8 Tips for Relieving Heel Pain

One of the most common problems I see in the office is heel pain. Heel pain can be caused by many things. Most people think they have a “heel spur” if they have pain in their heel. The truth is they may have a spur, but, a bone spur rarely causes pain. Most commonly heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis. However, keep in mind not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis.

The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs from the ball of the foot into the heel bone. It is the tight band of tissue you can feel in your arch when you pull your toes toward you. This tissue, the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed and irritated at its attachment into the heel bone. Every step that is taken causes a straining or pulling of the plantar fascia. This can cause a very painful condition as it makes it hard for the plantar fascia to heal when it is injured.

The three most common descriptions I get from my patients when they have plantar fasciitis are: pain when going from sitting to standing during the day, severe pain in the heel or arch when getting out of bed in the morning- (this may improve with 2-3 minutes of walking and stretching), and pain that gets worse in the bottom of the heel/arch as the day progresses. Remember, foot pain is never normal! Most foot pain can be effectively and easily treated.

Here are the 8 things you must do if you have heel pain.

*Avoid going barefoot. Wear a shoe or slipper around the house. I often recommend Crocs to be worn in the house. Your foot needs support. Walking barefoot in the house, especially if you have hardwood floors or your home is built on a concrete slab foundation, will aggravate an already inflamed plantar fascia.

*Stretch your calf. A tight achilles tendon can cause heel pain. There are several stretching exercises that you can do to decrease tightness and pain.

*Avoid wearing worn out shoes. Often times it is the favorite pair of old shoes that causes plantar fasciitis.

*Try using an insert in the shoe to support your arch. Avoid the flimsy supports you will find at the big box stores or the grocery store. The over the counter supports I recommend are Powersteps or Superfeet. You should not have to pay more than $50 for a good over the counter insert.

*I have never met anyone named Dr. Scholl. It is a big company. They make some great products. Arch supports for plantar fasciitis are not on the great product list. There are fancy machines in Walmart now. Regardless of what they advertise, those machines do NOT give you a “custom orthotic”. Save your money and try a Powerstep or Superfeet device. Avoid being scammed by stores selling “custom orthotics” or special inserts.

*Don’t avoid seeing a podiatrist for foot pain. Would you go to the mall for heart problems? Of course not. Then why do so many people go to a shoe store for foot problems? The clerk there is most likely not a doctor. I hate seeing a patient come in who has spent a lot of money on an insert purchased from a local store. Avoid the advertising scam! Podiatrists have years of training and, in most cases, can quickly diagnose and treat most foot problems.

*Use ice. I recommend my patients use a 16 ounce water bottle. Freeze it. Roll it in the arch. The ice helps decrease inflammation and the motion of the bottle on the arch helps stretch out the plantar fascia. Try this for 5-10 minutes twice a day.

*If you have heel pain, arch pain, or “heel spurs” for longer than 3-4 weeks, go see a podiatrist. Don’t let this become a chronic problem. The sooner heel pain is treated the quicker it will respond. It will go away with the correct treatment.

If you need to see a podiatrist, they may treat you with a cortisone injection, xrays, ultrasound, physical therapy, a night splint, a custom orthotic, other types of braces or supports, shock wave therapy, or even a new procedure called dry needling. Surgery is rarely needed for heel pain. Remember, heel pain is never normal. It can be effectively treated. A podiatrist is the expert when it comes to foot and ankle care.

Cure Jock Itch With Alcohol

A fungal infection called jock itch can cause certain discomforts like itchiness and pain. If left untreated, it may lead to a burning sensation. Blisters can be observed in the rashes too. Most people who are affected by this fungal infection have a very active lifestyle. Excessive sweating is a risk factor in this kind of condition. Since there are a lot of people who are affected by this infection, you must know that there are different ways of curing it also. Natural methods are being utilized by a lot. Garlic, lemon, tea tree oil and white vinegar are commonly used. There are over the counter creams also. One of the most popular ways is to use alcohol for the treatment. In order for you to cure the fungal infection with alcohol, you need some tips first.


It is important that you know more information about jock itch first. It is a fungal infection that is caused by tinea curis. This fungus grows well in damp and moist environments. The most commonly affected areas are your groin, buttocks and thighs. Red ring like rashes can be observed if a person is infected by this fungal infection.


The first thing that you need to do before you apply alcohol is to prepare the affected areas first. You have to make sure that your groin and your buttocks are clean. Wash these areas with mild antibacterial soap and water. Make sure that you will rinse the areas well to avoid any further irritation.


In order for you to apply alcohol as a cure, you need to use cotton balls. Dip the cotton balls in alcohol and apply it topically on the affected areas. Do not rub the alcohol on the rashes because it may just irritate it more.


Alcohol is being used in various ways. It is a very strong antibacterial agent. It can help you prevent the growth of fungi in your groin and buttocks. Alcohol can also prevent the occurrence of more infections. Aside from killing the fungi, alcohol also has a soothing effect. The cool feeling the you get from alcohol is a good method to relieve the itchiness that you feel. It is one way to keep yourself at ease. It can relieve the itchiness that jock itch can cause.


There are some reminders that you have to remember before you use alcohol. If there are too much blisters already, you may need to avoid applying alcohol. Visit a physician instead to find the right cure. Alcohol may enter your system through these blisters. You can also pour some alcohol on the clothes that you wear after washing them. This will ensure that no fungi will stay on your clothes.

Alcohol is one of the most popular ways to treat or cure jock itch. It is being used in various ways. To make sure that you will do the right thing, you will need to remember some tips first. Keep the tips in mind all the time to have a guide.

Carpal Tunnel Or Wrist Tendonitis – How Can You Tell the Difference?

How do you tell the difference between Carpal Tunnel and Wrist Tendonitis?

The fact is, these two issues are commonly confused and misdiagnosed. Here are some important factors to take into account when trying to figure out what is causing your pain.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) is a grouping of the symptoms of wrist pain, numbness, muscle weakness, shooting pain, and reduced range of motion.   CTS consists of a pattern of increasing tightness and pain in the forearms and wrist and hand, the whole arm really.

Tendonitis of the Wrist, interestingly enough, can cause all the same symptoms. And you can have tendonitis on the tendons on the front side of your hand/wrist, the back side of your hand/wrist, or both. This is mostly caused by…a pattern of increasing tightness and pain in the forearms and wrist and hand, the whole arm really.

See any similarities? 

Oh, and, for the record, you can have Carpal Tunnel -and- Wrist Tendinitis at the same time.  No wonder it can be confusing. 

Your wrist hurts. Why? Let’s take a look.  There are some things to look for to help find the difference between one or the other.

Search around and feel along the tendons from each forearm muscle to where it turns to tendon, to where tendon connects to hand bones.

If you  find a hot spot, a very sharp, painful spot on the tendon, that is Tendonitis. 

  1. If you have pain and numbness but no hot spot, that points to a Carpal Tunnel dynamic.
  2. If you have pain and numbness and a hot spot on the palm side of your wrist, that points to Wrist Tendonitis, which is causing muscle and connective tissue to constrict and possibly cutting off nerve supply to the hand.
  3. If you have pain and numbness and a hot spot on the back-of-the-hand side of your wrist, that points to having both (but I find it usually means tendonitis that is causing the symptoms)
  4. If you don’t have numbness, that points to tendonitis.

Why is it important to know the correct label for the source of your pain? Well, wouldn’t you feel silly if you went through all the trauma and trouble of getting carpal tunnel Surgery, only to find out later that you really just had tendonitis of the wrist. Oops.

Another important thing to know, is that both CTS and wrist tendinitis share the same dynamic. They both are affected by repetitive motion, both share a pattern of getting tighter and tighter, getting inflammation, and getting more and more painful.

It is also important to know the RIGHT way to make it better, and to know that you must understand WHY you are hurting. That’s why it is important to know what exactly you are suffering from. 

Hockey Can Be a Dangerous Sport

Hockey can be one of the most dangerous sports ever played, because there are so many ways a hockey player can get hurt. These players need to be in great physical shape in order to play the sport. A hockey player can be, severely injured while playing the game of hockey, because there are fights, they can get into, and falls on the ice could break bones.

When a hockey puck is struck with the hockey stick it can reach a speed of 150 miles per hour. If you are, hit with this puck, it could make a bruise; however, if you are, hit in the face with the hockey puck you could be looking for your teeth.

There have been many incidents, where players either have been, hit with the puck or have lost their teeth in a fight that ensued. However, if there is ever a fight in hockey, the players are supposed to throw their gloves and stick down. If players do not, throw their gloves and stick, they will be, suspended from the game.

Hockey players reach speeds of 25 to 30 miles per hour or more during a hockey game. However, if two players hit each other at these speeds the out come could be severe. There has been talk that many hockey games, had to be stopped when someone was hurt and had to be taken to the hospital.

Millions of hockey players suffer from broken bones each year, and many of them are never able to return to the game of hockey, because some of the injuries they have received. In addition, these hockey players wear pads to protect them but it does not matter how tough you are, or how much you have worked to protect your body from being, hit by another hockey player.

These hockey players weigh well over three hundred pounds, or more and when they hit you. It feels like you have been, hit with a wreaking ball, because they are traveling at speeds of 25 to 30 miles an hour when they crash into you.

There is really no way that a player can keep from getting hurt while playing hockey, so many of them constantly workout their bodies to ensure that they do not get hurt. However, the game of hockey can ware a person’s body down very quickly, and cause many knee and elbow problems as well as much more. Therefore, be safe and play hard if you play the sport of hockey.

Process of Food Digestion – An Interesting Story

How food gets converted into nutrients

When food is solid we chew it. We swallow it if it is liquid. Then it goes down our throats. It is interesting to learn what happens to food in entire digestive track and how our food habits influence our health, fitness and wellness.

Mouth process:

When we chew our food in mouth it gets broken into small pieces and gets mixed with saliva. Saliva is a colorless watery liquid which is always present in our mouth. It contains enzymes which digest food. These enzymes in saliva convert insoluble starches into water-soluble substances.

Actually this is the process of digestion. Enzymes convert many complex food substances into simpler substances which then can be absorbed by the body and used for its needs. These enzymes are made by different organs / glands. What finally remains after processing of the food in the digestive track is not useful for the body & is thrown out as stools or faeces.

When we smell food, our mouth waters. Saliva starts flowing down from the three pairs of salivary glands — one pair below & in front of each ear, another pair at the back of the lower jaw & the third pair underneath the tongue.

We normally produce about 8 to 10 cups of saliva in a day, in our mouth.

The enzyme in this saliva breaks down carbohydrate into simpler soluble forms of sugar.

The more we break our food by munching, the better. Saliva can then act faster on the food. Thorough chewing helps digestion process. (It is said, every mouthful of food should be chewed 32 times, once for each tooth).

Food then passes down our throat through food pipe. The small flexible lid in our food pipe, called epiglottis, closes automatically when we gulp down our food. It prevents food from going down the wrong passage which is wind pipe, lying alongside.

Stomach Process:

Stomach is an important bag shaped organ. It constantly contracts and relaxes and churns the food inside. Inside lining of stomach secretes many enzymes.

These enzymes help to breakdown proteins in order to allow body to absorb nutrients. These nutrients are then used up by body for body repair or body growth or as a fuel (energy).

Large number of glands is present inside lining of the stomach. One of the enzymes, called Renin, converts protein from milk, into soft curd. Another enzyme, called Pepsin, breaks down the long protein chains into smaller units called Peptones which are soluble in water.

Stomach also makes a large amount of hydrochloric acid. This is the same acid which we see in the chemical laboratory. This acid does many jobs as follows:

1) It weakens the proteins by loosening some of their links.

2) It dissolves minerals from various foods we eat

3) It kills bacteria which enter our stomach with the food we eat.

Food stays in the mouth for a few minutes but stays in the stomach for hours. maximum secretion of Renin, Pepsin & hydrochloric acid takes place about two hours after eating a meal. Food digestion at this time goes on very actively.

Digestion in the stomach is basically breaking down of proteins into simpler peptone unitswith the help of two enzymes and hydrochloric acid.

Outflow valve of stomach which remains closed most of the time during the day, opens up occasionally & allows very small amount of semi-digested / digested food to proceed further into small intestine. This valve opens and closes automatically. It allows partly digested semi-fluid, pasty food to pass through to small intestine.

Small intestine process:

Small intestine is a long tube which further processes the semi-digested food which comes from stomach.

Top part of small intestine is called duodenum and is about 25 cms long. There are main three juices which digest food in the small intestines. Bile juice, a bitter substance comes from liver.

Second one comes from pancreas and third one from small intestines. Juice from small intestine trickles from many places along the way. Small intestine is quite long about 5 to 6 times longer than your own height. It is properly folded in the abdomen. Most of the digestion takes place in this small intestine.

The digestion process is somewhat complicated. Pancreatic juices contain many enzymes and hormones. These help breaking down of peptones (derived from proteins) into individual amino acids.

Pancreatic juice also digests both fats and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates get converted into soluble glucose by pancreatic juice. Similarly, Lactose (present in milk) is also converted into soluble glucose.

Fats are digested to give simpler substances with the help of another kind of secretion of liver.

The liver is the chemistry laboratory of the human body.

Blood flows from heart to liver. The liver controls the level of sugar in the blood & storage of such sugars in the muscles. It takes amino acids from the blood and makes them into proteins and stores it.

It releases these proteins when required by the body. It also destroys poisonous substances and stores vitamins and minerals.

All the food which is by now broken down into simple, mostly water soluble substances is absorbed in the body through small intestine.

The inner lining of the small intestine has a number of tiny, finger like projections called villi. These are sucking organs which seize the digested materials and transfer them to the blood.Blood carries these nutrients through circulatory process to various organs of the body.

Some part of digested fats also gets carried away through another network called lymphatic system. This system also empties its contents in blood, somewhere near the neck.

Vitamins and minerals are often water soluble and are not broken down further & absorbed in the blood after being detached from the food when other nutrients get digested. Vitamin A which is fat-soluble, gets absorbed in the small intestine somewhat like fat itself.

Food which we eat finally reaches blood. It is then carried to all parts of the body, to supply their needs of energy and the body building and regulation of body functions.

Large intestine process:

The large intestine is situated next to small intestine and is tubular in shape. Its inside is smooth without any projections. It is placed in abdomen in the shape of English letter U upside down.

As the digested food passes along the intestine, water is absorbed from through the walls and into the blood. The food becomes less liquid and becomes hard. Breaking down of the digested food gives rise to some substances which carry bad smell. The undigested food is then thrown out of the body in the form of stools through the opening called Anus.

How the digested food is made useful?

Carbohydrates (starches & sugars) are broken down first in mouth and then in the small intestine into simple sugars chiefly glucose.

Glucose is absorbed by the villi of the small intestine directly into the blood stream. It travels all over your body and is used by muscles as a source of energy for their working.

A small part of glucose is converted into glycogen which is the form in which glucose is stored both in muscles (about two thirds) and in the liver (about one third).

Some glucose is always circulating in the blood and the level is steady. When the sugar level goes up it is a sign of a fault — such as the disease diabetes.

Fats are broken by way of intermediate simpler forms eventually into glycerol & fatty acids. Part of these fatty acids directly go into the blood and then to the liver as does glycerol. These fatty acids are either used for energy or sent via blood to other parts of body. They then may be used for energy or built back into fats, which are dispatched through the blood for storage as fatty tissues.

Any excess food which we eat above our requirements is converted into and stored away mostly in the form of fat. When we get insufficient food (e.g. during fasting) fat deposits are first used up.

Proteins reach blood stream as amino acids which are their building blocks. At various places in the body, these amino acids are picked up by the body organs and built into variety of compounds.

Tissue proteins, enzymes, hormones and so many other chemical compounds are protein in nature. Liver itself makes and stores body proteins.

Vitamins and minerals are also stored in the liver. Whenever body needs them, these are released to the body parts and organs.


There are thousands of interconnected processes going on in our body, all the time. Food is digested and then absorbed in the small intestine. All the absorbed vital nutrients are then circulated via blood to different body parts / organs. And the process goes on.

10 Ways to Treat Endometriosis Naturally

What is endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a painful condition in which endometrial tissue, which lines the uterus, can appear in the pelvic cavity and elsewhere in the body where it doesn’t belong. Endometriosis is one of the most frequent diseases in gyneacology, affecting 15-20% of women in their reproductive life, contributing to 5% cases of infertility. Scientists do not know exactly how the tissue ends up where it doesn’t belong but there are a number of theories which I mention below.

Regardless of where it is located this endometrial tissue will behave in the same way as the uterus lining by responding to monthly cycling of hormones and bleeds during menstruation. In the case of Endometriosis, because the shed endometrial tissue and blood in other parts of the body can not leave the body through the vagina as the menstrual blood can, it forms scar tissue and painful adhesions. Endometrial growths are most commonly found in the pelvic cavity and can grow on ovaries, pelvic ligaments, tubes, bowel and bladder.

There are a few theories as to how the tissue manages to migrate. Some suggesting retrograde flow of menstrual blood and seeding or attaching to other tissues, while others suggest endometrial cells being laid down in the wrong places during the embryologic development of the foetus. This theory emerged as it could not be explained how endometrial tissue reached the brain though the retrograde flow of menstrual blood? Many women experience retrograde flow into the abdominal cavity via the fallopian tubes, but this is usually picked up by the immune system and cleaned up by macrophages. Yet another theory suggests that endometrial growths start from stem cells and are caused by a combination of factors. Endometriosis can cause heavy and painful periods, abnormal bleeding and infertility.

As endometriosis has been associated with the presence of auto-antibodies and the presence of other autoimmune diseases, scientists are now suggesting that endometriosis is an autoimmune disease.

Although genetic predisposition, environmental factors and altered immune and endocrine function are believed to play a significant role in endometriosis, the true cause still remains unclear.

How does endometriosis lead to infertility?

If the endometrial tissue grows within the fallopian tubes it can block them. Due to inflammation there are a high number of macrophages in the area which can destroy the sperm and interfere with implantation. Ovulation may or may not occur, and even if it does occur there may not be enough progesterone to support the implantation. The risk of ectopic pregnancy is higher than usual. Anti-endometrial antibodies may be responsible for the high incidence of miscarriages and poor implantation often associated with this condition.

Here are 8 ways you can treat endometriosis – naturally

Endometriosis is viewed as an estrogen dependent condition and the endometrial implants have been shown to reduce in size when estrogen levels in the body normalize or drop. Studies have found that inflammation resulting from bleeding of the endometrial implants each month actually increases estrogen activity. Another contributing factor is low progesterone which can lead to anovulatory cycles.

1. Eat organically grown food and avoid exposure to commercial insect repellents. Studies have found that exposure to chlorinated hydrocarbons (e.g., DDT, PCB, pentachlorophenol, hexachlorocyclohexane) has been associated with an increase in rates of miscarriage and endometriosis.

2. Avoid soft plastics. This includes drinking out of plastic water bottles, storing your food in plastic food wrappers, wearing surgical gloves, buying products in food wrap and touching printing ink with your hands. What do all these have in common? They contain Phthalates and PVC. Known endocrine disruptors and estrogen mimickers, linked to asthma, negative developmental and birth defects, immune system dysfunction, endometriosis and infertility.

3. Reduce your intake of animal products. The first line of natural treatment for endometriosis is to minimize intake of animal products due to the high content of hormones, pesticides and herbicides which are known endocrine disruptors.

4. Eat bitter foods to support clearance of estrogen via the liver. They are grapefruit, lemons, limes, rocket, endive, romaine lettuce, artichokes. To the same end drink dandelion and St. Mary’s thistle tea.

5. Avoid allergens and take immune system supplements. As you’ve seen the immune system plays a role in endometriosis. As such you want to make sure you provide your immune system with all the key elements required for optimal function. They are vitamin C, vitamin E, betacarotene, zinc and selenium and probiotics. In addition have an IgG 90 foods intolerance test. This will show you what foods you are intolerant to. These need to be avoided to help balance the immune system.

6. Exercise regularly to improve circulation, toxin and waste removal. Exercise also boosts your metabolism (which is good for your endocrine function) and immune system. Both of which are crucial in treatment of endometriosis.

7. Include foods that promote circulation and waste removal. The following foods and spices promote circulation and waste removal cayenne, basil, chives, eggplant, garlic, ginger, kohlrabi, leek, nutmeg, pepper, rice, rosemary, scallion, spearmint, turmeric, cinnamon, lemons, zest of lemon, seaweed.

8. Increase your fibre intake to improve estrogen clearance from your intestines, including: adzuki beans, psylium husks, apples, other legumes, nuts and seeds.

9. Take a high quality fish oil (make sure the one you choose is tested for mercury and stabilized with vitamin E (to protect it from oxidation)). Fish oil reduces inflammation associated with endometriosis, minimizing associated pain and improving the odds of healthy implantation. I recommend Krill oil (the plankton whales and other fish eat) as it’s less likely to be contaminated. Ideally you want to have 1000mg three times a day with food. Store it in the fridge. To see which supplement I recommend go to the site below.

10. Take an iodine supplement there is an established link between hypothyroidism and endometriosis and so taking an iodine supplement can correct underactive thyroid function.

Ovarian Cysts Symptoms Are a WARNING Sign

Clearly enlisting ovarian cyst symptoms is a difficult proposition. The main reason behind this difficulty is that ovarian cysts can display very few to no symptoms. Ovarian cysts are often discovered accidentally during a Routine Physical Exam or can be chanced upon during ultrasound, which might be performed for various reasons. Let’s take a closer look at some of these symptoms:

Prominent symptoms

Some of the most prominent ovarian cyst symptoms include sudden or recurring pain in the lower pelvis or abdominal region of varying severity, irregularity in periods, a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen, persistent pain around the pelvic girdle during periods which might be experienced in the lower back region too, pelvic pain felt after sexual intercourse or strenuous exercise, difficulty or abnormal pain experienced with bowel movements or during urination, a feeling of nausea and vomiting, vaginal blood spots or pain in the vagina, tenderness and pain in the breasts and abnormal weight gain.

The above mentioned ovarian cyst syndromes are generic in nature. These symptoms might also result from endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or ectopic pregnancy. This necessitates a proper treatment and an accurate diagnosis.

Serious cases

Advanced cases of ovarian cysts can pose a greater threat to health with symptoms like light-headedness or dizziness, fatigue, harsh abdominal pain, fever, rapid breathing and/or shortness of breath and so on. Should any of these problems be encountered, it is advisable to consult the doctor without delay. Over the last few decades, medical sciences have advanced tremendously, and be assured that there are excellent treatment options and medication available to cure even the most severe cases of ovarian cysts.

Today, there is no dearth of treatments for ovarian cysts. Countless women around the globe still rely on home-based self-care measures and are getting excellent results. These measures include the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Motrin (ibuprofen), Tylenol (acetaminophen), or other medicines that are used to combat narcotic pain. Putting a check on strenuous activities also help in the reduction of possible torsion or a rupture of the cysts. The cysts are often monitored by using modern endovaginal ultrasound or ultrasonic techniques. However, few such measures can really beat the effectiveness of adopting a holistic approach towards treating ovarian cysts.


An ovarian cyst that has grown large can bring about a great degree of abdominal discomfort. A large cyst often tends to press against the bladder causing you to urinate more frequently (due to the reduced capacity of the bladder). There can be cases involving less common kinds of cysts that show virtually no symptoms in women. Your doctor usually discovers them by chance during a regular pelvic examination. Beware of large masses of ovarian cysts that tend to develop after a woman reaches menopause. They could turn out to be cancerous. These factors stress the importance of getting a pelvic examination on a regular basis.

A word of caution

Symptoms alone cannot ascertain the presence of ovarian cysts in women. In some cases, symptoms may be completely absent. There is also a possibility of ovarian cysts showing symptoms that are usually associated with other diseases, such as pelvic disease of inflammation, endometriosis, ovarian cancer, or ectopic pregnancy. Ruptured ovarian cysts can produce symptoms that are akin to those produced by diverticulitis and appendicitis. It is always advisable to look into and medically investigate any symptom without delay. If the symptoms mentioned in the first two paragraphs are present, there is a very high chance of presence of ovarian cysts. Consult your doctor immediately without delay if you experience pain followed by vomiting or fever, and any severe or sudden pain in the abdomen or pelvic region.

Holistic approach

Holistic approach is the new buzzword in the medical world today and it is fast gaining popularity everywhere. Adopting this approach is beneficial in cases involving ovarian cysts too. As a ‘Health Concept’, holism has a very long history. It is only recently that there has been a conscious effort to merge this alternative mode of treatment into the medical mainstream. Holistic approach not only cures ovarian cysts completely, but also provides a deep sense of peace, both at the physical level as well as the mental level. Holistic approach is not so much a way of treatment as it is an approach towards the explanation of application of treatment. Adopting a holistic approach in the early state of ovarian cysts can really work miracles.

The essence of holistic approach lies in the belief of ‘A Healthy Mind in a Healthy body’. The approach is potentially very powerful and it not only prevents ovarian cysts in the first place, but also cures them. One of the primary features of the approach is its focus on diet. A wholesome balanced diet is the key to a healthy body as well as a strong resistance to the onslaught of various diseases. The balanced diet advocated by holistic approach includes plenty of leafy and green vegetables, fruits, proteins and minerals. Substances rich in fat and excessive intake of carbohydrates are best avoided. Proper cleanliness of the body and its surrounding are to be strictly maintained. With these simple measures, you can bid farewell to all ovarian cyst symptoms forever.

The Relationship Between Candida and Graves Disease

From time to time I have been asked about the relationship between candida and Graves’ Disease. Although there seems to be more of a connection between yeast infections and hypothyroid conditions, people with Graves’ Disease are more susceptible to getting candida infections, and the reverse may be true as well, which I’ll explain in this article.

Before I talk about this connection I’d first like to explain what candida is. Candida is a type of yeast, and one of the most common strains of yeasts which can affect one’s health is candida albicans. However, in a healthy person this organism usually isn’t a problem. The reason for this is because the healthy gut flora will usually keep these harmful organisms in check. But when the health of the gut flora is compromised, then this can lead to a yeast infection. One of the most common ways the gut flora becomes compromised is when someone takes antibiotics. While taking antibiotics is sometimes necessary, they not only kill the harmful bacteria, but the useful microorganisms as well. And when someone takes antibiotics multiple times, this just adds to the problem.

So when a person overuses antibiotics, this will kill the “good bacteria” in the gut, leaving the person more susceptible to a candida infection. This yeast infection will in turn affect the health of the immune system. And for someone who has a genetic marker for Grave’s Disease, this can very well act as a trigger for this condition. While this probably isn’t one of the main reasons why people develop Graves’ Disease, it is something to consider, and is why sometimes even a simple yeast infection can’t be overlooked

Can Having Graves’ Disease Cause A Yeast Infection To Develop?

Similarly, if someone already has Graves’ Disease, then this potentially can lead to the development of a candida infection. After all, Graves’ Disease is an autoimmune hyperthyroid condition, and so the compromised immune system can make someone more susceptible to a candida infection. This is yet another reason why someone with Graves’ Disease should want to do more than take prescription drugs for a prolonged period of time, or receive radioactive iodine. While sometimes these conventional medical treatment methods are necessary, they don’t do anything for the compromised immune system.

Besides taking antibiotics and having a poorly functioning immune system, other factors can lead to the development of a yeast infection. One’s diet can play a big role in their overall health, and a diet high in carbohydrates will also make it more likely that someone will develop a yeast infection. You ideally want to eat less than 200 grams of carbohydrates per day, and less than 150 grams per day would be even better. While it might be difficult to keep track of this, you really should make an effort to do this for about one week.

How To Permanently Cure A Candida Infection

So how does one permanently cure a candida infection? To no surprise, the conventional medical approach is to give prescription medication. Although this sometimes is needed to help with a yeast infection, just keep in mind that this won’t do anything for the underlying cause of the condition. For example, if someone took antibiotics and then developed a yeast infection, giving the person a fungicide may help with the yeast infection, but it won’t address the problems with the gut flora, and so the person is likely to develop another yeast infection in the future. In order to cure the condition and prevent another candida infection from occurring, one would want to replenish the gut flora through the use of probiotics and other supplements, minimize the refined foods and sugars, etc. If the person needed to take antibiotics again the it would be a good idea to take probiotics while taking the antibiotics.

If poor immunity was the main cause behind the development of the candida infection, then one would need to address this in order to cure the candida infection. Of course improving the health of the immune system would also benefit the Graves’ Disease condition as well, and is something most endocrinologists never do.

So hopefully after reading this you have a better understanding of the relationship between a candida infection and Graves’ Disease. Having candida can affect the gut and immune system, which potentially can trigger an autoimmune condition such as Graves’ Disease. And if someone has a compromised immune system, such as is the case with Graves’ Disease, then this can make someone more susceptible to developing a yeast infection. Either way, the goal should be to get to the underlying cause of the condition in order to cure candida and prevent future yeast infections from developing.

The Top Five Super Herbs You Should Be Using

1. Pau d’Arco

2. Vanilla

3. Chancapiedra

4. Chapparal

5. Sacha Jergon

Pau d’Arco

Pau D’Arco (Avellanedae or Tabebuia Impetiginosa) is the inner bark of a majestic flowering Amazonian tree. The pau d’arco tree grows up to 30 meters in height and the base of the tree can measure up to 3 meters in diameter.

Indigenous people noticed that the pau d’arco tree does not rot, even when it is dead. Pau d’arco bark contains intrinsic chemical factors that fight fungus and mold, even in some of the wettest environments on Earth. This was likely how and why indigenous people started using the bark medicinally to fight fungal conditions.

Pau d’Arco is a wonderful herb with many documented properties and may help provide the following benefits:

Improves toxic-blood related conditions, such as acne, hepatitis, environmentally produced allergies and asthma, and poisons attacking the liver.

Stimulates the immune system to such a positive degree that it has been traditionally used as a primary treatment for viruses, such as flu, herpes or hepatitis.

Eliminates Candida, and Candida-type problems from the body as a systemic anti-fungal, by stimulating the body’s own Candida scavengers.

Inhibits free-radical induced cell-mutation, especially those within the blood or skin. May also decrease in the spreading of mutated cells and the formation of new malignant growths.

Balances blood sugar levels, and reduce the amount of insulin needed by diabetics.

Pau d’Arco teas make a fantastic base to cacao drinks. Simply add cacao beans or nibs and blend. Also adding some form of sweetener (such as raw yacon root syrup, agave cactus nectar, stevia, honey, fruit, etc.) makes a wonderful tasting beverage; yet take note that the more sweetener that is used, the less effective is the pau d’arco.

Pau d’Arco tea possesses a wonderful flavor and has a naturally sweet taste, yet contains no sugar. Pau d’Arco is a great herbal base for all teas. Experiment with mixing it with other herbs.

Dosage: 10 grams makes 1-2 liters of tea. One may add 3.5 grams of the herb cat’s claw to the pau d’arco tea to make a traditional Shipibo Peruvian tea.

NOTE: As with many herbs, an excessive amount of Pau d’Arco tea, may cause cramping, nausea, or intestinal upset. However, there have been no reports in the scientific literature of any danger of ingesting Pau d’Arco tea. Pau d’Arco tea has been in human use for thousands of years.

Pau d’Arco tea recipe:

Pau D’Arco (10 grams)

Cat’s Claw (3.5 grams)

Goji Berries (20 grams)

Chancapiedra (3 grams)

1 raw vanilla bean

(This makes 2 liters of healing tea and is extraordinary when chilled)

Vanilla Bean

From the exquisite blooms of the vanilla orchid come the pods that yield one of the world’s greatest flavors. Vanilla beans (pods) are the cured dried fruit of the only fruit-bearing orchid. Although there are about 150 species of vanilla orchids, only a few are used commercially.

Vanilla is one of the oldest and most expensive spices as well as one of the most familiar that is best known for its flavor enhancing qualities as well as its aromatic uses.

Among the purported health benefits of vanilla by ancient peoples was that it could act as an aphrodisiac. In the 1700’s it was recommended by physicians to be drunk as an infusion or tincture to increase male potency.

Studies have shown that vanilla can help people fall asleep faster and enter into deep REM sleep or dream state.

When purchasing vanilla, look for beans that are hand-cultivated and hand-picked without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and cured only in the sun. Also, many vanilla beans are blanched in hot water to start the curing process, this is other-than-the-best-ever. Stay away from vanilla extracts, especially artificial vanilla extracts, for when vanilla is processed into this form, it losses it’s health-enhancing herbal properties. Nothing compares to using whole, raw vanilla beans when you want real vanilla flavor!

Suggested use: Use in all your favorite raw creations, including chocolate drinks, smoothies and desserts. If you have a Vita Mix or other powerful blender, you can snip (with kitchen scissors) small pieces of the whole bean right into your blended creations (the beans, flavor and nutrition go further this way). You can also add half of a vanilla bean into any tea recipe along with the other herbs for a delicious and smooth taste. Another way to use vanilla is to split the bean open lengthwise, scrape out the thousands of tiny black seeds and add them to your cuisine.

Chanca Piedra

Chancapiedra (Phyllanthus niruri) is one of the most important superherbs discovered in the entire history of herbalism due to its effect on directly fighting calcium-forming organisms called nanobacteria. Nanobacteria have been linked to inflammation and the production of “bad calcium” in the human body. Nearly every disease condition known to humans, mammals, reptiles, and birds involves calcification. Calcification is the overproduction of “bad calcium” due to the growth of nanobacteria.

Chancapiedra’s name means “stone breaker” due to its ability to break up calcium phosphate crystals (bad calcium). This superherb’s historical use in achieving excellent gall bladder and kidney health is well-studied. In South America, Chancapiedra is also known for many other healing properties including helping: malaria symptoms, fever, flu, alleviating liver stagnation, improving digestion, and even as a mild laxative and pain reliever.

Precautions: People with heart conditions or taking prescription heart medications should consult their healthcare practitioner before taking this superherb. This superherb is generally not recommended for those with hypoglycemia symptoms.


Chaparral is a desert-growing plant that contains a powerful substance known as NDGA (nordihydroguararetic acid). The active ingredients are found in the leaves which can be soaked in water for an hour; this cold chaparral tea water is then taken internally or applied topically to the skin or hair. Chaparral has also been noted for its ability to ease arthritic pain, and contains potent antioxidants which may act throughout the body to help reduce inflammation.

Suggested Uses for Chaparral:

Make a cold infusion of Noni Leaf Tea and Chaparral. Both Noni Leaf and Chaparral contain a wide range of antioxidants, and work in combination to help protect our cells from free-radical damage. To make an even higher antioxidant drink, use this cold tea as a base for a smoothie or sauce made with Raw Cacao.

Both Chuchuhuasi and Chaparral hold the potential to relieve arthritic pain. Bring 3 cups of water with 2 teaspoons of Chuchuhuasi to a gentle simmer, and let simmer for one hour. At the end of the hour, steep 2 teaspoons of Chaparral in this tea. Let cool to room temperature, strain, and drink slowly throughout the day.

Sacha Jergón

Sacha Jergon is one of the main herbs in traditional Amazonian herbalism. Sacha Jergón helps improve the effectiveness of herbs that it is used with and is perhaps one of the best herbs in the world for liver support and rejuvination. This perennial herb grows wild in the Amazon basin up to the lower elevations of the Andes Mountains. The active elements of this herb are found in the tuberous off-white colored root. In its native habitat the root is pulverized in cold water and then drunk immediately for the highest level of therapeutic benefit. This herb earned its name due to its effectiveness in combating snake venom.

Sacha Jergón is as an activator of other herbs as well as a liver rejuvenator. Sacha Jergón provides the key that unlocks the potential of many of the extraordinarily rich herbs of Amazonia. Sacha Jergón can be used in conjunction with any combination of herbs to help improve immunity, cleanse the body, and restore optimal health and well-being.

NOTE: When choosing Sacha Jergon, look for sustainably harvested and wildcrafted products.

Raw Sacha Jergón powder is in a form which may be easily mixed into any juice, smoothie, or beverage. This herb has traditionally been used in cold water infusions, therefore no special preparation is required. Sacha Jergón mixes easily into cold water and has a mildly sweet taste. Sacha Jergón may even be mixed into a smoothie with Raw Cacao Beans to increase the antioxidant and heart-opening effects of the raw chocolate.

What’s in a Boat Name?

I must admit I have had a fascination with boat names for many years. It probably stemmed from when I lived on the River Thames at Chertsey and I used to spend many a happy summer day lolling on the decks of an old Thames Barge (grandly named ‘Sunbeam’ whilst a similar barge a few berths down was nobly named ‘Atlas’) watching all manner of craft ply the river. It was particularly interesting to realise many of these craft were very old indeed and the practice of boat naming was is highly thought of today as it was back in the old days. The cross section was broad and in many ways you’d think that the names that were given to craft would have long been exhausted but this appears not to be the case. However, when you realise that every subject of interest, anywhere, to anyone, has been thoroughly searched and raided to provide names for past and present and doubtless future generations of floating craft.

Names of towns, cities, villages, counties, countries, royalty, cartoon characters, film stars, mythology, the stars, planets and heavens have all been thoroughly trawled for representation upon the bows and transoms of a thousand, yea, ten thousand craft that ply the waters of the world.

How does one go about the tricky business of naming a new boat? And even trickier, the deadly serious business of even re-naming an existing craft. Clearly the nautically inclined bucket of seawater that all folk carry around in the top of their skulls goes into overtime at boat naming time and the results of their endeavors can show the results of brilliance, non imagination, scallywag humour, self-praise, self-pity, corporate boredom or even complete wackiness. The ‘association psychology’ kicks firmly into gear whenever the delicate issues of naming the new addition to the family or company comes into fruition.

“So, like what?” I hear you grumbling, “What the hell does he mean?”

Well, basically, one only has to take a stroll around a well-packed marina to see how some folks think when it comes to ‘boat naming’ time. A shiny plastic 40′ Riviera laden with expensive goodies and two twenty thousand dollar jet skis was named ‘No Limits’, clearly an attribute to the very capable money earning capabilities of the well heeled person who owned it. ‘Costa Lotta’ on another plastic and glass creation was surely either a slight boast or deep sigh of despair from the owner. Either way, he could still clearly still afford it! The ones that make me heave however are the ducky double names made up from half of one name and the other half of the other! ‘RoySue’, ‘JanMark’, ‘FranJean’, ‘BobMeg’ and so on…yuk! I even saw one made up of the whole families names muddled together, ‘Jentonsules’… what? How could anyone do that? Poor bloody boat.

Work boats, tugs, ferries and other corporate craft fare a little less better. Tugs are invariably named, ‘Atlas’, ‘Hercules’, ‘Poseidon’, ‘Troy’, ‘Stalwart’, ‘Triton’ and the favourite ‘Leviathan’. You’d hardly get one called ‘The Cecil’ or ‘Nancy Mincing’. You just couldn’t feel it; the name in the former cases has to reflect unlimited, unremitting brute force. It’s tradition.

Infamy of one kind or another plays its part in not naming boats too. A doubly superstitious bunch, seafarers, they tend to steer well clear of ‘Titanic’, ‘The Mary Celeste’, ‘Hesperus’ and ‘The Lusitania’ for clear cut and obvious reasons. One could safely bet a couple of crates of rum that no one with his feet squarely on planet earth are likely to name the family yacht, ‘The Saddam Hussein’ or ‘Twin towers’ over the next few years or so. Stands to reason really if you think about it. No one really wants to be associated with disasters or mayhem, except of course the oddball who named a boat I saw many moons ago called, ‘The Family Row’….can’t think why at all though!

Tongue in cheek is alive and well and wry humour is well represented among many boaties who may have had a few reasons to dwell over their choices available. ‘Midlife Crisis’ often crops up, ‘Kids Inheritance’ is another and ‘Don’t tell the bank’ was another that always raises a smile. ‘Iownit’ and ‘Itsmine’ tell a story of financial triumphs over struggle and adversity, in their own way. Sports boats, however seem to reflect the devil-may-care attitude that anyone under thirty seems to cultivate nowadays. Ski boats abound with ‘Hot Spurt’, ‘Pink Thing’, ‘Wet Dream’ or ‘Thruster’, the usual testosterone fuelled twaddle. I’ve not seen ‘Shaved Head’, ‘Tattoo’ or ‘Silly beard and Nipple-ring’ slapped onto a long suffering ski boat yet, but give it time, it is bound to come. Jet skis don’t seem to be given names but ‘Whiner’, ‘Mozzie’, ‘Blue Fumes’ and ‘Weekend Lover’ could well be in the running here, ‘Annoyer’, of course topping the list. ‘I’m going too fast’, may even eclipse that.

Years ago, on the waterways both here in Aussie and back in England, fleets of hire craft used to be rented out on almost every river and stream, estuary and lake. Whole fleets of small timber boats, powered by Stuart Turner ‘pop pop’ engines would be named after flocks of birds, planets and so on, very pleasant. However, I always remember a very famous hire boat company on the River Thames that owned only three rowing skiffs. They were respectfully named, ‘Er be is’, ‘Er be mine’ and wonderfully ‘She be ours’. Aah! Nostalgia!

Tacky of course, is everywhere if you care to look but they can be in disguise. ‘Isle of View’ (I love you) was one. ‘Water Otter’ (Kettle?), ‘My Folly’, ‘Good Ship Lollypop’ (No, please!) and ‘Popeye’ (Good grief). Catamarans do it too!! ‘Catscan’, ‘Two up’, ‘Cat O’nine tails’, ‘Cat Fight’ etc. One I did like was simply, ‘The Big Cat’ and the tender was called ‘The Little Kitten’. Tender names can be good. A boat I saw was called ‘Bottom’ (presumably after the Shakespearian play) naturally ‘Tender Bottom’ was the dinghy. Another was ‘Canary’, the tender ‘Canary’s Egg’. I am sure there are thousands out there undiscovered, at least by me.

Wacky names abound by the score. You don’t have to look far. One name tickled me by its utter nuttiness. It was a small boat crammed with day-trippers. Cheekily, along the whole length of the boat was painted. ‘Two eggs, two toms, bacon and beans – no chips’. I would have loved to have known the reason for that one! Equally wacky, was ‘Sir Osis of the River’ (Cirrhosis of the liver), very clever indeed. One very interesting trait I have noticed amongst sleek and beautiful restored classic craft was the almost reverential names of Indians. ‘Pocahontas’, ‘White Feather’, ‘Minnie Ha-Ha’, ‘Laughing Waters’. Once again, a traditional thing, I suppose. A friend of mine aptly named his ex-police launch, ‘Old Bill’, and raised many a smile along the riverbank.


Oh dear, this really is supposed to be a no-no, isn’t it? Yet, like all traditions nautical, it can be done, but must be done properly. The whole idea of this article came about through an email that was sent to me describing the ceremony required to change the name of a boat. It is taken very seriously in certain quarters and apparently, if the Gods of the Sea are not appeased, bad fortune may accompany the vessel. In years past, sailors have bemoaned the fact that the unluckiest ships are the ones that defied the gods and changed their names the wrong way.


According to old lore, each boat is recorded in the infamous Ledger of the Deep and is held by Poseidon or Neptune, the God of the Sea. Therefore, if the name is to be changed, the name must be purged from the ledger and therefore Poseidon’s memory. All names of the old boat must be obliterated from all boat papers, log books etc by whatever means (white-out pen is acceptable!) as well as all life rings, signs, nameplates and even keys. Once that is done, prepare a metal tag with the old name written on it in water-soluble ink. Next buy some reasonable champagne (not cheapo stuff!), this is for the Captain and Mate to quaff during each stage of the ceremony. Begin as follows:

“Oh Mighty Ruler of the Seas and Oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, implore you in your graciousness to expunge for all time from your records and recollection (here insert the old name of the vessel) which has ceased to be an entity in your kingdom. As proof thereof, we submit this ingot bearing her name to be corrupted through your power and forever, be purged from the sea (at this point the tag is dropped from the bow into the sea). In grateful acknowledgment of your munificence and dispensation, we offer these libations to your Majesty and Court” (At this point, half a bottle of champagne must be poured into the sea from East to West, the remainder to be drunk by present guests.)

It is usual then for the renaming ceremony to be undertaken immediately following the ‘purging ceremony’ although it may be done later. You will need more champagne because there are more Gods to appease! Begin the renaming by calling Poseidon.

“Oh Mighty and Great Ruler of the Seas and Oceans, to whom all ships and we who venture upon your vast domain are required to pay homage, implore you in your graciousness to take unto your records and recollections this worthy vessel hereafter for all time (here insert the new name for the vessel) guarding her with your mighty arm and trident to ensure the safe and rapid passage within your realm. In appreciation of your munificence, dispensation and in honour of your greatness, we offer these libations to your Majesty and Court (at this point, one bottle of champagne, less one glass for Master and Mate, are poured into the sea from East to West).”

The next step is to appease the Gods of the Winds. This assures you of smooth seas and fair winds. Because the ‘Four Winds’ are brothers, it is permissible to involve them at the same time, but during the ceremony, you must address each ‘Wind God’ by name. Begin as so:

“Oh Mighty Rulers of the Winds, through whose power our frail vessels transverse the wild and faceless deep, we implore you to grant this worthy vessel (insert boat’s new name) the benefits and pleasures of your bounty, ensuring us of your gentle ministrations, according to our needs. (Facing North, pour a generous amount of champagne into a glass and fling towards the North and say). Great Boreas, exalted Ruler of the North wind, grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your great breath.” Face West, repeat saying, “Great Zephyrus, exalted ruler of the West wind grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your wild breath”. Face East, “Great Eurus exalted ruler of the East wind grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your mighty breath”. Face South, “Great Notus, exalted ruler of the South wind grant us permission to use your mighty powers in the pursuit of our lawful endeavors, ever sparing us the overwhelming scourge of your scalding breath”.

Any champagne left over, will be the beginnings of a suitable celebration in Honour of the occasion. Note: Only then may any items bearing the new name be allowed on to the boat, be sure the names are not shown before the ceremony is over.

To the non believers who may howl in derision at the aforesaid antics, I have only this to say, it is a dangerous and difficult enough business venturing out into the mighty oceans (we have the VMR to deal with after all) but the rumours have persisted down through the centuries and even today modern seaman quake at the thought of flying in the face of the Gods of the Seas, after all why be smart…. would you risk it?


Next time you see a boat with an unusual or noteworthy name, spare a thought for the reasons it may have come into being. Rest assured that it is not a light undertaking to come to a final decision about a boat’s name. In many cases, it has taken many years. In my own particular case, it took five years of careful ponderings whilst building and finally ‘The Nicky J Miller’, was chosen in honour of my long-suffering partner in crime whilst building our boat. The tribute was entirely for her, she was enthusiastic in every way, never bemoaning the time or the money spent. It’s not many girls who get a shipwreck name after them!…Just kidding, Hey Dreamboat!… Not you Shipwreck! (Old sailors mating call!)

Dhauti – An Excellent Stomach Cleanser

Dhauti is a shuddhikriya which means the act of cleaning. It specifically cleans the stomach. Since is one of the main organ in the human body and the health of the human being is dependent on the condition of the stomach. Hence it becomes very important for you to clean your stomach. Dhauti is the useful activity for this cleansing.

Dhauti is of three types:

o Vamana-dhauti: This is the easiest of all the three types. In this process you have to drink about six glasses of water and then vomit it out by putting the index and the middle fingers in the mouth till uvula. You throw up the water, which brings along with it the impurities in the stomach.

o Danda-dhauti: Repeat the above process but instead of inserting the fingers, you insert a rubber tube of about three feet in length and the width slightly more than the lead pencil. It is gulped down slowly so that one end of the tube reaches the stomach while the other end is held outside the mouth. Bend the trunk forward and this siphoning action will bring out the water from the stomach. When all the water is thrown out, bring out the rubber tube. Before using the tube, clean and disinfect it by inserting it in the boiling water for a few minutes. It is difficult for a lot of people to insert the tube without vomiting because the throat is sensitive to the touch stimuli. For them it is advisable to go for the vamana-dhauti since it is the simpler of the two. The advantage of danda-dhauti is that there is no spasm of the stomach wall and the water is thrown out very smoothly.

o Vastra-dhauti: This is the most difficult but useful dhauti. Here a strip of fine muslin cloth of about three inches in width and twenty feet in length is taken. It is washed and disinfected by dipping it in boiling water for some time and rolled up. Hold one end of it between the two fingers and insert it into the mouth. Gulp it down slowly. Stop gulping when only six inches of the cloth remain outside the mouth. Take care to ensure that you do not let the other end go into the mouth. Churn the abdomen by Nauli with the cloth inside the stomach. Now remove the strip slowly by pulling out the other end of the cloth. This dhauti cleanses the stomach by rubbing itself against the inner lining of the stomach wall and removing all the impurities from the stomach.

Dhauti has a great therapeutic value. You can use it as a part of yogic treatment of disorders like acidity and asthma.

Presto Products – Quality Pressure Cookers and American Innovation

When you think about buying a manufactured product, chances are you only think about two things: “Does it work for what I need it for?” and “Can I afford it?” However, there is also the “story” of the product, the “brand”. These days I think many of us cynically believe everything manufactured is made in China. It’s a bit depressing, since that means in buying those products we are getting involved in a story that’s not close to home. Nothing against the Chinese, where would we be without some of their wonderful and affordable products after all? But it would be nice to know that there are still quality, innovative, essential products that are part of an ongoing American story. The line of Presto products are an example of just that; quality American made ingenuity going back over 100 years.

To recap their entire history here would be too much, but it is interesting to briefly outline where National Presto Industries came from. Started in 1905, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the company that would become National Presto Industries was already on the cutting edge. They manufactured a product that makes life in the kitchen faster, easier, safer and more affordable: Pressure cookers and canners. Their industry got a boost in 1917 when it was determined by the USDA that pressure canners were the only way to safely can low-acid foods, helping to stop deadly cases of food poisoning.

Most of their products were more commercially focused until, in 1939, they revolutionized the industry by introducing their “Presto” line of in home, saucepan-style pressure cookers. These pressure cookers make food preparation fast, easy, less expensive and yet more healthy. Amazingly, this is still true even today. Compared to a microwave pressure cooking is often faster and more desirable, given the higher quality and better tasting food you get as a result.

However, despite their boon in the market place, National Presto Industries suspended their production of pressure cookers in WWII. This was in order to assist in the production of needed rocket fuses for the war effort.

After the war, pressure cooker production expanded with the opening of a second plant in 1953. Once again this plant was located right in the USA–Jackson Mississippi. As production expanded so did the Presto product line, with innovations that included newfangled electric kitchen and household appliances. Many of these electric appliances are iconic of the 50’s era, shiny, sleek, and more efficient. But still, pressure cookers and canners remained a top seller.

Since the 1950’s the expansion and innovations have kept coming. First with the plant in Alamogordo, New Mexico, opened in 1971, and then with a slew of electric kitchen appliances that make food faster to prepare while at the same time being healthier. Just some of the many innovative Presto products include: the electric coffee maker, the electric pressure cooker, the SaladShooter, various electric griddles, healthier deep friers, the hot air driven and more efficient PopCornNow, and more.

To this day National Presto Industries still embodies innovation, seeking out inventors and ideas from the public. However, they also maintain excellence in the products that brought them success: quality pressure cookers made right here in the US. Because they have had such longevity Presto still supports repair parts for vintage model pressure cookers. They cover all lines going back to WWII, and some even before that.

It’s nice to know that the same product grandma used to cook faster, healthier and taster meals is still available today. They still have as much quality as ever, and they are still made by the same company. So when you think “Do I want quality, or affordability” know that you can get both with Presto products. Plus, you can be part of an ongoing story of success, right here at home.

What Causes Pain Below The Rib Cage?

The words pain below the rib cage can mean several different things, and it’s important to make a distinction. In this article, we’ll consider the words pain below the rib cage to mean pain in the physical area often called the stomach or abdomen. We will not cover possibilities like heart disease and lung cancer, which occur inside the rib cage in the upper part of the chest. Technically speaking, you could say these disorders cause pain below the rib cage too, but that’s not the meaning we’ll employ here.

The area below the rib cage that’s generally described as the stomach or the “belly” is packed with organs, tissues and muscles. So when you have discomfort in this area, it might be caused by one of dozens of possibilities. Stomach pain under the ribs may simply result from indigestion: a dose of antacids might be all you need to feel better. On the other hand, stomach pain under the rib cage could be a symptom of something serious like an ulcer or stomach cancer. Fortunately, stomach cancer is relatively rare today in the U.S. and many other countries. But hundreds of thousands of people certainly suffer from painful stomach ulcers.

Gallbladder problems are likely to cause pain below the rib cage. The most common gallbladder disorders are gallstones and gallbladder attacks, which typically cause abdominal distress but may also radiate to the right shoulder or even the middle of the upper back. Gallbladder attacks often occur after you’ve eaten a big meal – especially one that includes a lot of fat – because your gallbladder can’t process an overload of cholesterol. It becomes inflamed and irritated, which is the cause of the pain.

Pancreatitis is another possible cause of pain below the rib cage. Your pancreas is also involved in digestion, so you’ll have pain in the upper abdomen if your pancreas isn’t functioning properly.

There are many digestive problems involving the colon and intestines: a colon infection, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or one of several other colon-related problems. Unfortunately, colon cancer is a possibility too.

If you have pain below the rib cage at the same time you have pain in the back or sides, it could be caused by kidney stones. Generally, kidney stone pain occurs in the back, but sometimes it radiates to the abdomen and even down into the upper thighs.

Injury or illness affecting the spine can cause pain below the rib cage too. If you damage a disc, for instance, you may feel pain all the way around to the front of your body. Pain sometimes travels along the nerve pathways, so it’s possible to “feel” pain away from the actual source of the problem. This is known as referred pain. When this happens, you usually feel numbness, tingling, and a “pins and needles” sensation.

Strained muscle and ligaments can also be a source of pain in the stomach area. This can be caused by exercising too much or not warming up enough before you exercise. There’s also a condition called a side stitch which is characterized by sharp pain under the rib cage. A side stitch, as the name implies, often happens on one side or the other. The medical name for this condition is exercise related transient abdominal pain (ETAP). It has not been scientifically established why so many people get a side stitch during exercise, but it certainly can be painful.

Many of the problems mentioned above can happen in the stomach area, or on either side. But if you have pain on the right side under the ribcage, it’s possible you have liver trouble. The liver is situated on the right side under the ribs.

In conclusion, this article has been intended briefly list and describe some of the possible causes of pain under the rib cage. But always remember that only a doctor is qualified to make a diagnosis. Pain is often just one symptom that something is wrong. Your doctor will need to evaluate all your symptoms to help him or her come up with the answers you need to get relief.

The Different Types of Heartburn

Understanding the Different Types of Heartburn

Before you start looking for a solution for heartburn, it is better to understand which type of heartburn you are suffering from. This might sound surprising but the fact is that heartburns are classified under different types, depending upon the cause and severity. If you want to learn more about the various kinds of heartburn, read on.

The Most Common Types of Heartburn

Summer Heartburn:

Summer is the time for outings, for enjoying the yummy fries and cheese sandwiches and also the time of increased heartburn. The sultry heat combined with fatty foods can make you more susceptible to heartburn attacks. If you first experienced heartburn in a similar way, then in all probability you suffer from summer heartburn.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid acidic foods while you are out in the sun and eat light meals that are easy to digest. There are some good natural remedies that can offer instant relief from summer heartburn.

Pregnancy Heartburn:

Pregnancy can bring with it a lot of health problems, heartburn being one of them. But the good news is such heartburn problems go away as soon as the baby is born. Toward the third trimester of your pregnancy, the pressure against your stomach increases. This slows down the digestive process and causes the digestive acids to remain in the stomach for a longer time. This increases the risk of flow-back of acid from your stomach into your esophagus, resulting in heartburn.While there are various natural remedies and other medicines that can treat heartburn, it is important to consult your doctor before taking them.

Nighttime Heartburn:

One of the worst and most painful forms of heartburn attacks is Nighttime heartburn. While other heartburns happen in the daytime and can be dealt with by resting and taking medicines, nighttime heartburn attacks you at a time when you entire body is relaxed and unprepared to handle the pain and discomfort.Why does nighttime heartburn happen? Well the answer is very simple – at night we usually lie in one position for a long time, which causes our esophageal sphincter to relax making it easier for the acid to flow into our esophagus. Another reason is the lack of saliva. For those who don’t know, saliva is your body’s best natural defense against heartburn and at night the secretion of saliva is reduced. This makes us more susceptible to heartburn at night.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD):

A lot of people are well aware of GERD or Acid Reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is another form of heartburn, the only difference being that it is more serious and more painful. GERD is much more than heartburn and is an indication of a more serious underlying problem. If you suffer from heartburn more than once a week, and the episodes lasts for hours or days, chances are that you are suffering from GERD and not simple heartburn.

The longer you leave GERD untreated, the higher are your chances of suffering from other serious health problems such as gingivitis, halitosis, laryngitis, interstitial fibrosis, asthma and wheezing. Increased amount of intestinal acids that flow into the esophagus can cause inflammation in the lining of the esophagus, making it a more complex and painful condition.Thus it is advisable to get yourself treated at the earliest. Your doctor can suggest various ways that can help determine the severity of your condition and prescribe medications accordingly.

Chronic Heartburn:

Chronic heartburn is a general term that is used to refer to heartburn attacks that occur 2-3 times a week and are more severe in nature. Before finding the best remedy for treating chronic heartburn, it is a wise idea to consult your doctor. Since frequent heartburn attacks can be an indication of other diseases like GERD. It is best to get all your tests done and know the real reason behind the frequent heartburn attacks. As with all other types of heartburn, there are some highly effective natural remedies that can help you treat chronic heartburn and also provide relief from the pain and burning sensation. Knowing the type of heartburn you suffer from can make it easier to determine the cause for your heartburn. This helps in avoiding the triggers and finding the best remedies for treating those painful heartburn episodes.

Is Mastic Gum Effective Against H Pylori?

Mastic gum is a tree resin obtained from the Pistacia lentiscus tree, which is grown on the island of Chios in Greece. Of all the natural products used to treat H pylori, mastic gum is probably the best known.

Several studies support the contention that mastic gum has an anti-bacterial action against H pylori. However these studies are often performed in vitro, which means in a test tube or petri dish, not inside the human stomach. We must always acknowledge that these studies do not necessarily represent exactly what happens in the stomach and intestines!

When I had H pylori, the natural treatment protocol I originally learned in my functional medicine training involved the use of mastic gum for 60-days at a relatively high dose (4-6 capsules per day).

This treatment method works very well for many people as long as the dosage guidelines and program duration are followed accurately. All too often, people do not take large enough doses and they often believe that just a few days of taking mastic gum is enough. This is not the case.

However this method of H pylori treatment did not work for me. Instead, I used Matula Herbal Formula for 30-days and this program resolved all my symptoms very quickly.

But don’t let that put you off using the gum as H pylori treatment because it DOES work for many people. Despite my poor reaction to the mastic gum program, there is quite a large body of research demonstrating its efficacy against H pylori and mastic gum has been shown to kill H pylori in vitro.

As well as taking mastic gum at a high enough dose to be effective and for a long enough duration, it is also important to choose products that contain only the highest quality mastic gum.

One of the biggest problems with the natural supplement market is that there are many different versions of the same products, with each company claiming that their product is best. So which one do you choose?

I recommend that you DO NOT go for the cheapest products, no matter how attractive it may be. Generally, you get what you pay for.

The cheaper supplements are generally of significantly lower quality and this can actually cause you to spend MORE money in the long run. It may also take you a lot longer to deal with your symptoms. Don’t waste energy, time and money on cheap supplements. It won’t serve you in the long run.

The mastic gum products we recommend in our practice are Gastromend-HP by Designs For Health and Mastika by Allergy Research Group. These are available from distributors in North America and the UK.

In our experience, you can make mastic – and all other natural treatments – more effective by changing your diet. Avoidance of key foods like milk, gluten and soy can reduce stomach and intestinal inflammation. This allows the natural products to work more effectively against H pylori.

As with everything that you put in your mouth, mastic gum has the potential to cause a reaction.

Just as foods like gluten, milk, lactose and a whole host of other foods can cause problems in individuals as well. I’m sure you heard of people who had serious reactions to seemingly harmless foods like peanuts, crab and strawberries?

We also know that medical drugs – including antibiotics and antacids – can cause side effects for some people as well. Just because mastic gum is a ‘natural’ product, it doesn’t mean that it will not cause problems for some people.

Unfortunately we don’t have a crystal ball to predict what will happen, so the only way to know whether mastic gum or any other product suits you is to try it.

If you feel any adverse effects whatsoever, stop taking the product and seek professional guidance on alternatives.