Tea Tree Oil – Antiseptic, Anti-Fungal, Antiviral

Tea Tree Oil is an essential oil obtained by steam distillation and extraction of the leaves from the Melaleuca tree in Australia. It is a clear essential oil with a fresh camphoraceous odor. Australian aboriginals used tea leaves for healing skin cuts, burns, sore throats, skin ailments and infection by crushing the leaves and applying them to the affected area.

Tea Tree Oil has been recognized as a potent antiseptic, anti-fungal, and antiviral product. It contains consignants called terpenoids, which have been found to have antiseptic and antifungal activity. The compound terpinen-4-ol is the most abundant and is thought to be responsible for most of the antimicrobial activity. This oil is used medically in treating various ailments, skin care and cosmetic products. Tea Tree Oil is used for the following conditions: acne, athlete's foot, dandruff, vaginitis, thrush, periodontal disease, as an antiseptic, boils, lice eczema, psoriasis, ear infection, sunburn, poison ivy, bee stings, insect bites and yeast infection. It has an anti-viral activity, especially with the herpes virus (cold sores, chicken pox, shingle blisters, and warts). It is also used as a first aid, body odor, jock itch, and in vapor therapy. While using in vapor therapy, this oil helps with colds, measles, sinusitis, and viral infections. Tea Tree Oil is a natural ingredient used almost exclusively externally.

Tea Tree Oil is a very powerful stimulant. It can combat the three categories of infectious organisms: bacteria, fungi and viruses. Many antibiotics today have increasing resistance. It has a complexity with over 100 identified natural compounds which makes it basically impossible for bacteria to build up a resistance.

Natural Hormone Balance 101

Hormone balance is essential to healthy living. There is so much to understand about balancing hormones that it is difficult to know where to begin. Hormones are messengers in the body that travel through the bloodstream into the organs, lymph and tissues of our bodies. The endocrine glands secret certain hormones in the body which includes to the pineal gland, pituitary, pancreas, thyroid, ovaries or testes, parathyroid, hypothalamus, adrenals and gastrointestinal tract. Just small hormonal changes can cause significant physiological changes in the body, including weight gain and forgetfulness.

Smart health is to have your hormone levels tested periodically, just like a mammogram or Pap smear. Imbalances have serious consequences and if not kept in check, chances of cancer increase, as well as other diseases like diabetes. Many cancers are hormone related. Estrogen dominance may be accountable for breast, prostate, cervix, endometrial, uterine, and ovarian cancer as well as fibroids. Estrogen deficiency can also cause bladder and urinary tract infections, especially in menopausal women.

Progesterone deficiency can cause cancer as well, including uterine cancer and fibroids. The thicker the lining of the uterus, the higher the chances of cancer are. Natural progesterone cream can help to reduce the lining of the uterine wall and eliminate fibroids in as little as two months; so the cream is not something that needs to be taken forever.

Maintaining a healthy liver is also extremely important to administering uterine fibroids, because it is responsible for eliminating toxins from the body. A healthy liver converts the strongest estrogen to "safe estrogen." Remember that certain medications including birth control pills, fertility drugs and hormone replacement therapy can also create a state of estrogen dominance. Excess estrogen can be promoted by liver congestion, bowel toxicity, stress, hypothyroidism, inflammation, and many of the estrogens below.

Supplementing with DIM can help reduce the steady climate of estrogen. It has been reported that DIM or di-indolylmethane can reduce estrogen buildup. It does this by converting bad estrogen into good estrogen by-products. It is also said to help reduce a swollen prostate .

Many researchers also attribute the high incidence of cancers to the presence of environmental estrogens in our food and products today. Phytoestrogens are plant-derived xenoestrogens and are consumed by eating phytoestrogenic plants. They imitate estrogen, but are not generated within the endocrine system; Phytoestrogens can be either synthetic (man-made) or natural chemical compounds.

Here are some examples of hormones, food or toxins that may alter balance:

  1. Xenoestrogens : artificial scents, air fresheners, food additives, preservatives, commercially raised poultry and cattle, household cleaners, detergents, car exhaust and indoor toxins, personal care products (shampoos, lotions, perfumes, make up, deodorants), oral contraceptives, prescription medicines, paints, lacquers and solvents, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, Styrofoam products, plant estrogens (soy, flaxseed), plastics, canned foods, GMOs and plastic food wrap.
  2. Naturally Estrogenic: alcohol, alfalfa, anise seed, apples, barley, beets, black-eyed peas, blue / black cohosh, cherries, chickpeas, clover, cucumbers, dairy, dates, dong quai, eggs, eggplant, fennel, flaxseed, flour , garlic, rhubiola, rose root, rhubarb, garlic, paprika, peppers, plums, pomegranates, poppy seed, potatoes, pumpkin, red beans, garlic, hops, lavender, licorice, rice, sage, saw palmetto, sesame seeds, soybean, sprouts, sugar, sunflower seeds, tea tree oil, tomatoes, wheat, white rice., soy, canola, safflower and corn oil.
  3. Foods That Inhibit Estrogen: artichoke, asparagus, avocados, berries, brazil nuts, broccoli, buckwheat, cabbage, celery, citrus fruits (except apples, cherries, dates, pomegranates), figs, garlic, grapes, green beans, green tea, melons , nuts, onions, pears, pineapples, seaweed, squash, tapioca, white flour, white rice.
  4. Balancing Hormones: Moringa, carrots, chia seeds, coconut oil, cod liver oil, diindolylmethane (DIM), false unicorn, gelatin, kelp, maca root, magnesium, olive leaf extract, parsley, quinoa, red raspberry, Vitamin D, flaxseed oil * .
  5. Increases Progesterone: beta carotene, chaste berry, dill, legumes, oregano, seeds, sweet potato, thyme, turmeric, vegetables, Vitamin B6, C & E, L-arginine, wild yam. There are also natural progesterone creams.

* A note about flaxseed oil Sears, "Research shows that adding flax oil to foods rich in sulfated amino acids, such as cultured dairy products (ie, cottage cheese), vegetables of the cottage family … helps the essential fatty acids become incorporated into cell membranes." In fact, The Budwig Center has a flaxseed oil and cottage cheese protocol that has been reported by their patients to eliminate tumors, degenerative diseases, balance hormones, cure Arthritis, Asthma, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, Blood Pressure, Multiple Sclerosis, Heart Disease, Psoriasis , Eczema, Acne and more.

What about Menopause?

The average age that women go through menopause is about 51. Menopause can really cause havoc on one's body and it's not always the easiest thing to go through. Again, it is recommended that you be evaluated by your physician before self-prescribing for hormone-related problems.

Here are some symptoms of menopause:

  1. Hot flashes, night sweats (Consider using: Cod Liver Oil, Red Clover Tea)
  2. Loss of libido (Maca root)
  3. Allergic Reactions
  4. Food sensitivities such as gluten (Use only organic wheat)
  5. Fatigue
  6. Hair loss (Castor Oil)
  7. Weight gain (Moringa)
  8. Bloating, indigestion
  9. Anxiety, depression (Brewer's Yeast)
  10. Mood swings
  11. Sleep disorders (Moringa)
  12. Memory lapses (Cod Liver Oil)
  13. Dizziness
  14. Osteoporosis (Cod Liver Oil)
  15. Uterine lining thickening, fibroids (Natural progesterone)

An interesting study from 2011 entitled: Estrogenic botanical supplements, health-related quality of life, fatigue, and hormone-related symptoms in breast cancer survivors: a HEAL study reported the following concluding :

  • Flaxseed oil users were more likely to have a better mental health summary score
  • Ginseng users were more likely to report severe fatigue and several hormone-related symptoms
  • Red clover users were less likely to report gain gain, night sweats, and difficulty concentrating
  • Alfalfa users were less likely to experience sleep interruption
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone users were less likely to have hot flashes

Lastly, for more information on menopause, Dr John R. Lee MD has a book entitled, "What Your Doctor May Do not Tell You about Menopause: The Breakthrough Book on Natural Hormone Balance."

Do You Know Simple Ways On How To Remove Skin Tags

Having skin tags on your body? Then no reason to get all worked up. Skin tags are an unpleaser surprise that many of us do not like to see. They are ugly and are a cause for embarrassment to us. Sometimes they all of a sudden make their appearance, which makes it all the more worrisome for us.

Tags on your body can make some people so annoyed that they will go to any extend to find out how to remove tags. When you have decided to remove them, you might want to confirm that they are tags and nothing else. Tags are shaped round and are also referred to as acrochordons. You will have to make sure that they are not something else before removing them.

You will find out some interesting method on how to remove tags through the given below article. Removing tags, when done in the right conditions, is always safe and secure. There is nothing to worry about. You can always have your family members or friends around to help you out when removing them.

How You Can Erase Tags
Skin tags can be removed from your body through various methods. Nail cutters, scissors, and knife can be used. They can be very painful and can cause a lot of injury to you. There is no need to take so much of risk. Moreover, it might not come out of your body, they can become bigger.

It is alright to go to a physician, but trying out new ways that are safe is a better option.

Tie a String

Using a thread is one of the most worked out ways on how to remove tags. The concept is quite simple here. You should try and cut out the oxygen supply to the tag. You see, it needs oxygen to remain there. Why do you want to give it that? Instead, you can cut out the oxygen supply from the area by using a thread.

Tea Tree oil can be utilized
One simple way is by using tea tree oil. This extract can be found on Melaleuca Alternifolia, which is a plant that can be obtained in Australia. This extract is known for curing many skin problems and many people have tried it. The skin tags should be wiped using water and soap.

Use a clean towel and wipe the area. Once it is dry, you can take a few drops of tea tree oil on a cotton ball and rub it on the tags. Keep rubbing it for some time. You will need to do it a couple of times. The skin tag will fall off in a few days time.

You will notice that the above ways are not only cheap, but these products can be bought anywhere. You do not have any side effects too.

Are you ready to begin the above mentioned steps on how to remove skin tags?

What to do When the Air Brings You Down

Why do millions of people choose to make their allergies worse instead of better? Sounds hard to believe, but it happens everyday. Whether allergies affect you year-round or during seasonal changes, allergies equal fatigue, congestion, sinus infections and all-around lousy feelings. Yet, millions of people unknowingly aggravate their allergies just by using common everyday products that wouldn’t bother them if it were not allergy season. When you’re down and out, chemicals and strong scents make matters worse. You can sneeze all about it in this article.

Does Scent-Free Mean Sneeze-Free?

When an allergen is incoming (pollen, bee sting, ragweed, etc.) the immune system springs into action and fights off allergens, so it only makes sense that the more foreign bodies that enter your system like chemicals, pollution and strong scents, the harder the immune system has to work and thus the more tired you become. One fragrance may not affect you, but when you’re bombarded with fragrances, odors and chemicals all day long the numbers can add up. The encounter of these chemicals day after day during your allergy season can start to break down the immune system and make you susceptible to exaggerated allergic reactions such as hives or skin swelling. Allergy season doesn’t have to equal exhaustion, but you’ll have to pitch in and take a few steps to avoid immune system overload.

So, how can you do this? When you know your allergy season is approaching, adopt a scent-free chemical-free lifestyle. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to live in a bubble and make everything from scratch.) Take a stroll down the laundry aisle of the local supermarket and you’ll see perfume-free, allergen-free, and/or dye-free products. Why? Allergies, sensitive skin and asthma are a growing epidemic in this country and manufacturers can no longer ignore the need for scent free and chemical free products.

Everyday Cleaners to Avoid During Allergy Season

Cleaning is a good thing, certainly no one wants to be around stinky people, but unfortunately some of the ingredients in cleaners can cause or aggravate the allergy/asthma problem. For example, ammonia is found in window cleaners and many general cleaning products. It is actually a powerful eye irritant and may trigger asthma attacks. According to the Office of Environmental Affairs in Colorado, Paradichloro-benzene which is found in toilet bowl cleaners and fumigants is a possible cancer-causing agent. Aside from being toxic to pets, furniture polish and heavy duty cleaners have the same ingredient as many pet flea treatments which is petroleum distillates which is known to irritate eyes, skin and the respiratory system. Those disinfectant sprays you put into the air actually contain Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach) that is not only corrosive but can irritate the eyes, skin respiratory system and may especially irritate people with heart and respiratory conditions.

There are some excellent homemade alternatives to harsh cleaners that clean just as well, but without strong odors or irritation. Here are some quick, safe and great working cleaners:

Recipes for Natural Cleaners

You’ll notice that the recipes listed below are made with everyday household items–not complicated ingredients you have to get from the local high school’s chemistry lab. So, what gives? Will vinegar, baking soda and lemon really clean? Yes and here’s a quick breakdown of why. Lemon has natural cleaning properties and also a pleasant scent (same with orange which you can substitute.) Vinegar is a gentle cleaner and polisher, but it doesn’t have the most pleasing scent which is why it is often paired with lemon juice. Baking soda is an abrasive which makes it good for scrubbing and as an added bonus it neutralizes odors. If you’re a non-believer and want to test out its odor neutralizing ability add a cup of baking soda to your next load of laundry. Be sure to use your most scented laundry detergent or fabric softener. Before putting the wet clothes into the dryer, have a good whiff. You won’t smell a thing because the baking soda zapped the scent as well as any offending odors.

Heavy Duty Cleaners

To get rid of soap scum, shine up your shower doors, tile and sinks use a cup of baking soda, two tablespoons of lemon juice and a tablespoon of dish soap. Add just enough water to create a mild scrub (you don’t want to dissolve all of the baking soda.) Take this into the shower or bath with you and before exiting scrub down the walls, doors and tiles, then rinse. This natural cleaner gets rid of thick soap scum and build up without the nauseating odors. You can also use this to clean and disinfect sinks and toilets.

Window Cleaner

For the best window cleaner you’ll ever use, fill a medium-sized spray bottle half-way with water. Fill another quarter with vinegar then add about one tablespoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of dish soap. Gently rotate (don’t shake) the bottle to mix up the cleaner. Spray this on glass, appliances, counter and any other non-wood surface you wish to clean.

Furniture Polish

Instead of heavily-scented wood polishers and cleaners, use olive oil. You will be pleasantly- surprised with the results and your home will smell like a bakery!

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

A mixture of vinegar and lemon juice with a little bit of dish soap is perfect for cleaning toilets inside and out. For thick rings and stains inside the toilet bowl, add some baking soda and scrub with a toilet brush. This cleaner is good for anything you want to glimmer and shine including non-wood floors. Now stand back and admire your work–ooh, sparkly.

It sounds simple, but by eliminating unnatural scents and chemicals, as well as pollution and the actual allergen that is bothering you, you can make your allergy season easier to get through!

How to Improve Personal Stress Management

Stress related illness and suffering is at an all time high in America and increasing every year. There are numerous symptoms commonly associated with stress such as sleeplessness, weight gain, hair loss, worry, irritability, muscular aches and pains, depression, weakened immunity and the list goes on. In our hectic, time strapped lives, it is easy to fall prey to stress without even knowing it.

Personal stress can be a result of relationship issues, family conflicts, financial concerns etc. Workplace stress can be due to too great a workload for the one person, low morale due to downsizing and cost cutting or tense personal relations with co-workers or superiors. With all these external factors playing a role it is important to identify and then adopt a plan of action for personal stress management.

Relaxation is an excellent natural way of combating the effects of stress. For instance physical activities like massage, acupuncture and even sexual activity can greatly relieve stress and help you relax, while reading positive stories, listening to relaxing music, watching non violent programs and movies are a more passive ways to achieve the same goal. It is also known that by incorporating a low-fat, low-salt diet and regular exercise into your personal stress management program, you can help reduce your level of stress.

It is always good to look at your lifestyle objectively to see if there are any simple lifestyle changes you can make to help alleviate your stress. Think carefully about the following points and try to make changes to some that are directly affecting your daily life. Self esteem, handling difficult situations, time management, problem solving, healthy eating, alcohol or drug use, healthy relationships, money management, physical activity, sleep, spirituality and time management.

There are also many medications that are prescribed to patients suffering from stress but like all medication, there is the possibility of numerous and sometimes serious negative side effect. There is a healthier alternative to use in your personal stress management program and that is herbal based supplements which work with your body in a more natural way.

Some of ingredients used in these supplements are Jujube which has been used in Chinese herbalism for the treatment of nervous exhaustion and irritability. Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic adaptogen that helps the body better cope with stress and Passionflower which has a relaxing effect. This article is nutritional in nature and is in no way to be interpreted as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before embarking on a medical or nutritional plan.

Depression and Isolation

One of the hallmarks of depression is the desire to remove oneself from social contact. This can take several forms:

* lack of eye contact: Sometimes protecting one's space can involve difficulty making eye contact, making depressives seem aloof or disinterested in social contact. This may exacerbate depression since lack of interaction cause a feeling of hopelessness, which in turn leads to more depression, leading to more and more isolation. To solve this problem, I used to look at myself in the mirror each morning before going to work and practice making eye contact. At first, it was actually painful, but I eventually became comfortable with it.

* flat affect: Flat affect manifests as a stunted facial expression. Again, this can be both an effect of and a cause of depression. Not many are comfortable being in contact with someone whose facial expressions are limited. To solve this problem, once again, I used the mirror, standing in front of it and making facial complaints until I felt at ease.

* Social isolation: Sometimes depression can bring about a desire to become cloistered and removed from society. It's a downward spiral, because we have to live in community. But if our actions run contrary to bonding with others, we can be viewed as odd or eccentric.

Fortunately, the mental health community offers group support to help depressives overt social isolation. Each group is tailor to specific situations. Four such organizations come to mind;

1. ACA, AA, and Alanon: Addictions and depression often go hand in hand. Patients may become addicted due to prolonged feelings of hopelessness and in turn become more depressed due to the life changing aspects of addiction. These well known groups provide support for alcoholics and their families. The twelve step principals encourage patients to break bondages of addiction and co-dependence.

ISA – incest survivors anonymous. These groups provide safe places to vent emotions often tied to sexual abuse.

3. Emotions Anonymous: These groups, often located in hospital settings, provide safe settings for those who need to share emotional burdens.

4. Finally, we can create our own groups, just by being willing to step out there and take risks and begin to socialize. Find a church group, volunteer to teach Sunday School, go dancing. Do Karoke, Just get out there and move! It can be done.

Trust me, if I broke out of my shell, anyone can!

Dear readers, please feel free to share ideas about improving eye contact, developing a live affect, and keying into social situations

Depression and Anxiety Disorder – Signs and Symptoms to Look For and How to Overcome Them

When people are talking about anxiety disorders, they tend to focus on its symptoms, which includes irrational fears, sweating and shakiness. However, it may surprise people to know that anxiety disorders have a common link to substance abuse and depression. Nearly 50 percent of people with obsessive-compulsive disorder also suffer with depression.

Depression and anxiety disorder generally coincide with each other. The reason is that a sufferer with anxiety who is looking for relief (whether it's instant or long time relief) may feel helpless and alone. When these feelings are not appreciated, the person may suffer with anxiety depression.

Bear in mind that anxiety is described as a condition, which heightens a person's senses and may include butterflies in the stomach or shepherd panic / anxiety attacks. However, depression anxiety has a number of causes. For instance, a person may be unhappy in their jobs, they may be ridiculed often or feel alone; thus, it leads them to have anxiety depression symptoms. Any person who is unable to easily socialize with others may be afflicted with anxiety depression too. Depression is widely known as the "universal cold of mental health". The problem with it is that so many people suffer in silence because they are afraid what other people might think about them.

Treatments for anxiety depression: What Signs To Look For In Sufferers

How can people know if they or someone they love is battling anxiety depression? There are several things people need to consider before making this assembly.

– First, the person is in a relationship that makes them unhappy.
– Second, a person has experienced a death (whether human or animal).
– Third, the person has recently become unemployed
– Fourth, a person is feeling uncertain about things or is stressed out about even the little matters.
– Fifth, people who see others achieve what they themselves desire to have.

One of the biggest things people need to take into account with depression and anxiety is how severe these things are. Are they on an everyday level or on rare occasions? Everyone experiences some anxiety depression but they generally can crawl themselves out of the funk. They should also consider how long the anxiety depression episodes last.

Anxiety and Depression Disorders: Where's The Link?

It's often difficult to see the link between both anxiety and depression but it is there. Yes, depression often makes a person feel a lack of energy but they also have high anxiety levels; thus, they can have panic attacks. Both anxiety and depression make it simple for a person to dwell on how bad they feel, which can actually increase how long it takes them to overcome both disorders. This leads to lead to the isolation feeling many people end up having.

How People Handle Anxiety and Depression Disorders

Many people turn to medications to get a handle on their problems but the "actual" problem is not addressed by medication, only the symptoms are deal with. The brain's chemicals are altered when a person is taking antidepressants. The majority of meds will begin working right away but it can take at least six weeks before the medication's full effect is recognized.

In lots of cases, it can be hard to discern what disorder came first. Did the person have depression that spawned their anxiety? Did they have anxiety that led to depression? Treatment for these disorders can start the moment the person understands they have a problem. However, it's not uncommon for some sufferers to never realize they have an issue. They may unknowingly stop talking to friends and family, alter how they eat and feel kind of "blah" about things they used to enjoy.

It does not have to be that way though. There are many natural and self-help treatments available that people can try. If you notice any symptoms of anxiety depression, be sure you seek help immediately. Force yourself to make lifestyle changes that including having a well-balanced diet with lots of exercise and plenty of rest. Always recognize the anxiety you have, why it is occurring and do something to "get over it". Learn skills that can assist you in managing your stress and anxiety. However, the most important thing you need to remember is not to keep your family and friends out of your life. They are, and always will be, your first line of defense for anxiety depression.

Dealing With Insomnia Naturally – Escape The Vicious Circle Made In Hell

Along with all the usual array of insomnia causes; depression, stress, lack of a healthy exercise routine, poor diet and a poor bedtime routine, there's frustration – that's the frustration caused by the previous frustration (you'll need to concentrate to wrap your fuzzy, sleep deprived brain around this one) of not getting enough or indeed, any sleep.

To be sure that you're dealing with insomnia naturally, effectively and permanently, that is without the aid of drugs, there is a need for some gentle re-training of the brain – as part of this brain re-training and the resulting end of insomnia induced misery, frustration is destroyed.

Whatever the reason for the initial lack of sleep – the beginning of the condition of insomnia, it's a sure bet that stress will become a part of the vicious circle that really makes it feel as though you're in some sort of hell.

The Vicious Circle Made In Hell

  • You have a lousy nights sleep
  • The following day you're mildly stressed and can not concentrate on anything for long
  • That evening, you try and compensate by hiring the sack earlier or maybe having a strong night-cap or two – or maybe both!
  • You have a lousy nights sleep
  • The following day you're frustrated and more than a little stressed – the stress increases through the day as your concentration and activity levels suffer
  • That evening, you try and compensate – maybe a night-cap or three?
  • You have a lousy nights sleep

And so it goes on and on and on – the vicious circle from hell is complete.

Actually it's never really complete, it just gets worse and worse until you do the inevitable and start trying the drug solution. It may even seem to work for a while, but believe me when I say you're making another huge mistake that will only cause many other complications – but that's another story.

In summary; along with stress, lack of a healthy exercise routine, the need to re-train your brain, a poor bedtime routine and a poor diet, frustrations ends up as another one of the many collective causes of insomnia that needs to be deal with.

The Right Way To Cure Nail Fungi

Fungi infections are very annoying to treat because they return if they are not treated properly. They are commonly found in the skin, the nails and in the scalp or hair. Nails are commonly affected if the patient has habits that promote fungi growth.

Nail fungi can be easily identified because the nails seem to become thicker with the infection. In areas where the skin is affected, there may be itchiness and discoloration of the nails depending on the type of fungi in question.

How the infection happens

Getting nail fungi is easy especially if you have habits that promote fungi transfer. Examples of habits are not taking care of the nails and using other people’s footwear. You can also get infected if you are fond of not wearing any footwear in public areas like public bathrooms. It is part of the treatment to prevent the person from doing the same habits over again.

Tips on How to treat a fungus nail:

Use of the right medication

A combination of topical and oral medication may be necessary for some families of opportunistic fungi. The type of antibiotics that you need depends on the type of fungi that is infecting your nail. If the doctor has identified the fungi, then he can prescribe the right drugs to use.

Using clean footwear all the time

Part of treating the infection is preventing habits that will promote fungi growth. For starters, you should always wear clean shoe and socks. You should disinfect all the footwear that you use and allow them to aerate when you have the time. Never wear damp or wet socks and footwear because warm and wet environment are the perfect place for fungi to grow.

Aerate your legs when you are at home

You should also avoid wearing shoes when you don’t have to. This will limit the accumulation of sweat. By preventing sweating in the leg and feet, you are depriving the fungi the favorable environment that it needs to grow and branch out. Ventilation will prevent sweating and this will help the antibiotics work by preventing any more fungal growth.

Nail care habits

Make it a habit to take care of your own nails. short nails are preferable. Short nails are better because they are easy to clean and they are less likely to become infected. You should also only go to clean salons with clean equipment to avoid getting infections from nail pushers and cutters.

Two Ways to Tell When You’re Ovulating

Getting pregnant does not always happen when you would like it to. Some couples decide it is time to have kids and within a month or two they are announcing they are pregnant. Other couples try month after month without success. If you are one of the couples having difficulty, do not feel discouraged. It is estimated that 25 percent of couples trying to conceive experience problems with fertility. There have been great advances in infertility treatments over the last ten years. A better understanding of the reproductive system may help to solve the problem.

Knowing when you are most fertile is a significant step towards conception. This will be the few days a month when you are ovulating. Ovulation is when the ovaries release an egg and it is deposited in the uterus. Your menstrual cycle begins with the first day of your period and ends with the last day before your period. Ovulation will typically occur mid cycle. Once released the egg is only viable for fertilization for 24 hours. Sperm can survive for approximately 72 hrs. If you do the math you will see that the2 to 3 days before you ovulate are the best days to try for conception. Knowing exactly which day you are going to ovulate may seem difficult, but here are some helpful tools.

Ovulation test kits measure the amount of Luteinising Hormone (LH) in your urine stream. Prior to ovulation there is a surge of LH in your system to cue the ovaries to release an egg. This happens approximately two weeks after your period. You will need to know how long your menstrual cycle normally is, as cycles can vary from 28 to 34 days. Ovulation test kits come with step by step instructions and will supply a chart to help you determine which days to start testing your urine. It is important to test urine at the same time every day. False positive results can occur as a result of some oral medications. Check with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns. When the test strip detects higher levels of LH that means ovulation will occur within the next 48 hours. This is when you should have intercourse. Ovulation test kits are available at any drugstore or online at many fertility or pregnancy websites.

Another method is charting your basal body temperature (BBT). This method requires you to measure your body temperature during the first few hours of waking. By charting these temperatures over a period of time you will be able to determine when you are ovulating. During your menstrual cycle there are two hormones that play important roles. Estrogen is the hormone that is active in your system during the first half of your cycle, also called the follicular phase. Estrogen helps to trigger the ovaries to release an egg. When ovulation occurs Progesterone is released to help prepare the uterus for possible implantation. These changes within the body create fluctuations in your BBT. Typically, you can expect to see a decrease in BBT just prior to ovulation and then a significant increase, approximately.4 degrees Fahrenheit or more, once the egg has been released. Your BBT’s will remain high if conception takes place, but will return to their base line if your period starts. By tracking and charting your temperatures you will be able to know when the best times are for intercourse. A digital thermometer that measures to the tenth of a degree is easiest to use. You can make your own chart to keep track of your temperatures or download and print one from an infertility treatment website. If you are uncertain about your temperatures or do not see any change in BBT consult your doctor.

Like so many aspects of life a little understanding goes along way. Maximize your chances using these tools. If you still are unable to conceive after 1 year, or 6 months if over 35, talk to your doctor about infertility treatment options.

Comparing HIV 1 and HIV 2

The HIV virus is of two types, HIV1 and HIV2. When worldwide, people generally talk of HIV they refer to HIV1. The relatively uncommon HIV2 is concentrated in West Africa and is rarely found anywhere else. Although there is slight difference there is no cure for the HIV1 and HIV 2 and AIDS.

If we talk of similarities they are as follows-

o Both the viruses are transmitted in a similar manner.

o They are transmitted by sexual contact, through body fluids such as blood, tears and vaginal fluids.

o It is also transmitted through breast milk from a mother to the child.

o Within three to six months both HIV-1 and HIV-2 cause the body to produce antibodies.

o Both HIV1 and HIV2 can develop into AIDS.

When we talk about Differences they are as follows-

o The persons who are infected with HIV2 develop immunodeficiency or a weak immune system more slowly and it is also milder.

o People who are infected with HIV2 virus are less infectious in the early stages than those infected with HIV1.

o It has been said that HIV-2 is less easily transmitted.

o The period between the initial infection and illness is longer in case of HIV-2

o As the virus progresses the infection of HIV2 increases.

o Compared to HIV-1 mostly it is the HIV-2 that seems to be more infectious later in the course of the disease.

o Mostly the cases of HIV-2 are reported in West Africa whereas the cases of HIV-1 are found worldwide.

Subtypes of HIV-1

The HIV-1 is classified into three groups. The “major” group that is M, the group M again has subtypes A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J and K, the “outlier” group O and the third is the “new” group N. It has been found out that more than 90% of the people with HIV-1 infection belong to the group M. Group N is extremely rare and group O is restricted to west-central Africa.

The treatment of HIV-1 and HIV-2

HIV-2 is more difficult to monitor than HIV-1 and the studies are still not clear towards the best treatment of HIV-2. There are some drugs that are used for treatment of HIV-1 but are not effective against HIV-2. Both the virus lead to the threatening disease AIDS.

Find more information visit: http://www.keepcondom.com/articles/hiv-aids/hiv1-hiv2.htm”>Comparing HIV 1 and HIV 2

The Wonders of Ginger

The rhizome Ginger (Zingiber officinale) has been used in Asia for centuries as a culinary spice and as a medicinal for the treatment of various ailments. The milder young ginger root as well as the more pungent mature root is used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine to flavor dishes. In the Qing Dynasty it was even used to make a ginger-flavored liqueur called Canton. In Great Britain ginger is used in the production of a spirited beverage called Crabbie’s Green Ginger Wine. Both the Orientals and Arabs use ginger infusions to flavor their coffee and tea, while in the West the traditional use is to flavor cookies and candies, and in the beverage ginger ale.

A most unusual use of ginger was amongst pre-WWI British mounted regiments when during public ceremonies a peeled ginger root suppository was placed in the horse’s rectum. The practice known as figging (or feauging), resulted in a burning sensation, while leaving no permanent damage; it made the horses hold their heads and tails high. As you can well imagine this practice in humans is observed within the S&M community.

In medicine, Ginger root (a misnomer as it is not a root but rather a horizontal subterranean stem) is use by TCM doctors for gastrointestinal illness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and arthritic disease. In the United States it has been used to treat gastrointestinal upset, nausea, motion sickness, pregnancy-induced nausea and arthritis mostly in folk medicine and alternative medicine. It may be gradually gaining acceptance in traditional western medicine in this country with recent scientific studies reporting positive outcomes.

The flavor and characteristic sent of ginger root is due to a mixture of zingerone, shoagoles and gingerols which are the volatile oils making up about 3% of the dry weight of fresh ginger. Gingerols are the medicinal components having analgesic, sedative, antipyretic, antiemetic and antibacterial properties in addition to reducing gastrointestinal motility. Gingerol ( [6]-gingerol ) is a relative of capsaicin, the compound that gives peppers their hot spicy taste. When gingerol is exposed to heat (such as in cooking) it is transformed into zingerone with its more palatable less pungent and spicy-sweet aroma.

The mechanism of action of ginger is poorly understood, however the antiemetic properties may be due to inhibition of serotonin receptors which exert affect directly on the gastrointestinal and central nervous system. The use of ginger in the treatment of arthritic disease such as osteoarthritis and rheumatism may be due to the fact that ginger inhibits the activation of tumor necrosis factor-alfa (TNF-a) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression, thus acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Ginger has been used for years as an over-the-counter preparation for treating motion sickness without the drowsiness of medications such as dimenhydrinate (Dramamine). It apparently works pretty well, according to some scientific studies conducted on seagoing naval cadets. While a rather entertaining “scientific” study on Discovery TV’s hit show the MythBusters explored [in “Episode 43: Seasickness – Kill or Cure” (premiered: Nov. 16, 2005 )] several non-pharmaceutical remedies along with placebo to tackle Adam’s very sensitive motion sickness. Ginger happened to be one of the more successful “home remedies” to combat this illness on the show. Now back to double-blinded peer reviewed published studies. In pregnancy-induced nausea several trials show comparable effectiveness with vitamin B6 and superiority over placebo of ginger to control morning sickness. The Cochrane review showed ginger as a safe (for baby and mommy) and effective antiemetic in pregnancy.

There are also studies to substantiate the use of ginger in post-operative nausea (post anesthesia). Ginger did not fare as well in controlling chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting however.

How does ginger stack up when treating arthritic pain? Where several studies showed mixed results when ginger was used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, a couple of trials did show statistically significant pain relief and reduction in swelling with the use of ginger. Ginger has also been studied in in vitro models and animals for conditions ranging from the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections, cancers and as anti-hypertensive agents. However, not many have been successfully studied in humans.

There does not appear to be any significant toxicity with Ginger. Although the FDA considers Ginger rather safe, there is a theoretical risk when used with the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin). At high doses Ginger may cause elevation in protimes (PT) of those who take this medication. The only other caution to be observed is the use of this herb in people with gallbladder disease; those suffering gallstones may have an exacerbation in their condition as ginger releases bile from the gallbladder.

Clinical trials typically use 250 mg to 1000 mg of standardized powdered ginger root in capsular form. This dose is taken anywhere from once to four times a day. For pregnancy-induced nausea studies a successful regiment is 250 mg four times daily has been used.

In my neck of the woods a common beverage consumed by folks today started out as a local medicinal. The “world famous” Blenheim Ginger Ale is bottled less than 15 miles from my home in Bennettsville, SC. Blenheim Ginger Ale is named after the natural mineral spring in Blenheim, SC. Dr. C. R. May in the late 1800’s advised patients to drink this mineral water to sooth their upset stomachs. When it was reported that the remedy worked, but that many of the patients disliked the strong mineral taste of the water he added Jamaican Ginger to the water, thus spawning the now famous ginger ale. Jamaican Ginger has historically been used as a medicinal. It is classified as a stimulant and carminative for treatment of dyspepsia and colic and the tea brewed from the root was a folk remedy for colds. In 1903 Dr. May teamed up with a partner to bottle the product under the Blenheim Bottling Company. To this day it is considered the oldest and smallest bottling company in America. Some folks today use the “HOT” red-topped Blenheim Ginger Ale more as a medicinal than a soft drink for the treatment of sore throats, colds, the flu, and to settle their stomachaches. Renown journalist Charles Kuralt in his famous “On the Road” TV series featured the ginger ale on one of his episodes, and Penn Jillette (of the comic-magic duo Penn & Teller) is reportedly a big fan of the beverage. Penn was pictured on the cover of a September 1994 Wired magazine issue wearing a Blenheim T-Shirt, bottle in hand. Cheers!

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Reference:

White, B, “Ginger: An Overview”, AmFmPractice, June, 2007, Vol. 75, Num. 11, aafp dot org/afp/20070601/1689.html

Grontved A, Brask T, Kambskard J, Hentzer E. Ginger root against seasickness. A controlled trial on the open sea. Acta Otolaryngol 1988;105:45-9.

Stewart JJ, Wood MJ, Wood CD, Mims ME. Effects of ginger on motion sickness susceptibility and gastric function. Pharmacology 1991;42:111-20.

Borrelli F, Capasso R, Aviello G, Pittler MH, Izzo AA. Effectiveness and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. Obstet Gynecol 2005;105:849-56.

Ernst E, Pittler MH. Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Br J Anaesth 2000;84:367-71.

Altman RD, Marcussen KC. Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis. Arthritis Rheum 2001;44:2531-8.

Jiang X, Williams KM, Liauw WS, Ammit AJ, Roufogalis BD, Duke CC, et al. Effect of ginkgo and ginger on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of warfarin in healthy subjects. Br J Clin Pharmacol 2005;59:425-32.

The Blenheim Shrine, blenheimshrine

Aliverti, Brent, Blenheim Ginger Ale, theacf dot com/blenheim

Wikipedia, Ginger

Susan Jakes, “Beverage of Champions. Part One: Hot Coke with Ginger, A Possibly Magical Elixir”

MythBusters Episode 43: Seasickness – Kill or Cure, dsc.discovery dot com/fansites/mythbusters/episode/00to49/episode_02.html

(c) 2007

What is High Cholesterol and How Does it Affect My Health?

Our bodies manufacture almost all the cholesterol we need in the liver. It is used to bind cells together, produce hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help us digest the foods that we eat. By now we all understand the negative health effects that high cholesterol causes. When to much is present in your blood this is where problems arise. When we get into a situation where we have too much cholesterol in our blood the condition is called Hypercholesterolemia or Hyperlipidemia. Health problems from high cholesterol do not appear in a matter of days or months but are a result of the condition persisting over a number of years.

There are basically two ways in which we obtain cholesterol. First our bodies manufacture most of what we need in our liver. The second source is from the foods that we eat. Animals are the only ones that manufacture cholesterol so we get it when we eat animal products such as meat, chicken, fish, butter, whole milk and cheeses. These foods will provide you with more than enough cholesterol. You will not find it in anything that comes from a plant such as fruits, vegetables or whole grains. One way to reduce our intake of cholesterol of course would be to reduce our intake of animal products and consume more fruits and vegetables.

We have all heard of LDL (Bad) and HDL (Good) cholesterol, but what exactly do they play? In order for cholesterol to get to the cells where it is needed it has to be transported through the bloodstream. We all know that oil and water do not mix. Because cholesterol is a fat, like oil and water, it does not mix with your blood and will separate. To travel through the bloodstream cholesterol is surrounded by a protein to create a "cholesterol complex". This is called a lipoprotein, the two forms being LDL and HDL. These lipoproteins have two functions; first the LDL's transport this complex from the liver to the tissues that need it. The problem arises when we have too many LDL's left over. They will let go of the cholesterol and will cause a plague build-up that results in a condition known as atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries. The HDL's then pick up this excess cholesterol and transport it back to the liver where it can either repackage it for later use or get rid of it. This is why ideally we want high levels of HDL's and low levels of LDL's.

Your cholesterol level is a result of two things, first it is affected by what we eat and secondly how fast our bodies manufacture and use it up. Most of the time there is no specific reason why a person has high cholesterol. Modern medicine has not yet been able to identify specific causes for the condition but have come up with a list of risk factors that can lead to it.

Some of these risk factors are things we have control over and others we can not control. Some that are within our control are:

• Diet – Eating foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated fats will increase cholesterol levels. This is believed to be the main reason for high cholesterol and the high rate of heart attacks in this country.
• Weight – Being overweight can increase your cholesterol levels. Losing weight can lower LDL and total cholesterol as well as increase HDL levels.
• Physical Activity – Getting regular exercise can lower LDL levels and increase HDL levels.

Now let us take a look at some of the factors that we can not control:

• Heredity – Your genes determine how fast your body makes LDL and how fast it is removed from the blood. This is why heart disease runs in some families and not in others.
• Age and Gender – As we get older our cholesterol levels rise. For example, before menopause women usually have lower cholesterol levels than men the same age. After menopause women have higher LDL levels and lower HDL levels. After the age of 50 women tend to have higher total cholesterol levels than men their same age.

In conclusion, each year there are more than 1 million heart attacks in the United States resulting in over 500,000 deaths. Understanding the role that high cholesterol plays and what we need to do to lower it can benefit everyone. The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is by a blood test. If you have concerns that you may have high cholesterol levels due to lifestyle or other factors it is best to discuss this with your doctor who can monitor the situation.

Sleep, Who Needs It? You Do If You Want to Stop Panic Attacks

It truly is a stressful time and age and we are all feeling it in our pocket books and our lifestyle. Has it been getting to you laTely? Are all the worry and what if starting to deprive you of your peace and quiet? How about your sleep? Does not seem important does it? Not when you have bills to pay, not when it is time to get a second job.

More and more Americans are sacrificing their sleep hours for a little more income. We have seen the trend for some time but now it is for a different reason. A few years ago it just seemed that people wanted to get rich so they worked more. Then people where trying to keep their overpriced, unaffordable lifestyle so they worked more. Today people (who are fortunate enough to have work) are putting in all the hours that they can get just so they can get by with the minimal monthlies (screw the lifestyle they are just trying to fight off foreclosure) so they work more.

The symptoms of this new lifestyle are starting to show their evil little heads in the form of stress, anxiety and panic attacks. The symptoms were very subtle at first just a few extra yawns than normal, nothing that a few extra cups of coffee could not fix. Then people start feeling a little irritated and frustrated. Their spouses and co-workers are the first to notice. So they start taking those famous energy drinks to complement that already insane number of cups of coffee and before you know it you can add jitteriness, anxiety and palpitations to your list of symptoms.

At this point you still have not pinpointed the cause of all those symptoms but you sure can not ignore them. You must be getting sick you think to yourself and the more you think to yourself the more you worry. You have now added the stress of health worries to your already growing list of mental and physical stress which of course will only serve to amplify your symptoms.

Now you really get sick from all that worrying and you start to miss work because of your anxiety. You sit at home now also worried that you are not working and you will not be able to make your minimal monthlies and that sets off the mother of all panic attacks for you and you start having chest pain. It must be a heart attack so you get yourself rushed over to the ER only to find out it is panic attack.

A severe panic attack is what other people get but not you, except this time it was you and on top of that you know have an extra large ER bill for all the expensive tests you had. But before you think about how much more financial stress that is going to cause ,,,,, STOP! Just stop, it is time to hit the brakes. Boy, just writing about this scenario is causing my blood pressure to jump up, how is it affecting you the reader? Well it could be affecting you pretty hard if it is sitting too close to home (is not that right my dearest brother in law?) The truth is that this scenario is being played out more and more everyday in different parts of this country. There has been an increase number illness that is stress related, some as severe as panic attacks and anxiety disorders.

If you are feeling the stress of life then please pay attention to the following recommendations of a good number of health care providers. Worry about what you can fix and do not worry about what you can not. As the saying goes, pray for the wisdom to know the difference. Physically go back to the good old basics and fundamentals. Get plenty of rest and sleep. Drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine which in itself is a big anxiety trigger. Eat healthy, take your vitamins and get in your exercise as you will feel less lethargic and those endorphins will do wonders for you mood and attitude.

It's always easier and cheaper to nip stress as it starts before it snowballs into a monster life of anxiety and panic attacks. If you feel that your anxiety level has gotten out of control and is affecting your life then it is wise to invest in a good, natural anti-anxiety program. Make sure you follow through with it and in no time you will find yourself feeling like you again.

Heart Disease Treatment – Do You Know Dancing Can Improve Your Heart Health?

Medical researchers have recently conducted a study in Italy and found that dancing can be a much better exercise than walking on a treadmill or bicycling for those suffering from heart disease. The patients who took up waltzing reported much better results in every aspect of their heart health, including a significant improvement in breathing. In comparison to those who followed traditional fitness programs, the dancers showed much better improvement in their ability to do housework, pursue hobbies, have sex, and sleep.

Exercise And Longevity Are Interconnected
It has been a proven fact since ages that regular exercise increases longevity for everyone, including those with heart failure. It has been commonly noticed that people in such medical conditions often tend to get depressed and they remain sedentary. However, the fact is that you can still live much longer by maintaining a good activity level. But, the traditional exercise programs have been designed in such a way that it becomes very difficult for the patients to stick with the same for a long time. Over seventy percent of heart disease patients always felt the need of a more exciting and easy exercise method so that they could enjoy doing that and stick with the same. The good news is that we now have a great alternative in the form of dancing.

Why Dancing?
The first thing that is very important for you to understand that not all type of dancing is good for your health. If you are planning to go for break dance, you will only end up breaking your heart. What researchers mean by dancing is slow dance. They specifically chose waltz, as it has been scientifically proven than waltz can be a very aerobic exercise. Another reason why researchers preferred waltz is the very fact that it has a universal appeal. Besides that, it is obviously more fun to do than running on a treadmill. Because of the fun factor involved in dancing, it motivates people with heart disease to stick with their prescribed exercise program. However, the researchers made it clear that almost any kind of slow dance can equally work and that waltz is not the only form of dancing exercise for patients with heart failure. So, even if you do not know much about waltz, you can try any type of slow dance that you are comfortable with. But again, you are strongly recommended to consult with your doctor before you start any dancing exercise. Your cardiologist understands your medical condition much better than anyone else and they will suggest you the best program to follow accordingly.

Overall, the next time if your cardiologist prescribes you waltzing for better heart health, you should not get surprised. A growing number of practitioners all over the world have approved dancing as a good exercise program for people suffering from heart disease.