Simple Steps to Improve Your Health

There are various ways of attaining good health and this article discusses easy techniques and small lifestyle changes that you can make in order to achieve a better, healthier lifestyle. Here are a few simple steps that might help you achieve better health –

1) Nutrition

Sustenance and Health is an online worldwide companion investigated diary that spotlights on the connection amongst nourishment and wellbeing. In the event that you need to keep your body clean, avoid sugar-loaded artificially treated nourishment that is so normally sold nowadays. Stick to home-made clean nourishment things that exclusive join crisp fixings without additives. These practices enable you to accomplish a superior build, as well as give a special reward of mental fulfillment. Consuming a sensible, balanced diet can help us to achieve optimal health throughout life.

Drink plenty of clean and safe water.Water is important for life and is necessary every day. A person needs about eight cups of fluid per day. When it is very hot, while working, sweating or suffering from diarrhea, vomiting or fever, a person needs to drink even more to replace the water that has been lost. If drinking-water is collected from a protected well or borehole it is important to store it in a clean container. If the water is from an unprotected well or river the water should be boiled for at least ten minutes and stored in a clean container (see advice on food hygiene)

2) Exercise

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. Regular trips to the gym are great but don’t worry if you can’t find a large chunk of time to exercise every day.

Our bodies are designed to move — they actually want exercise. Regular exercise is necessary for physical fitness and good health. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases.

3) Sleep

Sound sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise. Try to have at least 7-8 hours of sleep on a daily basis. Sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.

Research suggests that people who get less sleep i.e. six or fewer hours a night have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get enough sleep sleep

4) Yoga

Yoga can provide relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Yoga is being practiced as an alternative healthcare practice. The number of Yoga practitioners continues to rise tremendously. Of the many benefits ascribed to yoga practice, blood pressure control is among the most studied. Now-a-days, millions and millions of people across the globe have benefitted by the practice of Yoga which has been preserved and promoted by the great eminent Yoga Masters from ancient time to this date.

Yoga’s attention to breathing techniques and meditation can also improve your health. Regular yoga practice may promote better posture and help you do activities requiring a greater range of motion, from dancing to reaching up to a high shelf. A lot of yoga poses, especially the warrior pose, plank pose and boat pose, also help tone the muscles of the trunk – the hips, abdominals and lower back. These muscles contribute to balance and improve back function.

Summarizing these points, I would say that choosing a healthy lifestyle is in our hands and its a good change that we should bring in our lives and embrace it fully. Make these points your habit and I am sure you would not be disappointed.

How to Deal With a Gunshot or Stab Wound

Although the chances of getting shot or stabbed are slim, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you can help, or where you need to treat yourself, knowing some basic tips could make all the difference.

First of all make sure that you do not put yourself in any danger, if there is a gunman or a knife wielding maniac on the loose, do not put yourself in any further danger. By becoming a casualty yourself, you will be making the situation much worse. If you are the victim of the attack, getting away from your attacker will save you from any further harm.

Next you need to call for the emergency services, you will need immediate help and protection, which the police and ambulance services can provide. They will also provide a quick means to getting you or the patient to the hospital.

Depending where the wound is will determine how much time you will have before you or the patient becomes very poorly. If you had a wound to the chest, then depending if any of the major organs or blood vessels were damaged you may only have seconds left. If it was to the arms or legs then you may have more time. It can be a matter of a few cm’s between major arteries and organs, meaning you may not know how long you have before time starts running out. Wherever the injury is, you will need to put great pressure on the site to stop any bleeding.

Unless you are injured to the brain, heart, or lungs, blood loss will be the first thing that is going to kill you or the patient. The amount of damage from a gunshot wound or stabbing will cause significant bleeding to that site, and if any arteries are involved, then blood will be pumping out. If the injury is to a limb, try and place a tourniquet above the wound site. This could be a belt or some type of fabric. The idea of a tourniquet is to apply so much pressure that it stops the blood being pumped to that area via the major arteries. The amount of pressure will hurt, but you need to try and put as much as you can until the bleeding has stopped. If you achieve this then place great pressure on the site of the wound to help further stop the bleeding.

If you cannot get a tourniquet, then apply great pressure to the wound site.

If the injury is to the body, then you need to apply great pressure to the site. Again the idea is to stop the bleeding you can see, and the bleeding internally that you can’t. This may hurt, but the more you can stem the bleeding, the more time you are buying from bleeding out.

Keep this pressure on until the emergency services arrive to take over care.

Tamiflu – How Does Tamiflu Compare To Other Anti Flu Medications?

There are hardly any medicines that are available for treating flu. Among these Tamiflu is the only medication that is good in treating flu. Here I will be covering some of the symptoms of the flu. So this will tell you when you should take Tamiflu and what other medications are available for the flu.

Flu Symptoms

The symptoms for the flu are a sore throat. This is the beginning of the chapter called the flu. This may be either the common flu or the on set of the bird flu. But the sore throat will worsen to a condition where by you will know this is not just a sore throat but something worse than that. It is cobbled in the second chapter by high fever ranging to temperatures above a hundred degree Fahrenheit. And along with this as a sub section to the second chapter of the flu you will be having muscular pains, weakness, loss of appetite and a pain in the chest.

Introduction of Flu shot

This was how it was when the Spanish Influenza struck in the 1918’s. It took with it a number of people. The estimated loss of life was about 20 million all over the world. The flu shot was introduced. This is a vaccine against the common flu. People lost their lives not just due to the flu. The flu developed in to the pneumonia and this became a bacterial infection. It caused havoc and the result was that what we faced in the 1918’s. But a vaccine when the flu is on you will not be much of an effect. It had to be taken well before you are affected by the flu. The tablets available around that time were Amantadine and Rimantdine. Both these drugs had to be consumed as tablets. These drugs acted like this. They could stop the flu virus from duplicating itself after it had been inside the human cells. They could not mutate and form a group with which they could attack the body. But there were limitations for the drugs Amantadine and Rimantdine. They were effective against only Type ‘A’ influenza causing viruses. They were ineffective against the type “B” influenza virus. For this an alternative medicine was to be conjured.

New drugs: Tamiflu and Relenza

It was at the turn of this century that new drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza were formulated. They were effective against both the type “A” and the type “B” influenza causing viruses. They belonged to a separate class of medicines called the neuraminidase inhibitors. Tamiflu contained the drug Oseltamivir and Relenza was made of Zanamivir. Both these drugs worked in a similar way. They too could stop the particles of the virus from being released in to the human cells. This limited the spread of the infection.

The medicine Tamiflu is taken as a pill. It comes in the form of a capsule, a yellow grey capsule with seventy five milligram of the drug encompassed in it. There is another form also in which Tamiflu s supplied, it is the suspension form. This suspension form is for children. They are given the medication as per their weight. For a child weighing less than 33 pounds he / she are given thirty milligrams of the medication. All weight categories the medication is given in proper proportions.

Relenza is a drug that required an inhaler to take the drug. This drug is directly inhaled into the lungs. This drug was approved by the FDA at around the same time Tamiflu was approved. However, people who suffered from asthma and other respiratory related diseases faced fatalities after inhaling this drug. Experts in the field have weighed the options against the risk involved when taking this inhalation prescription drug. They have justified the risk involved against the risk of infection.

Tamiflu has been considered too expensive against the older drugs.

So Similar Yet Different – Can You Tell Between Herpes And Shingles?

Many people attach negative associations to the term ‘herpes’. In fact, there are small differences between shingles and herpes, which produce variations of the identical infection.

The sexually transmitted disease, genital herpes, normally occurs when a person has unprotected sex with numerous partners but it can occur in anybody who has had sex even if only once and their partner has the infection. Genital herpes is caused by the HSV (Herpes simplex virus).

There are almost 100 different types of herpes which affect humans – genital herpes or HSV-2 is only one, while other highly contagious herpes infections can be transmitted via casual contact.

For example, HSV-1 generally causes oral cold sores and may be contracted from infected people through sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, a casual kiss or having skin to skin contact like wiping a child’s mouth if you have tears or saliva on the tips of your fingers.

Research shows that about 98% of healthy people carry and shed the HSV-1 virus without having an active outbreak. Research reveals how highly contagious it is and also how prevalent it is.

The cytomegalovirus is a herpes virus which causes flu like conditions in adults but may have devastating effects on unborn children.

Herpes varicella-zoster causes chicken pox in children. Prior to vaccine development, family and friends held ‘chicken pox parties’ so that children between 4 to 6 years were infected to prevent them contracting the disease when they grew older when it became a bigger health risk which could result in permanent damage and even death (in their 20’s and older). It produces greater discomfort and pain in older people while lasting longer.

Herpes varicella-zoster will most likely lie dormant for many years after an initial infection and has the potential to reactivate in certain conditions. The reactivated virus causes Shingles which is most common in people over 60 years old who may have considerable stress levels, younger people whose immune systems have been compromised, recipients of organ transplants, cancer victims or effects of medication on immune systems.

Shingles infection mostly presents in the body’s trunk or buttocks alongside specific nerve dermatomes and stays on one side following a specific nerve bundle pathway. Shingles and herpes differ in that shingles is not commonly reactivated a second time after healing (provided the person’s immune system is not compromised) while herpes can reoccur many times.

Shingles is normally painful and often clears on its own requiring supportive pain treatment. Herpetic neuralgia occurs sometimes when the pain does not disappear as the skin clears. It can cause nerve pain which is severe and difficult to control and treat.

How Minerals Help Your Body Function

Minerals are Mother Earth's molecules found in her crusty soil. They are designed to be absorbed by plants then passed to animals and extremely to humans and provide us as humans with numerous health benefits. When you digest your food, minerals are absorbed from the food and transported into your body tissues. There they play an important role in keeping your body functioning at it's optimal levels.

Once absorbed, minerals are distributed into your body fluids and tissues to make up approximately four percent of your body's total weight. They then work in conjunction with vitamins, enzymes, hormones, and other substances, to play an important role in numerous biological functions. These include the growth and maintenance of bones and teeth, muscle contracting, nerve transmission, blood formation, energy production, fluid regulation, macronutrient metabolism, acid-alkaline balance (pH), and various other enzymatic reactions. Nutritional minerals are classified according to how much of the body's total weight they comprise. Macro minerals comprise at least.01 percent of body weight, while trace or micro minerals institute less than.01 percent. An adequate supply of both macro- and trace minerals are equally important for optimal health.

Macrominerals are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium, while trace minerals are chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, sulphur, and zinc. While far more is known about macrominerals than trace minerals at this point in time, there is more and more information emerging about trace minerals every day. While necessary in only "trace" amounts in the body, these neutral minerals are vital for many important functions of the body. So first, let's take a look at the macrominerals important to our health.

Calcium

Calcium is the most plentiful mineral in the human body. Therefore, it plays a vital function. 99 percent of it occurs in bone tissue, and the remaining one percent is used for other functions, including blood clotting, muscle contracion, and nerve function. Healthy teeth and bones both depend on adequate calcium supply, and calcium also contributes to healthy skin, helps regulate cardiovascular function and blood pressure levels, aids in the metabolism of iron, and is required for proper cell division.

Since the body can not produce calcium, we must get it from our diets or a supplement. The best food sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, turnip and collard greens, salmon, sardines, canned fish, almonds, and Brazil nuts. However, calcium can not be absorbed and utilized without vitamin D.

Signs of calcium deficiency typically include bone and joint problems such as osteoporosis and fractures. But calcium deficiency can result in anxiety, brittle nails, depression, insomnia, muscle cramps and twitching, and diminished nerve function. Calcium is best supplemented as a separate supplement rich in bioavailable forms of calcium, such as an istonic liquid form. It is often paired with vitamin D in order to provide maximum absorption and utilization by the body.

In addition, the body can only absorb calcium in limited doses (500mg or less at a time) and needs the presence of aids to help it dissolve and absorb. So using calcium carbonate (a stomach acid neutralizer such as the antacid Tums) is not an effective means of providing absorbable calcium to your diet. Taking calcium at several times through the day, either with dairy products, greens, fish or nuts as well as supplements is the smart way to get your full calcium dose daily.

Chloride

Chloride is an essential part of hydrochloric acid (HCl), the vital stomach acid responsible for digestion. It also plays a role in regulating the body's acid-balance. It helps the liver eliminate toxins and aids in transporting carbon dioxide to the lungs for excretion. Among the best food sources of chloride are common table salt (sodium chloride), sea salt, seaweeds, celery, lettuce, and tomatoes. The standard American diet typically contains more than enough chloride due to its overall high salt content.

Chloride loss can easily occur following profuse diarrhea or vomiting, as well as periods of profuse perspiration such as during heat spells or fevers. Otherwise, chloride deficiencies are rare. When it does occur, the most common symptoms being acid-base imbalances and over alkalinity of body fluids. Usually obtaining sufficient natural sources of salt will provide plenty of chloride for your system. A good multi-vitamin and mineral provides adequate levels as well.

Magnesium

Magnesium acts as a muscle relaxant in the body. As such, it relaxes skeletal muscle, heart muscle and even muscle of the GI tract. In addition, it is involved in hundreds of enyzmatic reactions in the body. The majority of the body magnesium supply is contained in the bones and teeth, with the second highest concentration occurring in the muscles. The remaining magnesium supply is found in the blood and other body fluids. Due to magnesium's ability to relax muscle, it is an important nutrient for the heart muscle. It is especially important in preventing spasms of the coronary arteries, which can cause heart attacks. It is also needed for energy production in the cells of the body, the maintenance and repair of cells, healthy cell division, proper nerve transmission, hormone regulation, and the metabolism of proteins and nuclearic acids. Due to these vital functions, low magnesium levels can alter nerve transmission to the heart and lead to heart palpitations as well.

Magnesium is found primarily in plants rich in chlorophyll, particularly dark green vegetables. Nuts, seeds, legumes, tofu, wheat germ, millet, brown rice, apricot, and avocado are also other good sources.

Magnesium deficiency is now considered the most common vitamin deficiency. It is more common than many doctors realize, due to factors such as poor dietary intake, overcooking of food leading to mineral loss, soil depletion of magnesium, and the overuse of alcohol which depletes the body of magnesium. Deficiency symptoms often include depression, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, memory problems, mood swings, impaired motor skills, muscle spasm, nausea, and tetany (a form of muscle cramping).

However, excessive consumption of magnesium supplements can lead to increased GI motility and subsequent diarrhea. Doses of 250 to 500 mg as usually safe and higher doses can be used if diarrhea does not occur. Some people who suffer with constipation issues will find higher doses of magnesium helpful in maintaining overall bowel regularity.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus ranks second to calcium as the body's most abundant mineral. It is found in every cell of the body, but primarily (approximately 85 percent) in the bones and teeth. In addition to contributing to bone and teeth structure, phosphorus helps form DNA and RNA, catalyzes B-complex vitamins, is involved in cellular communication and numerous enzymatic reactions, and helps produce cellular energy and increase overall endurance.

The best food sources of phosphorus are protein foods, such as meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, and cheese. Other good sources include nuts, seeds, wheat germ, whole grains, and Brewer's yeast. The standard American diet can be extremely high in its phosphorus content. This is due to soda consumption. Soda can contain up to 500 mg of phosphorus per serving and create calcium-phosphorus imbalance.

Since phosphorus is contained in all animal foods, phosphorus deficiency is rare without one is a vegetarian or a vegan. Overuse of antacids, excess calcium intake, and lack of vitamin D can all result in phosphorus deficiency, however. Physical signs of deficiency include anxiety, arthritis, impaired bone growth, irritability, and weakness. Avoiding soda and using a multi-vitamin and mineral will assure adequate phosphorus levels in your body.

Potassium

Potassium, along with chloride and sodium, is an electrolyte, or essential body salt, that conducts electrical current through the body. Approximately 98 percent of your body's potassium supply is inside of the cell wall. There it helps regulate water and acid-base balance. It also plays an important role in nerve function. It can help metabolize proteins and carbohydrates, aid in energy production and helps regulate heartbeat.

Best dietary sources of potassium are fresh fruits and vegetables, with bananas being a particularly rich source. Whole grains, seeds, nuts, wheat germ, salmon, and sardines are also good food sources.

Unfortunately, potassium deficiencies are fairly common, particularly among older people on certain medications and restrictive diets as well as in people suffering from certain chronic disease. Diarrhea, diabetes, fasting, and the overuse of diuretics and laxatives all contribute to potassium loss. Deficiency symptoms include irregular heartbeat, depression, fatigue, high blood pressure, hyperglycemia, impaired growth, mood swings, and unhealthy changes in the nervous system. An isotonic multi-vitamin and mineral will help supply adequate levels of potassium.

Sodium

Sodium is a critical mineral for body function. Sodium is present in all of the body's cells, as well as the blood and other body fluids. Approximately 60 percent of the body's sodium content is contained in fluid outside the cells with 10 percent found inside the cells, and the reminder found in the bones. Like potassium, sodium helps maintain the body's fluid balance within and outside of the cells. This in turn helps regulate the body's acid-base balance and also helps transport carbon dioxide. Sodium plays an important role in muscle contraction and nerve transmission. In addition, sodium is involved in the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and helps transport amino acids into the bloodstream to all the cells of the body.

Nearly all foods contain some degree of sodium. Seafood, beef, ham and poultry contain particularly high amounts. The primary diet source of sodium is table salt. Sodium is also present in significant amounts in most canned and processed foods. While chronic sodium deficiency is rare, acute or sudden sodium loss can occur with diarrhea, vomiting, profuse perspiration due to strenuous activity, and the overuse of diuretics. Deficiency symptoms include dehydration, low blood pressure, muscle cramping and twitching, and muscle weakness. Problems related to excess sodium intake are far more common. Among people who eat the standard American diet of highly processed foods, it can lead to high blood pressure. Individuals with heart dysfunction can easily have worsening of symptoms such as shortness of breath, swelling and fatigue with sodium overload.

Chromium

Chromium is an essential mineral compositing part of the glucose tolerance factor (GTF). GTF is a factor which enhances insulin function, making chromium vital for proper carbohydrate metabolism and for regulating blood sugar levels. Since glucose is involved in energy production in the cell, by improving the way glucose is transported into the cells, chromium and GTF play an important role in energy production. There is even new research suggesting that chromium may also be useful for regulating body cholesterol levels.

One of the best food sources of chromium is Brewer's yeast found in many bread and even beer. Chromium is also found in cereals, wheat germ, eggs, meats, and shellfish. Chromium deficiency is quite common, especially in the United States. This is due in part to mineral-depleted soils and our over-reliance of refined and processed foods in the culture. Many people have problems absorbing chromium, particularly as they age. Deficiency symptoms include diabetes-like blood sugar problems as a result of peripheral tissue loss of sensitivity to glucose. Anxiety, fatigue, and impaired cholesterol metabolism are also associated with a lack of chromium in the diet.

Cobalt

Cobalt is a component of cobalamin (vitamin B12) and plays an essential role in the production of red blood cells. It is also involved in a number of key enzymatic reactions. Adequate vitamin B12 intake normally provides sufficient amounts of cobalt needed by the body. B12 is found in beets, green cage, figs, legumes, lettuce, liver, and seafish and sea vegetables. Cobalt deficiencies are basically those caused by a lack of B12 – anemia and nerve damage.

Copper

While copper is present in all body tissues, it is specifically concentrated in the liver and brain. It helps manufacture collagen (tissue structural support) and hemoglobin (the protein involved in carrying oxygen through red blood cells). Hemoglobin, along with iron, is necessary for the transport of oxygen in red blood cells. It also acts as an antioxidant, increases iron absorption, and serves as a catalyst for a variety of enzymatic reactions.

You get copper from dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, organ meats, poultry, nuts, shellfish, and wholegrain breads and cereals. Although dangerous copper deficiencies are rare, less serious copper deficiencies are more common. Symptoms include anemia, dermatitis, dirrhea, edema, fatigue, impaired collagen production, labored respiration, and tissue and blood vessel damage.

Iodine

Iodine is plays a large role in healthy thyroid function. It is necessary for the production of thyroid hormone. In this role, it helps regulate metabolism and energy production in the whole body. Since thyroid hormones plays such a vital role in all body functions, iodine is of vital importance to overall health.

The best food sources of iodine are iodized salt, followed by seafood and seaweed. Iodine deficiency is estimated to affect at least 200 million people worldwide. This is felt to be due in part to depleted soil conditions. Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, goiter, hypothyroidism, decreased libido, impaired mental functioning, impaired metabolism, and weight gain.

Iron

Iron is another mineral present all the cells of the body. It is most commonly found in combination with protein, especially muscle protein. Iron is primarily involved in the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is integral to the transport of oxygen through the body. However, iron is also essential for a healthy immune function and energy production.

Among the best food sources of iron are beef, Brewer yeast, kelp, molasses, organ meats, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, oysters, and sardines. If you are taking iron as a supplement, it is best taken with vitamin C, which aids in its assimilation.

Women require more iron than men, especially during their childbearing years, during pregnancy and menstruation. As many as 10 percent of all women in the Western world are estimated to be iron-deficient. Children and the elderly are also more prone to iron deficiency. Deficiency symptoms include iron- deficiency anemia, dizziness, fatigue, headache, learning disabilities, lowered immunity, and impaired sleep.

Manganese

Manganese is involved in several different enzymatic reactions in the body and is essential for proper brain function as well as the overall health of the nervous system. It is involved in the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates. It is required for cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis, as well as collagen formation. Manganese is found in green leafy vegetables (especially spinach), nuts, organ meats, and wholegrain breads and cereals.

Manganese deficiency in humans is rare but can result in dizziness, hearing problems, and weakness.

Molybdenum

Molybdenum, in conjunction with copper, is necessary for the body's proper utilization of iron. It also aids in metabolizing carbohydrates. It helps the body detoxify potentially toxic sulfites commonly used to preserve processed foods. Molybdenum deficiency is rare, and is primarily caused by eating foods grown in molybdenum-deficient soils or a diet high in refined and processed foods. Deficiency symptoms include anemia as well as a greater risk of dental caries. Excessive molybdenum take can also result in gout-like symptoms and elevated uric acid levels.

Selenium

Selenium in recent decades has been extensively studied and has been recognized as an important antioxidant. It is felt to be capable of performing many of the same antioxidant functions as vitamin E, including protecting cellular membranes from free radical damage, and minimizing the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, selenium sees to aid liver function, assists in the manufacture of proteins, help neutralize heavy metals and other toxic substances. It has been extensively studied to see if it acts as an anti-carcinogen.

Selenium is found in foods that include Brewer's yeast, wheat bran and wheat germ, Brazil nuts, oranges meats, and seafood. A number of plant foods, such as broccoli, onions, and tomatoes, can also be good sources, depending on the soil content in which they are grown.

Selenium deficiency can result in an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Sulfur

Sulfur occurs in all cells and body tissues, especially those high in protein content. It is a necessary nutrient for collagen formation, and is involved in the synthesis of protein. In addition, sulfur helps maintain the health of hair, skin, and nails. It also plays a role in a number of enzymatic reactions, and contributions to the process of cellular respiration. The best food sources of sulfur are those high in protein, such as eggs, fish, legumes, meat, milk, and poultry. Plant food sources include Brussels sprouts, cage, garlic, onions, and turnips.

No deficiency symptoms for sulfur have been established.

Zinc

Zinc is one of the most important mineral nutrients. It is necessary for the proper function of over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body. It is a potent antioxidant and detoxifier, and is essential for growth and development, healthy body tissues, regulation of insulin, proper immune function, and, in men, the heath of the prostate gland. In addition, zinc plays a vital role in cellular membrane structure and function as well as to help maintain adequate levels of vitamin A in the body.

Zinc is found in herring, shellfish (especially oysters), egg yolk, milk, and beef and other meats. Whole grain cuts and cereals, nuts, and Brewer's yeast are other food sources. Zinc deficiency is quite common with vegetarians and vegans because they avoid animal foods. They have a particularly high risk unless they consume adequate amounts of whole grains and other non-animal foods containing zinc.

Symptoms of zinc deficiency will include impaired energy production and protein synthesis, and sub-optimal formation of collagen. Other symptoms include dermatitis, fatigue, greater risk of environmental sensitivity, hair loss, impaired immune function, diminished libido, and greater risk of prostate conditions.

Zinc can interfere with copper absorption, therefore zinc and copper supplements should be taken apart from each other.

Whew! That was quite a list, was not it? Just imagine how well your body is to use each of these minerals in a such a highly sophisticated fashion. If you are now overwhelmed, there is good news. Eating a diet rich in fresh, whole plant-based foods can provide all these nutrients with proper attention to variety. Even small amounts of animal protein sources can provide these necessary minerals in addition to a largly plant-based diet. If you are concerned, simply adding a multi-mineral to your supplement regimen can guarantee you're covered, no matter how well or poor your diet is day to day.

Stroke Recovery – All You Need To Know

I am saddened to think that stroke recovery is sometimes trapped in an outdated and dogmatic approach to help people with their stroke recovery. But the sad truth is unless you are one of the very fortunately ones, either geographically to be located next to a cutting edge stroke rehabilitation facility or the monetary means to afford such treatment, you are stuck with the stock standard cookie cutter approach to stroke treatment . And there is a good chance that it is stuck in the past.

Myths surrounding stroke recovery may be perpetuated by a number of factors. It seems that once something has been printed in a newspaper or magazine it is taken as a gospel. Many of the belief surrounding the brain have been around for a long time and despite new research dispelling the myth, it takes a long time for this to filter into mainstream belief systems. This can clearly be seen with all the out dated beliefs in the exercise and fitness world. This article will discuss three main myths surrounding stroke recovery. Firstly that the brain is set in stone and can not change. Secondly that there is only a small window of opportunity for stroke recovery to happen. And the last myth is that there are not better and more effective ways to perform stroke rehabilitation.

I can not believe that myth number one still gets any credence. Some people still feel that the brain is set in stone and can not change. We see the brain changing all the time and at every age. Every time we learn something new, the brain has changed. For example for you to learn a new skill such as like playing tennis requires your brain to change. As you improve, your co-ordination gets better, your speed improves and your accuracy sharpens all this must be reflected by changes in your brain and nervous system. The brain controls everything, and when changes happen like the previously mentioned tennis ones, the brain must have changed. This myth has been dispelled by science and neurology and as a far as I am concerned is really, pardon the pun, a no brainer to argument against.

Another commonly held myth about stroke recovery is that recovery can only happen in a small time period after the stroke and once that window is closed any further recovery is impossible. As a carry on from the point above, that the brain can change at anytime, this is once again just a myth. I do not discredit that making progress could be easier if stroke rehabilitation is started earlier but to say that it can not be made after a magical window has closed is forbidden. I have heard of some individuals 10 years after their stroke, who have been at a certain level of recovery and were then exposed to advanced stroke recovery methods and made more progress at that stage of their recovery than previously. The brain is capable of change at any time and if you are a stroke survivor and wanting more progress do not ever give up.

The last myth to discuss may not really be a myth as such but has more to do with the outdated and inefficient stroke recovery exercises that patients are given. The last 20 years has seen huge leaps forward in areas of brain research and subsequently stroke rehabilitation. The people at the top of stroke rehabilitation are doing some really ground breaking things. Unfortunately it takes time for this top end information to assimilate down to the masses, so as a consequence many stroke survivors do not get exposed to the best stroke recovery techniques like constraint induced therapy or mirror therapy.

Unfortunately there are many myths surrounding stroke recovery. I hope this article has helped to educate and open your mind up to the truth about your stroke rehabilitation and how you should be approaching it. At times stroke rehab can be a very daunting task, filled with too much science, jargon and technique that may be difficult to understand. I have made it my goal to try and make available the best stroke recovery techniques to stroke survivors, their family members, care givers and health care practitioners.

Female Baldness

Female pattern baldness (or female pattern alopecia), although not as common as its male counterpart, is obviously of greater cosmetic and aesthetic concern. It is a source of great emotional distress since women place great stock in a full head of hair. When it does occur, it usually causes a gradual loss of hair from the crown of the scalp, causing a broadened midline parting. It may also recede from the forehead, resulting in the classic 'widow's peak'. Complete baldness in women is a rare occurrence.

Most instances of baldness in females are diagnosed as the result of a deficiency in endocrine hormones. This is why women may find a gradual or dramatic thinning of hair at or after the onset of menopause. Genetic predisposition (androgenetic alopecia) is the cause of almost 90% of female baldness. The use of oral contraceptives is also a known cause for it since birth control pills manipulate a woman's hormonal balance.

Other reasons are the natural aging process, the use of unsuitable hair products, drastic hair styling habits, and grossly improper nutrition. Certain skin disorders like alopecia areata can also cause hair loss in females, which usually occurs in small patches rather than progressively expanding areas.

In quite rare instances, trichotillomania is a factor – this is an obsessive-compulsive disorder that causes the willful arousing of hair and is usually noted in pre-teenaged or teened females. Stress – the bane of modern civilization and often thought to be responsible for hair loss in both males and females – is definitely not a causative factor.

Almost 20% of all women suffer from pattern baldness to some degree or another. The good news is that dormant, non-productive hair follicles can be rejuvenated medically. In certain cases, the metabolism itself sends the necessary signals and hair growth may resume automatically.

Cure Your Stuttering – Kill Your Stutter Today

Although it is not normally (generally speaking) a problem that affects everyone – having a stammer is a unfortunate problem for young children, teens and grown ups nowdays. A stammer can cause people to intentally avoid conversations with friends as well as interactions with other people they know due to a fear of being beaten. In short, having a stammer can really ruin any one's life.

While it's true that having a stutter really is a horrible problem and very often a hugely deeply psychological affliction, the good news is, it's easily possible to get rid of a stutter. Truth is, it is completely possible to totally stop stuttering and wave bye bye to being cursed with a stutter for the rest of your life.

You may be thinking that this sound sounds too good to be true. Actually the whole truth (and nothing but the truth) is, a stuttering problem is a completely psychological issue and an ailment that can very easily be removed once the root of the stammering is laid bare.

Although it might seem like it, you are not alone with your stammering problem. The reality is about one percent of the population (of Western countries) has a stutter but the sad truth is but a tiny of this percentage of sufferers will really attempt to kill their stammering afflication.

While that little minority of sufferers who who actually make the active choice to cure their stammering problem will go forward to live happy, fulfills lives, the majority of those who do not kill their stammering affliction will drop further into the shadows of everyday norms , deflecting as much social enjoyment as is possible.

How long does stuttering therapy take before results are visible?

Trying to get rid of a stutter could take anything from only a few minutes (often less than an hour) to several months and sometimes even longer. Even though it's a opposed to a medical affliction, productive fix is ​​based on your power to project the reasons for stammering.

Being afflicted with a stutter is also fixed in a lack of self confidence so often a cure for having a stammer is held up up until the stutter sufferer becomes confident in who they are once again.

Neurological Significance of the Disorders of Vision – Optic Neuritis, Papilledema and Optic Atrophy

Amaurosis reflects to blindness from any cause. Amblyopia refers to injury or loss of vision which is not due to an error of refiation or to other disease of the eye itself. Visual impairment can be secondary to disease process anywhere along the visual pathway from the cornea to visual cortex.

Disorders affecting the media of the eye are included under ophthalmological disorders. Diseases of retina may cause visual impairment due to involvement of the Peripheral neurones, the rods or cones. Conditions like retinities, chorioretinitis, vascular diseases, retinal detachment and hemorrhages cause patchy or even complete loss of vision depending on the extent of lesion. The optic nerve may be affected by degenerative disorders, infections, neoplasms, toxins, trauma or vascular insufficiency. Such disorders begin as a central scotoma or a partial field defect and proceed to complete visual loss in that eye.

A lesion in the chiasma produces a characteristic field defect depending on whether the lesion begins at the center of the chiasm or from the outer aspect. The former produces betemporal hemianopsia, eg, Optic nerve glioma. The latter produces binasal hemianopsia, usually due to extrinsic compression by tumor. Lesions in the Optic tract produce contralateral hemianopsia, with absent pupillary light reflex. However, if the pupillary light reflex is preserved then the lesion is either at the geniculate body or in the optical radiation. Involvement of the lower fibers of the optic radiation coursing in the temporal lobe causes contralateral superior quadrantic hemianopsia, and affection of the upper fibers in the parietal lobe causes contralateral inferior quadrantic hemianopsia. Lesions of one occipital lobe cause contralateral hemianopsia with intact pupillary light reflex. Involvement of the upper lip of the calcarine fissure causes inferior quadrantic hemianopsia, and that of the lower lip of the calcarine fissure causes superior quadrantic hemianopsia, and that of the lower lip of the clacarine fissure causes superior quandrantic hemianopsia. Incomplete lesions of the optic tract and radiation usually partial central (macular) vision. A lesion of the tip of one occipital lobe produces a central homosexual hemianopic scotoma since half the macular fibers from both eyes terminate there. Lesions of bot occipital poles as in bilateral posterior cerebral artery embolism cause bilateral central scotoma, and bilateral lesions of the entire calcarine cortex cause cortical blindness.

Optical neuritis : In this, there is unilateral or bilateral loss of vision. It may be due to demyelination of toxic damage to the optic nerve. Common causes include toxic agents such as methyl alcohol, nicotine, lead, quinine, ethambutol or demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica (a combination of optic neuritis and transverse myelitis). The condition is associated with pain behind the eyeball. When the under cause cause is removed or treated, the vision typically recovers, but some cases may lead to inflammation of the optic disc (papillitis) and optic atrophy.

Papilledema : This is swelling of the optic disc as seen through the ophthalmoscope. The margins of the disc are indistinct. The physiological cup is filled. The medical margin of the disc shows more marked changes. The veins are congested.

Causes : Increased intracranial tension, malignant hypertension, disease of the retinal arteries such as giant cell arteritis, retinal vein thrombosis, cavernous sinus thrombosis, hematological disorders like acute leukemia and plycythemia vera, emphysema and pre-eclamptic toxemia. Visual loss consistants of concentric reduction of the field of vision and enlargement of the blind spot.

Optic atrophy The Ophthalmoscopic appearance of optic atrophy consists of pallor of the optic disc, with a punched out appearance, prominence of the lamina cribrosa and narrowing of the arteries. Optic atrophy may be "primary" or "secondary" and the fundoscopic findings are distinct. In primary optical atrophy, no other lesions is detectable on funduscopy. the lamina cribrosa is less distinct .. The term "consonic optical atrophy" is used when the Optic atrophy results from retinal diseases.

Causes : All causes of retrobulbar neuritis may lead to optic atrophy as well. Other rarer causes include pressure on the optic nerve or optic chiasm, occlusion of the central retinal artery and injury to the optic nerve. Primary optical atrophy occurs in association with hereditary cerebellar ataxias, Oras an isolated abnormality. Optic atrophy leads to gross dimunition of vision, leading to total blindness.

Do You Know How to Use Reflexology For Better Eyesight?

Our eyes are truly a precious gift from God. Only those who have been denied the gift of sight or those who have lost it truly understand its importance.

Reflexology has helped many in different stages of blindness. It can do no harm and it is always of some benefit even if it fails to give a person perfect eyesight. Reflex massage always relaxes, no matter what one is using it for, and that in its self is good.

You can also bring more beauty to the eyes by using reflex massage as directed.

Stimulating the Kidneys to Strengthen Your Eyes

Two of the most important organs effecting normal functioning of the eyes are the kidneys.

To stimulate the kidneys, massage the reflexes in the center of the feet and also the hands.

Now turn to the reflexes for the eyes themselves. Massage the reflexes just under the two toes next to the big toes where they fasten to the foot, doing this massage on both feet. Use the same massage on the two fingers next to the thumb. If these are tender, the reflexes are in need of massage to break loose certain blockages affecting the normal function of the eyes.

Massaging Eye Reflexes for Better Eyesight

Now we turn to massage of the reflexes near the eyes for correction of many eye problems. If there is tightness of muscles around the eyes, they may pull on the eyeball, distort this shape, and cut off circulation, causing near and far-sightedness. Tight eyelid muscles sometime cause friction on the eyeball that can lead to the formation of Cataracts. If the eye muscles in the back of the eye are tight, the drainage ducts will be squeezed shut and won’t empty properly. This can cause a buildup of fluid resulting in Glaucoma.

To loosen the eye muscles, take you middle fingers and massage along the reflexes underneath both eyes. Press in as you go across and feel for tight muscles. When you find that a muscle is tight, you will also probably find a hard spot or feel the muscles snap under your fingers. When you stimulate the reflexes to the eyes you immediately give renewed energy and life to your eyes.

Don’t do this very often at first. When you over stimulate the eyes, it can give you a terrible headache. Do this only once the first day: then increase as you feel that you can, without any over stimulation. This holds true for the other eye reflex massages and also for the eye exercises I will give you later.

Move to the bones on top of the eyes and repeat the procedure. It may be easier to use the thumbs for this position. Work across the muscles and not with them when you do this massage.

Take your middle finger or thumb and work across the muscles on top of the nose starting deep in the eye socket. You will probable find this very tender, but remember our moto,

“If it hurts, rub it out”

Do this to both eyes: then go across the muscles on the forehead just above the eyebrows. If you feel a hard core or a tight band, you will know that you have found a tight muscle that may restrict the natural flow of electric energy by way of the reflexes. It will probable be quite tender because the circulation of the vital lifeline is being blocked by these hard or tender areas.

Massaging these reflexes around the eyes can also help correct protruding eyes, eyes that hurt or are sensitive to light, and slanted eyes caused by muscle tension.

Please give this a try and you will be amazed about how much better you feel.

Gadgets and Health

We all love our gadgets but do our gadgets love us? The news is full of reports about the links between health and gadgets. Parents are equipping their children with cell phones at youngger ages, and new laws are in place to make driving with cell phones safer. We thought we'd take a look at the current state of health and gadgets and came up with this assessment.

Cell Phones

Microwave radiation, thermal radiation, electro-magnetic fields, repetitive stress, and even psychological harm; the list of potential threats goes on and on. There is a lot of science being applied to studying the effects of gadgets on our health. At the same time there are also a lot of myths in circulation.

History is full of examples where health hazards like asbestos, cigarettes, and lead in paint went unrecognized or even intentionally suppressed. Many recent studies show no harmful effects from cell phone use however, some long terms studies have turned up disconcerting findings. And there are always that group of neurosurgeons who will not hold their phones next to their ears.

In either case there is enough doubt to warrant some caution. According to one recent report from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, "Studies in humans do not indicate that cell phones are safe, nor do they yet clearly show that they are dangerous. But, growing evidence indicates that we should reduce exposures, while research continues on this important question. "

Real or perceived, cell phones represent potential threats for a number of reasons including:

Microwave Electromagnetic Radiation

A typical GSM cell phone can generate up to 2 watts of power at microwave frequencies. SAR (Specific Absorption Rates) values ​​indicate how much radiation is absorbed by the body and is limited by government standards. Despite the fact that cell phone radiation is characterized as non-ionizing or too weak to damage genes, concern remains for thermal effects and blood-brain barrier leakage. Younger cell phone users could have been more vulnerable to adverse effects.

A 2007 Israeli study recently linked microwave radiation from frequent cell phone use (22 hours a month) to an increased risk of salivary gland cancer. The report, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology also notes that risk was higher in rural areas where cell phones transmit at higher levels to compensate for weaker signals.

Thumbs Down for Texting to Prevent RSI

One saving grace for young people using cell phones is that they typically spend more time texting than talking. The only problem is that thumbs, having evolved for gripping things, are not so well adapted for poking things and as a result many cell phone users are suffering from RSI (repetitive stress injury). Recent reports recommend texting with two thumbs at a time.

Cell Phone Elbow

From the same orthopedic specialists that greeted you carpal tunnel syndrome, we now have cubital tunnel syndrome. The ulnar nerve runs under the funny bone to your fingers. When this nerve gets stretched by cell phone users holding a phone up to their ear for long periods, it can become weakened. Blood supply to the nerve can also be affected. The result is pain.

Car Accidents

If it's not one thing like microwave radiation, it could be another thing like being distracted while driving and crashing your car. Many statistics now point to dramatic increases in traffic accidents from talking or texting while driving. Almost hands free devices do not help much.

Minimize Risks

  1. Talk and listen from a distance when possible; use the speaker phone or use hands-free devices (Bluetooth is good, wired headsets are best)
  2. Avoid "second hand," radiation; keep your distance from someone talking on their phone.
  3. Be aware of the radiation coming from your own cell phone and do not use it in close proxies to a child.
  4. Cell phones communicate to the carrier even when you're not using your phone. Put your phone on the desk when in the office, carry it in your purse, and do not sleep with it under your pillow
  5. In addition to distance, shorter duration of exposure can minimize risks. Be brief, limit your calls and use a landline if possible. Switch answers periodically or use text messages when possible.

Other Gadgets, Other Risks?

Cell phones are just one type of gadget that might represent a health risk. Some other potential harm could come from these:

  • MP3 players at high volume levels can damage your ears and cause hearing loss. MP3 players may interfere with pacemakers and we've heard that you can hurt your thumb from too much iPod "scrolling?"
  • Big flat panel TVs can be dangerous falling objects that have caused serious injuries to children.
  • There is concern that laptops can cause fertility problems in men from the heat t laptops generate on the lap (area).
  • We've seen some reports about laser printers emitting ultrafine particles from the toner that can damage your lungs and there are also ozone emissions from laser printers.

No Cause for Alarm

After all is said and done, are we going to stop using our cell phones – probably not. With a little caution especially for kids and cell phones and a little common sense about using gadgets, we do not see any reason not to go out and buy that new flat panel TV, smart phone, camcorder, or new laptop. In fact, Retrevo is just the place to learn what to buy, when to buy it, and where to get the best deal.

The Wound That Never Heals

I'm nursing an almost fatal wound. In fact, I'm surprised that I'm still here, still nursing it and feeling it slowly scab over, only to have it ripped open and the healing process begin again.

The wound is over 6 years old now and by my reckoning (and many others') it should have been well healed with no visible scars by now. It is not natural for a wound to take so long to heal. I've been told in cases of people suffering from diabetic ulcers or even from cancer, that wounds from those illnesses can, and quite often do, take a long time before they're healed.

But this wound is different. This wound cuts deep into our emotional and physical well-being. This wound is, in fact, far deeper than any ulcer and longer lasting than any other wound. This wound is non-healing. I know this now.

The scabs that form, I've come to learn, are just temporary. I know that at any moment they can be yanked off of me, ripped away with all the strength of a Kodiak bear's jaws. The pain is intense and long-lasting.

I can be engaged in conversation with you and some innocent remark on your part can set the ripping process in motion. And you will not even know it. You will be looking at me, completely unaware that the scab has either just been yanked away or is slowly peeling away, revealing inner and deer layers of hurt and pain, until finally I am absent, with no strength to carry on. I must escape to some place, any place where I can scream from the pain, cry and vent without you or anyone else knowing how I'm feeling – because you would not understand.

Without you have suffered the same deep, penetrating wound, you would be clueless as to the depth of this pain. And I would not have it any other way. As has been said many times in many circumstances, "I would not wish this on my worst enemy."

My wound occurred in the wee early hours of the morning on December 2nd, 2002, when two police detectives arrived at my front door with their cutting, slashing words, stabbing me so deep in my heart that I almost fell to the ground.

"He passed away at 10:30." My son, my baby. Dead at the age of 31 years, 4 months, and 3 days … and not just dead, but dead from a drug overdose! The double whammy!

My son, the Paramedic and RN who was caring, compassionate, kind and loving. Now gone from my life forever. But the scab is not gone. It stays here on my heart waiting for a word, an event, some trigger to rip it off again. Even writing this account of his death is causing the scab to begin peeling away, with the pain intensifying and I am brought to my knees again by it.

I am compelled to continue writing about it though. Addiction was my son's disease, it was not the essence of his life. We must keep writing and talking about addiction because its effects are far reaching. Everyone knows someone who has addiction in their family or circle of friends or acquaints. There is no escaping it today.

Until we eradicate the stigma of a drug-related death and as long as we keep their addiction in the closet, many addicted people will fear speaking up and admitting they are struggling with addiction. We can not let this continue to happen. As much as it hurts, and as painful as it is to have that scab continuously ripped away, we have to keep on speaking out. We have to advocate for our kids. For every parent who has suffered this almost fatal wound, there are many more parents who sadly will join our ranks, who will hear those fateful words – your child passed away!

An Herbal Approach to H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu)

Over the last few days, I have watched the media accelerate in alerting us to the possible shortage in the H1N1 Swine Flu vaccinations. We are warned that the H1N1 virus will hit this winter in pandemic proportions. Many of us are quite frankly confused as to the prevenitive / treatment approach for ourselves and family members. As practicing herbalist, I have been asked my opinion on this provocative issue.

Vaccinations are sometimes necessary. The elderly, persons with a compromised immune system and very young children should be protected. Caregivers are needed and are often not enough. Therefore, caregivers and educators should consider getting vaccinated. With that being said, the decision to be vaccinated should be weighed carefully. Are there sensible and easy options to protect you and your family without being vaccinated, while the choice is still ours? Sure there are, and one choice is to use an herbal approach.

Herbalism like prevention, is all about personal responsibility, responsibility to yourself and others. If you are sick, prevent others from being so by self quarantining. Most employers have viewed the H1N1 virus as a serious enough threat to encourage their employees to utilize their sick days when feeling ill. Some have even allowed employees to take days even when you have exhausted your sick time.

Prevention in this case and all other health concerns, is the most worthy consideration. Specifically for this flu season, building your immune system should be your utmost concern.

Herbs that build the immune system and can be taken prior to feeling ill are:

A stragulus (Astragalus Membranaceus) – A potent immune enhancer. Best taken before cold and flu season strikes, it builds the body's resistance.

Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus Senticos) – Has anti-viral properties and boost the immune system.

Codonopsis Root (Codonopis pilosulae) – For immune deficiency and frequent infections

Schizandra Berries (Schizandra chinensis) – Boost the body's immune function

Reishi Mushroom – ( Ganoderma lucidum) – Stimulates the immune system

All of the herbs listed above can be taken as a tea or a tincture during this flu season on a preventive basis.

What to do if you are feeling ill:

Know your body and recognize the symptoms of illness. Everyone begins to feel ill in a different way; fatigue, sore throat, headache, nausea, chills, etc. The first hour of an illness setting in is most important in treating that illness. An herbal approach to treatment of the flu includes all of the following: clearing toxins and excess conditions by increasing sweating, killing germs and reducing fever, pains, stiffness and congestion.

His is accomplished by stimulating a natural immune system response.

At the first signs of the Flu – a diaphoretic remedy such as Osha Root ( Ligusticum porteri) which can be taken, it will encourage sweating and help to eliminate toxins. Osha Root was first used by Native Americans to treat colds, flu and upper respiratory infections. It is a powerful, antimicrobial, anti-flamatory and antiseptic herb. An Osha tea or tincture can be taken in small doses every half hour to an hour.

If your cold symptoms become inflammatory, take an herbal antibiotic or anti-microbial – such as Golden Seal (Hydrastis canadensis) or Echinacea ( Echinacea purpurea ) in tea or tincture of up to 7 days. These are both powerful herbs and should be considered as such.

If you are confused, have a cough or phlegm present – use an expectorant, astringent, and antispasmodic herb. Echinacea can kill germs and dries phlegm. Echinacea can be a drying herb, so you should not take when you have a dry cough. Use an herbal steam of Peppermint (Menta piperita ) and Eucalyptus ( Eucalyptus globules ) to help with the congestion. Other herbs that can help are: Yarrow ( Achillea millefolium ), Mullein ( Verbascum thapsus ) and Wild Cherry ( Prunus serotina ), Elecampane ( Inula helenium ) and Thyme ( Thymus vulagris ).

For a sore throat – use a soothing demulcent (an herb which provides moisture) such as Marshmallow Root ( Althaea officinalis ) and Slippery Elm ( Ulmus rubra ). Osha can also be taken to reduce inflation, it will soother and anesthezie. A gargle can be made with Yarrow, Sage ( Salvia officinales ) and or Echinacea.

For Ear Infections – An ear infection usually begins in the throat and spread to the inner ear via the Eustachian tube. Use an anti-microbial such as – Garlic, Echinacea, Mullein or / and Meadowsweet ( Filipendula ulmaria ) for the pain.

For a Fever use an herb that is febrifuge (brings down a fever) and diaphoretic (promotes sweating), such as – Ginger, Boneset – treat aches and pains, Peppermint, Elder Flowers, Catnip (especially great for young children) and Yarrow .

here is also much to be said about using herbs topically to prevent the spread of infections. According to the story, in Toulouse, France during the time of the plague four thieves were robbing and stealing from the dead, without falling ill from the plague. When they were finally apprehended, and sent to death for their deeds, a judge allowed them their lives if they reveal their secret of how they were able to handle the diseased bodies and remain immune themselves. Their secret was a formula of herbs and essential oils that is antimicrobial, astringent and antiseptic properties!

ou can easily make similar formula to use as a room spray and hand sanitizer to protect yourself and others from getting ill. Use two ounces of distilled water to 1/2 ounce vodka, and add 30-40 drops of any of the following essential oils: Sage, Thyme, Frankincense, Pine, Lavender, Rosemary or Oregano. Shake well and spray on surfaces, in the air and on hands.

Above all use common sense when feeling ill; avoid cold, raw foods, dairy products, dress warmly, and get the rest your body needs. Do eat lots of garlic in your diet, miso soups, and organic vegetable broths. Take care of yourself and each other this flu season!

"The above information is not intended to diagnose or treat the flu, and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration"

The Glossopharyngeal Nerve and Vagus Nerve (Cranial Nerves IX and X) and Their Disorders

Since these two cranial nerves are intimately connected, they are described here together. The glossopharyngeal nerve has a sensory and motor component. The motor fibers arise from the nucleus ambiguous located in the lateral part of the medulla. Along with the vagus and accessory nerves, they leave the skull through the jugular foramen. They supply the stylopharyngeus muscle function function is to elevate the pharynx. Autonomic afferent fibers of the glossopharyngeal nerve arise from the inferior salivatory nucleus. The preganglionic fibers pass to the otic ganglion through the less superior petrosal nerve. and postganglionic fibers pass through the auriculotemporal branch of the fifth nerve to reach to reach the Parotid gland. The nuclei of the sensory fibers of the glossopharyngeal nerve are located in the petrous ganglion which lies within the petrous bone below the jugular foramen and also the superior ganglion, which is small. The exteroceptive fibers supply the faucial tonsils, posterior wall of the pharynx, part of the soft palate and taste sensations from the posterior third of the tongue.

The vagus : This is the longest among all the cranial nerves. The motor fibers arise from the nucleu ambiguus and supply all the muscles of the pharynx, soft palate and larynx, with the exception of tensor veli palati and stylopharyngeus. The parasympathetic fibers arise from the dorsal efferent nucleus and leave the medulla as preganglionic fibers of the craniosacral portion of the autonomous nervous system. These fibers terminate on ganglia close to the viscera which they supply by post-ganglionic fibers. The are parasympatahetic in function. Thus vagal stimulation products bradycardia, bronchial constriction, secretion of gastric and pancreatic juice and increased peristalsis. The sensory portion of the vagus has its nuclei in the jugular in ganglion and ganglion nodosum. The vagus carries sensations from the posterior aspect of the external auditory meat and adjective pinna and pain sensation from the duramater lining the posterior cranial fossa.

Testing : It is better to test the 9th and 10th nerve functions together as they are affected usually together. Inquire for symptoms like dysphagia, dysarthria, nasal regurgitation of fluids and hoarseness of voice. The motor part is tested by examining the uvula when the patient is made to open his mouth. The Uvula is usually in the midline. In unilateral vagal paralysis, the palatal arch is flattened and lowered ipsilaterally. On phonation, the uvula is deviated to the normal side.

The gag reflex or the pharyngeal reflex is elicited by applying a stimulus, such as a tongue balde or cotton to the psoterior pharyngeal wall or tonsillar region. If the reflex is present, there will be elevation and contraction of the pharyngeal musculature accompanied by retraction of the tongue. The afferent arch of this reflex is reserved by the glossopharyngeal while the efferent is through the vagus. This reflex is lost in either 9th or 10th nerve lesions. Test for general sensations over the posterior pharyngeal wall, soft palate and faucial tonsils, and taste over the posterior third of the tongue. These are impaired in glossopharyngeal paralysis.

Disorders of ninth and tenth nerve functions
Isolated involvement of either nerve is rare and usually they are involved together, often the eleventh and twelve nerves may also be affected. Glossopharyngeal neuralgia resembles trigeminal neuralgia, but it is much less common. It occurs as paroxysmal intense pain originating in the throat from the tonsillar fossa. It may be associated with bradycardia and in such cases it is called vegoglossopharyngeal neuralgia. A trial of phenytoin or carbamazepine is usually effective in relieving pain. Brain stem lesions like motor neuron disease, vascular lesions such as lateral medullary infarction or bulbar poliomyelitis can affect these nerves together resulting in bulbar palsy. Posterior fossa tumors and basal meningitis may involve these nerves outside the brain stem. Complete bilateral vagal paralysis is incompatible with life. Involvement of the recurrent laryngeal nerves, especially the left, occurs in thoracic lesions and this produces only hoarseness of voice without dysphagia.

What Are Compression Socks

Compression socks and compression stockings are hosiery items specifically designed to help with blood circulation. Through the day, the bodies blood supply will tend to pool in the lower extremitudes, the feet and legs. If left unattended this may cause certain circulatory problems such as edema, phlebitis, and thrombosis. All three of these conditions are painful and can result in damage to the legs and feet. Elevation of the feet and legs will help to counteract the pooling by allowing gravity to work to bring the blood supply back to the core but this only offers temporary relief.

Compression socks and stockings can be worn during the day, when it is necessary to be on your feet, in order to help stop pooling and assist in circulation. This is accomplished by having a graduated pressure application built into the socks. These socks are generally constructed of elastic type material such as lycra, spandex, or rubber. The compression is built in tighter at the foot and then is less near the top of the sock. This design helps the body to pump the pooling blood back out of the foot, up the leg, and back to the heart and lungs so the body waste can be removed and the blood flow can be re-oxygenated.

People who are forced to stand for long periods of time at their occupation often times find relief from leg cramps and foot pain by using these socks whenever they work. If a person has poor blood circulation it is very important to assist the heart in removing the excess blood from the feet and legs in order to combat the possibility of blood clotting in the arteries and veins. Blood clots can cause serious damage to the body and even death if they break loose and travel to a major organ such as the heart or brain.

Athletes will also use compression hosiery at times for added support while running, jumping, and quick movements. But the majority of people use them for support due to circulatory problems.