Tonsillitis – Symptoms, Treatment, Cause And Prevention

Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils. Tonsils are structures situated on either side of the tongue at the back of the throat. They form part of the body’s defense system. They become inflamed when they are infected by either viruses or bacteria.

When tonsils become inflamed they enlarge, produce pain on swallowing, produce fever, bad breath and can make the neck lymph glands to become tender. Patients often complain of feeling unwell, reduced appetite and painful mouth opening. The tonsils often become coated with whitish exudates at later stages.

Who can get it and how it is spread?

Tonsillitis is a common condition affecting all age groups. It is especially common in children.

It is thought to be spread by air borne droplet infection and close contact.

Causes of Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis can be viral or bacterial in origin. Viral tonsillitis is more common than bacterial.

The bacteria most commonly associated are Group A Streptococci. A wide variety of viruses have been implicated, in particular Ebstein Barr virus (causing Glandular Fever or Infectious Mononucleosis) is frequently mistaken for bacterial tonsillitis. The other viruses implicated are influenza and Para- influenza viruses.

In the past, bacterial infections like Diphtheria and Scarlet fever used to cause tonsillitis, but it has become rare in the developed countries due to immunization and early treatment. In the developing countries cases of tonsillitis due to diphtheria and scarlet fever are still being reported.

Treatment

Sore throats are mostly caused by viruses which do not respond to antibiotics. This is a self limiting disease, but paracetamol and/or ibuprofen can be taken to ease the symptoms. Please read the manufacturers instructions before taking any medicine. Generally, ibuprofen is to be avoided if you have a history of bronchial asthma, stomach ulcer, indigestion, in pregnancy and kidney disease.

Bacterial Tonsillitis responds to antibiotics and shortens the course of the disease. Your doctor may choose antibiotics depending on your particular circumstances. Generally, penicillin or erythromycin (if you are allergic to penicillin) is used. If the tonsillitis is severe, then you may need hospitalization and antibiotics through your vein.

Tonsillectomy (surgical removal of tonsils) is considered for recurrent attacks of tonsillitis.

How can it be prevented?

The bacteria and viruses (germs) causing tonsillitis are easily spread form person to person. Therefore avoid sharing utensils or toothbrushes with someone suffering from tonsillitis. Frequent hand washing prevents spread of germs.

Tips

o Gargling with aspirin or a pinch of salt is often helpful and eases sore throat. Sucking Lozenges help relieve the symptoms. Aspirin is generally not given to children unless on the advise of your doctor.

o Soft food, warm drinks and drinking plenty of fluid help relieve the soreness and prevent dehydration.

o Adequate rest aids in the recovery.

L-Carnitine in the Treatment of Metabolic Disorder

Newborn screening, as it is commonly known, refers to a series of blood tests performed within five days of an infant’s birth. All fifty states offer, and in most cases require, that all newborns be screened for various metabolic and genetically transmitted disorders. The total number of screenings may vary from state to state.

Earlier versions of newborn screening tested only for hypothyroidism, sickle-cell disease, PKU, and galactosemia. The new expanded screening includes tests for enzymatic and metabolic disorders. If untreated, these disorders can cause serious health problems including death. Once detected, however, they are easy to treat.

One such disorder detected by this screening is MCADD (Medium-chain Acyl-COA deyhdrogenase deficiency). MCAD is one of the enzymes that helps convert fat to energy. The body normally uses carbohydrates from our diet for energy. When those carbohydrates are used up, the body breaks down body fat for energy. The absence of MCAD can result in high levels of partially broken down fat, which is toxic to the brain and nervous system. MCADD is a hereditary disorder transmitted from parents to children through an autosomal recessive gene. When both parents carry the genetic trait for this defect, their child has a 25% chance of having this disorder. About one in 20,000 children in the United States is born with it, and, of those, 30 percent die from it. As a result, up to 50% of sudden infant deaths may be attributed to MCADD.

Once detected, MCADD is easy to treat and treated individuals go on to lead normal lives. Treatment usually consists of avoiding fasting and administering glucose orally or intravenously. Intake of medium and long-chain fatty acids should be avoided. Supplemental carnitine is recommended for some affected children.

L-carnitine is also beneficial in preventing age-related declines in metabolism and memory. Adding L-carnitine to standard medical treatments for heart failure has shown to improve exercise tolerance. Meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products are the richest sources of L-carnitine.

Copyright © 2006 DHAN Medical Inc. All rights reserved.

Clinical Manifestation of Diabetes Mellitus

The symptomatology of diabetes is more readily recognizable in children than in adults, so it is surprising that the diagnosis may sometimes be missed or delayed, Diabetes is a great imitator: influenza, gastroenteritis, and appendicitis are the conditions more often diagnosed, only to find that the disease was really diabetes. Those families with a strong family history of diabetes should suspect diabetes, especially if there is one child in the family with diabetes. Main manifestations are:

• Polyuria

• Polydipsia

• Polyphagia

• Progressive cachexia

• Glucosuria

• Hyperglycemia

• Increasing of specific gravity of urine

The sequence of chemical events described previously results in hyperglycemia and acidosis, which in turn produce the three “polys” of diabetes- polyphagia, polydipsia, and polyuria- the cardinal symptoms of the disease. In non-insulin-dependent diabetes (which has also been found in older children), the insulin values are found to be overweight, and there is often tiredness and frequent infections (such as monilial infections in females).

The insulin-dependent diabetic has markedly decreased insulin levels and, as diabetes becomes complete, there is no demonstrable, insulin at all. The child may start wetting the bed, become grouchy and “not himself” or act overly tired. Abdominal discomfort is common. Weight loss, though quite observable on the charts, maybe a less frequent presenting complaint because of the fact that the family might not have noticed the change. Another outstanding feature of diabetes is thirst. One couple reported that their child, during a trip from California to Kensas, drank the contents of a gallon jug of water between each gas station stop. At a certain point in the illness the child may actually refuse fluid and food, adding to the increasing state of dehydration and malnutrition. Other symptoms include dry skin, blurred vision, and sores that are slow to heal. More commonly in children, tiredness and bed-wetting are the chief complaints that prompt parents to take their child to the physician. The child may be hyperglycemic, with elevated blood glucose levels and glucose in the Urine; may be in diabetic ketosis, with ketones as well as glucose in the urine but not noticeably dehydrated; may be in diabetic keto-acidosis, with dehydration, electrolyte imbalance and acidosis.

Diagnostic evaluation

Observation and testing are important to the diagnosis of diabetes in children. If children demonstrate glycosuria, are overweight, or exhibit symptoms of hypoglycemia, they are candidates for glucose tolerance testing. The Urine test will show positive glucose only when the disease is actually manifest. The negative urine test does not necessarily rule our early diabetes, nor does a positive test necessarily indicate diabetes. Renal glycosuria, unrelated to diabetes, can result in glucose in the urine.

The fasting blood glucose test may miss the diagnosis of early diabetes and has been known to miss as many as 85% of children who has an abnormal glucose tolerance test with asymptomatic disease. The 4-hour glucose tolerance test has been found to be the most successful test for the diagnosis of early diabetes, whereas the 6-hour glucose tolerance test is more helpful for the diagnosis os hypoglycemia. Based on norms established for normal, non-diabetic children or various ages, the criteria for the diagnosis of early diabetes is two or more abnormal range. However, standardization of food intake before the test may be important and those preparing for the test should emphasize the importance of following the directions for diet supplied by the physician or laboratory. It is difficult to do glucose tolerance testing in children younger than 3 years of age, since norms for children in this age-group have not been established.

Problem of diagnosis

Signs, symptoms and chemical tests may lead to the conclusion that the child has diabetes, when in reality another condition may be present, this is true in salicylate intoxication, which can be ruled our easily by boiling the urine. The acetone, if present, will boil out of the urine, leaving a negative Acetest if related to diabetes and a positive Acetest if related to salicylate intoxication. Temporary hyperalimentation, pancreatitis, and encephalitis. The glucose tests usually return to normal once the stress is reversed; however, insulin may be needed for a short period in the stress illnesses, especially when the child is undergoing hyperalimentation. Other abnormal conditions that may cause glucose to appear in the Urine are certain renal diseases, some other endocrine disorders such as hypercortisolism, and lead encephalopathy.

The Connection Between Technology And Childhood Obesity

Today, it is hard to imagine life without a computer or television and other electronic gadgets that have become so commonplace since the advent of modern technology that it is leaving us and our children with little time to enjoy nature and the outdoors. Not so long ago, parents derived much pleasure from seeing their kids cavorting in the outdoors beneath the sun or climbing trees and remaining somewhat more active than the kids of today who have found a virtual world in which to remain engrossed. Thus, technology and childhood obesity are closely related because we have now become accustomed to having our eyes glued to the computer screen or television screen and are otherwise taken up with different forms of electronic entertainment.

Boob-Tube And More Boob-Tube

The new lifestyle that has taken over our children’s lives leaves little time for them to exercise, go out and remain otherwise active and it is far removed from the lifestyle our parents enjoyed many years ago. Along with the sedentary life that our children have become accustomed to, technology and childhood obesity have become closely intertwined and our concern for our health has also taken a backseat as the life in front of the boob-tube continues to take up all of our children’s time at the expense of their health.

It is thus imperative to understand the reason why technology and childhood obesity are going hand in hand, and when one considers the fact that child obesity has gone up by more than three times in the recent past, the problem has actually now reached epidemic proportions and it seems that now we are breeding obesity in our homes as we are letting our children spend all of their time in front of the television or other electronic devices.

The fact is that when we and our children sit immobile for hours on end watching television or working on the computer or playing video games, we neglect to exercise and along with a diet consisting of sodas and fast foods are breeding obesity like never before. Thus, technology and childhood obesity are causing our children to eat more, exercise less and live sedentary lifestyles which is a cocktail that only serves up more obese children in our population today.

No doubt, there are a number of other factors too that contribute to obesity, but television is a prime example of how technology and childhood obesity combine to the detriment of our health. Staying glued to the television will mean a lack of exercise, focusing on excessive eating followed by an unhealthy lifestyle and thus contributing to furthering the incidence of obesity in our children.

Television and the computer are prime examples of how technology and childhood obesity are making kids do things that are bad for them and if you want your kid to not become obese, you should discourage him from watching too much television, which is a major reason why children become obese, and to also address obesity as a health problem which needs to be addressed and not to consider obesity as merely being a problem with how the child looks.

Kalanchoe – The Healing Properties of the Plant Revealed

Kalanchoes are used as a very effective home remedy to deal with various health problems. These plants possess great variety of elements. Kalanchoes are used to treat inflammations and facilitate the discharge of pus. In addition, these plants are going to help to remove dead tissue from wound and favour healing process.

  1. Cut lengthwise a kalanchoe leaf and put it on trophic ulcer, purulent wound, burn, bedsore, inflammation, cracked nipple, stomatitis, gingivitis and etc.
  2. Kalanchoe juice is used to spray onto wound and moisten the dressing (the dressing should be changed every day). When dealing with stomatitis, you should warm the juice up to 37 degrees Celsius and use as a compress 3-4 times a day for 1-2 weeks. Leave the compress on for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Mix 40 millilitres of kalanchoe juice, 60 grams of lanolin with no water, 0.25 grams of furazolidone and 0.25 grams of novocaine. Use the salve to treat skin inflammations. In addition, you can use it for compresses.
  4. Drink kalanchoe juice to get rid of stomach and duodenal ulcer.
  5. Saturate a tampon with the juice and insert it into your vagina in the evening to treat cervix ulcer.
  6. The juice of the plant can be used as a gargle to deal with sore throat.
  7. Drop kalanchoe juice in your nose to fight rhinitis and antritis.
  8. In order to treat hepatitis, you should take 10 drops of the juice of the plant within a day.
  9. Drink a tablespoon of the juice followed by a cup of tea to get rid of roundworms.
  10. The juice can be used to deal with trophic ulcers in varicose veins and post-traumatic ulcers. Prepare 45-layers-thick piece of gauze in a size of the ulcer, saturate it with the juice and place on the ulcer.
  11. Mix kalanchoe salve with hedge hyssop oil and smear inflamed wounds or boils with the mix.
  12. In order to deal with cracked nipples, simply drop a bit of the juice or apply a very thin layer of the salve over the nipples after breast-feeding. Repeat the procedure for 45 days or till the moment your nipples are treated.

In order to get the juice, you should wash the leaves properly and reduce them to small pieces. You can use new sprouts located on the leaves of the plants, as well. Put the vessel with the leaves in refrigerator for several days. Afterwards, rub the leaves and decant the juice. It is ready for use. However, you must not keep it for longer than 2 days (even if you keep it in refrigerator).

These plants contain oozes, vitamin C, micro and macro elements, such as, aluminum, magnesium, iron, calcium, silicon, manganese and copper. Leaves contain organic acids, such as, malic acid, citric acid, acetic acid and oxalic acid.

Candida Rash – What You Should Look For

The question “how serious is a Candida rash” will always be a matter of importance to someone who has developed a Candida infection. What needs to be understood is that Candida is nothing more than a fungal organism which can live in the gastrointestinal tract of most people. If the organism gets out of the G.I. Tract, more complicated problems can develop.

Generally, a Candida infection will manifest itself in a number of different areas. In women it can be seen in the vaginal region, and in men it sometimes appears in the head of the penis. Many times, the microorganism can break out onto the skin, in which case the affected person will quickly develop a rash. In babies, this is known as a Candida diaper rash.

The most common type of Candida issue in children will of course be Candida skin rashes. These are common mostly because the Candida fungal organism can be found in large numbers in the G.I. tract of young kids. The most common species is Candida albicans. Simply put, a Candida albicans rash is just the medical issue revolving around that specific type of Candida.

Candida rashes can be treated in a number of different ways. Usually, a topical broad-spectrum antifungal skin cream will normally do the trick in helping to eliminate Candida rashes on the skin. Fungal infections such as Candida sometimes result for generally unknown reasons.

Babies sometimes seem to suffer from more Candida diaper rashes than would normally be the case. However, when you stop to think about it, and you understand that the Candida microorganism is present in the G. I. Tract, you realize that the diaper rash will of course occur when the Candida organism is excreted through normal processes.

Occasionally, something called “Candida die off rash” will take place if a large number of Candida organisms die off for some reason in the gastrointestinal tract. When they die off, they release a toxic waste product that overwhelms the body’s ability to rid of them off efficiently. It is this inability to handle these toxins that can lead to a person developing a skin rash.

As far as dealing with certain Candida rash treatment regimens, it is helpful to remember that supportive care in the cleaning of the area that’s been affected by the rash will do the most to rid the skin of that rash. Also, warm compresses and those antifungal creams have been proven equally as effective. Check out the Internet if you’re curious about Candida. Just conduct a search for Candida rash pictures and study them.

Sometimes, a Candida rash on the genitals is the result of sexual contact with a partner who is either suffering from a Candida yeast infection or Candida penis. Because of this, a person should have no hesitation in discussing a possible Candida infection with a medical professional and even with family members or friends.

Candida rash that is the result of a Candida infection and how it’s handled will all depend on how well-educated person who is suffering from the infection has made him or herself. As always, educated awareness of the Candida fungal organism will help a person to realize that all they are dealing with is generally an overabundance of the yeast, Candida albicans which can be completely uprooted from their body by following the anti Candida diet.

Itchy Bum – Symptoms of Different Conditions That Affect the Bum Crack Making It Painful

Not only is having an itchy bum an embarrassing problem, it can be a seriously irritating matter too, but if pain is included due to itch, red rash, swelling or other, then it’s likely to become a problem a patient cannot tolerate. Anal itch, rectal itch or rectum itch, whichever you prefer to call it, will have a reason for happening, so to treat it effectively and put a stop to you scratching your bum, the cause will need to be determined. If itching has occurred in-between the bum crack because of sweat, then it’s just a matter of a thorough clean with soap and water, but if the reason for the itch being there is a mystery to you, then speak with your GP so he/she can solve the puzzle if you like.

To do a self-diagnosis of what’s going on around the bum hole, it would help to have a mirror handy. The mirror will allow you to see if you have dry skin, rash, pimples or warts. Although checking something like this out for yourself might ease your mind, it is still wise to have a medic look. The bottom is a delicate place, so treating the skin here has to be done with care. If you rub the wrong cream or ointment in-between your buttocks you could end up having to treat a more serious problem.

Reasons for rectal pain and itching

Dry itchy skin in the crease of your bum cheeks is likely to be caused by one of several conditions:

Psoriasis

People don’t get Psoriasis around the rectum…do they? Isn’t it the scalp, ears, groin, elbows and knees where it affects? Yes, Psoriasis is linked with the above mentioned, but, also known in the buttock area too. It is a recurring rash caused by a variation in your immune system. It causes the skin to appear red and thickened with a white or silvery crust. There are several treatments and medication for treating Psoriasis, ranging from skin ointments to ultraviolet light exposure and oral medication.

Tinea Cruris (Jock itch)

Tinea is a fungus infection of the skin, commonly attacking the groin, upper thigh, and bum crack. Tinea of the groin is called “tinea cruris” or jock itch. Symptoms show as a bright red or red-brown patch of skin with a well-defined border. Itch is a primary symptom.

Hidradenitis suppurativa

If a hair follicle becomes blocked, sweat glands beneath the hair root can become congested and inflamed. If this happens, the sweat glands can weaken and pool into pockets of fluid under the skin, making the skin look like acne was once present. Scarring can occur, as well as boils coming regular. Big boils might need to be drained, otherwise a course of antibiotics will see to boils less large. “Hidradenitis suppurativa” (also known as “acne inversus”) is the name given for continual congested and inflamed sweat glands.

Scabies

No way not Scabies, tell me you’re joking. Isn’t Scabies those creepy crawlies under the skin? Yes that’s them and very contagious too. Okay maybe not really troublesome in the crack of the bum, but still troublesome mites to say the least. Scabies can cause a rash and itching outside of the groin and buttock area, even if the infestation is localized to this location.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis normally brings an oily red rash with some yellow crusts. If seborrheic dermatitis is detected, then it’s possible the rash has affected the scalp line, face or chest also.

Yeast infection (candidiasis)

Yeast infection is a something people usually associate with the vagina, but nowadays it’s just as much a man’s thing (male yeast infection.) Yeast infection can cause itch or a sore red rash in skin folds of the groin, and the skin around the genitals. Other locations for yeast infection are, in and around the anus and crease of the bottom.

Psoriasis Treatment – Getting Psoriasis Relief From Pain and Itching

Getting rid of the physical effects of psoriasis, the blotches and discolorations of the skin that everyone can see is only half the battle. For a lot of psoriasis sufferers, this is the most important part of treatment. However, for others, getting psoriasis relief is more important. The pain and itching that comes with the skin condition can be severe on some people and finding a way to effectively treat it is paramount.

Psoriasis relief, or relief from the pain and discomfort is possible, though it can be difficult. Doctors and scientists still do not know enough about the specifics of what causes it to come up with a universal treatment. (Something that works for everybody.) What may work for one person, may not work for another. Therefore, effectively treating it can take some trial and error. If you have developed psoriatic arthritis, (about 5% of sufferers do), treating the pain can be even more difficult.

There are many types of psoriasis treatment, some available over the counter and some by prescription only. There are new light treatments as well. Originally designed to treat the physical appearance, these UV ray treatments have shown promise in cutting down on the discomfort as well. The light treatments can be expensive and difficult to find, so many have turned to topical creams.

The best thing about using a psoriasis cream to treat your condition is that if effective for you, it will help to remove the visual effects as well as the pain and itching. There are several ingredients that are common in different products but most importantly, the cream you choose should contain moisturizing ingredients that will help to soften and loosen the outer area of the skin and in doing so, will relieve the pain.

Toenail Fungus Remedy – Bleach Foot Soak – Remember, Safety First When Using This Home Cure

Have you ever heard of someone using that bleaching solution you use to remove the stains in your white garments not in that way though but as a toenail fungus remedy? Apparently, some people do and you can read about their testimonials in the internet and probably other publications. It is a home remedy but is still less popular compared to vinegar as a toenail fungus remedy.

Accordingly, bleach may be applied by swabbing it on the infected nails by using a cotton ball or a Q-tip. Some people have another method in using this toenail fungus remedy, preparing a diluted solution probably one tablespoon of bleach in one gallon of water and then soaking their feet for at least 10 minutes. This can be done once or twice a day for a few months until your nails are back to normal. This is to ensure that the fungus is totally eliminated, or done as a precautionary measure.

So how does bleach work? You see, this compound contains chlorine, a bleaching agent and disinfectant. Adding bleach to water is treating it with chlorine. This treated H2O will make its way under your toenails, where the fungus lives, and then kill it. Again, it is not a one-time treatment so you have to be patient when using this garment-whitening solution. Otherwise, your initial efforts will be useless as fungus easily grows or moves back.

Another important reminder is if you use bleach as a toenail fungus remedy, you need to thoroughly wash your feet with soap and water after every soak. Bleach is a corrosive compound and washing will prevent skin irritations. Chlorine can hurt you especially if it is too concentrated and/or your dermis is very sensitive. Make sure you consider the pros and cons before using bleach as a toenail fungus remedy.

Sinus Pressure – When Allergy to House Dust is the Culprit

Could the cause of your sinus pressure discomfort lie deep in your carpet nap or rugs?  House dust–and there are several types thereof–is responsible for the sinus irritation which produces extra mucus which can accumulate and create sinus pressure. I had received allergy injections for a number of years for pollens and, to a lesser extend, house dust and I was doing rather well. But then two winters in a row I had serious sinus problems and I was baffled. This happened before I spent considerable time studying my sinus health situation from an “alternative”–using remedies other than regular drug medications–stand point.

I went to a different allergy specialist and a new set of allergy skin tests were made including several kinds of house dust. The results were revealing. I had been desensitized for some pollens, but I was very allergic to a type of house dust that contains an abundance of dust mite droppings, which, by the way, are microscopic. As you can see, the problem is not with the mites themselves, but the “legacy” they leave behind, especially when they have a fertile environment to reproduce in. What could that environment be?

Dust mites thrive in an ambient that has three things: warmth, moisture, dead skin particles–which rubs off the human body and the mites use as food. Some authorities in this field even suggest that most common house dust is made up, primarily, of the latter element. In my particular case, which could be the average one, we used a regular cool steam humidifier in the bedroom–to keep the sinuses moist at night so they would not swell from dryness, when the heat was on in the winter. The problem was that the moisture being produced was concentrating somewhat on the carpet in the area in front of the humidifier; thus becoming, unwittingly, a breeding ground for the little rascals. As they increased in numbers they spread all over the bedroom carpet and then migrated to the mattress. There the body warmth and moisture and ample dead skin bits provided an ideal breeding place for this microscopic nuisance.

The solution: Since dust mites are very difficult to kill, the solution had several components:

  • I began to receive allergy injections taylor-made for house dust heavy with mites’ droppings
  • We bought special zippered bed sheets that did not allow the mites to migrate from the mattress to the surface of the sheet
  • We continued to used the humidifier, but I raised it so the steam would dissipate more
  • We vacuumed the carpets more often, but used a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters to contain more of the dust within the machine

It worked. You may want to find out more as to whether you may be allergic to house dust mites’ droppings; especially if your sinus pressure is a chronic one. 

Herbs For Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia, Irritability, and Nervousness

When a client comes to me with mood balance problems, I almost always offer them a specially formulated traditional herbal tonic as part of my comprehensive approach to Mood and Energy Wellness.

My clients (and I personally) find these tonics to be a key asset in maintaining stable, balanced, centered, and harmonious moods throughout the day.

The exact formulation of herbal tinctures that I combine for each client varies and is proprietary.

Generally these are the herbs I choose from for their effects on depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and nervousness.

St. John’s Wort

Many studies attest to the ability of St. John’s Wort to positively affect depression. St. John’s Wort has at least 10 active ingredients that help in relieving depression. As proven as those active ingredients are, never forget that the whole herb is going to be more powerful than its extracted ingredients. St. John’s Wort helps relieve depression by:

  • Acting like a Serotonin Reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) similar to SSRI anti-depressant medications. 
  • Acting as a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor keeping this neurotransmitter at optimal levels. Low norepinephrine levels results in fatigue and lack of energy. Optimal norepinephrine levels are important for cardiovascular functioning, thermal regulation, vascular functioning (blood vessels) and act in the central nervous system to improve mood and concentration.
  • Inhibits excessive cortisol secretion.
  • Lifts dopamine levels. Low levels of dopamine leave you without adequate motivation and prone to compulsions and additions.
  • Enhances the activity of the natural tranquilizer GABA in the brain.

A number of studies have demonstrated the efficacy of St. John’s Wort in improving depression symptoms with approximately 80% of people using St. John’s Wort finding relief.

Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh is an analgesic nervine relaxant and helps correct low estrogen states in depression. Black Cohosh is especially indicated for deep dark depression that seems to descend out of nowhere. It helps when the mind is chaotic and wild with little ability to focus that results in acute or chronic anxiety.

New research indicates that Black Cohosh helps mood imbalances through directly effecting neurotransmitters and not just as a phytoestrogen acting like estrogen. It appears that Black Cohosh works through the brain and hypothalamus. It does so by affecting the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine – which helps explain why it alleviates mood swings and irritability.

Siberian Ginseng

Siberian Ginseng is an adaptogen and helps the body reach a healthy homeostatic state and more easily manage and integrate the stress that can act as a trigger for depression. It raises mood and increases non- specific immunity, which makes it especially helpful when depression occurs in conjunction with chronic illness.

Siberian Ginseng acts as both a mild tranquilizer and neurostimulant and has both a calming and a stimulating effect useful in both manic or depressive phases and sedation and arousal depressive states. The stimulation achieved with Siberian Ginseng does not produce nervousness and over stimulation but rather a relaxed sense of well-being – calming and at the same time invigorating.

It can raise norepinephrine levels helping to induce movement and motivation for desired projects. Plus, it works as a nerve tonic to calm the agitation that can come with depression.

Siberian Ginseng is particularly supportive for stressed and overtaxed adrenals and because adrenal gland tissue is neuroendocrine tissue, Siberian Ginseng provides the adrenal support along with brain support. It stimulates the adrenals to help give more energy to the body and the cholinergic (calming) nervous system. Its effect on the adrenal glands is more tonic-like than stimulating and acts to normalize adrenal activity. The use of Siberian Ginseng switches adrenal function from a cortisol/catoblic focus to a DHEA/anabolic focus resulting in building and energizing and normalizing physiological functioning throughout the body.

Siberian Ginseng has a long respected ability to improve performance and withstand adverse conditions without experiencing adverse effects. It also increases mental alertness, improves concentration, and has been found to increase the transmission of nerve impulses in the brain.

In addition, Siberian Ginseng contains concentrated nourishment – especially for the brain and the nervous system. A well-nourished brain and nervous system are less likely to fall victim to mood imbalances.

Lavender

Lavender is a restorative for the nervous system and helps lift mood – especially when sadness and low mood linger on after improvements in life situations. Lavender clarifies and stimulates thought processes and eases and relaxes emotional tension. It stimulates the limbic system and causes relaxation in anxious, tense, or hysterical states. Very soothing to the nervous system.

Passion Flower

Passion Flower helps to achieve stability of mood. It also helps restore deep synchronized sleep patterns in those who are tired but are awakened by pain or mental or emotional disruption during the night. It is specific for depression with deep exhaustion and insomnia due to worry, overwork, or disability.

Passion Flower is excellent remedy for reducing and resolving rumination – the excessive and repetitive thinking so often accompanying depression and other mood disorders. Passion Flower is effective in managing generalized anxiety and nervous restlessness.

Lemon Balm

This is a gentle but powerful nervine, which affects the limbic-hippocampal area in the brain. By so doing, the plant helps to filter out excessive stimuli from the body and modulates internal and external nervous input protecting the brain from excessive stimulation, reducing symptoms of excitability, restlessness, headaches, and palpitations.

Lemon Balm is specific for nervous heart, nervous stomach, and for depression co-existing with difficulty going to sleep. As a carminative nervine, it strengthens the brain against restlessness, anxiety, and neuroses.

Lemon Balm is known as the “gladdening” herb and has mild anti-depressant qualities, being soothing, calming, and uplifting plus reducing restlessness and agitation.

Nettles

Nettles is the premier herb for all your physical and subtle energy systems. She clears out debris in your entire energetic network and clearly but gently dismantles old, worn out energy patterns. Nettles is truly a liquid green gold that weaves her way through you to reconnect you to your own harmonious rhythms freeing up stale and stagnant energy enlivening you.

Nettles is a nutritional powerhouse having appropriately ample supplies of amino acids, calcium, magnesium, chromium, cobalt, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, sulfur, selenium, silicon, manganese, trace minerals, all the B vitamins , the carotenes, vitamin K, D, and C! And nettles is a wonderful restorative tonic for the kidneys and adrenals. Strong well-nourished kidneys and adrenals are needed for the production of ample clean energy and for replenishing your deep reserves of essential life energy. Nettles provides a sense of clarity, wellness, and well-being. Nettles will nourish an awakening in you of your true self – the self that your depression is attempting to hide from you.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa means “father of all foods” and is another nutritional powerhouse. Alfalfa is rich in chlorophyll and natural protein and has high concentration of Vitamins A, B6, D, E, and K as well. Alfalfa’s roots reach deep into the soil and bring up minerals stored deep in the soil. It is a good source of iron, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus and contains eight of the essential amino acids. Alfalfa is a rich nutritional support for many systems of the body and as such it encourages, supports, and coaxes the production of fundamental clean energy in the body.

California Poppy

California Poppy helps normalize disturbed sleep patterns, which are a troublesome part of depression.

Wood Betony

Wood Betony is a gentle, stimulating tonic for the brain especially in the presence of hysteria and persistent unwanted thoughts, and for nervous debility, anxiety, or neuroses. 

Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola is a powerful rejuvenative nervine that enhances oxygenation and the metabolic efficiency of the brain. It is reported to increase intelligence, longevity, and memory while decreasing senility and aging. Known as the king of tonics for the mind it enhances cerebral function. It also helps to purify the blood and strengthen the adrenals.

Rose

Rose gives its supportive gentle strength to the brain and nervous system. It is loving, calming, centering, and facilitates the integration and release of stressful experiences. Rose enhances your ability to drop your consciousness out of your analytical mind into your heart and stay focused in your heart-centered intelligence. Rose helps you make your way through the dark night of mood imbalances and step through the gateway to give and receive love. Lifts your spirits, heals the pain of the heart and enlivens your vitality.

If you are taking anti-anxiety and/or anti-depressant medications, any other medications, have a diagnosed condition or illness, are pregnant, breastfeeding, elderly or very young it is important to work with a knowledgeable health care practitioner before using these or any herbs. Uses described are based on traditional use and personal experience. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Evenstar Herbs products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Depression: Ten Things to Do

By definition, depression causes us to lose energy, engagement, and activity. Depression often feels like a gray, unmovable lump that’s going nowhere. Whether you’re working by yourself or with a therapist, it can be hard to find a starting point.

The good news is that any time you can find something worthwhile to do, you start to feel better. So here are ten suggestions for doing something about those dark and hopeless feelings. Is there an idea or two here that would work for you?

1. Look for images that describe what you’re feeling. Is your depression wet or dry, rock-hard or drenched in seawater? Do you picture yourself as a depleted battery, an out-of-control tractor trailer, or a piercing arrow? Do you see yourself wrecking, tumbling, falling, or drowning? Images can help you get in touch with what your psyche is experiencing and trying to share with you.

2. Identify a feeling and follow it as far as it will let you go. If it’s sadness, for example, what have you lost, and how is that loss changing your life? Do you feel like a victim, an alien, an avenger, a lover?

3. Draw pictures. Create characters, sketch them, and put dialogue into balloons. Paint landscapes, buildings, animals, and people and places from your dreams and daydreams.

4. Keep a journal. If the writing doesn’t flow, try again without capital letters and punctuation: Editing can block your thinking. If you’re having relationship issues, draw stick figures and get them to talk on paper. Find a picture that moves you, paste it onto a piece of paper, and write about it.

5. Submit to the inner process. The soul has its own wisdom, its own pace, and its own agenda, if only we can learn to accept it. When life goes wrong or we’re crawling back from a loss or a mistake, we naturally want the process to be over as quickly as possible. But worrying about being stuck in an old hurt or loss doesn’t help. Say yes to the healing, and stop thinking that you’re sick and wrong because it’s going slowly. Mysteries and secrets are unfolding inside you: Give them time.

6. If you’re having trouble with a relationship, ask whether substance abuse is involved, and don’t limit your survey to romantic relationships: It could be a family member, co-worker, boss, minister, or friend. Many substance abusers are masters at creating confusion, manipulation, and guilt. Often depression is the result. If all your relationships are healthy except one, suspect substance abuse, and consider a few visits with an Al-Anon group.

7. Have fun, especially if it involves physical activity, which can be a powerful antidote to depression. This suggestion probably sounds counterintuitive: During depression, who wants to have fun? But it’s worth the effort to find something you enjoy doing, especially if it involves other people. You quickly discover that the depression is only one part of you, even if it often seems overwhelming. Other parts of you are healthy and hungry for life. What can you do to support and strengthen them?

8. Listen to music. If you don’t have any favorite pieces, begin with the music you listened to in your teens. Strive to rediscover parts of you that have drifted into the past and been forgotten. Even sad music (for example, a song that evokes a past love affair) can sometimes help you travel around the rock of depression to see what else life has in store for you.

9. Connect. When you’re depressed, it’s tempting to either avoid other people or load them up with your problems. Look for other ways to relate. Volunteering in a setting you enjoy (or used to enjoy) can have enormous healing power: You’ll be affirmed for gifts you’d forgotten you had–or never knew about.

10. Love yourself. In depression, we often feel that no one cares and no one is there for us. Remember that the first person whose love and care you need so desperately is you. If others are causing you to feel that you’re worthless and wrong, start asking if something is amiss with them. (Therapy can be helpful here.)

Depression is such a hideous experience that no one would ever choose to go there, even for a minute. But sometimes it is the only way our souls can get our attention: Our manic pace stops, our usual activities seem dry and meaningless, and we start looking elsewhere for a reason to live. In the end, is it possible that’s exactly what our souls are asking us to do?

Top 10 Rare and Strange Phobias

Many people have fear of many things, like height, death, water, clouds, fight, and many more, but this fear, when becomes unreasonable and excessive, becomes a phobia. It depends upon your nerves as to when you lose self-control and become unable to compose yourself. This fear of a certain thing beyond sanity is called Phobia.

Phobia is an intense, irrational and constant fear of certain things, situations, activities or even people. This is a mental disorder, which, if not overcome, disturbs ones personal, social and economic life; it might be rooted to a traumatic situation which one cannot overcome.

Fear to a certain extent and of reasonable things is rational, but some people have phobias of very common things, which happen to be part of our everyday lives, or which are too harmless to be even afraid of, and even some of those cannot be avoided in our daily routine. Following are the top ten rare and strange phobias:

Ablutophobia

It is the phobia of washing, cleaning and bathing, and is usually found in women and children who are not emotionally stable.

Chorophobia

Dancing is an expression of joy and cheerfulness; can anyone be fearful of dancing? Yes, people have this phobia too!

Koumpounophobia

Can someone be afraid of buttons? Koumpounophobia is a fear of buttons; people suffering from it might be afraid of similar things like discs, coins, etc.

Arachibutyrophobia

Another strange and funny phobia is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the top of your mouth, called Arachibutyrophobia. People, having this fear, do not chew rather swallow peanut butter.

Phobophobia

This is an interesting one; the phobia of developing a phobia. One has the fear that one might develop a phobia which is actually a phobia. This is more of a psychological condition than a phobia.

Estiophobia

A very strange phobia is estiophobia; fear of clothes. The sufferers are not afraid of the all kind of clothes but of a certain type and material. Moreover, it is found in people who are fat and middle aged; they think that clothes make them look shabbier.

Caligynephobia

Can you imagine anyone being scared of the beauty? Yes, there are many people who fear beautiful women, this is called caligynephobia. This can be found in adolescent children and men who might not have straight orientation.

Scopophobia

Scopophobia is the fear of being looked at; it is a real weird one as everyone looks at someone at some point in time. Hence, it might lead to social cut-off of the sufferer.

Euphobia

One always welcomes good news, but some people have the fear of hearing good news. They are not afraid of hearing a good news but of its consequences, as they believe that a good news is always followed by a bad one.

Allodoxaphobia

The last but not the least, people are afraid of opinions of other people; especially regarding what other people opine about their personality, clothes, job, home, everything.

How to Cure General Anxiety Disorder

General anxiety disorder is an anxiety problem that is characterized by excessive and uncontrollable worry about everyday normal things. If you experience this problem, the good news is you will soon know how to cure it.

We all have experienced some form of anxiety in the past and even right now where our heart begins to pound before a big presentation, an important job interview or a qualifying examination. We worry and fret over family issues and problems or feel jittery at the prospect of meeting an important customer. However, if worries and fears are preventing you from living your life the way you would have loved to, then you may be suffering from anxiety disorder.

The drug companies have been hiding the cure because they have been making billions of dollars from their antidepressant medications. Now, you will not be swallowing those pills any more because they do not cure anxiety disorder.

There are many anxiety treatments and self-help approaches that can help you reduce your anxiety symptoms and take back control of your life. However, we will expose you to the best approach that has been proven to cure anxiety disorder.

General anxiety disorder has been proven to respond best to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This therapy involves more than just talking to a therapist. The person with general anxiety disorder gradually learns to see situations and problems in a different perspective and learns the methods and techniques to use to alleviate and reduce anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy enables you to focus on the thinking patterns and behaviors that are sustaining or triggering your anxiety. It helps you look at your worries and fears in a more realistic way.

Current research findings shows that anxiety disorder can be completely treated and can be successfully overcome over the course of about 3 to 4 months if the person is willing to work toward complete recovery.

Apart from the above, many other choices exist for treating this problem.

There are also different relaxation techniques as well as herbal remedies to help people fight against general anxiety.

My recommendation is for you to try the use of cognitive behavioral therapy. Thousands of people have reported a complete cure of their general anxiety disorder from just this therapy alone. Since then they have gone on to secure the job of their dreams or perform excellently well in their current jobs without the controlling influence of this problem.

Why Is The Prescription Drug Trazodone Used For Insomnia?

Despite the fact that there are many natural ways to deal with insomnia, millions of people continue to take a variety of over-the-counter and prescriptions drugs whenever they find that they’re having sleep problems. One such prescription drug is Trazodone.

Trazodone (or Trazodone hydrochloride) is the generic name for the drug Desyrel® which is an anti-depressant which is commonly prescribed for major depressive disorders and is also sometimes used to deal with insomnia. The problem however is that the two have become dissociated and, while it is one thing to choose to prescribe Trazodone for a depressive disorder with associated insomnia, it is quite another to use the drug simply to treat insomnia in isolation.

Trazodone works in part by inhibiting the re-uptake or serotonin, which is a chemical produced naturally by the body and which plays an important role is regulating the sleep cycle. Put in simple terms, Trazodone increases the level of serotonin in the body which acts as the body’s natural sleeping pill.

Now on the surface it would seem perfectly natural to use a drug that increases the body’s own natural sleep aid to cure insomnia.

There is however a problem with using Trazodone and that is the side effects.

Side effects will clearly vary from one individual to the next but, in general, the common side effects of Trazodone are sleepiness (in this case a desired side effect), headache, congestion, stomach upset, constipation, nervousness, muscle pain, sweating, blurred vision and so the list goes on. In addition, in some men it can cause a painful and long-lasting erection, which may require emergency or even surgical treatment, with permanent damage often resulting.

In fairness the list of side effects for most drugs, including communal garden day-to-day drugs, can be frighteningly long and the truth of the matter is that most people don’t suffer any of the side effects, or at least don’t suffer them to any degree that matters. In the case of Trazodone however this is not the case when it is used to treat insomnia.

For most people Trazodone works wonderfully well in the very short-term and will certainly help them to fall asleep and also to stay asleep through the night, enjoying, in particular, a greater degree of deep sleep. It is the following morning however when the side effects tend to set in.

In many cases this means a congested nose, feelings of tiredness and grogginess (often being described as akin to a hangover) and, in some cases, a degree of unsteadiness.

Insomnia is a common problem which affects many millions of people both in the short-term as occasional or transitory insomnia and in the long-term as chronic insomnia. In most cases however drugs will only ever provide a very short-term solution and the longer-term use of drugs will invariably make matters worse, rather than better.

This said, if you do feel the need to turn to drugs in the short-term to help with the symptoms of insomnia, then choose a drug that is designed specifically for sleep problems and not Trazodone which should only ever be used to treat insomnia when that insomnia is part and parcel of a major depressive disorder.