Panchakarma – The Major Treatment of Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, human body is composed of the three Doshas, the seven dhatus and three malas. Equilibrium of the dosha, dhatu and mala maintains the healthy state of body and mind. But imbalance in any of them gives rise to disease. The purpose of Ayurveda is to maintain this equilibrium. This can be achieved by two methods. One is to pacify the dosha or by eliminate the dosha by nearby route i.e. Panchakarma. Panchakarma acts as curative as well as preventive therapy. It is purifying as well as rejuvenating procedure. Panchakarma is the soul of Ayurveda. As promised by Ayurveda, Ayurveda believes in treating the disease at its root, not just symptomatic treatment and boosting the body’s capacity to resist and fight disease. Panchakarma Chikitsa(treatment) for diseases like Infertility, Psoriasis, Insomnia, early ageing, irritability, lowered concentrating capacity, Hypertension, Hyperacidity following stress and strain of today’s day to day life problems. With Panchakarma principle, we also treat chronic diseases like Diabetes, Arthritis, Asthma, Spondilosis, Chronic Constipation, Colitis and Skin Diseases like Psoriasis. Principles of Panchakarma Chikitsa(treatment) are also followed for women in pre and post menopausal syndrome like hot and cold flashing irritability neuritis excessive sweating, weight gain, menstrual irregularities and leucorrhoea, menorrhagia the excessive menstrual bleeding etc.

The Panchakarma treatment of Ayurveda requires years of hands on clinical training and experience to be effective. Ayurvedic type massage offered in spas and center not dedicated Ayurvedic Medical health care, may appear similar, but are decisively different. Without the proper training in Ayurvedic Medicine, these Panchakarma therapies cannot be administered properly and may even aggravate or worsen the person’s condition.

Before doing Panchakarma there are certain steps to be followed which are called as Poorvakarmas. They are Snehana (oleation) and Swedana (sudation). Snehana can be done by two ways, application of oil internally and externally. There are four types to promote sweat in Swedana. The purpose of Poorvakarma is to liquefy and guide the provoked Doshas (impurities) to the mainstream to facilitate the Sodhana karma. Diseases occur when toxins get accumulated in body and clog these channels. Unhealthy diet, lifestyle, stress, changes in environment etc lead to accumulation of toxins in body. These accumulated toxins have to be expelled out in order to keep our body healthy. Through Panchakarma therapy these toxic clogs are removed to normalize the physiological process. Hence Panchakarma therapy is called as detoxification therapy. Panchakarma therapy can be administered to a normal person to prevent diseases and keep his body healthy. Panchakarma therapy is also used as a purifactory therapy to cleanse the body before starting a treatment. A diseased body can be compared to a soiled cloth which can not be colored as we desire. Hence to attain the maximum benefits, the body has to be purified or cleaned before starting the treatment. The cleared channels help medicines to penetrate the deeper tissues. SNEHAN It is the oilation therapy. It is of two kinds, internal and external. Internal Snehan: in this treatment medicated oils and ghee (clarified butter) etc. are given for internal use. These sneha are so subtle that they can enter into minute pores of cell membrane. They have a tendency of pushing or mobilizing the impurities from there so that their elimination becomes easy. Ghee (clarified butter) prepared from cow’s butter is best for this use. External Snehan: this comprises of different kinds of massage. Medicated oils are applied on the body and different methods are used for that. These massage techniques are many times used in the treatment of muscular fatigue, loss of motor functions, arthritis, paralysis, migraine, spondylities and bodyache. They also induce sound sleep by relaxing the nervous system, increase immunity of the body and are beneficial to increase skin’s lustre. SWEDANA It is the second Purvakarma. It means fomentation or heating therapy. Different types of fomentations like steam bath and poultices are used on specific parts of the body. Many kinds of warm medicated oils, water, milk and herbal decoctions are also used. They are either used in a bath tub or are poured on the body. These types of fomentation treatments are very beneficial in diseases like pains in the joints, neck, lumbago, hemiplegia, urinary disorders, renal diseases, muscular dystrophy, common cold, asthma and loss of muscle functions. Swedana or fomentation liquefies or digests the Doshas and opens the mouth of blocked channels and pores of cell membrane. This makes the elimination of wastes easy when the actual Panchakarma are performed. So after doing these Purvakarma or preparatory treatments, the main karmas (Panchakarma) are done.

WHY PANCHAKARMA: – to eliminate the toxic matter from the body. – to enhance the power of digestion and metabolism. – to get rid of diseases from the very root out of the systems. – to restore normal health. – to gain the strength, increase the virility and improve the progeny. – to have more clearer complexion. – to increase the power of sense organs and motor organs.

How to Get Rid of a Cold? Case: Chaga

What Is Chaga?

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a fungus parasitic that grows on birches and in some rare cases in other trees. Chaga can easily be identified as it has the distinctive appearance of burnt charcoal. It can be found in birch forests of Europe, Russia and Korea. Also in some parts of the United States and in Canada are regions where you can find chaga. Chaga is defined as medicinal mushroom and it has been used in Russian and Eastern European folk medicine for centuries as a treatment for cancer, gastritis, ulcers and tuberculosis. Chaga has also been used to treat hypertension, viral infections, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Recent studies have shown that chaga could be used as a treatment for HIV.

Chaga As a Cold Remedy

Scientific studies have proven that chaga truly has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunostimulating, ache-relieving and antiulcer properties. Antioxidant activity (ORAC level) is higher than in any other medicinal mushroom tested so far.

Chaga is an interesting cold and flu remedy because of its antiviral activities and capability to improve immunity. Chaga is also natural, non-toxic and thus safe even in long-term daily use. Traditional method to use chaga is to grind it in to a fine powder and infuse a hot beverage. Hot extraction method like this ensures that the major active components, the polysaccharides will be in the infusion. More than a few extraction rounds are generally useful for achieving very high amounts of polysaccharides. Typically though single extraction round is enough when preparing a drink to be used daily for immune boosting and as a cold treatment. To be able to pull out also the non-water soluble components of chaga, an alcohol extraction technique is should be used. Then by combining drops of alcohol extract and hot water brew you will get an infusion with high-level remedial value. If you are wondering how to get rid of a cold, this is a beverage you should try.

Availability

Chaga is nowadays offered in the form of tea bags, chunks, powder, tablets, extracts along with tinctures. The quality of commercial chaga products can vary and some of them can also be quite expensive. Thus it is recommendable to purchase chaga in type of chunks and prepare the extracts by yourself or search and gather chaga by yourslf from the woods. Here are a few advice for searching, collecting and preparing Chaga:

  • You can typically find chaga in older birch forests
  • Don’t collect chaga if it is growing in a dead birch
  • After finding chaga cut it off by utilizing a large knife, chisel, axe, etc.
  • If you are not after anticancer properties of chaga, remove the outer charcoal-like part
  • Chop into tiny cubes
  • Use an oven (105°F/50°C) or a dehydrator for drying the cubes
  • As soon as the cubes are totally dry put them in air-tight container for storage, or grate cubes in to a powder by using a powerful blender
  • Simplest method to prepare a hot water extract is to bring couple of liters (couple of quarts) water into a boil and add two tablespoons of chaga powder. When using chaga cubes, add two to three cubes and note that you can use the same cubes at least three times. Boil slowly for ½-2 hours or longer. Enjoy no less than couple glasses daily.
  • You can store chaga tea in fridge for 3-4 days

Restrictions On Use

Chaga can safely be used daily even for long periods of time. If you are pregnant or nursing please consult your physician before using chaga.

Kidney Cleansing for Good Health

Why is kidney cleansing important? Every day, your kidneys process the blood and helps to sift out waste products (like mercury, copper, arsenic-bound chemicals and other toxins) and extra water. The waste and extra water become urine. The urine then flows to your bladder through the ureters. Your bladder stores urine until you go to the bathroom. When your kidneys become overloaded with toxins, diseases of the kidneys and bladder can happen as you are unable to discharge the waste and urine from your body.

When you do kidney cleansing, you help to cleanse the toxin built-up from the kidneys and the bladder. A cleansed kidney works optimally in its function to filter out pollutants, drugs, chemicals and other harmful materials. When you do a kidney cleanse, you also help to eliminate urinary tract infections and dissolves kidney stones.

What are some of the other functions of the kidneys? Other than being vital in the elimination of metabolic wastes, your kidneys also help to regulate your blood pressure, maintain fluid and electrolyte balance, activates Vitamin D, helps in maintaining acid-base balance (excretes alkaline salts).

What are the signs and symptoms of an ailing kidney? Lower back pain, edema ( "water holding") in the lungs, legs, abdomen, etc, pains that are manifested elsewhere due to poor kidney health.

How do you do a kidney cleanse? There are hundreds of herbal recipes, and many different homeopathic remedies used for cleansing kidney stones.

One popular way to cleanse kidney is to a watermelon cleanse. Just purchase 20 – 100 kg of watermelon (which will make up a few huge melons) and sit in a bath filed with water. Eat all the watermelon throughout a day (as much as you can), while continually empting your urinary bladder into the water.

You will need a lot of liquid to cleanse the insides of your body. You can also choose to do water fast or a juice fast to help you produce a gallon of urine a day.

During fasting, avoid strenuous exercise. Light yoga, walking, gardening are all excellent means to stimulate your body metabolism.

However, do note that before you embark on any program, please first consult your health practitioner on how you can best do a kidney cleanse.

How to maintain good kidney health? It is possible to dissolve all your kidney stones in 3 weeks, but if you continue to drink tea, coffee, carbonated drinks and eat unhealthily on a consistent basis, you will begin to make new ones.

To maintain a healthy kidney, begin a regular exercise regime and also avoid alcohol, red meat, smoked meats, canned fish and canned pork. Continue to drink plenty of water and fluids everyday!

Drugs and Pain Control

Drugs used to control pain range from mild, over-the-counter (OTC) preparations, such as paracetamol, to potent general anesthetics. Drug classes in this category include:

  • non-opioid analgesics, antipyretics, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • opioid agonist and antagonist drugs
  • opioid analgesics, antipyretics, and NSAIDs

Non-opioid analgesics, antipyretics, and NSAIDs are a broad group of pain medications. In addition to pain control, they also produce antipyretic (fever control) and anti-inflammatory effects. They can be used alone or as adjuvant medications. These drugs have a ceiling effect (where an increasing dose has a progressively smaller incremental response) and no physical dependence is associated with them.

The drug classes included in this group are:

  • salicylates (especially aspirin), which are widely used
  • the para-aminophenol derivative paracetamol
  • NSAIDs.

Salicylates

Salicylates are among the most commonly used pain medications. They’re used to control pain and reduce fever and inflammation.

Cheap, easy, and reliable

Salicylates usually cost less than other analgesics and are readily available without a prescription. Aspirin is the most commonly used salicylate for anti-inflammatory drug therapy.

Other salicylates include:

  • choline salicylate
  • diflunisal

Pharmacokinetics

Taken orally, salicylates are partially absorbed in the stomach, but are primarily absorbed in the upper part of the small intestine. The pure and buffered forms of aspirin reabsorb readily, but for sustained-release and enteric-coated salicylate preparations, food or antacids in the stomach delay absorption. Salicylates given rectally have a slower, more erratic absorption. Entericcoated products are slowly absorbed and not suitable for acute effects. They cause less GI bleeding and may be better suited for long-term therapy such as for arthritis. Absorption after rectal administration is slow and variable, depending on how long the suppository is retained.

Excellent distribution

Salicylates are distributed widely throughout body tissues and fluids, including breast milk. In addition, they easily cross the placenta. The liver metabolises salicylates extensively into several metabolites. The kidneys excrete the metabolites and some unchanged drug.

Pharmacodynamics

The different effects of salicylates stem from their separate mechanisms of action. They relieve pain primarily by inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandin. (Recall that prostaglandin is a chemical mediator that sensitises nerve cells to pain.) In addition, they may reduce inflammation by inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis and release that occurs during inflammation.

Salicylates reduce fever by stimulating the hypothalamus, and producing peripheral blood vessel dilation and increased sweating. This promotes heat loss through the skin and cooling by evaporation. Also, because prostaglandin E increases body temperature, inhibiting its production lowers a fever.

Bonus effect

One salicylate, aspirin, inhibits platelet aggregation (the clumping of platelets to form a clot) permanently by interfering with the production of thromboxane A2, a substance necessary for platelet aggregation. Unlike aspirin, NSAIDs’ effects on platelet aggregation are temporary. As a result, aspirin can be used to enhance blood flow during myocardial infarction (MI) and to prevent an event such as recurrent MI.

Heart Attack Symptoms

Heart disease forms the leading cause of death in the United States – it is even more common than cancer. An estimated one fifth of all deaths in America come as a result of coronary heart disease. Over thirteen million individuals across the nation suffer from coronary heart disease. Every year, over a million people suffer from coronary heart attacks; four out of every ten individuals die from their attacks. Broken down in to temporal statistics, this means that every sixty five seconds, someone in America dies as the result of a coronary heart attack.

Heart attacks are a common form of ischemic heart disease. The World Health Organization estimated in the year 2002 that over twelve percent of all worldwide deaths arose as a result of ischemic heart disease. In developed countries, it is the leading cause of death. In developing countries, however it comes third behind AIDS and lower respiratory infections.

Symptoms of heart attacks include anxiety, a feeling of impending doom, chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, palpitations, nausea, and vomiting. Oftentimes, heart attack patients will feel sick very suddenly. The symptoms for heart attacks in men are often different from the symptoms in women. Women most often experience fatigue, shortness of breath, and a feeling of weakness. About one third of all heart attacks are silent and do not consist of any chest pain or associated symptoms.

When having a heart attack, immediate treatment options often involve the use of aspirin, oxygen, pain relief, and glycerol trinitrate. The patient is then subjected to numerous diagnostic tests, including chest x-rays, blood tests, and electrocardiograms in which elevated troponin or creatine kinase levels or detected. The patient is then prescribed medications that will break down blood clots that may be blocking the flow of blood to the heart. Or, in more extreme cases, the patient will have to undergo bypass surgery, restoring the blood flow to the blocked coronary artery. Abnormal heart rhythms and other associated complications can be quickly and safely treated in coronary care units.

At risk individuals include middle aged or older people who are smokers, obese, diabetic, overweight, or sedentary. Those who have family histories of heart trouble or high cholesterol should also be on the alert. Ideally, individuals who fit in to this category should receive regular screenings for coronary artery disease from their doctors and receive advice on modifying risk factors, as well as being informed on potential cardiac problems that might arise.

If you suspect that you are having a heart attack, it is vital to act on time to avoid serious consequences. Dial 911 immediately to avoid potential death or permanent disability. Heart attacks are a life threatening situation, and every split second matters. In today's world, we have the benefit of new and improved treatments and medications for heart attacks and strokes that were not available in the past. Clot busting medications can stop heart attacks in progress and save lives while also reducing the level of potential disability. But in order to be effective, these medications need to be administered immediately – they will not be effective if they are administered too late. This is why it is essential to seek medical treatment as soon as heart attack signs begin to appear.

Aloe Vera Benefits For Heart Diseases

I am a big fan of Aloe Vera products having used them successfully for many years for various things. The internet being such a vast storehouse of knowledge has allowed me to investigate this miraculous plant and I have found a wealth of information. Following is some research I did about the Aloe Vera benefits for heart diseases.

In 1984, Dr. Om Prakash Agarwal speaking at the International College of Heart Diseases in San Antonio, Texas, during the annual conference surprised his colleagues with the apparently amazing successful results he obtained administering Aloe Vera to his patients. This was reported in Angiology, The Journal of Vascular Diseases in 1985. In the study the following was noted:

  1. 5000 patients with angina were studied for 5 years
  2. All were given a combination of Aloe Vera with high fibre from plant origin.
  3. A significant reduction was noted in blood cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar and lipid fats
  4. There was an increase in HDL levels (good cholesterol) and significant lowering of LDL (bad cholesterol)
  5. There was a reduction in frequency of angina attacks during the study period and patients had their drug dosages gradually reduced over time
  6. Patients who were also diabetic received the most benefit from the trial with 95% of diabetics cured
  7. 85% of the patients overall were practically cured at the end of the study with their ECGs returning to normal.
  8. None of the patients reported untoward side effects and all 5000 patients were still surviving at the conclusion of the study.

Looking at these results it points to the fact that Aloe Vera definitely has significant health benefits for the treatment of Heart Disease and Diabetes. Upon looking further into the details of the study the following extra startling facts were uncovered. Of the 5000 patients studied

  • 3167 were diabetic and 94% had blood sugar levels returning to normal after 3 months
  • 2990 diabetic patients were taking hyperglycaemic medications and had to have their medication withdrawn at the end of 2 months of using Aloe Vera supplementation
  • 2572 were smokers
  • 2151 had hypertension and all those taking beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and diurectics for hypertension and angina had to have their medication reduced to half their dosages prescribed prior to the study.

Doctor Agarwal's conclusion was that Aloe Vera has a definite role in the prevention and management of atherosclerotic heart disease and in controlling the blood sugar level in diabetic patients. People suffering with various forms of heart disease can take "heart" from this Aloe Vera study. Unfortunately not much significant research is done when it comes to natural products. Most evaluations are done by Pharmaceutical companies whose agenda is to provide drugs and not natural medicine. Therefore many of these studies admit minor benefits but also conclude that more research is needed therefore leaving the questions f the benefits wide open.

As for me, I have no doubts about the healing powers of Aloe Vera, having used it successfully myself, mostly for digestive tract complaints and topical skin conditions arising from burns, cuts and insect bites. I have no doubts the that the Aloe Vera benefits for Heart Diseases are real and I recommend that anyone who suffers from heart disease at least give it a try.

4 Effects of Second Hand Smoke You Should Know About

Do you live with a smoker? Effects of second hand smoke are much deadlier. You are not protected from every harmful consequence at all. It may be unfair but that is how it is.

First, what is second hand smoke? It is the mainstream smoke coming from the smoker’s mouth every time he puffs on the cigarette and exhales. It is also the side stream smoke that comes from the burning tip of the cigarette.

So, what are the dangers second hand smoke brings?

Your heart suffers tremendously each time you inhale cigarette smoke.

  • Your heart’s arteries age much faster.
  • Your heart has to work harder by pumping more blood due to lack of oxygen and the presence of carbon monoxide.
  • Your blood pressure goes up. A raise in your blood pressure is one of the dangers your heart faces. It burdens your heart and blood vessels and increases your chance of getting a heart attack or a stroke.

Your lungs take a beating because they inhale poisonous carbon monoxide instead of fresh oxygen.

  • Your lungs are now more susceptible to a lot of lung diseases such as the simple cough, the life-threatening asthma attacks, and the complicated chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Lung diseases are negative effects of second hand smoke.
  • The airways of your lungs become narrow leading to production of mucus. Too much mucus becomes a danger as it serves as breeding ground for different types of viruses and bacteria.
  • These bacteria and viruses can cause lung infections such as tuberculosis, bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • Cigarette smoke causes scarring of your lung tissues.

Your Immune system is ravaged as you consistently inhale cigarette smoke.

  • Your immune cells become unhealthy and your immune system produces weak antibodies. These poor quality immune cells and antibodies are unable to effectively control invading viruses and bacteria.
  • The cigarette smoke you inhale causes your immune cells to attack the tissues of your lungs scarred by cigarette smoke, thinking they are fighting foreign bodies.
  • Second hand smoke kills healthy lymphocytes further causing the immune system not to function as fully as it should.
  • It leads to chronic inflammation inside your body, which is the root of all diseases.

Your digestive system is not spared, either.

  • Cigarette smoke hinders your pancreas from producing sodium bicarbonate which neutralizes the acids in your stomach. Then it increases the amount of acid that your stomach secretes, and it strengthens H. Pylori bacteria that might already be present in the stomach. All these can lead to peptic ulcers.
  • What’s worse is when you seek treatment for your ulcer and you still smoke, the healing takes longer.
  • You are also more prone to Crohn’s disease — inflammation of your intestine lining — which is one of the factors for what causes colon cancer. Yes…different types of cancer are the most harmful consequence of exposure to second hand smoke.

Is Aloe Vera Good for Hair, Or Is That Just a Myth?

This article will consider is aloe vera good for hair or if that’s simply a myth.

Millions of people suffer from hair loss and are in search for the cure, or help, for their problem.

Now you might have noticed that many hair products contain aloe, and many products make sure to mention it as a key ingredient.

But, the question remains…

Is Aloe Good for Hair? Or Is That Just a Myth?

Is aloe vera good for hair?

Well, there are many people that would quickly chime in and say…”Yes! It works!”. But of course, you also have many that view it simply as a placebo and doubt it’s effectiveness.

But, the question, ‘is aloe good for hair?’, is not one that has a concrete answer in science or by common traditional users.

You’ll probably read many opinions and many of them will be contradictory.

So, if you’re looking for a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, I’m sorry to disappoint. However, since I am a big fan of it, I will mention what some have said about using it and you can determine for yourself whether you want to follow that advice or not.

In either case, no harm no foul. There has been no evidence whatsoever to show that using aloe would cause hair loss or hair problems… so what is there to lose?

So let’s see what some would answer to the question, “is aloe vera good for hair?”

People from all over the world claim that using it has helped them, not only to restore lost hair, but actually to promote new hair growth.

Now, that is simply amazing!

Some say that they had good results from applying the aloe topically onto their scalp and through the hair follicles. In and of itself, this is a good method because there are some enzymes in aloe that have been shown to stimulate new growth in the hair.

Is Aloe Vera Good For Hair? Claims Point to Yes…But There’s More

Is aloe vera good for hair? The claims of many people seem to point to yes. But again, you have to try it yourself to see if it’s true.

Other people that say yes to the question ‘is aloe vera good for hair?’ say that, not only do they apply the gel directly to their scalp, but they also drink the gel or juice.

They claim that they are also promoting hair growth and hair restoration from within the body too. Does that sound too far fetched? Maybe, maybe not.

Like many other natural cures or natural medicine, there is not much science that backs up these claims. You would expect that since drug companies want you to use their product and not natural (less expensive) products.

The best thing to do is just follow the steps above and see if you can answer for yourself, “is aloe vera good for hair?”.

Primary Malignant Bone Tumors – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Primary malignant bone tumors refer to a group of cancers of the bone, which arise primarily in bone tissue. Multiple myeloma, which is the most common bone tumor, usually occurs in the bone marrow and causes sharply circumscribed, demineralized bone lesions. Multiple myeloma occurs mostly in adults. A single myeloma lesion is called a plasmacytoma. Osteosarcoma is a highly malignant bone tumor; usually occurring among people aged 10 to 25, and is the second most common bone tumor. This usually arises in long bones and produce tumor bone cells, with pain and swelling being the main symptoms. Fibrosarcoma is similar to osteosarcoma, but produces fibrous tumor cells. Malignant fibrous histiocytoma is also similar to osteosarcoma, but there is no tumor bone production. It tends to occur more in children and teenagers.

Chondrosarcomas are malignant tumors of cartilage, usually developing in flat bones like the pelvis and shoulder blade. X-rays often reveal punctuate calcifications. These tend to occur in older adults. Ewing’s sarcoma of bone is a round-cell bone tumor usually occurring in the extremities and growing extensively. It is most often seen among people aged 10 to 25 years. Lymphoma of bone consists of small round cells and usually affects adults in their 40s and 50s. Pathological fractures are common in this condition. Giant cell tumors are rare and are usually located at the extreme end of the long bone. Chordoma, another rare bone tumor, usually tends to occur at the ends of the spinal column or near the base of the skull.

Treatment for all the above bone tumors usually consists of a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Because of their individual characteristics, different bone tumors respond differently to these treatments, with different prognosis for each of the above mentioned conditions. Ayurvedic treatment can be given as additional treatment in order to improve therapeutic results, minimize side effects of modern treatment and improve the overall survival rate.

Ayurvedic medicines like Pancha-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Trayo-Dashang-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Arogya-Vardhini, Kanchnaar-Guggulu, Pancha-Tikta-Ghrut and Laxadi-Guggulu are used to treat bone tumors. In addition, medicines like Shankh-Bhasma, Praval-Panchamrut-Bhasma, Godanti-Bhasma, Shrung-Bhasma and Asthishrunkhala (Vitis quadrangularis) are used to strengthen bone tissue. Medicines which act on the ‘Majja’ dhatu (tissue) are useful in all bone tumors. These include Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Musta (Cyperus rotundus).

A special course of medicated enema called ‘Ksheer-Basti’ is given and is very useful in all bone tumors. Medicines like Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Patol (Trichosanthe dioica), Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum), Guduchi and Vasa (Adhatoda vasaka) are boiled with milk and water; Pancha-Tikta-Ghrut is added to this medicated milk, and the entire warm mixture is pushed into the rectum as an enema or given as a slow drip. This procedure is believed to act directly on the bone and bone marrow.

Ayurvedic treatment has to be given for prolonged periods in order to be effective in malignant bone tumors. Treatment may also need to be repeated in case of recurrence or spread of the disease to other sites of the body. All such patients need to be under the regular supervision and care of an Oncology team.

Countdown to Flu 2010: Flu Vs Pneumonia

So you are coughing and have a fever. How can you tell the difference between the flu, which will get better on its own and pneumonia, which requires an antibiotic? This is a question I see many patients come to the emergency department with and one we can use iTriage to help us figure out. iTriage is available as an iPhone, Android and Palm app or on any web-enabled device. We have previously discussed the flu and below you will find the information from iTriage on pneumonia.

Description

Pneumonia is inflammation of the lung resulting from infectious and non-infectious causes. The air cells can fill with fluid causing shortness of breath and breathing problems. The infection can be severe and result in death. Certain risk factors, such as smoking, excessive alcohol use, diabetes, depressed immune systems, and poor nutrition increase the risk of developing pneumonia. The “pneumonia shot” (pneumovax) only protects against one bacteria and does not prevent pneumonia.

Symptoms

Cough with greenish or yellow sputum, bloody sputum, fever with shaking chills, sharp or stabbing chest pain, chest pain worsened by deep breathing or coughing, rapid, shallow breathing, shortness of breath, weak pulse.

Tests

A history and physical exam will be performed. An X-ray can confirm the diagnosis. Blood tests, sputum cultures, and blood cultures can identify the cause and severity of the infection. Occasionally a CT scan is performed as well especially if an associated pleural effusion is present.

Standard Workup

CBC

Chem 12

X-Ray

CT Scan

Treatment

Antibiotics are only effective for bacteria but many times the cause of the pneumonia cannot be determined resulting in most patients initially receiving antibiotics (azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, or ceftriaxone). If the pneumonia is severe admission to the hospital and intravenous antibiotics will be administered. Severe cases can require mechanical ventilation.

The primary difference between the flu and pneumonia is the cough. The cough with pneumonia is productive meaning the sputum coughed up is typically yellow to green to brown. With the flu the cough doesn’t produce any sputum or has sputum that is clear to white. Most patients with pneumonia also feel short of breath and some feel chest pain when taking a deep breath, and both of these symptoms are rare with the flu. It is important to note that sometimes pneumonia can start as a case of the flu. Your body is weakened by the flu virus, which makes it more susceptible to the bacteria that can cause pneumonia.

A chest x-ray or CT scan can confirm the diagnosis of pneumonia by showing the fluid build up in the air spaces of the lung. The emergency department is the most appropriate place to go for pneumonia unless the illness is mild then an x-ray can be obtained in an urgent care clinic or by your primary care doctor. You can use iTriage to find these providers anywhere in the United States.

How to Get Rid of a Cold

Suffering from a cold can be very discomforting. It can cause serious headaches, sinus pains, and difficulty from breathing. It can make you feel drowsy and sleepy all the time. And this discomfort can turn into a nuisance and hindrance in performing your daily activities. This is why you must learn how to get rid of a cold fast.

Usually, a cold cures on its own and without medication in about a week or two. But by learning how to get rid of a cold, you can speed up your recovery and feel better sooner than expected.

There are quite a few remedies that you can take to ease yourself from cold. Medically speaking, the common cold is referred to as viral upper respiratory tract infection. It is a contagious sickness that is triggered by certain types of viruses. Common symptoms are sore throat, cough, nasal congestion, sneezing and runny nose.

Ways on How to Get Rid of a Cold

You can find several over-the-counter medicines to cure your cold. Some of these remedies include petroleum jelly, analgesics as well as cough medicines. On the other hand, make sure you follow the correct instructions in drinking these medications. In fact, it is better to consult a medical expert first before taking any one of these medicines.

Medicines have chemical contents which may bring about serious complications. If taken excessively, you may suffer from serious side effects. Fortunately, there are home remedies that you can try to help you get rid of your cold. These home remedies on how to get rid of a cold are safe and effective for babies and young children as well.

1. Water – when suffering from common cold, it is advised for patients to be hydrated at all cost. You should increase your intake of water to help loosen out the mucus in your nose and throat.

2. Salt water – Gargling with warm salt water can help ease the throats of patients suffering from colds. One of the side effects of having a cold is sore throat. Saline solution can calm down your throat.

3. Soup – Inhaling the steam of a warm soup may help in clearing your nose. Also the warm liquid that is soup can loosen the mucus in your chest.

4. Vaporizer – If you don’t have a vaporizer, you may inhale steam over a steaming hot bowl of water to loosen the mucus in your nose.

5. Spicy food – Eating spicy foods can also help you on how to get rid of a cold. Spicy foods can loosen up the mucus in the throat and in the nose making it easier to cough out or blow. It can also temporarily clear your headache.

How To Diagnose Chronic Bronchitis

The term “bronchitis” is derived from two Greek words “bronchos” and “itis,” which mean “windpipe” and “inflammation,” respectively. True to its name, bronchitis is a respiratory disorder characterized by inflammation of the windpipe and the large and small bronchi due to bacterial or viral infection or factors such as environmental pollution or cigarette smoking.

Chronic bronchitis is the more lethal of the two types of bronchitis, that is, acute and chronic bronchitis. While acute bronchitis lasts for a short time and is chiefly caused by bacterial or viral infection, chronic bronchitis lasts much longer. It is also considered to be one of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a group of respiratory diseases commonly characterized by abnormal breathing patterns.

Recognizing Chronic Bronchitis

If the patient coughs and expels sputum for about three months in a year for two consecutive years, the patient might be suffering from chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is also characterized by excessive production of mucus, cough, and dysnea, or difficulties in breathing while exerting oneself physically.

Chronic bronchitis is accompanied by abnormal signs in the lungs, edema of the feet, coronary failure, and a bluish tinge on the skin and around the lips. The symptoms disappear with the passage of time and are usually followed by the development of abnormal breathing patterns.

Dyspnea, characterised by labored breathing, interferes a lot with the sufferers’ daily routine. It turns out that breathing takes up all of a person’s energy. Subsequently, the patients loses a lot of weight because even the normal process of eating involves a major expenditure of energy.

Due to dyspnea, even the slightest exertion will be exhausting for the person. As chronic bronchitis progresses, patients experience difficulties in breathing even when they are taking rest. At this stage, patients become more susceptible to infections of all types and to respiratory insufficiencies, which pave the way for the terminal event of chronic bronchitis, acute respiratory failure.

These symptoms might be similar to the symptoms of other respiratory disorders, which is why patients must never try to diagnose the condition on their own. Consulting a doctor is of utmost importance. It is possible to mistake chronic bronchitis for other respiratory disorders such as asthma, sinusitis, tuberculosis, pulmonary emphysema, and so on.

Various Medical Tests to Diagnose Chronic Bronchitis

Physicians conduct a number of tests to facilitate correct diagnose of a respiratory condition. Some of the tests and examinations are:

Pulmonary function tests are done to calculate the capacity of the lungs to exchange oxygen for carbon-di-oxide. In order to conduct pulmonary function tests, doctors use peak flow monitoring (PFM) and spirometry. Spirometry is a medical tool used to determine and understand the working of the lungs while PFM is used to determine the maximum speed with which a person can exhale or inhale. PFM also assesses the ways in which the malady can be controlled.

Pulse oximetry is a small apparatus that measures the oxygen content in the blood.

Chest x-rays are a common diagnostic tool to view pictures of the internal conditions of organs, tissues, and bones.

Arterial Blood Gas (ABG) is the name of a blood test to ascertain the capacity of the lungs to supply oxygen to the body and to eliminate carbon-di-oxide from it. In addition, it helps measure the acid content of the blood.

Computed Tomography or CT Scan is a medical technique that combines x-ray and computer technology to obtain a comprehensive image of different parts of the human body.

Chronic bronchitis usually lasts throughout life, and treatment is taken only to alleviate its distressing symptoms. In spite of this, the patient can live a comfortable, productive life by properly managing the symptoms of this disease. The disorder, though incurable, is controllable.

Can a Chiropractor Relieve Your Menopause Symptoms?

Anxiety isn’t the only menopause symptom. Menopause can also cause a slew of other emotional and physical symptoms including back pain and discomfort. The good news is that menopausal women who suffer from back problems are finding relief through chiropractic medicine.

What is chiropractic medicine? It is a treatment that assists in restoring balance, healing and energy throughout the body. When our bodies lack balance, the hormonal and stress response system are affected. Thus, chiropractic medicine works by alleviating pressure on the nerve roots of the spine, helping to relieve discomfort. It detects dislocation (subluxation) and promotes correction by encouraging the function, repair, coordination and communication of the nervous system. Chiropractic medicine is a non-invasive drug-free treatment that is performed by a chiropractor.

How is it performed? First of all, chiropractor treatment will vary for each patient, as different techniques may be used to help alleviate certain symptoms or health conditions. Therefore, a chiropractor will want to know the medical history of the patient and their current health problems. Once this information has been processed, treatment will then be provided.

Most chiropractors will use their hands to perform treatment; however, they may also use other treatment methods such as light, heat, ultrasound, electrotherapy and other special adjusting instruments. You will also likely be provided with information regarding a personalized exercise program, nutrition and lifestyle changes that can help improve your symptoms.

Is treatment painful? No. Most people find chiropractic medicine to be quite relaxing. What may be unnerving to some patients are popping sounds that joints make when they are adjusted. This popping noise is the sound that occurs when a gas bubble between the joints pop. It’s the same sound and feeling that happens when you crack your knuckles.

How can a chiropractor help during menopause? Chiropractic medicine can relieve a variety of painful and uncomfortable menopause symptoms related to estrogen deficiency including:

o Back pain

o Headaches and/or migraines

o Stress and tension

o Neck problems

Chiropractor treatment is also considered beneficial for treating the beginning stages of osteoporosis. It is incredibly effective at restoring flexibility to joints and decreasing muscular tension and pressure on nerves.

Chiropractic treatment can provide relief fast, which is often why it is one of the most celebrated alternative remedies. That being said, you will need more than one chiropractic treatment. The average patient has eight annual visits, but this number will vary depending on the health concern.

Are their any risk? It is extremely rare for complications to occur during chiropractic treatment, especially if performed by an experienced and qualified chiropractor. Therefore, it is a low risk, non invasive therapy that is virtually safe for everyone.

How do I find a chiropractor? Although you don’t need to be referred to a chiropractor by your doctor, it is a good idea to first consult your health care provider to find out if he/she has any recommendations. You should also speak to others who have had chiropractor treatment to learn about their experiences and ask them about their chiropractors.

You can find chiropractors to help treat your menopause symptoms by checking your local yellow pages, phoning your local hospital, or doing an online search with your city and “chiropractor” as the main keywords.

Sports Injuries of the Foot

Athletes, or anyone participating in a sporting activity, are prone to injuries due to the very nature of that activity. Injuries involving the ankle are quite common, especially in sports like basketball where the ankle receives a great deal of twisting stress. Sports injuries of the foot are just as common, but are not as well known. This article will discuss some of the more common sports injuries affecting the foot itself, and how they are typically treated. It should be stressed beforehand that all foot injuries should be medically assessed by a foot specialist due to the complex nature of the foot’s structure and function, as minor issues ignored can often lead to complex future foot problems.

There are several common parts of the foot that become injured in sports, each with it’s own cause and treatment. What follows is a description of each condition, its cause, and how it is typically treated.

Plantar Fasciitis: One of the most common foot injures in athletes and sedentary people alike, plantar fasciitis involves inflammation and microscopic tearing of a broad band of tissue (plantar fascia). This tissue runs from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. It is seen primarily in people with flat feet as well as those with high arches. Flat feet cause chronic stretching of the fascia, while high arches allow for poor shock absorption leading to fascia injury. Stepping on hard, blunt objects like a rock or over-stretching the foot on a stair or ladder rung can directly injure the fascia, although these injury patterns are less common. The fascia can also rupture if the force of the injury is severe enough. Plantar fascial ruptures are far more common in sports injuries than during any other typical situation in which the plantar fascia becomes injured. The pain of typical plantar fasciitis is usually felt on the inner side of the bottom of the heel where it meets the arch, and is noticed after arising from a chair or bed, as well as after extended activity. This condition can persist for years if untreated, leading to a chronic state of scar tissue and thickening. Treatment is fairly simple, and involves stretching, inflammation reduction with icing, medication, and cortisone-like injections, as well as orthotics ( specialized shoe inserts) to provide flat feet greater support and high arches more shock absorption. Only in a few cases is surgery needed, although newer techniques and technologies have made this procedure easier to recover from.

Peroneal Tendonitis: The peroneal tendons are two tendons (one short, one long) that run behind the outside of the ankle from the leg and insert on the side of the foot and underneath the arch, respectively. These tendons help to roll the foot up and out, and are important to the walking cycle. When a strong force rolls the foot inward, or when activity on uneven surfaces (like gravel or a field with divots) goes on for awhile, one or both of these tendons can become inflamed, fray, or partially torn. Peroneal tendon partial split tears are quite common, although one can have a partial tear and not even feel it due to the flat nature of the tendon. The degenerative process affecting the peroneal tendons can take awhile to develop, but can be fairly disabling when it becomes severe. Treatment involves icing, anti-inflammatory medications, therapy, and bracing to allow the tissue to heal and become strong again. Tendons that won’t heal will need surgical intervention. Surgical intervention involves repairing any tear found, healing the tendon with a newly developed radio frequency wave device, and augmenting any weak or frayed area with a special tissue graft that essentially turns into the tendon material it covers. In severe cases the tendon may need to be transferred to give it better functional capability.

Sesamoiditis: The sesamoids are two small egg-shaped bones found under the big toe joint, just behind where the toe meets the foot. Chronic, stressful activities such as high impact jumping or hard surface running can lead to inflammation and bruising of one or both of these bones. This bruising slowly develops over time, and continued stress will multiply the tissue damage. Eventually this damage may lead to stress cracks of the bone. Immediate injuries can even occur, causing outright fracturing of the bone if the injury force is severe enough, and this can also be seen with long term stress damage if the bone is weakened without relief. The pain of this condition is felt just underneath the big toe joint, usually in a very specific location. Pressure on the inside ball of the foot becomes painful, and running or jumping will become difficult. Unless a fracture has occurred, swelling and bruising are usually not seen. Treatment centers on reducing the inflammation by reducing the stress to this site. This can be accomplished by the use of special pads or prescription inserts which direct pressure away from the sesamoids. The usual injury treatment regimen of icing, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications is also used. Sesamoiditis cases can be injected with steroid medication, while a stress fracture or full fracture should be treated otherwise. More serious injuries may need to be immobilized in a walking boot for a few weeks to months depending on the severity, and fractured sesamoids that wont heal may need to be removed surgically.

Stress Fractures: Any bone in the foot can be at risk for developing a stress fracture. Unlike a regular fracture, a stress fracture does not involve a true break across the bone, but rather an injury to the structure within the bone. Repetitive activities, such as running consistently on a hard surface, can lead to bone bruising, and then ultimately to a partial break in the honeycomb structure of the inner bone. Other factors include tight muscles that lead to abnormal foot functioning during intensive exercise, stiff, high arched feet, bone density or menstruation issues in women, and anatomic abnormalities. These injures are usually not seen on standard x-rays until after several months. The most common sports-related location of stress fractures in the foot are the long metatarsal bones and the heel bone. When the injury is untreated and at-fault activity is continued, these stress fractures have the potential to turn into full fractures. Treatment involves rest, immobilization in a walking boot or cast, and time to mend. Stress fractures are notorious for taking longer to heal than a fresh fracture, and patience is often needed during the healing process to achieve full recovery. Electronic bone stimulators can be used for cases that have stalled healing, although insurance coverage of these expensive devices varies.

Turf Toe: Turf toe is an injury so-called because the pattern of injury usually involves the big toe striking the ground (turf) during a kicking motion, such as seen in soccer. The big toe joint has strong tissues surrounding it to keep the joint in place. Collectively known as a capsule, these tissues are essentially the combined ligaments that bind the two bones together that form the joint. When an injury occurs that forces the toe up, down, or off to one side, in excess of the strength of this capsule, a strain or partial tear will occur. Although the original turf toe described the toe flexing downward into the ground, it can be used to describe excess motion in any direction. In this condition, although the big toe will not dislocate as the tearing of the ligaments is only partial, it will become inflamed and quite tender to move. Since all walking and running requires the big toe joint to move upwards frequently, sports activity becomes quite difficult. Treatment involves simply allowing the tissues to heal by icing the inflammation, taking oral anti-inflammatory medications, taping the toe, using a hard soled shoe, and resting from activity until a slow gradual return to sports is tolerated.

While all the above conditions are easily treated, many athletes often delay obtaining proper treatment out of a fear of having to discontinue their activity. Treatment delay not only allow the injury to worsen, but it also can lead to a more complicated injury pattern that is far more difficult to properly heal from. Sports injuries of the the foot, even seemingly minor ones, should have a proper evaluation by a foot specialist due to the unique nature of the foot in relation to our body and the requirements of walking.

Multiple Sclerosis Treatment: 5 Ways Active Isolated Stretching Can Make a Difference

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disorder that, according to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, affects over 2.5 million people worldwide. The cause of MS has been linked to genetics, environment, auto immune dysfunction, and more, but while research efforts continue, a great deal of mystery remains. However, amongst all the mystery, a form of treatment known as Active Isolated Stretching (AIS) has emerged as a means to not only delay progression of the condition, but, in some cases, even reverse symptoms. “The results are unmistakable,” says Ben Benjamin, M.D., a renowned doctor of sports medicine, on AIS and its benefits for those suffering from degenerative conditions.

Active Isolated Stretching is a form of therapy developed by Aaron L. Mattes, RKT, LMT over 38 years ago that uses gentle, therapeutic stretching to restore musculoskeletal balance throughout the body. For those suffering from MS, Active Isolated Stretching can:

Stimulate Neurogenesis (the creation of new neurons in the brain) and Create New Neural Pathways

Multiple Sclerosis damages the protective covering of nerve fibers, known as myelin, compromising the neural pathway’s ability to communicate effectively and greatly disrupting the body’s Central Nervous System. However, studies have shown that learning stimulates the creation of new neurons in the brain and aids in the creation of new neural pathways. Since Active Isolated Stretching is active, rather than passive, and new range of motion is being reached on nearly every repetition, the body remains in a continuous state of learning throughout a treatment. This can help damaged nerve fibers regain function, or create new pathways to bypass those that are too severely damaged.

Reduce Spasticity

Spasticity refers to involuntary muscle contractions that can cause painful spasms and overly tight/stiff muscles, a symptom common to those who suffer from MS. AIS can effectively reduce muscle tension and thereby aid in the prevention of muscle spasms for those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.

Increase Circulation

Active Isolated Stretching pumps a great deal of blood throughout the body delivering much-needed nutrients and oxygen to surrounding tissues. AIS also stimulates the flow of lymphatic fluid which helps remove lactic acid and other unwanted toxins.

Reach More Muscles

There are nearly 200 stretches in Active Isolated Stretching. This holds great importance since Multiple Sclerosis can affect different areas of the body in each individual. While working with MS patients at Mattes’ clinic in Sarasota, FL, it was noticed that a client’s toes would spasm regularly and inhibit his ability to walk properly. The way he felt on any given day would be directly related to the severity of such spasms. After working through active isolated stretches for the muscles of the foot and toes for a matter of minutes, the muscles in spasm released and the patient was be able to walk (and feel) more normal. Active Isolated Stretching treats the body from head to toe (literally) so it can reach muscle tissue in nearly all areas of the body.

Build Strength and Balance

Since each stretch requires you to contract the opposite muscle, AIS can help build muscle and restore balance in the body resulting in improved posture and stronger joints. There are also strengthening protocols in AIS which include exercises to address specific muscle weaknesses throughout the body. Studies have shown that exercise, including muscle strengthening, also has a positive effect on neurogenesis.

Multiple Sclerosis can be incredibly difficult condition to deal with, however, for those suffering from MS who have tried other forms of treatment with limited success, Active Isolated Stretching can provide a hopeful alternative.