and bananas can also help prevent blood cancers.

The Advantages of Waxing – For Men

Few people on Earth know how to truly revel in a hairy back, and even die-hard naturists don’t always appreciate the vision of a man in a tight swimsuit with huge swathes of pubic hair peeking from between his thighs. Similarly, a mono-brow is not considered attractive on most members of the male species, and hairy nostrils are not really a pretty sight either.

It’s estimated that about one in three men regularly get rid of hair from their backs, chests, legs or pubic regions.

So what to do? Well, real men – and by that we mean the metrosexual type of male, who isn’t afraid to wear a pinky ring or, on occasion, apply a fake tan – swear that male waxing is the way to go. Also known as “maxing”, male waxing isn’t just for the genitals. In fact, it’s arguably the best way to make the hirsute chest hairless, the mono-brow two, and the hairy back a thing of the past.

Why Wax?

Okay guys, let’s not go hog-wild here. While you can wax virtually any part of your body where there is hair, it’s not recommended or the inside of the ears or nose (ouch!) – unless done by a professional. And leave those eyelashes alone!

It’s estimated that about one in three men regularly get rid of hair from their backs, chests, legs or pubic regions – and that nine in ten women find profligate back hair a bit, shall we say, less than appealing. Saying that, don’t just grab the nearest razor and dig in. For the vast majority of follicle-phobes, waxing is infinitely preferable to shaving, creaming or plucking. Reasons include:

* Areas that are hairless thanks to waxing remain so for up to eight weeks – depending on the individual – and the hair often grows back infinitely softer and less coarse. That is because the hair is taken out at the root, as opposed to shaving where just the surface of the hair is removed.

* The wax used also acts as an exfoliant, leaving the skin significantly smoother. This is because it removes all the dead skin cells on the top layer of the skin and reveals smoother, peachier skin in its place.

* Men who wax find that unlike with razors, there is no tell-tale stubble the following day.

* Some guys find that razors and depilatory creams act as an irritant to their skin, resulting in either a nasty razor-rash, cuts or other damage, or just a bad smell. Waxing is smoother and kinder – and smells fab!

* Waxing makes your muscles look larger and better defined, it also allows you get a tan in areas where previously the jungle was too dense for the sun to shine through…

Hair-Free with No Hassle: Salon Waxing

For waxing to work, it has to be done correctly. This means either visiting a cosmetologist or waxologist who knows what he or she is doing, or learning how to do it yourself with a home waxing kit.

By far the easiest way to get rid of unwanted hair, salon waxing is suitable for virtually all parts of the body where hair is prolific, although it can be time-consuming and expensive. Before you book an appointment, however, make sure the salon accepts both male and female clientele – or you may be out on your hairy butt faster than you can say “Wax me”.

The salon waxing method is simple: warm wax is applied to the parts of the skin where you want hair removed, in the direction of hair growth. Wax is then poured onto a specific area, left briefly, then pulled off in the opposite direction, with the help of a muslin cloth or other piece of fabric. Quick, easy and only briefly painful! Most salons offer several different types of male waxing packages, including:

Brazilian Wax

If you can’t figure this one out, these three words ought to help: back, sac and crack. Also known as the Boyzilian or Guyzilian, it can transform even the hairiest of apes into a rugged, smooth yet sleek Adonis. All hair is removed completely, with the exception of a small “landing strip” in the pubic area. It does hurt, but not more than pulling a big old band-aid off a hairy patch of skin.

Hollywood Wax

Similar to the Brazilian, with this form of male genital waxing virtually all the pubic hair is removed – including the landing strip – leaving you as peachy as the day you were born…

Back Wax

Some men complain of slight irritation for a few days, so this might not be a great idea if you have to wear a tight-fitting suit in a sweltering boardroom directly after.

Chest Wax

Ripping off your hair against the direction of growth achieves the best results – and can also be very painful. Be prepared for small red welts the following day, so if you have a hot date you might want to postpone it until mid-week. And if you find your date actually prefers luxurious chest hair billowing out from your shirt, you’ll be out of luck.

Facial Wax

Not what you might think. Waxing the beard or scalp isn’t recommended, this is mainly for the eyebrows, nostril area, nape of the neck and outside of the ears. Also good for getting rid of stray hairs on the face – much better than plucking them away.

Please note that many do-it-yourself home waxing kits are on the market today, so ask around to find one that really works. Home waxing can make sense if you want to wax the hair off your legs or for some parts of the face. But if you want a Brazilian or something even more, it’s better to visit a salon than attempt it yourself.

Top Tips

* Stay out of the sun and avoid the ocean or pool for at least a full 24 hours before waxing.

* Hair that is roughly 1/4 to 1/2 inch long is the perfect length to be waxed. If you have never trimmed your pubic hair before, you may want to cut it to this length before visiting a salon – so get out those garden shears!

* The only clothing required for male genital waxing is a pair of socks, in case your tootsies get cold. Underwear and shirts can get damaged by the wax, so it’s best to take them off. If you’re the easily embarrassed type, you will be offered a cloth to drape over the parts that are not being waxed.

* Make sure you are the right type of candidate for waxing before you dive in. If you are taking certain acne medications such as Accutane, for example, the skin can be weakened and can actually tear off when waxed. Similarly, people who have diabetes or other conditions such as varicose veins might want to avoid waxing as they are more prone to infection as a result.

* If you are a waxing virgin, you should know that hair regrowth can be extremely itchy, although the more often you wax, the less noticeable this common side-effect will become. Also, be prepared for some pain and discomfort but remember, no pain, no gain.

Waxing isn’t for everyone, and after reading this you may find that being a hairy bastard actually suits you after all. Some men prefer a simpler do-it-yourself routine, and invest in clippers or an electric razor, which can also produce a sleek effect. Whatever you choose, just make sure you go with your gut – although a hairy gut isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time either!

Ginseng Differences and Benefits – How to Choose the Best Ginseng for Your Needs

Ginseng is known as an adaptogenic herb. An adaptogen is an herb that regulates and helps the body handle stress and maintain vitality. Adaptogens are used for long term revitalization and not for immediate energy like central nervous system stimulants such as caffeine.

Ginseng is grown in many parts of the world. The roots are the part of the plant used for all Ginseng products. Each variety has its own health benefits. Ginseng benefits are cumulative. Taking the herb for several months to a year is far more effective than short-term doses. Ginsengs are used in many Eastern formulas to complement other herbs.

Ginseng in general provides energy to all body systems, is a stimulant for brain and memory centers, helps lower cholesterol and regulates sugar use in the body. Ginseng also promotes regeneration from stress and fatigue. All Ginsengs contain measurable amounts of germanium, a trace mineral also in mushrooms.

Panax Ginseng, (Also known as Asian Ginseng, Korean Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng, Ren Shen, Xi Yang Shen, or Say Yang Sum), grown in Korea is the broadest spectrum of all adaptogenic herbs. It is also considered one of the most prized and expensive herbs. Panax ginseng stimulates both long and short-term energy, so is know as a yang tonic replenishing Qi (energy.)

Panax is rich in phyto-hormones for both men and women’s problems. For men it helps in the formation of testosterone and for women it protects against breast cancer, hence the term adaptogenic (it will adapt to the needs of the body no matter what is needed and no matter what sex.) For this reason, Panax also fits into the aphrodisiac category. Panax Ginseng is used for enhancing the immune system, impotence and premature ejaculation, poor sleep and nervous exhaustion. It is especially useful for older bodies with debilitating conditions.

Contraindications: Panax, meaning panacea, is NOT universally applicable in every illness like its name implies. Yang Ginsengs should not be taken during acute inflammatory disease or for bronchitis. Use the yin American Ginseng for bronchitis. The yang Ginsengs are used in combination with other herbs to temper their powerful nature.

American Ginseng (Also called Panax quinquefolius, Xi Yan Shen) is a yin tonic. Yin tonics are cooling and slowing in nature. American Ginseng is used in China for fevers and for exhaustion due to chronic wasting diseases. It is also used for coughs related to lung weaknesses (such as tuberculosis, bronchial infections or asthma.)

Siberian Ginseng (also called Eleuthero or Eleutherococcus senticosus) comes from China. It is known for its long-term energy effects on the adrenal glands and circulation. In this day and age, most of our American population is overtaxing their adrenal glands with excess stress. There are just too many tasks enticing us to utilize our available time. We are spending less and less time with our families and doing what nourishes us (our Life Purpose or God Path.) Siberian Ginseng is a yang tonic herb, so it stimulates fast, hot, male energy type of function. Siberian Ginseng has been used for rheumatic complaints, low vitality, and weak liver and kidney energy for about 2000 years. It is considered less heating (less yang) than the Panax varieties (therefore safer.)

I use Siberian Ginseng in my “Old Dog Formula” to increase the circulation to the butt muscles and lower spine. I once had a client who came in regularly for Old Dog Formula for their two very aged shelties. I noticed that they came in a bit more regularly than they should for the dosage I had recommended. When I asked them about it, they confessed that they were also using the product with fabulous results. I like it too and use it occasionally for gardening season.

Panax notoginseng (Also known as Pseudoginseng or San Qi) is grown in China and is used as an analgesic and to stop internal and external bleeding. It is also added to treatments for coronary heart disease and angina. Quite interestingly, San Qi was used extensively by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War to increase recovery rates from gunshot wounds. Avoid this one during pregnancy. It could harm the fetus.

Wild Ginseng, from Manchuria, is considered the best, but is extremely expensive. For centuries in the East, top-grade Ginseng roots have been valued more than gold.

Ginseng comes in two varieties, red and white. Red Ginseng is cured by steaming which gives it its color and yang attributes.

So, next time you go to the health food store, don’t just ask for Ginseng, be specific.

Slap Lesion Physical Therapy Treatment Before and After Surgery

SLAP is short for Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior, or from front to back. The labrum is the rim of cartilage found in the shoulder socket. An injury or tear to this part of the body is a SLAP lesion, which typically results from overuse, trauma and accidents such as falling onto your outstretched hand.

What are the symptoms of a SLAP lesion?

A person with a SLAP lesion or injury has shoulder pain, which becomes worse with throwing activities or when reaching overhead. The person may also experience some pain and soreness in the shoulder front when bending the elbow or turning the wrist. The person’s shoulder may also click or snap with movement and may feel like being dislocated. Diagnosis of this injury involves a physical examination of the shoulder and a contrast MRI scan.

What are the treatments for SLAP lesion?

Most cases of SLAP injuries respond well to non-invasive or non-surgical treatment so this would be the first option for any patient. After your injury, your doctor would first recommend some rest to help ease symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe medication to alleviate inflammation and pain.

Next, you will have to undergo a SLAP lesion physical therapy, which mostly involves stretching and muscle strengthening exercises targeting the muscles around the rotator cuff and scapula. It is also important at this point to limit or make adjustments in the activity that caused the injury, which could be a sport or work-related activity.

Cold therapy is also a part of SLAP lesion physical therapy. Therapists make use of ice packs or ice massage to reduce pain and swelling by applying these agents four to six times in an hour for three hours. Therapists may also apply ice if pain or any other symptoms worsen after an activity.

Certain patients, especially athletes, who play sports or do activities that involve a lot of throwing may continue to experience pain despite undergoing proper SLAP lesion physical therapy program. When symptoms do not go away after 6 weeks of conservative treatment or SLAP lesion physical therapy, your doctor will then recommend surgery to treat your shoulder. In surgery, the doctor may remove torn cartilages or attach them back in place.

After surgery, you will need complete bed rest and you must avoid activities involving the treated area. After a period of rest, your doctor may then recommend SLAP lesion physical therapy to help you restore your shoulder’s strength and full range of motion.

Deep Tissue Massage – Muscle Tendon & Ligament Relief

Deep Tissue Massage or myofascial release is a massage technique that focuses on releasing restrictions in the deeper layers of the muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Deep tissue massage releases chronic patterns of tension in the body through slow strokes and deep finger pressure on the contracted areas.

Using slow strokes and deep pressure or friction applied across the grain of the muscles not with the grain, deep tissue massage first warms the soft tissue before targeting deeper muscles groups.

Deep Tissue Massage – How Does it Work?

Deep tissue massage is both corrective and therapeutic. It uses two methods, direct or indirect and is effective in releasing deeply-held patterns of tension, removing toxins, relaxing and soothing muscles.

The direct method applies pressure to the muscle with the intention of finding resistance in the body, and maintaining the pressure until the resistance is released.

The indirect method moves in the opposite direction of the resistance.

With both techniques the amount of pressure applied is dependent on the amount of resistance.

Fingertips, knuckles, hands, elbows, and forearms are all used with long, slow strokes.

Because of the focus on a specific area some clients find deep tissue massage uncomfortable and it may

cause some soreness during or after.

Providing the massage is carried out correctly any soreness should disappear in a day or two.

Deep tissue massage does not require great strength, nor does it need to be painful and applying pressure for the sake of it can be ineffectual if done incorrectly.

Of the two methods, direct and indirect, there are many different combinations.

Some of the more well known include:-

o Polarity Therapy

o Thai Massage

o Triggerpoint Therapy

What are the benefits of a Deep Tissue Massage?

Unlike a regular relaxation massage, deep tissue massage works effectively on the skeletal structures that lie deep within the body.

Many people seek a deep tissue massage to help in treating crippling diseases, muscle, tendon and ligament injuries.

When muscles are stressed, they block oxygen and nutrients, leading to inflammation that builds up toxins in the muscle tissue.

Through controlled manual manipulation, deep tissue massage breaks down scar tissue and crystallization, loosens muscles, releases toxins and allows blood and oxygen to circulate properly.

It is important to drink plenty of water afterwards to flush away the toxins released during massage.

The key benefits of deep tissue massage include:

o Elimination of the blocks that cause muscle tightness

o Increases circulation of blood, lymph, cerebro-spinal and interstitial fluids

o Can resolve many chronic pain patterns by releasing deeply held emotions that cause tension

o Helps improve the functioning of the internal organs and any associated symptoms or diseases

o Improves posture and mobility

o Helps to reduce tension and the automatic reflexes to stress

How effective is Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage can be very effective, but one has to be realistic about how much can be achieved in one session.

Simply asking for more pressure and thinking that if the therapist pushes hard enough, all tension will be released within an hour is unrealistic.

Chronic knots and tension built up over a lifetime can only be addressed with a series of treatments.

Most therapists will offer advice on a program that includes exercise, work on your posture, relaxation techniques and a regular program of massage.

Is Deep Tissue Massage Safe for Everyone?

As with most massage treatments, deep tissue massage is not recommended for certain people.

Massage should not be done directly over bruised or inflamed skin, open wounds, tumors, areas of recent fracture, abdominal hernia, rashes or skin disease.

It should also be avoided by:

o People with cardiovascular conditions and heart disease especially in cases of thrombosis, phlebitis and oedema

o Pregnant women and people with osteoporosis should consult their doctor before considering a massage

o Immediately after surgery

o Immediately after chemotherapy or radiation, unless recommended by your doctor

Deep Tissue Massage – Choosing a Therapist

When considering a deep tissue massage, ensure you choose a therapist you feel comfortable with and one that comes from a reputable organization.

Salons, spas, health and fitness clubs typically offer deep tissue massage, or you contact a mobile spa and have a deep tissue massage in the comfort of your own home.

Essential Oil of Balsam Fir – A Royal Oil Fit For Kings

This particular balsam fir comes from up on the Canadian border from Christmas tree farms that became overgrown. Idaho Balsam Fir is in the pine family of essential oils.There is some evidence now that the “liquid gold” referred to in the Bible was none other than Balsam, an oil fit for kings and royalty. It was one of the three oils found in King Tutankhamun’s grave in 1922 and it is now thought that balsam was the “Balm of Gilead.” Balsam has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal oil for respiratory and muscular and rheumatic pain. Balsam Fir is mentioned 18 times in the Bible in 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 2 Chronicles, the Psalms, the Song of Solomon, and in the prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Nahum and Zechariah.

How Did Medieval Healers Use Balsam Fir?

Balsam fir has been used for respiratory and muscular system ailments. In the 12th century, Hildegard of Bingen referred to balsam and said it was of “royal nature” and advised that it ought to be used as a medicine with great caution because it was so powerful. She used it for fevers, for paralysis, and for someone who was insane by making an ointment with it and rubbing it on their temples and around the head to restore their mind and good health.

How Can Balsam Fir Help Us Stay Healthy Today?

Balsam fir has proved to be an anticoagulant and an anti-inflammatory. It is used by many massage therapists because it is a relaxant to the nervous system and to muscle spasms. Balsam can lower cortisol levels. Studies have shown that balsam will inhibit MCF7- (Aggressive Breast Cancer cells). Idaho Balsam Fir and Frankincense work great together inhibiting cancers in seven different cancer lines. Balsam is used for throat, lung, sinus infections, for fatigue, arthritis and rheumatism. It is also good for urinary tract infections, for scoliosis, lumbago and sciatica. The main effects of Idaho Balsam fir is anti-inflammatory.

How Is Balsam Fir Used?

This oil can be inhaled, applied neat (undiluted) on the body or diluted one part Idaho Balsam Fir to one part mixing oil. It can be diffused or taken as a dietary supplement and can be applied on location for muscle spasms. as for safety, Idaho Balsam fir is non-toxic.

For more information on how this ancient oil has modern day applications, you may wish to attend an aromatherapy program that discusses the Biblical oils. The Institute of Spiritual Healing and Aromatherapy offers courses across the United States and it discusses the biblical oils including balsam fir.

Types of Pheromones

Pheromone refers to a type of secretion that triggers reactions to members of the same species. They normally impact the behavior of another individual. There are different types of pheromones. Some of these are alarm, food trail and sex pheromones.

Alarm pheromones are produced by certain insect that will act when attacked. Insects such as ants, termites and bees will produce a certain smell when they are attacked by a predator. Some plants also produce them. This will cause other plants inedible to herbivorous.

There are also aggregation pheromones. These act by overcoming host by mass attack, predators and mate selection. The word aggregation here will mean in large numbers. Most sex pheromones will be produced by females. The males too can produce them, as they are sex attractant. The pea and bean evil are the most common.

In insects, there are epideictic pheromones that are used to mark territories. Insects will lay their eggs on certain fruits to signal to other insects that they should find other places to clutch.

Territorial pheromones are quite similar to the epideictic ones. It is a term that is used to refer to pheromones produced to mark boundaries by animals like dogs and cats. These animals may use urine as a pheromone sign.

Another type of pheromones is the releaser pheromones. These are the most commonly produced. They are secreted in order to influence the behavior of the same species. Some insects will produce molecules in order to attract males that may be at a distance. This distance may vary from one to two miles, and the smell does not usually last for long.

Primer pheromones are quite different from other pheromones that trigger the behavior of a species. They trigger change in developmental undertakings.

Other common pheromones are sex pheromones that are used to indicate the readiness for mating. They are produced in order to attract the opposite sex.